Category: blockchain

21 Apr 2019
Blockchain and Law: Some Insights on Using Blockchain in Governance

Blockchain and Law: Some Insights on Using Blockchain in Governance

We all know by now that blockchain has the capacity to disrupt and transform the way we live. But, how much and to what extent? Given the recent trends, it is expected that blockchain will become mainstream by 2020. For now, let’s explore its surpassing impact on the legal industry.

With respect to blockchain in the blockchain industry, a majority of the disruption lies in a scripting language and a set of protocols commonly known as smart contracts. You can see them disrupting banking, financial services, payment industries for now, though these disruptions are not limited to merely these industries. In simpler terms, smart contracts use blockchain to facilitate transactions and their use is preferable over traditional modes because of their ability to save payment and transaction costs and facilitate the instantaneous clearing of transactions.  

Given the disrupting effects that blockchain has generated over the course of years, by delivering increased convenience, reduced risk, efficiency for service consumers and lower cost of operations for financial services providers, it has become almost essential for lawyers to understand how to communicate securely and protect their client data.

Let us look at some of these governance use cases and their use cases for a blockchain development company in the legal industry.

E-discovery and Evidence: Changing the Rules of the Game

Traditionally, e-discovery software is prevalent in India and other jurisdictions abroad and are used to search documents, emails and other artefacts in the litigation discovery process. Given the fact that blockchain is an immutable and virtually infinite log, it is natural to expect that a majority of legal procedures will be supplemented with blockchain in obviating most evidentiary issues. But this also raises several perplexing issues, for instance, treating blockchain data as evidence will be a crucial problem in making blockchain legally accessible. For instance, in the United States, the standard for admissibility of evidence is dependent upon whether a human has sworn under penalty of perjury that the information is true. Stand-alone documentary evidence such as blockchain records are usually not permissible and are categorized as mere ‘hearsay’.

In India, similar evidentiary principles apply. For example, to submit evidence from the government or other sources, we produce the artefact and attach an affidavit to attest that the artefact was kept in the usual course of business and that the information in the artefact is true, to the best of the custodian’s knowledge. Blockchain technology, an immutable log of events, will change these evidentiary rules and in the process, create a more efficient documentary evidence standard.

Information Governance

It has been seen from past instances that law firms are relatively weak in terms of information governance and employ control mechanisms that are easily subject to breach. For instance, data break-ins at large law firms outside India have resulted in stolen client information, apart from reputational damages. Blockchain can secure this privileged information held by large law firms, especially those pertaining to contracts and other information that is legally protected. Futurists and technology vendors are working on realizing this vision as to how the blockchain will change the way lawyers operate.

Changing Privacy laws

Like any formal ledger, blockchain has the ability to become an official record for tracking the validity of transactions and other information. Though this record is effectively visible to all, individual elements of the transactions are encrypted and not publicly visible. Let’s say that if information pertaining to your passport is put on such a ledger, only the proof of transaction could be used publicly on a blockchain to prove your identity for purposes of validating that transaction, while your passport or other identity information might be securely encrypted. Hence, the underlying private data is secured.

On the other hand, there also exists the possibility of severe misuse of blockchain in breaching privacy laws. Nefarious transactions such as the sale of illegal goods or supporting a ransomware payment model can be easily facilitated through public blockchains, due to its anonymous nature.

In order to avoid these, financial organizations may be required by law to be able to permanently remove data when required to do so by a court. In Europe, GDPR is already under scrutiny with respect to its “right to erasure”, which presents issues that need to be addressed when personal information is stored in blockchain-based storage systems like IPFS, primarily since the information stored in the blockchain cannot be altered or deleted once added. With the data protection bill of 2018 in India in sight, it will be interesting to see how the law tackles these perplexing situations.

