ETHEREUM (ETH)–In a somewhat bizarre and surprising twist for Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Sergey Brin revealed at a summit yesterday that he has been mining the cryptocurrency with his son. Brin, a billionaire tech entrepreneur who co-founded Google alongside Larry Page, made a surprise appearance at the ongoing Blockchain Summit in Morocco where he shared with the crowd his experience mining the coin alongside his 10-year-old son.
Google, Ethereum Mining & Recognition for Cryptocurrency
In addition to sharing his story of crypto mining, Brin lauded one of the underlying fundamentals to cryptocurrency: the act of zero-knowledge proofs. Zero-knowledge proofs is a cryptography principle that allows an algorithm to prove something true (such as a private key transaction) without revealing that information. This has formed the backbone to the rise of privacy-focused cryptocurrencies, such as ZCash, which allows users to participate on a public blockchain ledger while keeping the specifics of their transaction private. While all cryptocurrencies offer a degree of security and anonymity through the use of private-public keys, zero-knowledge proofs give the option for users to conceal their transaction history and still have access to a typical public ledger blockchain
Despite his company Google taking a hard stance against the advertisement and promotion of cryptocurrencies, Brin has been a proponent of crypto in the past, making a statement to investors in May where he praised Ethereum, in particular, and the accompanying mining process for creating a boom in computing and a “technology renaissance.” While his praise centered on the increased demand for GPU-based mining, he sees the net-gain of crypto as beneficial to the entire sphere of tech and computing,
“There are several factors at play in this boom of computing. First, of course, is the steady hum of Moore’s Law…The second factor is greater demand, stemming from advanced graphics in gaming and, surprisingly, from the GPU-friendly proof-of-work algorithms found in some of today’s leading cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum.”
Brin’s appearance at the Blockchain Summit is more a direct acknowledgement of the industry, and may accompany a desire on his behalf–and hopefully that of his company–to take a harder look at the innovation created through cryptocurrency. While news of Brin mining Ethereum with this adolescent son is not the type of bullish price forecasting some media outlets are reporting (ETH is down 2% as of writing), it does provide further legitimacy for the broader industry of cryptocurrency. Investors and enthusiasts have to appreciate the complexity of cryptocurrency, in addition to the misconceptions wrapped up in the culture and industry. With Google and other media giants (Twitter in particular) taking a hard stance against the advertisement of cryptos, it’s down to grass-root efforts and community involvement to drive adoption. Having a figure as high-profile as Brin both recognize the value of the tech, in addition to participating in industry events like the Blockchain Summit, is a win for all of cryptocurrency. The next step is providing usability for the currencies, beyond just price speculation.