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Have we turned "bitcoin not bombs" into "bitcoin for bombs"?

How do we feel about supporting the military with cryptocurrency? Can NFTs play a role in directly supporting those in need?

When I first saw this tweet I had very mixed feelings:

I joined the bitcoin movement, the bitcoin revolution, because I believed the "bitcoin not bombs" slogan and how money uncontrolled by government might create a new paradigm for human cooperation without relying on violence. Documentaries like All Wars Are Banker's Wars and stories of how the 1971 Nixon Shock was really about paying for Vietnam have always resonated with me in a kind of "something just isn't right with the world" way. I have a bitcoin pin that says "Free the Markets, Free the World." If we fix money, the measuring stick of financial value itself, maybe we can fix the world.

But bitcoin going to support a government military?

How do I feel about that? Does this violate the principles of freedom and separation of money from the State which I'm so very passionate about? Should I be donating cryptocurrency to this defensive effort, facilitated by a government (the only entity structure which initiates violence on the scale of war)? Do I trust that my funds will go to defensive purposes only and not later be used for offensive measures to kill innocent people?

Or, put another way by two members of our Crypto Monday's San Juan Community last night who escaped Ukraine within the last week or so, should I help save women and children? Hearing their stories first hand involving their own families in Ukraine on the ground, I had to admit, my comfortable position of non-support for government military action becomes far less obvious. Bitcoin and cryptocurrency can get anywhere in the world nearly instantly and no one can stop it. It's a tool which can be used to fund defensive measures or bypass international sanctions and even fund things I don't agree with. The tool doesn't matter as much as the conscious awareness of the people using it.

So where does that leave us? Should we be donating cryptocurrency to governments and if so, does that violate the bitcoin not bombs narrative? Let me know what you think by replying to me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/lukestokes

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As for me, I decided to take a different route and participate more directly to support individuals connected to individuals I know. Crystal and Brock put together an NFT auction to support local artists in Ukraine, some of whom have literally created art within the bomb shelters they are hiding in or crafted NFTs from pictures of art that has been destroyed in the conflict.

You can see the collection here: https://opensea.io/collection/ukrainenow

Support Ukraine artists via https://opensea.io/collection/ukrainenow

Support Ukraine artists via https://opensea.io/collection/ukrainenow

This, to me, is a fantastic example of what an NFT can be. Though I was fairly early (January 2013) in understanding the power of Bitcoin, blockchain-based decentralized social media (2016 with Steem/Hive), DeFi (Bitshares in 2017), and DAC/DAO governance systems (eosDAC in 2018), I missed the boat on NFTs. I didn't quite understand why I'd want to go from a very speculative, sometimes illiquid cryptocurrency market full of wash trading and volatility to an even more speculative, almost fully illiquid market of NFTs whose volume is often criticized for being almost entirely wash trading. I'm not a bored ape or crypto punk. I understand the value of gaming NFTs (thank you AlienWorlds and Splinterlands), but millions of dollars for a blockchain-recorded reference to a picture?

It didn't really make sense to me until participating in this auction where I can support those in need within a war-torn country. That I can get behind. Today I put in some bids on a handful of art pieces. Maybe I'll win some and support a good cause in the process. I'd be far more proud of that then an ape/punk avatar.

NFTs I'm bidding on to help support artists in Ukraine.

NFTs I'm bidding on to help support artists in Ukraine.