Aragon ANT

$0.6906
Market Cap $ 20.532 MM (#190)
24h Volume $ 110.604 K
Chg. 24h: 5.44%
Algo. score 3.7/5  (#91)
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Aragon News

There is one week left to submit Aragon Governance Proposals...

There is one week left to submit Aragon Governance Proposals before the Aragon Association review deadline! See wh… https://t.co/vTMEEtAUds

13 hours ago

A formal relative valuation framework for governance tokens

As blockchains with formal on-chain governance mechanisms continue to proliferate, many analysts have raised questions regarding voter participation rates. This week, The Block’s Ryan Todd produced a comprehensive overview of turnout across a variety of protocols and the results may be cause for concern: 0x’s recent ZEIP-23 saw just 0.86% turnout by stake, MakerDAO’s March 21 Stability Fee hike vote 8.96%, and Aragon AGP-5 9.30%. Focus on, and subsequent judgment of, participation rates may, however, be premature at the outset of a protocol’s life cycle. Voter turnout, or lack of, is a time old phenomenon with time old solutions including: making it easier for stakeholders to vote, making it cheaper for stakeholders to vote, increasing awareness around the voting process and the implications of proposals, and adding incentives for participation. Join Genesis now and continue reading, A formal relative valuation framework for governance tokens!

21 hours ago

Few Actually Care About Blockchain Governance, Data Shows

A recent investigation into ‘voter turnout’ as an indicator of community participation in decentralized-governance tokens, throws up some interesting results. Despite the assumption that token-holders would participate purely through the passive incentive of ownership, most prefer more tangible benefits. Off-Chain Vs. On-Chain Governance Who governs Bitcoin? While nobody owns the network, somebody must be in charge of parameters such as block size and adding capabilities like SegWit. In truth, Bitcoin governance occurs off-chain. Any proposal for the protocol must be formalised, tested and discussed among the users, until it gains a significant majority support. Once accepted, node operators update their software to include the new proposal. In contrast, on-chain governance gives token holders the chance to directly affect the protocol, with on-chain voting on major decisions. But do such mechanisms give a truly democratic outcome, and do the majority of token holders even care? Encouraging Token-Holders To Vote Voter turnout on such proposals is a very rough guide to community participation. When looking at several recent votes, the investigation notes that there is a large disparity between projects. Many projects struggle to get voter turnout of even 10%. This becomes an even bigger problem when considering wallet address participation as opposed to circulating supply. For example, the Aragon AGP-5 proposal attracted voters controlling 9.30% of the circulating supply. However, in terms of participating wallet addresses, this accounted for just 0.12% (25 wallets out of over 20,000). This only goes to strengthen the case against on-chain voting as leading to plutocracy. The standouts against this trend of voter apathy seem to be Decred, Cosmos, and Tezos. In fact, accounting for abstentions (such as that of the Tezos foundation), these projects have voter turnouts which put US elections to shame. So how do they do it? Self-Identity And Incentivisation Firstly, it is important to note that all three of these protocols actively ‘identify’ as self-governing blockchains. It could be that this element of the projects is one of the key draws which appealed to many of the token-holders. Additionally, and perhaps a greater factor, is that Decred, Cosmos, and Tezos, all provide voters with direct incentives to participate via Proof-of-Stake. So the assumption that token holders will participate in on-chain governance votes purely through their passive ownership seems flawed. There are many reasons why a stakeholder may choose not to vote; from complicated polling procedure, to lack of strong opinion or expertise on the matter in hand. Or they simply speculate on coin price and couldn’t care less about its development and future. But when faced with a tangible incentive, more stakeholders appear to have a compelling reason to vote. Will on-chain governance models improve and incentivize users to vote? Share your thoughts below! Images via Shutterstock, Wave financial The post Few Actually Care About Blockchain Governance, Data Shows appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

4 days ago

Goldman Sachs loves investing in “unloved” fintech firms

Goldman Sachs, in addition to running one of the world’s storied investment banks, is also an avid investor in financial startups. As venture capital money pours into the sector and valuations climb, the bank thinks there are bargains among the companies that don’t make the headlines. The Wall Street bank’s Principal Strategic Investments Group (PSI) bought stakes this year in Nav, a startup that provides credit score information for small businesses, and robo-investor Nutmeg. The PSI group was started in 1999 and has more than $1 billion worth of stakes in companies around the world. “We are not uniquely seduced by the trendier parts of fintech,” said Rana Yared, 35, a partner at the bank who runs PSI’s New York and London teams. She was closely involved in the bank’s move into cryptocurrency trading, which primarily entails regulated bitcoin futures for clients. “We believe the ‘unloved’ bits solve real problems and are great investing opportunities,” she said. Rana Yared became a partner at Goldman Sachs in 2018. The group has widened its footprint over the years. Enterprise technology became part of its remit in 2014, and PSI considers all fintech upstarts to be strategic for Goldman Sachs, which launched its Marcus consumer banking arm in 2016. The group converts about 2% or 3% of the companies it looks at into investments. (When the group bought a stake in Nutmeg, it was the third time it had considered the investment.) PSI’s priorities for 2019 include: Defined-contribution companies in the US. Firms that are digitizing China’s institutional trading infrastructure. Companies targeting the mass market for affluent investors in Europe like Trussle, an online mortgage broker. Software development lifecycle companies like Gitlab, an application for building software. Workflow optimization enterprises such as compliance automation company Droit. When Quartz met with Yared at the bank’s London offices this week, Tradeweb Markets, one of the bank’s investments, was marketing its IPO. Unlike some of the current crop of IPO hopefuls, the fixed-income trading platform is profitable, with net income that rose 55% last year, to $130 million. The offering could raise some $700 million, valuing the company at up to $5.8 billion. Other banks including Citigroup, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, UBS, and RBS have also invested in Tradeweb. The sexiest fintech firms look bubbly to some investors. UK neobank Monzo has been valued at more than 330 times revenue, compared with 14 times for Square or 7 times for PayPal. Without mentioning specific companies, Yared said some popular consumer fintech firms are overhyped, with high customer acquisition costs that can’t be sustained without clamping down on expenses and finding ways to create more value. Asked if that’s why Goldman hasn’t invested in a market darling like Monzo, Yared said, “I would argue we are our own challenger bank.” The future of finance on Quartz WhatsApp payments still haven’t launched in India, putting company at risk of falling further behind Google and Amazon. The Facebook unit still isn’t in compliance with the country’s data regulations. Laser-etched titanium isn’t the most important thing about the shiny new Apple credit card. Instead, it highlights big tech’s reliance on big banks for financial services, and Apple’s unique use of privacy as a differentiator. Two newly minted startup unicorns, Glossier and Rent the Runway, are run by women. In May 2018, there were 14 startups founded by women that were valued at more than $1 billion, making up a little more than 10% of all unicorns. Around 95% of reported bitcoin trading is fake, according to a crypto index fund provider. These are some of the common signs of fake volume. Enron’s Jeff Skilling is the latest tarnished executive to look to blockchain for redemption (membership). Skilling is reportedly prepping an energy venture that may use blockchain technology. Heard on headphones “According to Eck, at one point he was pulling down about 50 grand a month,”—TechStuff with Jonathan Strickland, discussing Spotify CEO Daniel Eck’s teenage years making websites for companies. The future of finance elsewhere PayPal’s Venmo (paywall) is coming after users with negative balances. As Venmo looks to cut losses, the payment company has threatened to send in the debt collectors. ING and Bank of Beijing are building a digital bank, pouring about $450 million into the joint venture. If allowed to go ahead, it will be the first commercial lender in China with a foreign investor that has a controlling interest. Citigroup is going up against the payment upstarts. Its new unit will provide merchants with a set of payment services (paywall) like digital wallets, credit cards, and direct transfers to bank accounts. A third of China uses Ant Financial’s money market fund (paywall). Even as overall assets under management shrinks somewhat, the number of users has continued climbing. Japan’s messaging

7 days ago

ICYMI - Aragon project updates: 🗳 Aragon Network Vote #2 📸 P...

