Voat should have a Monero or ZCash donation address in addition to its Bitcoin address. These are the two leading "privacy" coins, each offering strong protections against tracing and blocking access to funds. Bitcoin isn't good enough for this anymore.
In the news recently, Gab.ai's payment processors & web host have been pressured into dropping it in another attack on platforms that don't tightly reign in the discourse.
When Voat first experienced payment-processor attacks, Bitcoin was newer and having a Bitcoin address and being able to receive contributions there proved to be a hugely-valuable asset (we think) in keeping support flowing and enabling Voat to have a cash reserve to carry it through future trials and tribulations.
Bitcoin is now high-profile and not (never was) anonymous - just pseudononymous - and more and more companies that offer analysis & tracing of Bitcoin (and other blockchain) transactions are emerging. Recently, the Coinbase cryptocurrency wallet-as-a-service site added support for a new coin (USDC) with this explicit note in its operating policy:
USDC tokens are ERC-20 compatible and can be used with any ERC-20 compatible digital wallet. However, a global blacklist is maintained by CENTRE for USDC, which prevents tokens from being sent into or from blacklisted addresses. Reasons for blacklisting could include known fraudulent or illegal activity, or a legal order or process. Reserves associated with USDC balances held on blacklisted addresses may be wholly and permanently unrecoverable.
-- https://support.usdc.circle.com/hc/en-us/articles/360016060352 (blocks archive.is)
Beyond just "de-anonymizing" transactions, we're likely to see more participants in the cryptocurrency payment-processing space try to implement this sort of thing (as they likely must in order to comply with US laws, and every payment-processor wants to be able to accept money from people in the US).
We might very well see Voat's Bitcoin address blacklisted and all the major players - Coinbase, Kraken, Bitfinex, Shapeshift, Changelly, etc - refuse to handle any coins that came from it.
I believe Voat should get ahead of this by adding support for receiving funds with one or both of Monero or ZCash.
- Monero offers always-on "plausible deniability" where money might be traceable but you cannot ever prove exactly who sent what. This makes it impossible to blacklist funds at an address without being guaranteed to also block innocent users. No payment-processor that tried that with Monero would be able to stay in business.
ZCash offers optional completely-shielded transactions. Cutting-edge "zero-knowledge" cryptography ensures that:
- The amount sent in a shielded transaction is only knowable to the sender and recipient. Nobody else.
- The sender's address is only knowable by the sender. Nobody else.
- The recipient's address is only knowable to the sender and recipient. Nobody else.
Both of these currencies offer a technological solution that make it much more difficult (if not impossible) to get your cryptocurrency funds frozen. Additionally, users may feel more secure in contributing to Voat as it is much more difficult (if not impossible) to prove that they had any financial connection to it.
Voat should get ready for when they come after the Bitcoin address.