In one of the most glorious moments of "Seinfeld," Newman ominously declares to Jerry, "When you control the mail … you control information!" Speaking in the late 20th century, Jerry's archnemesis inadvertently observed the larger importance of middlemen: the people that handle communication channels and set industry standards possess power (and lots of it).
If blockchain becomes even a fraction of what has been promised, whoever creates its industry standards could reap enormous financial rewards and wield tremendous influence over the rest of society. Digital Asset, a distributed ledger solutions provider for regulated financial institutions, is one company that seems like it's trying to make its mark on the world.
On July 23, Digital Asset announced its collaboration with Google Cloud. In a nutshell, the company is putting its blockchain developer tools on the Google Cloud Platform. "Developers now have access to a comprehensive suite of tools and services to build, test and deploy distributed ledger applications on-demand and without having to configure the underlying platform," Digital Asset explained.
It's not clear what that will look like in practice.
Regardless, Digital Asset says that Google Cloud has "joined the private beta of Digital Asset's developer program, which provides a select group of technology partners, software vendors and global financial institutions with access to the Software Development Kit (SDK) for DAML, the Digital Asset Modeling Language." Just a few months ago, Digital Asset opened a developer program for DAML, its "enterprise smart contract language."
Leonard Law, who oversees the financial services platform at Google Cloud, was quoted in Monday's release, saying, "DLT has great potential to benefit customers not just in the financial services industry, but across many industries." Unfortunately, he could not be reached for additional comment.
Nonetheless, readers will be interested to know that Tuesday, Digital Asset CEO Blythe Masters, CTO Shaul Kfir, and CMO Daniel O'Prey will speak at Google Cloud Next '18 during a session on "Distributed Ledger Technology Partnerships on Google Cloud."
Long-time readers may remember that, in December, ETHNews reported the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) announced its intention to replace its Clearing House Electronic Subregister System (CHESS) with a platform developed by Digital Asset. According to the ASX website, the eight-week consultation period on the proposed replacement closed on June 22, 2018, and in late August, "ASX will publish a summary and response including the announcement of the confirmed Day 1 scope and implementation plan."
Note: ASX's deputy CEO, Peter Hiom, is one of Digital Asset's board members.
Still, don't hold your breath for the CHESS replacement. According to ASX's associated consultation paper published in April, "The new system is currently estimated to commence operation somewhere between Q4 2020 and Q1 2021." It appears that some things remain up in the clouds.