Blockchain Research Institute | Identifying Applications for Blockchain to Transform Businesses and Competitiveness

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Exploring the Strategic Opportunities of Blockchain:FOR INDUSTRY TRANSFORMATION, COMPETITIVENESS, MANAGEMENT AND PUBLIC VALUEThe technology that will enable, secure and formalize the digital relationships shaping the future of enterprise, government and the global economy has arrived — Blockchain. The first generation of the digital revolution brought us the Internet of Information. The second generation—powered by blockchain technology—is bringing us the Internet of Value: a new, distributed platform that can help us create the digital relationships that will reshape the world of business and transform the old order of human affairs for the better.In the first best-selling book about the blockchain revolution, Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott argued that blockchain technology will transform financial services, the deep architecture of the corporation, animate the Internet of Things, recast the role of government, revamp our content industries, and solve important problems like the security of organizations and the privacy of individuals. New blockchain-based business models will transform most industries, and big disruptors may themselves become disrupted.It’s now time to take the next step and conduct deep research into killer applications — identifying the most important opportunities for blockchain in business and government and drawing the roadmap for how to get there.

Source: Blockchain Research Institute | Identifying Applications for Blockchain to Transform Businesses and Competitiveness

Eight Things Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Probably Won’t Tell You | Great Wall of Numbers

The empirical data and stories above do not mean that investors should stop trading all cryptocurrencies or pass on investing in blockchain-related products and services.To the contrary, the goal of this article is to elevate awareness that this industry lacks even the most basic safeguards and independent voices that would typically act as a counterbalance against bad actors.  In this FOMO atmosphere investors need to be on full alert of the inherent risks of a less than transparent market with less than accurate information from companies and even news specialists.Cryptocurrencies aren’t inherently good or bad.  In a single block, they can be used as a means to reward an entity for securing transactions and also a payment for holding data hostage.One former insider at an exchange who reviewed this article summarized it as the following:The cryptocurrency world is basically rediscovering a vast framework of securities and consumer protection laws that already exist; and now they know why they exist. The cryptocurrency community has created an environment where there are a lot of small users suffering diffuse negative outcomes (e.g., thefts, market losses, the eventual loss on ICO projects). And the enormous gains are extremely concentrated in the hands of a small group of often unaccountable insiders and “founders.” That type of environment, of fraudulent and deceptive outcomes, is exactly what consumer and investor protection laws were created for.Generally speaking, most participants such as traders with an active heartbeat are making money as the cryptocurrency market goes through its current bull run, so no one has much motive to complain or dig deeper into usage and adoption statistics.  Even those people who were hacked for over $100,000, or even $1 million USD aren’t too upset because they’re making even more than that on quick ICO returns.We are still at the eff-you-money stage, in which everyone thinks they are Warren Buffett.85  The Madoffs will only be revealed during the next protracted downturn.  So if you’re currently getting your cryptocurrency investment advice from permabull personalities on Youtube, LinkedIn, and Twitter with undisclosed positions and abnormally high like-to-comment ratios, you might eventually be a bag holder.86Like any industry, there are good and bad people at all of these companies.  I’ve met tons of them at the roughly 100+ events and meetups I have attended over the past 3-4 years and I’d say that many of the people at the organizations above are genuinely good people who tolerate way too much drivel.  I’m not the first person to highlight these issues or potential solutions.  But I’m not a reporter, so I leave you with these leads.While everyone waits for Harry Markopolos to come in and uncover more details of the messes in the sections above, other ripe areas worth digging into are the dime-a-dozen cryptocurrency-focused funds.Future posts may look at the uncritical hype in other segments, including the enterprise blockchain world.  What happened after the Great Pivot?[Note: if you found this research note helpful, be sure to visit Post Oak Labs for more in the future.]Acknowledgements

Source: Eight Things Cryptocurrency Enthusiasts Probably Won’t Tell You | Great Wall of Numbers

Mario Draghi: European Central Bank Has ‘No Power’ to Regulate Bitcoin – CoinDesk

Mario Draghi, president of the European Central Bank (ECB), has indicated that his institution does not have the authority to regulate cryptocurrencies.Making his statements to the European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs, Draghi said that “it would actually not be in our powers to prohibit and regulate” bitcoin and other digital currencies.The comments came in response to a question from the committee over whether ECB intends to issue a regulatory framework or an all-out ban on cryptocurrencies, and whether Draghi felt that higher capital requirements for fintech were required to protect the banking sector.Draghi revealed that the ECB has yet to discuss the potential impact of cryptocurrencies, but likely areas of analysis include the risk posed by cryptocurrency due to its scale, usage and economic impact.”We have to ask what effects cryptocurrencies have on the economy,” Draghi stated, adding that they are still too immature to be considered a viable method of payment.The primary concern for the ECB surrounding cryptocurrencies, and digital innovation more generally, is cybersecurity, he went on, stressing that protecting against cyber risks is central to the ECB’s agenda.Earlier this month, Draghi also criticised the proposed initiative by Estonia’s e-Residency project to launch a national cryptocurrency called “estcoin,” reportedly stating: “I will comment on the Estonian decision: no member state can introduce its own currency. The currency of the Eurozone is the euro.”Draghi is not the only senior ECB official to comment on cryptocurrencies in recent days.The central bank’s vice president, Vitor Constancio, made headlines last week when he stated that cryptocurrencies were a purely speculative asset, and compared them to “tulip mania” – the 17th century trading bubble experienced in the Netherlands. Constancio stated that the ECB doesn’t see the technology as a “threat to central bank policy.”Mario Draghi image via Shutterstock

