Bad press is never a good thing. Companies hire scores of underlings to burnish the image of their brands and marketing experts bustle in boardrooms to make the next big killing in advertisement or a flop tantamount that of an unfortunate soda maker.
Cryptocurrencies are now experiencing the same phenomenon. Always a bit unloved by the public, these chunks of digital gold, from Bitcoin to Ethereum, from Zcash to Stellar, have found some consolation in the fact that large swathes of anonymous customers happily piled on.
Now, unfortunately, those chaps turned out to be seedy characters or criminal organizations. And while the field is getting crowded with new entrants, frontrunners may soon turn out to be also-rans.
Keep Me Out Of It: I Am An Honest Crook
As a good punchline would have it, criminals too don’t like getting bad press. Or any press for that matter. And with the recent efforts of watchdogs to step up their game in regulating the cryptomarket and hackers gaining some notoriety, things are tighter when it comes to regulations.
For many, Bitcoin may have been touted as the ultimate keep-it-on-the-downlow payment method, but the veneer of anonymity is finally starting to crack up, and people who prefer to keep their affairs in the shade, do not the occasional ray of light shined on their doings.
As a result, Monero – a bring-it-on anonymous crypto coin, has the spotlight, by a large margin. Others may soon follow. This poses a moral dilemma as well. New entrants in cryptocurrencies will ultimately seek to accommodate demand.
What if people are after increased anonymity so that they may only flog their illicit goods?
Do Bitcoin Some Credit Before You Choose Monero
Now, Bitcoin should not be faulted for attempting to keep its transactions in the dark. It is not so much an attempt to bolster outlaw activities as it is a libertarian dream, but be that as it may, the world of finance, and perhaps the human sense of decency, have not matured enough to let us follow up on anything that pops in our fancy.
Why Bitcoin has been falling from the kingpins and other sorts of disreputable people’s list of favorite currencies is not so much a chink in how the crypto currency runs. Instead, companies like Chainalysis have done a great job out of keeping taps on the crypto world.
The question is, will other firms be able to draw similar conclusions about ever-newer cohort of cryptocurrencies.
This is important in at least two ways. First, we need to know if private companies would be able to work with regulators in thrashing out a reasonable framework for the use and biding laws of the crypto market (remember that right now Bitcoin, Moreno, and others simply work because people choose to believe that they work). And if in doing so they will indeed help uproot a major downside of using cryptocurrencies.
Secondly, it will also be a telltale sign if all cryptocurrencies can be traced down. If regulators, central banks and private companies fail to do so, it will not be long before we see actual criminal syndicates run their own cryptocurrencies. And that is a disconcerting possibility.
Regulators Have A Point, Cryptocurrencies Should Step Up
But working closer with the established order, instead of attempting to battle it has countless positives for your Ethereums, Stellars, Morenos, Zcash’s and so forth. These cryptocurrencies are already vying to rake up a lot of interest around them.
However, this is difficult with governments hitting hard on them as it is. With actual criminals and hackers employing cryptocurrencies to skirt international regulations on rogue states and prop up dictators, it is unlikely that the International Monetary Fund or the Davos World Economic Forum would be willing to cut them half way.
Just hours ago, Coincheck Exchange, Japana’s cryptocurrency exchange, lost NEM532. An amount so vastly overwhelming that the European Central Bank’s decision to focus the upcoming G20 summit in March on cryptocurrencies may now have a new significance.
Whatever Your Coin, You Are Responsible For It
Through frivolity and unabated growth, cryptocurrencies have made big headlines, but not always for the reasons they wanted to. It is a strange world that we believe in. A lot of us would like to be someone who they are not.
We cast ourselves in Hollywood-scripted situations that may never actually happen in real life. In this context, we have collectively chosen to defy our central banks and put our trust in a product, that is just the same, bar the promise that we may now keep all our money safe.
Well, with recent events from hackers prying open juicy coffers we may still have our anonymity, but if we keep things the same way we do, the very culprits who have picked us clean will go unpunished.