Vertbase: Coinbase for Altcoins.

Accelerating cryptocurrency adoption

Founded in 2018, Vertbase is a highly secure and user-friendly digital currency platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies with US Dollars. Vertbase was born with the aim of finding a solution to the complex, time-consuming and expensive process of trading altcoins on most crypto exchanges, which tends to prevent non-experts from engaging in crypto trading.

Coinbase is a great platform for only few cryptocurrencies, but there are many other coins with high value that cannot be traded on the Coinbase exchange.

Looking at Coinbase and the challenge around coin trading, Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies, co-founder at Vertabse, created a digital altcoin trading platform that is user-friendly, super-fast and highly secure. A Coinbase for altcoins, but only the one with legitimate projects and strong use cases, particularly those Vertbase believes can change the landscape of finance: DigiByte, Vertcoin, Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ravencoin and Decred.

In the latest episode of FinancialFox, Justin Seidl was interviewed by Blockchain PR expert Stefania Barbaglio, where he talked about how he came to create and design Vertbase, and shares his views on the altcoins to watch.

The mission behind Vertbase is to give visibility and market exposure to altcoins with high use case value. Altcoins are considerably less expensive than coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, and in some cases are more sophisticated and highly developed.

Over the recent months, cryptocurrency exchanges have been in the spotlight over coins being delisted and alleged extortionate listing fees required by prominent exchanges. These controversies highlighted the need for corrections in the way the crypto market works and the challenges that need to be overcome. They also prompted more calls for further decentralisation and transparency among exchanges.

Indeed, the current lack of regulatory frameworks leaves room for inconsistent practices. Different cryptocurrency exchanges can offer various types of cryptocurrencies, with different terms, policies, payment methods, and fees. Exchanges also differ on aspects such as security, user-friendliness, functionality, and design.

Some of the advantages Vertbase offers users is 100% non-custodial transactions that allow users to send coins to any wallet of their choice. In the spirit of co-operation, Vertbase also gives a portion of trading fees back to the community to continue development.

Moreover, with security reportedly the biggest worry among cryptocurrency traders, Vertbase is equipped with a robust anti-money laundering monitoring system. Furthermore, its system requires two-factor authentication, granting access to authorised users only, while the website and apps are fully secured with 128-bit encryption. Vertbase is registered with FinCEN and operates with full compliance and procedures under all US federal and state laws.

This January, Vertbase donated 50,000 DGB to the DigiByte Awareness Team to show their support of the project and DigiByte’s vision. “DigiByte has proven strong use cases, which include security features utilising the Digibyte Blockchain. Digibyte has some exciting plans and projects, so we have no doubt they will continue to be a major player in this industry,” says co-founder Justin Seidl.

Vertbase Founders Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies will also be presenting at the DBG summit. The DGB community can also expect more news and updates on DGB projects to be released during the first global DigiByte Summit, taking place in Amsterdam on 19th April 2019. The theme of the Summit is ‘The Power of Decentralisation’ and its agenda will expand on the multitude of possibilities and uses enabled by decentralised technologies.

Tickets can be purchased here: http://digibytesummit.io

Block 30 Labs: Powering DigiByte to build Digital Asset Indexes

Announced as a speaker at the first DigiByte Global Summit next month, Block 30 Labs is at the forefront of bringing tokenised asset trading to a mass scale, collaborating with DigiByte blockchain.

With its headquarters in San Diego, at the heart California’s tech hub, Block 30 Labs is developing tools to enable digital asset indexes in the blockchain era. The team is a network of global blockchain technologists, computer scientists, economists, financial engineers, researchers and global media alumni from Yale, Harvard, Georgetown, Wharton, Duke, Stanford, UCSB and UCLA — all gathered to develop top-notch financial and trading platforms built on blockchain.

Block 30 Labs is developing three core applications of decentralised blockchain technology for global adoption by consumers, merchants and the Fortune 500 enterprises for release in their 2019–2020 roadmap.

To kick off the project, Block 30 team studied the Alibaba platform and its success in the Chinese market. Block 30 CEO Brian McLaren Foote says the team drew inspiration from the way Alibaba streamlined new technology to create an innovative and efficient consumer experience.

The Chinese giant is indeed one of the most pertinent references in terms of e-commerce, digital payments and interoperability — and Block 30 hopes to replicate this comprehensive and innovative approach for the digital assets market.

Blockchain & E-commerce

The speed and convenience of mobile as a shopping and payment gateway keeps attracting more and more users each year. The use of blockchain technology in ecommerce and digital payments can bring these services to the next level in an already very profitable market: recent data shows that worldwide mobile payment revenue should exceed $1 trillion in 2019 and more than 2.1B consumers are expected to use mobile payments this year. The degree to which online and mobile sales are growing shows the importance of developing a marketplace capable of dealing of tons of data in a commercially viable manner.

The Alibaba Group, Block 30’s role model, is reportedly studying the implementation of blockchain technology into cross-border supply chains. The group already deploys blockchain for other functionalities in their platforms, as well as Internet of Things (IoT).

The main problems in ecommerce nowadays are related to payments checkouts, cybersecurity and supply chain management. By putting an end to intermediary bodies, blockchain can transform ecommerce into a much faster and safer process.

The advantage of using blockchain in ecommerce is the integration and ownership of digital assets — challenging traditional monopolies and protecting users. For example, retailers can launch ICOs directly on the platform and distribute tokens among their customer base. Credit card brands like MasterCard are reportedly working with blockchain to make its market payment systems more fit for use.

