Blockchain – a competition to governments? – PL 04 2018

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6 June 2018 | 16:15-17:15 | GARDEN HALL | remote participation | video streaming
Consolidated programme 2018 overview

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Session teaser

The blockchain technology promises trust that is independent from government or business institutions. What are the use cases of this technology? What impact does this have on development and society? Will governments become obsolete? Do we need regulation - just to prevent bad side effects or to reinstate the power of governments and existing businesses?

Keywords

  • Blockchain
  • Cryptocurrencies
  • SmartContracts
  • Governance
  • Regulation
  • EnergyWaste
  • UseCases
  • ImpactOnDevelopment
  • DecentralizedApplications
  • DecentralizedDNS
  • PublicAdministration
  • eGovernment
  • eResidency

List of proposals

  • Awareness of Data management and Critical internet literacy 90
  • Building an ecosystem for Climate change issues using ICTs. Applications, sharing of solutions, research and development 18
  • Distributed Governance for Blockchains and Smart Contracts 139
  • Impact of digital currency and Bitcoin in development and less development countries 198
  • Shape of the future: The regulation of the cryptocurrencies 7
  • Crypto currency and Blockchain 15
  • Block chain technology and economic development 136
  • Future of the Digital Currency and Blockchain Technology 151
  • Blockchain usage challenges 3
  • How to regulate the energy waste of blockchains 111
  • Blockchain in Public Administration and e‐ citizenship: advantages and risks 243

Session description

Blockchain is a new and promising technology. While trust has been lost in governments, banks, central banks and other institutions, this technology is trustless - meaning it does not require trusting a central entity. With computers gaining increasing importance, we are less willing to trust a single entity or some administrators to properly care about our digital life. Public blockchain technology promises to be able to grant things beyond government and institutional control. Governments are challenged by this loss of control. Criminal use cases of blockchain technology like money laundering or terror financing are used to argue in favor of a tight regulation of blockchain technology. However, shouldn't we have democratic institutions decide about the rules and independent technology to ensure that everybody - including governments - play by the rules? For example, validating identities on a blockchain will remove the power of governments to create fake identities or to delete real identities. The session panelists will present some blockchain use cases and will discuss blockchain specific regulation with a focus on cryptocurrencies and tokens.

Format

Panel discussion with about 4 panelists

Further reading

People

Please provide name and institution for all people you list here.

Focal Point and Moderator

  • Jörn Erbguth, phD-student on blockchain governance, consultant on blockchain, smart contracts and data protection, lecturer at Geneva School of Diplomacy and Université de Genève linkedIn Twitter

Organising Team (Org Team)

  • Arvin Kamberi
  • Erica Vaccaro
  • Amina Beriša
  • Ceren Unal
  • Maarit Palovirta
  • Clement Genty
  • Liora Amina Berisha
  • Salomé Eggler

Panelists

  • Walid Al-Saqaf, Södertörn University, Senior Lecturer, LinkedIn Twitter
  • Olivier Bringer, Deputy and acting Head of Unit at European Commission
  • Nestor Dubnevych, Partner at lexnet.io, CLO Patentbot, Senior Associate at Juscutum Attorneys Association, Ambassador KyivLegalHacker, LinkedIn
  • Olga Duka, Zeus, CEO LinkedIn
  • Susanne Tempelhof, Bitnation, CEO LinkedIn
  • Mariam Turashvili, National Agency of Public Registry, Head of Project Management and Sales Division, LinkedIn

Key Participants

  • Liora Amina, One World Platform, cryptoanarchist
  • George Paliani, Zeus Exchange, International Relations Advisor, cryptodiplomat LinkedIn Instagram
  • Vakhtang Maskhulia
  • Elena Yurkina, Ingvarr Advisory & Trust, counsel, LinkedIn

Remote Moderator

The Remote Moderator is in charge of facilitating participation via digital channels such as WebEx and social medial (Twitter, facebook). Remote Moderators monitor and moderate the social media channels and the participants via WebEX and forward questions to the session moderator. Please contact the EuroDIG secretariat if you need help to find a Remote Moderator.

Reporter

Reporters will be assigned by the EuroDIG secretariat in cooperation with the Geneva Internet Platform. The Reporter takes notes during the session and formulates 3 (max. 5) bullet points at the end of each session that:

  • are summarised on a slide and presented to the audience at the end of each session
  • relate to the particular session and to European Internet governance policy
  • are forward looking and propose goals and activities that can be initiated after EuroDIG (recommendations)
  • are in (rough) consensus with the audience

Suggested questions

  • In your opinion, do we need to tear down regulatory barriers for the wider adoption of blockchain or do you think we need stricter regulation - e.g. when you look at cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum or the ICO-rush?
  • Are there government tasks that do not really need government involvement and should just be executed by strictly following a transparent set of rules? Should we give people the choice to use independent, blockchain based government services instead?
  • When governments are using a blockchain, it will become impossible to manipulate a record without a trace. This will help to fight corruption. But governments will also loose the possibility to create fake identities with faked birth certificates - be it for doubtful secret service operations or for witness protection programs. What can we better afford? Corruption or the use of a technology that governments cannot circumvent?
  • Some government blockchain projects like the Georgian land registry are using a public blockchain. In terms of transparency and immutability, this is the best solution. However, it renders governments dependent on the miners of the public blockchain, a group of people that we do not know in detail, nor have legal nor democratic control over. Who should decide over rollbacks, hard forks and software updates?
  • Can the growing use - or waste - of energy by Bitcoin and other blockchains that use the proof-of-work consensus algorithm be accepted? Currently, Bitcoin uses more electric energy than Switzerland.

Current discussion, conference calls, schedules and minutes

See the discussion tab on the upper left side of this page. Please use this page to publish:

  • dates for virtual meetings or coordination calls
  • short summary of calls or email exchange

Please be as open and transparent as possible in order to allow others to get involved and contact you. Use the wiki not only as the place to publish results but also to summarize the discussion process.

Messages

A short summary of the session will be provided by the Reporter.

Find an independent report of the session from the Geneva Internet Platform Digital Watch Observatory at https://dig.watch/resources/blockchain-%E2%80%93-competition-governments

Video record

Will be provided here after the event.

Transcript

Will be provided here after the event.