Crypto and National Security: The Future of U.S. Economic Security in the Crypto Age



As part of NSI’s project, “Crypto & Blockchain: Securing the Digital Asset Revolution,” we hosted a virtual panel to explore and answer key policy questions about the role that crypto plays in nation-state economic competition and U.S. economic security strategy. This event focused on exploring key policy questions at the intersection of the role of crypto in nation-state economic competition and U.S. economic security strategy.

Key themes and questions we explored at this event included:

  • What is the role of the dollar in U.S. national security and what is its relation to the state of global currency competition?
  • Would broad crypto adoption, or strict regulation, drive a split between G7 versus G20 countries’ monetary policies?
  • Does the lack of a digital dollar in the United States favor private digital currencies for investment value or/and buying power?
  • What role does crypto play in U.S.-China competition?


  • Scott Chipolina (Moderator) (Digital Assets Correspondent, Financial Times)
  • Yaya Fanusie (Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for a New American Security)
  • Geoffrey Okamoto (Managing Director, Goldman Sachs)
  • Julie Myers Wood (NSI Advisory Board, Chief Executive Officer, Guidepost Solutions)



Scott Chipolina is the Digital Assets Correspondent at the Financial Times. He is based in London and earned an MA in Investigative Journalism at City University of London.






Yaya J. Fanusie is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) where his research focuses on crypto, blockchain, and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Earlier in his career, he spent seven years as both an economic and counterterrorism analyst in the CIA, where he regularly briefed federal law enforcement, U.S. military personnel, and White House-level policy makers—including President George W. Bush whom he personally briefed on terrorism threats. In 2009, he spent three months in Afghanistan providing analytic support to senior military officials.

After leaving government service, Yaya worked for a small consulting firm on a global financial asset recovery investigation of a kleptocratic regime. Later, he joined the think tank world and as Director of Analysis at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance, Yaya led research on sanctions evasion and terrorist financing threats. As part of this work, in 2016 he began tracking the illicit use of crypto and wrote some of the first public analysis on a terrorist crypto crowdfunding campaign. He later published a major study on efforts by Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and China to build national blockchain infrastructure.

Yaya is also the Director of Policy for AML & Cyber Risk at the Crypto Council for Innovation. He has testified before Congress multiple times on illicit financing issues and is a leading expert on China’s CBDC. He has appeared on CNN, Fox News, Bloomberg TV, and CNBC, and has been quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and the LA Times. Yaya is a frequent contributor to Lawfare and has written numerous articles for Forbes and Coin Desk.  He is certified with the Association of Certified Financial Crime Specialists.

Yaya received an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs and a BA in Economics from UC Berkeley.


Geoffrey Okamoto is a Managing Director at Goldman Sachs based in New York City. He leads the firm’s efforts on international public policy, coordinating cross-jurisdictional issues, and engaging with global policymakers. Geoffrey also assists clients on matters involving global economic and financial developments.

Prior to joining the firm, Geoffrey served as First Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, charged with managing relationships with the G-7 and G-20, institutional strategy, lending policies, and risk management. He also oversaw surveillance of large economies and the Euro Area, certain lending programs, and the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Prior to the IMF, Geoffrey served as Acting Under Secretary of the U.S. Treasury for International Affairs and Acting Assistant Secretary for International Finance, where he oversaw global financial markets, international economic coordination, climate finance, as well as participation in the Financial Stability Board and international financial institutions. He also served as the Department’s negotiator on trade with China and on Brexit-related matters with the United Kingdom and European Union. Geoffrey also assisted several emerging market economies in financing their reform programs. For his service, he was awarded the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Treasury Department’s highest honor.

Earlier in his career, Geoffrey was on the senior staff of the Senate Banking Committee and the House Financial Services Committee. He was a consultant for KPMG serving financial sector clients.

Geoffrey is a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council and is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Business Administration at Cal Poly Pomona. He previously served as Chairman of the Alumni Board for Georgetown University’s McCourt School of Public Policy and is an Atlantick-Brücke Young Leader.

