Trends: Privacy is not a crime, even if you use bitcoin

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In another unfortunate turn for the ecosystem, wallets and other platforms that help people transfer bitcoin (BTC) while protecting their privacy have been under attack. April closed as the month with the greatest regulatory pressure in recent months and, with this, anyone could be wondering: is privacy a crime? The answer to the question is obtained by detailing article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This shows that, in fact, privacy is not a crime, but a fundamental right of human beings, and therefore it must be protected. “No one will be subjected to arbitrary interference in his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks on his honor and reputation. “Every person has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks,” reads the aforementioned article 12. It states that the importance of privacy lies in the fact that it is a fundamental right, which guarantees the autonomy of people and protects their privacy. It also declares protection against arbitrary interference by others. However, taking a look at it from a bitcoiner perspective, privacy is synonymous with freedom, precisely due to the fact that Bitcoin came into the world to allow digital transactions between peers without permission and without censorship. Per se, Bitcoin is a protector of people's right to privacy and property. It is an expression that good money should be spent and saved at will, without the intervention of third parties. In Bitcoin, basically people choose to be part of the ecosystem because there they have an alternative to rebel from the traditional financial system, where their money is subject to the whims of a central authority. With bitcoin, people can decide how much information they reveal about themselves while transferring money with others. And that should not be classified as illegal, unless some States decide otherwise.

For developer Peter Todd, privacy in bitcoin is necessary and, as such, must be protected. Source: X/peterktodd.

Privacy, an increasingly threatened right

By providing a high degree of privacy in payments, cash prevents companies or public authorities from obtaining privileged information about users. This is important because it allows people to protect themselves when they interact with organizations, which at any given time may interfere with their decisions and actions. It is what Bitcoin brings to the digital world, especially now when governments and the traditional financial system lead society towards a cashless world. This has been the case since governments and their central banks decided that Digital payments must be tracked, recorded and de-anonymized.

States strive to learn everything about someone through their transactions. And, to achieve this, they impose the requirement that all citizens register and verify their identity to be able to transfer money, including cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin. Therefore, today the United States government has the ability to tell people not to use bitcoin without identifying themselves. And they will threaten them saying that if they do, they will be fined, their money will be confiscated or they will spend time in jail. They will be able to do so with any of the last 1,000 or 10,000 people who entered the bitcoin market through the regulated KYC ramps, if these users are not really aware of the advantages of using tools to protect privacy. For years now, States, together with certain organizations and institutions They are trying to eradicate the little privacy we have left, but recently they have sharpened their weapons to pursue and threaten her. And the formula they have found to achieve this in the bitcoin ecosystem is by criminalizing it. They do this by implementing laws and policies that restrict or limit people's right to privacy in the interest of combating crime and money laundering. In this sense, they collect personal data massively, increase surveillance, limit online anonymity and other measures that violate the privacy of individuals.

They are looking for your bitcoins, secure them

It is not something new, but it is true that current regulation points towards a less private world. This is demonstrated by the European Union's new anti-money laundering rules, which prohibit the provision of services for anonymous cryptocurrency accounts, including the custody of digital assets. Additionally, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) updated its methodology and now develops actions for the creation of laws and regulations in more than 200 States that implement its controls and standards. Based on this, the FATF asks the regulators of each country to implement its 40 recommendations, among which includes the exchange of information, without obstacles, between cryptocurrency service providers and the competent authorities. They assure that by receiving the financial data of clients who operate with cryptocurrencies, they will promptly investigate cases of money laundering and financing of terrorism with the idea of ​​preventing them, until they are avoided. The curious thing is that agencies are putting more emphasis on detecting money laundering in the cryptocurrency industry than in the traditional financial system. This, despite the fact that according to studies, Criminals prefer fiat money to carry out their crimes.

Stephan Livera questions the fact that regulators are focusing on the cryptocurrency ecosystem, leaving the fiat system aside. Source: X/stephanlivera. Even so, pointing towards the bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies industry, the FATF urges countries to apply its recommendations, and among them it points out that only companies that have a license or registration will be able to operate in each country. Argentina is already an example of this, with a new registration for cryptocurrency exchanges. This has been the case since 2021, which was when the FATF launched its recommendations. This became the first regulation implemented globally for the world of cryptocurrencies. And by the way, this method already existed and was applied in the traditional financial system. It was done through the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), under the US Bank Secrecy Act (BSA), which had imposed a similar rule on virtual asset service providers (VASPs) operating within of its jurisdiction. Since then, and under the excuse that money laundering must be combated, The FATF has put the sword of Damocles hanging over its member countries. It warns them that if they do not apply their measures to combat crime with the use of cryptocurrencies, and other methods, they run the risk of falling on a gray or black list, which negatively impacts their economy by being practically excluded from the international financial community. By being blacklisted by the FATF, a country may also face sanctions and coercive measures by international organizations and other countries to pressure its compliance with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing regulations. The point is that States want to know where bitcoiners are, how much they spend, how they use their BTC and what. It is the method they have resorted to because they know that they cannot directly attack the Bitcoin network, so they have no choice but to go after you and your personal data. Then they can criminalize them today or in 10 years. They can't capture Bitcoin, because it would be very expensive, but what they can do is capture a lot of people and that will be quite cheap, even with very little effort. Have you not thought that if they identify you and dictate the way in which you must pay with bitcoin, then the digital currency stops being the money of freedom and becomes currencies controlled by the State? If achieved, what would be the difference between bitcoin and a CBDC? If you stop for a moment and end up answering with a yes, then it is best to continue looking for ways to protect your privacy when using bitcoin.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article belong to its author and do not necessarily reflect those of BitcoinDynamic. The author's opinion is for informational purposes and under no circumstances constitutes an investment recommendation or financial advice.