Expert Opinion: Crypto Goes Hollywood While Wyoming Moves To Bitcoin And Blockchain

Expert Opinion: Crypto Goes Hollywood While Wyoming Moves To Bitcoin And Blockchain

  

“This analysis is an adaptation from the work of Mati Greenspan,
Senior Market Analyst at eToro”

Key Highlights:

  • Hollywood shows interest in Cryptos
  • Wyoming introduces a new bill for bitcoin and blockchain
  • The state defines crypto assets the way Swiss Regulator does

Hollywood’s love for cryptos

Well, Hollywood has been successful in picking up real-life trends and portraying them on reel taking it to a wider audience making it more prominent, dramatic and enjoyable. While other themes are being played out on the screens, cryptos too have caught some prominent eyeballs.

At a Bitcoin conference in Miami, Kevin Connolly who plays Eric Murphy in Entourage made a surprise appearance on stage and announced that he’s developing a new show called “Cryptos.” What’s even more interesting is that the producers of the show, Sords, and King, who are both big blockchain advocates, seem to have modeled the plot after their own aspirations to take on Hollywood by using decentralized ledger technologies.  Although these ideas have been taken lightly and currently social media is full of their memes, this kind of show on Netflix or Amazon Prime can do wonders for mainstream awareness of crypto assets and their power to disrupt centralized industries taking it to the common man.

Wyoming moves to cryptos

Even though there are only about half a million people living in Wyoming the square state is quickly becoming a leader of bitcoin and blockchain legislation. Senator(s) Nethercott, Driskill, Perkins, and Rothfuss and Representative(s) Harshman, Lindholm, Loucks, Olsen, and Wilson have put forward a new bill which clarifies the status of bitcoin and other crypto assets in the state. The bill highlights, of course, is that bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will be given the same legal status as money.  The state has also clarified the definitions of crypto assets, very similar to the way the Swiss regulator Finma has almost exactly a year ago and divided them into three categories: Currencies, Securities, and Digital Assets (Utility Tokens). At this point, though the news is exciting the effects are rather limited.

Wyoming is a small state and it’s still not clear how the federal government will react to this. Certainly, if other states follow in their footsteps this can turn into something bigger but we’re still very much in the early stages of the game. Nevertheless, this small step is a huge win for bitcoin and blockchain as it sets a great example of supportive legislation for the entire country and the entire world.

Article Produced By
Mati Greenspan

Mati Greenspan is the Senior Market Analyst at eToro, a global social trading and investment platform. Mati is a licensed portfolio manager in the European Union and his main focus is on macroeconomic analysis, portfolio diversification and cryptocurrencies.

https://coingape.com/expert-opinion-crypto-goes-hollywood-while-wyoming-moves-to-bitcoin-and-blockchain/

From Tim Cook to Yuval Harari Disrupting Data Protecting Privacy Building Blockchains and Hacking Humans

From Tim Cook to Yuval Harari – Disrupting Data, Protecting Privacy, Building Blockchains and Hacking Humans

In a recent Time article,

Apple CEO Tim Cook calls for legislation to prevent data breaches and irresponsible collection of user profiles. “I and others are calling on the U.S. Congress to pass comprehensive federal privacy legislation—a landmark package of reforms that protect and empower the consumer.”

In 2018, Cook laid out four principles to guide legislation. The principles presented to a global body of regulators included the right to have data minimized, the right to knowledge of data collected, the right to access data, and the right to collect and delete personal data.Still, he believes that laws alone will not ensure privacy rights are observed. He wants tools that can help protect consumers from the shadow economy where data is sold to data brokers without users’ consent.

Cook explains,

“Meaningful, comprehensive federal privacy legislation should not only aim to put consumers in control of their data, it should also shine a light on actors trafficking in your data behind the scenes. Some state laws are looking to accomplish just that, but right now there is no federal standard protecting Americans from these practices.”

“That’s why we believe the Federal Trade Commission should establish a data-broker clearinghouse, requiring all data brokers to register, enabling consumers to track the transactions that have bundled and sold their data from place to place, and giving users the power to delete their data on demand, freely, easily and online, once and for all.”  In 2018 Cook championed the same principles blockchain developers are prioritizing: efforts to build transparent, decentralized systems that give users greater control over their digital identities.

While Cook proposes the creation of a centralized body to tackle privacy issues on the internet, blockchain developers are working on decentralized projects to solve many of the same issues. But the approach is fundamentally different. Cook trusts that a new group of people can sort out privacy issues; blockchain developers put more faith in math and machines. They’re building automated systems that can operate in cryptographically secure environments to monitor and enforce agreements and data-access privileges.

