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Marta Belcher Talks Crypto Privacy (or Lack Thereof) at Consensus 2021

Apr 21, 2023

Filecoin Foundation Board Chair Marta Belcher participated in a panel discussion on privacy coins at CoinDesk’s Consensus 2021. She talked about crypto exchanges’ responsibility to protect the rights of their users by requesting warrants before handing over private information. “It’s very important for exchanges to have a variety of different policies that advocate for their users, including the ability to, when possible, inform their users of these types of surveillance requests and [provide] the [opportunity] for users to appeal [them],” she said.

Belcher noted that governments have promoted increased financial monitoring of cryptocurrencies. For example, she said, recent proposals from the United States Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) and the Department of Justice have targeted what they call “anonymity enhanced cryptocurrencies’’ (AEC), putting pressure on exchanges to blacklist anonymous transactions.

Belcher closed out the session with a statement about the value of privacy coins: “The most important thing about cryptocurrency is that it enables anonymous transactions.” In the wake of increased government surveillance of financial transactions, “anonymity is absolutely necessary for civil rights.”

Marta was joined on the virtual stage by Chen Ared, COO of Solidus Labs; Craig Salm, vice president of legal at Grayscale Investments; and moderator Colin Harper of CoinDesk.

To learn more, read the CoinDesk recap.