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.

DigiByte strengthens decentralisation feature as UK gears up for first DGB meet up

Earlier this month, Digibyte (DGB) team announced ASIC Protection for Next-Generation Blockchain Mining with a view to decentralising its network. This also means increased protection and security.

The forward-thinking DGB is one of the very few small-scale coins seeking to grow its outreach and expansion programme envisioning mass adoption.

DGB platform announcement

Just a few days earlier, DGB became listed on Bitfinex, one of the largest and most important crypto exchanges. The listing endorses the long-term perspective of DGB and increases awareness around the coin, potentially bringing about positive implications on its value and trading. Often, when a crypto lists on a big exchange, it tends to bump.

According to crypto analysts, Digibyte has the potential of reaching $1 as the coin develops and its features become more sophisticated. DigiByte boasts the longest blockchain and its structure makes it cross-compatible with any other blockchain.

“The beauty of decentralisation is that you can do anything with it,” said Jared Tate, founder of DGB, who believes the world is on the verge of a new internet structure made possible by decentralised networks. He hopes DGB will be a key player in this new decentralised era, enabling users to have full control of their digital assets, finally ditching centralised institutions and middlemen.

Blockchain is a worldwide phenomenon. We’re at a point where everyone has realised that this technology is not going away; it is a paradigm shift in computer science and the architecture of the internet.“

Why invest in DGB? One of the strongest use cases in crypto

Digibyte is the ideal coin for those looking for long-term prospects. The coin is backed by a strong team and a very faithful community.

Launched in 2018, the Digibyte Awareness Team was born from a community-led effort to increase education and awareness about the power of Digibyte and blockchain.

Compared to other tokens, DGB offers multiple advantages, with a stronger user case: DGB can support over 48 million transactions a day — 10 times the current transaction capacity of the top 50 blockchains by market cap. DigiByte can handle the expected transactions from several million users instantly, with no changes needed to the existing blockchain. The DGB platform can also support arbitrages and fund remittances. Furthermore, Digibyte has a strong case for low transaction fees when compared with other crypto players.

DGB’s use case has showed significant improvement over the last year. Throughout 2018, the coin has been adopted as an alternative currency for many transactions in Venezuela, further proving the point of mass adoption. On top of that, platforms such as Antum are now using Digibyte for cybersecurity. The use cases keep adding value to DGB, and with time, we will perhaps see a number of businesses building on top of the Digibyte (DGB) blockchain.

Countdown to the first DGB gathering in the UK: November 18th

New developments within the DGB space are coming in just a few days to the UK’s first ever DGB event, taking place in London next Sunday. Investors and supporters will have the chance to meet Jared, the ’DigiMan’, talk to him face to face and hear about Digibyte’s news and his next plans. Other special guests include well-known Steemit ambassador Stephen Kendal and ‘Deano Digi’, joint founder of DGBAT, the DGB Awareness Team.

“We are introducing an innovative approach to crypto communities, bringing reality and personal relationships into a world where most interactions only take place online and a great deal of projects in this space are untrustworthy and illegitimate,” said Stefania Barbaglio, founder of Cassiopeia and organiser of the gathering.

“Digibyte was one of the first crypto coins to hit the market in the pre-ICO days of 2014 and since then has been growing organically, creating one of the largest and strongest online communities. We want more people in the UK to meet this community and understand that the world is moving in a new direction,” she added.

Cassiopeia looks forward to meeting Jared Tate and all of the DigiByte Community on Sunday 18th November in Central London for a unique and epic event. Only a few places left. More info on the event and registration form can be found here.

‘Crypto is not real money’? Google shows itself to be clueless about crypto

Google recently released an ad for its new product ‘Call Screen’, where it pokes fun at crypto mining, stating that the activity costs more in energy than the profit made. The Google Call Screen ad describes cryptocurrencies as ‘money that isn’t real’, implying that mining coins to get revenue would be foolish.

