Centro de Documentação da PJ
Analítico de Periódico

CD 328
COSTARDI, Carla Maria de Oliveira
The ideological background of bitcoin [Recurso eletrónico] : the unintended, but predicted, convenience of anonymity for criminal activities / Carla Maria de Oliveira Costardi
Revista Brasileira de Ciências Policiais, Brasília, Vol. 12, n. 4 (Jan/Abr 2021), p. 75-99
Ficheiro de 6,76 MB em formato PDF.


Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency and the first known application of Blockchain, is closely related to the countercultural movement called Cypherpunks. The activism of Cypher-punks, as stated in their manifesto, was-and still is-directed to developing tools to provide a virtual environment where privacy is protected. To them, privacy is not secrecy; privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world. Bitcoin is a direct outcome of this aspiration, as Satoshi Nakamoto-while developing Bitcoin-committed his efforts to produce an innovative software that reflected this ambition and was successful at developing one that, at once: (i) sheltered privacy through pseudo-anonymity, (ii) provided an unchangeable public ledger of all transactions completed with Bitcoin and (iii) challenged the state-centric monetary policy and the traditional banking system through a decentralized network of operating nodes functioning as validators of the information carried in the public ledger. In this article, through the establishment of relations between the Cypherpunk ideology and Bitcoin, the central argument is that the convenience of using Bitcoin in criminal activities is, originally, an unintended effect of the ideology that supported the development of cryptocurrencies but, more likely, a collateral risk the creator was willing to take.