A Turbulent Journey of Cryptocurrency: From Increasing Popularity to Declining Desirability
One of the most influential inventions in the past few decades is blockchain technology which led to the emersion of cryptocurrencies. Blockchain was first introduced by Stuart Haber and Scott Stornetta in the early 1990s, who were trying to resolve major issues related to digital information security by creating a block system that could prevent any modification, thus ensuring data integrity. However, this technology only became widely known in 2008 when Satoshi Nakamoto launched Bitcoin: the first generation of cryptocurrency as a peer-to-peer electronic cash system built on blockchain technology. Since then, blockchain has been growing rapidly, and cryptocurrencies’ emergence is considered a turning point that could radically transform the global financial regime. It became one of the hottest topics that stole much attention, not only from business entities but also from countless governments and international organizations. This article will further analyze the impacts of cryptocurrencies on the global political economy and the factors that led to their decline after 14 years of glory.
Cryptocurrencies: A Disruption Towards Global Political Economy?
Cryptocurrencies have become digital currencies that can remove delicacies in conventional financial transactions by using blockchain technology at its core. Today’s financial dealings are solely dependent on the existence of trusted third parties, and implementing completely non-reversible transactions, for example, is nearly impossible to conduct in the current mechanism since financial institutions are likely unwilling to mediate the disputes due to its high costs. Therefore, there would be no guarantee of protection against fraud for producers and consumers when making any money settlements, as the whole process is based on trust. Instead of trust, cryptocurrencies adopted cryptographic proof: employed peer-to-peer networks using proof-of-work in recording the public history of transactions to prevent double-spending; thus, it would be impractical to reverse the transactions that had been made. This way, the possibility of fraud can be minimalized or even eliminated. Further, as the peer-to-peer network also functions to remove the usage of trusted third parties, the transaction fees can be set to the lowest point, which is 0.1 percent of the total transaction amount.
Another prominent feature of cryptocurrencies is the idea of decentralization: creating a spectrum where people can take charge of their finances without central authority within the network. Blockchain technology which supports cryptocurrencies, enables the creation of a decentralized design that could grant users access to the payment system all the time without a single point of failure – no intermediary and control exist, thus transactions could always be sent and received instantly, even the users’ account could not be ‘frozen’ at all cost. After all, cryptocurrencies were built to liberate people from limited electronic transaction processes, and embedded decentralization reinstates this vision.
The first generation of cryptocurrencies was created to criticize a two-level money system consisting of central and commercial banks that combine public and private money into a hybrid money game. With this arrangement, the standard monetary system is weighted with political control and coercive power to achieve stability. However, what brought the hybrid money game into stabilization may also be the factor causing instability which was visible during the financial crisis of 2008. Bitcoin back then emerged as a political experiment to promote a whole new different of money game without coercive power and extensive institutional underpinning except from what could be provided by the computation coding. As the genesis of cryptocurrencies was the emergence of distrust towards existing money games, their popularity also increased in line with the failure of the monetary system. The Cyprus Crisis in 2012 was a turning point as people became more aware of covert political aspects within dominant money games. This led to a sharp increase in interest in Bitcoin-related apps, especially in the states suspected of having issues in their banking sectors.
The adoption of cryptocurrencies then started gaining a solid footing in the early 2010s when the followers of bitcoin launched a campaign of fighting the good fight against perceived oppressive and restrictive established money games. Starting as political challenges to overshadow the money system nationally and worldwide, cryptocurrencies developed into payment options accepted by numerous merchants such as e-Bay and Airbnb. Cryptocurrencies not only evolved as a modicum of exchange but also as tools to store value where people keep their wealth in crypto-assets. By 2021, the market capitalization of crypto-assets has tripled to an all-time high of USD 2.5 trillion. Significant economic activity has also been generated due to the rapid growth and dissemination of cryptocurrencies. For instance, there are chances for new enterprises like manufacturers of mining hardware as well as a rapidly expanding market for investors. Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) and tokenization have gained significant market traction, popularizing cryptocurrencies as a means of financing.
