Thoughts from u/xmr_kayront, images from unsplash.
Cryptocurrencies are continuing their course to further adoption, the market cap isn’t in the red, very interesting developments, on the surface.
I can’t help but think the following.
Is Public Ledger, Good or bad?
Bitcoin, like 99% of "crypto" currency out there is functionally a bit like having notes in your wallet having written on them the history of all payments and people the note has been involved with and used for since its creation.
Of course, since real banknotes have no such history, you cannot reasonably be held accountable for whatever indiscretions the previous owners have committed with that money.
The situation changes, most of you may have realized, the moment the money goes digital: You will be held accountable and you will be investigated if suspicious activities take place. Exactly what constitutes suspicious activity seems to keep growing.
Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies compound this problem tremendously since, by design, every transaction is permanently stored on a public record.
"But the addresses are pseudonymous, not tied to my name!", I hear you say.
Maybe, maybe not.
Exchanges are collecting information on all your transactions, and they know who you are. If it hasn’t already, all that data will be sent to centralized, globalist organizations to fight money laundering, meaning: keep tabs on everyone.
From that point, centralized databases can then track, in real-time, all your account movements. And that is exactly the intent. After all, it already takes place with your business and personal bank accounts, PayPal, etc.
A privacy concern
“But I will just mix my BTC”, I hear you say.
Now you are accused of actively laundering money. You will at least have to explain yourself.
"I’ll just buy OTC and never tie a single BTC to a KYC account!", you protest.
I hear you, why voluntarily give you yourself to a third-party that in all likelihood will end up losing the treasure trove to hackers any time from now and to an infinite time?
Why make yourself a target by having your face, your name, and your address floating around in connection to precisely how many bitcoins you have in your name?
This stuff is different than a normal bank account. You may get scammed big time, or coerced into making a transfer. Not you? See this. I bet the list of physical attacks will continue to grow.
Someone knocks on your door, determined to get what he is after. This someone knows exactly how much BTC you own and whether you have moved it or not, and it’s gone. Forever.
Many of us are beginning to wake up to the dire issues with personal privacy and data protection stemming from centralized control of vast troves of personal data, data that people — stupidly and naively — thought would be safe in the hands of giant multi-national corporations hellbent on making a profit.
There is nowadays even a term for their business model: Surveillance capitalism.
I wonder, how exactly does having transparent money, that betrays your financial situation in a real-time stream to the world, make the place a better place?
Are we getting more personal freedom or less personal freedom when a conglomeration of big transnational corporations, or government, can track vast percentages of crypto transactions, with real identities attached, all in real-time?
For the resisters, just bear in mind that transacting with non-KYC’d bitcoin addresses in a world of mostly KYC’d bitcoin addresses is bound to bring attention to your transactions.
Privacy is not a crime - privacy is a human right, even according to the UN, by the way, doing essentially nothing to rock the boat on the matter.
It takes a special kind of organization to claim privacy as a basic human right and then stay mostly silent about mass-surveillance of the internet, of entire countries, of all our financial transactions.
Remember the Internet surveillance before Snowden? It was a conspiracy, the government couldn’t be spying on everyone. They are, and they were.
The fact that so many of us fail to recognize the grave danger in allowing this situation to continue is a testament to the peaceful lives most of us lead despite the threats. We don’t even recognize imminent danger anymore.
Wake up, the government shouldn’t be spying on you 24/7. The problem is not going to go away on its own, and if you do nothing, and the next guy does nothing, and the next girl does nothing, then nothing will change, in fact, it will only get worse.
One day, history shows, it will become worse enough that you will think to yourself, "why didn’t I do anything about it?".
But by then it will be too late. All the dissenters will have been silenced already.
You will know in your bones that speaking against the official stories will bring unwelcome attention to yourself and your loved ones, and likely will carry severe consequences.
You will keep quiet. Out of fear.
We’re not there yet, and we don’t have to go there, but we are well on our way.
Privacy is not a crime. In a world where privacy is criminalized, only criminals have privacy.
It’s time to face the truth. We live in a world of mass-surveillance, and our inertia and inaction allow the situation to worsen every day.
Part of the solution is technological, but another part is social. You have to at least start paying attention to all the little ways you are being tracked. And not just you, everyone should.
If you are a happy sheep and think "I have nothing to hide and nothing to worry about", then here is an invitation: Post in the comments section a link to a picture of yourself, links to all your social media, your email address, how much crypto you own and in which addresses. If you still feel ambitious, have some fun and also disclose your yearly salary, how much savings you have.
I am willing to bet, exactly zero of you will take on the challenge, and that is because, at some subconscious level at least, we all realize that privacy matters.
Blockchain technology is revolutionary, but the transparency-by-default is a bug, not a feature. It just needs to be fixed. It actually has been fixed in several atl networks. It will bring tremendous problems for personal freedom and financial independence later on if we don’t adopt the fix.
Optional privacy will only cause private transactions to stand out against the crowd.
What can we do?
Anonymous solutions exist. They work today, and some of them have sub-1cent fees. They empower and liberate us financially if only we dedicate some time to learning more about it, and adopt.
Mass-surveillance is not normal nor is it acceptable in a free society and will inevitably over time widen the power dynamic between the government and large corporations, and the citizenry.
Surveillance over others brings power over others, mass-surveillance over societies eventually brings totalitarianism.
Totalitarianism, history shows, is not a nice system to live under. Choose freedom, choose privacy. Eschew transparent surveillance money and embrace anonymity.