Tag Archives: #blockchain

Demand For Blockchain Remains Strong Despite Bearish Cryptocurrency Market


Demand For Blockchain Remains Strong Despite Bearish Cryptocurrency Market

In an interview with Bloomberg, Grainne McNamara, the blockchain lead at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), mentioned on September 18, 2018, that there is a lot of demand for blockchain technology and interest in the token economy despite the bearish cryptocurrency market.

While blockchain is prevalent emerging technology, regulatory uncertainty is a massive ongoing concern that can impact blockchain’s ability to grow and scale.

The Token Economy is Very Distinct from the Cryptocurrency Industry

While there is a substantial overlap between cryptocurrencies and the token economy, McNamara clarified in the interview that the interest in blockchain technology, token assets, and the token economy is growing and distinct from the cryptocurrency market.

Cryptocurrencies can be the result of a specific blockchain or, however, the token economy is a network of systems that use valuable tokens as a means of incentivizing people within a community. Since tokenization is the strategic interaction between governance and game theory, its definition is significantly broader than cryptocurrencies.  

The token economy and token assets provide a lot more possibilities and opportunities for enterprises to leverage the technology. McNamara expanded on token economics by using the example that not all token assets are cryptocurrencies.

Some serve different functions like security tokens that can represent assets in companies or earnings streams or utility tokens which function can provide access to goods and services that a project will launch in the future.

When it comes to blockchain advisory services, the demand remains high and strong. While the service started out in the financial sector, it has expanded to every industry PwC provides services for.

The interview also explored the results gained from the PwC blockchain 2018 survey. While 84 percent of respondents mentioned that they had some involvement with the technology, 54 percent said that the effort had not been justified.

McNamara clarified that, while gaining a return on investment (ROI) is difficult with blockchain technology, it’s not necessarily a problem with the core technology but rather the company’s ability to implement blockchain technology on a commercial application at scale.

PwC report Shows that China Will Become a Blockchain Leader

The interview also touched on China’s development and growth in the blockchain sector in comparison to the US. While there is a lot of legacy infrastructure in the United States, such as supply chains and financial institutions, McNamara noted that the regulatory environment could be a hindrance to the development of the sector in the United States states.

In August 2018, PwC also released a report on the nature of regulatory uncertainty and its impact on the blockchain industry. The report mentioned that at the current rate, China would overtake the U.S. as the primary blockchain developer in only three to five years.

Original Article by Cindy Huynh
@ BTCMANAGER

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Cred App Allows Micro-Investment’ in Cryptocurrencies

Cred App Allows ‘Micro-Investing’ in Cryptocurrencies

Cred is launching a mobile app that allows people to invest small amounts of money in cryptocurrencies. The iOS and Android app is aimed at solving problems around access and transparency associated with buying cryptocurrencies.

Santa Monica, California-based Cred said it has created a “micro-investing” platform to ease access to cryptocurrencies, which have become a hot (and sometimes cold) commodity as people seek to replace cash in the digital era.

With the Cred app, investors can round up the amount they spend on everyday purchases to the nearest $1, $2 or $5 and invest the extra money in cryptocurrency. For example, if an investor who rounds up to the nearest $1 spends $3.55 on an iced coffee, the Cred platform will automatically invest 45 cents in cryptocurrency.

Cred founder Brendon McQueen believes that consumers often feel intimidated when looking to invest in cryptocurrency, due to a lack of education about the industry, confusing product offerings, and reluctance to trust crypto offerings.

The company believes it is uniquely positioned to address these issues by offering an easy-to-use platform that allows users to invest in cryptocurrency, track their progress, learn about each coin prior to investing, and receive daily market recaps and news updates. For its initial rollout, Cred is launching in California, Missouri, Massachusetts, and Montana, with more states being introduced in the coming months.

About 69 percent of people in the U.S. expect the price of Bitcoin to rise in the next five years, but only 5 percent own Bitcoin, according to a Global Blockchain Business Council survey of 5,000 respondents. The high prices of cryptocurrencies, complicated platforms, and lack of education can make the space intimidating for first-time investors.

After signing up and following familiar KYC protocol (know your customer, an anti-money-laundering protocol), Cred presents investors with a variety of cryptocurrency options, such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, Komodo, and ZenCash — as well as tokens, including Worldwide Asset eXchange’s WAX and Neblio’s NEBL.

