The issue of privacy has been one issue that has frustrated cryptocurrency detractors over the years, claiming that such a factor simply encourages illegal activity and tax evasion, but strong advocates of Bitcoin claim it to be simply an inalienable right and one of the advantages of decentralization.
One of the most vocal mainstream critics of Bitcoin has been JPMorgan Chase’s CEO Jamie Dimon, who has frequently asked for more government intervention in the regulation of cryptocurrencies, subscribing to one argument that such assets are easily concealed from taxation.
Riccardo Spagni and Cayle Sharrock, who are currently involved in projects related to the privacy-focused Monero altcoin disagree with this view, arguing that privacy is not only here, but should be here to stay when it comes to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Monero. Spagni hopes that the private cryptocurrency space will become the norm in the years to come. He commented:
“Between Bitcoin having enhanced privacy through something like Lightning and TumbleBit, between Monero and the work being done on ZK-STARKs by Starkware, between Grin and Beam and Tari [working on MimbleWimble]… I’m hoping that it’s just going to force a reckoning where everyone will have to go: ‘Okay, privacy is here. It’s accessible. Strong privacy is here.'”
Spagni draws parallels to the war on certain drugs which consume lawmakers energy only to be eventually legalized such as the case in Canada in 2018. People will use cryptocurrencies, claims Spagni, whatever regulation comes into play; a fact which is borne out by numerous prohibitive crypto jurisdictions around the globe, many of which have vibrant crypto communities despite government clampdowns.
There is no doubt that cryptocurrencies need rules and standards, and clearly, there are major players in the industry such as Gemini’s Winklevoss Twins who, despite industry criticism, are prepared to make a stand for considered and sensible legislation of the space, preferably through bodies within the industry itself.
“Over time, they’ll start to realize that actually, you can still do proper law enforcement without needing to see everyone’s transactions,” added Spagni. “You can still do proper tax collecting without needing to see into everyone’s bank account.”
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