UK plans to revamp digital identity system by handing over to private sector in 2020

The UK government recently unveiled plans to pass on the management of the Verify system to the private sector, after a period of unsuccessful results. Regardless of who takes over the responsibility, handling digital identities is a major task and should be approached with due concern.

In October, the UK government announced that it will ceased investment in ‘Verify’, the digital identity system. The decision was later followed by moves of opening up opportunities for the private sector to take over.

“The Government expects that commercial organisations will create and reuse digital identities, and accelerate the creation of an interoperable digital identity market,” said Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation at the Cabinet Office.

“The approach announced today ensures that Gov.uk Verify will continue to protect public sector digital services from cyber threats, including identity fraud, and other malicious activity. In addition, the contracts enable the private sector to develop affordable identity assurance services that will meet future private and public sector needs,”

Verify was launched in 2011 with the aim of providing a single platform for public services, from tax collection to benefits. An integrated modern ID system means that separate departments don’t have to set up their own, saving time and resources.

Although the idea behind Verify was sound, its execution has been poor and disappointing: 56% of people who try to create a Verify identity are unable to do so.

What is digital identity?

A digital identity is a set of information about an individual or an entity, stored in computer systems. This file is used to assess and authenticate the identity of a user looking to work with or access a service.

Digital identity is perhaps the single most important asset individuals possess in this age, so there is much at stake in a digital ID system. One of the fundamental problems with such systems is cybersecurity. In this year alone, half a million users had their data exposed with the hack of Google+, and another 29 million in the Facebook data breach.

On the other hand, new legislation has been put in place to start tackling the vulnerabilities within the cyber environment — one of the most significant being the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which imposes hefty fines on companies and institutions which do not carefully follow the instructions set out to protect their users’ information.

Data security is a highly concerning problem because it has been growing at an exceedingly quick pace: 90 percent of the world’s data was generated over the last two years alone, while 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are being created every day.

There is evidently an urgent to develop systems that can store, support and manage such an amount of information effectively. The best approach is a collective one, where governments, companies and individuals work together.

Creating a secure and authentic system powered by blockchain

Because of its decentralisation, automated data and strong security framework, blockchain is an ideal underlying structural technology to underpin online platforms that promote more authentic relationships between users and a healthier social media environment overall.

In order to address the issue, innovative technology companies are deploying disruptive tools to build a verified, secure and fast system to integrate digital identities whilst leaving each user fully in control of their own information.

Right of Reply (RoR) is one of the leading projects in this space. Led by a team of digital identity experts, RoR is developing multiple blockchain-powered platforms that integrate digital ID into different sectors, such as financial services, online media and social networks.

RoRKey, one of Right of Reply subsidiaries, focuses on aligning digital and real identity to allow verifiable identity and truth. RoRKey offers verified digital reputation identities for registered users (DRI Standard and DRI Pro), which allow them to interact in a secure and protected ecosystem in various social communications and online media content, as well as offering a verified ID that can used for different services within Right of Reply and its partners.

Right of Reply and RorKey are planning to partner with other third parties such as financial institutions, utility and insurance companies, online payment platforms, websites and social media to use DRI Pro as the means to prove the user’s digital identity. The plan for DRI Pro is to become an officially recognised legal proof of ID.

“In the digitised economy, individuals and organisations will be recognised by their digital identities. But most importantly, we need to be able to trust the systems that store digital IDs. Blockchain is the right technology for this end: It is decentralised, effective and minimises the need for trust”. says Stefania Barbaglio, from Right of Reply.

UK plans to revamp digital identity system by handing over to private sector in 2020

The UK government recently unveiled plans to pass on the management of the Verify system to the private sector, after a period of unsuccessful results. Regardless of who takes over the responsibility, handling digital identities is a major task and should be approached with due concern.

In October, the UK government announced that it will ceased investment in ‘Verify’, the digital identity system. The decision was later followed by moves of opening up opportunities for the private sector to take over.

“The Government expects that commercial organisations will create and reuse digital identities, and accelerate the creation of an interoperable digital identity market,” said Oliver Dowden, Minister for Implementation at the Cabinet Office.

“The approach announced today ensures that Gov.uk Verify will continue to protect public sector digital services from cyber threats, including identity fraud, and other malicious activity. In addition, the contracts enable the private sector to develop affordable identity assurance services that will meet future private and public sector needs,”

Verify was launched in 2011 with the aim of providing a single platform for public services, from tax collection to benefits. An integrated modern ID system means that separate departments don’t have to set up their own, saving time and resources.

Although the idea behind Verify was sound, its execution has been poor and disappointing: 56% of people who try to create a Verify identity are unable to do so.

What is digital identity?

A digital identity is a set of information about an individual or an entity, stored in computer systems. This file is used to assess and authenticate the identity of a user looking to work with or access a service.

Digital identity is perhaps the single most important asset individuals possess in this age, so there is much at stake in a digital ID system. One of the fundamental problems with such systems is cybersecurity. In this year alone, half a million users had their data exposed with the hack of Google+, and another 29 million in the Facebook data breach.

On the other hand, new legislation has been put in place to start tackling the vulnerabilities within the cyber environment — one of the most significant being the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which imposes hefty fines on companies and institutions which do not carefully follow the instructions set out to protect their users’ information.

Data security is a highly concerning problem because it has been growing at an exceedingly quick pace: 90 percent of the world’s data was generated over the last two years alone, while 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are being created every day.

There is evidently an urgent to develop systems that can store, support and manage such an amount of information effectively. The best approach is a collective one, where governments, companies and individuals work together.

