In this third MobileCoin Foundation blog post, we want to consider how the desire for privacy is universal, especially considering recent world events involving regional military conflicts, global economic sanctions, and efforts to aid globally displaced people.
Throughout the war in Ukraine, for example, MobileCoin has been supporting the Ukrainian people, who have faced unbelievable challenges in fending off an invasion by Russia. This support has included making sure that their digital financial transactions are protected in ways that do not put them or their loved ones in harm’s way. Anyone in Ukraine (and elsewhere) with a Signal App account can make trusted, secure, and private digital payments using the “Payments” Beta Feature located under Settings.
At the same time, we at MC recognize that just because there’s a war going on in the region doesn’t mean concerns like money laundering aren’t still present. It is important that any digital payments platform also does KYC checks to ensure that bad actors – perhaps Russia itself, in this case – does not attempt to bypass international sanctions while donning the cloak of privacy. Operating as a trusted digital payments solution requires compliance checks, else the security and privacy provided will be misused and abused by bad actors. MC solves this by operating as a pre-minted asset and performing better-than-bank KYC checks on digital transactions. Specifically, MC complies with economic sanctions enforced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the U.S. Department of Treasury at the client level via phone number and Internet Protocol blocking. Such strict “Know Your Customer” (KYC) checks are performed by MC when customers interact with institutions using MobileCoin for digital payments.
Achieving the maximum privacy compliant with the rule of law is only possible if we also bake-in security. Because of this, MC stores no personally identifiable information on its chain – relying instead on encrypted wallets to identify people. Additionally, we make our code open source so that outside individuals and groups can affirm how our code operates.
Which leads to an important distinction about what MobileCoin is and is not. MobileCoin is a trusted digital payments solution – which might prompt some to ask how MC differs from other options out there. First, MC is not an investment like Bitcoin, where folks are buying the coin in the hope that others will want to pay a higher price for the coin later – i.e., speculation. MC is not a speculative currency. MC is functional – a means of exchange – and it is private. By design, there’s absolutely no way for MC to profit from your private digital data. MC stores no personally identifiable information on its chain. If you want to verify this, you can check our code yourself.
Other digital payment solutions may be selling aggregate analyses of your payment activities – the type of consumer you are, your interest, hobbies, and more. If they expressly do not say they’re doing it, one should be concerned that they possibly might be selling such data. At MobileCoin, not only will we never want to sell your digital data – we are designed from the ground up to be unable to do this while still having the necessary KYC checks to ensure bad actors do not misuse or abuse the security and privacy provided by MC.
There are plenty of good actors who want privacy and security – including those from the U.S. and other friendly nations helping Ukraine and other regions of the world that stand against oppressive regimes. By operating with the belief that Security, Privacy, and Compliance serve as the three core criteria required to operate in a responsible, globally conscious manner, MobileCoin aims to provide trusted digital payments for the 21st century, to support the side of good and exclude those who would do bad.
So say we all,
The MobileCoin Foundation Board