On Crypto Anarchy and Cyber Liberty: Opinion

On Crypto Anarchy and Cyber Liberty: Opinion
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Timothy May is a formidable figure on the cryptography and privacy scene and a voluminous writer on all things cypherpunk. His peak work was in the 90s, but it hasn’t aged much, and the recent waves of Blockchain popularity and interest make it all the fresher.

Tim May penned the highly influential The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto in 1988 and coined the term “crypto anarchy”.

I highly suggest that you read his essay Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities, which is a fantastic piece printed back in 1994 and that is very prescient on a lot of points of what’s happening today.

There’s a piece from the essay that I’d like to particularly dwell on that recounts how Tim May came up with the word “crypto anarchy” and what he meant by that:

I devised the term crypto anarchy as a pun on crypto, meaning “hidden,” on the use of “crypto” in combination with political views (as in Gore Vidal’s famous charge to William F. Buckley: “You’re crypto fascist!”) and of course because the technology of crypto makes this form of anarchy possible. The first presentation of this term was in a 1988 “Manifesto,” whimsically patterned after another famous Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities manifesto. Perhaps a more popularly understandable term, such as “cyber liberty,” might have some advantages, but crypto anarchy has its own charm, I think.

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Cyber liberty

Think of the term “cyber liberty” as this is where I’d like to deviate a little from what’s elaborated upon in “Crypto Anarchy and Virtual Communities” and put it in the perspective of today.

Whether we like it or not, the words anarchy and crypto anarchy can be a boogeyman to the general public, and Tim May went along with the term because he liked it, but the “cyber liberty” might be more fitting by his own admission.

At its essence — and if you remove any emotion and the multitude of connotations that weight the word down — anarchy means that communities and community members can function in a highly conscious state. In a state in which they can freely cooperate and self-govern without the need of the government. Anarchy is not about actively getting rid of the government; it’s about operating as a tightly knit community.

And yet the term “cyber liberty” is a better one and is extremely fitting today.

With the spread of mobile technology, mobile money has become not only popular and accessible but pretty much a necessity to a lot of people. Today, there are about 168 million active mobile money accounts worldwide, and the center of its active use is Africa. In Zimbabwe — to bring forth the most salient example — 96% of all transactions are the electronic mobile ones.

What happens is that with the spread of technology — cheap smartphones as in the case with Africa — more and more people are joining the world economy and getting the means to cross the local boundaries. What would people in Zimbabwe use for money, when their national currency completely collapsed, were it not for the access to technology, and cheap access too? This is cyber liberty. Albeit a limited one, but liberty nonetheless.

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Chasing the opportunities of cyber liberty

The advance and spread of the Blockchain technology gives even more opportunities for people to go translocal and transborder. All that people need is a device, an Internet connection, and a willingness to learn. This is not to say that all three of these are easy to accomplish, but they are a possibility and they are opportunities.

While mobile money is just that — a currency, even though a currency that’s convenient and even life-saving to some, that also gives a taste of joining the world economy, the Blockchain is the next step and the opportunities that come with it are truly fitting the term “cyber liberty”.

Imagine being able to generate content regardless of where you are and be paid for it. Imagine being able to grow your community and online presence and be rewarded for it. Imagine realizing that your attention is actually worth something. Think of what happens when it dawns on people that the effort of learning, exchanging information, and sharing the knowledge is what has a direct and inalienable value. The value that is also financial and all of it is a part of a vast ecosystem.

No boundaries. Hassle free. You immediately gain by merely becoming a part of the world economy, and all you need for it is a device (not necessarily a powerful one), a connection, and a willingness to learn. This is what is U°Community, among other things. An easy way into becoming part of the economy and an understanding that you, your attention, your effort, and your drive are worth a lot. And your value is inalienable.

This is cyber liberty.

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Question of the Day: Can Stablecoins Accelerate Cryptocurrency Adoption?

  • Yuri Molchan
    ⭐ Features

    Stablecoins show hardly any volatility compared to Bitcoin and altcoins, many are hoping that they will be able to bridge new crypto economy and regular fiat money

Question of the Day: Can Stablecoins Accelerate Cryptocurrency Adoption?
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Bitcoin, the father cryptocurrency, emerged in hope that it will remove all intermediaries in electronic commerce that cut off their share of payments. BTC was perceived as a P2P way to replace fiat cash in an electronic format, which would enable one party to pay another without any financial institution or payment platform which would demand its share of a transaction as a reward for its services.

What is wrong with Bitcoin

For quite a while Bitcoin was performing the way the crypto community expected. But the situation changed later – BTC rate became weaker, thus bringing down its financial and economic reliability, when it gets to be used as a regular means of payment.

You cannot have a currency that would cost like a British castle today, a gram of gold – tomorrow and a pack of French fries the day after.

At that point practical fintech minds came up with an idea of creating something which would become a breakthrough in the universe of crypto – a so-called stablecoin.

Will stablecoins solve the volatility problem?

Technically, stablecoins are protected from the volatility roller-coaster that Bitcoin and other cryptos love to ride. They are programmed to keep their prices stable and investors now are largely attracted to this new type of digital assets.

Stablecoin does not show any volatility in its monetary value, since it has a fixed connection to an asset it is pegged to. The major goal of using stablecoins is taking the best from decentralized crypto coins and combining it with a constant value. Thanks to it, stablecoins can be used as a reliable means of trade.

Asset-pegged stablecoins

Asset-backed ones get their value from an asset as can be understood from the name. An asset provides the necessary value to a coin, as well as the necessary legitimacy.

A great example of an asset-pegged stablecoin is Tether (USDT). In spite of a series of scandals at the end of last year, it remains the most popular stablecoin in the crypto market.

Recently, it has partnered with the Tron Foundation to launch a Tron-based stablecoin.

Other examples are TrueUSD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), the Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and the Paxos Standard (PAX). They are all pegged to the USD.

Crypto-backed stablecoins

Some digital coins work in a similar way to fiat-backed ones, however, they are pegged to collateral crypto. That means that crypto assets that ensure the value of such stablecoins are stored in a wallet similar to escrow.

A good example of a crypto-pegged token is Maker, which is ranked 16 on CMC.

Algorithmic stablecoins

Even though, stablecoin can be interesting at first thought but the way they are built goes against the principle of decentralization that crypto coins have as a foundation. Thus, many crypto fans and evangelists are positive that stablecoins must be linked towards not a centralized asset but a computer algorithm which takes value from a balance between supply and demand.

Basis is now considered the most promising algorithmic stablecoin of all.

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Can stablecoin ensure smooth future for the crypto industry?

The primary goal of all crypto assets was and remains to come up with virtual asset that would be liquid enough and not vulnerable to market volatility. From this point of view, stablecoins are a dream of all crypto fans and evangelists of a decentralized economy.

Apart from the potential to conduct crypto transactions smoothly, experts believe it can bridge the two worlds – fiat and crypto, bringing them a mutually beneficial coexistence. However, that may take time.

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