Southern Europe Signs Blockchain Accord, House Bill to Promote Cryptos, CFTC Requests Comments on ETH, Augur Faces a Governance Question


The Ministers of France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Cyprus have signed a declaration that states, among other things:

“As a technology based on trust, we see Distributed Ledger Technologies as being a potential game changer using – inter alia smart contracts in areas such as certifying product origin, education, transport, mobility, shipping, land registry, customs, company registry, and healthcare amongst others to transform the way that such services are delivered.

This can result not only in the enhancement of e-government services but also increased transparency and reduced administrative burdens, better customs collection and better access to public information.”

They say blockchain tech “can result in further democratization of the European economic model” and that they:

“Commit ourselves to continue exploring the possibility to cooperate on cross- border Distributed Ledger Technologies projects between the Southern European countries. Potentially this cooperation could also be extended to third countries in the Southern Mediterranean basin.”

This declaration signed in Brussels on the 4th of December 2018 was followed by an introduction of a number of bills in Congress.

“Virtual currencies and the underlying blockchain technology has a profound potential to be a driver of economic growth,” Reps. Darren Soto, D-Fla., and Ted Budd, R-N.C., said in a statement before adding:

“That’s why we must ensure that the United States is at the forefront of protecting consumers and the financial well-being of virtual currency investors, while also promoting an environment of innovation to maximize the potential of these technological advances.”

The bill in question is a mere declaration that calls for the promotion of cryptocurrencies as well as calls on the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to report on US’ jurisdictional competitive environment in regards to cryptos and to suggest any legislative changes that may be needed.

One useful legislative or policy change would be a laddered approach on how publicly traded companies and ICOs are regulated so that different requirements apply to a start-up as compared to a global corporation.

Jay Clayton, SEC’s current chairman, has called for such laddered approach in a recent interview, but whether he will take that further remains to be seen.

While at CFTC, the other main US regulator as far as this space is concerned, they’ve made a request for public comments on a number of questions that concern ethereum.

As the name suggests, CFTC has jurisdiction over the trading of commodity futures, like gold or oil. They have no jurisdiction over gold or oil itself, nor bitcoin which they have classified as a commodity.

They’re apparently now considering a classification of ethereum as a commodity. A classification that wouldn’t really make much difference, but would give CFTC the power to investigate or even prosecute fraudulent price manipulation in spot trading.

In short, America is regulating cryptos and in the process is giving them legitimacy as far as the ordinary bypassers are concerned. Ethereans thus have gathered on github to answer CFTC’s request for comments.

While traditional politics, laws, and regulations make an entrance, the ethereum based Augur betting market is trying to figure out its own policy, laws and regulations.

Apparently the question “Which party will control the House after 2018 U.S. mid-term election?” is far too difficult to answer for Augurians even though we all know the democrats won it.

“The Democrats won the election, but the market expiration date was 12/10/18. Because the date was not specified in the market & expiration date is 12/10/18, one could argue that Republicans is correct outcome. Democrats don’t officially take control until 1/3/19,” Nick Tomaino, a former Coinbase employee, says.

Meaning this is the bit where some say you should be careful on how your word things. like “control,” while at the same time effectively turning those words upside down.

It is an effective method of gaining influence and even control over a decentralized platform by effectively lifting minute detail over common sense in obviously stupid but apparently clever arguments so as to place yourself as the individual who says what are the rules and what are not.

Look at Wikipedia. A once fascinating commons has now become a dry and bureaucratic mess where kids with too much time on their hands try to tell professors what they can and can’t edit.

The point in all that is an intentional or unintentional attempt to show decentralization does not work because you’ll always have the busy body who in this case can’t use guns, but can use its equivalent of Orwellian arguments to effectively say truth is falsehood.

With a podium so gained by the power hungry, the intellectual’s arguments becomes just one among many. The question then turns to who decides and how. The answer in this space so being a split:

“There is a cryptoeconomic mechanism baked into Augur to determine the result. Anyone can stake REP to dispute the initial report (<$100 risked initially). The result can be disputed 13 times (at which point $1M+ is risked). if there’s still a dispute Augur will split in two,” Tomaino says.

The question then becomes which one is Augur? We have a stock split, but which one gets the REP ticker?

The easy, but cheaty, answer is to trademark the name and the ticker so then you go to a different sort of a “technical” argument, but that then obviously opens you to accusations of “ownership” in a “decentralized” space and of having far too much “undue influence.” Arguments made by the power hungry who are after that precise “undue influence.”

We have not evolved sufficiently to have an answer to the above, at least for now. Or perhaps we do have an answer, but not a new one.

At the end of the day, we live in a world of specialization, if for nothing else but due to time constrains. Anyone can become a doctor, just as they can become a coder, but even there, there would be coders specializing in webdev, in cryptography, in solidity and so on.

Someone has to be more of a forest than the tree. That someone too is specialized, for he or she doesn’t know of the tree roots for example, but does know of how the trees interact and so on.

That someone perhaps has to make these sort of decisions and if they are wrong in the view of others then he loses the leadership position.

That does sort of recreate current governance designs, but the difference is no imposition of that decision on those who disagree for they can simply create their own universe as this is all digital.

There may perhaps be other models, but tiny atoms group together in molecules who group in organs who group in humans and then the human groups in societies.

There thus needs to be a balance and in an objective sense that balance lays in that which is obvious or can be proven to be so, in the truth out there if you like, outside of ourselves but still tappable by almost everyone.

Justice, beauty, logic, common sense. It has many names all describing the same thing. The objective “is.”

Viewed from that perspective, a lot becomes far too simple, but man hasn’t evolved sufficiently yet to see each other as individuals part of an organism that have a common glue which can’t genuinely be argued against. Or otherwise said, the teachings of Jesus far too advanced even for our times, now 2,000 years on.



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