The Block 30 index helps to accurately measure the value and performance of digital assets. It is one of the very first US indexes to help investors track multiple factors in the market beyond Bitcoin. With a growing number of Security Token Offerings (STOs) in 2019, the market requires increasingly sophisticated tools to assess the real value of digital assets.

“We hope that the BLOCK 30 Index can help improve industry coverage “Beyond Bitcoin” via global media, government, research and regulatory institutions — while also providing better safeguards and clarity for retail investors seeking early exposure to the front-end of a potential economic cycle,” says Brian Foote.

Block 30 Labs is working on three projects:

1. The BLOCK 30 Marketplace: the world’s first Web 3.0 marketplace built on blockchain. The platform will pair global buyers and sellers for exchanges of value on the blockchain, including: concert tickets, automotive, hospitality, businesses, land, farms, wineries, fractional ownership, mixed use development and commercial real estate.

2. The BLOCK 30 Pay Digital Wallet, which will be available at checkout on the BLOCK 30 Marketplace to help global customers and merchants begin to adopt and use digital assets vs. credit cards through an asset called BLOCKS, powered by DigiByte.

3. The BLOCK 30 Financial Division, which will provide BLOCK 30 Pay digital wallet holders the ability to invest in customised security tokens (ex: BLOCK 5, BLOCK 10, BLOCK 30, etc.) directly from their mobile phone.

In the Web 3.0, the internet will come back into the hands of its users, thanks to decentralisation and distributed consensus protocols. The new model emphasises sharing and collaborating among users in order to concentrate data and operability in the hands of a few companies — known nowadays as ‘big tech’.

But, in order to function in the Web 3.0, blockchain platforms will need to address interoperability — a feature Block 30 Labs is priming. Being interoperable means that a specific blockchain network is able to recognise and operate with others. Without this, blockchain nodes are isolated from those outside, secluded in their own network.

The aim is to allow different blockchain projects to communicate with one another, regardless of their structures, offering more possibilities for users and greater versatility for different projects to be integrated.

Block 30 platforms are built on DigiByte blockchain, which is the longest and fastest blockchain currently available in the crypto market. Despite not being among the most prominent cryptocurrencies, DigiByte holds the potential to be so much more than a digital currency, particularly because of DigiAssets.

For over 2 years, the DigiByte team has been working on this feature that allows other organisations to build their projects on top of DigiByte. DigiByte was designed to scale on-chain, hence maintaining its core aspects of security and decentralisation. Partnerships and collaborations on new projects to change the way people transact and communicate are absolutely vital to the development and wider adoption of DigiByte.

The full digital asset marketplace addresses sectors beyond just store of wealth, such as supply chain management, financial services, social networks, data security, digital identity, gaming, mediums of exchange and privacy. A true representative and comprehensive index should enable exposure to all major thematic sectors, rather than just a small selection, and begin to mirror some of the key sectors that drive global capital markets indexes. In light of this, DigiByte’s DigiAssets were presented as the perfect fit to develop Block 30.

Rudy Bouwman from the DigiByte Awareness Team believes the partnership is extremely positive for DigiByte and goes to show the versatility and user value of DigiAssets: “We’re very excited about the collaboration between DigiByte and Block 30 Labs. Their solutions and services are built on DigiByte Technology and DigiAssets platform, and with that they would be able to position DigiByte in front of consumers, investors, merchants and companies, even Fortune 500. We believe this can drive DigiByte up the ranks significantly in terms of market cap, awareness and adoption.”

DigiByte founder Jared Tate believes Block 30 is a huge step towards eventual mass adoption of DGB technology: “By leveraging the speed, scalability and security of the DigiByte blockchain as the backbone of their offerings, BLOCK 30 Labs will pierce the secondary layers of the consumer, merchant and professional enterprise world, which is a huge milestone along the journey for mass global adoption of the DigiByte ecosystem.”

Stefania Barbaglio, official PR for DigiByte commented: “It is all about collaborating on game-changing projects with good partners. Over the last year DigiByte has proved its potential as forward-thinking blockchain technology with varied partnership on innovative applications and solutions to secure, facilitate, promote faster transactions of assets. Block 30 is a revolutionary team that will accelerate the decentralisation of consumer and enterprise adoption, asset tokenisation and more accessible 1st-3rd world financial cooperation on the blockchain. The e-commerce place is ripe for change and DigiByte and Block30 team are initiating this disruption. The DigiByte team and community are extremely excited about their future announcements at the conference.”

Brian Foote joins a group of high-calibre speakers presenting at the Summit discussing how a future powered by decentralised technologies and Digibyte will look. Confirmed speakers include DigiByte founder Jared Tate; Official DigiByte PR Stefania Barbaglio; Rudy Bouwman, the founder of DGBAT, the DigiByte Awareness Team; the founders and lead developers of V-ID and Antum ID; and Vertbase Founders, Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies.

DigiByte Global Summit

April 19th, 2019

De Balie

Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, 1017 RR

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Registration open: http://digibytesummit.io

Block 30 Labs presenting at the DigiByte Global Summit

Cassiopeia Services, official PR for DigiByte, is pleased to announce Block 30 Labs as partner at the first DigiByte Global Summit.

