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What personal values would you consider when working on a cryptocurrency project?
I watched a TV series about a group of entrepreneurs who made a network on the deep web to give people the freedom to communicate anonymously and trade using the cryptocurrency and, in this series, two values are fighting together, one of them is the value of keeping the members data secrete, respect their privacy and the other value is to stop the crimes because most of the people use this network for dirty business.
This situation is not far from reality and maybe this debate becomes one of the major issues now and in the future.
Since decentralized digital currencies do not use intermediaries like governments, they are an attractive alternative to crime.
What personal values would you consider when working on such a project? Which of these values are unshakable and which could be a trade-off?
To the extent that you know your values, you will also know what the drivers of your ethical criteria are.

Mohamed khalifa, and I discussed this situation, but we need also to hear from you.
We suggest using Ethical Decision Making Framework from PMI to helping you to decide what to do in this situation.
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Thank you for sharing. I guess the same than lot of people that work like project managers creating massive destruction weapons and things like that. Ethic is beyond a framework or code. Mainly if this framework or code is not judicially actionable like you see in other fields like law or medicine. In fact, those are real professions in the sense of the definition because they have this type of code and this level of professional registration. So, it is up to each human being, not about a code. Ethics belongs to a field which is discussed from the time of Greeks and before. Personally I was trained and involved in this type of things when I obtained my Ph.D. in Software Engineering in the USA. The important point is to take a position as a human being and above all, if an organization claims to be committed to ethics, it must take a stronger and clearer position instead of looking to the side as appropriate, as several organizations of all kinds do in this world.
There are three sets of values to consider here. Those which guide behavior within a society, those which guide decisions within a company, and your personal values. I've always felt that "to thine own self be true" and what was interesting about "Startup" (which is the series I believe you are referencing) is the personal struggle which each of the key characters experienced with aligning their personal, moral compasses with those of the company and the society they operated in.

There are those that participate and profit from criminal and/or unethical activities and then there are the enablers. Its relatively easy to identify and avoid criminal and/or unethical behaviour however much more challenging to avoid being an enabler.

Does one step away from being involved with an activity that "could" lead or support criminal or unethical behaviour? Most likely not as just about anything we do could be used for such. If a gang were to use project management methods to rob a bank (it is a project after all) do we stop research and development in project management methodology?

Yes, your work could be used for nefarious activities but if you are not directly involved in such I don't see an ethical concern. As suggested this is a personal choice.
Depends essentially of the organization behind the cryptocurrency, the assumption that all is anonymous is not entirely correct.
In Europe a lot of central banks grant licenses to digital currency brokers, such as bitcoin, that brokers must comply with the regulations,and transparency required to be able to act in the market.

So I think the first ethical question should be: is the organization that deals cryptocurrency working under the central banks rules?
In case of a research project I agree with Peter if the researching activity is according of the context legislation you cannot predict if the result will be used with good or bad intentions.

So as all situations an ethical an ethical dilemma should be solved weighing the region legislation, the organization activity and ultimately is also about your own values.

Thank you Rocio and Mohamed for initiating this thoughtful discussion. As a human being in general, and as a project manager in specific, values are values and are applicable any time any where, and not to be trade-off under any circumstances. Furthermore, the values that a project manager rely on for decision making are more needed to be respect nowadays then ever: responsibility of taking decisions in the best interests of society, public safety and environment , respect to avoid engaging in disrespectful behaviors, fairness to provide equal access to information as authorized, and being honest in our communications and conduct. This is how personally, I would be looking to this new era of full virtualization...
@Alexandre makes some pertinent points here

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