Bitcoin and the genie

Unleashing the Genie: Why no Country can put the Crypto Genie back in the Bottle

You’d be hard-pressed to find a country or government in any corner of the world that hasn’t at least heard about cryptocurrency and blockchain technology. For better or for worse, every country around the world is taking a stance on it. Countries like China, who have typically censored everything its citizens have access to, like Facebook, outright banned cryptocurrency back in October of last year. And yet, they remained one of the top 3 miners of cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, ever since. Countries like India, Nepal, Ecuador, Bolivia, and Thailand are in the same boat. Their countries have banned cryptocurrency and yet, it’s barely made a dent in the cryptocurrency trading volume in their respective countries.  Why is that? It’s because the crypto genie has been let out of the bottle and there’s no way to get it back in, despite any governments best efforts.

For example, since the bitcoin blockchain is stored on thousands and thousands of computers (or nodes) across the globe, if one country were to ban its citizens from trading in bitcoin, that would be all fine and dandy. The government could probably ban the fiat to bitcoin conversions at the all of the banks around the country. But trading in bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency around the world? Short of shutting down every Internet-connected device in the world, there would be no way to do it. And because of the decentralized, P2P nature of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, if you happened to be left with a balance of bitcoin after your governments so called “banning,” you could easily connect with someone in any corner of the globe and trade your bitcoin with them for whatever currency of your choosing. Such is the nature of decentralized, P2P technologies.

Now if you’re an American Citizen and grew up in America, I want you to take your US Dollar blinders off for 2 minutes. They will most definitely hurt you in this example and it’s healthy for Americans to get more cultured (speaking as a fellow American myself).

So picture you grew up in a country where you had no faith in your central government.

“Yeah, yeah, maybe some of you don’t like the current political administration or don’t like how the government is being run or something like that, but by and large, you have faith that your government will be able to verify that your property does indeed belong to you. You have faith that your government is going to be able to verify your property is yours in case of a dispute. You have faith that your government is going to claim you as a citizen if you’re ever in a bind.  And by and large, you have faith that your $27.63 currently sitting in your bank account is going to be $27.63 tomorrow morning.” That is, I’d argue, the biggest benefit from living in a first-world economy. You have trust in your institutions, you have trust in the USD, and you have trust that the government isn’t trying to scam you of your money or possessions.

Well, what happens in societies with corrupt governments? What happens when a families life savings go to 0 overnight because their government went bankrupt? Through no choice of their own, the currency they happened to be holding at that moment in time went from being worth something to being worth jack-diddly, all because their government didn’t know how to run their country properly. You see, as much as Americans love to bash their government, we can still count on them to come through for us. We can still count on them to hold the value of the currency of our choosing and we can count on them to provide us with opportunities that would never have been available to us elsewhere in the world. As much as I believe they are a necessary evil, they are indeed still necessary.

My point with this argument is that just because the US dollar has always held its value and the US Government has always been able to look out for its citizen’s assets, doesn’t mean that other governments can do the same for theirs. Citizens from countries like Venezuela, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo have experienced inflation rates far outpacing wage growth, leading their citizens to be well-off one day, and be “broke,” the next. Just to show how extreme this is, one carton of powdered milk in the US worth $7.24 would be worth the equivalent of  $703.54 in Venezuela that same day. And citizens of Venezuela have to go around and pay that because they have no other option, and why? Because they royally screwed up and happened to be born into the wrong country at the wrong time. You may say, who cares, I don’t even like milk. Well maybe try coffee: $20 of coffee in the US worth $200 in Venezuela, or $2 for a carton of eggs in the US worth $150 in Venezuela.  The point is, they got royally screwed because their government royally screwed up and their citizens are being forced to pay the consequences because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And that is why people in these countries are investing into cryptocurrencies. As volatile as they are currently, they look at cryptocurrencies as a truly global currency and a way to safeguard their money. They look at it as the only option to safeguard their lifetime earnings against a corrupt government, and for that, all the power to them.

Who are we to say that you can’t be paid in the currency of your choosing? Who are we to say your hard-earned work can’t be paid for through a currency of your choosing? I say let’s break the mold of having to be paid the currency of your born-into government. I’m a firm believer in the free -market, and for that I say, let people be paid however the hell they want to be paid. Let’s beak the mold of segregated, country-by-country payments and bring about a true, global currency, but that’s just my honest opinion.

crypto nomad

 Cameron GrandPre

Cameron GrandPre

Cameron GrandPre is a freelance writer focused on decentralized finance, cryptocurrencies and other fintech innovations. He's passionate about small business adoption of bitcoin and stablecoin assets, like Facebook's Libra project.

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