Bitcoin [BTC], the largest cryptocurrency by market cap, has been under the radar of all the regulatory bodies and governments for the longest time now. The coin first hit the headlines when news about Silk Road, a darknet marketplace that accepted only Bitcoin as a mode of payment, broke out. This led to several people around the world believe that the coin is primarily used by criminals, and tax evaders.
Most importantly, people gradually started to think that Bitcoin is anonymous because of several reasons, and despite several influencers in the space elucidating on the topic – stating that it not, in fact, anonymous, the notion continues to exist. During a Q&A session, Andreas Antonopoulos spoke about Bitcoin’s anonymity and also elucidated on whether this can be resolved on the second layer. He said:
“So a lot of people think bitcoin is anonymous. It is not anonymous it is loosely pseudo-anonymous, which means that if you expend an enormous amount of effort on operational security and you do it very carefully and very well you may retain anonymity for a limited period of time that doesn’t sound like a good thing right.”
This was followed by the author stating that the anonymity of money transactions, in general, is a very sensitive topic, “a terrifying possibility that will surely mean the end of our civilization”. Andreas also stated that the first form of peer-to-peer anonymous, untraceable money, is noted to be ‘cash’, which has existed for around 5000 years. According to him, cash was completely anonymous, fungible, unforgeable and self-verifying.
“In fact the idea of surveillance on all forms of money as a relatively recent idea was born in 1971 under the Bank Secrecy Act signed by President Nixon, who we thought was going to be the worst president ever and then that dream started in 1971 and it died on January 3rd 2009. Not immediately but we put the first nail in that coffin.”
He went on to say that Bitcoin needs to be “much. stronger” in terms of confidentiality and privacy on the base layer, adding that the internet generation learned a very important lesson with the Internet IPV4, which did not have enough security, encryption, and anonymity.
“so I think that’s our biggest priority in Bitcoin there’s a bunch of technologies […] bulletproofs, taproot confidential transactions and then if we do that well on layer one we can do it even better and even stronger on layer two”