Black Swans and Green Fields: Exploring the Threat and Opportunity of the Alternative Payments Ecosystem to the West
In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto published a white paper describing a digital cryptocurrency called Bitcoin. Fastforward to a post-pandemic 2022, and the stability of the global financial ecosystem is being forced to adapt to what has followed, as a range of virtual currencies (VCs) gain global relevance. The West’s financial hegemony is being threatened by both centralized virtual currencies (especially Chinese and Russian) and decentralized virtual currencies (e.g., Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies) which have exploded in popularity and viability.
These new financial systems provide a growing, increasingly viable, and capable set of interconnected non-bank financial channels representing an Alternative Payments Ecosystem (APE). These systems may or may never touch the legacy financial system consisting of banks and other traditional financial institutions bound together within and across global borders through messaging networks such as the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) or the Automated Clearing House (ACH). Any discussion of the APE immediately turns to Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, and it’s understandable why, as the financial world seemed to change when Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2009 paper was released. Yet the APE extends far beyond these blockchain-based systems. The APE story does not begin there nor is it the only story being written.
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Science and Technology Innovation Program
The Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) brings foresight to the frontier. Our experts explore emerging technologies through vital conversations, making science policy accessible to everyone. Read more