Different blockchain technologies, both public and private, offer different solutions for various privacy issues.

You can check "Have I Been Pwned" to see if your data has ever been breached.

Privacy focused internet browser Brave, for example, is designed to protect consumer data. Brave works closely with blockchain identity startup Civic, using its verification services to protect users’ identities. Brave reports that it currently has 5.5 million monthly users that avoid data-harvesting intermediaries.

Projects such as Enigma, Dfinity, Ethereum and Tron are building scalable blockchain solutions to create a decentralized internet. The idea is to rethink how data is moving in and out of vast silos that are controlled by corporations and governments. By giving users control of their data, and not clearinghouses, blockchain developers are potentially averting what author and historian Yuval Harari believes is the most challenging dilemma of our lifetime.

Says Harari,

“There is a lot of talk about hacking computers and emails and bank accounts, but actually we are entering into the era of hacking humans. And I would say, the most important fact anybody who is alive today needs to know about in the 21st century, is that we are becoming hackable animals. This is the most important thing….

“It starts on the surface. And this is what we already see today. It starts by having corporations and governments amass enormous amounts of data about where we go and what we search online and what we buy, and things like that. But this is all surface, and outside: how I behave in the world. The big watershed, the big change will come once it starts penetrating inside, inside your body. Once you can start monitoring and surveilling what’s happening inside your body, inside your brain, then you can really hack human beings. And this – we’re very close to it.”

Harari says an external system can eventually learn to know people better than they know themselves. “It will never know you perfectly. There is nothing perfect in the world. There is no such thing as perfect knowledge. Amazon or the government will never know you 100%. But it doesn’t need to. It just needs to know you better than you know yourself. And this is not very difficult, because most people don’t know themselves very well.”

It could take decades before the first human being is potentially hacked. Until then, the focus remains on securing data and eliminating abuses by profit-driven business models. As people try different methods to solve a common problem, from the creation of more centralized bodies or clearing houses, to the proliferation of decentralized blockchains that are both public and private, several outcomes could emerge. And there is no certain way to predict the future. But one question is becoming strikingly clear and increasingly critical as engineers and entrepreneurs move forward to advance various technologies. Which one should we trust more – man or machine?

Article Produced By
The Daily Hodl Staff

https://dailyhodl.com/2019/01/19/from-tim-cook-to-yuval-harari-disrupting-data-protecting-privacy-building-blockchains-and-hacking-humans/

WordPress Partners with Google News to Launch Open Source Platform for Newsrooms

WordPress Partners with Google News to Launch Open Source Platform for Newsrooms

On January 14, 2019, WordPress announced the launch of Newspack by WordPress,

an Open Source Platform for Newsrooms which will begin operations in mid-2019 with backing from ConsenSys, Civil media and others.

Financial Backing

This new solution is in partnership with Google and the Google News Initiative who contributed $1.2 million to the cause. It is also being backed with financial contributions from The Lenfest Institute for Journalism ($400,000), ConsenSys, the venture studio backing Civil Media ($350,000), and The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation ($250,000). According to the statement, another $200,000 from an unnamed fifth source is expected to be given by the end of the month.

Economic Models

The main goal of Newspack is to create source publishing and revenue-platform for news publications. It is widely known in the publishing industry that maintaining an economically viable financial structure for newsrooms isn’t always easy and this new platform helps to bypass that problem. The new platform will also incorporate the best editorial practices from the industry. When Civil first launched their own platform, they spoke about how journalistic integrity is better preserved when the newsrooms are not at a loss for how to sustain themselves financially, and this comes into play here as well.

This sentiment was echoed by Kinsey Wilson, the president of WordPress.com, who said, “Local news organizations are struggling to find sustainable models for journalism — a crisis that has very real implications for democracy. We’re joining with industry leaders to bring technology, publishing and business expertise together in a single platform that can be shared by news organizations across the globe.” The platform will be launched formally in the middle of 2019 and will accept about a dozen news organizations, though there are plans to accept more by 2020.

More Details

Applications from potential charter newsrooms have already opened and close by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. For the developmental period, which will last till 2020, Automattic will fund the project, after which there will be “operating fee’s” of between $1,000 to $2,000 charged per month to participating newsrooms. Requirements for potential participants include a demonstration of either editorial and financial success in the past or a strong business plan, original content being produced and the meeting of the needs of a distinct geographic region or distinct subject area.

