Andrew Bustamante recently responded to a question on a subreddit thread on Reddit which asked what the biggest threat to the America national security in the future will be. He replied saying blockchain technology will be the biggest threat and whoever manages to figure out the technology first wins.
The subreddit thread where the question was raised is a thread dedicated to Bustamante’s ‘Everyday Espionage’, where he supposedly teaches people to benefit from international espionage techniques by implementing them in daily lives. Considering the fact that Bustamante is reportedly a former CIA intelligence officer, U.S. Air Force veteran and Fortune 10 corporate advisor, he does have the qualifications to do so.
On 22 December 2018, the question was raised in the subreddit thread, together with several possible answers such as “climate change”, “Iran”, “North Korea” or “Russia”. He responded saying blockchain technology is “super powerful stuff”, and the whoever is capable of figuring out “how to hack it, manipulate it or bring it down wins”. However, he did not elaborate further on how exactly blockchain could threaten the country’s security.
Since then, multiple Redditors have speculated possible theories regarding Bustamante’s remarks on the technology. One of them suggested that the ability to create false data within the blockchain would be disastrous when paired with the high difficulty of fixing data in a blockchain-based system. Another Redditor suggested that blockchain offers the potential of making certain transactions “untraceable” and “anonymous”, thus ending up being a possible threat to security.
Quantum computing was also mentioned in the thread. Bustamante replied to a Redditor’s question asking for clarification whether developments in blockchain or quantum computing would be a more concerning factor to the country’s security. He replied that the Redditor had a “fair point”, and this remark a lot sparked new discussions on the topic.
As quantum computing was said to hold the possibility of permanently changing the cryptographic protection that defines blockchain, it was speculated that quantum computing was what Bustamante was referring to by his “bring it down” remark.
Over the past few months, the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) had charged several people from Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) for crypto-related crimes. In July, the DoJ charged twelve individuals while another seven officers were charged in October, all from the GRU and involved in crypto-related hacking operations.