Head of PwC Interview Reveals Blockchain’s Banking Benefits and Future Use
Spending With Bitcoin Spreads The Cost
Wahl is a proponent of bitcoin and it is seen by his “fully invested” nature and his tendency to spend bitcoin whenever he can. As he states, spending with bitcoin “is a way to spread the cost.” Further, the value of bitcoin will only increase “if it gets used.” His priority is to “try to support a world where people have more sovereignty over their digital footprints, have more sovereignty in terms of freedom of speech, freedom of movement.”
PwC’s Role In SIX Announcement To Launch A “Fully Regulated” Cryptocurrency Exchange
SIX, Switzerland’s main stock exchange, recently announced that it would be launching a fully-regulated cryptocurrency exchange next year. Wahl stated that PwC has been “involved in that project” and the platform is “very proud to be a partner” in the new adventure for SIX.
It is also possible – or a hope at least – that other jurisdictions will follow by launching major exchanges. The platform believes that “it will definitely provide much easier access to the institutional investors.”
In terms of demand from the industry, it is where the project arose from. Currently, there is a lack of infrastructure in the financial services industry and a lot of demand from clients. Further, Wahl stated that “SIX basically belongs to the banks here in Switzerland, so it wouldn’t have happened without their approval – or the announcement wouldn’t have happened – without the approval of the major stakeholders and the major banks in Switzerland.” The exchange may be able to help the country embrace more blockchain companies as well.
More Clarity From Regulators Is Needed
Though it is certainly possible that the country will embrace more blockchain projects, Wahl notes that there is a need for “more clarity . . . from the regulators in order for banks to start jumping into it. Banks don’t necessarily have the right incentives to jump into space. Some obviously will find the right incentives, but I think banks have to start – rather than thinking in terms of efficiency gains – thinking in terms of new business models with this technology.”
Benefits Of Brining ICOs To The Blockchain Space
Wahl affirmed that Switzerland has been increasing regulators for ICOs to make it harder to hold one in Switzerland. Despite the difficulties, he noted that there are benefits of brining ICOs to the blockchain space. For example, utility tokens with enough liquidity can become payment tokens, there is a difference between asset-backed tokens and other types, and ICOs tend to fall into an asset-backed classification. This quality is good for the blockchain and existing industries because it is more efficiency to do an ICO with a security token, rather than an IPO.
The Role Of BitLicense
BitLicense is a business licensed used by the New York Department of Financial Services to regulate the bitcoin industry. Wahl notes that amid the lack of regulations, countries that are afraid “can always use BitLicense as a reference, and countries that are more embracing can do better.” The license can also serve as a benchmark.
He further added that in terms of the “right” regulation for cryptocurrencies, it is too early to say what’s right and wrong and stated “I think the right approach, rather than the right regulation, would be to embrace the community” and “I would urge regulators to look a bit more closely at the actual code, because we are building a jurisdiction where code is law, and these jurisdictions in cyberspace will live and will survive in any physical space. And the regulators will have to regulate the interactions of those cyber-incorporated entities within their jurisdiction.”
It Is An Undeniable Fact That Blockchain Has An Impact On The Environment
Finally, in terms of environmental impact, it is undeniable. However, Wahl also notes “I really don’t think it’s a waste of energy. I think this energy is put to guarantee immutability. I’m eager to see better consensus mechanisms.”