Block 30 Labs is developing indexes to work with strategic global partners to issue tokenised, digital index funds (ECFs). The BLOCK 30 Index was built to provide a central framework for the tracking of the 24/7 Digital Trading (“Crypto”) markets by global media, financial institutions, government and investors.

Officially launched in November 2018, the Block 30 index helps to accurately measure the value and performance of digital assets. It is one of the very first US indices to help investors track multiple factors in the market beyond Bitcoin. With a growing number of Security Token Offerings (STOs), the market requires more comprehensive and sophisticated tools to assess the value of digital assets.

The unique aspect to BLOCK 30 is that it begins to disaggregate Digital Trading assets from their singular classification within this new asset class. It distinguishes between core holdings such as Bitcoin — which may function more as a store of value — and STOs, which will function more like Initial Public Offering (IPOs), with real revenues and fundamentals.

Confirmed speakers at the first DigiByte Global summit include DigiByte founder Jared Tate; Official DigiByte PR Stefania Barbaglio; Rudy Bouwman, the founders of DGBAT, the DigiByte Awareness Team; the founders and lead developers of V-ID and Antum ID; and Vertbase Founders, Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies.

Stefania Barbaglio, official PR for DigiByte commented: “Block 30 is a revolutionary tool to accelerate the development of tokenised asset trading. The DigiByte team and community are very much open to co-operation with valuable new projects that can help build a more transparent and decentralised financial system, and Block 30 is one of them.”

“The excitement and pace of this new asset class has led to the need to work backwards into traditional fundamentals like market indexes, tokenized index funds and more “one-click” interoperability between customer marketplaces, digital wallets and investment products’, said BLOCK 30 Labs CEO, Brian McLaren Foote.

We’re working at BLOCK 30 Labs to solve that — and having DigiByte and DGB Assets as a strategic technology partners “under the hood” is an enormous win for us on delivering product-market-fit for our clients and exchanges.

“If you look at the core tech + specs of Bitcoin, Litecoin + Ethereum, there are so many features and benefits to the DigiByte offering that are not yet reflected in its market cap and global adoption. Our goal is to help drive that change forward to the benefit of consumers, merchants + Fortune 500 enterprise.”

DigiByte Global Summit

April 19th, 2019

De Balie

Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, 1017 RR

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Tickets can be purchased here: http://digibytesummit.io

Challenges and issues in cryptocurrency trading: beyond the controversies

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are often portrayed as the big challenger to the current financial system, promising to fight corporate red tape, increase financial inclusion and create a more just and transparent economy. While all this is true, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns in the crypto world.

Different cryptocurrency exchanges can offer various types of cryptocurrencies and have different terms, policies, payment methods, and fees. Exchanges also differ on aspects such as security, user-friendliness, functionality, and design. These factors can all play a significant part when choosing the most suitable exchange.

Talks over regulation of digital currencies and crypto exchanges are a way to help the market become healthier and more transparent. Cryptocurrencies and exchanges indeed have many issues to address and challenges to overcome. Here, we highlight some of the main concerns and recent issues that are preventing the crypto revolution from progressing to its next stage.

Security

The biggest problem currently in the crypto market is the lack of security. Indeed, with news of hackings and breaches often making headlines, users are demanding more protection over their assets and data.

It is important to remember that as technology becomes more sophisticated, so do hackers. Exchanges are essentially so vulnerable to hacks because they centralise the risk, so further decentralisation can be an option in the pursuit for maximum security.

Security is indeed an urgent and weighty matter. Coin Desk reports that each day, $2.7 million is stolen from exchanges, with the amount of cryptocurrency taken in 2018 having increased 13 times compared to the previous year. This amounts to $2.7 million in crypto assets being stolen every day, or $1,860 each minute.

Transparency

Indeed, it is a well-established fact that the majority of ICOs end up unsuccessful — some of them even fraudulent. Furthermore, many expensive crypto projects often make a case for themselves claiming they are decentralised, when in reality, data from Token Analyst for Yahoo Finance showed that nearly 80% of the top 50 coins are held by the top 20 wallets. In 16 cases, the 20 biggest wallets held more than 90% of total token supply.

Much like in the more traditional economy, power dynamics also underline the negotiations and collaborations set in the crypto sphere, and the nuances of marketing strategies can mislead users and investors.

The lack of transparency, accountability and professionalism from renowned institutions can poison the benefits of digital currencies and undermine the strength and influence of blockchain adoption in different industries beyond finance. True blockchain believers call for an end to sketchy practices in the financial system and market structures, promoting widespread professionalism and ethical standards.

Credibility

Initial Coin Offerings are a great way to attract investors, but part of them resulted to be scams. Exchanges need to be careful and strict enough only to list those crypto coins which are reliable and ensure that the right assessment is performed.

Trading fees

Some exchanges charge a single flat fee, for example, 0.2% of the transaction value, on all trades. But many exchanges split their trading fees into two separate fees: the maker fee and the taker fee.

In some cases, maker fees can be higher than the taker because the maker adds liquidity to the market, so the exchange ‘rewards’ the trader.

Liquidity

Liquidity is a vital element for any of the market. A lack thereof creates an imbalanced environment, and things go out of control. Due to the decreased liquidity, orders are not placed/executed on time, and the doors are open for large holders to manipulate prices. Additionally, with a lack of liquidity, markets become more volatile and see more price slippages.

A secondary issue of reduced liquidity is that it puts the power into the hands of cryptocurrency exchanges with large liquidity. Some major exchanges now charge up to $1 million to get tokens listed, essentially selling liquidity to the token projects.

