Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Adam Afriyie — Digital currencies and the future of financial innovation

Adam Afriyie is a British Conservative Party politician, and the Member of Parliament for Windsor. He was first elected at the 2005 general election and re-elected at the 2010 election
Among financial and techie communities, digital currencies (DC), such as bitcoin, have become the exciting development to watch.
It’s exciting because it could transform the way we transfer money in the UK. Bitcoin payments are approved via a network of other users, who verify them. Payments are instantaneous and completely transparent because a record of every single transaction is stored on users’ computers in something called the “blockchain ledger”. There is no central bank involved, no credit card fees and no lengthy waits for the money to be wired through.
Many people recognise the huge benefits and implications of this technology. Remittances, online payments, contract clearing, multi-person derivatives and crowdfunding could all be made significantly cheaper, more transparent and more efficient using digital currencies. Not to mention the wider applications for the technology such as electronic voting.
And yet, it is not being widely discussed by politicians in the UK. That’s why I was delighted to be invited to participate in a ResPublica debate entitled“Digital Currencies: Will regulation stifle innovation?” along with Steve Baker, Conservative MP for Wycombe.