Bitcoin and human rights: Interview with Anita Posch

In this interview, we talk to Anita Posch, a Bitcoin consultant, author and founder of the “Bitcoin for Fairness” initiative and the online learning program “Crack the Orange”. She is considered a major supporter of self-custody, privacy and financial independence and is committed internationally to strengthening human rights.

For many years, Anita has worked tirelessly to promote Bitcoin as a tool for financial freedom & inclusivity and has been instrumental in educating people about Bitcoin through her book "(L)earn Bitcoin", her digital learning platform "Crack the Orange", the "Bitcoin for Fairness" initiative and her YouTube channel, encouraging people worldwide to embrace creativity, innovation and freedom through Bitcoin.

Her work is widely recognised and her efforts have been featured in various international media outlets including Bitcoin Magazine, CoinDesk, What Bitcoin Did and many more

Portrait of Anita

Anita Posch

I'm Anita Posch, Strategic Bitcoin Advisor, author of the book (L) EARN BITCOIN and founder of the online learning program “Crack the Orange”. I am also the founder of “Bitcoin for Fairness”, a non-profit initiative focused on Bitcoin adoption in the Global South through education and support of local projects. In my work, I focus primarily on Bitcoin as a tool for strengthening human rights, which is why I am a strong supporter of self-custody, privacy, and financial autonomy.

Questions & answers

1. How did you first become aware of Bitcoin and what inspired you to study it so intensively?

I heard about Bitcoin for the first time in 2011, but at the time I misunderstood and negated it as a new PayPal. In 2017, it clicked during a presentation by Shermin Voshmgir. Your explanations of the technical and social aspects of Bitcoin really impressed me. My professional experience as an urban planner and founder of Internet platforms and e-commerce projects was the basis for understanding the significance of Bitcoin. Combined with my personal experiences of discrimination based on my homosexuality and the stories of my grandparents about the Nazis coming to power in Austria and the crimes of the Second World War, the basis for recognizing Bitcoin as a tool for enforcing human rights. All of this gave me the motivation to study Bitcoin intensively.

2. What specific challenges do you see when using Bitcoin in developing countries, particularly with regard to education and accessibility?

The biggest problem for us with Bitcoin for Fairness is finding trustworthy local people who support local initiatives over the long term. We succeeded in doing this in Zambia, where there is now a local, independent Bitcoin for Fairness group that regularly organizes meetups and promotes education. In Zimbabwe, despite holding workshops and lectures several times, we have unfortunately not yet succeeded; the people there have too many problems to solve in their everyday lives and too little money to drive initiatives forward. After all, a WhatsApp group with 300 members has been formed. For us at BFF, financing educational offerings through donations is a major challenge. Bitcoin doesn't have a marketing department that finances our work. In order to achieve BFF's goal of making Bitcoin accessible to less privileged people in order to narrow the wealth gap between North and South, education must be free of charge.
Scams that scare people away from Bitcoin are a huge problem. Intensive educational work is needed to educate people about how Bitcoin works and build trust. Bitcoin education is an ongoing process that requires a lot of time and support, especially when technology is not yet keeping up with people's needs. The rising transaction costs for Bitcoin, which at the same time make self-custody in the Lightning Network more expensive, are currently a barrier for newbies. It is also important to take into account the special circumstances in these countries. In order to really understand the needs and requirements, it is important to be there and have direct contact with people.

3. Can you describe how Bitcoin can help financially integrate people in remote areas?

Bitcoin provides an alternative financial infrastructure that is independent of traditional banks and governments. Bitcoin offers easy and secure ways to send and receive money, even in remote areas where there are no banks at all. Bank charges are often very high in Africa, significantly higher than in the West. After much abuse, people do not trust banks to the same extent as in Austria or Germany. There is no consumer protection in many African countries; people are at the mercy of institutions. In rural areas, where there are neither street names nor land registers, the need to show identity documents and a fixed place of residence in order to be able to open a bank account is a regulation enforced by Western institutions that excludes billions of people. With Bitcoin, anyone can open a wallet within a few minutes - without any proof or verification. In doing so, Bitcoin promotes financial inclusion and economic participation for people in remote areas.

4. How do you rate Bitcoin's role in global human rights, particularly in Africa, where access to traditional banking services is often restricted?

