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Blockchain Bites: The ‘Silver Lining’ for Bitcoin

XRP and silver went viral – showing mind-meld market mechanics are still in play – though both hit limits.

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India’s Parliament is considering a bill that would ban “private,” non-sovereign currencies, including cryptocurrencies. This is the latest attack on the growing crypto industry in the country after a two-year ban was overturned by the country’s supreme court in March 2020, CoinDesk’s Tanzeel Akhtar reports.

  • The Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2021 also looks to create a framework creating an official digital currency to be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The scope of the bill is still being debated, which leaves room for unspecified exceptions.

  • “This is (the) time to be nervous,” an official at a large cryptocurrency exchange said to the Economic Times of India on the condition of anonymity. Meanwhile, Nischal Shetty, CEO of Mumbai-based cryptocurrency exchange WazirX, warned, “Wrong or hasty regulations will set us [India] back by a decade. Right regulations will catapult India to the forefront of this technology.”

  • With a united Parliament, the bill has a good chance of becoming law, making India the first major Asian economy to ban private cryptocurrencies rather than regulating them like corporate stocks.

Switzerland now lets securities trade on a blockchain”>tokenized securities trade on a blockchain with the same legal standing as traditional assets. The law, which went into effect today, treats tokenized securities as a new asset class providing legal ownership rights to investors via a blockchain, CoinDesk journalist Ian Allison reports.

  • In a move that could have strategic significance for other jurisdictions, Switzerland’s legislators decided against creating a separate digital asset regulatory regime but instead grafted rules concerning distributed ledger technology onto the existing legal framework.

  • Switzerland’s two regulated crypto banks, Sygnum and SEBA, have pounced on the news by issuing tokenized securities. Sygnum tokenized a range of premium investible wines, while EBA is issuing its Series B equity shares as Ethereum ERC-20 tokens.

  • Separately, Zurich-based Crypto Broker AG was granted a securities house license by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), allowing the firm to deal in the emerging world of regulated security tokens.

Visa is exploring ways to make cryptocurrencies more “safe, useful and applicable.” In an earnings call, Visa CEO Al Kelly said the payments giant’s strategy “is to work with wallets and exchanges” to enable users to buy and cash out crypto “using their Visa credentials.”

  • “These wallet relationships represent the potential for more than 50 million Visa credentials,” Kelly said. He added that 35 of “the leading digital currency platforms and wallets” already work with Visa.

  • The payments executive said stablecoins could be fit for “global commerce” and that “digital currencies running on public blockchains as additional networks just like RTP or ACH networks,” though bitcoin has yet to be “used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point.”

At stake

Related: Federal Reserve Soup Now Includes Bitcoin, DeFi, Silver, GameStop

Silver lining?
Crowd-driven market dynamics that took the world by storm last week are still in play. After traders on the Reddit forum WallStreetBets drove shares of GameStop from $19 in December to $347 last Wednesday, squeezing the short position of a formerly high-flying hedge fund, some are saying the genie is out of the bottle: Small investors are empowered like never before. Their magic? Virality.

This morning, silver traded above $30 an ounce, after being promoted on Twitter and Reddit all weekend. Similar spikes occurred in crypto markets last week. Dogecoin went parabolic, briefly entering the top 10 cryptocurrencies by market cap. Perhaps this isn’t so surprising for a coin that’s little more than a meme, as world’s richest man Elon Musk said on Clubhouse last night.

Bitcoin also benefited from internet exuberance after Musk updated his Twitter bio to just #bitcoin on Friday. A surge to $38,000 wiped out $387 million worth of short positions, though the momentum didn’t last long. Even comments from Musk last night that bitcoin is “a good thing” have failed to move the needle.

While it appears WallStreetBets has yet to rally behind bitcoin, despite repeated calls for hivemind price action to send it to the moon, XRP did. As CoinDesk’s Omkar Godbole reported, the Buy & Hold XRP Telegram group, founded on Saturday, successfully orchestrated a classic pump and dump of the beleaguered cryptocurrency.

Related: Market Wrap: Bitcoin Trading Tepidly at $33.7K While SushiSwap Eats Raw Market Share

The crypto hit a two-month high, erasing much of the value lost after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed suit against Ripple Labs, which holds a significant chuck of XRP. (Ripple responded to SEC allegations on Friday, arguing “the functionality and liquidity of XRP are wholly incompatible with securities regulation.”)

