An active-duty United States Space Force astronautical engineer is proposing to the Pentagon a cybersecurity tool capable of transforming the country’s national security and even the base-layer architecture of the internet: Bitcoin.
In an academic thesis, Major Jason Lowery, who is also a National Defense Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), presented a new theory to the U.S. Department of Defense that Bitcoin is more than just a peer-to-peer payment system, but it is a new form of “digital-age warfare,” arguing that proof-of-work technologies will change the way humans compete globally, according to Ben Schreckinger’s review of the book in Politico.
Published in February, Lowery’s master’s degree thesis dubbed “Softwar” sits in third position on Amazon’s list of best-selling technology books at the time of writing. According to his Amazon bio, Lowery has a decade of experience “serving as a weapon system developer and technical advisor for US senior officials,” including Bitcoin-related policies to the White House.
Lowery’s research argues that the U.S. military could use Bitcoin to stop certain types of attacks, such as denial-of-service attacks, which overload servers with too many requests. The concept involves creating software programs that only respond to signals from large transactions recorded on the Bitcoin network. This would make it harder for attackers to flood servers with fake signals and cause damage.
Lowery also suggests that the Bitcoin network is like Maritime trade routes, which means it’s suited for economic exchange. Consequently, it’s crucial to protect freedom of navigation on the network, just as we protect trade routes.
By designing software programs that only respond to external signals if they come with a large enough Bitcoin transaction recorded on the network, Lowery argues they would prevent adversaries from gaining control over them.
According to the author, the U.S. should also stockpile Bitcoin, build a domestic Bitcoin mining industry, and extend legal protections to the technology. In his view, Bitcoin is a weapon of self-defense, and the country should protect it as it does other rights.