Author Archives: Dan Callahan

Bitcoin/Blockchain July-August news articles

(complied by Skyler Dache’ … August 12, 2017)

08/10/2017 Russia’s Ministry of Health Is Launching a Blockchain Pilot – partnership with major Russian bank to enable better system of medical records in Russia

08/09/2017 Sony Taps Blockchain to Develop System for Data Sharing and Authentication In Education – Uses Hyperledger Fabric from Linux foundation and IBM Blockchain, no specific schools or customers announced

08/09/2017 India’s SEBI Sets Up Committee to Explore the Blockchain – India analogue to SEC, will investigate the impacts of emerging blockchain technologies on financial markets, including “[…] peer-to-peer lending, the blockchain, digital currencies, crowd funding or algorithmic trading”

08/08/2017 Ukraine to Install 150 Bitcoin ATMs in 2017, 30 by the End of August – Currently only has one, increasing due to demand from entrepreneurs

08/08/2017 Australian Grain Exporter Teams with AgriDigital on Agriculture Blockchain – will develop and pilot system this month, to use one system to tie title transfer and payment across the supply chain

08/08/2017 India’s Inter-Disciplinary Committee Submits Bitcoin Report to [Finance Minister] Jaitley – report is not public

08/07/2017 China to Use the Blockchain to Send Invoices and Collect Taxes – announced they hired a Chinese software firm to research and develop a blockchain system for managing their public finance and tax system

08/03/2017 Farmers Cooperative Uses Blockchain to Trace Meat Through Supply Chain – UK tech company has announced they’re working on a system to track and verify the processing history of meat

08/03/2017 Indian Finance Ministry Panel Suggests Discouraging People from Using Bitcoin – one official said bitcoin is “fraught with dangers” right after the central bank banned high denomination notes

08/03/2017 Hong Kong Company Launches Blockchain TEU Token to Revolutionize the Shipping Industry – new blockchain designed to reduce no-shows and overbooking in shipping industry

07/31/2017 SEC’s DAO Ruling Brings More Oversight to ICOs, Industry Observers Agree – Anyone offering to trade cryptocoins on regulated markets must register them as securities, but traders of coins with functional non monetary value do not; there is now less gray area.

07/28/2017 BitClave Aims to Tackle Privacy in Advertising with the Blockchain; Launches ICO – new blockchain platform designed to allow marketers to advertise to users without a third party

07/27/2017 Bitcoin Prices Propped up by South Korea Regulation – New South Korean regulatory guidance sets clear rules for bitcoin exchanges

07/26/2017 Chinese Blockchain Association Issues Protocol to Regulate ICOs – A consortium of private organizations, representing industry, finance, call the document a “consensus” on how to capitalize on ICOs while following Chinese law and protecting their interests

07/25/2017 Aircraft Asset Management: An Untapped Market for Blockchain Technology – IT Director describes how a blockchain for aviation could enable reliable records

07/24/2017 Dubai Set to Achieve Goal of Becoming First Blockchain Government by 2020 – Dubai information officer reiterates plan to work with industry partners to develop blockchain systems capable of representing and executing all government transactions

07/20/2017 India’s Primary IT Trade Body Establishes Blockchain Special Interest Group – New division within NASSCOM, a major IT trade association In India

07/17/2017 Decentralized Payment Platform Monetha Uses Ethereum Smart Contracts to Disrupt Global Commerce – New blockchain system to link merchant and customer reviews with verified payment

07/16/2017 LegalTech Firm Introduces Native Token, Launches Sale – New blockchain system for smart contracts featuring its own tradable currency, contract building interface, knowledge base, and execution system

07/13/2017 Bitcoin-Friendly Swiss City Announces Ethereum Digital ID Pilot – Citizens can register for the program and eventually submit notarized signatures, pay fines and vote in elections

07/13/2017 Russia is ‘Considering’ Blockchain Tech for Real Estate – via report from Russian Ministry of Communication

07/12/2017 Hyperledger Releases Open-Source Production Ready Blockchain Software, Fabric 1.0 – an open source platform for making blockchain systems

07/11/2017 Australian Megabanks ANZ, Westpac Complete Blockchain Bank Guarantees Trial with IBM – the system will focus on digitizing bank guarantees for commercial property; a slow and expensive process today

07/10/2017 Rivetz Introduces Decentralized Cybersecurity Token to Secure Devices – empowers blockchain applications that are hacker resistant in a new way

07/10/2017 The Ethereum Blockchain Is Superior to Bitcoin, Says Private Banker – Says flexibility empowers more applications, making it more likely to succeed

07/10/2017 Mizuho Completes Australia-Japan Trade on a Blockchain – the exact system they used was not specified

07/09/2017 The Healthcare Industry Turns to Blockchain Tech for Security – Partnership between IBM Watson team and FDA

07/08/2017 This Blockchain Platform Gives Artists Control of Their Content Distribution – a decentralized itunes named DECENT, after much planning, has launched, featuring incentives for people to serve content and a way to identify copied media

07/01/2017 IOTA Partners Healthcare Providers for Blockchain Research in Norway

GBA President Gerard Dache’ comments on the recent speech (July 14th, 2017)  in the US House of Representatives, by Rep. Rohrabacher, related to cryptocurrencies and blockchain based solutions… and the absolute need for rationality and sanity moving forward.