The development of cryptocurrencies contributes to introducing an auditable and transparent payment system. Their existence might challenge the current well-established money games, yet at the same time, it also lays a strong foundation for achieving the idea of a cashless society. Cryptocurrencies could play a significant role in bridging the transitions. However, despite the countless benefits of its rapid growth, cryptocurrencies are still considered disruptive innovations within the global political-economic context. The fast expansion of the crypto ecosystem is accompanied by the emergence of new entities, some of which have poor operational, cyber risk management, and governance framework. Consequently, the crypto ecosystem is exposed to significant downtime risks due to poor designated systems, the hacking-related risk targeting consumers’ funds, and the imbalance distribution of crypto assets which could result in investor losses. Those risks might look insignificant on a small scale, but as crypto popularity increases, they threaten global financial stability.
Further, the transparency offered by cryptocurrencies has become a double-edged sword. Transactions are recorded in a public ledger validated using a computation machine; therefore, transparency can be warranted. However, the protocols are designed to ensure that the computer solving the problem is unaware of whose transaction it is currently working on, which led to the creation of an anonymity nature. This characteristic, along with the lack of regulations for their field operations, made cryptocurrencies have interesting potential for passing the law or conducting illicit actions such as money laundry, dark market payment, or even terrorism financing. Anonymity also presents a loophole for people to avoid tax on their transactions or their wealth. With cryptocurrencies, criminal conduct could never be easier, and these shortcomings would potentially shatter the stability of the global political economy.
The Declining of Cryptocurrencies: Why Now?
After experiencing a peak point in 2021, the value of cryptocurrencies plummeted at the beginning of the year and worsened by the end of 2022. The fall has been sharp and extreme: only in March 2022, the market was projected to be worth more than USD 3 trillion; recently, it is barely valued at less than USD 1 trillion. After 14 years of glory and predicted to be the future form of money games, cryptocurrencies cannot maintain their stability; however, why now? According to Hütten & Thiemann, the vision of radically decentralizing the financial system became one of the prominent factors that brought cryptocurrencies to downfall. When the existence of cryptocurrencies has more and more disruptive potential, further formal regulations are increasingly being applied. Powerful institutions started building a legal framework for cryptocurrencies and establishing infrastructure to integrate the developing technology makes cryptocurrencies lose their political objectives and have to forego their normative demands.
The failure of adoption also contributes to their declining desirability. Instead, as the modicum of exchanges, cryptocurrencies were more popular as speculative assets where people benefit from their high volatility. As merchants have less commitment to using cryptocurrencies and only use them as payment options among many other payment methods, cryptocurrencies have stagnated in their real-life adoption. Further, the increasing integration of cryptocurrencies and stricter rules imposed by powerful entities has made the crypto ecosystem bestowed by political power. It means that cryptocurrencies’ values would be affected by the dynamic of the global political situation, such as rising inflation or war in Ukraine. In the end, after 14 years of popularity, cryptocurrencies might give up the long-life dream of decentralized money games. Instead, they could end up as game-changers to significantly improve central banks’ functions, away from their original visions.
The Persian Gulf-Black Sea Corridor: Why should India consider an alternative getaway?
