Soft War

Author(s): Major Jason P. Lowery
Publication Number: ECES-SB241
Issued in: 2023


Current analysis of Bitcoin’s underlying proof-of-work technology is almost exclusively based on financial, monetary, or economic theory.
Recycling the same theoretical frameworks when performing hypothesis-deductive analysis of Bitcoin has the potential to create systemic-level analytical bias which could negatively impact public policy making efforts and could even pose a threat to US national security. This thesis introduces a novel theoretical framework for analyzing the potential national strategic impact of Bitcoin as an electro-cyber security technology rather than a peer-to-peer cash system. The goal of this thesis is to give the research community a different frame of reference they can utilize to generate hypotheses and deductively analyze the potential risks and rewards of proof-of-work technologies as something other than strictly monetary technology. The author asserts it would be beneficial for researchers to explore alternative functionality of proof-of-work technologies to eliminate potential blind spots, provide a more well-rounded understanding of the risks and rewards of proof-of-work protocols like Bitcoin.