Protests in Lebanon have been going on since October last year as the citizens grapple with the falling economy.
With the country’s national currency plunging to new all-time lows, the citizens are now defying coronavirus lockdown measures to protest in the streets. The angry demonstrators have so far vandalized at least a dozen banks all over the country in the past two days.
It would be an understatement to say that the protests have brought the country on the cusp of a massive crisis. On the bright side, however, the citizens’ loss of trust in the country’s financial system might support bitcoin’s bullish price trend.
Lebanese Protesters Torch Banks As The Local Currency Faces Sharp Depreciation
Thousands of people in Lebanon have taken to the streets in the past few days to protest against the country’s ailing economy. The coronavirus pandemic that has spread across the world had quelled the demonstrations which started last year as a result of the country imposing strict capital control policies.
The rapid devaluation of the Lebanese pound was perhaps the last straw that motivated thousands of Lebanese citizens to disregard the COVID-19 quarantine measures and protest in the streets. This is because the fast-depreciating pound has now cost them their life savings and monthly salaries. For perspective, the Lebanese pound has lost at least half of its value in just six months as inflation rears its ugly head.
The violent exchange between Lebanese soldiers and the protesters in Lebanon’s second-largest city, Northern Tripoli, on Tuesday resulted in several casualties and a civilian death of one Mr. Fouaz Fouad.
In the last six months, banks in Lebanon have limited withdrawals of the pound with some of them even remaining closed due to the constant civil unrest in the country. It’s no wonder the protesters have targeted the banks amid the ongoing riots. Approximately 12 banks across Lebanon have been set ablaze by the demonstrators so far as the clashes escalate, according to Al Jazeera.
The video below is just a glimpse of what is happening in Lebanon at the moment.
Lebanon’s Financial Woes Could Be The Most Potent Case For Bitcoin
Going by the recently-witnessed trends, it’s becoming increasingly clear that citizens in struggling economies are dipping their toes into bitcoin as they try to escape their falling national currencies. We’ve witnessed this trend with Argentina recently, as ZyCrypto reported earlier.
Bitcoin, though a highly-volatile asset, remains attractive because of its censorship-resistant quality that delivers on financial freedom -a key component that is evidently absent in Lebanon.
Additionally, the fact that bitcoin does not rely on the traditional banking system means it can act as an alternative that will help citizens preserve their wealth amid a collapsing fiat currency.
Crypto analyst Ivan on Tech maintained that buying bitcoin is the only reasonable option for Lebanese citizens with the country’s banking system on the brink of total collapse.
Of course, it would be over-optimistic to assume that the Lebanese citizens will embrace bitcoin overnight. But the increasing distrust in banks coupled with the devaluation of the pound might be setting the scene for more bitcoin adoption in the future.
Meanwhile, bitcoin has blasted past $8,000 a few hours ago. The cryptocurrency is trading at $8,350 at press time, according to CoinMarketCap’s data.