22 November 2020 · 1 min read

The Looming Crypto Battle Over Privacy

In this episode of Unchained Podcast with renowned crypto-journalist Laura Shin, Jake Chervinsky, general counsel at Compound Labs, and Kristin Smith, executive director of The Blockchain Association, talk about the storm brewing in the cryptosphere involving self-custody and privacy.

In this episode, they cover:

  • The differences between hosted and self-hosted wallets.
  • Why the ability to transact from self-hosted wallets is so important.
  • Compliance and regulation in the traditional financial world and how it could affect self-custody.
  • The “Swiss rule” and what it could mean for the rest of the world.
  • The proposal by FinCEN to lower the threshold for collecting data on transactions from USD 3,000 to USD 250.
  • How regulators might achieve their goals without “dragnet” surveillance.
  • How the amount of crime and money laundering in the traditional financial system compares to that in the crypto world.
  • Why OTC brokers are considered the most significant money laundering risk in crypto, and how that risk might be mitigated.
  • How different political environments can influence the value of peer to peer transactions.
  • Whether Americans should be willing to give up some of their financial privacy in favor of security.
  • What the recent statement by the DOJ's cryptocurrency enforcement framework labeling anonymous transactions as "high-risk activity.
  • Indicative of possible criminal conduct" could mean for privacy coins like Monero and Zcash.
  • Gary Gensler's appointment as head of Biden's financial policy transition team and whether to view it as a positive or negative for crypto.
  • Whether they think the incoming Congress will be in favor of more surveillance or more privacy.
  • Whether there might eventually be regulations for developers who write code for self-hosted wallets.
  • How potential rules regarding self-custody could affect non-monetary items like NFTs.

The episode was published on November 17, 2020.