Edward Snowden Likes Zcash

From safety in Moscow,  Edward Snowden has recently said he has no concerns with his security and safety in Russia, where he has resided for over five years after leaking classified National Security Agency documents.

He is unafraid of Russian president Vladimir Putin turning him over to the US as a favor to President-elect Donald Trump.

But he added: “If I was worried about safety, if the security and the future of myself was all that I cared about, I would still be in Hawaii.” Yet he continues to express interest and information about a number of subjects some where he runs against the common ground.

Unlike many fans of cryptocurrency, Edward Snowden has expressed he has no problem with the Zcash founders’ reward which reserves 10% of the new cryptocurrency for its  founders, investors, employees, and advisors. The former CIA employee-turned whistle-blower Tweeted his support for the anonymity-focused digital asset recently in January.

For Snowden, the founders’ reward incentivises and funds the team behind the privacy coin to address issues with the project, such as that identified and patched by them recently.

However, other crypto-currency community members pointed out that teams working on coins that lack the controversial founders’ reward were just as adept at patching issues in their own code bases. The former CIA employee does not even mind the much-debated founders’ reward included in every Zcash block mined. For many in the digital currency community, this founders’ reward is contrary to the spirit of cryptocurrency and decentralisation generally.

Snowden claims that such a reward is important to attract the best minds to work on the Zcash project. For him, such a consistent payment of the developers allows them to discover issues and patch them before they can be exploited by opportunistic parties.

One such vulnerability was discovered 11 months ago by Zcash developers. In a report posted to the Zcash blog , the flaw in the code is described along with the method used to patch it.

The counterfeiting vulnerability, as the team refer to it as, was first discovered on March 1, 2018. The decision was made to keep the discovery secret to avoid the risk of attackers exploiting the flaw in the code. It has since been rectified without Zcash users needing to do anything to protect their funds.

According to the Blog Post:

“The flaw allows an attacker to create counterfeit shielded value in any system that depends on parameters which are generated as described by the paper.”

Zcash developers are confident that no such attacks were made on the network owing to the sophistication of the knowledge required to identify the flaw in the first place, along with the lack of a “footprint” highlighting that the vulnerability had been exploited.

For Snowden, the Zcash founders’ reward, which is 20% of each block reward earned by the network’s miners, financed the addressing of the vulnerability:
In the above Tweet, Snowden compares Zcash to different cryptocurrency projects that do not offer such a founders’ reward. He states that other coins have only discovered bugs in the code after they were exploited, costing the projects’ users money.

However, as members of the crypto community highlighted, other projects have been just as adept at identifying vulnerabilities in the code without such a founders’ reward.

Both Monero and Bitcoin were mentioned as examples of coins that do not rely on a centralised group of developers being paid out of a single purse for their work but were still driven to patch flaws in code as quickly as humanly possible. In fact, a recent Bitcoin flaw took just days to rectify following its discovery (admittedly by a Bitcoin Cash developer).

Interestingly, the post on the Zcash blog highlights how the vulnerability has existed in the code for years now.

And back to spying and Snowden has vigorously denied collaborating in any manner with any foreign intelligence agency, even unwittingly. The Obama administration nevertheless charged him under the Espionage Act, which would restrict him from making a full case for his leaking to a jury.

Snowden recently has focused on advocating for encryption and other cybersecurity measures to become foundational to the architecture of the Internet and to connected devices, as well as urging sustained political activism around privacy measures. He has also recently alluded to “very concerning statements made by our new president-elect”, but expressed optimism that the US will survive it.

“This is a dark moment in our nation’s history, but it is not the end of history. And if we work together we can build something better, and we can enjoy a more-free and a more liberal society that benefits everyone,” Snowden said.

“As long as we do our best to live in accordance with our values, we don’t have to worry about what happens tomorrow, because today is enough.”

NewsBTC:         Guardian:

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