Bitcoin price up 4.3 percent in last weekJay Clayton worries affirmed by recent Integrity ReportTransactional volumes low but can rise as prices recoverDerailing possible bulls are worries of fake volumes printed by obscure exchanges. These actors while core to crypto are also taking part in malpractice that could hinder the approval and final roll-out of a Bitcoin ETF. In the meantime, Bitcoin has support and up 4.3 percent from last week’s close.Bitcoin Price AnalysisFundamentalsThe global and unregulated nature of cryptocurrencies means some exchanges are perpetrators of wash trading and other illegalities unheard of in regulated exchanges. When they wash trade or participate in pump and dump schemes, it is usually the end user, the innocent investor or trader who feels the pinch. Add that to the ripple effects when an ICO project or a coin is deliberately inflated and later busted then it becomes a double loss. Not only will they have to lose steep listing money but they also have to address investor loss in confidence.In the long term, a solution will be found, but at the moment, Bitcoin traders have to deal with the real prospects of the most valuable asset tumbling. A report by Integrity seems to cast doubt on February’s robust volumes saying up-to 88 percent of these volumes are false.By employing tools that collect market data from several trades and order books, the pseudonymous group, NewsBTC reports, revealed widespread falsehood and outright volume manipulation. If that is that case, then it means recent gains were propped by weak hands and the signal fanned by exchanges keen on falsely painting a “healthy” market.Candlestick ArrangementsAt the time of press, Bitcoin (BTC) is up 4.3 percent from last week’s close but still struggling with consistency. Like in all our previous Bitcoin price analysis, we shall maintain a bullish outlook. However, it is after there is a thrust and closes above $4,000 and later $4,500 is when risk-averse traders can initiate longs with modest targets at $6,000. Before then, risk-off traders have an opportunity to fade the current trend, buy on dips as Bitcoin price action trend within a bullish breakout trade.Technical IndicatorsThe fact that prices are finding support at the 20-day moving average is bullish. By today’s close, we shall have a long-wick bar indicating Bitcoin demand in lower time frames. Should there be a confirmation and prices rally above $4,000, then the accompanying volumes must exceed averages of 5.7k and 36k of Feb 24.
Archives for March 12, 2019
IBM is coming to the crypto custody space.
Later this month, Shuttle Holdings, a New York investment firm, will launch the beta version of a custody solution for digital assets built on IBM’s private cloud and encryption technologies. The companies won’t be storing cryptocurrencies and tokens themselves, but offering tools for others to do so.
Potential users include banks, brokers, custodians, funds, family offices and high net worth investors who want to do self-custody, as well as exchanges, Brad Chun, Shuttle’s chief investment officer, told CoinDesk.
“We have a list of selected clients that we are launching limited service with this month,” Chun said. The service is “not open to the public yet and there is a wait list to get into our beta.”
IBM showcased the solution at its “Think 2019” conference last month in San Francisco, where Nataraj Nagaratnam, the tech giant’s CTO and director of cloud security, called storage of crypto a prime use case for Big Blue’s cloud.
“What better example than taking a financial technology that is changing the world. Look at digital assets; how do you secure the data? … [This is] top of mind for a lot of people in the financial industry,” Nagaratnam said, before welcoming Chun onstage.
When contacted by CoinDesk, IBM referred most questions to Chun. But Rohit Badlaney, director of IBM’s “Z As a Service” cloud solution, talked up IBM’s involvement in the forthcoming Digital Asset Custody Service (DACS).
“For DACS, the on-premise pervasive encryption capabilities offered by IBM LinuxONE was a key differentiator in choosing IBM as the most secure platform for their offering,” Bedlaney told CoinDesk through a spokeswoman.
The move suggests IBM is wading deeper into the digital asset space, after developing the Hyperledger Fabric private blockchain for enterprises and more recently getting involved with cryptocurrency through its work with the Stellar Foundation.
While crypto custody was once the preserve of wallet providers and crypto exchanges, the promise of institutional investment entering the digital assets space has prompted a race to come up with safe, industrial-grade solutions that are also familiar in terms of usage to these large players.
Not cold storage
The custody service that Shuttle and IBM are offering differs greatly from the cold storage solutions used by most crypto custodians, where the private keys are held in a device not connected to a network.
While these air-gapped arrangements have traditionally been thought of as the best way to reduce attack vectors, “from a technology standpoint, it sounds a little oxymoronic,” Chun in his presentation.
