While talking with a friend of mine who has dual citizenship both in France and the United States. We discussed the opportunities of crypto currency and how it was playing out in the world. As an engineer, I am honestly in love with the idea. The level of efficiency and utility has drawn me to it and convinced me that putting all one’s wealth into a system of pure, unadulterated, and transparent accountability units of wealth is the best way to handle finances.
As an engineer I have been seeking ways to build an efficient mechanism to nix 3rd party intermediaries out of my business to focus on privacy, to eliminate any and all custodial relationships, and to keep my business my business and not my business and everybody else’s.
My friend told me of some fantastic projects with upcoming crypto currency DeFi that would help do this, but sadly, have been restricted from any and all US citizens to participate in them because of regulatory issues with the US.
This infuriated me, as by accident of my birth and US citizenship I found myself excluded from cutting edge blockchain and crypto projects that were flat out more innovative and open to advanced projects in the field. Attempts to create user accounts for these projects to experiment with them were geo-blocked by my IP which was located in the US. Banners on their website clearly stated any and all US citizens were prohibited from creating accounts and participating in their ecosystem.
Any options for US citizens to be allowed to participate were often a watered down gimped version of the original system that excluded popular tokens, restricted any leveraging capability to trade, and mandated KYC/AML registration which included social security numbers, tax-ids, personal government identity cards, address verification with a utility bill or bank correspondence.
An example of this was Binance. Their original exchange system eventually booted off all US citizen user accounts and forbade them from opening any user accounts because of regulatory matters. But the US market was big, big enough for Binance to create another impotent exchange called Binance US, which had a limited selection of crypto currencies and restricted leveraging options. Also, long waiting periods for submitted KYC/AML to be authenticated.
This is a serious problem for adoption to the crypto ecosystem as regulators are inhibiting US citizens to get onboard in a proper, non-KYC/AML manner as forcing US citizens to register themselves directly violates the 5 pillars of crypto economic freedoms ( open, public, borderless, neutral, and censorship resistant )
The great crypto cuckolding of the U.S. citizen
So BTC is blasting off and everybody wants to ride the train to a lambo. The beauty of BTC and mostly all crypto, is that for the first time in the world’s history the mechanism of money is in the hands of the people and not the politicians. For the most part…
There are still the archaic dying factions of the old world economy, the government and their corrupt system is becoming aware that the decentralized blockchains and the crypto currency that is apart of it is not going away and is creating real world value and a advanced utility that the old world economy cannot keep from any one that participates in the system. They want their tendrils in every crypto wallet being created.
The SEC, the IRS, the Treasury, and every dictator that has cuckold their citizens will stop at nothing to exert absolute control and monitoring of your crypto holdings. This is especially true in the United States, who sadly, are creating special holding pens for their cattle citizens that are properly sanctioned and sanitized for their use.
While the rest of the free world has more and better options, the U.S. citizenry are a special case, marked and indexed by their social security number, or tax-id and mandated to submit this number for employment and their day-to-day banking, which violates the spirit of the 5 pillars of crypto freedoms ( open, public, borderless, neutral, and censorship resistant ) in the name of protecting US citizens, creating a special playpen sandbox where they can be “protected”, watched and monitored with impunity.
Workarounds to Avoid the Regulation Clowns
Not all is lost, while the regulators do hold sway over a portion of the volatility of the crypto price and exchange rate. They cannot ever totally control a decentralized system.
They may not have the capability to directly force their citizens into the cuckolding status they want for them, the regulators do cast a wide net, forcing other, off-shore crypto exchanges to restrict anybody from the US from participating in the wide freedoms of international crypto exchanges.
This not only restricts US citizens from participating in the world wide crypto race, by inhibiting the full freedoms of the new crypto mechanisms, but also makes US citizens shut off to the world wide crypto and most flexible and ground breaking crypto options.
To avoid these regulatory restrictions and keep independent of regulatory roadblocks and freedom inhibiting laws, I would suggest the following for all crypto users, especially US citizens:
DO NOT KYC/AML to conventional exchanges
This is probably the most difficult to follow, but it is the most important as once you have attached your personal identity to any exchange or crypto wallet you immediately become a target for an easy vector of attack. Either by criminal actors like blackhat hackers, unscrupulous employees, or corrupt government agencies. Your personal identity allows focused and refined spear phishing attacks that could make even the most diligent security conscious user a victim and in the blockchain crypto game of being self sovereign and full custodial it only takes 1 mistake to lose it all and if they know who you are they can customize a personalized attack to seize your crypto holdings.
Habitually use VPN and TOR networks
You should be doing this already, by default in all areas of your computational life. Even if you do not KYC/AML and expose your identity and your connection to your crypto holdings, spy agencies, sophisticated hackers, and other diligent forces will be able to slowly gauge your approximate location and identity, narrowing the pool of possibilities to who you are and your crypto holdings.
Spread your crypto holdings and use blockchain security tools
Use multiple hot, warm, and cold crypto wallets, use crypto mixers, and exchange crypto holdings to and from security-specific coins and tokens, BTC to Monero, run it through a mixer, exchange it to another coin or token and back again. Currently, this can be expensive and cost a lot of gas, but with better blockchains being developed that address the high cost of moving your crypto like the Polkadot/Kusama, Cardano, and others, the cost of doing this will come down.
While no 1 method is 100% effective, a good combination of aggregate methods will increase the difficulty for intermediaries to target you exponentially, increasing the bar of resistance and preventing you from becoming low-hanging fruit.