By | January 4, 2022


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Alex Gladstein’s contributions to Bitcoin Journal final 12 months helped us all perceive the human rights implications of adopting Bitcoin.

Maybe no contributor to Bitcoin Journal has explored the ethical and moral crucial of Bitcoin extra extensively than Alex Gladstein.

Gladstein is the chief technique officer on the Human Rights Basis and he has additionally served as vp of technique for the Oslo Freedom Discussion board since its inception in 2009. His distinctive skill to color an in depth image of financial hardships that people face all through the world has additional opened the eyes of so many individuals this 12 months. The mission of Bitcoin, as a instrument for hope and furthering human freedom, is turning into extra obvious to a wider viewers, due to his contributions. It could be a missed alternative to not evaluate his seminal works which have illustrated the necessity for Bitcoin as an open and impartial international cash for humanity.

Works In Evaluation

In April, Gladstein printed “Bitcoin Is A Trojan Horse For Freedom,” which mentioned how Bitcoin recruits people and nations to change into promoters of freedom towards tyranny and authoritarianism by triggering innate human feelings of self-preservation and greed — even when one has zero altruism. This is a crucial introduction to the sport concept behind Bitcoin. It’s unwavering arithmetic are designed to vary each certainly one of us for the higher. And on this approach, we will additional human rights throughout the globe.

His subsequent contribution, “Uncovering The Hidden Prices Of The Petrodollar,” was a deep dive into the tarnished historical past behind the American greenback’s ascent to international reserve forex standing and its toll on overseas coverage, power and the setting. He described how the US was capable of retain unparalleled and outsized financial dominance utilizing an unique army pact with Saudi Arabia that led the world into pricing oil in {dollars} and stockpiling U.S. debt. Whereas Bitcoin’s open transparency makes it a straightforward goal for critics to bemoan its power consumption, the hostile results of the greenback are much less seen. Gladstein’s essay was a big step ahead in our understanding of why a dollar-based reserve forex is unsustainable and undesirable for nations throughout the globe.

In Might, Gladstein’s essay “Verify Your Monetary Privilege” recalled anecdotes from rising markets as an instance how Bitcoin gives necessary and legitimate use circumstances to those that lack the monetary safety that many people take without any consideration within the Western world. Those that deride Bitcoin are sometimes blinded to the truth that 87% of the planet lives beneath autocracy or is compelled into untrustworthy currencies. 4.3 billion folks dwell beneath authoritarianism, and 1.2 billion folks dwell beneath double- or triple-digit inflation. Analyzing how Bitcoin is utilized in nations similar to Nigeria, Sudan and Ethiopia, gave readers a brand new perspective on why it’s an necessary instrument of liberation to so many individuals all through the world.

The Humanitarian And Environmental Case For Bitcoin” regarded on the problems with overseas assist corruption and dependency, in addition to how Bitcoin can foster renewable power within the creating world. Certainly, a lot of the help despatched to rising markets flows into the coffers of the elite. Gladstein argues that a lot of this corruption might be prevented with Bitcoin as a corruption-resistant cost rail. Moreover, creating nations can liberate themselves from oppressive and corrupt sources of overseas assist by extracting worth out of stranded energy, via Bitcoin mining.

Just a few weeks later, Gladstein took the chance to ask El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, if his authorities had thought of mining Bitcoin. Bukele replied that he hadn’t thought of it, however the query instantly led him to understand that his nation had untapped geothermal sources that might be used for mining. By November, El Salvador had introduced a $1 billion volcano bond.

In June, Gladstein interviewed Jack Dorsey at Bitcoin 2021 in Miami, and mentioned what it was about Bitcoin that drove Dorsey to give attention to it. The dialog lined plenty of matters, together with Bitcoin’s essential function in banking the unbanked, furthering monetary rights in rising markets, censorship resistance, discrimination resistance, self custody and human rights. The interview gained worldwide media consideration and helped additional the narrative of Bitcoin’s humanitarian mission. By December, Dorsey would step down from Twitter and flip his full consideration to his newly rebranded firm, Spiral, and Bitcoin.

Gladstein’s subsequent essay, “Preventing Financial Colonialism With Open-Supply Code” uncovered France’s financial colonialism which continues to take advantage of 15 African nations. It retold how households in Senegal misplaced 50% of their buying energy in a single day and went into nice element concerning the insidious, unfair financial and commerce insurance policies imposed via the CFA franc, as a part of a hidden colonialism that persists years after decolonization. Rising out of this oppression emerges a hopeful story, as Fodé Diop’s mission to convey Bitcoin to Senegal is informed.

