Crypto

Cardano founder says crypto will be vital to Afghani fight against Taliban

Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson believes that digital assets may play an important role in offering financial privacy to Afghani citizens following the withdrawal of US forces.

In a Wednesday interview with CNBC, Charles Hoskinson, a co-founder of Ethereum and founder of Cardano, expressed his expectation that “cryptocurrencies will play a larger role in Afghanistan […] in the war for and against the Taliban forces.”

Hoskinson highlighted the need for financial privacy-preserving technologies in Afghanistan, stating:

“Afghan’s digital life is now under scrutiny, the last two decades are being reviewed by a regime that if you expressed your opinion in ways that don’t fit their regressive viewpoints you are now under threat of harassment, imprisonment or even death.”

While concrete presumptions around how cryptocurrencies will benefit Afghan society were scant, adopting digital assets would supposedly allow Afghan citizens to evade the Taliban’s attempts to track personal spending or seize their crypto assets.

Using digital assets as a store of value could also provide protection against inflation, with some analysts speculating that Afghanistan may soon face a crisis of hyperinflation.

While many local bank accounts have been frozen at the behest of international aid organizations and the United States, Western Union also suspended services in the country until further notice last week — limiting the means available to Afghani citizens seeking to transfer their assets internationally.

“Western Union understands the urgent need people have to receive funds, and we are committed to resuming operations for our customers in Afghanistan as conditions permit,” the company said in a statement.

There are already many organizations that have shifted to accept cryptocurrencies in an effort to facilitate funding of basic needs and medical care for the Afghan people.

Related: Crypto can alleviate the financial fallout for people in Afghanistan

Crypto adoption appears to have been rising in Afghanistan over recent years, with the country currently ranking 20th according to Chainalysis’ 2021 Global Crypto Adoption Index.

Other developing countries including Venezuela, Vietnam, the Philippines and neighbor Pakistan also dominate the adoption rankings, suggesting digital assets are seeing significant adoption in countries with poor financial infrastructure.