Human rights advocates in 20 countries claim that Bitcoin “provides financial inclusion and empowerment because it is open and permission-free.” Along with stablecoins, the cryptocurrency provides “unparalleled access to the global economy” to people in countries whose currencies have collapsed or are cut off from the rest of the world.
Bitcoin as a financial inclusion and empowerment tool
About 21 human rights advocates from 20 countries have sent a letter to the U.S. Congress defending Bitcoin and refuting claims recently raised by about 1,500 computer scientists, software engineers, and technologists. According to the human rights advocates, “Bitcoin provides financial inclusion and empowerment because it is open and permissionless.”
In an open letter to U.S. congressional leaders, advocates argue that bitcoin and stablecoin provide “unparalleled access to the global economy for people in countries like Nigeria, Turkey, and Argentina, where local currencies are disrupted, destroyed, or disconnected” point.
In their letter, the human rights groups explain that they were forced to respond to claims contained in another letterto the U.S. Congress prepared by Bitcoin opponents. In the so-called crypto letter, critics appealed to lawmakers not to bow to pressure from crypto space players and lobbyists. Computer scientists and their officials argued that crypto proponents are “trying to create a regulatory safe haven for these dangerous, flawed, and unproven digital financial products.”
Technologists have also rejected claims that cryptocurrencies are suitable to solve the financial problems facing Americans.
But in a rebuttal to claims made by scientists in an open letter, human rights advocates say they know for a fact that cryptocurrencies have made a difference in countries devastated by natural disasters.
In countries where citizens are oppressed, advocates say bitcoin is helping to “maintain the fight against authoritarianism.” The human rights group’s letter also points out how the technology, which according to opponents is “not fit for purpose,” has made a difference in Ukraine.
Crypto as an Equalizer
Meanwhile, in their letter seeking to make U.S. policymakers understand that Bitcoin is “valuable to tens of millions of people worldwide,” advocates condemn cryptocurrencies The letter highlights the background of the signatories of the letter that condemns cryptocurrencies. According to Human Rights Watch, “Nearly all of the authors of the anti-crypto letters come from countries with stable currencies, free speech, and strong property rights.” (see below). They added:
For many in the West, the horrors of monetary colonialism, misogynistic financial policies, frozen bank accounts, exploitative money transfer companies, and lack of connection to the global economy may seem distant. For us, our communities, and the majority of people around the world, these are everyday realities. If there were “far better solutions already in use” to overcome these challenges, we would know about them.
At the end of their letter, the human rights advocates said that congressional leaders must investigate the value of these technologies, their empirically proven benefits to millions of people, and their potential. They also urged lawmakers to create or implement policies that “do not undermine the ability to use these new technologies in human rights and humanitarian efforts.”
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