Creating a secure and authentic system powered by blockchain

Because of its decentralisation, automated data and strong security framework, blockchain is an ideal underlying structural technology to underpin online platforms that promote more authentic relationships between users and a healthier social media environment overall.

In order to address the issue, innovative technology companies are deploying disruptive tools to build a verified, secure and fast system to integrate digital identities whilst leaving each user fully in control of their own information.

Right of Reply (RoR) is one of the leading projects in this space. Led by a team of digital identity experts, RoR is developing multiple blockchain-powered platforms that integrate digital ID into different sectors, such as financial services, online media and social networks.

RoRKey, one of Right of Reply subsidiaries, focuses on aligning digital and real identity to allow verifiable identity and truth. RoRKey offers verified digital reputation identities for registered users (DRI Standard and DRI Pro), which allow them to interact in a secure and protected ecosystem in various social communications and online media content, as well as offering a verified ID that can used for different services within Right of Reply and its partners.

Right of Reply and RorKey are planning to partner with other third parties such as financial institutions, utility and insurance companies, online payment platforms, websites and social media to use DRI Pro as the means to prove the user’s digital identity. The plan for DRI Pro is to become an officially recognised legal proof of ID.

“In the digitised economy, individuals and organisations will be recognised by their digital identities. But most importantly, we need to be able to trust the systems that store digital IDs. Blockchain is the right technology for this end: It is decentralised, effective and minimises the need for trust”. says Stefania Barbaglio, from Right of Reply.

Preparing for 2019 EU Elections in the age of of fake news

Preparing for 2019 EU Elections in the age of fake news

In May 2019, the next European Parliament elections will take place. These will be the first such elections since a member has decided to leave the Union, while an ever-growing number of politicians with contrasting visions of national and international affairs disrupt/sway the public vote.

Every five years, over 500 million Europeans head to the ballot box to form one of the most important assemblies in the world. Seats are awarded according to the proportion of votes from member countries. The European Parliament governs the EU, approving annual spending plans, deciding on the leadership of the European Commission, as well as voting on trade agreements and matters of public interest.

The rise of populism across the continent over the recent years, fueled largely by nationalist speech, has created a very polarised political scene. In the UK, tiresome Brexit negotiations have led to a scenario where we are closer to a second referendum than an agreement between the relevant parties.

Such a tense environment promises to deliver a campaign characterised by two-way attacks and charged with propaganda tools, such as fake news and misinformation spread across social media.

Unfortunately, this crisis of trustworthiness is not confined to politics: the fake news phenomenon has helped spur a lack of trust in journalism and mainstream media, which has been repeatedly undermined by political figures in the efforts to promote their own agendas. This has resulted in a weakening of fundamental democratic institutions and necessitates a re-shaping of political strategy in order to re-establish confidence.

The current situation calls for urgent solutions to tackle the harmful effects of social media and other online misuse for political gain and abuse of power. Within such a poisonous online environment, people feel torn about who to believe and feel wronged by the lack of accountability that allows powerful figures to get away with lies and libellous claims.

Research by the European Commission showed that 85 percent of EU respondents believe fake news to be a problem in their country, with almost 83 percent perceiving false or misrepresentative information as a threat to democracy.

In light of this problem, innovative tech company Right of Reply has designed RoR Politics to counter misinformation and political propaganda online. RoR Politics is a platform that integrates political parties’ statements to allow responses from both ‘sides’ to be embedded in the same place as the original content, with the aim of establishing healthy political debate. RoR Politics is convenient and easy to navigate, making truthful information easy to reach, preventing bias and social media bubbles.

In the same way that social media has allowed a low-cost, fast and convenient means of communication, RoR Politics hopes to counter the malicious effect by creating a platform that is free and available for the general public to use, exploring debates that are usually exclusively accessed by to members of parliament.

Information displayed on RoR Politics is verified by an independent body, a partner of RoR with no political affiliation to ensure balance. More than enabling a fact-checking mechanism, RoR Politcs aims to create a first-of-its-kind platform where diverging political matters can be debated in a constructive matter and ultimately, fake news can be debunked.

Stefania Barbaglio, from Right of Reply commented: “Right of Reply is a socially aware company concerned about fairness and justice in all spheres. We harness innovative technologies to counter unfair content online and allow users to make informed decisions based on the truth. RoR Politics opens the gate to an era of accountability and truth in politics, re-establishing the balance of power in democratic societies in a time of weakening democratic institutions.”

Right of Reply is developing a range of platforms designed to improve debate online and manage online reputation. Visit the page https://rightofreply.news

Cassiopeia trends to watch in crypto and blockchain for 2019

The year to come promises yet more innovative mainstream blockchain and cryptocurrency applications. Two years after the bitcoin boom, we can see increasing understanding of cryptocurrencies and markets reaching greater maturity.

Whilst the hype around bitcoin has certainly passed, the advantages and benefits of deploying blockchain have only just started to show. Blockchain technology itself has improved in 2018, with greater scalability, more decentralised features and enhanced security. One thing we can be sure of is that in 2019, the blockchain and fintech revolutions will continue to gain ground, paving the way for more innovations to enter the market.

The external mood is causing investors and entrepreneurs to steer clear of traditional markets. With the political climate bringing chaos in the UK and Europe, coupled with low oil price expectations and continued volatility in equities, alternative investment options, as those found in the crypto market, can be much more attractive.

Check out our predictions in the blockchain and crypto space for next year and pick your favourite projects.

