In the very near future, it is my belief that people will leave the regulated financial system in droves for the freedom Bitcoin allows them. AML/KYC is doomed, it does little to prevent crime and terrorism financing and creates an expensive and onerous regulatory burden for businesses and consumers to deal with. Personal privacy and financial privacy are fundamental human rights.
The direction that society is moving has only one of two outcomes. We either live in a totalitarian nightmare where we are under constant surveillance by an oppressive regime on a global level, or we create a cypherpunk libertarian society where people have a far greater degree of personal freedom and privacy. I know which camp I am in. We are already seeing these effects on social media with the increased censorship.
As western governments become more despotic, we can expect to see freedom lovers everywhere seek alternatives. We are already seeing social media alternatives like Mastodon and Peertube rise to offer a non-censored version of Twitter and Youtube respectively. The censorship on social media is indicative of a much larger and important issue.
We are seeing big businesses work together with government to restrict free speech, enforce unpopular political agendas, and prey on the very customers that made them successful in the first place. This is a very slippery slope. The reaction from the thinking sector of the population must be severe and harsh so that these parasites like Apple, Google, Twitter and Facebook understand they are now obsolete. What they are doing is straight out of 1984, and it won’t go uncontested. There are now censorship-resistant federated alternatives for search engines and social media and once the public catches on, the FANGS will wither and die.
The lesson to take away from all this is that the same thing will occur with finance. Bitcoin offers the exact same capacity to opt-out of the rigged game that is the financial system. Just as Mastodon is a superior and uncensored version of Twitter, Bitcoin is a free, superior, and uncensored version of money.
This means nobody needs an ID, proof of residence, or utility bill to open an account. There is nobody conducting an intrusive investigation into your personal financial dealings. Nobody can shut down your ability to send or receive payments because they don’t like what kind of product you sell, or what ideology you blog about, or who was a member of your website.
While everyone who uses Bitcoin shares the public global ledger that is the Bitcoin blockchain, users are free to choose which businesses and services they decide to share their own personal information with. There are also several very easy to use options to obscure your transactions from blockchain analysis and further protect your privacy. This provides a much greater degree of freedom and privacy when compared to the existing financial system. With advances in scaling and privacy which are already in the works, these qualities of Bitcoin will make it far superior in this regard than it currently is today.
As people simply bypass the financial control grid by transacting outside of it, we will see an explosive wave of innovation as a truly global and uncensorable free market emerges. Regulatory compliance offered by scam crypto hype-fests like the current wave of so-called “stable coins” will be begun to be viewed as a negative rather than a positive. There is absolutely no innovation in a fully-surveillanced cryptocurrency that can be frozen or confiscated by a centralized issuer working with the Fincen gestapo for any reason that they arbitrarily decide.
The efforts by the powers that be to bottleneck everyone in to the existing versions of the financial system are simply not compatible with the technological advance that Bitcoin provides. The innovation of Bitcoin is so vast, that we need to create a completely new system from the ground up. Bitcoin takes the power out of the hands of middlemen, rent-seekers, politicians, regulators and other undesirables, and puts it back in your hands. Trying to make Bitcoin conform to the restrictions of the obsolete system is not only stupid, but also counterproductive, and it just isn’t realistic.
Any efforts in a free society at regulation, need to be voluntary. If you want to enter into a contract, or association that requires full financial surveillance and AML/KYC it will need to be on an opt-in only basis, and 100% voluntary. The current financial system wants to force us all into this complete surveillance grid, with no privacy protecting alternative whatsoever. This is the financial equivalent to what Zuck and Jack are trying to do with censorship on social media.
The advances offered by encryption, censorship-resistance, decentralization and the Nakamoto consensus are the polar opposite of the financial system in it’s current iteration. The groundwork has already been laid for a superior alternative, that is arising as we speak. Community contributions with real innovation like Wasabi Wallet, Samourai, Cold Card and BTCPay server are the future. We just need the public to realize that these alternatives exist and to begin to benefit from their usage.
Open source tools like these, created by the community itself, out of a real need for an alternative are the path forward. This is what Wall Street, and Silicon Valley simply do not understand. It is because of the established way that they do things, that they have this myopia. It is also because of the established way that they do things, that we are creating this new censorship-resistant and decentralized alternative to their system.
You always hear these ICO scammers saying stuff like “crypto will allow us to bank the unbanked” or there is “2.5 billion people that are unbanked” but they never mention why these people lack financial inclusion. It is a direct result of the way the financial system is setup to be exploitative, exclusive and intrusive, with heavy regulatory costs and legal fees as a barrier to entry.
The foundation is being laid right now for a system which will allow anyone with a cell phone to access a global network and transact with complete autonomy AND privacy. If we take this a step further, we are seeing the emergence of satellite Bitcoin nodes, censorship-resistant websites, decentralized mesh networks, and hardware wallets that can partially sign offline Bitcoin transactions which will allow people to spend and receive funds, and process payments for others without even using the internet, and which will nobody will be able to stop, monitor or control.
It’s hard to imagine the innovations that will arise out of this exciting new system that is being created. All I know is that we are winning so far, and it’s very exciting to be a part of. The best part is that all of this is 100% percent voluntary. These alternatives exist and you can use them if you want, if you don’t want to, then don’t. Nobody is putting a gun to your head or threatening to charge you with high crimes and misdemeanors for noncompliance, unlike the existing financial system. The people that do adopt these new alternatives will enjoy a far greater degree of personal and financial freedom and privacy than those who don’t.