• Why are Hillary and Trump United in Warning of Bitcoin’s Dangers? Interview with Alex Gladstein

    December 23, 2021

  • Alex Gladstein: Bitcoin, Authoritarianism, and Human Rights | Lex Fridman Podcast (Podcast)

    October 16, 2021

  • The End of Super Imperialism

    In 1972, one year after President Richard Nixon defaulted on the dollar and formally took the United States off of the gold standard for good, the financial historian and analyst Michael Hudson published “Super Imperialism,” a radical critique of the dollar-dominated world economy.

  • The Quest for Digital Cash

    How Satoshi Nakamoto’s Bitcoin project married the concepts of digital cash and digital gold and how pioneering cryptographer Adam Back continues the work of making it a better tool for freedom.

    One summer day in August 2008, Adam Back got an email from Satoshi Nakamoto.

  • Bitcoin And The American Idea

    Has America strayed from its founding ideals? An activist and a refugee think Bitcoin can help it get back on track.

    Today, Americans celebrate 245 years of independence from the British Empire.

  • Fighting Monetary Colonialism With Open-Source Code

    France still uses monetary colonialism to exploit 15 African nations. Could Bitcoin be a way out?

    In the fall of 1993, Fodé Diop’s family was saving up for his future. A brilliant 18-year-old living in Senegal, Fodé had a bright path in front of him as a basketball player and an engineer. His father, a school teacher, had helped him find inspiration in computers and in connecting with the world around him. And his athletic talents had won him offers to study in Europe and in the United States.

  • Inside Cuba’s Bitcoin Revolution

    As political demonstrations show the world that Cubans are tired of dictatorship, Bitcoin is providing an option to peacefully protest and opt out of a broken system.

    Lucia is a 30-year-old medical worker and Bitcoin user living in Matanzas, a city of about 150,000 people sitting about 50 miles east of Havana on Cuba’s northern coast. Named after an aboriginal rebellion against Spanish colonizers, the word “matanzas” literally translates to “slaughter.” The settlement later turned into a 19th-century epicenter of slavery and sugar plantations. Today, like all Cuban cities, it is ground zero for a financial and human crisis.

  • Can Bitcoin Be Palestine’s Currency Of Freedom?

    Bitcoin gives Palestinians a powerful avenue for peaceful protest, and the opportunity to find sovereignty among oppressive economic policies.

    One day last week I spoke to a Bitcoin user inside the Gaza Strip.

  • The Village and the Strongman: the Unlikely Story of Bitcoin and El Salvador

    Tracing Bitcoin’s journey in El Salvador, from new hope in a small village to a new law by an increasingly authoritarian government.

    I was standing in a small coffee shop just off of an unpaved street, in a Central American village with no traffic lights, an hour’s drive west on curvy jungle roads from the nearest major city.

  • Finding Financial Freedom In Afghanistan

    A pioneering female CEO has been promoting Bitcoin in Afghanistan since 2013 and sees it needed in her home country now more than ever.

    Roya Mahboob — the first female Afghan tech CEO, one of TIME’s most influential people in the world and one of the first entrepreneurs to introduce Bitcoin to Afghanistan — was seven years old when the Taliban first took over her country and invaded her hometown in 1996.

  • Alex Gladstein, Lyn Alden, and Mark Moss at Bitcoin 2021 Miami

    In this talk from the Bitcoin 2021 Conference in Miami, Brady sat down with Alex Gladstein, Lyn Alden, and Mark Moss.

  • Citadel Dispatch e0.2.8 – el salvador, china, and bitcoin with @gladstein

    TOPICS: el salvador, china, CFA franc, 51% attacks and difficulty adjustment

  • From the Petrodollar to a Bitcoin Standard with Alex Gladstein & Nic Carter (Podcast)

    In this interview, Peter McCormack talks to Alex Gladstein, the Chief Strategy Officer at The Human Rights Foundation and Nic Carter, a Partner at Castle Island Ventures. We discuss the petrodollar system, moving to a bitcoin standard and the benefits that it would have on society.

  • The Humanitarian And Environmental Case For Bitcoin

    Can Bitcoin reduce aid corruption, help end dependency and bootstrap renewable energy for emerging markets?

    Bitcoin is typically thought of as an investment and a strictly financial innovation. But what if some of its greatest impact over time ends up being in the humanitarian and environmental spaces?

  • Check your Financial Priviledge

    While those comfortable in the dollar bubble deride Bitcoin, the stories of three emerging market users demonstrate why it is so important.

