Privacy as a human right in crypto: An uncompromising stand Privacy as a human right in crypto: An uncompromising stand

Privacy as a human right in crypto: An uncompromising stand

To maintain dignity in an age of surveillance, privacy coins face scrutiny from regulators wary of anonymous transactions.

Privacy as a human right in crypto: An uncompromising stand

Cover art/illustration via CryptoSlate. Image includes combined content which may include AI-generated content.

The following is a guest post by Felix Mohr, Co-founder at MohrWolfe.

In an age where our digital footprints are scattered across the expanse of the internet like breadcrumbs,
the concept of privacy has become as elusive as it is precious. As we navigate the aftermath of COVID-19—a time that has immeasurably digitized human interactions—our right to privacy remains steadfast amidst the winds of technological progress.

Nowhere is the debate on privacy more critical than in the realm of crypto, where the very principles of decentralized finance are continually being weighed against the scales of regulatory scrutiny.

The Dichotomy of Privacy and Public Chains

Public blockchains, such as Ethereum and its myriad of EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) compatible chains, have made significant strides in security—fortifying against hacks, shielding smart contracts, and safeguarding against data leaks. Privacy, however, can often feel like the sacrificial lamb offered at the altar of transparency and efficiency.

Decentralization and minimal personal data collection should, in theory, buttress our privacy. Yet, as these public ledgers hold tall its banner of transparency, every transaction becomes a public spectacle. We commend the strides made for security, but we must also question if securing our assets is where we should draw the line when it comes to protecting our personal, private spheres.

Privacy: A Human Right Facing Financial Marginalization

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights Article 12 solemnly proclaims “the right to privacy without arbitrary interference”. Still, the irony persists: “those in the comfortable echelons of power grip tightly to their privacy while being cavalier with ours” . The financial realm exhibits perhaps the starkest dichotomy, where the privacy of the elite seems sacrosanct whereas the average citizen finds theirs increasingly eroded.

Financial privacy is not a rogue’s charter but a bastion of dignity. Yet, as we linger in the embryonic stages of crypto regulation, privacy-focused coins stare down a narrowing precipice—caught between the staunch advocates of financial sovereignty and the steely-eyed regulators demanding transparency.

Anonymity Coins: Will They Endure?

Monero, Zcash, and other anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies have captivated those who hold privacy in their hearts. These coins have elevated the potential for true anonymity by offering what seems like a sanctuary in a surveilled world. Nonetheless, my skepticism about their longevity resides in a stark new reality: the demanding due diligence that exchanges must now comply with sets the stage for a future where pure privacy coins might struggle to find a home.

The delisting of privacy coins from several exchanges screams of this harsh new dawn. A world where compliance and privacy are pitted against each other, where the pursuit of anonymous transactions becomes a game of cat and mouse with a regulatory framework that tolerates no shadow.

Privacy Cannot Be a Casualty

As we weave through the complex tapestry of crypto and privacy rights, let us reaffirm human dignity and individual sovereignty tenets. Privacy, in every aspect, forms the cornerstone of our freedom. To relent on this front—be it out of convenience or coercion—is to concede to a future where we own nothing, not even the sanctity of our anonymity.

The crypto community stands at a crossroads, defined by its willingness to integrate privacy within its foundational fabric. While we acknowledge the necessity of a framework to mitigate illicit activities, we must resist the impulse to cast away our privacy rights as dated relics.

Instead, let’s commit to a future where innovation serves empowerment and where the human right to privacy is not just protected but revered even in the crypto space.

We must stand firm: privacy is not a feature of convenience but a fundamental human right that must endure, uncompromising and inviolate, regardless of technological advancement.

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Posted In: Guest Post, Op-Ed, Privacy