Web3 - Reclaiming Value Autonomy
In June 2021, Swarm launched its cryptocurrency, the BZZ token. BZZ is exchanged for Swarm Network services and protected against both inflation and speculation.
Economic Oppression and Uncertainty
The United States has asserted global dominance with the USD as the world’s primary reserve currency and through key international economic institutions since WWII. But many countries have grown tired of the inflation, economic crises and external political pressures associated with effectively being mandated to trade in this currency. Others have been devastated by being completely excluded from the global economy.
Economic crises and inflation are inevitable in a fiat system, which the US moved the world towards in 1971. In this system, our currency is no longer backed by a gold standard, but rather a trust in its value underpinned by the “full faith and credit” of the issuing nation and its underlying economy. In response to the crisis this transition initially sparked, the US partnered with Saudi Arabia to develop the petrodollar, attempting to add value and guaranteeing the USD would continue to dominate trade...at least until now.
Since then, the US has degenerated from the largest creditor into the largest debtor nation, which does not bode well for the value of the dollar. Growing concerns about the potential collapse of the USD and the havoc it could cause, especially in the midst of a troubled economy, is encouraging more nations to seek alternatives.
Breaking Free from Traditional Currency Control
The increasingly powerful BRICS economies are moving away from the USD, looking to deepen trade in their respective currencies and considering the use of an alternative trading currency either asset backed or a basket of their currencies or a mix of both. However, if they succeed, will this not just mean transferring economic control from one superpower to another collective one? Should we expect that any one nation or smaller collective will work in the best interests of our global community rather than its own benefit? Perhaps there is an alternative which can provide true value autonomy for the benefit of all.
“It’s game over for the dollar, Bitcoin is the future,” asserts El Salvadorian President Nayib Armando Bukele Ortez. Through the adoption of Bitcoin as legal tender, the country is attempting to break free from it’s tenuous and arguably coerced reliance on the United States Dollar. Other countries are following suite to a degree, exploring Central Bank Digital Currencies, recognising the potential offered through these new technologies.
Cryptocurrencies, such as BZZ which is a utility token used within the Swarm decentralised data network, provide a compelling alternative to traditional currencies controlled by certain governments and economic institutions. These digital assets operate on decentralised networks, powered by blockchain technology, which ensures transparency, security, and autonomy in financial transactions.
Reshaping Fundraising and Empowering Individuals
The rise of cryptocurrencies doesn't only impact nations, but also empowers individuals and organisations that have been marginalised or censored by mainstream platforms. Crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe have often faced scrutiny for their treatment of those who counter mainstream narratives. For instance, the Grayzone's fundraiser to support investigative journalism was a huge success until GoFundMe refused to hand-over funds, citing “external concerns”. Venmo and Paypal imposed financial restrictions on managing editor, Wyatt Reed, after reporting unfavourably about Ukrainian military operations.
Even if you disagree with the reporting and politics of the Grayzone, take a moment to think about a time when you disagreed with a dominant narrative. Should you have been prevented from accessing your financial accounts? The American Civil Liberties Union has criticised payment platforms for “financial censorship”. A diverse range of groups have lost funding destined for their causes, including sex workers, Canadian First Nations, and the Canadian Convoy Protests.
In contrast, Web3 solutions like MetaProvide and Swarm offer a decentralised approach to users data, identity and value transfer, ensuring that controversial views are not silenced due to the interests of gatekeepers.
A Gateway to Financial Inclusion
Web3 and cryptocurrencies also hold immense potential for enhancing financial inclusion on a global scale. Around 1.4 billion adults lack access to traditional banking services, limiting their participation in economic activities. Cryptocurrencies, with their secure digital wallets, offer a way for individuals to store, send, and receive funds without the need for intermediaries.
decentralised finance (DeFi) platforms take this a step further, offering services like lending, savings, and insurance directly to individuals. By leveraging blockchain technology, these platforms eliminate the need for conventional financial institutions and empower users to have greater control over their financial transactions.
The Promise of BZZ and Swarm
One cryptocurrency that stands out in this landscape is BZZ, the native token of the Swarm Network. Swarm offers a decentralised infrastructure for storage and bandwidth, and BZZ tokens are used to compensate node operators for their services. Unlike traditional inflationary or deflationary models, BZZ operates on a bonding curve that adjusts supply and price dynamically, preventing speculative actions that could harm the token's utility.
MetaProvide's efforts to develop a "NextWallet" using MetaMask and other extensions bridges the gap between Web2 and Web3, providing an intuitive way for users to access the benefits of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.
Embrace the Future of Value Autonomy
Money talks and ultimately determines the who, where and the what in any given area. The result is many are silenced or coerced by powerful interests blocking access and controlling financial resources. The hope on the horizon is that Web3, crypto and blockchain technology is providing a new platform for those who were once suppressed to raise their voices and assert their own value autonomy. Individuals, organisations and even nations that were once at the mercy of powerful financial institutions and governments have the potential, albeit nascent, to reclaim their financial freedom.
For medium and larger-sized organisations that prioritise privacy and seek to reclaim control over their financial interactions, Web3 and cryptocurrencies offer an exciting pathway forward. The shift from traditional banking systems to decentralised networks can empower nations, individuals, and organisations to reshape the financial landscape, challenge the dominance of fiat currencies, and foster a new era of value autonomy.
As we navigate through this transformative period, the adoption of solutions from the likes of MetaProvide that utilises Swarm’s decentralised data network and the BZZ token within its tailored collaboration platforms for business, can lead to a more inclusive and transparent financial ecosystem. By embracing Web3, you're not only leveraging innovation, but also contributing to a future where value is distributed more fairly and equitably across the digital landscape.