Blockchain can be overwhelming for most people, but at the London Blockchain Conference, industry experts have been seeking to demystify the technology in a daily Q&A session. On Day 2, the questions ranged from the need for interoperability and the loss of freedom through central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) to the storage and abuse of private keys.
CBDCs have become a key area of study and development for central banks globally, with one study revealing that over 100 countries are working on digital currencies. But will we lose our financial freedoms to CBDCs, and will governments use them to enforce policies and restrictions?
According to Patrick Prinz, there’s a chance of CBDC abuse, especially by totalitarian governments. This makes the need for peer-to-peer payments through Bitcoin ever more critical, stated Prinz, who works with the Swiss-based Fairway Family Office.
We’ve seen governments using money to force their way, and there’s reason to believe CBDCs will exacerbate this, noted Ray Sharma, the founder of Extreme Venture Partners. In his native Canada, the government cut down funding channels for truckers protesting vaccination mandates. However, Ray believes that regulations (sometimes through precedent-setting lawsuits) will catch up in due time.
Prinz dismissed the widely-held notion of “not your keys, not your coins” in response to what happens if your keys are stolen and used in a crime.
“This mantra is a complete illusion…it was created out of false labeling and prevents adoptions,” Prinz stated, noting that institutions can’t dive into an asset that doesn’t come with a method of reclaiming. Just as authorities can freeze illicit funds in a bank account, so will they for illicit digital assets, working with miners.
“Existing laws and infrastructure are sufficiently robust to support the [digital currency] activities,” added Osmin Callis, the Block Venture Studio managing director.
Developing countries have traditionally lagged in tech adoption, but the panelists believe that the blockchain adoption curve could be different. Ray noted that he has invested in Nigerian blockchain startups, and from experience, the country—and the wider African region—is making big leaps in the adoption of blockchain to solve real challenges.
“Focus on solving the challenges,” not the tech, advised Osmin.
Other questions focused on the interoperability of blockchain networks, global regulations, artificial intelligence, and conflicts of interest in the BTC cartel.
London Blockchain Conference Day 1 Highlights: Revenue generation with blockchain tech
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