This Week in Blockchain
The SEC in the United States recently rejected two ETFs pitched by ProShares.
Meanwhile, the Winklevoss twins are launching a new regulatory body to police the crypto sphere. The group has already teamed up with several well-known exchanges including BitStamp and BitTrade.
The Venezuelan government announced a new official currency, called the Petro, which is tied to national oil reserves. The twist? It’s a digital currency created with blockchain technology.
In Thailand, regulators approved seven crypto firms to conduct operations. Thai Securities and Exchange Commission previously announced new regulations, and these have come into effect this week.
Welcome to the Ideas Economy
Coincast TV caught up with thought leader Michael Casey during his lecture at Curtin University.
Mr. Casey is well-known for his Netflix documentary Banking on Bitcoin but is also building a successful career as a blockchain author.
“I see bitcoin becoming like a digital gold,” Mr. Casey told Coincast TV. He views it as “a reserve currency, into which other tokens of value are ultimately stored.”
He scorns the get rich quick investors looking to make an easy dollar buying and selling cryptocurrencies. Instead, the author and filmmaker wants to focus on the creativity being produced.
“What you’re buying when you buy crypto is an idea… you’re buying a very different idea about how the world works.”
Want to make sure your doctor has the qualifications they claim to possess? Nervous that maybe your dentist isn’t as experienced as they let on?
Enter DISCIPLINA, a multifunctional blockchain tool to create and store digitised personal information.
Roman Alterman is the head of the blockchain project at DISCIPLINA. As he told Coincast Tv, “our goal is to provide universities with a good instrument for monetisation of their data.”
As with many innovations the tool solves a problem while creating another.
While Mr. Alterman presents DISCIPLINA as a way to connect graduates with recruiters, the platform will most likely be used to sell a person’s private information to third-parties, possibly without their consent.
Nonetheless, he is adamant about DISCIPLINA’s advantages.
“We want to get rid of fake degrees, fake diplomas, and of course fake doctors. […] Any kind of fake professions.”
The goal is noble and for better or for worse, the project will present a new ethical challenge to the blockchain community.
Only in Vegas
The bright light city, best known for its debauchery and fast-pace of life, is home to more than 150 casinos and countless luxury hotels.
This week Vegas hosted BlockShow Americas, a weekend of blockchain meet-ups and events with blockchain’s most prolific leaders.
As reporter Chris Masters Mah explained, “it’s a who’s who of the blockchain world.”
To get all the details, Coincast TV scored an exclusive interview with former Obama aide Johanna Maska.
“I started at the beginning of the Iowa caucus and I spoke about the power of One Voice and how it shaped our campaign,” Ms. Maska told the reporter.
She now heads her own communications firm and is an active member of the blockchain community. At BlockShow Americas, Ms. Maska took part of a panel discussing regulation in the industry and how to increase general interest in blockchain.
“When you have new ideas, whether it is new technologies or a new candidate, … engagement is important.”
The former political advisor is a recent convert to blockchain, and describes how she learned about the community after the Obama administration ended.
“I actually started paying attention to FinTech, HealthTech and GovTech when I left the White House. I think a lot of those areas are that you can have terrific impact with technology.”
Other guests at the event included Bobby Lee, CEO at China’s first cryptocurrency exchange BTCC. Mr. Lee remains bullish about the future crypto economy, and happily shared his views with Coincast TV.
“So we saw the bull market starting late 2016, going through all of 2017 and in 2018 naturally it was corrected. 24 months from now in the spring of 2020 I think we will see some good stuff!”
The Heroics of Blockchain
Some estimates put the amount of aid money lost to corruption in developing nations at more than $1 trillion USD.
Money laundering, tax evasion, fraud and the illegal sale of natural resources waste funds that might otherwise support development. Are smart contracts, enhanced through blockchain, able to crackdown on corruption?
According to Ms. Maska, maybe.
“I absolutely agree that some technologies can help. I don’t think that we can wholly trust that all people in any sector are out for anyone’s good.”
Amid a growing lack of trust in governments, the public may turn to blockchain as a way to guarantee greater transparency and openness.
The Kids are Alright
Youtuber CryptoCoinKid is taking the world by storm. The account produces educational videos teaching viewers about all the latest tech involving blockchain, coding and cryptocurrencies.
The person behind CryptoCoinKid is 8 year old Kamea Aloha Jr. from Hawaii. Despite or maybe because of his young age, Kamea attracts a large following of people wanting to learn more about blockchain.
“The blockchain is just a list of records,” Kamea explains in one video. “What do I mean by records? It’s a list of records called blocks and these blocks are stored on computers.”
As fun graphics flash behind him, the young Youtube star details the how, what and why’s of a topic that has mystified many.
Tune in next week to hear about the latest in cryptocurrency news, blockchain updates and global fintech events at Coincast TV.
For a quick summary of the weekly updates, check out Bitcoin Australia to read our review of the next episode.
Liz is a Canadian journalist and writer for Bitcoin Australia. Connect with her on Twitter @Elizabeth_Utley, or on Linkedin as Elizabeth Utley.