Article Produced By
Tokoni Uti

Tokoni Uti is a writer with several years of experience whose work has appeared in the Huffington Post, The Los Angele Free Press, The San Diego Free Press, Genvieve magazine and Blockchain Reporter. She holds a degree in accounting from Bowen University and lives in Lagos, Nigeria.

https://btcmanager.com/wordpress-partners-with-google-news-to-launch-open-source-platform-for-newsrooms/?

How Ex-Facebook And Google Employees Are Uniting To Battle The Monsters They Created

How Ex-Facebook And Google Employees Are Uniting To Battle The Monsters They Created

The fightback has begun, at the new Centre For Humane Technology

In December 2017, Facebook's former vice-president of user growth Chamath Palihapitiya confessed to his "tremendous guilt" over creating "tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works." 

His comments followed former Facebook president Sean Parker, who the previous month criticised the site's lack of social responsibility, arguing that from the beginning it exploited "a vulnerability in human psychology" adding "God only knows what it’s doing to our children’s brains."

They're part of a broader trend of former Silicon Valley big shots turning their back on the behemoths they helped create, as the debate around social media ethics and the societal cost of addictive technology continues to grow.

Now, a cohort of such rebels have united to form an action group with the specific aims of holding tech-giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube to account.

The Centre for Humane Technology wants to reverse the 'digital attention crisis' and 'realign technology with humanity's best interests'. Their team includes former Google Design Ethicist Tristan Harris, former Mark Zuckerberg advisor Roger McNamee and former head of user experience at Mozilla Aza Raskin, to name a few.

"What began as a race to monetise our attention is now eroding the pillars of our society: mental health, democracy, social relationships, and our children," the group argue, as they take aim at everything from Snapchat supposedly redefining how children measure friendship to Instagram glorifying a non-existent 'perfect life' to Facebook's much-reported tendency to segregate us into political echo chambers.

But how? The Centre for Humane Technology aims to lobby governments and try to persuade technology companies like Apple, Samsung and Microsoft to pursue 'humane design practices'. They will also launch an anti-tech addiction campaign at 55,000 schools across America called 'The Truth About Tech'.

The emergence of the group is the latest blow to tech companies who have been facing continued criticism over their lack of corporate social responsibility. Facebook has recently been forced to admit they sold $100,000 worth of adverts to fake Russian accounts in order to influence the 2016 US election, and last year both Facebook and Twitter agreed to hand over information to the Commons watchdog committee in order to aid an enquiry into Russian-sponsored pro-Brexit accounts, which may have aided the Leave vote during the referendum.

Add to that the criticism Facebook faced over their controversial live function, which not only hosted streams of suicides, rapes and the murder of an 11-month-old girl, but raised ethical concerns about welfare of employees bought on to monitor this content.

"Facebook appeals to your lizard brain — primarily fear and anger," said early Facebook investor and advisor to the Centre, Roger McNamee. "And with smartphones, they've got you for every waking moment."

Could a resistance be on the horizon? 

More like a replacement with something for the people, buy the people and of the people, something exactly what Markethive is and about time.

 

Earn Crypto Part 2: Incentivized Social Media

Earn Crypto Part 2: Incentivized Social Media

   Earn Crypto Part 2: Incentivized Social Media

In this article, readers will be introduced to incentivized social media networks

that enable participants to earn cryptocurrency for contributed content. More specifically, readers will learn how they can make money on the get-paid-to-play-blog platforms Steemit and Yours.

What Is Incentivized Social Media?

Incentivized social media are digital content networks that pay their users to contribute and curate content. As opposed to traditional social media networks like Facebook and Twitter, which harvest users’ data, incentivized social media networks reward their users for contributing to their networks. While incentivized social media networks exist outside the cryptocurrency space, it was arguably the cryptocurrency sector that enabled the birth of this new breed of social media through its ability to process micropayments at low-costs to anyone in the world with an Internet connection. The market-leading cryptocurrency-paying incentivized social media network is Steemit. However, there are also other platforms, such as the bitcoin cash-powered Yours network that pays users in the bitcoin hard fork cryptocurrency.

Steemit: Curation, Creation, and Earning around High-Quality Content

Steemit was launched in 2016 as the first blockchain-powered social media network. The platform was built on the Steemit blockchain and pays its users in cryptocurrency to publish and curate content. Steemit users are rewarded in a combination of the platform’s three native digital currencies: SteemPower, Steem Dollars, and Steem, with the latter being the most popular and most widely traded cryptocurrency on third-party exchanges. Users can earn cryptocurrency for publishing high-quality original content and for upvoting popular content. The financial rewards for popular content are split among the content creator and the curator to ensure participation among the social media network’s users.

