Crypto and LGBT
By Max Villagomez
Cryptocurrencies are a tool that empowers those who have limited access to traditional currency. Anyone with access to the Internet can begin using them. This opens up a new and exciting economy for marginalized groups.
Anonymity is one of the benefits that cryptocurrencies offer individuals. Although all transactions are recorded on a public ledger, the identities of the participants are kept anonymous. This allows anyone to send money to someone else without fear of the transaction being public. Thanks to their anonymous nature, cryptocurrencies have become an essential ally to the LGBT community.
Activism has always been vital to the LGBT community. However, not everyone lives in a country where one can openly support the LGBT. For example, activism and protesting are not illegal in the United States of America, but some live in countries where being open about being apart of the LGBT community is punishable.
Since it is relatively easy to send cryptocurrencies, and since there is a large community backing them, cryptocurrencies could be used to help those in countries or places where the law limits their presence or activism. Essentially, the blockchain allows for people to support others (or a cause) financially without creating a paper trail. Groups using cryptocurrency can buy goods and services or even send money back and forth without exposing themselves.
The recent crisis in Chechnya, where numerous gay men have suddenly gone missing, is an example of where the LGBT community and activists need a means to receive and send money amongst themselves without fear of persecution by the government due to association or suspicions. Additionally, cryptocurrency gives the international community a method of sending money to the organizations they support, and assist them with any financial needs to sustain themselves.
It is clear that cryptocurrency is a powerful tool to help the marginalized, so companies have teamed up to create an LGBT-centered cryptocurrency. Recently, the LGBT Foundation, in cooperation with Hornet Networks and Revry, created LGBT Token. This cryptocurrency aims to assist members in asserting and protecting their identity. More importantly, it will also enable users to create exchanges and establish loyalty to LGBT businesses and people. LGBT Token also pledges to help allocate resources and funds to confront problems the LGBT community faces such as oppression, discrimination, inequality, education, and healthcare.
Cryptocurrencies will become easier to use as a tool for activism as crypto networks increase and more people find value in cryptocurrencies. More users can become active and help those who face oppression by taking advantage of the anonymity and flexibility cryptocurrencies offer. Although marginalization and discrimination still remains a widespread societal issue, the blockchain offers innovative solutions to alleviate some of the issues the LGBT community faces.