Governments Should Realize Blockchain’s Potential, Says OECD Secretary General

News | September 6, 2018 By:

Angel Gurria, Secretary-General of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), said that blockchain is not a policy but a tool and governments should make it a standard.

Speaking at the first OECD Blockchain Policy Forum in Paris earlier this week, Gurria said that blockchain does have great potential and is shaping up to be a valuable part of governments’ digital toolkit. He said that governments should realize its potential, and keep up to date with the technological developments.

“Governments need to make sure they understand the technology and keep up to date with developments,” he said. “Blockchain is not a policy, blockchain is not a regulation, blockchain is a tool. And the idea is to what extent can we make the tool a standard so that when it is a generally accepted standard, it can then become part of the regulatory process. [And in this way it can become] mandatory in the regulations so it can serve the police purposes better.”

Gurria noted that many of blockchain’s current uses have also raised legal and regulatory issues that still require a ‘trusted third party’ – that is, government.

“In financial services and within the broader economy, governments have a clear role to play in making sure that markets are fair and orderly,” Gurria said. “They need to do this in a policy environment that also allows promising new innovations to develop.”

Gurria also said that the OECD ‘Going Digital Project’ will focus on blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) to help policymakers better understand the ongoing digital transformation.

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented technological revolution,” Gurria said. “The potential gains can help us to make a quantum leap forward, equally, if we do not manage this transformation, it can significantly – even dangerously – disrupt our world.”