James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.


The Australian Border Force (ABF) has launched a trial with Singapore Customs to use blockchain technology for enabling simpler cross-border trade.

The project, alongside Singapore Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), will use blockchain to test digital verification systems.

As regular readers of this publication will know, the Australian government has put an extensive roadmap in place to explore how the country can capitalise on blockchain technologies. The document, released at the beginning of this year, noted how the landscape in Australia was currently finance-heavy, but goals included ensuring blockchain was included in broader policy work, as well as the government establishing and coordinating a group of government blockchain users.

The trial will utilise the ABF’s Inter-Government Ledger, which is a proof of technology to share documents electronically between participating governments. The IMDA’s TradeTrust offering will also be used. Businesses and regulators ‘will give feedback on their experience verifying Certificates of Origin with the two systems’, the organisations noted, with the aim of reducing administration costs and increasing trade efficiency.

Other participants in the trial, again looking at the roadmap, are the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Australian Industry Group, as well as financial institutions such as ANZ.

Michael Outram, ABF commissioner, said the force ‘looks forward to close collaboration with international partner agencies on mutual border modernisation programs.’

Photo by Amber Weir on Unsplash

Interested in hearing more in person? Find out more at the Blockchain Expo World Series, Global, Europe and North America.



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Anchorage, a company that aims to help institutional investors with adopting digital assets, has partnered with Tokensoft to bring wrapped Filecoin (wFIL) to the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain.

Diogo Mónica, Co-Founder and President at Anchorage, states that his organization is looking forward to welcoming wrapped Filecoin (wFIL) to the (decentralized finance) DeFi and broader Ethereum-powered ecosystems.

Mónica writes in a blog post:

“Through Wrapped, Anchorage and Tokensoft are working together to bridge layer one protocols with Ethereum, bringing an increasing amount of liquidity to the space and improving the utility of assets on non-native blockchains, all while giving network participants continued exposure to the underlying asset itself.” 

Mónica added that Anchorage is pleased to provide a solution that brings yet another way for institutions to securely take part in the crypto-asset space. He also mentioned that he’s excited for wrapped Filecoin to join Anchorage’s growing list of wrapped layer-one digital assets.

Colin Evran, Head of Ecosystem for the Filecoin initiative, said that wrapped Filecoin will be able to support “really creative” DeFi products or services that can potentially lead to “huge opportunities” for Filecoin miners and storage users. (Note: Filecoin recently reported 1 billion GB in storage capacity.)

Evran added that his organization has seen a lot of innovation every day from many individuals and institutions interested in “decentralized” storage systems. Evran also said that he’s looking forward to seeing what happens “once the deep DeFi talent pool can join in.”

As mentioned in the announcement:

“Institutions increasingly want more and better ways to put their assets to work. They want access to DeFi applications like lending and borrowing with Filecoin, with Zcash — with all of their layer one assets. And they want to maintain exposure to those assets at the same time. Wrapped lets them do that. From a technical standpoint, wrapped Filecoin relies on Tokensoft’s ERC-20 standard, which allows for the utility of assets on numerous additional protocols while also ensuring compliance with applicable requirements.”

Wrapped Filecoin lets investors take part in a growing list of decentralized applications (dApps) — from Compound to Maker to Uniswap — all while having exposure to Filecoin as well. Currently, there are pools of wFIL on Uniswap, Sushiswap, and Mooniswap. There’s also reportedly a Maker DAO collateral proposal that has been submitted for wFIL.

Ryan Salame from Alameda Research stated:

“We’re seeing huge demand from clients to be able to use their assets to capitalize on opportunities in the DeFi space. Wrapped Filecoin feeds directly into that demand.”

Institutional demand for Filecoin has been fairly high. FIL tokens currently have a market cap of around $800 million with Filecoin expected to serve as a provider of liquidity to the DeFi and larger Ethereum ecosystems in its wrapped form.





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WENZHOU, China, Nov. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — ZK International Group Co., Ltd. (Nasdaq: ZKIN) (“ZKIN”, “ZK International” or the “Company”), a designer, engineer, manufacturer, and supplier of patented high-performance stainless steel and carbon steel pipe products primarily used for water and gas supplies, today announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, xSigma Corporation, (“xSigma”) www.xsigma.com is launching a Decentralized Finance (“DeFi”) protocol which aims to provide a new level of transparency and legitimacy to decentralized financial blockchain-based smart contracts. In doing so, the Company with its investment in xSigma will become one of the first publicly traded enterprise to invest and enter the growing DeFi arena.

xSigma’s DeFi ecosystem will begin with the launch of its decentralized stablecoin exchange, offering fair farming terms for liquidity providers and an intuitive user interface for users. On the providers side who provide crypto for exchanges, it is the system that utilizes users’ cryptocurrencies and earns them a potential reward from the exchange’s trading fees. On the customer’s side who execute the exchanges, it provides liquidity to those wanting access to DeFi markets. The protocol being developed is expected to have an intuitive interface, and easy-to-use platform, offering decentralized exchange for stablecoins.

