Welp, I Crave Privacy!

By I-HODL | A Crypto Journey | 20 Aug 2022

So guys, listen, I like my privacy, this is a default that I have. And I'm guessing that many of you do too, right?

Like most times when I use the Internet, I try to have some form of privacy on. I go in incognito or I use Brave with Tor, as a default most times. 

And I mean, yeah, of course there are some sites that let you know upfront that they use cookies and whatnot, and so, to be able to use their sites/ platforms, you can't go in cloaked and all hidden, I understand that. Usually, when I come across sites like those, I make a decision. Sometimes I access the sites and accept their cookies, sometimes I don't. Simple. But I like the fact that I have the choice to navigate online incognito, at least to some extent, or not. 

Brings me to the issue of crypto-investing and privacy coins or privacy measures in general. Like I said, I like privacy. I like choice. And I feel like when you think of crypto as money or as an asset, you name it, you don't necessarily want the world to know exactly what you have or what you're doing with it. To be forced to do so, conduct transactions in the public eye, just feels naked in my view. I mean for some things, privacy is required or at least expected, right? In fact, there are so many legitimate reasons why no one would want their entire ledger of financial transactions on display for the world.

Think of the way you spent money or conducted financial transactions in the last month or maybe the last quarter. Would you be okay with that receipt on display for the world? Forget the world, would you want your neighborhood to know everything you did with money in the past three months? How much you had in total? How much you spent? Exactly what you spent it on? How much you have remaining? I'd think not. And that's not because, ooh, you're up to something nefarious and you have something to hide, right? It would just be because it's private.

And so, my crypto-business, like my fiat business, like my banking business, like my regular shopping business, like my mainstream investment business... it's my business, my private and personal affairs.

So, on the topic of privacy, you may have heard of the news that popular fungible privacy coin, Monero,  recently successfully completed a security upgrade, right?


While I do not hold any XMR personally, this was certainly an interesting development, but it didn't cause much of a wave in the crypto world, I guess, because everyone was still either reeling from or grappling with the implications of the US OFAC sanctions imposed on crypto mixer, Tornado Cash. 

Now, mind you, I understand the concerns that's been raised around crime and security, particularly when hackers have stolen millions of crypto coins and go about boldfacedly laundering them through mixers almost as if they were throwing their middle fingers up to the world and flaunting the fact that they could steal and walk away with bags of money and ain't nothing the world could do about it. I get it.

In fact, to be honest, I was among those voices raising concern earlier this year and warning that eventually the authorities would, understandably, say enough is enough. That, to me, was just simple common sense.

This doesn't mean that I like the measures that appear to be shaping up though.

When centralized and DeFi platforms such as Aave and Uniswap began to take action to protect their networks following the OFAC sanction of Tornado Cash, many argued that the move would only impede legitimate transactions but would do little to stop criminals from finding other ways to peddle crime.

And then, yesterday, there was another issue on social media with the Ethereum privacy platform, Aztec Network alleging that customers seeking to conduct business using their services were having their accounts flagged by the FTX centralized exchange.

Aztec, however, does not appear to have a direct relationship with Tornado Cash, and so, concerns around this layer 2 network might only be because of the privacy it promises, even though Aztec is insisting that changes have been implemented by its platform to deter money laundering.

Of course, following this incident and other reports of frozen accounts, Sam Bankman-Fried (SBF), CEO of FTX, clarified that accounts weren't frozen by the exchange but that accounts and transactions are monitored for AML compliance and there is enhanced due diligence on certain transactions

In other news, FTX is weathering its own bad news these days after it appears as though it got in the crosshairs of the US Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) who today issued a cease and desist order to FTX.US for allegedly making false statements suggesting products they offered were FDIC insured.

Well, friends,  this brings me to the end. And so, tell me, what do you think of all this? Are you a strong advocate for privacy? Or is it that it isn't that important to you? And if a middle ground were to be found in this situation that appears to be currently playing for keeps or winner take all, what would that middle ground be? I'd love to hear your views.

Okay, well, that's it for me. Until we meet again, please remember to be safe. We'll chat soon.

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