Development experts claim that freedom is a necessity in the fight to end poverty, yet more than 2.5 billion people around the globe live under authoritarian rule. As the world becomes increasingly digital, powerful autocrats gain access to virtual tools capable of stifling dissent and quashing liberty. Nowhere is this more evident than in China, where the government has taken steps to replace paper cash with a digital currency that central banks back. The transition would allow state officials to monitor the purchases and activities of every Chinese citizen, as well as enable the central banks to freeze an individual’s assets should they threaten party doctrines. However, blockchain could help destabilize authoritarian regimes.
How Blockchain Works to Destabilize Authoritarian Regimes
The blockchain, which Satoshi Nakamoto created in 2008, is an encrypted digital network that records information in a decentralized database. Nakamoto’s invention has paved the way for cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin and Cardano to revolutionize the financial sector. The nature of cryptocurrency is such that governments cannot manipulate them nor monitor them; they are secure, private and resistant to authoritarian fiscal policy. Cryptocurrency “takes control of people’s monetary futures away from governments and places it in the hands of individuals,” said Ross Gerber, the CEO of Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management. Nicolas Maduro cannot print crypto coins like the Venezuelan bolivar. Miguel Diaz-Canel and the Cuban government cannot intercept remittances that go to one’s crypto-wallet. Vladimir Putin cannot surveil transactions on encrypted trading platforms. Additionally, Xi Jinping cannot freeze crypto-accounts. Cryptocurrencies are actively destabilizing authoritarian regimes.
Laws Against Peer-to-Peer Exchanges
How Blockchains Can Revolutionize Information
The utility of Nakamoto’s blockchain with regard to destabilizing authoritarian regimes is more than fiscal. In the same way that Bitcoin revolutionized the financial world, so too will blockchain search engines revolutionize information. Such innovations offer trustworthy alternatives to state-run propaganda machines that specialize in misinformation. Readers will have “access to unbiased information online, as well as more ownership of their personal data and real digital privacy,” said Colin Pape, the founder of a decentralized search engine. With the groundbreaking technology, civilians living under authoritarian rule can circumvent these information blockades by logging into an encrypted web browser, verified by users around the globe in much the way that crypto miners authenticate Bitcoin exchanges, that tracks for credibility and accuracy.
The technologies that can destabilize authoritarian regimes are at the world’s disposal. It is essential to encourage their adoption and use in countries that lack freedom. Thanks in part to Nakamoto’s invention, authoritarianism could someday be a relic of the past, and poverty with it.