Price manipulation

Currently, the majority of crypt exchanges are only lightly regulated, leaving room for sometimes shady or abusive manoeuvres. It is reported that crypto exchanges use bots to manipulate the prices of coins. Last September, cryptocurrency trader and analyst Alex Kruger exposed a promotion on Bithumb which inflated the trading volume on the exchange.

“There currently are $250 million [in] fake volume traded at [the] Korean crypto exchange Bithumb, every day at 11 a.m. Korean Time, since Aug. 25. Bithumb offers 120 percent payback of trading fees as an airdrop. Trading fees are 0.15 percent taker. To collect the full KRW 1 billion rebate, a wash trader must thus trade KRW 278 billion. That is $250 million in daily fake volume. Notice how 31K Bitcoin is traded at exactly 11 a.m,” Kruger explained.

Transaction Delays

While cryptocurrency transactions are known for being fast, delays can happen and can be a way to protect users from hackings or fraudulent transactions. Exchanges sometimes delay transactions if they suspect the user did not authorize the transactions.

Regulation

In light of these flaws and loopholes, and continuing cases of hacks and breaches of exchanges, regulations would be welcomed if tailored to ensure transparency and consumer protections.

Crypto experts have anticipated 2019 is on track to be the year of crypto regulations

This year started with stronger calls for rules and regulations all around the world. In January, two major European regulatory bodies, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have publicly called for better assessments of crypto technology and its impacts to develop appropriate regulations.

In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is applying their regulatory guidance to cryptocurrency projects as it considers another form of securities.

Recent controversies over exchanges ’ lack of professionalism and transparency are likely to prompt exchange regulations to be in place soon.

Decentralisation

Over the last few months, we have been seeing more moves from centralised exchanges towards decentralisation. Binance, for example, announced earlier this month that it is about to launch its decentralised exchange, Binance DEX, for public testing.

There various advantages to decentralisation. A DEX ensures the poor and unbanked can participate in the global economy: anyone can store and transfer wealth to anyone anywhere in the world, almost at no cost. Another benefit of decentralised exchanges is that users are fully in control of their data as there is no central authority storing or managing it.

How does the future look like?

While centralised crypto exchanges have been the tradition so far, they have somewhat given way to the decentralised crypto exchanges. The main objective behind bitcoin and blockchain is decentralisation and thus, both the CEX’s and DEX’s should come together to develop a hybrid model which benefits all of the crypto ecosystem.

Hybrid crypto exchanges can represent a viable option that bridges the gap between the benefits of a centralised exchange and those of a decentralised exchange. This is the way to gain the trust of numerous users and the cooperation of huge investors, while eliminating the element of subordination to a third-party and ensuring reliable storage.

If there is one thing we can learn from the recent developments and news, it is to look at the shortcomings of the so-called transparent crypto sphere, realise there is plenty of work to be done in this realm, and use the combination of technology, knowledge and accountability to fight these flaws. For the blockchain & crypto revolution to produce its best outcomes, it is important to address the factors that undermine its integrity.

Keep an eye out for a special episode on Financial Fox about crypto exchanges and the challenges to overcome. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Special guests: the crypto evangelist Chico Crypto @chicocrypto & Alexander Fred, Technology Researcher and Writer of @beincrypto, the truly independent bitcoin & cryptocurrency news.

Challenges and issues in cryptocurrency trading: beyond the controversies

Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology are often portrayed as the big challenger to the current financial system, promising to fight corporate red tape, increase financial inclusion and create a more just and transparent economy. While all this is true, it’s not always rainbows and unicorns in the crypto world.

Different cryptocurrency exchanges can offer various types of cryptocurrencies and have different terms, policies, payment methods, and fees. Exchanges also differ on aspects such as security, user-friendliness, functionality, and design. These factors can all play a significant part when choosing the most suitable exchange.

Talks over regulation of digital currencies and crypto exchanges are a way to help the market become healthier and more transparent. Cryptocurrencies and exchanges indeed have many issues to address and challenges to overcome. Here, we highlight some of the main concerns and recent issues that are preventing the crypto revolution from progressing to its next stage.

Security

The biggest problem currently in the crypto market is the lack of security. Indeed, with news of hackings and breaches often making headlines, users are demanding more protection over their assets and data.

It is important to remember that as technology becomes more sophisticated, so do hackers. Exchanges are essentially so vulnerable to hacks because they centralise the risk, so further decentralisation can be an option in the pursuit for maximum security.

Security is indeed an urgent and weighty matter. Coin Desk reports that each day, $2.7 million is stolen from exchanges, with the amount of cryptocurrency taken in 2018 having increased 13 times compared to the previous year. This amounts to $2.7 million in crypto assets being stolen every day, or $1,860 each minute.

Transparency

Indeed, it is a well-established fact that the majority of ICOs end up unsuccessful — some of them even fraudulent. Furthermore, many expensive crypto projects often make a case for themselves claiming they are decentralised, when in reality, data from Token Analyst for Yahoo Finance showed that nearly 80% of the top 50 coins are held by the top 20 wallets. In 16 cases, the 20 biggest wallets held more than 90% of total token supply.

Much like in the more traditional economy, power dynamics also underline the negotiations and collaborations set in the crypto sphere, and the nuances of marketing strategies can mislead users and investors.

