As The Blockchain Revolution Moves Offshore, What Are The Challenges?

 

Blockchain has been widely touted as the most significant technology of the last 20 years, with the potential to revolutionise the financial services industry across a range of applications, from crypto-currencies to smart contracts, to fully automated clearing and settlements systems for payments.

Crucially, blockchain networks can operate securely without the need for any central administrator, and the technology can work for almost every type of transaction. The technology is particularly appealing as a possible replacement for existing processes, which are largely manual, labour-intensive and paper-based but require sensitive information to be transferred and stored in a secure manner, for example, know-your-customer (KYC) processes for identifying new clients. Its potential uses are almost limitless.

Offshore financial centres have a large stake here and are well placed to become attractive destinations for technology entrepreneurs looking for a neutral jurisdiction for their global operations. As the Cayman Islands, Bermuda, the BVI and other offshore jurisdictions position themselves as financial technology (FinTech) hubs, there are certain regulatory risks and challenges that each jurisdiction must overcome as the new era of blockchain-based financial services gains traction.

Risks and Challenges

Financial and banking stability alongside consumer protection are the key objectives for all regulatory authorities, but, to date, many offshore authorities have issued little in the way of regulatory guidance or control principles around blockchain. Some of the main challenges facing offshore centres are:

1) Responsibility

Blockchain technology is, by its nature, a shared system, which leads to questions about which activities should be regulated, how activities should be regulated and by whom they should be regulated. As a result, organisations that make use of it will have to pay careful attention to allocating responsibilities appropriately given the absence of a central point of authority.

There are also implications where organisations engage third party service providers. Sufficient oversight of the providers’ activities will be required to fulfil regulatory obligations.

These concerns can be allayed in part by using a ‘permissioned ledger’ and putting in place a governance structure among participants to deliver proper notification to customers through an agreed mechanism. The blockchain platform could also agree a set of rules and policies to be followed by all participants and then share these with customers and regulators.

2) Security Resilience 

The strength of the security afforded by a particular form of encryption is continually under challenge. Blockchain networks will need to establish mechanisms to ensure that appropriate levels of encryption are maintained and that these include responsibilities for the safe custody of encryption keys.

Blockchain technology does, however, bring unrivalled security benefits. Hacking attacks that commonly impact large centralised intermediaries are almost impossible on the blockchain. If someone wanted to hack into a particular block, a hacker would not only need to hack into that specific block, but all of the preceding blocks going back the entire history of that chain, and they would need to do it on every ledger in the network, simultaneously.

3)   Data Protection

One of the major benefits of blockchain technology is its immutability, meaning that data stored on the chain cannot be altered or deleted. This could also create a problem, because in theory there could be no ‘right to be forgotten’ in the context of blockchain. However, personal data can be kept off blockchain ledgers altogether by replacing the data with an encrypted reference to the data a ‘hash’. These hashes or digital fingerprints prove that data did exist at a certain date, without the data itself appearing on the chain.

Encryption controls, limiting the accessibility of personal data hashed in the blockchain, is a viable solution for data protection compliance. While encrypted personal data may still qualify as ‘personal data’ under new data protection laws, as long as the holder of the data possesses the encryption key and those keys are only  made available in circumstances dictated by the individual data subject, then it is difficult to see the objection from a data protection perspective.

4)    AML Compliance

Blockchain’s ability to replace paper trails with easily auditable digital trails offers many possibilities in the reduction of financial crime. Anti-money laundering (AML) regulations generally require organisations to keep easily accessible records of customer identities and transactions. To be effective, a blockchain solution would require network adoption by a number of organisations. However, this represents one of the biggest challenges to implementing a blockchain solution in the AML space, as regulated entities are often reluctant to outsource or share their AML responsibilities with third parties, even other regulated entities. How and whether blockchain solutions will change this approach remains to be seen. The potential global economic benefits from added efficiencies inherent in blockchain-based AML solutions would be immeasurable, but at this stage it is unclear to what extent international AML standards will be adapted to embrace the opportunity for change.

