The digital currency sector is set to take a leap that will be as significant as that of dial-up internet to broadband, the Circle CEO predicted
Circle CEO Jeremy Allaire explained that third-generation blockchain technology would lead to seeing digital currencies in the “hands of hundreds of millions, if not billions of users” in a panel discussion at the Singapore Fintech Festival being held from 7 December to 11 December.
The panel, set to discuss the question– ”Can Digital Currencies Birth the Next Generation of World-Class Payment Systems?” featured the CEO of Facebook’s Diem Association (formerly Libra Association) Stuart Levey, Coinbase CPO Surojit Chatterjee, and Soramitsu CEO Makoto Takemiya along with Allaire.
Allaire pointed out that while digital currencies are currently at a very early stage of development, the sector is set to take a leap that will be as significant as the evolution of dial-up internet to broadband. “We’re right on the cusp of what I like to think of, as the broadband moment of digital currency”, he explained.
Takemiya, on the other hand, contended that the present underlying technology for digital currencies was already good enough for everyday use and it is the current user experience of crypto that remains a barrier to widespread adoption. The Circle CEO responded to that by highlighting the fact that the focus of innovation in the sector has shifted towards enhancing customer experience.
He further predicted that such efforts towards improving user experience will enable the public to become hooked on the benefits offered by cryptocurrencies. “Users will be saying, ‘How could I ever have not had this before?” Allaire emphasised.
Coinbase’s Chatterjee contributed to the debate by suggesting that mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency needs a “TikTok moment”, where users realise that digital currency is “just so easy to use”.
The panel further discussed the impact of regulations on crypto-asset adoption. Diem’s Levey told the panel that based on his experiences working with regulators, he believes that governments’ primary concerns over regulating digital currencies are its use in illicit activity and the circumvention of financial sanctions.
Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are no threat to crypto projects, Levey explained, adding that Diem will incorporate any CBDCs that are launched. However, Levey also voiced his concerns over governments getting too involved, like China’s digital yuan project, and its result on the financial market.
“It is true that what the Chinese are doing is profound, but it does have the result of the central government authority having access to every detail of every transaction. It is very different from the vision that, I think, we all have”, he said.
Thus, achieving a balance where governments accept digital currencies but do not indulge in the wholehearted endorsement is critical, the panel agreed.
Written by Harshini Nag