Distributed ledger technology (DLT) will have an incredible impact on financial services, leading to greater financial inclusion and thus greater economic growth, especially in emerging markets.
This is the opinion of Adrienne Harris, whose interest in the world of blockchain and digital assets began during her tenure as a senior advisor in the US Treasury Department and as a special assistant to the President in the White House during the Obama administration.
Today she sees mailed checks in the U.S. government to stimulate the economy during the COVID-19 crisis, the latest example of how technology can be used to improve our current financial system.
“It shows how mysterious our financial infrastructure is,” says Adrienne. “Today’s experience is a unique opportunity, particularly in the US, to spark a discussion about financial infrastructure, and of course DLT could be a big part of it.”
According to a Ripple report, one of the main problems for DLT is that regulators have been too slow to review and approve new services and technologies that could have helped consumers during the current crisis.
In Adrienne’s experience, most DLT companies want transparent regulation, as this would help create the much-needed clarity across the industry.
“Fintech companies are hungry for clarity,” she explains. “That doesn’t mean they want overly burdensome regulation, but they want to understand the rules of the road. My advice to policymakers, financial institutions, startups and innovators is just engagement think that more engagement would contribute to the reduction. “
As she led a DLT and fintech task force for the White House, Adrienne believed the government could help fintech innovators through clear regulation and engagement, much like how the Clinton administration worked with the burgeoning internet industry in the 1990s.
With the help of Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), she continues this spirit of interdisciplinary engagement in her current role as Professor of Practice at the University of Michigan.
“We have people from business schools, politicians and engineers who are all involved in various projects related to UBRI,” she says. “From both an educational and practical problem-solving perspective, it is very important that these different lenses come into play with difficult problems.”
At ubri.ripple.com, discover how UBRI supports and accelerates academic research, technical development and innovation in blockchain, cryptocurrency and digital payments at leading universities around the world.