Edward Snowden, an American computer professional and former CIA employee, who copied and leaked classified information from the NSA in 2013, now expresses his view on the top cryptocurrencies via Twitter. The man reponds to a user, who claims that "Zcash is the only altcoin (that I know of) designed and built by professional and academic cryptographers. Hard to ignore":
Agree. Zcash's privacy tech makes it the most interesting Bitcoin alternative. Bitcoin is great, but "if it's not private, it's not safe." https://t.co/HqwQOvSCiz
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 28, 2017
Snowden also comments on another popular cryptocurrency, Monero, arguing that it is a "great project, but the problem with amateur crypto is mistakes happen and have huge consequences for people like me". This is believed to be the reference to the fact that about 60% of Monero transactions can be linked, meaning that transactions are not as anonymous as users would have initially hoped.
The statements redulted in the flood of Twitter responses. Thus, Monero developer Richard Spagni strongly defends his project's technology, while the creator of litecoin, Charlie Lee, claims that he owns "Monero but not Zcash”.
Zcash and Monero are both geared towards providing privacy for their users, but use different tools to achieve the same end result. Thus, while Zcash is based on a cryptographic operation called zk-snarks, Monero works by obfuscating information with ring signatures and stealth addresses.