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Oslo Freedom Forum: Bitcoin Is Freedom

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BitcoinPolitics

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Included in this article are timestamped links for all mentioned streams.

Last week the city of Oslo in Norway was host to the Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF). The OFF is an annual gathering of activists from around the world who are united in the fight against tyranny. The conference is organized by the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) whose CSO Alex Gladstein is an avid proponent of the use of Bitcoin as a tool for ensuring financial rights and freedoms.

The conference this year had a financial freedom stream which was sponsored by Norwegian Bitcoin Company Seetee. OFF focused on how Bitcoin and stablecoins are currently being used by people in countries with authoritarian governments while their fiat currencies experience hyperinflation. Preservation of wealth from theft via confiscation, capital controls, and inflation were some of the highlighted reasons for using Bitcoin and stablecoins.

The Financial Freedom stream featured 13 talks, panels, workshops, and other events. The stream kicked off in the afternoon of the first day with a panel titled “The Quest for Financial Freedom” which featured Co-Founder and CSO of Ledn Mauricio di Bartolomeo, Afghan entrepreneur Roya Mahboob, and Board Member of Btrust, Bitcoin Core Developer and CEO of Recursive Capital Abubakar Nur Khalil. Each of them spoke about how they have personally experienced the financial impact of repressive regimes in their respective countries and how they used Bitcoin to protect their savings. The panel was moderated by the HRF CSO Alex Gladstein.

Later on, a panel discussion titled “Can Bitcoin Reach a Billion People” featured Co-Founder and CEO of Lightning Labs Elizabeth Stark, Co-Founder and CEO of Okcoin Hong Fang, and Founder of Muun Wallet Dario Sneidermanis. This panel was moderated by Lyn Alden, Founder of Lyn Alden Investment Strategy. 

On the second day, the Financial Freedom stream kicked off with a fireside chat between CEO of Strike and Senegalese Financial Freedom Advocate Fode Diop titled “Freedom Money.” The stream continued into the afternoon with a panel discussion titled “The Rise of Stablecoins in Emerging Markets and Authoritarian Regimes” which featured Ire Aderinokun of Helicarrier and CTO of Tether Paolo Ardoino. In the wake of the Luna and UST debacle, Ardoino highlighted Tether’s liquidity as it processed a record number of redemptions in the weeks prior. Bitcoin podcaster and educator Anita Posch later moderated a panel discussion titled “Is Bitcoin Compatible with Democracy” which centered around whether Bitcoin adoption is better served by a “top down” or “bottom up” approach. 

CSO of the HRF Alex Gladstein carried out a book signing for his recently released “Check Your Financial Privilege” book. The second day of the conference was completed by a panel discussion tilted “Bitcoin, the Environment, and Human Rights” which featured CEO of Core Scientific Darin Feinstein, Lyn Alden, Partner at Castle Island Ventures Nic Carter, and moderator Troy Cross who is a long-time Bitcoiner and professor of Philosophy at Rice University. The discussion centered around Bitcoin’s energy use and the trade-offs made between the use of a Proof-of-Stake system versus a Proof-of-Work system.

In the afternoon on day three, the highest number of Financial Freedom stream related talks and workshops occurred but was not filmed by the HRF. Footage from these talks may appear on YouTube or Bitcointv.com at a later date. The topics of discussion and workshops varied from the first ever panel on CBDCs at a human rights conference to a “Bitcoin 101 Academy.” Other topics like Bitcoin Privacy and Lightning Network deep dives, along with a discussion for how activists can integrate Bitcoin into their NGO with the use of BTCPay Server were also included. These talks and workshops featured  well known Bitcoiners such as: author of This Month in Bitcoin Privacy Janine Roem, Lisa Neigut of Blockstream, Jimmy Song, Matt Odell, Stephan Livera, Ben Perrin, Jeff Booth, Obi Nwosu, and many more. A full schedule of the Financial Freedom stream along with a list of all participants can be found here

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