The lack of transparency, accountability and professionalism from renowned institutions can poison the benefits of digital currencies and undermine the strength and influence of blockchain adoption in different industries beyond finance. True blockchain believers call for an end to sketchy practices in the financial system and market structures, promoting widespread professionalism and ethical standards.

Credibility

Initial Coin Offerings are a great way to attract investors, but part of them resulted to be scams. Exchanges need to be careful and strict enough only to list those crypto coins which are reliable and ensure that the right assessment is performed.

Trading fees

Some exchanges charge a single flat fee, for example, 0.2% of the transaction value, on all trades. But many exchanges split their trading fees into two separate fees: the maker fee and the taker fee.

In some cases, maker fees can be higher than the taker because the maker adds liquidity to the market, so the exchange ‘rewards’ the trader.

Liquidity

Liquidity is a vital element for any of the market. A lack thereof creates an imbalanced environment, and things go out of control. Due to the decreased liquidity, orders are not placed/executed on time, and the doors are open for large holders to manipulate prices. Additionally, with a lack of liquidity, markets become more volatile and see more price slippages.

A secondary issue of reduced liquidity is that it puts the power into the hands of cryptocurrency exchanges with large liquidity. Some major exchanges now charge up to $1 million to get tokens listed, essentially selling liquidity to the token projects.

Price manipulation

Currently, the majority of crypt exchanges are only lightly regulated, leaving room for sometimes shady or abusive manoeuvres. It is reported that crypto exchanges use bots to manipulate the prices of coins. Last September, cryptocurrency trader and analyst Alex Kruger exposed a promotion on Bithumb which inflated the trading volume on the exchange.

“There currently are $250 million [in] fake volume traded at [the] Korean crypto exchange Bithumb, every day at 11 a.m. Korean Time, since Aug. 25. Bithumb offers 120 percent payback of trading fees as an airdrop. Trading fees are 0.15 percent taker. To collect the full KRW 1 billion rebate, a wash trader must thus trade KRW 278 billion. That is $250 million in daily fake volume. Notice how 31K Bitcoin is traded at exactly 11 a.m,” Kruger explained.

Transaction Delays

While cryptocurrency transactions are known for being fast, delays can happen and can be a way to protect users from hackings or fraudulent transactions. Exchanges sometimes delay transactions if they suspect the user did not authorize the transactions.

Regulation

In light of these flaws and loopholes, and continuing cases of hacks and breaches of exchanges, regulations would be welcomed if tailored to ensure transparency and consumer protections.

Crypto experts have anticipated 2019 is on track to be the year of crypto regulations

This year started with stronger calls for rules and regulations all around the world. In January, two major European regulatory bodies, the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) have publicly called for better assessments of crypto technology and its impacts to develop appropriate regulations.

In the US, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is applying their regulatory guidance to cryptocurrency projects as it considers another form of securities.

Recent controversies over exchanges ’ lack of professionalism and transparency are likely to prompt exchange regulations to be in place soon.

Decentralisation

Over the last few months, we have been seeing more moves from centralised exchanges towards decentralisation. Binance, for example, announced earlier this month that it is about to launch its decentralised exchange, Binance DEX, for public testing.

There various advantages to decentralisation. A DEX ensures the poor and unbanked can participate in the global economy: anyone can store and transfer wealth to anyone anywhere in the world, almost at no cost. Another benefit of decentralised exchanges is that users are fully in control of their data as there is no central authority storing or managing it.

How does the future look like?

While centralised crypto exchanges have been the tradition so far, they have somewhat given way to the decentralised crypto exchanges. The main objective behind bitcoin and blockchain is decentralisation and thus, both the CEX’s and DEX’s should come together to develop a hybrid model which benefits all of the crypto ecosystem.

Hybrid crypto exchanges can represent a viable option that bridges the gap between the benefits of a centralised exchange and those of a decentralised exchange. This is the way to gain the trust of numerous users and the cooperation of huge investors, while eliminating the element of subordination to a third-party and ensuring reliable storage.

If there is one thing we can learn from the recent developments and news, it is to look at the shortcomings of the so-called transparent crypto sphere, realise there is plenty of work to be done in this realm, and use the combination of technology, knowledge and accountability to fight these flaws. For the blockchain & crypto revolution to produce its best outcomes, it is important to address the factors that undermine its integrity.

Keep an eye out for a special episode on Financial Fox about crypto exchanges and the challenges to overcome. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel.

Special guests: the crypto evangelist Chico Crypto @chicocrypto & Alexander Fred, Technology Researcher and Writer of @beincrypto, the truly independent bitcoin & cryptocurrency news.

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain…

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain research

This week, Hungary has joined the European Blockchain Partnership, becoming the 29th member country. The partnership is led by the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which aims to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the European Union. More than that, the objective of the forum is to promote education, understanding and research around blockchain.

The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum was launched by the European Commission in February last year. It will see the investment of 300 million euros into projects that support the use and adoption of blockchain technology for economic, technical and societal changes. The forum plans to become an articulator between researchers and the EU, make the most appropriate recommendations, and oversee initiatives and implementations throughout the member countries. It will also aid in creating more appropriate regulations in the region.

The forum is part of the the Horizon 2020 programme, the largest Research and Innovation programme ever launched by the EU. It will make €80 billion of funding available over 7 years, from 2014 to 2020, to support the EU’s reach for excellence in the area.

Blockchain, as one of the most important technologies introduced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has immense industrial and technical value. The European Commission understands that blockchain is not merely about finance, even though this is the area in which the benefits are already most tangible.

