The popularity of cryptocurrencies around the globe has forced governments to reconsider their initial stances on cryptocurrency acceptance within their specific borders.
In June 2021, El Salvador became the first country in the world to approve Bitcoin as a legal tender. Other Latin American governments including Paraguay, Panama, Brazil, and Mexico, have expressed similar interests in supporting cryptocurrencies as legal tender.
Cryptocurrencies act as a uniquely safe economic instrument in a region plagued by government corruption, interference, and low productivity. In this respect, the adoption of cryptocurrencies as legal tender serves to guarantee some semblance of economic stability for countries in Latin America, allowing for a true launch of economic development initiatives into the digital age.
According to the survey of the World Economic Forum (WEF), it is estimated that by 2025 almost 10pc of the global GDP information will be secured on blockchain technology. Furthermore, it is being expected that the global market of blockchain technology will jump over $39bn by 2025. The real estate sector is also among the beneficiaries of blockchain technology and it is being transformed in a numerous manner.
Blockchain startups have mushroomed in agriculture markets as companies seek to cut costs and boost efficiency. The technology also offers greater transparency in supply chains as consumers become more interested in where their food comes from. Crop giants including Bunge Ltd., Cargill Inc. and Viterra have teamed up to start their own ledger system Covantis SA.
The integration of blockchain in health insurance is a key trend gaining popularity in the global healthcare insurance market and thus the hospitalization insurance market. The incorporation of blockchain in health insurance provides many benefits, such as enhancing integrity and protection by offering better control of patient data, reducing regulatory and enforcement costs, and maximizing interactions between health practitioners, insurance providers, and insurers.
These comments are adapted from a talk to the Net Mundial conference in Brazil on May 4.
“Twenty-five years ago, when the Internet had been running for 20 years, there was internet mail and net news and remote login, but there was no web. No web sites, web pages, links. So I invented the World Wide Web. As the project grew, I needed collaborators. To achieve that, I went to the Internet technical community.
Specifically, I founded the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), a multistakeholder organization that develops open standards to ensure the long-term growth of the Web. W3C works on different aspects of Internet technology with numerous organizations, including the Internet Engineering Task Force, ECMA/TC39, IANA, and ICANN.
Hopefully you all agree that we have done a reasonable job. The Web, and its underlying Internet infrastructure, have been an enormous engine of growth and understanding for society. It has been the collaboration between these multi-stakeholder organizations which has made this possible.
Our technical community achieved this contribution with little oversight from governments. In fact, our “OpenStand” vision is that the right way to build a technical infrastructure for society is through multi-stakeholder technical groups where decisions are made in the public interest and based on technical merit. Discussion is open. Documents are available for free on the web. In W3C specifically, companies commit that as the standard emerges, they will not charge royalties to those who implement it.
The web needs to remain a system which exists without regard to national borders. Today most of the work is already done in the non-national Internet technical community. I was also pleased to hear that ICANN is beginning a dialogue to create a multi-stakeholder review process to replace that of the U.S. government. That is appropriate because ICANN services the global public interest.
For me, that means that when a decision is taken about a possible new top-level domain, ICANN’s job is to work out, in a transparent and accountable manner, whether it is really in the best interest of the world as a whole, not just of those launching the new domain.
It also means that ICANN’s use of the funds should be spent in a beneficent way; such as supporting standardization, security hardening, and internationalization of the technology; accessibility, and closing the digital divide.
The Internet has thrived by the collective empowerment of capable, public-spirited people: initially, from the technical community and academia, and more recently, also the private sector in general, civil society and governments. We need a system of internet governance that allows each community to bring its particular strengths to the common table, but allows none of them to elevate its own interests above the public good.
The web has become an essential public utility. Much of our traditional thinking about human rights of course applies directly to everything on the Internet. New things also become important:
Net neutrality means keeping the net free from discrimination, be it commercial or political. The innovative explosion which has happened across the web over the last 25 years has happened only because the net has been neutral. The social ground-breaking sense of possibility that we can understand each other and live in peace relies on an open net.
Freedom of expression is a crucial right, but it has to be coupled with a complementary right to privacy. Mass surveillance presents perhaps the most immediate and perhaps the most insidious threat to human rights online.
It is great to be back in Brazil. Not just because Brazil is a wonderful country, and one which has always had a strong vibrant sense of opportunity with the Net. But especially today as we are celebrating the Brazilian senate passing the Marco Civil da Internet — a very good example of how governments can play a positive role in advancing web rights and keeping the web open. [This so-called “Constitution for the Internet” guarantees privacy, net neutrality and free speech. — editor.]
Of course Europeans are also celebrating the European Parliament passing legislation protecting the rights of users of the net, including a form of Net Neutrality.
These two data points mean we are making progress.
We have a huge way to go.
The principles of human rights on the net are new and not universally accepted. The web becomes ever more exciting with advancing technology, but 60 percent of the population still can’t use the web at all. As the web is giving people greater and greater power individually and collectively, so many forces are abusing or threaten to abuse the net and its citizens.
The web we will have in 25 years time is by no means clear, but is completely up to us to decide what we want to make that web, make that world. That is why I am asking web users around the world to define a global Magna Carta for the Internet. That’s why I am asking countries everywhere to follow Brazil’s example and develop positive laws that protect and expand the rights of users to an open, free and universal web.
A meeting to determine how the internet should be governed is under way in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
The country’s president, Dilma Rousseff, organised the two-day NetMundial event following allegations the US National Security Agency (NSA) had monitored her phone and emails.
Last month the US announced plans to give up its oversight of the way net addresses are distributed. But campaigners have warned the move could backfire.
The US currently determines who runs the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the body responsible for regulating the internet’s codes and numbering systems. But Washington now aims to pass the duty over to the “global multi-stakeholder community” by September 2015.
Human rights group Article 19 supports that idea, but said there were potential pitfalls.