Ordinary Stablecoin or XRP Killer? What We Know About JPMorgan Chase’s New Cryptocurrency

Ordinary Stablecoin or XRP Killer? What We Know About JPMorgan Chase’s New Cryptocurrency

                                 

On Feb. 14, United States banking behemoth JPMorgan Chase

announced its own cryptocurrency. Significantly, it is the first time a major U.S. bank has tapped into digital assets for direct use in business operations. It is fair to say that move comes unexpectedly for JPMorgan Chase, whose CEO, Jamie Dimon, is famous within the crypto community for his anti-Bitcoin (BTC) remarks. Here are the main outtakes from reports and comments about the new virtual currency, dubbed “JPM Coin.”

JPM Coin aims to increase settlement efficiency, initially within three of its operations

There are three early applications for the JPM Coin, as Umar Farooq, head of the lender's blockchain projects, told CNBC. The first one is cross-border payments for large corporate clients, which currently rely on wire transfers provided by networks like SWIFT, meaning that they might take up to several working days to settle. According to Farooq, payments using JPM Coin will be instantly performed at any time of day.

As a result, SWIFT, which currently handles more than half of all high-value, cross-border payments, might be additionally challenged to update its remittance system. The 46-year-old Belgium-based interbank messaging service has already been confronted by Ripple (XRP), whose CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, had recently declared that “what we are doing on a day-to-day basis is in fact taking over SWIFT.” Ripple has reported various advancements on the field of international payments, allegedly saving transaction costs by 40-70 percent with its xRapid platform and adding several major banking institutions to its RippleNet network.  

SWIFT, in turn, has already started researching blockchain as one of the options to achieve quicker payments. Additionally, it has been boosting its Global Payments Innovation (GPI) payments platform — just recently, the banking network launched a proof-of-concept (PoC) of a gateway that would allow blockchain software firm R3 to connect to the GPI. Secondly, JPM Coin will reportedly be used for securities transactions. In April, the bank tested its Quorum Blockchain platform, along with with the National Bank of Canada and other lending sector participants. The intent was to streamline origination, settlement and interest rate payments, among other financial processes. Specifically, as Reuters wrote, the trial “mirrored the Canadian bank’s $150 million offering on the same day of a one-year floating-rate Yankee certificate of deposit.” Thus, institutional investors can use the JPM Coin for instant settlements, as opposed to waiting for a wire transfer to come through.

JPMorgan Chase created Quorum in 2016 as part of the Ethereum Enterprise Alliance (EEA), of which it is one of the founding partners. The platforms runs on the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain and is modeled after the Ethereum Go client. It is currently used by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Genentech as well as Microsoft Azure, among others. In March, JPMorgan Chase declared that they were considering making Quorum an independent entity as way to attract more partners that could be scared off if they are competitors of the bank. Finally, the new cryptocurrency might be employed by large corporations including Honeywell International and Facebook, which will reportedly use JPMorgan Chase's treasury services business to replace the funds they hold in various subsidiaries across the world. According to CNBC, that businesses brought the lender $9 billion in revenue in 2018.

Farooq explained in a comment:

"Money sloshes back and forth all over the world in a large enterprise. Is there a way to ensure that a subsidiary can represent cash on the balance sheet without having to actually wire it to the unit? That way, they can consolidate their money and probably get better rates for it."

The trials for the token are set to start “in a few months.” However, only a small amount of the total funds involved in the three aforementioned areas would involve JPM Coin at first. In total, JPMorgan Chase moves more than $6 trillion across the world on a daily basis, according to CNBC. It is the largest bank in the country.  

As Farooq told:

“Pretty much every big corporation is our client, and most of the major banks in the world are too. Even if this was limited to JPM clients at the institutional level, it shouldn't hold us back.”

He also added that, in the future, the lender’s token could be used for payments on internet-connected devices if they are migrates to blockchain. Overall, the JPM representative seemed enthusiastic about the technology’s perspectives

at the bank.

“So anything that currently exists in the world, as that moves onto the blockchain, this would be the payment leg for that transaction.The applications are frankly quite endless; anything where you have a distributed ledger which involves corporations or institutions can use this.”

JPM Coin resembles a stablecoin — which falls in line with a general trend

According to the CNBC report, JPM Coins are pegged to U.S. dollars so that its value stays stable — technically, that makes the new token a stablecoin, at least in its initial form. Clients will reportedly be issued the coins after depositing dollars at JPMorgan Chase. After the tokens are used for a payment or security purchase on the blockchain, the lender will allegedly destroy them and give clients an equivalent amount of fiat in return.

Overall, stablecoins had a great year in 2018, becoming a growing trend among the market’s most compliance-oriented players. For instance, Goldman Sachs-backed startup Circle launched its USD Coin (USDC) in collaboration with major U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase, and the Winklevoss twins presented their own stablecoin dubbed the Gemini dollar after receiving the regulatory green light from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

JPM Coin will run on Quorum, the bank’s private ETH blockchain

According to an FAQ released by JPM on the same day CNBC broke the news, its token will initially be powered by the aforementioned Quorum blockchain (which is permissioned, or, in other words, private), but will also become applicable to “all standard blockchain networks” in the future. “The JPM Coin will be issued on Quorum Blockchain and subsequently extended to other platforms. JPM Coin will be operable on all standard Blockchain networks,” the guide says. Based on that, Jerry Brito, executive director at Coin Center, a nonprofit research and advocacy center focused on cryptocurrencies and blockchain, told MarketWatch that JPM merely launched an in-house payments system rather than

an actual cryptocurrency:

“There’s a lot of confusion. […] I see folks referring to it as a cryptocurrency. It’s not a cryptocurrency. A cryptocurrency is one that is open and permissionless. If you want to download it, you don’t need permission, you just need some software.”

Further, JPM Coin will eventually expand its role beyond being a stablecoin, as per the FAQ:

“Over time, JPM Coin will be extended to other major currencies. The product and technology capabilities are currency agnostic.”

As for now, the token is designed to be used by JPM’s institutional clients only. Michael Dowling, CEO and founder of FairX, a financial services company involved with banking and cryptocurrencies, and former chief technology officer at IBM’s blockchain division, told Cointelegraph that JPM Coin is “no different/better than any other stablecoin issued by a fintech rather than a bank.”

Dowling argues that JPMorgan Chase’s new digital asset has not been approved as a value transfer instrument by the Office of the Controller of the Currency (OCC), the bank’s chief regulator. Further, he stresses that it is only usable within JPMorgan Chase's “little walled garden,” and has allegedly been tested with just one client. “My guess is this is JPM poking the regulatory bears,” Dowling added.

The bank’s CEO, Jamie Dimon, might be anti-Bitcoin, but he is also pro-blockchain

JPMorgan Chase became notorious among cryptocurrency participants in 2017, when its CEO, Jamie Dimon, openly called Bitcoin a “fraud.” In 2018, Dimon reterierted his position by saying that he doesn’t “really give a s—” about Bitcoin. However, at the 2019 World Economic Forum in Davos, when the JPMorgan Chase CEO was asked if he took any satisfaction when the cryptocurrency plunged last year, he replied negatively and followed with positive comments about the technology that backs it. Specifically, Dimon noted that he is pro-blockchain, despite the excessive hype around the technology. In his view, blockchain is a better replacement for certain

online databases:

“Blockchain is a real technology — it’s just a database we can all access that’s kept up-to-date.”

Indeed, the banking giant has been researching blockchain since 2016, when Quorum’s white paper was first published.

The announcement has received mixed reaction from the community

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, greeted the first U.S. banking cryptocurrency, referencing Mahatma Ghandi’s "first they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win”

alleged quote:

First they …, then they …, then they…, then you win!  Welcome to the real world, JPM!

Cointelegraph has reached out to Ripple for an additional comment on the matter. In response, the Ripple team sent the link to the tweet of their CEO Brad Garlinghouse, who, in turn, criticized the concept of bank-issued digital coins (which he calls “bank coins”) and JPM Coin specifically, citing its

centralized structure:

As predicted, banks are changing their tune on crypto. But this JPM project misses the point – introducing a closed network today is like launching AOL after Netscape’s IPO. 2 years later, and bank coins still aren’t the answer.

Notably, two years ago, Garlinghouse wrote an article in which he argued that such projects — where bank remittances are performed using unique digital tokens — are misguided and would inevitably result in “an even more fragmented currency landscape than what

we have today”:

“If banks of different digital asset groups want to settle trades with one another, they’ll have to make markets between their unique digital assets or trade between their digital assets and a common fiat currency. What a mess!”

However, some community members seem more confident about JPM Coin, suggesting that the new token is capable of achieving widespread use, and hence might overtake Ripple in the future. Multicoin Capital partner

Tushar Jain wrote:

Banks were obviously never going to use XRP for settlements and enrich Ripple Inc (who owns more than half of all XRP). They would rather enrich themselves instead! Kudos to JPM for being first. They are going to wipe the floor with Ripple.Bloomberg business editor Joe Weisenthal expressed a somewhat similar viewpoint If it turns out that the Blockchain/Coin framework turns out to be a good one for banks transferring money around, then the JPM Coin should absolutely obliterate Ripple.While it might be too early to tell whether JPM Coin will be transferred to public blockchains and gain wider recognition among crypto market participants, some seem perplexed by its current capabilities. Thus, Nathaniel Popper, author of the book “Digital Gold, a History of Bitcoin,”

The JPM Coin makes it possible to move dollars between JPMorgan bank accounts instantly. That raises the question: Why was it not already possible to move dollars between two JPMorgan bank accounts instantly?

Article Produced By
Stephen O'Neal

Stephen O'Neal is a Sociology major from Leeds. He's passionate about crypto and all the stuff you can spend it on.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/ordinary-stablecoin-or-xrp-killer-what-we-know-about-jpmorgan-chases-new-cryptocurrency

Binance Offers Token Rewards for Testing New Decentralized Platform

Binance Offers Token Rewards for Testing New Decentralized Platform

                                 

Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance

is offering a reward for testing the company’s new decentralized trading platform Binance DEX. The news was announced by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao in a tweet on Feb. 28. In the post, Changpeng Zhao, who also goes by CZ, invites users to test the recently launched exchange and thus help start the mainnet faster. Users will subsequently be rewarded with Binance’s native token, Binance Coin (BNB)

. Zhao wrote:

“To test the hell out of @Binance_DEX, we are giving away roughly $100,000 USD equivalent, in REAL $BNB, as reward for our testnet trading competition. Come and join the fun, and help us launch the mainnet faster!”

In a separate blog post, Binance provided a detailed description of the Binance DEX simulated trading competition which will take place

from March 7 to March 21, 2019:

“All users who hold at least 1 real BNB on their Binance account will be eligible to participate in this Binance DEX Simulated Trading Competition. Each Binance.com account is able to register a maximum of 20 Binance Chain addresses and will receive 200 virtual testnet BNB tokens to each address to use as their starting funds before the Binance DEX trading competition begins.”

DEX is an exchange powered by blockchain and peer-to-peer (p2p) distributed system Binance Chain, whose testnet launch was announced on Feb. 20. Binance DEX will reportedly support secure decentralized software and hardware wallets. Binance’s Trust Wallet will also be integrated with Binance DEX, along with the Ledger Nano S, with more compatible wallets to be added at a later date. Over the past 24 hours, BNB coin has gained nearly 11 percent and is trading at around $11.45 at press time, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Yesterday, cryptocurrency exchange Kraken posted a $100,000 reward in either fiat or digital currency for tips that could lead to the discovery of the missing assets of the major Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX. In the statement, Kraken said that all leads would be forwarded to the appropriate law enforcement authorities.

Article Produced By
Ana Alexandre

Total change in her career took Anastasia into the world of analytics and business information as a researcher and translator in 2010. Some time later she got into FinTech, a dynamically developing segment at the intersection of the financial services and technology. Ana joined Cointelegraph in September 2017.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/binance-offers-token-rewards-for-testing-new-decentralized-platform

Binance Research: JPM Coin Unlikely to Directly Compete With Ripple’s XRP for Now

Binance Research: JPM Coin Unlikely to Directly Compete With Ripple's XRP, for Now

                                

The research arm of top crypto exchange Binance

has published an analysis of JPMorgan Chase’s newly announced stablecoin, arguing that the digital coin brings “minimal direct competition” to Ripple's XRP token in the near term. The study was published on March 1 by Binance Research. As Cointelegraph has reported, JPMorgan Chase announced the forthcoming launch of its new blockchain settlement offering in mid-February: a stablecoin dubbed JPM Coin, to be backed 1:1 by the bank’s USD reserves.

As Binance Research notes, the JPM Coin pilot project will initially focus on settlement and value transfer between financial institutions and is to be issued on the private, permissioned Quorum blockchain network — a fork of the public Ethereum (ETH) blockchain. In terms of inter-bank settlement, JPM Coin is also purportedly for now unlikely to directly compete with Ripple's XRP token — given the latter’s ambition to serve as a multi-bank “mediator currency between both fiat / crypto currencies and any fiduciary product,” as opposed to JPM Coin’s currently closed network solution.

Taking stock of the bank’s vast global client base and $2.6 trillion balance sheet, Binance Research suggests that JPM Coin “could make the institution the largest stablecoin issuer on a blockchain measured by circulating supply and total market cap.” The coin, the study continues, is poised to become a potential “precursor to the third generation of stablecoins,” which will target the world of traditional finance and aim to serve particular purposes and business use cases by means of private blockchain-powered tokens. In the study’s schema, the first generation was spearheaded by stalwart coin Tether (USDT), later followed by a steady stream of “second generation” new stablecoins over the course of 2018. According to the study, while JPM Coin may have significant material impact in improving the cost and time  efficiency of traditional financial services, the study continues, its implications for the public stablecoin market will in the short term

be minimal:

“Large banks and financial institutions […] have a distinct set of advantages in issuing fiat-collateralized stablecoins, but these offerings will not displace liquid, publicly traded stablecoins in the near-term given their closed ecosystems built on private blockchains.”

Moreover, as a proprietary and centralized network, JPM Coin is unlikely to be tapped by competitors in the banking sectors, who may well release their own native crypto tokens in future, the study contends. As reported, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon this week suggested that JPM Coin could eventually find consumer use and evolve beyond internal use cases. Stablecoin innovation continues to gain global traction — with banking titans such as Japan’s Mizuho Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group both set to launch their own yen-pegged tokens. Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports suggest that Facebook is also developing its own fiat-collateralized crypto, to be integrated into its messaging services.

Article Produced By
Marie Huillet

Marie Huillet is an independent filmmaker, with a background in journalism and publishing. Nomadic by nature, she’s lived in five different countries this decade. She’s fascinated by Blockchain technologies’ potential to reshape all aspects of our lives.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/binance-research-jpm-coin-unlikely-to-directly-compete-with-ripples-xrp-for-now

Big Four Auditor PwC Trials Blockchain System for Verifying Employee Credentials

Big Four Auditor PwC Trials Blockchain System for Verifying Employee Credentials

                                             

Big Four audit and consultancy firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC)

is conducting a trial of its new blockchain-powered platform for ensuring the integrity of employee credentials. The trial, launched in partnership with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS), was announced in a PwC press release published on Feb. 28. PwC’s “Smart Credentials” platform, earlier unveiled on Feb. 13, implements blockchain to issue, store and securely share digital certificates for employees’ professional qualifications. For the trial with ICAS, PwC employees, who have qualified as chartered accountants at the Institute within the past two years, are being issued with a blockchain-based certificate from ICAS that becomes part of their unique digital wallet.

PwC contends that blockchain’s decentralized and tamper-proof architecture can significantly mitigate exposure to fraud. The firm argues that this reduces the risks and costs of screening qualifications when on-boarding employees, as well as simplifies the process of certificate issuance for regulators and institutions. It also provides a secure alternative to paper credentials, which are susceptible to loss and can be costly to replace.

For certificate issuers, using the blockchain platform places no requirements on them to store credentials on their in-house systems, lessening the burden on their infrastructure. With certificates stored on owners’ digital wallets, professionals can update them in accordance with personal development and may provide or revoke their visibility to reviewers. For employers, PwC proposes, the system bolsters confidence in the authenticity of employee documents. Smart Credentials is being pitched as a blockchain solution that can provide “verified, trusted and irrefutable [digital] identities” across multiple fields; Steve Davies, global blockchain leader at PwC, has

stated that:

“Blockchain was designed to allow participants to share data without needing intermediaries. No one party has central ownership, so individuals get more control over their personal data. […] You can also see the potential in any case where credentials are earned and continually updated – such as medical professionals, pilots or safety engineers.”

As reported this week, Japanese multinational conglomerate Sony and IT equipment services firm Fujitsu are to trial blockchain for enhancing the integrity of educational course records and students’ grade data. PwC continues to make multiple inroads into the blockchain and crypto sector worldwide, with investments — notably in China-based Internet-of-Things blockchain network VeChain — and an in-house blockchain and crypto accelerator program for over 1,000 PwC employees.

Report: Singapore’s Wealth Fund GIC Among Those to Raise 300 Mln for Coinbase in 2018

Report: Singapore’s Wealth Fund GIC Among Those to Raise $300 Mln for Coinbase in 2018

                               

Singapore’s Government Investment Corporation (GIC)

was reportedly one of the investors to have helped raise $300 million for major United States crypto wallet provider and exchange service Coinbase in 2018. Bloomberg reported the news on Feb. 28, citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter. According to its official website, GIC — which was founded to manage Singapore’s foreign reserves — has in excess of $100 billion assets in over 40 countries worldwide.

As reported, Coinbase revealed it had raised $300 million in a Series E equity financing round in October 2018, brining its post-money valuation at the time to $8 billion. With the round led by investment firm Tiger Global Management, Coinbase further disclosed at the time a host of backers well-known for their investments in the crypto industry — such as Y Combinator Continuity, Wellington Management, Andreessen Horowitz and Polychain, among others. Singapore’s GIC was not among those investors named.

To press time, neither Coinbase nor GIC have responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment. Bloomberg also cites documents reportedly seen by the news agency last year, which are alleged to have indicated that Coinbase forecast its 2018 revenue at almost $1.3 billion — mostly derived from trading platform commissions and its proprietary crypto asset holdings. In summer 2018 — amid the protracted bear market — analysts judged that revenue generated by crypto exchanges would more than double to hit $4 billion in 2018, with Coinbase estimated to account for 50 percent of the transaction revenue pool.

As Bloomberg notes, the reported entrance of a major state investment fund such as GIC into the crypto sector appears to align with a growing tide of large-scale stalwart investors — including the prestigious Ivy League university endowments at Yale and Harvard — backing the innovative asset class. Notably, as Cointelegraph wrote in Nov. 18, GIC is reported to have joined Singapore government-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte in backing enterprise blockchain software firm and global banking consortium R3. This month, digital asset management fund Grayscale Investments’ latest crypto investment report revealed that the share of its capital inflow from institutional investors is on the rise.

