A report to the G20 economic forum has highlighted the importance of developing a G20-wide blockchain, in a move that could help facilitate the transition to a fully digital economy across G20 countries.
The report, published by the Centre for International Governance Innovation, said harnessing the blockchain was key to improving transparency, inclusivity and accountability.
It also highlighted the benefits of the blockchain in managing national fiat currencies, proposing the creation of a G20 consortium to investigate possible further applications of the blockchain.
The eight-page report said that further adoption of the blockchain could solve global issues relating to cross-border trade and governance, while reducing the risks of global economic fragmentation caused by anti-globalization politics.
Julie Maupin, senior research fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation, said the technology has the potential to increase individual participation in the global economy, while strengthening co-operation through the decentralized, more democratic model.
“Blockchain usage tends toward a more decentralized and democratic order which empowers individuals to participate in the global economy directly through systemically embedded transparency, accountability and inclusiveness mechanisms.”
The report recommends the G20 form a consortium, with a view to establishing a regulatory sandbox for the development, testing and implementation of new blockchain technologies.
It proposed a number of potential use cases for the technology, ranging from providing financial services to those without bank accounts, financing in the clean energy sector, and digital identification and privacy.
The report has been issued as part of the Centre for International Governance Innovation’s Policy Briefs, a regular publication designed to highlight areas of common interest and co-operation among G20 countries.
A number of G20 countries are already examining the potential of the blockchain for improving a range of public and industry functions.
In addition, central banks across Europe and Asia have been quick to move on the issue, working alongside private developers and startups to establish more, commercially viable, applications for the technology.
It remains to be seen whether co-operation on a G20-wide scale could be feasible, and whether relevant governments and organizations have the bandwidth to turn up their focus on blockchain development.