Personal Feedback from the 2019 Forum
After initial fears of Blockchain and DLT technologies by many States and policy makers, the time has come to face the reality. Blockchain is a new technlogy - just as AI, IoT and others are. It creates opportunities and challenges must be properly considered and handled.
It was noticeable that governing bodies had done their homework – with an impressive increase in their knowledge and competence on the subject since last year’s Forum. Discussions were no longer quetioning the legitimacy of the technology, but deeper - delving straight into the types of regulation and standards to be put in place. The time has clearly come to embrace Blockchain and the added value and paradigm shifts it can and will bring. And to do so whilst ensuring the implementation of adequate rules to protect common goals and values.
A quote by Mr. Bruno Lemaire, French Minister of the Economy, reflects the main exchanges and ideas we witnessed during the 2019 Forum:
“New technologies shall serve our common shared values and not the opposite. This is the role of government: to be a gatekeeper of our values”.
Discussions concentrated around the need to fit Blockchain and DLT in our existing ecosystem, and were no longer questionning the core elements of the technologies. Interesting was also the discusisons around the convergence of multiple new technolgies – in particular Blockchain, AI and IoT.
The distraction of libertarian utopias prophesised by many early Bitcoin adopters had been set to the side. Shifting from prophesised revolutions, to pragmatic evolutions where centralization and third parties retain a role in future blockchain paradigms was observed and shared among most of the Forum’s panelists.
Is the nascent Revolution satisfactorily replaced by Evolution? With projects like Facebook’s Libra, is Blockchain policy evolving quickly enough to ensure it serves our common values?
That is for you to decide. Or to drive it: the OECD Blockchain Policy Centre announced it will be launching public consultations and workshops – so if you are interested to steer policymaking and also become a gatekeeper of our common values, then get involved.