Oct 11, 2018 at 07:34
Oct 11, 2018 at 07:34 UTC
Rojava, also known as the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, is home to nearly 4 million people. The war-torn region, which is now in tenuous peacetime and is ailed by sanctions, is looking to cryptocurrency to overcome its economic hurdles.
There is belief that cryptocurrency could very well become an alternative to the main currency of the region, the Syrian lira. As per Erselan Serdem, leader of the technological development program in Rojava, the autonomous territory plans to emphasise on new technological academies, especially cryptocurrency and cryptography.
Serdem was quotes as saying:
“You need technology to spend less water, you need technology to have an equal relation with the earth, you need technology to use networks, like the blockchain. We see blockchain as a practical network in society that people use.”
Amir Taaki, an early Bitcoin developer and fighter in the Rojava revolution, is backing the changes in the region. Taaki mentioned:
“Rojava is a revolutionary project that wants to build a new society based on anarchist principles, and that means law, defense, society and culture.”
Taaki spent nearly two years in the country during the war. According to the Bitcoin expert, the region’s economy is purely based on paper currency. It has led to the development of an infrastructure that revolves around the processing of paper currency. Locals are entirely dependent on large amounts of cash, and the region is also marred by high inflation. Economic sanctions entail high fees to be spent on sending money outside the region.
“The cost of making a transaction with Istanbul is currently 10 percent. We believe that with cryptocurrency we can make this 2 percent globally, not just with Istanbul.”
The first steps towards this effort would be to provide the citizens with wallet software in local languages, the next will entail equipping the currency exchanges in the region with Bitcoin. Additionally, to make trade faster, cheaper, and more secure, payment infrastructures such as Bitcoin’s Lightning Network would need to be deployed.
So far, research is being conducted into internet-free solutions such as cryptocurrency that can be transmitted over the radio, as well as paper currencies that are pegged to crypto.