Friedman is a founder of Geopolitical Futures, an online publication dedicated to predicting the future course of international affairs, and author of "The Next 100 Years: A Forecast for the 21st Century." He told CNBC that he has “never known any encryption technology not to be broken,” and that he doubts “between Russia, China, U.S. intelligence services" that blockchain cannot be decrypted. He added:
"It's useful. It's visible, at some point it'll be obsolete."
Friedman said that blockchain is "one of those hypes. People are profiting from it, making extraordinary claims about it."
In January, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director Christopher Wray announced statistics regarding encryption and information security at the International Conference on Cyber Security. According to the provided data, the FBI was unable to crack over 7,800 devices that contained information the FBI considered vital to ongoing investigations from 2016-2017. Wray also said that half of the devices safeguarded by encryption had been inaccessible.
In March, Cointelegraph reported that the US National Security Agency (NSA) is ostensibly able to locate users of Bitcoin (BTC) around the world, as classified documents provided by Edward Snowden revealed. The NSA supposedly managed this by creating a system for harvesting, analyzing, and processing raw global internet traffic using a program disguised as a popular anonymizing software.
A secret internet surveillance program reportedly represented a range of covert corporate partnerships that enabled the agency to monitor communications and pull data directly from the fiber optic connections that form the internet undergird.