Leading crypto industry figures weighed in on the major implications of cryptocurrencies for – and beyond – the global economy, at the Rise conference in Hong Kong Wednesday, July 11.
The panel’s participants were the Ethereum Foundation’s co-founder Joseph Lubin, CEO of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital Mike Novgoratz, Crypto.com CEO Kris Marszalek, Tenx’s Julian Hosp, and Wall Street Journal columnist Jacky Wong.
First tackling the popular question of whether crypto can replace fiat, Mike Novogratz argued against the idea, saying that neither Bitcoin (BTC) nor Ethereum (ETH) are positioned in the short-term to do so. Both of them represent “system change,” he said, rather than a substitute for cash.
Bitcoin is likely to remain a “store of value,” or “digital gold,” he suggested, with Ethereum serving as a form of “crypto-fuel” for decentralized ecosystems.
Lubin agreed with this characterization, considering that Ether will be “just one of many crypto-commodities in an information ecosystem”:
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“We’re moving into a qualitative shift in the nature of money…towards a world of ‘global villages’ where you can have decentralized governance, you can define goals for your ecosystem, mechanisms by which you achieve those goals, and raise money through your own cryptocurrency or value token within these networks.”
TenX’s Julian Hosp echoed Lubin’s vision that in future, fungible digital tokens will overhaul existing systems and serve all aspects of the global economy, whether in real estate, equity and stock markets, or consumer goods.
Arguing against Novogratz, Hosp said that by implication, cash will become regarded as just one of many existing assets, and not necessarily as the best or exclusive medium of exchange in any one given environment.
Lubin then steered the panel towards the broader impact of “tokenized” systems — something he characterized in his solo speech at Rise today as a “radically different architecture for society.”
Whether defined as “global villages,” “protocol-based urban platforms,” or “networked business models,” the takeaway from Lubin’s contribution was that cryptocurrencies will profoundly restructure society — whether or not they eventually come to replace cash as payment “for your Starbucks coffee.”
Last month at MoneyConf in Dublin, Jeremy Allaire, Co-Founder & CEO of Circle shared Lubin’s vision of an unprecedented “crypto-revolution,” saying that global society is “at the beginning of a tokenization of everything.”