UCL CBT Newsletter Issue #1

By July 28, 2017updates

UCL CBT Newsletter, 1st Issue, 22/07/17

Dear Blockchain enthusiasts,

It is our pleasure to present you with the first edition of the UCL CBT newsletter. The bi-monthly piece will cover developments across the Research, Business, Engagement and Student areas of Europe’s leading Blockchain research centre. We will also ask your opinion on key issues in the Blockchain space, and report on the results of the ballot in the subsequent issue.

 

Research
2017 has been and will continue to be a year of extraordinary growth for the UCL CBT. During the last ten months, our research community has grown to 87 researchers composed of 36 Faculty Members from UCL and 51 Research Fellows from other Institutes and Universities. This continued growth is testament to our international network of experts. As we have grown, our projects have progressed.

  • In Germany, our Research Fellows have been examining the impact of blockchain on the state and society-at-large in the “KryptoStaat” project.
  • Closer to home, UCL CBT Faculty Members Tomaso Aste, George Danezis, and Sarah Meiklejohn have been industriously undergoing research projects including RSCoin, the European Commission-funded Decode project, and the EPSRC-funded Glass Houses project.
  • Our research capabilities have been epitomised by our exploration of automating regulation in our inter-university BARAC project led by our Executive Director, Dr Paolo Tasca, and our Scientific Director, Prof Tomaso Aste.
  • Research Fellows Damiano Brigo, and Andy Yee (http://asia.nikkei.com/Viewpoints/Andy-Yee/Blockchain-can-lift-Asian-trade-over-gaps-in-trust) have very recently had their work on the potential for mitigating trust issues in Asian markets published; and forthcoming are several research papers due to be published by Andrea Baronchelli (https://arxiv.org/pdf/1705.05334.pdf), Mark D. Flood, and Christoph Simmchen.

 

We look forward to welcoming more Affiliates over the course of this year and overseeing more world-leading research into blockchain and DLT applications.

 

Business
The UCL CBT announces strategic partnerships with R3United Nations, State StreetAlias LabFidelity InvestmentsBlockchain connectorRemittNXTIOTAEdgeverveInfosysATS and GradeBase to deliver the next generation of Blockchain solutions. Together, the organisations will co-innovate around distributed-ledger technologies by focussing on multiple business and research domains. The partnership will integrate UCL CBT’ expertise with the companies’ projects with financial institutions and regulators, while providing access to public funded research. Furthermore, the collaboration will streamline research and development activities in the space by enhancing the exchange of professional and academic resources, and guaranteeing a pool of newly trained undergraduate/graduate/PhD students for related professional opportunities.

 

The UCL CBT’s mission is to promote the development and adoption of blockchain. As such, we know that regulatory maturity is an important tassel in the big picture, since it would foster the confidence of players looking into blockchain implementation, and result in increased investment into blockchain-based solutions.

 

What have global regulators achieved:

  • The European Commission is funding an observatory and forum to help it understand what role should authorities play 1
  • The European Central Bank has announced that blockchain lacks the 
necessary maturity to be part of its market infrastructure 2
  • The Maltese Government is developing a National Blockchain Strategy 3
  • UK FCA 4 eliciting comments about the future of DLT and Bank of England 5 appraising potential for DLT to improve resilience of the system
  • US Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation became the first US State regulator to become a member of the R3CEV consortia 6

 

Engagement

The P2PFISY 2017 international workshop, reconciling academia, industry and regulators in discussions on the future of disintermediation in the financial industry concluded with resounding success on Friday 21st July. The UCL CBT was proud to offer its patronage to this third edition, which was supported by Federal Reserve Bank of ClevelandBank of Canada and De Nederlandsche Bank. Thought leaders from tech-giants such as IBM, financial powerhouses like BarclaysState Street Corporation, and regulatory bodies such as US Commodity and Future Trading CommissionCyprus Security Exchange Commission shared their insights on the future of financial disintermediation.

 

Students
The inaugural year of the UCL CBT Student Division proved crucial as it strengthened its position as the first and largest Blockchain-related university student society in the world. We have been proud to host outstanding speakers, including lectures by Economics Nobel Laureate Eric Maskin and Ethereum co-founder Gavin Wood, as well as panel sessions featuring London Deputy Mayor Matthew Ryder QC and the Bank of England Blockchain lead, Michael Kumhof.
If you are interested in joining our Student Division, please register here.

 

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1 https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/04/20/eu_plans_for_blockchain_observatory_raise_concerns_say s_expert/

2 https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/30422/dlt-still-not-mature-enough-says-ecb

3 http://www.coindesk.com/malta-government-blockchain-strategy/

4 https://www.fca.org.uk/publications/discussion-papers/dp17-3-discussion-paper-distributed-ledger-technology

5 http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/speeches/2017/speech974.pdf

6 http://www.r3cev.com/press/2017/3/21/illinois-becomes-first-state-level-regulator-to-join-r3-distributed- ledger-group

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