Finance and Technology are interlinked and evolve together in the perspective of the Evolution of Fintech. The last paradigm emerged in 2008 following the financial crisis based on the widespread use of information technology and the need for regulatory innovation. The same year, a paper titled Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System was published by the unknown Satoshi Nakamoto who created the well-known cryptocurrency which is one of the first use cases of blockchain technology. One may wonder if this paradigm shift is an incremental evolution of Fintech or a more disruptive revolution similar to nuclear power or electricity.
If we look at some ethical considerations, blockchain gives rise to several issues in terms of security, privacy, efficiency and the integrity of the system itself as well as the risk of crime and oppressive conduct that would otherwise be offset by a mediating institution. Those issues are only the emerged part of the iceberg of blockchain ethics which is a broader quest to redefine the value of our society since blockchain technology is changing the nature of money and organisations. In this way, we shouldn’t only consider the risks brought by the technology but also the opportunity of blockchain for good based on evolved moral principles.
Fintech and blockchain is one of the paradigm shifts taking place in our society with other technologies that include artificial intelligence and the use of big data. Alone this paradigm is an evolution of Fintech. But combined with AI and cybernetics, this paradigm shift is a cognitive revolution that may either decentralise the power of monopolies or control the decentralised power of people. That’s why blockchain ethics should examine what the technology is capable of doing and ponder the potential consequences like the control of nuclear power that led to the atomic bomb or the electricity that led to the electric chair for death penalty.
This article is part of the Ethics of Fintech & Blockchain series