In this fascinating and compelling panel on Why Decentralization Matters at the Oslo Freedom Forum in New York, I spoke with Alejandro Machado, a researcher at Zcash; Amber Baldet, founder and CEO of Clovyr, a decentralized software and developer tools company; Andy Bromberg, cofounder and president of CoinList, a compliant token offering platform; and Megha Rajagopalan, correspondent for Buzzfeed and former China bureau chief.

In this discussion, we cover what is happening in authoritarian regimes like China and Venezuela that highlight the importance of decentralized technologies, how people in those countries are using crypto assets, and how technologists think about decentralization and censorship-resistance. We also talk about the usability issues of decentralized technologies and how people in authoritarian regimes can even get access to them. Plus, we also look at how bad state actors are also using the same technology to oppress people or evade sanctions.

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Episode links:

PC Mag story on how cryptocurrency is both “an oppressor and a lifeline” in Venezuela:

Naval on Unchained talking about how money is now speech:

Google’s Dragonfly project:

For more on how decentralization and blockchain technology can help Alex Gladstein of the Human Rights Foundation on Unconfirmed:

A previous interview with Amber Baldet on Unconfirmed:

A previous interview with Andy Bromberg on Unconfirmed: