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Edward Snowden Promotes Bitcoin after 99% Drop Glitch Sees NYSE Halt Trading

Last Updated June 4, 2024 2:01 PM
Giuseppe Ciccomascolo
Last Updated June 4, 2024 2:01 PM

Key Takeaways

  • A technical glitch on the NYSE caused temporary price drops for several stocks, including Berkshire Hathaway.
  • Edward Snowden, a Bitcoin advocate, responded with a Tweet.
  • However, he previously explained in another Tweet why he doesn’t think Bitcoin is perfect.

A technical glitch on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) caused a temporary panic  on Monday morning. Investors witnessed a dramatic plunge in the share price of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway , alongside similar drops for other companies.

The issue was resolved by midday, but the incident sparked a wider conversation about the vulnerabilities of old financial systems. Edward Snowden didn’t miss the chance to highlight Bitcoin’s functionality in cases like this.

What Happened At The NYSE

A technical issue  on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) caused a morning scare for investors on Monday. For most of the trading session, the A-class shares of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway  appeared to have plunged nearly 100%.

This dramatic dip, along with similar erroneous price drops for Barrick Gold and Nuscale Power, triggered a halt in trading for these stocks. Thankfully, the issue was resolved by mid-morning, and trading resumed normally for all affected companies.

The NYSE identified the culprit as a problem with price data provided by the Consolidated Tape Association (CTA) . This organization supplies real-time stock quotes to major exchanges.

According  to the CTA, the issue stemmed from a recently implemented software program and impacted the mechanism controlling stock price fluctuations (limit up/limit down). The CTA  will revert to the previous software version to ensure stability for Tuesday’s trading session.

While the glitch affected 40 stocks in total, including Chipotle Mexican Grill and Bank of Montreal, it lasted just a couple of hours. NYSE technicians rectified the problem outside trading hours, and all affected stocks now reflect their accurate trading figures.

Snowden Endorses Bitcoin

After the news, Edward Snowden, the well-known advocate for privacy and decentralization, took to X  to comment on the recent glitch on the New York Stock Exchange. His message was succinct but full of significance: “Bitcoin fixes this.”

This brief statement underscores Snowden’s long-held belief in the advantages of decentralized financial systems compared to traditional, centralized exchanges.

Unlike the NYSE, which relies on a central authority, Bitcoin operates on a peer-to-peer network. This distributed structure eliminates a single point of failure, potentially reducing the risks exposed by the NYSE glitch.

By design, Bitcoin strives for transparency, immutability, and security. This aims to minimize the potential for catastrophic failures caused by technical problems or centralized errors. In Snowden’s view, Bitcoin’s decentralized nature offers a more resilient alternative to traditional trading platforms, potentially preventing similar disruptions in the future.

Bitcoin’s Not Perfect At All

Even though Snowden is a renowned advocate for digital privacy, he has also voiced concerns about Bitcoin’s privacy limitations. In May, Snowden stated , “I’ve been warning Bitcoin developers for ten years that privacy needs to be built into the protocol itself. This is the final warning. The clock is ticking.”

This statement reflects Snowden’s long-standing belief that Bitcoin’s privacy features are insufficient. Having been exposed to government mass surveillance programs, understandably, he champions strong digital privacy protections.

Snowden’s post coincided with the announcement by Wasabi Wallet, a privacy-focused cryptocurrency wallet known for its “coinjoin” service. Coinjoin allows combinations of transactions from multiple users, making it harder to track the origin and destination of individual funds. Unfortunately, Wasabi Wallet announced the shutdown of its coinjoin service on June 1, 2024.

Snowden‘s “final warning” urges Bitcoin developers to integrate privacy features directly into the Bitcoin protocol. This would eliminate the reliance on external services like Wasabi Wallet’s coinjoin, potentially offering a more robust and long-term solution.

However, it remains unclear what specific actions Snowden expects developers to take, and whether they will prioritize these privacy enhancements.

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