Beyond the finance realm, blockchain can support the development of more sophisticated and secure internet systems, as well as being integrated into other industries beyond finance — such as agriculture, education, healthcare, to name only a few.

In fact, among the projects that have already received funding are two projects focused on services: MHDMD, a blockchain platform to enable safe and effective transmission and storage of medical data; , and DECODE, a system providing tools affording individuals the ability to control whether they keep their personal data private or share it for the public good.

“Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society at the launch of the partnership.

“The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”

Beyond the hype around cryptocurrencies and ICOs, which often still holds back investment and adoption, blockchain technology can have an immensely positive impact. This advanced technology can help states manage unified digital identities, gain more control over supply chains, introduce smart contracts and even prevent fraudulent actions.

Blockchain is also part of the European Commission’s Fintech Action Plan, a 23-step strategy designed to increase the adoption of new technologies, create a business-friendly environment, increase cybersecurity and consumer protection and allow for integrity of the financial system across the EU backed by new technologies.

The Fintech plan will also present a blueprint with best practices on regulatory sandboxes, based on guidance from European Supervisory Authorities. A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by regulators to allow FinTech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment, under a regulator’s supervision.

“The position taken by the European Commission shows professionalism, commitment and open-mindness towards embracing the benefits of disruptive technologies. It shows the EU understands the potential of blockchain beyond media and market speculation, and serves as an example for other governments around the world who are still reluctant in welcoming this powerful technology,” says Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services, leading PR firm in the blockchain space.

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain…

More countries join European Blockchain Partnership making Europe a leading force in blockchain research

This week, Hungary has joined the European Blockchain Partnership, becoming the 29th member country. The partnership is led by the European Union Blockchain Observatory and Forum, which aims to accelerate blockchain innovation and the development of the blockchain ecosystem within the European Union. More than that, the objective of the forum is to promote education, understanding and research around blockchain.

The EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum was launched by the European Commission in February last year. It will see the investment of 300 million euros into projects that support the use and adoption of blockchain technology for economic, technical and societal changes. The forum plans to become an articulator between researchers and the EU, make the most appropriate recommendations, and oversee initiatives and implementations throughout the member countries. It will also aid in creating more appropriate regulations in the region.

The forum is part of the the Horizon 2020 programme, the largest Research and Innovation programme ever launched by the EU. It will make €80 billion of funding available over 7 years, from 2014 to 2020, to support the EU’s reach for excellence in the area.

Blockchain, as one of the most important technologies introduced by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, has immense industrial and technical value. The European Commission understands that blockchain is not merely about finance, even though this is the area in which the benefits are already most tangible.

Beyond the finance realm, blockchain can support the development of more sophisticated and secure internet systems, as well as being integrated into other industries beyond finance — such as agriculture, education, healthcare, to name only a few.

In fact, among the projects that have already received funding are two projects focused on services: MHDMD, a blockchain platform to enable safe and effective transmission and storage of medical data; , and DECODE, a system providing tools affording individuals the ability to control whether they keep their personal data private or share it for the public good.

“Blockchain is a great opportunity for Europe and Member States to rethink their information systems, to promote user trust and the protection of personal data, to help create new business opportunities and to establish new areas of leadership, benefiting citizens, public services and companies,” said Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society at the launch of the partnership.

“The Partnership launched today enables Member States to work together with the European Commission to turn the enormous potential of blockchain technology into better services for citizens.”

Beyond the hype around cryptocurrencies and ICOs, which often still holds back investment and adoption, blockchain technology can have an immensely positive impact. This advanced technology can help states manage unified digital identities, gain more control over supply chains, introduce smart contracts and even prevent fraudulent actions.

Blockchain is also part of the European Commission’s Fintech Action Plan, a 23-step strategy designed to increase the adoption of new technologies, create a business-friendly environment, increase cybersecurity and consumer protection and allow for integrity of the financial system across the EU backed by new technologies.

The Fintech plan will also present a blueprint with best practices on regulatory sandboxes, based on guidance from European Supervisory Authorities. A regulatory sandbox is a framework set up by regulators to allow FinTech startups and other innovators to conduct live experiments in a controlled environment, under a regulator’s supervision.

“The position taken by the European Commission shows professionalism, commitment and open-mindness towards embracing the benefits of disruptive technologies. It shows the EU understands the potential of blockchain beyond media and market speculation, and serves as an example for other governments around the world who are still reluctant in welcoming this powerful technology,” says Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services, leading PR firm in the blockchain space.

World leaders focus on technology and governance in Davos

The World Economic Forum is one of the world’s most important political and economic events. Every January, leaders and business personalities from around the globe gather in Davos for a week of discussions about urgent issues affecting societies today. This year, after months of rampant security and privacy scandals, as well as multiple social media crises, key figures got together to assess how technology can be deployed in a safe and constructive manner.

The theme for 2019 was Globalisation 4.0 and the spirit underpinning the event was international cooperation for solutions to improve global order. In times of economic uncertainty and political fragmentation, the forum was a chance for the world’s most prominent figures to discuss how technology can help improve people’s quality of life, particularly in emerging economies and developing countries.

Technology is no doubt a hot topic for governments and business leaders. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, aided by the development of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, is projected to unlock $3.7 trillion in economic value by 2025.

