Experts Address Series 2017-18 (23 March 2018)
Mar, 02 2018
By Programme Office
Speaker: Professor Bebo White
Departmental Associate (Emeritus), Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University
Adjunct Professor, University of San Francisco
Visiting Professor, Department of Computer Science, HKU
Abstract: Hardly a day goes by without a news story addressing cryptocurrency e.g., bitcoin, ether, and its underlying blockchain technology. The majority of this coverage tends to reinforce existing popular notions that such currencies facilitate criminal activity and financial scams, provide a mechanism for quick monetary gain (or loss) or define the foundation for a new global digital economy. Blockchain is most often portrayed not only as the platform for cryptocurrencies, but as one of the most disruptive technologies since the birth of the Internet itself.
What are less often discussed are the opportunities that cryptocurrency and blockchain are capable of providing to under-served or disenfranchised communities. Individuals who do not qualify for nor have access to traditional banking services are being empowered by the availability of cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology is being deployed by civil society groups to make transactions fully transparent, thereby achieving end-to-end traceability. Such traceability can be used to combat global abuses such as human trafficking and the conflict diamond trade.
This talk will not be a description of the technologies behind cryptocurrencies and blockchain but rather an explanation of their diverse potential to effect social change. It will also pose a challenge to the practitioners and players in this powerful space of new opportunities that could be pursued to raise the public profile of these powerful technologies.
For registration, please go to Experts Address section.
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