Why Bitcoin Is a Safe Haven and Weapon, Feat. Alex Gladstein

Governments step up their digital and financial surveillance measures, as bitcoin has become a safe haven for pockets of oppressed.

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This week on “Borderless,” Anna Baydakova and Danny Nelson speak with Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer for the Human Rights Foundation, about the intersection of bitcoin and activism, how global movements are using blockchain and what governments might try to do to stop it.

As more world governments step up their digital and financial surveillance measures, bitcoin has become a safe haven for pockets of oppressed. For example, in Nigeria female activists now harness bitcoin to get around government-ordered banking blockades. Alex and his partners at Human Rights Foundation use crypto grants and vocal advocacy to spotlight their stories.

At the same time, some governments have begun treating bitcoin as a tool of their own. The hosts discuss with Alex the ramifications of bitcoin weaponization and consider whether the problem is as bad as the United Nations makes it out to be. Does North Korea really fund its nuclear weapons program with stolen crypto? Alex has a lot to say.

Later in the episode, the hosts take on the non-fungible token (NFT) craze that’s taking the digital collectibles world by storm. What makes a LeBron James video worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, anyway?

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