  1. Bitcoin out, Altcoins in. DigiByte under the spotlight

The Bitcoin hype is certainly over, and the last year has created a chance for other crytpocurrencies — known as altcoins to shine.

One of the most successful of such projects is DigiByte (DGB). Powered by strong community effort, DGB is a token designed for mass scale adoption and cybersecurity. DGB is the fastest and most scalable blockchain in the world due to its design choices, such as multi-algorithm mining and decreasing block times. Every 2 years, the DGB blockchain's dynamic strcuture system doubles the number of transactions per second by doubling the block size. In 2019, capacity should reach 1100+ transactions per second, with a maximum capability of 280,000 transactions per second by 2035.

Another crypto in strong favour is Ripple. Desgined as the cryptocurrency of banks and international companies for money transfer, its token XRP allows users to send money all around the globe at high speed and low cost. Ripple is becoming further integrated to banks and fintech systems and is already being used by over 100 companies worldwide.

2. The Darwin Effect in the ICO market.

Capital to be directed to projects with stronger use cases.

After the ICO boom in 2017 through 2018, the next year will bring a more ‘evolved’ phase of the ICO market. Many of the vast number of coins launched over the last couple of years proved to be poorly managed projects with no real or practical applications, or in some cases even fraudulent.

The future of ICOs is in projects that present great scalability — ability to grow without losing efficiency — and strong use cases. Coins and tokens to watch are those that can add real value to the user experience and provide new avenues for efficiency in business models while promoting innovation.

With the introduction of more reliable regulating mechanisms both at governmental and community level, we’ll see a cleansing in the market, with a ‘survival-of-the-fittest’ model allowing only the most solid projects to stay in the game.

3. The Technology Revolution is on: Blockchain meets AI

The integration of blockchain with other disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence is already a hot topic this year — a trend set to increase even more. Recently, Google announced solid moves to widen its AI team and research. The tech giant has promised to deploy AI features to social change projects and develop fairer machine learning mechanisms.

We should also expect further integration of blockchain into platforms with AI and Internet of Things (IoT). IoT is a system of multiple interconnected devices, all with unique identifiers and capable of transferring information between one another via network connection.

Because of its decentralisation, automated data and strong security framework, blockchain is an ideal underlying structural technology for many industries.

4. Crypto market matures and becomes more sophisticated amid widespread adoption of blockchain by different industries

According to a survey by the International Data Corporation, in 2019, we can expect more investments in blockchain projects as investors are searching for increasingly sophisticated solutions, faster networks and a higher degree of innovation. The technology is set not only to generate new applications but also be integrated into already existing systems. Respondents reported being keen to take blockchain on board as it will provide significant benefits to their companies and improve their way of doing business.

In the crypto market, the trend indicates that the number of exchanges and listed coins are continuing to grow, but also that the crypto market in general is more mature, more sustainable and receiving more substantial investments from institutional investors.

Aside from finance, so many different industries can benefit from adopting blockchain. One of the prime cases is Online Blockchain (OBC), a pioneer tech company developing a number of blockchain projects around the world. OBC employs a long-term strategy, analysing various markets and applications where blockchain can bring disruption. Throughout 2018, the company has launched cryptocurrencies in many Asian and Latin American countries, as well as establishing partnership with a gaming company to integrate blockchain into its gaming features.

5. Stronger crypto communities: DigiByte in the driving seat

With the widespread adoption of blockchain and people getting used to the decentralised ecosystem, there is an atmosphere of understanding and appreciation. People all over the world are beginning to understand the power of decentralisation so are keen to get involved in blockchain projects, sharing ideas and bringing their contributions to the cause. This proactive social involvement and engagement in the technology revolution has resulted in digital communities which are starting to serve as a key element for any project aiming at a wide adoption. They are also the new protagonist of a new marketing and communication frontier.

One example of such a strong and effective community is the community around DigiByte Coin. Tens of thousands of people from all over the world have contributed to DigiByte in countless ways over the past half-decade to make it what it is today. In fact, in a first-of-its-kind DGB event in London hosted by Cassiopeia Services, the founder of DGB Mr Jared Tate himself admitted that one of his developers is someone he has never met in his life, showing that people’s strong belief in DGB is the real reason behind its immense growth. Those people are highly motivated, driving the development of blockchain with new project ideas, all the while spreading awareness.

The next DGB event, DigiByte Global Summit is taking place in Amsterdam on 19th April 2019. Registrations now open here.

5.The Power of Decentralisation: Increasing Decentralised Applications (DApps)

The coming year will see a prominent boost in the adoption of decentralised applications. Any centralised database can be converted into a distributed, scalable database that can be used to power such innovative applications.

More recently, the scalability of DApps has been improving and investor attention is turning to the different applications that are built of top of blockchain platforms. One of the most prominent coins developing and exploring DApps is DigiByte, which has implemented further decentralisation features and increased security for the new generations of crypto applications.

Decentralised applications run on a peer-to-peer network, rather than a single computer, and have existed since the advent of peer-to-peer networks. They are a type of software program designed to exist on the internet in a way that is not controlled by any single entity. A DApp is a distributed application that runs its back-end code on a distributed ledger network. DApps can be designed to be censorship-resistant and prevent a failure or attack from a single point. The software program is designed on the internet where consensus — rather than a single entity — is the control. DGB’S focus on DApps regarding decentralised networks will cause a paradigm shift in the industry’s software models. The distributed, transparent, and incentivised application will transform technology, especially the app industry.

