The Hypocrisy in Blockchain projects

Almost every blockchain project advertise themselves as the new big thing, where everything is focus on decentralization. Everything, except the acquisition of tokens. Nowadays is so common that old and new blockchain projects distribute their tokens using centralized crypto payment gateways like Moonpay, where is impossible for a person with a “wrong” nationality to acquire those tokens. I’ll explain my point with an example later. This lack of decentralization is what makes me question the value of the project. There are other points to take into consideration before taking a decision about the utility of a token or a blockchain network in general. What I’ll be exposing here is more about the availability of these tokens to a person with a nationality of a sanctioned country. The reason why this is important, is that this is the whole point of a blockchain, a decentralization in all its aspect. Where no single entity has the decision on who can or cannot play a role in the network.

Taking a deeper look with an example

Blockchain projects does have value folks, but rather than giving this value thinking about if a price of a token goes up and down, the value that I see, in personal experience, is on decentralization, or as a tool to avoid censorship. Think for a moment how can you solve this problem:

  1. How to send money from Belarus to Cuba, or reverse?

Brief deconstruction

Cuba case:

To put you in context, Cubans don’t have VISA neither MasterCard cards. The only way to acquire those cards is if you live outside of Cuba for a time, and have these cards from a bank that is not in Cuba. Then if you are Cuban you are banned from the major payment networks in the world.

Belarus case:

Another country with a lot of restrictions, where the banking system is just a mess, and upon that, its banks are banned on every major payment gateway. So card holders of Belarusian banks, will have serious troubles just receiving and transferring money. A simple transaction from Belarus to Spain or any other European country will possible fail, and the bank will still charge you the commission, “for the effort”. As I said one time, they are in the business of failed transactions, not in banking, because even if the transaction fails, they still charge a commission 😉 .

Blockchain solution:

Acquire USDT through P2P exchanges, transfer those USDT to your destination in Cuba, and the receiver change it back to USD also in an informal(in Cuba everything is informal) P2P network.

Simple right? Well not so simple, most of the blockchain project don’t have a P2P solution to acquire their tokens. They rely instead on major exchanges or payment gateways, where you cannot acquire them if your nationality is in the blacklist.

So yes blockchain is useful, but personally I don’t see the value of the project, on how much the value of its token goes up. The value can be in the moon, if I cannot acquire it what’s the point? It would be quite nice if every project add a P2P way to acquire those tokens. Kind of hypocritical, advertise yourself as the “real decentralization”, but then rely ONLY on centralized payment gateways to acquire their tokens. Even if you can acquire those token through a P2P in an exchange, you are still banned in most exchanges if you are Cuban, Belarusian, Russian, Iranian, etc… So a P2P solution from the project itself is one way to really solve this problem. Another would be a Payment Gateway exchange where no KYC is required, but well that’s quite naive 😂.

Good news

Not all is bad, there are examples like Bisq, where you can acquire Bitcoin in a completely decentralized way. The downside, is that is only Bitcoin and only support for desktop applications. Also in projects like the Telegram Open Network, they have a P2P solution in the Telegram Bot @Wallet. Maybe the inclusion of this P2P solution in TON, is precisely because is a project founded by people with these restrictions. Doesn’t hurt to think about this problem before advertising yourself as fully decentralized.

PS: Nothing against MoonPay I’m aware they have to comply with the laws in the country where they operate. Also I put the example of USDT, but could be any other cryptocurrency that you can trade P2P on both sides.