In 2011 we first started to provide hosting service under different brand name. We did not call it anonymous hosting back then, but rather privacy oriented web hosting. In 2011 Bitcoin had been in existence for 2 years already. It was not widespread, it was not accepted by merchants besides one dark web market place (Silkroad) and its price was $1.
The number of google searches for the terms “anonymous hosting”, “anonymous domain” was around 2 to 5 per week. People did not think much about protecting their privacy back then. But Bitcoin was born right when there was an urging need for it.
Things will never be the same
In 2013 Edward Snowden unveils global surveillance programs and privacy concerns surge. People start thinking more and more about protecting their privacy.
What Bitcoin did, it allowed companies, which were truly privacy oriented, to continue to exist. If you have been with us for some time, you know that the range of our company products have underwent some changes. There were times when we offered offshore company formations and bank accounts. But regulations for offshore companies were becoming more and more strict every year since 2013. KYC was becoming more rigorous, application were rejected and offshore companies were facing operating challenges.
One might ask – how stricter regulations for offshore companies could lead to worse privacy? Easy. Offshore jurisdictions have offered nominees services for companies registrations which allowed to protect real beneficiaries of the company. Even if there were no nominees, it was very hard to get those beneficiaries disclosed by the offshore jurisdictions. When the beneficiary of the company is protected it can provide better privacy for its clients knowing that big corps, officials or just some angry people will not be able to pressure him for stimulating free speech or providing anonymous hosting and domain services.
The idea behind all those strict KYC and money-laundering laws was to put all businesses and people in the frame where so called “rulers of the world” can easily reach you. And real offshore business was an obstacle, one of them. So, step-by-step offshore businesses started to face closures of their bank accounts with mainstream banks. Yes, you could still get a bank account in the place of your offshore registration but the quality of those bank services were over the line. No SEPA, no wire, no usable online banking.
Here comes Bitcoin
If no Bitcoin, there would be no rise of anonymous hosting and privacy protection services. Because 1. what is the reason to protect privacy when payments are not private 2. offshore businesses which were truly privacy oriented would not be able to continue doing their business because of operational challenges (not being able to process payments).
Instead there would be fake anonymous service providers which might not require you to provide them any personal details but still they would not be able to process payment privately. This would made the person privacy at even bigger danger. There is nothing worse than a business which only pretends to protects its clients privacy. Yes, there are still many not offshore hosting providers being promoted as anonymous but at least we have a choice.
After all, we all owe to Bitcoin. Thanks to Bitcoin we now have plenty of anonymous service providers options, we have other cryptocurrencies which are focused on privacy and anonymity of payments.