A DeFi Milestone

What is DeFi? DeFi is the hottest trend in the blockchain industry, with more than $9 billion locked into the ecosystem as of the end of September.[1] Decentralized financial systems allow users to participate in blockchain markets and other alternative markets that have been developed on blockchain based networks. Also it enables cross-border payments, as blockchain markets have no borders. As with any blockchain technology, there is ultimate privacy transparency and security, when used properly.

xSigma’s DeFi protocol is launching at an opportune time in the blockchain arena. In addition to the $9 billion currently locked in DeFi [1], the cryptocurrency market keeps growing and has added billions of dollars in market cap over the past 12 months as indicated in publications like Forbes, Bloomberg, and Asia Times, which have all declared that we are in the early stages of the next cryptocurrency bull market.

Many believe DeFi to be the new paradigm in global finance—one that is backed by foundational open-source networks unfettered by centralization and intermediaries. Despite its rapid growth, DeFi has generally been the domain of niche technology startups backed by unproven teams. On the other hand, xSigma, being a subsidiary of a NASDAQ listed public company gives xSigma the reputation and the best in class than many other companies in this space.

xSigma’s DeFi protocol plans to serve as an independent financial tool that provides a new level of transparency and legitimacy to decentralized financial blockchain-based smart contracts. Until the main net launch, users who want to be the first to participate in the DeFi protocol have a limited time to register for the whitelist, where they will be the first to receive updates on project developments. The protocol and additional details about the new project are expected to be released in the coming weeks on the official website of the protocol www.xsigma.fi

ZK International launched xSigma as a research and development lab back in 2018 to solve real-world infrastructure challenges. Its mandate was to explore new opportunities in smart contracts, supply chain management and other blockchain-based solutions. xSigma has since pivoted to decentralized finance, focusing on decentralized exchanges, stablecoins and lending protocols. The research lab is now actively working on its ecosystem of products beginning with its DeFi protocol. The ultimate objective is to build a range of financial tools and products for the flourishing decentralized finance industry.

xSigma’s World-Class Developers

ZK International has recruited the brightest minds from the blockchain arena to its xSigma research lab. The lab is going to be run by a top team of developers who previously worked for Facebook, Amazon, Google, Ripple Labs, 1inch, and other leading companies.

The xSigma team is on the leading edge of blockchain research and development that intersects decentralized finance, supply chain management, IoT, and infrastructure. The DeFi protocol is one of many decentralized finance projects xSigma plans to launch over the next 12 months. It will feed into a growing network of DeFi products for enterprise and consumer markets.

Mr. Jiancong Huang, Chairman and CEO of ZK International, stated, “we are very excited about entering the DeFi space and surrounding ourselves with a team of very experienced developers who are going to allow us to be part of a new paradigm in global finance—one that is backed by foundational open-source networks and one that is unfettered by centralization and intermediaries.”

For the latest updates on xSigma’s research initiatives, including its upcoming DeFi protocol, follow xSigma’s Twitter and LinkedIn pages, or visit http://xsigma.com/ and www.xsigma.fi

About ZK International Group Co., Ltd.

ZK International Group Co., Ltd. is a China-based designer, engineer, manufacturer and supplier of patented high-performance stainless steel and carbon steel pipe products that require sophisticated water or gas pipeline systems. The Company owns 28 patents, 21 trademarks, 2 Technical Achievement Awards, and 10 National and Industry Standard Awards.  ZK International is preparing to capitalize on the $850 Billion commitment made by the Chinese Government to improve the quality of water, which in its current supply state is 70% unfit for human contact.  ZK International is Quality Management System Certified (ISO9001), Environmental Management System Certified (ISO1401), and a National Industrial Stainless Steel Production Licensee that is focused on supplying steel piping for the multi-billion dollar industries of Gas and Water sectors.  ZK has supplied stainless steel pipelines for over 2,000 projects, which include the Beijing National Airport, the “Water Cube” and “Bird’s Nest”, which were venues for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  Emphasizing superior properties and durability of its steel piping, ZK International is providing a solution for the delivery of high quality, highly sustainable, environmentally sound drinkable water to not only to the China market but to international markets such as Europe, East Asia and Southeast Asia.  

For more information please visit www.ZKInternationalGroup.com. Additionally, please follow the Company on TwitterFacebookYouTube, and Weibo. For further information on the Company’s SEC filings please visit www.sec.gov.

