Fit for the future: Supporting responsible and trustworthy innovation
Decentralised technologies are emerging as an important feature in the next evolution of the digital economy, and the foundation on which many beneficial new products, services and markets could be built, from new forms of finance to novel governance models and means for social connection. At the same time, successive waves of blockchain innovation have demonstrated the need to fully reflect the legal rights and responsibilities of participants – and the expectations of wider society – in these networks, the activities they support and the governance structures that have sprung up around them. The lack of geographic boundaries in decentralised systems, and the global nature of digital markets more broadly, have made cooperation between countries crucial.
Establishing approaches, practices and frameworks to guide blockchain towards responsible and trustworthy innovation is an imperative for business and a priority for governments – and an important precondition to widespread use in the future. The fifth edition of the OECD’s annual Global Blockchain Policy Forum brought together policy makers, innovators and thought leaders to address key challenges and promote action towards this goal, including with the launch the OECD Recommendation on Blockchain and Other DLT – the world’s first government-endorsed policy standard on blockchain technology.
Blockchain at the Frontier: Cross-border co-operation and stronger global governance
Blockchain represents a novel governance tool ruled by protocols and code rather than law and policy, allowing information and value to be secured, verified and transacted without central authority or intermediaries. Such decentralisation and disintermediation could displace traditional governance structures, but it also offers a chance to adapt them – to find new and better ways of connecting people, organisations and countries, and promoting cooperation and coordination in a range of local and global settings.
The 4th annual OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum took place virtually on a series of dates between 15 September and 1 October 2021. Discussions delved into recent developments and emerging challenges across all levels of governance; from strengthening cross-border flows and international regulatory cooperation, to better connecting companies with investors and capital, and bringing new levels of transparency to the digital economy and control over our lives online.