The U.K. hearing of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s U.S. extradition on the week of February 24, 2020, presented a test of Western liberal democracy. The indictment of Assange under the Espionage Act for publishing classified documents which exposed U.S. war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan is recognized by free speech groups as an unprecedented attack on the First Amendment.
With the government’s criminalization of journalism, we are seeing a deepening crisis of legitimacy that had begun to unravel a decade ago. Bitcoin emerged during the 2008 financial meltdown as a response to bank bailouts and a cycle of austerity. Over its 10 years of existence, the technology has steadily maintained its fundamentals of censorship resistance and permissionless usage. Now, more than ever, Bitcoin shows these defining features as its value proposition.
As the government becomes more authoritarian, those who speak truth to power are being punished more harshly. Bitcoin as a technology of dissent provides alternative forms of resistance that are much more peaceful and joyous. It offers an avenue for people around the world to express their opposition against their government without directly confronting with power; instead it is simply creating a new world that makes the old system obsolete.Premise of Unalienable Rights
The invention of Bitcoin didn’t happen overnight. It was built on cumulative efforts of the past. The development of this technology of dissent can be traced back in the history of people’s liberation from the arbitrary power of the king and despotic government. In the United States, after the victory of the Revolutionary War, the Founding Fathers rejected the rule of British monarchy. In the Declaration of Independence, the premise was given for unalienable rights of “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness,” expressed in the words of Thomas Jefferson that is to be applied equally to all people.
In establishing the U.S. con...