Privacy is a fundamental human right. Let’s fight for it.
The Private Finance Syndicate (PFS) is an organisation founded by Navcoin, a Private Finance (PriFi) Ecosystem & LunarDAO, an privacy-oriented investment fund. We believe that bundling forces is essential for our sector, thus our motivation to come and grow together.
Since the emergence of Bitcoin, the ideals of decentralization and focus on privacy of the cypherpunk movement have been increasingly lost.
Given the encroachment of governments and regulators, it should be clear that only private finance solutions will help us to preserve our freedoms in the long run.
In 1993, Eric Hughes, an American mathematician, computer programmer and one of the founders of the Cypherpunk movement, foresaw something very important. In his ‘Cypherpunk’s Manifesto’ he wrote:
Today, 30 years later, his statements at the time sound like a prophecy that has come true. In the last few decades, technology has developed at breakneck speed, not least because of the new possibilities offered by the Internet which on the one hand offer advantages, but on the other hand also have disadvantages.
Not only for us, the ordinary citizens and users of the Internet and its applications, but also for governments and their authorities, who exploit them in order to gain more control over our everyday life, limiting privacy, an inalienable, fundamental human right, especially when it comes to our finances.
The Private Finance Syndicate is a non-profit organisation that focuses on fighting for and promoting financial privacy.
Data – The Oil of The 21st Century
Data, to put it in a nutshell, is the oil of the 21st century. It is not only worth hard cash, but an ideal surveillance tool, not only for dictatorships and authoritarian regimes, but also for all ‘democratic’ Western governments.
A tool provided by Big Tech, consisting of powerful multinational corporations, first and foremost Google, Facebook & Co, which are harvesting data, store and analyse it in order to make money with our very own thoughts, desires and secrets. A trend that is currently further increased by the exploration and development of sophisticated machine learning and AI models.
The collective consciousness does not care too much about the upcoming global changes, accompanied by further limitations of the fundamental right to privacy. For more ‘security’ and ‘convenience’ in everyday life, most people are willing to give up freedoms, such as privacy, without giving it too much thought.
Financial data, as any data, represents powerful knowledge about an individual. Cash as the main means of transaction has been in decline for some time. Most transactions are conducted electronically, there is more electronic FIAT money than FIAT cash, every banking transaction is logged, stored by central entities, and made available to the government agencies and regulators of the world, making it possible for the powers in place to sanction and limit the financial activity of individuals.
Cryptocurrencies are meant to represent a glimpse of hope in that regard, however, they come with underestimated side effects in terms of privacy.
Bitcoin – Not What The Cypherpunks Were Looking For
Since the 1990s, there have been efforts by the cypherpunk movement to remedy this problem, creating novel electronic currencies that cannot be controlled by traditional financial institutions. These efforts culminated in 2009 when Satoshi Nakamoto, an unknown individual or collective finally released Bitcoin. A digital cryptocurrency based on a public distributed ledger, the blockchain, managed and validated by a decentralized network consisting of nodes all over the world.
Today, 14 years later, Bitcoin has a 12-figure market capitalization and is the biggest cryptocurrency on the market. In the years that followed, an entire ecosystem of digital cryptocurrencies and blockchain ecosystems, first and foremost Ethereum, were developed around it.
Those currencies and ecosystems, using blockchain-technology and smart contracts, enable people without bank accounts to actively participate in the financial system worldwide without having to submit to the greed and injustice of traditional banking.
‘So far, so good’, a lot of people thought, ‘it seems that everything has changed for the better, we did it!’
No, unfortunately not quite. While Bitcoin and Ethereum have solved some problems, one major problem is often overlooked: The lack of privacy. At the core of this issue is the fact that the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains are not anonymous, but only pseudonymous. Every transaction recorded in the ledger can be viewed by anyone who is interested.
If the public key of a person is known, for example by linking it with publicly accessible data from social media, or KYC data of a cryptocurrency exchange, all further transactions can be traced. This is already a big business for so-called blockchain analytics firms like Chainalysis, which study blockchains on behalf of the government, tax agencies and law enforcement.
These transaction tracking capabilities are guaranteed to be embraced around the world, violating the fundamental human right of financial privacy.
CBDCs – Central Bank Digital Currencies
Regulators around the world are working to regulate the entire cryptocurrency industry as much as possible, trying to clip our wings, while forcing the implementation of CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies) that will just give them more control than they already have.
In a CBDC system, every transaction would be tracked and stored forever, without exception. This is also already the case today, but we are drifting further and further towards a cashless system. Today, cash is the only way in the FIAT system to achieve a certain degree of privacy.
When cash is abolished across the board, the use of pseudonymous cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications is further regulated, while the surveillance apparatus in general continues to grow steadily, what will be left for people to do?
Private Finance (PriFi) – The Light at The End of The Tunnel
In 2023, not much is left of the original idea of the Cypherpunk movement, to create decentralized solutions, both, cryptocurrencies and decentralized applications, that are beyond central control, that promote the freedom of the individual, and that protect privacy.
