Cryptocurrencies, Blockchains and the Digital Economy

Seminar, Lecture, Talk
  • Prof. Anthony Lee Zhang , Ben El-Baz , Prof. Christine Parlour , Prof. Yanzhen Chen 
  • 2022-05-12 ~ 2022-05-12
  • 9:30am - 11:00am

What are cryptocurrencies and crypto-assets and what make them special? What makes blockchain work? How is blockchain compared to past technologies? What are the most common applications and use cases of blockchain? This webinar answers some of the most pertinent questions regarding cryptocurrencies, blockchain and the digital economy. 

Blockchain is a linked block using hash function such that members can tell immediately when a transaction is modified. Tokenizing makes them tradable and liquid. It utilizes consensus enforced by miner-incentive model (miners have incentives to put transactions on the chain) instead of central party having discretion to change records. Compared with past technologies, blockchain vastly reduces the cost of verifying transaction. 

Its common applications include creating contracts, lending and borrowing transactions, as well as central bank digital currencies (CDBC). Decentralization gets rid of intermediary. However, speakers in the webinar acknowledge that current fees of using blockchain for transaction are high because there is a minimal fee consistent with a secure blockchain system, and also because miners always look for the most profitable transactions to confirm. Efficiency of blockchain transaction is nonetheless increasing with the advent of layered transactions, which can get blockchain to process thousands of transactions per second––– a scale comparable to VISA. 

Finally, the speakers touch on the issues of anonymity and regulations for crypto. While regulating crypto is fairly advent field, speakers agree that a separate set of regulations will need to be enforced for blockchain and crypto. Merely translating existing regulations from traditional banking system will not work well for regulating blockchain and cypto. 


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