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Beam is now available to the public

Innovative Privacy Solution

On January 3rd, 2019 Beam was officially launched in Valletta, Malta and is now available to the general public.  Beam is a part of Mimblewimble that will enormously change the privacy and the utility of cryptocurrency for the better.

Monero and Zcash are privately-oriented cryptocurrencies which were born to secure the clients’ anonimity.  However, although these currencies have strong privacy features, many of their features are not private and not scalable either.  With Beam the utility of storage-of-value and payment cryptocurrency is increased.  Confidentiality and scalability are major necessities for the mainstream adoption of digital assets.

Alexander Zaidelson, CEO of Beam said: “Sovereignty over one’s own information is a basic human right, and applies to all aspects of life, and especially to  financial transactions. Everyone, from the largest institutional investors to the individual cryptocurrency holder, should have the right to decide on what to disclose and to whom, including the right not to disclose anything to anyone, because fundamentally everyone is entitled to the sovereignty of their own assets.  With Beam, we are enabling that sovereignty by building upon the foundations of Bitcoin with an incredible new technology called Mimblewimble.”

Harry Potter On The Blockchain

Mimblewimble is a new blockchain protocol and is a reference to a spell in the Harry Potter universe that stops people from spilling secrets.  Mimblewimble and additional features will be used in the project to offer privacy to users transacting their network.

Beam was created to accommodate both the traditional user as well as the novice user and maintains the distributed ledger.  It also allows for decentralized validation of any transaction, no actual information about sender, receiver or transaction amount can be obtained from it by an observer.  As financial institutions seek a deeper dive into blockchain, they bring along their customers.  The systems are constantly being updated due to their popularity.

The Mimblewimble blockchain size is expected to be 3-10 times smaller than that of Bitcoin.  For the purpose of accounting and tax purposes, users will be able to turn on opt-in auditibability in the future.   Now that Beam has been launched, the confidentially and scalability of Bitcoin and Ethereum has already been reassured.

 

 

 

 

trend fintech del 2019

5 FinTech trends we will observe in 2019

The evolution of the FinTech market has been unstoppable in recent years. We have seen growth under various aspects: from the financial literacy of the average user, to new automated services and processes by banking and commercial institutions.

The financial revolution surely doesn’t risk getting interrupted right now: here are the five FinTech trends which will most likely be observed during 2019.

  1. The adoption of Blockchain technology

Decentralized, democratic, without frontiers.

Blockchain technology will continue to lead in 2019.

For the FinTech market, the blockchain is a guarantee of responsibility and efficiency: the intermediate steps disappear, the transactions are quick and the settlement times are shortened.

In the following years, we will see banks and payment processing platforms adopt blockchain more frequently to reduce prices and speed up the process.

As the awareness on the blockchain advantages increases, users will also have easier access to technology, and will switch to cryptocurrency as a digital payment method.

  1. Mobile banking

Accessibility, convenience and functionality: these are the three keywords which identify mobile banking.

More than 50% of the world population owns a smartphone, and this number is bound to grow exponentially over time: more and more customers will have access to mobile banking apps.

Convenience lies in the decentralization of the service. It’s no more necessary to go to the branch office, but most banking transactions can be now carried out using smartphones.

Banks, for their part, will continue improving their app every month, transforming them from a tech accessory, to a fundamental tool for managing savings.

  1. Biometric technologies

The increasing dependence of financial institutions from digital technology also brings some drawbacks with it: cyber-attacks and security holes are repeated more frequently.

The PIN numbers that are necessary to access our bank accounts will become obsolete, and will be replaced by biometric authentication technologies

Face and voice recognition, digital fingerprints or the analysis of the distribution of the veins in the palm of the hand are only some of the methods that are already in use in different areas of our daily lives.

Soon FinTech will also adopt them to increase the access security to user services.

  1. Digital and cardless payments

If cash continues to play an important role in our daily payments, new technologies and customer expectations are moving to accelerate the digital payment revolution.

In Europe, Sweden is already implementing measures to gradually phase out liquidity.
In urban China, the use of QR code payments via mobile phones has become almost omnipresent.

Payments remain a fundamental point of contact between banks and customers.

With digital payment methods, banks will have to concentrate on new methods to maintain loyal customers.

Some banks are already doing it by offering personal financial management tools, with personalized financial advice.

  1. Growth of RegTech

RegTech goes hand in hand with innovation in FinTech.

