Last week I attended the very first Tech Conference Europe (TCE2019) organized by news publisher PICANTE.today. The conference was not crowded as I am used at academic conferences. However, 25 people being at the conference has an advantage that you can talk to each speaker and attendee personally.
During the conference, the panel discussions alternated with the talks. The panel discussions focused on broader topics such as current use and future evolution of the blockchain, AI, Fintech or VR. The topics were very interesting, but I had a feeling that the experts agree with each other and speak in unison more than I expect. I would be happier to hear more controversial stands, e.g., that blockchain can be misused and for example allows anonymously purchasing illegal goods over the Dark web.
The talks were narrower focused on the specific use of technology, e.g. blockchain, virtual reality or sound authentication. The talks focused on the products of the companies rather than explaining some novel idea or a breakthrough concept. Here, I present four topics that I found interesting to share.
Blockchain is a Tool
The hype behind the cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology seem to diminish since the news don’t report new ICO every day and use of the blockchain technology is not even observed by the end-user.
However, at the conference, I learned that there’s a lot of going on with blockchain technology and many companies implement blockchain in their products. E.g., the Porche company develops blockchain for secure communication with the vehicle. By using blockchain, which avoids communication with the server, opening and closing the car via an app is up to six times faster than before. Another example is BlueQbit, that uses blockchain technology for transportation and shipping.
However, according to Lyle Wraxal, many startups duplicate existing ideas or use blockchain for blockchain because of the hype. These types of startups are likely to fail. They must realize that in order to succeed, they must have a clear idea about their product. And blockchain should be used as a tool to make the product more efficient, available or cheaper for the user. As Tomáš Žilavý from IBM mentioned also mentioned: “Blockchain must have an added value to the product to be useful.”
Besides the commercial sector, the government will also eventually implement the blockchain technology. But due to security reasons, the government is very cautious with the new technologies, so it may take a while. Recall how long it took for the government to use cloud technology or artificial intelligence.
The experts reckon that blockchain is in its infancy, similarly to the Internet in 1990. Soon we will observe outbursts of a lot of new blockchain use cases that we haven’t even imagined, similarly as with the Internet today.
“Blockchain must have an added value for startups. Don’t use it for the sake of hype”
“Many organizations prepare for the blockchain”
“Many startups duplicate and make blockchain for blockchain. They’ll fail”
Cyborg: Expand Your Senses
Manel Munoz, a founder of the Transpecies Society, showed how humans can have new senses. In contrast to typical chip implants, that allow you to open the doors or pay at the cash desk, members of the Transpecies Society aim to extend their senses beyond the limits of the human body. Manel has designed and implanted a so-called organ barometer that allows him to hear the air pressure around him. The organ is implanted in the occipital bone and quietly clacks the skull with a frequency depending on the measured air pressure. The bone conducts the clacking to his inner ear and he (and only he) experiences hearing of the clacking.
Other cyborgs at Transpecies Society similarly extended their senses to hear e.g. ultrasounds, to see beyond the visible spectrum, to feel earthquakes or gain cosmo-location ability (they have an implant in their finger, that vibrates each time they point at the desired planet).
At the conference, Manel presented his newest organ design, which additionally to barometer allows him hearing the air temperature and humidity.
“When I work on the sense design I decide how the stimuli that I want to sense will be and when I work on the organ design I decide the shape that the new organ will have.”
AI has shown its great power in many fields, such as classifying images by having an accuracy of up to 95%. In fact, it became so good, that humans have a higher error rate than algorithms. That’s why the competition after 2017 had to stop since the labels (ground truth about the image classes) were done by humans, have a higher error rate than AI.
Phonexia is a Czech startup that decided to use AI in a less explored but equally ubiquitous domain – the sound. They deliver speech technologies to many companies. At the conference, they demonstrated how their software can extract various information, such as speaker’s language detection, speaker gender extraction or age estimation just from the phone call. Additionally, they can make a voice-like fingerprint of the speaker which can be used in the future for user authentication. Next time you call the helpdesk, you may be authenticated just by your voice, without being stalled by questions such as what is your ID number or what is your grandmother’s maiden name.
This is a great example of extracting other useful information from the sound than the most researched area of translating speech-to-text. It is apparent, that sounds contain a lot of useful information that scientists still learn how to extract and use. E.g., another Czech startup Neuron Soundware, where I work as a senior researcher, takes advantage of a sound change between a working engine and an engine that is about to break. We use AI and engine sound to predict the engine failure before it happens, which allows companies to save a lot of costs connected with the production outage and late repairs.
