Marietje Schaake, International Policy Director at Stanford's Cyber Policy Center, Eurasia Group senior advisor and former MEP, discusses trends in big tech, privacy protection and cyberspace:
What is Coinbase and why is it such a big deal that it's going public?
Now, Coinbase runs the US's largest cryptocurrency exchange and holds tens of billions of dollars' worth of bitcoins. When it went public on Wednesday, it was the first major cryptocurrency company to do so.
Are there any privacy issues you see looming around cryptocurrency and digital assets in general?
And I would say trust is a big question with cryptocurrencies and the question that goes beyond matters of privacy protection. Some customers of Coinbase, for example, reported losing their assets through account takeover attacks and were very disappointed with the lack of support the company offered. Digital currency transactions that are impossible to reverse or to be traced to a person, make them an attractive asset to steal. And the security rules that we know for banks do not yet apply equally to digital currency exchanges. And that has clearly had its pluses for some users, but steep downsides for those who lose their savings in the blink of an eye.