Daily Bits May 30th, 2017

The International Business Times compares the regulatory environments for blockchain startups in Singapore and the US, and advocates a “sandbox” approach.

““There is much more clarity in Singapore than there is in the U.S.,”… Blockchain technology is moving too fast for regulators to keep up. So startups are “stuck trying to minimize the risk” of legal issues, Isakovic said, rather than focusing on their building product and their user base.”

The problem is that the US simply can’t do agile legislation with so many regulators looking at financial and data services.

According to Wikipedia, these are the financial regulators responsible for US-based activity:

United States:

  • Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC)
  • Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC)
  • Federal Reserve System (“Fed”)
  • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)
  • Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN)
  • Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
  • Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
  • National Credit Union Administration (NCUA)
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)
  • National Futures Association (NFA)
  • In addition, each state has its own banking authority

And here is the list for Singapore:

  • Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)

Spot the difference?

Streamlining the US regulation will mean consolidating organizations, something that all stakeholders are likely to lobby against.

So, it doesn’t look like there is a solution, which means that the US will lose out to other financial centers as a seat of innovation.

We don’t know what the long term effects will be, but it is likely that we start to see the results in the growth and trade figures in the medium term.

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Best tweet of the day:


…in response to this…

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The South China Morning Post reported on ways the Chinese are moving money across the border.

“Analysts said that despite tighter scrutiny, the outflows were likely to remain strong for years to come, with companies and individuals looking for better investment opportunities while safeguarding their money against a weakening Chinese economy and a falling yuan currency.”

The most interesting part is that bitcoin is not mentioned. At all.

You may remember that the need to stem outflows was given as one of the reasons for the central bank’s clampdown on bitcoin exchanges a few months ago.


It turns out that the main methods used are fake invoices, false trade records and invalid customs forms. This disclosure could end up boosting blockchain investigation, since use of the technology would make document falsification much more difficult, if not impossible.

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Catching up on podcasts… This from an FT Tech Tonic episode from last November, which featured an interview with Yuval Noah Harari, the author of Sapiens and Homo Erectus:

“We often tend to confuse intelligence with consciousness when we speak about AI – people jump to the conclusion that it will also be artificial consciousness. But actually consciousness and intelligence are very different things. Intelligence is basically the ability to solve problems, whereas consciousness is the ability to feel things… For millions of years, intelligence has been progressing by way of consciousness. In humans, the two are inseparable. We solve problems by using our emotions and feelings… Maybe with AI and computers we are discovering a completely independent way towards intelligence that bypasses the neural states of consciousness. The future might be super-intelligent entities devoid of all consciousness. This is a very frightening thought.”

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An excellent and well-deserved profile of my friend Rose Chan, founder of the blockchain working group at the World Bank. She spoke at Consensus last week, on the “Global Issues” panel – the video should be up on the CoinDesk site soon, it’s worth watching.

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This is amazing… The youngest ever qualifier for the national spelling bee is 5 years old. (Via Axios.)


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