ICYMI - Aragon project updates: 🗳 Aragon Network Vote #2 📸 Photos and videos from #AraCon2019 💸 Community Funding D… https://t.co/wQBd1ETXRE

7 days ago

Factom Price Tries to Hit $7 as Bullish Momentum Intensifies

When looking out across the different cryptocurrency markets, it quickly becomes apparent there is a lot of interesting momentum to keep an eye on. While Bitcoin is clinging on to minute gains, it would appear the Factom price is turning bullish in a convincing manner. Although it is a bit unclear if this trend can be sustained for much longer, this momentum will please a lot of traders. Factom Price Tries to Reach $7 It is always interesting to see how individual cryptocurrency markets evolve when the world’s leading cryptocurrency is still trying to hit its stride. Even though Bitcoin seems to remain in the green for some time to come, it also becomes apparent other markets show a bigger desire to move up in quick succession. If Factom is any example, there will be a lot more positive market momentum to keep an eye on over the next few days. This market has seemingly engaged all cylinders in the past day, as the push to $7 seems to be in full effect. To put this price trend in perspective, Factom has gained 7.7% in both USD and BTC value alike. Due to these gains, the Factom price currently sits at $6.85, or 0.00167917 Bitcoin. Both levels are quite impressive, especially when considering how bearish most markets looked earlier this week. One worrisome aspect for Factom is how its trading volume is nearly non-existent. With just $500,697 in trades, sustaining this near $65m market cap will prove to be a challenge in its own right. Assuming this volume can be beefed up a bit, there isn’t necessarily something to worry about as of yet. On social media, there is no lack of support for Factom at this time. In fact, Atom Ant is quite pleased with Factom’s Harmony aspect. This technology can improve upon reviews, audits, and implementing blockchain capabilities. It is certainly something to look forward to in the future, although it remains to be seen how many companies and entrepreneurs will effectively make use of this particular technology in the years to come. What makes #Factom Harmony a game changer? It reduces the time & resource requirements to prepare for and perform reviews and audits. Using Harmony, #blockchain capabilities can be implemented easily and seamlessly into existing business applications via simple integrations #FFWD — Atom Ant (@atomantshow) March 28, 2019 For those who are looking at the price chart right now, Factom may offer a lot of interesting momentum moving forward. Endoryan has recently shared an interesting chart, although it appears a key resistance level will be coming up in the very near future. Assuming this resistance can be broken, things will undoubtedly look great for FCT. However, overcoming the key resistance levels will always be difficult for any cryptocurrency and blockchain project. Everything stands and falls with Bitcoin, after all. #factom $FCT pic.twitter.com/hffBu7UxJt — Endoryan (@The_Endoryan) March 28, 2019 Genghis Khan Sperm Shot, who may have one of the more unique names on Twitter, currently looks at Factom as “his baby”. In terms of fundamentals, Factom is, in his opinion, on the same level as Bitcoin. Whether or not that makes it a prominent selling point for FCT, remains to be seen, as the opinions on Bitcoin are all over the place these days. Moreover, the recent rankings by the CCID in China seem to indicate Bitcoin is not the top project so many people expect it to be. As such, being on the same fundamental level may not necessarily be a big deal in the eyes of some. There goes my baby, probably the best fundamentals besides Bitcoin $FCT should start running. #Factom #ALTS pic.twitter.com/FA3SOyotUR — Genghis Khan Sperm Shot (@GenghisSperm) March 27, 2019 It is always difficult to predict how cryptocurrency markets will evolve at any given time. Although there is no lack of positive momentum to keep an eye on right now, it would appear Bitcoin may not remain near the current level for much longer. If that were to be the case, there is a chance the Factom value will come tumbling down again as well. The main question is whether or not this will occur before Factom hits $7. An interesting few days lie ahead for this market. Disclaimer: This is not trading or investment advice. The above article is for entertainment and education purposes only. Please do your own research before purchasing or investing into any cryptocurrency. Image(s): Shutterstock.com The post Factom Price Tries to Hit $7 as Bullish Momentum Intensifies appeared first on NullTX.

8 days ago

In January 2019 the Aragon community gathered in Berlin for ...

In January 2019 the Aragon community gathered in Berlin for AraCon 2019 - the first Aragon community conference. A… https://t.co/3HJaj3Lfrv

10 days ago

See how @AltheaOrg uses Aragon for governance of Subnet DAOs...

See how @AltheaOrg uses Aragon for governance of Subnet DAOs in their wireless mesh network in this #AraCon2019 pre… https://t.co/6v9LyD3OTS

11 days ago

China’s Ant Financial, thwarted in the US, is expanding rapidly in Europe

Ant Financial is expanding rapidly outside of its home market, mainly to serve legions of big-spending Chinese tourists already familiar with its platform. A key question is whether the company, which is valued at more than Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley combined, will pursue Western consumers as well. Ant Financial runs Alipay, which says the payment service and its affiliates have more than 1 billion (pdf) annual active users around the world. Alipay’s most recent deal outside of its home market is with Barclaycard, which processes almost half of Britain’s debit and credit card transactions. The agreement lets UK merchants accept Alipay smartphone transactions without having to replace their payment equipment. Ant Financial is an affiliate of the Alibaba e-commerce conglomerate. On their own, Chinese tourists are an enormous market: they spent $258 billion in 2017, almost double that of second-ranked US holiday-goers. Alipay is available in 54 markets, and is a partner with the likes of India’s Paytm (Ant also has a stake in the fast growing payment service). Observers have long seen Alipay’s Chinese tourist strategy as a “spearhead” to one day go after non-Chinese customers. Recently, Ant’s prospects for global expansion have become much more complicated. The US and China are locked in a trade war, and American officials have been warning allies about what they say are security risks of using equipment made by Chinese telecom group Huawei. Ant has been under far less scrutiny than Huawei, which was founded by a former military engineer. Even so, the US blocked Ant’s acquisition of payment-transfer company MoneyGram in January 2018, citing national security concerns. Britain has been more open minded—earlier this year, Ant purchased UK payments group WorldFirst (paywall) in a deal reportedly worth around $700 million, making it the company’s biggest push yet into western markets. WorldFirst shuttered its US operations, apparently to avoid US interference in the deal. Ant CEO Eric Jing says the company got its name because ants are small and its service was for the “little guys.” These days, though, the company is a behemoth. It raised almost as much money last year as all EU and US fintech firms combined, giving it a $150 billion valuation, the most in the world for a technology startup. While best known for Alipay, Ant also offers a credit rating system and a giant money market fund. After social-media apps, Alipay is the most-used app in the world. Chinese regulators have taken note of Ant’s fast growth and potentially systemically important size. As scrutiny grows, the company has shifted its focus from offering its own financial products to running a technology platform for other financial companies. Its tech is plugged into more than 200 institutions, including banks, wealth managers, brokerages, and insurers. Financial executives in New York and London have mixed opinions about Ant and Alipay. Some think the Chinese company’s QR-code smartphone wallets could one day compete with old fashioned payment cards in the west. Others think behaviors are slow to change and that contactless card payments are already entrenched. A year ago, BlackRock co-founder Robert Kapito said he was “shocked” (paywall) by Ant’s valuation (higher than that of BlockRock, the world’s biggest asset manager), and worried its rise was a sign of tech disruption coming for incumbent financial companies. The trade war and tighter regulatory scrutiny have altered the playing field for Ant, but execs around the world are keeping a close watch on the Chinese company’s western ambitions. The future of finance on Quartz Bans on cashless stores could backfire. When it comes to protecting cash, research suggests that making it easier to access notes and coins is better than outlawing cashless stores. The UK is embroiled in the worst political crisis for a generation. Surprisingly, London Stock Exchange Group is the best-performing European financial stock since the Brexit vote in mid-2016. Nigerian retail-lending startup Paylater plans to become a full service digital bank. A cofounder says the fintech firm expects 75% growth within nine months. The SEC isn’t sure whether crypto tokens are securities or some sort of newfangled commodity. But ether investors, hoping the tokens won’t fall under strict US securities regulation, should put their champagne back on ice. Meet Brian Thompson, one of the designers of the $100 note. In 2013, he became the first African-American person to design an American banknote, with features meant to be impossible for North Korea to counterfeit. Heard on headphones “China is running basically a $240 billion tourism deficit. As in, China is spending that much more money on outbound tourism than foreign visitors are spending on tourism. That’s a huge change from just a decade ago. If you go back to 2008, the year Beijing hosted the summer Olympics, at that point China had a narrow surplus in terms of tou

