On November 20 of this year, through the US publisher McSweeney’s, entitled “The End of Trust,” he presented a transcript of messages between the former CIA subordinate and NSA, Edward Snowden, and his lawyer, Ben Wizner.
In these messages, former agent Snowden shares with his legal counselor his understanding of how blockchains work, as well as the advantages and disadvantages that Bitcoin can have.
Snowden made public after exposing the mass surveillance programs that the NSA did not disclose.
The former agent explained to his lawyer that block chains are “basically a new type of data record” which uses advanced mathematics, which solves the problem of trust, and which is “an effort to create so that can be manipulated.”
He also mentioned that one of the many problems that can be found in blockchain networks is scalability; he said that within a few years, which will no longer be a concern for the public:
The best-known chain of blocks has the function of eliminating the need for reliable authorities at the expense of efficiency. At this very moment, the old bodies such as Visa and MasterCard can process tens of thousands of transactions, while Bitcoin can only handle around seven transactions.
However, lately, we have been working on methods to improve the efficiency disadvantage that Bitcoin has, transaction rates for blockchains will grow in the coming years to a point where they will no longer be a problem.
MONEY, THE BEST EXAMPLE THAT BLOCKCHAINS MAKE SENSE
According to Snowden, “money is, affirming, the best and the most famous demonstration of where it has been seen that blockchain networks make sense.”
He pointed out that most of the conventional monetary systems fail and mentioned, that he would take, for example, that number of people who are unbanked around the world, the events that occurred in Cyprus and the current economy of Venezuela and Zimbabwe.
However, in the specific case of Bitcoin, he said that it could cease to exist at some point and that only the “belief” that it has performed as an exchange currency and the shortage of BTC is what has given it value.
On the other hand, the former US agent refugee in Russia said he likes Bitcoin transactions because of its neutrality and inalterability.
“This coin cannot be stopped or reversed without the voluntary and explicit participation of the people who are involved.”
He also stressed that, although it was not about private money, Bitcoin would be considered as the first “free” money.
Concerning private money, Snowden told Wizner that there are currently cryptocurrencies that compete with bitcoin, such as monero and zcash, whose transactions are difficult to track and are truly private in that part.
For Snowden, he says that better agreements protocols are needed than the Labor Test and the Participation Test, indicating the amount of energy demanded lately and the favoring of the big investors of PoW, as well as the dependence of the network of the owners of cryptocurrencies in PoS.
However, for Edward Snowden, “the original creator of Bitcoin established a scheme that is extraordinarily intelligent: a kind of global mathematics contest.”
REACTIONS OF THE CRYPTOWORLD
Prominent figures of the world such as John Carvalho, Nic carter, Ricardo Spagni and Vitalik buterin in reacted to what Snowden said in his interviews.
Bitcoin developer, John Carvalho, wrote to Snowden that his opinion had no validity since he has never been part of it in that area.
He also said that it takes a long time to understand all the complexities that Bitcoin technology has and how blockchains fail by themselves in the vast majority that the blockchain attributes to them.
In addition to that, he added: “I am discouraging people from stopping to trust the opinion given by someone who is not an expert. Especially when they are just looking for a way to sell a book. They should have asked an expert to comment, not a celebrity. ”
On the other hand, Nic Carter said the following: “I do not see why we should worry about the opinions of someone who is just another informant. That does not require brilliance, only courage. Why would anyone expect deep insight into cryptocurrencies?
For his part, the founder of the Ethereum currency, Vitalik Buterin, considered Snowden’s criticisms of consensus protocols “legitimate”: “I would say that we have several ways to soften the oligarchic tendencies of PoW and PoS, but these are issues in what we need to think.”