This week, our meeting’s presentation focused on the evolution of blockchain, Bitcoin, and other altcoins, while the discussion covered an opinion piece on blockchain’s overhype, written by Nouriel Roubini and Preston Byrne.
Presentation — Evolution of Blockchain, Bitcoin, and Other Alts
(Akshay Jain and Justin Zipkin)
- Switzerland, Estonia, Gibraltar’s lenient regulations make them some of the most crypto and ICO friendly countries
- China and South Korea have banned ICOs
- Greater and Stricter Regulation from the DOJ and SEC
- Arizona and Wyoming have lenient regulations
- Overstock.com probed by SEC regarding their 250M ICO subsidiary, tZero
- ICOs are banned
- People’s Bank of China announced they will investigate any company with ICOs, mining, exchanges
- Hong Kong operates under different jurisdiction
Russia & EU Regulations
- Unlicensed investors only allowed to invest up to 50000 rubles (~$900) in an ICO
- The EU allows ICOs, given they adhere to Anti-Money Laundering/Know Your Customer (KYC) laws
- Different heads of state are bullish/bearish
- Estonia was banned from launching national ICO by the EU
Is Regulation Bad?
- Good because regulation gets rid of scams and is healthy for the industry as a whole
- Good because regulation helps smooth out the business cycle
- Bad because bans on things like ads hurts the good guys like WCT who are just trying to educate people
- Bad because regulation prevents normal consumers from getting in on things such as ICOs, while accredited investors benefit
- Bad because regulation takes away accessibility of crypto
- Bad for cryptocurrencies — but not for blockchain tech innovation
Currently, What are Some of Blockchain and Crypto’s Most Tangible Use Cases?
- Remittance payments — Ripple (not quite decentralized?)
- Syrian refugees (Building Blocks Project)
- Estonia’s xRoad
Discussion — Is Blockchain Overhyped?
(Ben Oostendorp and Ethan Tuckman)
Key Points and Opinions
- One line from the article that stood out was, “Ultimately, blockchain’s uses will be limited to specific, well-defined, and complex applications that require transparency and tamper-resistance more than they require speed — for example, communication with self-driving cars or drones.”
- Developers should realize that some things should use blockchain while some should use traditional databases
- Self driving vehicles need trustless environment (But do they need a distributed ledger or a blockchain?)
- Use cases that blockchain has lots of true potential for: online gambling/prediction markets, data protection (no more Equifaxes), healthcare records
- What is the motive of using blockchain if it’s not a requirement?
- Blockchain will be best in places where it is advantageous to lie about financial transactions
Check back next week to find out more about what WCT is talking about!