Games as DApps have already started to get the attention of millennials, an area which is expected to increase considerably in the coming year. One such example of a potential ICO is ULTICOIN.

6. Regulations and jurisdictions: Increase watchdog

Along with the ‘mainstreaming’ of blockchain come regulations and legal frameworks to standardise it. Countries like Malta, Gibraltar and Switzerland have already indicated moves towards welcoming crypto into their economies and legislations.

In light of expansive growth, other economies are working on strategies for digital economy and fintech, with special address to cryptocurrencies. In Europe, Switzerland takes the lead in welcoming blockchain and disruptive technologies into a regulatory framework. During this year, the country has established a crypto sector within FINM, its financial market regulatory body. In recognition of the increasing number of coins on offer under the Swiss market, the body has set specific rules for ICOs and digital assets, aiming to better protect banks, businesses and customers who transact with cryptocurrencies.

Malta has also followed similar steps to set cryptocurrency regulations which came into effect in late 2018 under the The Innovative Technology Arrangement and Services Act. The small country is indeed showing itself as the leading nations in embracing blockchain. Malta is home to famous crypto exchanges such as Binance and BitBay, and has established a partnership with OKEx to launch a new crypto exchange with the fintech arm of Malta Stock Exchange Holdings.

7. Gaming innovation and development. Gamification to spread

The multi-billion-dollar gaming industry is usually seen as a forward-thinking space in terms of adopting new technologies. This is (almost certainly the case with blockchain. Projects integrating blockchain into gaming services or coupling gaming and cryptocurrencies have recently emerged and are showing strong tendencies towards growth.

Gaming platforms built on blockchain offer many more features to users such as increased security and transparency, and the ability to trade assets without the need for a third party — which would usually set rules and charge fees.

Furthermore, projects such as ULTICoin offer gamers — for the first time — the chance to exchange their gaming tokens into cryptocurrencies and potentially fiat currencies, promising to turn gaming into a profitable activity and make the market increasingly attractive to investors. ULTI capitalises on the value locked in the gaming market, giving more power and control to developers over earnings and distribution.

A decentralised gaming market allows more independence for all parts involved, as it eliminates the middlemen who can delay proceedings or deprive these developers of their entitlements. On top of that, blockchain helps with distribution and publishing fees, arbitrary selection and restrictions.

8. Future Economy Tokenisation & Digital Security Assets

Structurally comparable to stocks, tokens are becoming the new assets, with the advantage of being more user-friendly, as tokens — more accurately called digital assets — are more practical and tangible. Usually located in digital wallets in smartphones, tokens are secure and immutable, representing a more attractive alternative to the old environment of the stock market.

Security tokens are fully-compliant digital assets representing the ownership in traditional asset classes such as real-estate, equities and bonds. Thanks to blockchain, investors of all levels are able to access investments on a 24/7, transparent and global platform to trade securities of all kinds.

Swarm Fund is at the forefront of the digital security implementation in market and investment. Swarm is the Open Infrastructure for Digital Securities and the first private equity blockchain fund: an open-source fully regulated platform for scalable crypto investments. In essence, Swarm is a decentralised capital marketplace that democratises investment in crypto security assets offering a fully compliant and legal infrastructure.

It offers a wide variety of investment options in crypto security assets, within a fully compliant and legal infrastructure. The investments are all built on the same platform: new opportunities and free access to digitised assets to any investor on a non-discriminatory basis.

Crypto experts believe that, due to increased sophistication and better regulation, Security Token Offerings will be just as successful as the movement in the ICO markets in 2018, or even more so.

9. Cybersecurity at the top

While a digital economy can make doing finance easier, it also poses risks of data breaches and hacking. Therefore, the future calls for better management of digital assets at all levels and more sophisticated mechanisms to counter malicious acts.

DX exchange is the first crypto exchange powered by NASDAQ. Its technology relies on NASDAQ’s infrastructure, such as its matching engine, used by over 70 exchanges around the world. DX’s regulations meet the highest regulatory standards, thus avoiding common errors and bugs, such as double count trading, and in general prevents fake volumes.

Cybersecurity is a major concern for crypto exchanges, as has been seen in numerous cases. This issue will also be addressed with the help of NASDAQ’s infrastructure, and Daniel Skowronski, the CEO of DX exchange, has promised to hire the best specialists in the field to avoid hacks and other malicious attacks.

10. Decentralised Exchanges (DEX)

The past couple years have seen centralised crypto exchanges being hacked, and attacked by regulators as a result. One of the trends in 2019 will be the growth of the decentralised exchange, which introduces the features of blockchain to the market structure. Even though DEX architecture employs centrally-managed, off-chain order books, traders retain possession of their private keys until a counterparty is found, at which point the trade is executed on chain.

11. Fintech spurs growth in developing countries

In emerging economies, technological developments are set to prompt economic growth and societal change by increasing financial inclusion and individual empowerment. Fintech tools, especially mobile banking, have helped millions of unbanked citizens to manage their money better and more safely.

In Africa, where the vast majority of the population works in agriculture, technology can make a big difference. Use of innovative tools allows small holder farmers to grow production and make a living. Block Commodities, a leading agritech company operating in Africa, has developed Farmer 3.0, a farming model that integrates small scale farmers into commercial supply chains and markets with the aid of disruptive technologies. With the use of digital finance, as well as big data, artificial intelligence, drones and machine learning, farmers are able to reduce inefficiencies in their practices and maximise production as a result.

12. Blockchain to combat fake news: Securing your digital identity is now a priority.

Among its various applications, blockchain technology can underpin online platforms that promote more authentic relationships between users and a healthier social media environment overall.

