JRJ: What’s your take on some of the elite businessman or politicians having negative view about cryptocurrency? Including Trump’s saying that cryptocurrency is based on air, and Warren Buffett’s conclusion on Bitcoin.
Tanya: Their perspectives are not unexpected. It is difficult to find anyone with heavily vested interests and multiple decades of experience with the fiat monetary system, to be bullish about cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrencies are a radical shift in how value is stored, exchanged, and accounted for. That said, it is important to not blankly discount these perspectives as they identify specific areas where further dialogue is at times warranted.
JRJ: Fed chief calls for Facebook to halt Libra project for now, what’s your take on Libra, and why there is a halt?
Tanya: As Andreas Antonopoulos has said, we are entering an era of government money (fiat) vs corporate money (Libra) vs the people's money (bitcoin). It is going to be interesting.
The main value of the Libra, if it succeeds, will be to bring cryptocurrencies into mainstream use, or at least, into the mainstream psyche. However, being centralized through Facebook's platform will limit the potential of a truly decentralized currency. Data security and privacy concerns will be legitimate, usability will be limited by Facebook controls, and it may end up being as centralized as fiat currencies - just controlled corporately.
The Fed chief has called for a halt to the libra in order for a number of issues, as far as the Fed sees it - are addressed. The issues sited so far include the potential for money laundering and terrorist financing, data protection, consumer privacy, and financial stability. These are the usual critiques directed at cryptocurrencies from regulatory bodies and they are not unfounded, however, it is prudent to also be mindful of the inherent interests of a central government when faced with a semi-decentralized system of money.
JRJ: We understand that cryptocurrency is one of the earliest applications of block chain technology. Do you think this application perfectly reflects the characteristics of block chain technology? What other scenario applications of block chain technology do you think include?
Tanya: In a lot of ways crypto is perfect for blockchain because the amount of data required to be transferred and stored by each node is relatively small compared to other potential applications. Governance, voting, ID, are just some of the other potential use cases that are in development. The most exciting applications are likely not even thought of.
JRJ: How will blockchain technology affect the financial industry? Is it possible that blockchain will reshape our financial service industry？When can we expect a large-scale application of blockchain technology in the financial industry？
Tanya: Blockchain has massive potential for reshaping our financial service industry; a return to hard money, end to quantitative easing, banking the unbanked et cetera. The transition has already begun.
JRJ: Effective regulation of cryptocurrency trading is a common problem for governments around the world, with some parts of the United States recently even calling for a ban on cryptocurrencies. In your opinion， what are the advantages and risks of cryptocurrency transactions compared with traditional payment methods？Is strict government regulation necessary？
Tanya: Regulation of cryptocurrency trading is a problem for governments because it is practically impossible enforce. Governments have mechanisms to regulate and enforce fiat on-ramps and off-ramps to exchanges but they have no mechanism to restrict the use of decentralized cryptocurrency to cryptocurrency exchanges. Strict government regulation will only incentivise innovative entrepreneurs to move to other jurisdictions.
The direct advantages of cryptocurrency transactions compared to traditional payment methods include: lower transaction costs, no requirement to trust a third party to solve the double spend problem, irreversible payments, instant processing, low chance of identity theft, and relatively unbounded access to its use.
Some risks of cryptocurrencies include transaction errors as a result of user-unfriendly wallet, storage and exchange systems, in-convertibility at times, under or un-insured crypto companies, instability of value, low-levels of acceptance and understanding, and vulnerability to theft.