The Great Greek Currency Hack – Blockchain for good? – Sept 2017

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You can see the full blurb for the event at the event registration page.

Date: Monday 25th September 2017, 6.00pm to 9.00pm

Venue: The Story Museum, 42 Pembroke Street, Oxford, OX1 1BP

“Is it possible for Greece to regain control of its own destiny? Could we truly help them do that by creating a modern Trojan Horse?”

Few events have demonstrated the failure of currency systems as well as Greece. Over the last few years, Europe’s Central Banks and he EU have imposed a devastating austerity regime on the very country that provided the world with the foundation of democracy. In short, one of the great civilising powers of philosophy, thought and language has been brought to its knees. From Alpha to Omega, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble and the might of the EU fraternity have borne down on Greece as Europe’s prodigal son who will not be forgiven it would seem. A country emboldened by the success of 2004 Olympics, an event it created had unfortunately let its credit card get overextended, ironically by buying German Cars and White goods.

The elections of 2015 demonstrated the defiance of Greeks radical government and its charismatic finance minister Yanis Varoufakis. He wasn’t prepared to back down and actually worked through the idea of an alternative currency system. The crowning jewel was the idea that government would create a tax bond using a cryptocurrency, a radical new blockchain technology pioneered by Satoshi Nakamoto’s 2009 whitepaper and the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. But then conservatism rallied, he resigned and Prime Minister Alex Tsipras resumed the humble role of the beggar, taking his bowl to al, and sundry.

But for one moment the spark of rebellion left behind an idea. An idea that there was another way, a modern, empowering way driven by technology that Greek legends such as Pythagoras or Archimedes would have claimed as their own if they were alive today. Could Greece really escape? Could there be a ruse as great as The Trojan Horse?

For a moment let us turn to the other side of the coin – the lot of the Greek people. Like most populations the world over, all the Greeks want to do is have a normal life. They want to live, to trade, do business, raise families as they have done for thousands of years.

Few amongst them understand the technicalities or machinations of currencies, central banks, politicians, the IMF. All of them understand the long-held tradition of the Black Economy, the payments in cash to avoid tax. Perhaps the Greeks, one of the inventors of the modern tax system with its eisphora have become the masters at avoiding it. It didn’t really matter when they ran everything with the Drachma, because the currency markets priced the Black market into the value of the currency. Now they are part of the Europe they share the same credit card as the rest of Europe.

The EU is not going to let Greece off the hook. But simple maths says that Greece can never repay what it owes. So, what is the answer?

The answer to consider is perhaps this: What if Greece had its own, new parallel currency. What if Greeks could pay, save, invest and pay taxes in this new currency using mobile technology? What if it made allowances for “off book” cash transactions like a paper currency?

Is it possible for Greece to regain control of its own destiny? Could we truly help them do that by creating a modern Trojan Horse?

With the help of Dr Pippa Malmgren, one of the world’s leading economists, renowned social thinker Professor Olinga Tae’edand Pawel Kuskowski, one of Europe’s top Fintech stars, Oxford Technology & Media are proud to present a truly unique session.

“Great armies of the world can be resisted, but not an idea whose time has come” – Victor Hugo

Acknowledgement: Oxford Technology & Media Network would like to thank Grant Thornton LLP for their kind support of both this event and Oxford Technology & Media Network programme.


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