RIETI Report September 2019

Creation of a Healthy Cyber Ecosystem

In this month's RIETI Report, RIETI President Makoto YANO presents a summary of the work done by the RIETI Blockchain study group to determine the future prospects for this revolutionary technology, which was published in full as Next Blockchain: Creation of a new ecosystem for future industries (Nikkei Publishing). Blockchains will soon provide the world with a host of new options for dealing with their data, from forms of private data control to sources of income, and from creating new industries to vastly increasing the potential of the current content-creator landscape that will be possible with this new digital ecosystem. This work presents some of the potential of that future along with the necessary legal and economic infrastructural elements and thinking that will be necessary to enable this future ecosystem to evolve.

This month's featured article

Creation of a Healthy Cyber Ecosystem

YANO Makoto President, RIETI

Fiscal 2019 marks the final year of RIETI's fourth medium-term plan covering the four-year period beginning in April 2016. The main goal of this plan is to determine the relationship between emerging industrial technology—as seen in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and exemplified by artificial intelligence (AI)—and society, with an eye on developing a leading global center of excellence for social science research regarding AI. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) defines the term "Fourth Industrial Revolution" as the process of incorporating new information technology—AI, Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, and so forth—into society, and using it as a driver to promote the development of the economy and society.

We must look into the future beyond these trends, and it was with that intention that RIETI established a study group to examine the future prospects of blockchain technology in 2018. We invited not only engineers and business people working at the forefront of the development and commercialization of the constantly evolving blockchain technology, but also lawyers and administrators well-versed in the field, to join the group, and we have been considering how blockchain technology can be industrialized and what social systems will be needed to support the process.

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by Chi Hung KWAN (Consulting Fellow, RIETI)

"Propagation of economic shocks through supply chains"
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"Why the farm vote still matters in Japan"
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"Costs of employment and flexible labour demand: Evidence from maternity and parental leave reforms"
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"Oil Prices and the U.S. Economy: Evidence from the Stock Market"
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"The Importance of Long-Term Perspectives in Policy Making: Examples of Policy Proposals by the T20 SME Policy Task Force"
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