A Leading Offshore Role

Given the challenges above, one way for offshore financial centres to take a leading role in the fast moving FinTech sector would be to demonstrate success with an initial, modestly aimed blockchain proposal, perhaps between a number of local banks, in a regulatory “sandbox” or similar structure under the supervision of the regulator. This would provide an opportunity to gain experience and learn from a close evaluation of blockchain technology as a business tool and secure an offshore advantage in what is an increasingly competitive field.

Appleby has a global team of lawyers with experience in this area, monitoring developments not only in the jurisdictions in which we operate, but more widely. This is a global industry and one that is here to stay. If you have any questions regarding the above, or are interested in hearing more about how we can assist, please contact a member of the Technology and Innovation Team.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

 
This article originally appeared at: http://www.mondaq.com/article.asp?article_id=723382.

Crypto in Africa: Blockchain transforms farming, Kenya moves closer to regulation

By Dennis Wafula July 13, 2018

Accepting blockchain and its technologies has not been an easy task in Africa. However, the technology is slowly making headway in the continent. In particular, the farming industry has seen significant growth in the recent months due to blockchain technology.

The Olam Farming Information System (OFIS) has helped many farmers maximize farm products in Africa, Asia, and South America. OFIS is an organization that helps farmers get information that will help them manage and make proper use of the available land. It also supplied farmers with ingredients they need for farming. The organization uses blockchain technology to collect information and also make correct recommendations on which products to use. In addition to getting farming information, farmers make payments and receive money through cryptocurrencies.

Kenya moves closer to cryptocurrency regulation

Kenya has been in the vanguard of testing blockchain and its related technologies. The country has had numerous startups, crypto conventions and even has a Bitcoin ATM installed in Nairobi. The continuous increase in cryptocurrency activities has caused the government to take action. During a parliamentary seating, the Kenyan Parliament ordered Treasury Secretary Henry Rotich to investigate whether the crypto industry in the country needs to be regulated or not. The Kenyan Parliament gave Rotich two weeks to conduct the research.

Members of the Finance and National Planning Committee reportedly asked Rotich why the Treasury and the Central Bank of Kenya “allowed people to venture into the unregulated cryptocurrency space without being licensed to operate and taxed,” according to Business Daily Africa.

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe embraces blockchain tech

After months of fighting cryptocurrency adoption in Zimbabwe, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) might soon be embracing these technologies. While speaking in Alpha Media Holdings’ Banks and Banking breakfast, RBZ Gov. John Mangudya said the country was ready to embrace blockchain technology.

He added that it is time the country took part in blockchain and what it has to offer. He further added that Zimbabwe as a country wants to join other countries across the globe in the blockchain market.

Mangudya stated that there is a lot of research and education that needs to be done before the country can fully embrace this technology. He believes that understanding the technology will help the country make proper decisions in the future. It is not yet clear when the Zimbabwean government will start making decisions to embrace blockchain and its technologies. However, this is good news to many cryptocurrency and blockchain enthusiasts in the country.

Blockchain in space starting to boom (Yes, really)

I keep telling you. Blockchain will be used for everything. 

In space, it’s important to have a distributed ledger (database) that is immutable and secure. 

Perfect place for blockchain technology

Blockchain in space starting to boom (Yes, really)

Space companies and government organizations such as NASA and ESA are embracing blockstream as a mechanism to support their businesses and operations all the way from the ground to deep space.  If you want to combine a love of cutting-edge software technology with satellites and space exploration, blockchain could be the gateway to fulfilling your dreams.  Companies are incorporating blockchain into satellite Internet of Things (IoT) projects, storing tokens in orbit for safekeeping, and plan to extend blockchain transactions to commercial space stations and beyond Earth for deep space operations and potentially asteroid mining.

