We live in a paradoxical world in that it is both expanding and shrinking at the same time. The rise of high-speed internet allows us to instantly communicate across the globe, stream movies and TV shows, shop from the comfort of our couch, dig through the archives of famous museums and libraries, and watch events in other countries unfold in real-time. The flip-side of such openness is that a small number of corporations are increasing their stranglehold on how we live our lives. As such, Bitcoin is now more vital than ever.
Many people now rely on the internet to make their living, such as selling art on Etsy, making YouTube videos, streaming games on Twitch, or selling items on eBay. The crux of such endeavors is being able to receive payments. One popular site is Patreon, which allows fans to directly support an individual with monthly payments.
Some people are able to accept debit and credit cards, such as Visa and Mastercard, on their websites. However, the main pipeline for payments online is PayPal, which boasts 286 million users. The equation for making an online living is simple: create a product people like, such as video content or artwork, and customers will hand over money using a payment processor.
But what happens if that financial pipeline is cut?
Such a circumstance is happening with increasing regularity. The most recent example is that of PayPal cutting off payments to models working on Pornhub. The adult entertainment site noted that over a hundred thousand models have been affected.
This is not the first time PayPal has decided to deny financial services. The last few years have seen a number of politically-oriented sites being banned, and the latest example is of conservative street artist Sabo having his account shuttered.
Patreon has moved into the censorship game as well. The site made headlines when it banned YouTuber Sargon of Akkad. Another banning targeted Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch. What is interesting in Spencer’s case is that it was Mastercard who pressured Patreon into closing the account.
Another recent example came just a few days ago, when the Bank of America, one of the country’s largest institutions, closed the account of PayPal’s ex-CFO without providing any explanations whatsoever.
Not a Left or Right Issue
While the examples cited above highlight those on the political right being banned from payment processors, this issue of de-platforming is not a left or right issue. The actions taken by Patreon caused both Jordan Peterson (leans to the right) and Dave Rubin (leans to the left) to leave the platform.
The reality is that a simple stroke on a keyboard can shut off mainstream financial access to anybody. As only a handful of corporations control such access (PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express, etc.), the average person is left with no viable alternative to earning a living.
Imagine making a few thousand dollars a month on Patreon or by directly selling ads on your website via PayPal and suddenly your account is closed down due to the platform deciding they do not agree with your views, even is such views are perfectly legal. What would you do then?
Censorship-Resistant: Bitcoin Solves That
All of the above shows why Bitcoin is vital to economic freedom. Due to the coin’s decentralized nature, there is no bank, platform, or corporation that can decide to completely shut you off on a whim. Bitcoin, along with other cryptocurrencies, allows a person the ability to continue sending and receiving funds.
By its decentralized, neutral nature, Bitcoin is censorship-resistant. It provides a means of economic payment that cannot be controlled by governments and companies.
It is true that Bitcoin is far from perfect, mainly due to it not reaching full mainstream adoption, not to mention ongoing volatility. However, it is perhaps one of the best alternatives that we have as corporations increasingly shut down those guilty of wrongthink. Now, more than ever, Bitcoin is needed.