Dr Craig ‘Satoshi’ Wright Discusses Cryptocurrency Privacy vs Anonymity


Why crypto came into being, most people conceived it as the alternative to fiat currency. The inventor envisioned it as a technology that would solve various issues and offer a P2P payment option. Since the first crypto by Satoshi Nakamoto, different digital coins have strayed from the original intentions. In a recent medium post, Dr Craig Wright perfectly summarized what crypto is meant to be.

What Dr Craig Said

In the post titled ‘The crypto-ring of Gyges’, Wright draws on the analogy of Plato’s ‘The Republic’. He talks about the anonymity that Gyges of Lydia enjoyed after he found a magic ring that made him invisible.

Plato wrote about how Glaucon remembered Gyges. In his story, Glaucon proposes a hypothetical situation; if there were two such rings and one was put on a just man and the other on an unjust man, no one would be of such an iron nature that they would remain fair. No man would stay off what was not theirs when they could take whatever they wanted at their pleasure. In all respects, this person would be like a god amongst men.

As a result, the actions of the righteous will produce the same results as those of the unjust; they all arrive at the same conclusion. According to Dr Wright, anonymity does not help people become private since privacy is not the absence of control.

More about Wright’s Post

According to Dr Wright, crypto coins are, above all else, electronic cash sent between two parties with no intermediary. Privacy lets people cover their tracks while offering the needed proof to verify the activity. According to Wright, this is where most coins go wrong with the privacy coins. According to him, fungibility is not about the unknown but proof of verifiable ownership.

Examples Given by Wright

When one purchases at a retail store, it does not require total anonymity. However, it does need some privacy that allows a complete purchase without being traced, while still offering proof of payment. The BCH covers all of these requirements.

Each government has a realistic expectation that its citizens will provide proof of the source of their cash. BCH offers the ability to show the origins of funds while still being private to others. However, all privacy-based coins fail in this regard. In this respect, the anonymity does not equal to the privacy.

Anonymity and Privacy

According to Dr Wright, anonymity is only useful to criminals and rogue governments. People in these two categories want to hide in the shadows. They are not in pursuit of privacy but being able to defraud other and conceal their activities. Bitcoin lets the user prove they have a valid right to it.

According to Dr Wright, crypto does not have to be anonymous; it only has to be private. Dr Wright believes that those who push for full anonymity do not want a digital cash solution to fiat currency problems. They are inadvertently helping criminals, and rogue nations hide money.

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