Recently, I touched upon relatively “pure play” blockchain in space applications being driven by native blockchain companies.  You can add ConnectX to an ever-growing list of companies incorporating nanosatellites into an architecture for distributing and redeeming their own cryptocurrency.  Spacebit is running an ICO to fund “decentralized space operations.” And Miner One put a RaspberryPi board on a high-altitude balloon to the edge of space to claim a title of “Space Miner One” — but they’re following in the footsteps of KFC.

As previously noted, part of the relationship between cryptocurrency firm Nexus and start-up launch provider Vector Space Systems includes the ability for customers to pay for launches using Nexus cryptocurrency.  Exactly when someone other than Nexus pays for services using the cryptocurrency is an open question.

Vancouver, Canada-based Helios Wire is putting together nanosatelites, IoT, M2M, and blockchain as a part of the “Next Industrial Revolution,” according to the company’s website.  Helios Wire says its space-based system will be able to provide “efficient and affordable” monitoring, tracking and messaging for as many as “5 billion devices” worldwide.  Blockchain will enable IoT devices to autonomously engage in transactions with one another via smart contracts, not just be “connected.”  Helos says backing up data and blockchain ledgers off-planet also provides more security, and ledgers can be delivered through space-based satellite systems to reach and supplement traditional terrestrial infrastructure.  The company expects to launch its first two satellites the second half of this year.

Cloud Constellation Corporation’s SpaceBelt data-center-in-space scheme proposes a set of low earth orbit (LEO) satellites — three storage and nine communications relay satellites — to provide secure storage and distribution of digital assets. So far, the company has announced agreements to store cryptocurrency, tokens and other blockchain-ish data for SolarCoin and TokenEx, along with interest from Hollywood to securely move daily film shoots between on-site locations and editing suites.  Cloud is currently seeking a couple hundred million dollars to build and launch its first satellites.

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center has discussed using blockchain as a part of a distributed spacecraft mission and for digital “ledgers” to confirm operational tasks are successfully performed.  Using blockchain in combination with AI for decentralized and shared control of data, plus applying it to earth science missions for tasking satellites and working with shared data.

The space agency is also funding early research to incorporate blockchain and smart contracts into satellite debris avoidance.  The “Resilient Networks and Computing Paradigm” (RNCP) will use Ethereum blockchain technology to develop a decentralized, secure, and “cognitive” network and computing infrastructure for deep space exploration.   A group of satellites would be able to communicate among themselves to spot space debris and other issues and move to avoid them, enabling them to act autonomously rather than having to wait minutes to hours for Earth to figure out a solution and send up a set of corrective commands.

Across the Atlantic, the European Space Agency (ESA) is investigating blockchain to be applied to everything from satellite communications to procurement as a part of its Space 4.0 concept.  Like NASA, ESA has generated PowerPoint discussing its thoughts. Unlike NASA, ESA’s initial thoughts have gone to speeding up administrative processes — no mundane task when you’re dealing with  22 countries in Europe.

Next-generation commercial space advocates and companies are more circumspect about blockchain, but they clearly see the potential the technology.  NanoRacks CEO Jeffrey Manber  is an advisor to Singapore-based SpaceChain.  Manber has been building commercial space opportunities dating back almost two decades, including arranging the first “space tourist” trip to the International Space Station (ISS).  NanoRacks effectively owns and operates various bits and pieces onboard ISS, including the station’s cubesat deployer.

“Blockchain is a very interesting technology,” Planetary Resources CEO Chris Lewicki said. “I can’t tell you what it means. We’re in research mode, understanding the technology, asking [ourselves] if this can produce useful projects for us.  Stay tuned.”

Lewick said asteroid mining, the focus of Planetary Resources, is a technology where progress will be measured in “decades.”  He’s looking “ten, twenty, thirty years out” to figure out what the future might look like.  Blockchain provides technology for decentralized and trust transactions.  Smart contracts provide a lot more autonomy in how operations might proceed, a key asset if you are conducting operations 20 minutes at the speed of light away from the planet.

