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Edward Snowden Knocks Alex Gladstein’s Crypto Critique- ‘Worst Part of Dragon-Level Wealth Is People Devolve Into Dragons Themselves

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On Saturday evening, the privacy advocate and well known whistleblower, Edward Snowden, spoke out against some criticism stemming from the Human Rights Foundation’s Alex Gladstein. Snowden attacked the tribalism taking place in the crypto space and said that some people “lose sight of the world beyond their cave.”

Alex Gladstein Calls Snowden’s Interview Clip a ‘Disaster’

Just recently, the Human Rights Foundation’s (HRF) Alex Gladstein had some words to say to the former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden. Gladstein didn’t like the statements Snowden made in a recently published video, when the privacy advocate criticized bitcoin (BTC). It’s not the first time Snowden has given BTC a scathing review that knocked BTC’s ability to scale and privacy.

For instance, on December 25, 2020, Snowden explained that BTC developers have had years to address scaling and privacy in a video with the popular Youtuber, Naomi Brockwell. The famed whistleblower said he was “puzzled” and developers have “had years to do it.”

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Snowden’s latest critique of BTC stems from an interview he did at Decrypt’s Ethereal 2021 conference. Following the video, Gladstein an outspoken proponent of BTC said that the Snowden video clip was a “disaster.”

“Respect Snowden for his work on privacy and criticism of CBDCs. But this clip is a disaster. TLDR: Taproot makes Bitcoin privacy worse, Lightning is ‘shenanigans,’ attacks core devs, hypes NFTs + privacy coins (except monero which he trashes). When Snowdencoin? Say it ain’t so,” Gladstein said. However, not everyone agreed with Gladstein’s summary of the video.

“Just watched the clip,” Blocktower Capital’s Ari Paul replied to Gladstein’s tweet. “What he says is very different from your summary. ‘Great project’ w/known privacy vulnerabilities != ‘trashes.’”

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But Gladstein wasn’t impressed with Ari Paul’s statements and again criticized Snowden’s commentary in his reply.

Gladstein added:

What about the rest? You’re ok with the conclusion that Taproot is bad for privacy and that Lightning is “shenanigans”? Or that core devs have intentionally failed to improve privacy?

Snowden Fires Back

It didn’t take long for Edward Snowden to respond to Gladstein’s tweet and the whistleblower trashed tribalism and BTC maximalism.

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“The worst part of cryptocurrency transforming into dragon-level wealth is witnessing good people emotionally devolve into dragons themselves: so intellectually paralyzed by the fear that everyone they see threatens their hoard that they lose sight of the world beyond their cave,” Snowden replied to Gladstein’s statements.

“This is such a profoundly misleading TL;DR of a privacy-focused talk that it’s hard to call it anything but intentionally deceptive,” Snowden continued. “To the extent I own crypto (unless and until it has been lost in boating accidents), I own more bitcoin than anything else—but despite the theoretical risk of harming the value of that ownership, I continue to criticize Bitcoin’s (and other cryptocurrencies I hold) failings because the public cost of doing otherwise would be orders of magnitude greater than that individual private gain. Moral compass,” he added.

Snowden further said:

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Bitcoin’s disastrous privacy is the ‘missing stair’ of cryptocurrency. Every expert understands it’s a problem, but—as experts—they themselves know how to compensate for the risk in their own personal interactions with Bitcoin, and therefore feel no urgency to actually fix it.

Snowden: ‘Only Privacy Guarantees Fungibility’

The former NSA contractor also said that privacy coins are “great” but they don’t have the dominance BTC has and called it “Ultima Ratio Cryptum.”

“The central property of cash is fungibility—meaning a dollar spent by a plumber is honored equally to one spent by a sex worker: they are indiscriminable,” Snowden stressed. “Adversarial chain analysis of Bitcoin’s public ledger reduces its fungibility over time. Only privacy guarantees fungibility.”

Some people agreed with Snowden saying: “BTC core devs haven’t prioritized privacy because real, inherent privacy would stand in the way of institutional adoption. Their main objective is institutional adoption and wealth absorption. Not personal liberty.” Software developer Jeff Garzik also wrote a comprehensive thread about Snowden’s most recent commentary and criticism toward Bitcoin developers.

