Bitcoin Q&A: How do we protect privacy when bitcoin is traceable?

Bitcoin Q&A: How do we protect privacy when bitcoin is traceable?


[AUDIENCE] I would like to live
in the same country as you said, where individuals have privacy
and states have transparency. But as far as I know, bitcoin is 100% trackable…
How can we give 100% privacy to individuals… through bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency,
especially with projects like OneName where… individuals create [identities]? [ANDREAS] Yeah, that is a great question. Bitcoin is not
100% trackable. It is maybe 75% trackable right now. If you compare that to Visa, which is 100%
trackable every time you make a transaction, it will not be just the Brazilian government watching you
but ten different intelligence agencies at the same time. In fact, it is probably illegal for the
Brazilian government to watch you, so they outsource [the surveillance role] to Argentina,
and the Brazilian government watches Argentinians. That is usually how it plays out.
It is a nice way to get around democracy… Online payment systems, as we have them,
are 100% trackable. Bitcoin is 75% trackable now, but it will continue to become
more private as time goes by. We have incredible innovations in the pipeline that will
take Bitcoin from something that is partially trackable… to something that is less and less trackable. You must understand that there is a difference between
mass [surveillance] and [targeted surveillance]. If you have an individual who is suspected of
a crime, and there is a proper judicial process to… seize their computers and wallets, you can see their
addresses and track everything they have done. Perhaps that is desirable in society. But it is
difficult to do mass surveillance of the innocent. It is desirable in society when you can’t
do that, or certainly can’t do it easily. But there are more inventions coming down the pipeline:
stealth addresses, confidential transactions, remixers… There are hundreds of other cryptocurrencies that you
can convert your bitcoin into and out of, very easily. The entire system opens up a lot more
[opportunities] for freedom and privacy. Over time, Bitcoin will become
better [at] privacy and anonymity. If you look more broadly than Bitcoin, there are
other cryptocurrencies that [currently] offer… more privacy and anonymity for individuals. I am quite optimistic that we are turning the tables
and setting the world correctly where we have privacy, while governments don’t have secrecy.

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