Edward Snowden played key role in zcash coin's creation

The NSA whistleblower was one of six participants in the cryptocurrency's fabled "trusted setup" ceremony, in 2016.

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The former contracter of the NSA, Edward Snowden, played a key role in the creation of the privacy-enhancing cryptocurrency zcash (ZEC).

Snowden, who was granted asylum in Russia and has lived there since 2013, was one of the six participants in the "ceremony" that established zcash's so-called trusted setup.

This information became public on Thursday after the release of a video set released by Zcash Media. Zcash Media produces educational materials about the privacy coin.

"I saw it being worked on by a number of trusted academic cryptographers and I thought it was a very interesting project", Snowden stated in the video.

He said he used the pseudonym "John Dobbertin" to hide his role in the setup.

In a recent message to zcash co-creator Zooko Wilcox, Snowden agreed to make his participation available for the public.

"As long as it is clear that I was never paid and had no stake, it was just a public interest thing, I think you can tell people", said Snowden.

According to Zooko Wilcox, Snowden wasn't the only publicly known figure to take part in the creation of zcash.

"When we were designing the setup ceremony, I visited Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and asked for his advice on how to design it", Zooko Wilcox said. The WikiLeaks founder "advised us to emphasize and prioritize the part about air-gapping the compute nodes, which we did."


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