Far from fulfilling the dreams of the cypherpunk movement that inspired Satoshi, cryptocurrency has arguably created a new panopticon on top of the old one. To buy or sell digital assets, most consumers have to identify themselves to regulated online exchanges, which sometimes ask for more information, such as selfies and biometrics, than traditional banks. While public blockchains obscure users’ real-world identities, an industry of on-chain sleuths has sprung up to connect the dots, aiding law enforcement but undermining the pseudonymity Satoshi’s design relied on.

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