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Blockchain By Night Review

  As part of the 4th annual Blockchain for Finance Conference this year, on Monday 7th October, Deloitte and the Institute of Banking held a nighttime event in the Teelings Distillery in Dublin 8 called Blockchain by Night. The event, other than having some lovely whiskey cocktails using Teeling’s own tipple, served as the launch event of a collaborative project between Deloitte, Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster Bank and The Institute of Banking called Edq. This is the first industry education platform based on blockchain, which completed it’s pilot phase and is due to go into production in Summer 2020.

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As part of the 4th annual Blockchain for Finance Conference this year, on Monday 7th October, Deloitte and the Institute of Banking held a nighttime event in the Teelings Distillery in Dublin 8 called Blockchain by Night.

The event, other than having some lovely whiskey cocktails using Teeling’s own tipple, served as the launch event of a collaborative project between Deloitte, Bank of Ireland, AIB, Ulster Bank and The Institute of Banking called Edq. This is the first industry education platform based on blockchain, which completed it’s pilot phase and is due to go into production in Summer 2020. The platform is also aligned with the Future of Jobs initiative, and is aimed at being Europe’s first financial services industry education and credentials verification platform that uses blockchain, and won Deloitte’s Financial Services Innovation Award.

Introducing the night were Cillian Leonowicz, Co-Lead of Deloitte’s EMEA Blockchain Lab, Mary O’Dea, Chief Executive of the Institute of Banking, Professor Barbara Dooley, Dean of Graduate Studies and Deputy Registrar of UCD.

Introducing the evening, Professor Dooley said that UCD aim to be at the front of new support initiatives for the financial services industry, and see that the that the application of blockchain technology to help provide details of qualifications to prospective employers and employees in admitting and verifying qualifications. Initially it will be deployed in the College of Business to share credentials.

Following the introduction, Valarie Daunt, Human Capital Lead & Partner in Deloitte did a talk looking at the future of work in the fintech industry.

The main topic of the night was on the Edq platform, which was moderated by Kevin Gallen, Deputy Chief Executive at the Institute of Banking. Starting to explain how Edq came about, Stephen Moran, Head of R&D at Bank of Ireland said that the idea came as a result of an innovation meeting, on the back of a 2015 decision to focus on innovation. Specifically it came out of a HR sprint, and they had already partnered with Deloitte around risk and regulatory reporting. As the platform developed, as with other areas such as cheque clearing and the now defunct Laser scheme, there is a history of collaboration between banks around infrastructure, so they partnered with the Institute of Banking, AIB and Ulster Bank.

The platform particularly focuses on employees and employers in the financial services industry and uses blockchain to assist with quickly verifying credentials, identity and qualifications, as well as CPD credits management.

Carol Mullen, HR Change Manager at AIB then discussed some of the issues faced by HR managers when hiring. When someone is being onboarded, their currently is a lot of time spent by HR to prove who they are and if their credentials are valid and up-to-date. The new platform will save a lot of time in giving a real-time dashboard which will show a recruiter the qualifications of the applicant (who can choose to share their credentials) as well as with their existing staff to see who is compliant with QFA exams, CPD credits etc.

Following this, David Dalton, Financial Services Lead in Deloitte’s EMEA Blockchain Lab continued, saying that while there is lots of talk of disruption, the reality is it’s more of a transformation, and collaboration helps this. There are challenges faced by traditional financial services companies who are being challenged by fintech startups bringing an excellent customer experience. He mentioned as an example that Revolut which has 3 million customers, only has 630 employees. These are driving a need to transform legacy core platforms.

He then went on to say that they worked with ABN Amro to create a digital wealth platform. Normally if this was done internally it would take 3-4 years, but in this case they collaborated with a dozen fintech companies and did this from concept to production in 18 months.

Referring back to Edq, he said that they had to bring some people out of retirement because they were the only people who knew how some things worked within the process.

Learning from Poc was bringing the businesses with them to get buy in. Had to bring people out of retirement because they were the on people who knew how some thing worked.

The final part of the evening was an explanation of how the current recruitment process works by Derek Lawson of the Institute of Banking, followed by a demo of both the user and company dashboards by Erica Piol of Deloitte. The platform enables a user to register their profile and link their Institute of Banking records to it, and it will show them how far they are progressing with their exams and qualifications. They can also share the credentials with a current or prospective employer.

The company dashboard enables a holistic view of an organisation, showing all of the staff who are up to date, all of the staff who are in the process of doing their exams, and also where people are with their CPD credits. This enables a HR manager to see who they need to intervene with to complete exams and get into compliance with regulations.

The evening then wrapped up. We’ll be attending part of the conference so stay tuned for more information over the next few days.

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Source: https://bitcoinsinireland.com/blockchain-by-night-review/

Blockchain

Da Vinci Capital Reportedly Requests $100 Million from Telegram for TON’s Failure

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A large investor in Telegram’s failed Open Network (TON) has reportedly requested $100 million in compensation from the company. Otherwise, the investor – Da Vinci Capital – has warned with taking legal actions against the messaging platform.

TON Investor Demands $100M

Telegram’s TON initiative was among the most widely-discussed blockchain-related projects in the past few years. However, the endeavor faced almost immediate backlash from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a US court decided at one point that the native currency – GRAMS – is a security token, which couldn’t be sold in the US or anywhere else.

Telegram attempted on multiple occasions to fight the court’s decision and to prove that GRAMS is not a security. However, to no avail and Pavel Durov, the company’s CEO ultimately had to throw the towel by saying that “Telegram’s active involvement with TON is over.”

