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How the Tech Behind Bitcoin Could Stop the Next Snowden

How the Tech Behind Bitcoin Could Stop the Next Snowden WIRED


There’s irony in a former federal law enforcement officer pitching a bitcoin-style decentralized cryptography system as a way of securing the NSA’s data. Bitcoin proponents praise the blockchain as a way for citizens to hide their online tracks from the government; but Guardtime shows how the same technology could be used as a tool for surveillance.

We’ve already seen others repurpose bitcoin’s code to create applications like Bitmessage, (an attempt to create a secure peer-to-peer messaging platform) andNamecoin (a decentralized alternative to the domain name system). Some hackers even aspire to createautonomous distributed corporations: online services that could exist without any human owners.

But Guardtime suggests these technologies are good for more than creating highly decentralized applications that replace or circumvent governments and corporations. Large organizations could use this technology to secure their assets.

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No wonder some smart people are excited about blockchain technologies.