According to a report in Forbes, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel – formerly Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama – told one-time CCN.com writer Benjamin Pirus that the future for cryptocurrency is “affirmative.”
“The Trend Lines Are Affirmative”
Emmanuel spoke to the potential for cryptocurrency to play a serious role in debt markets as well as in third world countries, where currencies can be unreliable. Despite having a full grasp of how crypto works, Emmanuel feels positive that it will reshape the financial aspects of society. He said:
“The trend lines are affirmative for its future. I don’t know if that’s ten years, and I don’t know if that’s 20 years, but it’s affirmative. I don’t know what it is. I know it’s an alternative way to trade, and therefore, I gotta learn about it, and I gotta be honest, as mayor, it’s not the top 100 things I would have to learn about.”
Emmanuel also said that nation-states are falling apart, while “city-states are emerging.” For the mayor of one of the largest cities in the US to speak in this manner is revealing. Chicago and other major cities have their own wage laws. Some of them even have their own income taxes.
One day, somebody’s going to figure out – whether that’s Argentina, ten years from now, five years from now – how to use cryptocurrencies to stay alive when they’re facing a financial crisis, and then you’re going to find out that this moment has arrived.
Is Crypto For the Next Generation?
Personally, Emmanuel holds no cryptocurrency. He hinted that it’s really for the next generation, saying:
“My kids will figure out how to get their hands on it.”
The organizer of the invite-only event, David Carman, is spearheading an effort to make Chicago a financial technology hub in the middle of the United States. Thus far the mantle of crypto leadership has fallen on distant shores, in places like Dubai or Estonia, where the governments have fully embraced blockchain technology. Many blockchain companies, including Binance, nest in the tiny nation of Malta.
Carman told Pirus:
“We want Chicago to be recognized as the global leader of the FinTech revolution. That’s going to take a lot of work, but you have artificial intelligence, big data analytics, blockchain, cryptocurrency, cyber security, insurtech, lending, payments, welltech, augmented virtual reality, regtech, on and on it goes, and they’re all, at a minimum, billion-dollar markets, and some I think are going to be trillion-dollar markets, not just crypto.”
Nearby Ohio’s legislators are allowing businesses to pay taxes using cryptocurrency, and the state is generally pushing to create an attractive environment for blockchain companies. The nascent industry is still the subject of inconsistent regulation across the globe.
Beyond Money: Blockchain’s Many Purposes
In the United States, for example, a given blockchain startup can find itself subject to the whims of at least as many as four federal agencies. After that, many states have regulations, such as New York, where many crypto companies choose not do business.
Leaders like Emmanuel, who, even with a limited understanding of blockchain technology, understand that it’s not going anywhere. The powerful implications of a transparent ledger have the potential for much more than just moving units from one account to another.
Beginning Sunday, March 24th, for example, people around the world can donate to the overthrow of Kim Jong-un and buy a digital, immutable visa to the country that might supplant the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Then there are the implications of voting, transparent supply-chain controls, and accountability projects.
All of these things have the potential to play a much more vital role in the future than some obscure “digital gold” or “store of value.”