OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum

Government of the United Kingdom

The 2021 Global Blockchain Policy Forum is delivered with support from the Government of the United Kingdom. The explosive pace of technological development, and of new applications for existing technologies, is transforming many aspects of our lives, fundamentally reshaping our economy and our society, and unlocking previously inconceivable improvements in global health, well-being and prosperity. Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) could prove to have the capacity to deliver a new kind of trust to a wide range of services. As we have seen open data revolutionise the citizen’s relationship with the state, so may the visibility in these technologies reform our financial markets, supply chains, consumer and business-to-business services, and publicly-held registers. The United Kingdom is committed to working with its global partners to shape an open international order of the future. This includes working to ensure that applications of technologies such as DLT are developed in the spirit of innovation, interoperability, market-based economies, free and fair trade, and democratic values. In this spirit, the UK has the pleasure to support the 4th OECD Global Blockchain Policy Forum, and the OECD’s wider efforts to maximise the positive transformative potential of DLT. Technological advances have always driven global rule-making. But in the years ahead, the enormous pace of change is likely to result in a growing gap between what technological advances make possible and the limits of existing global governance. This is why the UK is investing in its Regulatory Diplomacy: bringing together governments, standards bodies and industry to shape the standards and values that will underpin the global economy in the future. To further promote these aims, the UK will host a Future Tech Forum in London, in November this year. The Forum will convene like-minded democratic partners to discuss the role of technology in supporting open societies and tackling global challenges. The Forum will support efforts to mitigate the risk of regulatory fragmentation and to facilitate coherency of our emerging technology ecosystems, and it will invite proposals for Leaders to consider in appropriate global fora. We support the aim to facilitate dialogue between governments, industry, academia, civil society and other key stakeholders. We know there will be challenges as Distributed Ledgers mature and disrupt how we think about and store data. The UK is in a unique position to explore those challenges and help maximise the benefits to our public services and our economy. The UK brings world-class digital capability, innovative financial services, a strong research community and growing private sector expertise. The UK also believes that DLT applications have the potential to play an important role in tackling global challenges including Sustainable Development, Climate Change, Biodiversity Loss, and Global Health. Agile multilateral and multidisciplinary cooperation will be needed to make sure that DLT reaches its potential as a Force for Good in the global economy. The OECD is a key partner for the UK in convening global expertise for the development of norms at the frontiers of the global economy. The UK is a strong supporter of the OECD’s world-leading work to develop better policies for better lives in the Digital Economy. We thank the OECD for its efforts and look forward to fruitful and impactful discussions at this year’s Global Blockchain Policy Forum.