Article Produced By
Marie Huillet

Marie Huillet is an independent filmmaker, with a background in journalism and publishing. Nomadic by nature, she’s lived in five different countries this decade. She’s fascinated by Blockchain technologies’ potential to reshape all aspects of our lives.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/report-singapores-wealth-fund-gic-among-those-to-raise-300-mln-for-coinbase-in-2018

 

Blockchain and Crypto in the Labor Market: Overview of Salaries Taxes and the Most In-Demand Jobs

Blockchain and Crypto in the Labor Market: Overview of Salaries, Taxes and the Most In-Demand Jobs

                                 

Over the past months, the cryptocurrency market has been demonstrating bearish sentiment,

with crypto prices falling to a yearly lows. This is making some blockchain companies rethink their business models and cut employees. However, the slump didn’t prevent the blockchain industry from experiencing a human resources boom, as evidenced by an active growth of vacancies associated with blockchain and digital assets, according to the latest study by recruiting site Glassdoor.

Increase in demand for blockchain-related jobs

As estimated by LinkedIn analysts, 645 vacancies tagged with the words “blockchain,” “Bitcoin,” or “cryptocurrency” were published on the site in 2016. By 2017, this value has surged to approximately 1,800 and to 4,500 vacancies by mid-May of this year. As of now, LinkedIn’s search system displays 13,816 records related to blockchain and 2,479 records related to cryptocurrency.

These estimates are supported by recent data published by Glassdoor’s recruitment portal. As of August 2018, United States companies had posted 1,775 vacancies related to blockchain technology, which is three times more compared to the previous year. As noted in the Glassdoor report, 79 percent of the vacancies are concentrated in the 15 largest American cities, and the most saturated demand regions show that New York and San Francisco account for 24 percent and 21 percent of the total number of crypto-industry job openings. The current total number of blockchain and cryptocurrency vacancies worldwide has grown to around 3,000 and 900 correspondingly.

Software developers are the highest demanded occupation, with 19 percent of vacancies published by employers seeking employees falling into this category. In addition to programmers and technical specialists in the crypto industry, there is a shortage of product managers, risk analysts and marketing specialists. Traders and investment analysts are not among the most sought-after professionals in the crypto industry. But there are more and more vacancies for specialists in new disciplines that have appeared in the wake of blockchain technology’s popularity — “Decentralized Finance,” “Decentralized Internet,” and “Security Hardware.”

However, if taking into consideration the last three months, a fuller picture looks partially different. According to the extended analytics shared by job-search platform Indeed with Cointelegraph, from October 2017 to October 2018, job-seeker interest for roles related to Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency declined by 3 percent, while employer interest for roles related to the same terms only rose (25.49 percent), which was different than the interest levels from the year before by both parties. If looking at data from 2016 to 2017, job-seeker interest for roles related to Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency rose by 481.61 percent, while employer interest for roles related to the same terms rose by 325 percent. The following graph shows both the growth of job-seeker interest in jobs with these keywords and the growth of job postings for jobs with these keywords for that time period.

Today, IBM, ConsenSys and Oracle have the greatest need for qualified personnel. Each of them has more than 200 corresponding vacancies, as Glassdoor reports. They became strong competitors of the industry leaders like crypto exchanges, among which Coinbase and Kraken have the greatest need for qualified personnel. The list of major employers for blockchain professionals has also been joined by larger consulting firms Accenture and KPMG. At the same time, the lack of vacancies related to blockchain from such giants as Facebook, Google and Apple could be noted. The need for crypto industry experts isn’t a uniquely American phenomenon. In August, Cointelegraph reported a 50 percent increase in the number of vacancies associated with blockchain and cryptocurrency in Australia, India, Singapore and Malaysia compared with 2017. At the same time, developers who are proficient in the Python programming language are among the most desirable candidates.

“Half-a-million-dollar” jobs and “insane” packages

The lack of qualified personnel means higher salaries for blockchain specialists. As estimated by Glassdoor, the average base salary for such employees is $84,884 a year. This is 62 percent higher than the average wage in the United States ($52,461 per year). At the same time, the variation in salaries ranges from $36,046 for junior developers to $223,667 a year for qualified software engineers. Blockchain developers with three to five years of experience can earn “half-a-million-dollars” a year, according to Blockchain Developers recruitment agency. At the same time, analysts suggest that newcomers can count on a salary “definitely well over $120,000.”

Company executives also noted the increase in salaries in the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry. According to David Schwartz, chief cryptographer at Ripple, the hiring packages have "gotten insane" since “ICOs dumped a bunch of money on the industry.” In particular, a couple of Ripple developers received “$1 million signing bonus offers,” Schwartz disclosed. Notably, the current average salary of software engineer at Ripple is $125,000, as estimated by Glassdoor. Given the fact that the same job was paid $85,000 in May 2018, according to Paysa, it doesn’t seem the crypto market prices affect the developers salaries, at least not at Ripple.

Some employers attribute the decline in the quality of products produced by developers to the increase in salaries. According to Alex Ferrara, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, which invests in crypto funds, such an “overeagerness” is “impacting the pace of development. A lot of these projects are way behind on their launch schedules.” The current realities of the blockchain industry has been continuously battered by a declining cryptocurrency market, which is partially responsible for the tightening of staff shortages. As raising funds through ICO became more accessible than crowdfunding, qualified specialists prefer to launch their own projects and begin to assemble their development teams, as was the case with Amber Baldet. The leader of JPMorgan Chase’s blockchain team left the company on April 2 to start her own project. As a result of such “forks” inside companies, the shortage of personnel is becoming increasingly acute.

Who needs salaries in crypto?

The popularity of cryptocurrency as a means of remuneration is also growing, although not as quickly. On Sept. 17, HR startup Chronobank published the results of its survey of 445 crypto enthusiasts from around the world, including the U.S., Australia and Russia. The respondents were asked in which currency they preferred to receive wages. Two-thirds (66 percent) of them stated that they were ready to be paid for work in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies. The majority (83 percent) of respondents indicated they were supportive of receiving their bonus payments in digital money. Of the individuals interviewed, 72 percent said that, when choosing their next job, they would prefer an employer who offered the possibility of paying salaries in cryptocurrency.

