The Week in Review
Signs of BTC recovery as price floats around the $7000 USD mark.
More than 200+ ICOs in North America have fallen afoul of regulators, as NASAA conducts its Cryptosweep investigation.
In the UK, asset custodian Kingdom Trust has begun insuring private keys. They are following in the steps of Lloyd’s of London, a bank offering similar services to cover theft and loss of keys.
In a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers, as much as 84% of companies are currently exploring how blockchain can help them achieve their objectives.
And in Australia, the ASX has greenlit a YPB Systems token sale on the exchange. More than $3 million has been raised so far.
Back to the Classroom
New York University professor David Yermack has put Wall Street on notice. “I think they need to understand that [blockchain] is an arrow aimed at the heart of the financial system,” he told Coincast TV.
“[Wall Street] can either make peace with it… or continue to fight it through regulation and public ridicule and so forth.”
Oxford University, Stanford, NYU, Princeton and Georgetown are among the top schools to host blockchain and crypto-centric courses.
In Australia, Melbourne’s RMIT has recently launched a similar program.
“The financial system is changing quite quickly and the jobs available to our students are very different than they were even five years ago.”
Professor Yermack’s course is not an easygoing exploration of cryptocurrencies and speculation. Instead, he has designed an intense program to teach students about blockchain technology, and how it is currently being used in the crypto space.
According to the professor, “In the long run, the technology will win out and the banks are going to be transformed to the point that they look very different.”
In the meantime, hit the books!
Blockchain and Blood Diamonds
The African continent is frequently portrayed as a brutal landscape of conflict, tragedy and poverty. Asides from being incredibly offensive, this characterisation is also incorrect.
Will blockchain help African nations reemerge as power players on the global stage?
Every year, billions are spent on foreign aid to Somalia, Zambia, South Sudan and their neighbours. These nation have awesome natural resources and immense tourism potential, but the effectiveness of these cash injections is questionable.
According to the former President of Nigeria, blockchain could be a catalyst for change.
“Blockchain can help in the area of corruption […] if payment can be made in a way that cannot be tampered with.”
This would fundamentally shift how wealth is allocated, particularly how foreign aid is being spent by local governments.
While it is possible that eventually all so-called blood diamonds could be transparently accounted for, it will be an arduous process.
“You want to certify a supply chain to make sure there are no conflict minerals involved, no child labour… those kinds of things,” said Maximillian Jarrett in an interview with Coincast TV.
Mr. Jarrett is an advisor to the Africa Progress Group. He explained that “blockchain, as a distributed ledger system, has the kind of potential” to meet those demands.
Already, entrepreneurial individuals are capitalising on blockchain. From farmers in Kenya to Cobalt miners in South Africa, the African continent is embracing blockchain.
According to Coincast TV, Nigeria ranks 7th in the world rankings of countries trading bitcoin. At $258 million, Kenya’s investment in the market is more than double that of Canada, and nearly a million dollars more than Australia!
What’s the Deal with Stable Coins?
Fred Schebesta, founder of Finder, is all in with blockchain.
“Mums and dads don’t even know they’re using blockchain. They’re just gonna swipe with a finger and it’s gonna move money in cryptocurrency.”
Integrating blockchain into everyday life will be “smooth and simple” said Mr. Schebesta, who hosts a daily crypto talk show.
“[Millennials] will just be used to using that technology and they will want to invest in that… They don’t want to invest in property or old school digging up fossil fuels.”
As blockchain becomes the norm, we will see more transparency and accountability in important processes, including “things like voting, micropayments, money transfers,” according to Mr. Schebesta.
There will be a new class of experiences and jobs, such as completing a blockchain university degree or lobbying as a politician for greater blockchain regulation.
Bots versus Bots
Coincast TV reporter Heidi Cuthbert chatted with Eli Khedouri from Human Protocol to hear the latest insights from one of Google’s main competitors.
“Human Protocol is about a wider story of how we tokenise human labour. How do we have one person or group of people who do the work, another who evaluate the work and finally a neutral party to do payment?”
“We have introduced a system where trust is reduced dramatically in the ecosystem.”
Mr. Khedouri envisions a global workforce made up of people who speak different languages, live in different countries or continents, who have never met before. With Human Protocol, a person would feel secure in this environment.
“You need some way to enforce fairness, to enforce quality and to enforce satisfaction.”
Human Protocol’s first project is called HCaptcha. Currently, every time someone fills out a captcha on a website the information from those hours of work is sent back to Google to power its machine learning business.
“Instead, [HCaptcha] makes [the information] available for any machine learning companies to bid on and the websites get paid.”
But just how many hours of work are we talking about?
According to Mr. Khedouri, “they are giving away a hundred years of labour every day.”
Taking it to the Streets
Coincast TV sent a reporter out on the streets to hear what the public thinks about blockchain and cryptocurrency.
“Is it like online cash?” asked one woman. “Can you transfer it into real money once you’ve collected enough?”
“If you’re investing in cryptocurrencies in general, you should be willing to have that money to lose,” said a college-aged man, adding that “it isn’t really based on any fundamental financial things.”
But it was a tradie suited up in hi-vis who best expressed a familiar frustration in the crypto community. “I know what it is but I don’t know how to put it into words.”
Moving indoors, the reporter spoke with professionals in the financial industry.
David Constanzo, a Director at Moore Stephens, hit the nail on the head. “The blockchain is a technology which verifies transactions and removes a middleman such as a bank.”
Do you need to pay tax on the profit you make on the crypto market?
Absolutely, says Mr. Constanzo.
Stay tuned for next week’s update, and check in with Coincast TV online or on SkyNews. For all the latest in the meantime, Bitcoin Australia has you covered!
Liz is a Canadian journalism student and content producer at Bitcoin Australia. Connect with her on twitter at https://twitter.com/Elizabeth_Utley