Dash (for credibility), BTC Reddit, CSDR, TR, Redi...Cognitive Bias and Dunbars number


Been a while between blog posts. (Just pushing this out today - post already up on the web). I've been thinking about the format of blogging - are blog posts too long in this new immediate information age? Are posts too wide ranging - from DLT, Crypto, Securities, Brexit etc. On reflection, I'm just going to stick with what I'm doing (unless strong feedback says otherwise). Some people have said the blog is quite rich in content, good!, but why do I do it? I started blogging, selfishly, for me (at the suggestion of one of my email readers). I can't remember every story I read and link that piques my interest....putting it in a blog makes it more likely I'll rediscover that elusive article (hence there is a search function on the blog site, which allows me to search the blog rather than trawling through Google). If you have comments / feedback / suggestions about the blog / good or bad I'd be delighted to hear from you.

My blog site also has some pages / tabs. I've been doing some housekeeping and updating the DLT pages.
Ethereums and Dash's dash up the market cap rankings is impressive. https://coinmarketcap.com/. Contrast this to BTC's performance and the Winklevoss ETF. For me, what differentiates these new comers is their Governance. Before we even get to the Tech, we need Governance (dispute resolution), Legal Framework (certainty and finality) and Regulatory Clarity.
Nice discussion thread on forking here - including comments by Vitalik.
Cryptocurrency trading volumes here:
Cryptocurrencies are now an asset class! Welcome Polychain Capital.
Exciting news (?). Alan Cameron is up for Global Custodian Person of the Year!
You can vote for him at this web site using the poll code 'gcpoty'.
He's got my vote.

I'll also be moderating at:
Marketforce’s 2nd Annual The Blockchain Summit
Moving beyond debate: putting the technology into practice
28th March 2017, Hilton Tower Bridge, Central London
I look forward to catching up any interested parties there.

Also did a recent DLT Q&A with the CommTech people here:

Congratulations to the Irish on their legacy of stopping two great teams on world record winning streaks: thwarting both the ABs and the English at number 19.
Current atrocities leave me speechless.
All the best on the blockchain!



Ethereum Sets Record Highs, $40 Price and $3.6b Market Cap
...cheer at community forums for the upcoming “Flippening” – the moment that Ethereum overtakes the place of Bitcoin in the world. They point to the technological and governance problems holding back Bitcoin from being used as an efficient payment system and to the many new solutions that are based on Ethereum coming out every day.

Hyperledger Continues Strong Momentum in 2017 with 11 New Members
The latest members include: Bank of England, Bitmark, China Merchants Bank, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Initiative for CryptoCurrencies and Contracts (IC3), Kaiser Permanente, Kubique S.p.A., MadHive, Monax, OSCRE and RadarWin Cyber Technology.

Blockchain: A Better Way to Track Pork Chops, Bonds, Bad Peanut Butter?

The Promise of FinTech – Something New Under the Sun? - speech by Mark Carney

DTCC Using Distributed Ledger Technology to Improve the Post-Trade Process.
DTCC announced that it has selected IBM, in partnership with Axoni and R3, to provide a distributed ledger technology (“DLT”) framework to drive further improvements in derivatives post-trade lifecycle events. The firms will work collaboratively to re-platform DTCC’s Trade Information Warehouse (“TIW”).
The solution has been developed with input and guidance from a number of market participants including Barclays, Citi, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, J.P. Morgan, UBS and Wells Fargo, and key market infrastructure providers, IHS Markit and Intercontinental Exchange.
The end-state vision to establish a permissioned distributed ledger network, governed by DTCC, with peer nodes at participating firms.
IBM will lead the initiative, provide program management, DLT expertise, and integration services, and offer the solution-as-a-service. Axoni will provide distributed ledger infrastructure and smart contract applications, with R3 acting as a solution advisor.
Development is expected to begin in January 2017 and build on Axoni’s AxCore distributed ledger protocol which will be submitted to Hyperledger when the solution goes live, anticipated in early 2018.

DTCC is also working with New York-based startup Digital Asset Holdings on developing blockchain-based technology for the syndicated loans market.

The Global Blockchain Business Council (GBBC) was due to launch this week at Davos.


