The International Monetary Fund (IMF) this week concluded its first high-level meeting on blockchain.

But perhaps the most interesting story to come out of the meeting was the results of a poll that revealed a stark difference in perception of FinTech between panel participants and audience members.

First, some background of the meeting via CoinDesk:

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded the first-ever meeting of its High Level Advisory Group on FinTech today, a group that features a significant contingent of senior-level blockchain executives.

In total, 14 participants attended a panel leading up to a closed-door session with IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, seven of whom represented companies in the blockchain industry.

Attendees included Jeremy Allaire, CEO of Circle, Jill Carlson, head of market strategy at Chain, Chris Church, chief business development officer at Digital Asset, and Ryan Zagone, director of regulatory relations at Ripple, among others.

A poll was conducted to gauge audience and panelist sentiment on several topics, including whether FinTech posed a threat to financial stability. The difference in answers between audience members and experts was stark — and it reveals a serious perception problem.

From the National Law Review:

To the exclusion of all other Fintech topics, there was an almost singular focus on blockchain in each panelist’s response to the propositions. This focus by itself is illuminating, however the audience and the panel diverged dramatically on one proposition, whether FinTech will help rather than hinder regulation of AML and combatting the financing of terrorism (“CFT”).

The panel agreed, 92% to 8%, that FinTech would assist with AML and CFT efforts. The audience was essentially split, agreeing 57% to 43%. Similarly, 40% of the audience believed FinTech posed a threat to financial stability while only 17% of the experts shared that view.

The takeaway here is that, while those of us who are intimately familiar with this technology clearly understand its benefits, the general electorate does not. So, does Congress? Financial regulators? Now is the time to engage counsel and shape public policy.

Here’s an image of the full poll results:

Photo by Bruno Sanchez-Andrade Nuño via Flickr CC License