The term RegTech refers to all technologies that help companies to comply with regulations that govern the FinTech sector.

With an investment that reached 2.5 million dollars in the first half of 2018, the companies that are part of RegTech are optimistic about the future.

The good year of 2018 is largely due to the repercussions of the new European Legislation for private data management (GDPR).

 

æternity Launches Charitable Foundations in Liechtenstein and Bulgaria

Foundations will develop substantial potential

 æternity has announced the launch of two foundations, in Liechtenstein and Bulgaria.  These foundations will provide grants and educational support to innovative blockchain projects. They also aim to boost the vibrant blockchain ecosystem by offering financial assistance to leading development and research efforts in blockchain technology, cryptography, and mathematics.

The æternity Crypto Foundation is based in Liechtenstein  and will provide grants up to one million CHF.  The Foundation also aims to further vitalize the overall blockchain ecosystem, making way for innovative ideas for decentralized applications, as well as promoting art and culture initiatives in the space.

æternity Crypto Foundation Board Member, Peter Schnürer, said:

“The Foundation will offer research support, the driving force behind advancements in the industry. It will also  assist smart, unconventional thinkers as they explore this technology. We encourage all blockchain innovators to submit an application. It will also help startups expand the potential of their creative work in a collaborative, dynamic environment. We are committed to driving blockchain innovation by supporting a broad spectrum of the blockchain ecosystem and look forward to a variety of applications from disruptive projects in the space.”

aeternity to work with Universities and other institutions

In the meantime, the æternity Foundation Bulgaria will work to form partnerships with universities and other educational institutions in Bulgaria and in the Balkan region. The Foundation will offer scholarships to provide opportunities to secure a recognized qualification related to the technology and embark on careers in the future.

CBDO of æternity and Chairman of the Board at æternity Foundation Bulgaria, Nikola Stojanow, said:

“With the disconnect that exists between emerging technology and mainstream society, it’s important to bridge this gap to spread the benefits of blockchain technology as widely as possible. There’s a significant amount of untapped potential in the Balkans, and the launch of the æternity Foundation Bulgaria will help to put the region on the blockchain map. I look forward to fostering the potential of these extraordinary talents by tapping into the knowledge of researchers from the area’s leading institutions.”

Yanislav Malahov, Founder of æternity, added: “Through the creation of these two foundations, æternity takes a significant step toward establishing a support structure for the global blockchain ecosystem. Blockchain is a technology with such unlimited potential that has yet to be tapped. By partnering with universities and other institutions and offering grants, we will provide the necessary infrastructure for people. These will develop significant ideas and unlock blockchain’s ability to solve long-standing problems across a variety of industries.”

 

 

 

Kakao Invests in Blockchain Project Orbs

Orbs, the Israeli hybrid  blockchain platform, has announced that it is venturing into an  investment partnership with Kakao which is the venture arm of South Korean internet group. Orbs has been developed to serve as a pioneering public blockchain system which offers unprecedented flexibility and utility.  It also permits dApp developers to deploy over a highly secure and liquid network that comes with production-ready scalability.

Kakao, on the other hand, has been making headlines as an internet business giant for integrating crypto solutions across a range of interests and these include instant messaging, payment processing, ride-hailing and social networking. There has previously been an ongoing partnership between Orbs and Kakao and this move is the latest collaboration between both organisations.  This new venture will cover blockchain application research, deployment and development.  The new investment from kakao will focus mainly on aiding Orbs further the protocol’s development and growth, according to Orbs.

Kakao Invests in Blockchain

Daniel Peled, Orbs CEO and Co-Founder said:

Korea has been a core market for Orbs because the level of blockchain maturity is so high. So to have the most significant consumer technology company in the country behind us is a massive testament to our progress and potential. We believe that this relationship can drive tremendous value as we enter 2019 with the goal of driving real usage and impact.

Orbs announced earlier this year that its production-ready platform would be deployed in early 2019.  Also a number of partners have already been engaged to assist the onboarding process, according to Orbs.  As Kakao has a solid history of cryptocurrency and blockchain implementations among its subsidiaries and affiliates, it tends to take precedence over the rest of the partners.

Executive Director of Kakao Investment said:

Kakao Investment is focused on identifying key trendsetters and innovators in the blockchain sector and Orbs is a great example. The company has developed an innovative business model and possesses unique technological capabilities, enabling us to support the company and maximize its potential.”