Ad for Google's Call Screen

A year after the big Bitcoin boom, cryptocurrency has become a more widespread concept and the crypto market more mature, with altcoins also sparking interest.

It is surprising that a company of Google’s standing would publicly express this level of scepticism towards crypto and blockchain, says Stefania Barbaglio, crypto PR expert and founder of Cassiopeia Services: ‘It demonstrates only superficial knowledge of the crypto space, showing that Google is clueless about the potential behind crypto.’

Stefania Barbaglio’s interview on Bloxlive.tv

Google pokes fun at crypto

It is well known that Bitcoin mining consumes a lot of energy, so it is not a profitable activity for the average individual. However, the crypto market is filled with altcoins designed differently from Bitcoin in this respect. At this point, viewing Bitcoin as the flagship cryptocurrency shows little knowledge of, and disregard for, today’s fast-growing, diverse crypto market.

Fundamentally, Bitcoin was developed in proof-of-work (PoW), a process that requires considerable energy. However, the newer generation coins employ proof-of-stake (PoS), which is less energy consuming, increasing the advantage for individual miners. To mention only a few such altcoins: Cardano works on proof-of-stake (PoS) and now Ethereum is about to move to its Casper proof-of-stake model, which will substantially reduce mining competition and the like; NEO and Hyperledger are the next-generation coins with even lower electricity costs and related carbon footprints. Cryptocurrencies are evolving and making their system more efficient in the process.

Looking at the big picture, even the expensive Bitcoin cryptocurrency mining is overall much cheaper than the traditional banking system as a whole. Aside from that, crypto is much more than digital money. The blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrencies has proved to be a game-changer, challenging the established ways of doing business and transacting, taking away the central power from big institutions while empowering individuals with greater access to and control over their own transactions.

‘Google is a centralised system: it wants to protect itself and show that its centralised worldwide data system is still the leader. Unfortunately, we have reached a tipping point with blockchain shifting the power paradigm of centralisation to decentralisation. What smart tech companies should do is to adopt forward-thinking, inclusive strategies to integrate these new technologies into their systems’ she says.

The role of some cryptocurrencies is to facilitate transactions without traditional money and the associated banking system, allowing wider access, fighting inflation and reducing third-party fees. The irony for Google is that some cryptocurrencies are indeed used just as money would be to pay for goods and services.

Among its many applications, blockchain can after all be a challenger to Google’s solid dominance online, as it allows for different types of search engines to emerge, such as a human search engine, where users participate in the process of filtering information and help clarify the search request.

Stefania also highlights that Google’s stance on blockchain and crypto does not affect the crypto community: if anything, it clearly shows Google’s limited knowledge of the crypto space and its opportunities.

The released ad represents a controversial move by Google, just days after it reverted its ban on crypto ads in a few countries, when the company signalled a more welcoming attitude towards crypto. Earlier this year, Google had banned Chrome browser mining plug-ins, and then all cryptocurrency ads from its platform, with the aim of protecting its customers from potential scams and misleading services that could be found in the crypto space — only to ease out the ban a few months later once it realised that the move had been a mistake.

’Google realised how big the crypto market is, and the opportunity they would be missing out on if they weren’t flexible — that’s why they had to revert their ban on crypto ads,’ says Stefania. ‘The crypto advertising market is huge, so putting a ban on Google ads would prevent them (Google) from making money and reaping the benefits of this significant crypto community and industry. It seems that Google contracted a case of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out). Google wants a cut of the crypto trading profit and markets, so has turned on the green light for these institutions.’

Other tech giants have also started to embrace the technology. Facebook had partially lifted its own crypto advertising ban in mid-June and it is said that Zuckerberg has employed a blockchain research group, even if its purpose is not yet clear.

