Launched in London on Monday, Global Digital Finance (GDF), a non-profit industry body of key stakeholders and industry leaders, is to examine best practice with a view to drafting a global Code of Conduct for cryptocurrencies. With cryptoassets being global in nature, the organizers are convinced that a shared understanding of opportunities, risks and practices is needed in order to achieve a positive transformation for financial services, society and the global economy.
With an estimated market size of USD 500 billion, GDF said the visibility of cryptoassets and the potential of continuing innovation appear to offer many new and different opportunities for consumers, businesses and governments. Many professionals in financial markets see tokens and distributed ledger technology bringing significant potential value to create efficient, fair and transparent market structures in the coming decade, the group added.
However, without the timely development of standards and coordination, both industry and regulators could misuse and misrepresent this transformative technology, said the group.
“There have been a number of positive initiatives to bring standards to the cryptocurrency sector around token sales (also known as ICOs) and tokens, and GDF has brought together some of the biggest industry players and influencers to move this agenda forward with global policy makers and regulators”, stated Simon Taylor, former Barclay's Bank blockchain development lead, who heads up the GDF initiative.
Taylor has enlisted the support of Lawrence Wintermeyer, the former CEO of Innovate Finance and Jeff Bandman, a former FinTech advisor and innovation specialist at the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
GDF said it wants to build a path towards efficient, fair and transparent markets for every type of token, distributed ledger technology (DLT) or cryptoasset. Already engaged with regulators and industry bodies in the US and Europe, GDF said it is committed to further outreach to policymakers, regulators and industry, including working with the OECD to promote a coordinated policy approach from governments.
Greg Medcraft, Director of the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs at OECD, stated: “Cryptoasset applications, like ICOs, hold clear potential and are global in reach, but are subject to a wide range of regulatory treatments across jurisdictions. This demonstrates the need for international policy coordination, and the first step is to establish a common understanding. We welcome GDF’s initiative to develop a taxonomy and a Code of Conduct, and the OECD looks forward to collaborating with industry on these priorities.”
GDF’s first steps will address ICOs and token markets, estimated to have raised up to USD 6 billion. Urgent challenges include the need for a common understanding on the nature of tokens and how they may be utilized in distributed ledgers and other innovations, as well as the financial stability and market integrity implications of greater exposure to tokens, said the organization. Other key areas are better protection for vulnerable investors and a common approach to Anti Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing.
GDF said it aims to have a draft Code of Conduct available in Q2 2018 for wider industry review, with an adoption goal in the second half of year.
For further information see: https://gdf.io/