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How the Russia-Ukraine War is Realigning Global Finance

Facing the blockchain and China's international financial institutions, the institutions that managed global capital for nearly a century are no longer the only players.

Cryptocurrency is playing a growing role in the Russian-Ukraine conflict, from Ukraine's pleas for donations in cryptocurrency to concerns about Russia using the technology to evade sanctions. Roundtable invited a panel of experts to discuss crypto's role in the ongoing war.

In this segment, the panel discusses how the ongoing realignment of power is accelerating changes in the world financial system.

David Zell points out that the post-Bretton Woods world financial institutions, from the World Bank to the IMF, are quickly becoming irrelevant.

"What we are now seeing is the rapid breakdown of a unipolar world order, toward a multipolar world order," Sell said. "We see China building alternatives and parallel institutions to the west at every turn. We had the IMF and we had a monopoly on development lending, then China makes the Asian infrastructure investment bank."

Amidst that transition, the blockchain is part of the movement towards managing capital outside of the control of global financial institutions.

"Crypto and blockchain by Bitcoin is giving the infrastructure for a new non-aligned movement," Zell said.

Sani Hayatbakhsh pointed out that that realignment can particularly benefit developing countries where individuals find their access to capital cut off because of measures from those global institutions. 

"One of my friends, a Ugandan woman living in Vienna, called me and told me she cannot transfer money via Austria bank to their Uganda bank account," Hayatbakhsh recounted. "You are very dependent on these systems and channels."

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Roundtable Guests:

Brittany Kaiser, human rights lawyer and co-founder, Own Your Own Data Foundation

David Zell, head of policy & public affairs, BTC Inc.

Sani Hayatbakhshm, head of social impact & ethics, Orica

Alex Gordon-Brander, co-founder, Codex Labs

Nehemia Kramer, co-founder, Waterfall

Vladimir Karishev, co-founder, Global Ledger

Watch the full discussion below: