Bitcoin and Corruption

When I lived in Southeast Asia for close to a decade, I saw poverty, injustice, and inequality that many Westerners in our privileged existences would not believe unless they say it for themselves.

It was heartbreaking in the beginning. I used to well up when I saw women sleeping at the side of the road with their young children. I went into a Kampung (village) to teach English voluntarily and encountered a child covered head to toe in boils and infected spots for lack of a cream that costs $10. I have seen a teacher jailed and accused of sexual assault because some corrupt politicians wanted to shut down the school he worked at in order to seize the land to build on. I didn’t witness it myself, but I have heard the stories about Suharto and Marcos. Both men stole billions of dollars from their people.

This doesn’t happen because of a lack of resources. It happens because of corruption. Corruption kills, and there’s no way to say it any other way. It is cancer in the body of global society. It costs children their lives, forces women into sexual slavery, and with enough time, causes entire states to fail.

I never thought there was a cure for corruption other than some benevolent dictator coming along. Like Singapore, which was fortunate enough to have a Lee Kuan Yew. However, such men are few and far between, and even Lee Kuan Yew could not govern Indonesia or the Philippines the way he governed Singapore. They’re too big, with different islands run by almost entirely independent governments that resent and refuse to answer to central powers.

And then I discovered Bitcoin.

No, I’m not talking about the BTC pyramid scheme that allows corrupt criminals to move funds without being traced. I’m talking about the original Bitcoin (BSV) — the immutable global ledger where every transaction is traceable, trackable, and leaves an evidence trail.

I’m certain that Bitcoin is not the only solution to corruption. It needs strong laws and a willingness to enforce them, too. However, Bitcoin can play a role in that. Once the world wakes up to what this technology really is rather than simply focusing on the speculative price of tokens, it will change everything.

Imagine the following scenario as it will illustrate what I’m trying to say.

In the Philippines, PhilHealth (the country’s medical fund) has a known wallet or series of wallets. The taxes raised by the people are dished out by the government into said wallet(s). All wallets it interacts with are known and KYC checked, and since Bitcoin is a public blockchain, all of the funds can be watched, traced, and tracked by journalists, anti-corruption campaigners, and anyone else who cares. If funds are transferred to unknown wallets, it will be time-stamped and provable in court. NOBODY, no matter how powerful, can change the ledger. Investigations can then take place to bring the corrupt individuals to justice. Nodes can also be ordered by law to freeze and seize funds. That’s why Bitcoin nodes must be known.

Can you imagine what this would do for that one organization? Scandals like this would never happen again. Scandals like these aren’t just about stolen funds. They are about people being murdered by thieves. They cost children access to vital medicines and cost people their lives to fill their greedy pockets.

Now imagine this at scale. Not just one organization or corporation, but the entire world’s financial system. Everything can be private where necessary because not all wallets have to be known to everyone, but public bodies such as government departments can be known to all. This would allow for an unprecedented era of transparency and progress on eliminating corruption.

I am going to dedicate the rest of my life to bringing about a world built on Bitcoin. All I can offer is education about how it works and connections for those ready to build on it. It struck me like a lightning bolt from the sky when I first realized what it was. It may sound strange to those who don’t fully understand it yet, but I believe Bitcoin is the biggest and most world-changing invention we will witness in our lifetimes. It’s also currently the most misunderstood technology.

BTC and other ridiculous speculative bubbles will die. But Bitcoin as a global public ledger will live on. It can be one set of books for the world. No more Bernie Madoffs, and no more corrupt dictators siphoning off funds into bank accounts while children die on the streets of resource-rich countries. What’s a better thing to dedicate your work to than that?