Brin Admits Google Missed the Blockchain Boat & The FCA Accepts 29 Co's Into Regulatory Sandbox
A reversal in the markets overnight, eating into the gains made over the weekend sees the global cryptocurrency market cap down $9 billion to $265 billion, Bitcoin down $258 to $6463 and Ethereum also falling to $448 – down $32 on yesterday.
The UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has announced the latest round of blockchain companies and startups accepted into their fourth cohort regulatory sandbox. According to a release from the FCA, 29 companies have been accepted out of the 69 applications it received from a range of firms across the financial and related sectors, the aim being to explore whether, in a controlled environment, consumer benefits can be delivered while effectively managing the associated risks. The FCA has stated it will be accepting applications for cohort 5 later this year.
Google co-founder Sergey Brin has admitted “missing the boat” with regards to distributed ledger technology and blockchain at the Blockchain Summit in Morocco over the weekend. Considering Google made a rather poor attempt at recruiting Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin in May this year, the news comes as no real surprise. Whilst Google certainly have the cash, resources, staff and general ability to do almost anything they want should they choose to, I suspect the decision not to enter the blockchain sector with a huge fanfare of promises and thin ideas explained badly was likely a conscious one behind the scenes and made some time ago. Over the years Google has sought to branch into other sectors beyond search and advertising without great success, and several of its own digital innovations (Google Plus, Google Knoll, Google Real Estate, Google Authorship to name a few) have failed to come close to dominating the sectors they were aimed at, frustrating and annoying webmasters and marketers alike. A great shame really on one hand - given the size and reach Google has, before even taking into account just how much data passes through their hands every second, yet on the other hand, Google can be very adept at making the simple incredibly complicated when they choose to – staying on the periphery of the blockchain world until they have a solid direction to take is certainly preferable.
FUD of the day courtesy of CNBC and Nobel prize-winning economist, Joseph Stiglitz. It appears Stiglitz has fallen for the same trap when trying to understand cryptocurrencies as many other notable financial critics stating “You cannot have a means of payment that is based on secrecy when you’re trying to create a transparent banking system, If you open up a hole like bitcoin, then all the nefarious activity will go through that hole, and no government can allow that” missing the point that secrecy and privacy of transactions is not really the primary benefit of cryptocurrency or blockchain, going on to say, "My feeling is when you regulate it so you couldn't engage in money laundering and all these other [crimes], there will be no demand for bitcoin, by regulating the abuses, you are going to regulate it out of existence. It exists because of the abuses." Stiglitz can however relax in the knowledge he’s not the first high profile economist to make such errors in judgement as Paul Krugman is only well aware after his comments about the expected impact of the internet on the economy some years ago:
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Created: Tuesday, July 10, 2018
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