wow! The Federal Intelligence Service BND has gone to the dogs - in the form of NFTs. Real dogs have been working for the German secret service for decades. Now the "Dogs of BND" is also available as a digital blockchain variant.
With its own non-fungible token collection, the BND wants to recruit young people, as several industry sites report. They are to be used in the future to track down cybercriminals.
The bizarre action is not a joke, but is due to the fact that the BND has apparently lacked the right cybersecurity experts so far. That's why there are almost 1,000 computer-generated cartoon images of dogs for sale. They are all different and are said to be modeled after four-legged BND employees like Lissy and Agent who work in Pullach near Munich. Some of them wear glasses, caps or chew gum, they are dressed differently and sit in front of different colored backgrounds.
The secret service advertised its "Dogs of BND" NFTs in early June via a competition on Instagram. Anyone over the age of 13 could take part. "The NFT collection is on an external platform," according to the BND. What is meant is the digital marketplace for NFTs, OpenSea. Any person who has a crypto wallet supporting Ethereum-based tokens has the opportunity to secure an NFT image for the “symbolic price of 0.000001 ETH,” which is roughly $0.0017.
In the meantime, the little pictures are all taken. According to the BND, it took more than two weeks for all digital dog pictures to be sold. However, some BND dogs are already being offered for resale – at a hefty premium. Twelve special canine NFTs were not for sale. They have a golden background and are to be raffled off in future competitions.
The BND is responsible for surveillance abroad. The fact that he sells NFTs is not without controversy, even if the campaign was intended as a creative attempt to recruit young people. He only offered them for a symbolic and therefore extremely low price. But in general, this form of assets is extremely risky.
The entire asset class of cryptos - which includes NFTs alongside Bitcoin and Co. - has no real equivalent value and is not secured. If nobody is willing to pay more for the NFT than the previous owner, the value will drop rapidly and the investor will make a loss.
In any case, it is controversial whether digital assets based on blockchain technology, such as Bitcoin and NFTs, should be classified as an asset class at all. Unlike companies in which they hold shares or bonds, investors do not generate any cash flows by investing in NFTs. This circumstance also makes NFTs vulnerable in phases of rising interest rates.
NFTs have so far only been an object of speculation – which is why they are often used for criminal purposes. So far, cases of money laundering are known, especially in the art trade. Buyers and sellers often do not know each other, the deal is mostly anonymous with no proof of where the money comes from.
If the BND hasn't created new work for itself with the NFT campaign... (w)uff!
This article first appeared on CAPITAL.de.