Using SteemPower, users can also increase their influence and the number of financial rewards they can receive for posting and curating. SteemPower can be acquired by exchanging Steem Dollars and Steem into SteemPower. For successful Steemit users to cash out their earnings, they have to turn their Steem Dollars or Steem into bitcoin or other digital currencies on third-party exchanges as very few retailers accept Steemit’s digital tokens as a payment method.

The blockchain-based platform provides an excellent channel to earn cryptocurrency for anyone who has a knack for creating, or at the very least spotting and upvoting, high-quality content that other social media users will appreciate. Some of the highest earning posts have made several $1,000 worth of Steem while the highest earning Steem users have made tens of thousands of dollars by posting content on the platform.

Yours: Income for the Bitcoin Cash Community

Yours.org was launched in 2016 by bitcoin developer Ryan X. Charles to enable social media users to be financially rewarded in bitcoin for posting and curating content. After the Bitcoin hard fork in August 2017, Yours joined the Bitcoin Cash camp and implemented BCH as the new digital currency of its platform due to BCH’s ability to process microtransactions at close to zero fees. Therefore, Yours users are now rewarded in bitcoin cash (BCH), instead of bitcoin (BTC), which has resulted in the platform gaining popularity in the Bitcoin Cash community.

To make money on Yours, users can post content and place a price on that piece of content that has to be paid by users who want to read it. Prices can range from $0.10 to several dollars, depending on how much you believe people will be willing to pay to view it. Users can also earn bitcoin cash by upvoting popular content early. It costs to vote up content but users are rewarded with a share of later votes for the same piece of content and are, thus, rewarded for recognizing high-quality content early on. Additionally, users can also earn BCH from tips, which can be paid directly to a user’s profile page, their content, or a comment of theirs.

Making Sound Money on Incentivized Social Media Platforms

While Yours is still in the process of establishing itself as a crypto-powered social media network, it is effectively only being used by the Bitcoin Cash community. Steemit, on the other hand, has become a go-to source of income for content creators from around the world.  Steemit has managed to grow its user base to over one million people in less than three years and has become particularly popular in emerging markets where the bulk of Steemit users are reportedly located.

It is difficult to say exactly how much one can make on Steemit because the financial reward is linked to the amount and quality of the content provided and how much content they curate. For individuals living in developing countries where the average monthly income lies below $500, however, a successful Steemit user can supplement a substantial percentage of their income by being active on this incentivized social media network.  A brief glance on Trending Posts on Steemit shows that the most popular posts of the day are earning around $250 and the topics covered are not just focused on cryptocurrencies and the blockchain.

Steemit and other cryptocurrency-powered social media networks like Yours and those still in the making, therefore, provide an opportunity for anyone, anywhere to earn digital currency to supplement their income provided they put in the time and effort to create and curate amazing content.

Article Produced By

Alexander Lielacher

Alex Lielacher is a former bond trader who now writes about cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. He holds a degree in Investment & Financial Risk Management from Cass Business School, London and has been following bitcoin since 2011.

https://btcmanager.com/earn-crypto-part-2-incentivized-social-media/?utm_source=Telegram&utm_medium=socialpush&utm_campaign=SNAP

Adding Video Content to Your Social Media Strategy

Adding Video Content to Your Social Media Strategy

The impact of social media has altered all kinds of industries.

The value of having a presence online has never been greater. Word-of-mouth marketing that once occurred in small social circles or at the office now takes place online?—?a much larger platform for communication. That value is steadily increasing as time goes on. Now more than ever, brands are able to reach larger audiences with recommendations, partnerships, and ambassadors on social media.

The projected figure for social media users this year will land somewhere around 2.62 billion. Social media now attracts users of all ages. Unfortunately, some brands still underestimate the power of social media. Even though brands may have opted out of creating an online presence due to their demographic in the past, now even once a large following has been established, some accounts may not take full advantage of the potential they have.

What do users like?

Different types of content are gaining traction online, including video content and live streaming. While these may seem new, foreign, and maybe even intimidating to certain brands, it is hard to ignore that this is the content users are beginning to prefer. In fact, according to Cisco, online videos will make up more than 80% of all consumer internet traffic (85% in the US) by 2020. Understanding how to engage an audience with video content and live streaming is vital to increase and properly utilize a company’s online presence. Fortunately, these types of content are also excellent for driving site traffic.

How can companies utilize video on social media?

In order to increase engagement and clicks, create an introduction video or demo a new product. Companies can record and package a short and sweet video or conduct a live stream to engage social media users in a live conversation with brand experts, developers, or ambassadors. Another great piece of content to create for your social media platforms are how-to videos. These can be formatted in jump-cut style steps and are great for highlighting how a product can be used in creative ways. You may recall on your personal social media feed viewing some very satisfying cooking how-to videos. They are always very brief and cleanly executed (for some great examples, take a peek at Tasty Presents). This is the type of content that users are beginning to prefer.

