Light at the end of the dystopian tunnel

Banks can freeze your account. It’s not difficult to do. A few keystrokes or a command line in a computer is sufficient to prevent you from transacting. Similarly, third party payment processors such as Visa, Mastercard and PayPal can stop transactions routing in and out of your account.

There have been numerous examples of organizations and individuals having their bank accounts frozen. Examples range from more understandable restrictions being put in place – such as when an account becomes associated with terrorist financing – to the more dubious implementations of such policies – such as when PayPal and Visa prevented Wikileaks from being able to receive donations.

If you’re thinking that your government will protect you, think again. You may or may not be aware of the Canadian truckers protesting government mandates at the start of 2022. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the 1988 Emergencies Act to freeze the accounts of more than 200 accounts containing nearly $8 million.

Imagine the impact of having your bank account frozen: inability to buy food; inability to put fuel in your vehicle to travel; inability to buy a coffee; pay rent; bills… Apart from the cash you have on hand you will be unable to purchase anything. Now think of the worst-case outcomes of this: homelessness; starvation.

Unfortunately, this is the situation we are facing as a society. There are events happening on a global scale that are threatening our freedoms and liberties: The freedom to gather in peaceful protest; freedom of the press; body autonomy. Unless we conform to certain rules and regulations, we are in danger of losing our most basic human rights.

Now imagine a world where you have complete control of your money. It isn’t stored on a server at an institution who can switch it off, and you have access to it 24/7. You can spend your money on whatever you choose – you can donate to causes that you believe in and can participate in peaceful protesting if you see fit, without the fear of your government or a network provider deciding that your behaviour is a threat to “national security” and thereby needing to freeze your assets.

The promise of Bitcoin, and other decentralized cryptocurrencies is, according to the Bitcoin Whitepaper, “an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.”. What isn’t contained in the whitepaper, but could have been, is the sentence “Bitcoin prevents governments, banks and any other institution from preventing access to a users’ funds, thereby enabling them to access and spend their funds freely and anonymously, yet simultaneously transparently, thereby ensuring the freedom to participate in the global economy without the threat of being economically castrated if the user refuses to participate in behaviours that they suspect they are being coerced into that they believe to be morally and ethically reprehensible”.

Deep, I know. But food for thought.

About Me

I’m Jamie, 35 years old and living in Australia. I got into cryptocurrency in 2018 shortly before the $20k high and subsequent bear market, and when you could buy 1 ETH for $300 (my first investment). Since then I have dabbled in most things crypto-related: leverage trading, minting and selling NFT’s, ICO’s… I’ve been scammed (several times), attempted various trading strategies (from hodling to 100x’ing a trade) and introduced many people to crypto.