As a counter to the recent open letter sent by crypto sceptics to Congress, a group of human rights advocates have also sent a letter to Capitol Hill, asking for a “responsible crypto policy”.
21 human rights advocates from across the globe wrote the letter to congress praising the role of bitcoin and stablecoins in helping them and millions of others, under authoritarian or unstable regimes, in their fight for freedom and democracy.
“Bitcoin provides financial inclusion and empowerment because it is open and permissionless. Anyone on earth can use it. Bitcoin and stablecoins offer unparalleled access to the global economy for people in countries like Nigeria, Turkey, or Argentina, where local currencies are collapsing, broken, or cut off from the outside world.”
Reference was made to the letter from critics of crypto, and to the attacks on cryptocurrency, stating that it was “unproven” and “a solution looking for a problem”. The letter gave the following response:
“We can personally attest — as do the enclosed reports from top global media outlets — that when currency catastrophes struck Cuba, Afghanistan, and Venezuela, Bitcoin gave our compatriots refuge. When crackdowns on civil liberties befell Nigeria, Belarus, and Hong Kong, Bitcoin helped keep the fight against authoritarianism afloat. After Russia invaded Ukraine, these technologies (which the critics allege are “not built for purpose”) played a role in sustaining democratic resistance — especially in the first few days, when legacy financial systems faltered.”
The authors of the letter come from across the world, with more than a quarter of them from Africa and South America. They maintain in the letter that the critics in the anti-crypto letter are nearly all from stable countries where free-speech, stable currencies, and strong property rights are the norm. They stated:
“To most in the West, the horrors of monetary colonialism, misogynist financial policy, frozen bank accounts, exploitative remittance companies, and an inability to connect to the global economy might be distant ideas. To most of us and our communities — and to the majority of people worldwide — they are daily realities. If there were “far better solutions already in use” to overcome these challenges, we would know.”
The human rights signatories to the letter affirm that they understand that bitcoin and stablecoins might not be a panacea for everything, and that they do contain risks. Nevertheless, in the letter they make the following claim:
“ample evidence suggests that Bitcoin has and will continue to empower Americans and global citizens in the coming decade, and that—alongside stablecoins—this open and decentralized monetary network will help defy tyranny and strengthen democratic movements abroad.”
Also in the letter is a reference to the Chinese plan to roll out their own central bank digital currency (CBDC) across the entire country. The letter articulates that while bitcoin is the “plan A”, it is also the “plan B” as “a bridge to the global economy and as a counter to the Chinese Communist Party’s model of surveillance and control.”
The letter finishes by expressing the authors’ dissatisfaction with broken currencies, extortionate international money transfers, and how dictators from Beijing to Moscow have tried to ban bitcoin.
The letter is signed by the 21 signatories, one of which is Gary Kasparov, the chess grandmaster. There are also several links to a lot of material on the advantages of crypto and bitcoin.
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