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Regulators Concerned About Smart Contract Oversight Challenges

The Chamber of Digital Commerce’s Smart Contracts Symposium this week included a panel that focused its attention on blockchain smart contracts and the difficulties regulators could face as they try to exercise their oversight power. The panel included two representatives from U.S. regulatory agencies: the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). The representatives acknowledged that both agencies have been closely monitoring the rise of distributed ledger technology.

South Korean Blockchain Consortium Launches

This week saw the launch of yet another blockchain consortium, as the Korea Financial Investment Association successfully completed the launch of a consortium that will include five blockchain firms and twenty-one financial investment firms. The group signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to seal the deal.

BTC Inc. Announces Distributed: Markets Conference to be Held in February

BTC Inc. announced this week that it will be holding its first-ever Distributed: Markets blockchain conference at the Ritz-Carlton in Atlanta, Georgia, on February 27. The one-day event is expected to include more than four dozen speakers from around the world, and will offer five keynote presentations and fifteen other sessions that will focus attention on distributed ledger technology’s role in various sectors of the economy like payments, insurance, capital markets, and digital assets. According BTC Inc., the goal of the event will be to facilitate interaction between stakeholders to help develop the framework necessary for greater adoption of this technology. Program Director Tyler Evans described BTC’s objective for the conference:

Japan’s Mizuho Tests Its Own Digital Currency

One of Japan’s largest banking interests, Mizuho, has successfully tested a cryptocurrency that it created in collaboration with IBM Japan as a means to achieve lower money transfer costs. According to a report published by the Nikkei Asian Review, the new digital currency was being tested from July to September, 2016, via an app designed to calculate dinner party participants’ share of the dinner tab.

Digital Asset Holdings Announces Blockchain Privacy Solution

A new report released this week by blockchain startup Digital Asset Holdings claims that the company has created a blockchain-based platform that will preserve trade confidentiality. If those claims are correct, the platform could help to remove one of the major obstacles to more widespread adoption of blockchain technology by the financial industry. The announcement comes on the heels of Digital Asset CEO Blythe Masters’ recent remarks about sensitive data:

Mexicans Fear Trump Remittance Plan; Bitcoin Interest on the Rise

Bloomberg has reported that Mexicans have grown increasingly concerned that incoming President Donald J. Trump may follow through on his oft-repeated campaign promise to block remittances sent from the more than 6 million Mexicans illegally living in the United States to their families south of the border. That remittance blocking plan was proposed by Trump as a way to compel the Mexican government to pay for the President-elect’s proposed border wall between the two countries – a wall that Trump claims would secure the border and prevent the flow of illegal aliens, drugs, and potential terrorists into the U.S.

Op-Ed: Cryptocurrency: The Free Market’s New Last Line Of Defense Against Crony Capitalism

Many people paint a mental picture in their heads of crony capitalism as a room full of old rich guys, smoking cigars, watching the ticker, and counting piles of money freshly squeezed from peasant folk. In reality, crony capitalism is more about the government wielding their monopoly of unquestionable force to choose which private businesses are winners, and which ones are losers. Some might compare crony capitalism to fascist style control over the private sector. Mega corporations and unions have very deep pockets and can buy favors such as subsidies or favorable regulation that can give them an almost monopolistic advantage over small businesses. Governments should instead be championing small businesses and all the real economic benefits they bring to the country, because without a fair and level playing field, many of these small enterprises will fail.

Cryptocurrency can play a role in ending this cycle, helping free markets thrive once again.

Internet Policy Task Force Public Meeting to Include Blockchain Discussion

The United States Department of Commerce’s Internet Policy Task Force (IPTF) will be hosting a public meeting on December 9, 2016, to explore and promote options for improving the online marketplace. That meeting is scheduled to be held in the Madison Auditorium at the United States Patent and Trademark Office from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM, and will focus on digital rights for copyrighted works, digital registry interoperability, and new technologies like the blockchain. Interested parties can view a live webcast online.

GBMiners Launches Blockchain Incubator in India

Indian English-language newspaper The Hindu recently reported that Bitcoin firm GBMiners has announced the launch of Satoshi Studios – the first blockchain incubator for the Southeast Asian region. The incubator, named for Bitcoin’s mysterious creator, is being supported by Amaze Mining & Blockchain Research Ltd and GBMiners co-founder Amit Bharadwaj, who said, “Our vision is to build New Delhi as the blockchain knowledge hub of Southeast Asia.”

FIN Calls on President-elect Trump to Promote FinTech

On November 30, 2016, tech policy coalition Financial Innovation Now (FIN) publicly called for President-elect Donald J. Trump to commit to the promotion of new FinTech solutions for America’s financial services. The call for action was made in a letter sent to Trump’s transition team and published on the coalition’s website. In addition to congratulating Trump on his electoral victory, FIN noted that the incoming President’s promise of change and lifetime of business experience could place him in a unique position to “make America great at innovating in financial services and growing these jobs here at home.”

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