Charles Hoskinson, the co-founder of Ethereum and CEO of IOHK, recently spoke about privacy and ZCash, in an interview with CoinDesk. Notably, the remarks made by Hoskinson grabbed the attention of Riccardo Spagni aka fluffypony, the lead maintainer of Monero [XMR]. However, this eventually resulted in a Twitter rebuttal between the two well-known crypto-influencers.
On Charles Hoskinson’s statements, Riccardo Spagni had stated on Twitter,
@IOHK_Charles, for reminding us why ZCash is a project that nobody should ever, ever trust with their privacy. Can’t wait for China to add an “auditable backdoor” to ZCash & encourage adoption. Best way to deal with dissidents.”
During the interview, Charles remarked that privacy was a “human right”, adding that “you have to approach it in a more nuanced way, is it completely transparent or is it completely private”. He stated,
“You need to talk about auditable backdoors, you need to talk about the ability to share and breach the privacy of people that you desire. And ZCash is being a part of that conversation.”
This was followed by Hoskinson pointing out the paper published by ZCash last December, ZEXE, adding that team was working with “some great academics” and were also “providing a lot of innovation to the space”. The co-founder also remarked that ZCash was “fundamentally a sound project”.
Further, during a recent YouTube session called ‘Consensus Wrap Up and Some Housecleaning’, Hoskinson spoke about the statement made by Spagni, where he ‘mistakenly’ addressed fluffypony as “the Founder of Monero”. Hoskinson stated that some members of the Monero community misinterpreted his statements on auditable backdoors stating that “both Cardano and ZCash” were going to have “backdoors in the system” that would be given to a “government entity”.
He went on to state that this was “completely insane” and that it was not his “intention in [his] statement”, adding that those claims were “just a perversion”. He also stated that his initial comments were “in context” to Polymesh, the project Hoskinson would be working on alongside Polymath.
“The statement was if you wanted to have privacy, the problem we exist in a world right now where you are either psydonomous or not private or totally private. It would be nice that you can embed within the transaction itself some capabitliy that you can give a third-party a key or some evidence and they could use that to verify the claims you’ve made the transaction”
This led to Spagni speaking about the youtube session on Twitter, which eventually resulted in the two having a heated debate regarding the situation.
Furthermore, this functionality is neither difficult nor complex – Monero has had viewkeys and tx keys since the outset. So either you’re disingenuously trying to backpedal to obscure the real meaning of what you said, or you naively had no clue this functionality exists.
— Riccardo Spagni (@fluffypony) May 16, 2019
To this, Hoskinson replied stating that Spagni and the Monero community took his statements “completely out of context” in order to attack ZCash. He added, “This was disgusting and beneath you. I respect your work and monero, but this shouldn’t have happened”.
Again this is a disgusting misrepresentation. I cannot understand how this is difficult for you to parse. The context was in reference to polymesh not zcash or cardano. Zcash members have been writing research papers with applications in this area. There is no ZIP or CIP
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) May 16, 2019
This was followed by Spagni clarifying that neither was there a claim of an existing backdoor nor any mention of Cardano. He further stated, “I never said there was an official proposal. Looks like we’re in total unity – thanks for confirming!”
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