But as of press time, XRP is down 40%, showing the limits of coordinated buying. It’s unknown why the price tanked, though “it’s quite possible that a whale (large investor) took advantage of the price rise and dumped his holdings,” Godbole noted.

Is it all bad? Well, as Bloomberg noted, at least part of the reason silver didn’t go higher was the trouble in sourcing and moving its physical stock. Overwhelmed dealers said they were unable to process orders due to unprecedented demand.

Clarifying his thoughts on bitcoin, famed investor Ray Dalio noted its strength as a gold-like “storehold” of value. Unlike other alternatives, bitcoin is easily transferred and can be privately held.

You could call that a silver lining for digital gold.

Quick bites

HOLLYWOOD BETS: A movie about WallStreetBets, Gamestop and Robinhood is reportedly in the works, with the Winklevoss Twins attached. (CoinDesk)

KRAKEN LINK: The fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange is running its own Chainlink node, making its spot price data available for DeFi applications and developers. (CoinDesk)

THE FLIPPENING: Someone bought an NFT for $130, sold it for $130,000. (Decrypt)

ROCKS CRYPTO: KISS frontman Gene Simmons praises BTC, ETH and LTC – again. (Modern Consensus)

ETHEREUM TRUST: Grayscale’s trust is back online. (CoinDesk)

Who won Crypto Twitter?Related Stories

Originally published February 1, 2021, 9:51 PM

Visa is exploring ways to make cryptocurrencies more “safe, useful and applicable.” In an earnings call, Visa CEO Al Kelly said the payments giant’s strategy “is to work with wallets and exchanges” to enable users to buy and cash out crypto “using their Visa credentials.”

Source: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/blockchain-bites-silver-lining-bitcoin-175121130.html

Blockchain

CoinGeek Zurich: BSV blockchain redefines performance advertising, affiliate marketing

BSV blockchain technology is redefining who can serve as a marketing partner, while making it easier for companies to connect

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BSV blockchain technology is redefining who can serve as a marketing partner, while making it easier for companies to connect with influencers in a way that promises to dramatically overhaul this space.

Last week’s CoinGeek Conference in Zurich featured a panel devoted to performance advertising and affiliate marketing, hosted by CoinGeek’s Lead Gaming Industry Reporter Becky Liggero Fontana. Joining her were Luke Rohenaz, co-founder and CEO of TonicPow; Frank Vertolli, co-founder and managing partner of Net Conversion; and Lee-Ann Johnstone, CEO and founder of AffiliateINSIDER.

For the uninitiated, Rohenaz described TonicPow as a promotion marketplace where brands and influencers can shop for one another. TonicPow builds tools that allow both sides of these deals to avoid a one-size-fits-all template in favor of custom, mutually-beneficial agreements.

For the past 14 years, Vertolli’s Net Conversion has specialized in paid media and comprehensive analytics, with a primary focus on travel and tourism as well as some other key verticals.

Johnstone’s firm is an agency, training company and media content hub that help brands build successful affiliate marketing programs in a number of verticals, predominantly iGaming, while also operating in the retail space.

The state of the nation

Vertolli said the digital marketing duopoly of Google and Facebook continues to expand, which has its benefits in terms of scale but also invokes concerns regarding privacy, oversight and corporate self-interest. Advertising has become an incredibly noisy environment based on who can scream the loudest and make the biggest splash by buying the most impressions.

Johnstone said the digital marketing ecosystem had been building on old systems and processes for so long that the current set-up involves multiple layers of solutions (tracking, reporting, ad-serving, etc.) across multiple platforms that ultimately cloud transparency, preventing you from having a clear linear link between brand and customer.

As a former affiliate herself, Liggero Fontana said one of her main beefs was her end-of-the-month calculations to figure out how much money a partner company was making. Having all that data on a single platform would have not only simplified these calculations, it would also have allowed her to devote more time to performing other client-specific tasks.

Vertolli said all companies, regardless of size, are drowning in data produced by different facets of their operations. There’s value in that data but the challenge is organizing it in a way that’s structured, open and readable to allow you to make practical business decisions and reach consumers in a more efficient and effective way.

Rohenaz said blockchain was a natural fit for data interoperability in that it’s a neutral database accessible by many entities. Structuring data in the same way from one company to another allows easier reading and processing of that data.

All aboard

Johnstone observed that nowadays, with supercomputers in all our pockets, pretty much anyone can become an affiliate, and any influencer with a social media channel can create and monetize content. Johnstone said this segment grew 10% during COVID, twice the rate of growth in paid ad channels. Scaling this sector with increased transparency is paramount.