About XSigma Corporation

XSigma Corporation, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of ZK International Group Co., Ltd. Together with ZK International, has launched xSigma as a research and development lab back in 2018 to solve real-world infrastructure challenges. Its mandate was to explore new opportunities in smart contracts, supply chain management and other blockchain-based solutions. XSigma has since pivoted to decentralized finance, focusing on decentralized exchanges, stablecoins and lending protocols. The research lab is now actively working on its ecosystem of products beginning with its DeFi protocol. The ultimate objective is to build a range of financial tools and products for the flourishing decentralized finance industry.  The xSigma team that are being assembled are on the leading edge of blockchain research and development that intersects decentralized finance, supply chain management, IoT, and infrastructure. The DeFi protocol is one of many decentralized finance projects xSigma plans to launch over the next 12 months. It will feed into a growing network of DeFi products for enterprise and consumer markets. Any blockchain protocol is subject to a degree of risk; xSigma’s DeFi protocol has implemented tamper-resistant programming, but is still subject to potential hacks.For further information about xSigma, please visit its website at  www.xsigma.com and www.xsigma.fi 

Safe Harbor Statement 

This news release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, and as defined in the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, words such as “may,” “will,” “expect,” “believe,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “could,” “estimate” or “continue” or the negative or other variations thereof or comparable terminology are intended to identify forward-looking statements. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict and many of which are beyond the control of ZK International.  Actual results may differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements due to risks and uncertainties, as well as other risk factors that are included in the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Although ZK International believes that the assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements are reasonable, any of the assumptions could prove inaccurate and, therefore, there can be no assurance that the results contemplated in forward-looking statements will be realized.  In light of the significant uncertainties inherent in the forward-looking information included herein, the inclusion of such information should not be regarded as a representation by ZK International or any other person that their objectives or plans will be achieved. ZK International does not undertake any obligation to revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

Investor Contact:
Sherry Zheng
Weitian Group LLC
Email: [email protected]
Phone: +1 718-213-7386

SOURCE ZK International Group Co., Ltd.

Related Links

www.ZKInternationalGroup.com



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  • Blockchain technology isn’t exactly the first thing you’d associate with the 94-year-old monarch, Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom.
  • However, a blockchain journal from the British Blockchain Association has caught the Queen’s eye.
  • Validation and support from such a prominent figure will certainly not harm the fledgling industry.

When I think of publications and projects that could potentially catch the eye of the Queen, blockchain isn’t something that comes to mind.

Yet, this is exactly what happened.

The British Blockchain Association decided to send Her Majesty an edition of the Journal of the British Blockchain Association. And it seems the gesture caught the Queen’s eye.

The Queen’s interest in blockchain is quite the shock for many, given her advancing years. | Source: Twitter

The Queen receives a lot of documents and publications – this one catching her eye is significant

We all know that the Queen is a busy person. Reports that her own children and grandchildren have to book an appointment to speak to her aren’t too far off the mark!

We also know that as Head of State and the reigning Queen of the United Kingdom, a lot of letters, publications, and documents are sent her way.

The chances that all of them make it onto her desk and into her hands are slim. To receive a response is something rather special.

The journal that the Queen received, titled “the world’s first peer-reviewed, scientific blockchain journal,” appears to have interested the monarch.

Doctor Naqvi of the British Blockchain Association received a letter from Queen Elizabeth

Containing information on gender change and blockchain and GDPR, the journal also provided insight into government-led blockchain projects.

The open-access blockchain publication was made available to the Queen in both online and print format.

In response, Doctor Naseem Naqvi, chair of the organization, received a nice letter that read as follows:

Dear Doctor Naqvi, I have been asked to thank you for sending a copy of the sixth edition of the Journal of the British Blockchain Association. Her Majesty was interested to learn that the publication is the first open-access blockchain research journal available both in print and online. The Queen much appreciated your thoughtful gesture. In return, she has asked me to send her warm wishes to all concerned.

Cryptocurrency obviously provides more questions than answers in some regards! | Source: Twitter

Blockchain is very much the future, and validation from the Queen is a nice touch

While most know of blockchain as the technology that powers cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, it really is so much more.

We’ve seen governments implement the technology for more transparent elections and as a way to record data without it falling into the sole control of a central authority.

The industry is still in its early stages. But the future looks bright. And validation and words of encouragement from the Queen will undoubtedly do the cause no harm.





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Last week’s “Blockchain This Week” had talked about how security risks can persist even with blockchain-based voting systems, as pointed out in a report prepared by researchers from MIT

Nevertheless, some researchers still persist with the claim that blockchain technology could be the answer to many of the concerns raised about prevalent methods of voting during elections. 

Blockchain-based systems can work well in ensuring against double votes, as also, creating a transparent and yet non-tamperable network for all stakeholders

Last week’s “Blockchain This Week” had talked about how security risks can persist even with blockchain-based voting systems, as pointed out in a report prepared by researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The report had specifically raised questions about blockchain-based voting systems like Voatz, which has been used in the US municipal elections, yet reportedly suffers from data security issues.

Nevertheless, some researchers persist with the claim that blockchain technology could be the answer to many of the concerns raised about prevalent methods of voting during elections. 

The debate about the efficacy of blockchain-based voting systems also picked up pace amid the 2020 United States presidential election, which saw a rise in the number of in-mail ballots due to Covid-19, thus delaying the counting process substantially. 

A blockchain-based voting system works with a distributed network of computers to verify transactions. Once verified, results are recorded in blocks and linked cryptographically to the preceding block. Blockchain-based systems can work well in ensuring against double votes, as also, creating a transparent and yet non-tamperable network for all stakeholders, which could be the election agency, the government and selected groups of people tasked with ensuring free and fair elections.