Blockchain Research Institute (BRI).
Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott, co-authors of the best-selling book Blockchain Revolution are pleased to announce the formation of the Blockchain Research Institute (BRI).
Founding Members:
Technology Industry – Accenture, IBM, SAP
Financial Industry –  Digital Asset, NASDAQ
Global Corporations – Pepsico, Centrica, Liberty Global
Government – Province of Ontario, University Health Network
Blockchain Pioneers – Nuco Inc., Paycase, Artlery, Votem, Cosmos, Youbase, Wisekey
Affiliate Organizations – The Hyperledger Project, the Chamber of Digital Commerce, Coala.io, Enterprise Ethereum Alliance

Bitcoin and Ethereum Exchange Coinbase Granted New York BitLicense
Coinbase, the San Francisco headquartered Bitcoin and Ethereum cryptocurrency exchange and wallet provider, has been granted a New York virtual currency license – commonly known as a BitLicense.  Founded in June 2012, Coinbase has issued 10.9 million cryptocurrency wallets, making it the dominant player in the US market. It also supports 45,000 merchants and 9,000 developer apps.

“Bitcoin Jesus” Roger Ver Suspended from Reddit.
Investing in startups including bitcoin.com, Blockchain, Z.cash, BitPay, Kraken, Purse.io and Ripple, Ver contributed over a $1 million toward creating the bitcoin ecosystem over the past six years.
He has now been blocked from Reddit for referring to the real name of Bitcoin forum administrator “Theymos”. Ver was thus accused of an offense known as doxxing (exposing a private individual’s details) despite the fact that a simple Google search will return a number of sources with the real identity of the person behind the Theymos moniker.
Theymos has repeatedly been accused of employing very harsh censorship policies, crushing debates about how to reform the blockchain both on Reddit and on Bitcointalk.

Canadian Securities Regulators Adopt Rules for Over-the-Counter Derivatives Clearing
National Instrument 94-101 Mandatory Central Counterparty Clearing of Derivatives requires certain counterparties to clear certain standardised OTC derivatives through a central counterparty clearing agency, subject to exemptions set out in the instrument.
National Instrument 94-102 Derivatives: Customer Clearing and Protection of Customer Collateral and Positions is designed to protect a local customer’s positions and collateral when clearing OTC derivatives and to improve clearing agencies’ resilience to default by a clearing intermediary. The instrument includes requirements related to the segregation and portability of customer collateral and positions as well as detailed record-keeping, reporting and disclosure requirements.
NI 94-101 comes into force on 4 April, 2017 and NI 94-102 on 3 July, 2017.

China Passes New Cybersecurity Law

Japanese Giant GMO Enters Cryptocurrency Exchange and Trading Business
...the Ministry of Finance and the Financial Services Agency are considering the elimination of the consumption tax on cryptocurrency transactions by the spring of 2017, and if this is happens, the further spread of cryptocurrency in Japan is expected.

Russia’s central bank is continuing to grow its blockchain footprint, having announced the creation of a new FinTech association focused in part on studying the technology.


Market Structure

CSDR implementing measures published in the OJ
The following implementing measures which supplement the Regulation on improving securities settlement in the EU and on central securities depositories (the CSDR) have been published in the Official Journal of the European Union:

ESMA publishes first set of CSDR Q&A's

The European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) has put for public consultation future guidelines on the transfer of data between trade repositories (TRs)
[The 6 approved TR's : DTCC, KDPW, Regis-TR, UnaVista, CME TR and ICE TVEL]

AMF to Launch its ‘I See Why’ Surveillance System in Mid-2017
France’s financial markets regulator, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), today said it will implement a new market surveillance system for the country’s financial market, dubbed the ‘ICY system’. The system was developed internally with the backing of IT company Neurones

LSE says no plans to move clearing operations after Deutsche Boerse merger

Thomson Reuters Completes REDI Acquisition
REDI will now operate as Thomson Reuters REDI.

UK’s Competition Appeal Tribunal Upholds ICE’s Mandatory Sale of Trayport


Virtu Offers $1.3 Billion for KCG to Create Trading Leader
Virtu Financial Inc. offered to buy KCG Holdings Inc. for as much as $1.3 billion, amid signs the high-speed trading industry is finding it harder to make money.
New York-based Virtu, which combined with Madison Tyler Holdings LLC in 2011, closed down 0.6 percent.
KCG was formed when high-frequency trader Getco LLC combined with the ailing Knight after a mishap with one of Knight’s trading algorithms cost the firm $440 million in 30 minutes.

