Speaking at Ripple‘s annual Swell conference, held in San Francisco, former US President Bill Clinton addressed the lawmakers, seeking to regulate the distributed ledger industry. Mr. Clinton, who led the United States from 1993 to 2001, said that the “permutations and possibilities of blockchain technology are staggeringly great. But we could ruin it all by negative identity politics and economic and social policy.“
— SN (@sostrenews) October 1, 2018
Clinton took center stage alongside his old colleague Gene Sperling, who served as his economic advisor from 1996 until the end of his second tenure. Together, they covered a number of topics, ranging from foreign policy, Clinton’s new book, his presidency, cultural problems and, of course, blockchain and digital currencies.
— Michal Kaczmarski (@mkaczmarski) October 1, 2018
Clinton remarked that “this whole blockchain deal has the potential it does only because it is applicable across national borders, income groups.“ He also likened blockchain to the emergence of various e-commerce solutions in the late 90s, which entirely changed the retail industry. However, Clinton pointed to “disparity of access” that each new technology creates, something that blockchain technology might be able to avoid due to its decentralized nature.
Mr. Clinton also touched upon the GPS technology, developed during his presidency. Back then, there were fears that the new and innovative tech would be exploited by terrorists or other criminals. A similar sentiment is definitely apparent nowadays, in terms of cryptocurrencies, who are still often associated with hackers/terrorists or other bad actors.
@BillClinton at #SwellbyRipple talks about the importance of enabling innovation. Wishes we had increased broadband access early on, proud of opening up GPS tech despite security risks to enable new services. Lessons for fintech and blockchain regulation! pic.twitter.com/XkjJiCLeed
— Susan Athey (@Susan_Athey) October 1, 2018
According to the former President, “There needs to be an intelligent effort to identify the downsides [of this technology]. With the blockchain or whatever, you don’t want money-laundering, you don’t want scams. But you end up killing the goose that laid the golden egg.“
Even though Clinton did not reveal his general outlook on virtual currencies, it seems he is favorable towards blockchain technology. Reportedly, he received his first BTC as a gift back in 2016. However, his wife Hillary decided not to accept bitcoin donations in her presidential campaign.
The calls for crypto regulation have increasingly grown louder, with US crypto industry heavyweights recently meeting with lawmakers in Capitol Hill for a roundtable discussion. The main message from companies like Coinbase, Circle or Kraken was clear – figure out a clear and firm policy on ICOs and digital assets or we will be forced to move overseas.
Ripple itself has recently announced it was leading a new coalition of tech startups that will be lobbying for favorable crypto regulation. The crypto companies will work alongside Klein/Johnson lobby group.
Besides the keynote address by a former US President, there were other exciting news for Ripple bulls at the Swell conference. CEO Brad Garlinghouse revealed that Ripple‘s xRapid product is now live with three financial institutions already using it to dramatically increase the speed and reduce the costs of cross-border payments.
Alastair Constance, CEO of MercuryFX, one of the first three xRapid partners, claimed that “MercuryFX has been working closely with Ripple for more than a year to bring the power of RippleNet to our customers. In pilot tests, we saw the benefits of xRapid, and we’re excited to roll commercial payments out within the quarter. The time to replace slow, expensive payments architecture is now because the need for global access to smooth-flowing capital has never been so acute.“
Image Source: “Flickr”
I have been following the crypto markets since mid 2017, just in time to witness the incredible surge of the digital asset industry. Fascinated by the potential of blockchain technology I’ve started to dig deeper and that’s how I ended up meeting the Toshi Times team. I hold a Political Science degree, therefore the crypto regulation development is particularly interesting for me. I’m also heavily involved with music, running my own label, a YouTube channel and working with distribution. People call blockchain the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution’ and I believe it will change our daily lives in the coming years and we will have the front row seats to witness it.