It is pertinent to keep in mind there is a very fine line between promoting Bitcoin and making it a target for bans in specific country. One user tried to promote a story about Bitcoin in Iran, and was promptly banned by Jeff Garzik from IRC. But was it the right decision?
Bitcoin Does Not Need Unwanted Government Attention
It all began when one user posted a link to Ycombinator, which is a recap of a Bloomberg article on how Iranians started to discover back in 2012. While this news is far from current, there should not be any harm in bringing up this old content, according to most people. But this is where the fickle nature of Bitcoin regulation becomes apparent.
Up until now, there has been no action by the Iranian government as far as Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is concerned. Bringing up this topic has no negative effect, but it could bring unwanted government attention to this concept once again. This is the point various people in the Bitcoin Core IRC channel tried to point out.
Jeff Garzik explained his views as follows:
“If you want bitcoin to survive in the long term, don’t do stupid stuff like this that waves a red flag in front of big governments. I don’t want Bitcoin to be illegal anywhere, but in particular, it is the height of stupidity to encourage bitcoin use in (a) countries under sanction by the US and Europe.”
But that is not the only problem, as the Bloomberg article is not exactly representing the facts either. Just because one person – or a select few – see the benefit of Bitcoin in Iran does not mean consumers and businesses will flock to cryptocurrency all of a sudden. Nor should they, unless they conduct the proper research and use it for the right reason.
However, there is also a point to be made as to whether or not IRC users promoting this type of content should get a ban in the first place. Granted, putting Bitcoin in the crosshairs of government officials may have a negative effect on cryptocurrency adoption in specific countries. But at the same time, topics like these should not be discouraged completely either, as that borders on censorship.
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