An international group of regulators and government officials created in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis has released a wide-ranging report on financial technologies including blockchain.
The report grew out of a months-long process within the Financial Stability Board (FSB), which first revealed it was researching blockchain and its impact on the global financial system in February 2016. The board is composed of central bank governors and financial regulators from nations in the G20 group, as well as its predecessor Financial Stability Forum, and the European Commission.
Though the study states that “there are currently no compelling financial stability risks from emerging fintech innovations,” it outlines 10 potential issues that regulators should focus on. In the context of blockchain, the FSB report identifies the implications of the technology’s cross-border nature and legal uncertainty around smart contracts.
The authors go on to note:
“These and other legal issues could be even more prevalent when considering cross-border activities. For example, blockchain has raised questions, such as data privacy concerns across jurisdictions, and identifying the location of an asset when no one bank or entity is the custodian of the record.”
More at: Financial Stability Board: Blockchain Could Raise Cross-Border Data Issues – CoinDesk
The U.S. Navy has revealed plans to trial blockchain technology to bring added security to its manufacturing systems.
The Navy said it will apply the technology to its processes for additive manufacturing – known more popularly as 3-D printing – in a bid to “securely share data throughout the manufacturing process” as it creates critical equipment for deployed forces.
Led by the Naval Innovation Advisory Council, the trial will use blockchain technology to create a data-sharing layer between the Navy’s various 3-D printing sites over the summer, with a report on its proof-of-concept effort due this autumn.
In a blog post, Lieutenant Commander Jon McCarter said: “If someone told you that the technology underpinning the cryptocurrency Bitcoin will likely revolutionize much of the way we do business in the next 10 years, you might shrug it off. I would like to tell you: it’s just the beginning and that it might also revolutionize naval additive manufacturing, finance and logistics writ large, and that’s only scratching the surface.”
More at: U.S. Navy Looks to Blockchain Revolution – The Maritime Executive
The General Services Administration is looking to speed up acquisition by harnessing innovative machine learning and blockchain technologies.
The administration released a request for quotes June 19 to improve its Multiple Award Schedules FASt Lane program. FASt Lane was implemented in 2016 to give government agencies timely access to new technology innovation by shortening processing times.
Now, GSA says it has up to $149,999 to offer to contractors for a proof of concept that can further improve FASt Lane processing and proposal review times with distributed ledger technology — the foundation of blockchain technology, which also forms the basis of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin — automated machine learning, artificial intelligence based technologies and electronic interchange technology.
More at: GSA calls for blockchain and machine learning to speed acquisition – fedscoop
An anti-money laundering bill before the US Senate and focused in part on digital currencies “could upset years of policy and compliance work”, according to Washington, DC, advocacy group Coin Center.
A new blog post penned by Coin Center executive director Jerry Brito dives into the specifics of the bill, arguing that the Combating Money Laundering, Terrorist Financing and Counterfeiting Act of 2017 – introduced in late May by a group of influential senators – largely replicates rules put in place by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), which first issued guidance on digital currency activities in 2013 and later 2014.
According to Brito, the Senate bill’s approach as written is “counterproductive” to its intended goal of countering illegal activities.
More at: Coin Center: US Senate’s Digital Currency Bill Is ‘Counterproductive’ – CoinDesk
Over the next 10 to 15 years, the emerging technologies of today will completely reinvent entire industries. Not since the advent of the internet some 30 years ago will technology change how we work, how we move about, and how we store and share information. If the quote “What is past is prologue” bears any truth, the government will largely miss out on these changes, many of which will be hugely beneficial for large enterprises like federal agencies.
To move past this, the government cannot assume that its security and data is too sensitive, that its processes are too unique, or simply rely on those managing the existing technology to determine what should be adopted next. The federal government has done quite a bit of work recently to demonstrate awareness and set policy for emerging technology, whether its autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence or financial technology — fintech. The limitation here is that these reports are almost always outward looking. Rarely do federal commissions, reports or frameworks on subjects of emerging tech dive into how the government should study, pilot and adopt these technologies. But they should. This is especially true considering the federal government outlays account for about 20 percent of our GDP; would you take a government report on blockchain seriously that didn’t consider its implications on the health care industry? It’s time to evolve.
More at: Evolving Government: Emerging technology’s multiple paths to government adoption – fedscoop
The General Services Administration wants to streamline the FASlane review process for new proposals by using distributed ledger technology, automated machine learning and/or artificial intelligence to review and exchange information.
According to a request for quotations, GSA seeks a design and proof of concept for intelligent automation that will reduce the amount of time humans spend reviewing new proposal documents, improve offeror experience and speed the time to award. GSA also said it will implement an electronic data interchange for offeror registration, contract maintenance, transactions, auditing and reporting.
To create at a “single source of truth,” the solution must automate the process except for proposal rejection or contract award — from the time a vendor opts into the program, through review of contractor responsibility, pricing and market research, issuance of offer letters and price negotiation. That automation requires configuring smart contracts based on multiple decision rules and workflows as well as providing interim evaluation results for new proposals.
More at: GSA looks to bring AI to proposal reviews – GCN
The state of Illinois is backing an upcoming blockchain hackathon.
The IBI Hack, a month-long virtual hackathon set to begin on 1st July, is being organized by the Illinois Blockchain Initiative along with blockchain technology startup Fulcrum. The event is open to students and recent university graduates from around the world, with all entries due on 31st July.
IBI Hack is part of the Illinois Blockchain Month, a month-long initiative that will see a series of educational events hosted across the state focused on the tech. The events are aimed at trying to teach people what blockchains are and what they can do.
State governor Bruce Rauner said in a statement:
“Illinois is the state of innovation, and I am proud to see our young men and women getting involved in the Illinois Blockchain Initiative Hack. Empowering our youth is empowering the future of Illinois.”
More at: Illinois Government Sponsors Month-Long Blockchain Hackathon – CoinDesk