16 days ago

TRON Dapp Report: TRON Acknowledges That The Market Is Favoring High-Risk ROI Dapps

Tron launched its first Dapps in October last year. Between then and now, a number of Dapps have exited the scene while new ones have been created, according to Tron’s weekly Dapp report published on March 15. The report pointed out that gambling and high-risk ROI Dapps remain active while others such as collectibles games, board games, PVP battling games, card games, and puzzle games have only survived for a limited amount of time. This led Tron to realize that there is a gap between what the developers are working on and what the market is pushing for. An excerpt from the report reads: “On the one hand, we need to acknowledge the exploring endeavors of the developers; on the other hand, we have to respect the choice of the market.” Key Overview and Recent Discoveries It has been discovered that the past two weeks has seen a high number of new high-risk ROI Dapps deployed on Tron’s network. The report highlighted that the current market situation is biased in favor of high-risk ROI and gambling Dapps. However, gambling Dapps have remained relatively the same but are also slightly losing their appeal to the market, opening an opportunity for developers to concentrate on building high-risk ROI Dapps. The whole Dapp market is showing positive signs of recovery after posting significant increases in trading volume and Daily Active Users (DAUs). The new positive outlook has restored hope in Dapps. Moreover, Tron’s Dapps are doing exceptionally well and have managed to outperform its two biggest rivals - Ethereum and EOS. Tron recorded a trading volume of more than $17 million in the past week. The report says: “Tron’s account number went beyond 2 million last week and the growth has speeded up even more, far exceeding that of EOS and ETH. This means that more and more new Dapp users have chosen Tron for their first public chain experience.” Tron’s partner, ICO bench, has launched a dedicated area for Tron projects. ICO bench was developed two years ago by a Russian team. Selected High-risk ROI Dapps of the Week Tron reviewed Shrimp Farm and Ant Farmers - two Dapps that recently made a hit. They both attained record-high DAU on Tron’s network’s less than three days after launch. Shrimp Farm reached a DAU of 30,000. The success of the two Dapps is centered on one of the high-risk ROI Dapps special features - timely return. Two more contributing factors to the success of the Dapps include freebies and high invitation rewards. These Dapps are considered to be investments in Dapps or TRX deposits in smart contracts and allow users to receive a certain payout in proportion to their ‘invested’ TRX. The second high-risk ROI Dapp introduced is P3T. P3T is a game platform with the highest number of active users on Tron in its category. The game enables users to trade and earn dividends based on the P3T token. Unlike the first two Dapps (Shrimp Farm and Ant Farmers), P3T employs a fixed return rate of 3.33 percent and has a longer return period of 30 days. TRON Dapp Report: TRON Acknowledges That The Market Is Favoring High-Risk ROI Dapps was originally found on Cryptocurrency News | Blockchain News | Bitcoin News | blokt.com.

16 days ago

Do you have any questions or feedback about Aragon, or ideas...

Do you have any questions or feedback about Aragon, or ideas you want to share about decentralized governance? St… https://t.co/RMSd76bR1F

17 days ago

A new Aragon Forum redesign was launched today by @PolitoDel...

A new Aragon Forum redesign was launched today by @PolitoDelfina @owisixseven 🎉 What do you think? 😁… https://t.co/qxlrQ24COT

17 days ago

Almost all of the top 20 blockchain projects with the most developer activity on Github are building on Ethereum

One of the key indicators of the health of a network is how much building is going on. [State of the Dapps](https://www.stateofthedapps.com/rankings?sort=dev_30d&order=desc) does a stellar job at capturing different data sets, and one of them is developer activity on Ethereum, EOS, Steem, and xDai. This information is by no means a definitive picture of the blockchain ecosystem, but the data does represent some interesting trends. Here is a list of the top 20 they put together based on activity 🛠️ Status, Cosmos, High Fidelity, ARK, Gnosis, Storj, Origin Protocol, Aragon, Augur, Simple Token/OST, Metamask, eSteem, Decentraland, SingularityNET, OmiseGO, 0x, Neufund, Civil, Raiden Network, Basic Attention Token. For a full breakdown of each project, check out the original article [**here**](https://media.consensys.net/the-20-blockchain-projects-with-the-most-developer-activity-on-github-6e0d6e748b8d).

23 days ago

Aragon Governance Proposals for Aragon Network Vote #2 are d...

Aragon Governance Proposals for Aragon Network Vote #2 are due in just under one month, on April 11, 2019 at 16:00… https://t.co/lw1Q53psVy

24 days ago

That Planning Suite is a suite of Aragon apps that can be us...

That Planning Suite is a suite of Aragon apps that can be used by organizations to collectively budget and design c… https://t.co/jj3r5dM8Fg

25 days ago

Could personal loans from fintech firms give credit cards a run for their money?

Startups have spent the past decade trying to reinvent everything from taxis (so far so good) to squeezing juice out of fruit and vegetables (facepalm). Lately, entrepreneurs have been giving consumer debt a digital makeover. Fintech upstarts have turbocharged personal loans, now the fastest growing category of consumer debt, according to Experian. This type of lending was once mainly used by riskier borrowers without access to credit cards or home-equity loans. Now, whizzy smartphone apps, using a wider range of of data inputs, can extend loans to people who might not qualify based on traditional credit scores alone. Companies like Affirm and Marcus (part of Goldman Sachs) pitch personal loans as an alternative to revolving credit-card debt. The segment has been driven by financial startups, which account for 38% of the personal loan market, up from 5% in 2013, according to TransUnion. The loans are typically used for larger purchases—a new refrigerator, for example, or debt consolidation—and have a fixed number of payments until they are paid off. Credit cards can be expensive if the user allows balances to roll over (the average annual interest rate in the US is around 17%), while personal loans may offer lower rates. Credit cards are still the easiest way to take on debt (too easy, some argue), and personal loans generally don’t make sense for smaller purchases. But digitized alternatives are evolving and steadily encroaching on the credit cards’ turf: Affirm, started by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin, is available at checkout on the trendy Warby Parker glasses website, and now has a partnership with Walmart for purchases of between $150 and $2,000. While it’s ramping up quickly, the total US personal loan balance is only about a third of outstanding credit-card debt, according to Experian. That said, the loans still have lots of scope for growth, according to LendingTree chief economist Tendayi Kapfidze. Fintech innovation in credit assessment has deepened the pool of eligible customers, he said. Even if personal loans aren’t an existential threat for the credit-card business, they could over time make revolving consumer credit somewhat less profitable for banks. That could happen if more customers decide to refinance credit-card debt with personal loans, and as fintech offerings become more plentiful and slick at the point of sale. That matters for banks, because credit cards are a cash cow. JPMorgan Chase generated $5.8 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter from its card, merchant services, and auto segment, a 14% increase from the year before. In a sign that the big banks have taken notice of fintech encroachment, the New York-based lender unveiled a new type of loan last month through its app that lets card customers pay for $500-plus purchases in installments. Customers can also apply for loans through its app, and have the funds immediately placed in a checking account. The big question for the new ranks of lenders is how well they can withstand the next economic downturn. By some measures, consumers are still in good shape: LendingTree’s Kapfidze noted that delinquency rates for credit cards are still near long-term lows, and the amount households spend on debt relative to disposable income is lower than before the last recession. Other measures are more worrying. The ratio of total US consumer debt to GDP is at around the highest level it’s been, including in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Personal loans are a small part of that $3.9 trillion in debt, especially compared with student debt and mortgages. But fintech firms that are building their businesses on personal loans will face a major test when the economy next hits the skids. The future of finance on Quartz Mizuho and about 60 other Japanese banks are launching a digital payments platform. Contrary to what you may have read about it, “J-Coin Pay” won’t use crypto or blockchain in any form. The UK needs radical reform if it’s to keep cash payments from dying. It’s not because consumers hate cash—it’s because the infrastructure for notes and coins is becoming too expensive to manage. Walmart is working on making the most out of its costly Flipkart acquisition. The company plans to apply the lessons learned from payment service PhonePe’s success. When will the ice age for digital tokens end? If bitcoin repeats the pattern from its previous bear market (a huge if), the original crypto coin may have already bottomed out. What are the best credit cards to have in your wallet? A Quartz member exclusive outlines the plastic that offers the best perks (paywall). Heard on headphones “What does free even mean anymore?” ETF Prime Podcast, featuring ETF.com’s Dave Nadig, CFRA’s Todd Rosenbluth, and ProShares’ Simeon Hyman. “Overall, there’s no question investors have benefitted. We know the costs of investing have come down across the board. I just wonder what we’re sacrificing in transparency.” The future of finance elsewhere