    In the eyes of most Western elites, investors, journalists and academics, Bitcoin rates anywhere from an annoyance to a disaster.

  • Bitcoin Is Protecting Human Rights Around the World

    Bitcoin has won over some of America’s best-known billionaires, and institutions worldwide are treating it as a serious financial asset. But bitcoin’s rising price is only one part of the story.

    Whether they know it or not, people who buy bitcoin are strengthening a tool for protecting human rights. This still relatively new form of electronic money is censorship-resistant, seizure-resistant, borderless, permissionless, pseudonymous, programmable, and peer-to-peer.

  • The Hidden Costs of the Petrodollar

    The world’s reserve currency relies on oil, dictators, inequality and the military-industrial complex. But a Bitcoin standard could change this.

    In its growth from conceptual white paper to trillion-dollar asset, Bitcoin has attracted an enormous amount of criticism. Detractors focus on its perceived negative externalities: energy consumption, carbon footprint, lack of centralized control and inability to be regulated. Regardless of the validity of these arguments, few critics stop to think comparatively about the negative externalities of the world’s current financial system of dollar hegemony.

  • Bitcoin’s International Impact (Podcast)

    Preston Pysh talks with Alex Gladstein who’s a humanitarian expert with the Human Rights Foundation. Alex talks about the global impact Bitcoin is having on initiatives to remove tyranny and protect individual rights.

  • Bitcoin is a Trojan Horse for Freedom

    In Book II of Virgil’s epic poem “The Aeneid,” one of the most iconic plotlines of classical mythology unfolds with trickery and subterfuge. The Greek forces, having failed to capture the City of Troy after a decade-long siege, attempt an ultimate attack on their enemy not by strength, but by guile, through a clever plan hatched by Ulysses.

    In the fields outside of Troy’s impregnable walls, the Greek army departs, but leaves behind a massive wooden horse. A lone remaining soldier leads the Trojans to believe that the horse is a tribute to Minerva, the goddess of war and strategy, and is an apology for the blood that the Greeks spilled. The Trojans think their rival has sailed off in surrender, and — despite warnings from Cassandra and Laocoön, who gives us the famous saying “beware of Greeks bearing gifts” — they bring the horse into the city as a trophy of victory. Blinded by zeal, they think it will make them invincible.

  • Can Governments Stop Bitcoin?

    Since its creation more than 12 years ago, Bitcoin is undefeated. Its price has leaped from $5 to $50 to $500 to $5,000 to now past $50,000. The number of global users has eclipsed 100 million. The system’s network security, number of developers, and new applications are at all-time highs. Dozens of companies including Tesla and Square have started to add Bitcoin to their corporate treasuries.

  • Is Bitcoin Democratic, And Is Democracy Good?

    Is Bitcoin a democracy? Or is it more like a natural order? What about democracy in general, does that protect human rights and enable human flourishing? Saifedean and Alex Gladstein debate the question of whether democracy promotes human flourishing. This was moderated by Stephan Livera, initially on Saifedean’s online seminar.

  • How Bitcoin is Helping Protesters in Belarus with Alex Gladstein & Jaraslau Likhachevski

    Belarus is in the midst of massive protests, sparked in August by an election win for the long time leader of the country, Alexander Lukashenko. Lukashenko has been in power since the first presidential election in Belarus in 1994 when the country gained independence from the Soviet Union. The constitution following independence limited presidents to two terms but Lukashenko fought to change this and has remained in power since.

    Following the disputed election on August 9th hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets claiming Lukashenko rigged the election results. Opposition leader Svetlana Tikhanovskaya is claiming that she is the rightful president with reports that she had won 60-70% of the votes.

    These marches have become violent with Lukashenko’s state security forces using rubber bullets, tear gas and extreme brutality against the protesters.

    Protestors are targeting state infrastructure by striking. To support those standing up to the regime, the Human Rights Foundation has set up a Belarus Solidarity Fund. They are using Bitcoin as a censorship-resistant way of getting money to those striking to supplement their lost wages. 

    In this interview, I talk to Alex Gladstein the Chief Strategy Officer at The Human Rights Foundation and Jaraslau Likhachevski from BYSOL We discuss the political situation in Belarus, the protests and how Bitcoin is helping activists.

  • Bitcoin Renaissance

    Guy Swann makes the knowledge of the world’s most secure, independent money, accessible to everyone.

