Western Balkan Digital Summit - Blockchain panel Report

April 4, 2019 Panel: Blockchain 10:00 – 10:45

The session was opened by the moderator Mr. Ivan Bjelajac, CEO MVP Workshop, and Serbian Blockchain Initiatives President, who pointed out the benefits of blockchain technology. Having explained blockchain as a distributed data ledger with the great potential, he gave the floor to the presenters.

Mr. Greg Medcraft, Director of the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs of the OECD, pointed out that most of the blockchain benefits like low-cost transaction and financial inclusion around the world are in line with the main principles of the OECD mission. In his words, the OECD will work in helping governments set the standards around this industry. Interoperability of systems is one of the most important preconditions for tech development. Secondly, the OECD is working on capacity building in this area, especially for governments and economies. Thirdly, he added that the OECD helps to connect the dots between policymakers and industry.

Mr. Tadej Slapnik, Director at Tolar HashNET Slovenia, shared some experiences from Slovenia, which is one of the economies with the most crypto industry start-up in the world. By his words, the first steps for Slovenia to become the blockchain hub for Europe were extensive dialogues with its business, especially with the start-ups which were generating a large number of investments. He pointed out the bit potential for WB6 economies which lies in this technology. Economies around the region should push towards building communities. He also suggested a unified European infrastructure for blockchain.

Mr. Vladimir Trajkovic (University Professor, North Macedonia) in an answer to the question of what can be the future implementation of this technology, added that building the trust in government services could be one of the best use cases for the future. He also pointed to a few more use cases related to the supply chain industry (like tracking the vaccines and their origin), or ability to trade clean source energy on the open market. He added that North Macedonia government is working on future regulation.

Mr. Jonathan Galea, Managing Director of the Blockchain Advisory, Malta gave us a perspective on Malta's new digital-asset regulations introduced back in 2018. He also pointed out the work with the private sector as the main point for the good regulation. The regulation shaped the existing financial security regulations and fit the new digital asset class. The Digital Innovation Act provides standards for everything that is created on the blockchain. All industries need standards, he pointed out, and then governments should get on the top of it and make the regulation around those standards.

Ms. Loretta Joseph, Fintech and Regulatory Advisor FSC Mauritius. added that the new wave of tokenization will open up capital markets. She added that Serbia might be at the forefront of WB6 economies in regulation around blockchain. The primary goal is to make sure that regulators and industry work together. She added that regulators should not regulate technology but rather try to frame the regulation for the industry around that technology.

Ms. Bojana Tomic Brkusanin, Head, International Relations and Development Departments at Securities Commission of the Republic of Serbia stated that the Security Commission of Serbia is at the forefront of the future regulation regarding the crypto-assets. The Commission has made a public call for the consultations for the proposed regulation. The call is open for industry and other actors until 25 May 2019. By September 2019, Serbia will introduce the regulation on crypto-assets. Even Serbia is looking to align its regulatory framework with the EU regulations. The Commission will try to introduce some of the new solutions, which can make its economy become competitive in the field of blockchain technology.

In the conclusion of the debate, panelists agreed that the regulation around custody services in crypto-industry is also quite important and much needed.


Thanks, Western Balkan Digital Summit for hosting us.

It was a pleasure to participate!

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