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Cypherium | Federal Reserve Board Partnership

Recently our CEO, Sky, traveled to the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank for the inaugural meeting of the US Faster Payments Council. We’d like to take a moment here to make sure that our community knows precisely what the USFPC is and what exactly membership means for blockchain projects generally as well as for Cypherium in particular.

Recognizing that we are at the dawn of a new era in financial technologies, the U.S. Federal Reserve published a policy paper entitled “Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System.” In it, the Fed called for a collective effort among stakeholders and luminaries of the fintech world to bring to the U.S. safely and efficiently a new world-class standard of electronic payment systems. This brought about the Faster Payments Task Force and its spearhead, the U.S. Faster Payments Council. In practice, this means encouraging the major players and legacy systems of the private sector to cooperate, lest technological innovation suffers in a selfish, competitive payment environment. For this reason, the FPC describes itself as “solution-agnostic,” championing not a single kind of transfer technology, but rather the spirit of “bilateral cooperation” needed to thrive in this new era.

So in a sense, the U.S. Faster Payments Council is where the rubber meets the road. Traditional payment systems — everything from checks and wire transfers to cash and credit cards — have been questioned and challenged by decentralized ledger technology, and the FPC is a critical point of contact between these two generations of technology. This council seeks to ensure that the present payment systems meet these new technologies as opportunities and not adversaries. We may look, then, to the FPC as a pivotal mechanism in the adoption of blockchains.

In its own words, the FPC’s three main goals can be summarized as follows:

In order to accomplish this, the Council has been assembled over 20 leading payments organizations as founding sponsors, that include SHAZAM, ICBA Bancard®, Visa, The Bank of New York Mellon, North American Banking Company, Open Payment Network, The Clearing House, The New England ACH Association, Ceridian, Mastercard, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Walmart Target Corporation, Goldman Sachs, First Data, TD Bank, and others.

Beyond the sponsor level, there are over one hundred founding members of the FPC, including more financial institutions, payment network operators, end-users, and technology providers like our own Cypherium. Moreover, the FPC’s membership ranks are growing, largely because of the self-evident value of having a seat at this particular table. As a member of the FPC, Cypherium has had and will continue to have meaningful conversations with important figures from all aspects of the adoption process. Like our partnerships with IBM and AWS, the FPC provides a primary layer of authenticity to our software itself, having met its Effectiveness Criteria. The FPC is an industry-led effort, which makes visibility within this group of great use to our company. It has always been Cypherium’s steadfast belief that our innovative software presents self-evident value to those who understand blockchain tech on the level of the code itself. However, membership in the FPC helps to articulate the importance of this project to those who orbit transaction technology without getting too buckled down in the specifics of software development. These are the banking member of the council, the end-users and service providers, all of whom play an inevitable and indispensable role in the adoption process. Of course, not every member of this council should we consider partners, as each project participates in this diverse collective, ultimately in order to suit individual aspirations. However, these companies truly are all potential partners, allies in realizing a world of decentralized payments, in which we believe Cypherium will play a critical role.

Within the FPC, Cypherium has become specialized as a member of the safety and security workgroup. This subcommittee mainly focuses on fraud prevention and analysis. Adequate security will be a primary focus of this coming wave of payments technologies. It cannot be denied that decentralized ledger innovations far surpass centralized systems in the matter of security. Even the staunchest opponents of the so-called decentralized revolution must admit that blockchains pose an entirely new standard of network safety that centralized systems cannot match. In this committee, we discuss with fellow members like The Independent Community Bankers of America, National Consumer Law Center, Ceridian, and many others, topics ranging from the vulnerabilities of current systems to visions of a multi-chain future and possible unforeseen shortcomings.

Blockchain projects must not isolate themselves according to ideological divides, as we alone do not hold the keys to adoption. Many in the crypto space, from enthusiasts to experts might dismiss some projects for being too centralized, too conducive to current banking systems. At Cypherium, we hear those concerns, and in our technology, we certainly address them, as we believe blockchains must remain an open and permissionless technology in order to fully blossom and improve our world. However, it is important to bring those kinds of positions in conversation with long-standing institutions like governments and banks. Decentralized technology must take itself seriously enough to have critical and constructive conservations with the major players in the present landscape of the financial and information sectors. That has been the spirit of the U.S. Faster Payments Council since its inception. And we encourage fellow projects to participate in these conversations.



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