A great move towards blockchain adoption. A new US bill in Congress introduced this week by U.S. House Rep. Brett Guthrie asks the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to consider a national blockchain strategy! – Gartner predicts global blockchain use to generate over US$3 trillion by 2030 – Australia released its National Blockchain Roadmap in February 2020, also identifying enormous potential economic benefits for the country. 

Congressman Guthrie’s new Bill comes a few weeks after 11 members of the U.S. Congress petitioned the Treasury Department to use blockchain technology to aid in distributing COVID-19 relief funds. The petition letter calls for the US Government to leverage “American ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and innovation” – through reliance on blockchain and distributed ledger technologies(DLT). The request was presented in a letter from the lawmakers to Steven Mnuchin, secretary of the U.S. Treasury Department. The letter sent on April 23rd was made public on April 28 – See original Letter here.

Guthrie’s Bill Here -> Advancing Blockchain Act FINAL

So far The House of Representatives and U.S. Senators have introduced over 30+ congregational bills in which:

    · At least 13 bills focus on regulatory frameworks,

    ·  Around 5 bills promote ways blockchain technology can be used by the U.S. Gov including two newest bills covering the concept of a digital dollar, and

    · About 3 bills give attention to ways to empower central regulators prudential frameworks to use blockchain, Digital ID and AI.

It is very encouraging to see the level of interest by the US Congress which is now growing beyond what has typically been the interest of just a handful of legislators in previous years.
Categories –Blockchain

A Satoshi Owned Wallet Move?

The popular Twitter “bot” account transfer tracker for on-chain transactions on multiple blockchains – the “Whale Alert” just triggered a burst of speculation after reporting a large Bitcoin (BTC) transfer from a wallet that has been inactive for more than 11 years. Coins were minted in 2009, and have been inactive until Wednesday 20 May 2020 – around 40 BTCs were transferred from what it is believed be Satoshi owned wallet.

Whale Alert Transaction Details Here

Triggering the Creation of a New Government-run Platform

On the back of the pandemic-fueled crisis, governments worldwide have pledged more than US$10T in fiscal support, with total virus-relief spending in the US alone standing in excess of $2T. Eligible Americans are now receiving cash handouts of up to $1,200 in their bank account using existing methods such as direct bank account deposits and postal delivery paper cheques – unproductively distributing these funds via a slow and expensive traditional banking ecosystem, being supported by a manual process network.

Global discussions on the prospects of introducing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) have generally remained high level and have also lacked any practical application, but on the outset of the CV-19 crisis, it may just end up being the important turning point required to reinvigorate the discussion.  American policymakers now seem to seriously be considering the idea that the Federal Reserve should issue “digital dollars”.

Soon after the US fiscal support announcement was made in March this year, powerful Democrat policymakers proposed a new Bill seeking the creation of a new, government-run payment platform that would run a digital version of the US dollar and would be included in the CV-19 driven stimulus package. Another House Bill called “Banking for All Act“, sponsored by US Senator Sherrod Brown calls on the government for the bill to be included as part of the the coronavirus economic stimulus package.

Senator’s Brown recent press announcement clearly sets out the intentions of his “Banking for All Act” Bill:

‘At the height of this pandemic we must do more to protect the financial wellbeing of hardworking Americans and consumers. They are on the front lines of this crisis and are already feeling the effects of the economic fallout. My legislation would allow every American to set up a free bank account so they don’t have to rely on expensive check cashers to access their hard-earned money.’
The Bills can be found here:

The bills provide definitions for digital dollars, digital wallets, digital ledger entries and it offers the provision for a “pass-through digital dollar wallet” where the intend is to mandate for all member banks to open and maintain digital dollar wallets on behalf of all citizens, including those eligible to receive the stimulus. The pass-through digital wallet Bill section also promotes and embeds consumer protection statements by describing that digital wallets ‘shall not be subject to any account fees, minimum balances, or maximum balances and shall pay interest at a rate not below the greater of the rate of interest on required reserves and the rate of interest on excess reserves‘.

Unfortunately, the proposed platform didn’t make the final release for the coronavirus response bill. Nonetheless, the digital dollar journey move just got closer than ever to becoming a reality, and Covid-19-fueled crisis may be an important turning point in helping the move.It is worth noting that China has been preparing the roll out its own version of a digitised domestic currency during this year. Under their Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) initiative, the new digital currency will stimulate daily banking transactions including deposits, payments, and withdrawals from a digital wallet. The DCEP project will also be powered partially by blockchain technology (distributed ledger). In April 2020 China announced that it has implemented the first mobile wallets and now have them enabled to work with DCEP. The project is currently in advanced testing phase across 4 Chinese cities – Shenzhen, Xiong’an, Chengdu and Suzhou.

It is indeed very encouraging to see new developments and the use of efficient technology improving costs, enhancing efficiency and the overall well-being of citizens across the world. It is true also that a new system can always improve the way baking and financial services is delivered now and into the future, but any such a changes could also cause significant disruption to the current banking system if these developments are not controlled and done in accordance with all required prudential regulation and multi-party collaboration.