Snowden even argued with software developer Matt Corallo on Twitter after knocking Gladstein’s critique. “Taproot nor Lightning come even *close* to addressing Bitcoin’s privacy problems — and in fact even provoke arguments for how they hurt it (at least short term),” Snowden remarked.

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As of 2021, the Lightning Network pales in comparison to the bitcoin used on Ethereum’s network and Taproot already sparked disagreements over how to activate the upgrade. Moreover, Blockchair’s lead developer, Nikita Zhavoronkov has criticized Taproot on Twitter and people have wondered if the meta-consensus problem can even be solved.

The podcaster and BTC maximalist, Peter McCormack, tried to use Snowden’s recent tweet as an opportunity to interview Snowden but got no response. Another BTC maximalist agreed that Snowden should accept McCormack’s interview offer.

“Edward, you have nothing to lose by talking with Peter and others on his cordial, non-adversarial show, and your followers could hear many helpful insights they may never learn of if you don’t. As a dev who is aware of the issues in play, I encourage you to consider his offer,” software developer Daniel Buchner said.

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Check out Snowden’s entire video commentary below from Decrypt.co’s Ethereal 2021 conference.

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New Survey Shows Australian’s Love for Crypto is Fueled by These Noble Drives

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Australians appear to be more knowledgeable in their investment strategies as many are beginning to buy into cryptocurrencies for the right reasons. As highlighted in a recent survey conducted by BTC Markets, it was shown that acquiring digital assets was not a function of ideas to get rich quickly, rather, investors who are purchasing digital currencies are doing so to build wealth, and for retirement purposes amongst others.

Per the survey, 70% of the respondents to the survey said their sole aim of embracing crypto is to build wealth. This is a possible scenario seeing the high rate of growth of established coins compared to traditional investment assets. 34% of respondents buy-in to crypto so they can fall back on the gains when they retire, with some 28% affirming their aim to be portfolio diversification.

Cryptocurrencies have matured when compared to the level it was in the past decade. Today, institutional investors, as well as retail buyers, are all bullish on Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and other altcoins with unique fundamentals.

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“The motivations for investing in cryptocurrency are many and varied. A majority of respondents to our survey, 70 per cent, say they are looking to build wealth. A significant percentage, 34 per cent, say that one of their goals for investing in cryptocurrency is to retire early.”

The reasons for acquiring crypto also span such needs as paying down for debts (at 12%), and in starting a business claimed by 4% of the respondents.

Diversity in Investor’s Portfolio

The investors who responded to the BTC Markets survey show diversity in their investment portfolios. This trend shows that despite the rising popularity of crypto assets, the bulk of investors are not in it for the frenzy attached to meme-tokens.

Of the total respondents, as much as 63% said they have investments in stocks or shares, 29% have injected capital in investment properties, while 20% said they have funds in precious metals including Silver and Gold. Of the profiled investors, only 20% said they hold only cryptocurrencies.

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Drawing on this diversity, the report reads;

“This spread of investments across a wide range of asset classes consolidates the view that a large majority of investors are not using cryptocurrency as a “get rich quick” investment. Instead, it is as part of a carefully considered asset allocation strategy for an overall wealth portfolio”

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What changes in the cryptocurrency market with China’s new rules

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The Chinese government started a new wave of repression of cryptocurrencies in the country, continuing the bans it has already imposed on the sector in the past, in 2013, 2017 and May 2021.

The People’s Bank of China, together with the country’s main financial regulators, released on Friday (24) a document called “Notice on the Prevention and Elimination of Risks in Virtual Currency Transactions” in which it announces the tightening of measures to repress negotiations of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the Asian country.

The point that draws the most attention in the document is a new understanding that any person or company that facilitates the negotiation of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the country is breaking the law.

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The text states that “the provision of services to foreign exchanges to Chinese residents over the internet is an illegal financial activity” and those who engage in this activity will be investigated in accordance with the law.

The Central Bank has explicitly said that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH) and Tether (USDT) “are not legal, should not and cannot be used as currency in the market”, stating that all “commercial activity related to virtual currency is illegal” .

The agency once again reinforced a request it had already made in June for the country’s financial institutions to help fight cryptocurrencies, preventing their clients from making transactions to foreign exchanges and over-the-counter (OTC) markets.