Speaking of disruptive technologies, Google CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted in his keynote interview that we can expect significant developments in AI for the coming months. Pichai said that AI has a fundamental role in the new phase of globalisation and reshaping understanding of technology uses.

“AI is probably the most important thing humans have ever worked on,” said Pichai. “I think of it as something more profound than electricity and fire. Any time you work with technology, you need to learn how to harness the benefits while minimising the downsides. Stepping back, when you think about a lot of problems in the world, we typically have a constraint on resources. AI for the first time offers a different construct.”

But whilst Globalisation 4.0 brings many economic opportunities, it also poses challenges. Concerns over data privacy, cyber security and fake news are some of the most relevant examples of the unwanted consequences of widespread technological developments. The Davos meeting’s exact purpose was to shine a light on those problems and call for collective international action.

One of the important pieces of news in the 2019 forum was the launch of WEF’s Global Center for Cybersecurity, which will be headquartered in Geneva and start activities in March. The Center will work alongside governments and companies in the private sector to facilitate information gathering and sharing. It will also develop strategies such as the Cyber Resilience Playbook to help create appropriate regulatory frameworks to enhance cybersecurity practices.

Also touching on sensitive topics, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about the urgency with which governments need to act in taking care of data privacy. Germany is a major defender of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has a strict set of social media rules. The Chancellor emphasised the intrinsic value of data in the current global scenario and the great responsibility that companies carry when handling individuals’ personal information.

“Data will be the raw material of the 21st century. The question ‘who owns that data?’ will decide whether democracy, the participatory social model, and economic prosperity can be combined,” said Merkel.

In regards to regulations, the forum offered a much-needed chance for businesses and governments to engage in dialogue. Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, highlighted that the tech industry will continue to evolve, regardless of the influence of authorities. The most effective solution, he says, is to make sure regulators hold companies to account when it comes to malpractices.

“The point of regulators and government is to come in and point true north. In the tech industry, we’ve been remarkably clear of those regulatory concerns for the whole industry’s lifespan. We’re seeing signs now, maybe we’re not completely there yet, but especially when you see what happened with the election and social networks and with CEOs who fully abdicate their responsibilities and say I had no idea this was happening,” said Benioff

“There’s no way regulators can keep up with the speed of technology, but they can play a role with accountability,” he added.

European Blockchain Partnership aims to contribute to the creation of an environment in full compliance with EU regualtion and with clear governance models to help blockchain technology grow in Europe via Spot9

If in developed nations, the discussions were mostly about the setbacks caused by technology; when it comes to emerging markets, tech is offering opportunity and growth. One of the key presences in Davos this year was Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba, the ‘Amazon of China’.

Ma said that the growth of e-commerce and digital payments has contributed immensely to economic growth in the past years — and that it will continue to do so.

“E-commerce is the future,” said Ma. “E-commerce will replace a lot of traditional ways of doing business. In the past 20 years with poor logistics, terrible payments, and terrible internet connections, e-commerce has still grown like this for our platform in China for the last 15 years. Last year, sales were more than $750 billion USD, almost ranking number 21 in country’s GDP.”

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has indeed made a great impact on emerging markets and developing countries. Blockchain, for example, has enabled the emergence of multiple platforms that offered digital banking for large unbanked populations, giving them access to financial services as well as allowing cross-border payments for remittances in a fast and cost-effective way.

Keep an eye out for more upcoming news on disruptive technologies and the impact of the Fourth Industrial revolution on society. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel for interviews with technology experts.

World leaders focus on technology and governance in Davos

The World Economic Forum is one of the world’s most important political and economic events. Every January, leaders and business personalities from around the globe gather in Davos for a week of discussions about urgent issues affecting societies today. This year, after months of rampant security and privacy scandals, as well as multiple social media crises, key figures got together to assess how technology can be deployed in a safe and constructive manner.

The theme for 2019 was Globalisation 4.0 and the spirit underpinning the event was international cooperation for solutions to improve global order. In times of economic uncertainty and political fragmentation, the forum was a chance for the world’s most prominent figures to discuss how technology can help improve people’s quality of life, particularly in emerging economies and developing countries.

Technology is no doubt a hot topic for governments and business leaders. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, aided by the development of disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain, is projected to unlock $3.7 trillion in economic value by 2025.

Speaking of disruptive technologies, Google CEO Sundar Pichai highlighted in his keynote interview that we can expect significant developments in AI for the coming months. Pichai said that AI has a fundamental role in the new phase of globalisation and reshaping understanding of technology uses.

“AI is probably the most important thing humans have ever worked on,” said Pichai. “I think of it as something more profound than electricity and fire. Any time you work with technology, you need to learn how to harness the benefits while minimising the downsides. Stepping back, when you think about a lot of problems in the world, we typically have a constraint on resources. AI for the first time offers a different construct.”

But whilst Globalisation 4.0 brings many economic opportunities, it also poses challenges. Concerns over data privacy, cyber security and fake news are some of the most relevant examples of the unwanted consequences of widespread technological developments. The Davos meeting’s exact purpose was to shine a light on those problems and call for collective international action.

One of the important pieces of news in the 2019 forum was the launch of WEF’s Global Center for Cybersecurity, which will be headquartered in Geneva and start activities in March. The Center will work alongside governments and companies in the private sector to facilitate information gathering and sharing. It will also develop strategies such as the Cyber Resilience Playbook to help create appropriate regulatory frameworks to enhance cybersecurity practices.

