The Brooks School Tech Policy Institute (BTPI) at Cornell University has launched a $1 million research project to explore the relationship between Bitcoin and financial freedom in authoritarian countries. 

Led by BTPI Director Sarah Kreps, the research aims to understand how individuals use Bitcoin and stablecoins for financial security in these environments. 

The project, supported by the Human Rights Foundation and the Reynolds Foundation, will develop a Bitcoin and stablecoins adoption index to analyze global uptake.

The study will cover 12 countries, including India, Nigeria, El Salvador, Indonesia, and Turkey. 

Researchers will survey 1,000 participants in each country to gather data on adoption behaviors and attitudes toward digital currencies. 

Additionally, undergraduate students will conduct interviews to gain deeper insights. This mixed-method approach aims to create a comprehensive understanding of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency use for financial freedom.

Key goals include:

  • Understanding factors driving Bitcoin and cryptocurrency adoption and usage patterns.
  • Informing policymakers and stakeholders on regulatory frameworks and educational initiatives.
  • Expanding financial services for those underserved by traditional banking.
  • Raising public awareness of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency benefits, risks, and implications.

The research project is scheduled to begin in July 2024 and conclude in 2026.

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