Source: Taxonomy of Money

Originally published in Forbes CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor, August 2020

For as much excitement as cryptocurrencies have generated over the years, their use as money has been limited for one simple reason: volatility. Any form of money is expected to meet three basic criteria: it must be a unit of account, medium of exchange and store of value. Bitcoin meets the first two with flying colors, but it has not proven to be a stable store of value. Stablecoins directly address this shortcoming, which, as their name dictates, are designed to maintain a constant price peg. …

Deloitte: The world remade by COVID-19 for travel and hospitality

In May 2020, Deloitte mapped out 4 potential scenarios for the global travel and hospitality industry to get to the “next normal.” Each scenario evaluated known unknowns such as disease severity, government collaboration, healthcare response, economic consequences, and social cohesion.

Its conclusion arrived at several overarching themes, which would need to be addressed in order to rebuild consumer confidence and reengage the travel and hospitality industry at large.

The following analysis is grounded in the central themes of Deloitte’s assessment with a focus on how blockchain and distributed ledger technologies (DLTs) can reduce friction and increase transparency, ultimately improving trust…

Bitcoin ETF

Originally published in Forbes CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor, May 2020

Today bitcoin futures are available for retail and institutional traders, but U.S. investors have limited options for investing directly in Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Let’s look back at the history of ETFs to see how Bitcoin ETFs could enable U.S. investors to invest directly, and what options are currently available.

Learning Form ETF History

In 1989, the first attempt at an ETF hit the American Stock Exchange. …

New Assets, Old Rails

Originally published in Forbes CryptoAsset & Blockchain Advisor, April 2020

In September 2015, bitcoin became the world’s first digitally native commodity when it was officially designated as a tradeable commodity by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). In the U.S., there’s still not an easy way to invest in bitcoin through an exchange-traded fund product, but we have futures-based products that reward the trader, not the investor. Let’s look back at this radical shift in designation to see how the CFTC paved the way for the financialization of crypto derivatives like bitcoin futures.

What Are Crypto Derivatives?

In the same…

Derivatives are changing. And the future of Futures is unfolding at a rapid pace.

Futures Contract

In traditional spot and derivatives markets, recent trends in user experience such as zero fee trades, robo advisors, and high yield brokerage accounts are becoming commonplace. Younger demographics like millennials, who started working during the great recession, are now able to dip their toes into stock, bond, and ETF investing at their own pace.

This market shift is also made possible because of powerful new technologies, giant merger and acquisition deals (see Schwab & TD Ameritrade and Morgan Stanley & E-Trade), and relaxed corporate tax regulations. The long term impact of these trends is yet to be seen. …

Today managing Intellectual Property (IP) rights is a slow and burdensome process that puts the responsibility of registration, settlement and reconciliation on the IP owner first and foremost. For content creators, this creates an obstacle to enforcing their rights over content monetization. For licensed publishers and distributors, the lack of IP accessibility and oversight creates a grey area that 3rd parties take advantage of and profit from.

Blockchain technologies promise a more efficient way to create and maintain shared records of intellectual property rights, benefiting creators, publishers, and distributors alike.

In order to understand where and how cost efficiencies can…

Centralized services like Facebook, Microsoft, and Yahoo keep all your eggs in one basket. This means that bad actors only need to attack one weak link to compromise all your data. And there are many ways to do it, including DDoS, Man-in-the-Middle, and credential stealing to name a few. Decentralized services keep your data safe and secure by distributing it across many redundant servers with cutting-edge cryptography that ensures your data is complete, immutable, and incorruptible. Of course, there are many degrees of decentralization. …

In the early days of crypto, privacy was a critical focus in blockchain development but difficult for the average user to achieve. From 2011–2014, creating multi-signature transactions was considered a cutting-edge technique that provided advanced users more privacy and security than executing standard peer-to-peer transactions alone. Now multisig is standard and more user friendly than ever. So, what’s changed in the last 5 years? And when can we expect blockchains to deliver practical privacy for non-technical users and businesses?

New Privacy-Preserving Protocols

Bitcoin executes pseudo-anonymous transactions, meaning that transaction records are slightly obfuscated but can be figured out by analyzing the public blockchain…

GDPR and self-sovereign identity share a lot in common. GDPR regulates “the right to be forgotten” and self-sovereign identity enables it for the decentralized web. So, when and how will these two privacy functions intersect?

Self-sovereign and decentralized identity (DID) solutions like Blockstack, Sovrin or Ethereum’s uPort represent innovative opportunities for data ownership that use blockchains to flip the current model of centralized identity management on its head.

Identity management is an important component of online applications. Typically, when users sign up for an online service, a custom identity is created for that application. As a result, we sign up…

Alex Broudy

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