Dogs of BND
Cyber-attacks are a prevalent issue in today’s world. According to Statista, over six million data records were exposed worldwide through data breaches during the first quarter of 2023 alone, and this number is steadily growing. As a result, there is an increasing need for cybersecurity professionals who can work on the front line to minimize the impact of these attacks.
German Federal Intelligence Service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), has taken action in an effort to recruit cyber talent by launching an NFT collection and a blockchain treasure hunt. Although this isn’t the first time an agency of this kind has used a similar approach to nitpick the most gifted people in a talent pool, utilizing blockchain and NFTs certainly makes it a unique recruitment method.
Photo illustration: Freepik
The collection, which composed of 999 NFTs, and a blockchain challenge aimed at cybersecurity pros were launched on BND’s social media networks. However, in order to collect these non-fungible tokens, participants had to find and decipher a hidden string posted on BND’s official Instagram account. The data string in question points to the Ethereum blockchain, allowing successful participants to mint one of the available 987 dog-themed NFTs. That is, of course, if other “treasure hunt” participants didn’t already pre-empt them.
According to the Bundesnachrichtendienst’s official website, all German residents over the age of 13 were eligible to join the hunt. The only exemptions were Bundesnachrichtendienst employees, who couldn’t take on the challenge for obvious reasons.
The Dogs of BND campaign was launched on June 5th, and according to Decrypt, all available NFTs have found their new owners before the end of the month.
Inspiration Behind the Collection
Dogs of BND collection contains computer-generated and cartoonish dog images with versatile characteristics. Although the same drawing of a dog is used as a baseline for every NFT, they have different outfits and other details, including grasses, headwear, piercings, and headgear. Each NFT also features a different background color, adding more versatility to the collection.
According to BTC-ECHO, two service dogs named Inka and Alex inspired the Dogs od BND collection.
By launching this unique campaign, the BND aimed to show that working for this agency drives excitement and innovation. In addition, the BND provided BTC-ECHO with the following justification for the NFT collection:
We are also looking for talents in the field of cybersecurity in the future. However, our service dogs, the "Dogs of BND," have already received tens of thousands of likes as photos and are hanging as calendars in many offices and households in Germany. Therefore, creating an NFT collection was indeed a logical new offering for our Instagram community.
As stated on the official BND website, the NFTs included in this collection have a symbolic price of only 0.000001 ETH. That is primarily because you cannot mint an NFT on OpenSea free of charge. Furthermore, participants also had to pay a gas fee for initiating a transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, which varies depending on the transaction size and the blockchain congestion. More importantly, it’s worth noting that the BND won’t earn any royalties if the NFT owners decide to enter the secondary market.
The Dogs of BND NFT collection was a success, to say the least. The demand for these NFTs is high, meaning the prices skyrocketed in a matter of days. After a successful campaign launch, it’s safe to assume that the BND will reconsider a similar approach to recruitment in the future. So, if you haven’t gotten a BND dog-themed NFT yet, keep an eye on their future projects and challenges. And if you’re skilled and have scrupulous attention to detail, you might be able to get your share before the other participants. That is, if you live in Germany and want to try your luck in these treasure hunts.