“It could be banking, purchasing, or work or selling fuel.  Put that in a digital trust ledger always propagating back [to Earth],” Lewicki stated. “We want something designed for the digital age, so we can skip paper-based, central authority transactions.”

While Planetary Resources works on a timeline of decades to mine asteroids, blockchain may appear closer and sooner in the skies overhead. Axiom Space has proposed a privately-owned space station, starting with modules connected to ISS and operating independently from it once ISS is retired.  Axiom  VP of Strategic Development Amir Blachman recently spoke at the Alchemist Money Summit about “The Future of Human Space Exploration and Related Blockchain Opportunities.”

Blachman declined an opportunity to speak to Space IT Bridge in April and suggested I circle back to him in “mid-May” for an on-the-record discussion.   Axiom Space is no fly-by-night company; it has a deep bench of executives involved in American human spaceflight and ISS operations, including two astronauts.  I’m looking forward to talking to Mr. Blachman in the near future.

Top companies that turn to blockchain in their operations

Although many experts are predicting the likely burst of the crypto market bubble, many companies are still pivoting toward crypto blockchain platforms. Some companies simply want to cash-in on the crypto craze while others want to make their operations more updated and efficient.

In November of last year, mere three months ago, the total market cap of cryptocurrencies inflated in excess of 1,200 percent. This attracted huge investments from regular venture capital and private equity investors. The total market cap climbed to a dizzying height of $558 billion last Jan. 10. In just 24 hours, it had a trading volume of approximately $24.8 billion. Obviously, a market bubble is there.

Many companies are aware of the crypto bubble, and their main reason for pivoting to blockchain is its great potential for sharing and managing data. Some companies are not necessarily intent on riding the initial inflation of the bubble.

Here are some companies that are leveraging their market positions by utilizing the blockchain platform. Some of these companies originally did not use the blockchain system while others use the system as an integral part of their operations and thrust from inception.

NASDAQ

As a provider of equity market index, Nasdaq Inc. (NASDAQ:NDAQ) belongs to the largest companies that are now harnessing the full potential of blockchain. It is a company that has a market cap of $7 trillion. It combines financial expertise and technology to aid investors in trading in the global financial market.

The NASDAQ Private Market was established in 2013 with the aim of aiding corporations in doing secondary transactions. In 2015, the company announced its first securities transactions based on blockchain technology. The company has its own ledger platform, which is the Ling Blockchain.

Hitachi

Hitachi (OTCMKTS:HTHIY) is known for many things like appliances and electronic gadgets. It is also known for its bullet trains, but it is a company not very well-known to be connected with blockchain investments.

In reality, however, this company has been researching the technology since the beginning of 2000s. That actually predates the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Hitachi is an innovator when it comes to automatic cross-system processes using blockchain. Over the years, It has improved on smart contracts using the system.

Global Blockchain

Global Blockchain (OTCMKTS:BLKCF, TSXV:BLOC), which has a market cap of around $100.6 million, is focused on blockchain technology as the primary thrust of its business. It is an investment company that also provides incubation programs. Apart from helping investors invest in crypto companies, BLOC also provides aid to startup companies in terms of liquidity and capitalization. It seeks to have a balance between stable investments and investments with high potential for growth.

Daimler AG

Perhaps not many would expect that Daimler AG (OTCMKTS:DDAIF), the German car manufacturer, is engaged in blockchain business. It partnered with LBBW and launched a Schuldschein, a one-year corporate bond worth €100 million. The entire transaction process utilized blockchain technology, which include the loan contract and the payment of interest. It is also looking into the possibility of auto financing using the crypto platform.

Health and the crypto-economy.

Smart investors are looking past the game of hot ICOs to the possiblity that we can make for permanant change in our lives.

DAYS will be one way we can all live longer, heatlhiner and wealthy lives. 

I’ve signed on as an advisor because I can imagine a much better future for everyone. The ICO is a ways off. I’m sharing news as I believe you will benefit from followoing their progress. 


The crypto-economy is not only Bitcoins.

Personalized health is embracing blockchain technologies.

