Editorial 4 September 2018Erik Gibbs
Dr. Craig Wright sums up perfectly what cryptocurrency is meant to be
Cryptocurrency was originally conceived as an alternative to fiat currency, one that would solve a number of problems and offer a simple peer-to-peer payment option. Since its original design by Satoshi Nakamoto, a number of digital currencies, including Bitcoin BTC, have strayed from the original concept. Dr. Craig Wright recently published an insightful Medium post that best summarizes what cryptocurrency is supposed to be, a pseudonymous currency.
The post, The crypto-ring of Gyges, Wright draws an analogy from Plato’s The Republic. He highlights the anonymity enjoyed by the Gyges of Lydia after he finds a magic ring that allows him to become invisible.
Plato writes on how Glaucon remembers the Gyges story, saying, “Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other; no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a god among men.”
The result is the actions of the just produces the same results as those of the unjust – they all end with the same conclusion. According to Wright, “Anonymity does not help people become more private for privacy is not the absence of control.”
Cryptocurrency is, above everything else, electronic cash that can be sent directly from one person to another. Privacy allows for people to cover their tracks while, at the same time, offering the necessary proof to substantiate the activity. This, explains Wright, is where many cryptocurrencies go wrong with their privacy coins. He says, “Fungibility is not about an unknown but rather a proof of valid ownership.”
Making a purchase in a retail establishment doesn’t require complete anonymity. It does, however, require a level of privacy that allows for a purchase to be made without it being traced, as well as proof of payment. Bitcoin BCH covers these requirements.
All governments expect their citizens to show the source of their income. Bitcoin BCH provides the ability to show the source while remaining private to the rest of the world. However, almost all of the privacy-focused coins anonymous coins fail in this regard. Anonymity does not equal privacy.
Explains Wright, “Anonymity only helps corrupt governments and criminals. It is these people in these groups who seek to hide in the shadows. It is not privacy they seek, but the ability to defraud others and hide what they are doing. Bitcoin allows a user of money to prove that they had a valid right to that money. They can show receipt and ownership. Yet at the same time they can remain private.”
Cryptocurrency doesn’t need to be anonymous. It needs to be private, certainly, and this can come through how the crypto wallet is developed, but does not require protocols to be completely rewritten. Those who push for truly anonymous solutions are not as interested in creating a digital cash solution as they are in allowing corrupt governments to hide money.
Cryptocurrency is only successful as a private – not anonymous – peer-to-peer currency. This is why Bitcoin BCH has continued the original design of digital currency and why it the only option that can develop the currency of the future.
An earlier version of this article has mistakenly stated that cryptocurrencies must be anonymous instead of pseudonymous.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (segwit) Chain are Referred to as BTC coins. Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is today the only Bitcoin implementation that follows Satoshi Nakamoto’s original whitepaper for Peer to Peer Electronic Cash. Bitcoin BCH is the only major public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin as fast, frictionless, electronic cash.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV) is today the only Bitcoin project that follows the original Satoshi Nakamoto whitepaper, and that follows the original Satoshi protocol and design. BSV is the only public blockchain that maintains the original vision for Bitcoin and will massively scale to become the world’s new money and enterprise blockchain.
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