To most people, cryptocurrencies are an abstract and complicated financial system. So what exactly are they, who uses them, and why? Former British MP Oonagh McDonald, awarded the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) for her contributions to financial regulation and business, makes sense of cryptocurrencies in 2023.
This edition of FO° Podcasts examines the rise of cryptocurrencies and their place in the international banking system. Crypto set itself as an alternative to banks and regulation, promising anonymity. Over the years, the value and success of crypto skyrocketed. However, scandals like the collapse of the FTX demonstrate have taken the sheen off crypto recently. Clearly, these new currencies have unique pitfalls and are hence increasingly volatile.
In a wide-ranging conversation with editor-in-chief Atul Singh, McDonald explains the workings of crypto, its counterculture origins, recent scandals, and these currencies are being used today.
Dr Oonagh McDonald CBE, author and international expert in financial regulation, was a British Member of Parliament, and Opposition Spokesman on Treasury and the City. She subsequently became a board member of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission and worked under the auspices of the Asian Development Bank, advising newly established financial regulatory authorities in Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, Brunei, and Mongolia. Onnagh has also worked with USAID, more recently in Ukraine and Moldova. She has written numerous articles, published in leading academic Journals and The Times and The Financial Times. Oonagh’s books include Lehman Brothers: A Crisis of Value and Holding Bankers to Account. In 1998, she was awarded the Commander of the British Empire (CBE) by the Queen for her services to financial regulation and business. Oonagh now resides in Washington, DC where she swims almost every morning and cooks exotic curries for friends.
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