One of the big battles being fought across technology is between the conflicting desires for individual privacy and government or regulatory requirements for transparency and accountability. I think Bitcoin is one of the more interesting fronts in this war, as a technology that was originally inherently private, but is trying to grow up into a more mainstream platform that keeps regulators happy.
While every individual transaction in Bitcoin is anonymous, there is also a perfect record of all transactions that have ever happened. Once you start to identify a few addresses, it's possible to use big data analytics and clustering analysis to start to see through the anonymity.
Today there are start-ups using technology to reinforce Bitcoin's privacy, with Bitcoin tumblers, and big data start-ups aiming to lift the veil of privacy. Just like news around ad-blocker-blockers, this technology tit-for-tat makes for interesting news, but really it just serves to highlight the more fundamental question of how the concept of privacy in society should evolve alongside our evolving technology.
The yin and the yang of privacy and transparency is continuing to progress full circle. With surveillance techniques on the rise, methods of added privacy also has increased.