For many years, crypto traders were under the impression that someone named John Dobbertin was the elusive man behind the legendary Zcash, an anonymous form of cryptocurrency. It now looks like that name is nothing more than a pseudonym to hide the real identity of one of the coin’s main developers. That developer is Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower who fled to Russia in 2013.
Edward Snowden and His History with Zcash
Snowden is a former employee of the National Security Agency (NSA) that leaked highly classified and sensitive information to the public roughly nine years ago. As a subcontractor, the information he revealed had to do with global surveillance programs and methods the U.S. government was using to spy on people throughout America and the world.
Before he could be prosecuted, Snowden fled to Russia where he was quickly granted asylum. He remains in Russia to this day. In the past, Snowden has often commented that bitcoin is nowhere near as anonymous as everyone thinks, and he has apparently taken this concern to an even greater level through the development of Zcash, which claims to hide all information pertaining to the transaction and the parties involved.
To be fair, Snowden is not the direct creator of the coin. In a video interview, the whistleblower revealed that the coin was created by an organization known as the Electric Coin Company. Ultimately, they needed additional help and reached out to him to see if he could potentially get involved given his knowledge of surveillance and how to avoid any security loopholes.
He was presented with various data about the Zcash project and commented in the video:
I thought it was a very interesting project because when we look at cryptocurrencies in general, we generally see the cryptographic properties of it being used to make sure it’s a fair ledger, but not that it’s been used to ensure it’s a private ledger. The problem with that is that you can’t truly have free trade unless you have private trade, and you can’t have a free society without free trade.
Zcash initially launched in the year 2016. Two years after the launch, Electric Coin Company sought to upgrade the currency. The project required the know-how of the company’s six initial members along with hundreds of additional persons given that Zcash – despite its anonymity – had failed to garner the trust that the initial executives were hoping for.
Sean Bowe – an engineer with the enterprise – ultimately found a way to grow that trust and end all setup requirements, thereby destroying any possibility for counterfeiting or other fraudulent activity.
No More Setups
In a statement, Zooko Wilcox – CEO of Electric Coin Company – said:
There will be no more questions on how you set it up because there is no set up. It’s just pure math.