Could The French Yellow Vest Movement Increase Bitcoin Adoption?
When Emanuel Macron increased the fuel tariffs in November 2018, he probably didn’t expect French citizens to take to the streets. The protests are run by a group called gilet jaunes, known as ‘Yellow Vests’ in English.
The Yellow Vests is a group of protestors who are against the economic policies imposed by President Macron. The demonstrators use yellow reflector jackets as their uniform during the marches, hence the name. To date, the rioters have confronted police in Paris, causing enormous damages across the country’s capital. The activists also managed to halt transport throughout France by blocking major highways across the nation.
As expected, the French government is doing everything to curtail the wave of protests by the Yellow Vests. The prime minister, Edouard Philippe, has declared that they will punish the people behind the unlawful riots. He also said that the government will soon ban the wearing of masks to conceal faces during demonstrations.
It is increasingly appearing that the efforts by the government are inspiring more people to join the gilet jaunes. In the coming weeks, riots are scheduled to take place in other key cities across France such as Caen, Lyon, and Rouen. As at the time of writing, the casualties resulting from these demos stood at 1,400.
The Yellow Vests Bank Run
Earlier this week, reports emerged of an impending bank run organized by the Yellow Vests movement. The news originated from a YouTube video posted on a channel affiliated to gilet jaunes. The video, which runs for 33 minutes. Is urging French people to withdraw their money from centralized banks.
According to the video, its proposed method of draining bank accounts is a more subtle way of grabbing the government’s attention than street violence. This is because weakening the banks will also weaken the state. The idea is gaining traction among French citizens, with a reported 70% of the country’s banked population showing their support.
Relationship With Bitcoin
Some of the Yellow Vest protestors had ‘Buy Bitcoin’ written on their rioting uniform. Although only a few of the rioters are aware of Bitcoin, they could have a significant impact in spreading such awareness to their colleagues. So far, the protests have inspired the creation of a Bitcoin puzzle concealed in an artwork depicting yellow vest protestors. The painting was published on Twitter by Pascal Boyart, a popular French artist. The prize money for this competition is $1,000 (0.28 BTC).
How The Bank Run Will Increase Bitcoin Adoption
Despite the determination of the Yellow Vests, it is almost impossible to crash the French banking system. This is because banks can easily impose withdrawal limits on accounts, effectively barring customers from emptying their coffers. The imposition of such restrictive regulations will only highlight the advantage of Bitcoin over traditional financial systems. This may encourage the population to invest Bitcoin because of its decentralization.
It remains to be seen if people will heed the gilet jaunes and withdraw their Euros from banks. However, if they do, they will certainly consider buying Bitcoin, increasing the cryptocurrency’s value in the process.