The Leftover Bits: 11/5/15: USAA and Nasdaq Looking At Blockchain, Rand Paul’s Tech Dream Team Includes Patrick Bryne

While writing about Paycoin has been fun, there is some news in the world of legitimate cryptocurrencies that needs to be covered as well. Big news. So lets get down to it. The Leftover Bits is the web’s best source for daily bitcoin news.

USAA Looking At Blockchain Technologies

The insurance giant that provides home, life and auto insurance, in addition to banking, investing and real estate services, to current and former military and their families, has announced that they are looking into Blockchain technologies.

Reuters has the full story, that stresses that USAA is not looking into Bitcoin the currency, but is instead focused solely on using blockchain technology (but not necessarily Bitcoin’s blockchain) to help it decentralize functions handled by the “back office”.

Still, it is good news to see a company of USAA’s financial prowess show interest in the technology behind bitcoin.

Rand Paul Puts Patrick Bryne On His Technology Board

It wasn’t long ago that having an entire council dedicated to technology was a rarity in a campaign. This election season, Kentucky Senator and GOP nomination hopeful Rand Paul has a council that sounds more like a dream team starting a new company, than a group of people hoping to shape Paul’s technology policy into a young voter grabbing tool.

The most notable member, from a bitcoin perspective, is Patrick Bryne, CEO and Bitcoin evangelist. It isn’t clear exactly what Bryne or anyone else’s role will be exactly, but it is yet another good sign for the digital currency when a major U.S. Presidential candidate is budding up with one of the largest faces in crypto.

Hat tip to CryptoCoinsNews for this story.

NASDAQ Also Looking At The Blockchain

Trading stocks and securities using the Blockchain has been the promise of Bitcoin believers since close to the coin’s inception. There is a reason: it makes perfect sense: The Blockchain can do more than transfer the digital currency known as Bitcoin, with the right kind of programming, it can transfer any kind of value. It is even easier if you make a custom blockchain (although that comes with its own issues).

Nearly everyone imagined a scenario where the stock exchange would be replaced with a decentralized global trading platform. We may be seeing the beginning stages of that. Coindesk is reporting that NASDAQ is running a test program using blockchain technologies for its off-Wall Street pre-IPO trading marketplace that launched last summer.

While that first step is a far cry from a distributed global securities marketplace, it is hard to imagine this not becoming something bigger.

Obama Names Bitcoin Fan Chief Technology Officer

The White House has named Dr. Ed Felten as its Chief Technology Officer. While the appointment comes late in the President’s reign, it is nevertheless an encouraging sign for Bitcoin users concerned about the regulators knocking at the gates.

The press release from the White House didn’t mention Felten’s Bitcoin experience at all, but the Professor of Computer Science and Public Affairs at Princeton University will be there to help “ensure policy decisions are informed by [the Whitehouse’s] best understanding of state-of-the-art technology and innovation” which may be the kind of vapid talk we are used to hearing in press releases, but still gives us an idea what Felten will be doing: advising the president on all things technology.

Hopefully that will include Bitcoin, because as mentioned, Felten appears to be a big fan. You can watch his speech and Q&A session on C-SPAN, where he explains and in some cases defends Bitcoin.

Hat tip to @PanteraCapital for this story.

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