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Why is the persevering anonymity issue still blocking Bitcoin’s evolution

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Some people don’t even blink when the matter is Bitcoin and its potential. For them, Bitcoin is the future. At least, this is the opinion of Mark Courtney, the director of Product and Services at the GBGroup, an identity intelligence company, who recently wrote an opinion article for Wired.

In his post, Mark Courtney focuses mostly the issue of Bitcoin’s anonymity as a quality that draws people to the digital currency world. “However, if it is ever to achieve truly widespread adoption, digital currency providers will need to prove they are both reliable and trustworthy. To do this they will need to offer secure marketplaces, calm wild value fluctuations and most importantly ease the doubts of potential users”, the GBGroup expert writes.

While the ability to remain anonymous is one of the things that attracts the users, “this needs to change if the currency is to achieve widespread acceptance”.

What a lot of people don’t know is that this anonymity is only relative and not absolute, a fact that doesn’t make it less worrying for certain authorities. In fact, “every Bitcoin transaction is actually publicly recorded on the network, meaning public metadata is freely available, while user pseudonyms are now verifiable. It is a start, but it isn’t enough”, adds Mark Courtney.

To start, “reliable identity information is a fundamental requirement of infrastructures used to manage the exchange of currency, goods and services, and online trading floors need to adopt an online ID verification. This enables companies to authenticate their potential customers in real-time, while also offering the scalability and efficiency needed for a global company”.

However, these kind of practices and rules need to be adopted in a wider form, “dramatically altering the perception of Bitcoin as the leading digital currency”.

If we keep following this direction of growth and development, “some form of global regulation is inevitable as the industry currently does not do enough to safeguard against money laundering”, claims the digital safety expert. The solution might even be in the “forward-thinking Bitcoin companies”, which can “lead the way in drafting up guidelines to shape and secure their own industry”. At the very least, these changes “will have to introduce pseudonymous verification to enable even a basic level of security”.

According to Mark Courtney, the “compliant Bitcoin companies would be able to operate and market themselves as following the industry best practice standards. This should include following anti-laundering regulation as well as the implementation of identity verification for both sellers and buyers”.

“Without a safe infrastructure, a digital currency will never achieve widespread adoption by a mainstream audience. The initial success of Bitcoin proves that there is an appetite for a type of digital currency, but without making the service trustworthy, more trading floors will close“, the expert claims.



Maria is an experienced journalist currently living in the UK. She has been writing about Bitcoin and the altcoin universe since 2013. She is also a member of the Lifeboat Foundation's New Money Systems Board and a big cryptocurrency supporter.

View all Posts by Maria Santos

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