  • Bitcoin Renaissance – with Marty Bent, John Vallis, Alex Gladstein, Elizabeth Prefontaine, & Brady Swenson

    We had a fascinating panel discussion hosted by John Vallis with an amazing group at the Value of Bitcoin Conference. All about the Global Renaissance that Bitcoin could ignite. What incentives will most change our world, what is the future of debt in a sound money economy, what will governments look like, what happens when everyone’s wealth exists everywhere at once and borders become meaningless? All this and more with Marty Bent, John Vallis, Alex Gladstein, Elizabeth Prefontaine, & Brady Swenson!

  • A World Without Bitcoin

    The year is 2040, and cash is gone. The money you use on a daily basis has fully transitioned into a tool of surveillance and control.

    In midtown Manhattan, you tip sidewalk performers with a scan of your wearable, your face, or your fingerprint. Coins and dollar bills are now curiosities—fossils from a forgotten age.

  • A World Without Bitcoin

    The year is 2040, and cash is gone. The money you use on a daily basis has fully transitioned into a tool of surveillance and control.

    In midtown Manhattan, you tip sidewalk performers with a scan of your wearable, your face, or your fingerprint. Coins and dollar bills are now curiosities—fossils from a forgotten age.

  • How Bitcoin Is Used to Promote Human Rights: Stories From Activists and Refugees

    CoinDesk reporter Leigh Cuen is joined by the Human Rights Foundation’s Alex Gladstein and Syrian entrepreneur Moe Ghashim to discuss how cultural context shapes the way people view bitcoin, including stories from the Middle East.

  • A Human Rights Activist Explains Bitcoin’s Importance

    We talk with Alex Gladstein, the Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation. He explains why he sees Bitcoin as an essential tool in his fight for human rights all around the world.

  • A Human Rights Activist Explains Bitcoin’s Importance

    We talk with Alex Gladstein, the Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation. He explains why he sees Bitcoin as an essential tool in his fight for human rights all around the world.

  • How Bitcoin Can Protect Free Speech in the Digital Age

    Think about what happens when you buy a newspaper at a local cafe with cash. The shopkeeper takes your paper money, and gives you the item. They don’t know your name, address, phone number, email, or what you bought yesterday. They are not collecting any data about you. Until now, this level of financial privacy was perfectly normal.

  • Dissidents and Activists Have a Lot to Gain From Bitcoin, if Only They Knew It

    We are in an era of gradual global bitcoin awakening. The technology has proven robust and resistant to attacks. Over time, the price has continued to climb from pennies to thousands of dollars. Brilliant entrepreneurs and scientists are improving the protocol’s usability, privacy, decentralization and network resilience. Still, it’s important to remember that only a very tiny percentage of people on this planet understand its value as a tool of freedom.

  • In China, it’s Blockchain and Tyranny vs Bitcoin and Freedom

    China’s centralized blockchains couldn’t be any farther from Bitcoin’s. Designed for maximum control, they will become tools for improved surveillance and social engineering.

    On October 24, 2019, President Xi Jinping gave a major speech about how China is going to make blockchain technology a national priority. He said China would “take the leading position in the emerging field of blockchain” and explore its use “in people’s daily life.” China’s most-watched daily news show covered the speech in primetime, and the next day, the People’s Daily propaganda newspaper ran a front-page story on Xi and blockchain. Searches for “blockchain” on China’s most popular browser Baidu rose 200 percent.

  • The Little Bitcoin Book

    Jimmy Song (Bitcoin educator, entrepreneur and developer) and Alex Gladstein (CSO of Human Rights Foundation) join me in this episode to talk about their fantastic new book, The Little Bitcoin Book. This is the perfect short book to give your precoiner friends! It has succinct explanations on why bitcoin is important. Listen to this episode to learn more about how this book came together, what the authors are hoping to achieve, and if you like it – then make sure you buy copies of the book to give to your friends and family.

  • The Moral Case for Lightning: A Global Private Payment Network

    The other day, I went to buy dog food at my local pet shop. I bought a large bag of dog food and some treats for my dog that claimed to be able to make her breath smell better. Toothbrush-shaped treats. I paid with my Chase Visa card and walked out of the store. A few minutes later, I happened to check Twitter and saw an advertisement pop up — for toothbrush-shaped dog treats. I thought: this was not an online purchase. I used nothing but my credit card. How did this happen?

    The advertising was too specific to have been pulled from the geolocation of my phone, even though my iPhone was in my pocket and certainly knew that I was more or less at the location of a pet food store. If that was the case, then I could have been offered an advertisement for cat food, or normal dog food, or bird food, or any of the other hundreds of items on sale. But it was the toothbrush-shaped dog treats.

