Opinion: cryptocurrency and blockchain are redefining financial freedom

According to the World Bank's 2017 Global Findex report, approximately 1.7 billion people worldwide do not have bank accounts or have any form of relationship with financial institutions. Cryptographic currency and blockchain technology can be a catalyst for change, with the potential to bring banking to people without bank accounts. Governments and central banks around the world have differences in whether bitcoin should be considered a commodity, currency or asset. But Bitcoin has proven that anyone with a smartphone and Internet connection can enjoy financial inclusion. Venezuela is a good example. In the past few years, Venezuela has been on the verge of an economic crisis, and Bolivar has experienced hyperinflation since 2016. The country's central bank estimates that the inflation rate from 2016 to April 2019 is as high as 53,798,500%. Because of the rapid depreciation of Bolivar, a large proportion of Venezuelans began using Bitcoin as an alternative currency. According to LocalBitcoins, the country's weekly trading volume has been rising since 2017. Residents said that cryptocurrencies allow them to fully control their funds, without banks and third parties. Others also expressed a preference for receiving salary or other payments in digital currency. Public opinion believes that traditional banking systems often fail to meet the needs of the masses during periods of political or cultural instability. But the cryptocurrency and blockchain ecosystems can continue to thrive during these periods. People can rely not only on these assets for daily payments, but also use them to create more wealth.