Can Cryptocurrencies Preserve Privacy and Comply with Regulations?
20 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2018 Last revised: 10 May 2019
Date Written: November 30, 2018
Cryptocurrencies offer an alternative to traditional methods of electronic value exchange, promising anonymous, cash-like electronic transfers, but in practice they fall short for several key reasons. We consider the false choice between total surveillance, as represented by banking as currently implemented by institutions, and impenetrable lawlessness, as represented by privacy-enhancing cryptocurrencies as currently deployed. We identify a range of alternatives between those two extremes, and we consider two potential compromise approaches that offer both the auditability required for regulators and the anonymity required for users.
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