Global research firm Gartner listed Orb amongst its “cool vendors in blockchain technology,” in August.  This was done in recognition of its growing importance within the space.  Orbs also expanded in South Korea this year and has established its headquarters in Seoul as well as linking a partnership to help with its research and development efforts.  This partnership was established with Terra.

Horizen Launches Flagship Application Digital Wallet

Horizen Continues to Innovate

Launched in May 2017, Horizen is a technology platform that provides privacy and control of their digital footprint. It is working towards the day when anyone will be able to build privacy-based applications on the Horizen Platform and generate income from them.  Horizen is the leading-edge platform which enables real-life uses beyond the ZEN currency.  It also enable private chat with others and users to publish information and go anywhere on the web with total privacy.  In this manner, Horizen will bring thousands of services offering people the freedom and everyday utility they crave.

On December 17th, 2018 in New York, Horizen released Sphere by Horizen, which incorporates unprecedented features in a cryptocurrency wallet, including secure messaging between users and the ability to toggle between light and full clients.  This is a highly-secure cryptocurrency wallet with unique features, that give users even greater control over their sensitive data and transactional information.

ZenCash rebrands to Horizen with new Sphere wallet

Co-Founder and President of Horizen, Robert Viglione, said: “The mass adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies relies heavily on the industry’s ability to simplify the technology for everyday use. As an easy-to-use, state-of-the-art wallet, Sphere by Horizen is a significant milestone toward achieving that goal. It also improves access to key privacy-focused applications of the Horizen platform, such as ZenChat. We firmly believe that everyone deserves the right and ability to protect their digital identity. With the launch of Sphere by Horizen today, the community can leverage unique features with cutting-edge security to take greater control of their digital identities “.

Sphere by Horizen is available on desktop, and allows users to switch between a full or light client or use a web client. This will enable for sending, receiving, and storing ZEN and serves as the launching point for services that use ZEN for transparent and shielded transactions. If a user loses their account, they can restore their cryptocurrency funds.

Gustavo Fialho, Horizen User Experience Director said: “Sphere by Horizen drastically improves on current standards for the user experience of cryptocurrency and blockchain applications without sacrificing technological innovation or security. The application will act as universal point of access for node operation, cryptocurrency storage, private communications, and peer-to-peer payments, markedly simplifying access to services on the ZEN blockchain. We look forward to continually develop new features to bolster Sphere by Horizen, including a multi-currency wallet, MultiSig support, human-readable addresses, and the ability to manage secure and super nodes on the platform. ”

OK Group invests in prospective bank on the Blockchain Island of Malta

In Beijing, China on the 17th December, 2018 OK Blockchain Capital Limited became anchor investor in RnF Finance Limited.  OK Blockchain Capital Limited, OK Group’s investment arm, announced that it is the anchor investor in RnF Finance Limited.  RnF Finance Limited is a Maltese based company applying for authorisation with the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) to act as a credit institution.

Read the article about the power of Linkedin for blockchain

A new bank for blockchain clients

Roderick Psaila, The CEO and founder of RnF, has started a number of banks in Malta over the past ten years and has also been banking for 28 years.  Mr. Psaila, said that RnF Finance  was committed to providing a premium banking service to established corporations and private clients by leveraging cutting edge technology.  He was also the CEO of AgriBank until recently.  AgriBank is a Malta licensed credit institution.  Mr. Psaila said that RnF was delighted to have OK Group which is a world leader in Blockchain technology, as its trusted partner.

Founding Partner of OK Blockchain Capital Limited,  Ms. Tian Ying, remarked, “We are delighted to partner with Roderick and his team of bankers in this exciting project in Malta, and are excited to be involved in this new banking venture on Blockchain Island.”

OK Group invests in bank on the Blockchain

Chief Risk Officer & Head of Government Relations of OK Group, Mr. Tim Byun, remarked, “Malta has been a first mover to comprehensively regulate the blockchain industry, and we are excited to be involved in this new banking venture with RnF Finance Limited. Malta’s sound regulatory framework and support for new industries will cultivate many more opportunities on Blockchain Island.”

RnF is all set to start banking operations by mid next year, subject to regulatory approval. RNF Technologies is one of the top Los Angeles based mobile app and web development company with additional offices in Houston and India.  The group was started in November 2009.  Their goal from the beginning was to design, develop, ideate and to deliver solutions that are specific to the needs of the clients.