Takeaway: Information retrieval from the sounds in still not fully explored and I think we are about to see more emerging AI companies, that learn to extract useful information from the sounds.
Beyond the Real World
Real estates are becoming less affordable than ever. In this conference, Somnium Space presented a solution to live in virtual reality.
Somnium Space presented their VR game played on 5 km2, where players can build anything they want, e.g. houses, museums, cinemas, on the properties that they possess. At first glance, this game is very similar to the Second Life idea. However, this game is not just entertainment! Players can actually make a decent profit in this game.
They presented a couple of ways to make a revenue. E.g., a player can build their own entertainment center, e.g. roller coaster and charge other players for using it. Another way to place an object (such as TV, cars) with a non-intrusive advertisement on it and whenever other players interacts with an object, you are making money for online advertisement. Another way (which is far from being the last option), one can speculate on parcel prices and buy them in hope that their prices will rise.
Somnium Space has also found a way to use blockchain in their virtual world. All the player’s possessions are stored over the blockchain technology. So one can sell his properties through blockchain transactions and Somnium Space has no right for it.
Takeaway: Mixing VR technology with a revenue generator will allow players to be even more engaged in it. And for investors: if this game becomes popular, possessing real estate in this game could be a gold miner. On the other hand, there are a lot of other games where players can make decent money.
Overall, the conference was well prepared with interesting topics on the agenda. I didn’t see there many novel technical ideas, as it is in academic conferences, but it is expected that companies will not share their know-how but products and their use cases.
It is interesting to see, how startups create new products that use spectrum of different technologies in it (e.g. VR and blockchain) and explore new use cases (e.g. sound authentication). I think that more amazing and diverse technologies are still coming.
Karel Durkota is a senior researcher at Neuron soundware. He received his Ph.D. at Czech Technical University in Prague, where he researched applications of the game-theoretic techniques for complex decisions in network security problems against rational attackers.
Standard Custody received its license to operate as a New York state-chartered trust on May 4, and it’s already making a play to gate-crash the institutional custody space.
Just days after its licensing, the firm announced the close of a $53 million Series B round for its parent firm, PolySign.
Cowen Digital Asset Investment Company led the round with a $25 million strategic investment. The two will also partner, with PolySign providing digital asset custody solutions for Cowen clients through its newly licensed trust arm, Standard Custody. Blockchain.com and Race Capital also participated in the round.
Through Standard Custody, PolySign is looking to fill a gap in the custody space. While many crypto firms are attempting to build all-in-one services, with exchange, brokerage and custody housed under the same roof, CEO Jack McDonald says Standard Custody plans to differentiate itself by focusing solely on custody-based services for institutions.
Though Standard Custody plans to expand its range of services, McDonald says it will stop short of being an exchange unlike others in the custody space.
“We think that ultimately the institutions that are wading into the space, more and more of the traditional institutional asset managers, are going to want to see a segregation of duties there between exchange activity and custody activity,” he said.
That could mean hedge funds, family offices, endowments and exchanges could make up its client base going forward, but not retail-facing activities. Others serving the retail market have expressed interest in Standard Custody’s services, mostly due to its recent licensure. It’s the first to get approval for a de novo trust application in New York, and that’s positioning it to emerge as a favorable partner for a variety of clients, according to McDonald.
To build out custody and escrow services, Standard Custody needed to be a qualified custodian. There’s more than one way to gain the distinction, but some fit better than others. To be a qualified custodian, firms can either become a registered broker-dealer with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), a futures commodities merchant regulated by the Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) or you can be a federally or state-licensed trust bank.
For firms mainly looking to custody, it makes the most sense to become a trust but it’s recently become unclear how far a trust license extends outside state borders. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is currently seeking comment on how it should view state-licensed qualified custodians in the wake of a letter from Wyoming’s regulators. On the national level, Congress is still debating how much power the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) should have to designate digital asset firms as national trusts and therefore qualified custodians.
Still, a New York trust license from the New York Start Department of Financial Service is the gold standard of state licenses. It’s the highest barrier of the state licensure frameworks, and also has more reciprocity than other states, meaning some other states recognize the New York trust charter and don’t require an additional license. Standard Custody is the first to receive a de novo approval, meaning it’s operating a new business as opposed to converting a previous entity like Gemini and Coinbase. That’s made it more attractive to businesses looking to set up shop in the U.S. without going through onerous regulatory frameworks.
