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Defending Bitcoin PoW in the EU | Lyudmyla Kozlovska & Bota Jardemalie

Defending Bitcoin PoW in the EU | Lyudmyla Kozlovska & Bota Jardemalie

Jan 17, 2024

Defending Bitcoin PoW in the EU | Lyudmyla Kozlovska & Bota Jardemalie

Key Takeaways

This episode of the Stephan Livera Podcast features Lyudmyla Kozlovska and Bota Jardemalie, human rights defenders and advocates for Bitcoin, particularly its use as a tool for preserving human rights. They discuss the importance of Bitcoin for political refugees and activists in authoritarian regimes, and how it serves as a "bank of last resort" when traditional financial systems fail them or are used as weapons against them.

One of the core topics is the defense of Proof of Work (PoW), which is under attack by the European Union (EU). The EU perceives PoW, specifically in the context of Bitcoin, as an outdated, energy-wasting consensus mechanism. There are three main lines of attack: the perception of Bitcoin as a tool for money laundering and terrorism financing, the impact of Bitcoin mining on energy security, and the environmental effects of PoW.

Issue #1203: Do not cede the frame. Energy usage is good.
Stop acting like a bunch of losers who need to beg permission to make the world a better place and start acting like a confident group that is already doing the hard work that is making the world a better place.

The discussion also highlights the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) and its influence on global regulations that can inadvertently harm human rights by encouraging financial exclusion through "de-risking." This practice can result in activists and political refugees losing access to financial services, making Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies crucial for their survival.

Lyudmyla and Bota emphasize the importance of engaging with regulators and elected officials to educate them about the positive aspects of Bitcoin and PoW mining, particularly its role in empowering societies and protecting democracy.

Best Quotes

  1. Lyudmyla: "Bitcoin is a human right. Now, when we see that financial institutions use as a weapon against civil society, against opposition, bitcoin is a human right."
  2. Bota: "Bitcoin is basically a bank of last resort... and after that, you look at your options, you see what’s happening. And this is how we discovered bitcoin."
  3. Lyudmyla: "We cannot wait 50 years. We cannot wait when the market will win. We need to defend it right now, because for us, it means to support people who are important for us, who are our activists, who are family members in many authoritarian states."
  4. Bota: "We are looking at bitcoin not as an investment instrument. We are looking at it as a payment instrument... and we won't be able to do so if it's banned in the EU."
  5. Lyudmyla: "We have to shape [the world of narratives and perceptions] and take it as our responsibility for all of this, what's happening around us and specifically how bitcoin is defined in the eyes of both societies, but also regulators and legislators."


The podcast episode with Lyudmyla and Bota presents an in-depth look at the intersection of human rights and Bitcoin, defending the technology against regulatory attacks that could stifle its potential as a tool for freedom. Their stories and insights emphasize the urgency of defending PoW and the right to financial privacy, not just for activists but for the preservation of democratic values. They call on the Bitcoin community to unite, share firsthand experiences with regulators, and educate officials to shape the narrative around Bitcoin positively. The overarching message is clear: Bitcoin is more than an asset; it's a lifeline for those fighting for human rights and democracy, and it's worth defending now more than ever.


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