Bitcoin “Fails as Electronic Cash System”: Edward Snowden

Bitcoin “Fails as Electronic Cash System”: Edward Snowden

Important Implications

  • Edward Snowden has said he has “many fans” of Bitcoin, but thinks the lack of privacy could mean it will fail in the long run.
  • The American whistleblower said that there are multiple crypto assets that can be considered gold-like currencies rather than currencies.
  • He added that he thinks the competition between cryptocurrencies is a net positive for the world.

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The American whistleblower expressed his concerns about the financialization of the crypto space, but added that he sees great prospects in the technology.

Edward Snowden Talks to Bitcoin

Edward Snowden believes in the crypto move, but thinks there are some big hurdles that need to be addressed in the coming years.

Speaking today in a virtual interview at Consensus 2022 in Austin, the American whistleblower and President of the Freedom of the Press Foundation shared his thoughts on the promise of emerging technology and issued a clear warning about the dangers of a world without financial privacy. respect crypto.

Snowden, who made international headlines in 2013 when he leaked classified National Security Agency documents detailing the surveillance practices of US citizens, described the public nature of Bitcoin as a “fundamental flaw” and said the biggest reason it failed was that it was not private. . Citing the Bitcoin whitepaper (Satoshi Nakamoto touted Bitcoin as a “peer-to-peer electronic cash system”), he said, “Cash fails as an electronic cash system largely because it aims to be anonymous.”

While Snowden said he saw problems with Bitcoin’s public ledger, he explained that he was “a huge fan” of the technology and made a comparison between gold and cryptocurrencies, noting that the borderless nature of Bitcoin and crypto in a broader sense was “something surprising.” ” Shortly after the discussion, Snowden wrote: a tweet defines gold as “Bitcoin that cannot be sent over the Internet”.

It also checked many other innovations in the cryptocurrency space, including the privacy coins Zcash and Monero. Snowden recently revealed that he helped create Zcash under the pseudonym John Dobbert, and said during the discussion that he was “really impressed” by the zero-knowledge proof technology when he first read the whitepaper.

Crypto as Money

Detailing his views on the promise of crypto technology, Snowden added that many crypto assets are “closer to money” than currencies. “People don’t understand the difference, but anything with monetary value is an exchangeable token that is not independently controlled by any central authority,” he said.

He also warned of the dangers of financialization of the crypto industry. He said the space is increasingly fragmented “due to the financialization of cryptocurrency,” implying that users don’t think the technology is sufficiently focused on it.

“[Users are] We do not primarily think about the networks that will serve us for 100 years for value transfer.” “I worry about a world where our money is used against us.”

Snowden said he hopes to see people have access to “free money in the sense of independence.” He suggested that having multiple assets that could act as money is a good thing for the world, which could be interpreted as an endorsement of the broader crypto ecosystem rather than a specific asset. “I think the more competition there is, the better,” he said.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned ETH and several other cryptocurrencies.

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