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Bush Security Advisor Warns Against Blockchain Cold War

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Bush Security Advisor Warns Against Blockchain Cold War


The man who helped invent the financial embargoes that cut off terrorist funding after 9/11 is concerned that cryptocurrencies could be used to undermine his creations.


A former deputy assistant to U.S. President George W. Bush, and a former deputy national security advisor for combating terrorism, Juan Zarate is widely credited with helping create sanctions tools and financial instruments that put pressure on enemies of the state.


But as blockchain technologybegins to break down borders and empower the unbanked, Zarate is growing concerned it might also be weaponized to illicit ends.


To be clear, Zarate supports the idea that blockchain and cryptocurrencies could give "greater autonomy" to individuals, while potentially boosting "commercial activity."

Now a senior adviser at Washington D.C.-based think tank, Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Zarate was also among the technology's earliest advocates, having been an advisorto U.S. cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase since 2014.


Still, he's adamant there needs to be more transparency about how even governments might use blockchain due to the geo-political nature of the monetary system it could help reimagine.


Key to the success of the tools Zarate created, for example, was the U.S. dollar's status as the de facto global reserve currency. By creating ways to strategically cut off a nation's access to the dollar, Zarate was able to effectively restrict their ability to wage war or otherwise undermine U.S. interests.


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