Faster Payments Task Force – Effectiveness Criteria

How do you set out to improve the speed of payments? According to the Federal Reserve’s Strategies for Improving the U.S. Payment System, you start with a call for collaboration and follow quickly with a definition of faster. In pursuit of its desired outcome for ubiquitous, safe, faster electronic solutions for making a broad variety of business and personal payments, the Federal Reserve established the Faster Payments Task Force in May 2015.  A number of DATA community members and collaborators are involved in this important collaborative effort. The mission of the Faster Payments Task Force is to identify effective approach(es) for implementing safe, ubiquitous, faster payments in the United States. In 2015, the Faster Payments Task Force focused its efforts on defining “faster” in the form of Faster Payments Effectiveness Criteria, which can be used to assess faster payments solutions and guide industry innovation. The 36 criteria are categorized into six groupings, Ubiquity, Efficiency, Safety and Security, Speed, Legal, and Governance, and represent the collective views of payment stakeholders for measuring effective faster payment solutions in the United States. The Faster Payments Effectiveness Criteria, along with a companion glossary to define terms key to understanding the criteria, can be found on FedPaymentsImprovement.org. In 2016, the task force will focus on the development and assessment of faster payments solution proposals. To this end, we have launched a Capability Showcase, where solution providers can showcase payment capabilities that can support end-to-end faster payments solutions. Any faster payments innovator is welcome (and encouraged) to participate in the Capability Showcase; only Faster Payments Task Force members are eligible to submit an end-to-end solution proposal. Registration... read more

2016 Briefing: Washington DC

On February 29, DATA will convene a lunchtime briefing in Washington DC to explore the latest developments in the digital asset industry. These occasional briefings provide stakeholders and interested parties with an opportunity to review the landscape in a private setting, to ask questions and to engage directly with DATA on emerging issues. The Briefing is the first one in 2016, and will focus on developments in blockchains – the database technologies underpinning many digital assets available online today.  From Consensus to Hyperledger, Bitcoin XT to smart contracts, we’ll be covering the key terms and developments. For more information, or to receive an invitation, please get in touch with Chris Mitchell, DATA’s Executive... read more

Global Consumer Best Practices Guidelines from DATA

The DATA Consumer Best Practices Working Group, under the leadership of the CBP Chair Judith Rinearson, the DATA board and input from the DATA community, have formulated the first set of global guidelines on matters related to consumer best practice issues for companies operating in the digital asset industry. The draft guidelines offer a nuanced look at consumer protection issues relevant to companies operating in the digital asset industry, and were developed with a view toward published guidelines from the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau in the U.S. and the European Consumer Organisation (Bureau Européen des Unions de Consommateurs) on related issues. The Guidelines cover basic principles, including overall fair dealing and ethical treatment of customers and businesses, full transparency, compliance with applicable laws, cooperation with law enforcement and the development of strong internal controls. Review and Download the Guidance... read more

European Securities and Markets Authority – Virtual Currency Response

In April 2015, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued a Call for evidence on questions surrounding the development of technologies enabling investment with virtual currencies or distributed ledger technologies. DATA’s comprehensive response covers a variety of use cases and scenarios for digital assets in the securities markets, and provides feedback citing real-world examples from members and the wider community.  From block chain voting to improved transparency and reporting of asset holdings to IoT payments, digital asset technologies are poised to bring efficiency to financial markets across a wide swath of areas. Companies and technologies mentioned in the report include Bison, Bitcoin, BitCongress, Bitgold, Counterparty, Dash, DATA Standards, Eris, Ethereum, Exante, GABI Fund,  Hub Culture, HubID, Hullcoin, Litecoin, LME, London Stock Exchange, Luxembourg Bourse, LMAX, NASDAQ, NXT,  One Name, Project Entropia, Ripple, Ven, Votecoin, Windhover Principles and others. Download the full report... read more

Key Date: August 8th for NYDFS BitLicense

A reminder to DATA member companies and the digital currency community in general: recently announced BitLicense rules from the New York Department of Financial Services are scheduled to take affect August 8, 2015, following a 45 day waiting period announced on June 3, 2015. Download a copy of the regulation guidance... read more

