It’s been nearly three months since Edward Snowden
started telling the world about the National Security Agency’s mass surveillance of global communications.
, a virtual currency, a peer-to-peer electronic cash system, which is generated on a logarithmic scale by dedicated miners who run software that generate the complex hash codes which make up a Bitcoin.
The integrity of Bitcoin depends on a hash function
, which was designed by the NSA and published by the National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST).
Is it hard to believe that could the intelligence community have a secret exploit for Bitcoin? While there is no evidence yet to support the speculation.
“If you assume that the NSA did something to SHA-256, which no outside researcher has detected, what you get is the ability, with credible and detectable action, they would be able to forge transactions. The really scary thing is somebody finds a way to find collisions in SHA-256 really fast without brute-forcing it or using lots of hardware and then they take control of the network.” Cryptography researcher Matthew D. Green of Johns Hopkins University said.
Bitcoin has recently added in the watchlist of the New York Department of Financial Services, the California Department of Financial Institutions
and U.S Government is asking all intelligence agencies for information on how it plans to deal with Bitcoin.
The NSA apparently possesses groundbreaking capabilities against encrypted voice and text communication
and has invested billions of dollars since 2000 to make nearly everyone’s secrets available for government consumption by cracking every encryption. But we don’t know precisely how much, maybe including Bitcoin too?
Last month, we reported an Android security vulnerability
which resulted in the theft of coins, because of Weak random number generators (RNGs) was implicated in Bitcoin. Is it possible that this vulnerability
was known to be weak by the NSA, and that bitcoin thieves simply stumbled upon the security hole first?
“Bitcoin was the last thing on which I trusted blindly over the internet and If someday another Snowden will reveal that this really happens, I would just switch off my life from the Digital World.“, Aman Srivastava, Bitcoin user of the Silk Road and other underground marketplaces.
Even today it’s too early to come to conclusions about Bitcoin. Possibly it was designed from day one as a tool to help maintain control of the money supplies of the world.
Further, cryptographers at John Hopkins University are creating a another anonymous system called Zerocoin that would be a Inception like an alternative currency to the Bitcoin.