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International Securities Regulators Commit to Blockchain Research Effort

(@mpmcsweeney) | Published on February 22, 2016 at 19:01 GMT
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An international organization composed of the world’s top securities regulators is set to delve into blockchain technology research.

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), founded in the early 1980s, is dedicated to fostering cooperation between global securities regulators, particularly in regards to standards development and information exchange.

According to a news release, the topic of blockchain tech was of particular interest during discussion sessions at the meeting, held on on 16th-18th February in Madrid.

The organization said:

“On identifying and responding to emerging risks, the meeting last week was preceded, firstly, by Round Tables discussing recent market developments and volatility in world capital markets and, secondly, the challenges and opportunities posed by FinTech and – more particularly - distributed ledger technology – or blockchain.”

During the meeting, participants agreed to to conduct “further research on financial technology subsectors with particular relevance for securities regulators, including blockchain”.

The topic of bitcoin and blockchain has come up at the IOSCO in the past, including during an April 2014 presentation prepared by the organization’s research arm that cited “bitcoin crowdfunding” as one of several potential future challenges.

Support for the technology appears to come from the top of the organization as well.

David Wright, IOSCO’s secretary general, told the financial information publication SNL Financial in a December interview that the possible transparency gains blockchain tech could bring present an opportunity for securities regulators.

"You know who's bought the particular product, so that's good from a market abuse perspective, of controlling market abuse,” he said at the time.

Image via Shutterstock

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