In the app, each coin offering includes a graph that can be expanded to show the coin’s price over the last 24 hours, a month, and all time. Users can then press a “Learn” button, which describes each token’s purpose, as well as its history and relevance in the industry. Investors can then select the type of currency they are interested in and choose the amount of money they want to round up from a purchase.

Investors can also set up recurring investments, including on a weekly or monthly basis. Transactions are capped at $2,000 per month to start, which helps add peace of mind for first-time investors averse to spending large sums. Lastly, investors can make a one-time transaction.

“I’m thrilled to finally offer a non-intimidating space for consumers to get involved in cryptocurrency,” said McQueen, who serves as Cred’s CEO, in a statement. “There’s an obvious gap in the market: People aren’t investing in cryptocurrency because they think it’s too complicated and complex. Cred creates a tangible space for people to take advantage of cryptocurrency at any level of experience without having to be an expert. Our platform is clear, quick, and educational — helping us reach our mission of democratizing cryptocurrency and bringing it to the masses.”

Cred is currently partnering with 13 cryptocurrency platforms and coins — including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Litecoin, Stellar, Monero, Dash, Komodo, Wax, Neblio, and ZenCash — and the company continues to seek out interesting coins and projects to add to its platform.

“We are super excited to be partnering with Cred, as they offer a unique micro-savings and micro-investment platform that will help onboard a whole new segment of cryptocurrency users,” said Steve Lee, chief marketing officer at Komodo, in a statement. “Komodo has long been committed to the global adoption of blockchain technologies and enabling real world usage. Through our partnership, Komodo and Cred will be able to lower the barrier-to-entry into cryptocurrency for the mass market and offer a fiat gateway for KMD in the U.S.”

Cred was founded in April 2018 and has 10 employees. The company has raised $1 million to date. McQueen previously founded and led Tuition.io, a market leader in student loan employee benefits.

Article originally posted:
VB (Venture Beats): https://venturebeat.com/2018/07/31/cred-app-lets-you-micro-invest-in-cryptocurrencies/
by: @DEANTAK   JULY 31, 2018   7:00 AM

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Coinbase Launches Gift Cards Sort Of

Coinbase launches gift cards so you can
spend your cryptocurrency at the mall.

Coinbase partners with WeGift to offer customers crypto funded digital gift cards. 

Coinbase is putting a new spin on the cryptocurrency wallet and turning it into a gift card – well, sort of.

The popular exchange desk has partnered with digital gift card provider WeGift to offer a direct route for customers to convert the funds in their wallets into currency for the high street.

It’s a seemingly simple process. Go to the WeGift Coinbase website, select the wallet you wish to spend from, select the amount and gift card, press buy, and presto: you have real world, spendable money for some of your favorite stores.

It should be pointed out though, you won’t actually be spending your cryptocurrency on the high street. You will be exchanging crypto for the local currency and the eGiftcard will be loaded with that, which obviously, high street stores will accept. They will likely have no clue how you funded the gift card, unless you tell them – which you probably will.

Currently it appears that gift cards can only be purchased for Italy, Spain, France, Netherlands, the UK, and Australia (though it seems the Australian offering is pretty limited for now). I counted 36 gift cards currently available to buy for the UK market – at the time of writing – including Argos, Clarks, Evans Cycles, Halfords, Nike and Tesco. There’s well over 100 in total.

One of the common arguments against cryptocurrencies is that nobody accepts them in stores. While this is still mostly the case, this scheme does get us one step closer to spending crypto at Costa by connecting your wallet to a form of payment that store do accept. Though the issue remains, that crypto enthusiast still have to go through another middleperson and we should always try to understand who is benefiting in these partnerships.

Decentralization and blockchain promised to connect purchaser to merchant without the need for an intermediary. Yet here we have a new intermediary, and one that must be taking a cut, even if they do waiver the transaction fee. Granted, WeGift are not a bank or government, but this still isn’t the elegant solution of payment that so many cryptocurrencies promise us in their imagined digital utopia of the future.

 

Correction: This piece inaccurately suggested Coinbase received a three-percent fee for converting your cryptocurrency to a gift card. We’ve updated the piece to redact this statement. Apologies for the mistake.

