The US, China and the Global Race to Dominate Blockchain and Crypto Technologies

With growing state interests in ‘blockchain’ and ‘cryptocurrency’, the panel discusses the capabilities and potential uses of these technologies for domestic and foreign policy.

The decentralised nature of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency create a paradoxical opportunity for central governments. The relative anonymity and immutability of information that these technologies offer means they are an asset for defense purposes, but pose a challenge for internal regulation.

The Chinese government’s approach toward blockchain technology is conditioned precisely by this paradox, as Alice Ekman writes in her latest policy brief. The highly-controlled and state-led blockchain-based service network, launched by the Communist Party of China in 2019, challenges the supposedly libertarian characteristics of blockchain technology. Meanwhile, the US government is on the one hand attempting to assert regulatory control over Coinbase and other cryptocurrencies, and on the other aiming to integrate blockchain technology into branches of federal government.

Why are these technologies so interesting to governments? What implications will they have for national security and defence? How, if at all, may the international community play a role in regulating competition in this technological domain? Join our panelists in discussing the geopolitical and economic significance of these emerging technologies in the context of US-China competition.


The US, China and the Global Race to Dominate Blockchain and Crypto Technologies


The US, China and the Global Race to Dominate Blockchain and Crypto Technologies

This webinar was held on Tuesday 22 February 2022.

Meet the speakers and chair

Victoria Adams has been working with blockchain technology since its inception and is one of the US’s leading blockchain experts. She is currently a senior director at SIMBA Chain (the leading defense and national security blockchain platform) focused on developing blockchain in the public sector. In addition, she is Chief Innovation Officer at the Value Technology Foundation (a blockchain policy 501(c) organization) and is on the Board of Equideum (a leading blockchain health enterprise). Previously, she led the development of ConsenSys’s, the largest pure play blockchain firm in the world, public sector group and developed several primers and trainings for public and private sector organizations. She has been involved in the development of Hyperledger and Ethereum products and infrastructure (including Ethereum 2.0) and has implemented public, private, and hybrid systems using Ethereum, Hyperledger, and other blockchain systems. Victoria Adams also led Booz Allen Hamilton’s investment in blockchain and developed several applications involving the use of blockchain to manage crash transfers within public sector organizations and the use of blockchain to manage equipment distribution control systems.

Alice Ekman is the Senior Analyst in charge of the Asia portfolio at the European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS). She covers foreign policy and technology developments in the Asian region – including in China, the Korean Peninsula, Japan, India and ASEAN. At the EUISS, Alice also manages regular ‘Track 1,5’ dialogues with the EU’s partners in Asia and coordinates the EU member committee of the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia-Pacific (CSCAP EU). Alice was formerly Head of the China Research programme at the French Institute of International Relations (Ifri) in Paris. She has also been Visiting Scholar at Tsinghua University (Beijing), at National Taiwan Normal University (Taipei) and at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies (Seoul). She holds a Master in International Relations, Economics, and Anthropology (China focus) from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a PhD in International Relations from Sciences Po and is fluent in Mandarin Chinese. Her last book 'Rouge Vif - l'ideal communiste chinois' (Ed. de l'Observatoire, Paris, 2021) has been awarded the prize of best geopolitical book of the year by the French Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Garrick Hileman is one of the world's most-cited cryptocurrency and blockchain technology researchers. He is the author of the first University of Cambridge Global Cryptocurrency Benchmarking Study and the follow-on Global Blockchain Benchmarking Study. He also authored the CoinDesk State of Bitcoin and State of Blockchain reports from 2013-2016 and published two major empirical stablecoins research studies in 2018-19. He created and taught the first UK class on blockchain technology at the University of Cambridge. Garrick was ranked as one of the 100 most influential economists in the UK and Ireland and he is regularly asked to share his research and perspective with government organizations and media, including the FT, BBC, CNBC, WSJ, and NPR. Garrick is currently head of research at, one of the world’s leading cryptoasset companies, and a visiting fellow in the information systems and digital innovation management program at The London School of Economics and Political Science.

Jonathan Liebenau is an Associate Professor (Reader) in Technology Management at LSE. He specialises in two areas: fundamental concepts of information, and the problems and prospects of information and communication technology in economic development.

Event hashtag: #LSETechnology

LSE IDEAS (@lseideas) is LSE's foreign policy think tank. Through sustained engagement with policymakers and opinion-formers, LSE IDEAS provides a forum that informs policy debate and connects academic research with the practice of diplomacy and strategy.