Recently Armenian has suggested the creation of a corridor linking the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea to facilitate trade between India, Russia, and Europe. On March 3rd, 2023, a delegation of high-ranking officials and experts from Armenia proposed the idea of creating a corridor linking the Persian Gulf and the Black Sea while visiting India. This suggestion came from the visit of Armenia’s foreign minister Mr. Ararat Mizoyan to India; he has suggested the creation of an alternative trade Corridor that will operate alongside the International North-South Transport Corridor(INSTC) to establish a trade link between Mumbai and Bandarabas Seaport in Iran and then proceed to Armenia and further on to Europe or Russia. This alternative route’s main objective is to bypass Azerbaijan because Azerbaijan has closer ties with Turkey and Pakistan, so Armenia is asking for India’s support and financial assistance. India and Armenia both have a very cold relationship with Turkey and Pakistan. Historically, Turkey has been the closest ally of Azerbaijan and supports Azerbaijan in the Nagarno-Karabakh dispute. Azerbaijan also has close diplomatic relations with Pakistan, and Pakistan also supports Azerbaijan in the Karabakh dispute, and in return, Azerbaijan backed Pakistan’s narrative on the Kashmir Issue. Azerbaijan has entered into defense cooperation and shown interest in incorporating JF-17 Thunder fighter aircraft jointly developed by China and Pakistan. Periodically participated in joint military exercises bilaterally and multilaterally. Azerbaijan has repeatedly supported the Kashmir issue on Pakistan’s position and criticized the India-Armenia defense deal on PINAKA multi-barrel rocket launchers, anti-tank munitions, and a wide range of ammunitions and warlike stores worth US $250 million to the Armenian Forse. India has overtly positioned itself on Armenia’s side in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and has consequently opted to resist Azerbaijan and its supporter, including Pakistan and Turkey, over the Kashmir issue and Turkey’s imperial aim of establishing a pan-Turkic empire, governed from Ankara. These factors created a lack of warmth in India-Azerbaijan’s political relations. Thus, India and Armenia both the country have some sets of issues with Azerbaijan as well as Turkey. Armenia’s relationship with India has been growing steadily due to defense exports in recent times.
Historically Armenia shares strong political and business ties with Iran. Both countries share a 35-kilometer-long border that runs along the northern edge of Iran. Iran’s foreign policy towards South Caucasus is very pragmatist in the case of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The conflict between Muslim-majority Azerbaijan and Christian-majority Armenia is viewed differently by Iran, which supports Armenia rather than Shia-majority Azerbaijan. India also maintains a strong relationship with Iran. For India, Iran plays an important role in its connectivity projects to link Central Asia and Europe. India also invested in Iran’s Chabahar Port to develop a transit hub that will benefit Indian trade reaching Europe, bypassing Suez Canal. Chabahar Port holds strategic importance for India, mainly because it is the direct competition with Chinese operated Gwadar Port in Pakistan, situated in the Arabian Sea, which is an important part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC).
Armenia is seeking Indian Investments for the corridor within Armenian territory in light of the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict. The Indian investment could also facilitate the development of other regional projects like the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC) and put India on the map of Central Asian transport with links to Europe and Russia. India’s trade with Russia has substantially increased through the INSTC, which provides a trade link between Mumbai and Russia via Iran and the Caspian Sea. Azerbaijan plays a vital role in the INSTC mainly because of its geographical location and connectivity links with Iran. However, Azerbaijan has been slow in developing infrastructure projects under INSTC.
With the ongoing cold war between Russia and the West, any large-scale cargo transit passing through the Russia Europe border looks too risky for international Logistics and Insurance companies. Armenia intends to initiate a discussion with India to explore the possibility of Indian companies’ involvement and funding of the Persian Gulf Black Sea Corridor project. Armenia doesn’t have direct access to the Black Sea, which means Goods have to be further transported to Georgia. Only then can reach Europe and Russia. Armenia recognizes the need for Indian traders to do business with Europe, so they have proposed this idea to the Indian government.
The proposed Persian Gulf Black Sea Corridor aligns with India’s objective of seeking new trade routes to Europe that avoid the Suez canal, significantly reducing transportation costs and time. This corridor which will link Iran and Georgia via Armenia also reduces the risk of sanctions for India moving to Europe from the West because of ongoing West and Russian hostility. It will boost the confidence of the Indian Treadres and will be beneficial for the Indian economy.
