Key messages to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland on Oct 24, 2018.

by Colbert Low and Jason Chew of Bitcoin Malaysia

On 24 Oct 2018 Wednesday – Bitcoin Malaysia travelled to the Palais de Nations (which means Palace of Nations) to attend the United Nations Blockchains for Sustainable Development in Geneva, Switzerland.

This event is significant for a few reasons:

  1.  It is the first time stakeholders, entrepreneurs & policymakers from all over the world gather in the United Nations to discuss in an open manner where this technology is going to bring us; the potential, risks and changes.
  2. This event focused on Sustainable Development – how this new technology can help make the world better than we found it.

The main event was divided into three parts:

  • Where are we now
  • Where are we going
  • What do regulators think

And each speaker, forum panelist had to something impactful to say. Here are some of the highlights the generally sums up the event.

(1) Blockchain is neither good or evil.
“Blockchain is only a tool. Like a kitchen knife. You can ban a kitchen knife. But it would only move things backward in the kitchen area.” – Changpeng Zhao (CZ), CEO of Binance

(2) But it does have the potential to do a lot of good.
2.7 billion people live less than $2 a day, 60 million are displaced, 1 billion live without an identity. Blockchain alone may not solve all these problems, but it can be one piece of the puzzle.” – Vanessa Grellet, Executive Director of Consensys.

“Very few technologies have more potential for disruption and excitement than blockchain… if you are somebody who cares about making the future a little less uneven.” – Chris Fabian of UNICEF Innovation

€5 million will be awarded in January 2019 to the Top 5 most promising Blockchains For Good projects.” – Eva Kaili, European Parliament Member for Greece

(3) Regulation cannot keep up with innovation. It moves too fast.
“There are 2 types of leadership. When the normal leader sees a tiger, he gets eaten while devising a plan. Entrepreneurial leadership jumps on the tiger and rides it. That’s the leadership we need today.” – Helen Haiyu, Blockchain Charity Foundation by Binance

(4) But regulation does matter.
We can regulate based on first logical principles. It does not matter whether it is fiat (traditional money) or crypto, some actions are just clearly bad e.g. get-rich-quick schemes & money scams.

“Blockchain is a technology that should neither be treated with naive optimism nor dismissive skepticism.” – Professor Jem Bendell.

Final Thoughts

Back in Malaysia, things are picking up on the blockchain space. Regulators are starting be more active. But on the world stage, things are moving a great speed. We have an opportunity to innovate and add value in this fast changing ecosystem.

Change is uncomfortable. But it will happen. The only question you have to ask yourself is: Do you want to lead or be led?