Rohenaz noted that TonicPow records every payout and action, with payouts happening on the blockchain itself. TonicPow uses metadata with every transaction that describes the type of transaction and what campaign it was related to, but it doesn’t record anything that’s private or which could be personally identifying.

The blockchain offers a public record that cannot be altered, to which everyone can refer back and piece together the whole story. Moreover, the information is there for anyone to read, allowing third parties to make independent analysis tools to understand the lay of the land without even having to sign up.

Who do you trust?

Blockchain tech could also help avoid the friction that tends to erupt when an affiliate’s tracking system tells one story of the traffic they’re driving to a client while the client’s own tracking solution data tells a different story.

Vertolli repeated a phrase he heard earlier in the Conference, namely, the quest for a “single source of truth.” Reflecting on his past experience in the travel business, he recalled how any number of entities claimed the same traveler as their “client” as he/she/they transited through airlines, hotels, theme parks.

Vertolli added that certain transactions (real estate, new cars, holidays, etc.) can be the result of days/weeks/months of research, making it hard to determine what the crucial factor was in closing the deal. In many cases, whatever happened immediately before the most-desired action gets the credit.

Larger data sets offer more visibility into what happens along a consumer’s journey and how to compensate accordingly for attention, engagement and actual conversion. BSV can better spread the value across the whole influence chain but the current process remains heavily skewed toward this “last click” paradigm.

Johnstone added that affiliate managers/digital marketers are responsible for ensuring their marketing budgets are optimally spent to ensure the best return on investment. Getting more transparency across all one’s customers in terms of their ‘hot touch’ points would reduce channeling marketing spend into dead ends.

Pay to spray & pray

Johnstone expressed hope that products such as TonicPow might enable companies to reach ‘micro-pocket’ audiences that traditional ‘spray and pray’ advertising can’t. TonicPow’s use of BSV, with its capacity for cost-effective micropayments, offers the means to deliver targeted, truly niche communications to the people you want to reach.

Restating his company’s aversion to one-size-fits-all, Rohenaz said TonicPow was in the process of allowing companies to negotiate custom rates for the promoters they choose to partner with. Similarly, TonicPow provides greater clarity for advertisers to evaluate whether an existing deal is providing the valuable traffic they originally sought.

There are certain protections in place, but Rohenaz noted that TonicPow advertisers/promoters who’ve attained a certain level receive instant payouts. The minute they get a click they’ll receive a notification on their phone or wallet (if neophyte customers lack wallets, TonicPow will even create one for you to hold your earnings).

Johnstone said delayed payouts remain a major problem for affiliates and influencers who really get their audiences, along with the products they’re promoting and the accompanying messaging. Without instant payouts, affiliates who are on to something good may lack the capacity to reinvest their resources and scale their efforts to take proper advantage of this momentum.

Johnstone said TonicPow provides scale, sitting somewhere between the old ‘refer a friend’ scheme and the more complex affiliate economy. Rohenaz said the goal was to continually add new advertisers and influencers alike, adding that this was a good time for both sides of this coin to dip their toes into TonicPow’s waters.

Vertolli concluded by noting that this whole sector was all about reaching the right person with the right message at the right time. The introduction of BSV blockchain tech means companies don’t have to reach as many people as before because they can now target more qualified people who are more receptive to your message. The traditional channels in this space will continue to exist, but the blockchain-based affiliate/influencer channel will soon be punching well above its weight class.

New to Bitcoin? Check out CoinGeek’s Bitcoin for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin—as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto—and blockchain.

Johnstone’s firm is an agency, training company and media content hub that help brands build successful affiliate marketing programs in a number of verticals, predominantly iGaming, while also operating in the retail space.

Source: https://coingraph.uno/2021/06/17/coingeek-zurich-bsv-blockchain-redefines-performance-advertising-affiliate-marketing/

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Startup Spotlight: Blockchain-Powered Platform AKcessChain Launches In Kuwait

AKcess is a tech software firm that promises a safe and secure digital identity management solution for private and commercial use.

