By Duncun Riley @duncanriley

Fugitive former NSA contractor and accused traitor Edward Snowden has an opinion on Bitcoin, and while some of it is positive, his views aren’t all a bed of roses either.

Speaking in an interview with The Internet Engineering Task Force 93, Snowden notes when asked about Bitcoin that the popular cyrptocurrency itself is flawed, adding that “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.”

Flipping to the positive, Snowden continues immediately by qualify the negative by saying

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.


The conversation naturally came back to privacy, and payment methods that could provide true anonymity.

“Focusing too much on Bitcoin, I think, is a mistake,” Snowden said. “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.


Snowden spoke about how it may be possible to wash user data from Bitcoins in a way to provide a level of anonymity not currently seen, explaining that there may be a way to implement a process with multiple steps as used with the Tor browser where they (in his words) “tumble the transactions of the Bitcoins that go in it to pay for your purchase aren’t the same Bitcoins that go out.”

“A lot of these are difficult problems particularly when we talk about the metadata context, the signalling context…we’ve got proposals like SPUD (Substrate Protocol for User Datagrams) for example, where they wanna make UDP a new channel for leaking metadata about the user’s intention.

A full copy of Snowden’s interview, covering a diverse range of primarily security related topics, can be viewed here.

-Posted as published by: Algei 

Source: siliconangle

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