Consortium for Identity Assurance in Digital Trade Launched by Blockchain Leaders

Mattereum and InsurePal have announced the Identity Insurance Consortium (IIC) to drive insurance-based identity solutions to underpin the security of commerce on the blockchain. The IIC represents the infrastructure network of services covering critical aspects needed to accelerate the adoption of blockchain commerce. New members are invited to join the consortium in order to grow the ecosystem of identity sovereign assurers building a global network of trusted partners.

Mattereum, the company founded by the launch release coordinator of the blockchain platform Ethereum, Vinay Gupta, with co-founder Rob Knight, and InsurePal, the first decentralized social proof insurance service, hhastoday announced the establishment of the Identity Insurance Consortium (IIC).

Mr Gupta announced the launch of the consortium at the Blockchaingers Global Digital Identity Deep Dive in the Hague. Recognising the need for identity assurance for blockchain trades, Mattereum CEO Vinay Gupta said: “Mattereum is bringing legally enforceable blockchain based smart contracts into wider use in an environment in which identity fraud is still a concern. Insurance-based identity protection is an important tool in neutralising this threat so that trades on the blockchain can become more widely adopted.

Both IIC founding members share a vision of a future blockchain economy, consisting of three pillars: blockchain insurance, a dispute resolution body and identity sovereign* assurers. Working collectively they form the decentralised infrastructure needed to accelerate trust between members of the blockchain community when transacting products and services.

As InsurePal CEO Matt Peterman explained: “A seller or purchaser’s proof of identity can be lodged with an insurer who can then issue a policy against which any transaction can be linked.  This is safer and more convenient than providing sensitive identity documents each time an individual or company conducts business on the blockchain.

Christopher Wray, Mattereum Chief Legal Officer, added: “The existence of identity insurance means that disputes that could arise will be substantive ones related to legal obligations of a contract rather than the more basic issue of identity fraud. This leaves Mattereum free to focus our energies and resources on producing legal texts and developing their digital equivalents for our clients and their customers, who can be more confident of a speedy and efficient legal process even if a dispute arises.”

The IIC will develop identity insurance solutions and bring identity insurance products to market through an ecosystem of providers who will act collectively as the guarantors of identity for all blockchain transactions and trades by those insured through the consortium and its members. Organisations in the insurance sector and those already involved in blockchain trades are invited to become members of the Identity Insurance Consortium and contribute to its development.  For more information:https://identityinsurance.org/#become-member.

Vinay Gupta, Matt Peterson and Christopher Wray are available for interview.

Note to Editors:

Self-Sovereign Identity and Identity Insurance: An internet-like identity system would allow any person, organisation, or thing to have an identity relationship with any other without the need for authorisation from someone else. In order for this to happen they need to trust each other. A system of registering and assuring identities is therefore an important cornerstone of blockchain commerce.

About Mattereum

Based in London, with a team comprising programmers and lawyers, Mattereum (MTRM Industries) was established in 2017 to bring the power of blockchain software to legal contract execution and to provide reliable legal interpretation and enforcement to digital trade. The foundation for the global Internet of Agreements, Mattereum constitutes the next generation of digital commerce that will underpin many companies’ operations. It is founded by a team with proven experience of designing and launching nation state-level infrastructure and its core ambition is to enable business on the blockchain, creating a system of decentralized commercial law by automating legal contract execution, with enforceability.

https://mattereum.com/

About InsurePal

The world’s first decentralized social proof insurance service, InsurePal aims to accelerate trust between members of the crypto community when transacting products and services, building a much more affordable insurance sector based on social proofing through rewarding behavioural patterns that benefit not only individuals but also groups and society as a whole.

https://insurepal.io/
Contact: [email protected]

For all media inquiries about the Identity Insurance Consortium, please contact:[email protected]


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Scientists listening for broadcasts from extra-terrestrials and UFOs are struggling to get the computer hardware they need thanks to the cryptocurrency mining craze, a radio-astronomer has said.

Researchers at Seti (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) want to expand operations at two observatories, but they’re facing an unanticipated problem: Key computer chips are in short supply, specifically GPUs, or graphics processing units. “That’s limiting our search for extra-terrestrials, to try to answer the question, ‘Are we alone? Is there anybody out there?'” Dr. Dan Werthimer, chief scientist at the Berkeley Seti Research Center, told the BBC.

“We’d like to use the latest GPUs… and we can’t get ’em,” Dr. Werthimer continued. “This is a new problem, it’s only happened on orders we’ve been trying to make in the last couple of months.”

Demand for GPUs has soared recently due to increasing numbers of cryptocurrency miners. Mining a cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin or Ethereum involves connecting computers to a global network and using them to solve complex mathematical algorithms. This forms part of the process of validating transactions made by people who use the virtual currencies. As a reward for this work, the miners receive a small crypto-currency payment, making it potentially profitable.

