Results of the Blockchain hearing in the German parliament: German politicians and regulators are failing the blockchain sector because they have so far failed to introduce a suitable legal framework, according to a report presented in Germany’s parliament. A proposal document drafted by the Free Democratic Party (FDP) called “Creating a Sustainable Framework for Distributed Ledger Technology in the Financial Market” was laid in front of a Bundestag Finance Committee public hearing, stressing the need for a certain framework in order to encourage the country’s nascent blockchain sector. The proposal noted that the potential of blockchain technology could only be realized if there was legal certainty for its application and a workable legal framework for its use. The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) and the Federal Ministry of Finance had so far failed to develop competencies and make the necessary legal adjustments. The parliament responded that the Bafin had already started developing such a legal framework in 2011.
New protocol for scaling cryptocurrency: Bitcoin’s lightning network may be just starting to send transactions over the blockchain, but already its developers are looking to rearchitect the technology. A new protocol wants to promote the everyday usability of Bitcoin as real money. As fully-fledged nodes in the lightning network, Raspberry Pis could support and further increase the capacity and stability of the decentralized payment infrastructure. The underlying idea is that not every single bitcoin transaction has to be handled directly via the blockchain. Instead, users aggregate any number of Bitcoin transactions between two partners using a special payment channel, and at the end only write one final bill on the blockchain.
EU report calls for Blockchain interoperability standards: A recent report to the European Union made recommendations on how to better develop blockchain technology, including the introduction of interoperability and scalability standards. The authors recommended standards for digital identities and interoperability between blockchains, stating that one could expect that over time it would become easier and easier for disparate blockchains to work together. This would be to the benefit of the ecosystem as a whole. The report also pointed out the need to support basic research and implementation of infrastructure-related projects. The authors advised policy makers and industry players to cooperate in improving and developing blockchain technology and its governance. They further recommended that the EU takes a wait-and-see approach and provides projects with the time to experiment and learn, prior to the creation of standards or governance-related regulations.
Thailand’s green gas stations: Bangchak (BCP), a petroleum refiner in Thailand, is testing and demonstrating a commercial microgrid and blockchain energy trading platform at a community shopping mall anchored by a BCP fuel station in Bangkok. The platform is designed to meet the typical electricity needs of the Bangchak gas station. It also will generate, store and distribute surplus energy to community shopping mall tenants. Called Green Community Energy Management System (GEMS), BCP’s platform incorporates an Ethereum-based blockchain. The commercial microgrid is physically isolated from the Bangkok Metropolitan Electricity Authority’s utility grid but able to operate in tandem with it. GEMS will supply solar energy with storage to BCP’s station as the highest priority load and manage other customers to use utility power when GEMS’ controller determines that solar energy is not sufficient to supply the whole community.
German Stock Exchange: Plan for blockchain ecosystem for digital assets deraktionaer.de
crypto.com: Free Spotify and Netflix subscriptions for customers bitcoinexchangeguide.com
Eleven years Bitcoin: Can one speak of the age of cryptocurrencies? computerwoche.de
Argentina: Government and Binance promote blockchain startups coingeek.com
IOTA: Tangle to be decentralized with new Testnet bitcoinexchangeguide.com
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Market intelligence and advisory services provider International Data Corporation (IDC) has predicted worldwide spending on blockchain will reach $12.4 billion USD in 2022, with an annual compound growth rate (CAGR) of 76 percent over the time period.
The GDPR and the blockchain: When it comes to blockchain technology, the features that make blockchain so attractive to many enterprises – such as the ability to create an immutable public ledger of transactions – are also the very features that could lead to privacy issue headaches for those enterprises. Research firm Gartner is now calling “blockchain privacy poisoning” one of the biggest risks facing organizations over the next few years. The term refers to the insertion of personal data into a public blockchain, thereby making that blockchain non-compliant under the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). According to the GDPR, all individuals have the right to be forgotten, so you can immediately see why blockchain technology represents such a problem: by their very nature, blockchains are meant to be completely unchangeable and immutable. So this naturally creates a paradox for organizations: you have personal data “on chain” that cannot be altered, and you simultaneously have the right of individuals to change, alter or delete their data at any time. Personal information cannot be deleted without compromising the chain.
Germany’s digitalization index published: Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute presented the Digitalindex 2019 on Monday in Berlin. The index examined the status and development of digitalization at the regional level to provide an overall picture of digitalization in Germany. It relates to digital life, business and research, services for citizens, and the digitalization of administrative services. Berlin ranks first in the index, followed by Hamburg and Bremen. All the German states have improved, in particular Berlin and Saxony. However, not all of the federal states have benefitted from this progress to the same extent. According to the index, immense differences in the allocation of public funds for research projects in the states are a reason for the regional differences.
“The aim is to enable electronic securities while safeguarding the requirements of investor protection and to provide the necessary legal and application security in civil and supervisory law.”
The German finance ministry has submitted a key issues paper on the subject of the blockchain, which among other things aims to create a new legal framework for the blockchain.
EU abandons digital tax plan: European Union governments on Tuesday scrapped a plan to introduce an EU-wide digital tax. Romanian Finance Minister Eugen Teodorovici, speaking in a public session of a meeting of EU finance ministers, said there was no agreement on the tax despite months of talks. He said ministers would now focus on trying to reach a common position for an overhaul of digital taxation at a global level by 2020. Countries that resist the tech tax include Sweden, home of the music streaming service Spotify, and Ireland, home to the European headquarters for Facebook, Google and Twitter. Denmark and Finland also oppose the tax – and tax issues still need to be decided unanimously in the EU. Reforming tax matters on a global level have proven tough because of widely differing interests among major EU member states.