The Zcash Founder’s Ceremony Involved Edward Snowden

Many people were surprised to learn that one of the six significant personalities that took part in “The Ceremony,” a trusted setup ceremony for the privacy-focused cryptocurrency Zcash, was a well-known NSA whistleblower and supporter for privacy Edward Snowden.

The Zcash setup ceremony that was held to introduce the privacy currency in 2016 has revealed that Edward Snowden was one of the six essential participants. On the basis of a leaked Zcash Media film, Forbes broke the story on Wednesday.

Five years after the Zcash creation ceremony in October 2016, Snowden consented to have his role in the mystical event disclosed. Zcash co-creator Zooko Wilcox told him, “I believe you may tell people as long as it is obvious that I was never compensated and had no investment, it was purely a public interest activity.” According to a video broadcast by Zcash Media just now, Snowden confirmed his attendance at the event. “Hello, my name is Edward Snowden.” Using the alias “John Dobbertin,” he said that he was not engaged in the design of Zcash’s algorithm and was merely a “bootstrapper” in the establishment of the protocol.

There must be no one person or machine that has a complete copy of Zcash’s private creation key, since this is essential to its cryptography, in order for its creators to launch Zcash with confidence that it will protect users’ privacy. Since the private creation key might have been used to forge Zcash coins, this was important to the system’s security. After devising a “trusted setup” technique, the Zcash team came up with the name “The Ceremony,” which required launching Zcash with the help of six persons dispersed over six different places across the world and then erasing their portion of the private creation key. Safe Zcash launch would be successful if just one person deleted half of the key once setup was completed. Apart from Snowden, Peter Todd, Za and Zooko Wilcox, Peter van Valkenburg, head of research at Coin Center and Derek Hinch, security engineer attended the event.

With the aid of the National Security Agency (NSA), Edward Snowden, an outspoken supporter of privacy rights, grabbed international headlines in 2013 when he revealed information exposing the unlawful worldwide surveillance programmes operated by the United States’ top intelligence agencies. When it comes to cryptocurrency, unlike Bitcoin, he believes that it should be possible to maintain perfect anonymity using Zcash. As a matter of fact, Bitcoin is a public ledger. According to the film, “the difficulty is that you can’t have fully free trading until there is private trading, and you can’t have a truly free society without free commerce.”

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