Another risk that may exist is where blockchain applications are implemented across multiple jurisdictions without a single entity responsible for their operation in any jurisdiction. Applications like these will be required to resolve issues relating to cross-border data flows and also address wider legal questions concerning enforceability, liability, dispute resolution, discovery and extraterritorial application.

Read more:
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/332538

13 Mar 2019
Asia-Pacific has a Great Potential To Lead in Blockchain Adoption

Asia-Pacific has a Great Potential To Lead in Blockchain Adoption

Putting all the blockchain hype into perspective, if we consider analogous examples of how revolutionary technologies have historically taken root in society – from early adoption to widespread global penetration – blockchain technology can be said to have reached the “early majority” phase. That is, the tech has begun to gain traction and spread exponentially, though we’re still way off from ‘full adoption.’

Even so, with a market size now expected to exceed $16 billion by 2024, we’ll surely witness blockchain changing our world in profound ways over the next decade. The question is how and who will take part in leading.

Findings from a Global Market Insights recent report corroborate many experts’ prediction that the  Asia-Pacific region is set to usher in a new era. With the region’s blockchain market set to grow by an estimated 87 percent over the next six years, blockchain innovation is surging forward in the region.

And while analysts argue over the scope and speed of the ‘blockchain revolution,’ here are the reasons we’ll likely watch part of the next chapter of blockchain adoption unfold in the East.

Blockchain Consumers By The Billions

One of the primary reasons the Asia-Pacific region looks poised to blaze trails in blockchain is its consumer market. Not only is it big – the size of Asia’s middle class is expected to reach 3.5 billion by 2030 – but it is especially eager to embrace new technologies.

The region’s enthusiasm for cutting-edge tech can be attributed to its uniquely young, tech-curious population. Sixty percent of the world’s youth is concentrated in Asia-Pacific. At the same time, a 2016 study by the Consumer Technology Association found that, relative to the US, a much higher percentage of consumers in Asian nations tend to identify themselves as early adopters of new technologies.

Read more: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/330012

25 Feb 2019
Why Sheikh Mohammed's vision, leadership style should be taught in schools

Why Sheikh Mohammed’s vision, leadership style should be taught in schools

Dubai’s creative leadership paving the road for emirate to light and shine

Think of leadership and vision and the first name that comes to mind is His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Hence, academia, researchers and business executives have suggested that the vision and style of leadership of Sheikh Mohammed should be taught in the schools and be made a part of the curriculum.

“Dubai’s creative leadership is paving the road for this emirate to light and shine. The unique style of leadership of Sheikh Mohammed is inspiring all of us. The environment that Dubai created paved ways for individuals like us and this is the reason for being here and what I am now. I am indebted to His Highness,” said Dr Manahel Thabet, president of the Economic Forum for Sustainable Development.

“Being a resident of Dubai, I believe his leadership style should be taught in schools. Sheikh Mohammed has taken critical, crucial and quick decision to tame the complicated financial issues that Dubai faced in the past 10-15 years. His vision is distinguishing him from the rest of the world.”

Dr Thabet has been ranked among the 30 smartest people alive worldwide by SuperScholar and is a Guinness World Record holder in mind ability.

She highlighted different styles of his leadership such as Dubai’s march towards being a knowledge-based economy, as well as the creation of incubators and accelerators, which she suggested they should be followed by emerging economies.

Dr Raed Safadi, chief economic advisor at Dubai’s Department of Economic Development, pointed out that the critical element of Sheikh Mohammed’s vision is flexibility, which helps seize an opportunity that arises and also foresee future challenges.

“This emirate has embraced technological changes before they were common currency. There was fear that technology is going to take away jobs, but we are embracing it – not fearing it,” he said during a panel discussion on leadership organised by Accounting, Audit & Advisory Services Focus Group (AAA), a unit of the Indian Business & Professional Council, in Dubai.

Sanjay Manchanda, CEO of Nakheel Properties, said Sheikh Mohammed is a great inspiration.

