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G20 countries must set up central bank blockchain research consortium: CIGI Report

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) released a report stating that G20 countries must create a central bank blockchain consortium in order to study the nascent technology.

“The G20 must take concrete steps to harness the tremendous opportunities and minimize the risks of blockchain technologies in this critical incubative period of their development,” the report stated.

According to the report titled “Blockchains and the G20: Building an Inclusive, Transparent and Accountable Digital Economy”, by harnessing blockchain technology, the G20 can respond to two major contemporary geographical challenges.

The first challenge is the existing zeitgeist of citizens’ increasing scepticism towards cross-border trade and open markets as well as the public’s concomitant distrust in the institutions that structure our global economy. The second challenge is the risk of increasing fragmentation of international economic order that is brought about by rising anti-globalization sentiments.

The centre has made four proposals that include a call for the constitution of a central banks blockchain consortium to study the monetary and fiscal policy implications of the rise of the technology and cryptocurrencies.

“The G20 must take decisive steps to harness this technology in service of its policy goals across the core focus areas of economic resilience, financial inclusion, taxation, trade and investment, employment, climate, health, sustainable development and women’s empowerment. Failure to do so, risks further fragmenting the global economy, undermining public trust in international economic institutions, and pushing the most cutting-edge blockchain developments into Dark Web deployments that are beyond the reach of government influence,” the report noted.

The report also stated that G20 countries should support beneficial private sector blockchain development by promoting the establishment of a ‘global regulatory sandbox’ for the most promising use cases of blockchain. It added that, by doing so would allow various technical deployments of blockchain to be tested and refined within an environment that allows innovators to cooperate with national and international regulators.

“The Central Banks Blockchain Research Consortium should be comprised of technical experts from across the spectrum of economics, law, cryptography, the computational sciences and related fields, with a mandate to objectively explore and evaluate the full panoply of blockchain-based global monetary system options,” it added.

Adding to it, the report said that the G20 should partner with other transnational legal and regulatory bodies such as the International Standards Organization, the International Law Association and the Financial Action Task Force in order to work on blockchain-related issues.

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