Six Banks Join UBS’s “Utility Coin” Blockchain Project

Here’s a piece of news that the remaining human members of Wall Street’s FX sales and trading desks probably don’t want to hear.

According to the Financial Times, six of the world’s largest banks have decided to join a blockchain project called “utility coin” that will allow banks to settle trades in securities denominated in different currencies without a money transfer. What’s worse, the banks expect to begin live-testing the project late next year.

Here’s the FT:

“Barclays, Credit Suisse, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC, MUFG and State Street have teamed up to work on the “utility settlement coin” which was created by Switzerland’s UBS to make financial markets more efficient.

 

The move comes as the project shifts into a new phase of development, in which its members aim to deepen discussions with central banks and to work on tightening up its data privacy and cyber security protections.”

The project’s managers say they’ve already involved representatives from various central banks…

“Hyder Jaffrey, head of strategic investment and fintech innovation at UBS, said: “We have been in discussions with central banks and regulators and we will continue that over the next 12 months with the aim of a limited ‘go live’ at the back end of 2018.”

Here's a brief explanation of how it's expected to work , courtesy of the FT:

“The utility settlement coin, based on a product developed by Clearmatics Technologies, aims to let financial groups pay each other or to buy securities, such as bonds and equities, without waiting for traditional money transfers to be completed.

 

Instead they would use digital coins that are directly convertible into cash at central banks, cutting the time, cost and capital required in post-trade settlement and clearing.

 

The coins, each convertible into different currencies, would be stored using blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, allowing them to be swapped quickly for the financial securities being traded. Existing members of the project are Deutsche Bank, Banco Santander, BNY Mellon and NEX.”

Initially, utility coin will be used primarily for interbank payments, the banks told the FT. Say two institutions owed one another sums denominated in two different currencies. They could settle those payments in utility coin instead of routing payments through an interbank broker. This will only hasten the declining employment of human currency traders, as fewer trades executed via traditional systems means even less business and even more pressure to automate.

To be sure, even after the “utility coin” system is up and running, a broader use-case could still be years away. As the FT notes near the end of the story, the coins can only be used to settle trades involving securities that are trading on a blockchain. While a few companies (notably Overstock.com) have successfully issued blockchain-based assets, it could be years – or even decades – before blockchain systems supplant the current market infrastructure.

“Before the coins could be used for settling securities trades, he said the securities themselves will need to be transferred to blockchain systems, otherwise the benefits of speed and reduced capital requirements will be lost.”

Assuming it happens at all. Even if the changeover were to be gradual, it would still require the cooperation of banks, exchanges, brokers, clearing houses etc. This remains unfeasible from a technology perspective. And even once blockchains can reliably achieve economies of scale, any kind of transition would probably take years.
 

CIA-Funded Washington Post Smears Indie Media For Covering DNC Fraud Lawsuit

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The Washington Post, whose sole owner is both a CIA contractor and one of the wealthiest plutocrats of all time, has sent its Bezos-paid Ringwraiths after small independent reporters for having the temerity to talk about a lawsuit that had severe implications for the future of democracy in America.

Back in May, comedian and Youtuber Jimmy Dore released a video titled “Washington Post Caught Blatantly Lying To Their Readers Yet Again” about one of the many, many deceptions that WaPo has been caught inflicting upon their unsuspecting audience. Dore pointed out that while corporate media reporters have long served as guard dogs for the establishment, in today’s environment where plutocratic CIA contractors can openly buy up media to advance blatant propaganda, those reporters have now become attack dogs for the establishment. As an example of this new breed of establishment attack dogs who go out of their way to smear and discredit all dissenting voices, Dore named amoral Bezos android Dave Weigel, who then spent months attacking both Dore and his writers.

In a new article titled “In one corner of the Internet, the 2016 Democratic primary never ended”, big brave truth warrior Weigel used his massive platform to tear down writers and Youtubers who earn a fraction of his income because they reported on the DNC fraud lawsuit, which was dismissed last week.

At no point in his insipid article does Weigel mention the Impartiality Clause of the DNC Charter, which was the central point of the fraud lawsuit and which the DNC was shown to have undeniably violated in such WikiLeaks releases as the conversations in the more egregious DNC emails, the Podesta emails showing that the DNC and the Clinton camp were colluding as early as 2014 to schedule debates and primaries in a way that favored her, and then-DNC Vice Chairwoman Donna Brazile acting as a mole against the Sanders campaign and passing Clinton questions in advance to prep her for debates with Sanders. DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was involved in all of these things, thus violating the promise the DNC made to the American people in its Impartiality Clause.

Instead of addressing the lawsuit’s actual claims, Weigel opted to toss out a bunch of red herrings about voter roll purges and state elections officials to make the case that the DNC was not responsible for Sanders’ unfair treatment. But this baseless criticism was tangential to Weigel’s primary driving narrative, which was that independent reporters like HA Goodman and Tim Black belong to a marginal band of online kooks who ought to be scorned and ridiculed. At one point in the article he even argued that they should have spent more time covering the still completely unproven “hack” of the DNC rather than focusing on the contents of the WikiLeaks releases. Weigel’s whole piece revolved around his assigned task of discrediting alternative media, which is of course one of the most threatening enemies of the unelected power establishment that he works for.

https://twitter.com/daveweigel/status/866700030417059841

Weigel has attempted to argue on multiple occasions that it’s just a wacky, zany conspiracy theory to criticize his publication’s consistent violation of standard journalistic protocol by refusing to disclose its conflict of interest when reporting on the US intelligence community. If you find it at all suspicious that one of the most popular news publications in America downplays the fact that it is exclusively owned by a CIA contractor, you’re no different than someone saying the earth’s flatness is being suppressed by reptilian Illuminati. The second-richest billionaire in the world obviously bought the Washington Post in 2013 because he sensed that newspapers were about to enjoy a lucrative resurgence, you silly child.

Come the fuck on. Jeff Bezos is not paying conscience-free ghouls like Dave Weigel to tear apart anti-establishment media because he thinks it’s a booming business venture. Jeff Bezos did not purchase one of the most respected newspapers in America for less than half the price tag of his CIA contract because he loves you and wants you to know the truth about things. Jeff Bezos purchased the Washington Post because he knows that the empire that he is building his plutocratic kingdom upon needs a robust propaganda mouthpiece.

Control of thought is more important for governments that are free and popular than for despotic and military states,says Noam Chomsky. “The logic is straightforward: a despotic state can control its domestic enemies by force, but as the state loses this weapon, other devices are required to prevent the ignorant masses from interfering with public affairs, which are none of their business…the public are to be observers, not participants, consumers of ideology as well as products.”

That is why Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post. In a corporatist system of government wherein corporate power is not separate from government power, corporate media is state media. It is propaganda. And for Jeff Bezos, only the best propaganda will do. He will continue to use his media arm to bolster the power establishment with which he is interweaving his massive corporatist kingdom, and he knows that winning the media war is an essential part of that agenda. Control the way Americans think and vote, and you’ll never have to worry about them interrupting your metamorphosis into a god.

This shit right here is why I’m constantly talking about the importance of winning the media war. Enemies of humanity like Jeff Bezos know that the front lines of the battle against tyranny are not happening at the ballot box, nor in counter-protests against skinheads, but in the field of propaganda. Freeing mainstream America from the shackles of plutocracy necessarily means combating the mind viruses being dumped into their heads by toxic establishment war machines like the Washington Post.

So please, support independent media, start creating your own independent media to the extent that you are capable, and help fight these bastards. Their propaganda machine remains the weakest point in their armor. We can take it down together. Keep fighting.