Blockchain Summit at MWC Shanghai 2019
Paul Ulrich, senior public policy manager, GSMA APAC, at the panel discussion of Blockchain Summit
Key messages from the panel discussion:
- The universal acceptance of blockchain technology itself—most governments are in favour of using it, but many are ambivalent about, or against, certain applications—namely, cryptocurrencies and their initial coin offerings or exchanges, due to problems with crypto in recent years.
- A recent standardisation initiative of the two main enterprise-blockchain groups, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and Hyperledger Fabric, to craft a Token Taxonomy Framework—a base language of terminology, similar to XML or HTML for the Internet. These two groups would like convening organisations of major vertical industries such as the GSMA to work on industry-specific terms to fit in with the overall terminology that they have already developed.
- The general consensus on the appropriateness of open standards, with money made from accompanying cloud computing, consulting, or APIs (due to the services built on top of the blockchain layer);
- The example of India’s regulator TRAI in its successful approach to get the industry to coalesce around a blockchain solution to address unwanted commercial communications—a process that went much more quickly when mandated by a regulator than if competitors had to work out a solution among themselves. TRAI may consider the same blockchain-based approach for mobile number portability.
- Facebook’s Libra initiative, which seems well designed in its proposed use of a stable coin and its permissioned consensus mechanism involving well-known firms including telcos that have experience in payments. However, potential, but solvable, risks for developing countries’ monetary policy if residents lack limits to how much local currency they can exchange for a more stable one.
For further reading: Why Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency has banks and regulators scrambling to respond