Source: Mario Draghi: European Central Bank Has ‘No Power’ to Regulate Bitcoin – CoinDesk

‘Hypernudge’: Big Data as a mode of regulation by design: Information, Communication & Society: Vol 20, No 1

This paper draws on regulatory governance scholarship to argue that the analytic phenomenon currently known as ‘Big Data’ can be understood as a mode of ‘design-based’ regulation. Although Big Data decision-making technologies can take the form of automated decision-making systems, this paper focuses on algorithmic decision-guidance techniques. By highlighting correlations between data items that would not otherwise be observable, these techniques are being used to shape the informational choice context in which individual decision-making occurs, with the aim of channelling attention and decision-making in directions preferred by the ‘choice architect’. By relying upon the use of ‘nudge’ – a particular form of choice architecture that alters people’s behaviour in a predictable way without forbidding any options or significantly changing their economic incentives, these techniques constitute a ‘soft’ form of design-based control. But, unlike the static Nudges popularised by Thaler and Sunstein [(2008). Nudge. London: Penguin Books] such as placing the salad in front of the lasagne to encourage healthy eating, Big Data analytic nudges are extremely powerful and potent due to their networked, continuously updated, dynamic and pervasive nature (hence ‘hypernudge’). I adopt a liberal, rights-based critique of these techniques, contrasting liberal theoretical accounts with selective insights from science and technology studies (STS) and surveillance studies on the other. I argue that concerns about the legitimacy of these techniques are not satisfactorily resolved through reliance on individual notice and consent, touching upon the troubling implications for democracy and human flourishing if Big Data analytic techniques driven by commercial self-interest continue their onward march unchecked by effective and legitimate constraints.

Source: ‘Hypernudge’: Big Data as a mode of regulation by design: Information, Communication & Society: Vol 20, No 1

Algorithmic regulation: A critical interrogation – Yeung – 2017 – Regulation & Governance – Wiley Online Library

Innovations in networked digital communications technologies, including the rise of “Big Data,” ubiquitous computing, and cloud storage systems, may be giving rise to a new system of social ordering known as algorithmic regulation. Algorithmic regulation refers to decisionmaking systems that regulate a domain of activity in order to manage risk or alter behavior through continual computational generation of knowledge by systematically collecting data (in real time on a continuous basis) emitted directly from numerous dynamic components pertaining to the regulated environment in order to identify and, if necessary, automatically refine (or prompt refinement of) the system’s operations to attain a pre-specified goal. This study provides a descriptive analysis of algorithmic regulation, classifying these decisionmaking systems as either reactive or pre-emptive, and offers a taxonomy that identifies eight different forms of algorithmic regulation based on their configuration at each of the three stages of the cybernetic process: notably, at the level of standard setting (adaptive vs. fixed behavioral standards), information-gathering and monitoring (historic data vs. predictions based on inferred data), and at the level of sanction and behavioral change (automatic execution vs. recommender systems). It maps the contours of several emerging debates surrounding algorithmic regulation, drawing upon insights from regulatory governance studies, legal critiques, surveillance studies, and critical data studies to highlight various concerns about the legitimacy of algorithmic regulation.

Source: Algorithmic regulation: A critical interrogation – Yeung – 2017 – Regulation & Governance – Wiley Online Library

Karen Yeung – Research Portal, King’s College, London

Professor Karen YeungProfessor of LawStart date at Kings: 1/09/2006Contact details:Telephone: +44 (0)20 7848 1550E-mail: karen.yeung@kcl.ac.ukDepartmentLawsResearch interestsRegulation and governance; the regulatory state, regulatory institutions and instruments, regulating technology, design-based instrumentsLatest Research OutputsThe Forms and Limits of Choice Architecture as a Tool of GovernmentYeung, K. 15 Jul 2016 In : Law and Policy.ArticleHypernudge: Big Data as a mode of regulation by designYeung, K. 22 May 2016 In : Information Communication & Society. 20, 1, p. 118-136ArticlePublic Health Interventions as Regulatory GovernanceYeung, K. 3 May 2016 In : Public Health Ethics. p. 1-2Comment/debate‘Law, Regulation and Technology: the Field, Frame and Focal QuestionsScotford, E. A. K., Brownsword, R. & Yeung, K. 2016 Oxford Handbook of Law, Regulation and Technology. OUPChapter

Source: Karen Yeung – Research Portal, King’s College, London

15 blockchain whitepapers awarded winners of US Department of Health and Human Services Challenge » Brave New Coin

A challenge held by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)  to encourage Blockchain use in the Health Information Technology field resulted in 15 winning whitepapers. The Department’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) first announced the “Use of Blockchain in Health IT and Health-Related Research” challenge in July.More than 70 submissions were received by ONC, “addressing ways that Blockchain technology might be used in health and health IT to protect, manage, and exchange electronic health information,” the Department revealed.

