To KYC or not to KYC? In this episode, CoinDesk’s Anna Baydakova talks to Hodl Hodl and Bisq, two non-custodial, no-KYC bitcoin exchanges.
But not all bitcoiners have surrendered to this norm. Hodl Hodl and Bisq don't provide centralized custody and don't check user identity. They also don't employ the blockchain tracing tools to block the "tainted" coins (blacklisted as coming from illicit activities), which has become a must for major bitcoin exchanges these days.
What comes with this? A chance to buy and sell bitcoin without revealing your identity, as well as much more responsibility over how you buy and store your crypto. Max Keidun, the CEO of Hodl Hodl, and Steve Jain, contributor to Bisq, dig into why, in the times of crypto compliance, people still might need (or maybe just lawfully want) to keep their bitcoin deals to themselves.
There are more questions to arise from such old-school cypherpunk thinking: how can you make sure you don't get scammed at these p2p platforms? What do you do if you buy "tainted" coins blacklisted by the FATF-abiding exchanges and vendors?
Max and Steve share their takes on this, and the main explanation is probably: "everything has a price." Including freedom from surveillance and data leaks.
We also touch the matter of decentralization that is important to both Hodl Hodl and Bisq. Hodl Hodl is planning to open source itself, so everyone can clone and run their own p2p bitcoin exchange in case the regulators go after Keidun and his team. And Bisq fully decentralized last year, when it turned all its decision making over to a DAO.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.