48show’s Max Keidun: There Will Be a Privacy War


There are myriads of individual aspects to the issue of personal privacy. In the case of Bitcoin, privacy is the subject of heated debates that split the community to an extent.

In a reversed interview with Peter McCormack, 48show host Max Keidun talked about his views on KYC/AML in crypto, the ongoing privacy war, and the rift it may create in Bitcoin community.

Bitcoin is very different now to what it was 5 to 6 years ago. What do you make of everything that happened over these years?

First of all, a saw a lot of people losing credibility and reputation. That’s the good part about the Bitcoin community. People there care about reputation. If you do something obviously wrong for everyone you are no longer welcome in this community.

I think that Bitcoin is achieving more adoption, more institutional money is coming in. But there are also KYC and AML measures. In my opinion, this goes against the idea of Bitcoin that was supposed to be separate from the government and censorship-resistant. Now it’s becoming less censorship-resistant because of the KYC/AML policies applied across the industry.

I see that the cryptocurrency market is cleaning itself by removing a lot of shitcoins that popped up during 2017, which is good. I also see the narrative changing from “blockchain, not Bitcoin” to “Bitcoin, not blockchain,” which is also good. What I saw over the course of these 5 or 6 years is that people are getting back to the roots and returning to Bitcoin.

Looking forward, what do you think are the most important issues regarding Bitcoin that people are discussing?

There’s this thing I’ve already discussed with some of my guests. Nobody really talks much about it, because there was this scaling thing. Now, everybody forgot about scaling, Most likely because the transaction fees are low again and there’s Lightning Network.

But there will be a privacy war between people who want transparent Bitcoin and people who want private confidential Bitcoin. In a way, it is already happening with all this CoinJoin thing that’s happening right now where exchanges are banning CoinJoin money. In this case, I think, the platforms are receiving signals from the regulators or the market and they think it’s a good thing. Maybe they don’t understand what CoinJoin is. Maybe they see some kind of risks and threats in that.

In fact, I think the privacy war is definitely happening. There are fights on Twitter where one person says that you should do CoinJoin and the other says you shouldn’t. We don’t know who is right.

This issue can go a similar way to SegWit2X. There could be some people who are willing to play by the book but other people will want to stick to the core values. This may cause a chain split.

As for me personally, I want privacy. The KYC/AML measures aren’t entirely about catching criminals. Once, at a conference, a woman who specializes in KYC/AML measures told me that it only works in 3% of the cases. This means that 97% of the time these measures are useless and are only making it harder for normal people to access services. That’s why we have this problem of the unbanked population.

Watch the full interview in English on the ForkLog LIVE YouTube channel.

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