Opinion CIA Director Confirms that the Notorious USA Agency has a Range of Cryptocurrency Projects

CIA Director Confirms that the Notorious USA Agency has a Range of Cryptocurrency Projects

December 11, 2021

Governments are no strangers to either blockchain technology or cryptocurrencies. However, usually, this comes in some kind of relation to digital ventures like logistics or management, at least when it comes to the application of blockchain tech. On the other hand, regulatory and tax agencies are almost always interested in the use of existing cryptocurrencies and other digital currencies that are already a reality. Few doubted that the security agencies are also involved in one way or another with digital currencies and similar projects. That is especially true for major world powers like China, Russia, and naturally, the USA. Now, however, there is an unnerving development in the last country on that list, even though many will appreciate the transparency and openness that comes with it. 

That development has to do with the US Central Intelligence Agency or the CIA, now infamous across the world for its clandestine operations and dubious loyalties even in its home country. The Director of the CIA recently publicly confirmed that the agency is actively working on not one but several cryptocurrency-related ventures and projects. There are numerous implications to this statement but few if any are good for practically everyone – except the CIA and its affiliates. However, they collectively also speak about the growing relevance of cryptocurrencies and the fact that these will not simply vanish one day or anytime soon for that matter. 

Official Confirmation

The official confirmation of the CIA’s involvement in crypto came at the event called the Wall Street Journal CEO Council Summit. There, Willam Burns, CIA Director confirmed rumors that have been circulating for some time now. He provided a bit of context and explanation for one of those projects, but not a lot can be disseminated from those explanations, either on a technical level or the overall purpose that the agency might have. Burns said that one of the projects – at least – involves the monitoring of digital assets, but also the ransomware space that they are usually closely connected to via different criminal groups. 

But, as many analysts quickly pointed out, that job could befall on a range of internal US security agencies, more precisely the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It has precedence over any issue of security that takes place on the territory of the United States. The same apple to Homeland Security as an umbrella organization tying all of these together. However, even with those issues of jurisdiction, the CIA is clearly working on its own cryptocurrency potential. 

Old Projects

Interstitial enough and perfectly in line with the general CIA way of doing things, one of the key things that Burns underlined in his address was the fact that he did not start this project. Instead, he said that David Cohen, his predecessor in this role, first began with them. Unsurprisingly for the world of digital media, esports, and other online activities, this only stoked the fires of conspiracy theorists further. Also, the question of whether Cohen started this project remains open. That way, the entire setup is the perfect kindling for conspiracy theories and of course, the most famous one involving bitcoin. According to it, the CIA actually invented the entire bitcoin network on its own right there at the end of the 2000s. 

It was then released under the Satoshi Nakamoto pseudonym and it took a life on its own, which is also an ever-growing life. However, according to this theory, the CIA still holds the reins in some shape or form, but also made sure that it is on the ground floor for the same system. That allowed it to amass digital tokens that it can easily and anonymously sell-off and attain fiat currency. The same currency can then be applied to whatever purpose this agency deems fit, including clandestine operations across the globe. Computer scientists from all walks of life contested this theory immediately, but years later, it is still able to reach those who want to believe in this bitcoin origins story. 

Important Initiatives

Despite the jumble of information, there is no doubt that Burns was clear in explaining that the agency is working on cryptocurrency projects. Burns also said that these were of an important priority for the spy organization and that there are clear plans to devote attention and resources to the same processes. He also used this opportunity to do a bit of informal recruiting. This comes in the form of his explanation that the CIA is looking for all manner of cryptocurrency development experts. The agency wants to add these to its analytical teams who otherwise scan and assess the chatter that is important to the national security and/or the interests of the CIA. 

Because of that, Burns wants also to open up communication lines with experts from the industry. Their hopes are that some of these would be interested in helping the agency in these still-cryptic projects. However, that will not be an easy undertaking. Already, these experts are a highly sought-out profile of professionals even on the IT industry level. Taking a job inside of the CIA will be appealing only to those who have patriotic reasoning behind it. Otherwise, there is a slim chance that the agency can compete with the incredible salaries and bonuses on offer from top crypto companies.

Ransomware Issue

The brightest glasses one can put to observe this news about the CIA and cryptocurrency are those related to the issue of ransomware attacks. Even Burns said that the digital asset space is now very vulnerable and open to exploits, all of which can have a massive financial toll. At the same time, the ability of criminals and even terrorists to amass capital this way is huge and continuously growing. Colonial pipeline attacks are a perfect example of how criminal ventures can quickly turn into an economic calamity on a wider scale. The CIA is adamant that it wants to be helpful to other agencies that follow up on these cases, but the issues of jurisdiction remain. Also, the track record of the agency remains very negative and stops most from giving them security agencies the benefit of the doubt.