In this sense, the Persian Gulf-Black Sea project has a reasonable cause. However, the question is, why would Iran agree to launch a multimodal corridor through territories with proven issues when it can reach the Black Sea via Turkey? Iran and Turkey have a conflict of interest in this case. Their relations have been tense lately since Turkey informally blocks Iran from using its rail routes to reach Europe. The root of this problem is situated within between Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict. The cold relations between Iran and Turkey are one of the main reasons behind the stagnation of the INSTC. Iran is closer to cooperating with Armenia, while Turkey backs Azerbaijan. The conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh has the greatest impact on the issue. Turkey is a key stakeholder in the conflicts and empowers Azerbaijan to overcome Armenia and block the Iran-Armenia border. If Iran eliminates Turkey, then Iran only has two options to reach the Black Sea: pass through Armenia or Azerbaijan via Georgia. Georgia has existing railway and highway connections with both Armenian and Azerbaijan, and Azerbaijan has a railroad reaching the Iran-Azerbaijan border, but the problem is there is no direct Railway connection that connects Iran to the Black Sea via Armenia.
On the other hand, Iran and Azerbaijan also working on a 165-kilometer Railway section of the Rashtra-Astra line, which is missing a link to connect the Azerbaijani and Iranian Railways. The railway line will connect the city of Rasht, the capital of Gilan province, with the city of Astra, located on the border with Azerbaijan. This Railway link is part of the International North-South Transport Corridor, which aims to provide a more efficient trade route between India, Iran, the Caucasus, and Russia. Recently in January 2023, Russia and Iran agreed to fund the construction of this Missing Link. But the project completion is in question because of the ongoing cold war between Russia and the west.
For India, INSTC is more than enough to trade only with Russia, Iran, and the caucus region, but India also wants to trade with Europe to throw an alternative route and not via Suez Canal. Thus, the Armenian government is proposing to the Indian government. If India uses the Russian route to reach Europe via Iran through the Caspian Sea, then it has more chances of getting sanctioned from this Black Sea Corridor will reduce the chances of getting sanctioned by West. However, this alternative trade route involves two countries, Armenia and Georgia, which is calling for heavy infrastructure Investments. However, there can be several potential negative sites to investing in infrastructure projects in other countries, such as political and economic risks, cultural and Social Challenges, legal and Regulatory issues, Financial risks, and geopolitical risks, so it is going to be a tough call for India nevertheless opportunities are there, but nothing is risk-free. Currently, it is a proposal by the Armenian government, we have to see how the Indian government will respond.
The Role of Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank For Developing Countries
The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) is a multilateral development bank that was established in 2016 with the aim of financing infrastructure projects in Asia and promoting regional economic integration.
The idea for the AIIB was first proposed by China in 2013, as a response to what it saw as a lack of representation in existing international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF). China believed that these institutions were dominated by developed countries and did not adequately address the needs of developing countries, particularly in Asia.
To address this perceived imbalance, China initiated the creation of the AIIB, which would be open to all countries in the region and would prioritize funding for infrastructure projects. The bank was formally launched in January 2016 with 57 founding members, including many Asian countries, as well as Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
One of the main advantages of the AIIB’s creation is the increased availability of funding for infrastructure projects in Asia. The bank has a capital base of $100 billion, with over 90 percent of this contributed by Asian countries. This funding can be used for a variety of projects, including transport, energy, telecommunications, and water supply.
Another advantage of the AIIB is that it offers an alternative source of financing for developing countries in the region. In the past, many of these countries have relied on loans from Western-dominated institutions like the World Bank and IMF, which have been criticized for imposing strict conditions on borrowers and for promoting policies that prioritize the interests of developed countries. The AIIB, by contrast, has promised to be more flexible and to work closely with borrowers to ensure that projects are aligned with their development priorities.
AIIB creation is considered as a major power move. Its implications should be viewed through the prism of relationship between global finance and sovereign states. Moreover, power as a goal is prevalent and traditional in the strategic thinking in the policy of communities throughout East Asia.
China became powerful and this means it has the capacity to direct the decisions and actions of others and implement its policy [Freeman 1997]. Chinese government showed its ability to marshal necessary resources to establish China-led international organization, which was its goal because Beijing doesn’t have enough influence in the World Bank, ADB and IMF.
According to the Comprehensive National Power (综合国力) indicator, used by the Chinese government, now China is the second strongest state in the world. The creation of international financial organization has always been the hegemon’s prerogative. Thus, such China’s move reflects the tendency that global balance of power is changing not in favor of the USA.