Response from President of the of the GBA:

 The Government Blockchain Association would like to affirm and support Congressman Rohrabacher and his call for more attention and use of cryptocurrencies and related technologies in order to both stop illegal action by criminals as well as foster the protection of rights of law abiding citizens.   Cryptocurrencies are often undergirded by blockchain and we agree with Congressman Rohrabacher that, as with any technology, this can be used by all manner of individuals and groups for doing right as well as breaking laws.  Banning digital currencies…certainly does not prevent the underlying criminality.  It is rational to use technologies such as blockchain to both thwart criminals as well as to encourage innovation for law abiding citizens.  We must, as a nation, find the right application of all technologies and continue to define crimes as something committed by humans, not inanimate objects and technologies.   All eight hundred-plus members of the GBA look forward to helping the United States Congress in a bipartisan effort, as well as other international lawmaking bodies, to find the best public-sector applications of blockchain.   We stand ready to establish focused working groups to assist in this manner and help to develop the use of related technologies.

The transcript of the Congressman’s comments can be found here:

https://www.governmentblockchain.org/resources/listing/blockchaincryptocurrency-comments-by-us-congressman-dana-rohrabacher-ca-48th-dist

 

 

One of the most respected financial journals is Investors Business Daily (IBD). www.investors.com   I have read this off-and-on for ten years or so, and they justifiably maintain a top rating for analysis of markets (financial, stocks, mutual funds and commodities).  The serious financial adviser and stock-selection practitioner consults this newspaper (actually, website) daily.

When IBD whispers… I try to listen.  Their recent headline article (week of July 31, 2017) provided an analysis of the payment processing industry and its leaders in North America.  The mega trend worth paying attention to… is this:

  • Payment processing is increasingly convenient, competitive and frictionless;
  • Multi-billion-dollar players continue to innovate and reshape offerings for consumers;
  • Be on the lookout for changes as these mega companies (Amazon, VISA, PayPal, etc.) look for marketplace advantages;
  • Consumers are the beneficiaries as this market evolves.
  • There is vast opportunity and this exists at multiple levels.

This is interesting to the GBA when you consider an estimated 260,000 US Federal employees spend roughly US$19B annually, according to the Daily Caller newspaper.  Where it gets even more interesting is that a major portion of this is not very well accounted for or audited.  Hmmmmm….

“Hey, General Services Administration… would you like to create a secure audit trail for each of those 19 billion dollars so Americans can rest assured that our tax dollars are being well spent?  Why not a blockchain-based federal credit card?”

 

This does not have to be a can of worms.  At a high level, it is strait forward:  public monies are auditable via a blockchain transaction network that does not belong to the proprietary data centers of VISA or MasterCard, etc. and can be scrutinized by those who have authorization to know about the transactions… such as inspectors general (IG), or an agency ombudsmen.

Am I asking for the moon here?  I don’t think so.  Who would have thought, just ten years ago, you could stream virtually any sporting event to your smart phone and conduct any conceivable financial transaction from the middle of a field in most rural locations in North America?   And this is true to an even greater extend in other portions of the globe.  The citizens of Africa know this well.  The ability to bring about this kind of change exists in the will to do so.  The technology is here.  Yes, it takes time to permeate but the change is happening.

 

Ran into Stacy B. at Cogent Law Group (Washington DC) (http://www.cogentlaw.co/ ) recently and we were wondering if government contracts would be a reasonable use case for applying blockchain.

Let’s see…

  • Voluntary and distributed electronic participants … check.
  • Transfer of some sort of high value assets, ownership, or monetary units … check.
  • A process intensive flow of data (back and forth) that must have an audit trail … check.
  • Encryption desired… check.
  • Identity of participants matters to the transaction…check.
  • Eventual placement of contractual award of some sort with deliverables fully tracked through a detailed life cycle… check.

Yes… this is a fantastic use case.  In fact, Cogent Law Group, as a member of GBA will be leading our working group that tackles this topic.

For a full discussion on this, browse here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/government-contracting-community-ready-next-tech-stacey

If you’d enjoy getting involved (i.e., contribute to the working group), please message [email protected]

 

Question:  what are the top criteria for a blockchain implementation—or smart contact that could serve the contracting officers in a governmental organization?  Please comment below.

This jumped out at me: “We are very excited about this [blockchain] approach, and we think it’s part of the acquisition front we’re trying to get to,” said Bergin, according to the report.

http://www.executivegov.com/2017/05/john-bergin-dod-eyes-use-of-blockchain-tech-in-standard-parts-production/

Mr. Bergin is in a position to think out of the box, at the DoD’s office of the CIO.  This is good news.  Our government needs more folks like him.   The US Navy has been examining the use of 3D printing (called additive manufacturing) for several years, which will give them an ability to create–or print, long discontinued parts from nothing more than the CAD model.

This is appealing since a part gets more expensive once it goes “out of production” in normal manufacturing cycles.  The Defense Industrial Base (DIB) companies must charge a higher margin in order to keep low quantity production lines in operation–or–keep them at all, when the DoD only wants intermittent replenishment.  So, the solution to avoiding exorbitantly priced and low quantity resupplys could be to create a capability that allows parts-on-demand via 3D printing.

Could blockchain be used to replenish sensitive parts for the Defense Department? And certify those parts as authentic? They DoD CIO is thinking “yes”.

Blockchain comes into play during the sub-processes that essentially prove that the parts have been manufactured by an authorized and certified DoD parts manufacturer.   We can’t have ship and aircraft parts being forged or manufactured by just anyone.   (trust me… you do not want this!)  This process can insert a blockchain token into the part itself and allow it to be tracked from the time it’s is removed from the 3D printer… all the way to parts-retirement, twenty years from then.   It is all about data and retaining a single source of truth for that sensitive parts data, over the lifecycle of the part.  Defense logistics may be on the verge of reinventing itself.

Cool idea, huh?  Like much of the other use cases for blockchain, it involves the combination of other technologies and the re-thinking of a process, that will give birth to fresh ideas and potentially millions (and millions) of dollars in savings.   We need more folks like Mr. Bergin!

And yes, I have put a call into Mr. Bergin to learn more.

Stay tuned.