One-fifth of the respondents indicated that they would exchange cryptocurrency, received as wages, for traditional money. Notably, half of the respondents believe that if they receive a salary in cryptocurrency, they will spend less than they do now. The results of the latest survey conducted by peer-to-peer (p2p) platform Humans.net demonstrated the high level of interest and readiness among U.S. citizens to get paid in cryptocurrencies. Eleven percent of 1,100 freelancers responded that they would like to have their salaries be paid in digital money, and 18 percent expressed their desire to receive a part of their wages in crypto.

Today, wages in cryptocurrency are popular mainly inside the industry. On Aug.18 TechCrunch editor Michael Arrington tweeted that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao told him that 90 percent of the company's employees preferred to receive a salary in the platform’s native token, Binance Coin (BNB).In December 2017, GMO Internet, a Tokyo-based IT giant, announced its plans to start paying salaries in cryptocurrency. The company intended to pay up to 100,000 yen ($884) of over 4,000 employees monthly salary in Bitcoin. Bitcoin.com also offers its employees the opportunity to get paid in Bitcoin Cash, given the information from job openings located on its website.

However, cryptocurrency wage payment goes beyond the industry. In August, semi-professional football club "Gibraltar United" announced plans to pay its players a salary with a cryptocurrency called Quantocoin. Club owner Pablo Dan believes that the use of cryptocurrency provides greater transparency and, most importantly, simplifies financial relations with foreign footballers playing for the club. Experts believe that the salaries in cryptocurrency will help international companies attract remote foreign specialists.

“Several U.S.-based companies are paying their international workers in Bitcoin, as it can save both the company and the employee money,” Bloomberg Law analysts suggest. According to the statistics published on the company’s website, nearly 200 companies use Bitwage, a service allowing employees and freelancers to receive payments in cryptocurrency. As estimated by Bloomberg Law, about 65 percent of Bitwage clients are U.S. companies, and 95 percent are using it for paying wages to international workers.

The current statistics, located on the Bitwage’s website, shows that over $31 million has been paid to employees by the companies through this service. Among the clients mentioned are Google, Facebook, Uber and Airbnb. For some people, cryptocurrency payments become more than just a new way to carry out the transactions. Workers in such regions like Latin America, which might not have a matured banking system or stable currency, are given the ability to be paid in cryptocurrencies. For example, developers in Venezuela got more business opportunities and revenues with the advent of Bitcoin. However, receiving wages in cryptocurrency may involve tax liability.

Tax liabilities

The main obstacle to the spread of cryptocurrency salaries remains the lack of clearly defined legislation, including tax rules. Today, the regulatory approaches of different countries and their views on the taxation of digital money vary greatly. In the European Union, there are no special rules for regulating activities related to digital money, and the taxation of crypto transactions is regulated by the national legislation of each country. As a result, in France, digital currencies are subject to capital gains taxes, with fees of 14-45 percent. Germany doesn’t charge any taxes as long as cryptocurrency is used as a means of payment. Bitcoin has no established legal status in the U.K,, but is commonly treated as a foreign currency for most purposes, including value-added and goods-and-service taxes.

Asian countries offer a different approach to taxation of crypto-related activity. In Singapore, if digital currencies are part of the taxpayer's investment portfolio, then the profits from selling them are not taxed, since they are considered capital gains. Notably, Bitcoin is recognized not as money but as a service, and therefore a tax on goods and services (local analogue to VAT) is applied to it. In China, cryptocurrency transactions are subject to income tax and capital gains tax, and revenues are subject to taxation. Japanese individuals are charged from 15 to 55 percent for any activity related to Bitcoin. In Australia, cryptocurrency transactions are subject to income tax. In Canada, they are subject to income and capital gains tax, with up to 50 percent of the revenue charged. In the U.S., cryptocurrency owners pay taxes on digital money as they would on property.

Blockchain in recruitment

As blockchain technology and cryptocurrency give birth to new jobs, business models reliant on third-party involvement may become increasingly outdated. The bottom line is that smart contracts — decentralized, digitized commercial agreements — control the fulfillment of obligations by all parties and manage all essential financial flows. As a result, the third-party services of various kinds of intermediaries may no longer be required. Meanwhile, mediation services constitute a large segment of the modern economy. After all, in traditional contracts used by banks, brokers, authorities, realtors and others, it is the intermediary that describes the terms of the transaction, draws up the document template, monitors the execution of an agreement, and appropriates a significant part of the payment.

Smart contracts automatically coordinate and ensure the interests of all parties, almost instantly and free-of-charge. Moreover, the inability to change information in the blockchain provides the highest level of security to all participants in the transaction, eliminating the possibility of data manipulation and deception. Basically, one smart contract can replace a room full of corporate lawyers, realtors, recruiters, risk managers and other professionals whose work essentially boils down to the formal assessment of documents.

In addition to regulating labor relations inside the company, blockchain technology can become a magic pill for the freelancing industry. During the past couple of years, the scale of remote work around the world has increased significantly, and the sector is expected to continue to expand. Former U.S. Secretary of Labor Robert Reich calculated that in a couple of years, 40 percent of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers. However, this could lead to a number of issues since freelancers are not considered to be full-time employees, which means that they remain outside the scope of health insurance, pensions and other social benefits. Moreover, they are forced to use the services of aggregator sites, which primarily focus on the interests of the customer, and not the freelancers themselves. In addition, such platforms like Upwork charge up to 20 percent for a bill, and payments for the work performed are often delayed.

Some projects use the advantages of blockchain technology to solve the problems that currently plague the freelance economy. Some provide freelancers with service where blockchain is leveraged to ensure paid vacation and sick pay when needed. Other solutions offer a blockchain-based system for resolving disputes between customers and freelancers. Some platforms are deploying blockchain-powered Human Resource Bank to allow p2p matching of potential employers with contractors on the basis of verifiability of all user data, and excluding the possibility of falsification. The use of blockchain technologies in social networks and internet sites for freelancers demonstrates the high demand of the industry for new solutions using advanced technologies and cryptocurrencies. The exclusion of intermediaries, direct communication, reputation systems is what the blockchain brings to the labor industry.

