- Afghans have been turning to cryptocurrencies as a lifeline
- The crashing local currency plus clampdowns by the Taliban have led to some fleeing the country
- Many have used cryptocurrency to pay for transport out of Afghanistan
Afghan citizens have turned to cryptocurrency to escape the clutches of the Taliban and as an antidote to the “financial chaos” that has gripped the country since the U.S.-led invasion left the country. Thomson Reuters reported earlier this week that, far from being seen as a speculative source of potential wealth, cryptocurrency is proving to be a “lifeline”. Afghanistan is experiencing a “currency shortage” according to the report, which is one of the many factors driving Afghans to cryptocurrencies as they try to deal with life under the return of the Taliban.
🇦🇫 It helped some of them to leave the country when the Taliban took power.
— Thomson Reuters Foundation News (@TRF_Stories) October 13, 2021
Afghan Women Denied Bank Accounts
Thomson Reuters and its reporter Rina Chandran revealed how women and girls in Afghanistan are either denied a bank account or are unable to open one, which has led to the few female employees in the country paying their workers in cryptocurrencies. One such employer, Roya Mahboob, began paying her employees in Bitcoin back in 2011, advising them that it was not just a way of getting paid but was also an investment for the future, raising the incredible possibility that some huge Bitcoin whales out there could be Afghan women.
Cryptocurrency Aiding Freedom for Afghans
Since the Taliban took back control of most of the country in August, many of Mahboob’s current and former employees have fled the country, using the money in their cryptocurrency accounts to secure flights out If these women had listened to the advice of financial leaders around the world they would have sold their crypto assets years ago on the basis that they were inevitably going to zero. Thankfully they didn’t listen to them, or sell, and the value of their holdings will have increased where the value of their 2011 fiat holdings would have crumbled.
Cryptocurrencies were intended as a break from the traditional world of finance, a chance for those forgotten people of the world to find a place in society. If there is a better use case for cryptocurrencies out there than Afghan women empowering themselves in the face of extremist oppression, we are yet to find it.