The Destruction of Financial Privacy — Private Finance (PriFi) Solutions to The Resque
‘It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.’ — 1984, George Orwell
Anyone who has read 1984 will often have to wipe their eyes when they read the news these days. The then-dystopian scenario that sometimes made your blood run cold is today nothing more than a signpost from the past for the future, i.e. our present.
In recent months and years, one could observe how the efforts for more surveillance are increasing more and more. Of course, one thing plays a central role in this: money.
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Governments, regulators, authorities — they are all interested in storing and evaluating the financial transactions of their citizens and making various decisions based on the results. This includes further tracking of individuals, freezing of assets, and thus, an encroachment on the freedom of every citizen.
In this article I would like to show you the concrete problems we are facing — and how PriFi solutions could help to get out of the loop before it becomes a problem.
‘Wait, wait, wait — Bitcoin does not fix this?’
Unfortunately, the answer to this question is a strict ‘No!’. In the year 2022, even many advanced people in this industry are not aware of the fact that Bitcoin is pseudonymous but not anonymous. Satoshi also knew this, and even stated it in one of the first Bitcoin whitepapers.
Every blockchain transaction leaves a trace and can never be edited or deleted; every transaction is stored forever and enables three-letter agencies, governments and other official bodies to trace them back. This is not just the case for Bitcoin transactions but also Ethereum transactions; every non-private public blockchain is affected by this.
While there are ways to obfuscate those traces (i.e. Bitcoin mixers like Coinjoin or TornadoCash on Ethereum), those services come with extra steps, making it harder to use for the average user.
FIAT-World: Governments freezing assets
For a lot of folks, it is just hard to grasp such a scenario. ‘My government is freezing my assets? No way, I am not a criminal!’
This is the problem, however: that even western governments are starting to seize their citizens’ assets when they are NOT part of any criminal actions.
One of the best examples from recent times comes from Canada. To demonstrate against government measures, a group of truckers started a protest that quickly expanded, ending in the ‘siege’ of Ottawa.
One of those measures was the Mareva injunction signed by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. This allowed the government to freeze more than 120 Crypto-Wallets, as well as donations that were collected on GoFundMe.
Affected persons had to respond to the court within a week in order to give details about the origin of the seized assets, as well as what their intended purpose was; a violation of the presumption of innocence principle: A person is innocent until proven guilty.
The probability is high that we will see things like this happening again and again.
CBDC Implementation Worldwide
You probably heard it more often over the last years: CBDC. This is short for Central Bank Digital Currency and represents the digital form of FIAT money that is used in one particular nation or region. It is issued by the country’s central bank just as regular FIAT currencies are.
Central banks and regulators see in CBDCs their answer to cryptocurrencies, which are threatening their power monopoly. When it comes to the development of cashless societies, and thus societies threatened by increasing surveillance, CBDCs are playing a major role.
Centralized Stablecoins (USDT)
By today, the stablecoin USDT (Tether) has a market capitalization of roughly $70 Billion, thus making it the biggest stablecoin by this metric. One of the biggest problems of USDT is the fact that wallets can be frozen by a central entity.
In the past, this was the case when hackers converted funds to USDT and moved it around, just to see their wallets being frozen shortly after.
While this might be understandable in such a case, it exposes a risk — what if government bodies will pressure Tether in the future to freeze wallets of ‘unlovable citizens’?
Citizens who did nothing wrong per se, other than being an eyesore for a few powerful people…
You Want Freedom? You Need a Private Finance Ecosystem!
What is it worth to live in a ‘democracy’, having rights to speech, religion, assembly and so on — when those basic rights are getting violated by the very powers that should protect them?
What are they worth when they are violated, citizens punished, without even having a trial in front of court? Those who have been following the news over the last months and years will have to realise that this is happening more and more; i.e. bank accounts and cryptocurrency wallets being frozen just because people donated to a non-violent demonstration.
‘So what do you need to actually pursue those freedom rights? When you think about it, there is just one answer: money! Starting with the activities that are required for ‘freedom of speech’, such as: creating a website, booking an advertisement, and paying graphic designers. ‘Freedom of assembly’: Paying for train tickets to go to a demonstration, booking a hotel room, getting a taxi. All those are things which cost money. If you are not able to pay for certain goods or services, your freedom rights are getting taken away.’ — https://medium.com/@cryptonator1337/how-financial-privacy-impacts-your-freedom-cc0ebdf74ed6
Facing the new developments of CBDCs, one has to be even more cautious. When all money is digital and cash money forbidden, it is nothing but a short road to complete surveillance of any financial transaction — of anyone. The ones responsible claim to address problems such as terrorism, money laundering and tax evasion, yet FIAT money is the number one in this regard.
At Navcoin, a PriFi ecosystem I am working for, we value human rights and are willing to fight for them. With our technological inventions, i.e. the blsCT protocol, we are able to offer a complete private finance (PriFi) ecosystem, enabling our users to use private cash. Transactions are fast and easy to do via our new Whisper Wallet.
Moreover, after a community decision, two of our main features got activated on July 25: private tokens and private NFTs.
We will bring our privacy technology to non-private chains, enabling, for example, the private trading of ERC20 or BSC tokens. If you are interested in protecting your financial privacy, feel free to dig in further and join our community!