As Venezuela embarks on a radical experiment, as Turkey trades with Russia through crypto payments, as Iran considers its own cryptocurrency, and as Saudi Arabia as well as Dubai announce plans to issue digital currencies, the ramifications of blockchain technology to the post world war two financial order are becoming clearer by the day.
And as they do, this space has to grapple with a response. Are we to play favorites? Can we play favorites? Do we consider wider implications? Or do we roll the dice and let the chips fall where they may?
The natural response is to see the technology itself as neutral. Coders have no insight into geopolitics just as arguably no one else does as shown by the fact those geopolitical games always end in war.
But more importantly, no one can prevent state actors from using the internet, or cars, or electricity, or any other invention. It’s just impossible. Nor thus can anyone be prevented from using blockchain technology, whether of a public kind or private.
That too is impossible, for in the most abstract manner the blockchain isn’t a real thing, it’s an idea, and as soon as one knows of an idea they can not unknow it.
Neutrality, therefore, isn’t quite a choice, but a necessity. As such any response or position can’t be directed at the technology itself just as much as one can’t direct their policy towards the positive and negative discharge of electricity for it has no care of our views or policies.
At the same time, gradual transitions are preferable to instant shocks. Whatever the pros or cons of sanctions or blockades, you’d think they would be preferable to war. Just as you’d think in some cases they are a cause of war, or that in some cases they would be preferable to war for only one party.
Yet without dwelling into what we have no insight and we are sure no one else really does, it is probable sanctions are on a shelf life.
You simply can not have financial blockades when anyone can issue a decentralized digital currency that needs no third party permission and if you limit such blockades to only interconnections with traditional money you are simply precipitating the extinguishment of traditional money for the natively digital is clearly superior since it meets an obvious need.
What you need to do, therefore, is to engage in a race. Many western countries, and America in particular, are making a grave mistake in not seeing what they have in abundance of talent. It is the incumbent’s syndrome, and we know how that ends. Ask Kodak, Blockbuster, Nokia…
Instead of utilizing their advantages, many western countries are talking them down in a blunder that might go down in history. They listen to the bankers. Otherwise said, they’re listening to Kodak. Instead of listening to what now dominates the stock market, tech companies.
And in the process they’ve allowed Venezuela, and perhaps others, to do what, regardless of the politics and all the rest, to do what from a chess perspective is a brilliant move.
They are tapping into 21st century markets, into a new way to do finance, and if you just think about it for a second, the bonds, the stock market, by comparison they look so outdated.
Who… no one has bought bonds. Who buys stocks? They still issue paper certificates. Yet you tune into crypto, you just turn on some website, and you’re now rolling up or down.
Or you take the microphone, like Maduro has done, and now you have a global market. Plenty may say plenty. The markets never care.
In all this… ok, there’s Giancarlo, there’s London’s FCA, there’s Switzerland which is doing some great things, there’s Estonia which is doing some cool things, there’s Japan, but there isn’t really that embrace, that leadership of we must utilize this tech and we must do it better than anyone else.
There are gestures, but it’s all so cautious, it’s all wait and see, it’s all almost still at does this really work, and in some aspects it’s worse, with clueless idiots like bankers and China trying to wish it all ways, as if you can wish 2+2 away.
In some respects the caution is understandable, but at this stage it appear to come not from rational analysis but from outright denial that anything has changed.
Yet it has, it has. Get over it. Things won’t be the same, they can’t be the same. There’s an invention. Just as we can’t go back to candle light we can’t go back to pre-blockchain. It’s that simple, it’s like physics. And you know, physics doesn’t care what you think, or what you like. It just, if-thens.
So if you want to sit back while necessity breeds a jump to new technology for some locals, that’s your choice. And if you want to be even more foolish and try to deny reality or just wish it all away, well, you’re the king.
But if you want to reinvigorate your people and bring back optimism and a drive for better, then just take an open mind and see the capabilities, see what can be done, see how things could be better, see what advantages can be gained, see how all boats could be lifted, from Africa to the banking towers.