By Mason Mohon | USA
Joseph Stiglitz found himself being named on headlines of crypto sites across the web. The former chief economist of the World Bank released a statement or two on how he thought that Bitcoin, the world’s biggest cryptocurrency, should be banned. Honestly, we should have expected nothing less from this centralization loving bank buddy.
A Coindesk report dove into what he said in regards to cryptocurrency. “Bitcoin is successful only because of its potential for circumvention, lack of oversight,” said Stiglitz. “So it seems to me it ought to be outlawed. It doesn’t serve any socially useful function.”
This economist, though, has another thing coming. Circumvention itself is not an inherently bad thing. Food is circumvention from starvation. Bitcoin is the feed to an economically starving world. Bitcoin was created so that money could be used outside of the state, and so that we can have transactions that we trust will work in the absence of a third party. So Stiglitz is right in that Bitcoin technology is used (and proudly) to circumvent state action. When the state uses its control of money to stealthily steal our money and finance its wars under the table, I think we may have a moral obligation to circumvent it.
David Veksler from the Foundation for Economic Education wrote about a time when he had profound trouble getting his money from himself to a friend. He tried multiple conventional methods of transfer, yet was heavily discouraged by wait times, fees, and other general issues with getting money to a friend, such as a check getting lost in the mail. In the west, we have been heavily bogged down with regulation, because “politicians want their cut, and they have no problem forcing us to use an expensive and unreliable financial system to get it.” Veksler outlined that Bitcoin allows us to circumvent these western regulations. The state has set up an economic blockade, and cryptocurrency is what we are using to get around it.
As I stated earlier, Bitcoin is food for our economic starvation, yet for some, it is food for actual starvation. A Venezuelan who wished to remain anonymous wrote about how Bitcoin is the only thing standing between their family and starvation. The writer said the following,
The economy is Venezuela is dead. My father lost his air conditioning business and people like our neighbors that were middle and upper class a few years ago can’t afford food. Thanks to the rising price of Bitcoin and its relative stability (to the Venezuelan economy), my family is part of a very small fortunate minority that can afford to help feed their community and also potentially immigrate to another country.
The writer’s entire intent in their writings was to show that Bitcoin does not exist with the sole goal of criminal circumvention for drug activity. It exists to help people in a very humanitarian way, for these people had fallen victim to a very dangerous dictator. Ironically enough, Stiglitz voiced support Venezuelan economic policies a few years ago. We see how well that’s going out.
Joseph Stiglitz has a rough track record, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s wrong about something once again. Bitcoin is not a toy for druggies to finesse their way around the government. Its uses seem to be spreading far and wide. Stiglitz needs to get with the program, or it will catch up to him.