Maxim Rukinov, head of the Distributed Ledger Technologies Center of St. Petersburg State University, told Cointelegraph that blockchain allows for a system of fair elections to take place within a trusted environment between participants who generally do not trust each other: “With blockchain, you can make voting available and increase the transparency of any election. In a perfect scenario, the results of such a vote cannot be faked.”

According to Don Tapscott, cofounder of the Blockchain Research Institute, within a blockchain-based system, public trust in the voting process is achieved through cryptography, code, and collaboration among citizens, government agencies, and other stakeholders.

Other News 

China’s Xi Asks G20 Countries To Be Open To CBDCs

In a wide-ranging speech that addressed the future of the global economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, China’s President Xi Jinping said the G20 “needs to discuss developing standards and principles for central bank digital currencies with an open and accommodating attitude.” You can read the story here

Digital Yen Will Make The Crypto Market ‘More Lively,’ Says Monex CEO

According to a Reuters report, the CEO of the Japanese financial services giant Monex Inc. is welcoming the country’s central bank’s more proactive stance toward central bank digital currencies or CBDCs. Earlier this year, the Bank of Japan had announced its plans of testing a central bank digital currency proof-of-concept. Read the full story here





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Dubai, UAE – Ideaology is proud to announce its IDEA token pre-sale on December 1, 2020. The pre-sale event is an initial exchange offering (IEO) on P2PB2B exchange. Users will have a chance to purchase IDEA tokens with a 22% discount before the IDEA token public sale.

Ideaology aims to be the “Biggest Blockchain Ecosystem in 2021 and beyond.” Along with the pre-sale launch, Ideaology’s Active IDEA platform will go live on December 1, 2021 as well. The very existence of Ideaology is a testament to how the model it’s promoting works. With its upcoming IEO and subsequent launch on crypto exchanges, Ideaology’s Active IDEA aims to become the first blockchain-powered platform to pave the way for users to collaborate on promising blockchain projects while investing in these ventures as well. 

Khaled Alkalbani, Founder and CEO at Ideaology, said:

“Freelancers don’t necessarily work on online freelance platforms, and clients or companies don’t necessarily look for talents on those websites. Many of them are running their independent business from their websites or agencies, and looking for clients via advertisements, email marketing, leads generation, and other techniques. This is why we need to ask the question: why would a freelancer choose a website like Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer to sell his services when they can be part of a platform where they can offer their expertise and services on a platform specifically created for their exposure and convenience?”

Whether you are an investor looking for the right project to pour your resources on, a business developer that needs funding to start his empire, or a digital nomad looking for a platform where you can provide meaningful services and earn, Active IDEA strives to be the go-to platform for all online professionals. 

Within the Active IDEA platform, members can collaborate as they invest and find projects that they have passion for. Members of the Ideaology community will be enabled to launch a startup through crowdfunding, but at the same time, will also have the opportunity to work with startups.The Ideaology team calls this whole process “collabvesting” – where Active IDEA users can invest in startups while also giving startups and freelancers to collaborate on projects.

Amar Kovacevic, Co-Founder and CTO at Ideaology, said:

“We believe that our IEO launch with P2PB2B enables Ideaology supporters and P2PB2B users to have a smooth and convenient experience in participating in our pre-sale for the IDEA token. We trust that P2PB2B will also offer a great IDEA token pre-sale experience for everyone interested to purchase IDEA tokens at an early stage.”

By establishing a platform where online professionals can start collabvesting, and jumpstarting it with a pre-sale of their IDEA token, Ideaology just became one of the most promising blockchain companies in 2021 and beyond.

Click here to join the IDEA token pre-sale event.

This is a paid press release Cointelegraph does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company. Cointelegraph is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.



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On a Friday late in November post-election, I had the opportunity to interview three staffers from the offices of Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Representative Alexia Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and Representative Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), to learn about some of the economic policies that were formed under these well-known public figures.

Being on the ‘digital currency and blockchain’ beat, it made sense to take their temperature first on these areas. Aya Ibrahim, Economic Policy Advisor for Pressley, helped in the drafting of the Payments Modernization Act of 2019. According to Ibrahim, “Facebook Libra’s selling point initially was that this was going to be a way to bank the unbanked and better serve the underbanked, but that wouldn’t necessarily exist had we provided the services we should had provided,” said Ibrahim.

Chastity Murphy, Economic Policy Advisor for Tlaib, highlighted the Automatic Boost To Communities Act that called for a digital dollar by 2021 as an option for Americans to receive public stimulus payments. “There is a lot of hype around blockchain technology, mostly from people who are thinking about its private sector uses. When it comes to publicly administered digital payments, the more important question is not how to create a distributed ledger managed by multiple actors, but how to create digital cash, which you can hold in your pocket, that doesn’t require a ledger at all. That’s the bigger priority, in our opinion.”

Murphy further clarified that, “Technology that may sound very convenient to the average person may have terrible implications for marginalized or historically discriminated communities.” According to Murphy, the concern of her boss and others relates to how, “…facial recognition technology is being used in majority black districts to incarcerate and discriminate against communities of color. Facial Recognition technology is an example of what happens when you separate questions of efficiency and design from questions of exclusion, access, and privacy.”