a month ago

Social Media Platforms Can Become Game-Changers For the Mass Adoption of Digital Tokens

Even though Cryptocurrencies have experienced downward pressure on their prices, big-tech companies and social media platforms like Facebook and Telegram are already experimenting with digital tokens. They want to leverage their digital know-how, an existing customer base of million users and their human resources to venture into the cryptocurrency space. Facebook Set to Launch Its own Digital Coin According to ‘The New York Times’ report, Facebook is planning to issue digital coins that will help users send money through messaging platforms. Facebook owns Whatsapp, Messenger, and Instagram. Collectively, these apps boast a user base of a whopping 2.7 Billion people. When these users who live across the world, from developed countries like the USA to developing Asian economies, can transfer money from a smartphone to another, it will have a far-reaching impact on retail payments. Interestingly, this digital coin will be a ‘medium of exchange’ but not a store of value, i.e., a stablecoin- a digital currency pegged to the U.S dollar. This will make it unappealing to speculators, but this does have the potential to change the retail payments space in the world. It was always rumored that Facebook would venture into Financial services. David Marcus, former president of PayPal, has been with the company since 2014. It is reported that the digital coin of Facebook will be pegged to a basket of currencies like Dollar, Euro, Yen, etc. just like the Special Drawing Rights of the International Monetary Fund. Big-tech Companies, Be It in the West or East Are Eyeing the ‘Financial Space’ History does repeat itself. Just look at the Fin-tech revolution that took place in China. Chinese internet companies gradually ventured into financial services. Some of the prominent ones are Baidu, Alibaba and Tencent. BAT, as they are known, forayed into providing financial services only after they had a sufficient user base from their earlier operations. Alibaba group owned Ant Financial at $150 Billion is valued more than Goldman Sachs. Interestingly they all started differently. Baidu is a search engine, Alibaba had a humble beginning in 1999, and within a span of 20 years, it has become one of the top ten valued companies in the world. Clearly, we are experiencing a pattern here. Technology companies offer something unique by leveraging technology, garner a substantial user base and then make an entry into financial services. This is not new. Just last month, it was reported that JP Morgan is set to launch its own digital coin. Such mainstream adoption by Facebook, JP Morgan will definitely help the case of cryptocurrencies notwithstanding, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffet’s continued tirade against Cryptocurrencies. Digital Coins May Increase ‘Financial Inclusion’ Also, Telegram- another instant messaging platform with around 300 million monthly active users is also planning to issue its own coin-GRAM. Also, Kakao- South Korea’s largest internet conglomerate is also working on the same. Unlike the developed world, many emerging economies and developing nations have an opaque traditional financial system even though they have active monthly users of popular instant messaging platforms like Whatsapp, Instagram, Wechat and so on. There are around 1.7 Billion people in the world who are “Unbanked.” It means they do not have access to even a basic savings account in a bank. As the World Bank report states: “Globally, 1.7 billion adults remain unbanked, yet two-thirds of them own a mobile phone that could help them access financial services.” This provides Social Media companies like Facebook with enormous potential to plan something like a digital coin which can give access to Finance to such “unbanked” persons. But a word of caution here. This is not the first time that Facebook has dabbled in the financial space. Previously it had launched Facebook Credits and Facebook Gifts only to be shelved two years later. It remains to be seen how a social media company undertakes this to become one of the most important payments companies in the world. Social Media Platforms Can Become Game-Changers For the Mass Adoption of Digital Tokens was originally found on Cryptocurrency News | Blockchain News | Bitcoin News | blokt.com.

a month ago

Blockchain in China: Alibaba Makes Moves to Increase Adoption and Exposure

Alibaba is making more moves in the blockchain space, with its payment arm Ant Financials launching 2 blockchain affiliates,... The post Blockchain in China: Alibaba Makes Moves to Increase Adoption and Exposure appeared first on Invest In Blockchain.

a month ago

Launch of Two Blockchain Subsidiaries in Shanghai Suggests Alibaba is Entering the Blockchain Space

Ant Financial, the payment wing of Alibaba Group, is reported to have launched two blockchain subsidiaries in Shanghai. Ant Blockchain Technology Co LTD., and Ant Double Chain Technology Co LTD., were incorporated on December 6, 2018, and both have a registered value of $100 million yuan ($14.9 million). Ant Blockchain Technology will focus on big data services, software development, network development, and financial consultation. Meanwhile, Ant Double Chain will provide fintech-related services and data services connected to supply chain management. The pivot shows Alibaba is increasing its focus on the blockchain sector and is taking steps to integrate the technology to supply chain finance, cross-border remittances, and e-payment apps. Ant Financial, also known as Alipay, is China’s leading online and mobile payments service provider and currently serves more than 520 million users. (RS)

a month ago

Alibaba Venturing Into Blockchain? Launches Two Blockchain Subsidiaries in Shanghai

The payment arm of China’s multinational e-commerce conglomerate Alibaba Group, Ant Financial, has reportedly launched two blockchain subsidiaries in the Huangpu District of Shanghai. Ant Blockchain Technology Co LTD., and Ant Double Chain Technology Co LTD., as the subsidiaries are dubbed, have been incorporated back on December 6th, 2018, and have a registered capital of 100 million yuan, which is approximately $150,000. That’s according to data from the National Enterprise Credit Information Publicity System. Different Specializations According to the reports, both companies will have fairly different areas of expertise within the blockchain field. The first one - Ant Blockchain Technology, is supposedly going to focus on big data services, software development, network development, financial and technology consultation, as well as projects related to computer information engineering. The second company - Ant Double Chain, will be providing fintech-related services, including financial information and data services, supply chain management, consultation in the field of financial products, R&D, and so forth. The report also outlines that Double Chain stands for “blockchain” and “supply chain”, hinting at the company’s inclination. Diving Deeper in Blockchain Technology The initiative reveals that Alibaba is furthering its efforts in the field of blockchain, especially in the areas related to supply chain finance, cross-border remittance, and electronic bill application. Ant Financial, formerly known as Alipay, is China’s leading online and mobile payments service provider, boasting over 520,000,000 users. Last summer, in June 2018, the company revealed that it has managed to successfully trial a brand new blockchain-based remittance service between Hong Kong and the Philippines. The co-founder and the executive chairman of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, has long attested his confidence in distributed ledger technology. Blockchain should not be a tech to get rich overnight...There are still 1.7 billion people in the world who have no bank accounts, but most of them have mobile phones. The impact of blockchain on the future of humans may be far beyond our imagination. - Said Ma. The post Alibaba Venturing Into Blockchain? Launches Two Blockchain Subsidiaries in Shanghai appeared first on CryptoPotato.

a month ago

Have you tried building an Aragon app before? @autarklabs w...

