There are many reasons why cryptocurrency proves to be quite successful in recent times. For most people, it is about financial freedom and the option to control one’s down money at all times. But if that were the only reason, there would be no need for altcoins. One could even argue that the lack of privacy-centric features are one of the main reasons why people are hesitant to embrace Bitcoin.
Privacy Is A Precious Commodity In The Financial Sector
Contrary to what most people may believe, the financial ecosystem we live in today offers virtually zero privacy to consumers. Only when dealing in cash, one has no idea how money is being moved around. Unfortunately, the Western world is slowly moving away from cash, putting even more power into the hands of central banks and their subsidiaries.
Digital mobile, online, and card payments all lack privacy features. Customer data is transferred between merchants and financial institutions, creating a digital trail of breadcrumbs. Based on this data, targeted advertising campaigns can be set up, rendering the illusion of privacy completely void.
Finding privacy features in alternative finance is not an easy feat either. Most people think of Bitcoin as being anonymous, but that is far from the case. With transactions traceable in real-time without requiring credentials or dedicated software, it is perhaps one of the most transparent forms of money–one that is outside of the control of banks and governments, that is.
At the same time, Bitcoin does provide users with some degree of privacy. Rather than including a name and other personal information when making a transaction, only a wallet address ID is broadcasted. This offers some degree of privacy to users, albeit tools exist to “de-anonymize” Bitcoin users with relative ease.
Alternative cryptocurrencies are working on providing an element of privacy and even anonymity to its users. Despite none of these currencies gaining any more traction than Bitcoin (far from it, in most cases), they offer features that may become a part of the “top cryptocurrency” over the next few years.
Privacy should be a basic right, rather than one granted by “the powers that be”. Cryptocurrencies can offer privacy to those looking for it. This also explains why services such as Tor and the deep web continue to gain popularity. It is not surprising that all of these technologies seem entwined, either. Bitcoin is popular on the deep web, which is only accessible by Tor, a total package offering a user experience beyond government controls.
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