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Despite the fact that most customer forms today are digital, many customers are still tasked with the mundane routine of having to fill out the same form umpteen number of times. Whether it’s filling out the same old “know your customer” (KYC) form at a bank or university, or having to provide identification details during every hospital visit, it is a time-consuming and unnecessary routine that can be negated with a little technological intervention.

a man in a blue shirt: Nehme Abouzeid, founding member and Chief Technology Officer, AKcess © AKcess Nehme Abouzeid, founding member and Chief Technology Officer, AKcess

This is where AKcess, a tech software firm that promises a safe and secure digital identity management solution for private and commercial use, comes into the picture. Launched in 2017, AKcess provides a range of services that enable an individual to use his/her mobile phone as a digital identification tool, and in the process allows for enterprises across various industries to easily collect, verify, and share customer data in a secure and transparent manner.

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“KYC is a major challenge for all financially regulated and unregulated companies but the bigger challenge is to update the KYC after initial onboarding of a client,” says Nehme Abouzeid, founding member and Chief Technology Officer of AKcess. “Using a combination of our mobile app and our blockchain network, we were able to find a solution acceptable to all parties, the regulator and the institutions. The objective is to have a shared eKYC platform, where institutions verify an individual’s KYC or data profile for use within the institution (for onboarding purposes, opening accounts, etc.) once a user is verified. This verification is registered on our blockchain, and can be used by other institutions for the same purpose, always with the approval of the individual.”

Akcess’ services are currently provided to banks, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), educational institutions, and the healthcare sector. Abouzeid explains that in addition to speeding up the entire verification process for these firms, AKcess has also ensured a cheaper and more up-to-date process for them. “The more the individual shares the same KYC the more essential it becomes and the easier it will be to keep it updated across all institutions,” he explains. “The entire ecosystem benefits, from banking, to universities, hospitals, insurance companies and more.”

While there is currently quite a rage around blockchain, Abouzeid says AKcess only uses the technology because it remains a perfect fit for the firm’s mission- not because of the hype. The firm uses distributed ledger technology, also known as shared ledger, which ensures that digital data can be replicated, shared, and synchronized across multiple institutions, regardless of geography.

“A distributed ledger is used to store document hashes -in other words, document identities or fingerprints- without having to store the actual data,” he elaborates. “Once a document is hashed, we store verifications and check against it, also as hashes. This way, we never have to store any actual data all along; our platform seamlessly ensures that the data shared on our network between users and companies is authentic.”

When asked what sets AKcess apart from other digital ID solutions, Abouzeid explains that his platform gives the user complete authority over the information sharing process. “Our USP is that users of the AKcess Digital ID app allows them to receive, save and manage their personal data on their device,” he says. “Thus, we do not have any central database, all the data is owned and controlled by the user, and stored on the mobile device. After that, the user can send the profile to companies, preserving data security, privacy and integrity.”

With a team of over 30 developers spread across London, Romania, and Moldova, AKcess recently launched its global blockchain platform AKcessChain in Kuwait. “Our global blockchain platform is AKcessChain, built on Hyperledger Fabric, and we launched the private blockchain network globally and in Kuwait,” Abouzeid says. “We currently have nodes in the UK, Switzerland, and Canada, and have configured nodes in Kuwait, one for each of our large clients. The Kuwait network is being used by top financial institutions for onboarding clients, verifying and updating KYC profiles, as well as managing transactions. We are now in advanced talks with financial institutions in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and are also preparing for our expansion into the GCC market.”

But it’s not just the GCC region that’s in Akcess’ sights- the UK is also on the company’s radar. “In the UK, we are planning two major vertical solutions: SMEs and education,” Abouzeid reveals. “The first phase is [centered on] launching a platform geared towards SMEs, where we are bringing banking grade technology to the mainstream. The platform will allow any business to create their own secure cloud hosted node, and start using blockchain in a seamless and transparent way. We offer form digitizing and automation, including digital form signing, OCR data extraction from documents, KYC verifications, and more.”

As for the road ahead, Abouzeid is clearly hoping to build on the momentum his company is currently on. “In the coming year and beyond, we will be rolling out to additional territories, adding more APIs to the platform as well as more integration points with popular applications,” he concludes.

Related: Startup Spotlight: UAE-Born Immensa Is Tackling A US$165 Billion Untapped Market Opportunity With Its Additive Manufacturing Technologies

‘TREP TALK: Nehme Abouzeid, Chief Technology Officer, AKcess

Looking back on the past year, what were your goals, and were they achieved?

My goal last year was focused all around delivering the core AKcess platform. I wanted to focus on building my core team, putting in place the working processes in order to have the base to expand and prepare for our UK and global rollout. I’m very happy to say all goals were successfully achieved! We launched our Kuwait platform ahead of schedule, and we are currently in the final stages of rolling out the UK platform with our SME product offering.

