Alex Gladstein 🌋 ⚡ Profile picture
Chief Strategy Officer @HRF. Opinions mine. Essays at @BitcoinMagazine. Author, Check Your Financial Privilege:
otaria123 Profile picture Hamish MacEwan Profile picture ☀️💧Leon-Gerard Vandenberg 🇳🇱🇨🇦🇦🇺 Profile picture Rick Norrris Profile picture Sean Lloyd Profile picture 15 added to My Authors
Nov 30 37 tweets 9 min read
1/ My essay "Structural Adjustment: How the IMF and World Bank Repress Poor Countries and Funnel Their Resources to Rich Ones" is now live

The Bank and Fund claim to help poor countries develop and rescue them from crises

But what if that's not true?… 2/ As any credit card holder knows, when you borrow, you eventually need to pay back a higher sum: principal plus interest

This basic concept is forgotten when we think about development economics

But billions of dollars of loans over decades creates even more debt Image
Nov 21 11 tweets 3 min read
NEW: @HRF announces the CBDC Tracker Fellowship

An 8-month fellowship paying out $100k to launch a resource for policymakers, media, and the public showing the progress of Central Bank Digital Currencies worldwide and their risks to civil liberties 🌍 CBDCs are an evolution of national currency whereby central banks and monetary authorities are considering replacing physical cash that circulates through the public as a liability of the central bank with a digital counterpart which would reside mainly in mobile phones.
Nov 15 7 tweets 2 min read
Very inspiring to meet leaders of the Indian Bitcoin community today

Biggest learning: the focus here is on educating people about self-custody, brick-by-brick, no short-cuts

It will be a long hard road past crypto scams and state regulation but will pay off in the end 🇮🇳 ImageImage A couple other takeaways:

1) The Bitcoin community is very small. Not much stablecoin use here as the fiat is relatively stable but huge amounts of crypto trading. Bitcoin India conf was last week, just 200 people, the movement is just being born
Oct 31 11 tweets 7 min read
1/ NEWS: HRF and BPI are pleased to announce

A free guide authored by @La__Cuen to teach NGOs, activists, foundations, aid organizations, and even governments the best practices for using BTC to improve their grant-making and gift-receiving operations 📖 2/ Such a guide has been in high demand for the past few years as the global human rights and humanitarian community has realized the benefits of Bitcoin and has sought resources on how to help send and receive grants via BTC in a safe and effective manner
Oct 26 9 tweets 1 min read
I had never read the poem “The Development Set” by Ross Coggins before

Written in 1976, it’s a brilliant and deep criticism of the humanitarian aid and loan industry and the global “war on poverty”

Here you go 🧵 Excuse me, friends, I must catch my jet –

I’m off to join the Development Set;

My bags are packed, and I’ve had all my shots,

I have travellers’ cheques and pills for the trots.
Oct 12 12 tweets 2 min read
1/ As I arrive in Amsterdam to speak about the implications of decentralized, open-source currency on political freedom, I’d like to share this hard-to-believe story about how the World Bank once financed massive death and destruction by funding the Dutch government 🧵 🇳🇱 2/ On August 7, 1947, the newly-created World Bank made a $195 million “reconstruction” loan to the Netherlands

This loan — $2.5 billion in today’s dollars — was meant to help rebuild a war-torn country, but instead was used to defend a brutal colonial empire
Oct 11 5 tweets 3 min read
1/ In March @HRF launched a fellowship to explore the potential of rollups for Bitcoin

Today @lightcoin has finished his research and published

May this exploration be a helpful resource for builders trying to make Bitcoin more private and scalable 🚀 2/ John sums the promise up here:

"Validity rollups have the potential to improve the scalability, privacy, and programmability of bitcoin without sacrificing bitcoin’s core values or functionality as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system"
Oct 9 17 tweets 6 min read
1/ Thread on Ziya Sadr, the Iranian Bitcoin educator detained by the regime amid #MahsaAmini protests

I've followed Ziya's work for years: he is an incredibly brave person who has helped thousands of Iranians achieve more freedom by teaching them how to use open source currency 2/ Since 2017 Ziya has helped build the Farsi-speaking Bitcoin community in Iran, which now counts thousands of members who connect on Telegram and in person at meet-ups and conferences

Here's an overview of Bitcoin use in Iran:
Sep 6 10 tweets 5 min read
1/ NEW: @HRF gifts $325,000 in BTC via its Bitcoin Development Fund to support censorship-resistant donations, core development, open-source self-custody, e-cash, and global education

Grant #1: $100k to @BtcpayServer in partnership with @Strike… 2/ First announced a few months ago by @jackmallers at the @OsloFF, this gift will allow team BTCpay to continue improving one of the world's best open-source BTC donation portals to enable dissidents and journalists to securely accept funds from anywhere and from anyone on earth
Aug 30 5 tweets 3 min read
Happy for everyone at Burning Man right now

It was a staggering and beautiful experience for me The art and music really blew me away

I’d of course heard a lot about this side of the event, but I still wasn’t prepared
Aug 28 6 tweets 2 min read
Sobering new post from Zoltan on "War and Industrial Policy"

Lots of folks are saying that our current bout of high inflation is temporary and ending soon

They aren't looking at the big picture 🧵… Z: the last two decades of "low inflation" in the US were only possible b/c of cheap exports from China and cheap Russian energy to feed the EU

EU could print € to buy gas, and US could print $ to buy imports. The Russians + Chinese recycled earnings into G7 claims

Not anymore
Aug 6 54 tweets 8 min read
1/ "People now have the option to store and send liquid value globally, peer-to-peer, without relying on claims or IOUs"

The conclusion to @LynAldenContact's *epic* overview of the Lightning Network

Want to learn more? Start here.

