Edward Snowden revealed as a key participant in the $2b Zcash launch


TL;DR Breakdown

  • Finally, the identity of the 6th member of Zcash gets revealed as Edward Snowden, who operated under the pseudonym John Dobbertin.
  • According to Snowden, privacy coins are required for free trade, which is necessary for a free society.

John Dobbertin, the last pseudonymous member of Zcash’s 2016 setup process, is revealed as Edward Snowden. Snowden has masqueraded as a cybersecurity hero and government surveillance whistleblower for years.

He’s a former NSA contractor who leaked 9,000 classified and unclassified documents in 2013, the vast majority of which focused on the United States’ surveillance operations against its citizens. He then fled and went into hiding that June.

Edward Snowden revealed as one of the six to launch Zcash

After facing espionage charges in the United States, Edward Snowden was given asylum in Russia and has resided there since 2013. On 23 October 2016, Zcash Media interviewed Edward Snowden about his involvement with the Zcash multi-signature private key launch.

Edward Snowden has agreed to make his involvement public knowledge in a recent message to Zooko Wilcox, co-creator of zcash. Snowden claimed that he was never compensated and had no ownership stake in Zcash, adding that he took part because it was in the public interest. Furthermore, Snowden will address Consensus 2022 in June.

When we started Zcash in 2016, a trusted setup process was the only scientific option to prevent counterfeiting while still using strong encryption to ensure privacy.

We made it as secure and transparent as possible by splitting up the key-generation process among 6 different participants, knowing that as long as one person involved remained trustworthy and destroyed their key after the process was complete, Zcash would be secure against counterfeiting.

I recruited people who I knew could be trusted to act with integrity, and for that purpose, I reached out to Edward Snowden to be one of the six members of the original Ceremony.

Zooko Wilcox, CEO at Electric Coin Company

Zcash is a decentralized blockchain that employs zero-knowledge proofs in its transactions. Unlike Bitcoin, ZEC payments can’t be tracked or determined. In the greater world, privacy coins are a highly charged issue since governments are concerned that they may be utilized to finance and enable unlawful activities. As a result, several countries have outlawed privacy coins, notably South Korea.

The most significant issue for crypto-enthusiasts has been security. One ECB executive went so far as to claim that the digital euro offers greater privacy than cryptocurrency. Although privacy coins are having trouble obtaining financing for development, their technology continues to advance. In recent years, they’ve even had a resurgence, with Monero and Zcash doing well in March.

Zcash cryptocurrency ceremony

To grasp Snowden’s involvement in the zcash “ceremony” of 2016, you must first understand how zcash’s privacy works. Zcash has two kinds of transactions: transparent and shielded. Transparent transactions are visible on the public blockchain, just like Bitcoin transactions are on the Bitcoin blockchain.

On the other hand, the shielded transactions get buried inside privacy pools, which investors can think of as black holes that combine all of the money. These pools ensure that blockchain trackers won’t be able to determine where the coins came from or where they’re going.

In a small but important way, Edward Snowden’s spycraft aided the occasion. says Wilcox, referring to what he describes as the CIA’s idea of “random purchases,” or buying hardware on-site at locations that no one knew they were going to use until the last minute.

He took their advice to heart, forcing each of them to adhere to it. According to Wilcox, when buying a new computer for the zcash ceremony in Russia, Snowden utilized a basic yet effective disguise.

Edward Snowden and five other individuals combined their part of the Zcash private key at the Zcash Ceremony in order to launch the project. Because each person wanted to keep their anonymity, none of them knew who the others were or what portion of the key they had, which was one of the project’s goals.

Each person’s key element got eliminated to foil future counterfeiting. Reports state that Todd went to great lengths to guarantee zero hacking throughout the process. “Operation: Cypherpunk Desert Bus” was the nickname given to the mission.

In an interview with Zcash Media, Snowden praised the project and his passion for privacy. He explained that the problem with Bitcoin is that one can’t have free trade unless one has private trade.

The participant known as John Dobbertin, whose actual identity was unknown until now, was the most mysterious part of the ritual. During the proceedings, Snowden, Todd, and the Wilcox brothers later were joined by Peter van Valkenburg of the Coin Center think tank and security engineer Derek Hinch.

However, news of Edward Snowden’s involvement did not significantly impact the price, with ZEC currently up 1.7% over the past 24 hours and trading at $148. Edward Snowden has previously expressed his dedication to privacy coins, and it’s even more apparent now that he was right. He has also warned investors against purchasing meme tokens to make a quick buck, as the price of Shiba Inu rose in late 2021.

The name Snowden has shown up in the crypto sector, as his interest in it has also expanded to NFTs and commentary on a variety of issues. Furthermore, he sold an NFT titled “on the Foundation platform” and claimed that many individuals purchased Bitcoin due to too much panic and not enough logic in 2020.

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Florence Muchai

Florence is a crypto enthusiast and writer who loves to travel. As a digital nomad, she explores the transformative power of blockchain technology. Her writing reflects the limitless possibilities for humanity to connect and grow.

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