There’s a strong reason behind the recent wave of bitcoin adoption among the world’s least stable and poorest countries. Bitcoin disproportionately benefits the underbanked and underprivileged because it gives them access to an open global monetary network with predictable policy and low barriers to entry. Although the U.S. has attracted substantial amounts of bitcoin interest and investment since its inception, it’s safe to say that the average American citizen knows little beyond what the mainstream media headlines and FUDsters say.
While this runs counter to the U.S.’s typical affinity for technological advancement, it makes sense. As the home of the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. is uniquely positioned to provide wide access to basic financial services and stable infrastructure to its constituents, who rarely see the need to transfer money outside of that ecosystem. Consequently, the average American doesn’t sense any pressure to move beyond pseudo-decentralized platforms and the legacy bank he or she has been using for a lifetime. Most Americans haven’t witnessed repeated defaults like those which have occurred in Argentina. Most Americans don’t face the high fees and dangerous circumstances associated with sending remittances through legacy international money transfer services like Western Union. Most Americans haven’t experienced the despair concomitant with a collapsing currency such as that in Zimbabwe or Venezuela. And most Americans don’t know what it feels like to watch the currency they regularly use magically materialize, only to be given away to citizens in a country not theirs. It makes sense that U.S. media and unsuspecting Americans see bitcoin as only a speculative investment. They simply don’t understand its deeper purpose because the U.S. financial ecosystem has yet to give them reason to.
This may soon be about to change. If the effects of unprecedented stimulus and spending, negative real returns, increasing...