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世界政经领袖达沃斯论坛畅谈区块链

在瑞士达沃斯世界经济论坛(WEF)上发表的声明中,世界领导们对加密货币表示了警惕。

从英国首相到美国财政部长,已经有许多名人在该盛会上对比特币等加密货币和整体的区块链技术做出了评论。正如昨天所报,包括高盛首席执行官Lloyd Blankfein在内的金融圈名人已经加入了对这一话题的辩论,暗示加密货币正悄然成为这场全球精英聚会的重要讨论范围。

举例来说,美国财政部的领导Steven Mnuchin在一个小组上表示,加密货币的“非法使用”是美国监管机构关注的一个主要问题。

该小组成员和国际货币基金组织主席Christine Lagarde也表示,比特币的匿名性使得隐藏资金的流动成为可能。

Lagarde预测,各国政府可能会进一步规范加密货币以防止其被用于上述用途。或许是为了证明Lagarde的观点,英国首相Teresa May告诉彭博社,看待加密货币时,应该看他们如何被“罪犯”所使用。

或许最重要的提议来自法国总统Emmanuel Macron,他呼吁采取国际化的方式来管理加密货币,他说:“我们需要为全球化的投资建立全球化的合约。”

衡量其影响

达沃斯的其他人士特别就加密货币如今的经济影响发表了评论,其中包括来自亚洲和欧洲的金融监督机构的评论。

中国证券监督管理委员会副主席方星海在一个座谈小组中表示,目前还不清楚比特币对经济的影响。

加拿大央行行长Stephen Poloz赞同了这个评论,并补充说,即使加密货币市场崩溃,他认为对经济的影响也不大。

他继续警告对加密货币的投资,并说:

“我们之前遇到的技术危机,其涉及的范围更广。事实上加密货币对实体经济几乎没有明显的影响,因为它不是股市的崩溃,而只是股市的一部分。 但它有着高度的投机性,充满着各种各样的泡沫。”

英国财政大臣Philip Hammond反驳说,比特币有可能发展到一个更具影响力的地步。

他呼吁,“在未来的比特币数量足够大,对全球经济的系统重要性更大”之前,进行更进一步的监管,他还预测说“很快”就会达到这一时刻。

看好区块链

尽管达沃斯的世界领导者和监管机构们对加密货币都表示了担心,但对区块链这一技术都表示了积极的评价。

例如,加拿大央行行长波罗斯把它称为“真正的天才”,并补充说他希望将其应用于经济的不同方面。

“比特币具有如此大吸引力的原因是它给了你结算的最终解决方案,它通过分布式账本进行最终工作,因此你能够相信它,”他对CNBC这样说,关于中央银行发行数字货币这一话题。“如果说中央银行,例如说加拿大银行要发行数字货币,不过您已经相信加元了,所以您不需要分布式账本就可以相信您数字钱包里刚收到的就是最终付款。”

拉加德称这项技术“令人着迷”,注意到抗审查性等特点。

她还建议说区块链领域可能会出现其他创新,并警告监管机构需要随时监控这些发展,她在专家组会议上表示:

“……这项变化将会产生新的东西和创新,我们只需要把它们控制在我们的监视之下。”

World leaders have struck a cautionary tone on cryptocurrencies in statements made during the World Economic Forum (WEF) event in Davos, Switzerland.

From the Prime Minister of the U.K. to the Treasury Secretary of the U.S., the event has seen a number of notable figures make remarks on both cryptocurrencies like bitcoin as well as blockchain technology as a whole. As reported yesterday, notable finance figures including Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein have already weighed in on the topic, suggesting that cryptocurrencies are quietly emerging as a major area of discussion at the gathering of the global elite.

For example, Steven Mnuchin, who leads the U.S. Treasury Department, remarked on one panel that "illicit use" of cryptocurrencies is a major concern for American regulators.

"My number-one focus on cryptocurrencies, whether that be digital currencies or bitcoin or other things, is that we want to make sure that they’re not used for illicit activities," Mnuchin remarked, according to a report from Reuters.

Similarly, fellow panelist and International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde said bitcoin’s anonymity enables the movement of hidden funds.

"The anonymity and lack of transparency and the way in which it conceals and protects money laundering and financing of terrorism, is just unacceptable. It needs to be taken into account but then there will be innovations coming out of these movements," Lagarde, a former finance minister of France, was quoted as saying.

Lagarde predicted that national governments are likely to further regulate cryptocurrencies to prevent these use cases. Perhaps proving Largarde's point, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May told Bloomberg that cryptocurrencies should be looked at due to how they are used "particularly by criminals."

Perhaps most significantly, French President Emmanuel Macron called for an international approach to regulating cryptocurrencies, saying "we need to establish a global contract for global investment."

Weighing the impact

Others at Davos commented specifically on the exact economic impact of cryptocurrencies today, with comments drawn from finance watchdogs from Asia and Europe, among other areas.

China's securities regulator vice-chairman, Fang Xinghai, said during a panel that it is unclear what impact bitcoin would have on the economy.

Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz echoed those remarks, adding that he believes there would be little impact on the economy if the cryptocurrency market were to crash.

He went on to caution against investing in cryptocurrencies, saying:

"When we had the tech wreck, that was a much more widespread exposure. And the fact it barely had [a] perceptible effect on the real economy because it was not a stock market crash but just a segment of the stock market. But it was highly speculative, there was all kinds of bubbles there."

The British Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, argued in turn that bitcoin has the potential to grow to a point where it would have a more significant impact.

He called for further regulations "before the amount of outstanding bitcoin becomes large enough to be systemically important to in the global economy," predicting that it would reach that point "soon."

Bullish on blockchain

Despite their concerns about cryptocurrencies, world leaders and regulators at Davos remarked positively about blockchain as a technology.

Poloz, for example, called it "a true piece of genius," adding that he expects it to be applied to different aspects of the economy.

"The reason that it has such appeal in the case of bitcoin is it gives you finality of settlement that eventually grinds through the distributed ledger and therefore you trust that," he remarked, according to CNBC, on the topic of a central bank-issued digital currency. "Whereas the central bank, if the Bank of Canada, were to issue a digital currency, well you already trust the Canadian dollar, and so you don't need a distributed ledger in order to believe you just received final payment in your digital wallet."

Lagarde called the technology "fascinating," noting its censorship-resistant characteristics, among others.

She also suggested that other innovations are likely to emerge from the blockchain space, cautioning that regulators will need to monitor such developments over time, saying during the panel:

"...there will be new things and innovations coming out of this movement, and we just need to keep them under our watch."


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