David Hansson, creator of the “Ruby on Rails” full stack framework, recently confessed that his outright stance against cryptocurrencies was wrong. In light of Canada’s recent sanctions against the Canadian trucker convoy, he now sees a use case for cryptocurrency, including in Western democracies.
“I was wrong,” says Hansson
The developer stack creator explained his revised position in a blog post today, titled “I was wrong, we need crypto”. By no means a total convert, he was sure to reemphasize his many gripes with cryptocurrencies before explaining his newfound appreciation for them. Some of those criticisms include Tether’s questionable reservations for backing USDT, and the many scams plaguing all space.
While Hansson understood that cryptocurrencies offered independence from banks, he only saw this as beneficial in “bankrupt states like Venezuela” or “too authoritarian” countries like China or Iran. By contrast, in his view, “stable Western democracies” governed by the “rule of law” had little need for blockchain technology.
However, Canada’s heavy-handed response to protests against Covid-19 restrictions has since changed its mind. The Ottawa Police Department forced crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to refund some $10 million in donations to the movement, blocking their transactions. Shortly after, the provincial government of Ontario ordered GiveSendGo to freeze donations collected for truckers.
Finally, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked “Emergencies Act” of Canada. This gave the government the power to freeze the bank accounts of anyone suspected of donating to the protest. Given the circumstances, Hansson was terrified that even a country like Canada would accept such a “shockingly overbearing” response.
“I still can’t believe this is the protest that would prove that every Bitcoin nut is a prophet,” he wrote. “And for me to have to cut a humble piece of cake and admit that I was wrong about the fundamental need for cryptocurrencies in Western democracies.”
Hansson concludes by saying that he was “too hasty” in dismissing cryptocurrencies by looking only at its shortcomings, rather than appreciating the transactional freedom it provides. This comes after many years on Twitter criticizing the “laser-eyed HODL army” as he describes it.
Evading sanctions with crypto
Since cryptocurrencies facilitate peer-to-peer transactions, they are much more difficult for banks or governments to censor. In the case of the trucker convoy, a Bitcoin-native fundraiser amassed nearly $1 million in donations, which he successfully arrived in possession of truckers.
Notorious whistleblower and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has also turned to cryptocurrencies to circumvent sanctions placed against him and his organization. A recent Ethereum DAO high millions of dollars funding his trial to prevent his extradition to the United States.
Featured image courtesy of @dhh on Twitter.
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