Earlier this year, there were reports that video gamers had been hit by a sudden rise in the cost of GPUs, thanks in particular to a rise in Ethereum mining, which can be done with chips aimed at consumers. At the time, major chip-maker Nvidia said that retailers should make arrangements to make sure gamers’ demands were met. In a conference call last week, Nvidia’s chief executive told investors the company was “working really hard” to “catch up with supply” and get GPUs to the marketplace.

“At Seti we want to look at as many frequency channels as we possibly can because we don’t know what frequency ET will be broadcasting on and we want to look for lots of different signal types – is it AM or FM, what communication are they using?” explained Dr Werthimer, “That takes a lot of computing power.”

He added that at some telescopes, Berkeley Seti has around 100 GPUs crunching data from large listening arrays. These arrays can pick up the faintest of radio frequencies that have been flung across our solar system from elsewhere in the universe — often from natural phenomena like collapsing stars. The Seti scientists are currently trying to improve their capacity for analyzing such data at two observatories: Green Bank in West Virginia and Parkes in Australia.

Since bitcoin shocked markets with unparalleled gains in 2017, investors are now seeking ways to get in on the next big thing in the blockchain space, which is poised to grow even bigger.

Upset that you missed the boat on the bitcoin craze last year?

Millionaires were minted overnight as bitcoin returned 1,700 percent in 2017, only to see prices crash by more than half since December. The bubble seems to have popped, and not everyone got out in time.

While we may be past the peak temporarily, the cryptocurrency trend is just getting started, and investor enthusiasm is still growing by the day.

While the bitcoin investment boat may have already set sail, it’s likely far from the last huge opportunity in the space. The cryptocurrency and blockchain market is expanding at a significant rate, and there is one unique and simple investment opportunity that could give investors access to a broad spectrum of the space.

The problem for would-be cryptocurrency investors is trying to figure out the next big thing. Now, a new Canadian investment company will figure that out for you, offering exposure to not just cryptocurrencies by also the entire blockchain ecosystem.

Global Blockchain Technologies Corp. (CSE: BLOC; OTC: BLKCF) is Canada’s first blockchain-focused investment company. Bitcoin captured the interest of the global financial industry last year, but it makes up just a fraction of the blockchain market. The recent collapse in bitcoin prices now has some investors nursing their losses and biding their time until the next big cryptocurrency coin emerges.

More importantly, the underlying blockchain technology is an even bigger story than mere crypto tokens.

Global Blockchain offers the best of both worlds. It offers investors exposure to a curated selection of cryptocurrencies, while also opening the door to investment in the blockchain, before the next wave of money rolls into this booming market.

As investors search for profits amid the market disruption caused by cryptocurrencies, Global Blockchain plans to offer a unique solution. This comes in the form of a basket of holdings that:

  • Definitively answers massive demand from investors
  • Will be one of the first ways to find and gain exposure to a wide breadth of cryptocurrencies and blockchain companies
  • Is packaged in a publicly listed security accessible in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, with Asia and Australia to follow
  • Access to ICOs that investors would never be able to secure on their own
  • Is led by major crypto-pioneers who are ready to make the crypto world a lot less cryptic

Here are 5 reasons to keep a close eye on Global Blockchain, an investment company hoping to become the first-ever vertically integrated originator and manager of startup blockchains and investor in top-tier digital currencies:

1.) Blockchain To Impact Every Major Sector of the Global Economy

Blockchain is automation and collaboration on steroids, with market growth predictions heading into the trillion-dollar territory. The technology is the backbone of the exploding cryptocurrency market, worth a pretty $333 billion today.

There’s likely no industry that’s isolated from being disrupted by blockchain technology.

  • Banking: Seven major global banks have partnered with fintech companies to develop new blockchain technologies, because blockchain and cryptocurrencies simplify so many things in the banking world, from fees for sending payments through middlemen, privacy threats, and security risks to cumbersome lending in the $134-trillion global banking industry.
  • Global Logistics: Blockchain technology is already being used to track global trade and shipments in this $8-trillion-plus industry.
  • Real Estate: This $7.4-trillion industry is also a major beneficiary of blockchain tech. Look no further than the real estate mecca of Dubai, which is putting its entire land registry on a blockchain.
  • Healthcare: The global healthcare IT market, valued at $134 billion last year, is publicly seeking IT solutions from Blockchain.
  • Crowdfunding: Even this $96-billion market is embracing blockchain.

And the list goes on …

“Blockchain solutions in finance are virtually endless … any centralized marketplace that is dominated by a few middlemen is likely to be taken over by blockchain technology,” says BLOC Chairman Steve Nerayoff. The opportunities are mind-boggling.
2.) BLOC Offers Exposure to Blockchain Ecosystem

Global Blockchain has plans to invest in a basket of holdings within the blockchain space, offering investors a slice of profits from the entire shift towards blockchain tech. This innovative strategy would make Global Blockchain the first global investment company with exposure to a wide cross-section of the blockchain ecosystem — all backed by startup equity and token diversification.