What's next

The pace of development and the integration of blockchain and cryptocurrency in everyday life will likely depend on the position and attitude of national governments. Countries with a friendly position on cryptocurrency are already leaders in the use of blockchain technology. Florida residents pay for property taxes, driver's licenses, ID cards and car numbers in cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash — using the BitPay payment system. The corresponding decree has been approved by the State Department of Taxes.

Meanwhile, in 2017, China banned cryptocurrency trading, ICOs and cryptocurrency exchanges, and the result was a tenfold decrease in the circulation of cryptocurrencies. According to the country's central bank, the yuan's share in the Bitcoin market fell from 90 percent to 1 percent, and 88 crypto exchanges and 85 blockchain startups that had been operating in China since autumn 2017 left the country. In such conditions, the numbers of those who want to receive a salary in Bitcoin may also gradually drop.

Another factor, which may impact the adoption of cryptocurrency in the labor market, is the price of digital currency. As of now, most cryptocurrencies are volatile, and that dramatically cools the enthusiasm of workers regarding the payments of wages in digital currency. As the sector continues to develop, mature and adhere to government-mandated regulations, the number of workers choosing to receive their wages in Bitcoin, Ether and other cryptocurrencies may become more and more common. Raj Mukherjee, senior vice president of products at Indeed,

told Cointelegraph:

“While over the last few years, Indeed saw a steady rise in job-seeker interest for roles related to cryptocurrency, our data shows that job searches for these roles really picked up around the time when the cost of Bitcoin was at its highest. Since then, job-seeker interest has gone down, but still remains strong.”

On the other hand, the demand for specialists capable of solving specific tasks will grow. Stephane Kasriel,

CEO of Upwork said:

“In just a few years, more than 30 percent of the workforce’s essential skills will be new. We’re seeing that shift take place on Upwork, where new and emerging skills like blockchain surface on a monthly basis."

Large corporations like IBM and Microsoft have been willing to invest for the long term in blockchain by expanding hiring over the last year. The trend of mid-2018 will likely continue moving to smaller companies, as experts predict. Though the overall number of applications posted by job-seekers has declined by 3 percent since last year, the continuous fall in cryptocurrencies’ prices hasn’t affected the interest that companies seeking blockchain specialists have demonstrated.

Article Produced By
Julia Magas

Julia is good at analysing cryptocurrency and blockchain market, as well as finding the deep and most demanding information, even when it's practically impossible. Julia writes for a number of digital information resources, raging from music to technology and game reviews. Practices some trading for experimental and analytical purposes.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/blockchain-and-crypto-in-the-labor-market-overview-of-salaries-taxes-and-the-most-in-demand-jobs

Mercedes-Benz to Use Blockchain Tech for Sustainable Transaction Book Supply Chains

Mercedes-Benz to Use Blockchain Tech for Sustainable Transaction Book, Supply Chains

                                

German automobile brand Mercedes-Benz Car has developed a platform

based on blockchain technology to increase transparency and sustainability in complex supply chains, according to press release published on Feb. 25. Mercedes-Benz, a division of Daimler AG, a German multinational automotive corporation, has partnered with United States-based software company Icertis for cooperating in the development of blockchain tech for supply chain use.

Mercedes-Benz has announced that that they have jointly developed and programmed a prototype with Icertis based on blockchain technology that allows for the storage of documentations and contracts in complex supply chains. The project allows for the creation of a transparent and sustainable mapping of sorted documents across the entire supply chain, the press release notes. The parties have now entered the testing phase of the pilot project. Underlining the complexity of the modern supply chains, Wilko Stark, a member of the divisional board of Management Mercedes-Benz, states that blockchain tech could affect “nearly the entire value chain,”

adding:

"Blockchain technology has the potential to fundamentally revolutionize our procurement processes […] With our Blockchain-prototype, we are in the first step testing one of diverse possible applications with the aim of increasing transparency beyond our direct suppliers."

As Cointelegraph wrote on Sep. 26, Porsche AG, another major German automobile manufacturer, announced their plans to increase investments in blockchain-related startups in order to “gain access to trends, new technologies and business models.” Earlier this month, one of largest general trading company in Japan, Itochu Corporation, officially announced the start of a proof-of-concept aimed at developing a blockchain-backed traceability system that would allow buyers and sellers to record transaction details about supply chains through a smartphone app, as Cointelegraph reported on Feb. 1.

Article Produced By
Max Yakubowski

Max Yakubowski has a Ph.D. in Linguistics and Anthropology, with a focus in innovative technology and its cultural and social influence. He joins Cointelegraph after working as a freelance copywriter and blogger.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/mercedes-benz-to-use-blockchain-tech-for-sustainable-transaction-book-supply-chains

Dow Jones’ watchlist of 24 million high-risk clients has leaked

Dow Jones’ watchlist of 2.4 million high-risk clients has leaked

                                

A watchlist of risky individuals and corporate entities

owned by Dow Jones has been exposed, after a company with access to the database left it on a server without a password. Bob Diachenko, an independent security researcher, found the Amazon Web Services-hosted Elasticsearch database exposing more than 2.4 million records of individuals or business entities. The data, since secured, is the financial giant’s Watchlist database, which companies use as part of their risk and compliance efforts. Other financial companies, like Thomson Reuters, have their own databases of high-risk clients, politically exposed persons and terrorists — but have also been exposed over the years through separate security lapses.

A 2010-dated brochure billed the Dow Jones Watchlist as allowing customers to “easily and accurately identify high-risk clients with detailed, up-to-date profiles” on any individual or company in the database. At the time, the database had 650,000 entries, the brochure said. That includes current and former politicians, individuals or companies under sanctions or convicted of high-profile financial crimes such as fraud, or anyone with links to terrorism. Many of those on the list include “special interest persons,” according to the records in the exposed database seen by TechCrunch.Diachenko, who wrote up his findings, said the database was “indexed, tagged and searchable.”

From a 2010-dated brochure of Dow Jones’ Watchlist, which at the time had 650,000 names of individuals and entities. The exposed database had 2.4 million records. (Screenshot: TechCrunch)Many financial institutions and government agencies use the database to approve or deny financing, or even in the shuttering of bank accounts, the BBC previously reported. Others have reported that it can take little or weak evidence to land someone on the watchlists.The data is all collected from public sources, such as news articles and government filings. Many of the individual records were sourced from Dow Jones’ Factiva news archive, which ingests data from many news sources — including the Dow Jones-owned The Wall Street Journal.

