Former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) computer consultant Edward Snowden spoke at the Ethereal Virtual Summit 2021 about Bitcoin and decentralization and its relationship to freedom.
Snowden: Bitcoin has failed
Snowden said Bitcoin has failed to ensure user privacy, and the new network update, Taproot, may even make things worse.
Alex Gladstein, director of strategy (CSO) of the Human Rights Foundation and Oslo Freedom Forum, says Snowden is wrong.
– Taproot is a privacy update currently being activated that is laying the foundations for much more powerful privacy features such as SigAgg. Everything was designed by developers – he said. He also added that Taproot is a true improvement in Bitcoin’s privacy with the possibility “Blackouts” chain analysis. – But to build a robust digital cash system with a decentralized mint to serve the whole world for hundreds of years, you can’t just focus on privacy. You also need to ensure decentralization, scalability, audibility and economic incentives – He said.
Snowden he replied to Gladstein on Twitter. He defined his statement as “Misleading”.
He also praised some privacy-focused projects such as Zcash and Monero. However, he argued, BTC is the only cryptocurrency that is already large enough to face potential regulation aimed at stifling decentralized projects.
Snowden: a police state is being built
The US defector has long argued that the authorities want to build a global police state.
A year ago, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Snowden suggested that circumstances such as the aforementioned pandemic could be cynically used by politicians around the world to build spy systems and use the new laws restricting freedoms that are already being introduced to increase public surveillance.
In turn, in 2019 he said that “Lack of privacy is an existential threat to Bitcoin. This is the only protection for users against political change. ” He also added then that he himself is a supporter of cryptocurrencies and pays them whenever he can.
At that time, he also claimed that governments themselves – without regulations – are reportedly unable to track cryptocurrency flows.