During 2018, we witnessed the spread of fake news on social media for political purposes. In light of this, technology companies have started developing applications to counter malicious content and bad actors online. One such company is Right of Reply, which is harnessing blockchain to create multiple platforms which can better regulate online interactions.

One way of addressing the fake news problem is to allow opposing ‘sides’ of a story to tell their respective versions within the same platform, to save time and enhance relevance. For this to happen, users need access to mechanisms which can manage their reputations and flag any mention of their names in online content.

RoRkey, Right of Reply’s technology subsidiary, focusses on aligning digital and real identity to allow verifiable identity and truth.

RoRKey offers verified digital reputation identities for registered users (DRI Standard and DRI Pro) which allow them to interact in a secure and protected ecosystem in various social communications and online media content as well as offering a verified ID that can used for different services within Right of Reply and its partners.

DRI Pro utilises a thorough identification process, requiring each user to undergo significant KYC (“know your customer”) and AML (“anti-money laundering”) procedures. This verification process reflects financial service level procedures, and includes the delivery of private and public encryption keys to the registered user.

Right of Reply and RorKey are planning to partner with other third-parties such as financial institutions, utility and insurance companies, online payment platforms, websites and social media to use DRI Pro as the means to prove the user’s digital identity. The plan for for DRI Pro is to become an officially recognized legal proof of ID.

The trends above set the scene for what we can expect in the tech space and the areas where growth and opportunity are brewing.

“Individuals have finally understood that blockchain is so much more than bitcoin and can truly revolutionise the way many industries work. Embracing this technology is not only positive but necessary to survive in an increasingly competitive space,” says Stefania Barbaglio, director of Cassiopeia Services, a leading PR/IR company acting in the blockchain space.

“The key to successful projects is to have strong use cases and applications that can add value to people and society. Innovation is the rule.”

The age of tokenisation: Understanding security and utility tokens

In the age of cryptocurrencies, assets of any kind can be stored in mobile wallets in our smartphones. Such assets are then known as tokens. Much like shares, tokens are a form of digital asset issued a by a company, and there are two main token types which investors looking into crypto should be aware of.

The fundamental difference between an ICO and an IPO is that in the case of the latter, you receive stock in exchange for the your investment, while an ICO provides you with a token in exchange for your investment. However, unlike company shares, a utility token is purchased mainly to give the user access to a service or a product provided by the company.

One utility token example is Filecoin, which after raising $257million in token sales, grants its users access to its decentralised cloud storage platform. Investing in utility tokens during a company’s ICO phase — also called user tokens or app coins — represents future access to that company’s product once released.

Security tokens, on the other hand, are digital assets whose value comes from external assets, whichcan then be traded and eventually generate profit for token holders.

The main difference between the two token types lies in their functionalities. Whilst a utility token represents a product or service in itself, the security token is an investment in a project togenerate future returns.

Any token sold with the prospect of future profit qualifies as a security, so because anyone issuing any form of security must register their investment contracts with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), security token holders must follow SEC regulations.

Security tokens are subject to the federal laws that govern securities, preserving consumer protection and increasing company accountability. SEC’s primary objective is to ensure that all ICOs comply with the regulations. This ensures safer practices for both companies and token-holders, and a healthier marketplace.

As the blockchain industry evolves and expands globally at a rapid pace, regulatory bodies are feeling the pressure to implement tailored frameworks to guarantee well-functioning practices and avoid fraudulent activities.

By October 2018, the cryptocurrency market cap sat at approximately 300 billion dollars, while in Q1 of the same year, ICOs had raised an estimated amount $5 billion.

Following this crypto market ICO boom, and the consequent fall-out after many ICOs turned out to be scams, the SEC set up a special task force in early 2018 to oversee cryptocurrencies. SEC-regulated ventures attract institutional investors, resulting in substantial sums to drive the projects forward.

“Our securities laws apply to the ICO space, and if people are going to raise money using initial coin offerings they either have to do so in private placement or register with the SEC,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, amid the crackdown on ICO regulation.

Under SEC rules, security tokens offer holders significant advantages and rights within the company, such as equity, voting rights, dividends, buy-back rights and many others that utility tokens could not offer.

Why use tokenised securities?

There are considerable benefits in issuing and purchasing tokenised securities. Apart from being SEC-compliant and offering security to asset holders, tokens allow inexpensive and fast transactions: because there are no intermediaries between companies and token holders, transactions are quick and cost-effective, adding more value to the use of tokens.

As is typical of digital assets, tokens can be transacted on a global scale, allowing borderless transactions 24/7 anywhere in the world regardless of business hours and time zones.

“Ultimately, we can envision a world where we may even work with regulators to tokenise existing types of securities, bringing to this space the benefits of cryptocurrency-based markets — like 24/7 trading, real-time settlement, and chain-of-title,” said Coinbase COO Assiff Hiriji when the exchange was awarded SEC approval.

For the reasons above, tokens are bound to become increasingly popular and regulatory frameworks should continue addressing them more fully.

“As the blockchain revolution keeps gaining ground around the world, we see more companies embracing new ways of doing business which prioritise consumer value and enhance transparency in the relationship between company and share/ token holder,” said Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services.

The age of tokenisation: Understanding security and utility tokens

In the age of cryptocurrencies, assets of any kind can be stored in mobile wallets in our smartphones. Such assets are then known as tokens. Much like shares, tokens are a form of digital asset issued a by a company, and there are two main token types which investors looking into crypto should be aware of.

