Political leaders do not often vocalize support for digital assets, but Nigel Farage, Britain’s Brexit Party Leader, recently urged citizens to at the very least, understand and “get your minds around crypto”, indicating the importance of getting ahead in financial innovations. This is not surprising, considering the exceptional year that Bitcoin and other alternative cryptocurrencies had this year. Undoubtedly, the need to be exposed to the crypto market has been accelerated after the events of 2020.
Speaking in an interview led by Bitcoin expert Sam Volkering, Farage admits that his knowledge and contact with digital assets has been minimal, but that it is “crucially important” to start understanding it. He adds that he would like to have 3-5% of his savings in these assets, in case it “goes big”.
“From the poorest to the richest in the land, one of the conversations that are going on is about cryptocurrency. The reason is all too obvious: it’s that governments are, through this pandemic, creating vast amounts of funny money, debasing currencies, and people are scared about what this means for their money, their investments,” he said.
Presenting the other side of the argument surrounding crypto as well, Farage goes on to briefly touch on the anonymity and volatility aspects of digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. These are age-old debates that have not yet come to a conclusion, but crypto advocates have long criticized seeing volatility as a flaw, when it is a perhaps a principle feature of the crypto market that can be taken advantage of.
Volkering countered the issue of price fluctuations by Farage and proposed to think about the crypto market as separate from fiat currencies, and not use it as a basis of comparison. He believes that Bitcoin and other crypto assets will eventually decouple from the fiat currency market. The way people think about digital assets has to change, because if Bitcoin for example is perpetually thought about in terms of pounds or dollars, then it will always be tied to fiat currencies, which should not be the case.
It is hard to say if Farage’s brief endorsement of cryptocurrency will have any impact on the public and encourage citizens to start thinking about digital assets, considering his reputation in the political scene. However, open conversations with national leaders of countries like this one is definitely a channel that needs to be explored should Bitcoin and other crypto assets hope to ever reach mainstream adoption, and soon.
As previously reported, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman said that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the decline of physical cash and driven more people, more quickly to Bitcoin. This process which would have taken over three to five years to happen without the pandemic, has shortened to a period of six months, and citizens, businesses and even governments have to adjust to this new timeline.