On Independence Day, “Bitcoin And The American Thought” gave us readers the chance to replicate on America’s founding and the pressures that lead us astray from its cherished values. Recalling President Eisenhower’s farewell tackle, we now benefit from hindsight to see Eisenhower’s fears realized by the rise of the military-industrial complicated and Bitcoin rising in response to these darkish forces. Gladstein reminds us about Isaiah Jackson’s work speaking how Bitcoin may also help raise up black Individuals regardless of a discriminatory banking system that continues to fail the group. And we realized of Al Mutar, who believes Bitcoin may also help liberate folks around the globe and unfold American values extra successfully than U.S. army campaigns ever can. We’re left impressed by Bitcoin as a brand new declaration of optimistic values for the way forward for our civilization.

In late July, Gladstein explored the potential for Bitcoin to present Palestinians a possibility for peaceable protest and sovereignty in response to oppressive financial insurance policies outlined in his essay, “Can Bitcoin Be Palestine’s Forex Of Freedom?” Whereas many individuals might pay attention to the challenges of dwelling within the occupied Palestinian territories, few are conscious of the financial hardships that compound already insupportable dwelling situations. Bitcoin, once more, is proven as an answer that may help with remittances from overseas, present banking, assist forestall confiscation and keep away from debasement of family wealth.

August ushered in “Inside Cuba’s Bitcoin Revolution,” which investigated the nation’s human rights disaster and the rising revolution of utilizing Bitcoin as a peaceable protest in response to oppressive financial insurance policies. Gladstein summarizes the historical past and circumstances that led to the dire financial scenario and inequitable function of the Cuban convertible peso (CUC) in each day life. Bitcoin adoption is permitting Cuba’s residents a approach round these hardships and an opportunity at financial sovereignty.

Subsequent, he printed “Discovering Monetary Freedom In Afghanistan,” which tells the story of Roya Mahboob — the primary feminine Afghan tech CEO and one of many first entrepreneurs to introduce Bitcoin to Afghanistan. As soon as once more, we be taught of utmost financial collapse and hardships for the folks of Afghanistan and the essential function that Bitcoin can play in offering a lifeline.

In September, Gladstein reported his journey experiences in “The Village And The Strongman: The Unlikely Story Of Bitcoin And El Salvador” after visiting El Salvador to expertise its pioneering adoption of bitcoin as authorized tender. We realized of the proliferation of QR codes and Bitcoin ATMs coming to life within the largely-unbanked nation. He lined the fast emergence of the Lightning Community inside the nation’s borders and the nationwide skepticism and opposition to the Bitcoin legislation and the issues with the nation’s opportunist president.

In October, “The Quest For Digital Money” gave us the detailed historical past of the cypherpunk motion and the evolution of Bitcoin realized by Satoshi Nakamoto. A lot of the digital privateness and encryption we take without any consideration at this time may be traced again to this motion for particular person sovereignty and human rights. By retelling this historical past, readers are given a brand new appreciation for the sacrifices and efforts of this technology of cryptography advocates. It demonstrates to readers that Bitcoin is the fruits of an extended journey that dates again to the early days of the digital revolution.

The Finish Of Tremendous Imperialism” is the newest installment from Gladstein, printed this November. In it, we study Michael Hudson’s guide “Tremendous Imperialism,” which paperwork the occasions that led to the dollar-dominated world economic system and its far-reaching influence. Very like the cruel financial colonialism of the CFA franc, the U.S. greenback affords Individuals the exorbitant privilege on the expense of different nations. Gladstein’s retelling of Hudson’s work exposes the largely unseen results of a dollar-based financial system.

It may be troublesome to maintain up with Gladstein’s prolific writing. Fortunately, Man Swann has recorded each certainly one of Gladstein’s essays on Bitcoin Audible.

His essays are virtually required studying for individuals who need to perceive the ethical argument for adopting a Bitcoin normal. They provide readers a glance into the areas, peoples and financial hardships that many people are privileged sufficient to be unaware of. The extra we be taught the extra we will start to understand and perceive that Bitcoin is much extra necessary than any of us can think about. These essays cement the essential mission of bringing financial sovereignty to the world when it’s wanted most. We stay up for persevering with that journey with Gladstein into 2022 and past. We will’t thank him sufficient for educating us about how Bitcoin means a lot to these exterior of our lives and for envisioning a brighter future for humanity and particular person human rights.

It is a visitor publish by Level39. Opinions expressed are solely their very own and don’t essentially replicate these of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Journal.



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