Are cryptocurrencies the next step in financial freedom?
Banks for far too long have been the dictators of our funds. They charge high fees, determine where in the world money can and can’t be sent, and limit consumers in terms of financial freedom. The effects of the recession between 2007 and 2009 can still be seen today. Due to ignorance, negligence, and just plain greed, banks caused many people to lose their homes, and many more to lose their jobs and livelihoods.
Cryptocurrencies were developed to return financial freedom to the people. Although slow to catch on, if completely adopted, cryptocurrencies have the ability to cut out banks altogether. In the meantime, cryptocurrencies are being used for various purposes around the globe. Whether they are being used as an alternative to failing fiat currencies in countries like Venezuela, or as an alternative to banks, cryptocurrencies are bringing about a form of financial freedom the world has desperately needed for a long time now.
Death of the middleman
Banks for the longest time have held their customer’s money hostage in various ways. They charge fees for transferring money; and if you don’t have enough money in your bank account, this can often result in fees as well, which seems counterintuitive to building wealth.
Cryptocurrencies were designed to return the power to the people. The great 2007-2009 recession is a shining example of how banks along with governments have failed customers around the globe. We can no longer rely upon financial institutions to keep our money safe. Cryptocurrencies have provided the freedom to be responsible for our own money.
Putting economic power in people’s hands
Due to neglect and bad choices by the authoritarian state of Venezuela, the country’s currency is now practically useless. With an annual inflation rate of 1,000,000%, Venezuela is suffering from one of the worst cases of hyperinflation in history.
Venezuela at one time had a steady stream of U.S. dollar revenue entering the country, due to the country’s abundance of oil reserves. Oil accounts for an astounding 96% of Venezuela’s exports. After the price of oil collapsed in 2014, the nation entered into a downward spiral. Venezuelan government made a hefty bet on oil, and it has cost them greatly.
It takes stacks of Bolivar, the country’s currency, to buy a simple meal. Not only is this extremely unethical, but it has caused hundreds if not thousands in the country to be left starving. An astounding 90 percent of Venezuela’s citizens are now living in poverty. Dash, a cryptocurrency that allows for instant, private, and cheap payments, is currently being adopted by many in Venezuela to return financial freedom.
According to Dash, each month 200 merchants are signing up to receive Dash as a payment method. Dash has provided a means for Venezuelan citizens to regain their livelihood without having to rely on the government that took it from them in the first place. There, cryptocurrency is literally saving an entire nation.
The freedom to send money anywhere, anytime
Cryptocurrencies have the ability to drastically overhaul future money transfer services. Cryptocurrencies allow for payments to be made on a worldwide scale, and because of this it has been extremely valuable for remittances. So much so, that Facebook is developing its own form of cryptocurrency to be used with its popular messaging service WhatsApp, which is widely used in India. At the same time, 2.8% of India’s GDP is made up of remittances, and Facebook’s digital money can make it even easier for the country to ensure its own financial freedom.
The Venezuelan government has taken steps to collect a portion of remittances sent to the country. The authoritarian state has already taken so much from its people, and yet, it still continues to take more. It is in this area in which private cryptocurrencies shine brightest. Monero, a cryptocurrency developed with anonymity in mind, can be used to send money to Venezuela without having to worry about it being collected by the government. Utilizing both private and public key encryption, Monero allows its users to make payments and transfer money anonymously. As the country continues to deal with hyperinflation, remittances are now more valuable than ever for the country’s citizens.
The new face of financial freedom
Venezuela is just one proof of how cryptocurrencies have provided financial freedom to people. Some may argue that the dark web has shown that perhaps cryptocurrency has granted its users too much freedom. However, as seen in history, any new technology can be used in nefarious ways. Plus, we have to remind ourselves: fiat money is also involved in criminal activities, with no limitations.
The positive aspects of cryptocurrencies greatly outnumber its negative aspects. Although currently in a volatile stage, cryptocurrencies are not going anywhere anytime soon. While used as a means of investment in first-world countries, in third-world countries cryptocurrencies are becoming a necessary and essential tool to survive.