This sure is a novel concept.
A Space Force official has some bold military advice for the Pentagon: make crypto, not war.
As Politico reports, a lengthy thesis project by Jason Lowery, a Space Force major who also happens to be a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has become a best-seller since it was released as a book last month.
The thesis’ thesis? You guessed it: that the future of global military moves lies in crypto mining.
The 400-page academic document titled “Softwar: ” features, for cryptic reasons, a buck skull on its cover and has become selfie fodder for soft power types. Given its main thrust, it’s not hard to see why.
Lowery argues in “Softwar” for the Proof of Work protocol, the consensus mechanism that underpins Bitcoin that uses high-powered processors to verify ownership of a given coin. Specifically, he argues that if governments can get into uber-competitive PoW competitions (no, not that one), they can avoid other competitions such as, say, traditional warfare.
The antlers on the cover of the book, Politico notes, are a metaphor Lowery uses because they represent the kind of global competition he sees going down if govs get into crypto mining: macho battles of will like those between stags, that ultimately leave both parties without huge amounts of bodily harm.
In the antler metaphor, the winner of these mining stag battles would attain a predetermined quantity of tokens and also the rights to publish the next block of transactions.
While we can’t help but laud Lowery for this imaginative conception of a world without traditional war, there’s one gaping hole in his theory: that crypto mining is extremely bad for the environment and that experts have long predicted that further environmental degradation will catalyze worsening wars and violent conflicts (and vice versa).
It would, indubitably, be great if humans stopped killing each other over political squabbles — but if we keep on killing the Earth the way we are, those kinds of conflicts are foregone conclusions regardless of whether militaries decide to get into crypto.
More on crypto mining: Nvidia Wishes People Would Stop Using Its GPUs to Mine Worthless Crypto