Zcash: Edward Snowden was John Dobbertin all along?

Paigambar Mohan Raj
Source: NPR

Edward Snowden, the cybersecurity poster boy, and government surveillance whistleblower has disclosed that he was instrumental in the development of the privacy coin Zcash (ZEC), and participated under the pseudonym John Dobbertin.

Snowden stated,

“I participated in the Zcash original ceremony under the pseudonym John Dobbertin.”

In an interview with Zcash Media, Snowden described his role as one of the six people who possessed a piece of Zcash’s private key when the project was launched on October 23rd, 2016.

Snowden is the famous whistleblower who went into hiding in 2013 after revealing secret US government surveillance practices.

Snowden was one of the holders of the six private keys. The infamous ceremony witnessed the destruction of a portion of each of the private keys, in order to prevent coins or transactions from being counterfeited. To maintain the project’s premise of anonymity, none of the participants knew who the others were or what fraction of the key they had.

Snowden expressed his enthusiasm for the initiative as well as his need for privacy in the interview. He said,

“The problem with [Bitcoin] is you can’t have truly free trade unless you have private trade.”

Regarding Zcash, Snowden said,

“I’m just really happy to see that the Zcash project…is moving us closer and closer towards that ideal of a free currency which is also a private currency.”

Another ceremony participant, Bitcoin developer Peter Todd, remembered the lengths to which the Ceremony attendees went to prevent being hacked.

Todd stated that he purchased a new computer and loaded all of the necessary applications for the ceremony before placing it in a Faraday cage to avoid any unwanted intrusions. A Faraday cage is an aluminum foil-lined enclosure that reflects wifi signals. He then drove to a secluded location and used a blow torch to destroy his device’s share of the Zcash private key.