Crypto and National Security: How to Validate American Innovation and Verify U.S. National Security



NSI held our inaugural cryptocurrency and blockchain technology event, “Crypto and National Security: How to Validate American Innovation and Verify U.S. National Security.” This event featured a panel of experts discussing critical U.S. national security policy opportunities and challenges related to crypto innovation and adoption.

“Crypto and National Security” kicked off NSI’s year-long policy programming initiative focused on cryptocurrency and blockchain technology – an emerging and important area of policy and innovation. NSI will host a range of conversations throughout 2022 that bring leading experts together to discuss and analyze issues such as crypto’s implications for:

  • U.S. leadership in tech and financial markets;
  • Illicit finance and sanctions policy;
  • Privacy and human rights at home and abroad; and
  • Other key national security objectives.


  • Jerry Brito, Executive Director, Coin Center
  • Sheila Warren, Chief Executive Officer, Crypto Council for Innovation
  • Juan Zarate, Global Co-Managing Partner & Chief Strategy Officer, K2 Integrity, and NSI Advisory Board Member
  • Moderator: Laura Shin, Author of The Cryptopians and host of Unchained podcast





Jerry Brito is executive director of Coin Center, an independent nonprofit focused on the public policy issues facing cryptocurrency technologies like Bitcoin. Its mission is to defend the rights of individuals to build and use free, open, and private cryptocurrency networks.

Jerry has testified several times before Congress and state legislatures about cryptocurrencies, and regularly holds briefings for and consultations with policy makers. He has presented on cryptocurrencies at the CFTC, SEC, Treasury Department, State Department, and the White House, as well as the Council on Foreign Relations and the Brookings Institution. He is the coauthor of Bitcoin: A Primer for Policymakers, as well as other scholarly work on the regulation of cryptocurrencies.

Jerry is a recipient of the Public Knowledge IP3 Award and was named one of Washington’s 100 top tech leaders by Washingtonian magazine and to the POLITICO 50 list of D.C. influencers. His op-eds have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and elsewhere.



Sheila Warren is the chief executive officer for Crypto Council for Innovation (CCI), a global alliance formed to demonstrate the transformational promise of crypto and educate policymakers, regulators, and people around the globe.

Sheila leads a group of the most influential crypto industry leaders in the world representing Coinbase, Fidelity Digital Assets, Block, Andreessen Horowitz, Ribbit Capital, and Paradigm. Prior to joining CCI, Sheila served as the World Economic Forum’s deputy global head of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, head of Data, Blockchain, and Digital Assets, and a member of its executive committee. She founded the blockchain and digital assets team at the Forum, and her pioneering policy work has helped shape the data and technology spaces to be more inclusive, equitable, and sustainable.

Sheila began her career as a Wall Street attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP before turning to philanthropy and civic technology. She was a senior executive and general counsel at TechSoup. She also designed and launched NGOsource, a groundbreaking service focused on international grantmaking. Sheila is the co-host of “Money Reimagined”, CoinDesk’s popular podcast and serves on the board of directors of various nonprofit and social justice organizations. She graduated with honors from Harvard College and Harvard Law School.



Juan Zarate is a senior adviser at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), chairman and cofounder of the Financial Integrity Network, and a visiting lecturer in law at the Harvard Law School. Mr. Zarate also serves as chairman and senior counselor for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance (CSIF), as senior national security analyst for NBC News and MSNBC, and as a senior fellow at the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Mr. Zarate served as the deputy assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for combating terrorism from 2005 to 2009, where he was responsible for developing and implementing the U.S. government’s counterterrorism strategy and policies related to transnational security threats. Mr. Zarate was the first ever assistant secretary of the treasury for terrorist financing and financial crimes, where he led domestic and international efforts to attack terrorist financing, the innovative use of the Treasury Department’s national security–related powers, and the global hunt for Saddam Hussein’s assets. Mr. Zarate is a former federal prosecutor who served on terrorism prosecution teams prior to 9/11, including the investigation of the USS Cole attack. He has earned numerous awards for his work, including the Treasury Medal.

Mr. Zarate sits on several boards, including HSBC’s Financial System Vulnerabilities Committee (FSVC) and the HBMX FSVC, the Vatican’s Financial Information Authority (AIF), the Board of Advisors to the director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, America Abroad Media’s (AAM) Board of Advisors, the RANE Network Board, the Aspen Institute’s Homeland Security Group, and the Coinbase Board of Advisors. He is a senior adviser to several technology companies and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Mr. Zarate is the author of Treasury’s War: The Unleashing of a New Era of Financial Warfare (PublicAffairs, 2013), Forging Democracy (University Press of America, 1994), and a variety of articles in the New York Times, Financial Times, Washington Post, Wall St. Journal, LA Times, Washington Quarterly, and other publications. He is a graduate of both Harvard College and Harvard Law School and a former Rotary International Fellow (Universidad de Salamanca, Spain). He has been inducted into the Mater Dei High School Ring of Honor.


Laura Shin is a crypto journalist, host of the Unchained podcast, and author of “The Cryptopians: Idealism, Greed, Lies, and the Making of the First Big Cryptocurrency Craze” (Public Affairs, 2022). During the course of writing her book, she and her sources uncovered who they believe was behind the biggest whodunnit in crypto — the 2016 DAO attack on Ethereum.

Formerly a senior editor at Forbes, she was the first mainstream journalist to cover crypto full-time, and her podcasts and videos have had more than 15 million downloads and views. Shin has spoken about cryptocurrency at places such as TEDx San Francisco, the International Monetary Fund, Singularity University and the Oslo Freedom Forum.

She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with Honors from Stanford University and has a master of arts from Columbia University’s School of Journalism. She lives in New York City.