Have you tried building an Aragon app before? @autarklabs would like to hear about your experience, especially if… https://t.co/qJDBIzTg8O

a month ago

Invited by Ant Node Alliance, Eric attended the meetup in Xi...

Invited by Ant Node Alliance, Eric attended the meetup in Xiamen right after the end of Chinese lunar year. During… https://t.co/i0uyT3XXJn

a month ago

GCR Exclusive: Bitmain’s Efforts to Generate Cash Flow; Bitmain co-founders Micree Zhan Off to Build A New Mining Business and Jihan Wu to a New Company called Matrix

Today, Odaily, a Chinese media site, reported that a mining farm led by the cofounder of Bitmain Micree Zhan suddenly appeared in Sichuan, China. People speculated whether Micree was returning to mining after leaving the Bitmain CEO’s role. However, according to sources, this is probably a development that came out of Bitmain ’s “joint mining” strategy since the bear market last year. It is worth noting that this is a huge deployment. It is reported that Zhan hurriedly deployed 100,000 mining units in the first two months before the arrival of the flood season, to purely mining Bitcoin. If it is fully loaded, 100,000 sets of mining machines will be equivalent to 1.33EH/s, which accounts for about 3% of Bitmain’s total network computing power, and is equivalent to the sum of Huobi mining pool power. For the past six months, the cryptocurrency space has been in a downward trend in the bear market, and most of the companies associated with it have endured poor financial positions. Three major miners such as Bitmain, Canaan, and Ebang International went to Hong Kong to apply for IPO last year, with a goal to expand financing channels. But as of now, the IPO applications of the latter two miners have expired, and the results of Bitmain are unpredictable. At the end of last year, Odaily reported that Micree Zhan and Jihan had simultaneously resigned as CEO positions in Bitmain. Subsequently, Bitmain continued to decline along with Bitcoin prices, with large-scale demolition of its mines, layoffing 50% of its employees, and so on. Bitmain official rarely reveals its true operating status, latest developments, etc., so it is difficult for the outside world to really understand what’s happening. But at this year’s annual company meeting, a photograph showed that Micree Zhan covering his face and weeping, and Jihan standing beside him comforting him. Perhaps, this image can show how complex and bitter the situation is for Bitmain. On March 4th, Odaily verified Micree Zhan’s affiliated Sichuan Mining Farm with Bitmain. Their response is that its: “just a general commercial cooperation between companies, please focus on the business relationship, not personal history.” Bitmain’s 100,000 mining machines are in preparation for China’s flood season, with Micree Zhan taking over the responsibility “Zhan came out to create a mining farm in Sichuan with 160,000 loads, 100,000 mining units.” A mining insider named Zhao Yiming (a pseudonym) revealed. In the past two months, Bitmain has been demolishing, selling machines, and conducting mass layoffs. But on the other hand, there are always new moves from the company. According to industry and commerce data, on November 22, 2018, a company named Hainan Continental Ark Data Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Ark”) was incorporated in Hainan, China, with a registered capital of 30 million RMB and a person named Wang Ming accounting for 100% of the ownership. Two months later, Fujian Chuangke Technology Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as “Fujian Chuangke”) joined and acquired 40% of Ark. Fujian Chuangke is a 100% shareholding company owned by Bitmain, of which both legal representatives is Micree Zhan. Joined by Fujian Chuangke also came Micree Zhan, who served as the company’s executive since January 29 this year. It is suggested that Ark is behind the mining farm in Sichuan referred by Zhao Yiming. Zhao Yiming said that the cost of electricity for Bitmain domestically in China was generally really high. Recently, they finally found a way to get cheap electricity prices in Sichuan. The mine is to be deployed in Sichuan, using hydropower, and it is expected to begin operations in May. May is the peak flood period of Sichuan, the cost of electricity can be less than two cents RMB or $0.07. In recent years, every time after the Spring Festival/Chinese New Year, there are always a large number of mines chasing low electricity prices by moving to Sichuan. Odaily also learned that the mines under the above-mentioned Micree will run the Ant mining machine S11 and the 15 models (S15 and T15), both of which are Bitmain-owned mines. Bitmain’s Joint Mining Model and Its Effort to Become Asset Light In December last year, Odaily reported that the Bitmain is carrying out “joint mining” partnerships, that is, a partnership in which a partner provides electricity and mining farm setup, and Bitmain provides its mining machines. This is the way Bitmain is looking to get rid of its inventory, in order to preserve capital during crypto winter. A person familiar with the matter said: “The companies that cooperate with it also need to advance the electricity bill to reduce the capital investment in Bitmain.” However, for such a model, the mine owner Lu Yuan (pseudonym) has revealed that the progress has not been smooth. “In this model, Bitmain only gives machines and does not pay a deposit, so, so far few mine owners are willing to cooperate.” Lu Yuan said. While the mining pools

a month ago

How a three-year-old banking startup has pulled off a perfect lending record

Even by lofty fintech standards, OakNorth is soaring. The London-based startup bank’s $440 million funding round, led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund, was the biggest ever for a European firm of its kind. Less than four years since it launched, the company is profitable and valued at $2.8 billion. OakNorth says not one of its customers has ever defaulted, or even had a late payment. OakNorth’s founders, who sold their analytics startup to Moody’s in 2014, say the company is designed for entrepreneurs. Its customers are small- and medium-sized businesses such as Leon, a restaurant chain, as well as bars, hotels, property developers, and private equity firms. The company plans to use the money it recently raised for expansion in the US and abroad. But what about the perfect lending record? It sounds almost too good to be true. The bank has lent out more than £2 billion ($2.6 billion), which it funds mainly through equity and deposits from more than 30,000 savings customers. Sean Hunter, CIO of OakNorth’s analytics unit, said about one in 10 companies makes it through an initial screening before getting signaled to apply for a loan. The prospective borrower then goes to a credit committee, where about 90% of applicants get approved. Roughly speaking, the approval rate is about in line with broader small-business lending in the UK, according to BBA trade association data. Hunter says the bank uses artificial intelligence to automate as much of its credit analysis as possible. Machines are adept at sorting through mountains of data to identify patterns. And so one example is finding statistics for comparable borrowers. For a hotel company, it might identify property values for similar businesses. “There are lots of little sub-jobs you can get AI to do,” said Hunter, who previously worked at Silicon Valley data science company Palantir. The company also uses outside data like TripAdvisor ratings and sentiment analysis based on Yelp reviews. Its OakNorth Analytical Intelligence business licenses its tech platform’s services to other banks. But not every borrower behaves as expected. In a “handful” of cases, Hunter said OakNorth has modified a customer’s loans. Another strategy is to simply jettison the weakest credits. Co-founder Joel Perlman told a London conference recently that the company has on occasion urged a customer to refinance elsewhere. “We’ve said, ‘go renegotiate with another bank and refinance,'” Perlman said. “And they’ve gone and refinanced and then a few months later they’ve gone into default.” It’s a technology problem OakNorth says its loans are specifically designed for each customer, similar to the treatment a large company would expect from a top Wall Street lender. Humans make the lending decisions, but they’re able to improve the analysis and speed up the process using AI. Hunter said the technology helps it bring the cost of customized service down to a level where it can be used for relatively small loans. The company also continues monitoring the customer, either by plugging directly into accounts to access operating data, or by having customers provide documentation that gets uploaded. The idea is to detect problems before the customer runs out of options. “Getting all that data in different formats from different businesses is complicated,” Hunter said. “That’s a technology problem that we’ve taken on.” Big banks with vast portfolios aren’t always able to inspect each every loan on a regular basis, said Francesc Rodriguez Tous, a finance professor at Cass Business School in London. Instead, they might focus on their most important accounts unless there are obvious red flags coming from the smaller clients. But if every company that seeks to refinance an OakNorth loan is already in trouble, other banks will eventually notice, he said. They’ll be less likely offer refinancing, making it harder for OakNorth to unload problem debts in the future (and besmirching its perfect lending record). Without specifically pointing to OakNorth, he noted that loan modifications are fine unless they’re simply reclassifying a borrower who still can’t afford to service a debt. And a key question, of course, for every startup lender is how well they will withstand a downturn, following a long stretch of relatively benign economic conditions. The company points out that some of its clients have already been through a slump. For Perlman, profitability—it reported a £10.6 million profit in 2017—is a key to withstanding a potential slowdown. “We don’t believe in that story about building revenues and eventually we’ll make money,” Perlman said at the conference. “When the downturn comes, being profitable is a big thing.” The future of finance on Quartz Apple and Goldman Sachs are teaming up on a credit card linked to the iPhone’s digital wallet. Expect them to position this as a “healthy” financial alternative, with fitness-app-like spending features. The debate about a cashless Britain is getting louder. That’s

