Will Bitcoin Become Illegal?

Our guest author Pavol Luptak believes that in the future Bitcoin users will be treated like drug users.

I’m becoming a skeptic (maybe just a realist?) about the widespread adoption of decentralized cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin will never (understandably in the age of “statism”) be mainstream, at which point the majority of the population will start using them. If by chance that ever happens, we won’t have a “traditional state” anymore.

States will enforce the use of Central Banks Digital Currencies, even though it will be a drastic invasion of the privacy of millions of people – because full control of the population’s money is a matter of the survival of the modern state. Without it, it is impossible to effectively enforce, for example, the payment of taxes. Bitcoin will be sharply regulated in the US/EU and continue to be used as a transparent investment or store of value. Its steep regulation will prevent its massive adoption and daily use by ordinary people, something many Bitcoiners dream of.

Yet cryptocurrencies, specially Bitcoin, will be used by hundreds of millions of people in the future. Largely illegally – without KYC, paying taxes or levies. Just as hundreds of millions of people in the world now take, sell or grow drugs and are criminalized, persecuted and their lives destroyed by the state, so will cryptocurrency users be criminalized and persecuted in the future. Cryptocurrency users will become the “new drug users”.

Defacto, already now all people who use crypto in my home country Slovakia and don’t pay taxes and health levies on it are breaking the law (which is 99.9% of all people). In that case, harsh enforcement of crypto legislation is yet to come, much like it came in the case of drugs. What scares me about the huge amount of regulation and laws in the EU is that already every citizen is breaking some regulation or law on a daily basis, often without knowing it. An over-regulated society, where everyone breaks the law, can be highly totalitarian in nature – criminalising people for breaking the law can be selective towards particular individuals who will simply be inconvenient for the regime.

Like in Iran, where it is illegal to own a television satellite, just as it is illegal to own pets. Of course, every Iranian family owns some of these things, so everyone in Iran is breaking the law. So, selectively according to the needs of the regime, anyone can be arrested and thrown in jail at any time. Think about how a situation where all the people in the country who use cryptocurrencies are breaking the law can be exploited in the future.

Pavol Luptak is a cryptoanarchist, voluntaryist and traveler, focused on IT security, technology and society hacking.