The novel coronavirus pandemic has led to a diverse array of crises, including protests and riots, job automation, environmental pressures, and renewed geopolitical tensions. Amid these ongoing crises, The World Economic Forum says there is an “urgent need” for “global stakeholders” to manage the direct consequences of lockdowns.
Calls For The Great Reset
At a WEF meeting in early June, leading businessmen, government officials, and activists called for the Great Reset, which the WEF calls a “unique window of opportunity to shape the recovery” and the “future state of global relations, the direction of national economies, the priorities of societies, the nature of business models and the management of the global commons.” This “Great Reset of capitalism” reportedly entails remaking education, social contracts, and working conditions.
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Alongside the Great Reset, WEF has been at the center of the so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, in which the global organization partners with governments, leading companies, civil society, and experts to work together on new approaches to policy and governance in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The WEF sees the Fourth Industrial Revolution as including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the Internet of Things, Robotics, and Smart Cities, Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology, data policy, autonomous and urban mobility, as well as drones.
“The Fourth Industrial Revolution represents a fundamental change in the way we live, work and relate to one another,” writes the WEF on their website. This “new chapter in human development” is on par with the first, second, and third industrial revolutions, according to the Forum. “These advances are merging the physical, digital and biological worlds in ways that create both huge promise and potential peril.”
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
The WEF is rethinking how countries develop, how organisations create value, and even the meaning of being human. “The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about more than just technology-driven change; it is an opportunity to help everyone, including leaders, policy-makers and people from all income groups and nations, to harness converging technologies in order to create an inclusive, human-centred future.”
The WEF says blockchain “has already proven itself to be a powerful tracking and transaction tool” and that “Revolutionary use cases are being explored in almost every sector, ranging from finance to energy to shipping and media.” The WEF’s blockchain toolkit particularly focuses on digital identity and certification, supply chain integration, smart contracts, and currency and monetary systems.
The blockchain is “a key area of interest for the Forum,” said WEF Founder and Chairman Klaus Schwab. The area “requires input across sectors, functions and geographies.” The WEF’s international consortium to design a governance framework for cryptocurrencies brings the private and public sector together to create a robust governance framework for global digital currencies,” he added.
According to the organization’s documents, the WEF wants to ensure equity, interoperability, transparency and trust in the governance of distributed ledger technology. The WEF believes blockchain could become an important tool for tracking and transactions to minimize friction, reduce corruption, increase trust, and empower users, seeing cryptocurrencies as “potential gateways to new wealth creation and disruptors” in financial markets.
A Systemic And Inclusive Approach To Blockchain
WEF calls for a “systemic and inclusive approach” to blockchain can help ensure everyone benefits. The WEF worked on the Presidio Principles, which includes 16 user rights to make up the foundational values for a decentralized future. This so-called “Blockchain Bill of Rights” establishes a global foundation for building blockchain applications “that respect participant rights, safeguard data and protect users.”
The World Economic Forum Global Blockchain Council developed the Bill of Rights. The WEFBC (WEFBC) brings together individuals with varying interests and perspectives on blockchain. According to the WEF, the Bill of Rights was “workshopped globally with technologists and civil society.”
The WEF concluded that COVID-19 sped up the use of emerging technology. “For blockchain technology to scale in its next phase, global alignment between the public and private sectors is needed.” The World Economic Forum’s Global Blockchain Council developed the “Presidio Principles: Foundational Values for a Decentralized Future.”
“The blockchain ecosystem needed a baseline for designing applications that preserve the rights of users,” said Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain and Data Policy, World Economic Forum. “During our council meeting, we realized we could help curb many of the mistakes and missteps seen so far if we were able to provide developers, governments and executives with a ‘Bill of Rights’ style document.”
The Four Broad Pillars
The WEF groups rights into four broad pillars. “Transparency & Accessibility (the right to information about the system); Privacy & Security (the right to data protection); Agency & Interoperability (the right for individuals to own and manage their data), and Accountability & Governance (the right for system users to understand available recourse.)
The world’s manufacturing and production supply chains present “enormous economic, social and environmental risks that must be collaboratively addressed.” The WEF has opined that blockchain could lessen these risks thanks to transparency and traceability for increased efficiency and more sustainable supply chains. WEF recommends speeding up adoption of blockchain and blockchain-enabling technologies, as well as new collaborative and neutral platforms to view and share traceability data, thus enabling a culture of transparency and accountability across global networks.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping the world and innovation. Questions remain about how WEF’s blockchain work will use data nor address privacy concerns. Does the WEF really have the best interests of the people in mind? Many people believe no. And if not, there is a fight on for the future of blockchain. Which side are you on?
About the Author
Raoul Milhado is an entrepreneur with deep roots within the crypto and blockchain industry since 2015. As the CEO of Elitium.io, he has been building businesses from the ground up for the last 10+ years and has been working hard on building a brand that lays the foundation of capitalizing on the evergrowing crypto industry by introducing new age investment possibilities that would let clients explore a life of luxury they never thought possible. He is actively working on expanding the new digital economy to help others live a life of independence, value and growth.