Global AML / KYC Draft Guidelines from DATA

The DATA Compliance Working Group, under the leadership of the AML/KYC Chair Juan Llanos, the DATA board and input from the DATA community, have formulated the first set of global guidelines on matters related to anti-money laundering and know-your-customer issues for companies operating in the digital asset industry. The draft guidelines present a suggested global framework for these topics based around key pillars largely in line with FATF (Financial Action Task Force) guidelines on virtual currency and financial services.  These include implementing an AML program, conducting a risk assessment, employing risk-based approaches on identity and due diligence, transaction monitoring, appointing an independent Chief Compliance Officer, implementing employee training, and undertaking periodic reviews. Read and Download the Draft Guidelines In particular, the Working Group noted recent statements by FATF outlining opportunities for new business models in this space that can be facilitated by digital asset technologies, including blockchains, distributed ledgers and closed loop systems: “54. Financial institutions and DNFBP could also explore developing business models to facilitate customer identification/verification, transaction monitoring, and compliance with other relevant AML/CFT requirements. For example, institutions involved in transmitting decentralised convertible VC could consider creating an industry association(s) composed of vetted VC institutions and develop policies and practices for members that allow them to identify specific transactions as coming from a member that has applied appropriate CDD and is conducting appropriate transaction monitoring.” “The recommendations DATA released today and over the coming months provide necessary guidance to a digital currency industry that struggles to reconcile digital, peer-to-peer internet technologies with regulatory frameworks established, in some cases, decades ago,” said Juan Llanos. “Developed in concert with DATA members... read more

DATA at the Liquidity Summit with Bloomberg and Hub Culture in London April 17

DATA is a partner for the upcoming Liquidity Summit with Bloomberg and Hub Culture, to be held April 17 in London. Hub Culture, the platform managing Ven, is teaming up with Bloomberg for the 3rd Liquidity ~ The Summit on New Finance, taking place in London on April 17, 2015. The day features leaders in the new world of finance from a wide range of digital currency and community currency companies, including Bitcoin oriented companies like Blockchain, Mirror, Bitnet, Qoin, and Ethereum. New forex and exchanges like Earthport, LMAX, Midpoint, the LMEclear will also explore the rapidly changing world of financial settlement and clearance and special panel will focus on projects related to Ven Authorities, including Alternet Systems on forex, SDKA International on commodities, and CAPCO on financial services. Industry organisations including the World Economic Forum, the Digital Asset Transfer Authority, the Bitcoin Foundation and the UK Digital Currency Association will also be participating, leading discussions across these topics. In legal and regulatory areas, speakers from Hogan Lovells and Goodwin Procter will weigh in on legal implications of the new finance boom, while Ariadne Capital, Balderton Capital and TechStars take to the stage to discuss funding at all levels of the pyramid. In the room, Bloomberg and Hub Culture have invited over $2 Billion of investable capital – the London financial firms, hedge funds, banks and VCs that run aspects of today’s financial world – to participate in an intimate setting of panel discussions, feedback and participation. Attendance to the event is by invitation, but interested parties can register an application to join at... read more

DATA Comments to Conference of State Bank Supervisors

DATA has submitted comments to the US Conference of State Bank Supervisors, detailing recommendations and viewpoints on pending rules for digital assets, including digital currency. The comments come after a detailed review of the CSBS proposed rule making, with conversation and interactions between DATA and the CSBS setting the stage for productive engagement. View the comments, (and DATA’s previous work on the NYDFS Bit License rule) in our Member Resources. DATA would love to hear your thoughts on this and other pending work in our Chat section for members. For access contact the... read more

DATA Member Review

Since DATA’s inception last year, the digital asset landscape has grown and changed significantly. With these developments have come a growing consensus around standards, best practices and engagement, led in large part by the 40+ member companies of DATA. To help us measure these developments, we’re asking all members to complete the first DATA Annual Review – a short set of questions about issues related to digital assets across the major working groups of DATA – AML/KYC, privacy and ID, security and consumer issues. Add your voice to the DATA Annual... read more

The Standards Workshops with DATA

The Standards Workshops with DATA. Working with leading universities, researchers and industry representatives, the DATA Standards Workshops are a collaborative effort to determine leadership principles in the fields of digital assets.  Following the first workshop in January 2015, hosted by Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and the MIT Media Lab, work is underway for a California session in association with Stanford this March, and a European session in May, hosted in London.  For more details, contact the... read more