Speaking of communities of color, Claudia Pagon Marchena, Legislative Aide for Ocasio-Cortez, spoke about how she, Murphy, and Ibrahim forged a close bond on Capitol Hill in their policy work. “I think one of the things that makes our jobs easier in working with one another is the synergy that exists between our bosses and where they stand ideologically. Recurring payments is something that all three of our bosses have been pushing…” said Pagon Marchena. “We find there is strength in numbers and coordination to push these narratives and push the caucus on what a real, progressive response looks like in this time.”

Along with The Automatic Boost to Communities Act that called for a stimulus payment of $2,000 a month per individual to offer relief during Covid-19, the offices joined together to pen a letter to the Congressional leaders on the importance of recurring payments during Covid-19. According to Murphy, it was Ibrahim’s idea to seek out and include Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), now Vice President-Elect, in the letter so the effort would be on a bicameral basis.

With respect to the importance of these recurring payments, Ibrahim quoted economist Larry Summers in our interview, highlighting his point that “…economic time has stopped, but financial time has not been stopped.” Ibrahim continued, “From a policy perspective, it seemed to be just one of the most straightforward ways to provide relief and also provide stimulus on top of that.”

While Murphy is quick to credit Ibrahim on things like coordinating the letter with Harris’ office, Ibrahim is just as quick to highlight that Federal Reserve relief for state and local municipalities was something Murphy had been speaking about since day one. “Why is the Fed not buying municipal bonds?” Murphy would say to Ibrahim. “They have the authority to buy municipal bonds. The city of Detroit should not have declared bankruptcy.”

All three offices together were united in their call to the Fed for helping these state and municipalities during the economic crisis. Ibrahim pointed out, “A public sector worker is more likely to be black who is laid off. This is especially devastating to specific communities.” According to Ibrahim, services that are communal in nature tend to be neglected and are not a priority, and thus the people who need these services don’t get them.

For Pagon Marchena, this type of behavior is an example of the austerity that was imposed after the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis, where states and municipalities had to cut back on their workforce and not invest in education. Pagon Marchena had more to say on austerity too, particularly as it applied to some of the work Ocasio-Cortez did on Puerto Rico.

Claudia Pagon Marchena, Legislative Aide for Ocasio-Cortez

Claudia is an indispensable member of our team. She is extremely talented at understanding the complexities and nuances of issues that come before the Committee on Financial Services, and fully grasping the legislative actions and tools that are available to elevate what we are hearing at the grassroots level,” said Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). Ocasio-Cortez added, “Her work and approach is deeply rooted in the needs of New York’s 14th Congressional district, advocates, and frontline communities. We are lucky to have her spearheading many of our legislative efforts and wins.

With respect to her colleagues Murphy and Ibrahim, Pagon Marchena stated the, “…underlying principle that drives us all is economic justice.” According to Pagon Marchena, because the Puerto Rican government is a territory and the U.S. still has colonies, U.S. had to enact Promesa which is why this became the subject of a protest some time ago and is seen as an imposition by the island. Pagon Marchena highlighted, “Austerity has all kinds of implications for public services,” including healthcare which during Covid-19 has been extremely damaging to the community on the island.

According to Pagon Marchena, in regards to the ills of the private banking sector, her office has looked for public banks to play a role in moving to a zero carbon economy and part of the ‘Green New Deal’. The Public Banking Act was a bill introduced by Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez that, “allows for the creation of state and locally administered public banks by establishing the Public Bank Grant program administered by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve Board which would provide grants for the formation, chartering and capitalization of public banks.” Pagon Marchena commented one of her favorite collaborations on the Hill was with Murphy and Representative Tlaib’s office on the Public Banking Act.

Regarding what it is like to work with Ocasio-Cortez, “I am grateful the trust the Congresswoman has put in me and others in the office. When I first started this job, I was not full-time on policy. She was invested in my personal growth and gave me the opportunity. Even in doing this interview, she was incredibly supportive of it.”

On Senator Kamala Harris (CA-D), now Vice President-Elect, being the first woman of color historically in that position, Pagon Marchena stated, “Representation does matter. I think seeing a woman of color rises to the higher places of our Government, knowing that these institutions have been very hostile to people of color, I think it is very encouraging… I think there is still a very long way to go. There is a deep problem of diversity and inclusion in Congress which is why the work of the tri-caucus’ is so important. Also, in our positions is critical.”

Aya Ibrahim, Economic Policy Advisor, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA)

Statement from Rep. Pressley: 

“I am so grateful to do this work with Aya. As my dedicated Economic Policy Advisor, Aya ensures that my work in the economic and financial services space—from the bills I introduce, to the questions I ask in committee hearings, to the stakeholders my office engages with in community—centers the voices of those who are too often excluded from decision making tables,” stated Congresswoman Pressley (D-MA). Pressley further noted, “Aya’s deep understanding of these issues and her commitment to advance progressive economic policies that affirm economic justice for our marginalized communities has made her an invaluable member of my team and one of my most trusted advisors.”

