Can Bitcoin Save the Financial World? Discover the Answer

Technology - June 26, 2024
Image 1. Can Bitcoin Save the Financial World? Discover the Answer

Context and Main Causes of the Current Financial Crisis

The global economy has experienced a series of ups and downs throughout history, but recent financial crises have significantly impacted global economic stability and growth. The current financial crisis has developed in a context of global interconnectedness, expansive monetary policies, and an increasingly complex and vulnerable financial system.

Expansive Monetary Policies

One of the fundamental causes of the current financial crisis is the adoption of expansive monetary policies by central banks in the world’s major economies. These policies, which include extremely low interest rates and asset purchase programs, were designed to stimulate economic growth following the 2008 financial crisis. However, they have led to excessive debt accumulation and the formation of bubbles in various asset markets, such as real estate and stocks.

Increase in Global Debt

Global indebtedness has reached unprecedented levels, with governments, companies, and households accumulating debt at an alarming rate. Global debt now exceeds $250 trillion, representing more than 300% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This level of indebtedness is unsustainable and increases the risk of massive defaults and a sovereign debt crisis. The inability of many countries to manage their debt has generated uncertainty and volatility in financial markets.

Financial Deregulation

The deregulation of financial markets has allowed the proliferation of complex and high-risk financial products, such as derivatives and securitizations. The lack of adequate oversight and regulation has allowed banks and other financial institutions to take excessive risks, contributing to the instability of the financial system. The 2008 crisis already highlighted the dangers of deregulation, but efforts to strengthen financial supervision have been insufficient to prevent new crises.

Globalization and Interconnection of Financial Markets

Globalization has created a highly interconnected financial system where crises in one region can quickly spread to other parts of the world. Global financial markets are more integrated than ever, and economic events in one country can have significant repercussions in others. This interconnectedness increases the vulnerability of the global financial system to external shocks, such as geopolitical tensions, natural disasters, and pandemics.

COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a significant catalyst for the current financial crisis. Lockdown measures and restrictions on economic activity imposed to contain the spread of the virus have led to an unprecedented global recession. The drop in demand, rising unemployment, and disruption of supply chains have exacerbated economic and financial tensions. Moreover, the response of governments to the pandemic has involved significant increases in public spending and debt, adding pressure to national and international financial systems.

Climate Change and Natural Disasters

Climate change and natural disasters are also affecting global financial stability. Extreme weather events, such as hurricanes, wildfires, and floods, have caused significant economic losses and increased risks for insurers and other financial institutions. The transition to a low-carbon economy requires substantial restructuring of various economic sectors, which can generate uncertainty and volatility in financial markets.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies: A Possible Solution

In a context of global financial crisis, cryptocurrencies, particularly Bitcoin, have emerged as a possible solution to some of the inherent problems of the traditional financial system. Below are the main arguments in favor of cryptocurrencies as a financial lifeline.

Decentralization and Autonomy

One of the main attractions of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is their decentralized nature. Unlike fiat currencies, which are controlled by central banks and governments, cryptocurrencies operate on decentralized networks based on blockchain technology. This means they are not subject to the political and economic decisions of any central entity, providing users with greater autonomy over their finances.

Protection Against Inflation

Cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, are designed to be resistant to inflation. Bitcoin has a limited supply of 21 million coins, meaning it cannot be “printed” or produced in excess, unlike fiat currencies that can be devalued through excessive money printing. In times of inflation, cryptocurrencies can act as a store of value, protecting users’ purchasing power.

Financial Inclusion

Cryptocurrencies have the potential to improve financial inclusion by providing access to financial services to unbanked or underbanked people worldwide. With just a mobile phone and internet access, anyone can participate in the global financial system through cryptocurrencies. This is especially relevant in regions where traditional banking services are inaccessible or inefficient.

Fast and Low-Cost Transactions

Cryptocurrencies allow for fast transactions, often at lower costs compared to traditional financial systems. International transfers, which can usually be costly and slow, can be done more efficiently with cryptocurrencies. This feature is particularly beneficial for businesses and individuals who need to send or receive money internationally.

Security and Transparency

The underlying blockchain technology of cryptocurrencies provides a high level of security and transparency. Transactions on a blockchain are immutable and publicly verifiable, reducing the risk of fraud and increasing trust in the system. Additionally, cryptocurrencies offer the possibility to store and transfer value securely without the need for intermediaries.

Innovation and Diversification

The cryptocurrency ecosystem is constantly evolving, with new technologies and applications emerging that can offer innovative solutions to financial problems. From smart contracts to decentralized applications (dApps), cryptocurrencies are driving a wave of innovation that could transform how transactions are conducted and assets are managed. Moreover, investing in cryptocurrencies can offer portfolio diversification that can protect against the volatility of traditional financial markets.

