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WEF Launches Digital Currency Governance Consortium and 2021 Vision

WEF | Feb 2021

WEF digital currency governance - WEF Launches Digital Currency Governance Consortium and 2021 Vision

Background

In the near term, the public sector will be making important decisions that will shape the trajectory of digital currency development. These include decisions related to regulation, improving efficiency, resilience, and competitiveness of payment systems, and whether to issue a central bank digital currency (CBDC). Policymakers are also assessing how to support responsible digital currency innovation while safeguarding or promoting financial stability, financial inclusion and consumer protection.

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In response to these dynamics, the Forum’s Shaping the Future of Blockchain and Digital Assets Platform is assembling stakeholders across the public and private sectors to explore and co-design global frameworks that address the risks, gaps, and opportunities in digital currency governance.

The Opportunity 

The Digital Currency Governance Consortium centres on the discussion and development of relevant and timely global frameworks for digital currency governance that benefit from multi-sector input and co-design. In its work, it will work on the following content:

Stablecoin and CBDC Capabilities

This working group will assess the capabilities of stablecoins and CBDCS and the value propositions for various use cases. It may also assess their limitations and the risks they introduce into the monetary system. Topics include:  • Assessment of the value of stablecoins and CBDCs, with a particular emphasis on financial inclusion and providing benefits to the financially under-served as compared to existing options.  • Exploration of the viability of stablecoins for aid delivery and disbursement.

Regulatory Choices

Fragmented regulation may create uneven competitive environments and opportunities for illicit activity in certain jurisdictions, while stifling innovation by well-intentioned actors who are reticent to experiment without regulatory certainty. This working group will examine how we can establish the right regulatory, supervisory, privacy, and consumer protection guidelines and policies over new forms of digital currencies. The working group will also assess the role of the public sector in the era of digital currency growth, especially the public-private division of responsibility.

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Technology Choices

This working group will investigate the right technological frameworks for operationalizing digital currencies. Topics will include architecture, interoperability, and privacy, and centre on the following:  • Framework helping to guide central banks in their analysis around CBDC technology platforms and providers.  • Mapping of the spectrum of privacy and confidentiality options and approaches that are technically feasible and available for CBDC. • Exploration of various forms of interoperability and definitions for what it means for a digital currency issuer to say that their system is "interoperable."

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