With respect to the Federal Reserve and recent data showing only one out of over 400 economists at the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C. was a black woman, Ibrahim said, “Your expertise matters as much as your lived experience. You can have all of the education and the technical knowledge in the world but if you are removed from the implications of that policymaking, then what you end up with are very different results.” Ibrahim further noted that, “Unemployment is a very important metric to the Fed and key to its decision-making, but not in the way we would like to see. We need to be decision makers too.”

With respect to her work on the Payments Modernization Act, Ibrahim points out, “…this is not wonky, it is about equity and fairness. For a person living paycheck to paycheck, to have that paycheck held for three to five days, working folks have to turn to payday lenders that are exploitative.” According to Ibrahim, the Fed has one system of governance for people and another for private banks and companies. “I think what’s fundamentally frustrating is a bank is a public-private partnership that offers critical public services with a utility that should be equally accessible to all.” As mentioned earlier, the void in the payment system that is left is then filled by tech companies like Facebook, which is not ideal.

With regard to working for Pressley, Ibrahim is incredibly honored and grateful to do this work and a boss like the Congresswoman who is so open and willing to be out there on some of these issues. Ibrahim said, “…to have those uncomfortable conversations and to take a chance on a ‘Never really been on the Hill before’ candidate when she was interviewing. All of our bosses, the values that they are wishing for, they are making sure the people they are hiring reflect those values.”

On Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), now Vice President-Elect, being the first woman of color historically in that position, Ibrahim stated, “There has never been a question that any of us could do any of these jobs, right. There isn’t any question in my mind that a woman of color could be a Vice President or an amazing President and obviously it’s just a matter of others coming to that realization.”

Ibrahim was proud of some of the work her boss had done with the Vice-President Elect’s office and on a few bills and how Harris’ Senior Policy Advisor had been such a good mentor to her as well.

Chastity Murphy, Economic Policy Advisor, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI)

“I really enjoy working with Chastity on financial services and economic policy. She thinks about legislation that shifts the conversation on what progressive economic policy can look like. She consistently demonstrates foresight on identifying links between the financial system, economic development, and poverty and works to create sustainable, tangible policy solutions towards poverty reduction, especially for my district, and other districts like mine across the nation,” stated Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). Tlaib further stated, “She’s always thinking boldly and unapologetically about policy solutions in financial services while ensuring that under-serviced communities are at the forefront of her decision-making. Her brilliance combined with her desire to free communities of color from economic oppression and inequity is what I value the most.”

Murphy’s role with the ABC Act and the way she hoped to frame the conversation around digital dollars is a prime example of a progressive policy that includes the notions of Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) as well as a stark division between monetary policy at the Fed and fiscal policy at the Treasury.

On working with Tlaib, Murphy notes, “Rashida pushes me to do big progressive policy that makes sense. Working with her, at no point, have I ever felt like I wasn’t able to push forward good policy. It’s one thing for us to give the information, but it’s another to be bold and stand as the face to good policy. Rashida has never relented.” Murphy further noted that, “…knowing that she (Tlaib) trusts me enough to help her in writing her economic policy, even when it’s something that others just aren’t yet talking about, is something I will always appreciate.”

On Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA), now Vice President-Elect, being the first woman of color historically in that position, Murphy stated, “Being a black woman in this country, the closest thing you get to see to yourself are people in the Administration who are heads of departments. To see that someone at the highest level of power with that amount of leverage speaks to be why we need to be more intentional about supporting women of color.”



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With the widespread adoption of software as a service(SaaS) and cloud applications, the need for third-party assurance for such systems and outsourced functions has increased. Even though blockchain technology offers inherent security, there are many instances where applications of this technology also require third-party assurance by means of blockchain SoC2 compliance services.

What are blockchain SoC2 auditing services

The full form of SoC is System and Organized Controls. There are two main types of SoC audit reports – SoC1, which has got to do with money and SoC2, which deals with security. Strict attestation criteria issued by the government regulate all types of SOC reports. Only accredited public accounting firms may issue them, and they may only be distributed to a small collection of intended users. Here in this article, we are going to talk about the second kind of SoC auditing particularly applied to blockchain technology.

When it comes to the distributed ledgers of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), not being regulated by the government or any central body for that matter, they are susceptible to trust issues for the common public. There are several ways blockchain takes care of the trustworthiness – by the security of the protocol itself, the hashed anonymity of users, the underlying cryptographic algorithms, etc. However, the trustless peer-to-peer crypto economy still requires trusted advisors, trusted mediators, and guarantees from third parties.

The circumstances that certainly call for blockchain SoC2 compliance services

In many occasions, SoC auditing, especially SoC2 audit and compliance, is certainly essential.

Crypto funds

The fund’s subscribers may request confirmation regarding the business process and IT general controls in place for the digital assets of the company to ensure that investor contributions are properly controlled and segregated, accounts are regularly reconciled, investor reporting is finished and correct, and the IT environment adequately addresses risks raised by inappropriate logical access, physical access, change management, etc. A blockchain Soc2 auditing services report taken periodically convinces the subscribers that the said matters are safe, and therefore, their investments in the company are secure.

