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World Economic Forum calls for multi-stakeholder consensus on blockchain technology

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has outlined a number of measures that need to be taken to ensure that blockchain technology can reach its potential in a recently published whitepaper.

Authored by Don and Alex Tapscott, the white paper titled “Realizing the Potential of Blockchain: A Multistakeholder Approach to the Stewardship of Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies” (1), says that blockchain technology could soon give rise to a new internet era even more disruptive and transformative than the current one.

The authors opine that blockchain could generate unprecedented opportunities to create and trade value in society will lead to a generational shift from an internet of information to a new-generation internet of value. According to the paper, in order to enable this transition, a multistakeholder consensus needs to be formed on how the technology functions, its current and potential applications, and how to create the regulatory, cultural and organizational conditions it needs to succeed. Without such a cooperation, the technology’s potential could become seriously stalled, side-tracked, captured or otherwise sub-optimized, it said.

“This blockchain era should not be governed by nation states, statebased institutions or corporations. How we govern the internet of information as a global resource serves as a model for how to govern this new resource: through a multistakeholder approach using what we call “global governance networks””, the paper said.

The paper provides a structured analytical framework and taxonomy for use by industry, technical, governmental, civil society, and other stakeholders in considering how they might collaborate to resolve problems and unlock opportunities beyond the reach of any single entity. It calls for the formation of networked institutions, knowledge networks, standard networks, advocacy networks, policy and watchdog networks, and delivery networks, to the take the technology forward.

“A smooth future for the Internet of Value won’t just happen; it will be achieved. Today, most stakeholders are focused on building their own companies, organizations or platforms and are paying little attention or devoting little effort to the challenges of building a healthy ecosystem. But no organization can succeed in an ecosystem that is failing. Every organization should assign resources, however small, to participate in community self-governance”, Don Tapscott said.

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Mercredi 5 Juillet 2017