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Financial Surveillance in the West is More Like China’s Than Many Would Like to Admit – According to Report

Financial Surveillance in the West is More Like China’s Than Many Would Like to Admit – According to Report

Former Chair of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), Christopher Giancarlo, believes that anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) measures are outdated and may violate constitutional rights.

In an op-ed piece in The Hill on March 13, Giancarlo stated that the U.S. should lead the development of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and move towards “freedom coins” rather than “surveillance coins” by leveraging the technology used in some cryptocurrency protocols.

Advocating for “freedom coins”

Giancarlo co-authored a report with Jim Harper for the policy think tank the American Enterprise Institute.

The report argues that CBDCs offer an opportunity to reassess contemporary financial surveillance activities and enhance constitutional protections by taking advantage of zero-knowledge proofs, homomorphic encryption, and multiparty computation.

These technologies could enable parties to prove an encrypted proposition is true without revealing the underlying information, making “intelligent enforcement” of crime prevention possible.

Reexamination of financial surveillance policies

The authors took issue with one recent document published by the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy’s (OSTP) recent Technical Evaluation for a U.S. Central Bank Digital Currency System, which shows that financial surveillance in the West is more like China’s than many would like to admit.

Giancarlo and Harper pointed out that the proposed AML and KYC measures allowed too much surveillance without probable cause.

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Risks of CBDCs without privacy

Giancarlo and Harper argued that if a CBDC’s privacy is not guaranteed, it risks being used as it is in China. The e-yuan allows the Chinese government to link political conformity to individual prosperity and relegate political dissenters to poverty by making all transactions visible to the People’s Bank of China.

Similar concerns expressed by U.S. Senator Tom Emmer

U.S. Senator Tom Emmer, who is a vocal opponent of a U.S. CBDC, has expressed similar concerns. Emmer introduced the CBDC Anti-Surveillance Act in 2022, arguing that there is a risk of a CBDC that “tracks transaction level data down to the individual user” and can be programmed “to choke out politically unpopular activity.” Emmer is also co-chair of the U.S. Congressional Blockchain Caucus.

Andrey Kunev

Reporter at CoinsPress

Andrey Kunev is a knowledgeable cryptocurrency content creator passionate about the crypto market. With extensive experience in market analysis and investment reporting, Andrey is a valuable asset to the CoinsPress team. As a frequent contributor, he offers insightful and comprehensive coverage of market trends, price fluctuations, and new advancements in cryptocurrency. Whether you're a seasoned investor or just getting started, Andrey's clear and concise writing offers a comprehensive look at the current state of the crypto market and its prospects. Stay up-to-date with CoinsPress's expert analysis and commentary on all things cryptocurrency.

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