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Recommended Listen: How Regulators Should Consider The Future of DeFi | The Future Rules Podcast Ep. 1 (
On the first episode of The Future Rules, Sheila Warren, the Head of Blockchain, Digital Assets, And Data Privacy of the World Economic Forum discusses what DeFi is, why it’s poised to enable financial inclusion, and how the showdown between decentralized finance and regulators is taking shape.

Powered by the Filecoin Foundation, The Future Rules is hosted by Forkast.News Editor-in-Chief Angie Lau, alongside top legal mind in blockchain and Filecoin Foundation Board Chair, Marta Belcher. Together with some of the most renowned names in the industry as their special guests they dive into the future and the ethical issues that technology will raise, and how to address them today before they determine our tomorrow.


The promise of DeFi and financial services: “So DApps we’re all familiar with for financial services. And so those can include everything from lending to insurance, credit, all these different kinds of financial applications and financial services over time. We’ll see more erosion of traditional forms of intermediation, financial services. Financial services is a heavily intermediated industry at the moment and kind of present time.
DeFi represents an opportunity to think about how we apply disintermediation principles into that, not only heavily regulated but heavily centralized system. And the hope and the reason so many of us are very excited about this is that it’s going to give us an opportunity to realize more stakeholder engagement from a wider variety of actors who either have been traditionally cut out of these traditional legacy systems for all kinds of reasons, sometimes inadvertently, sometimes deliberately, sometimes even maliciously. But it’s going to create new opportunities via peer-to-peer engagement.” (Sheila Warren)

Fostering greater access to financial services via DeFi: “And the goal [of DeFi], at least, I hope, is that we will open up. And so will be able to do something meaningful with one dollar, which in many parts of the world, is if you flip that and get two dollars, that’s significant, it’s huge. It’s really, really huge for a lot of people. And that builds on some of the models we’ve seen around the world around things like microcredit or micro-lending, which are models that at this point are pretty tried and true. So you can imagine how bringing the global scale to that, making that relatively frictionless could be extremely empowering.” (Sheila Warren)

Shareholder capitalism vs stakeholder capitalism: “Our current model of extractive shareholder capitalism is designed – it’s deliberately designed to extract value to shareholders often whom are conglomerates or whatever it is, at the expense of workers and other stakeholders in the ecosystem. Whereas a model of stakeholder capitalism would far more equitably allocate both risk and reward, rather than reserving reward to shareholders and pushing all the risk onto, let’s just say, employees as an example. And in crypto governance tokens are a model where you actually have stakeholder capitalism, if you want to call it that.” (Sheila Warren)

It’s too early to regulate the DeFi industry: “I personally believe it is too early to regulate something like DeFi, because what you’re really going to wind up doing is either regulating it in a way that shapes it into something legacy, that the whole point was that it’s not that. But if you regulate it, given what we know about how to regulate, then you’re assuming, you’re imagining. You’re creating a picture of a system that mimics a legacy system and therefore you’re cutting off so much of the innovation that makes the space potentially really empowering and I really worry about that.” (Sheila Warren)

Bitcoin and ransomware: “The ransomware issue is one that I think the industry is going to be facing for a really long time… that I think lawmakers are really concerned about… And they’re overlooking the fact that cash is used to commit many, many crimes. But we don’t blame the Fed for that. And I think also ransomware is really not a cryptocurrency problem. It’s a cybersecurity problem.“ (Marta Belcher)

Innovation and criminal activity: “I don’t feel like it’s a bad thing to say that the early days of Bitcoin really were nerds and criminals. Right? I mean, that’s kind of what people are doing with it. I don’t think that’s bad because look at what grew up, all the flowers that bloomed in the wake of some of that activity. Not that I’m saying, yay, criminals are our biggest innovators, but the reality is that a lot of illicit activity, there’s a history of not so popular activities in society; porn, other things, drug deals, these being things that have led to innovation, that has had tremendously beneficial social consequences.” (Sheila Warren)

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