Protect Privacy and Fight Oppression with Bitcoin

The authoritarian regimes across history have known that surveillance is power. The emergence of the internet in the late 20th century was something that made surveillance a lot easier. It created exceptional historical storage for organizations and individuals stored information on servers all over the world.

Earlier ordinary people have fought back the dangers of the panopticon going on through the They’ve advocated for regulation through their governments where potential. Additionally, they developed technological defenses of their own, such as popular tools like messaging platforms and encrypted email.

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that without privacy an individual’s freedom can’t survive. Moreover, the battle for privacy in the digital age is now moving towards its newest stage with CBDC. The introduction of the Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) is perhaps the most consequential stage in protecting privacy.

What’s the benefit of CBDC?

CBDCs, basically, are attempts of the central government to shift the blockchain technology to its own service. Using its efficiencies for transferring and storing value but also through social control via surveillance makes it very possible. Thus, there’s a clear benefit in CBDCs over the analog financial system. It promises increased financial access and efficiency. As a result, it uncovers citizens to a particular level of potential surveillance quite unthinkable in the past.

How can governments use it?

When an authoritarian government administers a CBDC, they would have total oversight of transactions carried out anywhere using that currency. Moreover, they will have the ability to freeze, expropriate, or even force-spend funds owned by private individuals.

China has already been rolling out the digital yuan to execute the idea of a state-controlled currency. It highlights the reason why technology like Bitcoin might wind up in the future. It is seen as the only insurance against financial repression in authoritarian countries, even in democracies like the United States.

Essentially, decentralized currencies like bitcoin represent a possible haven against the outreach of future governments in a world with CBDCs.

How serious is the issue of surveillance for the citizens?

Behind the scenes, NSA had been able to develop the power to collect essentially any private message. It can even metadata the information sought from devices around the world. This includes American citizens who had never suspected the level of power their government held over them privately.

The potential of CBDC in supercharging this surveillance power

There is a prospect in CBDCs to supercharge the surveillance power even further created by the internet. Just like how Web 2 brought a revolution by controlling the creation and spreading of information, Web 3 will do the same. It will control the creation and dissemination of economic value.

The Governments will seek to have as tight a control over this as it has over the internet. In a country like China, the government has the ability to manipulate and monitor all the information of its citizens. But as soon as it gains the same level of control over people’s economic activity, things will get worse. It will put us into a new world of repression altogether.

Many countries around the world are already following in China’s footsteps in the development of their CBDC projects. Even it includes the United States with a digital dollar. Americans will likely expect that their government acts accordingly on how it administers. For example, a currency by enforcing and creating regulations to protect the customer’s privacy. However, as shown by the Snowden documents, assumptions of good faith are not quite stable.

Politics can also help to secure rights, but it is not enough. Encrypted messaging and email platforms give individuals a robust personal defense against surveillance abuse. Similarly, decentralized currencies like bitcoin represent a possible haven against future government overreach in a world built upon CBDCs.

The future role of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies

The arguments about the future role of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies rarely take the issue of privacy into account. Critics have often abused Bitcoin for having no worthwhile use case. They also downgrade it for not serving as a tool for terrorists and criminals to conceal their activities. Encrypted emails in the past have gotten similar accusations. It is quite true that criminals sometimes also benefit from the existence of privacy. However, that same privacy is what allows the vast majority of law-abiding citizens to preserve their civil liberties.

By counting on regulation alone to do the job of privacy protection on its own seems like a poor wager. Even that regulation has failed to ensure such protections in democracies like the US. This type of possibility of benevolent governance doesn’t ideally exist in undemocratic countries. Perhaps, it isn’t hard to imagine a future where bitcoin and other currencies are the only safe harbor for people. It will help people who want to flee the abuse of government.

Are Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies totally reliable?

Critiques have not exempted Bitcoin. However, due to its decentralization protocol, it’s the most likely bet to offer strong resistance against a future financial panopticon. People who have suffered tarnishing of their freedoms by surveillance, know the potential virtues of censorship-resistance currency.

Neither bitcoin nor cryptocurrencies can be a wholesale substitute for politics. Still, they offer a more practical way to protect the most vulnerable from attack in the digital age. However, now with the new financial system on the horizon, they are tools we will need on our side.

Sen. Church has announced what this would mean for democracy. A surveillance system will be used if a dictator is allowed to take over power in the United States. It will be “to impose total tyranny, and there would be absolutely no way for anyone to fight back.” By doing so, the government will then have surveillance powers that are beyond what Sen. Church has ever dreamt of. Moreover, those powers would be on the verge of becoming even more powerful as digital currencies rise to prominence.