If you’re thinking about getting into cryptocurrency to obfuscate nefarious spending, you might want to think again. Some Bitcoin enthusiasts are outraged by Bitpay’s recent change to their terms and conditions earlier in February. So many fans of the first cryptocurrency to become a household name have always maintained that the beauty of Bitcoin was its Wild West untraceable freedom and its ability to avoid censorship. Lately, however, it seems like even Wild Bitcoin Hickok is singing the lawman’s tune.
Less than two months’ warning
Bitpay is not just bluffing. They are out policing for violation. If found, sites that violate the new terms will have their payment processing yanked and be forced to find something else. How long do they have? Several people have reported receiving a notice of a couple months to find another merchant.
What is restricted?
You might be asking what is being censored, and then be shocked to learn the truth. For a medium that used to be the hallmark of anonymity, this cryptocurrency is getting trickier than cash. Among other things, the purchasing and selling of sexual content, narcotics, cash, ammunition, fireworks, and weapons were restricted.
Also included was a list of activities considered restricted only. What does that mean exactly? Well, we probably won’t completely know until we step into it, but the list includes activities that are subjected to a review and permitted only with express consent from Bitpay. The intention seems to be to keep certain kinds of users on a pretty short leash.
Not only did Bitpay include things like gambling and offshore banking, but also investing and selling products related to investing. With a list of such relatively innocuous activities under the microscope, large swathes of crypto-payers will be discouraged from participation. Some critics feel this may signal a more violent downturn for an inflated market.
Going forward: the future of cryptocurrencies
Going forward, the outlook for cryptocurrency might be heavy on the Big Brother and light on the privacy and freedom. Experts believe that the first steps to cryptocurrencies becoming consolidated are already underway. If crypto-companies continue to play into censorship and regulation, it will be only too easy to watch and track the activity of every individual.