OECD flags 4 September conference to tackle tax fraud

August 30, 2018
Chris Wheal

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has highlighted its blockchain policy forum on 4-5 September. While governmental and public issues will inevitably rear, new noises around smart contract competition concern are getting louder.

Pension reform also?

The forum has promised to look closely at how blockchain tech can fight tax fraud, citizen registry and make public transport services more efficient. 

First stop tax fraud and transport services; Wikimedia Commons

“Pension and social security payments,” it says, “might be made more cheaply and transparently via blockchain, while health records might be shared securely between a patient and all relevant doctors,” the OECD has already acknowledged. 

High on the debate list will be regulatory issues. But it’s also thought the organisation will want to examine how relevant blockchain might be to the work of competition authorities.

Smart contract concern

The OECD is concerned about smart contracts that provide a commitment device, allowing firms to soften price competition – potentially, at least.  

“For example they might allow a firm to effectively commit to a price point by making it costly for it to move from that point. This might be done through low-price guarantees, most-favoured-nation clauses, or across platform parity agreements.”

It’s hoped the City of Light will shed new blockchain illumination

Own space collusion?

One OECD worry is how a single market might use a single blockchain. One possibility is that a business will have its own blockchain in a way every firm has its own server space.

“The potential transparency offered by a market-wide blockchain might help firms in oligopolistic markets to co-ordinate tacitly without direct or indirect contact, or any agreement to do so.”

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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