Blockchain Weekly Recap 1-9-2016
WIRED: Blockchain Could Enhance Responsive Open Data
In its annual report on trends, WIRED has identified what it sees as one of the blockchain’s most promising areas of potential: reducing the need for government involvement in a wide variety of citizen transactions and activities. The authors first note the many types of transactions that currently require some type of government recognition: birth announcements, tax filing timestamps, patents, etc., and then detail how the blockchain could eliminate the need for government employees to be involved in those processes.
The WIRED report also details the economic benefits that could be realized by facilitating more responsive open data - benefits that have been estimated to be in excess of $1 trillion in just the United States alone. With the blockchain, government would no longer be needed for things like business license filings, car registration, or property title management. Lawyers, notaries, and government officials could all be bypassed as citizens could quickly and inexpensively execute transactions that would be transparent, permanently recorded, and entirely legal.
As WIRED reminds us, the state of Vermont is already ahead of the curve in this regard, and is taking a serious look at how the blockchain could be used for its own governmental records.
Blockchain Startup Crowdaura Included in Accenture Fintech Innovation Lab
The latest Accenture FinTech Innovation Lab London is currently scheduled to include a total of fifteen startup companies, including blockchain firm Crowdaura. The Accenture Lab is enjoying its fourth year of activity, and provides an opportunity for startups to receive twelve weeks of mentoring from experienced representatives of well-known companies like UBS, Bank of America, and JPMorgan. According to Accenture, this current group was selected for their innovative approach to tech solutions that could improve the banking industry.
Crowdaura’s blockchain platform utilizes a crowdfunding interface designed to facilitate a variety of financial securities solutions. The company is also exploring new features that would use the blockchain to issue securities. Crowdaura is the sole blockchain firm in this year’s Lab group.
BitPay Partners with Microsoft for BaaS Project
As Microsoft’s Blockchain as a service (BaaS) project rolls forward the company is gathering new partners as it goes. Bitcoin payment company BitPay is among the latest of those partners to join with the software icon, and will be added to Microsoft’s Azure Blockchain Ecosystem. Along with Emercoin, Manifold Technology, and LibraTax, BitPay now joins a group of other companies that previously announced their inclusion in Azure.
Blockchain Technology and Your Car’s Future
Blockchain enthusiasts were given reason for excitement this week, due to General Motors’ announcement that it is partnering with Lyft to begin rolling out self-driving vehicles. There will now be growing anticipation that blockchain-powered smart contract auto leases are on the way, as the smart contract technology appears to be an apt fit for the increasingly high-tech auto industry.
As computers become even more essential for vehicles, it seems only natural that automakers and dealerships will come to rely more and more on technological solutions for things like title tracking, transfers, and even repossessions. There is also growing attention being paid to the consumer benefits that such technology could provide, including lower interest rates due to cost savings, and more consistent late payment processes.
US CFTC to Use Public Hearing to Discuss Blockchain Tech
The U.S. CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission) has announced its intent to include a discussion on the blockchain’s usefulness in derivatives markets in an upcoming meeting. The blockchain discussion is currently expected to take place at the Commission’s Technology Advisory Committee hearing on January 26, 2016. The discussion comes in the wake of the CFTC’s announcement several months ago that it plans on treating cryptocurrencies as commodities for regulatory purposes.