Interactive Brokers Group Announces Decision to Cease Options Market Making Activities
Interactive Brokers Group, Inc. (NASDAQ GS:IBKR) announced that it will discontinue options market making activities globally, which are conducted through its Timber Hill companies.
Thomas Peterffy, Chairman and CEO, said, “Having initiated the first automated option market making operation in the mid ’80s, which grew into the largest such business on a global scale over the next 25 years, it’s been painful for me to see it deteriorating in the last few years. But we do not have a choice in this matter. Today retail order-flow is purchased by large order internalizers and joining them would represent a conflict we do not wish to have. On the other hand, providing liquidity to sophisticated, professional synthesizers of short-term fundamental, technical and big data is not a profitable activity.


ICMA response to the commission consultation on capital markets union mid-term review

Planning for Brexit - Operational impacts on wholesale banking and capital markets in Europe
AFME has commissioned a report from PwC, outlining the operational impacts and transformation challenges that Brexit poses to the provision of banking services in the EU [53pages]

Euro Clearing and Brexit - The Practitioners' View.
The paper suggests why it could be in the best interests of the EU for clearing of these products to continue outside the Eurozone and highlights 4 key findings...

Passporting appears to be out, which leaves the UK with a "Third Country Regime" status. Good explanation of the implications here.

Speech by the President of the Eurogroup, Jeroen Dijsselbloem, at The Future of Europe event, 24 January 2017

Upcoming Events

The Blockchain Summit
Moving beyond debate: putting the technology into practice
28th March, 2017.
Hilton Tower Bridge, London

Cognitive Bias

Back on the topics of blogs, getting Cryptocurrency / DLT news means reading a whole host of new sources....some of which I suspect are one or two man bands (and kudos to 'em). What's real news, fake news, regurgitated news?
I liked this blog post from Scott Adams - yes, he of the wonderful Dilbert cartoons:
Some Fake News:
As ever, it is often the comments that provide such great insight:
Scott's experience is an extreme example, but if you have ever had the media cover a story or situation that you know something about, you already know that:
a) they are typically too ill-informed to get the story right, 
b) they are looking to fit facts and quotes into the narrative that they decided on prior to arrival or within the first minute of investigation
c) they are not particularly bothered by a or b
"Everything you read in the newspapers is absolutely true—except for the rare story of which you happen to have firsthand knowledge." 
--Knoll's Law of Media Accuracy (Erwin Knoll, editor, "The Progressive")
"Early in life I have noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper, but in Spain, for the first time, I saw newspaper reports which did not bear any relation to the facts, not even the relationship which is implied in an ordinary lie. ...I saw newspapers in London retailing these lies and eager intellectuals building emotional superstructures over events that had never happened. I saw, in fact, history being written not in terms of what happened but of what ought to have happened according to various ‘party lines’."
--George Orwell, "Looking Back on the Spanish War" (1943)
I don't know why people generalize the media like they do. It consists of a ton of different groups with different viewpoints, motives, and standards of quality. It's like saying all black people or all Hindu people are terrible. Some are. Some are awesome.
Some people take it seriously and do really good work and watch for their own biases while other people are clowns that crave attention and feel their job is to entertain and will debase themselves and anyone involved with them to get it. Sometimes those people exist within the same organization because it's hard to afford the good without the rage and/or self-righteousness clicks the clowns bring in.
“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.
In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”
Cognitive Bias Codex

Updated video clip from the Solent swim for MND.

Henry Thomas Buckle
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action.
This was filmed in 2009...30 million views since.
He talks about the need for businesses (or individuals) to address the:
1. Why we do what we do.
2. How we do what we do (differentiate).
3. What we offer (product).
The nice hook here is he correlates these processes to the biology of the brain:
The outer brain / neo-cortex, responsible for language and rationalisation, he equates to the 'what'.
The inner brain / limbic brains, responsible for feelings like trust, loyalty and 'gut feelings', i.e. decision making, he equates to the why (passion and commitment) and how.
He also talks about the Law of Diffusion of Innovation (originally from 1962!) and metions both the tipping point for market penetration at between 15% and 18% and 'crossing the chasm' (Geoffrey More).

18 minutes.


Dunbar's number
By using the average human brain size and extrapolating from the results of primates, he proposed that humans can comfortably maintain only 150 stable relationships.

The modern military company became popularized during the reorganization of the Swedish Army in 1631 under King Gustav II Adolph. For administrative purposes, the infantry was divided into companies consisting of 150 men, grouped into regiments of eight companies.

The Space Shuttle and the Horse's Rear End
The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8 1/2 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman army war chariot. 

People and Space in Early Agricultural Villages: Exploring Daily Lives,

Community Size, and Architecture in the Late Pre-Pottery Neolithic