【Block#10 Call for Contribution】Privacy vs Discoverability (Day1)

We are looking for Main Discussants for Block#10! In the next BGIN event, we are (partially) opening up Main Discussant positions to anybody willing to share and discuss ‘Privacy vs Discoverability’ based on research papers, white papers, and reports that have been published or new ideas/suggestions from you! Please feel free to share your ideas and suggestions below. We are looking forward to your contribution!!

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Panelist Opening Remarks (1-2 minutes/speaker): Each speaker will introduce yourself, your background related to privacy and discoverability, and share very brief remarks about key issues you feel on the policy or tech front that need to be examined to get calibration of privacy in digital money right.


Current State - What is Privacy vs. Anonymity? How Private Are Digital Currencies Right Now?

  • Privacy vs. anonymity:
    • What is the difference between them?
    • How do we approach required vs. acceptable levels of privacy or anonymity in different fields, like finance? Why? (will turn to Jamie to discuss the Privacy Framework)
      • Prompt: Purposes of privacy? Purposes of Discoverability? Stakeholders involved for achieving privacy? For who should be able to discover what info under conditions/permissions/protections?
  • The current state of these systems - comments have often been made about the benefits of cryptocurrency for both anonymity and for traceability. What’s the reality - how public vs. private are digital currencies right now?
    • Prompts - Public Ledgers, view keys, anonymity-enhanced cryptocurrencies (AECs)/privacy coins, mixers, blockchain analytic tools, discoverable network activity, off-chain activity and data
  • Decentralization - what is the current role of intermediaries in the context of privacy? What is the proper role of intermediaries? What do privacy controls look like in decentralized systems? How is achieving privacy and discoverability affected through limited clear lines of accountability and responsibility in DeFi?
    • Prompt: Some say to focus only on-ramps/off-ramps for obligations like identity-related (i.e., collection, verification, monitoring) regulations - is that sufficient? Does that work in a future system of mass adoption and use of DC in exchange for goods and services?

Calibrating the Privacy vs. Transparency and Risk Dynamic

  • A future digital money system is likely not one with complete anonymity or complete visibility - we have to calibrate a balance, but very divergent views on where that calibration should sit, what should be voluntary or imposed and where

    • Prompts:
      • On Risk Calculus -What should be accounted for by policymakers and industry in evaluating the risks of the ecosystems to make the best informed decisions on what should be private, what should be discoverable, etc.?
      • Implications for human rights and dignity, as well as national security - What are the risks of getting this calibration wrong?
  • Crypto vs. CBDC - How are (if at all) privacy considerations different for privately-administered or decentralized crypto vs. CBDCs?

    • Prompt: how different design choices likely or potentially for each type of system would effect the level of privacy or discoverability needed/permitted
  • Value vs. Data transfer (i.e., how this looks different on financial vs. non-financial rails) - Via DLT, the same rails can now support value and data transfer simultaneously, and with enough obfuscation you can’t tell which is happening. How do we get privacy right in this future envisioning of web3?

  • What (if any) aspects of privacy policy and implementations are unique to crypto/CBDCs/DLT compared to other more broad privacy issues?

    • How many of these issues should be addressed through approaches more broadly to privacy?
    • Any specific changes to existing privacy policy approaches (e.g., GDPR, Privacy Act of 1974, Right to Financial Privacy Act, GLBA, etc.)?
  • Permissions/Consent for Privacy (including Disclosability and Discoverability)

    • In centralized and decentralized DLT ecosystems, any views on what role issues around consent and permissions from the user and/or for gov’t authorities and regulated institutions should play?

Future State - What are the Technologies, Architectures, Policies etc. that Can Define or Enable Meeting that Desired Future State for Privacy in Digital Currencies?

  • Privacy as a framework - Solutions and risks could be addressed throughout entire stack, at different layers (market/ user/ protocol/ network/ application/etc.). Where do you feel privacy considerations are the most important? What kinds of considerations are important at the different layers?
  • What are potential tech and architecture solutions that we think will enable privacy and features like monitoring?
    • Prompts: ZKPs, Homomorphic encryption, digital ID/certs
  • Are there concrete next steps or best practices for gov’t and industry to take to enable appropriately calibrated privacy in digital currency and web3 solutions? R&D? Standards? Regulation? Market consolidation?