“We do have a lot of interest in our technology from some of the more retail-oriented strategics out there and specifically wanting to tap our capabilities to business in New York and more broadly in the U.S.,” said McDonald.
Chainlink price prediction: Chainlink retests $41, set to move higher?
TL;DR Breakdown LINK tests $44 resistance overnight. Support retested at the $41 level over the past hours. Next support at $40. Today’s Chainlink price prediction is bearish as the market moved lower after setting a lower high around $44. Currently, LINK/USD retests the $41 support, once it is broken, we should see further downside over […]
Support retested at the $41 level over the past hours.
Next support at $40.
Today’s Chainlink price prediction is bearish as the market moved lower after setting a lower high around $44. Currently, LINK/USD retests the $41 support, once it is broken, we should see further downside over the next 24 hours.
The overall market trades with mixed results as Bitcoin trades flat around 0 percent, while Ethereum has lost almost 3 percent. Stellar (XLM) is among the best performers with a gain of 5 percent.
LINK/USD opened at $41.5 after bearish close yesterday set a lower high at $48. Earlier today, another lower high was set around $44.5 after a retest of $41 support. Therefore, the market trades in an increasingly tighter range. Once the range is broken, we will see where the market is headed next week.
Chainlink price movement in the last 24 hours
The LINK/USD price moved in a range of $41.08 – $44.61, indicating a moderate amount of volatility. 24 trading volume has decreased by 13.92 percent and stands at $2.2 billion. Meanwhile, the total market cap stands at $17.7 billion, ranking the cryptocurrency in 13th place overall.
LINK/USD 4-hour chart – LINK
On the 4-hour chart, we can see the Chainlink price pushing to break the $41 mark once again.
Overall the market continues retracing from the all-time high set around the $53 mark on the 10th of May. The new all-time high was set due to a 70 percent upswing from the previous major support level around $31 set on the 23rd of April. Therefore, we could see similar performance over the upcoming weeks once the Chainlink price stops retracing.
Earlier this week, Chainlink made two separate waves lower, resulting in a total retracement of around 25 percent. The support around the $40-$41 mark has already been retested twice. Therefore, we could see the support break later today as bears continue pushing LINK/USD lower.
Once the support is broken, we could see LINK/USD move towards the next minor support, around $38. From there, the market could potentially start to reverse in a similar way as during the middle of April.
Alternatively, if a further downside is rejected over the next hours and the $40-$41 support holds, we could see LINK/USD move sideways over the next 24 hours as it prepares a base from which to push higher early next week.
Chainlink Price Prediction: Conclusion
Chainlink price prediction is bearish as the market continues trading in a bearish momentum over the past days. Earlier today, another lower high was set around $44.5, indicating that bears are still in control, and we are likely to see LINK move below the $41-$40 support area early next week.
Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.
Solana (SOL) has climbed into the top 15 following a new all-time high of $52.60
While the weekend saw relatively bearish price action for the majority of the market. SOL managed an impressive gain of over 20% to reach a new all time high.
The project now sees itself being catapulted into the top 15 spot in terms of market capitalization. With a total market capitalization of $13.6 billion. Not bad considering it started the year priced at a measly $1.51. The recent all-time high now means that SOL has seen a 3,100% gain in 2021 alone.
Solana had previously been dubbed one of the projects that could potentially kill ethereum,
Solana hackathon commences
The new all-time high comes off the back of the launch of Solana’s hackathon which began on May 15. The Solana Season Hackathon has attracted over 10,000 registrations to the event. The hackathon is set to run from May 15 to June 7. The event is offering up to $1 million in global prizes and seed funding for participants, including an all-star lineup of speakers.
Solana has seen rapid growth within the crypto space in 2021. Having launched late in 2020, the project is now vying for a top ten spot after moving swiftly into the top 15.
Solana is described on its website as “a fast, secure, and censorship resistant blockchain providing the open infrastructure required for global adoption”.
The project has already implemented key features to its ecosystem, including decentralized finance (DeFi) capabilities, non-fungible tokens (NFT), and a decentralized exchange (DEX).
Previous analysis from BeInCrypto suggested that SOL was one of May’s top altcoins to watch. With technical analysis indicating the project could climb to suggested targets of $60 and possibly $68 in the future.
All the information contained on our website is published in good faith and for general information purposes only. Any action the reader takes upon the information found on our website is strictly at their own risk.
Ryan is a Fintech specialist with a passion for cryptocurrencies and blockchain adoption. He discovered Bitcoin in 2016 when investing in a Ponzi scheme, and it was the best decision he ever made.