Sunday, December 15, 2019

Like a Pro: Edward Snowden Explains Blockchain to His Lawyer

Adedamola Bada
I'm Damola, a computer engineer from Obafemi Awolowo University. A crypto enthusiast, marketer, and writer who is seeking to achieve career excellence through hard work and positive contribution to the organization that aspires for excellence. Contact me on [email protected]

Edward Snowden might be known for a lot of controversial things but definitely not blockchain or Bitcoin. However, with a profile as peculiar as his, it is definitely no surprise that he comes out to be an ardent follower of the evolving technology.

The computer programmer, who previously worked at the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and National Security Agency (NSA), in a detailed conversation, recently explained impressively the concept of blockchain and its influence on digital assets to his personal lawyer and friend, Ben Wizner.

Edward is most famous for releasing confidential and classified information belonging to the NSA to the press after fleeing to Hong Kong, revealing secrets of the government’s surveillance and its interesting relationship with telecommunication companies. Edward which currently resides in Russia by seeking an extendable asylum had an educational talk with his lawyer, Wizner, who published the transcript.

Blockchain, a ‘Right’ Fit for Rights and Lefts

The concept of blockchain is a welcome development for people like Snowden, who fight against injustice and the impedance of human rights. The blockchain is a breath of freedom, and Snowden does not fail to tell his lawyer so. Explaining in simple gradual terms, the world-renowned whistleblower explained to Wiznen how blockchain technology creates a general form of security without impeding into people’s individual spaces. The technology creates a ‘security-proof’ that is immutable and secured by the general consensus. By securing everyone’s data into everyone’s custody, the network is secure.

“Imagine that instead of today’s world, where publicly important data is often held exclusively… it’s in a thousand places with a hundred jurisdictions. There is no takedown mechanism or other ‘let’s be evil’ button and creating one requires a global consensus of, generally, at least 51 percent of the network in support of changing the rules,” he said.

One Word: Trust

“We live in a world where everyone is lying about everything.”

Edward Snowden, in his conversation, encapsulates the major necessity of blockchain in one word: trust. He explains that the only solution to a world where truth is scarce is to eliminate the need to trust the truth in the first place. The blockchain, by being ideally democratic in its algorithm, does not allow any intruder to introduce false information. Snowden explains that the advent of the blockchain could be useful across not only financial institutions but in publications.

The star moment is when Wiznen asks if blockchain would displace the monopoly of Google and Amazon; Snowden is surprisingly less optimistic. He calls it only ‘wishful thinking,’ as he believes the inefficiency of the blockchain currently does not see monopolies ending in the near future.

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