As part of the Digital Currency Council’s Continuing Education partnership with Virtual Currency Today, the DCC’s Vice President, Sarah Martin, had the opportunity to interview the thought leaders that will be speaking at the Virtual Currency Today Summit on April 29, 2015. Today, we share insights from interviews David Long, Northern California Fraud Prevention Solutions principal and senior consultant.
Sarah: Tell me about how and why you got involved in Bitcoin and digital currencies.
David: I initially became involved in digital currencies through my membership in the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS). Some years ago, I was attending a local chapter meeting and a panel discussion at the meeting focused on the possible relationship between digital currencies and money laundering. As a former federal agent that has investigated many money-laundering cases, I was intrigued.
Sarah: Banks have historically skipped over the poor as not worth the costs or perceived risks. The rise of mobile technologies and digital currencies may be shifting that calculus. What do you plan to discuss during your keynote session?
David: Indeed, the poor have been traditionally underserved by traditional financial institutions in both developed and emerging economies. My discussion will focus on the tremendous promise that digital currencies and mobile technologies have in transforming access to financial services.
Sarah: Virtual Currency Today has brought together many of the best minds in the industry. What do you hope to hear from others at the conference?
David: It is always so enlightening to gather at conferences and hear what others are working on in their various spheres and to determine whether synergies exist between what I might be doing and what someone else is doing.
Sarah: As digital currencies evolve, what are you looking forward to seeing develop this year, or in the next 5-10 years?
David: As far as this year is concerned, I am looking forward to analyzing any new regulatory developments that concern digital currencies. Perhaps, long-term I am quite interested in how financial institutions, both new and more established, will utilize the block chain technology.
Sarah: What do you see as the greatest immediate challenge facing the industry?
David: I think the greatest challenge facing the industry is achieving the correct balance between regulation and innovation.
Sarah: What’s your best advice for growing the industry? How do we engage more people in digital currencies?
David: I’m not so sure. I would like to see consumer-facing digital currency companies with more user-friendly interface models. Also, I do believe there is a need for more consumer protection in the industry. Otherwise, consumers will be scared away with headline after headline of scandals involving digital currencies.
Sarah: Thanks very much for your thoughts, David. Looking forward to a great conference.
Thanks so much, Sarah. It was a pleasure. I am very much looking forward to the conference.