Is a privacy coin even good for the world?

“Be careful what you wish for”. I am thinking about a world where there is a dominant currency that is completely private and untraceable. What are/could be some negative side effects? No funding for governments? Increased online criminality? Any links to previous discussions welcome.

I don’t think I want crypto to be a dominant currency. It’s something subversive that is useful and can’t be stopped, like bittorrent. Bittorrent never has become the dominant way the public consumes media, but it’s valuable and cemented in the role it fills.

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I think I have a somewhat similar opinion on this as @Trinitron. I hope Grin will never become as private as Zcash, simply because I want it to be sound money, not a vehicle for nefarious purposes. Staying minimal and scalable is therefore more important than privacy for me.

Next to that I see crypto as an alternative/supplementary system to fiat. Both are usefully, neither are perfect.

  • Fiat is inflationary and scalable which is good for economic activity. However, it is centralized, censorable and unpredictable since money can be printed at any time in any quantity. This also poses the risk of debasement, enriching the rich as we see in so many second and third world countries. Next to that, international transfer of money is slow and expensive. This might actually be its biggest flaw in a time when families and economic activities are global.
  • Bitcoin is a great store of value untill block security wanes, which is likely to happen soon because of decreasing block subsidy. Neither is Bitcoin Fair, mostly enriching early adopters and default privacy and fungability are poor.
  • Grin fixes many of the problems in Bitcoin, being minimal, scalable, fair and privacy preserving. However, there is no denying that as it is today, it does not scale yet as well as fiat nor is it as easy to use.

I hope and envision for Grin and a few other other crypto projects, to become of increasing importance as vehicle for exchanging value as well as for storing value. It does not mean fiat needs to disappear completely. More likely we will see hybrid solutions such as Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC’s), fiat backed by gold, crypto such as Grin and BTC or a mix, and will we see more interoperability between these systems. Historically, when you cannot conquer something you annex it.

Perfect privacy is an ideal, similar to Marxism. Nice on paper, but in reality not great at all. Perfect privacy means regulators have no way of stopping criminals, anarchy would reign. I believe there should be a balance between privacy and regulation/protection from those who want to do evil. Just my 2 grinnies.


Hey Anynomous, I like your outlook though I cant understand some things I’m hoping you can clarify:

  • In what ways is Zcash more private than Grin?

  • What mechanics/aspects of Grin make it suitable for it to become regulated?

Im asking to learn. My understanding is and correct me if Im wrong that at its core grin is private but applications can add layers that make it traceable, transparent etc. Your thoughts are appreciated.

i see some of people in community are against Grin ethos and trying to be police force & judgement authority at the same time.

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Zcash has private and public adresses. Basically you cannot see anything when sending between private adresses. Amounts, input output linkability, are all private. This privacy comes at a cost in scalability, throughput, heavy hardware for nodes etc. but the privacy you get is best in the market.
When sending from private to public addresses, the privacy becomes somewhat compromised though.

The difference with Grin is that you can still build a graph linking inputs and outputs (when monitoring the mempool), but there are no addresses and amounts are shielded. An attacker can only with some effort see which tor addresses are involved in a transaction, but that is not very informative.

With regards to facilitating regulation and protecting users, Grin has payment proofs. Soon it will have bidirectional payment proofs, meaning you have the same type of proof no matter who initiated a transaction. This is important to protect users. As User You can proof you paid someone. Same way, you can proof you sent Grin to a wallet you own using the payment proof. This is requirement for many exchanges in the EU, important for allowing Grin on European centralized exchanges making it easier for new users to onboard. Also Grin has a sort of viewkey system called rewind hashes, allowing users to optionally reveal and proof they have coins. Important if you want to for example proof you have colletoral for a loan.

Next to that, MWMixnet will bring even greater privacy through CoinSwap. Meaning the transaction-graph of Grin has similar level of obfuscation as Monero. Important difference here is that it is a opt-in. Users can decide so mix/swap their coins or not. Again important for people who want to invest in Grin but might not need or want maximum privacy because it might give problems with regulators and exchanges.

In summary we want to empower users in all ways and give them the free choice between great default privacy preservation or even greater privacy.
This is better IMO than forcing maximum privacy on all users while risking making Grin a coin only for privacy maxies. I want Grin to be sound money for all, cash for day to day use and a long term secure store of value.


Ah thanks, your reply was swift and to the point!

It sounds to me that Grin provides enough privacy to the individual to protect their freedom and personal security. While allowing regulators (government and private) to enforce compliance where required such as through exchange, lending, trade etc

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Is the knife evil or the person who holds it? Could you stop wars, murders or any criminal activity if you eliminate knives entirely?

Would you go to work naked? Is keeping your private parts, private, a threat to anyone?

I think if you want to reduce crime you can start with corruption, greed, injustice, propaganda… solve these and let Grin be.


True, not prentending I can solve it or know the best balance, there will always be evil…I just hope they prefer to jump on another project😛.

If we talk in terms of privacy preservation analogies, here I have one:

Grin is like a small and nimble ninja wearing a Mask great privacy preservation while being minimal. Zcash is like someone inside a Tank, yes you cannot see the person, absolutely great privacy. But what happens when the person leaves the tank? Does the tank not attract to much attention and is it not a bit wasting in terms of resources if everyone has to ride in a tank for privacy. Do I really need to buy a cup of coffee while riding a tank? I prefer my ninja outfit/Grin


Which ethos are being attacked?

