Will Bitcoin Really Help The World ‘Break Free’ of Surveillance?

Cryptocurrencies, blockchain, and other emerging technologies are often heralded as a way to grow independent and to live one’s life on their own terms.

This belief is largely due to blockchain’s anonymity and lack of a central authority. No room for surveillance, no need to worry about governments and the like. However, these capabilities have largely been a pipe dream, at least for now, with regulators coming after digital assets, big companies like Facebook trying to get in on the technology for themselves, and much more.

Regaining Privacy Through Bitcoin

The dream is still alive, however. At least, if discussions at a recent hackers event are to be believed. According to the International Business Times, a “hackers’ congress” this Friday saw conversations regarding moving towards a more free, “parallel society” using cryptographic technology like blockchain. These claims are similar to recent thoughts from the EU antitrust chief, who claimed Facebook’s Libra could create an alternative economy, as BeInCrypto has previously reported.

Like something out of a sci-fi movie, one of the organizers proclaimed that they want to “Use cryptographic technology to regain privacy, to save freedom, to step up from the first constrained realm and to build the second one.”

As one could imagine, many talks involved getting away from governmental control, having everything from identity to knowledge decentralized and out of its grasp.

Many comparisons were made to ancient Greece, with Paul Rosenberg, the founder of Cryptohippie, a data protection company, stating that “The Greeks were a massively decentralised civilisation: there were a thousand or so Greek city states. And they gave us art, sciences, geometry, drama.”

Of course, with the connected world we live in today, things are more than a little bit different. Information is essentially a currency nowadays, with companies vying for it every chance they get. Rosenberg and the other event organizers see blockchain as a way away from it.

bitcoin

Close, but Not Just Yet

While there’s some truth to these claims that blockchain and cryptocurrencies can provide “freedom,” it’s important to note that right now, most assets aren’t anonymous. For example, Bitcoin transactions can be traced to some degree, and it can’t even be spent in most places as of now. Then, there’s also the issue of scaling. After all, Bitcoin transactions are still a ways away from being as fast as traditional payments. Also, most people are hesitant even to get involved with cryptocurrencies, citing a lack of regulation as a key reason for this.

These organizers’ hopes and dreams aren’t unfounded, but we’ve still got a long way to go before they’re fully realized.

What do you think about Bitcoin’s future? Will it be the digital asset that leads the world to freedom? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images are courtesy of Shutterstock. 

Jenny
Molly Jane is a Russian Literature major from California with a background in writing. She joins CurrencyTimes after working as a freelance journalist and blogger.

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