In his book “Softwar: A Novel Theory on Power Projection and the National Strategic Significance of Bitcoin,” Major Jason “Spook” Lowery, a U.S. National Defense Fellow at MIT and active-duty astronautical engineer in the U.S. Space Force, argues that Bitcoin has the potential to become a strategically vital national security technology for the digital age. He contends that the lack of understanding of Bitcoin’s core concepts among the American public could jeopardize US national strategic security.
Lowery emphasizes the importance of cybersecurity for the future of US national strategic security and highlights the role of Bitcoin’s “proof-of-work” as a new type of cybersecurity system. As nations begin to recognize the strategic benefits of Bitcoin, such as Russia’s recent pivot to supporting the cryptocurrency, Lowery suggests that a cyberspace race could be emerging, with the speed of adoption being critical.
The author cautions that if the US does not consider stockpiling strategic Bitcoin reserves or promoting adoption, it may lose a strategically vital power projection technology lead to its competitors, resulting in a loss of global power dominance. He also argues that the current approach taken by US leaders to analyze the risks and benefits of proof-of-work technologies like Bitcoin may threaten US national security.
Major Lowery traces the history of proof-of-work protocols, stating that computer scientists have been researching them for over 30 years. He notes that early software engineers like Adam Back, Hal Finney, and Satoshi Nakamoto designed and built operational prototypes, with Bitcoin emerging as the most globally adopted proof-of-work cybersecurity system to date.
The author explains that sovereign nations are responsible for protecting and defending their people’s access to international thoroughfares, including cyberspace, in which valuable bits of information are exchanged. He points out that, until Bitcoin, nations lacked an effective way to physically secure their ability to exchange information across cyberspace without resorting to kinetic power.
Lowery claims that proof-of-work technologies like Bitcoin enable nations to impose severe physical restrictions on other nations in cyberspace in a non-destructive and non-lethal manner. This capability, he says, could transform cybersecurity by allowing for the creation of zero-trust computer networks, with Bitcoin being the first network to prove this design concept.
Although Bitcoin’s first use case involves physically securing the exchange of financial information, Lowery believes that its potential applications extend far beyond this scope. He suggests that Bitcoin could represent the beginning of a new form of military-grade, electro-cyber information security capability, which people and nations could utilize to defend their freedom of action in cyberspace.
Yesterday, Caitlin Long, Founder and CEO of Custodia Bank, had this to say about Major Lowery’s book:
Major Lowery’s 365-page book, published on February 18, 2023, is available for sale on Amazon and is ranked #1 in the “Digital Currencies” category.