The investment strategy also benefits from diversification, lowering risk for investors by balancing more established companies with hand-picked, high-growth potential small-caps. Global Blockchain also plans to diversify portfolios by balancing cryptocurrencies by category.

You can buy it right now from an online broker, and even add it to your IRA or 401K.

global blockchain

Here are Global Blockchain’s planned investments:

But it’s not just about a basket of currencies to speculate on; it’s about the potential of building an investment portfolio based on the token economy — one of the first of its kind.

Here is Global Blockchain’s projected Asset Allocation:

global blockchain

3.) BLOC Led by Cryptocurrency Pioneers

The team behind Global Blockchain isn’t comprised of a bunch of financiers new to cryptocurrencies.

Remember the Ethereum ICO? It’s risen over 220,000 percent. Global Blockchain’s Chairman and CEO, Steve Nerayoff, was not only a senior advisor to Ethereum leading up to its ICO, but was the architect of the Ethereum crowdsale, the way the project was funded. He also was a senior advisor to the Lisk Cryptocurrency project, which now has a $1.8-billion market cap. Nerayoff is an early leader of the blockchain industry, and one of its most important pioneers.

But Global Blockchain’s knowledge base doesn’t stop with Nerayoff.

  • Rik Willard: Cryptocurrency and ICO veteran, co-founder of the Silicon Valley Blockchain Society, and an advisor to Luxembourg and other countries’ blockchain initiatives.
  • Shidan Gouran: Cryptocurrency and ICO expert with a long track record.
  • Kyle Kemper: Executive director of the Blockchain Association of Canada.
  • Jeff Pulver: Has consulted and invested in 350 startups.
  • Michael Terpin: Co-founder of BitAngels, the world’s first angel network for digital currency startups. Managing partner of bCommerce Labs, the world’s first blockchain incubator fund. Founded Marketwire, one of the largest company newswires, which was acquired in 2006 by NASDAQ for $200 million.

And it’s not just their blockchain successes and expertise that investors will harness — it’s also their exclusive access to assets that investors would have difficulty investing in otherwise.

4.) Just The Beginning

If and when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approves crypto ETFs for listing on public markets, digital currencies will likely push even higher. Some projections show that as much as $300 million could pour into a bitcoin ETF in its first week, Bloomberg reports.

We’re looking at a potential total current market cap of tokens at $34 billion, and more than $2 billion has already flowed into ICO (initial coin offering) token sales. This is where Global Blockchain comes into play, with their expertise to make knowledge-based decisions on which ICOs may have what it takes to be winners, and how to play the futures. They also intend to balance large-cap holdings with small-cap and emerging cryptocurrencies so investors can benefit from the relative stability of one and the growth potential of the other at the same time.

Global Blockchain plans to become an incubator for new crypto technologies, which means that investors are not just investing in assets — they’re investing in innovation.

5.) Global Blockchain Cryptocurrency Incubator

Global Blockchain also plans to create additional value with its own incubator for new tokens, taking advantage of a major gap in the token world.

Most new ICOs have poor execution after they are developed. This is where Global Blockchain sees an opportunity. They won’t just help new blockchain companies build; they’ll help brand and distribute, taking equity stakes in the cryptocurrency in return.

While the major cryptocurrencies garner the most attention, sometimes the smaller tokens offer vastly more upside. Verge, for instance, with a market cap of $640 million, has offered a return on investment in excess of 200,000 percent. DigitalNote, a small token with a market cap of just $97 million, have offered investors a return on investment higher than 13,000 percent.

Global Blockchain will find and incubate upstart cryptocurrencies so you won’t have to try to discover them yourself. Guided by a team with extensive real-world experience and backed by the world’s top blockchain programmers, this venture holds great promise as the next phase of maturity in an industry that lacks development. With Global Blockchain providing investors access to a basket of holdings within the blockchain space, and managed by a team of industry early adopters and pioneers, investors have a chance to access a market of huge proportions, since blockchain is poised to affect every industry.

New waves of money continue to enter the market, and the next wave could be Wall Street hedge funds. After that, possibly ETFs. And then everyone else. Getting ahead of the wave could be possible with Global Blockchain’s investment and incubator strategy.

Honorable Mentions:

Veeva (NYSE: VEEV) Veeva is one of the most prominent cloud services providers out there, focusing specifically on the pharmaceutical sector. The company’s cloud platform for the world’s pharma companies is more popular than ever before.

After rallying to an all-time high last July, its share price has fallen a bit since. While its bigger brother ‘Salesforce’ has a stronger cash flow, Veeva has seen some healthy profits lately. Analysts now argue that the company might be ‘expensive’, but worth it. With an expected growth rate of 24% this year, it looks like investors will be rewarded for their patience.

Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE: SNE) is a tech heavyweight. From TVs to video games, Sony covers anything and everything media-related. The company’s infamous Walkman was in the hands of every young person throughout the 1980s and 1990s. But Sony’s biggest hit was arguably the PlayStation gaming console.

With over 100-million units sold, the original console sparked a new wave of gaming. The incredible success continued with the PlayStation 2, 3, and the current series, the PlayStation 4. Sony’s PlayStation 4 is now a multi-platform entertainment device, with the ability to stream movies and music, play Blu-ray and DVDs, purchase and play video games, and even browse the web.

Sony’s partnerships and innovative technology make it an appealing investment for those looking for a company with longevity. Sony isn’t going anywhere and is sure to continue its entertainment dominance for years to come.

Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN) is an emerging tech company specializing in defense and other government markets. Raytheon’s major selling point is its strong command of cybersecurity. While its specialty is in government-centric markets, Raytheon also develops products, services, and solutions in various other markets.

Raytheon reach is far reaching and its potential market share is huge. Smart investors are looking toward cybersecurity firms early. With the recent high-profile attacks, and likely more to come, cybersecurity companies will be the saving grace of the tech boom.

Secureworks Corp (NASDAQ: SCWX) Secureworks Corp is a company specializing in intelligence-driven information security solutions. Clients are protected from cyber-attacks including hacking, ransomware, and the like. The company’s solutions enable its clients to strengthen their defenses in order to prevent security breaches and detect malicious activity in real time. Secureworks Corp is definitely a great pick for those looking to invest in cybersecurity.

Pure Storage Inc (NYSE: PSTG) Data platforms are also a key asset in protecting companies against cyber-attacks. Pure Storage, Inc is a data platform focused on delivering fast, optimized and cloud-capable solutions for its customers while keeping data security as a top priority. This is another company about which investors can be optimistic.

The Descartes Systems Group Inc. (TSX: DSG): Descartes is a Canadian technology company specializing in supply chain management software, logistics software, and cloud-based services for logistics businesses.

The company is becoming a giant in the tech industry with its visionary leadership and futuristic projects.

Its market cap of over 2.5 billion is evidence of just how big a player this giant is in the space, and should give investors confidence in its ability to take advantage of the coming developments in the technology market.

Kuuhubb Inc. (TSX: KUU.V): While its headquarter is in Helsinki, Finland, Kuuhubb operates in the U.S. and Asian market. This international company is active in the acquisition and development of lifestyle and video game applications. It looks for undervalued but proven applications and extracts long term growth for its shareholders.

In the market of technological incubators this is one of the companies to watch, using expertise to spot value in a market that has seen considerable growth in recent times. The recent drop in its stock price points to the possibility of it being oversold, a promising sign for potential investors

Mogo Finance Technology Inc. (TSX: GO): The FinTech sector is one of the hottest sectors for investors right now, but finding the right company can be tough. Moho may well be one of those company, taking a new approach to unsecured credit. It provides loan management and the ability to tack spending, stress free mortgages and even credit score tracking. The online movement to assist users with finances is one of the fastest growing out there, and Mogo is one of the best in the space.

Its software analyzes clients financial habits instantly, reducing the notoriously arduous process of underwriting loans. The overhead for this company, as with many new FinTech companies in the space, is remarkably low, meaning more upside for investors and more liquidity for dealing with other issues.

Labelled as the Uber of finance, this stock may not have the most attractive story in the market, but there are undoubtedly profits to be made here.

EXFO Inc (TSX: EXFO): There long term growth potential for this tech company is hard to argue with. It has come a long what since its inception in 1985, when it was producing testing products for optical networks. It has acquired and built products including 3G, LTE, IMS and others.

Its new baseband unit offers operators a faster revenue stream and reduces cost, two advantages that can prove priceless in this competitive environment.

The telecom industry is undoubtedly a space to watch, and with product production and acquisition EXFO looks like a steady bet. With a steady growth over the last six months and a market cap of $239 million.

Power Financial Corp (TSX: PWF): Power Financial Corp is not new to the industry, having been founded in 1984 and creating a market cap of over $23 billion. This giant has the added bonus of providing investors with a nice dividend to hold the stock, giving shareholders financial upside while the company moves to take advantage of the latest opportunities in the space.

Power Financial Corp operates three segments: Pargesa Holding SA, Lifeco, and IGM. It is these holdings, which span the United States and Europe, that this giant grew its dominance in the financial services sector.

