What Does Cryptoanarchism Mean?

Cryptoanarchism is an ideology that espouses the use of cryptography to maintain freedom of speech and prevent government control and regulation of the Internet. The increasing sophistication of cryptographic methods is making it possible for people to communicate over the Internet in a way that is anonymous, untraceable and tamper proof.


This movement is often associated with cypherpunks, who view privacy as a good thing and wish there was more of it. Governments tend to object to totally anonymous interactions online because they can be used by drug dealers, tax evader and those who may pose a threat to national security.

Techopedia Explains Cryptoanarchism

Bitcoin, an emerging digital currency that can be traded and used anonymously, is one type of technology that gets strong support from cryptoanarchists. Some people just want to buy things – whether illegal or not – without the risk of being identified. Others see freeing currency from government control as a form of liberation from a traditional financial system they view as being unfair or potentially unreliable.

Some of the technologies that enable a move toward cryptoanarchism include:

  • High-speed networks
  • Integrated services digital networks (ISDN)
  • Tamper-proof boxes
  • Smart cards
  • Satellites
  • Ku-band transmitters
  • Multi-MIPS personal computers
  • Encryption chips

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…