Alternative to Traditional Financial Systems

In times of distrust towards traditional financial systems and governments, cryptocurrencies offer an attractive alternative. The transparency, decentralization, and censorship resistance of cryptocurrencies can provide a viable option for those looking to protect their assets from government intervention or economic instability.

Comparison between the Traditional Financial System and Cryptocurrencies

The traditional financial system and cryptocurrencies represent two distinct approaches to managing and transferring value. Below are the key differences between both systems and the potential benefits of cryptocurrencies.

Centralization vs. Decentralization

Traditional Financial System:

  • It is highly centralized, with central banks, commercial banks, and other financial institutions controlling money issuance, transactions, and monetary policies.
  • Economic and financial decisions are made by a central entity or a group of entities.


  • They operate on decentralized networks using blockchain technology, where no central authority controls transactions or coin issuance.
  • Decisions and transaction validations are made by a distributed network of participants.

Potential Benefit:

  • The decentralization of cryptocurrencies provides users with greater autonomy and control over their assets, eliminating the need for intermediaries and reducing the risk of government or institutional intervention.

Inflation and Money Supply

Traditional Financial System:

  • Central banks have the ability to print money at will, which can lead to inflation and currency devaluation.
  • The money supply is controlled and adjusted according to government economic policies.


  • Many cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, have a limited and predefined supply. Bitcoin, for example, has a limit of 21 million coins.
  • The issuance of new coins follows a predefined mathematical protocol and cannot be arbitrarily altered.

Potential Benefit:

  • The limited supply of cryptocurrencies makes them resistant to inflation and preserves their long-term value, protecting users’ purchasing power.

Transparency and Security

Traditional Financial System:

  • Financial transactions are usually private and not publicly available. Transparency depends on regulations and the good faith of financial institutions.
  • The security of funds depends on the integrity and solvency of financial institutions.


  • Blockchain transactions are public, transparent, and verifiable by anyone. Each transaction is recorded in a distributed ledger.
  • The security of cryptocurrencies is based on advanced cryptography and decentralization, reducing the risk of fraud and hacking.

Potential Benefit:

  • The inherent transparency and security of cryptocurrencies increase user trust and reduce the possibility of fraudulent activities.

Accessibility and Financial Inclusion

Traditional Financial System:

  • Access to financial services can be limited for unbanked or underbanked people, especially in developing regions.
  • Traditional banking services often require physical infrastructure and formal documentation.


  • Cryptocurrencies can be accessible to anyone with a mobile device and internet access, without the need for formal documentation or banking infrastructure.
  • They provide a solution for global financial inclusion, allowing more people to participate in the financial system.

Potential Benefit:

  • Cryptocurrencies can improve financial inclusion and offer financial services to underserved populations worldwide.

Speed and Cost of Transactions

Traditional Financial System:

  • Transactions, especially international ones, can be slow and costly due to intermediaries and bank fees.
  • Settlement times can range from several days to weeks.


  • Cryptocurrency transactions can be fast and low-cost, with settlement times ranging from a few minutes to a few hours.
  • Eliminating intermediaries significantly reduces transaction costs.

Potential Benefit:

  • Faster and cheaper transactions facilitate commerce and international transfers, benefiting both individuals and businesses.

Use Cases and Adoption of Bitcoin in Times of Crisis

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have gained popularity in various parts of the world, especially in economies facing financial crises. Below are some examples of how Bitcoin has been adopted in times of crisis, highlighting its utility and benefits in these contexts.

  1. Venezuela

Context: Venezuela has faced a severe economic crisis over the past decade, characterized by uncontrolled hyperinflation, devaluation of the national currency (the bolivar), and a shortage of essential goods.

Bitcoin Adoption:

  • Protection against inflation: Many Venezuelans have turned to Bitcoin as a store of value to protect against hyperinflation. By converting their bolivars into Bitcoin, they can preserve the value of their savings.
  • Remittances: Venezuelans abroad send remittances to their families via Bitcoin, avoiding the high fees and long wait times associated with traditional money transfer methods.
  • Commerce: Some businesses in Venezuela accept Bitcoin as a means of payment, facilitating transactions in a context where the local currency is unstable.
  1. Argentina

Context: Argentina has experienced recurrent economic crises, with high inflation, devaluation of the Argentine peso, and exchange controls limiting access to foreign currencies.

Bitcoin Adoption:

  • Evasion of exchange controls: Bitcoin offers a way for Argentines to access foreign currencies and preserve their savings in the face of strict government controls.
  • Protection against inflation: Like in Venezuela, Argentines use Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation and currency devaluation.
  • Investment: Bitcoin has gained popularity as an investment asset, offering the possibility of returns higher than those of traditional financial assets.
  1. Turkey

Context: Turkey has faced economic instability, with high inflation, devaluation of the Turkish lira, and political uncertainty.

