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Blockchain is an emerging technology which poses a number of novel questions and challenges to existing policy, legal, and regulatory frameworks.
Blockchain technology is expected to drive digital transformation in the way businesses, governments and societies interact in the years ahead, including at an international level. This paper considers current and emerging uses of blockchain to strengthen beneficial economic ties between countries, including in trade and supply chain transparency, portable credentials for people and organisations, and business financing and capital formation. It also explores key concerns about blockchain’s impact on global rules and multilateral policy objectives, particularly around climate impacts and uses for illicit finance. The paper underscores the value of deliberate international co-operation to realise the beneficial cross-border applications of the technology and address international challenges, and highlights existing instruments and approaches, and identifies gaps and priorities, towards a more consistent and coherent international policy environment for responsible blockchain innovation.