Alexander Lipton, MIT and Stronghold Labs
Breaking the Bank
The modern financial system has introduced some fundamental problems into society. In order to increase transparency and minimize risk, the super complex monetary circuit has to be modeled in sufficient detail—a task that our current technology is unable to handle. New technologies such as digital currencies are now making it possible to simulate every trade and transaction. These tools could build more efficient financial networks and decentralize the control of money. People could exchange directly with each other instead of relying on banks. Although the potential for sweeping change is sparking fervent innovation, many variables remain. How these digital networks get built and used are critical factors in ensuring that they promote equity and accountability. New financial networks could stop the concentration of wealth and increase participation in the economy, but only if used with care. Extreme levels of centralized control are possible too. Joint work with Alex “Sandy” Pentland, MIT. Download Paper.