Even under horrifically inappropriate circumstances, we humans experience a strange emotion the Germans call schadenfreude - pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. Perhaps it’s the optimistic bit of our brain trying to find a silver lining or a natural defense mechanism to keep us sane when times are hard, but we always seem to look for some sliver of pleasure in every disaster. I’m sure I don’t have to tell you that at this very moment, hurricane Sandy is ravaging the East cost of the United States and horrific as it is, we wouldn’t be human if we didn’t look for that silver lining, the bit of humor in the terrible situation to make us feel better about the fact that we’re helpless in the face of such tremendous forces of nature. One tweet, in particular, caught my attention and brings a Bitcoin-themed spin to the story.
— Bitcoin (@bitcoinpoet) October 29, 2012
I can’t deny the cut-and-dry truth of this tweet. Hurricane Sandy did, in fact, shut down stock trading for the first time in 124 years and Bitcoin absolutely did ride out the storm like it was nothing. I can’t blame the person who sent it either, they’re a human being looking for a silver lining to a tragedy of immense proportion and realistically, some time in the aftermath after the damages have been tallied and the world has had time to grieve, this will be a valid selling point for Bitcoin. All of these things are undeniably true.
What’s also undeniably true is that there are people in need right now. Many portions of the payment infrastructure needed to move funds to the affected regions are down and those that aren’t are run by profiteers who still demand their pound of flesh even from non-profit organizations trying to help hurricane victims. Turns out our silver lining might actually be gold.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that CryptoCoinMedia is right – the hurricane came and went and Bitcoin is still standing… So let’s use it! There are a few efforts underway to get coins to the Red Cross and others, but I think the best way to help is in person. What we really need is a team of Bitcoiners on the edge of the disaster to receive funds and do the most good they can with them right where it matters. Not only is this a future selling point for our fledgling currency, it’s a chance to help right here and now.
Bitcoin has given you all great power, which we all know comes with great responsibility. Use it wisely. Bitcoiners have never been the type to stand idly by while traditional systems flounder and fail – let’s not stand idly by while our fellow human beings suffer and the banksters find a way to profit from it. Let’s show the world the kind of people we are.
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