Home Snowden backs Bitcoin after NYSE technical glitch

Snowden backs Bitcoin after NYSE technical glitch

In the wake of a significant market disruption caused by a technical glitch on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has once again voiced his support for Bitcoin (BTC).

The incident, which occurred on Monday, saw shares of Berkshire Hathaway and other securities plummet by nearly 99% before trading was temporarily suspended. The NYSE attributed the chaos to “technical difficulties” with the limit-up/limit-down mechanisms, which are designed to curb extreme price fluctuations during trading sessions.

These safeguards were introduced following the 2010 flash crash, where a trillion dollars in market value was wiped out within minutes due to a selling wave triggered by computer algorithms. Responding to the event on X (formerly Twitter), Snowden succinctly stated:

Bitcoin fixes this.

Bitcoin’s advantages

The whistleblower’s comment highlights the potential advantages of decentralized financial systems, such as Bitcoin, over traditional, centralized exchanges. As a decentralized digital currency, Bitcoin operates on a peer-to-peer network without a central authority.

This structure contrasts with traditional stock exchanges, where centralized control can lead to systemic risks and catastrophic failures due to technical issues or human error. Since its inception, Bitcoin has maintained an almost perfect uptime, demonstrating the robustness of its underlying blockchain technology.

The cryptocurrency has only experienced two notable incidents: the “value overflow incident” in 2010, where a bug that was fixed within five hours created billions of BTC out of thin air, and a temporary network split in 2013 caused by an incompatible software upgrade. Both issues were quickly resolved by the core developers, further reinforcing Bitcoin’s resilience.

Snowden’s endorsement of Bitcoin in light of the recent NYSE glitch underscores the potential for decentralized financial systems to offer a more reliable alternative to traditional trading platforms. Sanctioned actors such as him, WikiLeaks, and political activists in autocratic countries also rely on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies — being cut off from the banking system.

No one can control who uses Bitcoin and no one can reverse a Bitcoin transaction once it is confirmed by a block on the blockchain. This is of course a double-edged sword since also scammers and criminals are able to freely roam the network.

Once crypto assets are sent to a malicious actor such as in the case of a trader recently losing $69 million to a scam, there is usually no way to recover them. Still, there is also no way for oppressive governments to contain capital flow, especially considering that Bitcoin can also be bought with cash — effectively pushing the money out of the government’s reach.

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The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Radek Zielinski
Tech Journalist

Radek Zielinski is an experienced technology and financial journalist with a passion for cybersecurity and futurology.

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