German Intelligence Agency Uses NFTs to Recruit Cyber Talent

Credit: BND

Germany’s federal intelligence agency, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has launched 999 NFTs on the Ethereum blockchain aimed at recruiting talent in cyber space.

The NFTs can only be acquired through a gamified treasure hunt on-chain. According to the report, participants must complete the cyber quest by locating a string of characters that were hidden by BND. Once they have accessed the correct data, they are allowed to mint the NFT.

The “Dogs of BND” NFT collection launched in early June featuring digital artwork inspired by security dogs and various roles at the agency. The NFTs cost less than one cent to mint, minus gas fees (and the time it takes to complete the challenge).

Out of the 999 NFTs, 987 are available to mint through the treasure hunt. The remaining twelve NFTs have been reserved for future challenges, which are expected to become increasingly difficult. One challenge being considered is a smart contract hacking challenge.

On June 19th, BND spoke with BTC-Echo, a German crypto media outlet, and shortly after the floor price of the collection skyrocketed — jumping from 0.000001 ETH to 0.052, or about $100. However, the total trading volume remains low at only 1.38 ETH (at the time of writing), suggesting not many people are trading the collection.

However, given the niche-nature of the NFTs, that should come as little surprise. Ultimately, the concept of the “Dogs of BND” collection is more notable than its floor price or trading volume. The BND is using NFTs and blockchain technology to recruit new talent. If down the line, candidates are interviewed or hired for positions or contracts, then this will be one of the first times we’ve seen NFTs used as a recruiting mechanism.

Government Agencies Are Innovating in Web3

The NFT collection from BND is one of the most novel NFT concepts we’ve seen in some time. But the German intelligence apparatus isn’t the only government entity that’s been involved with Web3. At Rarity Sniper, we’ve covered several government institutions investing significant time and money in the space. Here are some of the top stories.

First, on May 15th, the U.S. Secret Service participated in a Reddit Ask-Me-Anything (AMA) session with the subreddit community r/cryptocurrency. During the session, the agency told redditors it owns crypto, has its own NFT collection, and believes blockchain can be used to fight financial crime.

Next, about two months ago, Romania’s National Institute for Research and Development in Informatics announced the launch of a new NFT trading platform. The marketplace’s goal is to push Web3 adoption in the country and link public and private sector institutions through Web3 technologies.

Lastly, in February, the California DMV announced it partnered with Tezos and Oxhead to build a blockchain to be run by the DMV. Its first objective is to digitalize car titles for California drivers, making it simpler and more efficient to switch titles and perform other tasks.

As the space continues to evolve, the amount of innovative, creative, and useful Web3 products from governments, companies, and individuals is growing. This latest project from the BND to use NFTs as a recruitment tool isn’t something we’ve seen a lot of. But if it works out, we wouldn’t be surprised if others agencies and companies looking for talent follow suite.