Business Law Focus
PODCAST | 'Stablecoins' and the move to decentralised finance
Business Law Focus host Evan Pickworth speaks to Ashlin Perumall, partner in the Corporate/MA Practice at Baker McKenzie in Johannesburg and fellow of the World Economic Forum's (WEF) Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
The readiness (or lack thereof) for the fourth Industrial Revolution in Africa, a rising tide of crypto fraud, the development of digital currencies in Africa, like central bank digital currencies and stablecoins, and how laws and policies are slowly evolving to adapt to rapid advances in digitisation are among the topics discussed.
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Ashlin was part of the Digital Currency Governance Consortium (DCGC) at the WEF, which focused on assessing the future of digital currencies. He specifically worked on the consumer protection, regulatory gaps and privacy-related aspects surrounding (1) central bank digital currencies and (2) price stabilised cryptocurrency (stablecoins). With China's digital yuan, officially the Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP), pushing ahead, many governments and central banks are engaging in pilots to test the possibility, benefits and challenges around issuing digital currency directly from central banks.
Simultaneously, the private sector has been experimenting with the notion of 'stablecoins' in the wake of the cryptocurrency boom. Stablecoins enable the payments and financial service promise of decentralised money to be realised by 'stabilising' the volatility of value, typically by using a reserve, algorithmic or other 'peg' to a real world asset or currency, such as the US dollar. The benefit of stablecoins is far reaching, and they are quickly becoming the bedrock of a new movement known as Decentralized Finance . This comes with substantial consequences and risks.
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