Also touching on sensitive topics, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke about the urgency with which governments need to act in taking care of data privacy. Germany is a major defender of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and has a strict set of social media rules. The Chancellor emphasised the intrinsic value of data in the current global scenario and the great responsibility that companies carry when handling individuals’ personal information.

“Data will be the raw material of the 21st century. The question ‘who owns that data?’ will decide whether democracy, the participatory social model, and economic prosperity can be combined,” said Merkel.

In regards to regulations, the forum offered a much-needed chance for businesses and governments to engage in dialogue. Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, highlighted that the tech industry will continue to evolve, regardless of the influence of authorities. The most effective solution, he says, is to make sure regulators hold companies to account when it comes to malpractices.

“The point of regulators and government is to come in and point true north. In the tech industry, we’ve been remarkably clear of those regulatory concerns for the whole industry’s lifespan. We’re seeing signs now, maybe we’re not completely there yet, but especially when you see what happened with the election and social networks and with CEOs who fully abdicate their responsibilities and say I had no idea this was happening,” said Benioff

“There’s no way regulators can keep up with the speed of technology, but they can play a role with accountability,” he added.

European Blockchain Partnership aims to contribute to the creation of an environment in full compliance with EU regualtion and with clear governance models to help blockchain technology grow in Europe via Spot9

If in developed nations, the discussions were mostly about the setbacks caused by technology; when it comes to emerging markets, tech is offering opportunity and growth. One of the key presences in Davos this year was Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba, the ‘Amazon of China’.

Ma said that the growth of e-commerce and digital payments has contributed immensely to economic growth in the past years — and that it will continue to do so.

“E-commerce is the future,” said Ma. “E-commerce will replace a lot of traditional ways of doing business. In the past 20 years with poor logistics, terrible payments, and terrible internet connections, e-commerce has still grown like this for our platform in China for the last 15 years. Last year, sales were more than $750 billion USD, almost ranking number 21 in country’s GDP.”

The Fourth Industrial Revolution has indeed made a great impact on emerging markets and developing countries. Blockchain, for example, has enabled the emergence of multiple platforms that offered digital banking for large unbanked populations, giving them access to financial services as well as allowing cross-border payments for remittances in a fast and cost-effective way.

Keep an eye out for more upcoming news on disruptive technologies and the impact of the Fourth Industrial revolution on society. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel for interviews with technology experts.

“The opportunities for DigiAssets are limitless”: DigiByte looks into developing the most secure…

“The opportunities for DigiAssets are limitless”: DigiByte looks into developing the most secure digital identity platform

In the latest Financial Fox interview, DigiByte ambassador Josiah Spackman makes the case for implementation of Digi ID and DigiAssets into multiple platforms ̶̶̶ including mobile banking, streaming services and social media ̶ to increase user security and data protection.

The DigiByte team’s newest developments are Digi ID and DigiAssets, two features built on the highly secure DGB platform that allows decentralised technologies to be applied to digital identity and safe management of digital assets.

One of the most prominent figures within the growing GB community, Josiah believes that the underlying structure of Digi ID can solve up to 90% of cybersecurity issues regarding user privacy and sensitive information because it requires no email or password for user login.

Digi ID automatically generates a unique identity key for different websites every time the user logs in, therefore protecting the user’s identity from being shared with third parties. A decentralised framework is user-centred because it does not rely on intermediary platforms to connect users and services and prevents interaction and data sharing across different platforms.

Worries about user privacy and data breaches are increasingly taking over the news. Governments and users alike are calling for more accountability from social media and tech companies to handle personal information more securely. Facebook, for example, is close to being fined by the Federal Trade Commission because it failed to protect users’ data.

As the Internet of Things and Big Data continue to grow, hyper connectivity also means increased vulnerability to data breaches. Storing users’ information on centralised databases creates the biggest vulnerability to hacks and data breaches. The current system, which is extensively supported by tech giants such as Facebook, Google and YouTube, acts as a catalyst for single points of failure.

Recent data from the FT shows that in Britain, the number of mobile transactions is increasing, with mobile shopping figures spending surpassing those at shopping centres. Tech giant Amazon is the most popular online choice. As the trend is set to keep spreading, solutions as to how minimise risks to banking platforms become more valuable.

“The opportunities for DigiAssets are limitless,” says Josiah. Cryptocurrencies such as DigiByte can be integrated with other existing platforms, including banking, to maximise cybersecurity measures.

The real value of DGB, and cryptocurrencies in general, is that they will not replace traditional fiat currencies, but instead help improve security and practices in the current financial market environment. Embracing blockchain technology is a necessary step for banks to keep their services up to date.

Stefania Barbaglio, director at Cassiopeia Services and official DigiByte PR comments: “For a while, cryptocurrencies were seen as a threat to the future of banks and financial institutions. However, with developments such as Digi ID, we see that the future lies in the integration between traditional banking and decentralised technologies.

“They complement each other to build a better and safer financial environment for users. The true value of DigiByte is not in its currency and market value, it is in its strong use case and multiple applications.”

The DGB community can expect more news and updates on DGB projects to be released during the first global DigiByte Summit, taking place in Amsterdam on 19th April 2019. The theme of the Summit is ‘The Power of Decentralisation’ and its agenda will expand on the multitude of possibilities and uses enabled by decentralised technologies.

Keep an eye out for news on blockchain and decentralised technologies. Follow us on @cassiopeia_ltd and subscribe to our YouTube channel.