Maj. Jason Lowrey, a US Space Force Astronautical Engineer, sent a letter about Bitcoin to the US Department of Defense on December 2. In the letter, Lowrey contended that reusable proof-of-work networks like Bitcoin represent an offset strategy for the 21st century.
BREAKING: US Space Force Major, Jason Lowery sends open letter about #Bitcoin to DOD’s Defense Innovation Board.— Dennis Porter (@Dennis_Porter_) December 3, 2023
“I contend that reusable proof-of-work networks like #Bitcoin represent an offset strategy for the 21st century.” pic.twitter.com/qiLZ71S5MN
Based on his studies at the Department of Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College, Lowrey, who is also an MIT Fellow, the concept of an “offset” is a strategy that leverages technological advancements to counterbalance or negate an adversary’s traditional military strengths or numerical superiority.
The astronautical engineer noted that the offset approach involves using cutting-edge technologies to gain strategic and tactical advantages, often in unconventional ways. He considered it a strategy that seeks to tip the balance of power by introducing transformative capabilities that redefine the nature of power and the dynamics of conflict.
Following this description, Lowrey explained that the Bitcoin protocol could alternatively pass as the most operationally successful implementation of what early engineers called a reusable proof-of-work protocol. He thinks the name “Bitcoin” misleadingly implies that the proof-of-work protocol is limited to protecting financial information rather than practically all forms of data, messages, or command signals. Hence, a misconception that underplays the technology’s broad strategic significance for cybersecurity and national security.
According to Lowrey, proof-of-work mirrors the physical security and deterrence strategies utilized in other domains like land, sea, air, and space, where imposing steep costs on adversaries is the primary means of protection. He believes the key difference lies in the work or physical power used. Unlike the kinetic, lethal, or hard power projection typically observed in military contexts.
Furthermore, Lowrey noted that the significant yet subtle change in the internet’s underlying integrated architecture would occur at its foundational level, at the base-layer mechanism. A level of the internet that is often overlooked by most people and intentionally abstracted from the general view because of its enormous complexity.
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