Question on bitcoin's transparency - A double-edged sword?

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By its nature bitcoin is fully transparent. Anyone who wants to can see transactions on the newtork. This is an important attribute because it is one of the factors promoting trust in the system.

My question is, is the transparency of the network a negative in terms of government intervention/monitoring. Governments (if they so desired) could monitor transactions of particular people in ways that are not possible now (ie can't monitor cash transactions) given the transparency of the bitcoin network. This transparency seems like it could lead to increased government oversight despite the decentralized nature of bitcoin.

Seems like a double-edged sword, but would like to hear others thoughts/considerations. Thanks.

submitted by /u/impliedinsult
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