Enterprises, he noted, want to be able to connect to their customers and to have data and assets held in a readily available, yet secure setting. (Getting assets out of cold storage can be something of a headache.)
Instead, Chun said IBM Cloud has created some interesting features that enabled Shuttle to build a system that is “just as secure, if not more secure” than a simplistic cold storage wallet solution.
As such, the solution is built on a hardware security module (HSM), a kind of lockbox that safeguards and manages digital keys in a tamper-proof environment.
He later elaborated to CoinDesk:
“There are always trade-offs between security and efficiency, but we do not utilize a traditional cold storage system. Instead, we keep keys at rest encrypted in multiple layers as data blobs so that an organization can store these backups using their pre-existing disaster recovery and backup processes and media.”
During his presentation, Chun said this combination of availability and security means the IBM Cloud solution is better equipped for a digital asset-laden future.
“Once we have this critical layer that’s highly available and secure, then all businesses can start custodying digital assets – not just cryptocurrencies; we mentioned real estate, we mentioned identity,” he said.
As far as what flavor of HSM Shuttle uses, Chun told CoinDesk the solution was HSM-agnostic.
“We focus on the entire solution, not just the HSM. If the HSM offering from Gemalto is better than what we are using, I would be happy to talk to them and incorporate them into our plans. IBM has an HSM we are using but we can easily switch it based on customer needs and demands,” he said.
Cold storage vs. HSMs
Stepping back, opinions differ over HSMs versus traditional cold storage and the putative trade-offs between security and efficiency, in relation to managing crypto assets.
With cold storage solutions, a human has to be involved to access the assets, which can take anywhere from an hour or two to as long as 48 hours. HSMs, by contrast, rely on a purely electronic process and are therefore much faster.
IBM would not be alone in providing HSM solutions for digital assets. Last week, Switzerland’s Crypto Storage AG announced its customized HSM-solution would be rolled out to online bank Swissquote.
Other high-profile HSM initiatives include the Komainu partnership between hardware wallet provider Ledger, Gemalto and Japanese bank Nomura, slated for launch in early Q2. Demetrios Skalkotos, global head of Ledger Vault, pointed out that Komainu uniquely has been granted access to integrate its software directly into the Gemalto HSM blueprint.
“Only banks and governments have that to my knowledge,” he said.
Trustology, backed by ethereum design studio Consensys, is also making strides with an HSM crypto custody solution. Alex Batlin, the CEO of Trustology, said people like the sound of cold storage because it’s offline, but it’s really just replacing a network with a human, who can still be influenced to behave in nefarious ways.
“All cold storage does is give you a false sense of security and also very high latency for instruction execution,” Batlin said.
However, Mike Belshe, CEO of crypto custody pioneer BitGo, has argued that the latency and human involvement are a small price to pay for the security afforded by cold storage. He told CoinDesk last year:
“If you put the keys online, or if you put the keys so close to being online that you can move money within 15 minutes, that means you don’t have very tight control on it. The customers we talk to appreciate this point of view.”
IBM image from Construct 2017 via CoinDesk archives.
The genie is now out of the bottle, and one of the crypto industry’s most bizarre trademark disputes is now over. The ABBC Foundation, which is behind the Alibabacoin cryptocurrency, has conceded the coveted Alibaba brand name to the China-based e-commerce giant of the same name. After many months of battling it out in a New York Southern District Court, the two companies have reached a “worldwide settlement for the Alibabacoin trademark.”
ABBC Cryptocurrency Drops ‘Alibaba’ Name after Legal Dispute
At the heart of the complaint, Jack Ma’s tech company cried foul over the crypto startup using the Alibaba name, which it argued would lead to confusion, particularly among U.S. investors. ABBC Foundation, meanwhile, argued that China’s e-commerce leader wasn’t taking full advantage of the magic behind the Alibaba name, anyway, which for the Alibabacoin team was allegedly inspired by the fictional character Ali Baba from “Arabian Nights.”
Now, the Dubai- and Belarus-domiciled ABBC Foundation has issued the following statement, which was obtained by CCN:
“Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd. (Alibaba) and ABBC Blockchain IT Solutions LLC (ABBC) today announced that they had reached a worldwide settlement of claims involving use of the name ALIBABACOIN, with ABBC agreeing not to use trademarks that include the term ALIBABA worldwide. ABBC regrets any public confusion that may have arisen from its former use of ALIBABACOIN.”