Event coverage is also a great way to grow your brand reputation online. Again, this can be through an edited piece of footage, or through a live stream. Live streams are great for events because they allow users who could not attend to feel like they get to be a part of the experience. They also allow your customers to ask questions on the spot which can create greater company transparency and customer loyalty.

Create, learn and start again.

As with any online activity that a company may conduct, it is important to gather data garnered from video content or live streaming. How many views did your content receive? How many users watched the entire piece of content or stream? How many users dropped off after a certain point? How many users asked questions, left comments, or shared your content? How did your company’s site traffic change once the content was released? How did site traffic and online content impact sales?

Although video content requires a certain level of planning, production, and execution that may surpass what your brand has accomplished in the past with simply photo content alone?—?it is undeniable the potential benefits that video content can have. In order to fully reap the benefits of digital video content creation, data must be recorded and analyzed.

Business Insider reported on a finding by Zenith, predicting that global online video consumption will grow by an average of nine minutes per day each year until 2020. These findings support the idea that the digital video audience is becoming more engaged?—?something all companies with an online presence, seeking to increase site traffic, engagement, and sales, should be aware of.

Article Produced By

Megan Gonzales

Revenue-generating, brand-building marketer. PNW explorer. Yogi. Animal enthusiast. Marketing Manager.

https://medium.com/@megangonzales/adding-video-content-to-your-social-media-strategy-70263056c712

 

Switzerland sets legal foundations for blockchain industry

Switzerland sets legal foundations for blockchain industry

  

Blockchain and crypto tokens have the potential to bring efficiencies
and cost savings to a range of industries.

The Swiss government has announced a wide-ranging blockchain strategy that aims to create a legal foundation for the new technology. The reports suggests amending existing laws, rather than creating new legislation, in a bid to enhance Switzerland’s status as a blockchain-friendly country. The main focus of the strategy is to incorporate decentralised digital tokens into the Swiss business infrastructure, particularly the financial sector. One proposal is to clear away regulatory hurdles for trading securities (such as shares, bonds or real estate) on blockchain platforms. This would create a new regulatory category along the lines of recent fintech laws, which allow certain financial activities to be carried out by tech start-ups without a banking license.

Switzerland has rapidly established itself as one of the world’s leading blockchain hubs, attracting both start-ups and hundreds of millions of dollars in investments. The technology, which started off as a means to replace the existing financial infrastructure, is now being adopted and adapted by banks, stock exchanges and other industries.

Blockchain/DLT

Blockchain is one example of distributed ledger technology (DLT), a recent digital innovation that allows people to take direct control of their own assets and trade them peer-to-peer without the need for centralised third parties, such as banks or other entities. Asset ownership and transactions are recorded on encrypted digital ledgers that are open for all participants to both view and validate. The complete history of asset ownership is included on these ledgers. To protect privacy, participants are assigned “private keys” – a series of randomly generated letters and numbers that act as IDs.

Blockchain was originally designed to be totally decentralised and open to the general public. But this is not suitable for many businesses that instead opt for restricted DLT platforms that require special permission to access.

End of infobox

The Swiss government reportexternal link released on Friday describes the innovation as “among the remarkable and potentially promising developments in digitalisation. It is predicted that these developments have considerable potential for innovation and enhanced efficiency, both in the financial sector and in other sectors of the economy.” 

Digital assets

It also acknowledges that the true potential of blockchain – a form of distributed ledger technology (DLT) – “cannot yet be conclusively estimated” as it has yet to be tested on an industrial scale. Another caveat in the report talks about the risk of cryptocurrencies being used for criminal purposes, including the financing of terrorism. The government said it would remain vigilant but was waiting for the creation of international guidelines before deciding if it needed to take further action.

While current Swiss regulations cover many forms of digitalisation, such as e-banking, some aspects of blockchain/DLT technology fall between the cracks in the legal code. There are two notable challenges to incorporating blockchain into the law. New forms of encrypted digital tokens are not backed by physical assets, such as government issued money or paper certificates. The law needs to be amended to recognise digital-only assets, the report suggests.

Secondly, blockchain is designed to bypass middlemen who keep records of transactions and play a recognised role in protecting consumers from fraud. They are replaced in blockchain by decentralised digital ledgers and smart contract code that automatically processes transactions. The government wants financial transactions that are performed without physical intermediaries to have a place in the legal code.

