Totalitarianism is strengthened by terror and social control, an effect achieved with surveillance. Bitcoin can also monitor the powerful, introducing new forms of resistance.
When walking down the street, a security camera may be following people’s steps. Social networks carefully capture every gesture, comment or purchase made. In certain parts of the world, the government even regulates which movies the population can or cannot see.
Without realizing it, humanity is currently confined to the eye of “Big Brother”, that terrifying character created by George Orwell for his novel 1984.
It is not paranoia but a latent concern that can turn into terror. At present, social control and extreme surveillance proliferate, practices done by both dictatorial governments and democracies.
Personal freedom always seems to be at risk. However, at this very historical moment, proposals for individuality and privacy such as Bitcoin have also been born.
Ecosystem networks and personalities have published that blockchain technologies can help safeguard human rights. Although these types of statements sound great, no one can understand how it does it.
There Is No Privacy
China’s government is not exactly totalitarian, but it is controlled by the police. Although citizens enjoy individual opportunities and rights, the national police can have access to information published on the Internet, security cameras and even anyone’s personal data.
Freedom seems to be a very fragile asset when the government is constantly watching every step of the citizens. The information collected by the state could be used to the detriment of certain uncomfortable individuals.
Trust is a gift that today’s society lacks, not because of lack of trust but because of the loss of credibility and honesty of figures of power. People have stopped trusting governments, authorities or the media, because they know that the truth can always be manipulated.
Transparency, verification, privacy and decentralization have become the most precious assets, principles that also comprise the Bitcoin ideal. The world’s most popular cryptocurrency was created to provide greater privacy on the Internet and payment systems.
Today, demonstrators in Hong Kong break facial recognition cameras claiming that the state is watching them. Both claims have one enemy in common: people have lost the autonomy in their private lives, but it can be recovered.
Bitcoin Also Watches People
The use of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Monero or Zcash is in itself a practice that can help counteract state surveillance in democratic countries. As more people use mechanisms to increase the privacy of the transactions or the information that they share, it will be more difficult to know who has or has not shared a piece of data.
Although the use of Bitcoin as currency can change the rules of the game in the democracies of the world, talking about totalitarian countries or dictatorships makes things complicated. Many people propose Bitcoin as a weapon of resistance although they have never lived in regimes that restrict human rights and freedom.
Andreas Antonopoulos spoke on this subject, ensuring that the true strength of Bitcoin was in its immutable and public record. It is not only privacy, which allows safeguarding human rights, but also Bitcoin’s memory, which can monitor and never forget.
By Willmen Blanco