Asset-backed tokens

Asset-backed tokens is an umbrella term that encompasses various stablecoins and related creations of cryptocurrency. Most common among them are fiat-backed stablecoins, which are tokens issued (“minted”) on a given public blockchain or supported 1:1 by a fiat currency such as the US dollar, British pound, or Japanese yen. Tokens pegged to another currency (digital or fiat), pegged to a basket of securities, pegged to other assets, or collateralized by debt obligations or other financial instruments are the more complicated cryptographic creations.

So, there are a variety of places where trusted intermediaries, fiduciaries, estimators and auditors may play a key role in this often complex and fascinating field. There are many situations where this becomes an issue. Collateralized tokens provide a good example. Buyers and holders of these collateralized tokens would need third-party confirmation on collateral efficiency, underlying revenue streams, collateral risk profiles and many such things. Hence, it is possible that they might request for a blockchain SoC2 compliance services document.

Crypto accounting solutions

Since all existing crypto accounting software offerings are provided as SaaS, the key considerations for user entities will be an assurance of the protection and functionality of the platform, as well as the controls over the confidential data therein. SoC reports are considered as a valid representation of the client trust. For crypto accounting solutions, however, there are also a variety of special considerations. Most of these deals have third-party exchange integrations and custodial and non-custodial wallets, so the main concern for consumers would be how they can depend on the technology and automated controls that allow the translation and use of blockchain data for the application. Another factor is what (if any) controls certify that complete and reliable information is given efficiently through integrations to third-party exchange data. So in the situation when you are offering a crypto accounting solution, a blockchain SoC2 compliance services report is outright essential.

Permissioned blockchain platforms and associations

Permissioned or “private” blockchains have a powerful ability to solve many business problems by improving the productivity of supply chains, offering transparency of the origin of products used in manufacturing and providing trusted identity – among other things. As a matter of fact, blockchain technologies have been experimented with by some of the world’s biggest corporations like the American multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs, and there are several successful applications already.

A coalition of firms, not just a single entity, is featured in a variety of current implementations. The need for third-party verification in a blockchain consortium is reasonably clear. SoC1 and SoC2 reports prove quite effective for additional confidence and assurance among a consortium of private participants in the network. Nevertheless, some adaptation of the existing standard, or at least a novel approach by the auditor, may be needed to use SoC reporting to deliver such assurance.

Specifically, the requirements of SoC1 and SoC2 depend on a clear demarcation between service organizations and user entities where an outsourced role for the user agency has been taken over by the service organization. Contrast that with a blockchain consortium, where participants did not outsource their cohorts to a function, but rather altered the way they trusted, transacted and reported transactions among the members.

There is one dominant member (for example, the Walmart supply chain consortium) in several enterprise blockchain consortiums. In a more even footing, some have participants. In the case of a leading or dominant participant, entry, consensus, change management and other elements of the blockchain ecosystem would likely be controlled by the dominant participant. The problems of regulating the ecosystem are likely to be more nuanced in more equitable blockchain consortia and will likely need trusted intermediaries and auditors.

Examples of trustworthy intermediaries for auditors and consultants, likely through SoC reporting, include confirmation of the presence and valuation of real-world assets represented on approved blockchains, consensus checking mechanisms, correction of incorrect ledger entries, and settlement controls for private blockchains that use monitoring or payment tokens.

In the end, even the permissioned block is in need of blockchain SoC2 auditing services. There are several possible SoC implementations and comparable audit reviews for the required assurance of permissioned blockchain consortiums and their members.

Exchanges and custodial wallet providers

In custodial environments, third-party assurance is critical. Some larger exchanges have recently announced that their SoC audits have been completed, and others will shortly follow suit. For all centralized exchanges, this will soon be the standard practice.

Large financial institutions are also beginning “institutional custody solutions,” providing the highest possible protection over their digital assets to institutional Bitcoin investors.

All these only mean that if there is a custodial wallet feature on the virtual currency exchange or custodial solution you are using, then a blockchain SoC2 compliance services report on it is absolutely essential. “Institutional grade” custody solutions providers are very likely to be asked for reports on SoC1 and/or SoC2.

Conclusion

The takeaway of the whole story is: blockchains and crypto are profoundly rooted in the assumption that all the requisite confidence is provided by the in-built crypto algorithms of the technology. But a number of real-world examples and emerging and theoretical use cases involve human intervention, whether the human acts as an oracle to ensure real-world data consistency with data inserted into a blockchain or as an auditor valuing collateralized revenue streams for an asset-backed token. Where there is human intervention, a definite third-party assurance in the form of blockchain SoC2 auditing services becomes significant.


Adam Mazzocchetti

Adam Mazzocchetti is a blockchain security specialist who has spent the last five years researching, advising and auditing blockchain security systems. He holds degrees in cyber security and behavioral psychology. Adam is also a certified blockchain security professional, certified ethical hacker, and CompTIA Security+ certified. Reach out to him here.

