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Category: Peer-to-peer currency

There are 2 posts published under Peer-to-peer currency.

Coin Ava: First Iranian Website Open for Bitcoin

Just this week Coin Ava launched as the first Iranian Website open for Iranians to buy and sell Bitcoins.

While Iranian leadership is known for tight regulations on citizens in particular for those seeking to utilize the internet and community with the rest of the world, Iranians have found a way around onerous authoritarian restrictions through the Bitcoin currency.


Last year, Bloomberg Businessweek pushed out an article, “Dollar-Less Iranians Discover Virtual Currency” to conclude, “For now, Iranians are using bitcoins to maintain a fragile connection to the outside world.”  Iranian citizens are able to use the Bitcoin currency as a gateway to purchase products around the world and through the Bitcoin currency are not confined to a devalued Rial.


Although unaware of the domestic social and political situation in Iran, outsiders can sense a form of oppression of the Iranian people under the current regime. Due to the current Iranian Leadership, Iran is economically in distress. Fortunatley, in the coming future, there are a few factors that may play a role in an attempt to benefit the Iranian citizens financially, one of which is Bitcoins.


As a former Foreign Policy staff member for a Member of the US Congress, I understand the hesitancy some might have to applauding the growth of Bitcoin in Iran.  Whereas it is evident that the current regime in Iran has violated international law through disregarding International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) standards and frequently utilizing hate-filled rhetoric, it is also true that there is a sizable group of Iranian citizens who oppose the totalitarian actions of their government and are working to reform their country.  The Iranian Bitcoin question is a touchy subject for most, but can be worked through if viewed through lenses centered on the purpose of the Bitcoin currency.


Whereas Bitcoin is a digital, decentralized currency, it serves as a source of empowerment for individuals around the world to take the initiative to control personal finances and become financially independent from a centralized source of control.  In some nations, the desire to be independent from a central bank is not as strong as not all nations have authoritarian leadership and high inflation rates.  Yet for some nations Bitcoin provides a source of financial security and promise outside of any centralized currency to citizens.


Coin Ava’s launch this week has prompted dialogue once again over the many purposes of the Bitcoin currency and the intrinsic value this digital, decentralized currency holds of citizens living under the auspices of an authoritarian government.  From the perspective of a former Capitol Hill staffer who ardently opposses Iranian nuclear development, hate speech, and human rights violations, I see the growth of the Bitcoin currency in Iran as a way for the iranians to single-handedly aid their financial situation. Where there is a will, there is a way, and Iranian citizens have worked to combat Iranian leadership’s poor decision making with the Bitcoin currency.



From Capitol Hill Into the World of Bitcoin: A Special Report


Since my transition from Capitol Hill into the Bitcoin community, my eyes have been opened to the immense potential of this digital, decentralized, cryptocurrency.  Bitcoin not only has the capacity to revolutionize financial payments but also to showcase the numerous benefits of a limited government space.  To date, Bitcoin is free from onerous regulation and as a result has grown not only in value but utility for individuals but also businesses.


The Bitcoin currency represents the ingenuity that our Founding Fathers initially envisioned prior to the vast expansion of the federal government.  As a peer-to-peer currency, Bitcoin is not controlled by a centralized source.  Additionally, peer-to-peer exchanges of Bitcoin take place on an international basis and Bitcoin has the potential to transform what we see as money today.  At the center of the Constitution, one finds individual and states rights.  Just as the Constitution was put in place to protect individuals and states from an overbearing, centralized federal government, the Bitcoin currency provides an opportunity for each individual to take a step away from the tight control of the federal reserve to invest in a currency that is based on convenience, ingenuity, and free market initiatives.


In an age of increased government regulation, Bitcoin stands as a credible option for individuals to invest in a currency free from centralized control and inflation.  If asked point blank, the majority of Americans would rather have less government control over their finances.  This preference is accompanied by an understanding that larger government intervention in the economy and the US dollar is not always correlated with economic success.  In an age of bloated government policies on both sides of the political spectrum, it is time for each individual to make the choice as to whether or not to invest in opportunities to expand individual liberties and personal freedom or accept the status quo.


With the US Federal Government trillions of dollars in debt and struggling to enforce a budget, we cannot be too trusting of the Federal Reserve to best manage our finances.  With taxpayer dollars spent right and left, individuals should have the right to use a currency which is not subject to inflation and is free from excessive processing fees.  US citizens cannot truly count on the dollar remaining constant as we have seen international currencies plummet in value.  Let’s take a look at the Argentinian Peso.  With inflation rates skyrocketing to over 25 percent, numerous Argentinians are choosing to invest in the Bitcoin currency to prevent further devaluing of their savings.  With the Federal Reserve more liberally printing money, the US is not too far off from Argentina.  Just as inflation has become commonplace for the Argentinian peso, US dollar is not free from inflation.


In addition to exemplifying Constitutional principles, the Bitcoin currency is an asset to small businesses.  During my time on Capitol Hill I noted strong political division, but at the same time strong bipartisan support for small businesses.  Just last year, when both Chambers of Congress and the Executive Branch struggled to establish a fundamental budget, the US House, Senate and President supported and signed into law the Jumpstart Our Businesses Startups Act (JOBS Act, H.R. 3606) to enhance the ability of small businesses to increase capital.  The JOBS Act highlights the critical role small businesses and emerging growth companies play in stimulating job growth and the US economy.


While small businesses serve as the backbone of the US economy and contribute to new employment opportunities, small business owners often struggle with high credit and debit card processing fees.  Most of you are familiar with signs by cash registers reading a specific dollar minimum for credit and debit card use.  Unfortunately, such minimums turn customers away from making purchases.  As we are becoming a cashless society, small businesses, merchants and local companies face an uphill battle of either incurring larger processing fees and costs OR establishing strict guidelines and minimum fee requirements for credit and debit card use.  What is the solution: Bitcoin!  Not only convenient, but a sure way for small businesses to avoid onerous credit and debit card processing fees.


As the House, Senate and President backed the JOBS Act in the 112th Congress and are now implementing this pro-growth legislation, further consideration of the Bitcoin currency should be on the books for the 113th Congress.  As the Small Business Administration sizes up options to best facilitate small business growth, a consideration of the Bitcoin currency will be a wise investment of resources.  What if the Small Business Administration decided to revamp the already existing grant and loan program with a track for businesses utilizing the Bitcoin currency?  Business owners would have greater leeway in finding the best methods of transaction not only to meet customer needs but also to efficiently collect revenue and in turn stimulate the economy.


With many vendors and small businesses already processing payments through iPads and updated computer systems, imagine how simple it would be for customers and business owners to make transactions at any price with the simple scanning of a QR code.  Let’s take this a step further.  Small businesses and merchants reaching out to an international audience will avoid high currency exchange rates as Bitcoin is a decentralized and international currency.


While growing in monetary value, the principle behind the Bitcoin currency continues to promote common sense, pro-Constitutional, economic and political liberties.  It’s time for both sides of the political spectrum to come together and support a sustainable, pro-growth solution to the woes of individuals and small businesses: the Bitcoin currency!  With our executive and legislative branches frequently disregarding the fundamental, limited government and free market principles highlighted in the Constitution, it is your turn to reclaim your Constitutional rights and liberties one bit at a time.  Take the step today to invest in Bitcoin to remove the middleman, speed up transaction time, enjoy a portable and international currency and most importantly assert your individual rights in a time when the theme of the US dollar is inflation and centralized control.