Forward-Looking Information

This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Generally, any statements that are not historical facts may contain forward-looking information, and forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "plans", "expects" "intends" or variations of such words or indicates that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will be" taken, "occur" or "be achieved". Forward-looking information includes, but is not limited to the rate of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology adoption and the resultant effect on the growth of the global cryptocurrency and tokens market capitalization; Global Blockchain Technologies Corp.’s (“BLOC”) anticipated ability to reduce risk for investors and give investors exposure to a broad cross-section of the blockchain ecosystem; BLOC’s projected asset allocations, business strategy and investment criteria, including the anticipated contributions of BLOC’s incubator program; the expected strengths and contributions of BLOC’s management and advisors; and the rate of cryptocurrency adoption and the resultant effect on the growth of the global cryptocurrency market capitalization. Readers should be aware that BLOC has no assets except cash from a recently completed financing and its business plan is purely conceptual in nature: there is no assurance that it will be implemented as set out herein, or at all. Forward-looking information is based on certain factors and assumptions about BLOC believed to be reasonable at the time such statements are made, including but not limited to: statements and expectations regarding the adoption and growth of the global cryptocurrency and tokens market capitalization; BLOC’s ability to reduce risk for investors and give investors exposure to a broad cross- section of the blockchain ecosystem; BlOC’s ability to acquire a basket of cryptocurrency assets and pre-ICO and ICO financings on favorable terms or at all, successfully create or incubate its own tokens and ICO's, and execute on future investment and M&A opportunities in the cryptocurrency space; BLOC’s ability to capitalize on the skills and expertise of its management and advisors; and such other assumptions and factors as set out herein. These forward-looking statements are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, level of activity, performance or achievements of BLOC to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking information, including but not limited to: risks related to changes in cryptocurrency prices; the estimation of personnel and operating costs; that BLOC will receive required regulatory approvals; the availability of necessary financing; permitting of businesses that BLOC intends to invest in; general global markets and economic conditions; uninsurable risks; risks associated with currency fluctuations; risks associated with competition faced in securing experienced personnel with appropriate industry experience and expertise; risks associated with changes in the financial auditing and corporate governance standards applicable to cryptocurrencies and ICO's; risks related to potential conflicts of interest; the reliance on key personnel; financing, capitalization and liquidity risks including the risk that the financings necessary to fund continued development of BLOC's business plan may not be available on satisfactory terms, or at all; the risk of dilution through the issuance of additional common shares of BLOC; the risk of litigation; the risk that BLOC’s management and advisors may not contribute as much as expected to the company’s success; the risk and the risk that cyber crime may severely damage the value of any or all of BLOC’s investments. There may be many other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. We undertake no obligation to update forward-looking statements if these beliefs, estimates and opinions or other circumstances should change, except as required by law. Investors are cautioned against attributing undue certainty to forward-looking statements.

BLOC has no assets except cash from a recently closed financing and this article is based on the business plan of BLOC which at this point is purely conceptual in nature. There is no assurance that the business plan will be implemented as set out herein, or at all.

You pay for everyday purchases with Crypto, retailers get your money in fiat, The Amon Card takes care of everything in between.

Amon’s founders started with a unique idea: To bring crypto spending into people’s daily lives.  A Crypto Debit Card that seamlessly converts your crypto into fiat for an everyday purchase was the need of the hour. A crypto debit card that stored all cryptocurrencies, a crypto card that converts in real time, a crypto card that shielded you from volatility… and hence Amon was born.

It is more than just a crypto debit card. Amon has a multi-currency wallet, a built-in exchange that helps you deal with volatility by jumping from crypto to crypto or crypto to fiat without ever leaving the app. What sets Amon apart is its powerful Artificial Intelligence that ensures you get the best value out for your cryptocurrencies by suggesting your best performing crypto at the specific time of purchase. All in all, we feel that Amon might be the answer to the sustainability questions people have been raising about the ecosystem.

More about Amon

4 major components of Amon are The crypto debit card with real-time conversion, the multi-currency wallet, the Artificial Intelligence system and the built-in exchange. Amon’s users will be able to spend their crypto in everyday life, manage their portfolios, mitigate volatility and save on daily purchases.

The Platform

The platform will be powered by AMN tokens that will be made available during the ICO. The AMN tokens will give Amon cardholders reduced fees, master-node like payouts, cash-backs, and premium customer service.

The Amon platform will be integrated with a powerful AI that will allow it to understand how the markets work. The AI will then be able to look at past price-action data, your costs, current average price of the coins you hold and then suggest you the coin that will give you the maximum value during the time of making the payment through your Amon card. Amon allows three options. You can either tell Amon to always use the same crypto for all purchases, or have Amon ask you to select the crypto you want to pay with everytime you swipe your card or let AI do its magic.

Details of the ICO

The token sale will start on March 1, 2018, with a 24-hour private sale. The private sale, with no minimum investment limit, will offer 25% AMN bonus to the participants along with a free Amon Gold Card. Only White List participants will take part in the private ICO. The public ICO will soon follow from March 4, 2018 and go on until April 4, 2018.  Users during this phase will need to invest a minimum of 0.1 ETH. Public ICO bonus starts at 15% and decreases with time.

