Imagine that one of you lovely readers sent me an email and I replied. Imagine that once I did that you could see every email I had ever sent and every detail therein.
Imagine that I owed one of you £1,000 and sent that transaction to your bank and when you received it you could see every single transaction I had ever made. Every transaction over the whole time I had in that bank account.
Imagine there’s no heaven, right, it’s easy if you try. That is the current hell of DeFi and why the industry is being held back.
Trades can be hijacked by so-called front-runners who can see all the transactions on a public blockchain and then pay a higher GAS fee to shortcut the market. The very openness and Version 1.0 of crypto has led to this situation. It’s time to change it.
Herein lies a huge problem
But herein lies a huge problem as companies start to prevent front-running and overt transaction histories by making them private.
For all those who are against crypto equate privacy with anonymity and this brings out all the old tropes of the Dark Web, bad actors, hackers, drug-dealers, terrorists and all the baddies.
But there is a huge difference in privacy and anonymity. The former is good, the latter bad. Everybody deserves privacy whether it’s a closed door when they sit down to read the paper on the bog/khazee/crapper/loo or if they want a closed door and retreat to their house/flat/room/attic.
As this ‘thought-leadership’ blog shows in a much more focused way than this article, privacy is a human right and even if it is Ye Olde Evil Crypto then people are entitled to it. As much as anything else. Call it open privacy, not closed anonymity.
The hypocrisy here is self-evident (and not just in the sentence above). Offshore banking business and so on. Anonymous and extremely complicated money trails that make tracking it down impossible for any but the most intrepid.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of crypto companies have strenuous KYC processes and that’s for the investors in private sales as well as the community that follows in public sales.
Compare that with Twitter where there is zero KYC and the only nod to any form of identity is when a Blue Tick is offered, users HAVE to have a corporate email identity that defines who they are… and Gmail accounts don’t count. Another nail in the freelancers’ coffins.
So, if Twitter applied its Blue Tick rules to those who sign up to its platform, then all this stupid trolling, cowardice and racism/sexism/transphobia/homophobia could all just go away.
Blue Tick KYC, you heard it here first… for every Twitter account.
And believe me, that’s the best idea you’ll hear all day. My consultation charge, Twitter, is the usual one – two pints, a meeting with Kate Bush, and a date with Francesca Cumani – in that order. Thanks.
In all seriousness, this is a big job, educating the finance world that crypto privacy is a good thing. Crypto Version 2.0 is clearly DeFi, but there have been false dawns because of pump-and-dump nonsense and the previous culture of crypto as a speculative area where the marsh people live, somewhere up the bayou, out of sight. That includes DeFi projects.
There are many, however, who despise such people, who believe that decentralised finance is the way to a better world and that it won’t happen overnight. The first thing is to explain, as I have done quite badly here, the difference between privacy and anonymity.
Once that has been explained over the next 12 months or so and the investments that have come quick and fast in privacy DeFi over 2021 will begin to fructify and DeFi will go way past the moon, it will go into the torus-shaped universe that I read about this morning.
So. Remember. Privacy good. Anonymity bad. The lessons begin now.
Monty Munford is a tech journalist and the Chief Evangelist and core contributor to the Sienna Network project.
He is a keynote speaker/emcee/moderator/interviewer at prestigious events around the world and has spoken at more than 200 global events interviewing figures such as the late John McAfee, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, Steve Wozniak (twice in Beirut and Vienna), Kim Kardashian (once in Armenia), Ghostface Killah and many others.
He also runs his own crypto podcast https://blockspeak.io
He was previously a weekly tech columnist for Forbes in New York, the Telegraph in the UK and continues to write regularly for the BBC, The Economist, The FT and… City AM.