OODA Loop began reporting on Bitcoin just two years after Bitcoin’s Genesis block was mined with a summary of a Wired Magazine article discussing a new (at the time) type of malware that took over computers to mine Bitcoin. At the time, the price of Bitcoin had been rocketing to new highs and was just passing $9.50, on the way to $15.00 before crashing back down to end the year at $3.00 per coin.
Since then millions of people and many businesses and even governments have recognized the powerful intrinsic value of a widely accepted, mathematically provable way to electronically store and transfer value without the use of middlemen or central control. The Bitcoin approach was founded on principles of peer-to-peer exchange of value protected by cryptography and a method of achieving a global consensus on the state of a distributed ledger called a blockchain. This approach not only enabled digital money, but, in the case of Bitcoin, provided a known monetary policy that cannot be altered.
This first blockchain gave rise to many other innovations around Bitcoin, including methods to improve transaction speed, reduce transaction cost and improve overall utility of the Bitcoin network. Other innovations occurred outside the Bitcoin ecosystem, including the second largest cryptocurrency, Ethereum, which was based on the breakthrough approach of a blockchain but added in features like an ability to program and run decentralized applications founded on the blockchain, which kicked off new waves of use cases relevant to almost every industry.
It is still very early in the cryptocurrency revolution, but Bitcoin, Ethereum and other related projects have now generated a combined market cap of over $1.6 Trillion Dollars, a signal of heft in this new component of the economy. Estimates of the numbers of people using cryptocurrency vary widely, but there could be up to 20% of the US population with some cryptocurrency ownership, and large corporations are starting to leverage cryptocurrencies as a store of value and for use cases involving transactions. The startup world in the cryptocurrency ecosystem is incredibly hot with crunchbase tracking over 1300 cryptocurrency related startup companies. Clearly something is happening here we should all track.
OODA’s tracking of these and related developments focuses on the insights needed by operational decision-makers regardless of business sector or government, since these trends will be impacting all of us eventually.
We base our insights on a solid foundation and hands-on experience in mining, running nodes, creating test-bed cryptocurrencies and smart contracts. The principals at OODA are also directly involved in providing cybersecurity and strategic advisory services in the cryptocurrency space and this keeps our research and reporting grounded in the realities of practitioners.
To track our research and reporting on Bitcoin, Ethereum and Cryptocurrencies we recommend three things:
- Ensure you are on distribution for the OODA Daily Pulse, where we capture and report on daily topics
- Leverage your OODA Network Membership to gain insights into the cryptocurrency revolution by attending our monthly member meetings and interacting with us in the OODA Forum.
- Review the research and reporting below and use it to dive deeper into topics most relevant for your business strategy
Current research is provided below:
Bitcoin, Ethereum and Cryptocurrencies
A Cambrian Explosion in innovation in cryptocurrency related products and services is underway. The uptake in cryptocurrency interest by institutions has been so large that it is probably prudent for all businesses to review their internal strategies regarding cryptocurrencies, not just as financial assets but as a way to improve internal innovation and positioning for the future.
This post provides executive level insights into a component of the Bitcoin ecosystem called a “node” and recommends every company and government organization now consider running a Bitcoin node.
Web3 Cyber Incident Database: Tracking over $62 Billion Dollars worth of cyptocurrency related incidents
Over the past several years, there has been a rapid emergence of companies, projects, and initiatives in what is broadly categorized as Web3. While monitoring that rapid innovation, the OODA research team has noticed a disproportionately high number of cybersecurity incidents that have the potential to negatively impact the Web3 innovation ecosystem, disrupt customer adoption of these technologies, and result in consumer and enterprise monetary losses.
OODA has compiled a Web3 incident database based on our research to categorize what compromises are taking place as well as document the cyberattack root causes. At the time of this post this database is tracking over $62 Billion Dollars worth of cryptocurrency related incidents.
OODA has a deep heritage in red teaming enterprise and advanced technologies. In cybersecurity, a Red Team is a group of experienced professionals authorized and organized to test a system using realistic methods of a real adversary. The objective of a Red Team is to improve security by emulating the objectives and tactics of real-world attackers and then mitigating the attack surface and vulnerabilities revealed in the testing.
