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Kodak Coin Co-Architect: The Cryptocurrency Payments Industry is Highly Misunderstood

Cameron Chell believes the cryptocurrency payments industry is highly misunderstood. “There are a couple of philosophical camps out there,” he says. “There’s the purist camp, which is all about not necessarily better technology, but is more against government intervention in the economy, oppression, and centralization as a political motion.”

There’s another philosophy that is maturing in the industry, says the Chairman of ICOx. “It considers how do we take this incredible technology and apply it to today’s real world scenario,” says Mr. Chell. “It’s a bit more temperamental about the rules and regulations put into place over decades and centuries. It understands that they’re not there to oppress us. They were put into place to protect users and  consumers by organizations like the SEC, Finra, and the others.”

The rebel faction of libertarianism and “anarcho-capitalists” is now starting to mature into something more realistic. “Out of the gate, decentralized technology like blockchain and cryptocurrencies got a bad name because of the Silk Roads. But, today, those are the exceptions to the rules. There are now effective use cases of how this technology can be used.” Plus, blockchain is not good for crime, because it’s easy to follow the money on blockchain.

“Ultimately, those non-compliant folks end up getting caught or imploding, because their actions are completely traceable, trackable and immutable,” says Mr. Chell. “It’s why the banking industry, while seemingly threatened by blockchain technology, is embracing it. To my knowledge there’s more patents held by big banks in this industry than by everybody else combined.”

Decentralization is going to drive cost down. “It’s going to invite the rest of the globe to actually participate in a global economy in a meaningful way,” the co-founder of Business Instincts Group says. “Banks are looking to incorporate blockchain in their backends as it relates to settlement and provenance due to their heavy costs, laborious administrative demands and legal risks.”

Blockchain provides not just secure infrastructure for those things to be securely conducted, but, also represent a significant cost reduction,” says Mr. Chell. “My personal view is that payments will become the largest and initial killer app for blockchain that will be deployed across fintech pretty much all other blockchain killer apps, i.e. Land and IP registry, identification, smart contracts all will incorporate and embed payments into their workflow or process.”

For cryptocurrencies to be mainstream, they are going to have to be compliant within a regulatory framework that has matured over the decades for consumer protection, and in some cases national security and economic protection.

“Blockchain is going to need to work within those frameworks,” says the KodakCoin architect. “Part of those frameworks are certainly broken. They are stretched to the point where they can’t be inclusive of smaller economies and many individuals. Crypto can account for rigorous requirements like KYC and AML, which exist for legitimate reasons. But crypto can’t solve those problems if it destabilizes the larger parts of the economy that have provided an economic framework and stability for much of the world  to rely upon the trillions of dollars of economic benefit.”

The crypto industry needs to transform finance from within the framework as opposed to doing things that try to destabilize the framework, he says. “I do think adherence to a philosophy of decentralization as it relates to strengthening security and inclusion of the rest of the global economy, whether it’s at the national, corporate or individual level, is something we still need to embrace.”

He adds: “But, philosophically demanding that everything has to be decentralized to the point that puts other aspects of our national, corporate, personal, financial or already established procedures at risk is something we have to realize is not going to be beneficial for anybody. And frankly, it’s not going to happen.”

The industry should adopt something like a collaborative self-regulated organization (SRO). “An SRO works with government and government-appointed regulators to be inclusive and drive costs down, while protecting consumers and users in that industry That is really the direction we have to go.” The securities industry is an example.

“The securities industry has organized itself with an internal governing body that provides self-regulation that they demonstrate to government regulators, like the SEC for example,” says Mr. Chell. “They have a code of ethics, a code of conduct, and a way to deal with conflict, bad actors, as well as a set of rules that work hand in hand with government regulation. This ensures an orderly market and a fair market. We see this in multiple industries, whether it’s the trucking, financial or food industry.” He believes crypto needs to take that same approach.

“If we don’t, the government will over regulate,” he says. “A growing and inclusive blockchain industry can only exist if we demonstrate responsible actions and governance ourselves, ensuring our constituents can be worked with in a fair and honorable way.”

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