Suisse Life Science confirms to be evaluating participation to days.exchange.

Suisse Life Science adopted blockchain technology in 2017 as part of its effort to make health personal but we still incentivization as paramount to promote healthy behaviors and advantages to all stakeholders.

HEALTH BLOCKCHAIN

Blockchain adoption in healthcare and the creation of trust into the ecosystem to share health data is paramount to harness the power of biological sciences and launch the bio-economy.

DAYS are the first in the world insurance tokenized assets converting life extension demand into investment in anti-aging medicine guaranteed by top-expert blockchain panel.

DAYS are powering the Longevity Impact Forum. LIF is a platform to select the most promising cutting-edge technologies in the field of longevity, biotech and 4P Medicine.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Domains For Sale

The history of domain names dates back to over three decades ago when the first ever .com name, symbolics.com, was registered by a Massachusetts based computer manufacturing company, Symbolics Inc. on March 15, 1985. Ever since, the domain name marketplace has grown significantly and today some highly demanded domain names sell for millions of dollars.

This year has been one to remember in the Blockchain industry with mainstream recognition and adoption beginning to accelerate. One of the sectors that is enjoying a corresponding peak in interest is the world of Blockchain and cryptocurrency domain names. Be it for marketing and advertising, brand recognition for a technology, or simply to promote a new product or service, quality Blockchain and cryptocurrency domain names are a hot asset.

Here are some of the crypto domains that we own and are selling.

If you’re interested in acquiring any of these URLs, please contact me, or simply click the “Buy It” link below which will take you to GoDaddy directly. 

DOMAIN NAME
GODADDY VALUATION
SELLING PRICE
SOLD
coinbroker.co $500 $475
Buy It / Make An Offer
farmcoin.com $1,650 SOLD!
coinbust.com $1,247 $575
Buy It / Make An Offer
coinmart.co $2,024 $775
Buy It / Make An Offer
coinlab.co $975 SOLD!
coinpal.co $1,853 $875
Buy It / Make An Offer
coincolumn.com $450 SOLD!
coinstack.co $2,280 $785
Buy It / Make An Offer
lendcoin.co $500 $250
Buy It / Make An Offer
loancoin.co $500 $250
Buy It / Make An Offer
maxcoin.co $2,032 $975
Buy It / Make An Offer
owncoin.co $1905 $450
Buy It / Make An Offer
tradecoin.co $2,094 $975
Buy It / Make An Offer
cryptodiva.com $275 SOLD!

Cats are taking over the blockchain

CryptoKitties is the newest craze in cryptocurrency. So many people are buying, selling, and breeding CryptoKitties that the Ethereum blockchain is struggling to keep up with all the activity.

The average cat is trading for $100 in ether and users have spent over $3M total on breeding, buying and selling the in-game items (up from $1M yesterday).

Two days ago, a true believer of cat-based technologies bought the genesis cat (the first cat) for 250 ETH, which is over $100,000. Today, CryptoKitties is the most active smart contract on the Ethereum network, accounting for over 16% of all Ethereum transactions.

CryptoKitties launched on Product Hunt six days ago, where maker Mack Flavelle explained the idea behind it:

“Blockchain technology could be the biggest revolution since the internet, but the majority of projects in this space are unapproachable to muggles. That’s something we wanted to change with CryptoKitties. We figured- if you want to speak to regular people speak in regular language. And cats are the regular language of the internet.”

 And went on to explain the dynamics of CryptoKitty:

“In CryptoKitties, users collect and breed digital cats. Through breeding, unique cattributes can be unlocked. Each CryptoKitty has a 256-bit genome that dictates its appearance and hidden traits, with 4-billion possible combinations. And we have Fancy Cats – kitties with custom art, including a little treat for Product Hunt fans.”

Right now the best way to try out CryptoKitties is by downloading MetaMask, a chrome extension that makes it easy to interact with the Ethereum blockchain directly from your browser. You’re also going to need a little Ether, which you can buy from exchanges like Coinbase.

