This is Charles Brett’s start-of-the-week Enterprise Times ‘blockchain catch-up’ Week 14. Necessarily it is idiosyncratic and selective.
It is not intended to be comprehensive but does seek to highlight ‘Quick Takes’ on specific developments as well interesting pieces to read, a listing of some (not all) announcements/press releases and pointers to upcoming events.
Quick Takes – Charles Brett’s Blockchain Catch-up Week 14
U.S. cryptocurrency regulatory path appears long and complex
Per Reuters: “Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, and essentially all digital assets have surged in price recently amid surging interest by the public, investors of all types, and the financial industry. Despite a steadily growing acceptance and anticipation of a crypto-friendly regulatory environment under the new administration in Washington, the future regulatory framework for digital assets is complex and uncertain.
“Building a new framework is a huge task, involving many stakeholders and extending beyond highly publicized bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Use of blockchain technology, electronic payments, “stable coins,” digital central bank currencies, and “non-fungible tokens,” which have taken the art and collecting world by storm recently, will all need to be addressed to varying degrees by regulators.
“Lawmakers, regulators, and financial services industry participants all are seeking more regulatory certainty surrounding cryptos, which means new rules, guidance, or interpretations. Questions of who will take the lead, what will be prioritized, how long will it take, and most importantly, what will the overall regulatory framework look like, are yet to be answered.”
Quick Take: this Reuters piece points out “it remains to be seen if the US will race to catch up. With the potential for frictions and the complexities of the multiple stakeholders, the United States may take a more wait-and-see approach. Eventually, harmonisation and/or coordination of rules will likely need to occur, but that may be years down the road. In the interim, the (US) regulatory landscape for digital assets will evolve, though probably slower than many will wish for, and coming from multiple agencies and departments.” Arguably, for once, constructive rulemaking in Europe is well ahead of the US.
Russia Considers Blockchain Alternative to SWIFT
The Russian government is experimenting with currency and blockchain-based solutions. These might deliver an alternative to the SWIFT payment system, according to Russia’s deputy foreign minister Alexander Pankin. A statement (in Russian) comes during recurring uncertainty about Russia’s relationship and intentions along with Russia’s fear it might be cut off from the SWIFT payments system for its many divisive and threatening actions.
Quick Take: If Russia (and/or Iran, which is considering something similar for the same reasons) were to introduce an alternative ‘SWIFT’ this could also become a conduit to prevent the tracking of payments across the globe. It is a vital part of countering money laundering, criminality and terrorism financing. It would likely also weaken existing international payment systems as tools through which to put political pressure on recalcitrant state actors. Were China to join in, then there would be a major West/East payments divide, and SWIFT would suffer.
7 pieces to read – Charles Brett’s Blockchain Catch-up Week 14
- Policy assessments for the carbon emission flows and sustainability of Bitcoin blockchain operation in China
- E-krona pilot Phase 1: Swedish Central Bank report: study of digital currency
- Don’t get NFTs? Don’t worry, neither do most Americans
- Blockchain and taking the politics out of tech
- Money isn’t the only reason auction houses are jumping on NFTs
- Stock clearing stalwarts face increasing threat from blockchain (behind paywall)
- Cosmos enables IBC (Inter-Blockchain Communication) token transfers
Selected announcements/press releases/opinions – Charles Brett’s Blockchain Catch-up Week 14
- Crystal expands blockchain coverage and crypto AML compliance solutions (press release)
- Ryan Chew opines on blockchain for solving global issues (opinion)
- XELS launches eco-conscious blockchain platform for carbon offset credits (press release)
- DeFi needs regulatory clarity to interface with ‘real-world’ finance, experts say (opinion)
- Fuse Network opens a bridge to Binance Smart Chain to boost blockchain interoperability and mitigate high fees on Ethereum (press release)
- After breaking $100 billion TVL, DeFi is now the equivalent of a top 40 U.S. bank (opinion)
- Apotheka Systems awarded patent for managing patient information using blockchain network (press release)
- CrossFi: the liquidity solution for DeFi (press release)
- OSOM Finance joins Blockchain for Europe to advance responsible EU crypto regulation (press release)
- SEBA Bank lists Digital Assets ETPs on SIX Swiss Exchange in strategic cooperation with GHCO, a leading liquidity provider (press release)
- Wing, Ontology’s cross chain DeFi lending platform is now live on Ethereum (press release).
Selected upcoming events
- European Blockchain Convention – Virtual (12-16 April, 2021)
- 2021 Forbes Blockchain 50 Symposium: Crypto goes corporate (13th April, 2021, from 1400-1600 ET / 1900-2100 UTC+1)
- BlockDown 4.0 (15th-16th April, 2021)
- Polkadot Decoded (20th May, 2021)
- Blockchain Fest 2021 (10th-11th June, 2021)
- Global DeFi Summit 2021 (24th June 2021)
- Blockchance Europe 2021 (July 7th-9th, 2021)
- Blockchain Conference/Blockchain Expo Europe 2021 (23rd-24th November, 2021)
- LA Blockchain Summit (November 2nd-3rd, 2021).