I’d like to start with a brief introduction of myself. I grew up a deeply religious and deeply patriotic American. I believed that if we all worked together, we all could benefit. For most of my career I’ve tried to find opportunities to use technology to radically improve the lives of users. I mention this because we are at an exciting time in human history. Let’s get started.
What is a “cryptocurrency”?
Cryptocurrency is a word with two origins, “crypto” as in “cryptography” (think security) and “currency”, like we use the U.S.D. in commerce. The nerd end of “crypto” is cool, but for most people it doesn’t really matter. The interesting part is that cryptocurrencies provide a form of #PermissionlessPayments. What does this mean? It means that where your money is held is not able to choose when you can and cannot access your money. It means your account will not be blocked and you are in control of your money. How does this work? Well, that’s back to the “nerd stuff”, but at a basic level there are independent computers running the #BitcoinNetwork and as long as at least some of them are up, the system stays active. The #nodes are paid in Bitcoin for operating, so they have an economic incentive to remain up that automatically adjusts based on a bidding system that makes it attractive for businesses and individuals to support an independent network.
What does this have to do with Ukrainian Refugees?
The Government of Ukraine suspended the use of electronic money as the Russian invasion began. With bitcoin (and most other cryptos), that would be impossible. Why should your ability to buy and sell goods and services be restricted unilaterally? Especially in such a time of distress?
In my next article I’ll take this a step further. Ukrainian Refugees with cryptocurrencies have been able to continue to use their money independent of government blocks with banks. For refugees moving and traveling with uncertainty, cryptocurrencies are an effective way of keeping access to your money as you cross borders because you can access it anywhere you can get an internet connection (even a weak one!)