During PBD Podcast Episode 62 , Patrick quoted Edward Snowden worry about the fact that Bitcoin and almost all Cryptos on the market are not private. Indeed, with the right tool, any government organization can download the blockchain, analyze it in real time, filter, sort and trace absolutely all transaction from the first day of existence of the coin. Then each time a Crypto is cashed in or out from an exchange platform in FIAT currency, the anonymous wallet automatically gets a name related to the bank account associated to it and from that moment, you can be sure your country will tax your butt off!
For all the 3 letters agency in USA, Cryptos and Bitcoin in particular are a gift from God as it has turned into a “Surveillance Coin”. Therefore, the best method to pay for bad stuff is and will stay for a long time: Suitcases full of US Dollar bill!
The downside of this is that you have now some Bitcoins flagged as “Dirty” because passed between bad hands and some exchange or shop will not accept it. Therefore, Bitcoin or any crypto with an open Blockchain are NOT FUNGIBLE anymore. How will you know now if the Bitcoin you just received are clean or dirty? How will you know if one day a 3 letters agency will knock at your door and ask you why do you own these Bitcoin or Ethereum that has been used in bad stuff?
As you can flag and trace all Cryptos with an open blockchain, the Iranian Government said a few weeks ago that will be allowed only Bitcoin that has been mined in the country. Can you see now how open blockchain has turned Crypto Currency into “surveillance coins”? Told you… A gift from the Gods for governments and soon, government allow only certain Bitcoin for certain transaction. Can you imagine buying a Tesla with Bitcoin known and flagged by the CIA as coming from money laundering?
Now you can bet that in a near future, Privacy coins like Monero XMR (4.6 billion market cap) or Pirate Chain ARRR (818 million market cap) will get a massive attention as they are totally private by design. Downloading and analyze the blockchain will not help you to know who does what. It looks like Satoshi Nakamoto wanted to make Bitcoin a privacy coin by design, but either technology was not ready back then or he did not had time to implement this feature.
I give Monero and Pirate Chain examples because these coins are the most technologically advanced in privacy coins and I’m sure that sooner or later other privacy coin will emerge and when people will realize that Crypto Currencies does not protect their privacy, we will see a massive shift from Bitcoin, Ethereum and Dogecoin to Privacy Coins. (Full disclosure: I own a few XMR and ARRR)