Cryptocurrencies have dominated the financial headlines this year, when a multi-billion-dollar investment by Elon Musk sent the price of Bitcoin soaring to record highs – only for the price to drop by nearly 25 percent in just 48 hours in the subsequent days.
So are digital and cryptocurrencies the future of money or an all-too-volatile investment? That's what we'll find out on this edition of The Agenda with Stephen Cole.
One of the big issues with cryptocurrencies is that it seems too few people really understand how they work, and what the fundamental issues are underlying the move towards digital-only currencies. Laith Khalaf, financial analyst at stockbrokers AJ Bell, explains all – including how much you should invest.
In spite of the many issues, dozens of central banks globally are investigating the introduction of national digital currencies. The furthest ahead with its plans is China – where the so-called e-yuan is already being trialed. Zhou Yong, assistant general manager of XW Bank, joins the show from Chengdu to explain why China is so far ahead of the global game.
Of course, if digital and cryptocurrencies are the future of money, they are going to need to be rather better regulated than they are at present. Discussing what form that regulation may take, and just what the future holds, are Iwa Salami, senior lecturer in financial law and regulation at the University of East London, and Gavin Brown, associate professor in financial technology at the University of Liverpool.