Positive reaction

The report also proposes giving the financial regulator discretion to apply a lighter touch for decentralised blockchain/DLT securities trading platforms, provided their activities are not likely to harm investors. The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) currently has these powers when assessing fintech start-ups that offer limited banking services.

The creation of such discretionary powers circumvents recent Swiss legislation that was inacted to align the Swiss financial centre with the European Union, says Luzius Meisser of the Bitcoin Association Switzerland. The law created three categories of stock exchange – none of which are suitable for decentralised token platforms, “making it necessary to create a new type in order to allow such exchanges to exist in Switzerland,” Meisser says.

“This shows once again how the traditional Swiss approach of having principle-based laws that give a lot of discretion to citizens and regulatory agencies are much more innovation-friendly than overly detailed European-style laws,” he said in a written statement. Blockchain financial start-ups will soon be able to take advantage of new fintech-friendly regulations allowing firms to take up to CHF100 million in client deposits without needing a banking license. Fintechs that qualify under this new regulatory category could also take custody of clients’ crypto tokens up to this value.

Unlike neighbouring Liechtenstein, that is in the process of creating a new set of laws aimed specifically at blockchain, Switzerland has chosen the route of adapting current legislation to incorporate the new technology. This approach was welcomed by the Crypto Valley Association (CVA), which it sees a solid legal base as an essential pillar of Switzerland’s blockchain strategy.

“We feel that this approach best represents the principle of technological neutrality and is in line with the position taken by the CVA in the consultation process,” Mattia Rattaggi, CVA spokesman for regulatory matters, said in an emailed statement to swissinfo.ch. “Crucially, this approach ensures maximum consistency within the current legal framework while keeping it principle-based and flexible, while allowing changes to be adopted on a ‘need-to-regulate’ basis.” The issue of how to tax digital tokens has been put off until a review is complete at some stage next year. The federal communications ministry has also been tasked next year with determining how blockchain can be reconciled with data protection laws.

Proposed law changes

Amend company bankruptcy laws to recognise data as an asset. This would allow courts to handle purely digital assets, and make sure they go to the right creditor, when sorting out insolvent firms. Amend the Banking Act along the same lines as above in the case of a financial institution going bankrupt. Amend the scope of the Anti-Money Laundering Act to cover decentralised exchanges with the power to dispose of third-party assets.

Create a “new authorisation category” for blockchain securities traders and exchanges to give FINMA discretion to apply a lighter touch when assessing the activities of such entities. Amend the Financial Market Infrastructure law and the Financial Institutions Act to “create more flexibility” for blockchain/DLT applications.

The finance ministry is already looking into a Collective Investment Schemes Act amendment to include a new category of funds (limited qualified investment funds L-QIFs) so that “new innovative products could be placed on the market more quickly and cost-effectively in the future”. No immediate changes to financial laws for the insurance industry are immediately foreseen as blockhain/DLT is in its “infancy” in this sector. The report also sees no reason to change any legislation with regards to cryptocurrencies.

Article Produced By
Matthew Allen

Zurich bureau chief|  English Department

Profile

When not covering fintech, cryptocurrencies, blockchain, banks, trade and the World Economic Forum, swissinfo.ch's business correspondent can be found playing cricket on various grounds in Switzerland – including the frozen lake of St Moritz. Initials: mga

Expertise

Business, Finance, Economics

https://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/dlt-report_switzerland-sets-legal-foundations-for-blockchain-industry/44617654

 

Swiss government announces legal foundation for blockchain technology

Swiss government announces legal foundation for blockchain technology

  

Following the Swiss government’s release

of an official report (see English report here) on Friday, advocating for decentralised financial transactions to have a place in the Swiss legal code, could this new strategy strengthen Switzerland’s status as a blockchain friendly country?

Several experts in the blockchain space provide their insight on the importance of adapting current legislation to incorporate new technological developments and the implications of Switzerland allowing changes to be adopted on a ‘need-to-regulate’ basis. Brent Jaciow, Head of Blockchain Affairs at Utopia Music, the cutting-edge, blockchain-powered music tracking and attribution platform based in Zug, Switzerland,

said:

In order for any new technology to gain mass adoption, people must know what regulatory framework they are operating under. While for early adopters a loose understanding may be all that is necessary, for institutions and the population en masse, it is crucial to understand the regulatory implications of owning, transacting and working with new technologies especially as it relates to securities.

Switzerland allowing changes to be adopted on a ‘need-to-regulate’ basis is not a large shift from the current situation, where governments must direct their focus to the most pressing needs of their citizens. Though, this is also positive as it means that governments and their regulatory bodies will be more proactive in providing guidance to new technologies. By being proactive, it will speed up the adoption cycle as new entrants do not need to be concerned with dealing with future or retroactive regulation and can just move forward with using and innovating with these new technologies.”