Details of the settlement were not disclosed.
What’s in a Name? ‘Alibaba’ Brand Creates Crypto Confusion
The battle for the Alibaba name played out more like a ping-pong match in the courts since the trademark-fueled complaint was filed in April 2018. Chief among Alibaba’s complaints against the crypto startup Alibabacoin was the confusion that sharing a name would create for U.S. customers. Alibaba, which boasts a market cap of $467 billion, also asserted that its brand was damaged — particularly in the U.S. — and that the crypto startup unfairly benefited after Alibabacoin raked in more than $3.5 million in an ICO.
Last year, a judge determined that any damage to the ICO-infused Alibabacoin brand would occur in China, where Alibaba Group is based, and not in New York. ABBC Foundation maintained that due to China’s blanket ban on ICOs in the country, there was no room for misinterpretation there, either. Since then there has been a series of overturnings of rulings and court orders in which the crypto startup has held its own against its much larger rival.
All is well that ends well, except for the fact that the ABBC Coin (ABBC), formerly known as Alibabacoin, has shed 6% in the last 24 hours after posting major gains over the past month. Alibaba Group Holdings (BABA), on the other hand, is trading in the green on the NYSE.
Meanwhile, the ABBC Foundation must be in the process of updating its marketing content as the website was inaccessible as of press time.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance’s official wallet, Trust Wallet, now lets users buy cryptos with credit cards.
The new payment option is being offered in partnership with Israel-based payments processor Simplex, according to an announcement from Binance on Tuesday.
At the same time, the exchange said, Trust Wallet is adding support for XRP, the third largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.
Trust Wallet users can now, therefore, purchase XRP, bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC) and ether (ETH) with “major” credit and debit cards. The announcement did not specify which cards are supported or other details such as fees.
“We want to increase access to crypto and decentralized applications for all users,” said Viktor Radchenko, founder of Trust Wallet.
“Adding credit card payments is one piece to furthering cryptocurrency adoption and realizing our larger vision in helping to bring the freedom of money, and we will continue to integrate more blockchains and features to Trust.”
Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by adjusted trading volume, acquired Trust Wallet last July. The wallet was compatible with only ethereum and ethereum-based tokens at the time.
Since then, the exchange has enabled support for multiple cryptocurrencies and currently supports 17 tokens and “hundreds” of decentralized apps or dapps, according to Tuesday’s announcement.
Binance further said that Trust Wallet will be a native wallet to its upcoming decentralized exchange, Binance DEX, which is expected to launch in early Q2 of this year. The platform launched for public testing on Feb. 20.
Last January, the exchange itself added support for credit cards purchases, also in partnership with Simplex, allowing users to buy bitcoin, ether, litecoin and XRP.
Credit cards image via Shutterstock
At long last, it seems that the long-awaited institutional herd is finally arriving on the crypto industry’s doorsteps. Case in point, a Wall Street powerhouse has launched its Bitcoin-focused division amid institutional clamoring for cryptocurrencies and related innovations. But there’s still a ways to go in this subsector.Fidelity Soft Launches Crypto DivisionAs we reported in NewsBTC’s most recent “Crypto Tidbits” segment, Fidelity Investments, a Boston-headquartered finance giant, has soft-launched the Digital Asset Services (FDAS) branch to a small audience.In a number of interviews with cryptocurrency outlets this week, Tom Jessop, a former Goldman Sachs executive turned head of FDAS, explained that his brainchild’s offerings are live for a select list of “eligible clients.” He adds that at the moment, the platform, centered around custodial services and trade execution, only supports Bitcoin, and will be staving off its verdict on Ethereum due to impending blockchain upgrades.Related Reading: London Stock Exchange Invests $20 Million in Crypto Bond, Rapid Institutional AdoptionRegardless, many have still seen this as a monumental step in the right direction when it comes to institutional players in the cryptocurrency realm. The Crypto Dog, Dan Held, Alec Ziupsnys, among other industry commentators have expressed that the establishment of FDAS is one of the primary reasons why they’re more bullish on Bitcoin than ever before.We are live with a select group of eligible clients and will continue rolling out slowly. Our solutions are focused on the needs of hedge funds, family offices, pensions, endowments, other institutional investors. More on our project: https://t.co/EkJ2pWJt2Y #DCBlockchain— Fidelity Digital Assets (@DigitalAssets) March 7, 2019Speaking with The Block, Jessop hints that FDAS’ launch comes as non-retail investors