Article by: Matthew Beedham   from TheNextWeb.com   Published July 25, 2018 — 12:11 UTC

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Bitcoin To Soar Past ’12-15k’

Bitcoin To Soar Past '$12-$15k' as 'cautious optimism' turns to 'rabid positivity'

BITCOIN returned to $8k for the first time since May today, with a groundswell of new-found positivity sending prices onwards and upwards. As negative headlines fall away, one expert expects bitcoin to push “toward $10,000” having soared past the “key barriers of resistance.”

Bitcoin positivity is on the up, as prices rise beyond $8,123 the cryptocurrency community has started looking towards the next major landmark, a return to $10,000.

Having added a over $400 so far today Julian Hall, founder of Ultra Education told Express.co.uk that alongside the weather, BTC is also tipping the mercury.

He said: “Not only was it the hottest day of the year as mercury hit 33.3c but the worlds favourite cryptocurrency, bitcoin has also hit boiling point.”

However, he adds: “Without being the one to rain on everyones party but we have been here before.

“What's the difference? Well in my estimation, the most important difference is that in the midst of the recent roller-coaster ride that has been cryptocurrency, all of the major global corporations have pointed towards the fact that a currency of this nature is here to stay.”

Matthew Newton, analyst at eToro, is similarly optimistic. He told Express.co.uk that the bulls are back and maintaining the upper hand, after a significant shift in the price pattern last week.

Mr Newton said: “The short squeeze on the market that occurred after the pattern completed, caused some concern that we were seeing a repeat of what happened in April, when bitcoin failed to break $10k.

“By soaring past those key barriers of resistance, it would seem history is not repeating itself and there’s real strength in the move. If bitcoin can close above $8,000 today, we could assume that we may have a good run toward $10,000.”

Samuel Leach, CEO and Founder of Yield Coin says that the recent price rise comes as more and more large blue chip firms get behind the crypto movement.

Mr Leach told Express.co.uk that businesses are keen to understand whether or not cryptos will be cost safe on currency conversions in terms of cross-border fees or saving time.

He said: “Ultimately they want to know how they can be forward thinking with the use of blockchain technology. Businesses are understanding this is a very hot topic and leading the industry that these businesses head up could be the step needed to get new customers and/or savings, particularly the efficiency they need to streamline their business.

“So the more these talks keep continuing we’ll see businesses popping up that are adopting either cryptocurrencies or blockchain technology. This adds a big positive swing in the industry.”

On where bitcoin could finish the year, Mr Leach says BTC is moving from “cautious optimism towards rabid positivity”.

He said: “Personally, I feel bitcoin could at $12-$15k by end of the year, if the news remains to be positive and regulatory acceptance and growth continues.

“On the flip side if we see more bans and strong regulatory action against cryptos we could see bitcoin around $5.5k-$6.5k at the end of the year.”

 

By DAVID DAWKINS
PUBLISHED: 14:41, Tue, Jul 24, 2018 | UPDATED: 14:41, Tue, Jul 24, 2018:
https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/993527/Bitcoin-price-ripple-cryptocurrency-ethereum-BTC-to-USD-XRP-news

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What are ILP’s? How Do They Work?

What are ILP’s (Initial Loan Procurements) and How Do They Work?
 

Part 1 & 2 of a 7-Part Series. 

  • What is an Initial Loan Procurement(ILP)?
  • What is Blockhive?

Initial Loan Procurement (ILP) is slowly emerging as an alternative crowdfunding means of raising funds, given that it promises to bypass some of the issues that have clobbered ICOs credibility.

Initial Coin Offerings have for the longest time emerged as a preferred means of raising funds in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space. In most cases, they involve projects selling tokens to investors in a bid to raise funds to support the development of new projects and innovations.

In the recent past, the legality of ICOs has been brought to question after the majority of projects that raised funds have gone under, and in the process closed shop with people’s money. With billions of dollars, having evaporated in thin air, the need for another crowdfunding alternative has never been stronger.

Initial Loan Procurement (ILP) is slowly emerging as an alternative crowdfunding means of raising funds, given that it promises to bypass some of the issues that have clobbered ICOs credibility.

What is an Initial Loan Procurement (ILP)?