Australian scientist and representative of the English School of International Relations Hedley Bull defined international order as ‘a pattern of activity that sustains the elementary of primary goals of the society of states, or international society’ [Bull 1987]. Institutions change the global balance of power and, in turn, influence the international order. AIIB’s appearance increases China’s impact in Asia. Therefore, growing Chinese financial power is accepted as a challenge by current status quo powers as the USA and Japan – both don’t want to change the rules of the game in Asia at the moment.
Even if, from the Chinese point of view, it is supposed to be natural. Asian international order existed long time ago and was led by China. It’s obvious that Beijing has a strong sense of entitlement to be a regional leader again. It considers the contemporary Chinese presence in the international order, established after World War Two, as not adequate to current China’s elevated position in the global economy. [门洪华 2016].
The main consequences of the AIIB’s establishment for China are its increased international influence and progress in its efforts to manage domestic economic challenges. The USA and its Asian allies are disinclined to accept AIIB as one more additional puzzle to the global financial system alongside with other MDBs, that’s why they perceive it as a threat to their current geopolitical position. However, if there had been some attempts from the Obama administration to stop or slow down the establishment of the AIIB, they didn’t succeed and this was precisely articulated by Evan Feigenbaum, a former State Department official in the George W. Bush Administration: “The U.S. attempt to halt or marginalize the AIIB failed miserably”.
Additionally, it should be noted that AIIB’s creation led to one more economic implication – preparing grounds for possible future internationalization of Yuan.
China still is in the “dollar trap”: on the one hand, it has to continue buying the US Treasury securities because USD huge reserves accumulated by China are devaluating due to the quantitative easing monetary policy conducted by the Fed (The Federal Reserve System). A violent despeciation of the USD can lead to huge losses to China. On the other hand, at the moment China can’t borrow in its own currency, therefore, it is vulnerable to the balance of payment crises [Lai 2015]. Chinese currency internationalization may be a way to deal with those hurdles.
Firstly, internationalized Yuan should improve the globalization process and this intention was stated in the 14th Five-Year Plan (2021-2025). It will hasten the trade between China and the world, reduce transactions costs and risks of cross-border exchanges, settle payments, denominate financial assets and become the reserve currency for foreign central banks. Secondly, it will give China a seigniorage – the ability to issue Yuan to other countries in exchange for real goods and to lend Chinese currency abroad at low rates. The increased international demand for Yuan for trade invoicing and settlement will keep the interest rates low. Thirdly, once Yuan is internationalized, Chinese companies will be able to borrow internationally in their own currency – this will reduce the risk of businesses’ bankruptcy amid the possible sharp depreciation of Yuan [Huang and Lynch 2013].
The economic troubles and widespread bankruptcies in Asian countries during 1997-1998 Financial Crisis were mainly caused by the currency mismatch, when the companies were unable to cover their debts issued in foreign, not domestic, currency.
China has been already giving loans in Yuan and using its currency for the international trade settlements, for example, partly with Russia. Beijing would like other countries to peg their currencies to Yuan. However, China sees the Yuan internationalization as a long process according to Hu Xiaolian (胡晓炼) – the Chairman of Export-Import Bank of China. She stressed that Chinese currency internationalization wouldn’t be a confrontation weapon.
Nowadays AIIB provides loans in the USD, but in the near future it may lend in Yuan as well – and this will come in accordance with the national economic development blueprint.
The creation of the AIIB reflects China’s growing economic and financial power, as well as its desire to increase its influence in Asia and on the global stage. This move challenges the current status quo powers, such as the USA and Japan, who are reluctant to accept the AIIB as a new addition to the global financial system. However, the establishment of the AIIB also has economic implications, as it may pave the way for the future internationalization of the Yuan. This could help China deal with its domestic economic challenges, such as the need to borrow in its own currency and reduce its vulnerability to balance of payment crises. The internationalization of the Yuan could also improve the globalization process, give China a seigniorage, and reduce the risk of businesses’ bankruptcy. Nevertheless, Chinese officials have emphasized that the Yuan internationalization is a long process and not intended as a confrontation weapon.
