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Edward Snowden Believes Public Ledger Is Bitcoin’s Big Flaw

U.S. National Security Agency’s wanted man, Edward Snowden, speaks out on what he says is bitcoin’s biggest problem.

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Edward Snowden quickly became the U.S. National Security Agency’s (NSA) and FBI’s most wanted man after he released classified materials regarding the NSA’s global surveillance agenda in 2013.

Government surveillance is an extremely complicated issue and while some people believe Snowden is a hero for exposing the U.S. Government’s illegal surveillance, others call it an act of treason.

Because of this, Edward Snowden’s name has been tossed into the mix of blockchain celebrities, and while speaking via webcam  to an audience at a Blockstack event in Berlin, Snowden made some interesting comments about the state of bitcoin.

While he believes bitcoin will be around for years to come, he does not believe that “bitcoin will last forever.”

He went on to say, “everybody is focused on the transaction rate limitations of bitcoin being its central flaw, and that is a major one,” adding that he believes, “the much larger structural flaw, the long-lasting flaw, is its public ledger.”

Snowden believes that the bitcoin blockchain has, and will continue to struggle with recording every transaction on the public ledger, while also continuing to scale up when processing these transactions.

“That is simply incompatible with having an enduring mechanism for trade, because you cannot have a lifelong history of everyone’s purchases, all of the interactions be available to everyone and have that work out well at scale,” he explained to attendees.

Referencing his personal preference in terms of cryptocurrencies, Snowden said:

“When we talk about which cryptocurrencies are interesting to me, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, zcash for me is the most interesting right now, because the privacy properties of it are truly unique, but we see more and more projects that are trying to emulate this and I think this is a positive thing.”

Furthermore, Snowden’s comments parallel reports of leaked documents that suggest the NSA might be using its surveillance tech to track the blockchain ledger, in addition to individual bitcoin users of the distributed network.

Image: By Michael F. Mehnert (Own work) [GFDL or CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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