Chamber Partners with SFIG and Unveils Securitization White Paper
You Down with OCC? Chamber Submits Comments to the OCC on Special Bank Charter for FinTech Companies
Chamber Presents at Swiss Re Centre for Global Dialogue
Plan Now to Attend DC Blockchain Summit 2017
Chamber to Co-Host "Blockchain in Healthcare Code-A-Thon,"March 14, 2017
CHAMBER & SFIG PARTNER TO BRING BLOCKCHAIN TO SECURITIZATION
The Chamber of Digital Commerce and the Structured Finance Industry Group (SFIG) announced the formation of a strategic partnership focused on advancing the use of blockchain technology in securitization markets. The partnership commenced with the publication of a co-sponsored white paper titled, “Applying Blockchain in securitization: opportunities for reinvention." The goal of the partnership is to bring the structured finance and blockchain communities together. For more information, please click here.
CHAMBER SUBMITS COMMENTS TO THE OCC ON SPECIAL BANK CHARTER FOR FINTECH COMPANIES
The Chamber of Digital Commerce submitted comments to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) in January in response to the OCC’s call for comment on granting FinTech companies a Special Purpose National Bank Charter (SPNBC). The Chamber’s State Working Group has long advocated for an alternative to the state-by-state licensing regime for virtual currency businesses. We have hopes that a SPNBC might serve this purpose. In our comments, we highlighted key areas of importance to the Chamber’s membership regarding the structure of the proposed SPNBC. To view the Chamber's OCC comments, please click here.
CHAMBER SUBMITS COMMENTS TO THE STATE OF ILLINOIS
The Chamber submitted comments to the Illinois Department of Financial and Regulatory Protection (IDFRP) on its draft digital currency regulatory guidance last month. In our comments, the Chamber applauded the state of Illinois for attempting to better understand how digital currency works and ensuring its guidance would not be prohibitive to digital currency or blockchain-related businesses looking to operate in the state of Illinois. The Chamber’s comments cover issues ranging from regulatory limitations, regulatory clarity, and refinement of the definitions proposed. To view the Chamber's IL comments, please click here.
CHAMBER PRESENTS AT SWISS RE INSURANCE CONFERENCE
Chamber Founder and President, Perianne Boring, and several Chamber members attended and spoke at a blockchain and insurance conference hosted by Swiss Re in Zurich on January 23-24. Attendees included almost 200 blockchain experts and enthusiasts from 16 countries, and the discussion centered around the potential of blockchain technology in the insurance industry. A number of breakout sessions were held on the expected impact of blockchain technology on the insurance industry, building enterprise grade blockchains, ensuring privacy and confidentiality, and models of virtual identity.
"Blockchain: The Next Big Thing in Insurance." (Media credit: Swiss Re)
PLAN NOW TO ATTEND DC BLOCKCHAIN SUMMIT 2017
The Chamber of Digital Commerce, along with Georgetown University's Center for Financial Markets and Policy, are hosting the second annual DC Blockchain Summit featuring a thought-provoking conversation on the future state of the industry. The program will include discussions from financial services, healthcare, technology and insurance innovators, along with government and regulatory leaders from around the globe.
Join the more than 450 individuals who will be in attendance March 15 and 16 in Washington, DC.
Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset Alex & Don Tapscott, Co-authors of Blockchain Revolution David Rutter, R3CEV U.S. Rep. Jared Polis and Rep. David Schweikert, Co-Chairs of the Blockchain Caucus... and many more!
BLOCKCHAIN IN HEALTHCARE CODE-A-THON
Prior to the Summit, the Chamber is co-hosting the “Blockchain in Healthcare Code-A-Thon” with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Participants are challenged to develop operational healthcare solutions using open source distributed ledger technology. The winners will be announced on-stage at the Summit. Up $15,000 will be award to the challenge winners. Registration is open to the public, sign-up here.
REP. MICK MULVANEY CONFIRMED AS DIRECTOR OF OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET
Rep. Mick Mulvaney was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday, February 16 as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget. President Trump’s nomination of Rep. Mulvaney to this key regulatory post portends well for the blockchain ecosystem. Rep. Mulvaney, along with Rep. Jared Polis, was one of the two co-founders of the Congressional Blockchain Caucus. He demonstrates superior understanding of the blockchain industry and, with an appreciation for the need of smart regulatory policy in all matters, will be an important force for federal regulatory best practices that will fully protect the public without imposing badly designed or redundant regulations that tend to stifle innovation.