have begun to express interest in Bitcoin and other digital assets en-masse. The Wall Street veteran notes that 20% of the 450 institutions (hedge funds, family offices, financial advisors, venture groups, crypto-native companies, etc.) his firm surveyed have some semblance of a cryptocurrency investment. As the survey’s sample size was diverse, it could be argued that this 20% figure can be extrapolated to Fidelity’s tens of thousands of entities that make up its institutional clientele.This means that while there may be thousands of institutional players in the space, there are even more on the sidelines, as they wait for optimal market conditions to down the crypto red pill.So, what exactly will push more participation from incumbents of the legacy world?Regulation To Spark AdoptionRegulation, that’s what. Bitcoin diehards focused on decentralization and intermediation may often tout the merits of this space remaining largely unregulated, but others claim that government involvement is mandatory in growing this ecosystem.Tom Jessop acknowledges this, telling The Block’s Frank Chaparro that the lack of regulatory uncertainty, likely in regards to market structure and integrity, is a “blocker” that deters many in the aforementioned subset of investors from taking the plunge, so to speak. Jessop isn’t the first industry insider to have touched on this matter.Speaking to Bloomberg, Chicago Mercantile Exchange chief executive Terry Duffy explained that the “bottom line” is that until global governments start to welcome cryptocurrencies, whether it be Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum, or even JP Morgan’s own digital asset, it will be “very difficult for the major commercials to come into this space” in a gung-ho fashion.Thus, Duffy determined that for cryptocurrencies, or any other nascent market for that matter, to succeed, the ecosystem surrounding them will need to gain approval from governments.With Starbucks and other mainstays of the non-crypto world looking to delve into this space, many believe that it is only a matter of time before regulators, namely the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), begin to establish an extensive list of rules that will dictate the future of cryptocurrencies.The Herd Is ComingIn spite of the shortcomings in the regulatory realm, it seems that the herd is still well on its way.Swissquote, a Swiss bank valued at $618 million, recently revealed that it would be partnering with Crypto Storage, an industry startup based in the heart of Zug. This deal allows the organization to offer cryptocurrency custodial services to its clients, making Swissquote one of the first financial institutions to allow the storage of Bitcoin via its platform.Across the pond, Tagomi, a Peter Thiel-backed cryptocurrency startup focused on providing prime broker-dealer services, has just raised a large wad of cash. Per previous reports from this outlet, the upstart, founded by Greg Tusar, the former head of electronic trading at Goldman Sachs, raised $12 million in its second round, from investors like the Yale University-backed Paradigm and Pantera Capital.A crowd is forming in front of the cryptocurrency stage, but will institutions take to the stage?Featured Image from Shutterstock
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s chairman has seconded a colleague’s analysis that found the world’s second-largest cryptocurrency likely does not qualify as a security.
Last year, SEC Director of Corporation Finance William Hinman said during a speech that ethereum, the No. 2 coin by market cap, did not exhibit the properties of a security. At the time, he explained that he did not see a central group as being responsible for the cryptocurrency.
Congressman Ted Budd – with industry advocacy group Coin Center – asked for clarification on whether SEC Chairman Jay Clayton agreed with Hinman’s remarks. The regulator has now responded by saying he agrees “that the analysis of whether a digital asset is offered or sold as a security is not static and does not strictly inhere to the instrument.”
A cryptocurrency may be sold as a security when it is first launched if it meets the definition of an investment contract, but the digital asset may later be sold or offered to consumers without being investments, Clayton wrote in a letter dated March 7, adding:
“I agree with Director Hinman’s explanation of how a digital asset transaction may no longer represent an investment contract if, for example, purchasers would no longer reasonably expect a person or group to carry out the essential managerial or entrepreneurial efforts. Under those circumstances, the digital asset may not represent an investment contract under the Howey framework.”
Clayton’s letter echoes comments he made at CoinDesk’s Consensus: Invest last year, where he likened digital assets to tickets for a new play. At the time, Clayton suggested that a group of investors might be promised “a suite of tickets” in return for funding the play, which would qualify these tickets as securities.
However, if at a later date, tickets are only sold to give each theatergoer a chance to see the play, “that’s decentralized,” he added.
