Technology Behind Crypto Can Also Improve Payments, Providing a Public Good

Crypto assets have been more of a disappointment than a revolution for many users, and global bodies like the IMF and the Financial Stability Board urge tighter regulation.

Some of the rapidly evolving technology behind crypto, however, may ultimately hold greater promise. The private sector keeps innovating and customizing financial services.

But the public sector too should leverage technology to upgrade its payment infrastructure and ensure interoperability, safety, and efficiency in digital finance, as we noted in a recent working paper: A Multi-Currency Exchange and Contracting Platform. Others too are advancing similar views.

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DeFi vs. the regulators, by the numbers

 One question raised by the ongoing crypto crackdown is just how much power U.S. regulators can exert over public blockchain networks.

The answer depends in part on how they go about exerting it. They’ve got a few options open to them, but each presents its own dilemmas.

One way they could play it would be to take a laissez-faire approach and attract as much crypto activity to the U.S. as possible. Once a large part of the industry and the infrastructure of blockchain networks is entrenched in the U.S., they could slowly impose more rules and hope that the rules effectively govern activity on the blockchains, even if much of those networks exist outside the U.S.

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