Privacy is described as a fundamental right now in many countries, but why is financial privacy so hard? How do we make it easier for more people to afford privacy? Does censorship-resistance matter without privacy? What is the historical context informing the demand for privacy and fear of its erosion?

Correction: The quote from Mao Zedong (3:10) is actually “let a hundred flowers bloom” as part of the Hundred Flowers Campaign.

This talk took place at the Riga Art Space for the Baltic Honeybadger conference on November 25th 2017 in Riga, Latvia:

Watch the rest of the talk here:

Privacy, Identity, Surveillance and Money –
Bitcoin, Payment Security, and Consumer Protection –
How is fungibility tied to privacy? –
Fungibility, privacy, anonymity –
Layered scaling and privacy –
Lightning and onion routing –
Does MimbleWimble enhance privacy? –
Innovations in wallet design –
How do I choose a wallet? –
How to get people to care about security –
Why KYC is dangerous: micro-violations of privacy as payment –
Coinbase vs. the IRS –
The Switzerland of currencies –
Why we should resist financial surveillance –
Money as a System-of-Control –
Aadhaar and blockchain identities –
Self-Sovereign Identity Panel –

Andreas M. Antonopoulos is a technologist and serial entrepreneur who has become one of the most well-known and respected figures in bitcoin.

Follow on Twitter: @aantonop

He is the author of two books: “Mastering Bitcoin,” published by O’Reilly Media and considered the best technical guide to bitcoin; “The Internet of Money,” a book about why bitcoin matters.



Highlights from “The Internet of Money” (Volume 2):



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Music: “Unbounded” by Orfan (
Outro Graphics: Phneep (
Outro Art: Rock Barcellos (



  1. Buy grin. A private , decentralized open sourced and anonymous by default cryptocurrency so that if doing blockchain analysis, there are no amounts and no addresses that can be seen. Bitcoin is NOT anonymous. Grin is.

  2. ‪Please explain how ZK-SNARKS are different from regular private/public key cryptography? If Alice (the prover) has a private key that accesses some information, and Bob (the verifier) wants to know that she has this private key, he can write a message of his own, encrypt it using Alice’s corresponding public key, and ask Alice to decrypt his message. Only Alice can decrypt Bob’s secret message, if she indeed has the corresponding private key. If she can decrypt Bob’s message, she has proven that she has the private key to the information at question without revealing the private key or the information. Is my understanding of how ZK proofs are used correct? How do ZK proofs add privacy to cryptocurrencies? Are ZK proofs somehow preferable to Ring signatures? ‬

  3. I don't think that privacy is a product, or that it should be a right. I do think, however, that identity is an important subject of trade and perhaps everyone should have the right to decide what to do with their own identity.
    It might seem like nitpicking, but I believe this distinction is crucial, because otherwise, you have it all backwards.

  4. What we need is professionals in the field of security/privacy to create a step by step process to make proven reliable technological changes in our lives and with our devices that will give us the best possible security/privacy as complete system from the ground up, including personal computer operating system, antivirus combination, ad blocker, email, which phones to use, which vpn and or tor, password manager, ways to buy store sell the most recommended cryptos etc, essentially simple standardized list of steps to take in order of practical priority that can be followed by someone new to technology from A-Z, I end up suffering ‘paralysis of analysis’ because I don’t know which options are the best, or most compatible with one another or even where to start

  5. Yes, it is sad how we are allowing companies to seduce or coerce us into giving away our own privacy. We have become a society of immediate wants and desires and seem to forget how to discipline ourselves. Or children will pay the price.

  6. Sir, we as a general public want a crypto currency which does not cost anything on transaction or sending coins to anyone using internet like we do emails. So, do you think will it be possible in near future?

  7. Here in Brazil, WhatsApp is widely used by drug cartels and organized crime because it guarantees privacy. It does make life harder for investigators. So this is the not-so-good consequence of making privacy available to anyone.

  8. I think the worst part of our public discourse is to perpetuate a myth about American democracy existing at any time in the past or present. Democracy is not about getting one vote every 4 years for a two political leaders both chosen by big Banks and corporations nor does it help to assume that we have a free market in the past or in the present when in fact the whole time it has been corporate monopolies

  9. The way you take freedom is to create an atmosphere of fear then outwardly project dysfunctional government and in this way we not only seek a nationalistic fervor but a charismatic leader who promises executive expedience and a whole host of laws meant to keep you safe from corruption and terrorism

  10. Democracy, even at it's best, is a horrible system. If 99 of your 100 neighbors votes to steal your car, it is still theft, it is still immoral, no matter how many people vote for it. If the thief they hire to steal your car gives you a sandwich that you didn't want, that thief is not serving you, the thief is not your servant. There are only 2 ways that people can interact with each other. The first way is where people agree to trade voluntarily if both parties agree on the terms; the second way is where one party steals value from another party using force; this way is always immoral, and that is what taxes are, immoral.


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