‘Privacy has become a taboo,’ says crypto anarchist project DarkFi

Pierre-Joseph Proudhon is widely regarded as the father of anarchism, having introduced the first critique of centralized authority in 1848. His work, which is at the heart of anarchism, is still relevant today, with encryption tools paving the way for parts of the ideal society envisioned in his theory. Cryptocurrencies may have strayed from its original political principles, but projects reviving cypherpunk values are still thriving. DarkFi is one such example, a multi-chain layer-1 protocol for anonymous applications and smart contracts powered by zero-knowledge proofs.

DarkFi is more than just a corporate startup, it’s a democratic economic experiment, an operating system for society, as per its manifesto. Crypto anarchy, according to DarkFi, is the tactic of using cryptography to create a space of freedom which cannot be penetrated by power and capital monopolies with coercive force. The project is spearheaded by a team of anarchist coders, including Amir Taak, an early Bitcoin developer who led the Dark Wallet project before it went dark in 2015.

In an interview with Cointelegraph, a group of pseudonymous DarkFi developers spoke about the project testnet and how the crypto industry is evolving among privacy challenges, bad actors, government oversight and politics. DarkFi is aiming to build anonymous and secure crypto, like what Monero and Zcash are for money, but for apps/smart contracts. The project is also inspired by Richard Stallman and the free software movement, which is why it is fully licensed with the GNU AGPL license, and follows the free software philosophy.

Encryption technologies, according to the developers, enable users to hide stuff in plain sight, and individuals shouldn’t give up the control of their freedom, especially to a government, which supposedly should work for the individual, not the other way around. However, what is currently being called the Web3 is just becoming a surveillance tool which is getting abused by adversaries and officials more and more.

Crypto isn’t a flamboyant tech, and has always been necessary for communication, work, and transactions. It creates a parallel and secure space beyond the state’s regulation, sanctions, and policies, and is used to deter one’s enemy. The individual’s enemies crypto is concerned with are monitoring and surveillance, and crypto principles make no compromise in securing freedom.

DarkFi has just released its initial testnet, and the community is trying out the UX and finding bugs, so they can iterate and improve. As for the future plans, the project is branching out in multiple directions when it comes to the blockchain, and also plans to educate people on the importance of free software and its philosophy. Developers and founders have to quit submitting to Big Tech and use crypto mechanisms to capture value within their projects and stay sovereign.


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