Blockchain to create a better internet: Digital Reputation expert Matteo Flora discusses how…

Blockchain to create a better internet: Digital Reputation expert Matteo Flora discusses how disruptive technologies can create a fairer online world

‘Thanks to Blockchain and AI, people can directly manage their digital identity and online reputation. This is game-changing and hugely powerful’

In the latest episode of FinancialFox, the well-known Italian digital activist and reputation expert Matteo Flora talked about digital identity and the challenges in managing our online reputations. Matteo is the founder of The Fool, a leading ORM company in Italy; and part of the founding team of Right of Reply (RoR), the fast-growing UK-based technology company boasting a cutting-edge blockchain-powered online reputation management platform with AI integration.

At the moment, users do not make use of many tools to respond to online content, due to the fast pace at which social media moves. As a result, people’s reputations are affected, often negatively and permanently.

Matteo is driven by the desire to democratise the right of reply ‒ a legal right in many countries ‒ to ensure that every individual can provide their own version of the story, helping build a fairer internet.

In his new venture, the start-up Right of Reply (RoR), Matteo is helping develop effective solutions to these problems. RoR’s cutting-edge applications are powered by blockchain and AI technology, both of which represent the latest digital revolution.

‘Thanks to Blockchain and AI, people can directly manage their digital identity and online reputation. This is game-changing and hugely powerful,’ he says. ‘RoR places an overlaying reputation layer upon the internet, newspapers and social media, so the comment is embedded in the article posts and can be seen by everyone.’

RoR is the first solution of its kind, creating a space for fair debate where participants in a story can provide their versions simultaneously, in the same online space and with same relevance: ‘RoR will be fully developed and widespread in a couple of years, then people around the world will have the means to access information that right now only VIPs paying huge amounts of money can get. It gives everyone the possibility to reply to online content.’

Matteo Flora talks to Crypto Guru Stefania Barbaglio on FinanciaFox

RoR’s platform is unique because it will offer a new tool to improve the quality of content that is already available: ‘Right now, Google deals with all the information we find online. But there is no way to integrate the users’ opinions. They are different missions: Google wants to retrieve information, whereas RoR wants everyone to be able to respond to this information — indeed, exercise their right of reply. Google is only dealing with content; we are dealing with the underlying stories behind that content,’ says Matteo.

Matteo believes that the boundaries between fake news and opinion are very blurred, nd that the solution to such a complex issue is to allow all participants in a story to give their respective versions. Platforms like RoR can be effective in the fight against fake news because they show how different sides of a story all contribute to one truth. ‘We are not able to draw a line between fake news and opinion, but what we can do is show both sides to a story, giving more detailed information about that story.’

Right of Reply (RoR) offer disruptive ORM tools. It deploys decentralised blockchain/AI-powered-systems to help people and enterprises manage their online reputations. RoR platforms, which will soon be released to users, has an important role in and contributes to supporting social justice by maintaining free press and fair media by providing management tools for online and real-world reputations. RoR is currently developing on 3 products for regulated media, online newspapers and magazines; credit agencies; and social media (RoR; RoCC and RoRKey respectively).

The pilot project will soon start in Italy. STAY TUNE

If you want to know more, contact stefania@cassiopeia-ltd.com

Brazil warms up to crypto: Institutional investors welcome the crypto market as the population…

Brazil warms up to crypto: Institutional investors welcome the crypto market as the population wakes up to blockchain’s potential

Institutional investors in one of the Americas’ largest economies are signalling solid moves to incorporate cryptocurrencies into their agendas, as Brazil becomes fertile ground for crypto. In a country with much inequality but significant potential for growth, digital currencies have double the appeal for its heterogeneous population: an investment for the middle class, and a gateway into the financial ecosystem for the unbanked or those of lower socio-economic status.

Grupo XP, the largest independent brokerage in Brazil, launched on its cryptocurrency exchange Xdex for Bitcoin and Ethereum on Tuesday 9th. XP has grown over the last few years by targeting Brazil’s middle class with offers of online investment platforms.

CEO Guilherme Benchimol has recognised the need to incorporate cryptocurrencies to the firm’s trade, saying they felt ‘obligated to start advancing in this market’, as he highlighted that around 3 million Brazilians have exposure to Bitcoin, providing a huge opportunity compared with the figure of around 600,000 that invest in stock.