Some highlights ⚡🧵… 2/ She begins with some timeless lessons on monetary history

"When different commodity monies come in contact with each other, often due to contact between cultures with varying levels of technology, the money that is harder to produce wins out"
Aug 2 9 tweets 3 min read
New Zoltan says inflation hasn't peaked, but is just getting started

Says the "low inflation world" stood on three pillars:

-Cheap immigrant labor keeping wages down
-Cheap goods from China raising living standards despite stagnant wages
-Cheap Russian gas powering the EU "If war and zero-COVID policies stay, the view that inflation is mostly cyclical, driven by excessive stimulus, is wrong"

In other words, inflation isn't just something that central banks create, anymore, but it might be the new paradigm of the world
Aug 2 6 tweets 2 min read
1/ New @ECB paper: "Toward the Holy Grail of Cross-Border Payments"

"After more than 1,000 years of search, the holy grail of cross-border payments can be found within the next 10 years"

Guess what's discussed as a credible possibility?

Bitcoin +⚡… 2/ "The holy grail of cross-border payments is a solution which allows cross-border payments to be 1)
immediate 2) cheap 3) of universal reach and 4) settled in a secure settlement medium such as
central bank money. The search has been ongoing for many centuries"

👀 @jackmallers
Jul 26 25 tweets 8 min read
1/ My new essay "Can Fedimints Help Bitcoin Scale To The World?" is live

Today the vast majority of BTC users trust megacorps to hold their funds

Some say cypherpunk e-cash can be married to timeless models of community banking to change everything 🧵… 2/ 33 years ago, David Chaum launched e-cash to fight back against the Orwellian surveillance state

The maximal privacy of Chaum's p2p digital cash was achieved via his blind signature scheme

Users swapped bank deposits for "Cyberbucks" that could be secretly spent and redeemed
Jul 22 6 tweets 2 min read
1/ Update: there are now more than *2 billion people* living under the extreme time theft of double or triple digit inflation worldwide 🚨

-🇵🇰 229M
-🇳🇬 216M
-🇧🇷 214M
-🇷🇺 146M
-🇪🇹 120M
-🇪🇬 106M
-🇮🇷 86M
-🇹🇷 86M
-🇨🇴 52M
-🇪🇸 47M
-🇦🇷 46M
-🇸🇩 46M
-🇺🇦 43M
-🇵🇱 37M
-Rest of 🌍 590M 2/ Breakdown of the rest:

-🇺🇿 34M
-🇦🇴 34M
-🇲🇿 33M
-🇬🇭 32M
-🇾🇪 31M
-🇻🇪 28M
-🇰🇵 26M
-🇧🇫 22M
-🇱🇰 21M
-🇲🇼 20M
-🇰🇿 19M
-🇷🇴 19M
-🇨🇱 19M
-🇸🇾 18M
-🇿🇼 15M
-🇬🇳 13M
-🇷🇼 13M
-🇸🇸 11M
-🇭🇹 11M
-🇨🇺 11M
-🇧🇮 11M
-🇨🇿 10M
-🇭🇳 10M
-🇬🇷 10M
-🇦🇿 10M
-🇧🇾 9M
-🇭🇺 8M
-🇸🇱 8M
-🇷🇸 8M
-🇰🇬 7M
-🇱🇦 7M
-🇳🇮 7M
Jul 13 9 tweets 2 min read
1/ Very important talk from @ziggamon, given in Prague a few months ago

He asks: why do so few people use Lightning to spend on Bitrefill? 🧵

2/ Bitrefill’s main product is selling gift cards.

They have a lot of data on what tools people use to buy these cards.

The company handles between 100k - 200k transactions per month worldwide.
Jul 4 25 tweets 7 min read
1/ Today Americans celebrate 246 years of independence from the British Empire.

On this day in 1776 the Founding Fathers made a declaration. It was a bold and risky action.

Never before had a colonial state defeated its overlord, especially at the apex of its global power 🇺🇸🧵 2/ Against all odds the Founding Fathers rallied a young nation and won freedom.

The Fourth is still--2.5 centuries later--a cause for great pride across the USA.

The idea of America, and the values on which it was founded, continue to animate resistance struggles worldwide
Jul 3 12 tweets 3 min read
This is a brilliant and provocative “Energy at the End of the World” seminar

@PeterZeihan mixes geopolitics, demographics, geology and trade dynamics to paint a stark picture of the coming decade, in total contrast to Dalio’s China rising power thesis 👇

He looks at America’s demographics and concludes that as baby boomers retire and as immigration from Mexico and Central America fades, the US workforce will shrink and interest rates will rise
Jun 22 26 tweets 17 min read
1/ Here are 25 brief, minute-long lessons and moments of insight on the under-discussed yet critical relationship between human rights and money

All filmed at the @OsloFF last month in Norway

First: @nic__carter on why Bitcoin is the world's only depoliticized monetary system 2/ Afghan entrepreneur and humanitarian @RoyaMahboob on how the legacy financial system is misogynist and how Bitcoin helps gives financial rights to women:
Jun 13 12 tweets 3 min read
1/ A deep understanding of Bitcoin is what allows people to benefit the most from it.

In 2013 @RoyaMahboob converted her company in Afghanistan fully into BTC, riding the wave from $100 to $1,200.

But then it crashed: all the way to $200

Most would have given up. But not Roya. 2/ Her company was a female-owned, fully female-operated software company: a radical pioneer in a place like Afghanistan.

Because her employees had trouble getting paid in cash (male relatives would seize it), and had trouble opening bank accounts, she paid them in Bitcoin