Susanne Tarkowski Tempelhof

Bitcoin and Markets edited this page Aug 28, 2018 · 2 revisions

This is a transcript, with small edits, from a report Janine gave on Block Digest. You should follow her and subscribe to their channel. Her twitter thread.

Government Spy

You may have heard of Susanne Tempelhof back in 2014 as the founder of Bitnation otherwise known as the not-really-functional nation-state on the ethereum blockchain. Susanne has a lot of prior experience with dysfunctional nation-states though, because before entering the Bitcoin space, and the Ethereum space, she worked for a real one. A biography provided within her speaker profile (archived img) for the Decentralized conference in Athens says,

Tarkowski Tempelhof is an award winning entrepreneur, a crypto activist and writer, living and working in international frontier environments. In the 2000s she built and sold multimillion dollar contracting businesses in Afghanistan and Libya. Her companies conducted pioneering research on governance for the US State Department and Department of Defense. Tarkowski Tempelhof’s aim is to leverage radical technologies and resilient peer-to-peer networks to create borderless and voluntary post-nation state society. She founded Bitnation, the world’s first blockchain nation and jurisdiction in 2014. In 2017 she won the UNESCO Netexplo Award for Bitnation, and was named by WIRED as one of the innovators of the world fighting for your online privacy. Susanne has appeared in New York Times, WIRED, VICE, Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, The Guardian, The Economist, BBC, CNN,, The Atlantic, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, Russia Today, Canal+, TEDx and many other venues.

While it's certainly true she was a defense contractor for the US State Department and Department of Defense for several years, I would hardly call the work that she did "pioneering research on governance." What she actually did was spend "nearly 7 years working as a contractor in various conflict zones, from Afghanistan and Pakistan, to Egypt and Libya — assisting with building and overthrowing governments." Source

She even made an appearance in the Stratfor emails, as released by Wikileaks as part of the global intelligence files in February 2012. On July 1, 2011, only 1/2 year prior to the public leak of the emails, [and one year before she came up with the idea for Bitnation], she sent an offer to service(at)

Dear Sir/ Madam -

My firm, Shabakat Corporation, is currently head quartered in E. Libya, Benghazi, and focused on research, data collection, and key-leader engagement activities. We have a field network of about 50 screened local Libyan personnel throughout the east, as well as leading international analysts and subject matter experts on Libya. We're currently conducting research for a number of organizations including Caerus Associates/ Dr. David Kilcullen, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), etc.

I would be interested to speak with you to explore if there's a venue for my team on the ground to plug into the collection work you do.

Feel free to contact me via mail: tarkowski.wsc(at) or susanne(at) or via Skype: susanne_tarkowski to discuss this further.

Regards, Susanne

Read more on Caerus Associates and its CEO Erin Simpson.


Tempelhof "sold a strategic communications company carrying out campaigns for the US Military in war-ravaged Afghanistan, and then a second one in Libya and Egypt during the Arab Spring." Source in description to her TED Talk. It's part of her resume that she participated in overthrowing governments. In a 2015 interview she said the following,

Hence, I went through a brief period of great self-doubt where I thought would I done for most of my 20s was pretty much either not very significant in terms of impact, or even at times straight out harmful. While Zuckerburg, through a computer in a dorm had done more of a positive impact than I could ever have dreamt of.

Not exactly a great role-model, but you get the point.

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