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China attributed the tightening of measures to the rise in the popularity of cryptocurrencies in the country, which “seriously endangers the security of people’s property” and “grows criminal activities such as gambling, illegal fundraising, fraud, pyramid schemes and money laundering”.

At this pace, the document indicates that ordinary people who lose money in investing in cryptocurrencies will no longer be protected by law.

Keeping an eye on exchanges

Chinese journalist Colin Wu, one of the biggest references in the coverage of the cryptocurrency market in the country, told the Bitcoin Portal that it is still difficult to see in practice what changes in the cryptocurrency market with the new wave of repression in China.

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“We have to wait, it’s hard to say now. The expectation is to find out how big exchanges like Huobi and OKEx will tackle this, as they still operate OTC tables here. They have a strong government relationship and will make a rational choice”, he explained.

He pointed out that it is already possible to identify that most Chinese companies operating in the cryptoactive sector are looking for friendlier jurisdictions to base their operations on, such as Singapore.

“Singapore is open and tolerant of cryptocurrencies, not just Chinese companies, but many international companies in the area are also moving there, such as 3ac,” explained Wu. “Another reason is that Singapore’s culture is similar to China.”

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The government’s hardening has already been able to scare some market participants. The world’s largest Ethereum mining pool, the Spark Pool, announced today that it will no longer provide its services to users in mainland China as a way of “complying with the latest industry regulatory policies.”

Second Wu, the popular NBMiner mining software also confirmed that it will no longer offer technical support services to Chinese customers.

Attack on miners intensifies

At the same time as the Central Bank issued the new restrictions, China’s state planning body, the NDRC, also issued a “Virtual Currency Mining Rectification Notice” that focuses on combating mining.

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The text orders electricity providers to stop serving miners through hotlines and increase the cost of energy to $0.05 per kilowatt-hour for identified miners.

The NDRC also urges local authorities to increase the search for illegal mining farms and generally crack down on activities in their territories as a way of phasing out the industry.

According to Colin Wu, larger miners are likely to continue the trend started during the May crackdowns and leave China to operate in other countries such as the United States.

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“Meanwhile, small miners must find some factories to mine secretly. If they cannot find a safe place, they will probably have to sell their machines,” he told the report.

Bitcoin remains resilient in the long run

Bitcoin prices were not immune to this Friday’s negative news coming out of China. According to CoinMarketCap, the currency has devalued 3.6% in the last 24 hours, trading at US$42,220.

Although it is already common for the price of bitcoin to react negatively to the Chinese government’s statements, the drop tends to be a passing event, with the cryptoactive being able to recoup its losses in the long run.

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According to data from Kraken disclosed by analyst Pete Humiston, bitcoin typically appreciates an average of 53% about 90 days after the FUD news — fear, uncertainty and doubt — departs from China.

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Netflix Eyes Mysterious Disappearance of $190,000,000 After Death of Crypto Exchange CEO

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One of the biggest mysteries in the cryptocurrency sector is getting fresh scrutiny in a Netflix documentary.

The online video streaming giant says in a tweet that it will air an investigative documentary titled “Trust No One: The Hunt for the Crypto King”.

The documentary focuses on Gerald Cotten, the founder and CEO of QuadrigaCX, Canada’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange until two years ago.

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Cotten, a Canadian, died in December of 2018 while on a honeymoon in India, but his death went unannounced until January 2019.

The QuadrigaCX CEO was allegedly the only one with the private keys required to access the crypto assets in the exchange’s custody, believed to be worth $145 million (C $190 million) at the time of his death.

Netflix says the documentary will air starting next year.

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“TRUST NO ONE: THE HUNT FOR THE CRYPTO KING

Follow a group of investors turned sleuths as they try to unlock the suspicious death of cryptocurrency multimillionaire Gerry Cotten and the missing $250 million they believe he stole from them. Premieres in 2022″

Cotten’s sudden death in a foreign land and the disappearance of millions of dollars worth of crypto assets led to conspiracy theories that included suspicions that Cotten might have faked his death.

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report by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in May quoted Cotten’s widow denying the theory, saying through her lawyer that “she was with Mr. Cotten at the time of his death and he is most certainly dead.”

QuadrigaCX entered bankruptcy proceedings soon after Cotten’s death, and by May, the amount recovered to pay the roughly 76,000 creditors totaled $36,357,894 (C $46 million).

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