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16/04/2018: Biggest Stories in the Cryptosphere

1. Malta Is Working On Guidelines To Establish When ICOs Are Securities

Malta’s Financial Services Authority (FSA), the country’s main financial regulator, has released a consultation paper outlining a guideline to establish when assets raised through ICOs are securities, and when they are not. The document covers a possible Financial Instrument Test, which would fall under Malta’s Virtual Financial Asset Act (VFAA). The country hopes to receive feedback from the public. The same process was previously adopted when another discussion paper was released back in November 2017. The feedback was then used to create the methodology of the current test. The test is divided into three stages. Firstly, it decides if a DLT asset is a virtual asset (utility token). In that case, it exempt from VFAA regulations. The second stage would involve assets that are tradable on the secondary market, as European financial regulators’ definitions would apply to them. If the token fits the description, then it would have to follow Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID)’s regulations. On the other hand, if it does not fit the description, then the token would fall under the VFAA’s potential regulations.

2. Samsung Considers Including Blockchain In Its Operations

Electronics giant Samsung is considering the use of blockchain technology to improve its supply chain, specifically the management and tracking of its shipments. This is a big deal for blockchain, considering that Samsung is the biggest chipmaker in the world. The news was shared by Song Kwang-woo, Blockchain Chief of subsidiary Samsung SDS Co. He went on to say that 20% of shipping costs would be cut. SDS is in charge of developing the system, which would then be used by Samsung Electronics. Paperwork and document costs would decrease significantly. The innovative technology could also help reduce the time between a product launch and its shipments, something that would increase the company’s competitiveness.

3. Mastercard Is Looking Into Blockchain For Its Identity Data Management

Mastercard has filed a patent with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The application is for a blockchain-based system which would allow it to collect and receive identity data while tackling the issue of fake identities being used in its system. Each entity would have a “data file” to which a public key and a “geographic jurisdiction” would be associated. There would be a hierarchical structure, as these entities would be subordinate, while a superior entity would ensure they have digital signatures. Only certain nodes would be able to submit data on the network, as the blockchain would not be public. This will be done to avoid the data being compromised. The company believes the system could replace current applications used to verify identities.

4. Blockchain Playbook To Help Governments Grasp The Technology

A blockchain playbook aimed at helping governments grasp the innovative technology has been released by the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC). The non-profit educational group felt there was a need for more clarity. The rapid adoption of blockchain means that it is important for governments to understand how it actually works, as well as its potential. In the end, taxpayers could also benefit from the efficiencies it brings. The document comprises a five-stage roadmap. Agencies received guidelines in terms of ‘initial assessment’, ‘organisational readiness’ and ‘technology selection’. The news comes following various projects launched by the US federal government aimed at investigating blockchain.

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