This aspect of decentralization is important, according to Clayton. He’d earlier touched on the point while discussing bitcoin, noting that “generally an asset like bitcoin, where [it’s] decentralized,” does not fit within a securities designation.
“No one is creating it for their own … control of bitcoin, it’s designed to be a payment system replacement for sovereign currencies,” he said. “We’ve determined that that doesn’t have the attributes of a security … as far as I’m concerned, that’s designed to be akin to the dollar, the yen, the euro … and it operates that way. People who purchase it are expecting it to operate that way.”
Jay Clayton image via CoinDesk archives
Cardano founder Charles Hoskinson shared his less than flattering assessment of JPMorgan’s crypto asset JPM Coin at Hong Kong Blockchain Week 2019. His scathing comments drew an impassioned response from the audience, and most of the panel, who applauded his outspoken message.
Charles Hoskinson – Crypto Philanthropist
Charles Hoskinson is a successful entrepreneur, mathematician and humanitarian with a mission – to solve global problems using emerging technologies. Consequently, he often talks about banking the unbanked, in which his priority is to develop financial tools for billions of people who would otherwise lack access to monetary means.
At Hong Kong Blockchain Week 2019, he gave an update on Cardano’s operations in Africa, stating that they have ambitious plans to be in 25 countries by the end of the year. With the intention of opening offices in every African country in the coming years. He then expanded on what this entails by saying:
“we train people and then we set up public private infrastructure and we’re trying to modernize most of these governments, we modernize with blockchain technology, so everything from property and business registration to voting systems to supply chain management.”
He went on to say that his biggest challenge is dealing with government officials and citizens, who show a great deal of suspicion when idealistic solutions are put forward.
JP Morgan Comments
When the topic of JPM Coin came up, Charles did not hold back. After patiently waiting for his turn to speak, he said:
“I saw the JP Morgan Coin, and you guys just don’t get this space. You don’t know how any of these things work. It’s an abomination of crypto. It’s an abomination of concept.
There is absolutely no need or utility behind what they’ve created, it’s just a proof of concept for the sake of being a proof of concept..to justify some bizare executive fantasy.
The whole reason why we exist is because these guys are criminals. They’ve done horrible things over these last few decades. They’ve bankrupted the world, and they’ve excluded three billion people from the world financial systems as a consequence of the regulations and systems they’ve put into play. And the whole world is living the consequences of their wrongdoing and poor decisions.
As a counter-reaction, the cryptocurrency world exists, and it continues to grow, and it will continue to gain relevance. And eventually, it will collide with the legacy system.
I see this [JPM Coin] as the last vestiges of a dying industry trying to achieve some form of relevance. And I have very little respect for this type of work. I don’t see it as a positive thing.”
— Chepicap (@Chepicap) March 8, 2019
This rebuke of JPM Coin shows the extent of Hoskinson’s frustration with the status quo. The points he raised, although cutting at times, demonstrate his sincerity towards establishing a more equitable economic system, for which he is fast becoming the poster boy for. While his speech said what many are thinking, the crypto-community would do well to remain mindful of JP Morgan’s influence.
Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Jay Clayton has formally confirmed existing staff analysis that Ethereum and other similar decentralized cryptocurrency assets are not securities, even if they were initially sold through an illegal securities offering.
Clayton made this revelation in a letter sent to US House Rep. Ted Budd, who had requested that the SEC provide clarity on whether SEC Director of the Division of Corporate Finance William Hinman spoke for the agency when he said that Ethereum was not a security or was merely voicing his own opinion.
While Clayton did not reference Ethereum or any other cryptocurrency by name, he confirmed that he agrees with Hinman’s analysis of what crypto assets fall under the securities classification.
In a key section he writes:
“Your letter also asks whether I agree with certain statements concerning digital tokens in Director Hinman’s June 2018 speech. I agree that the analysis of whether a digital asset is offered or sold as a security is not static and does not strictly inhere to the instrument. A digital asset may be offered and sold initially as a security because it meets the definition of an investment contract, but that designation may change over time if the digital asset later is offered and sold in such a way that it will no longer meet that definition. I agree with Director Hinman’s explanation of how a digital asset transaction may no longer represent an investment contract if, for example, purchasers would no longer reasonably expect a person or group to carry out the essential managerial or entrepreneurial efforts. Under those circumstances, the digital asset may not represent an investment contract under the Howey framework.”
