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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues

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Digital assets' highs and lows of 2022 served as a backdrop for a two-day event in Washington, D.C., hosted by UNC’s Rethinc. Labs, an initiative of the Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise, in partnership with the Milken Institute and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Thought leaders, policymakers, business leaders, experts, government officials, researchers, scholars and other key stakeholders convene for a two-day event focused on the latest issues impacting the fintech ecosystem.

The crash of the stablecoin TerraUSD last month prompted talk among policymakers of tighter regulations for cryptocurrency markets, a world that was built around the ideas of independence and privacy. In this week’s Kenan Insight, experts who participated in a recent webinar discuss how regulation can move crypto forward and what form new rules and infrastructure might take.

What is a stablecoin, and why did the one known as TerraUSD break the buck and crash? Kenan Institute Chief Economist Gerald Cohen moderates this timely crypto conversation with University of California-Berkeley Haas School of Business Professor Christine Parlour, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School Professor Eric Ghysels and Chief Revenue Officer Michael Coscetta of Paxos.

The hits just keep coming for the cryptocurrency market following last week’s collapse of TerraUSD. The stablecoin, created to maintain its value equal to the U.S. dollar, today is worth an estimated 11 cents – a drop in market value from nearly $19 billion to roughly $1.3 billion. How could this have happened, and what could it – along with the wider market selloff – mean for the future of crypto? We invite you to join us at 11 a.m. ET this Friday, May 20, for a discussion with key experts.

Mar 15, 2022

The World Has Changed

Out of the rubble of World War II, we collectively and deliberately built an institutional order that established norms of acceptable behavior and placed constraints on powerful nations. While work remains to create broader economic opportunity and some regions have suffered terrible conflict, the economic and financial globalization that this order fostered nevertheless yielded the greatest period of peace and economic prosperity that humanity has ever known. The more than 70 years since the war’s conclusion are, however, very atypical, and we are now returning to a setting far more familiar to any student of history, where strength and power supersede norms and rules. The world is characterized by a renewed struggle between illiberal autocracy and liberal democracy.

As we begin the new year, we wanted to highlight five topics, beyond the impact of COVID-19 and related uncertainties, that we believe business leaders and policymakers will be grappling with in 2022. Throughout the year, we will focus our efforts to provide solutions-focused analysis on these topics as well as a host of others.

Join the UNC Tax Center on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2021, from 11 a.m. to 12:40 p.m. EST for Demystifying Blockchain & Cryptocurrency. This webinar, which provides 2.0 CPE credits, is the fourth in a series of tax policy webcasts jointly hosted by the Kenan Institute-affiliated UNC Tax Center and the AICPA.

Cryptocurrency has its critics, but it’s becoming an increasingly mainstream option for retail and institutional investors alike. In this Kenan Insight, we share some thoughts from former Co-president of Morgan Stanley Zoe Cruz and Rethinc. Labs Faculty Director Eric Ghysels on whether crypto has reached a tipping point for adoption by individual investors.

The tremendous growth in cryptocurrency trading has included frequent pump-and-dump (P&D) schemes. The resulting volatility has raised both excitement and concern about exploitation and fraud. Unlike the stock market, where P&D schemes can last for months, in the cryptocurrency market the price and volume inflations last just minutes, making it is almost impossible for those not in the pump group to participate. P&Ds are organized through pump groups who communicate through heavily encrypted message platforms. Investors learn about the groups through ads on social media.

Our research examines 500 cryptocurrency P&D schemes to better understand their timing, characteristics and impact. As cryptocurrency exchanges think about regulating P&Ds, our researchers seek to understand who is currently benefiting and what these “cryptobloggers” do to the health of the cryptocurrency market.

Cryptocurrency has its critics, but it’s becoming an increasingly mainstream option for retail and institutional investors alike. In this Kenan Insight, we share some thoughts from former Co-president of Morgan Stanley Zoe Cruz and Rethinc. Labs Faculty Director Eric Ghysels on whether crypto has reached a tipping point for adoption by individual investors.

Faculty Director of the Rethinc. FinTech Lab, Eric Ghysels was featured as the keynote speaker at the 2nd Crypto Asset Lab Conference. The conference, which took place on Tuesday, October 27th, focuses on all aspects of bitcoin and crypto assets, especially those pertaining to investment, banking, finance, monetary economics, and regulation. Topics included cryptocurrency adoption and transition dynamics, digital cash and payment systems, economics and/or game theoretic analysis of cryptocurrency protocols, economic and monetary aspects of cryptocurrencies and the legal, ethical and societal aspects of (decentralized) cryptocurrencies.