PowerKee’s Bastion of Privacy #32 — Cryptocurrency users turn to technical solutions amid government clampdowns
Cryptocurrency and internet users worldwide are adopting versatile measures to protect themselves from the stifling regulatory measures being put in place by various governments. Technical solutions such as the use of virtual private networks (VPNs) are becoming increasingly prevalent as netizens seek to circumvent restrictive regulations.
However, whether such measures are a sustainable solution is questionable. Governments are adept at adapting to such preventative measures as is evident from China’s success at shutting down VPNs used to breach their domestically imposed firewall.
In the latest Bastion of Privacy, we highlight some of the recent measures taken by governments to impose a greater degree of control over their citizens. Cryptocurrency users are particularly in the crosshairs with these measures given the permissionless nature of the technology. We detail the tech solutions that online users are implementing to circumvent the restrictions and also consider how privacy-focused blockchain networks can help users gain a greater degree of control over their online footprint.
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China clamps down on cryptocurrencies
The Chinese government has recently taken severe action against cryptocurrencies. China has long been a hub for cryptocurrency-related activity but this has quickly changed after the government’s recent actions.
At its peak, over 60% of the global Bitcoin mining hashrate was based in China. Bitcoin miners are currently scrambling to migrate from China after the government’s clampdown with significant hashrate transitioning to growing regions like North America.
Crypto users turn to VPNs and P2P markets
As a result of this development, Chinese cryptocurrency users have been forced to turn to technical tools to continue their activity. The use of VPNs to access web platforms and the adoption of P2P transaction methods have become popular practices in the Chinese crypto space.
We are seeing similar scenarios unfold in other regions. In Nigeria, the Central Bank ordered all Deposit Money Banks (DMBs) to cease transacting with crypto-related businesses.
The P2P marketplace exploded as a result. In June 2021, the P2P trading volume in Nigeria surged to almost $38 million. This figure was close to the highest trading volume of over $38 million which was reached in March 2021.
In the same month, data from Google Trends revealed that the search for VPNs in Nigeria spiked to its highest level. This reflects the people’s desire to find ways of circumventing government clampdown on internet activities.
Although users are embracing VPNs and P2P markets as a route to boycott government-imposed measures, the sustainability of such solutions remains questionable. Since users are intending to gain a greater degree of privacy and control over their online activity, more privacy-focused solutions may be preferential.
VPNs and P2P are still subject to shutdown
VPNs can only hide users’ traffic from their internet service providers but not from the VPN companies themselves. Therefore, accessing the internet via VPN connections can only be a temporary measure with limited capabilities. To achieve full and assured privacy, cryptocurrency users can adopt privacy blockchains that are specifically designed for online privacy.
PowerKee is one solution that allows users to hold and transfer value anonymously across a decentralized network. Rather than adopting limited or temporary solutions like VPNs, networks like PowerKee allows users to gain a greater degree of control over their financial freedom and privacy.
PowerKee is a cryptocurrency network that makes privacy easy. Users can transact cheaply and instantly while maintaining anonymity. The PowerKee protocol uses a mixture of zero-knowledge proofs and coin mixing to provide strong privacy assurances to its users.