Elizabeth Rossiello, Chief Executive and founder of BitPesa, has been appointed by the World Economic Forum to be one of the two co-chairs of the Global Blockchain Council. The appointment was announced last week during the WEF Annual Meeting 2019 in Davos, Switzerland.

Rossiello will be working with industry experts and a 30-member council that includes ministers, heads of regulatory agencies, CEOs and representatives from leading technical and civil societies. The Council was formed to give balanced and holistic advisory to the projects in the Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution Network (C4IR). The World Economic Forum is now able to tap into the resources and expertise of a larger network.

“We chose Elizabeth as one of the co-chairs for this committee, not only for her diverse background in this space, from technical expertise as well as regulatory, but also for her ability to bring together members of this often fragmented ecosystem,” said Sheila Warren, Head of Blockchain at WEF.

BitPesa, a blockchain-enabled platform that supports digital foreign exchange and business payment was established in Nairobi in 2013 where it is currently headquartered. It was initially formed to facilitate payments between Kenya and the United Kingdom, but at present it has expanded in African and European countries to broaden its clientele base.


In 2017, WEF created two new Centers based in San Francisco focused on the Fourth Industrial Revolution and Cybersecurity. Inside the first Center, The Global Council on Blockchain is one of six councils chaired by industry experts. The aim is to help shape the global technology policy and corporate governance agenda by providing a unique place in the international system where policy dialogue, practical learning and international agenda setting can take place across stakeholders and regions on an ongoing basis.

“The World Economic Forum has always been instrumental in multi-stakeholder engagement, which is important for blockchain, especially in regards to regulation and policy. We have made some progress in education, consumer adoption and pilot use cases that have proven scale. The creation and implementation of policy has been fragmented globally and is still underway trailing the innovation in the space. A council like this, with experts from all sides of the industry, is a strong advocacy tool for ensuring innovation can continue alongside policy that supports its continued progress,” said Ms Rossiello.

It will hold its first convention May 2019 in San Francisco where it will begin officially its advisory role to the WEF.