Achieving financial freedom using cryptocurrencies

Let me introduce myself

  • Cryptoanarchist & voluntaryist focused on technology and society hacking
  • IT security guy, founder of IT security hacking companies (Nethemba, Hacktrophy) & contemporary art (Satori)
  • Co-founder of Bratislava's and Prague's hackerspaces (Progressbar & Paralelni Polis)
  • Member of Czech contemporary anti-government artistic group Ztohoven
  • Responsible for many anti-government & digital privacy projects www.nepracujemeprestat.sk, www.internetbezcenzury.sk

Why do we need financial freedom?

  • Tracking & monitoring financial transactions by banks /governments represents a drastic intervention to citizens' digital privacy
  • Above some cash limits, you cannot avoid using bank accounts even if you don't trust banks
    • There were many incidents in the past when bank employees misused sensitive customer's information
  • Information exchanged by OECD CRS can be ¬†leaked (by potential hacking attack or internal employees)
  • Banks can block your transactions because they are suspicious, you have a burden to prove your innocence

Why do we need a financial freedom II?

  • Prohibition of anonymous cash in many countries above some limits including Czech and Slovak Republic, and it is becoming worse (India)
  • KYC, AML and other "financial dictatorship promoting" regulations
  • The card payment companies, banks, government institutions - all of them can easily track your financial transactions
  • When you receive a "suspicious" bank transaction or from a "suspicious" country (e.g. offshore), the bank sends automated notifications to the government officials...
  • International payments (out of euro-zone) are thoroughly inspected, blocked by banks requiring a lot of bureaucracy

Why do we need a financial freedom III?

  • 100% protection of your assets against the government (especially when you use truly anonymous cash)
  • The government can:
    • freeze your bank account
    • take your physical cash or gold
    • take your property or land
    • suspend your bussiness

Real digital privacy starts with protection your financial transactions

Bitcoin is not anonymous

  • In addition to Bitcoin, there are true anonymous cryptocurrencies
    • Monero - Ring Signatures (fungibility)
    • ZCash - zk-Snark (fungibility), requires a trusted setup
    • ZCoin - Zerocoin protocol¬†
    • Particl.io - Ring Signatures, proof of stake
  • Ring Signatures is more verified/stable crypto than zk-Snark/zerocoin protocol
  • Bitcoin Lightning Network (Onion routed micropayments)
  • Bitcoin (especially when you change recipient addresses frequently) can still provide you a significantly better privacy than a traditional banking system

Anonymous cryptocurrency exchanges

  • The most popular ones (Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, Bitfinex, Btc-e) are definitely not anonymous and have to follow AML/KYC regulations, expect governments can know everything about your Bitcoin trades
  • Localbitcoins.com (prefer trusted people trading with cash, public places for a physical exchange, use Tor & anonymous email)
  • Bitsquare.io¬†(prefer trusted people trading with cash)
  • Use your local anonymous Bitcoin ATM (expect 3% fee)
  • Contact your local hackerspace (Parallel Polis, Progressbar)

Pay your bills with bitcoins - bitwa.la

  • If you want BTC SEPA gateways, you always have to be verified for transactions above certain limits (e.g. 500 EUR/monthly), you can have multiple "anonymous profiles", but they can be revealed if you do payments to the same bank accounts
  • Bitwa.la (be aware, it follows KYC/AML)
    • allows you to make SEPA transactions up to 50000 EUR (after Skype verification) with 0.5%
    • allows many international currencies (but it's still expensive for CZK, use Simplecoin instead)
    • allows multi-pay transactions at once (you can use it for all your regular monthly payments)
    • through shapeshift plugin you can use arbitrary altcoins

Use local bitcoin gateways

  • In order to avoid high fees for incoming SEPA payments, use cheaper local bitcoin gateways
    • simplecoin.cz
    • coinhub.cz
    • firstbitcoin.cz
  • Or visit Paralelni Polis community! :-)

Use Bitcoin debit cards

  • Anonymous debit cards without verification allow only small life-time limits (up to 2000-2500 EUR), you can ask for many of them for many different persons, but you need to pay about 12 EUR/yearly per each of them
  • Probably the best non-anonymous cards are xapo.com (true-bitcoin debit card), bitwa.la, cryptopay.com, e-coin.com, uquid
  • bitwa.la + uquid.com can be topped up with altcoins (including Monero and ZCash through shapeshift.io plugin)
  • Most of these cards are issued by the same issuer (Wave Crest Holdings limited) and have the same fees (2.25 EUR - ATM withdrawal fee, 3% for foreign currency withdrawals/purchase)

