This Week in Blockchain 10.26.18

Voting on Chain

This week I attended the Crytpo Invest Summit in downtown Los Angeles. I took the Metro Line right to the convention center just in time to catch Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who recently entered the blockchain space, discuss the technology. During the Q&A, someone asked him what the best use cases will be coming down the pipeline. He said he didn’t want to speculate; he wants to see every industry provide its own examples. Another person started to ask a question when Wozniak added, “Voting. I want to see voting on blockchain.”

Our two newest portfolio companies at RChain, Netvote and Govurn, are working on that solution. In fact, they joined forces this week to lead our Board elections.  Make sure to check out RCast this coming Tuesday for my interview with Karl and Netvote founder Jonathan Alexander for more on the future of voting on chain.
One potential solution is offering digital voting from our phones (perhaps with identity verification with lifeID?). Voter suppression is a chronic problem in America. As Jelani Cobb recently wrote in the New Yorker,

According to the Brennan Center for Justice, ninety-nine bills designed to diminish voter access were introduced last year in thirty-one state legislatures.

Other ideas include incentivizing voters by tokenizing the process, which Alexander mentions during our discussion. Tune in (you can subscribe to all major podcast providers) on Tuesday.

Blockchain Proof of Concept in Senegal

Access Network, one of the portfolio companies building on RChain, saw something surprising on a recent trip to Senegal. Members of a women’s collective showed them three black boxes.

What was inside surprised them even more:

Inside the three boxes was a complete ledger of transactions for the women’s cooperative. Four different women each held a key — and all four keys were necessary to open each box.

Reminds me of the 110 passwords I have stored in my 1Password account. As Mickey Costa are crew informed the women, better solutions through blockchain are on the way.

Wear Your Tech Proudly

Since 2013, RChain portfolio company Augmate has been working on integrating technological advances into wearables. They’ve partnered with Google Glass, UPS, and Toyota to bring real-world use cases forward. The company recently attended Enterprise Wearable Technology Summit (EWTS), where they got to talk about connected wearables:

When I think about wearables and the connected workforce, I think about how devices get provisioned and how policies are invoked so that Wi-Fi credentials and user authority is managed in a secure way. This has been our focus over the last three years with the Augmate Platform.


Open to the Possibilities

Open Platform, a blockchain payments infrastructure for applications, has just released its new API Scaffold Generator, which you can sample here.


Tax Season for Cryptocurrencies

One of the more confusing aspects of cryptocurrencies has been what to do during tax season. While many turn a blind eye to their investments every April, governments are taking more interest in what’s happening in your (crypto) wallet. In 2014, the IRS began treating cryptocurrencies as property taxes. Now a new report is calling for the IRS to be clearer on how to regulate crypto.
Can cryptocurrency be considered a specified foreign financial asset? How is the basis determined for cryptocurrency that is sold? Does broker reporting apply to cryptocurrency transactions? Therefore, IRPAC recommends that the IRS issue further guidance on the tax consequences of cryptocurrency transactions.
It has been predicted that 50 percent of tax-liable crypto assets are not reported, yet even those analysts admit their ignorance. As the US government finds new ways to track crypto, new means for avoiding detection are emerging. Best to consult your accountant on this, as increasing fines are likely moving forward.