The Week In Bitcoin - Issue #81: Clarity And Innovation

Clarity And InnovationIn a nascent industry, the speed to regulatory clarity matters. Put simply, the
The Week In Bitcoin
The Week In Bitcoin - Issue #81: Clarity And Innovation
By The Week In Bitcoin • Issue #23
Clarity And Innovation
In a nascent industry, the speed to regulatory clarity matters. Put simply, the quicker we get to clear(ish) legal footing for innovators in the digital currency sector the more we can expect to see innovation really take flight. 
Although the above may be a gross oversimplification of the impact regulatory clarity can have (see Uber as a counterpoint - an example of regulatory change by force majeure), an ability to experiment within clearly defined legal bounds is an important factor in building next generation industries - like the blockchain tech and digital currency sector.
Although, I’m not a fan of countries building race to the bottom regulatory arbitrage positions, clarity and the removal of unnecessary regulatory friction can have an impact on the number of startups building innovative solutions to problems.
More recently we’ve seen many countries adopt more progressive approaches to regulation in highly regulated markets. For example, a growing trend for financial regulators has been to build financial licencing ‘sandbox’ regimes.  Interestingly, when the UK’s FCA ran their first batch of 'sandboxed’ startups 50% were blockchain companies
From an Australian perspective, I anticipate that this year will bring further clarity for digital currency and blockchain tech businesses. With promising signs of support from Treasury on the removal Goods and Services Tax on digital currency transactions, further clarity around AML/CTF treatment of digital currencies from the AG and the introduction of a sandbox regime in Australia we could become a very promising place to base a digital currency or blockchain tech company from. 
Although, at times it can be frustrating being at the bleeding edge I’m hopeful 2017 will bring further regulatory clarity and I look forward to using the innovative products it spawns.
— Alan Tsen, @alantsen 👊💯
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News This Week
A few weeks ago the IRS sent Coinbase a subpoena asking us to disclose records on all U.S. customers over a three year period (this covers millions of customer accounts). Since then, we’ve spoken…  •  Share
Israel’s government is set to apply capital gains tax to bitcoin sales, categorizing digital currencies as a type of property.
A global platform that connects the vast majority of the world’s banks has begun building a blockchain application to simplify cross-border payments.
Julian Assange used Bitcoin, not to make a financial transaction but to provide evidence that he is alive. In a video, WikiLeaks’ founder, instead of holding up a newspaper, as is common, read out a bitcoin block hash, during a Reddit AMA (Ask-Me-Anything) session on 10 January, according to reports.
“Mastering Bitcoin” author Andreas Antonopoulos was recently a guest on Trace Mayer’s Bitcoin Knowledge Podcast, where the two longtime Bitcoin advocates discussed the current state of Bitcoin and how much the technology has grown over the past eight years.
There’s been plenty to gawk at since Zcash’s October launch.
Heralded as the world’s most anonymous cryptocurrency, Zcash rode a wave of hype with its cypherpunk origin story (complete with its own secretive “ceremony”) and an initial frenzy where speculators drove the price of its tokens over $1,000 before they were even released.
In 2015, we had just introduced Interledger to the world. We created the W3C Interledger Payments Community Group with a lofty goal in mind: to connect the many payment networks and ledgers of the…  •  Share
We all have what feels like an intrinsic understanding of value, though it is actually learned as we come to know our world. A gold bar has value, an empty soda can, not so much.
Yesterday Medium announced that they are moving away from ads and thinking about a different kind of business model for their online publishing network.  •  Share
In addition to my day job as a BitGo engineer, I run, a site I created in 2014 to track Bitcoin metrics from the perspective of a full node. 
From Cold Storage
Herein lies 17 decentralized technology predictions for 2017. Thank you to all of my colleagues for my continued education this year and feedback in writing this piece. Please take these predictions with a grain of holiday salt, in other words, not meant to be construed as professional advice.
In the Ethereum world “Smart Contracts” refer to code. On its own a Smart Contract doesn’t necessarily create a legally binding contract. A Contract is neither code, nor a PDF file nor a printed signed document.
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