The Russian invasion of Ukraine signals a dramatic shift not only in geopolitics, but also in governance, technology and internatonial aid. Geopolitical analyst Marco Vicenzino and Bitcoin Foundation chairman Brock Pierce joined Roundtable to discuss governance, the blockchain and the ongoing war.
In this segment, Vicenzino and Pierce discuss the role of Bitcoin in Ukraine's sovereignty struggle.
Marco Vicenzino observes that Bitcoin has been an unprecedented lifeline for refugees fleeing the country.
"There are a series of a anecdotes of individuals whose entire life savings were in Bitcoin. They put everything on a stick in their pocket, fled from the war zone, and once they're in a free area, they have access," he says. "They can recoup and have access to the money that they made. And in the past you'd have to carry cash in your pocket. You'd lose everything."
Pierce notes that even NGOs have been forced to quickly learn how to manage cryptocurrency in order to aid Ukrainians.
"I got called by NGOs that were making donations to help get refugees out. They were buying buses and other things, and the people on the ground in the Ukraine would only accept Bitcoin and Tether as a form of payment," he recounts. "So these charitable organizations that have never dealt with cryptocurrency were like, oh, I need to buy these, but they only take crypto."
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The situation, Pierce says, is rapidly increasing cryptocurrency adoption in Ukraine.
"Crypto is the preferred form of everything right now in the Ukraine," he says. "But obviously we don't want something like this to drive adoption. Let's build a better world peacefully."
Watch the full discussion below:
Brock Pierce, Chairman, Bitcoin Foundation
Marco Vicenzino, Geopolitical Analyst