Edward Snowden Raises Security Concerns about Bitcoin

The infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden was invited to the Ethereal Virtual Summit 2021. A clip of his conversation was shared on Twitter feed by Alex Gladstein, Chief Strategy Officer of Oslo Freedom Forum, which is a human rights foundation. Edward Snowden is a former CIA officer who was employed as a cybersecurity expert at the National Security Agency (NSA). In 2013, Snowden decided to leak secret government documents uncovering the plans of secret surveillance.

Ever since the incident, Snowden is known around the world for his freedom of internet advocacy. The former CIA operative was sharing his observations about privacy coins, DeFi space, NFTs, and the deep connection of cryptocurrencies with freedom and anonymity. In the shared clip, Snowden admitted that he holds Bitcoin. However, he thinks it is still necessary to talk candidly about the major privacy issues that the leading coin pertains to.

Edward Snowden Claims that Taproot Upgrade could Increase Privacy Breaches on BTC Blockchain

In his talks, Snowden discussed the upcoming upgrade for Bitcoin called Taproot. The update could be activated by the year-end if at least 90% of the Bitcoin miners successfully add the program patch to their mined blocks. According to Snowden, Bitcoin has failed to provide its consumers with privacy. He even referred to Taproot and Bitcoin’s lighting Network to be mere shenanigans.

Gladstein disagreed with Snowden and responded that the Lightning Network is an integral part of the Bitcoin privacy evolution, and it is more powerful than SigAgg. However, the avid privacy activist claims that the obfuscating chain analysis on the blockchain is based on a type of research model that could be used to determine Bitcoin users’ real identities. He also said that the crypto community members should take into account issues like decentralization, scalability, audit compliance, and the space for economic incentives if they wish to designate digital currency as a good alternative for prevalent monetary systems.

The biggest selling point for Bitcoin has been that it provides users with the ability to conduct business with perfect anonymity. However, Snowden, who has been a strong support of TOR and other privacy stream channels, responded to Gladstein’s criticism. He said that often experts who are aware of the missing stair for privacy in the Bitcoin blockchain could compensate for it. 

On the other hand, the average users who cannot deal with these issues like experts are often subjected to privacy breaches. While he endorsed the privacy protocols introduced by Zcash and Monero, he also added that the adversarial chain analysis on BTC comprises the fungibility of the public ledger over time and tracks patterns.