This is Charles Brett’s start-of-the-week Enterprise Times ‘blockchain catch-up’ Week 49. Necessarily it is idiosyncratic and selective.
While not intended to be comprehensive it 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 49
UK spy chief raises fears over China’s digital renminbi
In an interview with the FT, Sir Jeremy Fleming, head of GCHQ, warns technology could allow Beijing to monitor users and exert control over global currency transactions. “While digital currencies present a “great opportunity” to democratise payment systems, the development of this new technology also poses a threat. (But) if wrongly implemented, it gives a hostile state the ability to surveil transactions. It gives them the ability . . . to be able to exercise control over what is conducted on those digital currencies.”
Quick Take: though the interview spans much more than fears about what the digital renminbi will enable, this is a piece to ponder (if you can obtain it – it is behind the FT’s paywall). More should become clearer when the National Cyber Security Centre (arguably the defensive arm of GCHQ) publishes its cyber strategy document in the next months.
For Enterprise Times, though the focus was on the dangers of the digital renminbi, there is a need to remember that all the downsides Sir Jeremy raises (privacy, personal monitoring, intrusion, etc) apply as much to any digital dollar, euro or pound. The temptation for governments, especially ones with illiberal tendencies, may be too much – with unanticipated consequences. Which is not to say that digital currencies are inherently bad; only that they should not be the only form of currency. Alternatives mean citizens can make choices.
7 pieces to read – Charles Brett’s Blockchain Catch-up Week 49
- Blockchains need to move toward standards for interoperable asset transfers
- Why the world’s biggest traders are betting on blockchain data
- New blockchain tech promises to ease Ethereum’s growing pains
- Adopt blockchain tech for e-governance
- Tezos blockchain records a 70% increase in energy efficiency in 2021
- Kickstarter will move its crowdfunding platform to blockchain
- ShelfNow enables blockchain technology for online for Caffè Barbera.
Selected announcements/press releases/opinions – Charles Brett’s Blockchain Catch-up Week 49
- Why a securities specific blockchain is needed, explained (opinion)
- The future of sustainable blockchain technology is here (opinion)
- Bitcoin adoption among far-right extremists leaves its mark on the blockchain (opinion)
- An essay From El Salvador: a glass half full or a block half-empty (opinion)
- How centralised is Bitcoin mining really (opinion)
- SIX Digital Exchange goes live on R3’s Corda (announcement)
- University of Cambridge to launch decentralised carbon credit marketplace on the Tezos blockchain (announcement)
- Ubisoft announces Quartz, a blockchain-powered NFT cosmetics system (announcement).
Selected upcoming events
- Crypto Finance Conference (San Moritz, January 2022)
- Bitcoin 2022 (April 6th-9th, 2022).