WINDHOEK, MARCH 10 – The free Public Talk held at Bank of Namibia last Friday was a sell-out success, as Blockchain Technology, Crypto Currency, FinTech and Cyber Security continue to be red-hot issues that are sure to draw a crowd and inspire a lively debate.
Dr. Joachim Bald of Frankfurt School of Finance and Management took the audience straight to the cutting edge of the discussion about the utility of crypto currencies and the business opportunities arising from the underlying blockchain technology. As a leading risk management expert, Dr. Bald did not hold back on the results of his analysis. The title of his presentation “Crypto is Dead. Let’s talk about the Blockchain” says it all. The provocative opening triggered fascinating exchanges about the future of finance, cyber-security and the technical merits of blockchain. Buzzwords everyone has heard of, but now made real, tangible and understandable through Dr. Bald’s knowledge, expertise and real-world examples.
Adding a local and African flavour was Green Enterprise Solution’s Managing Director Llewellyn le Hané, who opened the Public talk and put FinTech, crypto-currencies and cyber-security into an African perspective. Giving the attendees insight into what the changing financial landscape means globally, regionally and locally for Namibia. As well as giving insight into how Namibia can and should harness and leverage digital transformation and innovation in the financial sector to the country’s advantage and to stimulate economic growth. The financial sector in each country remains the catalyst for growth.
The global hype surrounding crypto-currencies meant that many developing countries took steps to introduce crypto-currencies as a possible way of reducing poverty and providing access to finance. This goldrush-like mentality has cooled, resulting in not only loss in market value, but also the poorest of the communities’ losing real money. Examples where crypto-disappointment is most palpable are Japan, South Korea and Ukraine. The Public Talk focused especially on cyber security related to digital money, and what it means for MSMEs and the existing financial system. It was concluded that FinTech bears both advantages and disadvantages.
Determinations as provided by Central Banks must not only consider technological developments as a driver of growth in the financial sector, but also ensure the sector’s stability by guarding against schemes which may mislead consumers by pitching crypto tokens as widely accepted “money” or as a high-return “investment”. An update regarding blockchain technology and crypto currencies provided by Dr. Bald, gave a real insight into the realities and the myths surrounding crypto-currencies.
Dagmar Honsbein, Managing Director of iDeal-X, who organised this Public talk said; “It is essential that we know what is going on in the financial technology space and how it will and already has impacted Africa and Namibia. Having Dr. Bald share his expertise was invaluable to all of us and the number of attendees attest to the appetite we have here in Namibia for this type of information.” – NDN Staffer