The Cryptoanarchist's Cookbookby@gadfly
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The Cryptoanarchist's Cookbook

by Derek NormanJanuary 18th, 2024
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Cryptoanarchy is a political and philosophical ideology that calls for the use of cryptographic technologies such as encryption and digital currencies to achieve greater personal freedom.
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In the modern world, all of our actions come under the scrutiny of authorities and corporations. The former watch where we earn money, the latter whether we spend it “correctly”. The state tried to take control of even a person’s thoughts. The emergence of the Internet marked a chance for the free exchange of ideas and information. Cryptoanarchists began to actively use this chance.

Cryptoanarchy is a political and philosophical ideology that calls for the use of cryptographic technologies such as encryption and digital currencies to achieve greater personal freedom, privacy, and autonomy from centralized authorities, including governments and corporations.

Cryptoanarchists subscribe to the ideas that all communication should be private and anonymous if the individual wants it to be, especially in times where one can go to jail for saying the “wrong” word. Anonymity is the catalyst for people to lose their fear of sharing their thoughts, creating a field for free communication. The next important component is the autonomy and decentralization that the Internet has given people. With proper utilization of the network, a user can stay out of the sight of authorities and corporations.
All the above mentioned benefits can be achieved with the help of cryptography.


Cryptography has its roots in wartime, when the secure transmission of information was vital. Primitive methods of encrypting forwarded messages meant that within a short period of time the key to decryption would be found. This meant that the threat of decryption was permanently present. There were many instances in the history of World War II where the key was solved before the message reached the recipient. This encouraged the military and governments to create ever more sophisticated forms of encryption. Many movies have been made on this subject. In the post-war period, these technologies were improved by governments. The USA took a special part in this process. For example, the well-known Tor browser was developed by the U.S. intelligence services for military and political purposes, but we will talk more about this in another article.

So, today cryptography has reached the point where even the most powerful computer in the world would take about 150–200 years to find the key. This makes the blockchain system, which is based on public key cryptography, as secure as possible today. The essence of this system is that it generates 2 different keys for each user of the network. One key is public and the other is private. The combination of the public and private key unlocks the data in the registry. This combination allows operations to be secure and anonymous today. Please note that it is for today, as technology is moving forward continuously, and hackers are not slumbering either, improving and perfecting possible attacks. What is safe this second may not be safe in an hour. It is important to actively monitor information to stay up-to-date on the latest information security developments.

Cypherpunks and cryptoanarchy

In the second half of the 1980s, when there was a threat of governments controlling the free Internet, a movement of cypherpunks emerged that advocated the privacy of all activities on the Internet. It was they who went on to improve cryptography technology. Over time, their ideas began to affect not only confidential communication on the network, but also problems of a governmental nature. By the end of the last century, it became obvious that the mistakes of the government are very expensive for ordinary people. The ideology of the cypherpunks was based on freedom from government control and oppression. Realization that taxpayers’ money was being spent on wars and political intrigues, prompted these people to carry out activities against the state. One prominent example is the emergence of WikiLeaks, which publicized abuses of power. Today, the cypherpunk movements have expanded beyond a small Internet community and have gained followers all over the world and among different social classes. Now virtual communities based on similar ideology can be found in any language, some even have a physical location.

Virtual communities and projects

One of the prime examples of a virtual community is Cyberpunks. It was they who created the first platform where participants could anonymously share their ideas, discuss theories and collaborate on projects. It was there that the idea of creating digital money, which formed the basis of the Bitcoin philosophy, was first conceived. Concepts such as public key cryptography, digital signatures and hash functions, which are fundamental to Bitcoin’s operation, were topics of intense discussion among community members. In fact, Cyberpunks was not just a forum, but an incubator of revolutionary ideas and technologies that have shaped our future. The identity of Satoshi Nakomoto, the creator or creators of Bitcoin, is unknown to this day, but it can be assumed that he/she/they either directly participated in these discussions or actively observed them. One way or another all of these ideas formed the basis of Bitcoin.

Anonymous payments and cryptoanarchism

As we have already found out above, cryptoanarchism is impossible without making anonymous payments. The first step in getting rid of government control is the freedom of money. In today’s world, any transaction that a bank does not like can lead to account blocking and sometimes even litigation. The world lives under the illusion that people own their money and property, but in reality this is not the case. I dare to assume that every person has faced the fact that at any moment there can be a call from the bank with a demand to report on the origin of funds or the purpose of payment. In case of unsatisfactory answer, access to funds may be blocked. In today’s banking system, confidentiality is simply impossible. Banks see where we eat, where we buy clothes, at which gas stations we fill up, to whom we transfer our money. If necessary, all this information (by which geolocation can be established in a matter of minutes), will be transferred to the state authorities. Is it possible to avoid total state control? The answer is positive. We will talk about the possibility of anonymous payments in the next article.