The World Economic Forum’s Global Blockchain Council is creating a “Blockchain Bill of Rights: Design Principles for a Decentralized Future.”
In the evolutionary sphere of blockchain-related technologies, user protection is an element that demands the utmost attention from technology developers, but in most cases, it’s not really implemented holistically from the onset. Some say that dedication to user protection is often a result of intention, commitment and deliberate design; so without these pledges, it could all go up in smoke pretty quickly. It’s in this vein, that the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Blockchain Council is focused on creating a “Blockchain Bill of Rights: Design Principles for a Decentralized Future”. Some of the foremost leaders in this sphere have signed up for the initiative.
The ultimate goal is to make sure private-sector leaders, policymakers and consumers share a vision that is aligned to protecting users in blockchain-related technologies. Some of the key considerations of this plan revolve around “agency and interoperability: the right to own and manage data”, “privacy and security: the right to data protection”, transparency and accessibility: the right to information about the system” and “accountability and governance: the right to understand available recourse”. Such a move by the WEF is very timely as blockchain-related activities are racing past the hype and are being implemented in business cases. The IDC predicts that at least USD$12.4 billion will be spent by 2022. The WEF believes that this new wave of development offers an opportunity to correct the current course and protect users in a more holistic manner.
Some of the recommendations of the Council are about integrating bottom-line protections for users from the outset of product design. They are also focusing on ensuring the decentralized nature of blockchain remains in order to be censorship-resistant, combat anti-competitive actions and retain the level playing field for all entrants. The Council is also aware of the widening of existing gaps via digital transformation, so it is committed to ensuring that blockchain does not lead to further exclusion and exploitation of vulnerable populations. This is why a new focus on strategy, development and implementation will be right at the forefront of this paradigm to ensure greater accountability to the systems that power our societies.
The WEF believes that greater blockchain adoption will lead to opportunities to have a social impact on the world at large in 2020. As they say, to go far, go together. More companies are collaborating in order to share learnings and challenges. One example was the Central Banks Digital Currency project, which brought together 45 central banks to explore parameters for the successful deployment of a CBDC. Amazingly, the WEF is also embarking on a government transparency project, that focuses on reducing corruption in public procurement and it will pilot in Colombia this year. The powers to be at WEF believe 2020 will see increased experimentation with hybrid blockchain models, both in the financial sector (for example, decentralized finance of DeFi and “synthetic” CBDCs) and the public sector (increased use of smart contracts).
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