Coinbase’s Armstrong Talks About A Scalable, Decentralized Chain Supporting Private Payments, Cites Zcash
Remember the days when Bitcoin and other major cryptos were deemed to be anonymous? As space evolved, the privacy of cryptocurrency users has continued to deteriorate. In many ways, Bitcoin transactions are not anonymous as the open ledger offers perhaps the most transparent payment history of any financial system to date.
To help with this problem, privacy coins were introduced, however, they were far from perfect. Regarding this, the CEO of one of the biggest names in the crypto ecosystem, Coinbase tweeted:
A scalable, sufficiently decentralized, chain that supported private transactions by default (privacy coins) would be a game changer.
— Brian Armstrong (@brian_armstrong) June 23, 2019
Brian compares the situation to the internet, which started off HTTP and is moving HTTPS everywhere. He thinks that cryptocurrencies should follow the same trajectory. He even goes further in his assessment by saying that in messaging, end-to-end encryption started out in the fringes, but now most top messages have it built-in by default.
“You wouldn't put your credit card in a website without the lock icon for HTTPS, but we do this every time we swipe our card. Our transaction data ends up in 100 databases, waiting to be breached. Everyone having financial privacy would be a better/freer world.”
He goes on to acknowledge that encryption by default is harder to scale, but the task isn't impossible. He cites Zcash’s new scalable protocol as an example. Notably, the company behind Zcash, Electric Coin Company (ECC), wants to create a new scalable Zcash protocol with a sharding feature. The Chief Engineer at ECC, Nathan Wilcox, claims the company intends
“to make Zcash usable by 10 billion people by 2050.”
Although Brian doesn’t say that Zcash is the only solution, he realizes that competition is required. He goes on to say:
“Right now we're in the Cambrian explosion of ideas phase for crypto, where there are 10+ great teams building next-generation chains. Hopefully, at some point, the industry starts to consolidate a bit on one or two of these chains so we can really scale out the global solution.”
Although many people called out Armstrong for his hypocrisy surrounding privacy and anonymity. Bitcoin Core developer Luke Dashjr pointed out:
“Why does Coinbase seem to blacklist people who might get their coins from certain sources, if you support privacy? I'm a bit confused…”