Cryptoanarchy – What is it, definition and concept | 2022

Cryptoanarchy is an ideology that seeks the total privacy of individuals in their communications and transactions through the use of cryptography.

In short, what cryptography intends is that individuals can enjoy total confidentiality, while exalting the defense of individual freedom. Therefore, it could be said that cryptoanarchism is a philosophy that defends the freedom of the individual against the control of the State.

The origin of this concept is due to the computer scientist and engineer Timothy C. May. For this (cryptoanarchy), messages must be encrypted, which will allow security and privacy in exchanges and communications.


Already during World War II, espionage services were busy encrypting and decrypting messages. Over the years, technologies continued to evolve and in the 1970s the first prototype of the Internet emerged.

However, although communications were possible, they were not secure, since it was easy to access the content of the information that flowed through the network. Given this, David Chaum, an American student at the University of Berkeley, managed to create encryption through a public key. Thanks to this, the privacy of users could be maintained and access to reliable information was allowed.

In this concern for user privacy, David Chaum showed great interest in monetary transactions. In other words, David Chaum was thinking about digital money.

This is how Chaum founded Digicash in 1989, where economic transactions could be carried out anonymously and safely. But Chaum’s company went bankrupt in 1998.

Cryptoanarchism would emerge strongly thanks to the strong growth of technology companies. As a great standard-bearer, he would have the cryptographer Timothy C. May.

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May was looking for a way to carry out exchanges and, at the same time, ensure the privacy of its users. This implied the development of a digital currency that would remain outside the control of the States, in such a way that the transactions could not be located by the authorities.

The ideas of Timothy C. May were collected in the «Cryptoanarchist Manifesto». Through this document, May emphasized concepts such as individual freedom and anonymity in economic transactions.

What is cryptoanarchy?

As an ideology, crypto-anarchism is not linked to any institution or political party. It consists of an economic philosophy and individual freedom that unites different people.

For cryptoanarchy to be possible, communications must be secure and, therefore, ensure user privacy. All this makes cryptography its great tool, which will safeguard the freedom of individuals against any monitoring by public authorities.

As part of the desire of cryptoanarchism for the defense of the individual, it is also intended to put an end to any type of censorship on the networks. Crypto-anarchists believe that everyone has the right to freely express their opinions.

Trust and privacy are two closely linked elements in cryptoanarchism. To do this, each user will have their own signature on the network.

On the other hand, cryptoanarchy supposes a break with the conventional economy and with traditional banking. This means a decentralization of financial services through cryptocurrencies, which must escape the control of the States.

Cryptocurrencies are an essential element in cryptoanarchism. Thanks to them, it is possible to make payments safely and, at least, with less control by the authorities. In fact, Satoshi Nakamoto, creator of Bitcoin, the first cryptocurrency, expressed his admiration for the ideas of Timothy C. May.

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