23 October 2018

What are the opportunities for sustainable investment and development if risks and compliance related to blockchain are well managed? 

David Szafran from Eubelius, also elected Chair of UNCTAD ISAR 30th Session, moderated the Workshop on Blockchain during the opening of the UNCTAD World Investment Forum 2018 in Geneva, to address the following global trends: (a) smart contracts achieve automated execution, such as payment or deliveries, with increased efficiency and disintermediation at reduced costs, (b) integration of blockchain in ERP and accounting systems, (c) audit trail of encrypted transactions increases reliability of financial flows, (d) application of the blockchain technology in multiple sectors, e.g. energy sector (smart grid), logistics and the food chain, (e) artificial intelligence increases efficiency in various ways, e.g. for healthcare (diagnosis), legal techs, fintechs, etc.

During the Workshop, accounting and legal issues were addressed in particular with respect to the valuation of digital assets, the audit methodology and the relevant legal, regulatory and judicial framework. 

Princess Astrid of Belgium at the Opening Ceremony 

Princess Astrid of Belgium, accompanied by her daughter Princess Maria-Laura, opened the Official Ceremony at the World Investment Forum with UNCTAD Secretary-General Mukhisa Kituyi from Kenya, and Deputy Secretary-General Isabelle Durant, former Belgian minister.

A humanoid robot as a speaker…

Along with participants including heads of state, one of the panels included – as a speaker – Sophia, the humanoid robot combining human-like expressions and artificial intelligence, allowing the UNCTAD Secretary-General to interact with Sophia during the panel session.

About the World Investment Forum 2018

Organised around the overall theme Investing in Sustainable Development, the UNCTAD World Investment Forum 2018 marks the 10th anniversary of the Forum.

The biennial Forum brings together some 4,000 to 5,000 investment stakeholders from 160 countries. The stakeholder landscape encompasses high-level participants from the global investment community, including heads of state and government, ministers, executives of global companies and stock exchanges, sovereign wealth fund managers, investment treaty negotiators, heads of investment promotion agencies, international investment location experts, heads of international organisations, parliamentarians, civil society representatives, eminent scholars, and the international media.

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