Basecamp Co-Founder and creator of Ruby on Rails David Heinemeier Hansson (DHH) is known for his position on Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. In 2018, the Danish programmer gave an interview in which he made the case that Bitcoin is a “Ponzi Scheme”, a common argument amongst BTC critics.
Today, DHH published a post titled “I was wrong, we need crypto”, making public his 180 degrees shift in opinion. Hansson and other detractors are warming up to the cryptocurrency and its invaluable use case as the Canadian government imposes what many have called authoritarian measures against its population.
Bitcoinist has been covering the events in the North American country as a group of truckers started a whole protest movement in opposition to Justin Trudeau’s government and its COVID-19 mandates. The initiative inspired many to speak up and rallied around this cause.
The truckers asked for support, and the world responded by helping them raise millions, first in USD Dollars, then in Bitcoin. In an attempt to disband the protest, deemed illegal by Trudeau and his government, Canada froze the funds from the various crowdfunding platforms and attempted to do the same with the BTC funds.
This succession of events convinced Hansson that there is a use case for Bitcoin beyond countries with “failed states” or authoritarian rules in eastern nations. The West and its democracies are not impervious to authoritarian responses, as evidenced by the Canadian measures to stop the truckers.
As Hansson explained, anyone that helped or attempts to help the movement, which has been mostly extinguished by the authorities, could see their bank accounts frozen and their money was taken. All in the name of protecting its citizens, and their freedom, ironically. Hansson said:
So Canadians who donated to the truckers should now sleep with one eye open for the next several months, lest they have their bank accounts frozen (…). This is crazy. Absolutely bonkers. Terrifying. I still can’t believe that this is the protest that would prove every Bitcoin crank a prophet. And for me to have to slice a piece of humble pie, and admit that I was wrong on crypto’s fundamental necessity in Western democracies.
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Hansson referred to the apparent improbability of the Trudeau-led government turning authoritarian. On social media platforms, users have been sharing old speeches, Tweets, and videos in which Canada’s Prime Minister talks about freedom and the “moral” obligations of a government.
However, Hansson also believes it is best for this “warning” to come out of “Trudeau in Canada and not Trump in America”. In that way, it is potentially more difficult to dismiss the relevance of the latest developments, as Hansson said he himself has dismissed the importance of Bitcoin for people living in Venezuela, Iran, or other countries ruled by authoritarian leaders.
The Basecamp Co-Founder asked if France, Austria, Denmark, or any country under a democratic government by extrapolation, is any different from Canada. The seems to be a similar risk for these countries to adopt measures such as the was announced by the North American country jeopardizing the freedom of its citizens.
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In that sense, Hansson called this moment in history a “wake-up call” comparable to the scandals around the U.S. massive surveillance program uncovered by former NSA consultant Edward Snowden. Hansson added:
But wherever this leads us next, it’s clear to me now that I was too hasty to completely dismiss crypto on the basis of all the things wrong with it at the moment. Instead of appreciating the fundamental freedom to transact that it’s currently our best shot at protecting. You don’t need laser eyes or an NFT avatar to appreciate that.
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