“Nine congressmen have signed on to a letter to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, telling him to hold his horses. The Thursday letter is in response to the Treasury’s recent proposal to make registered crypto businesses hold on to more customer information, especially when transacting with self-hosted wallets.
The proposal in question was made public just before the Christmas holiday, and it announced that the public would be afforded 15 days to file comments. A comment period consisting of eight business days over two holidays is not appropriate for regulating any industry, and could result in in stakeholders being unable to meaningfully respond.”
“While Bittrex gave no reason for the removals, exchanges around the world have been moving to delist coins that seek to preserve the privacy of their users as a way to be compliant with so-called Know Your Customer/Anti-Money Laundering (KYC/AML) regulations that are spreading around the world.”
“Token-based art sales hit $8.2 million in December compared to $2.6 million in November 2020. Most NFT purchases are made using ether or Ethereum-based stablecoins. More and more artists are now presenting their work in online showrooms and the NFT-based art scene is seeing increased interest.
Crypto natives are starting to understand the value NFTs bring to verifying authenticity of the original artwork. Furthermore, big-name digital artists like Beeple are discovering what NFTs are and how they open up a new business model for artists other than commissions.”
“The pandemic was a fantastic opportunity for blockchain technologies focused on personal medical data sovereignty. China and other Asian countries fought COVID-19 while setting privacy aside and aggressively leveraging tracking and tracing. Blockchain tech provides the option for privacy-preserving track and trace, and for broader privacy-preserving gathering and aggregation of personal data for collective analysis for the common medical good.
Several blockchain-based contract tracing apps emerged. Adoption was minimal. To be fair, centralized efforts at privacy-preserving contact tracing by Google and Apple haven’t fared much better. My own team’s experience with COVID-19 agent-based modeling, for scientifically evaluating and proposing pandemic management policies, was instructive.
To those of us in the middle of the blockchain/AI space, it’s obvious the radical power these technologies could have helped with a pandemic. But what our tools can do doesn’t matter that much if, when push comes to shove, neither the general public nor the major societal decision-makers can understand and see the value.
In the end, the failure of blockchain and AI tools to contribute in a massive and central way to combat the pandemic is attributable to the same factors that are slowing their adoption overall: making the broad value and importance of our tech clear outside our own special communities. If our experience seeking to apply our advanced tech to help with COVID-19 serves as a wake-up call in this regard, it will have been well worth the effort.“