But the very existence of a name, or the reason why a name exists in the database, is proprietary and closely guarded. The records we saw vary wildly, but can include names, addresses, cities and their location, whether they are deceased or not and, in some cases, photographs. Diachenko also found dates of birth and genders. Each profile had extensive notes collected from Factiva and other sources. One name found at random was Badruddin Haqqani, a commander in the Haqqani guerilla insurgent network in Afghanistan affiliated with the Taliban. In 2012, the U.S. Treasury imposed sanctions on Haqqani and others for their involvement in financing terrorism. He was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan in August 2012. The database record on Haqqani, who was categorized under “sanctions list” and terror,”

included (and condensed for clarity):

DOW JONES NOTES:
Killed in Pakistan's North Waziristan tribal area on 21-Aug-2012.

OFFICE OF FOREIGN ASSETS CONTROL (OFAC) NOTES:

Eye Color Brown; Hair Color Brown; Individual's Primary Language Pashto; Operational Commander of the Haqqani Network

EU NOTES:

Additional information from the narrative summary of reasons for listing provided by the Sanctions Committee:

Badruddin Haqqani is the operational commander for the Haqqani Network, a Taliban-affiliated group of militants that operates from North Waziristan Agency in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. The Haqqani Network has been at the forefront of insurgent activity in Afghanistan, responsible for many high-profile attacks. The Haqqani Network's leadership consists of the three eldest sons of its founder Jalaluddin Haqqani, who joined Mullah Mohammed Omar's Taliban regime in the mid-1990s. Badruddin is the son of Jalaluddin and brother to Nasiruddin Haqqani and Sirajuddin Haqqani, as well as nephew of Khalil Ahmed Haqqani.

Badruddin helps lead Taliban associated insurgents and foreign fighters in attacks against targets in south- eastern Afghanistan. Badruddin sits on the Miram Shah shura of the Taliban, which has authority over Haqqani Network activities.

Badruddin is also believed to be in charge of kidnappings for the Haqqani Network. He has been responsible for the kidnapping of numerous Afghans and foreign nationals in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border region.

UN NOTES:

Other information: Operational commander of the Haqqani Network and member of the Taliban shura in Miram Shah. Has helped lead attacks against targets in southeastern Afghanistan. Son of Jalaluddin Haqqani (TI.H.40.01.). Brother of Sirajuddin Jallaloudine Haqqani (TI.H.144.07.) and Nasiruddin Haqqani (TI.H.146.10.). Nephew of Khalil Ahmed Haqqani (TI.H.150.11.). Reportedly deceased in late August 2012.

FEDERAL FINANCIAL MONITORING SERVICES NOTES:

Entities and individuals against whom there is evidence of involvement in terrorism.

Dow Jones spokesperson Sophie Bent said: “This dataset is part of our risk and compliance feed product, which is entirely derived from publicly available sources. At this time our review suggests this resulted from an authorized third party’s misconfiguration of an AWS server, and the data is no longer available.” We asked Dow Jones specific questions, such as who the source of the data leak was and if the exposure would be reported to U.S. regulators and European data protection authorities, but the company would not comment on the record. Two years ago, Dow Jones admitted a similar cloud storage misconfiguration exposed the names and contact information of 2.2 million customers, including subscribers of The Wall Street Journal. The company described the event as an “error.”

Article Produced By
Zack Whittaker

Security editor

Zack Whittaker is the security editor at TechCrunch.

https://techcrunch.com/2019/02/27/dow-jones-watchlist-leak/

Blockchain Post-Trade Platform Vakt Partners With Majority of North Sea Oil Market

Blockchain Post-Trade Platform Vakt Partners With Majority of North Sea Oil Market

                                

Vakt, a blockchain-based post-trade platform

for oil, has signed up four new clients, according to a statement published on the platform’s website on Feb. 25. As per Etienne Amic, Vakt’s recently appointed CEO, the company has partnered with four new clients prior to its official launch at International Petroleum Week, which starts in London today, Feb. 26. The new users of the platform join major industry players that initially backed Vakt, including BP, Shell and Total, along with traders Gunvor and Mercuria, the press release notes. Other Vakt investors reportedly include industry giants Chevron, Equinor and Reliance Industries. The new contracts mean that Vakt will be used in about two-thirds of all oil deals in the North Sea region. According to Amic, the significant level of adoption in the energy sector could motivate others to

examine blockchain solutions:

“We felt that we needed about 60 to 70 per cent of a market to reach ignition point [that would] incentivise other people to join.”

According to the announcement, the platform is planning to expand its blockchain services to barges of oil products in northern Europe and United States crude pipelines. Vakt, whose main goal is to improve the routine of commodity trading and eliminate unnecessary paperwork and contracts, was launched back in November 2018, boasting major oil firms and banks as partners. Earlier this month, Amic — formerly a JPMorgan Chase executive — was appointed as Vakt’s new CEO. As Cointelegraph reported, he will be responsible for commodities trading. A similar platform was launched last year in Switzerland by a group of major global banks, trading firms and a leading energy company. The venture, dubbed Komgo SA, oversees a blockchain-based platform for commodity trading financing.

Article Produced By
Ana Berman

https://cointelegraph.com/news/blockchain-post-trade-platform-vakt-partners-with-majority-of-north-sea-oil-market

Cowboys on the Block: Inside Wyoming’s Race for Crypto Prominence

Cowboys on the Block: Inside Wyoming’s Race for Crypto Prominence

                               

In the first month of 2019, the state of Wyoming

has performed yet another series of power moves showcasing its continued commitment to becoming America’s new crypto hub, even despite recent changes in political leadership. The incoming governor, Mark Gordon, made room for some blockchain talk in his inauguration speech, celebrating the state’s innovative approach to regulation and touting a handful of homegrown startups. Over the next couple of weeks, Wyoming’s legislature erupted with a series of groundbreaking crypto-related bills that is only comparable to a similar wave in March of last year.

America’s least populous state, whose economy has been always skewed toward mining and agriculture, looks determined as ever to deliver on the promise to become the nation’s “crypto valley.” Consonant with this jaunty tune, blockchain startups have indeed started pouring into the area. Perhaps Wyoming’s biggest signing this year so far is the relocation of Iohk, the company behind the Cardano blockchain.

