Episode 9: David Noble, Brexit, Blockchain Democracy

David Noble is a professor of business at UCONN and a former lawyer. We discuss the future of law, delve further into the Flux Party, talk more about the DAO’s legacy, and question if democracy should work with Blockchain technology.

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Regarding Australia’s Flux Party, TIME Magazine reporter Simon Lewis asked this week: What if blockchain was the basis for a new kind of politics? According to the article, Flux, which promises to “upgrade democracy,” is putting up 13 candidates for election to Australia’s Senate in federal elections July 2. Australians who can prove they are registered voters will be able to tell elected proxy senators how to vote in parliament with a cell phone app.

According to CoinDesk, Seven financial institutions have combined forces to explore how blockchain tech could help lower the costs of providing post-trade settlement services to small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). BNP Paribas Securities Services, Caisse des Dépôts, Euroclear, Euronext, S2iEM, Société Générale and Paris EUROPLACE announced they have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop the initiative. By lowering the costs of post-trade services, the group says SMEs could better access to financing through the capital markets.

Business Wire reported this week that the Thiel(pronounced TEAL) Foundation Announced the 2016 Thiel Fellows. The Thiel Foundation accepted 29 new members into the 2016 class. The fellowship provides young people with $100,000 to learn by doing rather than by following conventional paths like college. This year’s cohort was selected from more than 6,000 applications received from around the world. Thiel Fellows receive mentorship and guidance from current and former fellows, as well as from the Thiel Foundation’s network of technology entrepreneurs, investors, and scientists. Augur Core Developer Joey Krug was named.

Last week, Ethereum Developers launched a white hat Counter-Attack on The DAO, moving funds from The DAO in attempt to stifle the alleged attack. CoinDesk reported that the move to drain the DAO came amid continued debate among ethereum community members about whether to fork the network in an attempt to thwart those behind the recent attack.

Coinbase announced via their blog that they are adding support to accept PayPal for bitcoin sells and credit cards for bitcoin buys. One of the objectives of Coinbase is to add as many funding mechanisms as possible to make exchanging digital currency easy.

Blockonomics is introducing peer to peer bitcoin invoices to ease the process of freelancers and contractors receiving payments in a decentralized way. The process they are introducing doesn’t require any signups; participants can use their own wallet addresses.

According to CoinDesk, the Cornell computer scientist who helped identify vulnerabilities in The DAO revealed 10 new exploits in its code is calling for a DAO 2.0 movement. Emin Gün Sirer, co-director of the Initiative for Cryptocurrencies and Contracts (IC3), laid out a detailed account of possible exploits for such projects that go all the way down to the Ethereum coding language itself. He called The DAO a “ginormous $220m bug bounty”, and said DAOs and Solidity-based smart contracts are a work in progress.

Fortune Magazine recently reported that More Banks Are Trying Out Blockchains For Fund Transfers. The San Francisco-based financial technology company Ripple has signed up seven more banks to potentially use its blockchain for cross-border payments.Santander, UniCredit, UBS, Reisebank, CIBC, ATB Financial and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi are working with Ripple’s technology, which uses a distributed ledger. These automatically-generated ledgers have no central operator and, as they are filled, the entries become irreversible and resistant to tampering.

Blockchain Payments Company Circle Internet Financial, based in Boston, has raised $60 million of new capital from Chinese firms and financial institutions as it aims to let users in China begin sending free peer-to-peer payments overseas with renminbi, the Wall Street Journal reported.
A new report from the Financial Stability Oversight Council sited “operational vulnerabilities” associated with distributed ledger systems as posing a threat to the U.S. Financial system, according to SiliconANGLE. The council includes representatives of the Federal Reserve, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Treasury Department and serves to identify risks and respond to emerging threats to the stability of the U.S. financial system.

The Swedish Land Registry, ChromaWay and Kairos Future are investigating blockchain technology for real estate transactions. The Proof of concept is now launched with a white paper and a technical demo showing the solution and the benefits for society. The proposed solution would make Sweden the front runner in this field.

San Francisco company Chronicled aims to stop the growing black market of high-quality counterfeit sneakers through the creation of encrypted smart tags. The Chronicled tags contain unique product profiles stored on an Ethereum blockchain where customers can scan them with their smart phone and register the shoes’ name, size, manufacture date, photos, and more. In honor of the new technology, Chronicled has enlisted Mache Customs to showcase the freshly minted tags with a unique “Father’s Day” collection in honor of Kanye West and his daughter North, according to SneakerNews.com.

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