What do you think about the Amon project and its proposed debit card integrated with the AI system? Leave us your thoughts in the comment section below.

A group of cryptocurrency entrepreneurs have moved to Puerto Rico with the goal of setting up a libertarian utopia. The settlement was originally named Puertopia but now is known as Sol. The name change is thought to have followed the would-be community’s founders discovering that Puertopia literally translates to “eternal boy playground” in Latin – certainly not the kind of branding the group is seeking.

Lured by the promise of freedom, waves of cryptocurrency entrepreneurs have been moving to Puerto Rico this winter following Hurricane Maria which desecrated the infrastructure there in September. They’re led by Brock Pierce, the director of the Bitcoin Foundation and founder of Block.One.

The entrepreneurs are hoping to transform the island of Puerto Rico along libertarian principles. The desperation created by the social upheaval of the natural disaster last autumn has prompted some to welcome the early cryptocurrency advocates (or the money they bring with them). With few other influxes of outside capital, it’s hoped that the idea of a crypto utopia will allow for much-needed infrastructure improvements and repairs.

According to the New York Times, the government of Puerto Rico is receptive to the influx of new money that the crypto entrepreneurs are bringing with them. This is evidenced by the fact that the governor has agreed to speak at the group’s blockchain summit conference called Puerto Crypto. The event is scheduled for this March. What’s more, the entrepreneurs currently living in what they hope will become “Sol” have almost managed to convince local government to allow the founding of a crypto bank – surely, an oxymoron of an idea if ever there was one.

Erika Medina-Vecchini, the chief business development officer for the Department of Economic Development and Commerce espoused further positive sentiment about the idea of new money coming to Puerto Rico courtesy of Sol. She told the New York Times:

“We’re open for crypto business.”

Those who have sought refuge in Puerto Rico spend their days hunting for property to buy out and transform in line with their vision of a utopia. For now, the community hub is a 20,000 square foot hotel complex that the group are renting. The building has been dubbed the Monastery.

One of the first tasks for the community will be to restore the electricity infrastructure that has been inconsistent thanks to the hurricane. The incentive to do so is obvious. Not only will it make living on the island far more comfortable for those used to First World luxuries but it will allow for cryptocurrency mining, an endeavour many inhabitants have made their fortunes from. Naturally, this will benefit those native to the island too.

However, not everyone is pleased with the developments on Puerto Rico. Andria Satz, a worker at the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico has her reservations about the group’s incentives:

“We’re the tax playground for the rich… We’re the test case for anyone who wants to experiment. Outsiders get tax exemptions, and locals can’t get permits.”

Whilst the group currently express altruistic ambitions for Sol and Puerto Rico, it’s unclear how genuine this sentiment is. There are certainly clear incentives for the libertarian-minded entrepreneurs to flash some cash to set up a community there. For one, citizens of the island do not need to pay Federal personal income taxes or capital gains. They will also benefit from hugely favourable business taxation too. Possibly the most alluring prospect about the site they’ve decided to call home is the fact that they don’t even need to renounce their US citizenship to relocate there. If the community completely fails, they can always jump on the next plane back to the States, where the crypto community should supposedly regulate itself.

Citibank India is the latest lender to tighten the squeeze on cryptocurrencies. In an e-mail Tuesday, February 13th, the bank said it has barred customers from using Citibank debit or credit cards to buy virtual currencies. Citibank isn’t alone. Other international financial institutions like Lloyds, JP Morgan Chase & Co, and Bank of America, have also barred customers from using bank-issued credit cards to buy virtual currencies.

In the U.S., Citibank has forbidden customers from borrowing money on credit cards for such purchases — but Citibank India has gone further with this ban on virtual currency-related transactions even on debit cards. According to inside sources, the rationale behind the move was to shielding card-holders from possible fraud. As of December 2017, there were 2.63 million Citibank debit card and 1.61 million credit card customers, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) data showed.

“Given concerns, both globally and locally, including from the Reserve Bank of India, cautioning members of the public regarding the potential economic, financial, operational, legal, customer protection, and security-related risks associated in dealing with bitcoins, cryptocurrencies, and virtual currencies, Citi India has decided to not permit usage of its credit and debit cards towards purchase or trading of such bitcoins, cryptocurrencies and virtual currencies,” the email sent to customers read.

Recently Indian finance minister Arun Jaitley stated that the government does not consider cryptocurrency legal tender and that it will take all measures to eliminate its use. And with the central bank also issuing cautionary statements, it’s possible other Indian banks will follow Citibank’s lead, according to VG Kannan, CEO of the Indian Banks’ Association, an industry body that represents Indian lenders. “It [the government notice] does seem like a warning. Therefore, no bank would like to deal with this kind of transactions, and they also want to discourage customers from it,” Kannan said.

