Blockchain Weekly Recap 11-19-2016
SEC Blockchain Panel Signals Big Changes for Regulators
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) held a panel discussion in Washington D.C. this week that included the head of the agency’s blockchain working group as a moderator. The panel was convened to examine the types of demands that blockchain technology would place on regulators, and seemed to conclude that the qualifications for regulatory personnel would almost certainly increase in the coming years. In fact, one Cornell University professor noted that new technological advances are even now helping to spark the creation of an entirely new breed of government employee.
That professor, Emin Gün Sirer, suggested an obvious solution – namely, that government agencies like the SEC begin to work more closely with experts like those at MIT’s Digital Currency Institute to enhance their skills sets and prepare themselves to deal more effectively with emerging technologies. He also noted, however, that getting up to speed may difficult for regulators, since many blockchain innovators often speak in terms that government officials are unlikely to understand.
To be fair, many blockchain experts – and other citizens – probably have the same feeling when they hear government personnel speak. You know I’m right...
Hong Kong Sounds Alarm on Blockchain
In a move that is wholly unoriginal, Hong Kong’s Monetary Authority recently issued a warning to banks and other financial companies that attempts to implement decentralized blockchains could lead to an increased risk of money laundering and other criminal acts. The HMKA also noted that blockchain’s decentralized nature and anonymous nature conflicts with various regulations already in place. Most experts agree that banks are already prevented from using the decentralized blockchains due to their noncompliance with existing financial regulations, which is why the larger banks are experimenting with centralized, permissioned distributed ledgers instead.
Worried About Pollution? Blockchain to the Rescue!
Recent reports suggest that the China division of IBM has partnered with a textile printing company in the region to create a trading platform designed to help in the fight against that country’s air pollution problem. The platform would use the blockchain to trade digital assets that represent carbon emissions. The asset trading platform was announced this week in Beijing, at the World Internet Conference, and is intended to provide a way for China to identify and track carbon emissions produced by China’s larger polluters. If China is committed to using technology like the blockchain to help curb its air pollution crisis, that is a very good thing indeed.
Advertising Industry Next to Pursue Blockchain?
With blockchain technology being the proverbial talk of the town these days, it should come as no surprise that yet another industry is joining the conversation. At a recent ad:tech conference in New York City, blockchain innovators and advertising leaders joined in a discussion that explored how distributed ledger technology might impact the advertising industry. The advertising gurus were reportedly interested in many of the same qualities that have attracted thought leaders from other industries to the technology. The discussion panel included Madhive co-founder Adam Hefgott, whose company has already used the blockchain for its advertising platform.