Edward Snowden voices his opinion on bitcoin

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Edward Snowden, the former NSA contractor on the run from the US government, has voiced his opinion towards bitcoin, stating that the cryptocurrency is flawed, but the basic principles are very interesting.

In an interview with the Engineering Task Force 93 Snowden, who famously leaked classified government information, was asked about the anonymity of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Snowden immediately played down the importance of bitcoin, stating that ‘‘nobody really likes to talk about Bitcoin anymore.’’ The former national security employee began to identify multiple flaws within the cryptocurrency.

‘‘Obviously, Bitcoin by itself is flawed,’’ stated Snowden. ‘‘The protocol has a lot of weaknesses and transaction sides and a lot of weaknesses that structurally make it vulnerable to people who are trying to own 50 percent of the network and so on and so forth.’’

Snowden however defended bitcoin from his own remarks, explaining that while the digital currency is flawed, the anonymity of bitcoin is something that is to be commended.

‘‘But when we think about the basic principles behind it, there are some very interesting things that particularly when we start to combine them with that idea like before of tokenization, of concepts like proof of work.’’

Snowden then painted a much larger picture for his audience, asking people not to get too concerned with the cryptocurrency, but to think about the theme of identity when using tokenized products.

‘‘But focusing too much on Bitcoin, I think, is a mistake. The real solution is again, how do we get to a point where you don’t have to have a direct link between your identity all of the time?’’

‘‘You have personas. You have tokens that authenticate each person and when you want to be able to interact with people as your persona in your true name, you can do so.’’

‘‘When you want to be able to switch to a persona – a common persona, an anonymous persona, a shared persona, you can do that. When you want to move to pseudonymous persona, you can do that.’’

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