Today, most people use electronic rather than tangible forms of money in their daily lives. The world’s financial systems are also becoming more and more complex. In this context, many have been motivated to ponder the future of money and currency. At the same time, people are losing trust in traditional financial institutions. Ever since the 2008 global financial crisis, new players are claiming space in this field. It’s crucial that we grapple with the future of money by determining its global realities and by trying to understand what its local impacts will be.
How can governments deal with these radical societal shifts? What kind of relation should it develop with the new platform economy giants? How can this new environment be monitored to prevent criminal activity? Will money continue to be issued by states, or will globalization create the conditions for alternate forms of money? How can shared values play a role in currency design?
More broadly, if Wall Street no longer defines the future of finance and if banks are losing their monopolies over financial services, can we begin to identify new players? Will Silicon Valley companies who are innovating payment systems, such as Apple and Amazon, take over? Or, rather, will Chinese companies, like Alibaba and WeChat?
As legislators, researchers, and producers of policy, it’s crucial to ask: What’s the impact of a cashless society for citizens and what impact does it have on their privacy? Will the new sorts of money undermine or strengthen transparency? And, last but not least: what are the consequences for cities in general and The City of Amsterdam in particular?
Klaas Knot (CEO DNB Bank)
Saskia Sassen (Columbia University)
Adjiedj Bakas (Futurologist)
Kei Kreutler (Artist & Creative Director at Gnosis)