Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong on Twitter offered some insight onto his stance on privacy coins, tweeting a related post that he had written in April 2020 and saying that he is “a fan of privacy coins.” Armstrong begins the thread by addressing the controversy generated by the sale of Coinbase’s Analytics software to the US government.
Armstrong says that Coinbase must act as a bridge between traditional finance and the new one supported by decentralized technology and emphasizing that “compliance is key to digital currency’s success.” At the same, time, he believes that everyone should have more financial privacy.
In the post, first published on Project Syndicate, Armstrong compares the shift to privacy-offering digital currencies to the transition from the HTTP to HTTPS protocol. He believes that this will happen over time as a natural evolution - though he does not believe that privacy coins like Zcash (ZEC) and Monero (XMR) will lead to “giving free rein” to criminals as expected by some governments. He describes this as follows in the post,
Enhancing consumer financial protections does not mean giving free rein to criminals. Law-enforcement agencies still have a wide range of tools at their disposal, from subpoenaing cryptocurrency exchanges to examining conversions into and out of fiat currencies...And these exchanges will continue to be regulated as financial services, regardless of whether consumers are using privacy coins or non-custodial wallets.
Bitcoin proponent, entrepreneur, computer scientist and author Andreas Antonopoulos also made a relevant remark on digital currency privacy recently, saying that it is unlikely that Bitcoin would become fully private and would generate a lot of negative attention from authorities if it did.