Yesterday, the Hong Kong tabloid, Apple Daily released the edition of their newspaper with a Bitcoin ad across the whole front page. Right underneath the Bitcoin logo, the text read “Bitcoin will never ditch you”, with Satoshi Nakamoto’s signature.
Further down the sheet, it stated “Banks, you’re not ditching me today – I’m ditching you,” along with the following description of the biggest cryptocurrency screaming to the public:
To better depict the background of this surprising but welcome act, first, we have to lay down some basics. On August 10th, Apple Daily CEO, Jimmy Lai was arrested for allegedly violating the Hong Kong’s National Security Law. This regulation is regarded by critics as a direct assault on the freedom of expression. The disputable law was introduced by a decree, which means that it passed without the confirmation of the city’s parliament.
I the aftermath of Lai’s arrest, the authorities raided Apple Daily’s offices the same day. Lai was released on bail 40 hours after the arrest. He was welcomed by the public who also lined up to get the new edition of Apple Daily. This way, the pro-democratic part of Hong Kong’s society expressed their dissatisfaction with Chinese rule. Meanwhile, the protests against Hong Kong’s governing bodies continue as protesters march through the streets of the city.
If there was a perfect time to promote decentralization, it is now.
Is The Bitcoin Ad so Significant?
Rare countries in the world have such a high level of centralization as China. The enhanced level of scrutiny China exercises in Hong Kong was always bound to provoke a reaction. Therefore, Jimmy Lai, as the most notable victim of the government’s civil rights limitation, was perfect to become the spokesman for a less centralized society. And, among all other things, he chose Bitcoin as a tool of defiance against the government.
Yes, Bitcoin was largely present in the mainstream media even back in 2017, during the last market bull run. However, it was always presented just as an object of market speculation. In other words, each anchor’s sentence began with something like this: “Today, the price of Bitcoin pumped by…” The Bitcoin ad on the front page of Apple daily is, in fact, very special. For the first time in history, the oldest cryptocurrency looks like something more than a quick way to get rich in the mainstream media. As a way to regain personal financial freedom. A tool to become economically independent.
Hundreds of Thousands Rise Up to Support Apple Daily
In that sense, the importance of the Bitcoin ad is paramount. Especially since Apple Daily has become the voice of people’s dissatisfaction. The newfound publicity brought Apple Daily 20,000 new subscribers. Moreover, the first edition after the arrest of Jimmy Lai sold 550,000 copies, which is 8 times more than its normal sales. Furthermore, the stock price of Next Digital Ltd., the company behind Apple Daily, surged by 2000% in a single day.
All this shows that the publicity from Apple Daily is by no means neglectable for Bitcoin. Moreover, it may take deep root, at least among Hong Kong’s dissidents. Especially since the Chinese government is holding firm against the use of cryptocurrency in their country. The global political situation is in the turmoil with anti-government protests in the USA, Belarus, and Hong Kong. Protesters, especially the younger population, might just find Bitcoin as a perfect tool for their fight, and the cover of yesterday’s Apple Daily perfectly describes why.
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