Bitcoin Revolution: How Cryptocurrency Helps Free Speech

Release Date
September 23, 2014

Topic

Justice The Fed & Monetary Policy
Description

Bitcoin is nothing short of a currency revolution. It has changed how individuals spend their money, disrupted the way governments regulate money, and has the potential to completely eliminate physical currencies. Now, Jerry Brito, Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Institute, will explain why Bitcoin is already impacting the world for the better.

Are you tired of Washington telling you how to spend your money? If you’re like many Americans the answer is a definitive “YES!!!!!!!” Now is the time for action. See how Bitcoin is not only helping the world, but also has Washington shaking in its boots!

President Obama asked Google CEO Eric Schmidt if Bitcoin was something “he has to worry about.” The answer was, “Mr. President, absolutely.” Bill Gates says digital currencies could be “huge.”

Allow Senior Research Fellow Jerry Brito to explain to you three impactful ways Bitcoin is already freeing average Americans from Washington’s control.

Bitcoin is No Substitute for Government Money, But a Refuge From Control” – Jerry Brito

http://reason.com/archives/2014/04/21/bitcoin-no-substitute-for-government-mon

How Bitcoin is Reinventing The Monetary System: Q&A with Laissez Faire Books’ Jeffrey Tucker”

http://reason.com/reasontv/2013/08/17/jeffrey-tucker-freedom-fest

Central Banking: The Real Dangerous Mistake – George Selgin

http://www.freebanking.org/2014/02/12/central-banking-the-real-dangerous-mistake/

“Regulation and Bitcoin” – Jerry Brito interview

http://www.cato.org/multimedia/cato-video/regulation-bitcoin

Now a lot of people are really excited about Bitcoin because it’s not issued by any central bank, it’s not controlled by any government. Let me tell you why I’m excited about it.

Bitcoin is a censorship resistant currency. What that means is that, although we may be punished after the fact for having conducted a transaction, that transaction cannot be stopped.

I’m Jerry Brito and I’m a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, and I teach at GMU Law

In 2010 Wikileaks released secret State Department cables. This angered a lot of folks, other folks actually though were happy about it, and wanted to make a contribution to Wikileaks. Wanted to make a donation. Yet, they found that when they went to the Wikileaks website their options for payment were simply Visa, PayPal, MasterCard. And when they tried to use those, they found they could not. Payment denied! It could not process your payment.

And so why did they do this?

Well, many would argue it’s because they came under political pressure. Folks in Congress were pretty upset, and were sort of hinting at these payment processers that they would not be very happy if they would continue to make these payments to Wikileaks.

I was recently talking to a woman who runs a U.S. based NGO who tries to help the victims of sexual crimes around the world. So these are women who have been sold into slavery, or child brides, or victims of acid attacks. And she’s trying to get money to these victims. But this woman found is that she has a very difficult time getting money to these victims because the payment processers in those countries won’t process the payments. These countries governments either prohibit, or put pressure on these payment processers because they don’t won’t to see a U.S. NGO meddling in their affairs, but yet we want the victims to get that money.

Bitcoin has ushered in a revolution.  In the past transactions always required a third party. And that third party could exercise prior restraint. Now, that’s no longer possible.  And whether the Bitcoin protocol itself succeeds or fails, it doesn’t really matter, because the technology is here to stay. That technology that Bitcoin brought allows two parties to transact online without the need for intermediaries. That’s a bell that cannot be un-rung.