Cryptocurrency use is growing tremendously around the world.
Although Bitcoin gets most of the press, there are a wide range of virtual currencies that are now being bought and sold on a regular basis. Cryptocurrencies offer their users something that traditional transactions do not: privacy.
For example, when a user makes a transaction with Bitcoin, the transaction is not tracked.
The complete anonymity of Bitcoin transactions makes them a more popular option for internet users who do not want all of their online movements and behaviours recorded by the government or third parties. Governments, on the other hand, view cryptocurrencies as a threat instead of an opportunity.
That’s because cryptocurrencies cannot be tracked and taxed as typical transactions can. An individual can make a large transaction in Bitcoin without having to pay any tax to the federal government.
The other concern is that widespread use of Bitcoin will reduce the value of national currencies, since less people would be using them. These are the primary reasons why governments have begun attempting to restrict access to virtual currencies.
How Internet Users Are Trying To Bypass Online Restrictions
Countries typically try to reduce access to cryptocurrencies through geo-location techniques. That means that if an internet user looking to access a Bitcoin exchange is located within a restricting country’s borders, their access to that exchange can be blocked.
This can be a major hassle for internet users who travel a lot internationally, such as those that visit countries like China or Saudi Arabia. However, there are ways around content restrictions. VPNs, or virtual private networks, allow internet users to access websites no matter where they are located.
VPNs do this by creating a secure tunnel between a device connected to the internet and a server located somewhere else around the world. VPNs secure your data with encryption, so governments and third parties can’t read your online communications or track your movements. Your IP address is also changed, so that your local ISP or other parties can’t use it to see what you are doing online.
What Will National Governments Do As Cryptocurrency Use Grows In The Future?
As cryptocurrency use grows, expect more countries to impose strict restrictions on their use. Expect to see more exchanges shut down or attacked by government actors. But as governments take action, more individuals around the world will begin using VPNs to maintain access to cryptocurrencies. VPNs will become invaluable for those who are interested in trading Bitcoin and other virtual currencies without the risk of governments or third parties tracking their online behavior.
About the author
Chris San Filippo is a part of the marketing team at Hotspot Shield, one of the top ranked VPNs in the world. Hotspot Shield has over 500 million downloads and has helped users from over 200 countries fight for net neutrality and against censorship. Chris’s work has helped Hotspot Shield earn features in publications like Forbes, Bloomberg, and The Wall Street Journal. In addition to his job with Hotspot Shield, Chris also blogs about web security, cryptocurrencies, and social media trends.