Caitlin Long — Advocating Blockchain Legislation
In this episode of CRYPTO 101, Matthew Aaron had the opportunity to discuss blockchain legislation in the State of Wyoming (and other areas) with Wall Street veteran and blockchain advocate/enthusiast, Caitlin Long.
There is so much gold in this podcast that it is hard to capture in a short blog. It is difficult not to just quote Caitlin Long verbatim for the entirety of this piece. If you are at all interested or curious about the future of digital assets and the role of blockchain in your future, this podcast is a must listen.
Stay tuned for the full transcript!
Blockchain over Wall Street?
After spending decades on Wall Street in the conventional financial world, Caitlin began to grow concerned and ultimately disenfranchised with the way the system worked for people. The intermediary systems that handle people’s investments were not serving those people’s interests at all. In many cases it was those very systems that were exposing people to unmitigated risk.
“The fact that you can lose money and traditional financial assets is probably what’s a bigger surprise to many of your listeners because the system is unstable and I think you just should go eyes wide open and make a judgment call about what your risk tolerance is and educate yourself about those risks. I think as you dig deeply, you’ll realize that the, the fundamental fairness and stability of crypto systems in general is higher than the fundamental fairness and stability of traditional financial markets. And at some point that’s going to become obvious to everyone.”
It was Bitcoin that sparked a curiosity in Long, one that signalled that a new financial world could be possible. There is a possible world where people could directly own their assets and with minimal security practices ensure that no third party or intermediary could steal, lend or freeze those assets.
“Prior to Bitcoin we were all trapped in traditional financial assets for our savings, whether it’s putting dollars in the bank or you know, money in the stock market or in a 401k or related retirement plan. We really didn’t have any choice but to use the traditional financial system. And we really were trapped. The only ways out or things like real estate or collectibles, precious metals that you physically took possession of. None of it was ideal. And now we have the alternative to buy financial assets that are issued, traded and settled on a blockchain. So all these settlement system risks and the shenanigans that happen behind the scenes and the periodic convulsions that the mainstream financial industry goes through. Those are, we now have a solution to those. We now have a way to get out and that’s why I’m so optimistic about this.”
The Legislative Battle
This realisation is what led Long to begin full-time work in blockchain legislation. The State of Wyoming has quickly become a hotbed for blockchain and digital asset progressive legislation. Cryptographic giants like IOHK (the team behind Cardano) have recently moved to Wyoming from Hong Kong to take advantage of Wyoming’s progressive and forward-thinking stance on blockchain. Much of this progress is thanks to Caitlin Long.
There is a possible world where even the digital assets we find fascinating for their decentraised, uncensorable nature could be co-opted by the traditional financial systems.
“What was happening in the background was that there was a push among the securities industry and lawyers representing them to force digital assets to be owned in that indirect ownership model that I just described for our securities where 99.9% of securities are owned indirectly through an intermediary, they wanted to have property rights recognised in digital assets only if they were owned indirectly through an intermediary.”
Caitlin Long and associated legislators are working hard to make sure this does not become a reality.
As someone who has seen and brought about positive change in the financial world, Caitlin is someone worth listening to for those of us wanting to get involved in this financial revolution.
“Get going! It is a participatory process and in my experience, the legislators love hearing from young people and they’re hearing it from their own sons and daughters. They do tend to be a different generation than the folks that are interested in blockchain. The local representatives and senators do listen to constituents. It is worth looking it up and shooting them a quick email. Most of them do read their email so it only takes you know, 5, 10 minutes of your time to encourage them to pass the good legislation.”
Finally, there is no need to fear the current bear market. There is value greater than the dollar value of your portfolio right now.
“Yes, it’s had it’s bubbles and bubbles bursting. But it’s the reason to be optimistic because you can control your own destiny and you know that if you own assets that are issued on a blockchain and you can see them there digitally, you own those assets and nobody else is trying to make money off your assets. That’s a wonderful thing.”
Who is Caitlin Long?
Caitlin spent 22 years on Wall Street which included serious time as a pension settlement expert. She now spends her time advocating legislative offices (particularly in the State of Wyoming) for blockchain technology, direct ownership of assets and the new digital economy. Be sure to check out her website.