OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum

September 15, 2021
11:00 - 12:00
Welcome from the OECD, Ministerial keynote and high-level dialogue: "Will the revolution be tokenised? Assessing blockchain’s promise and progress in the public sphere"
Introduction: Mathilde Mesnard, Acting Director for Financial and Enterprise Affairs, OECD Welcome address: Mathias Cormann, Secretary General of the OECD Ministerial keynote: Rt Hon Jesse Norman MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, United Kingdom High-level discussion: In 2015 The Economist magazine hailed blockchain as “the trust machine”, capable of replacing governance structures, displacing institutions and bringing a new level of transparency to transactions and information, with implication across public life. In the years since, the technology has produced trillion-dollar decentralised financial markets and a slew of innovation over enterprise blockchains but also, as OECD research shows, no breakthrough innovations in government and minimal impact in the public sector. The radical disruption foreshadowed by the technology’s enthusiasts still seems distant, dependent on pre-existing robust public governance systems, and in need of regulatory guardrails. The raison d’etre of many public institutions is the provision of public goods, and the underwriting of rights and the social contract – functions that blockchain’s pioneers sought to replace with cryptography, networks and protocols. Whether this technology will be used to either displace or complement traditional governance models is an open question, as is its ability to deliver such transformation. The Forum’s opening discussion brings together three thought-leaders at the intersect of tech and governance to disentangle blockchain’s promise from reality, and explore the extent to which the technology can be guided by governments towards better models of social and economic connection.
MathiasCormann (OECD)PrimaveraDe Filippi (National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS), Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University)MathildeMesnard (OECD)Rt Hon JesseNorman MP (United Kingdom)AlexPentland (Media Lab, Sloan Business School, Institute for Data Systems and Society)LawrenceWintermeyer (Global Digital Finance)
12:15 - 13:30
Panel: Global rules and network protocols: Emerging international regulatory approaches
International regulatory cooperation is a foundation of the global economy, allowing countries to address shared challenges and allowing the flow of people, goods, capital and data across borders. Digital technologies, which often transcend national boundaries, has made such cooperation more important than ever, and more complex. Blockchain has added a new facet to these efforts, enabling new breeds of global digital goods and services, with new levels of interconnectedness, on networks that can sometimes appear beyond traditional regulatory reach. The Forum’s opening panel will identify the gaps in international regulatory cooperation on blockchain, explore existing and emerging approaches to fill them, from policy guidance, technical standards, bilateral agreements and other international norms, and explore potential actions towards a more consistent global policy environment.
TeanaBaker-Taylor (Digital Chamber of Commerce)ChrisCarr (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)CraigDunn (ISO Technical Committee Blockchain and distributed ledger technologies)HelenKöpman (DG Communications Networks, Content and Technology, European Commission)ElsaPilichowski (OECD)
13:45 - 15:00
Panel: Blockchain at the border: Scaling up for supply chain resilience
The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated economy-wide digitalisation, including in international trade. Blockchain projects that were still at an exploratory stage a few years back are now increasingly being deployed. The potential for blockchain to facilitate trade by increasing transparency and reducing transaction costs is relevant for all stages of the supply chain, from customs procedures to trade finance and logistics, and ensuring responsible business conduct. However, legal, institutional and technical issues still hamper the scaling up of these applications. Blockchain technology – as other digital trade facilitation tools – must harness network effects across both public and private stakeholders to drive operational efficiencies. These network effects rely on smooth interaction across institutional structures. This highlights the importance of cross-border co-operation in a complex and evolving regulatory landscape for digital trade. This session takes stock of the challenges to the scaling up of blockchain technology for facilitating international trade and explore how policy can best support the use of blockchain for supply chain efficiency, resilience, transparency and integrity.
AlisaDiCaprio (R3)EmmanuelleGanne (WTO)MarionJansen (OECD)StewartJeacocke (IBM Global Government Centre of Competence)CherylWong (Australian Border Force)