IGF 2021 Day 0 Event #89 How to govern decentralized digital public goods? Blockchains between innovation and regulation

Monday, 6th December, 2021 (13:00 UTC) - Monday, 6th December, 2021 (14:00 UTC)
Conference Room 3
  • Chancellery of the Prime Minister (KPRM),
  • DG CONNECT, European Commission,
  • Digital Economy Lab, University of Warsaw,
  • NASK National Research Institute,
  • Working group DLT/blockchain KPRM

Session coordinator: Piotr Rutkowski, NASK PIB, KPRM 

  • Gerard De Graaf, Director, European Commission, DG CONNECT, Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology;
  • US regulatory authority TBC;
  • Yuta Takanashi, Director for International Digital Strategy and International Policy, Financial Service Agency;
  • Raphael Auer, Principal Economist, Bank for International Settlements
  • Aya Miyaguchi, Ethereum Foundation;
  • Primavera De Filippi, CNRS, Harvard University;

  • Steven Becker, UDHC.
Online Moderator

Jacek Czarnecki, working group dlt/blockchain KPRM, Harvard Law School


Łukasz Jonak, DELab, University of Warsaw


panel debate (hybrid)


Open, accessible financial services, new kinds of data products, alternative ways of providing identity, privacy, trust, and accountability – these are just a few promises emerging blockchain technologies make to the world. They leverage the infrastructure of the internet to produce a new layer of decentralized coordination, a new kind of global networking system.

The public image of blockchain is often seen through the lenses of high volatility of cryptocurrencies or complication of technology. This worries global policymakers, as they see some aspects of blockchain systems potentially threatening the interests of individual citizens or the stability of systems (such as global finances) the world depends on.

Meanwhile, the blockchain business and cultural ecosystem is innovating at a breathtaking pace. It experiments with basic protocols, networks of products and services, and forms of governance of blockchain projects. Traditional industries begin to build on this new layer of interoperability, marking the beginning of the process of incremental integration of the blockchain ecosystem into the fabric of economies and societies. Young people especially engage with the ecosystem in the hope that it could provide them with a new organization of value – both economic and ethical.

Both policymakers and blockchain entrepreneurs have their roadmaps, goals, and constraints. The purpose of the panel is to confront those roadmaps, as their convergence will decide the shape of the future of decentralized technologies and their influence on the average citizen of the global digital world.

The panel will gather representatives of the world of policymaking and the blockchain industry in an attempt to tackle the specific issue of decentralization that blockchain systems are championing and regulating frameworks struggle to grasp. Topics covered:

  • How to regulate blockchain space without limiting its innovative potential?
  • What regulation says about decentralization, the major tenet of blockchain technology?
  • Can blockchain projects be left to regulate themselves?

Organizers intend to ask each panellist to address a specific aspect of the main topic so that the discussion can be most productive given the time limit of the session. The discussion scenario will confront the political perspective of market regulators with the views of business practitioners who, on the one hand, try to adapt to the logic of regulations, and, on the other hand, believe in the opportunities that the governance concepts offered by blockchain technology bring.