Every week we ask buidlers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors for their thoughts on the industry … and we throw in a few random zingers to keep them busy!
This week our 6 questions go to Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain and DLT at the World Economic Forum.
Sheila is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Economic Forum and the leadership team of its Center for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, working with public, private and third sector actors around the world to drive the adoption of new technologies among the global public interest. She currently focuses on blockchain, digital assets, data policy, and the integration of new technologies into new data governance models.
Previously, Sheila served on the executive team at the social enterprise TechSoup, built NGOsource – a service that focuses on international grants – and served as an attorney on Wall Street. She is a board member of the ACLU of Northern California and the Equal Justice Society, and advises various groups, including groups dealing with blockchain technology, digital currency, and data ethics.
1 – iWhen the world gets a new currency, will it be run by CBDCs, a blockchain without permission like Bitcoin, or a chain with permission like Libra?
It all depends on what problem the new currency form addresses. This whole “one ring to rule them all” mentality doesn’t make sense to me; These things serve different purposes, often on purpose, and there is room for everyone! What will lead, I would ask who will lead? I am primarily interested in financial inclusion opportunities, and any of these could potentially play a role in addressing the needs of non / under banks. If we don’t solve real problems, what is it about?
2 – Which countries support blockchain the most – and which ones are lagging behind?
We see most of the innovations in smaller and / or border countries and of course in China. Any country that is not paying attention and is either already investing in this area or willing to do so is already behind. That being said, given the resources they can bring to the table, larger economies can certainly catch up if they decide to get started. I am particularly excited about the events in the Caribbean, ASEAN and the African continent (Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana and others). And I pay a lot of attention to China and South Korea.
3 – If you didn’t need sleep, what would you do with the extra time?
I have young children, so I don’t sleep much at first! Honestly, if I had extra time I would sleep. Sleep is the most important thing I don’t do enough of, and everything else is a distant second place. But if sleep was covered, I would read more than I already have. I get through about one book a week and would love to increase that!
4 – What talent are you lacking and would you like to have it? How would you use it if you had it?
I’m a musician, but I’m a pretty terrible visual artist. I’ve never really gotten beyond stick figures, and my seven-year-old is routinely ashamed of my creations. I wish I could draw! If I could do better, my notes would be a lot more interesting. I admire artists so much – the way they see the world is inspiring. I think this particular way of seeing would broaden my perspective.
5 – What is the greatest obstacle to Ethereum today – and what is its greatest opportunity?
Engage the community. It is in Ethereum today in large part because of its community, and various groups have done a lot to ensure that loyalty extends beyond the people who want to get out of a quick / high yielding farm, etc., but includes many people who build want. The potential for ETH is enormous IF the community stays engaged and engaged in the next phase. Community management is very difficult in the best of circumstances, and it is not.
6 – What should we teach our children?
We should teach our children to stand up for what is right through action. It is not enough to set their moral compass and hope for the best. They need to be taught what effective resistance looks like. We must also ensure that our children are actively anti-racist and are stewards of the global community. And that they should always vote!