Talk:Blockchain – a competition to governments? – PL 04 2018

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Draft for the session description

Blockchain is a new and promising technology. While trust has been lost in governments, banks, central banks and other institutions, this technology is trustless - meaning it does not require trusting a central entity. With computers gaining increasing importance, we are less willing to trust a single entity or some administrators to properly care about our digital life. Public blockchain technology promises to be able to grant things beyond government and institutional control. The independence form government control, however, means that illegal activities like money laundering, terror financing and drug trafficking - just to mention a few - might be less controllable. Bitcoin accounts cannot be frozen and sanctions cannot be enforced. Although Bitcoin is not anonymous at all, new technologies like zero knowledge proofs will enable anonymity as well. Governments are split in their reactions. Some foster the new and promising technology, some want to reclaim their territory and some focus to regulate some side effects like KYC or energy consumption. Shall we ban cryptos, because governments have less control than over banks - or shall we foster it exactly for the same reason? Anonymous, cash-like transactions are considered a human right. With the coming abolishing of cash, anonymous blockchain transactions below a certain limit, might become a human rights requirement. In this session, regulators, crypto anarchists, people from the industry and human rights activists discuss the pros and cons of regulation of this technology.

Draft for the format

Panel discussion of ideally 4 panelists