A new group has been proposed on the Community Groups site of W3C called the Cryptoledgers Community Group. It aims to create a network of researchers studying Bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptoledger-based applications.
At the moment, the group is only a proposal, waiting to see if enough people express interest. A Web form is provided for comments and questions. (Unfortunately, the W3C Community site does not provide the e-mail address of Primavera De Filippi, the original proposer of the group.)
The group is meant to become a forum for the study of all aspects of cryptography-based currencies, including legal, social, economic and mathematical.
Although hosted by W3C, the group will not create technical standards.
Note also that there already exists a group on the same W3C community site called the Web Payments Community Group, which is less focused on research or individual currencies, but aims to build a concrete, distributed payment system.
W3C also has member-only groups that deal with aspects of online payment, such as the Web Payments Interest Group, a forum for technical discussions, and the related Web Cryptography Working Group and NFC Working Group, both of which do create technical standards, in particular APIs.