They believe in themselves, their product and their company and services and this has enabled them to continue growing over the years.  Their work is a true reflection of what they do and how they strive to help their clients succeed.  They are also an ISO 9001:2008 certified company that focuses on exceeding expectations by delivering innovative solutions to clients across the globe.

 

$76 Billion Wiped Off America’s Wealthiest

A stock market rout

$76 billion were wiped off America’s wealthiest in 2018. However Forbes list still saw an increase as well as a decrease on the investors list.  This year 15 people were added to the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans.  31 additions were added to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index.

Jeff Bezos was this year’s winner for being the wealthiest individual on the planet in 2018.  He increased his wealth by $24 billion.  He stakes his claim as the wealthiest man in the world.  In fact, his fortune increased with $26 billion in 2018.  He has a net worth of $125 billion and he is the biggest gainer for the second consecutive year.  Jeff Bezos gained the most wealth in 2018.

Winners and Losers

Tim Sweeney, the Creator of Fortnite is another big winner of 2018.  Epic Games are the developers of Fortnite.  This is a privately held company where Tim Sweeney owns 40%.  The video game became an instant phenomenon in 2018 breaking multiple records.  Tim Sweeney’s wealth increased as the popularity of the video game increased.  This increased his wealth to $3.6 billion in 2018.  Tencent took over Sweeney’s company, the privately held Epic Games, for $330 million in 2012. Tencent Holdings Limited now owns 40% of the company.

Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook Inc. are this year’s biggest losers. 2018 has been a disastrous year for Mark Zuckerberg and for Facebook Inc.  In fact, Facebook share price has plummeted since the public became aware of multiple data breaches.  Zuckerberg’s net worth dropped by $20 billion.  34-year-old Mark Zuckerberg saw his net worth drop by $20.7 billion, which left him with a net worth of $52 billion.  The public has been wary since the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal to the departure of the WhattsApp founder Jan Koum.

Another Tech Loser is  Evan Spiegel and Snapchat (Snap Inc.).  Evan Spiegel who is the CEO of Snap Inc. has experienced the worst year since Snapchat became a public company trading under Snap Inc.  Snap Inc. affected Snapchat’s losses for 2018 through its earnings.  The company’s stock was selling for an all- time low of $4.99 recently.  There is uncertainty in the technology company because of the fear of Snapchat’s ability to compete with platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Snapchat has been heavily criticized by celebrities and users over issues such as selection of ads and its redesign.

 

Lotteria Nigeriana

The Nigerian lottery based on the blockchain

Africa relies again on new technologies related to the world of cryptocurrencies, soon they will have a Nigerian lottery based on blockchain

Africa, cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology

The African continent is a trailblazer for all activities related to cryptocurrencies, and in general to all startups related to blockchain technology.

The well know Blockchain Africa Conferences this year will be in its fourth edition; this event attracts experts in cryptocurrencies and blockchain from all over the world.

Do you know that activities like cryptocurrency mining are rapidly spreading in many African countries?

New mining farms are in fact emerging, thanks to the very low cost of electricity.

Even in the cryptocurrency exchange field Africa is not just standing there, the known cryptocurrency exchange Golix.com, active since 2014, has its headquarters exactly in Africa.

There are many apps based on the blockchain used by African companies and states

Some examples are the Dee Beers that with the TRACR program, manages to trace the chain of its diamonds.

The Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda are finally about to adopt blockchain apps for the cobalt industry, and for the digitization of land registers.

VouguePay and Interpol.

In Nigeria, where online cams are very numerous and affect the whole world, the online payment provider VouguePay is actively collaborating with Interpol.

In fact, a platform based on blockchain called Interpol is being developed, it will be possible to easily report online scams, and to have useful information.

Nigeria and the blockchain-based lottery.

As you can see, the country with capital Abuja, as already shown much interest in the potential of blockchain technology, and applications based on it.

The Nigerian Lottery Company is collaborating with Quanta to introduce a Nigerian lottery based on the blockchain.

The ILGL (International Lottery and Gaming Limited), also known as Naija Lottery, together with its new investor, Quanta, are introducing a very secure and absolutely transparent platform.

The market of the traditional, widespread lottery games in Nigeria, will therefore be revolutionized with a decentralized accounting technology (DLT).

According to Kostas Farris, Chief Technology Officer, and General Manager of Quanta, the partnership with Naija Lottery, will be the first step to affirm the blockchain lottery across the African content.

Quanta and the revolution of traditional lotteries

Quanta is known for its development of the world’s first licensed blockchain lottery, based on the decentralized register technology of Ethereum.

