As a permissionless store of value, bitcoin allowed me to escape the dangers of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. And it can help you, too.
For me, being a Bitcoiner means believing in the free market and voluntary exchange. Bitcoin allows all exchange participants to benefit. But while we still live in a fiat- and State-dominated world, we sometimes face unprecedented threats and challenges.
This is my story.
I lived in the Ukrainian city of Kramatorsk (the administrative center in the eastern part of the country) until the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. As a Bitcoiner and remote worker, I decided to relocate to the western part of the country. Fortunately, Bitcoin provides the personal freedom needed to do something like this. While Gigi correctly states that “Bitcoin is time,” Bitcoin is also space and freedom of movement.
Last year, I joined the Bitcoin Magazine Ukraine team. However, my work was interrupted by a brutal attack from the Russian military on February 1, when it struck my apartment building. In the attack, the Russians used a mobile, ballistic missile system known as the Iskander-K. According to Russia’s defense ministry, its forces use the Iskander to target “military infrastructure,” but the reality of this attack was as follows.
Using this precision weaponry, Russian forces struck a residential building in Kramatorsk, and it turned out to be the one where I had been living before I moved. The outcome of using the hypersonic ballistic missile against the apartment building was predictable: complete destruction.
The attack killed four and seriously wounded 18 people. A higher death toll was prevented by the evacuation of most residents and the professionalism of rescuers who saved many people, including a two-year-old girl.
“This is the most tragic event in Kramatorsk during this war since the railway station attack in April (when 60 people were killed,” reported journalist Alyona Hromova at the time.
BITCOIN VS. REAL ESTATE AS A STORE OF VALUE
This case clearly shows that bitcoin serves much more effectively as a store of value than real estate.
First, bitcoin cannot be destroyed, even by the most severe missile attack. As long as you properly store your seed phrase, you can always restore access to your coins. Physical property is much more vulnerable and its physical destruction means that you do not have access to it anymore.
Second, Bitcoin is a global monetary system and it does not significantly depend on local conditions in different countries or regions of the world. In contrast, real estate makes its owner dependent upon the conditions of their country. In the case of war, for instance, both the liquidity and monetary value of real estate can fall dramatically.
Third, bitcoin’s supply is predetermined, and it changes according to an algorithm that cannot be altered by anyone. However, the supply of real estate is subject to change, making it problematic as a means for engaging in long-term financial planning.
I lost my apartment and almost all of my material possessions. Nevertheless, I still have access to my BTC.
THE REAL IMPLICATIONS OF BITCOIN
I believe that this story teaches us several important lessons:
- We need hyperbitcoinization now more than ever. As long as governments can print money to finance aggressive military campaigns against other countries, a large percentage of the global population will live under the continuous threat of their lives and health being ruined. Some authoritarian and totalitarian regimes even violate the most basic international agreements and deliberately target civilian populations. This would be impossible under the Bitcoin standard in which all campaigns would be financed with real savings. Moreover, the overall culture of Bitcoiners that respects private property rights would eliminate such cases of large-scale aggression.
- We need to transition to become a low-time-preference society. The fiat world system tries to maintain the atmosphere of fear and uncertainty that results in high-time preferences. And a war is the most radical way of enforcing high-time preferences on the population. In contrast, the monetary stability and decentralization of power is crucial for promoting peace and prosperity through low-time preferences. Only under such conditions can sovereign individuals emerge.
- Not all technologies are created equal. Although we as Bitcoiners like innovations, we should recognize that technologies can be used in different ways. Governments often apply technological achievements to create weapons of mass destruction and other instruments to violate people’s fundamental rights and liberties. The underlying differences in technologies and their social and ethical implications should be communicated to the general public.
ONE MORE THING
We now know for sure that bitcoin can survive, even under missile attacks. Similarly, Bitcoin can survive under big blockers’ attacks, China’s mining ban, environmental anti-mining campaigns, central bank digital currency promotion and any future attempts to undermine peoples’ liberty through coercion.
For many centuries, philosophers elaborated on the causes of injustice and the optimal ways to resist them. Due to the lack of practical tools, their attempts to establish a free and peaceful society have failed. However, we now have a magic tool — Bitcoin — that integrates the informational and physical worlds. Bitcoin is hope and the bridge to a better future for all free people.
This is a guest post by Dmytro Kharkov. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc, Bitcoin Magazine or Foresight News.