India’s cryptocurrency industry has been quick to play down Citibank’s move. Seven Indian exchanges have banded together to create a central repository to maintain a real-time database of traders in a bid at self-regulation, and they have responded: 

Most purchases are done through internet exchanges not using credit or debit cards”

said Ajeet Khurana, head of the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Committee, an industry lobby. But other observers are concerned. “Even if banks were to justify this as necessary to mitigate their risk, I would find such a view to be very conservative and unjustifiable, which leads me to think that this is arm-twisting,” said Anirudh Rastogi, managing partner at law firm TRA, which represents several cryptocurrency businesses.

The CEO of the major cryptocurrency exchange Kraken, Jesse Powell, has reminded those wishing to invest in digital currencies like Bitcoin, Ether, and NEO to exercise caution and of the need for them to be responsible for their own finances. He spoke with CNBC on Tuesday:

“I think ultimately consumers need to look out for themselves, look into the fundamentals of any coin and not rely on any particular exchange to protect them from market volatility.”

The executive also spoke at the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday. There he mentioned the “thorough” process of evaluation that every digital coin goes through before it’s made available to trade with on the Kraken platform. This, according to Powell, ensures that new listings are “almost certainly not a scam.”

However, he was careful to note that things can change rapidly in a space that’s expanding as quickly as crypto is. He continued:

“We make no promises about the future of any coin, things can change when you raise $1 billion in 10 minutes.”

Despite him urging investors to act responsibly and the recent cryptocurrency selloff, Jesse Powell remains generally bullish about the market. Speaking with CNBC on Tuesday, he stated that he feels a $1 trillion total crypto market cap is likely in 2018. He said:

“You’ve got a lot more kids graduating from crypto programs at universities now. I think we’re just going to see it continue exponentially from here.”

The warnings from the San Francisco-based exchange platform exec on Tuesday were much less fatalistic than the noises coming from the likes of the European Supervisory Authorities for banking and insurance, securities, and pensions. On Monday, the group of watchdogs issued a warning to consumers. They were keen to highlight the risks investors face in the space:

“The ESAs warn consumers that VCs (virtual currencies) are highly risky and unregulated products and are unsuitable as investment, savings or retirement planning products.”

The agencies continued, reminding the public that virtual currencies and exchanges are not currently legislated under EU law. This means that those investing in cryptocurrency are not protected against exchanges like Kraken suddenly going out of business or if they fall victim to hackers as many have previously.

Meanwhile, the likes of Warren Buffett continue to issue similar warnings about bubbles and their surety that Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies would end badly.

CNBC report Nick Spanos’ (CEO of Blockchain Technologies Corporation) response to Buffet’s sentiment:

“Warren Buffett is good at renting furniture and whatever other businesses that he does, but we are in a different business.”

He spoke on the same panel as Powell at the World Government Summit. According to the executive, the digital currency movement is about more than fast gains. He stated:

“Cryptocurrency is the people’s declaration of monetary independence.”

 

Similar to other cryptocurrency companies, exchanges need to keep evolving. In the case of Bitfinex, the company is planning to launch their third major trading platform. Late last year, they introduced Ethfinex for Ethereum-oriented trading. It now sees they will provide a decentralized trading platform on the EOS.IO platform. As such, EOSfinex is born, a brand new trading platform for everyone to enjoy. It will be quite interesting to see what the future holds for this new platform.

EOSfinex is the first high-performance decentralized exchange platform built on top of EOS technology. This will help Bitfinex push the boundaries of the cryptocurrency market and its trading aspects. By focusing primarily on scalability and speed, this new platform will certainly be appealing to a lot of users. It is still a trustless and transparent platform capable of providing an on-chain experience first and foremost. There is a growing demand for decentralized exchange experiences, that much is evident.

EOSfinex Offers a Decentralized Exchange Experience

Bitfinex has been working on implementing new protocol-level technologies first and foremost. Such tools need to be able to handle high volume and bring out the best of blockchain technology. As such, the Bitfinex team focuses on EOS as of right now, as the project has the most merit in their opinion. Processing tens of thousands of transactions per second will still be challenging. At the same time, this technology may offer low fees and fast confirmation times. That is, assuming the real-world test of this technology lives up to the expectations.

Bitfinex CEO J.L. van der Velde comments as follows:

“We are excited to leverage EOS.io to further advance the field of high performance and trustless on-chain exchange. Block.one continues to display an unwavering dedication to improving blockchain scalability through the EOS.IO platform and it is our hope that this collaboration will allow significant advancement for all decentralized exchange.”

