Edward Snowden urges to focus on Bitcoin fundamentals in Amsterdam.
Bitcoin Amsterdam: Focus on BTC fundamentals, says Edward Snowden

Crypto Industry and Government Surveillance

Edward Snowden’s words to the audience at the packed Genesis Stage hall at Bitcoin Amsterdam highlighted the ever-growing significance of cryptocurrencies in a world plagued by government surveillance, devaluing fiat currencies and restrictive policies.

The renowned whistleblower’s address captured the essence of the two-day conference, emphasizing the value of decentralized protocols like Bitcoin and Nostrin in providing individuals with some control over their wealth and privacy.

Cointelegraph spoke to prominent Bitcoin developers, investors, builders and supporters who attended the event in Westerpark, Amsterdam. Despite the ongoing crypto bear market, the conference attracted thousands of attendees eager to gain insight into the Bitcoin (BTC) industry.

While many prominent figures highlighted the value proposition of Bitcoin as a store of value in comparison to the diminishing purchasing power of fiat currencies, Snowden criticized the constant focus on the value of BTC over its importance as a decentralized tool:

Crypto Industry and Government Opposition

Edward Snowden’s address at the conference was a popular one, as he discussed Bitcoin’s role in his mission to defy the United States government’s surveillance of citizens. In 2013, Snowden used Bitcoin to purchase the servers that held the classified information he sent to journalists, which exposed the National Security Agency’s out-of-control activities. Snowden noted that Bitcoin’s growing popularity has resulted in resistance from governments, legislators, and traditional financial institutions. He believes that the potential effect of Bitcoin ETFs on the value of the cryptocurrency is a form of “subordination” and “taming” by those who regulate traditional finance.

Snowden also expressed his opinion that Bitcoin has “a privacy problem,” and pointed out the development of tools such as CoinJoin and mixers as evidence of the pressure the decentralized protocol is under. He believes that these tools are necessary to protect the crypto industry.

Snowden stated that society should go on innovating without asking for authorization, referring to the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s actions against the crypto industry in 2023 as an illustration of the control that is currently in place:

The whistleblower also paid homage to the creation of Nostr, which he described as potent in conceptualizing the integration of free speech and free trade. The founders of Nostr would later discuss the origin of the platform at the conference, which also attracted a considerable audience.

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