Edward Snowden, former CIA employee and famous for NSA’s (National Security Agency) whistleblowing affair in 2013 was recently interviewed at a Blockstack event. Snowden, although not physically present, shared his views on bitcoins as the interview commenced via a webcam. According to him, the decentralized currency comes with an inherent flaw which no one seems to be noticing. “[People are] focused on the transaction rate limitations,” he said, and commented that the focus should instead be on “the long-lasting flaw is its public ledger.”
“You cannot have a lifelong history of everyone’s purchases available to everyone and have that work out well at scale,” sighted Snowden as the flaw with bitcoin’s public ledger. He then went on to compare bitcoin with the advent of the first internet browser, saying that although it was an innovation in its own right, it is not used now because there are far more superior versions available in the market.
Following his remarks, Snowden was questioned on whether he owned any cryptocurrencies or not. The man hinted that in the past, while he was working to gather NSA reports, he [might have] used bitcoins to remain anonymous.
He also explored some of the positive aspects of bitcoins and cryptocurrencies, mostly related to their underlying blockchain technologies. Snowden is optimistic about the potential of blockchains and advised to focus on the positives instead of the negatives or else it is better to “pack up the game […] become less capable as people.”
In comparison to bitcoins, Snowden finds the altcoin ZCash as a much more interesting digital currency as it focuses on user privacy. He is somewhat disturbed by how every project is trying to establish a name for themselves with their own niche in the digital finance market. Snowden’s advice is that all such projects should combine forces and work together to be able to defend rights when things fall under the Democratic State of Regulation.