scorecardThe CIA confirms rumors that it's working on cryptocurrency projects
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The CIA confirms rumors that it's working on cryptocurrency projects

Phil Rosen   

The CIA confirms rumors that it's working on cryptocurrency projects
Investment1 min read
  • At the Wall Street Journal CEO Council Summit on Monday, CIA Director William Burns confirmed the agency is running several cryptocurrency-related projects
  • Burns said the agency is monitoring the digital asset and ransomware space.

It's official: the Central Intelligence Agency is involved in crypto.

During the Wall Street Journal's CEO Summit on Monday, CIA Director William Burns confirmed that the government agency is running several cryptocurrency-related projects. Burns said it was his predecessor, David Cohen, who started the projects.

While some conspiracy theorists have long held that the CIA invented bitcoin — although this computer scientist would claim otherwise — Burns' interview simply confirms the agency's involvement. He called it an "important priority" for the CIA, and he planned to devote "resources and attention" to the subject moving forward.

Burns also said that the CIA would be looking to add crypto experts to its team of intelligence analysts and open communication lines with industry experts.

Regarding ransomware attacks, Burns said the digital asset space "could have enormous impact" on the country. While he did not mention specifics, Burns did say that the agency is looking into the financial networks used by criminal groups leveraging digital assets for ransom.

Burns said his predecessor "had set in motion a number of different projects focused on cryptocurrency and trying to look at second- and third-order consequences as well and helping with our colleagues in other parts of the U.S. government to provide solid intelligence on what we're seeing as well."

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