Technology

New Forum Eyes Global Collaboration in Bitcoin Industry

The Global Blockchain Forum will aim to ensure that associations focused on digital currencies aren't reinventing the wheel when tackling regulatory strategies.

The technology that drives digital currency is largely ready for prime time, but code is only one part of the equation that would make bitcoin and its competitors mainstream.

Another part is policy—consistent, global policy that ensures the currency is regulated the same way everywhere around the world. Nicolas Cary, cofounder and CEO of the bitcoin wallet Blockchain, explains.

“It’s hard to regulate the blockchain technology in this sense: It’s not centralized, there’s no overall committees or the general authority,” Cary told Coin Telegraph this week. “However, it’s already regulated by its open-source nature and the fact that it’s regulated by mathematics.”

Almost on cue, a new coalition of four digital currency associations worldwide is working to help solve the $8 billion industry’s regulatory problem. The Global Blockchain Forum hopes to create “interoperable public policy” for the industry, including best practices that can translate to governments worldwide.

“The blockchain is a global technology platform for innovation, and many of our members have a global presence,” Perianne Boring, the founder and president of the Chamber of Digital Commerce, said in a statement [PDF]. “In an era of regulatory fragmentation, it’s critically important that we establish consistent regulatory frameworks around the world to reduce compliance cost and latency. The Global Blockchain Forum is a crucial step to drive global adoption.”

Other groups active in the forum include the Australian Digital Currency and Commerce Association, the UK Digital Currency Association, and the Association of Crypto-Currency Enterprises and Start-ups Singapore (ACCESS).

The forum’s goal, Boring told Forbes, is to ensure that each international currency group is focusing on best practices without having to reinvent policy strategies for local markets. “Why duplicate efforts and resources? We’ll get a lot farther and move together faster if we work together,” she said.

Boring said the forum is also facing challenges based on different U.S. regulations at the state and federal levels.

“A worst-case scenario here would be if conflict-of-law issues arise where you literally could not be in compliance with all the laws,” she said. “This is a huge impediment to innovation, investment, and to the growth of the industry in general.”

The industry forum will work to anticipate such issues and help support flexible regulation that doesn’t hinder innovation.

(iStock/Thinkstock)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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