Russian chess grandmaster and opposition politician Garry Kasparov said that bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies have the potential to emerge as the leading alternative means of protecting personal wealth against inflation and uncontrolled state interference with people’s financial affairs, outweighing the potential downsides of the technology.
Kasparov, who chairs the Human Rights Foundation (HRF) and is an outspoken civil liberties advocate, told Forbes contributor in a recent interview that a rising number of “people are recognizing that so many vital elements of our lives are now screened and owned by outside parties. And of course, anything that can offer us the opportunity to take back control or some control of our privacy is always welcome.”
“That’s why I think the steady rise in popularity of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology as a concept is inevitable, because it’s a response to the shift of power from individuals to states or other institutions that may act on our privacy without our consent,” Kasparov said.
He added that while BTC supply is fixed and known in advance, this is not the case with central banks as “you never know how many trillions of dollars will appear on the market tomorrow that will damage your savings.”
Asked about the potential downsides of cryptocurrencies, Kasparov said that many of the fears surrounding them are overrated and based on the argument that “they can help bad guys rob money.”
“When we look at the opposite hand, we see many upsides of cryptocurrencies starting with bitcoin and others that followed it and blockchain as a technology because it allows for more personal control for individuals at a time where more and more of elements of our lives are controlled either by the state, corporations or outside parties that may somehow have a clandestine agenda,” according to Kasparov.
He made headlines in 1996 when he beat IBM supercomputer in chess, and then lost to the device in a six-game match a year later. Since then, he has maintained a cautious approach to new technologies. In his 2017 book Deep Thinking: Where Machine Intelligence Ends and Human Creativity Begins, Kasparov admitted that for “two decades I have succeeded almost completely in avoiding and deflecting discussion about my Deep Blue matches.”
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