German Intelligence Agency’s Dogs of BND NFT Collection Sells Out in Recruitment Drive for Crypto Experts

  • The German Federal Intelligence Service (BND) successfully leverages NFTs in its latest recruitment drive, specifically targeting crypto and Web3 experts.
  • Their “Dogs of BND” campaign, featuring German Shepherd-themed NFT profile pictures, mints out within weeks of its launch.

The German Federal Intelligence Service, known as Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has witnessed a significant success with its recent non-fungible token (NFT) collection, the “Dogs of BND.” The collection, minted as part of a strategy to draw in crypto and Web3 experts, sold out within weeks of its launch.

The campaign, launched on June 5, found new owners for all 987 available NFTs by June 21, as per Isabelle Kalbitzer, BND’s media relations manager. The BND’s unique “blockchain challenge,” which was initiated on their career-focused Instagram profile, engaged users by presenting a string of characters linked to the Ethereum blockchain. Those who could successfully decode this string had the chance to acquire one of the 999 exclusive, German Shepherd-themed NFT profile pictures.

The choice of this specific dog breed was influenced by its popularity on the BND’s Instagram page.

Despite the seeming complexity of the challenge, participants didn’t appear taxed, with one user commenting it took a mere “2 minutes” to complete. The more swift users managed to secure pictures with particularly rare traits, as highlighted by Kalbitzer.

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The objective of this innovative campaign, according to Kalbitzer, was to showcase the BND as a dynamic employer, active within the realms of blockchain and NFTs. The remaining 12 NFTs from the collection will serve as tools for future challenges, potentially including a smart contract hacking task.

Utilizing unconventional methods for recruitment is not new to intelligence agencies. For instance, British Intelligence observed a crossword competition in 1942, reasoning that the skills for solving crosswords mirrored those required for decoding intelligence. Some successful participants were subsequently approached for code-breaking roles at the famous Bletchley Park.

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In a similar vein, the UK’s intelligence agency, GCHQ, targeted gamers with digital posters in 2009, and in 2017, launched the CyberFirst Girls competition to counter the gender imbalance in the cybersecurity workforce. The competition encouraged girls from UK schools to participate in challenges that tested their investigative, observational, and mathematical skills.

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