On March 8 and 9, Japan's Financial Services Authority (FSA) hosted a roundtable where representatives of central banks, financial regulatory bodies, and academic institutions were invited to discuss issues pertaining to blockchain technology.
Revealed today in an FSA press release, the talks covered such themes as "Standardization initiatives by [the] International Organization for Standards" and the "technical risks and opportunities around blockchain."
The meeting was intended to deepen collaboration between "academia and regulatory bodies that have established or will establish Fintech Co-operation Framework as well as central banks," among other goals.
Attendees represented a wide range of institutions, including the UK Financial Conduct Authority, the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the Australian Securities Investments Commission, the Abu Dhabi Global Market Financial Services Regulatory Authority, the French central bank's Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Canada, MIT Media Lab, and the University of Tokyo.
The FSA's press release describes the event as taking place "in accordance with an initiative of the 'Multilateral Joint Research' project," which was inaugurated in early 2017. The project's stated goal is to promote blockchain development in a way that safeguards financial stability, protects consumers, and takes into account perspectives from many different countries – particularly, it would seem, from the leadership of those countries.
According to today's press release, the project is "facilitated by the Growth Strategy 2017 of Japan and by the Strategic Direction and Priorities of [the FSA] 2017-2018." The first gathering associated with it took place almost a year to the day before this month's roundtable.
The proceedings of the event have not yet been made public, but the FSA may share details of the discussions at a later date if roundtable participants assent to their publication.