Chair of the Crypto Valley Association (CVA) Policy and Regulatory Working Group, Dr Mattia Rattaggi,

said:

The CVA welcomes the release of the Federal Council’s report, and is entirely in tune with its goal to create the best possible framework conditions for “Crypto Nation Switzerland,” while underlining the country’s integrity and reputation as a financial centre and business location.

It is positive that this is to be achieved through targeted adjustments to the existing legal framework – instead of issuing completely new laws. We feel that this approach best represents the principle of technological neutrality and is in line with the position taken by the CVA in the consultation process. Crucially, this approach ensures maximum consistency within the current legal framework while keeping it principle-based and flexible, while allowing changes to be adopted on a ‘need-to-regulate’ basis.

To a large extent, the report also confirms what we, in the Crypto Valley community, have known for some time — that Switzerland’s regulatory system is already open and relatively flexible. These are attributes that have been fundamental in the Crypto Valley’s emergence as a global hub of blockchain innovation.

With the CVA Policy and Regulatory Working Group, we look forward to analysing the details of the report, communicating its contents and implications to our Membership and to continued cooperation with government stakeholders to keep building the wider Crypto Valley ecosystem.”

Angel Versetti, Co-Founder & CEO of Ambrosus the world’s leading blockchain and IoT platform for quality assurance in food and

pharmaceutical supply chains, said:

The most recent Swiss Government report concerning the regulatory approach to blockchain technologies is an important step in moving the entire blockchain industry towards formal recognition and industrial adoption, and provides increased legal clarity. Notably, the report is keen to emphasize the innovative value of blockchain-based ecosystems, while also reminding the public of the infancy of the industry as a whole. For the broader cryptocurrency community, this report puts forward a cautious approach to regulating digital currencies and tokens. Within the context of innovation and the impending digital revolution, the report is significant insofar as it indicates a larger social and political shift in favour of decentralisation, transparency, and increased efficiency via blockchain technology.

At the same time, it is important to not simply apply securities, banking, and money transmission laws to cryptocurrencies and Blockchain, as has been done frequently in Switzerland over the past year. It is important not to stifle innovation and decentralisation with excessive regulations, red tape and bureaucracy, because this will reduce the democratic value proposition that blockchain offers and will only favour bankers, compliance lawyers, and financial intermediaries, which is already happening in most jurisdictions that are taking too strong an approach to regulation. As entrepreneurs in general —and crypto enthusiasts in particular — treasure privacy, decentralisation, and freedom from censorship, these values should likewise be reflected in the rules and regulations.

In addition, Switzerland should consider only regulating companies that do business with retail customers, and instead treat decentralized protocols as a common good, rather than trying to excessively regulate and impose rules on companies working on building decentralised protocols. In a nutshell, they should take a laissez-faire approach, whereby there are general freedoms and rights guaranteed, and companies are regulated reactively and not proactively. Those are fundamentally different approaches. One permits innovation while eradicating fraud, while the other will only benefit the banks and intermediaries that blockchain was supposed to replace in the first place. Right now, Switzerland seems to favour the digital asset management industry, which almost exclusively consists of the same old financial elites from the largest corporate banks and investment banks. They tend to recreate the same barriers that currently exist in the financial sector, which is worrying.

Mandating FINMA to be more relaxed and use more discretion towards crypto companies is a very welcome step indeed. However, reaffirming protection of rights and interests of crypto companies would be even better.”

Article Produced By
Admin

https://bit-media.org/blockchain/swiss-government-announces-legal-foundation-for-blockchain-technology/

Bank of America Files for Blockchain ATM as a Service’ Patent

Bank of America Files for Blockchain ‘ATM as a Service’ Patent

Bank of America may be eyeing shared networks of ATMs

powered by blockchain tech, according to a newly revealed patent application. The filing, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday, outlines a system via which a cash-handling devices could utilize blockchain technology to “accelerate transaction speed and/or facilitate other types of transactions in addition to ATM transactions like cash withdrawals and deposits, such as gift registry transactions.”

Blockchain could also help such devices “handle a relatively larger amount of transaction volume while reducing its physical cash transportation needs,” the document reads. Currently, most ATMs are dedicated to their respective banks and those institutions’ operating systems, Bank of America said in the filing, yet support for multi-purpose, “multi-tenant” – different stakeholders that share access to a single software system – functions is needed to offer various micro-services related to brand and marketing opportunities.

