- The report is dedicated to members of the United States Congress, along with committee chairs and ranking members, and requests their assistance for “responsible fintech policy.”
- It strongly recommends them to “take a strong, skeptical strategy to industry opinions that crypto-assets are an inventive, unquestionably good technology.”
- The signatories are strongly opposed to what they see as a “false narrative” about Web3’s coming years crafted by industry insiders.
26 technologists and scholars have released a petition to US lawmakers condemning cryptocurrency investments and blockchain technology.
The letter asks for support for “responsible fintech policy” from members of Congress, including committee chairs and ranking members.
Experts say they, like tens of millions of many others staying under authoritarian states or unsteady economies, have concentrated on Bitcoin and dollar instruments recognized as stablecoins in this struggle.
Because Bitcoin is transparent and permission less, it promotes financial equality and empowerment. It can be used by anyone on the planet. For people who live in countries like Nigeria, Turkey, or Argentina, where national currencies are disintegrating, broken, or cut off from the rest of the world, bitcoin and stablecoins provide unrestricted access to the global economy.
“Bitcoin is more than just technology to me.” It literally saved my friends’ and many Ukrainians’ lives. We would not have been able to raise funds so quickly to pay for protective equipment for soldiers in the early days of the Russian invasion if it had not been for it,” said Lyudmyla Kozlovska, a Ukrainian human rights activist.
After Russia invaded Ukraine, these tech tools played a major role to sustain democratic resistance, particularly in the early days, when heritage monetary institutions failed.
The experts advocate for a more open-minded and compassionate attitude to financial variables, which are progressively starting to play an influence in the development of people facing state repression and financial difficulties.
A group of critics issued a different letter, asserting that cryptocurrency is “unproven” and a quick fix “in search of problems.” The experts respond that their problems are real, and the “proof is in their stories and work.”
According to the letter condemning crypto, not all innovation is undoubtedly good; not all that we can develop should be developed. Technology’s history is littered with dead ends, false dawns, and wrong choices. Append-only digital ledgers are not a novel concept. They have been known and used for relatively limited purposes since 1980.
Human rights activists responded to the “unproven” claim by saying, “Unlike the majority of the world’s community members, well almost all of the anti-crypto letter’s composers are from countries with successful economies, freedom of speech, and potent property rights.
Dollar and euro users are unlikely to have encountered severe currency depreciation or dictatorship’s cold grip.
The atrocities of economic colonization, misogynist economic strategy, frozen bank accounts, rapacious remittance companies, and a lack of connection to the global economy may seem remote to most Westerners. They are routine realities for the overwhelming bulk of them and their societies, as well as the vast majority of people worldwide. They would be aware if there were “far alternative approaches already in use” to tackle these issues.
The satiric letter also criticizes blockchain technology, contesting assertions about its prospects. The technology that forms the basis of Web3 “has serious restrictions and design defects that disqualify mostly all applications that work on public customer data and controlled financial transactions and are not an advancement over existing non-blockchain solutions.”
It also highlights other threats posed by the crypto industry’s and its technologies’ growth, such as money laundering, ransomware, financial instability, large-scale scams, and carbon emissions from the proof-of-work framework used by some blockchains.
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The pro-crypto wing does not contend that Bitcoin and stablecoins solve the world’s problems or are wholly positive or risk-free. In parallel to the authors of the anti-crypto letter, sufficient data shows that Bitcoin has and will remain to encourage and support Americans and society more generally in the coming decade, and that this open and decentralized financial system, along with stablecoins, will help transcend oppression and promote better movements around the world.
It is strongly advised that the committees explore and investigate the global value of these technologies, their conclusively verified advantages for millions of people, and their possibility. The crypto industry is unquestionably riddled with scams, but the answer is not to mix legitimately useful fintech tools with detrimental crypto strategies.
Rather, it is to educate people how to distinguish between the two. It is very simple to differentiate Bitcoin and the largest stablecoins — which account for the majority of daily cryptocurrency volume and world’s total market capitalization — as beneficial technologies having a worldwide effect. The authors believe that you and your peers do not develop or implement policies that limit our capacity to use technological advances in our human rights and humanitarian work.
Signatories of the letter include:
The authors elaborate, Similarly to how some of them fought to try and protect the open web in the past, they are now fighting to defend an open currency system. Many people are being forced to hold broken currencies because leaders have precluded them from accessing dollars.
Many have also paid the high cost of international money transfers. People have watched as dictators from Beijing to Moscow attempted to outlaw Bitcoin. Supporters hope that we will pick a different policy reform that will allow us to save, connect, and find independence.
The letter is now available for signing by the larger tech community.