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The IBA’s response to the situation in Ukraine
30 Oct - 4 Nov 2022
Room 206, Level 2
Monday 31 October (1430 - 1545)
Cryptocurrencies, or more accurately the blockchains on which they reside, are increasingly being touted as the catalyst for Web3 and a nascent financial revolution of decentralised opportunities beyond the current mainstream banking and financial systems. However, even in 2022 the crypto sector is still in its relative infancy, and at least for now is largely unregulated. This brings with it a great deal of uncertainty and risk. However, is crypto really manifesting problems we are not already familiar with?
As new blockchain companies spring up, familiar battles for ownership and control will be waged, and issues around investments and fundraises will be scrutinised. Smart contracts may sit on the blockchain and be designed to work autonomously, but they first need to be written, and nobody will be prescient of all future eventualities. Fraud and theft also continue to be a concern, but in a decade which is already seeing exponential growth in phishing attempts, scam email, and system hacks, is crypto not simply the latest fertile arena?
Here though the blockchain itself may be able to lend us a hand, with its decentralised, public ledgers recording all transactions undertaken in crypto, be they your purchase of a bitcoin nest egg destined for cold storage, or a ransom paid in Ethereum to unlock your IT system files following an attack. All can be seen and that means they can be tracked. Just how far will the initial built in anonymity of blockchain addresses go too, as more crypto exchanges and projects are being encouraged to undertake KYC? Will this help rehabilitate crypto’s image, and will it act to push the less desirables to the margins of crypto - just how easy might it be to track down and to prevent such persons enjoying their ill-gotten gains?
|Mumtaz Bhalla||Economic Laws Practice, New Delhi, Delhi, India|
|E Patrick Gilman||Brown Rudnick, Washington, District of Columbia, USA|
|Kate McMahon||Edmonds Marshall McMahon, London, England; Chair, Asset Recovery Subcommittee|
|Meg Strickler||Conaway & Strickler, Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Co-Vice Chair , Professional Ethics Committee|