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In a blog post titled ‘What will happen to cryptocurrency in the 2020s’ published on January 3rd, Brian Armstrong, the co-founder and CEO of Coinbase, discussed cryptocurrency and its future. Armstrong wrote in the post that he thinks one of the popular blockchain networks will see an increase in privacy features and stated that he believes privacy coins will undergo a mainstream adoption in the coming decade.
Armstrong further elaborates in the blog post that similar to how the launch of HTTP with the internet has only later become HTTPS by default on many websites, he predicts that privacy coin will have a built-in privacy feature that will receive a wider adoption in the future. With recent clampdowns on privacy crypto assets and the ongoing debate that Bitcoin should make privacy the center of its essence, Armstrong’s predictions have caught the attention of the crypto community.
Politicians and regulators have previously expressed disapproval of privacy coins as even the head of Finance Committee of France proposed a prohibition on anonymous coins last March; and in May, Coincheck, a cryptocurrency exchange based in Japan, suspended four privacy coins. The events of 2019 regarding privacy coins make Armstrong’s statements regarding a wider adoption of privacy coins intriguing for both consumers and regulators.
Other Popular Cryptocurrencies Already Enhance Privacy
Blockchain technology has already started incorporating privacy features with certain crypto enthusiasts and consumers predicting that Bitcoin’s enhancement of anonymity is seen as a potential competition for anoncoins. Last February, Blockstream, a blockchain technology company based in Canada, launched trial code for using Schnorr signatures on the Bitcoin blockchain network and even developed a system to access Bitcoin without an internet connection.
The released code by the company aids consumer with the network privacy while simultaneously increasing the scalability; although the debate for the incorporation of such technology on a larger scale is still going on. However, Ethereum’s blockchain network supported zero-knowledge proofs which permits the assessment of information but with limitations, back in September of 2017.
Ernst and Young, an international auditing and consulting company revealed its prototype launch of zero-knowledge proofs back in October 2018, on the public blockchain of Ethereum. For many regulators and politicians, crypto privacy has sparked a debate, with some groups assuming that privacy is essential for the safety of individuals while others arguing that an increase in privacy might contribute to an increase in criminal activities conducted through such anonymous crypto platforms.
Armstrong also mentioned that he believes that in the upcoming years a big portion of billionaires will belong to the cryptocurrency sector.