 

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InfraBlockchainBlockchain Labs is launching InfraBlockchain. It claims implementation flexibility which can provide both a stable public blockchain and a scalable permissioned blockchain. The announcement appears to promise more blockchain-powered services in the real world.

Conrad Um, the CEO of Blockchain Labs, commented: “The blockchain technology has a lot of characteristics similar to that of our society’s infrastructures, like roads and power grids. To build such an underlying service platform that can benefit the countless number of users, it would require an initial investment of time, money, and social consensus before we can see the technology’s effectiveness. However, just as other infrastructures in our society do, InfraBlockchain will greatly benefit businesses and organizations across all industries – starting with reducing the database management cost.”

InfraBlockchain

According to Blockchain Labs, InfraBlockchain’s patented consensus mechanism makes it possible to design the network as any of:

  • a permissioned blockchain for internal uses
  • a consortium blockchain for limited group uses
  • a completely public blockchain that openly invites anyone to participate.
InfraBlockchain2
InfraBlockchain attributes (Source: Blockchain Labs)

Apparently, because of its consensus mechanism, InfraBlockchain supports a flexible transition from one network design to another, even after a network is up and running. In order to solve blockchain’s innate problem – of all data being recorded and shared publicly – InfraBlockchain has adopted an approach which offers selective anonymity. This shields sensitive data – such as personal information – while maintaining the level of data integrity that only the blockchain technology can provide.

Avoiding cryptocurrencies and some background

From the outset, Blockchain Labs designed InfraBlockchain not to involve any cryptocurrency (such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, etc.). Blockchain Labs regards this as an attraction for many public sectors and enterprises – which tend to:

  • have their interest focused on blockchain technology
  • have concerns about the regulatory and accounting issues often raised about blockchains which involve cryptocurrencies.

Since 2016, Blockchain Labs has provided blockchain solutions to various services, including:

  • Yosemite Card (a fee-less payment service for UC Berkeley students and local businesses in California)
  • Godivart (an online artwork trading platform)
  • Comake (a blockchain-based eContract service).

While these enable acceptance of blockchain technology, Blockchain Labs recognised the limitations of existing technologies. This justified the development of InfraBlockchain – to address the technical problems that have hindered blockchain’s mass adoption.

Enterprise Times: what does this mean

According to Blockchain Labs, it was selected as the blockchain partner for the South Korean national government’s new project to develop a blockchain-based management and tracking system for medical hemp production. Already having supplied the blockchain solution for RV-sharing platform for Seoul City earlier this year, Blockchain Labs, with InfraBlockchain, looks to expand its blockchain-based services to a deeper government and enterprise market.

For Enterprise Times and from an enterprise perspective, the basis of InfraBlockchain – as explicitly avoiding a cryptocurrency connection – is attractive. This could be a significant differentiator. Few businesses, except those focused on cryptocurrencies, want the hassle involved.



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Global Blockchain for Enterprise Applications Market analysis report speaks about the manufacturing process. Global Blockchain for Enterprise Applications market report analyses the market growth, trends, overview & forecast to 2025.The report covers key technological developments in the recent times and profiles leading players in the market and analyzes their key strategies.

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The Blockchain for Enterprise Applications research report provides a detailed assessment of this business sphere. This report also estimates the market share and growth rate attained over the forecast period. The report unravels all the key aspects of Blockchain for Enterprise Applications market including revenue forecasts, industry size, and sales amassed with respected to each industry segment. The key growth drivers and the restraints of this industry vertical have also been elucidated in the report.

Understanding the Blockchain for Enterprise Applications market with respect to the regional landscape:

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Additional insights of the Blockchain for Enterprise Applications market report are listed below:

  • A brief overview of the competitive landscape of the Blockchain for Enterprise Applications market has been provided in the report focusing on companies like The major players covered in Blockchain for Enterprise Applications are:, Barclays, Everledger, ConsenSys, BigchainDB, Ethereum, Block Array, Factom, Ericsson, Digital Asset Holdings, Evernym, Mavenir Systems, Omega Grid, Filament, Microsoft, IBM, Guardtime, Mobivity and Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
  • The study enlists the product offerings of the major manufacturers as well their application scope.
  • Pricing models, profit margins, and the market share held by listed participants are also illustrated in the report.
  • As per the report, the product terrain of the Blockchain for Enterprise Applications market is segmented into Public Blockchains, Private Blockchains and Semi-Private or Hybrid Blockchains.
  • The study also provides the sales amassed along with the revenue generated by each product segment.
  • The study delivers of a comprehensive evaluation of the application spectrum of the Blockchain for Enterprise Applications market which is split into Large Company Enterprises and Middle and Small Enterprises.
  • Details regarding the market share registered by each application segment with respect to the market renumeration and total sales amassed over the study period are depicted in the report.
  • The study also highlights the myriad aspects of the industry such as the market concertation rate and competition trends.
  • The report also presents data about the marketing and distribution channels established by the prominent players.

 

 

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