As we get closer to realising transformative applications of blockchain, it becomes more important that the social, legal, ethical and economic space is ready to receive these. There needs to be a broad support base, and awareness needs to be cultivated for the use of blockchain applications.
The Dutch Blockchain Coalition therefore works on such “good conditions” under which blockchain can be used. To this end, the coalition wants to offer an independent, cross-sectoral platform and partnership to relevant stakeholders from government, industry, society organisations and researchers.
Future-proof new systems and regulations.
A significant challenge lies in developing standards for interoperability and reliability of the technology and the information that is processed via blockchains. They should preferably be worldwide standards and norms that are also compatible with European views, values, norms and regulations.
Blockchain applications are most effective if they can be used in complex and large-scale contexts. Collaboration is therefore needed with European and worldwide stakeholders, such as the European Commission, but also parties such as the OECD, World Bank and IMF.
More intensive involvement from the humanities, social sciences and natural and engineering sciences will also be required. Not only ICT research questions emerge but also issues concerning acceptation and trust by citizens and companies regarding how blockchain works. Which expectations shall citizens, clients, companies, policymakers, financiers and shareholders have concerning the transparency that blockchain can provide? What does placing a directive role with end users, for the purpose of their own privacy and security, mean for these parties? However, research is also needed into the building of the extremely secure software for smart contracts, into how liabilities of poorly concluded smart contracts can be settled, and into which new markets and other roles will arise. It also concerns managing the changes that will lead to innovations of entire markets and new systems and regulations that are sufficiently future-proof.
Role of supervisory bodies
The role of governments, supervisory bodies and advocacy groups concerning blockchain also needs to be considered. This concerns aspects such as governance of blockchain, regulation and market formation, legal liabilities, protection of privacy, consumer protection, conflict mediation and arbitration, contract law, new roles of trusted third parties, roles of identifying and certifying parties, the functioning of smart contracts, the right to be forgotten, and new possibilities and roles of compliance and audit functions.
Due to the transformative impact of distributed ledger technology (DLT), sufficient engagement needs to be sought with the strategic leadership of businesses, institutions, policy and supervisory bodies.
With ecosystem partners, a joint ownership needs to be developed, managed and guaranteed for joint hybrid business processes, which requires further development of the standard model of business production. Business services such as accounting, risk management, corporate governance and financing will also need to adapt and develop instruments to accommodate this development. The establishment of the relation with the newly created peer-to-peer markets will also pose new challenges for strategic leadership.
• Cyber Security
• Cabinet & Board Level Engagement
• Research Agenda