The sweeping changes that the Cowboy State’s lawmakers have recently passed or introduced as bills include defining three categories of digital assets and treating them as property; granting assets designated as virtual currencies the same legal status as money; authorizing banks to hold digital assets in custody; allowing corporations to issue certificate tokens that represent shares; and creating a regulatory fintech sandbox aimed at further diminishing any regulatory hurdles to industry startups. These developments look more radical than many of the other states’ recent blockchain-savvy moves, as they often explicitly challenge a variety of disparate federal approaches to crypto regulation.

Celebrating the news of another revolutionary piece of crypto legislation from Wyoming, one could wonder: Is this for real? Are they serious about this? What is it they are really shooting for? Putting Wyoming’s newfound crypto drive in a broader context could shed some light on how and why the state of ranchers and miners decided to boldly reach out to the crypto industry.

Courting the giants

It is not unprecedented for a small state far removed from traditional technology and financial hubs to be courting a burgeoning new industry amid regulatory uncertainty — something that often happens after the initial period of explosive growth. Once a state is willing to tweak its laws to provide a greenhouse level of care and protection to a particular class of enterprises, moving from the comfort of coastal urban areas into some windy plains doesn’t seem like

that much trouble any more.

An unlikely romance between Citibank and South Dakota provides a textbook example. In the early 1980s, when the initial gold rush of early credit card lending business began stalling under the weight of regulations — such as strict interest rate caps — policymakers in the Midwestern state saw their chance. Taking advantage of a Supreme Court ruling that allowed banks to charge the highest interest rate allowed in their home state, South Dakota introduced a batch of lax banking laws and invited banks to feel themselves at home. In 1981, Citibank was the first to respond to the call, bringing thousands of new jobs into the area. The city of Sioux Falls now has about 20,000 financial sector jobs, while South Dakota holds more bank assets than any other state.

Another place in the United States that definitely knows how to attract out-of-state enterprises is Delaware. Its hospitality extends beyond just tech businesses, or any specific kinds of businesses, for that matter — the state has long been known as a tax haven and is now home to almost a half of all U.S. public corporations. More recently, it has seen a surge in limited liability corporations (LLC) registration, thanks to relative ease of incorporation and a small flat LLC tax. Delaware also has a far-reaching statewide blockchain initiative, which apparently became the inspiration for one of the fresh Wyoming bills. Against the background of the already highly welcoming corporate climate, however, Delaware’s set of blockchain-friendly policies inevitably looks less salient than the Cowboy State’s legislative onslaught.

Underlying interests

So, how exactly does the influx of digital-money businesses promise to benefit Wyoming? Perhaps the simplest hunch is that the state is looking to capitalize on registration and incorporation fees. Delaware’s example is enticing: Once you have a steady stream of newcomers from all over the place, you can enter a virtuous circle by keeping the fees low and attracting even more enterprises. State Rep. Tyler Lindholm, who has been behind most of Wyoming’s key blockchain legislation, openly admitted to looking at the Northeastern state as a benchmark, and noted that his state was making about $30 million in fees, against Delaware’s $1.2 billion.

If there is one thing that is potentially more lucrative than attracting a whole new industry to your jurisdiction, it is harboring a new industry that barely exists elsewhere. This is basically what the digital asset custody bill does. By authorizing banks to administer digital assets under the new regulatory framework, Wyoming sets out to reach an ambitious goal of enabling them to comply with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) regulations for “qualified custodians.” This is nothing less than a bid to establish a regulatory environment that would allow for the entirely new class of services to emerge within the state: digital asset custody.

It is worth noting that Wyoming’s attraction to blockchain technology is not a standalone phenomenon, but rather a part of a larger effort to diversify the economy. The official commitment to expanding the state’s technology sector is at least seven years old, while theEconomically Needed Diversity Options for Wyoming (ENDOW) program was established in 2017. It was the ENDOW executive council that included recommendations for legislative action on several technological initiatives last year, including a series of blockchain-related bills.

One more reason to double down on blockchain liberalization has been the flight of money transmitters from the state over the last few years — and the need to get them back.  Contrary to the proclaimed tech-friendly spirit, the Wyoming Money Transmitters Act, which was passed in 2011 and came into full effect in 2014, imposed cumbersome licensing requirements on crypto exchanges. This forced Coinbase and a handful of others to halt their operations in the state by 2015. The series of laws enacted last March included provisions that crypto exchanges be exempted from the money transmission laws. A few months later, Coinbase returned to Wyoming.

Wyoming Blockchain Coalition

If some important legislative developments have taken place somewhere in the U.S., probably someone has lobbied for it. Lurking behind all the news reports of Wyoming’s blockchain regulation advancements is the group called the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition, as well as the names of several of its prominent members. Among them, Caitlin Long is the undisputed headliner.

A Wyoming native with a passion for “honest ledgers,” Long spent more than two decades working for the likes of Morgan Stanley before heading the blockchain startup Symbiont. Having realized that she couldn’t legally donate to the University of Wyoming in crypto, Long got the idea that the state law could use some improvement. That’s how the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition came about. Consisting initially of Long and a few of her friends, the group eventually drew in many of the state’s forward-thinking notables. Their names can now be found among those who sponsored the groundbreaking bills.

Not only are some state politicians members of the coalition, they are also personally invested in local blockchain enterprises. Sen. Ogden Driskill became involved last year with BeefChain — a Wyoming-based startup that is building an immutable ledger designed to track free-range cattle. Another legislator who often makes headlines in crypto media, Rep. Tyler Lindholm, acts as the chief of ranching operations for the same company.

It appears that Wyoming’s impressive push for blockchain leadership relies on several major ingredients. There is evidently a consensus among the elites as to the urgent need for expanding and promoting the state’s technology sector — and somehow they decided that the trendy distributed ledger technology might be their best bet. There is also a tried and tested strategy for small states that are eager to get ahead: tailoring legislation to the needs of whomever they are betting on. Yet, even when all the structural factors are in place, things are unlikely to work unless there are leaders on the ground, who value and understand the innovation they are pushing for. With the blockchain-savvy ranchers of Wyoming, this seems to be the case.

Article Produced By
Kirill Bryanov

Kirill Bryanov is a PhD researcher at Lousiana State University. His scholarly interests center on political and societal implications of communication technology, with a focus on blockchain-powered decentalized architectures.

https://cointelegraph.com/news/cowboys-on-the-block-inside-wyomings-race-for-crypto-prominence