For now, we will have to wait and see when EOSfinex will go live. As of right now, there is no official ETA or deadline for this venture. If EOSFinex is even remotely as successful as Bitfinex, things will get interesting for the cryptocurrency industry as a whole. With more decentralized exchange solutions, the need for centralized trading platforms will eventually disappear. That can only be considered to be a positive trend for this decentralized industry.

When cryptocurrencies fork, their blockchains are not the only things that divide. As was witnessed when Bitcoin Cash forked from the original, the community and developers were also split and still are. A similar thing is occurring with Litecoin and an impending fork is due that its creators are claiming is a scam, and nothing to do with them.

Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has been extremely active lately posting warnings on social media about a forked version that he does not support. Lee’s public outcry comes as a fork for a competing crypto dubbed Litecoin Cash draws nearer.

Forking free-for-all

There is currently nothing to stop anyone making their own cryptocurrency or forking off from an existing blockchain. Countless new iterations of Bitcoin have emerged in the past few months from GOD to DARK. People can get scammed if they don’t do their own research and blindly follow the streams of dross that pollute social media platforms. Governments are anxious to regulate the industry to prevent these sorts of things from happening.

On the surface Litecoin Cash appears to be just another one of these, riding on the name to garner interest. It comes with a plan to increase the block time, enable SHA256 mining, and offer 90% cheaper transaction fees than its parent altcoin. The fork will happen at block 1371111, which is around February 18 or 19. Charlie Lee and the Litecoin team however want nothing to do with it;

Cash with a catch

To win over investors and traders the forkers are offering free LCC tokens for LTC holders at a ratio of ten to one. This is the common method of drumming up support for a newly forked crypto coin. The problem is that to receive the free loot a private key has to be imported to a new Litecoin Cash wallet from an existing Litecoin wallet. This is a very insecure and un-recommended method which has raised the scam flags amongst the Litecoin community.

Additionally the Litecoin Cash team has yet to release a white paper and have not provided a safe way to collect the tokens. At the time of writing it is also unclear whether exchanges will support LCC or dish out the free bounty to LTC holders when the fork occurs.

Michael “Scarlet” Wyszynski, one of the LCC developers told Business Insider;

“As to the name, it’s strictly a product of convention. No confusion is intended, but it has simply become customary for a new coin arising from a fork to use the forked coin’s name as a prefix to its own,”

Either way, Litecoin has reacted to the fork and has finally woken from an almost two month downtrend to trade 24% higher today and head back towards $200.

Predictive analysis is such an important concept that very big establishments such as Fortune 500 companies and tech-giants are known to invest heavily towards it. The ability to predict future trends effectively helps both individuals and businesses make successful plans and robust decisions within the ecosystems where they belong.

So far, the existing systems that enable the acquisition of near accurate predictions involve having access to scarce and expensive data science PhDs, a model per prediction and expensive limited scale. These conditions make it almost impossible for individuals and smaller businesses with limited budgets to participate effectively.

What blockchain can do

The democratization that is made possible by the implementation of blockchain technology and Artificial Intelligence (AI) is enabling Endor to provide the opportunity for individuals and businesses at all levels to enjoy the benefits of prediction. The Endor protocol affords the opportunity for users to ask predictive questions and get accurate predictions on a platform that is described as the “Google” for predictive analytics.

This solution is powered by MIT’s novel Social Physics technology and provides the first decentralized, trustless, censorship resistance behavioral prediction platform that provides high-quality results for any predictive question in minutes. No coding, data cleaning, or a team of PhDs required.

Something new in the industry

Unlike existing platforms like Argur and other decentralized platforms that provide prediction opportunities by using crowd wisdom, Endor operates by using science and data analytics, thereby providing automated, accurate, affordable AI predictions for individuals and businesses. Here, predictive insights are based on the collective analysis of the contributed data, offered at a low cost, while allowing data owners to control the privacy of their data.

Endor CEO, Yaniv Altshuler, is a researcher at the MIT Media Lab, at the Human Dynamics group headed by professor Alex Pentland who is also a co-founder. Prof. Alex invented Social Physics science. He is described as “one of the worlds 7 most powerful data scientists” by Forbes. A director of the MIT Media Lab,  Board member at Google, AT&T, Nissan, and leader of the World Economic Forum.

A totally new dimension

While at MIT, Endor co-founders developed Social Physics, a new AI science which breaks the paradigm. Instead of building a model per each predictive question, the protocol provides one social sphere of human behavior and ask unlimited predictive questions. This protocol will be powered by the EndorCoin utility token that will enable the automation and democratization of predictive science.

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Therefore, this creation by Endor will enable individuals and small businesses access to Artificial Intelligence and machine learning capabilities that have hitherto been a reserve for deep-pocketed companies.

The Endorcoin protocol is fully-decentralized, providing complete accountability for the prediction results. This prevents any manipulation or bias during of the predictions. In addition, the decentralized and open nature of the protocol enables the support of any prediction, preventing censorship by any single point of authority.