Category Archives: Blockchain Associations

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Leading Crypto Firms Seek to Formalize Digital Assets Standards

Ten cryptocurrency industry titans have banded together to form a working group in a bid to formalize a number of positive standards for the digital currency market.

Crypto credibility

The Association for Digital Asset Markets (ADAM) is looking to leverage the joint expertise of its members and partnerships across financial firms and regulatory experts, in order to “devise a code of conduct for digital asset markets”, as stated on the official ADAM website.

Using the decade that has passed since the publication of the Bitcoin whitepaper as a point of reference, ADAM argues that “the world is still coming to terms with its implications” and that digital assets are a major opportunity, one of which the government regulators and market participants are finding extremely challenging to navigate.

ADAM’s website states four primary objectives:

  • To protect market participants from fraud and manipulation;
  • To provide clear rules and standards for efficient trading, custody, and the clearing and settlement of digital assets;
  • To encourage professionalism and ethical conduct by market participants; and
  • To increase transparency and provide information to the public and governments about digital asset markets.

The founding members of ADAM include fintech company Paxos, over-the-counter (OTC) crypto dealer Genesis Global Trading, world-leading multi-asset quantitative trading firm Hudson River Trading, and market-leading institutional smart contract platform Symbiont.

According to BusinessWire, ADAM is to be the “first broad-based organizations of its kind in the United States to proactively seek comprehensive standards for digital asset market participants”. That said, it isn’t the only consortium seeking to set straight particular issues of compliance, taxation and others for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, an undertaking of which Washington-based “The Blockchain Association” has set out to achieve.

Good intentions

ADAM is also said to be working with “current and former” regulators so that appropriate rules for “efficient trading, custody, clearing and settlement of digital assets” can be created. Furthermore, it references new guidelines to promote professional and ethical conduct by market participants, encouraging transparency to regulators and the public, and curbing market manipulation.

ADAM Advisory Board Member and former CEO of the New York Stock Exchange, Duncan Niederauer, likened the establishment of these fundamental rules to those set 200 years ago by market leaders who together, drafted the rules which led to the eventual creation of the New York Stock Exchange. He said, “The advent of digital assets requires a similar effort.”

Much like The Blockchain Association, ADAM will be pushing guidelines for risk management, know-your-customer (KYC), anti-money-laundering and so on. Entities such as these have some major benefits for the industry at large, which at present is undergoing radical transformations in the wake of major regulatory shifts and the ongoing professionalization of the industry, spurred by institutional investment from venture capitalists (VCs).

 

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South Korean ‘Blockchain Special Committee’ to Establish New Blockchain Hub

40 international and South Korean experts have banded together to form the Blockchain Special Committee that will establish a blockchain hub in South Korea’s North Gyeongsang Province, also known as Gyeongbuk.

Blockchain hub

As reported by local media outlet Daily News, members of the association will be tasked with deliberating and consulting on the creation of “mid-to-long-term strategies” that will foster the blockchain industry.

The committee is to be co-chaired by the vice governor of Jeonbuk Province­­ and a member of the Korea Centre for Blockchain Research, Seongho Park. Among the ranks are 21 overseas members with notable figures such as Bitcoin Foundation Board of Directors member Brock Pierce and President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Korea Jeffrey Jones, joining others from Ripple and R-Chain.

The government of Gyeongbuk province had sent a “benchmarking team” to the world-famous crypto valley of Zug, Switzerland. Following the instructions as prescribed by Governor of Gyeongbuk Lee Cheol-Woo, the team has been building an international cooperation system and, finalized international business agreements with blockchain startup specialists from both Switzerland and Israel.

Cheol-woo said, “In order to nurture the block-chain industry, we will work with the special committee composed of domestic and international experts to preemptively respond and establish strategies… Through the integration and investment attraction of new start – I will make it as a future growth engine.”

Gyeongbuk Coin

Prior to this announcement, this region had already begun its blockchain journey with plans to implement a digital currency that will replace a state-backed loyalty scheme known as the “Hometown Love Gift Card”.

Dubbed Gyeongbuk Coin, the new token can be purchased on an exchange for South Korean won and spent at participating businesses. This will be done in partnership with Orbs, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform based in Israel that is touted as a third generation blockchain technology, something of which South Korean investors are keen to adopt.

The government will issue KRW 100 billion (USD 100 million) worth of Gyeongbuk Coin each year, which is the same amount allocated to the previous payment solution.

Infrastructure

South Korea is firmly positioning itself as an active participant in the blockchain hype-cycle and has spent a great deal of 2018 developing public sector blockchain pilots, allocating significant funds to blockchain-related budgets, debating contentious cryptocurrency tax laws, among many other blockchain-related fascinations.

What may prove to be the most telling moment of all this year for South Korea is the impending decision to lift the ban on initial coin offerings (ICOs); with fears of domestic startups suffering under the ban and consumer/investor security at either side of the debate, the decision which is due this month could change the face South Korean blockchain enterprises for better or worse.

 

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