Brian Armstrong, co-founder and CEO of United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, said that he believes a “privacy coin” will go mainstream in the 20s.
In a post published on Coinbase’s official blog on Jan. 3, Armstrong said that he believes in the 20s we will see the integration of privacy features into one of the major blockchains. He also foresees a cryptocurrency with such features to go mainstream in the following years:
“Just like how the internet launched with HTTP, and only later introduced HTTPS as a default on many websites, I believe we’ll eventually see a “privacy coin” or blockchain with built in privacy features get mainstream adoption in the 2020s.”
Crackdown on anoncoins
Armstrong’s predictions are interesting given the recent crackdown on privacy-focused cryptocurrencies and the apparent consensus that privacy should be one of the main focuses of Bitcoin (BTC) development.
In March, the head of the Finance Committee of France’s National Assembly proposed a ban of so-called anoncoins. In May, Japanese exchange Coincheck delisted four privacy coins and the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association recommended that its members do the same. All of that makes Armstrong’s prediction that a privacy-focused cryptocurrency will reach mainstream adoption surprising.
Major cryptos work on privacy
When it comes to the integration of privacy features in major blockchains, some may argue that the process has already started. As Cryptogram reported in June, some fear that Bitcoin’s increasing anonymity may be a threat to anoncoins.
For instance, blockchain technology firm Blockstream published test code for using Schnorr signatures on the Bitcoin blockchain in February 2019, which aids with the privacy on the network while also increasing the scalability. Discussions on possible implementation are still ongoing.
Ethereum’s blockchain, on the other hand, in September 2017 added support for zero-knowledge proofs (ZK-Proofs), a particular type of cryptography that allows for the validation of data without access to it.
At the end of October 2018, multinational auditing and consulting firm Ernst & Young announced the launch of its prototype implementation of ZK-Proofs on the public Ethereum blockchain.
As Cryptogram illustrated in a recent analysis, privacy in crypto is a contentious topic. The reason is that some believe privacy to be a fundamental prerequisite for peace of mind and security, while others are of the idea that anonymity is useful only to criminals.
The “billionaire flippening”
Furthermore, Armstrong also notes that a majority of the world’s billionaires will come from the cryptocurrency space in the 20s. He said:
“My friends Olaf Carlson-Wee and Balaji Srinivasan estimate that at a price of $200,000 per Bitcoin, more than half the world’s billionaires will be from cryptocurrency.”
As a consequence, he believes that the amount of capital invested in science and technology will increase and more people from the cryptocurrency industry will turn to philanthropy.
As Cryptogram reported yesterday, this last prediction is in line with a report compiled by digital asset management firm Coinshares, which estimates that Bitcoin aware Millennials are set to inherit almost $70 trillion of value from the Baby Boomer generation by 2045.