The Blockchain Debate At Westminster By Intelligence Squared
BTC Wires: In the sunny and sparkling summer heat of a bright Monday, another session of the esteemed ‘Intelligence Squared’ was conducted in Westminster, London. Amidst the august gathering of an inquisitive and eager audience, the session was conducted to debate upon a highly fertile topic for discussion. Although Intelligence Squared rarely needs an introduction, however, for our less informed audience, it is an organisations that stages debates around the world and was founded in London, in 2002. The organisation operates in several other countries like Israel, Australia, Greece, Hong Kong, etc. Conducting debates in the traditional Oxford fashion, the event has records of over 2500 people in attendance.
The topic of formerly conducted debate was- Blockchain: Quantum Leap Forward or Digital Snake Oil? The debate was chaired by Kamal Ahmed(Editor of BBC Economics) and featured Jamie Bartlett, Primavera De Filippi, David Gerard, and Vit Jedlicka, respectively. As is obvious from the above mentioned panel of speakers, despite having a rather volatile topic of discussion, there was a very measured and nuanced difference of opinions and common conclusions that was obtained. While on one hand, Miss Filippi elucidated the bigger picture for the audience about the long term benefits and inevitability of this technology, on the other Mr. Gerard criticised the technology on grounds of its feasibility and the lack of government’s control.
Speaking on the subject, Founder and first elected president of the Free Republic of Liberland, Vit Jedlicka raised several points to defend the case of Blockchain and cryptocurrency. Vit was of the opinion that blockchain technology can find resolves to all the lose ends that finance and governance are struggling with. He even went as far as to comment that blockchain can check corruption more precision than has ever been possible. This was challenged by author of Attack of the 50 Foot Blockchain: Bitcoin, Blockchain, Ethereum & Smart Contracts, David Gerard. David spoke on how the government intends for the masses to make money, however it expects blockchain to ‘behave itself’ in the process. This was countered by Primavera’s humorous analogy from the debate when she proclaimed: “Private Blockchain is like beer without alcohol.”
Jamie Bartlett, one of UK’s leading thinkers on the politics and social influence of the internet, maintained a middle path throughout the debate, acknowledging the staggering advantages of the technology as well as the problems that it could lead to. The audience participation in the debate was remarkable as the ongoings of the debate were well received by them. All in all, the debate culminated in a productive and healthy discussion that brought to light both aspects of blockchain technology, aimed at the greater good for the future.