The fundamental difference between an ICO and an IPO is that in the case of the latter, you receive stock in exchange for the your investment, while an ICO provides you with a token in exchange for your investment. However, unlike company shares, a utility token is purchased mainly to give the user access to a service or a product provided by the company.

One utility token example is Filecoin, which after raising $257million in token sales, grants its users access to its decentralised cloud storage platform. Investing in utility tokens during a company’s ICO phase — also called user tokens or app coins — represents future access to that company’s product once released.

Security tokens, on the other hand, are digital assets whose value comes from external assets, whichcan then be traded and eventually generate profit for token holders.

The main difference between the two token types lies in their functionalities. Whilst a utility token represents a product or service in itself, the security token is an investment in a project togenerate future returns.

Any token sold with the prospect of future profit qualifies as a security, so because anyone issuing any form of security must register their investment contracts with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), security token holders must follow SEC regulations.

Security tokens are subject to the federal laws that govern securities, preserving consumer protection and increasing company accountability. SEC’s primary objective is to ensure that all ICOs comply with the regulations. This ensures safer practices for both companies and token-holders, and a healthier marketplace.

As the blockchain industry evolves and expands globally at a rapid pace, regulatory bodies are feeling the pressure to implement tailored frameworks to guarantee well-functioning practices and avoid fraudulent activities.

By October 2018, the cryptocurrency market cap sat at approximately 300 billion dollars, while in Q1 of the same year, ICOs had raised an estimated amount $5 billion.

Following this crypto market ICO boom, and the consequent fall-out after many ICOs turned out to be scams, the SEC set up a special task force in early 2018 to oversee cryptocurrencies. SEC-regulated ventures attract institutional investors, resulting in substantial sums to drive the projects forward.

“Our securities laws apply to the ICO space, and if people are going to raise money using initial coin offerings they either have to do so in private placement or register with the SEC,” said SEC Chairman Jay Clayton, amid the crackdown on ICO regulation.

Under SEC rules, security tokens offer holders significant advantages and rights within the company, such as equity, voting rights, dividends, buy-back rights and many others that utility tokens could not offer.

Why use tokenised securities?

There are considerable benefits in issuing and purchasing tokenised securities. Apart from being SEC-compliant and offering security to asset holders, tokens allow inexpensive and fast transactions: because there are no intermediaries between companies and token holders, transactions are quick and cost-effective, adding more value to the use of tokens.

As is typical of digital assets, tokens can be transacted on a global scale, allowing borderless transactions 24/7 anywhere in the world regardless of business hours and time zones.

“Ultimately, we can envision a world where we may even work with regulators to tokenise existing types of securities, bringing to this space the benefits of cryptocurrency-based markets — like 24/7 trading, real-time settlement, and chain-of-title,” said Coinbase COO Assiff Hiriji when the exchange was awarded SEC approval.

For the reasons above, tokens are bound to become increasingly popular and regulatory frameworks should continue addressing them more fully.

“As the blockchain revolution keeps gaining ground around the world, we see more companies embracing new ways of doing business which prioritise consumer value and enhance transparency in the relationship between company and share/ token holder,” said Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services.

Ulticoin: The cryptocurrency gamers have been waiting for

The multi-billion dollar gaming market is about to witness a brand new project leveraging on blockchain technology to give players the chance of cashing in ‘real money’ from their gaming tokens.

The gaming industry helped drive the internet, certainly in the social media age where social gaming and microtransactions have become a flourishing industry in their own right. Now, the industry could be helping to spur the growth of blockchain technology and increase adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Numbers indicate there are more than 25,000 e-gaming platforms worldwide, generating altogether between USD$20 to 40 billion in revenue. Online gaming is expected to grow by over 11% a year until 2020. This impressive growth is mostly down to new technologies enhancing current gaming experiences and creating niches in the market.

In 2017 alone, the gaming industry generated $108.4 billion in revenue. The good sentiment is also felt on the investment side in an increasing interest in blockchain appliances from gaming companies. Over the last few years, there have been more than 50 ICOs for gaming-focused projects, the top 10 fundraisers reaching over $323 million alone.

Among many features, the introduction of blockchain technology in games offers more security to players, can increase number and variety of elements and allows more sophisticated features.

The integration of blockchain into gaming is seen as a positive move within the crypto space. Gamers are known to be early adopters of new technologies and their familiarity with tokens and virtual currencies can help drive adoption of cryptocurrencies wider.

ULTI Coin: Exchange gaming tokens for real currencies

Aiming to reach the core of the popular and expanding gaming industry, blockchain developers decided to create ULTICoin.

The coin started to be designed in 2017 by a team of experts in gaming — and gamers themselves — who understanding the market very well spotted the opportunity of deploying crypto technology to unlock the billions of dollars that are locked inside video games features and different realities.

ULTI Coin is the first-of-its-kind allowing players to get ‘real’ money’ from their games. ULTI Coin is new cryptocurrency that implements and manages in-game virtual currencies. Purpose of ULTICoin is exchanging in-game currencies for ULTI Tokens, which allows gamers to become users of ULTICoin, and exchange ULTI Tokens for at currencies or any other in-game currency.

“Our aim is to partner with as many gaming companies as possible. In any game, you gather tokens which now with ULTI coin can be exchanged for real money,” said Nadja Jovovic, consultant at ULTCoin.

“Our project is built on Ethereum blockchain, which means users get the speed, safety and transparency from Ethereum network,” said Sergej Belavin, senior consultant at ULTI Coin

ULTI will soon be listed on different crypto exchanges around the world which will allow gamers to trade their gaming coins to other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and eventually fiat values.

