Blockchain backers meet to accelerate progress

Major backers of blockchain, including individuals with ties to IBM and JP Morgan, are holding a three-day summit to discuss how acceptable governance can be introduced to accelerate the adoption of digital currency.

The meeting, at Lake of Bays in the Canadian province of Ontario, is being hosted by Don Tapscott, co-author of the book ‘Blockchain Revolution’, who says it could lead to the creation of a new organisation. “The goal is to try to come up with insights and concrete actions to moving forward,” he told Bloomberg.

Those attending are reportedly there as individuals, rather than representing their respective organisations. They include Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation; Brian Behlendorf, executive director of the Hyperledger Project, a blockchain supporter group that includes IBM., Airbus Group and JPMorgan Chase & Co.; and Ana Lopes, board member of the World Wide Web Foundation (WWWF).

Participants with blockchain industry ties include former deputy White House press secretary Jamie Smith, now chief global communications officer for BitFury Group and Joseph Lubin, founder of start-up Consensus Systems.

They will tackle issues such as standards-setting for the nascent industry and responses to incidents such as the recent hack of crowd-sourced venture fund DAO. “For digital currencies, none of that exists, or it’s very embryonic,” Tapscott told Bloomberg. “So we decided we are going to make some progress here.”

Separately, the Financial Times reports that four of the world’s biggest banks are collaborating on the launch of a new form of digital cash that they believe will become an industry standard to clear and settle financial trades over blockchain.

According to the FT, Swiss bank UBS pioneered the “utility settlement coin” and has now joined forces with Deutsche Bank, Santander and BNY Mellon – as well as broker ICAP – to pitch the idea to central banks with a planned commercial launch by early 2018.


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