Initial Loan Procurement is a crowdfunding method that allows borrowers and creditors to enter into loan agreements through legally binding smart contracts. The fact that the contracts are based on blockchain technology means they cannot be altered, thus providing a level of security something that was lacking with ICOs.

ILPs work by simply providing a way for creditors to lend money to a company or project, after entering into an agreement. Terms of such agreements are stipulated’ and embedded in a smart contract, stored on a blockchain for reference. This method provides an alternative way for companies to raise funds while leveraging blockchain technology without having to develop tokens that may be of little or no use.

One of the key benefits of ILPs is that they don’t require emerging businesses in need of funds to develop tokens. Instead, they only have to enter into legally binding agreements that are implanted in smart contracts. Given that ILPs are a form of loans, also means such kinds of funds are not subject to tax as is the case with ICO funding in some jurisdictions.

What is Blockhive?

Blockhive is an Estonian based company with Japanese roots. The company is the pioneer of Initial Loan Procurements that seek to change the way blockchain and other projects are funded. Founded in 2017, the company seeks to create an ecosystem whereby parties will work together and get rid of blockers in a bid to facilitate innovation.

The company partners with other projects looking to design and implement blockchain strategies. Instead of charging a fee for its services, the company enters into partnerships and generates revenues by sharing profits. The model ensures that all parties work together for the success of a project given what is at stake.

Blockhive shot to prominence on the introduction of Initial Loan Procurements, seen as the next big thing when it comes to crowdfunding in the blockchain space. The company has partnered with smart contract developer Agrello to ensure ILP becomes the desired means of raising funds in the industry. The unique funding method can be harnessed by both startups as well as established businesses and nonprofit organizations.

In addition, the two have unveiled FLAT tokens that are to be issued on Ethereum Blockchain while utilizing smart contracts for handling know your customer and AML checks.

STAY TUNED FOR MORE IN THIS SERIES …

Reprint from an article by Swati Goyal that appeared on FXEmpire:
https://www.fxempire.com/education/article/what-are-ilps-initial-loan-procurements-and-how-does-it-work-517180

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Hemp Grows Faster Than Bitcoin

CBD Backed Token in Private Sale,
With 750,000 Reasons to Participate

CBDoken, a Vienna-based company, plans to shock the traditional CBD market by creating an open, distributed alternative marketplace through their asset-backed cryptocurrency.

  • Tokenizing CBD products creates an open marketplace where pricing is determined by the public trading the token on the exchanges.
  • Learn how this company can help remove up to 80% of unnecessary costs associated with CBD distribution.
  • Utilizing “proof of burn” will enable clear and transparent communication through the blockchain, making information about supply readily available to the public.
  • Worldwide distribution of publicly priced CBD is the goal of CBDoken. By leveraging the best of blockchain technology and great business practice, the team behind CBDoken has created a plan that will tokenize CBD Full Spectrum Extract.

Why is this important?

Because of the controversy associated with cannabis, even completely legitimate CBD extracts are not traded on the open market due to the potential for supply chain abuse. Some countries even consider CBD to be an illegal product, regardless of the fact that it contains 0-0.02% THC.

This type of attitude from regulators is what prevents the traditional economy from bringing this commodity to the open markets. Utilizing a decentralized token to facilitate trade is perfect because the traders never come into physical contact with the product. On the other hand, white-label brands sell CBD products at outrageous prices, 300-800% more than what they pay to the producers in the US and the EU.

CBDoken shows incredibly high potential to mitigate two of the largest contributors to high CBD prices. The “CBD Full Spectrum Extract” that CBDoken will provide is of the highest quality extracts, with a minimum of 55% CBD concentration. This is a highly competitive product on the quality-based marketplace, for which people are currently prepared to pay up to 8x from production prices. With the help of their proprietary ERC20 token, they will be able to effectively price and position their partner’s CBD product to the open marketplace. No other CBD company in the world has done this before, so there are a lot of curious minds looking to see what the results will be.

How does the token work?

Once the platform is launched, the company will utilize the tokens as a representation of 1g CBD Full Spectrum Extract in stock. The ratio between tokens and the stocked product will remain the same, as part of their smart contact will burn the tokens when an order has been made.