  • Tales from the Crypt #76: Alex Gladstein

    Join Marty as he sits down with Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer of the Human Rights Foundation and the Oslo Freedom Forum, to discuss how Alex ended up at the HRF, how authoritarian regimes use digital panopticons to control their subjects, why Bitcoin is such an important project, and why we can’t mess it up.

  • Bitcoin could change the game for foreign aid

    Today’s humanitarian aid model is fundamentally broken. Whether you’re a foundation making a donation to a nonprofit abroad, a government distributing aid to another government, or an individual sending emergency funds to family members across borders, your money only gets to where it needs to go after passing through intermediaries. Even in the simplest payment scenario, there’s your bank; a coordination network; and the aid recipient’s bank. But often, there are even more middlemen, with money moving along complex chains of third parties.

  • A Human Rights Activist’s Response to Bitcoin Critics

    Criticizing Bitcoin has become a constant theme in the mainstream media. From Foreign Policy to the Financial Times to The Washington Post, Bitcoin has in its first decade been derided as a tool for criminals, a useless technology, a waste of electricity, an ideological project, and even a threat to the world establishment. Why, might you ask, would a human rights activist like me be interested in a digital currency so universally mocked by financial experts and economists?

  • Bitcoin and Global Welfare

    In this conversation, Gladstein and Anthony Pompliano discuss Bitcoin, foreign aid, Web 3.0 as a decentralized world, unbanking the banked, and the surveillance state.

  • Anti-Authoritarian Technologies and The Future of Governance

    In this interview we discuss why civil liberties make a country better for its people, what the future of governance, internet and money looks like, and why anti-authoritarian technologies like Bitcoin are important for that future.

  • Why Bitcoin Matters for Freedom

    In the border city of Cúcuta, Venezuelan refugees stream into Colombia, searching for food to feed their families. Years of high inflation, projected to top 1 million percent, has turned bolivares into scrap paper. More than 3 million Venezuelans have fled since 2014, and 5,500 exit for good each day. According to the United Nations, the exodus is “on the scale of Syria” and is now one of the world’s worst refugee crises. As Venezuelans escape, they leave with close to nothing, desperate and vulnerable.

  • Alex Gladstein on Why Bitcoin Matters for Freedom

    All too often price dominates the discussion with Bitcoin: an ETF approval will be great for the price, we need institutions, when is the next bull run? Also, naysayers criticise Bitcoin when the price crashes, calling it a speculative asset with no utility. Is price a distraction from the potential for Bitcoin?

    In this interview, I talk about why Bitcoin matters for Freedom with Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation. We discuss what fundamental human rights are lost under authoritarian regimes, how Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies increase freedom and how Dem Tech (Democracy Tech) could lead to a wave of investment in cryptocurrencies.

  • Personal Data, Bitcoin and the Future of Human Rights

    Chad sits down with Alex Gladstein of the Human Rights Foundation. In this conversation, they discuss the work Alex does at the Human Rights Foundation, the two kinds of technology that are changing society and one man’s story about defecting from North Korea that will leave you in awe.

  • Bitcoin Versus Authoritarianism

    Early in July, The News Lens sat down with Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation (HRF), a nonprofit that advocates for human rights in closed societies, to discuss the potential importance of Bitcoin as a counter to authoritarianism.

  • Dictators and Development Statistics

    We attended the Oslo Freedom Forum last month. Ahmed (@Gatnash) sat down with Alex Gladstein (@Gladstein) to get an introduction to the forum, and speak about their goals and some of their achievements, as well as some of Alex’s research on dictatorships use of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other development statistics.

  • The First Crypto War

    Think Bitcoin and crypto assets are just vehicles for speculation? They’re already having both a positive impact and negative impact when it comes to human rights, says Alex Gladstein, chief strategy officer for the Human Rights Foundation. Gladstein talks about how he first became enamored with Bitcoin because of its potential to solve hyperinflation, and why he believes Venezuela is the site of the world’s first crypto war. He also covers why repressive governments are excited by centralized cryptocurrencies, why impact investing focused on the UN sustainable goals will not address human rights issues, and why blockchain-based elections, which many believe could be fair and transparent, could instead be terribly corrupt.

  • Flash Drives for Freedom’: How smuggled western media could take down Kim Jong-un

    In the northwestern corner of South Korea, visitors to the city of Paju can peer through binoculars across the DMZ into the North.

    Paju is the site of The Bridge of No Return, an archaic link between the two warring Koreas that, decades ago, was used to exchange prisoners. Paju witnessed some of the hardest fought battles during the Korean conflict.