Cryptocurrency is radical but who does the radicalism benefit?

Cryptocurrency is radical but who does the radicalism benefit?

“Free speech” is one of the battle cries of far-right activists who target democratic consensus and seek to divide the public.

Alt-right agitators and trolls embrace the cry of “freedom” even as they take actions that fundamentally corrode Western unity, credibility and morale.

Claiming “freedom” in fact makes it hard for defenders of the rules-based nations to identify the threat to public order posed by partisans on private-sector digital platforms.

So it is somewhat alarming to see a similar dynamic – the cry of “freedom” – play out in another sphere, that of currency and payments.

Right now, terminology being embraced in the world of cryptocurrency places the technology in opposition to states. Who in the liberal West, for example, would support “censorship”?

But “censorship resistance” in the cryptocurrency world means, essentially, opposition to cryptocurrency-based financial transaction, including action by law enforcement or regulators.

This understanding, which sees central banks, oversight and regulation as a form of oppression, offers a hint about one of the potential functions of cryptocurrency: its capacity to disrupt the state’s role in finance.

There is a race on to harness the value of cryptocurrency. Individuals want to make fortunes. Start-ups want to grow. Financial services companies don’t want to be left behind.


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