Read the full letter below, which was first published by crypto industry lobbying group Coin Center.
Developing…Please Check back for Updates.
Malta is turning to crypto sleuthing startup CipherTrace for technical help addressing the risk of financial crimes in its licensed digital asset industry.
The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) announced March 11 that it would integrate CipherTrace’s Compliance Monitoring product to “protect consumers, investors and business partners.”
The tool uses blockchain analytics and forensics to look out for “suspicious” addresses and wallets, according to CipherTrace’s website. The firm says it profiles cryptocurrency exchanges, ATMs, coin mixers and money laundering systems, as well as known criminal addresses, to score transactions and gauge the level of risk.
Machine learning and analytics are used to help estimate transactional risk based on activity related to the identified addresses and wallets. The MFSA said the system also de-anonymizes blockchain addresses, allowing regulators to “evaluate and monitor the trustworthiness of virtual asset businesses.”
MFSA CEO Joseph Cuschieri said:
“Being strongly aware of the money laundering and financing of terrorism risks associated with entities operating in this sphere, the decision has been taken to engage the services of CipherTrace in order to reduce fraud and detect transactions with illegal sources of funds.”
CipherTrace’ said in an email that the integration would provide risk ratings on Malta’s crypto operators to “evaluate their trustworthiness and continuously monitor them for compliance.” It could also help speed up the license approval process and ease access for cryptocurrency businesses to banking bank services.
The MFSA will track the risks relating to digital asset businesses, including cryptocurrency exchanges, collective investment schemes and initial coin offerings (ICOs).
“Cryptocurrency businesses often have difficulty establishing trust and maintaining banking relationships because of their perceived risk,” said Dave Jevans, CEO of CipherTrace
His firm’s tools can help financial institutions decide which crypto businesses to trust as corporate customers and avoid declining “valuable customers in this lucrative and fast growing sector,” he added.
CipherTrace raised $15 million from investors including Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital, the firm announced on Feb. 20. The round was led by Aspect Ventures, with Neotribe Ventures and WestWave Capital also participating.
Malta image via Shutterstock
The “first wave” of blockchain adoption will be led by permissioned platforms focused on specific use cases or user bases, according to a new EU report.
The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum published the “thematic report” last week, produced on its behalf by ConsenSys AG and titled “Scalability, Interoperability and Sustainability of Blockchains.”
The document argues that blockchains focused on meeting the specific needs of users provide “a great deal of flexibility” compared to public blockchains. Builders of private platforms also have more freedom to design for performance and security, the authors say.
The EU organization therefore concludes that a small number of global blockchain networks will emerge as “the backbone of a Web of Value.”
However, it continues, three key challenges remain: scalability, that is, the ability to make large volumes of transactions at high speed; interoperability, being able to exchange data across blockchains; and sustainability, “environmentally responsible” platforms with long-term viability.
The group states:
“It seems clear to us that a multiverse of independent blockchains that cannot interoperate would be severely limited. Users of blockchain platforms will find it beneficial to be able to exchange data and make transactions between chains too: a healthcare chain connecting to an insurance chain, a real-estate chain connecting to a construction materials or manufacturing chain, and so on.”
If blockchain platforms are to be successful, they should be able to scale to meet the needs of their target audience, it added.
The EU forum also expects blockchain technology to “become less energy-intensive over time.”
As for what will create successful large-scale blockchain projects, the report said teams will need “a clear vision” of what they want to achieve, “a clear reason” for using blockchain over traditional technologies, “strong governance structures” and “sharing of effort and expertise among diverse stakeholders.”
While Europe has been “very supportive” in the blockchain space, the authors said, there is “much still to be discovered and developed.” Therefore, the organization believes that “a light-touch approach, allowing for experimentation,” is the best way forward at present.
The authors write:
“Both the US and China have expressed strong support for blockchain research, with the former even going so far as to include it as part of its USD 700 billion defence budget. We therefore recommend that the EU continue its strong support, targeting both basic research as well as supporting implementation of infrastructure-related projects in particular, as well as research into non-technical topics such as governance of blockchain projects.”
The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum was launched by the European Commission early last year with the aim of identifying key initiatives, monitoring developments and promoting common action in the area of blockchain technology.
The group expects to publish another blockchain report focused on issues of privacy and confidentiality in the second half of 2019.
EU flags image via Shutterstock