a month ago

China Led the Way in Global Fintech Funding for 2018

According to a recent Accenture report, China accounted for over 46% of global investment in fintech companies in 2018, a year which saw the total amount invested double to over $55 billion. Analysis shows that China completed a total of 348 fintech investment transactions worth more than $25 billion, including investments into the online wealth management platform Lufax and the Alibaba affiliate Ant Financial. “Even with the current volatility in global markets and ongoing macroeconomic concerns, investment in the fintech sector remains strong.” (JF)

a month ago

Learn how the Aragon Network is being developed as the world...

Learn how the Aragon Network is being developed as the world's first digital jurisdiction in this #AraCon2019 prese… https://t.co/M542D0vBFH

a month ago

Ant Financial Denies That It Partnered with Mizuho in an E-money and Blockchain Deal

After Mizuho Bank announced that it had partnered with Alipay, the core business of Ant Financial, in an electronic money and blockchain deal involving the development of a mobile payment service dubbed 'J-Coin Pay,' Ant Financial has denied this claim. Ant Financial told ChainDD that the partnership between Alipay and Mizuho Bank only involves providing offline QR code payment services to Chinese tourists in Japan. Per the organization, the agreement does not include creating the J-Coin Pay platform. (KE)

a month ago

RT @izqui9: Legal LLC shares issued by an Aragon DAO 💥🦅 ...

RT @izqui9: Legal LLC shares issued by an Aragon DAO 💥🦅 https://t.co/FPizaxyDXD

2 months ago

Between our participation in community events, releasing Ara...

Between our participation in community events, releasing Aragon on the Ethereum mainnet, and preparing for… https://t.co/I8vPyrZbiu

2 months ago

Is Polkadot Really a Threat to Ethereum?

“The race is on” said recently Jorge Izquierdo of Aragon, an ethereum dapp that might also be built on Polkadot, a new ethereum2.0-like blockchain built by Parity Tech. Parity runs... The post Is Polkadot Really a Threat to Ethereum? appeared first on Trustnodes.

2 months ago

Aragon Government Sinks $13 million in Industry 4.0

Earlier this week, La Vanguardia announced that the Aragon government had set aside $13 million for the development of emerging technologies including blockchain. Per the announcement, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) contributed to this sum, which is double the amount that the government had planned to spend. The money would finance the operations of Aragon Industria 4.0, which seeks to explore concepts and applications of emerging technologies such as AI and the blockchain. The initiative would also underpin synergistic tech organizations. This move would allow Spain to make its mark in the blockchain technology and other technologies. (VK)

2 months ago

Aragon Government Invests $13 Million Into Industry 4.0 Development

Earlier this week, local news outlet La Vanguardia reported a USD 13 million fund allocation by the Government of Aragon for the development of emerging technologies, including blockchain. The source reports that the sum was co-funded by European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and was double the amount initially intended in the original plan, hence, meeting the needs of up to 320 Argonese companies. According to the news outlet, the specific objectives of the program dubbed Aragón Industria 4.0 under the Strategy of Economic and Industrial Promotion of Aragon 2017-2019 initiative, were designed to explore concepts and applications of emerging technologies in the industry 4.0 such as artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology as well as promote synergistic tech companies’ growth within its industrial sector. Moreover, small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) will be given an opportunity through the program to incorporate digitalization into their processes. Blockchain exploration in Spain has had tremendous successes, and more ambitious prospects for blockchain within the country continue to spring up. Developments had included the proposed use of blockchain in resolving corruption and fraud within its economic system., the exploration of the distributed ledger use case in the logistics industry. In finance, a clear distinction was the successful completion of a USD 150 million syndicated loan through the blockchain. More exploits have covered other areas including agriculture, and the energy industry. Perhaps this is an opportunity for Spain to mark its territory in the blockchain industry and also in other emerging technologies as it scales up funding into research and development, and attempts an SME inclusion system for the industry. Other governments and institutes seem not to be slacking in the pursuit of prospects within the blockchain industry. Most nations and non-government related funds have invested large sums for research purposes into the emerging technology of blockchain. Last year, the Chinese government was reportedly involved in blockchain related funding despite their stance on cryptocurrencies. One specific event that stood out was a USD 1.6 billion investment into startups by a blockchain fund and co-sponsored by the government of Shenzhen. As nations and tech companies continue to race to become an all-encompassing entity on the subject of blockchain and other emerging technologies, the frontier of blockchain continues to expand while adoption slowly gains traction. Follow BitcoinNews.com on Twitter: @BitcoinNewsCom Telegram Alerts from BitcoinNews.com: https://t.me/bconews Want to advertise or get published on BitcoinNews.com? - View our Media Kit PDF here. Image Courtesy: Pixabay The post Aragon Government Invests $13 Million Into Industry 4.0 Development appeared first on BitcoinNews.com.

2 months ago

Developers Behind Ethereum App Aragon Weigh Launching a Second Network on Polkadot

Developers behind ethereum-based application Aragon are investigating the use of Parity Technologies' Polkadot Network to launch a smart contract framework.

