WEF Unveils Global Governance Consortium for Digital Currencies

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The World Economic Forum (WEF) has created what it claims is the first ever global consortium dedicated to designing a framework for the transnational governance of digital currencies, including stablecoins.

A press release shared with Cointelegraph on Jan. 24 reveals that the newly-formed Global Consortium for Digital Currency Governance will focus on the development of interoperable, transparent and inclusive policy approaches to regulating the digital currency space and fostering public-private collaboration in both developed and emerging economies.

Tackling fragmentation 

The WEF says the impetus for the consortium’s creation is a recognition that well-designed global governance remains the key to realizing the much-lauded promise of digital currencies to foster financial inclusion by extending access to financial services to un- and underbanked populations globally. 

The consortium will convene international enterprises, traditional financial institutions, government representatives, technical experts, academics, international organizations, NGOs and members of the WEF’s communities.

Alluding to the presently fragmented state of global digital currency regulation, the WEF says that it will focus on building trust and encourage innovative thinking on regulatory policies that can support public and private actors in the global digital currency space.

A host of high-profile figures have endorsed the initiative, including the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus Schwab, the Senior Minister and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and finance ministry officials and central bankers from Egypt and Bahrain. 

Neha Narula, director of the Digital Currency Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has said that “Creating an inclusive, integrated global digital currency system requires dialogue across stakeholders ranging from finance ministers to open source developers.”

Cryptocurrency industry members, among them Consensys’ Joe Lubin, Calibra’s David Marcus and BitPesa’s Elizabeth Rossiello have also their pledged support for the WEF consortium, the latter saying she hopes that shared expertise will help pave the way for “truly global policy recommendations.”

Crypto at the WEF

This week’s WEF meeting at Davos has seen plenty of positive engagement with the present and future role of digital currencies in global finance. 

On Jan. 22, the WEF and several major central banks released a central bank digital currency (CBDC) policymaker toolkit tailored to fostering further study of three categories of CDBC development: retail, wholesale and hybrid.