What does the next stage of crypto adoption look like?

by | Dec 1, 2022

As many of you know by now, I was imprisoned earlier this year by the US government for engaging in peer-to-peer crypto usage. You can catch up with everything that happened to me in this interview I did with Ryan Harper and this coverage in Bitcoin Magazine.

As such, I’ve definitely been thrown outside my normal bubble of people I’d interact with on the daily.

Interestingly, I’ve just been given official approval by the Bureau of Prisons to continue to teach my Bitcoin curriculum to my fellow inmates. The class that I’m teaching has been going on for a couple of months now, and my interactions taught me a lot about how the public perceives crypto outside the bubble.

The good news is that everyone from every stripe has an abiding interest in crypto. The downside is that most (at best) see it as strictly an investment tool or at worst a get-rich-quick scheme.

Simply put, the message about utility simply isn’t sticking. Even folks in here who buy crypto assets labor under the delusion that there are no other use cases aside from investment vehicles.

Ironically, one of the biggest ones is staring them right in the face: remittance.

In federal prisons, a vast majority of inmates have had fines and restitution assessed. Even those that don’t say that they have been de-banked. An equally large portion have also reported having family CashApp balances frozen or seized without warning or explanation. In short, Bitcoin fixes this.

Yes, these seem like inmate-specific problems for now. Prominent examples include what happened to people who sent funds to the protesting Ottawa truckers; GoFundMe seized it, and this would not have happened with uncensorable money. UkraineDAO formed and raised $6 million to bring humanitarian aid donations into Ukraine shortly after Russia invaded the country. Ukraine’s central bank also suspended e-wallets and limited withdrawals as remittances became more difficult to send into the country  – further adding more use cases for crypto.

There are more than two million people in the nation’s prisons and jails, and, in truth, the basic problems for inmates and their families are the canary in the coal mine for the general population.

Encouraging the safe, pragmatic use of this technology for faulty traditional finance rails will encourage growth in NFTs, Web3, DeFi and all the rest.

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