Despite reluctance from the conservative banking sector in Brazil, the crypto frenzy is indeed gaining traction in the country thanks to its ability to offer individuals empowerment over their own finances. More than just a form of investment, cryptocurrencies pose feasible alternatives to the lower classes in Brazil who are financially excluded from the banking system.

Developing economies across the globe still present high rates of financial exclusion and interest rates, a gap which has been addressed by fintech companies that are deploying blockchain to create a more inclusive financial system, challenging the way traditional banking works.

Leading UK blockchain company Online Blockchain plc (OBC) is launching multiple tokens in Latin American and Asian emerging markets as part of their strategy of exploring the cryptocurrency potential in such markets. Over the first half of 2018, Online Blockchain launched Buenos coin in Argentina, Brazio in Brazil and Manila Coin in the Philippines.

CEO of Online Blockchain, Clem Chambers, highlighted the opportunity for tech companies to create a revolution: “OBC is applying the tried and true strategy of thinking globally but acting locally. We are looking at different opportunities for crypto projects locally where we see a need and a community to serve, such as the Philippines and South America.

Emerging markets have always had challenges with their financial infrastructures. South America has 40% less banking per head than Europe and even advanced Brazil has 20% less banking per head than Europe and the US. Cryptocurrencies and blockchain can give emerging economies a chance to leapfrog the legacy issues and the opportunity to steal a march on G7 countries forever hijacked by their bankers,” Chambers added.

OBC’s Brazilian coin, launched in May, is now listing on SouthXchange, bringing cryptocurrencies one step closer to being considered mainstream in South America’s emerging economies. Brazio was designed to enable the people of Brazil to create their own financial infrastructure with a fair, self-governing, decentralised network.

The company hopes that Brazio will be “an exemplar for the standards by which cryptocurrencies are implemented for the good of developing and unbanked countries.“

“Brazio employs all of the robust features of the bitcoin blockchain, such as excellent security, fast transactions and decentralised governance, but has been customised and improved with the interests of the Brazilian people and economy in mind,” said Oscar Chambers, Lead Developer of Brazio.

Fintech: Innovation to drive change

The fintech industry is no doubt one of the most interesting areas to watch right now. The stream of projects emerging in this space promise to reset the way finance is done, and to empower individuals and communities to challenge long-standing power imbalances.

Fintech has enabled the transformation of current finance models and the creation of more efficient tools to handle money matters. Through digital applications which can be controlled by mobile phone, finance is no longer exclusively in the hands of banks. Digital payments, alternative financing and personal finance management places power in the hands of consumers and individuals, who now enjoy a variety of more flexible services tailored to their specific needs.

The coupling of technology and finance in the once-obsolete financial system is showing us that individual empowerment is the new way of doing business. Fintech has created systems which are faster, cheaper and more convenient, so understandably has made customers turn their heads away from the old institutions which had once dominated financial services.

Fintech has been an unstoppable force over the last few years. So far in 2018, the fintech market has already accumulated $41.7billion — up from $39.4bn in 2017, proving the successful trend of taking up consumer-friendly technologies. Last year, 71% of the adult UK population accessed their bank via an online browser or a mobile banking app.

Fintech is a core sector within the Fourth Industrial Revolution, whose main aim is to deploy innovative technologies to give individuals power over their own finances and data.

Key Fintech Drivers:

· Mobile payments

· AI and Machine Learning

· Cryptocurrencies and digital cash

· Blockchain

· Smart Contracts

· Data cloud storage

“Innovation is disrupting financial services and opening up new opportunities and experiences to facilitate transactions and promote financial inclusion. The leading companies in fintech are those which develop technologies with strong use cases,” says Stefania Barbaglio, director at Cassiopeia Services, leading PR agency in the blockchain space.

When taken to a bigger scale, fintech has the power to disrupt entire economies. This scenario is seen especially in developing economies, where bureaucracy and financial exclusion have traditionally prevented certain sections of the population from climbing up the social ladder. Now with fintech in place, many countries are witnessing economic improvements thanks to wider opportunities for people to take care of money and business.