The team behind the idea and development of ULTI Coin have long experience in the gaming industry, offering expert insight and understanding of what it takes to make ULTI successful in the market. Sinisa Milic, CEO and Petar Bozic, Co-Founder, have combined knowlegde of engineerging business and share a passion for exploring the possibilities of decentralised technologies.

Stefania Barbaglio, Cassiopeia Director and Blockchain PR Strategist and Advisor to ULTICoin, commented: “There are 25,000 e-gaming platforms worldwide, which generate USD$20 to 40 billion in revenue, a figure set to continue growing . ULTICoin is the first ‘real money’ token in gaming, a new cryptocurrency that manages in-game virtual currencies, enabling gamers to unlock the billions of dollars inside video game features.”

Ulticoin: The cryptocurrency gamers have been waiting for

The multi-billion dollar gaming market is about to witness a brand new project leveraging on blockchain technology to give players the chance of cashing in ‘real money’ from their gaming tokens.

The gaming industry helped drive the internet, certainly in the social media age where social gaming and microtransactions have become a flourishing industry in their own right. Now, the industry could be helping to spur the growth of blockchain technology and increase adoption of cryptocurrencies.

Numbers indicate there are more than 25,000 e-gaming platforms worldwide, generating altogether between USD$20 to 40 billion in revenue. Online gaming is expected to grow by over 11% a year until 2020. This impressive growth is mostly down to new technologies enhancing current gaming experiences and creating niches in the market.

In 2017 alone, the gaming industry generated $108.4 billion in revenue. The good sentiment is also felt on the investment side in an increasing interest in blockchain appliances from gaming companies. Over the last few years, there have been more than 50 ICOs for gaming-focused projects, the top 10 fundraisers reaching over $323 million alone.

Among many features, the introduction of blockchain technology in games offers more security to players, can increase number and variety of elements and allows more sophisticated features.

The integration of blockchain into gaming is seen as a positive move within the crypto space. Gamers are known to be early adopters of new technologies and their familiarity with tokens and virtual currencies can help drive adoption of cryptocurrencies wider.

ULTI Coin: Exchange gaming tokens for real currencies

Aiming to reach the core of the popular and expanding gaming industry, blockchain developers decided to create ULTICoin.

The coin started to be designed in 2017 by a team of experts in gaming — and gamers themselves — who understanding the market very well spotted the opportunity of deploying crypto technology to unlock the billions of dollars that are locked inside video games features and different realities.

ULTI Coin is the first-of-its-kind allowing players to get ‘real’ money’ from their games. ULTI Coin is new cryptocurrency that implements and manages in-game virtual currencies. Purpose of ULTICoin is exchanging in-game currencies for ULTI Tokens, which allows gamers to become users of ULTICoin, and exchange ULTI Tokens for at currencies or any other in-game currency.

“Our aim is to partner with as many gaming companies as possible. In any game, you gather tokens which now with ULTI coin can be exchanged for real money,” said Nadja Jovovic, consultant at ULTCoin.

“Our project is built on Ethereum blockchain, which means users get the speed, safety and transparency from Ethereum network,” said Sergej Belavin, senior consultant at ULTI Coin

ULTI will soon be listed on different crypto exchanges around the world which will allow gamers to trade their gaming coins to other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and eventually fiat values.

The team behind the idea and development of ULTI Coin have long experience in the gaming industry, offering expert insight and understanding of what it takes to make ULTI successful in the market. Sinisa Milic, CEO and Petar Bozic, Co-Founder, have combined knowlegde of engineerging business and share a passion for exploring the possibilities of decentralised technologies.

Stefania Barbaglio, Cassiopeia Director and Blockchain PR Strategist and Advisor to ULTICoin, commented: “There are 25,000 e-gaming platforms worldwide, which generate USD$20 to 40 billion in revenue, a figure set to continue growing . ULTICoin is the first ‘real money’ token in gaming, a new cryptocurrency that manages in-game virtual currencies, enabling gamers to unlock the billions of dollars inside video game features.”

Fact or Fiction? Social media as news source increases spread of fake news

Research shows that social media has become the primary news source for most people. Whilst social media represents hyperconnectivity, its mechanisms allow for widespread misinformation and the rise of fake news.

With more than 3 billion users worldwide, there is no doubt social media represents a revolution in the way we communicate with one another. It may be a convenient, easy and cheap way to access information and stay up-to-date — but it is also a minefield of misinformation and fake news.

As social media has become the primary means for businesses, politicians and decision makers to reach their audiences, people are casting newspapers and traditional media aside, instead keeping themselves updated via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

In the U.S., 67 percent of survey participants say they get their news from social media in general, with 45 percent reporting getting it from Facebook alone. The situation in Europe is a little more encouraging but still gives cause for concern. In the EU, 13 percent of consumers say they stay up to date on European politics via social media, with the figure rising to 16 percent regarding domestic politics. In Sweden and Denmark, social media serves as the main source of information for 30 percent of consumers.

This is a particularly worrying problem in emerging markets such as Brazil, India and Nigeria, which are among the biggest markets for WhatsApp and social networks.

During the recent presidential elections in Brazil, a study analysed 100,000 images shared via WhatsApp and found that more than half contained misleading or flatly false information.

