Cointelegraph interviews Sheila Warren to discuss blockchain, CBDC, adoption and the future of the industry

We posed six questions to Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain and DLT at the World Economic Forum.

Sheila is a member of the World Economic Forum’s executive committee and the leadership team of the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution established by the organisation, which works with public, private and third sector actors around the world to promote the adoption of new technologies in the global public interest. It currently focuses on blockchain, digital assets, data policy and the integration of new technologies under new models of data governance.

Previously, Sheila was part of the executive team of social enterprise TechSoup, created NGOsource (a dedicated international grant-making service) and worked as a lawyer on Wall Street. She serves on the boards of the ACLU of Northern California and the Equal Justice Society, as well as advising various groups, including initiatives focused on blockchain technology, digital currencies and data ethics.

1 – If the world is going to establish a new currency, will it be a CBDC, a permissionless blockchain like Bitcoin or a permissioned system like Libra?

It all depends on the problem that the new form of currency aims to solve. This ‚one ring to tame them all‘ mentality makes no sense to me: these things serve different purposes, often deliberately, and there is room enough for all of them! As for the leader among them, who will lead? I am primarily interested in opportunities for financial inclusion, and each of these options could potentially play a role in addressing the needs of those with no or insufficient banking access. If we are not solving real problems, what is the point of it all?

2 – Which countries are doing the most to support blockchain, and which will be left behind?

We are seeing more innovation in smaller and/or frontier economies, and of course China. Any country that isn’t paying attention or isn’t already investing in this field, or is still waiting, is already lagging behind. That said, larger economies can undoubtedly catch up when they decide to enter the field, thanks to the resources they have at their disposal. At the moment, I am particularly excited about developments in the Caribbean, South-East Asia and Africa (Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana and others). I am also paying particular attention to China and South Korea.

3 – If you didn’t need to sleep, what would you do with the extra time?

I have young children, so I don’t sleep much anyway! Honestly, if I had extra time I would sleep. Sleep is the most important thing I don’t do enough of, and everything else is in a distant second place. If I didn’t need to, I would read more than I already do. I finish a book every week and would love to get to a higher number!

4 – What talent do you lack and wish you had? How would you use it?

I’m a musician, but I’m terrible at visual arts. I’ve never been able to get beyond stick figures and my seven year old son is often embarrassed by my creations. I wish I could draw! If I were better at it, my notes would be much more interesting. I admire artists a lot, the way they see the world is inspiring. I think having this particular form of vision would expand my perspective.

5 – What is currently the biggest obstacle for Ethereum? What is its biggest opportunity?

Keeping the community involved. Ethereum wouldn’t be where it is today without its community, and various groups have put a lot of effort into making sure that this loyalty goes beyond people looking for easy money but also includes a lot of people who want to build. The potential of Ethereum is huge, IF the community stays involved and engaged during the next phase. Running a community is very difficult in the best of circumstances, and in this case they are not.

6 – What should we teach our children?

We should teach our children to fight for what is right through action. It is not enough to set their moral compass and hope for the best, they must learn effective resistance. In addition, we need to make sure that our children are actively anti-racist and protect the global commons, as well as always vote!

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Categories: Crypto

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