Are Cryptocurrencies Trading Privacy For Adoption?

Privacy, in the cryptoworld, has been always a double side edge for debate. Some say that cryptocurrencies were born for decentralization and privacy in the first place; certainly, Nakamoto referred some grade of privacy, and it is described in the original bitcoin whitepaper, having a part of its own. In this paper, he compares the privacy system of the traditional finance platform with the new (for the moment) wallet operation system. The only privacy vulnerability stated is that in multi-wallet operations the owner wallet could be identified.
This special characteristic of cryptocoins, not depending on third parties to make operations and keeping privacy has also attracted some unwanted attention over it. It is no secret that criminals have used (and keep using) cryptos for illegal purposes such as money laundering and terrorism funding. Albeit we don’t know exactly how many transactions are linked to these illegal purposes, we do have studies that estimate that 44% of all transactions are of illegal nature.
Of course, the majority of bitcoin users are legit, but they also desire a certain grade of privacy for their operations. But regulation has gone the other way, forcing users in the majority of countries to adopt KYC and in some cases AML policies. KYC refers to the obligation of a business (in this case, exchanges and wallet providers) to be certain of the identity of a user. And AML refers to the anti-money laundering preventive measures that those businesses should take according to law.
There has been lately a trend in enforcing KYC/AML policies and regulation in every country that is currently issuing laws for the cryptocurrency and trading activities. So, it could be said that we are trading privacy for the capacity of massifying cryptocurrency adoption. For some, it could be an acceptable trade, but for others, it could mean that the essence of cryptocurrencies (its separation from governments and financial institutions) is being betrayed.

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