It’s safe to say that resident Obama’s press secretary will not openly admit where the White House stands on the issue of Bitcoin use in the newly acquired Russian sovereign territory, Crimea. Not a word from the “official” fiat issuers either. My guess is it might be because the Kremlin, too, shares the same attitude to the currency of the future.
If anything could add fuel to the fire; it would be an open discussion on the most important, and least discussed, change underway in Crimea – the fiat currency change. And this change is perfectly emblematic of a point Bitcoin proponents have been hammering home for years. If money is a “universal” bartering means, it is only so because people have faith in that they can use it freely in exchange for goods and services, thus making “money” the world’s most widespread form of faith. And who CAN regulate faith, really? If enough people believe in the value of something then it is, by all means, valuable. But I digress. Back to Crimea and its fiat currency change. Basically overnight the Russian Ruble replaced the Ukrainian Hryvna, the latter to be in use through 2015 just so that its actual paper version is siphoned out of circulation. Just like that, overnight. And just like that it became obvious even to the blind that “fiat” currency is called “fiat” because IT IS PROCLAIMED SO BY A GOVERNMENT and can change faster than a teenager’s music preference.
Here’s something most cryptocurrency analysts don’t notice: there are two very important issues that have converged in Crimea, like nowhere else in the world, in the history of Bitcoin. These issues are the concepts of “sovereignty” and “fiat” currency. The US government and the West do not recognize Crimea as a sovereign territory of the Russian Federation. But who cares? Certainly the people showed they didn’t and the rest was slam-dunk history. So much for the concept of “sovereignty”. As for the “fiat” concept, well, the Russian government made that very clear by telling all Crimeans through the media that they will now, naturally, call their money something else and its paper version will be a different color. Ask any businessman if he cares. And try to prevent him from trading in Bitcoin if he chooses. The government might as well try to outlaw bad weather, if you catch my drift.
So just to wrap it up in a nutshell: people have the right to self proclaim their “sovereignty” just as much as they have the right to trade in any currency, whether it is proclaimed “fiat” by a government or not.
And if anyone still thinks that, in the digital age of borderless capital, official fiat money is the only real money, try to buy a burger at McDonalds in Manhattan for Russian Rubles. Catch my drift? Thought so. Now pay attention to the sticker “we accept Bitcoin” next to the cash register. Think that that business owner has a very laconic point: he accepts cryptocurrency. Period.
Vox populi, vox Dei.