Law Decoded: Governments vs. blockchain privacy, Sept. 4-11 – CointelegraphSeptember 11, 2020
Every Friday, Law Decoded delivers analysis on the week’s critical stories in the realms of policy, regulation and law.
One of the most persistent myths about Bitcoin is its supposed anonymity. More properly termed pseudonymity, BTC wallets are permanently tied to their public keys. Most of you know that. But it took government investigators years of trying to corral Bitcoin transactions on dark web marketplaces like the Silk Road to figure that out.
Now, however, blockchain analysis is a growing industry, catering to a range of clients including many of the most shadowy of government agencies. This was inevitable. At the same time, much of the appeal of effective blockchain programming — beyond cryptocurrency applications — is their ability to protect dispersed data. But as government actors get more sophisticated with blockchain technology and indeed look at onboarding it themselves, they seem determined to short-circuit the whole privacy protection side of things.
This week, we’re looking at updates in government use of analytics and KYC to trace crypto. We’ll also see some issues with what may be the largest use of blockchain for remote voting yet — a pretty key example of where everybody involved needs their identity protected. Surveying the scene, adoption is only accelerating. All the world’s biggest monetary authorities are even considering “minting” digital currency using blockchain tech. The current signs are ominous however, suggesting that the authorities will take steps to keep the keys for themselves.
Kollen Post, Policy Editor, @the_postman_