LLPress: World Bank’s own charter might obligate it to accept BTC, even if it refuses to provide further assistance with crypto adoption

Originally published by Liberland Press

El Salvador requested the World Bank’s help with its transition to add Bitcoin as legal tender. The World Bank flatly refused. However, the World Bank’s own charter may force it to at least accept Bitcoin, if nothing else.

The World Bank’s excuses for rejecting El Salvador’s request were the following, according to Yahoo Finance, “While the [Salvadorian] government did approach us for assistance on bitcoin, this is not something the World Bank can support given the environmental and transparency shortcomings”.

RELATED: Bitcoin and ecology: What activists forgot

On their website, the World Bank specifies their “Environmental and Social Policies”, saying,

When we provide governments with financing to invest in projects — such as building a road, connecting people to electricity, or treating waste water — we aim to ensure that the people and the environment are protected from potential adverse impacts. We do this through policies that identify, avoid, and minimize harm to people and the environment. These policies require the borrowing governments to address certain environmental and social risks in order to receive World Bank support for investment projects. We know from experience that including environmental and social considerations into project design and implementation improves development outcomes.

World Bank

According to the “International Bank for Reconstruction and Development” Articles of Agreement, which is found on the World Bank’s website,

SECTION 12. Form of Holdings of Currency
The Bank shall accept from any member, in place of any part of the member’s currency, paid in to the Bank under Article II, Section 7 (i), or to meet amortization payments on loans made with such currency, and not needed by the Bank in its operations, notes or similar obligations issued by the Government of the member or the depository designated by such member, which shall be non-negotiable, non-interest-bearing and payable at their par value on demand by credit to the account of the Bank in the designated depository.

World Bank

For those who do not speak legalese, it basically is saying that “The [World] Bank shall accept from any member [in this case, El Salvador]… notes or similar obligations issued by the Government of [El Salvador] or the depository designated by [El Salvador]…”

Thus, it seems that the World Bank may be forced to accept Bitcoin (or at least an asset derived from Bitcoin) from El Salvador.

Additional assistance from the World Bank related to Salvadorian BTC adoption, on the other hand, probably faces a more uphill battle.

This article by Martin Leo Rivers in Forbes lays out a case for why the World Bank must accept Bitcoin, plus how the environmental standard held for Bitcoin by the World Bank is apparently different from the standards which it has held for its own fossil fuel investments in the recent past.

As far as the World Bank’s transparency concerns go, Rivers says that Bitcoin’s nature as a distributed public ledger makes it, “by far, the most transparent monetary network that has ever existed.”

Bitcoin’s transaction history can be easily viewed by visiting a BTC block explorer website. However, instead of actual names, the transactions record what the public keys of the senders and recipients were. As soon as an investigator is able to link one’s public key to their actual identity, then the investigator is able to know their entire transaction history for that address. Privacy coins, on the other hand, (like Monero, Zcash, Dash, and Pirate Chain, among others) use technological means to (so far as possible) hide the transaction histories and/or balances while still retaining the anti-double-spend property of Bitcoin.

Despite the above, Reuters reports that a spokesperson for the World bank said, “We are committed to helping El Salvador in numerous ways including for currency transparency and regulatory processes”.

What is Bitcoin? Why is it special?

Bitcoin is the OG cryptocurrency.

But what is a cryptocurrency and why should I care?

Find out in this episode.


What is a cryptocurrency?

A cryptocurrency is a type of digital money, especially one that uses cryptography and decentralization to make sure that you can only spend each unit once and that you can only create new units after performing some service to the community.

You might ask, “But if I use digital US dollars already, what benefits do I gain by using crypto?”

There are many problems with the US dollar, which crypto can solve. Since this episode is an introduction, I will focus on Bitcoin—the “original gangsta”—and the solutions and limitations which it offers.

First, let’s analyze fiat currencies, like the US dollar, the euro, and the Chinese yuan.

Fiat

  1. Centrally controlled.
  2. Potentially unlimited quantity (think: inflation).
  3. Total quantity is tied to arbitrary decisions by the central authority.
  4. Can potentially be anonymous if dealt in cash. Not private if dealt digitally.
  5. Requires trust in people and institutions with whom you do business, along with intermediaries.
  6. (If deposited in a bank) Can be easily confiscated by authorities.
  7. Can be difficult to make cross-border payments.
  8. Transactions tend to be reversible.
  9. Transactions can be censored by governments, banks, and other institutions.

Bitcoin

  1. Decentralized. No single entity has power over the Bitcoin network. This is due to the fact that Bitcoin uses blockchain technology as its foundation.
  2. Total quantity limited at 21 million.
  3. Quantity of new bitcoins created is determined by an exponential decay function.
  4. Pseudonymous. Instead of using your real name, you use your public key. But beware: as soon as someone is able to link your public key to your real identity, your entire transaction history for that wallet is revealed.
  5. If you can understand the code, it is trustless. However, those who cannot read code must trust the code itself. However, they still do not need to trust any third party.
  6. If private keys are well-hidden, Bitcoin can be extremely difficult to be confiscated by authorities.
  7. Easy to send Bitcoin to anyone’s wallet, regardless of where they are in the world.
  8. Transactions are irreversible.
  9. Transactions can be completed despite what governments, banks, and other institutions think.

At the end of the day, no, Bitcoin the protocol can’t be regulated. Obviously, men with guns wearing costumes are scary, but a gun can’t change the mathematics behind Bitcoin.”

Roger Ver aka “Bitcoin Jesus”

Keep in mind, Bitcoin is the first cryptocurrency as we know it. Obviously, there are a TON of improvements that have been made to the concept. That’s why you see many different types of cryptocurrencies, from Bitcoin, to Bitcoin Cash, to Ethereum, to Litecoin, to Dogecoin, to Marscoin. Each of these cryptos has its own set of pros and cons, which I hope to address in future episodes.

My challenge to you all this week is to do a self-assessment of your own financial situation.

“If the dollar were to go into hyperinflation, would my family be prepared?”

“Is crypto a viable alternative to cash and card payments?”

“What if the government were to seize my entire bank account tomorrow through civil asset forfeiture? Would my entire net worth be down the tubes?”

Then decide what you should do NOW to prepare yourself for when trouble comes.

Special thanks to Jenni Thee Libertarian for giving myself, Outsmart Big Brother, and the Mars Initiative a shout-out on Twitter.

Jennifer works for Young Americans for Liberty. Her persistence is the reason I went ahead and submitted my application for YAL’s Revolution 2021 event this coming August.

By the way, did you know that the Mars Initiative (a nonprofit dedicated to funding humanity’s first trip to Mars) accepts (and HODLs) crypto donations? I volunteer for them and think that is really cool.

What topics would you like me to cover in future videos? Let me know in the comments.

Please like, follow, and share if you enjoy this content.

Stay free, everyone!

⚛️


Description:

Links for all outside content:

BTC image by xresch from Pixabay.

Music by Twisterium from Pixabay. Sped up by Jonathan McCormick.

Mars Initiative website.

For further study:

On civil asset forfeiture:

https://www.charleskochinstitute.org/issue-areas/criminal-justice-policing-reform/civil-asset-forfeiture/

https://www.aclu.org/issues/criminal-law-reform/reforming-police/asset-forfeiture-abuse

https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/civil_forfeiture

Legal inquiries:

See OBB’s Terms of Service page: https://outsmartbigbrother.com/terms-of-service/