Despite sporting the ‘wanted’ status for over six years under the Espionage Act, Edward Snowden made an online appearance in Bitcoin 2019 Conference held in San Francisco, CA. All the way from Russia, Snowden’s intent was to share his experience and support toward Bitcoin [BTC]. The ex-NSA agent linked BTC as a medium to instill privacy in society and revealed that his infamous document leaks were also funded by cryptocurrency.
Snowden’s Q&A session highlighted the government’s intent to monitor customers (citizens) and collect identification information such as passports via private businesses, which threatens the privacy of individuals. He supported this claim by comparing ShapeShift’s sudden decision to change business model, saying,
“ShapeShift was a very useful service and free in terms of identification. As I understand, they got a demand letter from the government saying if you don’t start storing personal information for our benefit, we are gonna shut your business!”
Taking the comparison further, Snowden expressed that Bitcoin’s resistance into mainstream is due to its threat to the status quo of the banking sector. He was applauded for saying,
“It (Bitcoin) brings freedom from permission. We don’t have to get a permission slip from the principal’s office.”
Snowden further unveiled that Bitcoin played a crucial role in helping him execute the NSA document leaks. The Russian fugitive leveraged BTC for making payments to the journalists as well for server space to store the classified documents.
While touching upon bad players’ attraction toward cryptocurrency due to its permission-less nature, Snowden argued that most of the criminals make heavier use of the U.S. dollar.
Although the refugee has proactively displayed his support for the crypto ecosystem, Snowden had shared a negative outlook toward the crypto in the last year’s conference, blaming its ‘current designs’. His sudden support toward BTC can be attributed to the ongoing adoption streak from non-financial and financial institutions, and consistent bull runs.