There are ways to get around such safeguards, bitcoin of course, but these are often pretty technical or simply expensive—like setting up a special protocol to hide the origin of your transfer or getting a middleman who (for a fee) will buy the Bitcoin for you. With the origins of the purchase covered, you’ll need to regularly cycle through different wallets. That should be enough to cover your tracks, at least partially.
Work on blockchain technology began in the early '90s and was expanded upon by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 for the creation (and exchange) of what would become the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Now, regardless of whether you believe Bitcoin is great investment or a Ponzi scheme, its underlying technology (blockchain) is private, secure and reliable. At its core, Bitcoin was created to eliminate the expense of, reliance on, and delays caused by banks as intermediaries. Its foundation is the equivalent of an electronic public ledger, with a date and timestamp to establish ownership without the need for an intermediary, such as a bank. So, rather than allowing a single institution to control your financial data, blockchain is an open-access system that can't be hacked, corrupted or erased.
Much like with Bitcoin, though, we doubt that they will remain untraceable. Money is too important to run around unregulated, it seems, so we predict that eventually, these as-yet-anonymous coins will become trackable, and people seeking privacy—for whatever reason—will have to move elsewhere.
Exchanges, where you exchange your government-backed currency for cryptocurrency, all require some kind of proof of identity, be it a passport, a driver’s license, or a government-issued ID. There’s another issue, though: Spending is one thing, but buying Bitcoin
isn’t anonymous, either. Just like regular banks, to operate, exchanges need to implement know-your-customer (KYC) protocols.
That being said, faith is a strong fuel. It powers religions, existing currency, governments, and has pushed the price of each Bitcoin to $10,000. But with only a limited adoption (less than $150 billion market cap), fueling the market with only faith leads to pricing volatility.
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21Shares Bitcoin ETP will be available on Aquis Exchange for professional investors only. The forthcoming UK launch is expected to take place this summer and follows recent successful debuts on Euronext Paris and Amsterdam on 1st June.
21Shares is the largest cryptocurrency ETP issuer in the world, with over $1.5bn in AUM across 14 ETPs available on several European stock exchanges. The UK launch follows over two years of successful testing and launching of cryptocurrency ETPs by 21Shares for institutional investors in Germany, Switzerland, France, Austria and the Netherlands.
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