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Michael Pisa is a policy fellow at the Center for Global Development, where his work focuses on how digitalization is shaping economic development. He is currently overseeing a project on how governments can use and regulate the use of data in a way that supports innovation, growth, and development while protecting individuals against abuse. Before joining CGD, Pisa served as a senior advisor to the Under Secretary for International Affairs at the US Treasury Department, where he helped organize and inform the Obama Administration’s efforts to support financial inclusion abroad. In earlier roles, he served as deputy director of Treasury’s Office of International Banking, and acting US financial attaché in Afghanistan. Pisa received a PhD in political science from the University of California, San Diego.
As the organization responsible for setting international standards on anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT), the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has encouraged countries to design measures that protect the integrity of the financial system and support financial inclusion. But it has also received criticism that poor implementation of its standards can undermine financial access.
While blockchain-based solutions have the potential to increase efficiency and improve outcomes dramatically in some use cases and more marginally (if at all) in others, key constraints must be resolved before blockchain technology can meet its full potential in this space. Overcoming these constraints will require increased dialogue between the development and technology communities and a stronger commitment to collecting and sharing data about what’s working and what isn’t in pilot projects that use the technology.
As the price of bitcoin continues its dizzying rise—the currency briefly surpassed $19,000 yesterday—the already passionate debate about its role in the global economy has become even more heated. Over the last two months, prominent economists and financiers, including Citi CEO Jamie Dimon, former IMF Chief Economist Kenneth Rogoff, and former Chair of the US Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke have all voiced skepticism about the currency, triggering a loud response from the crypto community.