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Scottish Independence

Op-ed - Scottish Independence

Yes/No to Scottish Independence?

Scotland has recently been trying to gain its independence from the United Kingdom once again. Throughout the last thousand years there have been a few times that Scotland has tried to gain its independence.

In the early 13th Century the Scottish nobility were in dispute after Alexander III, the then King of Scotland, died young without leaving an heir as his three children had died within a short period of years previous to his own death.

King Edward I of England was invited by the nobility to help decide upon a new king. However, Edward betrayed the Scots and took over the country. What followed afterwards was the time of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce fighting for their country’s independence.

Needless to say, Scotland never truly gained its independence, and there were other wars throughout the centuries that tended to meet with failure – such as Culloden, where the Scottish highlanders were slaughtered, though fighting for the English monarchy this time.

And then we come to contemporary days, where such wars between Scotland and England would be inconceivable to most citizens here. This time, the ‘war of independence’ is being fought in the political arena.

There was previously a push for Scottish independence in 1979, which fell short of its required electorate voting numbers; it was at 32.9 when 40 was required. Then there was a second devolution referendum in 1997, which succeeded (with a 60.4 turnout) and granted the creation of a Scottish parliament with devolved powers.

With the 2014 referendum Scotland seeks to fully gain its independence from the United Kingdom. With 97 of eligible voters prepared to vote and countries small and large around the world watching, this may be one of the most significant political events of the early 21st century.

Now you may be asking: what has this to do with digital currencies?

Political Decentralization

Decentralization is an often talked about subject within the digital community, not only decentralization of the control of money, but also of political influence and power, to the betterment of humankind.

Some view the potential independence of Scotland as a strong move towards decentralization of political power.

It has been reported that a few select banks have made statements that they would likely be relocating their HQ office addresses if Scotland was to go independent with a Yes vote. RBS (Royal Bank of Scotland) and Lloyds are fuelling the scaremongering that seems to have been the primary tactic of the No (Better Together) campaign. It should be noted that these banks are already registered within the UK and moving their headquarters’ postal addresses does not affect their corporate tax liabilities, and that RBS has already stated that no jobs or operations would be affected by the movement of their HQ postal address.

The No campaign has stated things along the lines of “Who will defend you (Scotland) if you are attacked?” giving off the implication that the UK would just sit back and watch if Scotland got invaded. Whilst we are simultaneously ‘assisting’ in Iraq, Ukraine, Syria, Afghanistan, but we would not help our closest neighbours who have been part of us for nearly 1,000 years and are our 2nd largest trading partner (behind the US).

The argument for the Better Together campaign often comes back to financial inclusion, or rather, the threat of financial exclusion would be a better description of how the campaign has been run.

Yet, Scotland has the resources (oil), of an estimated £1.5 trillion, and can easily, financially, go it on its own as Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland, recently stated to derogatory comments in a live conference about the very recent share prices of Scottish businesses.

“Look at the last 3 years of share value growth, not the last week or two.” ~Alex Salmond.

If an independent Scotland flourishes and grows economically stronger, then will other lands and people seeking their independence from their relative masters grow even more determined to seek independence?

With Scotland’s independence a primary question is the usage of the Pound as their unit of currency, with the potential of numerous states and once kingdoms breaking away, and in the future a proven viable and calculable economic resource (alternative coins in digital currency), able to be created for a given government, then we will see the decentralised political arena fuelled by the emerging decentralised digital currency sector.

And such countries, if they choose to create their own economic backbone, may be able to create predictable alternative currency using the power and foundation of bitcoin network. There is even rumour that northern cities and south-western counties within the UK are watching with keen interest, as these places have continuously been drained of their finances to feed the south-east, specifically London.

If Scotland can gain independence and grow financially strong, provide jobs, rebuild their economy, by breaking away from the control of Westminster, then why can’t they?

As a note, Food banks (where you can ask/beg for food when you have nothing) never existed within the UK 10 years ago; now they are everywhere and every year the amount of people in desperation has increased substantially from the year before.

“13 million people live below the poverty line in the UK” ~ The Trussel Trust

The UK only has a population of 64.1 million.

It is too early to tell, but the makings of the future are bubbling away in the pot. What comes out of it we will likely know within the next 5-10 years.

The Scottish Independence referendum will be on Thursday the 18th of September.