A while ago, you may of heard that Thorswap halted operations and was working on weighing it’s options to censor / help recover funds from “illicit sources”. At first glance, a lot of people thought (including myself) that Thorchain was suspended and, somehow, a handful of people had the ability to block or censor transactions. After a little digging, it turns out it was just the Thorswap website, which is a third party front-end. The similarity of name and branding really didn’t help, tarnishing the reputation of Thorchain unnecessarily.
We already know bitcoin and the other chains on Thorchain are completely transparent, so it shouldn’t be so surprising that one of it’s front-ends would eventually make this decision. I mean, if it can be done, someone somewhere is going to do it.
Now, for me, I don’t trust governments at all. I know there are laws that exempt certain groups, or allow for the committing of crimes where, in any other circumstance, you and I would ordinarily be thrown in prison, for life! I know law enforcement is allowed to lie to the public in order to get what they are looking for. And I know LE is protected by law to disseminate fake news, again, in order to gain the information they seek. So when a 3LA seeks help to recover “hacked funds”, I say bullshit… and, in any event, code IS law.
It seems to me, governments have so far been quite successful in divide and conquer. Laws to allow surveillance coins to live another day, and laws for privacy coins to be sidelined and stigmatized. Ah yes, the wealth of analytics to “prove” that money laundering is a dirty word, and that YOU need protection from all the scammers out there. It’s no different to any other border force; sure they stop some of the dirty drugs flowing in, and yet by default, they also get to tax the fuck out of you for moving perfectly legal items. By any other name, it is a ransom.
Let us ask, what is money laundering? - the attempt to pass off criminal proceeds as legitimate business.
What are criminal proceeds? - there doesn’t need to be any crime. The act of money laundering is itself the illegal activity! Because the only legitimate activities are the ones where tax is due. Pay your taxes to fund wars, to kill people you are taught to hate.
But then also, what is legal in one country may be illegal in another country. Actually, I live in a country that is not my nationality, so wherever I go, I must abide by two sets of laws. I digress.
Of course, with Beam, all transactions are private by default and I get to choose which transactions I reveal. If there was a Thorchain for privacy coins, there would be no leverage to say, “these funds are from illicit sources”. This is the way governments operate, they love tools to catch the low hanging fruit, they can live off low hanging fruit. Create as much low hanging fruit as possible and we won’t talk about the real crimes by those in powerful positions.
While my initial reaction to Thorswap was wrong, my realization was, I don’t have nowhere near enough in privacy coins while I wait for the Thorchain of Privacy to arrive and thrive.