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Key insights highlighted in the report include blockchain technology’s fragmentation both worldwide and within jurisdictions, overlaps, gaps, as well as conflicts in standard-setting.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC), an industry advocacy association, have partnered to assess the current state of blockchain technology.
According to the organisations, the outcome – the Global Standards Mapping Initiative (GSMI) report – is the “most comprehensive” endeavour so far to assess the current state of blockchain.
Based on input from over 30 technical standard-setting entities, 185 jurisdictions and nearly 400 industry groups, the report seeks to provide a summary of the current blockchain landscape by charting existing technical standardisation efforts, identifying gaps, and providing the industry with “action-oriented” guidance.
“There has been a strong demand signal for a catalogue of standards-related activity that could serve as a cornerstone for facilitating responsible deployment and interoperability,” Sheila Warren, head of blockchain at the WEF.
“We were excited to collaborate with the Global Blockchain Business Council and members of our Blockchain Council to create this open resource that can be used by the ecosystem, policy-makers, and beyond, to inform their approaches to the technology and standards moving forward.”
Key insights highlighted in the report include the technology’s fragmentation both worldwide and within jurisdictions, overlaps, gaps, as well as conflicts in standard-setting – and where these activities may be premature.
“As blockchain continues to evolve and scale, clarity on its technical, regulatory and governance models will be paramount in shaping the trajectory and potential of the technology”
The GSMI finds a lack of dynamic guidance for new uses of the technology, the need for proactive strategies from organisations, and outlines the important role regulators will play in shaping the future of the technology.
It notes: “As blockchain continues to evolve and scale, clarity on its technical, regulatory and governance models will be paramount in shaping the trajectory and potential of the technology.”
The report also provides action-oriented guidance for public and private sector stakeholders and includes an interactive world map of blockchain legislation and guidance.
“GSMI partners and collaborators are a diverse group of stakeholders across industries, governments and academia who represent a range of perspectives and ideologies. Their coming together to lay the foundation towards greater harmonisation and clarity surrounding standard-setting exemplifies the unique ethos of the blockchain community rooted in collective progress and collaboration,” added Sandra Ro, chief executive officer of GBBC.
“GBBC is proud to have incubated this initiative alongside the World Economic Forum and looks forward to continued collaboration as the GSMI evolves and develops beyond this initial release. We invite new partners to join us as we build upon this initial body of work, GSMI version 1.0.”
The initiative is led by WEF and GBBC with core collaborators: Accenture; Digital Currency Initiative; MIT Media Lab; ESG Intelligence; Global Digital Finance (GDF); Hyperledger, the Linux Foundation; ING; the Milken Institute; SIX Digital Exchange (SDX); and other global entities.
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