“Thanks to the vision of His Highness, they realised that there is somebody capable of [handling Nakheel] and that is how I took my seat as CEO,” Manchanda said during the panel discussion on leadership.

He strongly recommended public to read Sheikh Mohammed’s latest book, Qissati, which reveals a strong message of how Sheikh Mohammed shaped the business and the emirate with his vision. Citing an example, he said: “Dubai started the Government Summit and that has taken his entire vision to global platform of bringing global audience to the UAE.”

Naweed Lalani, head of audit and credit rating agencies supervision at the Dubai Financial Services Authority, also recommended reading 50th chapter of Sheikh Mohammed’s latest book, which talks about leadership.

“His Highness said either innovate or leave – you cannot sit without innovating. The leaders need not necessarily be creative but catalyst for the change.”

Naveen Sharma, convener at AAA Focus Group, said creativity will be an essential talent that people will be judged on by 2020.

“IBM had conducted a global CEO study and the results surprised the world. Creativity was selected as the most crucial factor for future success – way ahead of integrity, openness and even fairness.”

Other keynote panelists, speakers and attendees were Mishal Kanoo, chairman of Kaaf Investments; Abbas Ali Mirza, past president of the IBPC and ICAI Dubai Chapter; Dr Mohammed Abu Ali, dean of the school of business administration and professor of economics at American University; Rahul Mahajan, vice-president fpr digital transformation at Nagarro; and Mahmood Bangara, chairman of ICAI – Dubai Chapter.

Source: https://www.khaleejtimes.com/business/local/why-sheikh-mohammeds-vision-leadership-style-should-be-taught-in-schools

28 Jan 2019
THE TECHNOLOGY ECONOMY

THE TECHNOLOGY ECONOMY

If you look for the definition of Economy you would get the state of the country in terms of the production of goods or services.

This article isn’t about the economy of a country or the technology effects on the economy. It’s about the Technology Economy. A term which may be new to you. Don’t worry, Let us Explain.

It is stated that the Technology Economy is the 3rd Largest Economy in the world after China and the United States of America.

This term is derived from the fact that some companies choose to cut back technology to cut losses to increase profit, however, the research found that companies end up with exactly opposite due to missing out on important technological advancements.

Technology Advancements

Technology advancements include improved cybersecurity, the blockchain, better devices for the workplace and internet of things.

Not investing in cybersecurity may lead to cyber threats or worse, attacks. The investment must be continuous to continue to improve security and limit the damage. As cyber damage may end in court to data theft of employees or clients which would lead to more costs.

Seeking to improve and invest the current devices or electronics for the workplace can make the job easier for the employees and a better service or product to the clients which can only bring prosperity and more profit.

Internet of things is the network of command between all the devices in the world. The network of a workplace is also a part of the Internet of Things.

A company must look to keep investing in the internet of things so the communication stays clear and there aren’t maintenance issues that may delay the production of the product or service.

Many companies are moving on to be part of the blockchain craze currently going on. Companies, rightly so, believe that the way forward is the blockchain due to its numerous of benefits it offers such as transparency, security, and efficiency.

It’s a change that companies must embrace. It’s another technological advancement that is getting part of this Technology Economy with devices already being implemented with the blockchain operating system.

On another note, Technology Advancements are also breaking through the health sector with the growing industry of medical cannabis, where doctors and scientists are finding the technology available to keep improving the medicines. During the World Cannabis Forum 2018, speakers will be speaking about the benefits that technology can bring to the industry.

Source: https://bitemycoin.com/opinion/the-technology-economy/

 

26 Jan 2019
Regulators snub SA cryptocurrency developers

Regulators snub SA cryptocurrency developers

Regulators have quietly barred cryptocurrency developers from having access to a tax incentive aimed at spurring innovation in SA. It is likely to hinder the country’s chances of being at the forefront of the fledgling digital money market.

