Authoritarian Regimes

Bitcoin has seen widespread use in places where authoritarian regimes limit political, financial and monetary freedom. Upon its creation, bitcoin was endowed with certain fixed, monetary properties in accordance with its ruleset. One such property, censorship resistance, has historically been considered challenging to uphold. Prior to its release, Bitcoin’s creator(s) publicly discussed this design goal through online mailing lists and forums.

Within a few years of its launch, bitcoin started experiencing significant use as money. Its initial use cases primarily came from those parts of the economy where state repression of free trade is hardest felt, such as donations to dissident political organisations, black markets and cross-border internet payments. Whilst its use as a dark net money has declined over the years, bitcoin is currently used by international charitable organisations such as the Human Rights Foundation, the Nigerian Feminist Coalition and Doctors Without Borders, and is a preferred form of donation money for many political dissident organisations facing monetary censorship by nation states.