How do you keep your team motivated, particularly during these times?

I believe in self-improvement and self-learning. If you have the basics, then everything is possible. So, for myself and my team, the main motivator is continuous learning, research, and looking for new challenges. During this period, I focused on providing the team a high level of flexibility, especially for working times and deliveries of work.

Related: Startup Spotlight: Sarwa Aims To Make Investing Easier For Rookie Investors In the Middle East

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“KYC is a major challenge for all financially regulated and unregulated companies but the bigger challenge is to update the KYC after initial onboarding of a client,” says Nehme Abouzeid, founding member and Chief Technology Officer of AKcess. “Using a combination of our mobile app and our blockchain network, we were able to find a solution acceptable to all parties, the regulator and the institutions. The objective is to have a shared eKYC platform, where institutions verify an individual’s KYC or data profile for use within the institution (for onboarding purposes, opening accounts, etc.) once a user is verified. This verification is registered on our blockchain, and can be used by other institutions for the same purpose, always with the approval of the individual.”

Source: https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/smallbusiness/startup-spotlight-blockchain-powered-platform-akcesschain-launches-in-kuwait/ar-AAL5wdS

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HIVE Blockchain Becomes a Limited Partner in Alpha Sigma Capital Fund

HIVE Invested into Alpha Sigma Capital’s Flagship Multi-Strategy Fund Focused on Investing in Leading Blockchain Companies…

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Los Angeles, CA, June 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — (via Blockchain Wire) Alpha Sigma Capital (ASC), a pioneering digital asset fund focused on the blockchain economy and the shift to a decentralized Web3 infrastructure announced today the investment of HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (HIVE: TSX-V) into its flagship fund launched in January of 2020. The fund invests in companies and decentralized projects that are leveraging blockchain technology to provide demonstrable change and efficiency in financial services, artificial intelligence, supply chain, and biotechnologies. Alpha Sigma Capital utilizes a rigorous fundamental research approach in determining value and managing risk. Under ASC’s Special Situations team, opportunities are examined from value-investing to distressed assets combined with deal structuring that includes mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, consolidation, and public offerings of both utility tokens and equities.

HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (HIVE: TSX-V) the first publicly listed blockchain infrastructure company that bridges blockchain and cryptocurrencies to traditional capital markets has made an investment into the Alpha Sigma Capital Fund, LP.

HIVE owns state-of-the-art green energy-powered data centre facilities, which produce newly minted digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum continuously on the cloud. HIVE deployments provide shareholders with exposure to the operating margins of digital currency mining as well as a portfolio of crypto-coins. HIVE has also joined forces with Elon Musk and Michael Saylor, CEO of Microstrategy to form the Bitcoin Mining Council. Which is focused on renewable energy in the cryptocurrency space.

About Alpha Sigma Capital

Active Investing in the Blockchain Economy.™

Alpha Sigma Capital (ASC) is an investment fund focused on emerging blockchain companies that are successfully building their user-base, demonstrating real-world uses for their decentralized ecosystems, and moving blockchain technology towards mass adoption. ASC is focused on companies leveraging blockchain technology to provide value-add in areas such as fintech, AI, supply chain, and healthcare. You can find more information at www.alphasigma.fund. To apply to receive our research, Follow us on Twitter @alphasigmafund and LinkedIn

About HIVE Blockchain Technologies

HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. is a growth-oriented, TSX.V-listed company building a bridge from the blockchain sector to traditional capital markets. HIVE owns state-of-the-art green energy-powered data centre facilities in Canada, Sweden, and Iceland which produce newly minted digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum continuously on the cloud. Our deployments provide shareholders with exposure to the operating margins of digital currency mining as well as a portfolio of crypto-coins.

For more information and to register to HIVE’s mailing list, please visit www.HIVEblockchain.com. Follow @HIVEblockchain on Twitter and subscribe to HIVE’s YouTube channel.

Disclaimer: This press release is for informational purposes only. The information does not constitute investment advice or an offer to invest. Tokens and virtual currencies, in general, are not legal tender, in any country, and are not backed by any government as legal tender, nor should they be treated as such.


Source: https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2021/06/04/2242344/0/en/HIVE-Blockchain-Becomes-a-Limited-Partner-in-Alpha-Sigma-Capital-Fund.html

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