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This Week in Blockchain – 01/16– 01/22

Blockchain Goes to Space, Grin and Beam the New Bitcoin?, Seven Legal Questions that Will Define Blockchain in 2019

Ecosystem

Satellite Project SpaceChain Concludes the First Qtum Blockchain Transaction in Space

Article Link: [The Blockchain]

Blockchain tech is really taking off! SpaceChain has launched and communicated with the first blockchain node in space. They successfully completed the first blockchain transaction executed from a node in space through using a satellite equipped with a Raspberry-Pi running the SpaceChain-OS (a full node on the QTum blockchain). While the potential advantages and disadvantages of operating nodes, cold storage, or other blockchain technology in space are yet to be fully explored, we can certainly say that this news is out of this world

How Is Blockchain And Artificial Intelligence Changing The Face Of Asset Management?

Article Link: [Forbes]

As a known disruptive technology in all financial technology, blockchain projects have numerous advantages over traditional technology and procedures in the asset management realm. The tokenization of many financial assets, combined with innovative platforms, such as Stellar, enable newer and smarter systems of management. As FinTech continues to bring asset opportunities to people previously unable to engage in them, blockchain promises significant advantages to both large scale investors and individuals. Combined with the existing emergence of AI and Robo-Investors, more easily accessible digital assets promise an exciting future for the online investor

MimbleWimble’s Grin and Beam Have the Potential to be More Scalable than Bitcoin, Says Litecoin Creator
Article Link: [Grin and Beam]

Grin and Beam are known as the top coins built on the MimbleWimble protocol, the tech designed to solve the privacy and scalability of Bitcoin. Last week, Grin made it to the headlines as the coin, which is considered to be the closest version of Bitcoin, plunged by over 97% within a few days of its launch. Grin has created two versions of the consensus algorithm known as the Cuckoo cycle, one that is ASIC-friendly and one designed for GPU miners. Adam Draper is sponsoring a Grin conference at the end of this month.

Deloitte: 95% of Companies Surveyed Are Investing in Blockchain Tech

Article Link: [Deloitte’s 2018 global blockchain survey]

Deloitte recently released its 2018 global blockchain survey and the report offers valuable insight about how businesses around the world are implementing distributed networks and blockchain technology. Some key insights: 95% surveyed stated their company plans to invest in blockchain tech this year, 65% of respondents reported that their organization will invest $1 million or more in blockchain technology in the coming year, 84% believe blockchain technology is broadly scalable and will eventually achieve mainstream adoption, 39% of respondents view blockchain as ‘overhyped’ — up from 34% in 2016, and Executives in the automotive (73%), oil & gas (72%) , and life sciences (72%) sectors are most bullish on blockchain

Regulatory

7 Legal Questions that Will Define Blockchain in 201

Article Link: [7 Legal Questions]

The explosion of mainstream popularity of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies over the past few has led to several legal questions that have yet to be answered. Are utility tokens securities? Does the level of decentralization make a difference? Will the SEC approve a crypto ETF? Whether regulators and lawmakers choose to apply federal securities laws to tokens, the EU’s GDPR to companies utilizing blockchain technology, or personal liability to coder’s for company violations will have a large impact on blockchain technology. Regarding personal liability for coders, CFTC Commissioner Brian Quintenz recently stated in a speech that smart contract developers could be held liable for their code if they can “reasonably foresee” that it can be used by another for unlawful purposes. However, holding developers liable for their code could be considered an unconstitutional violation of free speech under the First Amendment. Buckle up because 2019 could be a big year for blockchain and the law.

SEC States Cryptocurrency Markets Will Continue to be a Top Priority in 2019
Article Link: [SEC Report]

In a newly released report, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has stated that the cryptocurrency market will be an “examination priority” in 2019. This is not a surprise as the SEC made cryptocurrencies a priority in 2018 as well. Up until now, the SEC’s enforcement division has primarily focused on cases of blatant securities fraud and ignored more legally complex cases such as use of the SAFT. At the same time, the SEC has issued little guidance on how to structure ICOs to comply with securities laws and chosen to regulate primarily through enforcement. As the “crypto winter” continues into early 2019, it will be interesting to see whether the SEC’s enforcement strategy changes

Research Notes:

Ecosystem - Christopher Sides, Duke University ‘19 & Justin LoTurco, Duke University ‘19

Regulatory - Carlos Manzano, Duke Law School ‘19

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