Monero Vs. Bitcoin: Sovereignty In an Era of Censorship
The remarkable dangers to human autonomy, prosperity, liberty and freedom posed by the adoption and proliferation of Central Bank Digital Currencies merely serve as the ultimate form of technological control by central planners to replace physical cash, trap, track and surveil individuals with ‘programmable money’ in an Orwellian fashion, states Shannon Berkley.
This is not only completely antithetical to the very freedoms and civil liberties that we enjoy in a free and democratic society today, but ultimately, represent their permanent and irretrievable relinquishment. If a power-mad state can merely ‘switch you off’ and lock you out of accessing the funds to your own bank account ‘at the touch of a button’, the very notion of a 100% digitised economy with no physical cash is actually no better than the complete seizure of a nation by a foreign power.
Indeed it is perhaps even worse- the very brigade mounting the assault on that nation would at least have the ability to exchange physical cash from their basic pay for spare food, firearms upgrades, favours, or fuel without the risk of scrutinisation by some prevailing central authority disapproving of how the merest fraction of that salary is spent. Perhaps the administrators of aforementioned CBDC disliked how many bullets a soldier expended in that skirmish to save an innocent bystander? What about the 10% deduction from his salary to be put towards his daughter’s college fund? How about that leisurely stride back to the barracks resulting in a two minute-late arrival? All of these events would be at the mercy of the operators of a programmable CBDC who would be able to dock pay at an arbitrary whim, should they disapprove of these antics. This is the inherent problem with centralisation that cryptocurrencies are supposed to circumvent.
Complete totalitarian control over every minute transaction in an economy is what CBDCs represent, as evidenced by the admission of Agustín Carstens, General Manager of the Bank of International Settlements. This of course, entirely discredits any discourse on improved ‘stability’, ‘efficiency’, ‘financial inclusion’ or ‘a money free of liquidity or credit risk’ that CBDCs supposedly offer. Important questions must be raised by critical thinkers today; why do we even have central banks if their end goal is the complete removal of cash in place of digital currencies?
Why are privacy-compromising blockchain projects that do not prioritise financial autonomy being promoted, where other technically sound projects which advance the cause of freedom, liberty, and may genuinely contribute to our financial system- usually derided or ignored? Shouldn’t the world’s central banks be working on behalf of the people towards providing technological solutions that secure freedom, autonomy, and financial stability, instead of attempting to administer the coup de grâce to currencies and sound the final death knell to the very same capitalist system that has made so many banking executives fabulously wealthy? These are centralisation problems which only CBDCs and their centralised surveillance-token equivalents, bring to the market. There does of course seem to be a better solution to frolicking financially naked while prying eyes gaze at our bank balances it seems.
WHAT IS BITCOIN?
Bitcoin is the world’s most popular cryptocurrency, both in terms of market capitalisation and brand awareness, with a limited supply fixed number of 21,000,000. It is a digital currency that was created to establish a peer-to-peer electronic payment system that enables one party to send a payment to another party without having to go through a central authority like a financial institution. Next to functioning as a currency, some treat Bitcoin as an investment and buy the cryptocurrency on exchanges just like they would with stocks, with the expectation that the value will increase over time. Since Bitcoin is a decentralised community and an open source project, anyone can join and participate in its development.
WHAT IS MONERO?
Monero achieves maximum privacy through using advanced cryptographic techniques like ring signatures and ring confidential transactions (RCTs), which mix and mask transaction data and this cryptocurrency also employs stealth addresses, generating unique, one-time addresses for each transaction recipient. This dedication to privacy makes Monero a preferred choice for users who are far more concerned with financial anonymity, as it significantly enhances confidentiality and security in the world of digital currencies. Far closer to having a private bank balance than a CBDC will ever be. Much like with physical dollar bills, pound notes, yen or the physical cash of any fiat currency, individuals are able to engage in private transactions to buy groceries, travel, pay for accommodation, invest, give charitable donations, and to exercise their right to anonymity and freedom of choice, which unfortunately isn’t the case with centralised blockchains. This is where privacy tokens like Monero come in. The core advantages of Monero are its decentralisation, privacy, fungibility and limited supply.
BITCOIN VS MONERO
The value of a given unit of a currency must always be equal to another unit of that currency, just as one pound is or dollar is always equal to and replaceable with another pound or dollar. There are specialised companies that can help government agencies track illicit cryptocurrency transactions and the fact that the Bitcoin public ledger is transparent and all transactions are visible, creates a false sense of trust in a world full of deception. Tainted coins may in the future be banned from financial transactions, leaving their good-faith holders at a loss. Without privacy, transaction data can be dangerous information in the hands of predatory third parties. If that third party is a central bank that happens to have you on their blacklist while all cash has been eradicated from an economy in place of their electronic currency, escaping the digital casino gulag would be practically impossible. Projects that are private at the protocol level, are fungible in ways Bitcoin isn’t.
According to Mike Maloney’s research on the best characteristics that define money over the last 5,000 years of human history, money should simultaneously be a) a medium of exchange b) a unit of account c) portable d) durable e) divisible f) fungible g) a store of value. Whilst neither Bitcoin or Monero fully fit this description in all aspects as an ideal form of money anywhere close to physical assets like gold and silver, Monero would seem a better candidate than Bitcoin as a currency, due to its fungibility and protection of privacy; where Bitcoin is concerned, each satoshi is its ledger history just as much as a unit of account, and none of them can be interchanged with another as they all have distinctive histories, permanently. The achievement of fungibility in large part, hinges on privacy. Cash is private in transactions. Gold is private in transactions. CBDCs lack any of the positive attributes of either Bitcoin, Monero, precious metals or physical cash- and they are about as different to cryptocurrencies as jelly and glue! (Would you put glue in your ice cream? Or is jelly more appropriate?!)
THE RIGHT TO PRIVACY
With legislation like The Restrict Act (US), UK Online Safety Bill (UK), The Online News Act (Canada) and other oh-so conveniently open ended legislation providing a broad scope for later interpretation aimed at curbing freedom of information, expression, financial autonomy and potentially bestowing extraordinary new powers upon state actors under the guise of ‘public safety’, ‘financial stability’ or ‘national security’ it is increasingly important to maintain personal privacy in an age of increasing Government overreach. Are the right to privacy and freedom of expression not fundamental elements of the Magna Carta of 1611, the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and the United States Constitution? Why then, do the very same institutions who issue currency, or preside over legislation, seemingly want to stifle or eliminate the alternatives that possess the characteristics required for freedom of choice, at least when compared with the archetypal tools of control that would historically have been deployed by the world’s tyrannical despots?
THE IDEAL MARKET SOLUTION?
Private cryptocurrencies leave CBDCs behind in the dust on all counts. Monero beats Bitcoin on privacy, fungibility, transaction fees, and mining algorithm. Bitcoin beats Monero when it comes to transaction speed, scalability, network effect, supply, and price. When it comes to the network effect, or amount of people using Bitcoin vs. Monero, there are a lot more Bitcoin transactions taking place on a daily basis.
While Monero has a few thousand transactions per day, Bitcoin has hundreds of thousands of transactions per day. Therefore, while Monero’s technical features may be more impressive in many regards, that is of less relevance if only a few people are using the network. Ultimately however, the ideal market solution would have to be open, public, borderless, and censorship-resistant, preserving the privacy and wealth of its owners. The likes of Hitler, Stalin, Lenin, Trotsky, Mao, Pol Pot, and Kim Jong-Il would obviously object to their citizens having this level of privacy and financial autonomy, but if you’re sitting on the opposite side of the table to those folks, you’re probably on the right side of history. EG