Burning the tokens means that they are getting destroyed at the point of sale, and the product is already on its way to the consumer. The smart contract connects their CBD manufacturer to the end users, providing a clear path of distribution without inflating the price along the way.

CBDoken’s partners own warehouses and extractions facilities in both US and EU markets, and the deliveries will be made through these establishments. The profits made by sales of the first tokenized CBD product “CBD Full Spectrum Extract” will be reinvested into restoring the warehouses’ stockpiles.

In addition to this, a CBDoken Webshop will be opened which will sell the CBD product in exchange for fiat prices based on average token exchange prices. To facilitate the sale, CBDoken will purchase a token from the exchanges and will execute the burning process.

Private Sale Details

There is a limited amount of tokens available for the private sale which will end at the beginning of August. The company is looking to raise about $200k in this period, through the sale of 15000 tokens, i.e. grams of CBD Full Spectrum Extract.

This CBD product is the asset that is backing up the cryptocurrency, and once their solution becomes operational, the smart contract in place will burn the tokens, informing the market about the purchase, and keeping the 1:1 ratio in place.

Original article, video and additional information from:
​https://dailyhodl.com/2018/07/04/pr-hemp-grows-faster-than-bitcoin-cbd-backed-token-in-private-sale-with-750000-reasons-to-participate/

The original content is sponsored by CRYPTO LIVEWIRE dated July 4, 2018 Press Release and should be regarded as promotional material. The Daily Hodl is not a subsidiary of or owned by any ICOs, blockchain startups or companies that advertise on our platform. Investors should do their due diligence before making any high-risk investments in any ICOs, blockchain startups or cryptocurrencies. Please be advised that your investments are at your own risk, and any losses you may incur are your responsibility.​

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Blockchain Smart Contracts

Blockchain Smart Contracts:
More Trouble Than They Are Worth?

We’ve all heard about the benefits of smart contract technology – a trustless tool to boot out the middleman when exchanging money, assets, or anything of value. As revolutionary as blockchain’s latest buzzword may be, smart contract bugs are causing untold chaos.


A visual representation of the digital Cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, on June 11, 2018
in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by S3studio/Getty Images
)

Looking at the numbers, one might take Ethereum’s 3% smart contract failure rate as a tolerable loss, a proverbial drop in the ocean. Yet, when a safeguard fails to protect billions of dollars worth of currency, bad things can happen.

Take ICON’s June 2018 bug, which allowed any user—apart from the smart contract creator—to freely enable and disable transactions. The notion of immobilizing an $800+ million blockchain would worry most, but let’s not forget this blunder pales in comparison to past failures.

There have been countless colossal botches, but the king of them very well may be the Distributed Autonomous Organization (DAO) smart contract bug back in 2016. Seeing 3.6 million Ether drained via smart contract hacks, the DAO forced Ethereum’s founders to take radical measures and create a hard fork – the only possibility of salvaging the lost funds (15% of all Ether in circulation at the time).

It takes time to iron out the kinks in any brand-new technology, and smart contracts are no exception.

Can Smart Contracts Be Fixed?

Given that such flaws are compromising funds, sensitive data, and digitized assets of all description, one wouldn’t be wrong to ask if the technology was simply more trouble than it’s worth.

A fair question, but the fact remains that smart contract bugs are not unfixable. A number of projects have emerged to tackle the problem, and any one of them may well be the breath of fresh air needed to restore faith in the technology.

Solutions

Solidified and Security have surfaced alongside a number of companies offering smart contract verification and auditing. Such labor-powered efforts currently dominate the market, costing thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars per audit. These solutions may be impactful on a case-by-case basis, but it’s obvious that a more cost and time-effective solution will be needed to meet the world’s growing appetite for blockchain. It would seem then, that decentralization may have the keys to the kingdom.

For one, Quantstamp—worth nearly half a billion dollars by market capitalization in January 2018—has devised a security-auditing protocol for smart contracts written in Solidity, the programming language championed by Ethereum. Through Quantstamp, clients have their smart contracts scrutinized by peer-submitted verification software and "Bug Finders." While an effective solution, Quantstamp’s process is still overly labor-intensive – source code must be reviewed, and specifications written manually by humans.

