As more and more applications and use cases are coming closer to market on distributed ledger technologies, such as blockchain, we see both the massive potential this technology can deliver, as well as the looming challenges in guaranteeing their fairness and trustworthiness. This is where the intersection of IT and legal expertise will be critical. The convergence of these disciplines is going to be fundamental for developing the governance frameworks and trust mechanisms necessary to propel the success of distributed ledger initiatives including, but certainly not limited to: cryptocurrency distribution, self-sovereign identity management, public and private voting mechanisms; and smart contracts, both from societal as well as regulatory standpoints.
The Open Identity Exchange (OIX), with support from the Distributed Ledger Foundation (DLF), recognizes the significant impact that thought leaders around the world – whether technical, legal, or legislative – can have in providing guidance for the governance frameworks that will serve these applications, the businesses or organizations deploying them; and the people who will depend on them. This recognition led to the organization of the OIX Blockchain, Identity, Trust and Governance (BITGov) Workshop series.
These workshops are one-day educational workshops for lawyers, policy makers, and technologists involved in deploying systems at scale utilizing blockchain and distributed ledger technology. The goal is for participants to share their expertise and create a global community dedicated to interdisciplinary knowledge exchange, and the formation of best practices that will inform private enterprises, public entities, and governmental bodies on how to responsibly and successfully deploy projects using distributed ledger technology. This paper provides insight into the discussions and debates that have been held through these workshops.