After witnessing protest for more than three months, Hong Kongers managed to somehow beat back the extradition bill, but are still not going back to their homes with their victory. There are at least four more points than they want satisfied and until the checkmarks are written on those points, no real peace will dominate the streets of this trading center of the world.
In their attempts to beat back the extradition bill from the Chinese government, thousands of Hong Kongers were trying to protect their identity when buying equipment for protesting. Things such as gas masks, colored vests, helmets, and various other necessities were all being purchased online, therefore the protestors were displaying their identity for the local and Chinese government to see clearly.
Considering that most of these protestors preferred to remain anonymous in the streets, they also wanted to remain anonymous on the web, where the alleged Chinese censorship and a watchful eye is the strongest. In order to do so, thousands of Hong Kongers were buying Bitcoin with premium prices, sometimes paying as much as $1000 extra in order to get their hands on the coin.
Through the use of cryptocurrencies and hot wallets provided by several local exchanges and crypto companies, the majority of protestors managed to keep themselves unidentified by the governments and therefore “safe” from political pressure in the future.
Those who didn’t want to bother with the local affairs purchased plane tickets out of the country and headed for Canada or Australia. But there are other instances as well.
Trying to avoid inflation
Nearly every Hong Konger and probably every economy experts outside of the country thought that the HKD would lose its value in the wake of such protests and the slowdown of trading and business operations on the island.
However, the hit to the currency’s value wasn’t as big as anticipated, which left quite a lot of experts dumbfounded, but this doesn’t mean that thousands of Hong Kongers didn’t prepare for the onslaught. A pretty large sum of the local residents was buying Bitcoin in the hopes of keeping their savings safe from inflation.
Most of these funds were being saved on local crypto exchanges or just cold wallets in personal homes, but hundreds of Hong Kongers actually preferred to keep their funds on gaming websites’ hot wallets in order to avoid any potential hack attacks on local crypto exchanges from the Mainland.
What does this have to say about Bitcoin’s role in global markets?
Most financial experts would classify this reaction as pure speculation and the anticipation of the worst, but that’s exactly what the crypto community wants to hear. Hong Kongers saw Bitcoin as a safe haven during social, political and economic uncertainty and rallied around it. Things like protesting equipment, plane tickets, food, and even personal payments were in the majority of cases being made through the blockchain.
It’s a perfect display of Bitcoin’s features as a safe currency due to decentralization. No matter what type of political or social grife a country or countries are facing, Bitcoin will always be dependant on the global community of its traders, therefore remain much more in-demand than any other currency.
This will most likely be the case when the next financial recession hits, anticipated in 2019 or 2020 at least.
Should Bitcoin indeed act as a safe haven during such a milestone event of human financial history, it will introduce a new opportunity for all blockchain developers, a new argument to make on the stage and shove up the faces of those who will still criticize cryptocurrencies.
All in all, Hong Kong demonstrated what it’s like for cryptos in such political issues, and how they can alleviate the risks of even further pressures from the central government.
Giorgi is a news reporter and financial analyst at www.forexnewsnow.com He has 3 years of experience in analyzing the financial markets of Forex and cryptocurrencies. He also likes making hidden jokes in his articles.