Whistleblower Snowden Sees Crypto Lasting Even After Bitcoin

Nov 26, 2018 at 21:31

Former Central intelligence Agency employee Edward Snowden, popularly known as the whistleblower behind the 2013 National Security Agency Surveillance revelation, said crypto will continue to make waves in impacting the payments sector even as crypto pioneer and leader Bitcoin disappears from the scene.

“That belief is how cryptocurrencies move enormous amounts of money across the world electronically, without the involvement of banks, every single day. One day capital-B Bitcoin will be gone, but as long as there are people out there who want to be able to move money without banks, cryptocurrencies are likely to be valued,” Snowden said in an interview with Ben Wizner, Director of the ACLU Speech, Privacy and Technology project.

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The former CIA worker was responding to a question on whether he sees a long-term intrinsic value in bitcoin.

He exemplified bitcoin’s value to that of gold which basically “ha[s] no fundamental value, to a more difficult case.”

“Why is gold worth so much more than its limited but real practical uses in industry? Because people generally agree it’s worth more than its practical value. That’s really it. The social belief that it’s expensive to dig out of the ground and put on a shelf, along with the expectation that others are also likely to value it, transforms a boring metal into the world’s oldest store of value,” he added.

Asked whether he likes crypto, Snowden responded positively, citing his own case.

“Let’s say Bank of America doesn’t want to process a payment for someone like me. In the old financial system, they’ve got an enormous amount of clout, as do their peers, and can make that happen. If a teenager in Venezuela wants to get paid in a hard currency for a web development gig they did for someone in Paris, something prohibited by local currency controls, cryptocurrencies can make it possible,” said Snowden, who has been living in Russia since claiming asylum there in 2013 for his act of espionage.

“Bitcoin may not yet really be private money, but it is the first “free” money,” he said.