Bitcoin expert and celebrity Andreas Antonopoulos, which wrote two books about cryptos, has recently talked about the latest U. S. Treasury Department Office of Foreign Asset Control’s decision to put cryptos into its “no pay list”, a sort of a blacklist. He called this move to be completely useless and “fundamentally fascist”.
The move from the agency was to blacklist several Iranian Bitcoin addresses and also from other chains like the Petro. However, Antonopoulos has affirmed that the measure comes from not understanding Bitcoin very well.
Why? Because a Bitcoin holder can simply create as many addresses as he wants to. Blocking some specific addresses linked to someone is simply useless as these people can create more and more very easily.
With a single seed, Antonopoulos affirms, one computer could generate billions of Bitcoin addresses and use all of them. You simply can’t, in his opinion, control Bitcoin technologically, so you might as well not even try because of this.
He believes that, in fact, this is more of a way to try to scare people into not using Bitcoin. It is, after all, illegal to receive and send payments to the address on the lists and you have no way to block any payment you receive. So you could simply receive payments from blacklisted people and that could put you into trouble.
The government, Antonopoulos affirms, wants to scare people and make them avoid Bitcoin in order to feel protected when, in fact, they are not.
Surveillance Is Also Made By Crypto Exchanges
You will be mistaken if you believe that only the government is interested in observing your transactions. You may not know, but exchanges like Coinbase keep monitoring your money even after you take it outside of their wallet.
In case the company decided that you are making suspicious transactions with the money that you once held in their accounts, they can freeze it and shut down your access to the account.
However, here is the difference that Antonopoulos wants people to see. The fact is that Coinbase, despite not being able to prevent the users from taking their money out and using it, which they can do because they will not have technical control over other people’s wallets, they can help the government to use political control, which is what the U. S. is doing.
Your transactions will still continue to work and nobody will be able to steal your money if only know your private keys but the main issue is that you can be arrested if you make illegal transactions.
The political control has a chilling effect on the citizens because they get scared from being sanctioned by their own government. This is more effective than trying to seize control via technical ways.
Prosecution Will Be Very Selective
However, you should not be so scared as you have to be somewhat unlucky in order to actually be noticed (or to actually be in the middle of a fraudulent scheme that is investigated). It is impossible for the government to simply monitor all the Bitcoin transactions in existence. This means that they will not have any choice but to simply select who are the people that will be prosecuted.
This will create a very selective way to punish people. If you are unlucky, well, that’s too bad for you. The information is available and you should have known that some address was blacklisted by the government, the law says.
Because of all this, Antonopoulos has called the measure to be fundamentally fascist. You simply create a law that will act as a sledgehammer that you can use on anyone who “steps out of line”, he affirmed.
Despite all the effort from the government, criminals still use more fiat than Bitcoin. It is still the banks who are the biggest actors involved in huge money laundering schemes (we are looking at you, Danske Bank) and terrorists and criminals still use fiat.
Going after Bitcoin may be somewhat of a fetish for the government, but the truth is that people who have criminal intentions can simply do it without Bitcoin.
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