An Argument Against KYC Bitcoin That Everyone Can Understand

Bitcoin Magazine

This is an opinion editorial by Heady Wook, privacy advocate and contributor to Bitcoin Magazine.

Introduction

In the Bitcoin white paper, Satoshi Nakamoto cited the need for a cash system over the internet without the need for a trusted third-party. A few months later, Nakamoto introduced the Bitcoin network to the world. In block zero (the “genesis block”) of the Bitcoin blockchain, the following message was included: “The Times 03/Jan/2009 Chancellor on brink of second bailout for banks.” On one hand, the quote references a UK news piece outlining Chancellor Alistair Darling’s consideration of a second bailout for banks, which meant pumping billions more British pounds into the economy. On the other hand, the quote references Nakamoto’s frustration and distrust of the traditional financial system and, more broadly, trusted third parties. This is made clear in the white paper abstract and the first paragraph’s opening lines. In another section of the white paper, Nakamoto compares the traditional finance privacy model with Bitcoin’s privacy model. In Bitcoin’s model, trusted third-parties are no longer responsible to safeguard an individual’s privacy by limiting access to information. In fact, no personal information is required at all. With Bitcoin, individuals can maintain privacy simply by “keeping public keys anonymous.” In an early Bitcoin forum post, Nakamoto wrote:

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