The company’s goal is to revolutionize the traditional lotteries sector, providing a transparent and safe gaming experience for the players, and an easier management for the operators.

It’s no doubt that the blockchain technology is spreading in the world of online games.

A part of the online gaming industry, which includes traditional videogames, bets, online casinos and even lotteries, is starting to use the blockchain technology.

The “chain of blocks” in fact allows companies of any sector, even those not directly connected with the IT world, to use decentralized and secure accounting books.

conferenza bxa e oneroot a shanghai

ONEROOT and BXA announce a global Blockchain payment solution

What is the purpose of the agreement between BXA and ONEROOT?

The goal of the two companies is to create an intelligent economy that provides users with a complete range of digital financial services. Among these, a global Blockchain payment solution. To do so, the two companies plan a network of exchanges with shared orders and pools of liquidity, this way facilitating the lives of small investors.

ONEROOT and BXA aim to achieve compliance in all jurisdictions in which they already operate.

BXA, for example, has already opened cryptocurrency exchange platforms in 12 countries since a long time: United States, Japan, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Mexico and Peru.

But its expansion plan is not going to stop here: BXA will soon acquire fiat currency gateways and licenses in ten other countries around the world.

An important partnership

The partnership between ONEROOT and BXA is especially important for the technical solutions that ONEROOT will provide to BXA members around the world

The transaction data will be exchanged securely and quickly. This why BXA will significantly increase the number of orders on the platform and will share a huge pool of liquidity.

Tony Sun (Sun Yingjun), president of the ONEROOT Foundation, declared:

”The Blockchain is still in its early stages, and the lack of infrastructure has so far prevented the full development of the digital economy. Since its foundation, ONEROOT has dedicated itself to the construction of infrastructures, and to the promotion of the application of the blockchain technology. This is the shared philosophy that led to the beginning of a cooperation between BXA and ONEROOT.”

In this period where the crypto market is still recovering from a terrible 2018, the fact that companies like BXA and ONEROOT are investing and cooperating for the development of the blockchain infrastructure, could be interpreted as a sign of hope for the future.

 

Facebook Aggressively Hiring Blockchain Experts

There has been speculation that the social media monopoly, Facebook, is seriously considering launching its own cryptocurrency.  In fact, Facebook is aggressively hiring blockchain experts to appease crypto experts.  David Marcus, the former president of PayPal and VP at Messenger formed a blockchain unit on Facebook in April 2018.  This group can now boast of 40 employees.  These include people who have worked on Samsung Pay and Google Pay.

They’ve been very quiet about what they’ve been working on, very stealthy,” said Cheddar’s Alex Heath. “But it’s definitely going to be some kind of blockchain-based cryptocurrency payments product.”

Read also the article about Estonia helping environment with blockchain

Facebook Delving Into Cryptocurrency

A cryptocurrency is being considered by Facebook wherein its 2 billion users around the globe would be able to make electronic payments without the need of a traditional bank.  “They are actively, actively recruiting,” said Cheddar’s Alex Heath. “They’re also trying to scoop up crypto start-ups that are at the white-paper level, which means they don’t really even have a product yet.”  Heath also said that Facebook is avidly in search of gifted recuits since talent is scarce as the crypto ecosystem is still in its infancy.

Facebook face the issue to hire Blockchain experts

The talent in this industry is so finite, and there are so many big players wanting these talented cryptographers and academics,” Heath said.  “So Facebook is going really hard at them.  And they’re having difficulty.”

Many people don’t trust Facebook and therefore Facebook is having a lot of trouble recruiting mainly due to the recent scandal regarding numerous  data-privacy  that have eroded the public’s trust in this mega company.

A lot of people obviously don’t trust the Facebook brand right now, especially people in the srypto/blockchain world,” Heath said.  “A lot of them got into this industry because of the centralization and the data misuse of companies like Facebook.”

Many Facebook users are furious after learning that Facebook has been selling off their personal data to third parties for profit, without their consent.  Although Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has apologised for the slip up, the damage has been done and his credibility as well as the credibility of Facebook has been damaged.

So the idea of Facebook creating a cryptocurrency and a digital economy within its ecosystem is either incredibly exciting – if you talk to some people – or one of the scariest things in the world, if you talk to others,” Heath said.  “It’s very polarizing, but they are actively building this up.  I think we can expect to see Facebook buy some companies up in the crypto space in the next year.”