Distributed Futures Forum, Honourable Artillery Company, 29 September 2015

Monday, 26 October 2015

Original Joomla Article

The meeting began swiftly with a presentation by Bob McDowall, Chairman, Finance Committee, States of Alderney entitled “The Folklore of Regulation”. Bob succeeded in getting everyone off to a great start participating in a discussion that ranged from myths & legends to the stories that regulators and politicians use to ‘sell’ their version of events, or the stories that financial services and other industries use to ‘sell’ how good they are. As an elected member of the States of Alderney, one of the Channel Islands within the Bailiwick of Guernsey, where he serves as Chairman of the Finance Committee and Deputy Chairman of the Policy Committee, Bob was well qualified to discuss regulation of financial services. Bob is a frequent contributor to industry thought and comment in the international, national and the financial industry press on financial markets with over 35 years experience in the banking, securities and investment business at companies including Merrill Lynch, Pru-Bache and Singer & Friedlander. Bob recently completed his three year term as President of the Folklore Society, an Academic Charity, of which he is also a Trustee, based at the Warburg Institute in London. The discussion concluded with members agreeing to share information on the use of standards markets in financial regulation, a new set of Professional & Business Services Council regulatory principles, and the 2015 States of Jersey consultation on regulation of crypto-currencies, blockchains, and mutual distributed ledgers.

The Programme Chairman, Vinay Gupta then led a ‘round robin’ where members shared some of the top items from their ‘in trays’. Operating under the Chatham House Rule, there was a significant amount of candour on the state of technologies and the state of adoption of technologies by members. The round robin was followed by a presentation, “Ledger Legends - Mutual Distributed Ledgers versus The Blockchain”, by Michael Mainelli, Executive Chairman, Z/Yen Group. Michael started his presentation with a ‘just out of the can’ four minute video on Long Finance’s InterChainZ project – “Sharing Ledgers For Sharing Economies: A Boring Introduction To Mutual Distributed Ledgers”. He then led a very interactive discussion on lessons learned from the project such as identity, data non-ownership, karmic vertigo, sorcerers’ apprentices, ledger evolution, trust versus efficiency, and ten billion people & trillions of devices ‘selling it to the machine’.

Following a brief adjournment, the team dined at the Honourable Artillery Company (HAC). Awarded a Royal Charter in 1537 by King Henry VIII, the HAC was the ideal location to contemplate the long-term nature of mutual distributed ledgers. Dinner began with ‘Naked Pretzel’ cocktails in honour of Michael’s The Temple and The Souk” concluding theme. After dinner, Imogen Heap led a discussion on “Who Owns What, Where, When & Why: Digital Rights Management”. Imogen is an English singer-songwriter and composer. She is known for her work as part of the musical duo Frou Frou solo albums, which she writes, produces, and mixes. She has produced four solo albums. Her 2009 album, Ellipse, was a North American chart success that earned Heap two Grammy nominations, winning Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical in recognition of her technical and engineering work on the record. In 2010 she received the British Academy's Ivor Novello Award for International Achievement. She explained eloquently and compellingly her vision of Mycelia, a metaphor with spores and mushrooms, and creating a fair trade exchange for artists and musicians. Dinner concluded with a lively discussion about how technology might help realise Imogen’s ‘working idea space’.