Organizer: The London School of Economics
With growing state interests in ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’, the panel discusses the capabilities and potential uses of these technologies for domestic and foreign policy.
The decentralised nature of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency create a paradoxical opportunity for central governments. The relative anonymity and immutability of information that these technologies offer means they are an asset for defense purposes, but pose a challenge for internal regulation.
The Chinese government’s approach toward blockchain technology is conditioned precisely by this paradox, as Alice Ekman writes in her latest policy brief. The highly-controlled and state-led blockchain-based service network, launched by the Communist Party of China in 2019, challenges the supposedly libertarian characteristics of blockchain technology. Meanwhile, the US government is on the one hand attempting to assert regulatory control over Coinbase and other cryptocurrencies, and on the other aiming to integrate blockchain technology into branches of federal government.
Why are these technologies so interesting to governments? What implications will they have for national security and defence? How, if at all, may the international community play a role in regulating competition in this technological domain? Join our panelists in discussing the geopolitical and economic significance of these emerging technologies in the context of US-China competition.