I’d say that the average consumer wants anonymity for their pwn payments because they are not crooks (and their purchasing decisions are no-one’s business except theirs and the merchant’s). On the other hand, the average consumer (not to mention the average law enforcement agent) doesn’t want anonymity for terrorists, lobbyists or fraudsters. This is the payments privacy paradox, and cryptocurrency brings it into sharp relief.
The Bank of England’s fintech director Tom Mutton said in a speech that privacy was “a non-negotiable” for a retail CBDC. Meanwhile, the Bank of Canada published a a staff analytical note on the risks associated with CBDCs stating that central banks should mitigate risks such as anonymity present in digital currencies. Note the formulation of anonymity as a “risk”.
With stricter rules on the holding and exchange of cryptocurrencies coming into place around the globe, the issue of anonymity is about to spark an important public policy debate. Just to give one example, South Korea’s Financial Services Commission CBFV -1.3% has announced new rules to come into force in 2022, banning all anonymous digital currencies “that possess a high-risk of money laundering” (which, as far as I can see, is all anonymous digital currencies).