Although the company has distanced itself from the failed blockchain project, the problems keep following it, according to a recent report by Forbes Russia. Citing anonymous people familiar with the matter, the coverage said that Da Vinci Capital, an investor in the $1.7 billion initial coin offering, has requested compensation for TON’s failure.

Lawyers from the Moscow-based investment company have reportedly sent a letter of intent to file a claim to Durov, Telegram Vice President Ilya Perekopsky, and other executives and lawyers involved with the project.
The report says that Da Vinci Capital had demanded roughly $100 million as compensation.

Two Weeks to Answer

Forbes’ coverage further explained that Durov and his colleagues have two weeks to transfer the funds or notify the lawyers from the investment company if they decide to reject it.

However, if Telegram fails to answer in the provided timeframe, Da Vinci Capital has the right to take the matter to court.

Apart from these allegations, Telegram recently negotiated funding round to raise at least $1 billion in a private bond placement to accredited investors from Russia, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia. Those bondholders would be able to convert debt into shares at a 10% discount to the offering price if Telegram decides to go public in the next five years, revealed the conditions of the round.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/da-vinci-capital-reportedly-requests-100-million-from-telegram-for-tons-failure/

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ChiliZ To Expand Operations, Will Invest $50 Million in the US

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Following milestone partnerships with sports teams in Europe, ChiliZ have their eyes set on conquering the United States. The fintech platform will open a new office in one of the world’s major commercial cities, New York.

ChiliZ To Set Up New York Office

Maltese blockchain giant, ChiliZ is scaling up operations after securing several partnerships with top European sports franchises. Reuters reported earlier today that the fan engagement platform would open an office and invest $50 million in the United States. According to its chief executive, Alexandre Dreyfus, the move should bring the firm within reach of top United States sports outfits. He told Reuters :

“A huge focal point for us in our global growth plans is the U.S.. That’s why we’re opening a New York office and investing $50 million into the country’s sports industry in order to launch Fan Tokens with leading franchises from the five major U.S. sports leagues”

On launching Fan tokens, ChiliZ has made headway through its subsidiary, Socios. It has partnered with football behemoths like FC Barcelona, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, AS Roma, Galatasaray, and Atlético de Madrid to launch branded fan tokens. These permit owners to engage in club polls, access VIP rewards, and partake in chat forums.

The company currently has offices in Malta, France, Turkey, Korea, Switzerland, and South America. It had earlier announced that it would open offices in New York and Madrid. With the New York office inching towards reality, Chiliz is undoubtedly advancing towards global growth.

Aims To Double Up on 2020 Revenue

Speaking further about the expansion, Dreyfus boasted about his company’s capacity to generate returns for its partners in the sports and entertainment industry. He said:

“We head to the U.S. with a proven track record in generating millions of dollars of revenue for some of Europe’s biggest sporting organisations. In 2020, we shared more than $30 million with our partners, but this year we’re targeting a minimum of $60 million.”

Revenue from the company’s partnership with seven-time European champions AC Milan proves Dreyfus is not bluffing. The Italian football giant launched its token ($ACM) on Binance on February 24th. Within hours of the launch, over $6 million was generated as trading volume hit $50 million in the first 30 minutes.

Big Market For ChiliZ?

For Joseph Edwards, Enigma Securities head of researcher, there is no better time to seize the initiative. He opined that the soaring interest in NFTs indicates a big market. He elaborated further that NFTs bridge the gap between fans and their subject of interest, especially as Covid-19 caused a disconnection.

“Fan tokens right now are just hitting the perfect itch at the perfect time – fans are disconnected physically from their fandom, and this helps bridge that gap,”

NBA Top Shots seems to be a perfect example. The NFT platform has continued to gain momentum as interest surges. It reached a record-breaking $231 million in sales over the past 30 days.  Perhaps, ChiliZ is taking a cue from this to target the American sports market.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/chiliz-to-expand-operations-will-invest-50-million-in-the-us/

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Crypto services firm BCB Group raises $4.5M led by North Island Ventures and Blockchain.com Ventures

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BCB Group, a crypto payment/trading services provider, today announced it has closed a $4.5 million investment round. The strategic funding was co-led by North Island Ventures and Blockchain.com Ventures; with participation from Pantera, L1 Digital, and Pack Capital.

As a dual regulated institution, BCB Group offers an end-to-end suite of payment processing, cryptocurrency trading, and custody. Services are accessible through a unified API-enabled platform; allowing clients to access a full range of crypto-asset products in one place.

Funding

The proceeds of the round will be used to fund investments in several new initiatives…

These initiatives include: BCB Treasury, a service designed to help companies interested in investing in bitcoin as a treasury asset. BCB Yield Accounts, a product offering clients a return on their positions. And BCB Wealth Partners, a comprehensive crypto service for private wealth clients.

“There’s so much more we want to offer our clients; and many untapped regions we’d like to be in to help those markets grow via reliable payments and market infrastructure. This funding round comes at a very exciting time for BCB Group and will be transformative for our client experience.”
– BCB Group Founder and CEO, Oliver von Landsberg-Sadie

Previously, back in March 2019, BCB Group received funding from NKB Finance and a private investor in a $1 million seed round; which brought the company much-needed talent in engineering and operations.

Source: bcbgroup.io

Source: https://www.cryptoninjas.net/2021/03/02/crypto-services-firm-bcb-group-raises-4-5m-led-by-north-island-ventures-and-blockchain-com-ventures/

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