The Commonwealth Secretariat says that it is exploring the potential of virtual currencies including of Bitcoin and for that international experts and representatives of Commonwealth governments will meet soon. They will explore issues around the rapid development of virtual currencies, and identify potential benefits they could offer to developing countries.
In the press release, the Commonwealth Secretariat informs that virtual currencies are digital representations of value that can be traded and exchanged between online communities. According to the organization at present, there are no internationally agreed standards or rules that apply to these currencies.
Nonetheless, the organization is quite clear about its understanding of the digital currencies when it says that whilst offering potential for countries where banking and transaction costs are unaffordable, they have also been associated with criminal activities such as money laundering and financing of terrorism.
According to the press release the two-day Virtual Currencies Round Table from 17-18 February 2015 is gathering a wide range of expertise from Interpol, Europol, IMF, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and high-level Commonwealth government representatives. It is part of the Commonwealth’s flagship Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative.
The two-day hearing is aimed to identify how the nascent technology might benefit consumers in the developing world. Nonetheless, called the ‘Virtual Currency Round Table’, the two-day event will feature representatives from Europol, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Interpol and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.
Talking to media professionals deputy secretary general of the Commonwealth Secretariat Josephine Ojiambo indicated that the intent of the meeting is to highlight the benefits of Bitcoin and other digital currencies, while also noting the risks involved. He added that this meeting will help member countries guard against risks.
The Attendees to Explore Bitcoin
He also cleared that the attendees will talk and identify ways virtual currencies can contribute to future social and economic development and according to him at the end of the two-day event; the Commonwealth Secretariat will issue recommendations that would inform a “next phase” of research in the area.
This is first of sort event being organized by intergovernmental organization that includes 53 states in Africa, Asia the Caribbean, Europe and the Pacific, including such notable markets as New Zealand, India and South Africa. Ojiambo admits that while Bitcoin does post risks, the meeting is meant to focus on both the positive and negative attributes of the technology.
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