Unfortunately, Africa has the highest density of authoritarian governments in the world. Bitcoin enables people whose bank accounts are blocked or who are financially suppressed, for example because they are protesting against those in power, to continue sending and receiving money. In many areas, women are not allowed to inherit or depend on men; they can achieve financial independence for the first time through Bitcoin. Bitcoin offers people an alternative to the highly inflationary national currencies in many African countries and an opportunity to avoid strict financial restrictions. Bitcoin enables financial freedom and protection against corrupt regimes and inefficient financial systems.

5. How could Bitcoin and blockchain technology contribute to improving transparency and efficiency in public sectors worldwide?

Open blockchains make it possible to store transactions publicly and immutably. Governments could be held accountable after funding has been allocated, making corruption more difficult. Since all transactions can be seen and understood by everyone, citizens' trust in democracy could be strengthened and public control over the administration could be increased.

6. What projects or initiatives have inspired you the most recently, and what are you planning to do next?

With Bitcoin for Fairness, we've created an online learning program for aspiring community founders in Africa. Applicants can receive a scholarship and are prepared to share Bitcoin knowledge with me for 12 months through online courses and live calls. We finance these scholarships with donations, and finding them is a big part of my job.
On, there is also an online course for anyone who wants to learn more about Bitcoin in a structured form, with specific tips on how to use it securely. I am also planning a new edition of my book (L) earn Bitcoin.

7. How do you feel about the current regulatory framework for Bitcoin in different countries?

Regulatory frameworks in African countries vary widely. South Africa, for example, has clear rules for dealing with Bitcoin, while others are taking no or very restrictive measures. The enforceability of these regulations is another matter. In Nigeria, a Bitcoin ban has been imposed to introduce the digital naira. Nigeria is - perhaps for this reason - the country with the highest use of Bitcoin in the world and central bank money is barely used. Education is more important than regulation because regulations can always be circumvented. These rules then apply mostly to the general population, not to those who can adjust themselves. The Bitcoin network is self-regulatory; scams that cause the most damage are not stopped by regulations. Regulations create obstacles, cost a lot of money to implement, build up bureaucracy, are inefficient, interfere with everyone's privacy through data collection, and a monitoring tool is created for the authorities.

8. How do you meet skeptics of Bitcoin and what are the most common misconceptions that you need to clear up?

Skepticism is a good thing. It is not without reason that one of Bitcoin's guiding principles is “Don't trust, verify.” I spent a few months researching and learning about Bitcoin myself before picking up a little money and exchanging it for Bitcoin at Coinfinity. It is positive when people ask lots of questions. The first questions in African countries are always: “Is Bitcoin a scam?” , while Austria and Germany usually say to me: “Bitcoin damages the environment, so no thanks.” In our latitudes, Bitcoin is often seen as a purely speculative instrument, while in the Global South it is often used as a means of payment and to transfer money. It's important to be patient and provide skeptical people with well-founded information to address concerns — preferably by showing how Bitcoin can specifically help them.

9. How will the technology behind Bitcoin develop over the next 5 to 10 years and what impact can it have on the global economy?

I think we'll see a wider acceptance of Bitcoin as a store of value and as a means of payment. The Lightning Network optimizes Bitcoin in terms of speed, scale, privacy and enables micropayments. New e-cash systems such as Fedi and Cashu or the use of the Liquid network make transactions cheaper and can be carried out offline, which will particularly benefit people in developing countries with frequent power grid or Internet outages. Bitcoin is fair money due to its open accessibility and neutrality, which can reduce the wealth gap and improve economic equality. Bitcoin mining supports the expansion of alternative energy sources and brings electricity to remote regions of Africa. Anyone who saves in Bitcoin reduces unnecessary consumption and acts in the long term, which is in the spirit of fighting climate change. Overall, Bitcoin could lead to an economic upturn, particularly in the global South, making the global economy fairer and more sustainable. Fair money, fair world: It may sound absurd, but anyone who uses Bitcoin in self-custody (not on exchanges such as Bitpanda, Kraken, Coinbase, etc.) is contributing to positive change.

Anyone who would like to learn more about “Bitcoin and human rights” can drop by Anita Posch in Fernitz near Graz on 16.5.2024. More information at