Congress receives activists’ letter promoting crypto

The letter appeals to US Congress to be ‘open-minded and empathetic towards‘ crypto

Exterior of the US Capitol Building in Washington DC                                 
The US Capitol Building, home of the US Congress – Photo: Getty Images
                                

Human rights activists from 20 different countries have sent an open letter to the US Congress in support of bitcoin (BTC) and stablecoins, arguing they have used cryptos in their “struggle for freedom and democracy”.

The human rights activists’ Letter in Support of Responsible Crypto Policy stated BTC “provides financial inclusion and empowerment because it is open and permissionless” and offered a lifeline to countries like Nigeria, Turkey and Argentina as their local currencies are collapsing.

It urged Congress to be “open-minded [and] empathetic towards monetary tools that are increasingly playing a role in the lives of people facing political repression and economic hardship.” And the letter explained that BTC has been used to help people who are at risk when other options have failed.

The activists’ open letter follows another campaigning letter – titled Letter in Support of Responsible Fintech Policy – from 1,500 computer scientists, software engineers, and technologists which was sent to Congress a week before the activists’ letter and carried an anti-crypto stance. This letter called on Congress to resist pressure to regulate a “haven for risky, flawed, and unproven digital financial instruments” and “instead take an approach that protects the public interest”.

Cryptos assisted Ukraine after Russia’s invasion

The Letter in Support of Responsible Crypto Policy noted how Ukraine has been using cryptos to assist the war effort against Russia, “especially in the first few days, when legacy financial systems faltered”.     

In March, Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation, crypto derivatives exchange FTX and Everstake, the biggest decentralised staking provider in the industry, came together to launch the website Aid For Ukraine, which sought to raise funds from the crypto community for Ukraine’s military and humanitarian needs following the Russian invasion.

This was the first time a crypto exchange had acted as a conduit for crypto donations to a public financial institution.

Additionally, the activists’ letter explained how BTC assisted Cuba, Afghanistan, and Venezuela when the nations were hit by “currency catastrophes” and “keep the fight against authoritarianism afloat” in Belarus and Hong Kong.

The human rights campaigners’ letter went on to argue that the anti-crypto letter was written by those from countries with stable currencies and free speech, adding that “dollar and euro users have most likely not experienced extreme currency devaluation or the cold grip of dictatorship”.

BTC and stablecoins not a solution to every problem

The activists’ letter did acknowledge that BTC and stablecoins do not solve all problems “or that they are entirely positive or without risk”. It went on to say that BTC was a “valuable… bridge to the global economy” for many oppressed people.

It also stated that there is evidence to suggest “that bitcoin has and will continue to empower Americans and global citizens in the coming decade, and that – alongside stablecoins – this open and decentralised monetary network will help defy tyranny and strengthen democratic movements abroad.”

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