Harvey J & Branco-Illodo I (2021) Why Cryptocurrencies Want Privacy: A Review of Political Motivations and Branding Expressed in "Privacy Coin" Whitepapers. In: Pich C & Newman BI (eds.) Political Branding: More Than Parties, Leaders and Policies. London: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/Political-Branding-More-Than-Parties-Leaders-and-Policies/Pich-Newman/p/book/9780367492274
New currencies designed for user anonymity and privacy –widely referred to as “privacy coins” – have forced governments to listen and legislate, but the political motivations of these currencies are not well understood. Following the growing interest of political brands in different contexts, we provide the first systematic review of political motivations expressed in cryptocurrency whitepapers whose explicit goal is “privacy.” Many privacy coins deliberately position themselves as alternative political brands. Although cryptocurrencies are often closely associated with political philosophies that aim to diminish or subvert the power of governments and banks, advocates of privacy occupy much broader ideological ground. We present thematic trends within the privacy coin literature and identify epistemic and ethical tensions present within the communities of people calling for the adoption of entirely private currencies.
Bitcoin; blockchain; cryptocurrency; money; political brands; privacy