Geoffrey earned a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University with a concentration in Banking, Fiscal and Monetary Policy, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He was also a visiting student at Corpus Christi College, Oxford.


Julie Myers Wood has more than 25 years of experience in the public and private sector working on regulatory and enforcement issues from many perspectives, including as federal prosecutor, defense counsel, government investigator and compliance consultant. Ms. Wood is currently the Chief Executive Officer at Guidepost Solutions, a leading investigations, compliance, and security firm with offices throughout the United States, as well as England, Colombia, and Singapore.

At Guidepost, Ms. Wood focuses on regulatory compliance and investigative work and regularly serves as an independent monitor/consultant appointed by the U.S. government. She is often called to assist companies and organizations in crisis and help them make meaningful changes to their compliance structure, practices and accountability. Recently, she led Guidepost’s investigation into the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee’s response to sexual abuse at the leadership level, including the development of proposed comprehensive reforms to prevent abuse. She served as the third-party auditor for a global security firm and was responsible for evaluating the firm’s compliance with EAR and OFAC for the Department of Commerce. Ms. Wood also served as the Department of Justice-appointed independent consultant for a global energy services firm relating to OFAC issues and the company’s compliance culture. Additional monitoring assignments included serving as independent consultant relating to a global bank’s AML, OFAC, and KYC remediation. She has also been court-appointed four times to serve as a Monitoring or Divestiture Trustee responsible for evaluating divestiture of various business units for a global security firm, major defense contractor, global health care corporation, and manufacturing company.

Ms. Wood also regularly assists companies and faith-based institutions in a proactive matter, assisting with culture and process changes across a wide range of global organizations and industries. She routinely assists FinTech companies with developing and creating compliance and security protocols to address a changing and complex regulatory environment. As new technology and risks emerge, she created a team to provide compliance solutions and investigations for digital assets, cryptocurrency, and non-fungible tokens (NFTs)s. She has conducted trade compliance reviews for several consulting/technology companies with a worldwide footprint, assisting with classification, recordkeeping, technology, denied party screening and monitoring of activities. She recently led Guidepost’s compliance and culture review for a religious seminary and college.

Before joining Guidepost, Ms. Wood started a consulting and software firm, ICS Consulting. ICS Consulting built software products to assist the private sector in meeting regulatory requirements for immigration and trade compliance. ICS Consulting also provided specialized immigration and customs consulting services. Guidepost Solutions acquired ICS Consulting in 2012.

Prior to joining the private sector, Ms. Wood held several high-level positions with the U.S. government including at the Departments of Justice, Homeland Security, Treasury, and Commerce, as well as at the White House. She has significant experience with compliance culture, internal controls, and anti-fraud measures across a wide range of industries. In one of her most significant government roles, Ms. Wood served as Assistant Secretary and Head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the Department of Homeland Security, the largest investigative component and the second largest investigative agency in the federal government. The Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) division at ICE prosecutes violations of trade compliance and customs laws, among other laws and regulations. While serving in that role, Ms. Wood oversaw the agency’s initiatives to combat human trafficking as well as its investigative work to prevent child exploitation.

Ms. Wood also served as the Assistant Secretary for Export Enforcement at the Department of Commerce, where she oversaw all Export Enforcement Special Agents enforcing criminal and civil violations of export enforcement laws, including violations involving telecommunications companies and encryption issues. Ms. Wood also served as the Chief of Staff for the Criminal Division at the Department of Justice and a Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Treasury where she had policy supervision relating to money laundering and customs enforcement matters. Ms. Wood also prosecuted cases as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, including securities fraud, organized crime, money laundering and bankruptcy fraud.

Ms. Wood is nationally recognized as a speaker for her expertise on immigration and other law enforcement issues. She has testified before Congress numerous times and has appeared on CNN, C-SPAN, ABC, CNBC, MSNBC, NPR, FOX and other broadcast stations. Prior to government service, Ms. Wood was an associate at Mayer, Brown & Platt in Chicago, IL and she clerked for the Honorable C. Arlen Beam of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.