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Governing the coin: WEF sets up global consortium for digital currency governance

by Business News Report

By Peace Gabriel

Following extensive consultation with the global community, the World Economic Forum announced today the Global Consortium for Digital Currency Governance. Digital currencies are often cited as a tool for financial inclusion, but this opportunity can be realised only when paired with good governance. This is the first initiative to bring together leading companies, financial institutions, government representatives, technical experts, academics, international organisations, NGOs and members of the Forum’s communities on a global level. To tackle the challenge ahead, an international, multi-stakeholder approach with the public and private sectors working alongside civil society is needed. This consortium will focus on solutions for a fragmented regulatory system. Efficiency, speed, inter-operability, inclusivity and transparency will be at the heart of this initiative. It will call for innovative regulatory approaches to achieve these goals and build trust. A set of guiding principles will be co-designed to support public and private actors exploring the opportunities that digital currencies present.

Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum said “Digital currency, a cross-cutting topic that requires input across sectors, functions, and geographies, is a key area of interest for the Forum,” “Building on our long history of public-private cooperation, we hope that hosting this consortium will catalyse the conversations necessary to inform a robust framework of governance for global digital currencies.” According to Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank “any evaluation of digital currencies should consider both policy and business objectives, as well as the unique circumstances that face different economies around the world, in order to fully evaluate their risks and benefits,” “Bringing together diverse perspectives through this consortium will allow for this holistic review. In order to achieve this, we need the public and private sector to collaborate.” Patrick Ngugi Njoroge, Governor of the Central Bank of Kenya on his part said “While digital currencies offer wide possibilities, these have to be assessed against the fundamental objectives of economic advancement and shared prosperity,” said “Global governance of the diverse initiatives provides greater assurance of this outcome.”

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of England while commenting said “Governance is the core pillar of any form of digital currency,” said “It is critical that any framework on digital currencies ensures security, efficiency and legitimacy of payments while ensuring fair and open competition. We welcome the World Economic Forum’s platform to help develop a robust governance framework for inclusion through digital currencies.” According to Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister and Chairman, Monetary Authority of Singapore “We are exploring the potential that properly-regulated digital currencies hold for cheaper and faster cross-border payments, financial inclusion, and rooting out illicit finance,” “This dialogue between public and private sector players is now essential, so we find the right roles for each in realising this potential.” In his view Eric Parrado, Chief Economist, Inter-American Development Bank said “We are watching closely as digital currencies increasingly become an area of focus around the world,  they may unlock new opportunities for efficiency and inclusion, but this can only happen with the appropriate infrastructure and guardrails.”

“The release of digital currencies will have far-reaching implications, from domestic financial stability to international trade”. Contributing to the discussion Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of International Cooperation, Egypt said “As such, it is imperative that efforts to regulate digital currencies are well-informed, collaborative, and global in nature.” In the same vein Rasheed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain said “Building on our collaboration around the World Economic Forum’s Central Bank Digital Currency Toolkit, we are eager to continue exploring the pillars of well-informed approaches to digital currency through this consortium”. Elizabeth Rossiello, Chief Executive Officer of AZA Finance said “Having witnessed firsthand technology leapfrog East and West African financial markets forward over the last decade, we are excited that this initiative will bring leaders from around the world to share best practices and will work on truly global policy recommendations,” said

“We welcome the dialogue the World Economic Forum is facilitating about digital currencies”. According to David Marcus, Head of Calibra, Facebook, Libra Board Member, “We agree that good regulation is important for the success and safe adoption of digital currency platforms and are looking forward to continue to engage in this constructive conversation.”

Also Rob Heyvaert, Founder and Managing Partner of Motive Partners adding hid voice said “Digital currencies have the potential to improve access to financial markets, but proper oversight and governance are required. The World Economic Forum is uniquely placed to bring together the private and public sectors to discuss these issues and tackle the challenges ahead.”

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