Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies have been thrust into the global limelight by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—though the bitcoin price has failed to rally, triggering a serious Coinbase warning.
Russian oligarchs and billionaires hit by severe financial restrictions are turning to bitcoin, according to a London-based lawyer. Meanwhile, Ukraine has raised more than $100 million in crypto donations from around the world.
Now, an MIT researcher has said bitcoin can play a key role in national security—recommending the U.S. buy bitcoin to mitigate the impact of other countries possibly trying to wean themselves off U.S. dollar dependence.
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“The United States better posture themselves to benefit from that and you do that by buying bitcoin, so you capture disproportionate value as people flood into it,” Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) research fellow Jason Lowery who’s an astronautical engineer in the U.S. Space Force, told tech and crypto investor Anthony Pompliano told his podcast.
“If this truly does become the new property defense protocol that everyone subscribes to, then you are posturing yourself to become a superpower for the next 1,000 years.”
Last year, El Salvador became the world’s first country to adopt bitcoin, making it an official currency along with the U.S. dollar and buying just over 1,800 bitcoins in the hope it will boost the country’s economy and spur investment. Some politicians from other countries in the region have also pushed for bitcoin adoption although so far they’re taking a wait-and-see approach to El Salvador’s controversial bitcoin experiment.
Earlier this month, Samson Mow, an advisor to El Salvador during its adoption of bitcoin, named Mexico as “on the list” of countries that could follow El Salvador into bitcoin.
“The asymmetric advantage of the first mover cannot be understated,” said Lowery who claims bitcoin can preserve zero trust and egalitarian control, creating “an enormous industrial defense complex.”
Meanwhile, lawmakers and regulators around the world are looking to crack down on bitcoin and crypto as a result of sanctioned Russian oligarchs and billionaires looking to bitcoin. Last week, U.S. senator Elizabeth Warren, a long-time crypto critic, announced a new bill that would block bitcoin and cryptocurrency companies from doing business with those hit by sanctions.
“Banning [bitcoin is] not an option,” said Lowery. “You can’t ban your adversary from using this.”
In January, Wall Street giant Fidelity predicted other countries and even a central bank could follow El Salvador into bitcoin this year—saying that those who buy bitcoin while the price is low “will be better off competitively than their peers.”
“There is very high stakes game theory at play here, whereby if bitcoin adoption increases, the countries that secure some bitcoin today will be better off competitively than their peers,” Fidelity analysts Chris Kuiper and Jack Neureuter wrote in a note, adding they “wouldn’t be surprised to see other sovereign nation-states acquire bitcoin in 2022 and perhaps even see a central bank make an acquisition.”