The AIIB represents an important development in the international financial landscape, providing much-needed funding for infrastructure projects in Asia and offering an alternative source of financing for developing countries in the region. While concerns about the bank’s governance and China’s influence remain, the AIIB has taken steps to address these issues and has the potential to play a positive role in promoting economic development and integration in Asia.
 Evelyn Goh, “Great Powers and Hierarchical Order in Southeast Asia: Analyzing Regional Security Strategies”, International Security, Vol. 32, No. 3, 2008, pp. 113-157
 大国兴衰与中国机遇：国家综合国力评估， 海外生活，available at: https://m.juwai.com/news/225747
 Evan Feigenbaum, “China and the World,” Foreign Affairs, January/February 2017
 Wang Da, “Chinese consideration and global significance of the AIIB”, Northeast Asia Forum, No. 03, 48–64, 2015
 Paul Krugman, “China’s Dollar Trap”, The New York Times, 2009, available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/03/opinion/03krugman.html
 Peterson Institute for International Economics, available at: https://www.piie.com/publications/chapters_preview/373/2iie3608.pdf
 进出口银行胡晓炼：不能把人民币国际化当成国际对抗的武器, available at: https://finance.sina.com.cn/roll/2021-06-11/doc-ikqcfnca0417359.shtml
Impact of technological advancements on International Trade and Finance
Technological advancements have had a significant impact on international trade and finance in recent years. These advancements have facilitated cross-border transactions, reduced transaction costs, and improved the speed and efficiency of financial transactions.
One major impact of technology on international trade is the emergence of e-commerce, which has revolutionized the way businesses conduct their operations. E-commerce has made it easier for companies to reach customers in foreign markets, allowing them to expand their customer base and increase sales. Additionally, advances in logistics and transportation technology have made it easier and faster to ship goods across borders, reducing shipping times and costs.
In terms of finance, technology has enabled the development of innovative financial instruments and platforms that facilitate cross-border transactions. For example, blockchain technology has the potential to transform international finance by enabling faster and more secure transactions, reducing the need for intermediaries, and lowering transaction costs. Additionally, fintech companies have emerged, providing new financial services and products to consumers and businesses around the world.
However, technological advancements have also raised concerns about the impact on jobs and income inequality. Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have the potential to replace human labor in certain industries, leading to job losses and potential social unrest. Furthermore, the benefits of technological advancements may not be evenly distributed, leading to greater income inequality between countries and individuals.
Technological advancements and international trade:
The development of technology has had a significant impact on international trade in recent decades. Advances in communication technologies, such as the internet and mobile phones, have made it easier for businesses to connect with each other across borders. This has led to an increase in trade by reducing the costs and time associated with communication and travel.
Similarly, advances in transportation technologies, such as cargo ships and airplanes, have made it easier to move goods around the world. This has allowed businesses to source inputs and sell products in global markets, increasing their opportunities for growth and profitability. Additionally, advances in logistics and supply chain management technologies have enabled businesses to streamline their operations, reduce costs, and improve efficiency, further driving international trade.
However, technology has also had some negative impacts on international trade. For example, automation and robotics have led to the displacement of workers in certain industries, particularly in manufacturing. This has resulted in job losses and reduced demand for certain types of goods.
Furthermore, technology has also facilitated the growth of online marketplaces and digital platforms, which have disrupted traditional business models and created new challenges for regulators and policymakers. These platforms often operate across multiple jurisdictions, making it difficult to enforce rules and regulations.
Overall, the impact of technology on international trade has been largely positive, enabling businesses to expand their reach and tap into new markets. However, it has also presented new challenges and risks, requiring policymakers and businesses to adapt to a rapidly changing environment.
