EU planning to ban encryption or require "back door"

In late December last year, ProtonMail reported on a white paper issued by the EU proposing a ban on encryption (or at the least, requiring a “back door” decryption key) for the entire 27 countries of the union. Seems rather disruptive.

Does Satoshi Labs have a position on this proposal? What’s being done? How do we protect our coins if this goes forward?

Does anybody know where this stands at present?

Hi @Polliwog. All we can say is that users’ privacy and security is on the first place no matter what. We will definitely do what we can to follow our mission of delivering the most secure hardware wallet.

Feel free to learn about our principles, if you like:

I have re-read your philosophy and your manifesto. Sadly, neither document nor your response speaks to the prospect of legal requirements of your EU overlords passing a ban on encryption or a requirement for a “back door” decryption key for all encryption usage, as recently suggested.

A sound philosophy and a strong manifesto are important. It seems that government regulation of encryption may be coming to the EU. An incomplete philosophy and an incomplete manifesto do not get the job done.

  • Will you fight to oppose such legislation by the EU?
  • Are you prepared to ignore and violate such a law if it comes to pass?
  • If you have not considered such issues, will you soon address them?
  • Will you continue your policy of transparency as you deal with these thorny issues?

Seems it may be time for an update.


Basically, we can’t implement any backdoor because everything we do is open source and it would be obvious we are adding something that does not belong there.

See our statement;

To sum it up, as strong advocates of self-sovereignity we will do anything in our power to fight this non-sense.

It’s worth noting that Great Britain did everything in its power to fight “nonsense” from Brussels. Since they were unable to prevent a lot of such “nonsense,” they chose to leave the EU via “Brexit.”

If the EU makes it illegal to sell a product with encryption and no “backdoor,” you’ll face some hard choices.

We wish you good luck.

Thanks, we will do our best.

Cnet has an article about this topic yesterday - Bitcoin price falls as EU vows to make cryptocurrency traceable - CNET

While the EU lawmakers say they’ll go after the exchanges, not the users, they also say:

“Cryptocurrency is one of the newest ways to launder money,” Mairead McGuinness, the Commissioner for Financial Services, Financial Stability, and Capital Markets Union, tweeted on Tuesday. “Our rules will now apply to the whole of the crypto sector. We will ban anonymous crypto wallets and make sure that crypto-asset transfers are traceable.”
(my emphasis.)

As I see it, the regulation path may be futile. The crypto community will only be pushed to go underground or use the dark net. In my opinion the greatest “threat” to government controlled fiat money is a critical mass of crypto. If/when there are enough crypto among ordinary people, and not only the rich, then the shops will come after too and offer more goods for crypto. If that happens, there’ll soon be a separate economic system based on crypto instead of fiat. And that’s what should scare governments.

So what should governments do about it? Well, in my opinion they should try to make it easier to connect crypto to fiat instead of banning crypto. Banks should make it easy to convert crypto to fiat directly on the bank’s website; credit and debit cards, such as Mastercard and VISA, should make it easy to convert crypto to fiat so people can spend their crypto in the fiat system; companies paying employees in crypto should be allowed, simply by paying income tax and company taxes; etc. The more you make crypto coins work with the fiat system, the more you uphold the fiat system in the long run. If, on the other hand, you hunt down crypto as the new plague, you risk only to make it grow into a separate system, completely self-contained and independent of fiat.

There is an interesting post on Reddit about the regulation efforts.

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Interesting. Seems the fiat world is going to do it the hard way.
Will this force the crypto exchanges, hardware wallet makers and customers to migrate to El Salvador, like the chinese miners now flee China? :slight_smile:

Who knows, it will be interesting to watch how it develops in the coming months and years.

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Yeah, we have until October, at least, to HODL our coins as usual. :wink:
From the Reddit article:

IMPORTANT UPDATE : on June 25, 2021, FATF issued a statement saying that these recommendations will not be finalized by July 2021, but by October 2021 .

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