- The House Democrats’ initial coronavirus pandemic stimulus package included provisions for a US-backed digital dollar that were ultimately removed.
- As the pandemic rages on, blockchain-powered telemedicine platforms are finding widespread use for remote evaluations and diagnosis.
- According to a new Acuiti report, 26% of trading firms have either adopted crypto tokens or support their use.
- The European Commission is calling on blockchain developers to propose new solutions for defense sector projects.
Coronavirus Stimulus Offered By House Financial Services Committee Creates New Digital Dollar [Updated]
House Democrats put forward an initial coronavirus stimulus package that included provisions for a US-backed digital dollar. If passed, these provisions would have put the US on the path to creating a digital currency and wallet backed by the central bank. When Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi presented the finished bill, however, the digital dollar had been removed, prompting speculation that the concept is being considered for a future date.
Daniel Gorfine, founder of fintech advisory firm Gattaca Horizons and former chief innovation officer at CFTC, as well as a founding director of the Digital Dollar Project, stated to Forbes, ‘It is worth exploring, testing, and piloting a true USD CBDC and broader digital infrastructure in order to improve our future capabilities and resiliency, but it is also important that this effort not delay the government from deploying critical emergency funds using existing channels during this crisis. While the crisis underscores the importance of upgrading our financial infrastructure, broadly implementing a CBDC will require time and thoughtful coordination between the government and private sector stakeholders.’
As governments and institutions scramble to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, telemedicine use is on the rise — many of which leverage blockchain platforms. This boom is primarily driven by state and federal agencies lifting restrictions on remote medicine options. Blockchain services like Medicalchain and Doc.com stand out for their ability to share health records with doctors while maintaining a level of privacy.
[Blaise Wabo, Associate Director and HITRUST Practice Lead at cybersecurity and compliance firm A-LIGN] has written extensively about the convergence of telemedicine and blockchain in the past, and suggests that blockchain can be a key part of the technological leap needed to deal with a pandemic like this.
“We can see that the world is not getting better prepared for medical pandemics, and one would think as technology advances, we definitely should do better,” he says. “More organized tracking systems are needed to collect and track data during a medical pandemic, and also predict patterns in order to be better prepared to contain wide outspreads and ultimately help with finding treatment quicker. Blockchain technology could be the solution to handling private medical information and interactions.”
In a new downloadable report, derivatives analytics firm Acuiti learned that trading firms and financial institutions are increasingly investing in crypto tokens. Of the 86 surveyed firms, 17% have adopted crypto tokens, while 26% support their use. Approximately 45% of firms that don’t currently support cryptocurrency intend to revisit options within the next six months.
The study notes much higher rates of adoption from trading firms based in the Asia-Pacific regions — where adoption rates are 57%. North American firms were found to have the largest differential between demand and adoption — where only half of the demand for digital assets is met.
Will Mitting, the managing director of Acuiti, stated that the firm identified “a growing split between demand from traditional trading firms to broaden their coverage of digital assets and the willingness or ability of sell-side firms to provide access.”
The majority of firms that have adopted crypto did so within the last 12 months.
The European Commission published a tender this week calling on small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) to submit proposals for defense sector technology solutions. Blockchain technology merited special mention in the announcement, with a specific focus on real-time cloud and on-premise digital twin processes. Successful proposals stand to earn grants from a 254 million euro fund set aside for the European Defence Industrial Development Programme.
As noted in a Deloitte 2018 report, combining digital twins with blockchain can offer particular benefits for sectors such as the internet of things, which can be used, among other applications, for predictive maintenance in production environments.
Deloitte outlines that blockchain can be useful to provide secure identity management, transparent ownership models and efficient data analytics, all of which can enhance the flexibility and resilience of various systems.
As can be seen from the above guidance, the EC recognizes the potential of combining blockchain with digital twins for diverse defense-critical sectors such as supply chains, equipment maintenance and energy.
Submissions to the program are open from April 15, with a provisional deadline of Dec. 1, 2020, depending on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.
That’s the roundup for March 29, 2020. Check in next week for the latest news of cryptocurrency innovation and regulation around the world!
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