Assange predicts financial innovation at Net Prophet in Cape Town


Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino (R) and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pose for a photograph at the Ecuadorean embassy window before their meeting in London, Britain, 16 June 2013.

CAPE TOWN - “Bitcoin is the most intellectually interesting development in the last two years,” said Julian Assange via a WeChat Livestream at Net Prophet — the annual technology and trends conference. According to the Wikileaks founder, the next great innovation that is headed our way will be in the finance sector.

He said that the technological innovation behind Bitcoin was establishing a new global consensus.

Usually, laws are needed to establish and enforce the way financial transactions take place, but Bitcion is changing that. Cryptographically enforced agreements, like the ones coming out of Bitcoin, are different from the norm in as much as the code behind them enforces how transactions are done.

Assange, currently still under asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, said he suspected that in the next few years we would see a level of innovation in financial services that far outstrips those of the past. The way he sees it, he said on Wednesday, the current traditional model of the finance industry is not working and Bitcoin was disrupting it in a good way.

Responding to a question on the rise of one dominant player in some aspects of the internet (think Google with search), the weather-worn whistleblower reckons the time of single dominance is coming to an end. “I think that is a serious question — whether most things that most people use most of the time will be eaten up by a few dominant players.” Assange again turned to the example of Bitcoin to illustrate his point.

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