Bitcoin Adoption:

  • Protection against devaluation: Turkish citizens have increasingly turned to Bitcoin to protect their savings from the devaluation of the lira.
  • Investment: Bitcoin has become an attractive investment asset for Turkish citizens seeking to diversify their portfolios and preserve their wealth.
  • Financial transactions: Bitcoin allows for quick and low-cost international transfers, facilitating commerce and financial transactions.

El Salvador and the Adoption of Bitcoin

Context and Background

El Salvador made history on September 7, 2021, by becoming the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender. This decision, driven by President Nayib Bukele and approved by the Legislative Assembly, has significant implications both nationally and internationally. The following examines the reasons, benefits, and challenges associated with this pioneering adoption of Bitcoin in El Salvador.

Reasons for the Adoption of Bitcoin

1. Financial Inclusion:

  • Banking Access: A large part of the Salvadoran population does not have access to traditional banking services. Bitcoin offers an accessible alternative, allowing anyone with a mobile phone and Internet access to participate in the digital economy.
  • Remittances: Remittances represent an important part of El Salvador’s GDP. Bitcoin can reduce the costs and time of money transfers from abroad, benefiting families that depend on these funds.

2. Innovation and Economic Growth:

  • Attraction of Investments: By adopting Bitcoin, El Salvador seeks to position itself as an innovative and attractive center for investors and blockchain technology companies.
  • Technological Development: The adoption of Bitcoin can stimulate the development of technological infrastructure and promote education in digital technologies.

3. Monetary Independence:

  • Reduction of Dollar Dependence: By having Bitcoin as legal tender alongside the US dollar, El Salvador aims to diversify its economy and reduce its dependence on a single foreign currency.

Potential Benefits of the Adoption of Bitcoin

1. Reduction of Remittance Costs:

  • Money transfers via Bitcoin can be faster and less costly compared to traditional services, which often impose high fees.

2. Financial Inclusion:

  • Bitcoin can provide financial services to those who do not have access to traditional banks, enabling savings, payments, and money transfers securely and accessibly.

3. Attraction of Tourism and Investment:

  • The adoption of Bitcoin has generated international interest, attracting tourists and entrepreneurs interested in technological innovation and the adoption of cryptocurrencies.

4. Stimulation of the Local Economy:

  • The use of Bitcoin can boost local commerce and entrepreneurship, allowing businesses to accept payments in a globally growing digital currency.

Challenges and Criticisms

1. Volatility:

  • Price Risk: The inherent volatility of Bitcoin poses risks for its use as legal tender, as price fluctuations can affect the economic stability of users and businesses.
  • Trust and Adoption: The variability in Bitcoin’s value can generate distrust among citizens and entrepreneurs, hindering widespread adoption.

2. Infrastructure and Education:

  • Access to Technology: Effective implementation of Bitcoin requires robust and accessible technological infrastructure, including mobile phones and Internet connectivity.
  • Financial Education: It is crucial to educate the population on how to use Bitcoin safely and effectively, mitigating the risks of fraud and loss of funds.

3. Regulation and Security:

  • Legal Framework: The regulation of cryptocurrencies remains a challenge, and it is necessary to develop a clear and effective legal framework that protects users and ensures the integrity of the financial system.
  • Security: Protection against cyberattacks and the secure handling of cryptocurrencies are essential to guarantee the trust and safety of users.

Implementation and Initial Results

1. Chivo Wallet:

  • The Salvadoran government launched the digital wallet “Chivo” to facilitate Bitcoin transactions. Citizens who download it receive a $30 Bitcoin bonus as an initial incentive.

2. Adoption and Use:

  • Early reports indicate varied adoption, with some merchants and citizens embracing the new technology, while others show reluctance due to a lack of familiarity and market volatility.

3. International Observation:

  • El Salvador’s decision has captured global attention, being observed as an experiment that could influence the adoption of cryptocurrencies in other countries.

Can Bitcoin Save the Financial World?

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have proven to be valuable tools in times of financial crisis, offering solutions to some of the problems inherent in the traditional financial system. Their decentralized nature, resistance to inflation, transparency, and accessibility make them attractive alternatives in uncertain economic environments.

However, it is essential to recognize that Bitcoin is not a panacea and faces significant challenges, such as regulatory uncertainty, volatility, and scalability issues. For Bitcoin to realize its full potential as a savior of the financial world, these challenges must be addressed, and a balance must be struck between innovation and regulation.

In summary, while Bitcoin may not entirely save the financial world, it can undoubtedly play a significant role in improving the financial system, providing new opportunities for financial inclusion, and offering alternatives to traditional financial assets in times of crisis. The future of the global economy will likely involve a combination of traditional financial systems and innovative solutions based on blockchain and cryptocurrencies, paving the way for a more resilient and inclusive financial landscape.