Consider to use Revolut

  • Revolut is not a bitcoin debit card, but it has a strong competitive advantage - free ATM withdrawals anywhere in the world up to 200 GBP/monthly (then 2%), free currency exchanges up to 5000 GBP/monthly (then 0.5%)
  • Ideal debit card for travelling if you want to have best currency exchange rates
  • It can be topped up by any Bitcoin debit card (!)
  • There is a yearly limit of 15000 EUR (after reaching the limit, it is necessary to prove the source if your income)
  • Any other debit cards with similar features as Revolut? (Monzo?)
  • They have just launched the business accounts!

Invoice your customers in fiat, but receive BTC

  • Check bitwage.com
    • If you are an entrepreneur / small company, you don't need a bank account, just issue the invoice with bitwage.com, they generate unique SEPA payment details, the customer will pay your invoice and you receive bitcoins only
    • It requires your personal verification (a photo with your personal ID)
    • there is no similar anonymous service (probably because of money laundering)

Bitcoin mixing services XMR.TO

  • Send your anonymous Monero and receive "clean" bitcoins (Monero transactions are anonymous by default)
  • It works through Tor network as well
  • Fair conversion rates
  • Be aware there are multiple "blockchain forensic agencies" working for Interpol / governments - using mixing service you can easily destroy your real Bitcoin blockchain history
  • You can buy your Monero (below specific limits) using poloniex.com in a completely anonymous way

Let's switch to complete bankless setup

  • Issue all invoices to your customers using bitwage.com
  • Prefer direct bitcoin payments everywhere as possible
    • Check www.coinmap.org
  • Pay all bills using bitwa.la (including multi payments)
  • Pay the rest using your bitcoin debit cards (if you travel a lot, use Revolut topped up by your bitcoin debit cards)

Bankless setup - more anonymous scenario

  • Invoice your customers directly in Bitcoins / Monero
  • Laundry your received Bitcoins using XMR.TO
  • Prefer direct bitcoin payments everywhere as possible
    • Check www.coinmap.org
  • Pay all bills using bitwa.la (including multi payments) with your anonymous bitwa.la accounts (be aware of 500 EUR monthly limits)
  • Pay the rest using your anonymous debit cards (be aware of 2000 EUR lifetime limits)
  • Never use Revolut (it's not anonymous)

True anonymous cryptocurrencies how to

  • Monero (a simple wallet with GUI, can be bought at Kraken.com using fiat or using through shapeshift.io/poloniex.com using Bitcoins)
  • ZCash (now supported by Bitcoin Trezor)
  • Dash (marketing hype, now supported by Bitcoin Trezor)
  • Shadow Cash (Shadow project seems to be a complex decentralized system, probably the follower of the Silk Road market?)

Bitcoin vs. Monero

  • Bitcoin is too legal & popular
    • the Bitcoin rate reflects political events / decisions (e.g. ETF, the state prohibition, etc)
    • it reflects "the real world" a lot
  • Monero is becoming a default dark-market cryptocurrency
    • despite the fact it is still related to the Bitcoin rate, it doesn't care much about "the real world"
    • the biggest threat for Monero would be probably a full world's legalization of all drugs & guns (the reason why people prefer true anonymous cryptocurrencies :-)
    • FBI is afraid of Monero
    • Monero is ATH just now!

The privacy of government fiat money is dead.

Long life to anonymous cryptocurrencies!

Thanks a lot for your attention!

Achieving financial freedom using cryptocurrencies (original)

By Pavol Luptak

Achieving financial freedom using cryptocurrencies (original)

Real digital privacy starts with protecting your financial transactions. Leaving no traces. Making impossible to see or intervene your voluntary economic interactions. With the rise of anonymous cryptocurrencies, for the first time in our human history, we can do a global business and stay anonymous. Anonymous prediction markets, anonymous anti-government insurance, anonymous crowdfunded whistleblowing, decentralized cryptomarkets - all these crypto technologies will undermine the current authoritative systems. And make the significant change. Silently. With no violence or politicians. It's time. Liberate yourself.

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