Blockchain Weekly Recap 6-11-2016
Hong Kong Regulator: Blockchain Can Help Banks Thwart Money Laundering
According to one Hong Kong regulator, the blockchain may have a central role to play in helping banks in their battle against financial crimes like money-laundering. That may sound like a strange thing for any of today’s elites to suggest, especially given their continual claims that blockchain-enabled digital currencies like Bitcoin could actually facilitate such criminal activity. However, Benedicte Nolens, the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission head of risk and strategy recently went on record as suggesting that very thing.
In a presentation at the MIT Technology Review Emtech Conference, Nolens noted that distributed ledger technology has the potential to aid banks in meeting compliance standards involving things like Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering – areas that have caused so many problems for the world’s banks that they’ve endured billions of dollars in fines in recent years.
IBM Opens Watson Centre Incubator
IBM’s recently announced effort to unite the blockchain with artificial intelligence received another boost this week as the company opened its Watson Centre incubator in Singapore. That incubator will also serve as the home to the IBM Garage, which is devoted to assisting startup companies in their efforts to build blockchain apps utilizing the IBM Cloud.
US Department of Homeland Security Doles Out Blockchain Grants
As governments and other entities around the world continue to investigate the potential benefits ofered by distributed ledger technology, even the US Department of Homeland Security is getting into the act. The Department’s Science and Technology Directorate released a press release this week detailing more than $3 million in grants that have been offered to 29 small US-based businesses. Roughly $600,000 of that grant money has gone to six firms involved in developing blockchain applications for the United States Government.
Blockchain Could Offer Solution for Refugee Identity Management
The Milken Institute’s Staci Warden recently offered some high praise to distributed ledgers, citing the technology as one that could offer a potential solution for the type of problems many European nations are now confronting as they try to manage the incredible flow of refugees that have entered their countries. In many instances, those migrants show up with no identification, having had their IDs and bank accounts confiscated as they exited their countries of origin. Warden asserts that the blockchain holds forth the promise of a solution for that problem.
As she noted, refugees who arrive without IDs pose difficulties for the countries they are entering, both in terms of security and the ability to efficiently provide the services they need. Most come with no access to bank accounts, and thus no ability to electronically receive the aid that host governments want to provide. With easily verifiable blockchain-based proof of identity, those problems could be mitigated and protect people around the world from the added incapacity they experience when the collapse of a government or civic turmoil results in those citizens losing not only their homes, but their very identities as well.
Synechron Survey: Blockchain and AI to Have Major Impact in Coming Decade
Consulting giant Synechron recently released a TABB group survey of financial industry decision-makers that suggests that the leaders in the industry generally believe that both the blockchain and artificial intelligence will create profound changes over the next decade. The survey also found that there is a general sense among these decision-makers that these technologies will somehow disrupt the regulatory framework within which those institutions operate. According to Synechron’s CEO, that perception is largely due to a misunderstanding of the technology, since the distributed ledger systems will not actually change regulatory requirements, but instead make it easier and less risky for everyone to meet the existing standards.