2 months ago

A fintech startup founded by Palantir veterans envisions a one-tap mortgage

Palantir Technologies is known for using big data to tackle tough problems like counter-terrorism analysis and measuring financial risk at mega banks. Since 2012, a group of veterans from the Silicon Valley company have taken on an equally daunting task: taking the misery out of the home mortgage process. The company they founded is called Blend, a startup that sells software to US banks to digitize lending. Getting a home loan can take as many as two months and has traditionally been heavy on paperwork. Blend co-founder and CFO Erin Collard says the company’s technology, used in apps at lenders like US Bank and Wells Fargo, has cut the time it takes by about two weeks so far. Getting a mortgage in a day isn’t legally possible, but Collard says the objective is to bring it down to a couple of weeks. He says the days of paper-based processing of information are coming to an end. “There will be a point where any financial product is easily achieved with a one-tap process,” said Collard, the former head trader at Peter Thiel’s Clarium Capital Management and an advisor to Palantir, where he met Blend’s co-founders. “We are looking into making that possible.” Some think Blend, last valued at $600 million according to PitchBook data, could be galloping toward the $1 billion mark. But when the company started out, social media was the preferred entrepreneurial pursuit in San Francisco. To the extent that fintech was a thing, Collard says the the business models more often looked to compete with the banks to provide lending, rather than selling software to them. There were also doubts about whether financial services via smartphones would catch on, especially for more more challenging things like mortgages. That all began to change when Rocket Mortgage started running Super Bowl ads touting quick mortgage approvals using a mobile phone. “Our phone never stopped ringing,” Collard said. Blend now employs 350 people and has around 135 banking customers that represent 25% of the US mortgage market. It handled some $230 billion worth of mortgage applications last year. Collard says some of the best advice he got from Thiel, a serial entrepreneur and PayPal co-founder, was to sell the software to banks instead of becoming one itself. “If we sign one contract, overnight we get millions of consumers,” he said. The company is also riding a fintech mega trend: customer data is getting easier to access. Instead of having to pull three months of accounts statements and send them to the mortgage lender, technology made by companies like Plaid and Yodlee can connect with the bank and pull it out automatically. Online brokerages like Betterment and Robinhood, and payment companies like Venmo and TransferWise, are using this information to quickly onboard new customers without the customary hassle. “I don’t think people realize how revolutionary it’s going to be,” Collard said. People prefer to use their phones for simple financial transactions. But a report from Fannie Mae signals that not everyone is ready to do complex transactions, involving hundreds of thousands of dollars, without a face-to-face interaction. While most Americans already use online banking, the majority of people surveyed in telephone interviews said they would rather to talk to a person when getting a mortgage. Blend’s Collard acknowledged that not everyone is comfortable making big decisions without a customary branch visit. He said the company’s software still allows users to chat directly with a loan officer if they want to, and he argues that mobile apps can make the pool of customers bigger by, for example, tapping into lower-income consumers who don’t have a computer at home. But in the end, the exec thinks the move to digital is inevitable. “You want more of an Uber experience rather than something with thousands of pieces of paper,” he said. The future of finance on Quartz Wealthfront is adding more bank-like features. The 11-year old robo-investor’s new account offers a 2.24% interest rate, near the top of the charts in the US. What Brexit? UK fintech firms, and neobanks in particular, have no shortage of cash from investors. London-based Starling Bank said this week that it raised £75 million ($96 million). Revolut sparked a media frenzy when it used (or appeared to use) customer-spending data in a Valentine’s Day ad campaign. Such marketing is common in the payment business, but attitudes may have changed after the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica scandal. What does JPMorgan see in crypto now that it didn’t before? The biggest US bank by assets says its JPM Coin will represent one-for-one dollars held in its accounts, and will be used to make instantaneous payments. If a JPM Coin is supposed to be worth $1, what is a Binance token worth? According to Quartz’s valuation, the popular crypto exchange’s coin (currently trading for around $9) is about 1,000-times overvalued. Heard on headphones “It’s shocking if you come from traditional markets to s

2 months ago

Autonomous Spanish Region Puts $13 Million towards “4.0 Industries” Including Blockchain

Aragon, an autonomous Spanish region, has seen its government pledge over €12 million ($13 million) to develop what it has dubbed “4.0 industries,” including blockchain, AI, and a host of other emerging technologies. According to the local newspaper La Vanguardia, the amount being put forward is more than double what was initially stipulated. The initiative […]

2 months ago

Spanish Region Earmarks $13 Million for Emerging Tech Including the Blockchain

Aragon, which is an autonomous community in Northeastern Spain, has earmarked $13 million for cutting-edge technologies including the blockchain. The amount is double what was originally planned. The initiative is dubbed Industry 4.0 and in addition to the blockchain extends to artificial intelligence (AI). The initiative is part of Aragon European Regional Development Fund for 2014-2020 and will support the education and promotion of emerging technologies. The organizers are hoping to attract representatives across industrial sectors of the economy. The project will also support small- and medium-sized businesses in the shift to digital processes. (GT)

2 months ago

Spanish City Gives $13 Mln to Develop ‘Industry 4.0’ Technologies, Including Blockchain

The city of Aragon has allocated over $13 million on the education and promotion of emerging technologies, including blockchain

2 months ago

The Aragon Project Aims to Make Businesses “Unstoppable”

Back in 2017, the Aragon Association, a Swiss non-profit, launched Aragon, an Ethereum-based distributed ledger technology (DLT) project that claims to make it easier for users to build and manage decentralized organizations. In the following, BTCManager dig deeper into what makes this project so appealing. Introducing Aragon: Unstoppable Companies (Source: Aragon) Announced by the companyRead...

2 months ago

Blockchain Asset Project Melon to Run Its Decentralized Governance on Aragon

The blockchain asset management protocol Melon recently announced that its Melon Council DAO, which will allow decision making within the Melon Council to remain secure and transparent to the community, will be powered by Aragon’s aragonOS. Aragon is an app on the Ethereum blockchain which allows anyone to create and manage decentralized organizations. This is the first time Aragon will be used to power a decentralized asset management protocol and this collaboration shows the potential for synergies and integration between different projects on the Ethereum blockchain. (JF)

2 months ago

Thanks to everyone who has supported the Aragon project over...

Thanks to everyone who has supported the Aragon project over these past two years! It has been an amazing journey s… https://t.co/LjPsAtxvqF

2 months ago

To celebrate this special day, Aragon project co-founder @li...

To celebrate this special day, Aragon project co-founder @licuende wrote AGP-12, an Aragon Governance Proposal to e… https://t.co/MKbxZFRHs8

2 months ago

Binance CEO has a Solution To Amazon’s Payment Problems

Binance CEO claims that Amazon and other e-commerce giants will inevitably issue a cryptocurrency Amazon sellers get affected by Ant Financial’s acquisition of WorldFirst, the payment system used by Amazon Amidst the trade was between the US and China, private companies like Amazon gets affected due to the imposed trade restrictions Binance CEO has a Solution To Payments-Related Problems Faced By Internet-Based Businesses? Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao, seems to have a solution for the payment troubles and limitations faced by E-commerce giants and the medium scale businesses looking to expand globally. The solution given by him is cryptocurrency adoption. He cited that cryptocurrencies are more efficient and have a secure global reach. He stated in a tweet that, For any internet (non-physical) based business, I don't understand why anyone would not accept crypto for payments. It is easier, faster and cheaper to integration than traditional payment gateways. Less paperwork. And reaches more diverse demographic and geography. — CZ Binance (@cz_binance) February 2, 2019 In the same thread, later on, he claimed that, Amazon will have to issue a currency sooner or later. — CZ Binance (@cz_binance) February 2, 2019 US-China Trade War Affects Amazon’s Payment System The U.K. based payment system provider, WorldFirst issued e-mails to the seller on Amazon notifying an immediate shut-down of their US operations. The e-mail from WorldFirst failed to give a reason for the sudden decision. The company has set deadlines to end all their existing deals and close the accounts of the sellers. The operations would finally end sometime near 15th February. Amazon is looking to establish new deals will WorldFirst’s competitor Payoneer. The contents of the e-mail sent to the sellers: “We are writing to share some news that affects you as a US-based customer of WorldFirst,” the email said. “The WorldFirst shareholders have taken the decision to discontinue the US operations. As such, we will no longer be able to offer our products and services to you.” Ant Financial was prohibited last year from acquiring MoneyGram for $1.2 billion due to the prohibitions of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) under the Trump administration. Ant CEO Eric Jing noted that they are expanding looking to expand their business beyond China and banks and will soon release an IPO. Ant Financial is the parent company of Alipay and affiliate of Alibaba. Alibaba has reportedly filed 89 blockchain related payments so far. The global acquisition and R&D development in the China-based company can also serve the ‘crypto-community’ better. The post Binance CEO has a Solution To Amazon’s Payment Problems appeared first on Coingape.

