Ex-NSA Agent Helped Develop Zcash
Main page News, Blockchain, Edward Snowden, Zcash

Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, who leaked highly classified information from the NSA in 2013, stood at the origins of the development of Zcash (ZEC) back in 2016. In a video by Zcash Media, Snowden revealed he was one of the six persons who participated in the Zcash original ceremony back in 2016 under the pseudonym John Dobbertin.

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He noted though that he wasn't responsible for designing algorithms, saying that he had left that for the people that knew what they were doing. He added:

"But when it came to this concept that they need many people in many places, all cooperating in hopes that just one of them might not be compromised, might not work sort of against private interest, that was necessary for the Ceremony to succeed, I was happy to say, 'Sure, I'll help.'"

The six persons each received a private key needed to create the cryptocurrency. The culmination of the creation ceremony involved destroying the keys. Until this revelation, the real identity of John Dobbertin was unknown. Zcash is a privacy-focused blockchain that incorporates zero-knowledge proofs (ZKPs) to protect transactions from tracking.

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In August 2021, Electric Coin Company (ECC), a tech company focused on development of the Zcash ecosystem, suggested the cryptocurrency community to switch the project from its current Proof-of-Work (PoW) model to Proof-of-Stake (PoS) as it eliminates the "downward pressure" on the price of ZEC and "adds additional utility for ZEC." ECC also stressed that with PoS the network is more decentralized as it would become more "attack- and capture-resistant."

However, the Zcash community made no movements toward that transition after that suggestion.

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