Africa is the land for the fintech revolution to flourish and is showing significant improvements not only at an economic level, but also in improved standards of living and kick-starting of development.

The contribution of the fintech industry to sub-Saharan Africa’s economic output will increase by at least US$40-billion to $150-billion by 2022, according to Financial Sector Deepening Africa. According to Ecobank, the Fintech industry in Africa will be worth more than $3 billion by 2020.

With services like mobile banking, a large part of the population who had always been on the margins of financial inclusion can now access banking services on their mobiles. 57.6% of the world’s 174 million active registered mobile money accounts are located in sub-Saharan Africa

A great example of the transformative power of Fintech is the Kenyan mobile money service M-PESA, which reached 80% of Kenyan households in 4 years. A study found that the mobile money provided by M-PESA lifted as many as 194,000 households — 2% of the Kenyan population — out of poverty.

“Africa has the largest population, resources and potential, yet remains one of the most unbanked regions in the world. There is huge opportunity for fintech to spur economic and societal growth. Technology can streamline and develop financial services and economies towards a more inclusive and equal society” Stefania adds.

Looking at the big picture, fintech has a significant social impact, helping to bring about positive change such as empowerment of individuals and communities over governments and corporations, reduction of financial exclusion, support of SMEs and entrepreneurships, all the while promoting a culture of transparency and accountability.

Fintech: Innovation to drive change

The fintech industry is no doubt one of the most interesting areas to watch right now. The stream of projects emerging in this space promise to reset the way finance is done, and to empower individuals and communities to challenge long-standing power imbalances.

Fintech has enabled the transformation of current finance models and the creation of more efficient tools to handle money matters. Through digital applications which can be controlled by mobile phone, finance is no longer exclusively in the hands of banks. Digital payments, alternative financing and personal finance management places power in the hands of consumers and individuals, who now enjoy a variety of more flexible services tailored to their specific needs.

The coupling of technology and finance in the once-obsolete financial system is showing us that individual empowerment is the new way of doing business. Fintech has created systems which are faster, cheaper and more convenient, so understandably has made customers turn their heads away from the old institutions which had once dominated financial services.

Fintech has been an unstoppable force over the last few years. So far in 2018, the fintech market has already accumulated $41.7billion — up from $39.4bn in 2017, proving the successful trend of taking up consumer-friendly technologies. Last year, 71% of the adult UK population accessed their bank via an online browser or a mobile banking app.

Fintech is a core sector within the Fourth Industrial Revolution, whose main aim is to deploy innovative technologies to give individuals power over their own finances and data.

Key Fintech Drivers:

· Mobile payments

· AI and Machine Learning

· Cryptocurrencies and digital cash

· Blockchain

· Smart Contracts

· Data cloud storage

“Innovation is disrupting financial services and opening up new opportunities and experiences to facilitate transactions and promote financial inclusion. The leading companies in fintech are those which develop technologies with strong use cases,” says Stefania Barbaglio, director at Cassiopeia Services, leading PR agency in the blockchain space.

When taken to a bigger scale, fintech has the power to disrupt entire economies. This scenario is seen especially in developing economies, where bureaucracy and financial exclusion have traditionally prevented certain sections of the population from climbing up the social ladder. Now with fintech in place, many countries are witnessing economic improvements thanks to wider opportunities for people to take care of money and business.

Africa is the land for the fintech revolution to flourish and is showing significant improvements not only at an economic level, but also in improved standards of living and kick-starting of development.

The contribution of the fintech industry to sub-Saharan Africa’s economic output will increase by at least US$40-billion to $150-billion by 2022, according to Financial Sector Deepening Africa. According to Ecobank, the Fintech industry in Africa will be worth more than $3 billion by 2020.

