Bitcoin has grown massively in the last decade since its inception from a small community basing its values on cypherpunk to become a concern for national security with strong implications on geopolitics. Melterm Demirors, CSO of Coinshares and Andy Bromberg, Coinlist’s President, spoke as a part of the Unitize Panel named “From Bitcoin to Fedcoin: The Next Decade of Digital Money.” However, very little was spoken about Fedcoin or the Central Bank’s currencies at the event by the invited dignitaries. Instead, the entire focus of the conversation was tilted towards how Bitcoin is going to play a pivotal role in the coming time, especially its implications in geopolitical landscape and competition in the space of technology.
Demirors said that in recent years, there had been a major shift in power dynamics. It is more dependent now on computing technology and fast connectivity, which plays a major role in national defense and cybersecurity. While giving examples of the changing dynamics, Demirors gave an example of how Amazon Web Services went on to become the biggest defense contractor in the country while Huawei was allegedly charged with threatening national security through its technology and consumer outreach. Meltem Demirors believes that as the United States has allowed foreign governments to participate in the infrastructure building contracts, the move by Huawei may be politically motivated.
Recently, semiconductor firms like TSMC and Intel have been planning to take back the production of their hardware to their respective native countries. Demirors believes it is a possibility with Bitcoin mining as well in the future. She speculated that it is possible in the next few years; more than 40 percent of Bitcoin mining takes place in the United States itself. The government, in the future, may look at the cryptocurrency networks as a part of the national security apparatus.
While talking about government-issued digital currencies and Stablecoins, Demirors said that they could not be classified in the same category as Bitcoin. Currently, the idea of digital currencies is being adopted by many people and is being used in different ways. It is mainly because the space of digital assets and currencies is evolving and yet to fully mature. However, Demirors did say that Central Bank digital currencies have no connection or similarities to Bitcoin whatsoever.
Both Demirors and Bromberg reiterated the fact that using the phrase “blockchain-based” is misleading, partly because of the infiltration of propaganda in the industry. However, they both agreed at the event that the Central Bank’s digital currencies are a much better option over the current digital fiat infrastructure. She noted that whether it is Bitcoin, Stablecoin, digital bank currencies, or any other projects, they all are trying to solve a problem that we are currently facing.
Meltem said that the biggest problem that Bitcoin solves is that of choosing which monetary system to go with. Many people who do not agree with the existing monetary infrastructure have little to no choice to fight back. Digital currencies that are backed by dollars do not solve the issues of privacy, censorship, and financial control. Bitcoin is the dominant force to reckon within the space of digital assets and currencies and is on the way to becoming the resistance money. So, in the end, it can be paradoxically said that Bitcoin plays a role in national security, while also giving an option to escape it.