In the latest episode of the Unchained podcast, host Laura Shin interviews Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer at the Human Rights Foundation.
Gladstein soars 20 years into the future, transporting us into a world of chip implants, mass surveillance and IDs linked to digital currency accounts for non-stop tracking of every conceivable transaction.
Having pushed society well beyond efficient systems, AI miracles and cost-saving technological advancements, the new dystopia weaponizes big data to control people. In swift order it can punish outliers, manipulators, slackers and the anti-establishment rabble-rousers. Opting out isn’t easy.
“With cash gone, it’s extremely difficult to buy a burner phone or SIM card.”
On the other side of the rainbow lies Bitcoin (BTC) and the techno-utopia of anonymous and pseudonymous everything. While the two extremes seem equally unlikely to play out, Gladstein says current efforts in the cryptosphere are laying the blueprint.
“How close we get to a more positive and open financial future is dictated by what we do now with the Bitcoin ecosystem in 2020 and moving forward.”
First, Bitcoin’s value will have to be understood well beyond its price tag and it will have to transcend the roughly 45 million people, or .058% of the world’s population, who use BTC today.
To move the needle on Bitcoin adoption, Gladstein argues that industry leaders need to introduce global education and improve usability while also focusing on privacy solutions and ways to scale the network for the mainstream.
He adds that another major priority is integrating Bitcoin into a platform like Twitter so that users can protect their identities and reveal “an absolute minimum” about themselves.
“We’ll need to use digital assets that don’t require Know Your Customer (KYC) or Anti Money Laundering (AML) compliance.”
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