Riccardo Spagni aka Fluffy Pony, a core team member and developer at Monero spoke about the implications and use-cases for Monero if Bitcoin decides to implement privacy into its code. In the Unchained interview with Laura Shin, Spagni also compared the privacy aspects of Zcash and Monero.
Spagni said that if Bitcoin’s privacy is implemented directly into the code it would be a huge move for Bitcoin since it is considered as the face of cryptocurrencies as it also the first successful cryptocurrency to come into existence, and it also has sentimental value among the community.
According to Spagni, if privacy were ever to be introduced to Bitcoin, “regulators are just going to use that as a reason to stomp on Bitcoin now, successfully or unsuccessfully doesn’t really matter they would still be an annoyance and maybe even a hindrance to most people on the flip side of things, you know, let’s assume that despite all of this Bitcoin does add privacy,”
Spagni continued saying that if privacy in Bitcoin does become mandatory and every transaction on the Bitcoin blockchain becomes private it would be the “odd one out”.
He said that if Bitcoin ever decides to do that in the distant future, Monero’s existence will still be interesting and important because unlike Bitcoin, Monero has reached places that Bitcoin cannot even think of entering. He said:
“The lack of privacy and so Monero will have made inroads already in places like Venezuela and in countries with oppressive regimes. And at that point even if Bitcoin has added privacy, it will not necessarily be an easy switch over for the people that are already in the ecosystem.”
Spagni explained that Monero is like a backup plan for Bitcoin and that Monero has its own code, bugs, cryptography, an elliptic curve, and that it is not relying on Bitcoin’s code.
“And I think that that’s important as a technical hedge against critical failures in bitcoin’s design decisions or in it’s cryptography choices.”
Comparing the privacy aspects of Monero with Zcash, Spagni said, “the trick with privacy is to be lost in the crowd”.
He went on to say that, Zcash, unlike Monero, has the option to make transactions private if the users chose to. Spagni opined that even though Monero’s privacy is somewhat weaker than Zcash’s, based on certain aspects, it makes it up with a significantly larger degree of anonymity as the user database in Monero is much larger. He added:
“It also doesn’t mean that you can’t have transactions that are non private with Monero, for example, you can reveal the details of a particular transaction in order to prove that you send money to somebody and you can do that by revealing the details of that transaction, to a third party like an auditor or a tax man without compromising the rest of your privacy.”
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