A bit of news that has gone a bit under the radar recently that should be getting more attention, in my opinion, is the upcoming release of new rules pertaining to cryptocurrencies by the Financial Action Task Force.
"Financial Action Task Force" what an Orwellian organizational title with an awkward alphabet soup acronym, FATF. For those of you freaks who are unaware, FATF is an international organization represented by 38 countries who have banned together to track and cross-reference bank accounts across the world in an attempt to curb money laundering by criminals. Building a digital banking panopticon over the course of the last three decades that has the ability to censor transactions at will. Now it seems as though they are set to attempt to impose their draconian measures on the industry being built on top of Bitcoin. Seeking personal information on everyone who touches an exchange and cutting off access to their banking network to those who do not comply.
It is only natural that FATF's attention is drifting towards Bitcoin and the on/off-ramps that help individuals access the Network. These attempts to stifle economic freedom should be and have been expected by Bitcoiners for years. Well, freaks. It looks like the battle is finally upon us as these guidelines are set to be released in the next few weeks. It is imperative that we become more vocal about our opposition to these piss poor measures hiding behind the cloak of "this is for your own safety". Just look at how it would neuter exchanges and the people who use them:
FATF, if they get their way, is about to bifurcate the Bitcoin economy into two parts; those who are using the network correctly by taking custody of their own UTXOs and those who are slaves to the panopticon erected by FATF. Anyone stuck on these exchanges will not be allowed to send BTC to certain addresses deemed not in compliance. Let me be clear, this will not be enforced at the protocol level, but at the exchange and services level. Business owners will be forced to censor their users, hopefully driving a significant portion of their user bases away as they wise up and learn how to use the protocol as designed.
Maybe this will be good for Bitcoin at the end of the day. Helping these Orwellian alphabet soup organizations created to preserve the status quo of an unelected elite realize that there is nothing they can really do when it comes to Bitcoin. They can attempt to implement these measures, but Bitcoiners will route around them with creative ways enabled by the protocol. There may be some tumult in the short to medium-term as FATF attempts to implement these guidelines, going on witch hunts to make examples of those who do not comply (with rules that no one asked for), but I strongly believe their attempts to censor will be in vain. With that being said, we should still be loud and call out these attempts by unelected officials to turn the citizens of the world into digital prisoners.
Something, something, complacency kills.
Some days the words take a while to put together.