In India, where viral fake news has caused chaos and fatal incidents, WhatsApp is set to run TV advertisements to warn users about the problem. The campaign consists of 60-second films where characters go through real life scenarios and demonstrates how to use WhatsApp tools such as how to leave groups that could be propagating misinformation, and how to block unknown senders.

The campaign follows serious criticism of the platform from the Indian government and aims to create wider awareness about the problem ahead of the general elections to be held in India next year.

Even in developed economies and solid democracies, fake news is understood as a problem by the vast majority of the populations. Research by the European Commission showed that 85 percent of EU respondents believe fake news to be a problem in their country, with almost 83 percent perceiving false or misrepresentative information as a threat to democracy.

The underlying issue with using social media as a news source is that it blinds people to a plural discussion, says Matteo Flora, digital identity expert: “Most people are not used to looking into political debates anymore and are confined inside their own social media bubbles, always consuming the same kind of information.”

A unilateral news diet leads to unhealthy debate and alienation, so it is important to build platforms online where social media users are exposed to different views and don’t end up victims of algorithms that perpetually feed their timelines with stories only of a certain type.

The solution? Social platforms that allow multiple voices

Users are indeed not short of tools to check information themselves, but in the digital era, convenience rules, so building tools that integrate content into one single platform is an efficient and user-friendly way of tackling fake news.

“Fake news is everywhere, misleading us and building misconceptions about people and events. Because it is difficult to identify it in the first place, it is even harder to address it. In these situations, we require smart and holistic solutions that will preserve freedom of expression, privacy but also counter misleading content online,” says Stefania Barbaglio, from Right of Reply.

“Technology is able to help increase media literacy when harnessed effectively. Right of Reply is developing a series of innovative apps and platforms to allow open debate online and fight misinformation.”

In this hyperconnected society, it makes sense that the solution to misinformation on the virtual sphere is a collective effort by technology, social media companies and regulators.

As we come across problems and crises like fake news and misinformation in social media, it gives cause for deep reflection on the implications of technology in our lives. Nevertheless, such challenges can be used as a catalyst to create a better online space and build a stronger foundation for a fairer environment.

Right of Reply is a company developing innovative solutions for online reputation management, political discourse and social media communications.

Fact or Fiction? Social media as news source increases spread of fake news

Research shows that social media has become the primary news source for most people. Whilst social media represents hyperconnectivity, its mechanisms allow for widespread misinformation and the rise of fake news.

With more than 3 billion users worldwide, there is no doubt social media represents a revolution in the way we communicate with one another. It may be a convenient, easy and cheap way to access information and stay up-to-date — but it is also a minefield of misinformation and fake news.

As social media has become the primary means for businesses, politicians and decision makers to reach their audiences, people are casting newspapers and traditional media aside, instead keeping themselves updated via social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and WhatsApp.

In the U.S., 67 percent of survey participants say they get their news from social media in general, with 45 percent reporting getting it from Facebook alone. The situation in Europe is a little more encouraging but still gives cause for concern. In the EU, 13 percent of consumers say they stay up to date on European politics via social media, with the figure rising to 16 percent regarding domestic politics. In Sweden and Denmark, social media serves as the main source of information for 30 percent of consumers.

This is a particularly worrying problem in emerging markets such as Brazil, India and Nigeria, which are among the biggest markets for WhatsApp and social networks.

During the recent presidential elections in Brazil, a study analysed 100,000 images shared via WhatsApp and found that more than half contained misleading or flatly false information.

In India, where viral fake news has caused chaos and fatal incidents, WhatsApp is set to run TV advertisements to warn users about the problem. The campaign consists of 60-second films where characters go through real life scenarios and demonstrates how to use WhatsApp tools such as how to leave groups that could be propagating misinformation, and how to block unknown senders.

The campaign follows serious criticism of the platform from the Indian government and aims to create wider awareness about the problem ahead of the general elections to be held in India next year.

Even in developed economies and solid democracies, fake news is understood as a problem by the vast majority of the populations. Research by the European Commission showed that 85 percent of EU respondents believe fake news to be a problem in their country, with almost 83 percent perceiving false or misrepresentative information as a threat to democracy.

The underlying issue with using social media as a news source is that it blinds people to a plural discussion, says Matteo Flora, digital identity expert: “Most people are not used to looking into political debates anymore and are confined inside their own social media bubbles, always consuming the same kind of information.”

A unilateral news diet leads to unhealthy debate and alienation, so it is important to build platforms online where social media users are exposed to different views and don’t end up victims of algorithms that perpetually feed their timelines with stories only of a certain type.

The solution? Social platforms that allow multiple voices

Users are indeed not short of tools to check information themselves, but in the digital era, convenience rules, so building tools that integrate content into one single platform is an efficient and user-friendly way of tackling fake news.

“Fake news is everywhere, misleading us and building misconceptions about people and events. Because it is difficult to identify it in the first place, it is even harder to address it. In these situations, we require smart and holistic solutions that will preserve freedom of expression, privacy but also counter misleading content online,” says Stefania Barbaglio, from Right of Reply.

“Technology is able to help increase media literacy when harnessed effectively. Right of Reply is developing a series of innovative apps and platforms to allow open debate online and fight misinformation.”

In this hyperconnected society, it makes sense that the solution to misinformation on the virtual sphere is a collective effort by technology, social media companies and regulators.

As we come across problems and crises like fake news and misinformation in social media, it gives cause for deep reflection on the implications of technology in our lives. Nevertheless, such challenges can be used as a catalyst to create a better online space and build a stronger foundation for a fairer environment.

Right of Reply is a company developing innovative solutions for online reputation management, political discourse and social media communications.