Screenshot 2023-11-14 at 12-56-53 Grin

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I think that giving the option to reveal information through proofs an viewkey/rewind hashes is part of the no restrictions part of the ethos.

Grin does not force anyone to compromise on their privacy, but we enable them to reveal information and provide proof of payment if they need it for dispute settlement, colletoral or other purposes.
Same with CoinSwap. We do not force or restrict users, we simply give the them the choice. Let’s not forget that Grin has great privacy preservation by default. Even as someone who knows how to do blockchain forensics, I do not think I can do much with the information revealed by analyzing transaction Graphs on Grin. Nor would I be willing to invest time in it unless it involves at least hundreds of thousands of dollars being defrauded by someone.


It’s still for all, still no censorship and no restrictions, so no ethos are being attacked.

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Everyone should pause and consider whether they would really want to use a direct crypto transaction for many of their purchases.

When I buy something from an online store that I don’t completely trust, I am assured by my credit card company that they can reverse the charges if the vendor turns out to be fraudulent or doesn’t deliver on the agreed goods.

The only way I would want to use crypto instead would be if there was an intermediate escrow or guarantor provider that I trusted as much as my credit card company. Which is a pretty high bar and they would want to collect a profit for that service, so fees would probably end up similar at 1-2%.

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Well said! Couldn’t agree more.

I think the biggest pain with private currency is that someone could steal your money and you’d have no way to find it again.

Yes, this can happen with cash, but

  1. It’s much easier for people to lose crypto currency through silly mistakes and such than with Cash

  2. Even cash has serial numbers

I think ideally there is default privacy, but with some way to get information at great cost. To me this sort of matches the cash world as well. If you want to track down serial numbers of notes, you can, but it has to be worth it.

Idk just thinking out loud.

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For most ”purchases”, you want an escrow yes. Like this one for bitcoin:

As long as an escrow is possible in grin, it will be built at some point. The question is if it is possible.

This has been one of the greatest barriers for crypto adoption, some sort of escrow such as trab noted bitescrow should work and I think plenty of solutions will appear, maybe this is a good project for Grin to work on.

Honestly I think Elon Musk might be making something similar to Paypal but better and will work with crypto… wait and see I guess.

I know there are lots of Musk haters but hear me out please. I think whatever he is making will be bigger than paypal and a big ticket item. Dogecoin is his favourite crypto currency and in my opinion the only future competitor to Grin. But, if whatever it is he is making also adopts Grin… well that will be immense.

As I thought about it again I realized the same credit card provider could just as easily provide a grin credit system and serve the same purpose, providing credit transactions that get settled in grin but again it would come with same 1-2% fees.

What do you guys think the reserve requirement should be for grin financial service companies? lol

Is this a bunch of fake accounts attempting to sway opinion? There is NO middle ground with regulators or centralized government. They are abusers and criminals of the highest order.

A politician, a regulator, will tell you how normal it is to “compromise”, for that is the Trojan horse that silences you, keeps you compliant, their slave. Politicians make promises, sometimes feed you crumbs and then on the other hand march into wars… because that was one of many “compromises”.

How do you know, I mean actually know, the world will become some evil and dangerous place with financial privacy? This is the stuff of fear mongers; inserting FUD into brains that make you doubt and then exchange it for “compromise”.

Cryptography - not just cryptocurrencies - opened the floodgates and showed us just how empty that FUD was. Perhaps read up on PGP and the Clipper Chip, and the protracted battles to give all of us a guarantee of privacy without compromises. These opinions of compromise and middle-ground are ugly and deceptive and, frankly, an insult to all those that fought so hard for what we have e.g. Whitfield Diffie and co.

Bitcoin was the start of something wonderful because, even to this day, there are many projects scrambling to innovate… and they have. This scramble for innovation has clearly demonstrated that there are many ways to govern supply and demand, developers, users, treasuries and incentives. Until now, centralized governments have told you, “this is how we keep the peace and prosper” but the fact is, it’s not the only way, far from it.

So no, the world does not fall apart because governments lose funding and disintegrate. It simply means we function differently. There will always be people with bad intentions, but the vast majority of humans are peaceful.


Imo bad people climb up the rankings faster, therefore most people in the government are bad. However that doesn’t mean that having no (or less) regulation is good (eg. gun regulation in usa increases freedom, but i would feel a lot safer in europe where gun regulation is way more strict - so less freedom). Therefore I think that, at least in most cases, good regulation is what we want.

Nobody knows, we’re all guessing. Maybe a better question is whether it’s worth the risk (talking about perfect privacy, not basic one - pgp is basic for me). I don’t know whether it is worth the risk or not and i doubt anyone here has studied this topic for thousands of hours to have a deep enough understanding of the topic to actually understand this hard problem.

They’re none of the above. It’s a different problem with different current state of the world. Today we can get more privacy than we could at that time, how do you know that adding a new kind of privacy would not create a combination of different privacies that would be problematic? The problem seems very complex to me and i don’t see a good reason to attack people who think differently than you.

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