The bank is effectively looking to implement “ATM as a Service” to enable customers without existing relationship with a participating financial institution to transfer money across the same ATM network or even access point-to-point video communication using the ATM. As the patent explains that, to do this, the system would implement an “open and robust” data transport layer with “full” encryption and security.

It goes on:

“The data transport supporting ATM management, signaling, and non-financial institution and financial institution transactions may be strictly communicated to a cloud platform … and subsequent hosting of web and application services may allow secure and scalable operations. “

The patent filing is just the latest to emerge from Bank of America, which has filed more than 50 blockchain-related patents as of August 2018, according to a research report by iPR Daily, a media outlet specializing in intellectual property. Last month, the bank was awarded a patent for a novel method for storing cryptocurrencies.

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Yogita Khatri
Yogita Khatri

https://www.coindesk.com/bank-of-america-files-for-blockchain-atm-as-a-service-patent

3 Conflicts That Will Shape Blockchain Tech in 2019

3 Conflicts That Will Shape Blockchain Tech in 2019

   

Beyond the flashy headlines,

though, larger trends are manifesting. I believe three areas of conflict, between six “incompatible truths,” have been slowly taking shape, and that 2019 will see them unleashed in full force.

1. Ideology vs product-market fit

Venture capital funding is dead, so they say. By crowdfunding token creation events early, blockchain startups have taken a different route to market than the unicorns we know today. Web 2.0 startups raised in tranches. Web 3.0 startups raise early, in bulk. Web 2.0 startups wrote a ridiculous valuation around their Series D. Web 3.0 startups obtain a ridiculous valuation on day one. Both startups look for product-market fit, but the biggest difference between the two is that Web 3.0 companies need, and advocate, their ideology as the final product on day one. From ideology all else follows. Ideology is the coordinating principle between all parties taking part in the ecosystem.

Amazon set out to to use internet protocols to transform book buying into the fastest, easiest and most enjoyable shopping experience possible. Although Google has kept its mission statement of “organizing the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” for over 14 years, its interpretation of the statement has changed dramatically.

Such a change is relatively easy to achieve in a centrally organized company. Now imagine that when proposing a change of direction, Amazon and Google needed buy-in from all their stakeholders. Would they still be where they are today? Maybe, but probably not. Aligning and evolving ideology at scale is tremendously complex. In 2019, we will see a shift. Open-source initiatives will still crowdfund from the garage-phase onward, but Web 3.0 companies with a profit function will to wait until they demonstrate early product-market fit, typical for an A-round. In short, 2019 will be the comeback of the VCs.

2. Market capitalization vs adoption

Consider two numbers: 131,000,000,000 and 10,000. The first one is the total crypto market capitalization in dollars, which is spread over 2,000 crypto-assets. The latter is the total dapp user base of ethereum. Now let’s look at adoption. Close to 14,000 venues worldwide accept bitcoin. Look at all that impressive red. Until you realize that in the U.S. alone there are 47,481 people named John Smith. “But, wait,” you say. “Crypto’s main feature is a currency!” Reality hits again. The most popular ethereum decentralised exchange (DEX) has just over 700 daily active users (DAU).

We could argue only a subsection of those active within the crypto space frequents DEX daily. However, games, which encourage DAU as a metric, aren’t doing much better. In 2019, we’ll realize that the valuation metrics we use as a sector are broken. The metric of multiplying circulating tokens with price is ridiculous. Together with exponential adoption of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and crypto assets alike, we’ll see the industry mature in how we evaluate these new models of creating value.

3. Believers vs non-believers

Every time a Jamie Dimon or Nouriel Roubini gets a platform, a tweet storm to set the facts straight is not far away. A shouting match ensues between the “crypto bros” and the “bitcoin-is-a-scam” camp, doing little for mutual understanding or empathy. Historically, every major shift has required a strong foundation of support. Evangelists who keep challenging, challenging, and challenging the status quo, until it dents. The DLT community has got tenacity in spades.

Now it needs a new narrative.

The market is moving at a thousand different paces. We’ve seen teams who completed a successful token creation event, but were swallowed by their communities. The ones who keep their heads down, build and deliver (shout-out to 0x). Corporations who are tight-lipped about their stance on DLT, but are working like maniacs behind the scenes. Fortune 500 companies who are engaging in shiny innovation theater, but with no true intention to ever bring those PoC’s in-house.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the IMF, got it right: ?

“?There are new and evolving requirements for money, as well as essential public policy objectives. While the case for digital currency is not universal, we should investigate it further, seriously, carefully, and creatively.”?

I would echo those sentiments for the wider promise of DLT, because we are not there ?yet. But we might get there in 2019.

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Arwen Smit