The times we find ourselves currently in are, by all accounts, the most tumultuous years in the past few decades. Global pandemic lock-downs and economic blow-backs, regional and international conflicts, and now — direct military confrontations on the European continent.
When such disasters strike — especially so close together — global flows of capital, costs of doing business, and economic frameworks get shaken to the core. With citizens around the planet facing high levels of unpredictability and attempting to reshuffle their assets — global centers of corporate power seek to freeze up as much liquidity as possible in an effort to maintain their grip on control they had until just a little while ago.
But, on a more down-to-earth level, this means that it’s harder for regular people to acquire capital, move funds around, or even pick up money from the bank. Other assets traditionally used as stores of value — gold, valuable minerals, precious materials, or even real estate — are quite difficult, or impossible to move around, and their liquidity is not nearly as high as that of money or other financial instruments.
In times of such peril, the world is not without recourse.
Blockchain Technology as a Force for Good
With proper placing and utilization of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, it is possible to avoid or at least lessen the hardships that crisis situations impose upon us. On the one hand, accessing one’s gold reserves (if at all applicable) or getting money from the bank and taking it with you across borders is already difficult enough, even without the turmoil of the global economic and finance systems. On the other hand, moving one’s cryptocurrency reserves is almost seamless.
Liquidity and Mobility
Instead of lugging around items which could lose value overnight or get stolen, like fiat money following a wave of high inflation and rising interest rates, one could command their finances with but a few taps on a smartphone or strikes of a computer key. Cryptocurrency — operating outside of the traditional finance systems — could be easily transferred, allocated, raised, and dispersed without any fear that it might be stopped or stolen.
In such circumstances, it would be far easier for people fleeing conflict areas, devastated regions, or endangered zones to make a decision to leave — there would be far fewer things tying them to a specific location or a place.
Raising and Dispensing Aid
Blockchain technology could add an additional layer of control and trust to existing structures of humanitarian aid and relief. Raising capital via blockchain-powered systems leads to a strong environment of trust and safety, without any chance of outside tampering. Subsequent allocation of humanitarian aid and relief to those most likely to utilize it properly would be undemanding and, almost, fully automatic.
Not to mention that it would be quite easy to facilitate governance votes for the entire community that participated in a humanitarian crowdfunding procedure, thus allowing the community of donors to decide what would be the best way to spend the accumulated crypto.
The most important thing in these situations is being able to act quickly and make decisions as fast as possible. To do so, one needs to be able to hold as much information in their head, in an attempt to see the big picture and still focus on all the implications of, say, shuffling assets around or sending/receiving money.
Streamlining the crypto user interface
Crypto is still not the perfect solution for moving assets in crisis situations, because many find cryptocurrencies difficult to use, or above their technical ability to fully understand, thus deeming it unsafe. However, blockchains are getting better and more scalable, finally allowing time for their developers to focus on the user experience and improvement of their interfaces. There are still hurdles to seamless communication between people, most often because blockchain addresses are long, complicated, and, not familiar to humans in a sense that they can easily be remembered. In situations where you need to send someone potentially lifesaving financial help, it’s to be expected that the recipient of the help might not be able to send their impossible-to-remember address.
In these cases, æternity blockchain provides an advantage through the use of AENS. The unique naming system allows users of the æternity blockchain the option to create and use human-readable .chain names instead of the random generated addresses that all blockchains use, including æternity. Similar to a username on online forums, games and communities, but also registered on the blockchain and immutable, .chain names allow æternity users to interact quickly, knowing just eachother’s .chain name.
This is just one of many ways crypto is becoming more user-friendly and simple for the ordinary people who find the process of using crypto a bit too complicated.
We find ourselves at a turning point. It’s time to move on from the outdated, centralized systems with opaque decision-making, under the control of the few.
Cryptocurrency, blockchain-powered voting systems, decentralized crowdfunding efforts for humanitarian aid and relief — these are but a few aspects that are immeasurably improving our lives, even in the darkest moments.
To (mis)use an old quote — “We can do it — we have the technology.”