Source: 15 blockchain whitepapers awarded winners of US Department of Health and Human Services Challenge » Brave New Coin

Blockchain for Healthcare: A Recommended Reading List

“Blockchain technology is going to revolutionize healthcare and the method in which every patient interacts.”That prediction, from technology consultant Peter Nichol in 2015, is far from being fully realized, but blockchain is gaining momentum among health IT thought leaders as a way to increase data security and interoperability while reducing costs.In finance, blockchain technology is best-known as the foundation for the digital currency, BitCoin. In healthcare, organizations like Deloitte, the Mayo Clinic and even Google have identified a growing number of use cases for blockchain as a means for more efficient and transparent data exchanges.

Source: Blockchain for Healthcare: A Recommended Reading List

Blockchain, Transactional Security and the Promise of Automated Law Enforcement: The Withering of Freedom Under Law? by Karen Yeung :: SSRN

This short essay reflects on some of the potential implications of automated enforcement via distributed ledger systems (including blockchain) to ensure the security of transactions for ‘freedom under law’ and the social foundations upon which the rule of law in modern legal orders is grounded.Keywords: blockchain, distributed ledgers, rule of law, individual liberty, automation, law enforcement, governanceJEL Classification: K20, K40, K42Suggested Citation:Yeung, Karen, Block

Source: Blockchain, Transactional Security and the Promise of Automated Law Enforcement: The Withering of Freedom Under Law? by Karen Yeung :: SSRN

Code is Law and the Quest for Justice | Ethereum Classic

People keep repeating the phrase “Code is Law” without clear understanding of what it’s supposed to mean. Some deliberately misinterpret it to mean that “ETC supports thieves and crooks” and similar nonsense. Let’s get some things straight. Code is law on the blockchain. In the sense, all executions and transactions are final and immutable. So, from our (Ethereum Classic supporters) standpoint by pushing the DAO hard fork EF broke the “law” in the sense that they imposed an invalid transaction state on the blockchain.This has nothing to do with contractual or criminal law, or other legal considerations. Stating that “code is law” is similar to acknowledging the laws of physics. The law of gravity says that when I push a piano out of a window, the piano will fall downwards. It does not mean that it’s necessarily “legal” for me to push that piano out of that window. And if I do so and the falling piano kills some passer-by, it would be insane for me to argue before the judge that I shouldn’t go to jail because I broke no laws of physics.On Ethereum blockchain, a Turing complete code operates with a very real and tangible value. Because of this, there is always a potential for mistakes and unintended outcomes. There will always be transactions and code execution results that someone is not happy about. There will be conflicts and disagreements, there will be code vulnerabilities and exploits, there will be scams and thefts, there will be all kinds of ugly things.Who should deal with all these conflicts? Let’s imagine for a moment that we decided ‘the blockchain community’ will take it upon itself to deal with it all.Who is going to make a call which on-chain code execution is “theft,” and which is not? Is this ponzi contract scammy enough to shut it down? Do we tolerate this dark market while it sells fake ids and marijuana, but draw the line once it starts to dabble in child porn and cocaine?Should there be a democratic voting system (moot court) to decide on these cases, changing the blockchain state based on such decisions? Should there be a committee that decides what smart contract behavior is ‘unacceptable’ and what transactions are ‘illegal’ enough to justify a hard fork?What may serve as a basis for such decisions? Where is the applicable body of law? Who is going to be the police, the judge and the jury? What is a due process? What is the appeal procedure? A lot of questions, and no good answers to these questions, when it comes to “blockchain justice”.But it’s even worse if there is no system at all. If ‘the blockchain community’ just makes a special exception in regards to a ‘special case’, choosing to administer justice ‘just this one time’. What is so special about this case, one may ask? Why does this theft get a special treatment, and the other thefts don’t? Who do you need to know, whose buddy do you need to be to get such exceptional treatment? How are you going to defend such preferential treatment against legal cases citing a precedent and subpoenas demanding reversal of specific transactions?It’s this whole snake’s nest that could be avoided by refusing to be dragged into conflict resolution and quest for justice as related to smart contract execution. And it only requires sticking to principles of blockchain neutrality and immutability.So, code is law on the blockchain. All executions are final, all transactions are immutable. For everything else, there is a time-tested way to adjudicate legal disputes and carry out the administration of justice. It’s called legal system.

Source: Code is Law and the Quest for Justice | Ethereum Classic