Web3 technologies would greatly benefit from red teaming. Seemingly great innovations get fielded without sufficient security controls, resulting in impactful incidents. How bad are these incidents? As of March 2022 Web3 incidents have resulted in over $61 Billion in losses since 2011. OODA recommends Web3 developers and projects focus Red Team efforts on six key areas:
Bitcoin is the most famous crypto currency, with good reason. It was the first to leverage the new concept of a blockchain to enable a distributed, but trusted ledger, which for the first time in history allowed a cryptocurrency where double spending was impossible. Since its founding on 3 January 2009 the system has worked and proven it can scale with extreme accuracy. But what might this new store of value and distributed means of safe and secure transactions mean for your business? The models listed here can fuel your decision-making in that domain.
How might Bitcoin be framed as a national security risk? As national security technologists, here is our take on where the government is likely concerned.
Over the years it has been very exciting to watch the incredible innovations around Bitcoin and Ethereum and other projects in the crypto space. And there have been huge disappointments in statements by government leaders over the years, many of which have really said disparaging things about the movement. There are still some real haters in government, but two things occurred in March 2022 that signal a big change.
We continue our effort to underscore certain patterns and themes found throughout the OODAcast library of over 80 conversations with leaders and decision-makers.
In January 2021, OODA CEO Matt Devost interviewed Camila Russo, author of the book “The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-hackers Is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum”. Camila is also the founder of the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) site The Defiant. In August of 2020, Matt interviewed Bradley Rotter. Bradley is a visionary investor who has pioneered investments in many new alternative investments classes. He was also an early investor in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency ecosystems. Topics discussed in these OODAcast conversations include the emergence of Ethereum, interesting applications of Ethereum, and the general trends driving the DeFi space and cryptocurrencies.
Jahon Jamali is a leading expert on emerging technologies, global risk management and international relations. He began his career as a U.S. Intelligence Officer with the Defense Intelligence Agency. He also has extensive experience in the high tech community creating and growing startups through to successful exits. All this makes him an even more credible authority when it comes to seeking the trends that are moving technology, business and government operations forward. This discussion examines the role of Bitcoin and Ethereum in finance today and the especially important need for cryptocurrencies to provide a trust layer for the Internet.
During MicroStrategy World, Michael Saylor lead a focused discussion on the mega trends of finance he believes make the transition to Bitcoin as a global store of value inevitable. One of the most informative sessions was a discussion with a leading Bitcoin expert, Ross Stevens. Ross is CEO and founder of the New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG), which enables institutional clients like Microstrategy to smartly buy and hold Bitcoin.
Based on the recent release of our Web3 Cyber Incident Database, we continue with our brief survey of crypto and digital currency initiatives from around the globe, all of which are officially sanctioned to enhance national competitive advantage. Today we provide an analysis of the major central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiative in the U.S., Project Hamilton, which is a technical collaboration between the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and The MIT Digital Currency Initiative. The Biden Administration is set to release an Execute Order (EO) articulating national security concerns associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Project Hamilton is a major applied basic research project which will inform some of the actionable and directional components of the EO when released.
This week’s OODAcast features an interview with Camila Russo, the author of the book “The Infinite Machine: How an Army of Crypto-hackers Is Building the Next Internet with Ethereum”. Camila is also the founder of the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) site The Defiant, which tracks developments, emerging trends, and news in the fast moving DeFi space.
In this interview, Camila shares how her experience covering fiat currency issues as a reporter for Bloomberg sparked her interest in Bitcoin and how she focused her attention on the Ethereum project early in its development. We discuss Camila’s book and the emergence of Ethereum as well as the most interesting applications of Ethereum, future disruptions, and the general trends driving the DeFi space.
Once again, we present to you the annual OODA Almanac which is intended to be a quirky forecasting of themes that the OODA Network think will be emergent in 2022. Our 2021 Almanac had some great frameworks for understanding the year ahead with lots of compelling insights. The theme for this year is surviving and thriving in an age of exponential disruption. It seems that everything is getting disrupted; national security, economic security, technology, culture and media. New ideas are old and old ideas are new. Here’s our take for 2022.