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Asia Pacific Conservative Union Launches Blockchain Ecosystem to Fight Authoritarianism

A blockchain platform meant to fight authoritarianism has been launched by the Asia Pacific Conservative Union.

Two executives from the Asia Pacific Conservative Union (APCU) have launched the Liberty Ecosystem, a blockchain-based network designed to fight authoritarianism, a press release shared with Cointelegraph reveals on March 2.

The co-founders of the project are APCU chairman, Jikido “Jay” Aeba, and CEO and co-founder of the organization, Yasu Kikuta. The press release describes the initiative as a “decentralized federation of local advocacy and economic development organizations seeking to combat the rise of authoritarianism in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.”

Per the announcement, regimes like China invest in foreign infrastructure projects in a bid to assert control over the political sovereignty of other countries. Such use of economic power to exert political control has reportedly started to result in the exportation of the authoritarian government model to other countries such as Sri Lanka, Indonesia and Japan.

The press release explains that the blockchain-powered project involves the use of so-called “Liberty Tokens” to create a shared community and financial infrastructure meant to empower local organizations fighting authoritarianism. The intiiave has also partnered with token economy ecosystem Wowoo.

As Cointelegraph reported in November last year, while Thailand has been under the control of a military dictatorship since May 2014 — with internet censorship and a dismantled senate — the country has shown it’s welcoming blockchain and crypto innovation on both the public and private scale.

It has been long suggested that human rights activism is one of Bitcoin’s greatest use cases. Still, United States whistleblower Edward Snowden voiced concerns over Bitcoin’s long-term prospects in an interview in March last year, saying the cryptocurrency’s public blockchain made it susceptible to abuse.

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How Bitcoin Could Free Catalonia From Spain’s Dictate

On October 1st, Catalan nationalists plan to hold a referendum on leaving Spain, and to declare independence if they win. However, a recent article from BBC indicates that the “Gobierno de España” will seize Catalan finances in the next 48 hours if the ‘illegal’ referendum vote is not brought to a halt immediately. This situation has brought Bitcoin into the spotlight as a potential solution to the conflict. In this brief article, CoinTelegraph will attempt to analyze how Bitcoin could free Catalonia from Spain’s mandate.

Why?

Cristóbal Montoro, Spain’s finance minister, said that a mechanism had been approved for the state to take control of Catalonia’s finances. The Spanish intend to take this step to prevent any public money being spent on the independence referendum.  

The ministers also delivered an ultimatum for Mr Puigdemont – sign an agreement within 48 hours that public funds will not be redirected for the referendum. If the deadline is not met, then the Spanish government will seize control of the part of the Catalonian budget destined for public services and salaries.

How?

Satoshi Nakamoto created Bitcoin right after central banks tanked the world economy and induced a year-long economic depression. The purpose of cryptocurrency is to serve as a tool for freedom, which is exactly what Catalonia is looking for right now.  

In a decentralized financial system where every State/Autonomous community has full control over its finances through the use of cryptography and Blockchain, the central government wouldn’t be able to seize any funds. Catalonia‘s current situation is an interesting case study for how countries could adopt decentralized cryptocurrencies on a large scale.

Countries like Venezuela have proven, on a smaller scale, that Bitcoin is a viable solution for politically unstable regions. Although the situation in Catalonia is of a slightly different nature, some similarities can definitely be found.

What if?

According to Blockchain.info, there are currently 16.8 mln Bitcoin wallets in use. However, this number should be taken with a pinch of salt since a user can have as many wallets as he wants. Therefore, the actual number of people using Bitcoin is probably significantly lower than the total number of active wallets.

The autonomous region of Catalonia currently has around 7.5 mln inhabitants. In the unlikely event that Bitcoin was implemented as an immediate method of payment, the Bitcoin Blockchain would probably suffer from significant congestion and elevated transaction fees. This could complicate the transition for Catalonia to a decentralized financial system. Potential solutions to Bitcoin’s scalability issues, like Lightning Network, would help Bitcoin to take on such a large influx of users.