IMF MD Acknowledges The Importance Of blockchain: Discusses How Blockchain Could Revolutionize Freedom, Privacy.
Technology has an interesting relationship with how it interacts with individual rights and general morality. Be it TNT, which was to end all wars but only spurred on more destruction or stem cell research where individuals are playing with the building blocks of life without fully comprehending its impact. Technology needs to be contextualized and explained to those who wield power. This was also the line of thought discussed by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund [IMF], Christine Lagarde.
In a speech given at the Kissinger Lecture in relation to Foreign Policy and International Relations, the IMF boss was talking at length about the rapid change in economic and the financial industries. Here she noted the need for a dialog between corporates and representatives of the people, to assess, understand and address the growing importance of the crypto sphere. She stressed the links between online assets and personal freedom, and stated that
“They’re corporate sectors dealing with the common good and your privacy and their data and they’re dealing with your freedom. So governmental authorities, parliamentarians, have to be involved.”
The third most powerful woman, according to Forbes’ Power Women 2018, highlighted the importance of linking public and private interests, while encouraging the general public to take on more responsibility to include all the related actors in educating them on the basics of the emergent blockchain technology. Acknowledging the lack of technocrats within most decision making bodies she went on to state
“So there are many technologies that you don’t master and I don’t, either, but having enough knowledge to understand the key principles that need to be respected, is something that I believe falls on the shoulders of the parliamentarians and the governments because they today have the responsibility to represent the people.”
“And the Government representative have to be helped along the way for those, who are not computer literate, those who feel completely alien to these digital transformations.”
Accepting the imminent need for cryptos to have a regulatory framework, she felt it should not be left entirely to corporates or governments.
This invaluable help can come from many quarters. Christine made it clear that she was not averse from private enterprising helping out, but it should be the technical engineers who understand the implications of the technology and how it intertwines with the future of our collective freedoms; more importantly, does it respect the individual's privacy and rights.
This is not the first time She has discussed cryptos either, in a recent blog post Ms. Lagarde was looking at benefits that Bitcoin [BTC], Ethereum [ETH] and cryptocurrencies in general, could provide. Comparing them to the internet revolution of the 90s she compared them:
“Just as a few technologies that emerged from the dot-com era have transformed our lives, the crypto assets that survive could have a significant impact on how we save, invest and pay our bills.”
Just like the internet changed the way we live, in the span of a few short decades; Blockchain undoubtedly holds the same potential. To realize this potential, however, a guideline is undoubtedly needed. This is where acknowledgment from heads of banks and other important international institutions is invaluable. One hopes this speech is followed up on and more importance is given to setting up a conducive environment for cryptos to thrive in.