But some say SA has far bigger things to worry about: Africa’s most advanced economy appears uninterested in experimenting with blockchain, the technology that powers cryptocurrencies and is slated to have a bright future in almost every industry.

Partly thanks to bitcoin’s torrid year in 2018 (prices slumped 72%), blockchain is starting to seize the limelight from the broader crypto market. In SA, that trend could be accelerated because authorities have sent the signal that they want no part in stimulating cryptocurrency innovation.

Digital currencies have been categorised as “financial instruments” in the Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, which means start-ups, incubators and other companies that develop cryptocurrencies in SA can no longer claim a large income tax incentive, says Rob Hare, senior associate at law firm Bowmans.

In that sense, SA could be shooting itself in the foot. It scuppered its chances of becoming a leading cryptocurrency innovator, a status that would help it attract sought-after technical skills and boost its endeavours to become a fintech hub for Africa. For that reason, Hare says it’s surprising that crypto developers have been snubbed by SA authorities, who have also offered no reasons for the move. “The supposedly small change of categorising cryptocurrency as a financial instrument is an unnecessary step in the wrong direction,” he says.

Incidentally, SA has produced one of the best-known cryptocurrency developers in the world. Riccardo Spagni, who lives in Plettenberg Bay, is the lead developer of the Monero cryptocurrency — the 14th biggest by market capitalisation.

But Monica Singer, the former Strate CEO who’s now ambassador for New York-based blockchain firm ConsenSys, believes SA’s regulators are being prudent — and rightly so. She says the National Treasury and the Reserve Bank are trying to ensure that SA is not seen as a tax haven for cryptocurrency developers, particularly in light of a spate of crypto-scams.

“Imagine how crazy it’d be to give a tax incentive for a scam; that would be a disaster,” says Singer.

On the other hand, she says blockchain — the decentralised public ledger system that records transactions and is largely tamper-proof — is an “ideal” technology for such concessions from the government. “The world is moving towards blockchain development in every industry,” she says.

Read more: https://www.businesslive.co.za/fm/fm-fox/digital/2019-01-25-regulators-snub-sa-cryptocurrency-developers/

20 Jan 2019
Bettering Threat Intelligence And Cyber Security A New Role For Blockchain?

Bettering Threat Intelligence And Cyber Security A New Role For Blockchain?

Despite the news being inundated with hacks, cons and scams surrounding cryptocurrencies and exchanges, the truth remains that actual blockchains have yet to be compromised in their immutable and unhackable nature.

Blockchains are epitomised by security and safety when it comes to storing data on its distributed ledger; they use a trustless model to be utterly trustworthy. On this principle of protection, it would make sense to start applying blockchains to a new and emerging movement in cybersecurity.

It has become more apparent ,and more evident, that new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, as well as blockchain can benefit from teaming up with one another to solve their shortcomings. Threat Intelligence is another such emerging area of technological advancement that can also lean on blockchain to aid its application and betterment.

according to CERT-UK, Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) is an “elusive” concept, but mostly, it involves the collection of intelligence on cyber threats that are shared and openly available through open source intelligence, social media intelligence, human Intelligence.

Ben Schmidt, CSO of PolySwarm, a company that is using the blockchain’s immutable ledger, as well as the decentralised ecosystem and its marketplace, to try and boost a more efficient Threat Intelligence model, attempts to define this ‘industry’

Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/darrynpollock/2019/01/19/bettering-threat-intelligence-and-cyber-security-a-new-role-for-blockchain/#2f46f6a21ed7 

16 Jan 2019
Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Transparency and privacy: Empowering people through blockchain

Blockchain has already proven its huge influence on the financial world with its first application in the form of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. It might not be long before its impact is felt everywhere.

Blockchain is a secure chain of digital records that exist on multiple computers simultaneously so no record can be erased or falsified. The redundancy of the system ensures many backups, and the lack of a central storage place ensures there is no one target for hackers. Some suggest that blockchain could become a component of the next generation of the internet.

