After tease the release of the Presidio principles at last week’s consensus: distributed, the World Economic Forum (WEF) today released what it calls a “blockchain law of rights” for users. So far, fifteen institutions have applied, including ConsenSys, Andreessen Horowitz, the Electric Coin Company and the Presidency of Colombia. (By the way, ConsenSys finances an editorial independent Decrypt.)
The Presidio Principles 16 outline user rights for blockchain networks and blockchain based applications. These include data privacy and security rights (for example, the ability to opt out of data collection); agency and interoperability (e.g. the ability to port your data on systems); transparency and accessibility (such as being able to manage your own cryptographic keys); and accountability and governance (including the ability to change false or incomplete information).
The World Economic Forum is an international organization committed to creating public-private partnerships. Read: companies and governments work together to make a better world.
Her Global Blockchain Council has developed this voluntary framework since it first met in 2019. The group, chaired by AZA Finance CEO Elizabeth Rossiello and World Bank Vice President Dennis Robitaille, consulted blockchain companies, government leaders and others to develop principles that help users while preserving the core values of blockchain technology.
“This very quirky group came together and agreed that the blockchain community needed the fundamentals we present today,” said Sheila Warren, WEF’s head of blockchain and data policy. “Agreement of all Council members, despite their differing perspectives, highlights the critical need for a value-based document like this to ensure that technology remains true to its roots as the application layer begins to scale.”
The group posted a draft to GitHub for public comment from April 10 through May 5 before releasing the final document today. The next step is to issue guidelines for different industries on how to process the principles. That can indeed be difficult, given the wide range of signatories. Deloitte Consulting LLP has a completely different mandate than World Food Program or Protocol Labs.
There is another problem: getting more signers to make this a more universally accepted document. Warren said Decrypt to which both organizations and individuals can log in. “Some [organizations] “they will issue guidance documents and guiding signatures within their communities,” she said. “As with the early adopters, we expect a range of signers from the public and private sectors, as well as individual contributors.”
Oddly enough, they may be new signatories to groups that contributed to the process. For example, the World Bank has yet to sign, although Robitaille is co-chair of the Global Blockchain Council.
Warren told Decrypt that this is natural. “We are excited to see that leaders in space are getting to grips with the principles so early, but we also recognize that everyone is now at different stages,” she said. In addition, some organizations are waiting to release and sign their guidance documents at that time.
Either way, a common premise is useful because it establishes common terminology and shared standards. “As open source and decentralized systems evolve, we have seen how challenging it can be to develop guidelines that apply to different and evolving blockchain projects,” said Aya Miyaguchi, Executive Director of the Ethereum Foundation. “I believe the Principles will provide a high-level framework that can really help these crucial conversations continue through the life of the technology.”