Block Stars: Increasing Crypto Literacy for Everyone
In each episode of Block Stars, Ripple CTO David Schwartz is joined by one of blockchain’s most innovative and impactful thinkers to discuss the past, present and future of the technology. David’s guest on the third edition of the podcast is Binance.US CEO, Catherine Coley.
Catherine’s mission is to educate people on using cryptocurrencies to improve their everyday lives. It’s a goal that becomes increasingly relevant when events shine a brighter spotlight on the world of digital assets, whether that’s governments printing more fiat currencies in response to Covid-19 or the upcoming Bitcoin halving.
“We now have a reality on our hands that points to why you would want to have a fixed monetary supply and a deflationary aspect to a currency rather than an inflationary one,” she notes regarding current global stimulus spending.
Catherine says that the upcoming third Bitcoin halving will “reduce the rate at which the cryptocurrency units are awarded. The closer we get to the [maximum Bitcoin supply of] 21 million, the more difficult it will be to generate rewards out from…mining—Proof-of-Work.”
While the halving will make Bitcoin mining even less sustainable as the same amount of resources generates a smaller reward, Catherine predicts that the event will increase interest in Bitcoin and the wider digital assets market. But new audiences can find the technology inaccessible because of the often-impenetrable language used by proponents.
“One of the things we’re focused on at Binance.US is being able to break down these tough jargon walls,” explains Catherine. “It stops [people’s] ability to just accept that we’re providing [a way] to exchange value between different forms of digital currency. Crypto doesn’t have to be cryptic.”
Catherine’s company focuses a lot of its attention on the US because that’s where audiences need most educating. While new technologies usually take off in America first, the country is lagging behind when it comes to digital assets.
“One of the reasons why we’ve seen such a better global adoption is that the pain point Bitcoin, XRP and Ethereum resolves is felt so much greater outside the United States,” says Catherine. “Every flight out of Hong Kong or Singapore is an international flight. That’s a significant burden on your change purse when you’ve got to go to Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand in an afternoon and have four different fiat currencies to handle. Going from Alabama to Nevada to Washington to New York, you can keep Uncle Sam dollars in your pocket.”
One of the strongest use cases for digital assets is making global payments and transfers faster, cheaper and easier. Catherine believes that with more education and the growing demands of globalization, the US will eventually catch up to the rest of the world.
“It’s my mission to make sure that every American can have financial confidence and crypto literacy,” she states. “The rest of the world has caught on and they’re already using the leading global technology of finance. It’s about time America was able to participate in that.”