With services like mobile banking, a large part of the population who had always been on the margins of financial inclusion can now access banking services on their mobiles. 57.6% of the world’s 174 million active registered mobile money accounts are located in sub-Saharan Africa

A great example of the transformative power of Fintech is the Kenyan mobile money service M-PESA, which reached 80% of Kenyan households in 4 years. A study found that the mobile money provided by M-PESA lifted as many as 194,000 households — 2% of the Kenyan population — out of poverty.

“Africa has the largest population, resources and potential, yet remains one of the most unbanked regions in the world. There is huge opportunity for fintech to spur economic and societal growth. Technology can streamline and develop financial services and economies towards a more inclusive and equal society” Stefania adds.

Looking at the big picture, fintech has a significant social impact, helping to bring about positive change such as empowerment of individuals and communities over governments and corporations, reduction of financial exclusion, support of SMEs and entrepreneurships, all the while promoting a culture of transparency and accountability.

Finance Magnates London Summit: The must-go show for crypto investors

Where is crypto headed? The 2018 edition of the London Summit brings together more than 70 industry leaders and specialisedprofessionals to share their vision and experience with over 2,500 attendees, in one of London’s most exciting events for crypto believers.

In 2017, the summit welcomed over 2,000 delegates and 1,100 exhibiting companies and 2018 promises to repeat last year’s success.

Amidst the current frenzy around blockchain, many investors look at the crypto market and wonder if they are missing out on something. Recognising the growing convergence between crypto traders and blockchain technology enthusiasts, the London Summit will set aside an area dedicated to all things crypto, the hottest trend in the trading market. Make sure you pop into the ‘Crypto Trading Floor’, where you can engage with fellow investors, and join both actionable and visionary sessions by the most notable experts in crypto.

London Summit 2018 — What’s on the Agenda?

Many other crypto experts from around the world are making their way to London as the capital gets geared up to become a global blockchain hub.

Delegates can expect keynote speeches by Coinbase UK’s CEO, Zeeshan Feroz, and eToro’s CEO, Yoni Assia, who will be discussing opportunities in crypto in 2019.

Another unmissable panel discussion will be analyzing different crypto trading models, featuring industry stalwarts such as Coinfloor CEO, Obi Nwosu, CX Seed’s Sam Tegel, and more.

The sessions aim to educate investors on trading in the crypto space, advising on key ‘dos and don’ts’. The crypto sector has been attracting attention from investors and venture capitalists who don’t want to miss the opportunity to join this ride while the market is still maturing.

Resembling the dotcom boom, the blockchain revolution is prompting a surge of multiple companies within the tech sector, so there is no shortage of projects and ICOs trying to carve their place in the crypto sector. It is natural for investors to feel ‘spoilt for choice’ in such a vibrant new sector. At the London Summit, you will hear both about new and exciting projects at an ICO competition, held by DX.Exchange, and about trends and developments in the regulation of this booming sector.

To better understand the disruption blockchain is creating, make your way to the Cryptocurrency Trading: Breaking Down Retail and Institutional models panel. The speakers will give you insights into the power that decentralised technologies have to change current business models, and what we can expect from the blockchain revolution. Come and meet us!

We, at Cassiopeia Services, recognise the importance of networking events and conference as an invaluable opportunity for people to connect and network. We are proud to be media partner for London Summit 2018 Edition!

Blockchain and Crypto PR guru Stefania Barbaglio, founder and director at Cassiopeia Services, will be joining a panel on effective PR in crypto and communications strategies in the blockchain space.

In her show FinancialFox, she recently interviewed the well-known founder of Digibyte and Head of Operations at Cardano on the disruptive power of blockchain technology. She is host regular show with Steemit blockchain ambassador Stephen Kendall, to discuss the most effective strategies for equity investors to start moving into the crypto space.

”The evolution of cryptocurrency can create a major revolution in the very way we transact and exchange value, and we have been covering this space extensively since 2012, so the creation of a crypto event was a natural one for us,” says Michael Greenberg, Founder and CEO at Finance Magnates Group, which offers industry and market news. “We look forward to hearing the views and opinions of some of the leaders of the European crypto community at the event.”

