How Edward Snowden Became a Cryptocurrency Star

When Edward Snowden leaked classified National Security Agency documents in 2013, he attracted worldwide media attention. Then a computer intelligence consultant employed by the US government, Snowden gained notoriety by revealing that the National Security Agency was spying on US citizens, sparking widespread debate about privacy and human rights.

Some have called Snowden a hero. Others called him a traitor. Weeks after his story made headlines around the world, he was charged with violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Edward Snowden fled to Russia two days later. Now permanently settled in Moscow, he was granted Russian citizenship earlier this year.

Thanks to the attention paid to his revelations, Snowden is one of the most famous whistleblowers in the world. But while most people recognize him for his actions against the US government, he is seen in a different light in the cryptocurrency space. Edward Snowden was an early supporter of bitcoin, endorsing the decentralized properties of the leading cryptocurrency when the digital asset ecosystem was only a fraction of its current size. He has been outspoken about the importance of privacy, something that cryptocurrency’s strongest advocates have always supported. And more recently, he has become an icon of crypto twitter. While Snowden’s rise in the crypto space caught some of his followers off guard, it should come as no surprise to those who have followed his story. For in many ways Edward Snowden should be one of the most obvious defenders of internet currency.

Privacy is a human right

The US government accused Snowden of espionage and theft of state property, but he argued he was releasing the classified files for the good of all. Edward Snowden shared the documents with several journalists because he disagreed with his country’s mass surveillance operations and believed privacy was a fundamental right.

So it makes sense that he also backed coins meant to help people maintain their financial privacy. To this day, Snowden is a prominent public figure and has spoken out on several occasions about the importance of privacy. In April, it was revealed that he was one of six participants in the “setting generation ceremony” from Zcash, helping launch the zero-knowledge proof-based currency under the pseudonym of John Dobbertin.

Edward Snowden has also mentioned the name Bitcoin many times, but he has hinted in the past that he thinks the major cryptocurrency is flawed due to its public nature. “[Bitcoin] fails as an electronic money system because cash is largely intended to be anonymous“, he said during the conference at Consensus 2022. “I’m worried about a world where our money is used against us“.

Edward Snowden also expressed his displeasure with the Justice Department’s decision to sanction Tornado Cash, a privacy protocol that helps cryptocurrency users obscure their transaction history. As central banks around the world prepare to launch their own state-backed digital currencies that threaten to undermine the principle of a free society, Snowden’s perspective on privacy may become all the more relevant. over the next few years.

The call from below

Every active crypto user wants to be able to spot highs and lows, but Snowden has proven himself to be more adept than most at timing the market. In March 2020, Edward Snowden commented on the cryptocurrency market’s panicked response to COVID-19, taking a contrarian bullish view in the hours following a severe crash known as “black thursday“. The cryptocurrency market had plunged on the news that the coronavirus had been declared a global pandemic, with Bitcoin and Ethereum falling more than 40% in one day. But as traders and holders warned of the coming apocalypse, Snowden offered a more optimistic view of the situation. “This is the first time in a long time that I want to buy bitcoin“, he wrote. “This fall was too much panic and too little reason“. Black Thursday would mark a generational low for the first cryptocurrency, and in 2021 it was leading a bull market that spanned the entire crypto space. 18 months after Snowden called for the “panic“, bitcoin hit a high of $69,000 – a 1,600% increase from the low.

Interestingly, Snowden also spoke about the state of the market shortly after the ecosystem was rocked by the collapse of FTX. In a one-sentence tweet posted Nov. 14, he warned of “future problems” but said he “was starting to feel the itchto re-enter the market, along with a photo showing where he nailed the March 2020 bottom call.

Although it is too early to tell if the crypto has hit a local bottom, Edward Snowden has proven that he has his finger on the pulse of market movements. Such prescience usually only comes with experience, which suggests that Snowden probably has it.

Crypto Twitter Memes

Over the years, Snowden has never made a secret of his belief in the importance of privacy and monetary freedom, but he has made his closeness to crypto particularly evident during the current winter period. Edward Snowden appeared several times in conversations on crypto twitter in recent months, adopting dialects like “lmeow” (cryptographic language for “lmao”, popularized by pseudonymous chat character CL) and interaction with with popular “anon” accounts like DegenSpartan.

Every time Edward Snowden appeared in conversations crypto twitter, the community welcomed him with open arms. Crypto 24/7 diehards expressed amazement that it could be “one of us“, but Snowden’s deep interest makes sense in the context of the technology’s long-term potential.

His clear understanding of the crypto community and its idiosyncratic nature shows that he is deeply embedded in the system, following this evolving world closely enough to know all of its memes and personalities. In fact, some have speculated that he might have an account”alternative” on Twitter specifically to interact with cryptomaniacs. Edward Snowden hasn’t publicly confirmed if he has any secret aliases as of this writing, but that wouldn’t be surprising given his recent activity.

Current affairs

As Snowden has become a more prominent face in the crypto community, he has increasingly weighed in on current issues in the space. He notably shared his point of view on the FTX crisis, denouncing the fraudulent behavior of Sam Bankman-Fried at the head of the stock exchange which collapsed. On Nov. 13, Edward Snowden drew a comparison between Bankman-Fried and Tornado Cash developer Alexey Pertsev, attacking the SEC. SEC Chairman Gary Gensler for his relationship with the former FTX overlord. “The White House is sanctioning and arresting young people for the ‘crime’ of building privacy tools to protect you, while ‘regulators’ were quietly palling with the thieves who just robbed 5 million people . The difference ? The thieves were big political donors“, he wrote.

Edward Snowden made a greater sacrifice than most people will ever have to face when he spoke out against injustice in the US government in 2013, so his comments about FTX and Tornado Cash should come as no surprise. Beyond these recent scandals, however, Snowden’s place in crypto seems fitting. Many people are drawn to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies because they think the traditional financial system is flawed. If Snowden has evangelized crypto as a technology rather than a disruptive alternative to banking, it’s clear he buys into the idea that it could make the world a better place.

Most of the biggest crypto enthusiasts would argue that this technology is the most powerful way to push back against government control in the world. In 2013, Edward Snowden stood up to his own government for releasing classified information, knowing his actions could cost him his freedom. In retrospect, it seems obvious that he would become one of the biggest stars in crypto.

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