JANET YELLEN SAY BLOCKCHAIN IS "IMPORTANT"
Dr. Janet Yellen, Chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve, delivered a speech titled The Goals of Monetary Policy and How We Pursue Them to the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco. During the question-and-answer period, the moderator, Edward Wasserman, asked, “Will the government start a blockchain currency-free system such as fed-coin?” Dr. Yellen replied:
“Blockchain is an important technology...my understanding is that this is a technology that enables transactions and ownership of things to be taken care of automatically without a need, for example, for a trusted central party to record transactions. So, it is a very important new technology that could have implications for the way in which transactions are handled throughout the financial system. We are looking at it in terms of its promise in some of the technologies that we use ourselves and many financial institutions are looking at it. It could make a big difference to the way in which transactions are cleared and settled in the global economy.”
FINRA ISSUES BLOCKCHAIN REPORT & REQUEST PUBLIC COMMENT
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), an independent, broker-dealer, self- regulatory organization authorized by Congress, recently issued a paper titled “Report on Distributed Ledger Technology: Implications of Blockchain for the Securities Industry.” FINRA is seeking comment on the use of distributed ledger technology in the securities industry. The paper provides an overview of distributed ledger technology, highlights some key applications being explored in the securities industry, and addresses the potential impact of the technology. The paper also discusses key implementation and regulatory considerations for broker-dealers. FINRA solicits a dialogue with market participants to help identify and address any potential risks or hurdles in order to tap into the full potential of DLT, while at the same time maintaining the core principles of investor protection and market integrity. FINRA is requesting comments from all interested parties regarding the areas covered by this paper. Comments are due by March 31, 2017. For more information, please click here.
NIST ISSUES DIGITAL GUIDELINES – REQUEST PUBLIC COMMENT
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a technology agency within the Department of Commerce and, among other things, provides computer security standards for federal agencies. The NIST’s Information Technology Laboratory and Computer Science Division issues standards for computer security in what is commonly known as the NIST 800 series. As a result of industry innovation, increasing cybersecurity threats, and the evolving landscape of federal digital services, NIST is issuing guidance for the first time on digital identities. The guidance on digital identities covers remote authentication of users (such as employees, contractors, or private individuals) interacting with government IT systems over open networks. The guidelines define technical requirements in each of the areas of identity proofing, registration, authenticators, management processes, authentication protocols, and related assertions. Comments are due March 31, 2017. For additional information, please click here.
THE FDA IS EXPLORING USING THE BLOCKCHAIN WITH IBM
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced its exploration of blockchain technology. According to a press release by IBM on January 11, 2017:
“IBM Watson Health has signed a research initiative with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration aimed at defining a secure, efficient and scalable exchange of health data using blockchain technology. IBM and the FDA will explore how a blockchain framework can potentially provide benefits to public health by supporting important use cases for information exchange across a wide variety of data types, including clinical trials and ‘real world’ evidence data.”
‘The healthcare industry is undergoing significant changes due to the vast amounts of disparate data being generated. Blockchain technology provides a highly secure, decentralized framework for data sharing that will accelerate innovation throughout the industry," said Shahram Ebadollahi, Vice President for Innovations and Chief Science Officer, IBM Watson Health. "The initiative is a 2- year agreement between the FDA and IBM, with initial findings to be shared in 2017.” To view the press release, click here.
A recent IBM study takes a global view of how governments are considering the adoption of blockchain. The study, which surveyed 200 government leaders in 16 countries, finds that 14 percent of government institutions surveyed expect to have blockchain networks in production and at scale in 2017. In addition, seven in 10 governments expect regulatory compliance to experience the greatest reductions in cost, time, and risk as a result of blockchain implementation. To read the study, click here.
CHAMBER ADVISOR DON TAPSCOTT AT THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
Don Tapscott, Chamber Advisor, best-selling author, and Senior Advisor to the World Economic Forum, was a participant at this year’s World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. He was the keynote speaker at the 5th Annual WiSeKey Cybersecurity Roundtable, presenting on the topic of blockchains and the Internet of Value. Tapscott’s involvement in the forum tied into this year’s theme: the “Fourth Industrial Revolution.” To learn more about Don Tapscott’s talk at Davos, please click here.
Blockchain Regulation Comes Into Focus
DTCC posts a man-on-the-street article featuring financial industry executives Mark Wetjen, DTCC Managing Director and Head of Global Public Policy; Blythe Masters, CEO of Digital Asset Holdings; Emmanuel Aidoo, Head of Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Strategy, Credit Suisse; and Andrew Douglas, DTCC Managing Director, Government Relations & CEO of DTCC’s European Trade Repository.
These thought leaders share their perspectives on the top regulatory issues related to new technologies, such as distributed ledger technology (DLT), and how to navigate these unchartered waters.