Industry membership body Global Digital Finance (GDF) has announced the appointment of a collection of international heavyweights to its advisory council.
Designed to promote the adoption of best practices and conduct standards for cryptoassets and digital finance technologies, GDF today revealed Circle, Coinbase, ConsenSys, DLA Piper, Diginex, Hogan Lovells, and R3 as patron members, as well as Archax, Cambrial, CryptoCompare, Messari, Metaco, Radix, Solidus Labs, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, and Templum Inc as founder members.
The advisory council will support GDF in developing its global strategy and growing a community membership of firms who wish to self-attest their compliance to the code of conduct.
Benedicte Nolens – the former Head of Risk and Strategy at the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission – has been named as the independent chairman.
“GDF has become a force that regulators and policy makers pay attention to and respect,” he said.
“The quality of the codes and working papers produced, developed through GDF’s open global community collaboration with crypto and digital assets firms and traditional finance professionals resulting in a formal public consultation process, has proven to be very effective.”
GDF has also appointed Teana Baker-Taylor – former Global Head of Client Strategy at HSBC – as Executive Director. She will take responsibility for running the executive branch of the membership and joins the GDF board of directors.
Hector Rosekrans has been named as Head of Community. Prior to GDF, Mr Rosekrans was on the founding team at Messari as the Director of Policy and Operations.
GDF today released additional sets of principles to its industry-led code of conduct (the GDF Code) – Part IV: Principles for Crypto Funds and Fund Managers as well as Part V: Principles for Comparison and Ratings Websites. This followed a 60-day open public consultation with approval and ratification by the GDF community during the GDF Summit held in Asia, Europe, and the USA last month.
These additional sets of principles complement the existing GDF code of conduct – Part I: Overarching Principles for Cryptoasset Participants, Part II: Principles for Token Sales and Token Sale Service Providers, and Part III: Principles for Token Trading Platforms.
“The GDF code has been drafted by the cryptoassets community, for the community, with input from professional service providers, regulatory experts, and financial services participants,” explained Teana Baker-Taylor.
“Our intention is to create holistic industry-led best practices to enable companies to consistently deliver high conduct standards and operating practices to their customers, market participants, and regulators.”
Asaf Meir, founder and CEO of Solidus Labs, welcomed the GDF announcement, labelling it as a vital tool for supporting industry standards.
“The GDF code is critical to improving market integrity, promoting the sustainable growth of the digital asset markets and to ushering supportive regulation,” he said.
“Our work, providing specialised tools that help exchanges and other digital asset businesses detect, investigate, and report market manipulation, is directly aligned with GDF’s core values and mission.
“Like the rest of the GDF community, we are committed to supporting strong industry standards and best practices that bring more transparency and credibility to digital asset markets.
“That’s what investors, institutions, and regulators expect from the industry.”
From April 2019, companies will be able to register their compliance and self-attest to their organisation’s adoption of the code. The registration scheme was designed by a GDF community working group consisting of community members from across the blockchain and cryptoassets ecosystem in consultation with global industry firms.
The registration scheme will be underpinned by technology provided by Messari, whose founder and CEO – Ryan Selkis – believes the scheme will amplify industry confidence.
“The GDF registration scheme is an opportunity for crypto businesses who are focused on transparency, compliance, and best practices to enhance customer trust,” he said.
“Initiatives like the GDF code of conduct should give policymakers confidence in our abilities to self-regulate and self-attest to certain common-sense standards.”
The Registration Working Group Lead and Global FinTech Co-chair at DLA Piper – Martin Bartlam – meanwhile suggested the code would allow companies to communicate their commitment to ethical standards in an industry otherwise seen as operating largely in the shadows.
“We are excited to launch the GDF code registration scheme later this month, which will give companies an opportunity to publicly demonstrate their commitment to ethical and professional standards through their adoption of the GDF code of conduct,” he said.
GDF continues to engage in outreach with global regulators, standard-setting bodies, and non-governmental organisations through the development of the code to help provide a consistent professional voice of responsible industry practitioners.
“GDF supports the industry through advocacy and the development of educational materials and work streams,” added GDF board member Jeff Bandman.
“GDF engages policymakers in bilateral previews of GDF work stream outputs and supports ad hoc requests for GDF research, education programs, and expert sessions.”
About Global Digital Finance (GDF)
GDF is an industry membership body that promotes the adoption of best practices for cryptoassets and digital finance technologies through the development of conduct standards in a shared engagement forum with market participants, policymakers, and regulators.
Global Digital Finance endeavours to drive efficient, fair, and transparent cryptoasset markets by building a knowledge base and best practices for “truly digital” finance and the benefits tokens can bring to all market participants.
About the code of conduct and taxonomy
Global Digital Finance has published the GDF code of conduct for cryptoassets and a supporting taxonomy. The code of conduct consists of five parts: Part I – Overarching Principles, Part II – Additional Principles for Token Sales and for Token Sale Service Providers, Part III – Additional Principles for Token Trading Platforms, Part IV – Principles for Crypto Funds and Fund Managers, and Part V – Principles for Comparison and Ratings Websites.
Future components of the code under development will include additional principles for Custody, Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing, Stablecoins, Security Tokens, and Market Integrity.
By Darren Parkin – March 15, 2019