Technology has played a crucial role in promoting international trade by facilitating communication, reducing transaction costs, and increasing the speed of transactions. With the advent of the internet, businesses can now connect with potential customers and suppliers from all over the world, regardless of their physical location. E-commerce platforms and online marketplaces have made it easier for small and medium-sized enterprises to reach a global audience and tap into new markets. Additionally, technology has made it easier to track shipments and manage supply chains, improving efficiency and reducing costs. The use of electronic payment systems and digital currencies has also made it easier to conduct cross-border transactions, reducing the need for intermediaries and further lowering costs. Overall, technology has made it easier for businesses to engage in international trade, and its role is only expected to grow in the future.
Technological advancements and international finance:
Technology has had a significant impact on international finance by transforming the way financial transactions are conducted and information is disseminated. The emergence of new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and big data analytics has enabled financial institutions to operate more efficiently, reduce costs, and enhance their ability to manage risks. Here are some of the ways technology has impacted international finance:
- Improved efficiency: Technology has made financial transactions faster, cheaper, and more secure. The use of online banking, mobile payments, and electronic transfers has made it possible to transfer money across borders in real-time, reducing the time and cost associated with traditional methods.
- Increased transparency: Technology has made it easier for investors to access information about financial markets and companies. With the advent of big data analytics, investors can now analyze large volumes of financial data and identify trends and patterns that were previously difficult to detect.
- Enhanced risk management: The use of technology has enabled financial institutions to better manage risk by improving their ability to assess creditworthiness, monitor transactions, and detect fraudulent activities.
- Facilitated cross-border transactions: Technology has made it easier for businesses to conduct cross-border transactions by providing secure and efficient payment systems. For example, the use of blockchain technology has enabled businesses to conduct transactions without the need for intermediaries, reducing costs and increasing speed.
- Improved financial inclusion: Technology has played a significant role in promoting financial inclusion by making it possible for people who were previously excluded from the formal financial system to access banking services. For example, mobile banking has enabled people in remote areas to access banking services and conduct financial transactions.
Challenges of regulating and supervising the use of technology in international finance:
Regulating and supervising the use of technology in international finance presents several challenges. Firstly, technology moves at a rapid pace, making it difficult for regulatory bodies to keep up with new developments and their potential impact on the financial sector. This can lead to regulatory frameworks becoming outdated or insufficient, creating loopholes that can be exploited by financial institutions and cybercriminals alike.
Secondly, the global nature of international finance means that regulatory bodies must coordinate their efforts across borders and jurisdictions. This can be difficult due to differences in legal systems, cultural norms, and technological infrastructure. Some countries may have more advanced regulatory frameworks and capabilities than others, making it challenging to establish a level playing field for all market participants.
Thirdly, financial institutions and other market participants may resist regulation and attempt to circumvent it through the use of offshore entities or other tactics. This can create a regulatory “race to the bottom” as countries compete to attract business by offering lax regulatory environments.
Case study 1: Impact of technology on the global supply chain
The impact of technology on the global supply chain has been profound and far-reaching, transforming the way businesses operate and the way goods are produced, distributed, and consumed.
One major impact of technology on the global supply chain is the increased efficiency and speed of communication and data sharing. Technologies such as the Internet, cloud computing, and real-time tracking systems have made it possible for businesses to communicate and collaborate more effectively with their suppliers, manufacturers, and customers, enabling them to respond quickly to changing market conditions and customer demands.
Another important impact of technology on the global supply chain is the rise of automation and robotics in manufacturing and distribution. Advanced robotics and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies are increasingly being used to streamline and optimize manufacturing processes, reduce labor costs, and improve the quality and consistency of finished products. This has also led to the creation of “smart” factories, which are highly automated and connected to the Internet of Things (IoT) to optimize production and supply chain processes.
Technology has also enabled the development of new supply chain models, such as “just-in-time” and “lean” manufacturing, which are designed to minimize waste, reduce costs, and improve efficiency. These models rely on real-time data and advanced analytics to optimize inventory levels, improve logistics planning, and reduce the time and cost of delivery.