Many of these projects have leapt towards solving the smart contract crisis, yet they all face the issue of scalability, not mentioning their inability to address the issues plaguing blockchain ecosystems as a whole – let’s not forget that decentralized applications (DApps) and blockchain code are equally vulnerable to bugs.


How CertiK automatically finds issues in smart-contract code.CERTIK

One company proposing an engineered solution is CertiK – an upcoming verification platform for all the components of a blockchain ecosystem, including smart contracts and DApps. Where its competitors rely on manual verification and the classic testing-based approach, CertiK would point to the fact that testing can only identify when bugs are present, and never certify their absence. Instead, CertiK’s platform will mathematically prove that any items are free of bugs and hacker-resistant.

According to CertiK, the answer to truly scalable verification is a layer-based system. Instead of testing—what the team describes as a “prohibitive” task reliant on human labor—CertiK uses modular verification to break tasks down into smaller ones, allowing them to be solved in a decentralized fashion. This style of work incentives and rewards the community to construct and validate proofs, improve solving algorithms, and maintain a resilient, cost-effective solution – all music to the ears to advocates of decentralization.

Having previously built one of the world’s first hacker-resistant operating systems, the CertiK team is a blend of academic and corporate verification experience – led by Yale and Columbia University professors, and backed by software engineers from Facebook, Google, and FreeWheel.

Blockchain itself may be trustless, immutable and incorruptible, but if we ignore the bugs present in them, they are as good as multi-billion dollar safes with faulty locks. As the technology pushes the globe towards new economic models, we will only demand more from smart contracts, DApps, and the verification solutions that uphold their integrity.

ccording to CertiK, the answer to truly scalable verification is a layer-based system. Instead of testing—what the team describes as a “prohibitive” task reliant on human labor—CertiK uses modular verification to break tasks down into smaller ones, allowing them to be solved in a decentralized fashion. This style of work incentives and rewards the community to construct and validate proofs, improve solving algorithms, and maintain a resilient, cost-effective solution – all music to the ears to advocates of decentralization.

Having previously built one of the world’s first hacker-resistant operating systems, the CertiK team is a blend of academic and corporate verification experience – led by Yale and Columbia University professors, and backed by software engineers from Facebook, Google, and FreeWheel.

Blockchain itself may be trustless, immutable and incorruptible, but if we ignore the bugs present in them, they are as good as multi-billion dollar safes with faulty locks. As the technology pushes the globe towards new economic models, we will only demand more from smart contracts, DApps, and the verification solutions that uphold their integrity.

From article by: Sherman Lee Contributor, Forbes
Dated: Jul 10, 2018, 11:38pm

Sherman Lee is a Partner at Zeroth.AI where he focuses on funding AI and blockchain companies, as well as a founder at Raven Protocol. Previously, he founded Rocco.AI and Good Audience.

 

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Jack Ma amp Ant Financial Implementing Blockchain Technology

Jack Ma-led Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s fintech conglomerate Ant Financial considers blockchain technology as one of the five key technologies that will dominate every industry in the long-term.

Ant Financial Hopes to Use Blockchain in its Core Businesses

At the TechCrunch International City Event held in Hangzhou this week, Zhang Hui, the director of Blockchain Department at Ant Financial, stated that alongside AI, Security, IoT, and computing, blockchain is a key technology the company is actively developing and testing to implement it at a large commercial scale.

Zhang noted that in terms of immutability and decentralization, blockchain technology in its current form is impeccable. Using blockchain enables the ability to process sensitive data and personal information in a peer-to-peer manner without the involvement of intermediaries. However, Zhang emphasized that scalability is a major issue of blockchain technology that needs to be addressed to bring in conglomerates and industry leaders into the blockchain sector.

In the long-term, Zhang and the rest of his team at Ant Financial believe the company will implement blockchain technology onto its core businesses and platforms, as Alibaba founder and chairman Jack Ma suggested in 2017. However, for the technology to have significant impact on existing financial infrastructures, its capacity will need to be improved exponentially to handle tens of thousands of transactions per second.

TechCrunch partner Technode, a technology publication in China, reported:

“Looking forward, Zhang hopes that blockchain will create new business models for the company and not just provide value-added services. Zhang also hopes to expand their blockchain-based cross-border payment services globally and explore more B2C use cases.”

