“We are moving to a completely virtualised world”
Central banks’ digital currencies and our ‘virtual’ identity in the metaverse will play a pivotal role in the proposal to rebuild the global economic model that was put forward from the Davos economic forum. What consequences will this paradigm shift have for our lives? In a new Fintech Talks, James Sène, chairman and founder of 11Onze, explains the changes to come and gives us food for thought on how to deal with them.
Two lions crown the pillars at the foot of the stone-railed staircase leading to the main entrance of Villa Urània. The house is a tower surrounded by a garden in the Sarrià-Sant Gervasi district, which was bequeathed to Barcelona City Council by will by the astronomer Josep Comas y Solà. A neoclassical style space that has been reinvented combining tradition with modernity, and reconverted into a Japanese coffee shop, the Oyatsu Lab, is the ideal setting for a Fintech Talks that analyses what the restart of the current economic model will be like.
It was well into the evening when the audience began to fill the café. Unlike other events previously organised by 11Onze, this talk is thought of to be more relaxed, in small groups, to allow the conversation to flow between the audience and the speaker. Gemma Vallet, director of 11Onze District, is in charge of asking preliminary questions and moderating the debate.
Faced with the imminent economic recession, the first question is obvious: how did we get to this point? To begin with, Sène points out that 11Onze has been explaining and warning for a couple of years that the sovereign debt crisis of the states will lead us to a global crisis with major socio-economic consequences, “when private banks create money out of nothing, constantly, inflation is inevitable”.
Unlimited growth on a resource-constrained planet
The interaction with the audience does not take long to get started, and the conversation drifts towards neoclassical economic theory, which is necessary to understand the current economic model. The management of scarcity as a fundamental concept of the capitalist system has set a path focused on unlimited growth, which is totally unsustainable precisely because of the limited resources of our planet.
A new, community-based, mutualistic model, based on social networks, where most things are shared, is being imposed as a counterpart to the status quo that existed until a few years ago. We are facing a “transition from the old model, totally dominated by a few, to a new model that reaches more people and is decentralised,” says Sène.
He concludes that this change of model is inevitable, but that, at the same time, the actors who now dominate and direct the economy will do their best to perpetuate a system where people’s access to goods is restricted, thus ensuring the relevance of scarcity in the economic model.
A virtual and virtualised world
These are issues that are difficult to explain and hard to assimilate, but the president of 11Onze does not shrug his shoulders and proposes two ‘tips’ to understand what is happening: how the ecosystem works and the rules of the game. But first, he points out that we have to understand that we do not live in a virtual world, but in a virtualised world, i.e. “what happens in the digital world has a real impact on our lives, we are living in a totally virtualised world”.
The creation of central bank-controlled digital currencies (CBDCs) will be the basis on which the centralised financial system will survive, while the metaverse will play a key role in digitising our identities. Public interpellations point out that we may be too late to avoid a fait accompli, while Sène argues that financial information and education are essential resources for people to defend their freedoms.
The debate is wide open and goes on well past dinner time, the conversation was not only flowing, but transformed into a whole series of ideas that increase the collective intelligence of our community, and above all, encourages the learning that is so necessary for our financial sovereignty. Soon, we will publish this Fintech Talks on 11Onze TV from La Plaça.
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