The SEC is searching for more reliable public blockchain data sources
The solicitation shows what kind of data people want from blockchains that they're not already getting.
The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking for a reliable public blockchain data source "to support its efforts to monitor risk, improve compliance, and inform Commission policy with respect to digital assets".
It's not interested in building an entirely new solution from scratch, but emphasises that it just wants a currently-available commercial off-the-shelf solution that meets its minimum requirements and preferably does a few extras.
Some of the attributes the SEC wants from its data source are support for the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains at a minimum, with Bitcoin Cash, Stellar, Zcash, EOS, NEO and XRP being regarded as highly desirable, along with support for adding new blockchains in the future as they gain prominence.
The selection of desired blockchains is curious, in that it's not just a direct list of big coins by market cap. As one might expect, it's focused on the platform-type cryptocurrencies which may host data and applications beyond simple transfer of value.
What you want and what you get
There is a range of key differences between what you can get by poking around a block explorer and what the SEC wants from its new solution. These differences provide an interesting window.
The mandatory data the SEC wants is similar to what you'd see in any block explorer, including token ticker symbol, send and receive addresses, transfer amounts, transaction hash, timestamp, unspent send and receive balances, transaction fees, confirmations, block hash and block height.
Some of the notable differences are that:
- The data must provably come from hosted nodes, rather than a third party source like a block explorer.
- The provider must be able to prove that the data is accurate and complete.
- The provider must be able to demonstrate that the data can be cleaned and normalised to meet the standards of financial statement audit testing.
- It's not mandatory, but it would be desirable, for the provider to include additional data such as hashing algorithms, hashing power, mining difficulty and rewards, transaction quantity and size, coin supply and blockchain size.
- The data needs to be provided to the SEC using a secure, encrypted data feed.
- The data must be enabled for full enterprise use, including data access and data-sharing.
Disclosure: The author holds BNB, BTC at the time of writing.