Influence of Ant Financial in the Asian Market

In Asia, even outside of China, Ant Financial’s core platform Alipay is widely utilized as an alternative payment method to cash. By mainstream adoption, Alipay is ahead of Samsung Pay, Android Pay, and Apple Pay in most Asian countries including Japan, China, Thailand, and Taiwan.

In May, due to the rapid growth of Alipay, Ant Financial raised a staggering $10 billion from a group of global and local investors, valuing the company at $150 billion. One of the investors in Ant Financial is Khazanah Nasional, a sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Malaysia, which holds commercial assets of the government.

The interest towards digital assets and their underlying technology by Ant Financial may lead to the adoption of the technology by Alipay, which remains as the biggest fintech platform in the world as of July 2018, without major competitors.

Earlier in June, Alibaba chairman Jack Ma described the meteoric rise of digital assets and their exponential increase in value since 2017 a “bubble,” but noted that the blockchain is a revolutionary technology.

“It is…not right to become rich overnight by betting on blockchain. Technology itself isn’t the bubble, but bitcoin likely is,” Ma said.

As a controlling shareholder of Ant Financial, Ma also said that the technology should be used to solve data privacy, security, and sustainability issues, and not finance tools and concepts for making money, referring to ICOs and newly emerging tokens.

CREDITS: The post $150 Billion-Valued Ant Financial Makes a Bit Bet on Blockchain Technology appeared first on CCN:
https://www.ccn.com/150-billion-valued-ant-financial-makes-a-bit-bet-on-blockchain-technology

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Another Creative Blockchain Rewards Concept

Demistifying Blockchain with Free Coffee App

Kudos for thinking outside the box! The possibilities for blockchain = ENDLESS! Another example of rewarding people to learn.

Gowling WLG has launched a new incentives scheme designed to introduce staff to the basics of blockchain technology while also offering them tokens for free drinks. The 'Gowling WLG Reward Token Scheme' scheme, which launched this week, enables employees to exchange tokens on a blockchain platform, which can be cashed in for hot drinks at the firm’s onsite restaurants in London and Birmingham. 

All UK-based Gowling WLG employees have been invited to download an app onto their mobile phones, register with the firm’s blockchain platform, and set up a digital ‘wallet’ in which the tokens are held. Before employees can start trading tokens, they are required to watch a two-minute introductory video on blockchain technology, after which they will earn two tokens, which they can exchange for a drink or anonymously gift to colleagues. The firm believes blockchain technology will play a key role in the UK's professional and commercial future and wants to ensure staff are up to speed with the basics of a subject that has attracted much attention but remains a mystery to many. The scheme has been led by corporate partner David Brennan, the co-chair of Gowling WLG's tech group. Gowling WLG architecture and innovation head Jody Jansen added the scheme was about showing staff that, while the tech might seem difficult and inaccessible, "using it isn't". Take-up of the scheme has been strong, with 200 employees across both the City and Midlands bases already registered – a trend which Jansen expects to continue. "In addition to our existing reward schemes, we wanted an instant reward scheme, where rewards can be made not just up-to-down, but upwards too – a 360-degree reward scheme. "On Monday, we held a lunch-learn session, and it's been a hit topic. People have been asking questions, and now it is all much more visual to them." 

For further information: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/gowling-wlg-aims-demistify-blockchain-113056780.html

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Problem: Crypto Heists Net 761 Million

… just in first half of 2018.

About $761 million worth of cryptocurrency was stolen from exchanges in just the first half of 2018, Reuters reports, citing blockchain security firm CipherTrace. Unlike traditional banks, money stored at cryptocurrency exchanges often isn’t insured, and even investors who don’t do business with hacked exchanges can still be impacted, since reports of such heists often bring down cryptocurrency prices at least temporarily. The attackers behind such hacks can be sophisticated: North Korea has been accused of hacking exchanges to get funds in the face of sanctions limiting its role in the global economy. Digital theft isn’t limited to cryptocurrency: In May, Banco de Chile, among the South American country’s largest banks, reportedly saw $10 million siphoned off by hackers who initiated bogus transactions through the international funds transfer system SWIFT amid a malware attack.

For further details: BY STEVEN MELENDEZ
https://www.fastcompany.com/90179857/crypto-exchange-heists-net-761-million-in-first-half-of-2018

Solution:

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