Many blockchain systems provide a technology called “smart contract:” these are the rules by which records can be accessed and modified by creating new versions. These rules define, for example, who gets access to the stored records, under what conditions, for what declared purpose and in exchange of what (payment or virtual credit). Smart contracts also record every access to the data in the blockchain.

In this way, users can permanently and securely store their data, set their own conditions and control who accesses the data and for what purpose. Because of these features, blockchain technology can be used to store user profile data.

Hoarding the data

Currently, social media giants hoard user data and use it to sell targeted advertisements (their main source of revenue). These social media networks don’t give users a real choice or awareness of what data about them are kept. They provide very few control options and no rewards for users in exchange of their data.

Recently, we have seen many cases when user data has been stolen by hackers, leading to breaches of privacy, the possibility for identity theft or exploitation of the data to manipulate people and influence public opinion towards voting. This can have serious consequences for the democratic process in a liberal society.

Source: http://theconversation.com/transparency-and-privacy-empowering-people-through-blockchain-104887

09 Jan 2019
The meaning of the blockchain

The meaning of the blockchain

THE BLOCKCHAIN, the technology that underlies bitcoin, has yet to live up to the hype surrounding it. Promising blockchain-based projects, such as a land registry in Honduras, have fallen short of expectations. Ersatz securities listings, called “initial coin offerings”, have attracted unfavourable attention from regulators.

Kevin Werbach is a legal scholar at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and an expert on digital technologies. In the 1990s he was one of the leading thinkers, from his perch at America’s Federal Communications Commission, on how the internet would reshape regulatory policy. In his latest book, “The Blockchain and the New Architecture of Trust” (MIT Press, 2018), Mr Werbach explains how, far from being a radical technology that makes government obsolete, the blockchain relies on the social cohesion, political stability and rule of law that governments often provide.

Kevin Werbach: Blockchains are trust machines, as The Economist recognised in a cover story over three years ago. They’re useful when trusted institutions and intermediaries are problematic, or to overcome a trust gap between transacting organizations. The issue isn’t whether a centralised database could be employed in theory; it’s whether one would be in practice. In contexts like supply-chain management, provenance and trade finance, companies lack a unified view of information because they don’t fully trust their business partners. Blockchain enables what I call “translucent collaboration”: sharing data without giving up control. Whether it’s an improvement over the status quo, however, is highly context-specific.

Read more: https://www.economist.com/open-future/2019/01/08/the-meaning-of-the-blockchain

08 Jan 2019
Search... Blockchain's Role in the Enterprise in 2019

Blockchain’s Role in the Enterprise in 2019

Blockchain was invented by Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin. Blockchain has slowly gained traction in the enterprise since its emergence 10 years ago. In fact, late last year we saw digital workplaces using blockchain to share data and collaborate securely.

Blockchain in the Mainstream

Some suggest that blockchain will become mainstream in 2019. Elizabeth White, CEO of White Company, a blockchain based financial services technology firm that operates an exchange/wallet service, a crypto merchant processor and a crypto loadable debit card, agrees that that while 2019 will be the year of mass adoption of blockchain, it will only be for a few key, impactful use cases.

The reality, she said, is that the majority of applications being considered for blockchain simply do not need the distributed, trustless ledger that it offers and can be run faster and better on traditional databases.

White cites the example of supply management, or provenance. A blockchain is not necessary for this use case because there is a narrow group of users needing access to the information and the most important aspect of that information is not the transfer, (which is what blockchain is good for) but rather the input (which blockchain does not solve).

“There are certainly applications of blockchain that touch on supply management as it relates to trade finance,” she said. “The prime use case of blockchain is trustless and automated payments, and leveraging that technology we are building systems for B2B payments that can serve as escrow or conditional payment protocols.”

Source: https://www.cmswire.com/digital-workplace/blockchains-role-in-the-enterprise-in-2019/