News 10 | Blockchain & Governance at OECD Blockchain Policy Forum Sept 4-5, 2018 (Paris, France)
On Sept 4-5, 2018, Evan Epstein will be speaking about the implications of blockchain for corporate governance and compliance at the OECD Blockchain Policy Forum in Paris, France.
The use of blockchain technology in public markets presents both opportunities and challenges for corporate governance and compliance. Notably, blockchain technology is an innovation for traditional financial and non-financial record-keeping. Major players in the financial industry have already started to invest in the technology, with stock exchanges piloting blockchain systems as a method for trading corporate securities and tracking their ownership. Some experts suggest that blockchain use may eventually allow corporations to track and report on financial information in real time while maintaining a clearer chain of reliable and secure information on transaction histories. Such changes may have important impacts on corporate reporting, the role of auditors, investment managers, institutional investors, small shareholders and regulators. The potentially lower costs, greater liquidity, more accurate record-keeping, and transparency of ownership offered by blockchain could increase efficiency of existing practices, as well as provide new enforcement tools for market regulators. Moreover, the governance of blockchain itself is a new frontier and presents clear challenges. With the phenomenon of decentralized blockchain systems, in which there is no default governing authority, we are forced to reconsider what we know as good governance. This also raises the question of who is responsible for dictating and enforcing rules and who should be held accountable when things go wrong on the blockchain.
The purpose of the session will be to help participants -- especially policy-makers and regulators -- to better understand the potential impacts that blockchain may have on existing corporate structures and methods by which they implement good corporate governance standards and ensure that they are enforced, and the opportunities and challenges that such changes may imply. While it may be premature to prescribe policy or regulatory actions at this stage, the session should help policy-makers and regulators to enhance their understanding of how blockchain may evolve and to identify what are the policy and regulatory issues they may need to monitor and think about further.
Pacifica Global was founded in San Francisco to serve as the leading international advisory firm focused on corporate governance, anti-corruption, and shareholder rights issues. The mission of Pacifica Global is to help multinational public and private companies solve some of their most complex governance problems including cross-border regulatory and compliance challenges.