Finally, technology has enabled businesses to track and monitor every aspect of the supply chain, from raw materials to finished products, enabling them to identify and address issues such as delays, quality problems, and bottlenecks in real-time. This has helped businesses to improve the transparency and traceability of their supply chains, which is becoming increasingly important to consumers and regulators concerned about issues such as sustainability, ethical sourcing, and product safety.
Case study 2: The impact of fintech on international finance
Fintech has revolutionized the world of international finance, offering innovative solutions to longstanding problems in the industry. One of the most significant impacts of fintech on international finance is its ability to facilitate cross-border transactions. With the use of block chain technology and digital currencies, fintech has made it possible for individuals and businesses to conduct international transactions quickly, securely, and at a lower cost than traditional methods. Fintech has also led to the development of new financial products and services, such as peer-to-peer lending and mobile payment solutions, which have increased access to financial services for people around the world. However, fintech also presents new challenges in terms of regulation and cyber security, and it remains to be seen how these issues will be addressed as the industry continues to grow and evolve.
Case study 3: The impact of block chain technology on international trade and finance
Block chain technology has the potential to significantly impact international trade and finance. By enabling secure, transparent and tamper-proof transactions, block chain can improve trust and efficiency in global trade. Smart contracts on a block chain network can automate many aspects of trade finance, such as verifying documents and tracking shipments, reducing processing time and costs. Additionally, block chain can enable new forms of financing, such as peer-to-peer lending and crowd funding, which can benefit smaller businesses that may struggle to obtain traditional financing. The use of block chain can also reduce the risk of fraud and errors in international trade, which can result in substantial savings for businesses. As block chain technology continues to mature and gain widespread adoption, it has the potential to revolutionize the way international trade and finance are conducted, providing greater security, transparency, and efficiency.
Future prospects and challenges:
The future of technology in international trade and finance appears bright, with numerous opportunities to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and increase transparency. Emerging technologies such as block chain, artificial intelligence, and the Internet of Things are already being used to enhance supply chain management, streamline payment systems, and improve risk management.
However, with these opportunities come challenges and risks. One challenge is the need to ensure interoperability between different technologies and systems used in different countries, which requires international standards and cooperation. Another challenge is the potential for disruption to existing industries and business models, which could lead to job losses and economic inequality.
In addition, technological advancements also bring risks such as cyber security threats, fraud, and the potential for manipulation and abuse of data. There is a need to develop robust regulatory frameworks that balance innovation with protection of consumers and investors.
Furthermore, there are concerns over the digital divide between developed and developing countries, with the latter potentially being left behind in the race to adopt new technologies. Therefore, it is crucial to promote technology transfer and capacity-building initiatives to bridge this gap.
Technological advancements have had a significant impact on international trade and finance, facilitating faster and more efficient cross-border transactions, enabling the emergence of new business models and trade patterns, and expanding access to global markets. However, these advancements have also brought challenges and risks that policymakers must address to ensure a fair, transparent, and stable international trade and finance system.
One of the main challenges posed by technological advancements is the potential for increased inequality and exclusion, as some countries and firms may be better equipped to take advantage of these advancements than others. This could lead to a concentration of power and wealth, creating a more uneven playing field in international trade and finance.
Another challenge is the risk of cyber threats and security breaches, which could undermine the integrity and stability of the international financial system. This risk is particularly acute given the growing reliance on digital technologies and platforms for conducting financial transactions.
In addition, there is the need to address issues related to data privacy, intellectual property rights, and regulatory harmonization, which could affect the competitiveness of firms in different countries and regions.
To address these challenges and risks, policymakers must take a proactive approach that balances the benefits of technological advancements with the need to mitigate their potential negative effects. This could involve developing international standards and regulations to ensure the fair and secure use of digital technologies in international trade and finance, investing in digital infrastructure and skills development in less advanced countries, and promoting greater collaboration and information-sharing among stakeholders in the global financial system.
Overall, technological advancements have the potential to drive greater prosperity and inclusion in international trade and finance, but policymakers must remain vigilant to ensure that these advancements are harnessed for the benefit of all.
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