As per a widely circulating poll on Twitter, more than half of the 6,661 voters would choose to receive their salary in Bitcoin.
Although the “bots skewed the results,” and people would prefer dollar banknote, they are not at all interested in receiving the money in their own fiat currency which has crumbled against the dollar.
Would you rather receive your monthly salary for your job in Lebanon in:
— Dan Azzi (@dan_azzi) May 20, 2020
In 2020, the economic unrest and distrust in banks which escalated during coronavirus have people embracing the world’s leading digital asset.
Unprecedented economic collapse
It makes sense given that Lebanon is facing an unprecedented economic collapse where the prices of basic goods have at least doubled over the past two months, leaving it out of the reach of half of the population.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab has also acknowledged that Lebanon is on the brink of an “unimaginable food crisis.”
Their long-standing currency continues to fall and is still being used to pay for imports.
The crisis is likely to hit the impoverished communities the hardest and put more pressure on middle classes, widening the disparity between the elite and the rest.
The baking system in the country is also destabilizing with protests around central banks and bank branches amping up.
Reportedly, the deputy head of the money changers’ union, a bank manager and seven other people are being charged for manipulating the exchange rate and money laundering in a currency crisis probe.
Banks have been gradually stopping all dollar withdrawals in recent months and the central bank said the withdrawals could only be in local currency at the market exchange rate to be determined by banks, which Lebanese call “plain robbery.”
Its local currency meanwhile has plunged more than 60% against the dollar.
The speculative world of booms and busts
So, it makes sense, Lebanese are more interested in receiving their livelihood in bitcoin than fiat currencies.
However, Peter Mallouk, CIO of wealth management firm Creative Planning says stocks and bonds are better options than gold and Bitcoin.
“There is no need to go over into the speculative world,” he said on CNBC on Thursday arguing that the digital asset and precious metal “see a lot more booms and busts.”
Meanwhile, Bitcoin was not only the best performing asset of the last decade but is continuing its winning streak in 2020.
Moreover, governments can’t confiscate it and the digital currency can also be moved across the borders with ease.
Even gold can’t help in this scenario as evident with Venezuela suing the Bank of England over refusal to release its gold.
Mallouk might be advising to invest in bonds but even he isn’t confident in this approach, as he said giving your money to the government or company is on the promise they will pay you back and hopefully, they are economically stable to do that.
It is also hard to go with his advice when in December 2018, he declared bitcoin “dead” when its price hit the low of $3,200.