Bitcoin developers, Healthy BTC?, DA and ASX, UK science office report, ISITC


Now Mike Hearn has left Bitcoin and that exposes Number 1 of those problems. Bitcoin code relies on the goodwill of developers. The 'Hearn' effect is just another reason why I favour permissioned networks. Those like minded souls, that are permitted, driven by a common commercial cause, have an ownership and governance structure that focuses users on maintaining the best code base.
Bitcoin's problems, to my way of thinking, continue. Latency remains an issue...which is in part driven by block size, which needs to be increased (Bitcoin XT is the reason cited for Hearns departure). Without an increase in block size transaction fees will continue to rise...and this kills another aspect of Bitcoin - it's relevance as a medium for micro-payments.
The biggest conceptual problem for me with Bitcoin are its Green credentials. It's carbon footprint is just hideous. Right now a lot of that carbon is in China. Access to cheap a falling Bitcoin price...I think will result in fewer miners...which then raises the issue of concentration risk (in what should be a distributed network).
Bitcoin sure has some growing pains ahead! What do I feel? Block sizes must increase (to defray transaction costs) and mining needs to become 'cheaper', greener and more transparent (environmental arbitrage which is all taking place behind China's great firewall).

Credit to Dan Page for the piccie. I have a lot of respect for graphic artists who convert concepts in images. I liked this one.

What an interesting couple of weeks for Digital Asset. From being reported at the end of last year as struggling and now they raise 50myn. I'm sure this is just around a tweaking of some of the commercials and having ASX come on board as a 'use case'. 

I'll be attending the inaugural ISITC Blockchain working group meeting on the 4th of Feb. I look forward to catching up with people at this event. If you'd like to attend, I'll see what I can do, however I'll need 48hrs notice (security reasons).

Whatever your leisure - may it be a pleasure!



Distributed Ledger Technology: beyond block chain A report by the UK Government Chief Scientific Adviser
Press Release:
*** Just been reading this and it looks like they lifted my analogy with the Irish electricity market.
JPMorgan: 'aggressively' investing in blockchain tech and robotics.
A note sent to employees by Daniel Pinto, head of JPMorgan's Corporate and Investment Bank, shows that the lender wants to ensure its $9 billion (£6 billion) investment in technology continues in 2016. Blockchain, big data, and robotics are the focus for JPM. Working groups are also being pushed to develop "market-leading platforms," with no detail on what they might be.

UBS Blockchain Partner Clearmatics Taps Investors for Funds

Artists, designers and innovators show how the data explosion is transforming our world.
03 Dec 2015 — 28 Feb 2016
I plan to attend this. I expect it to be more thought provoking in the way the different people visualise things rather than 'educational'.
The Linux Foundation, announced a new collaborative effort to advance the popular blockchain technology. The project will develop an enterprise grade, open source distributed ledger framework and free developers to focus on building robust, industry-specific applications, platforms and hardware systems to support business transactions.
Early commitments to this work come from Accenture, ANZ Bank, Cisco, CLS, Credits, Deutsche Börse, Digital Asset Holdings, DTCC, Fujitsu Limited, IC3, IBM, Intel, J.P. Morgan, London Stock Exchange Group, Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group (MUFG), R3, State Street, SWIFT, VMware and Wells Fargo.

R3 connects 11 banks to distributed ledger using Ethereum and Microsoft Azure
The R3-managed private peer-to-peer distributed ledger connected Barclays, BMO Financial Group, Credit Suisse, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, HSBC, Natixis, Royal Bank of Scotland, TD Bank, UBS, UniCredit and Wells Fargo.
Participants were able to explore the technology's potential to execute financial transactions instantaneously across the global private network. The banks simulated exchanging value, represented by tokenised assets on the distributed ledger without the need for a centralised third party, said R3 in a statement.

Blockchain standards builder R3 has opened its doors to non-bank financial services firms including funds, exchanges, clearing houses, standards bodies and infrastructure companies, from early in 2016.
R3 also announced the addition of another 12 banks, taking the total to 42 who have pledged their financial and technical support since launching in September.
The latest bank additions are: BMO Financial Group, Danske Bank, Intesa Sanpaolo, Natixis, Nomura, Northern Trust, OP Financial Group, Banco Santander, Scotiabank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation, US Bancorp and Westpac Banking Corporation. R3 said the initial window for admittance of new bank members is now closed.

Imogen Heap shows how smart music contracts work using Ethereum.
"We are going to aim to try and do things in an automated fashion. And so we have these things called smart contracts. These are essentially code; rules written into code which determine what happens when money comes in or when certain actions take place.
"And so we have things here called policies. These are things that the artist might decide on; the terms under which they are willing to allow their music to be used.
"So in the case of just the stems, for example, you could say, I'm happy for them to be downloaded for non-commercial use for $45. If you want to use it in a commercial record then I'll give you 50% of the rights and the recording but I still own the song.
"This is pre-known to everybody, recorded on the blockchain meaning it's transparent and visible to everybody. And when you enact these policies by buying music, this happens automatically – everybody knows who is getting paid and how much.

Digital Asset Closes Funding Round Exceeding $50 Million From Thirteen Global Financial Leaders
Digital Asset Holdings, LLC, a developer of Distributed Ledger Technology for the financial services industry, today announced that it has raised more than $50 million in funding from a broad range of leading firms from all corners of the international financial ecosystem consisting of ABN AMRO, Accenture, ASX Limited, BNP Paribas, Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc., Citi, CME Ventures, Deutsche Börse Group, ICAP, J.P. Morgan, Santander InnoVentures, The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC) and The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

A buzzy bitcoin startup led by Blythe Masters is reportedly struggling to raise funding

ASX Limited (ASX) today announced that it has selected US-based firm Digital Asset Holdings, LLC (Digital Asset) to develop solutions for the Australian market utilising Distributed Ledger Technology.


Hike Hearn leaves Bitcoin.
The resolution of the Bitcoin experiment

How to measure the health of Bitcoin? (as per Tim Swanson)
1. Number of Transactions per Day:

2. Number of Bitcoin Days Destroyed (this measures the 'age' of Bitcoins moving across the network. A low BDD represents recently used coins changing hands...a high BDD represents 'old' coins 're-entering' (or being released) back into circulation...a bit like G'ma pulling an old 50 quid note out from under the mattress that she'd been saving for a rainy day....or like someone panicking and selling out of all their Bitcoin positions)

3. Total Transaction Fees
4. Total Output Volume. (this measures the total value of all Bitcoins changing hands on a day - which is a slight overstatement as it also 'double counts' any change being returned to a sender). 


The importance of client money...
(CASS, CASS resolution Pack and CMAR)
FCA fines Bank of New York Mellon 126 million pounds
[April '15]
FCA Policy statement on Resolution Pack.

Ghost Writing

The Challenge of Change

(Ghost article I wrote on the tripple whammy of MiFID, EMIR and Basel III)