The battle for the king of money laundering coins has heated up this week as BTC Core developers ramped up public discussion over changes needed to attract more illicit use to the token.
Hot on the heals of BCH implementing schnorr signatures, a way to hide who is signing a multi-party transaction, Core devs discussed adding the same feature to BTC. Discussion has also covered other anonymising features such as dandelion, taproot, and other ways to help users not get caught by authorities when laundering money or paying for sex slaves.
Blockstream representative Andrew Poelstra has been publicly discussing the benefits of the changes, making some insightful observations. “Let’s say you run a big scam that locks up a bunch of computers and ransoms them for BTC. Well, once you get your coins you really struggle to spend your money or you’re at risk of being arrested. Well, at Blockstream we believe in freedom, so we can’t have people being arrested for merely choosing to live how they want to. Thieves should not be deprived of the freedom to spend their income.”
Competition also factored into Mr Poelstra’s argument for the changes to BTC. “We’ve noticed a lot of the money laundering and darknet business has been going to Monero and BeeCash, and now Litecoin are talking about adding anonymity features. BTC is falling behind. We need to be the darkcoin of choice if we want to allow crim… I mean freedom. If you look on Dream Market you’ll see everyone is accepting BCH now, but once we can offer improved money laundering features, we think we’ll see an uptick in BTC adoption. The next time I buy a fake passport or 10,000 aged twitter accounts for Blockstream’s propaganda wars I want to be able to safely and confidently pay with BTC.”
Not everyone thinks the changes to BTC go far enough, however. Zooko Wilcox, issuer of Zcash, a token that allows for completely anonymous usage, says BTC is going to struggle to compete with Zcash’s ability to facilitate illicit activity. “We’ve spoken directly with the Sicilian Ma… er… Chamber of Commerce, and they tell us they prefer Zcash and Monero for their ummm… business transactions. Zcash is definitely a better darkcoin than BTC. But I suppose you can get away with BTC with their new changes, because we have great tools like Binance and Shapeshift, so it’s easy to get rid of any token you might have been paid with for someone else’s clean coin. Hell, I can even use Nicehash anonymously to launder my money. It’s going to take years for the authorities to realise what the hell we’ve been doing all this time.”
Supporting the anonymity changes in BTC is noted developer and devout catholic Luke Dash Jr. He spoke with CBD about his thoughts on the new BTC fork. “Yeah look I know the bible says to render unto Cesar and obey the laws and all that, but honestly, I hate paying tax. So I’m willing to ignore that bit of the bible and make it hard for the government to track my BTC. Not that I have much anyway. It’s so hard to use I ended up switching to patreon for support for my dev work. Turns out no-one wanted to actually pay $10 in fees to make a $10 donation for some reason.”
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao also weighed in on the matter. “We’re very supportive of darkcoins, and that’s why we love the changes being made in BTC. Any coin that makes it easier for authorities to track crime, like Bitcoin SV, will be delisted as soon as possible. People trust Binance to help keep them safe from dangerous governments that stop them living in freedom, and we want to play an important role in creating a world where anyone can safely buy weapons, explosives, or women online.