‘Bitcoin in its purest form is a form of monetary peaceful protest’: CoinShares CSO to WEF cryptocurrency panel

CoinShares Chief Strategy Officer Meltem Demirors tells a WEF cryptocurrency panel that Bitcoin is a form of monetary peaceful protest and that financial freedom is a critical tool to enable dissent in democratic societies.

Last week, the World Economic Forum (WEF) held its virtual four-day Sustainable Development Impact Summit to run alongside the United Nations General Assembly.

Meltem Demirors
Meltem Demirors

“Anytime you have a centralized financial application, what you have is the ability to censor” — Meltem Demirors

Speaking on Thursday’s panel entitled “Towards Sustainable Cryptocurrencies,” the CoinShares CSO said that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin were important tools for preserving freedom and human dignity.

Highlighting that “totalitarian governments are on the rise around the world,” Demirors explained that crypto was a way for people to circumvent censorship while giving citizens the option “to participate in an alternative economic system that has different rules than the one issued by their government.”

“Financial freedom, financial privacy is a critical tool to enable dissent in democratic societies, and so it’s very important that there are options where users cannot be censored” — Meltem Demirors

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“[Bitcoin] is being used by political activists and dissidents in economies in totalitarian governments, which by the way, totalitarian governments are on the rise around the world” — Meltem Demirors

“Anytime you have a centralized financial application, what you have is the ability to censor,” Demirors told the WEF panel.

“There’s a great study that’s been done by the Human Rights Foundation about Bitcoin is freedom money.

“It’s being used by political activists and dissidents in economies in totalitarian governments, which by the way, totalitarian governments are on the rise around the world.

“Financial freedom, financial privacy is a critical tool to enable dissent in democratic societies, and so it’s very important that there are options where users cannot be censored.

“It’s very important for a healthy, free democratic society that people have the ability to transact financially with freedom” — Meltem Demirors

“If we look at what’s happening in China, for example, dissidents in China are being silenced. They’re being banned from using social media. They’re being banned from traveling. They’re being banned from using the financial system.

“We could very well see the situation here in the United States. The Biden administration has expressed its intent to censor people who do not agree with their consensus definition of certain things in society.

“So, it’s very important for a healthy, free democratic society that people have the ability to transact financially with freedom,” she added.

“Governments are increasingly pushing for control, for censorship, for the ability to dictate who can do or say what, based on whether or not their views support those of the government that’s in power” — Meltem Demirors

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According to the CoinShares CSO, crypto is all about allowing people to choose which currency they hold and that having that choice accelerates “human freedom, democracy, and open societies.”

“At the end of the day, this [crypto] is really about choice,” said Demirors.

“Choice is an incredibly powerful thing, and we’re not sitting here demanding everyone in the world use cryptocurrencies, but for the first time so many people around the world have a choice.

“People who’ve never had a choice as to what currency they hold now have the ability — the choice — to participate in an alternative economic system that has different rules than the one issued by their government.”

“I’m just very excited about cryptocurrencies as a tool — and just one tool among many — to help continue to preserve human dignity and human freedom” — Meltem Demirors

She added, “The arc of progress is bending right now towards centralization and control, and we see this with COVID.

“Governments are increasingly pushing for control, for censorship, for the ability to dictate who can do or say what, based on whether or not their views support those of the government that’s in power.

“And again, throughout human history, the ability to have freedom — to have choice — has been a really big accelerator for human freedom, democracy, and open societies.”

“We can choose for the first time to exit the petrodollar system, which has caused so much economic damage, so much social damage, and frankly, more environmental degradation and damage than any other technology” — Meltem Demirors

“I believe what we’re working on is just so foundational and so important to preserving the values that so many of us in the West have around the right to freedom, the right to self-expression, and the ability to dissent and to have peaceful protests.

“And Bitcoin in its purest form is a form of monetary peaceful protest.

“We can choose for the first time to exit the petrodollar system, which has caused so much economic damage, so much social damage, and frankly, more environmental degradation and damage than any other technology.

“The war machine is the most polluting, most damaging thing on our planet.

“And so again, I’m just very excited about cryptocurrencies as a tool — and just one tool among many — to help continue to preserve human dignity and human freedom.”

“Bitcoin is already one of the most sustainable industries in the world” — Meltem Demirors

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“The Bitcoin industry has never received a single dollar of government subsidies or government funding and has single-handedly put more renewable energy on the grid and made it economically viable to invest in, develop, and build out renewable energy power generation” — Meltem Demirors

Demirors explained how Bitcoin had become one of the most sustainable industries in the world in that its power mix was over 50 percent renewables without ever taking any government subsidies.

“Bitcoin is already one of the most sustainable industries in the world,” Demirors told the WEF panel.

“The US power mix today is only 20 percent renewables. The Bitcoin industry’s power mix today is 50 percent renewables in the United States of America, as published in Q2 by the North American Bitcoin Mining Council, and was over 70 percent globally.”

“The private sector, in this instance the Bitcoin sector, can do a lot to solve the problems that the public sector has been unable and unwilling to solve without impacting taxpayers and burdening them with even more debt” — Meltem Demirors

The CoinShares CSO went on to say, “Really, the conversation we’re having is a subjective conversation about uses of energy, but the bigger question is sources of energy.

“Today, the US government subsidizes the fossil fuel industry, which is a multi-trillion dollar, very mature industry, to the tune of $20 billion per year.

“The European Union subsidizes the oil and gas industry to the tune of $30 billion per year.

“The Bitcoin industry has never received a single dollar of government subsidies or government funding and has single-handedly put more renewable energy on the grid and made it economically viable to invest in, develop, and build out renewable energy power generation.

“And to me that is really the profound opportunity here. The private sector, in this instance, the Bitcoin sector can do a lot to solve the problems that the public sector has been unable and unwilling to solve without impacting taxpayers and burdening them with even more debt,”  she added.

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