- Fear, lack of education among main barriers to cryptocurrency adoption
- China is emerging as crypto leader
Dubai-UAE: China with its digital yuan is a leader in the field of digital currencies. However, other countries are closely following suit. This was the consensus of a session titled ‘Is Crypto the New Currency Beyond 2021?’ on day one of the World Government Summit (WGS) Dialogues.
Moderated by Saqr Ereiqat, Consultant at IBM Global Business Services, the panel discussion brought together three titans of the digital currency industry – Anthony Di Iorio, Founder and CEO of Decentral and Co-Founder of Ethereum, Denelle Dixon, CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation (STF), and Brock Pierce, Co-Founder of Blockchain Capital and IGE.
The panelists launched a conversation on the latest trends shaping the cryptocurrency industry in the Fourth Industrial Revolution era.
Emphasizing the importance of getting governments on board when shaping the regulatory environment for digital currencies, Pierce said: “What’s imperative is that we make sensible decisions when we are passing regulations, because the world is changing, and we don’t want to be left behind because of a decision made in haste that ultimately undermines your nation’s future. Nearly half of the world’s billionaires now have made their money in crypto. As we live through what could be the greatest wealth trend in the history of the world, it’s important to have more people participate in it.”
Highlighting the role of cryptocurrency in creating access to financial tools that is not available to many people, Dixon said: “We need to encourage central banks that issue these types of currencies not to ignore the private sector and all the work it has done to innovate here already. When we have that public-to-private combination, we can make the transition seamless for the end users. Interoperability is one of the most important aspects in terms of the payments and financing infrastructure.”
Speaking on the challenges to cryptocurrency adoption, she added: “I think there’s a lot of fear around digital and cryptocurrencies, which are different from stable coins. They frighten regulators and policy-makers, which is understandable because it’s a new technology, and most of the hype out there is about when things go wrong, not about when things have gone right. One of the barriers is education. We need to focus on the use cases and not so much the technology stuff.”
Di Iorio said: “Governments need to embrace cryptocurrencies and educate people about them to ensure they’re not hindering the growth of their countries. They also need to get other industries to understand that these technologies can assist them, and they’re not going to wipe them out.”
Pierce added: “It’s human nature to fear that which we don’t understand, and we conquer fear with knowledge.”
Speaking on industry regulation, Dixon said: “The network layer should not be regulated, as it needs to be decentralized. Decentralized exchanges allow people to hold assets all over the world. Financial institutions that issue assets are already regulated. We need to make sure that we’re just regulating to address any gaps that exist with respect to digital assets, because innovation outpaces regulation, so we need to regulate at the principal level.”
Pierce said: “The barrier to entry in financial services is extremely high, which is why there have been so few startups and innovators in this field historically. We should create a sandbox, where they would get two years with lighter regulations and lower fees. There’s a whole lot of things we can do there to encourage innovation. We know that technology is changing the world, and we would like to see our cities and our nations have some of the new companies and the benefits they bring, such as job creation and revenue boost. As regulators, we can pass legislation that increases the likelihood of that happening in our backyard.”
Di Iorio said: “Cryptocurrencies have removed the friction from traditional systems, and governments need to do the same in terms of legislation to attract talent to their countries.”