By leveraging the power of cats on the internet, CryptoKitties is introducing the public to cryptocurrencies and blockchain based technologies. If you want to learn a bit more about how the game mechanics work you can check out Fitz Tepper’s excellent post on TechCrunch.

This article originally appeared at: https://www.producthunt.com/newsletter/493

Blockchain’s Big 3 Societal Changes

Proselytizers of blockchain often speak of its inherent and inevitable benefits to society. While you might not yet be a crypto trader, you might still be interested in – and affected by – blockchain’s apparent power to change our current centralized financial systems.

Bill Carmody of Inc.com has these big 3 benefits in sight:

  1. No more intermediaries
  2. Security
  3. Financial tools and digital assets

In his Inc.com article, Carmody writes: “With widely-scaled decentralized systems, we can eradicate fraud, automate manual processes, and control for issues of authentication and trust. The power of blockchain can enable humans to redefine legacy architectures of governance and law, reinvigorating lost concepts of true democracy and meritocracy.”

Read more in the full article at Inc.com

CyberMiles Successfully Completes ICO With Record Token Contribution Rush

DALLAS–(BUSINESS WIRE)–November 22, 2017–

CyberMiles, a new blockchain platform designed and optimized for commercial applications, has completed the crowd-funding phase of its initial coin offering in less than one day-among the fastest-moving ICOs in history. Empowering the decentralization of the online marketplace, CyberMiles has had participants from 111 countries contribute close to $30 million to fund the build-out of its groundbreaking technology.

With 420 million CyberMiles Tokens quickly spoken for during this contribution event, in addition to 280 million CMT already allocated during the preceding private stage, CyberMiles has enjoyed one of the swiftest, more successful ICOs on record.

“We’re delighted that our token contribution event has been met with such enthusiastic interest from the community,” Dr. Lucas Lu, a founding member of the CyberMiles Foundation as well as the 5miles peer-to-peer marketplace, said. “The public blockchain platform we’re developing has the potential to revolutionize e-commerce, so community support is critical to funding this initiative.”

CyberMiles’ blockchain technology emerged from 5xlab, 5miles’ blockchain development laboratory. 5miles will be the first decentralized app (“dapp”) to use CyberMiles’ blockchain protocol, intended to be a mainstream blockchain technology for real-world businesses.

The modular solutions that are integral to CyberMiles have protocols for 12 commercial applications and more than 300 sub-categories of transaction types widely in use. These cover a large portion of potential online marketplace and e-commerce applications via “smart business contracts.”

For its part, 5miles is planning to migrate its 12 million existing users (along with more than $3 billion in marketplace transactions annually) to CyberMiles. The user identity, credit history, reputation, and transaction history data all can be encrypted and recorded on the CyberMiles blockchain, enabling myriad business applications for e-commerce partners like 5miles.

To learn about CyberMiles, visit cm.5miles.com. To join CyberMiles’ online community, go to t.me/cybermilestoken.

About CyberMiles

CyberMiles is a new decentralized blockchain protocol optimized for business transactions. Initiated in the fall of 2017 by 5xlab, a blockchain development laboratory, CyberMiles uses innovative “smart business contract” modules to facilitate and process transactions simply, effectively, and with transparency. This technology focuses on commercial applications with protocols that ensure the appropriate balance between vertical effectiveness and network compatibility. Learn more at cm.5miles.com.

About 5miles

5miles is a free, local marketplace app, one of the fastest-growing online shopping ventures in the United States. The app is the first of its kind to include services, housing and jobs, in addition to second-hand trading. 5miles launched in January 2015, immediately setting itself apart with an easy-to-use mobile interface, identity verification capabilities (for added safety and security), mobile payment and shipping options, and a hyper-local curation of offerings users can search-all within their very own neighborhoods. Since then, buyers and sellers in every major market coast-to-coast have transacted more than $5 billion in merchandise through 5miles, which Google Play has ranked a top 10 shopping app. Visit 5miles.com.