Reports from an Al Jazeera outlets point out that more Lebanese are turning to Bitcoin due to suffocation from capital controls.
One of the protestors shared his plight. He, a Lebanese, works out of the country and deposits his money into the Lebanese banks only to experience loss. This might be one of the reasons he and a large number of Lebanese are opting into bitcoin.
Mass unrest in Lebanon has been going on for a while and carried on into 2020. As the Lebanese are trying to preserve the value of their currency, most traders are advocating for the separation of state and money. They believe it is time for decentralization. The power needs to be in the hands of the people.
The crypto community on twitter believed that Lebanon needs a decentralized currency to solve the economic situation it seems unable to turn around. At this point, decentralized currency may be the answer to eradicate corruption.
Four months ago, the prediction was that the worsening Lebanese economic crisis might result in Bitcoin adoption. When there is political turmoil, and the country starts imposing stringent regulations on finances, it gives people more reasons to gravitate towards blockchain and cryptocurrencies. The question is; are the Lebanese turning to Bitcoin as the solution to the economic crisis or as a weapon to fight against the banking and political system?
The banks have continued to enforce harsh withdrawal restrictions. On 1st May 2020, the Lebanese took to the streets again defying the COVID-19 lockdown requirements. They were protesting against the backdrop worst economic crisis the country has ever experienced since the end of its civil war. One of the protestors talking to Al Jazeera reporters said, “We are exerting pressure on the Lebanese politicians, but we don’t know where the revolution is heading. ”
Bitcoin Thriving in Lebanon
Current trends are showing that struggling economies are turning towards bitcoin as an escape route from their dwindling national currencies. Even though Bitcoin is highly volatile, it presents an opportunity for financial freedom which most Lebanese crave at the moment. Also, Bitcoin can be a valuable asset to preserve personal wealth as the Lebanese Lira is collapsing.
It may be presumptuous to think that the revolution may lead to overnight adoption of Bitcoin nationally. But looking at the increasing distrust in the traditional banking system, the scene is being set for continuous adoption of Bitcoin as time goes by. Some sources pointed out that some employers are currently exploring the option of paying their employees in Bitcoins.
Last week Bitcoin was trading at $7000. Three days ago, bitcoin bought past the $8,000, then moved to $8,350 according to the CoinMarketCap’s data. This week the price has moved further up, and BTC is trading at $8806.03 at the time of writing of this article. As the Lebanon economic situation continues to escalate, Bitcoin continues to thrive in the Lebanon crypto market.
“We had the separation of church and state, today we are fighting for the separation of money and state”, said CryptoLira.