Only a small, but sophisticated sector within this industry, consisting of idealistic individuals, has not forgotten our roots and is working unswervingly on what really matters:
Private Finance, short PriFi, creates decentralized, private solutions using cryptography, such as stealth addresses, Zero-knowledge proofs and other concepts combined with blockchain-technology to create not pseudonymous but fully anonymous blockchains and transaction processes, in order to to let people exercise their fundamental human right of privacy, to give them an alternative to the eerie dystopia we face otherwise.
Governments and regulators are not at all thrilled about this. They strive to maintain the status quo, retain total control, and restrict the fundamental rights of their subjects. In the coming years, we will witness them trying to regulate the above-mentioned technological innovations and the PriFi sector, or even to ban and criminalise the use of such PriFi solutions.
As of today, we can already see the first steps in this regard, with regulations pressuring centralised exchanges to delist private cryptocurrencies and places like Dubai in which the usage of PriFi was banned.
A cashless society chained to the use of CBDCs, a society in which any private alternative is prohibited by law, would have devastating consequences.
This is why we, the Private Finance Syndicate, have to fight for what is right!
Private Finance Syndicate (PFS) – Standing Together, Fighting Together
The Private Finance Syndicate (PFS) calls on all legitimate freedom fighters, cypherpunks, lunarpunks and crypto-anarchists, who strive for sovereignity through usage and development of privacy projects, to join the fight against authoritarianism, censorship, and governmental overreach, for a future in which financial privacy is ensured through decentralized, anonymous platforms and technologies.
We are all facing the same challenges; to bundle forces seems like the logical and necessary step. Our vision: Instead of seeing each other as competitors, PriFi projects would instead benefit from working together toward this shared objective.
PriFi and PFS can create our own platform to ensure visibility of projects in our industry. In this way we can have a greater outreach both in the general public, and also cryptocurrency-related media. The demand for PriFi solutions will steadily increase, and we need to focus on the bigger picture. To expand the possibilities for all of us rather than fighting over a piece of the pie.
PFS can play an important role in building unity, exchange experiences, knowledge and network, addressing and tackling problems together, educating people, acting as one unified voice in order to promote our shared vision and ideals in public.
Spread cypherpunk and lunarpunk narrative.
Address regulatory measures as opposed to freedom and sovereignty.
Act in unity and provide mutual support.
Share knowledge, proposals and directions for people to enhance privacy.
Share calendar of important privacy events.
Joint educational efforts.
Support each other in case of repression:
Create platform to expand knowledge.
Articles/podcasts/interviews: Privacy as a mean in struggle for liberation, not just for profit.
Legal advice: written material and contacts.
Build resources base including Q&A in regard to legal questions.
List known cases: Basis of the attack, response from privacy partisans.
Let’s fight for financial privacy. Together!
We do not see other PriFi projects as competition, but rather as like-minded partners.
Regulators and government bodies will come for all of us if we do our job properly, giving what the people need in the future: financial privacy.
Unity, exchange of knowledge and network, shared ideals – with every project joining us, we grow stronger together.
Main goals of the PFS is to exchange resources and experience in different fields among the member projects.
For example running community events together, cross-promote & grow each others communities and to act as one unified voice in order to promote our vision and ideals in public.
This might also bring well-deserved media attention and publicity.
Members of the PFS, consisting of projects but also individuals such as researchers, cryptographers and lawyers, find themselves in a strong organization that shares its values and is eager to offer everyone the help that is possible and necessary.
We count on flexibility and voluntary action, a healthy give and take, so that in the end everyone benefits.
Navcoin is a PriFi ecosystem, building privacy solutions from scratch, with a soon to be released privacy-enhanced Proof-of-Stake protocol.
In addition to the ability to transact anonymously and securely, Navcoin offers other features such as creating private versions of tokens created on pseudonymous blockchains. The team consists of idealists who consider privacy as one of the highest goods and are ready to fight for it.
LunarDAO is a PriFi investment fund running on the blockchain, with the aim to expand freedom and ensure sovereignty of the individual.
The team of LunarDAO, launched in 2023, consists of freedom & privacy-loving, long-time IT and cryptography experts who have made it their goal to financially support privacy projects in order to drive their growth, with a strong belief in community, decentralization and individual responsibility.
BasicSwapDEX, powered by the Particl Protocol, is a cross-chain, private, decentralized exchange protocol, and trading app.
BasicSwapDEX enables anyone through atomic swaps to swap one cryptocurrency for another, without the involvement of any third-party, and of course without any KYC needed. Users can create or accept orders on a distributed order book, allowing for secure, trustless, unrestricted, and private swaps, all without incurring trading fees. Their protocol can be integrated into any Layer-1 blockchain that supports atomic swaps.
Particl is a pro-liberty dApp platform that operates without needing any middlemen; P2P, decentralized, and private.
Decentralized and privacy-oriented platforms and technological solutions are getting more and more important, due to regulatory overreach when it comes to rather centralised blockchain-solutions. The Particl ecosystem contains a peer-to-peer network, a strongly encrypted data exchange protocol, a programmable blockchain that facilitates privacy and of course the privacy coin ‘PART’; the main product of the ecosystem is the Particl Marketplace.