Financial Surveillance in a Cashless Society
Photos from the 2019 Hong Kong protests showed long lines at subway stations as pro-democracy protestors waited to buy tickets with cash rather than with credit cards that would place them at the scene of the protest. These photos underscore the importance of being able to make anonymous transactions. Cryptocurrencies import the anonymity of cash into the digital world. But recent government actions in the U.S. and abroad threaten to undermine these privacy protections by trying to impose the financial surveillance of the traditional banking world onto crypto exchanges. This session explores the privacy benefits of cryptocurrency, the measures governments have taken to monitor crypto exchanges, and what we as individuals can do to protect our privacy in the digital world.