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Next-Generation Digital Public Infrastructure

Summary report by Milken Institute following a roundtable discussion which took place at Elevandi Insights during the Singapore FinTech Festival 2023

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In two private roundtables at the Milken Institute Asia Summit 2023 and the 2023 Singapore FinTech Festival, the Milken Institute and Elevandi gathered leading technologists, development banks, government officials, payment providers, and investors for off-the-record discussions on digital public infrastructure. Both sessions were moderated by Pat Patel, Executive Director at Elevandi. Through these convenings, the Institute hopes to help smooth and support the catalytic role of finance and technology in shifting businesses, regulators, and societies towards a more sustainable and inclusive future.

Section 1 covers attributes of DPI participants believed were important, such as its building blocks (e.g. digital identity, security), technologies (e.g. blockchains, central bank digital currencies), and desired outcomes (e.g. innovation, resilience). Leadership is key to the development of DPI.

Section 2 explores how DPI should be financed (e.g. public, private, and partnerships), including discussions on why DPI should not automatically be free of charge.

Section 3 highlights the benefits offered by Web3-based DPI, namely a reduced need to trust one’s counterparty, the personal benefits of usage and data sharing, and the ability for open contributions.

Section 4 covers longstanding pain points facing Web3-based DPI, including inadequate value capture, incomplete data control, recentralization elsewhere in the value chain, and conflicts with sovereignty and geopolitics.

Section 5 goes through participants’ suggestions for how DPI can move forward, including a mix of centralized and decentralized layers, the need to simplify technology, and the importance of establishing good governance and common standards for truly inclusive DPI.