The event is also the perfect opportunity to meet like-minded people, get to know potential partners and gain unique insights into the financial world as it gains this new shape.

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Blockchain and AI: Smart, secure systems set to bring value across various sectors

Last week we introduced you to Artificial intelligence (AI), the technology enabling computers to take decisions independently. Even if we don’t notice it, the truth is that the evolution of AI has already made our day-to-day lives a lot simpler and more efficient. Examining this development even further, AI features can be magnified when coupled with blockchain. This collaboration of two distinct yet powerful technologies has the potential to disrupt almost every business we know today.

Blockchain and Artificial Intelligence are two of the defining technologies of the new phase in tech revolution. These emerging technologies are rapidly evolving, catalysing innovation, entering multiple markets and, ultimately, challenging old, entrenched ways of doing business.

Just like years ago when the internet took over multiple aspects of our lives, spurring the emergence of the information technology (IT) sector, this new wave of technologies including artificial intelligence and blockchain is rapidly gaining ground worldwide.

The fact that we are able to use such complex technology in such simple terms is a testimony to what computers are capable of, when utilised efficiently. This is leading us towards another technology milestone that is speculated to bring about yet another revolution once it matures.

The coupling of blockchain and AI accentuates the disruptive power of these two technologies, bringing about their strongest features to add value to established systems.

The possibility of creating smart, open-sourced secure systems is set to bring levels of convenience and security never seen before to virtually any process involving data records.

The ultimate purpose of blockchain-based systems is to keep track of large amounts of data and provide a secure database accessible only and equally by participants of that network. The objective of AI, on the other hand, is to develop algorithms to assess data in an intelligent manner.

AI and blockchain are indeed two separate technologies with differing objectives, yet they can complement each other to create better and more efficient structures. Combining AI and blockchain leads to highly intelligent and decentralised systems.

AI and blockchain certainly have the power of enhancing each other’s performances. One example, as highlighted in Forbes, is that a blockchain platform can help us track and understand the decisions made by AI. For the time being, most AI systems still require some form of human verification, but as AI becomes more sophisticated, it is likely that these systems will get more autonomous. Having a trustworthy mechanism to keep record of these decisions is a must.

Similarly, well-crafted AI will be able to manage blockchain more effectively than humans, and also enable less energy-consuming mining, which is currently one of the main hindrances to be overcome in the blockchain revolution.

The decentralised feature of blockchain is again shining bright as blockchain itself is a consolidate database shifting the monopoly of the market into the hands of the common people. It thus allows for AI to be democratised and developed through a community-based spirit.

“The secret weapon here is really crypto-economics: the ability to create a mini-economy where participants accrue and exchange value through tokens. Because they incentivise people to participate in the network early, tokens help solve the cold start problem which has plagued so many network-building efforts in the past,” writes Matt Ruck.

AI + Blockchain market

Although at the moment we see more academic work than practical application of this technology combination, this reality is set to shift in the near future as more deployments come about. The market for the mergeing of these two technologies is starting to shape up as projects are gathering momentum.

We can indeed see a rise in the number of companies that have started to deploy AI and blockchain together, to a variety of ends.

Projects to watch: Nebula AI

Nebula AI is one of the first organisations to have identified the market need of this merger, and has started combining Blockchain and AI to carry its projects. The company provides a medium for people to deploy their specific AI applications on the blockchain.

Nebula also allows its users to convert their mining power via their personal computer processor to AI computing power. It basically gives the people a chance to deal with neural networks in a much more transparent and secure environment.

The people who are new to this concept and are getting acquainted with the AI/ blockchain combination have a chance to deploy their customised applications on the blockchain. Nebula allows for decentralised AI applications to be built faster than ever.

With Nebula AI’s cutting-edge blockchain technology, users are able to focus on key business features. Nebula provides on-chain payment, rental computing resources and decentralised service.

This development allows Nebula AI to compete with the pricing of Amazon and Google cloud storage services.