2 months ago

Aragon (ANT) Developers Consider Launching a Second Network on Polkadot

Developers behind Aragon, a dApp build on Ethereum that allows users to “freely organize and collaborate without borders or intermediaries,” have recently been making waves as it has come out that they are considering building a second network, named aragonOS, on the blockchain interoperability protocol known as Polkadot. The announcement has come as a wake-up call to others in the Ethereum community as yet another project seeks alternatives to Ethereum as it struggles to upgrade and scale to keep up with the rapidly evolving space. (JF)

2 months ago

China’s Ant Financial raised almost as much money as all US and European fintech firms combined

When it comes to financial technology companies, Ant Financial is in it own league. The affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba raised $14 billion in venture capital last year, not far from the $15.9 billion for all fintech investments in the EU and US in the same period. A key question is whether the growth of the world’s most valuable fintech firm is an anomaly or a sign of things to come from China. Ant Financial accounted for 35% of global venture capital investment in fintech firms last year, according to CB Insights. The Chinese company started in 2004 as Alipay, a payment service for Alibaba. It blew past US-based PayPal in 2013 to become the largest provider of payments via mobile devices. Now, the platform offers a range of services including investing, credit, and insurance. It will be difficult for another Chinese company to repeat what Ant Financial has done. Its money market fund is among the biggest in the world, and the Alipay service has more than 700 million active users. Ant Financial grew up in an undeveloped financial system with a regulatory vacuum, at least when compared with the West. That’s beginning to change. As the People’s Bank of China stiffens regulation for systemically important money market funds, Ant Financial’s Tianhong Yu’E Bao fund has shrunk to its smallest in two years (paywall). The country’s securities regulator also imposed new reserve requirements for money market funds in 2017 and put limits on instant redemptions, according to the Financial Times. The company has reportedly shifted its focus from pure finance to technology services. Even so, there’s no question that big things are brewing in Asia. Not including Ant Financial, the region’s fintech companies raked in $8.6 billion of venture capital investment last year, compared with $12.4 for their counterparts in North America and $3.5 billion in Europe, according to CB Insights. Even after Chinese watchdogs tightened the rules for financial upstarts, some western fintech founders believe the regulations there make it easier for the likes of Ant Financial to quickly amass customers. CEO Eric Jing says Ant Financial got its name because ants are small and its service was for the “little guys.” But in valuation terms, it’s a giant: the company’s $150 billion valuation is about the same as the combined market capitalization of Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs (the stock market values PayPal, with 254 active users, at about $107 billion). That’s why all financial execs are closely watching Ant Financial’s forays outside its home turf, and eyeing what the firm will do with the money it has raised. There’s still room for growth in its home market, and the company has stakes in burgeoning Asian startups, including Indian payment company Paytm. Progress may be more difficult in the West—Ant’s takeover of remittance company MoneyGram was blocked by US officials—but the Chinese group has been building QR-code payment infrastructure in Europe and elsewhere. For now, those systems are designed to enable Chinese tourists, who rely on their smartphones for payments, to shop when they’re abroad. Once it brings a critical mass of merchants onboard, Alipay and Ant Financial could one day flip the switch, making a play for non-Chinese customers. That would give a host of big US companies, from Visa to PayPal, a run for their money.

2 months ago

Apple should issue a debit card

If Apple really wants to give companies like PayPal a run for their money, it needs to give Americans want they want: old-fashioned plastic cards. The opportunity for Apple’s payment business to win over consumers could be slipping away. CEO Tim Cook told analysts this week that Apple Pay handled 1.8 billion transactions in the last three months of 2018, twice the number from a year earlier. But only about 12% of the 383 million Apple Pay users around the world are based in the US, according to data from Loup Ventures. Winning over the American consumer is only going to get more difficult as contactless payment cards roll out this year. Contactless payment terminals have popped up around the US, giving smartphone wallets (and devices like the Apple Watch) a chance to catch on before near-field communication (NFC) is widely enabled on payment cards. But in a survey of smartphone users by Juniper Research, only 14% of respondents said they use a wallet provided from the likes of Apple or Google. “The window of opportunity in the US for mobile payment providers like Apple Pay and Google Pay is closing fast,” according to the technology research firm. Now, contactless cards are coming. JPMorgan Chase, the biggest issuer of Visa cards, plans to have widely rolled out contactless-enabled cards by the end of the year, Visa’s CEO said this week in an earnings call. Wells Fargo and Bank of America will start issuing them by the summer, and retailer Target has also enabled contactless payments for Visa cards. The card network has said it will have 100 million contactless cards in the US by the end of the year, which is more than double the number of Apple Pay users in America. Other geographies, like the UK, where contactless payment are ubiquitous, show that cards have much greater traction so far than smartphone wallets, Juniper research shows. Consultancy AT Kearney has also noted that NFC tech tends to benefit plastic rectangles than smartphone wallets. The switch to contactless could boost annual card payment volume by $78.4 billion by 2021, according to the firm’s estimates. The payments business could be important for Apple, which is trying to overcome smartphone saturation (it gets harder to sell iPhones when so many people who can afford them already have one) by expanding its already impressive services business. Global payment revenue is expected to swell to $3 trillion in the next four years, up from $2 trillion in 2018, according to consulting firm McKinsey. Getting fees from even a sliver of those flows is an enormous opportunity for Apple. Not everyone thinks the door is closing for Apple Pay. The company announced last month that it signed up Taco Bell and Target (Target previously said it had no plans to adopt Apple Pay). That means 74 of the top 100 US retailers by revenue, and 65% of all American retail locations, now accept Apple’s digital wallet. Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster says a debit card could provide a short term boost, but would be out of character for the tech company. “The opportunity more broadly for the digital wallet is still open ended,” he said. “Eventually it replaces the physical wallet. Not only with payments, but for other things that are in a wallet. Is that five years or 50 years from now is the more relevant question.” Strapping a debit card to a digital payment service is nothing new. Square has one, as do PayPal, Venmo, and other fintech firms around the world. And while Apple has a history of selling customers products that focus on the future, maybe that strategy won’t work as well in consumer finance. In reflecting on his days at PayPal (which already had a debit card), co-founder Elon Musk told writer Ashlee Vance that this kind of thinking is all wrong: There were a bunch of things that should have been done like checks. Because even though people don’t use a lot of checks they still use some checks. So if you force people to say, ‘Okay, we’re not going to let you use checks ever,’ they’re like, ‘Okay, I guess I have to have a bank account.’ Just give them a few checks, for God’s sake. That’s not to say some people won’t like paying for things with their phones—it’s the norm in China, after all. And payment cards don’t matter when it come to peer-to-peer payments or (perhaps) online purchases, which account for a rapidly growing share of transactions. Visa said in its earnings call that e-commerce is expanding more than three times faster than offline sales. Debit cards may well become less important over time. But consumers typically avoid moving their financial accounts and tend to be faithful, even when they dislike the service. An Apple debit card is a chance for the Silicon Valley-based company to give customers what they want—for God’s sake—before someone else does. The future of finance on Quartz Ant Financial raised almost as much money last year as all US and European fintech firms combined. It’s one more sign that China’s financial upstarts are oper

2 months ago

Ethereum Startup Aragon Weighs Launching a Second Network on Polkadot

Ethereum startup Aragon is investigating the use of Parity Technologies' Polkadot Network to launch a smart contract framework.

2 months ago

In his #AraCon2019 keynote @izqui9 shared the past, present,...

In his #AraCon2019 keynote @izqui9 shared the past, present, and future of Aragon from his own perspective. The vi… https://t.co/xpansQBeuw

2 months ago

#AraCon2019 was a special gathering of the Aragon community ...

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2 months ago

Want to know how to build your own DAO on Aragon? Get start...

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2 months ago

FinTech Companies Raised $40 Billion in 2018

A new report from CB Insights shows that fintech companies raised $39.57 billion across 1,707 deals in 2018. Asia-based fintechs dominated the space with Ant Financial’s $14 billion investment constituting 35% of the total 2018 funding and Asia itself raised $22.65 billion through 516 deals. North America and Europe-based fintechs also set a new record with each raising $11.89 billion and $3.53 billion respectively. Notably, Southeast Asia-based fintech startups attracted larger financing from a growing number of foreign investors which highlights an increased focus on the region. To date, there are 39 venture capital-backed fintech unicorns worth a combined value of $147.37 billion and a number of the startups are from the blockchain and cryptocurrency sector. (RS)

2 months ago


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