Tokenisation of the real estate market: Swiss BrickMark makes largest ever property purchase in…

Tokenisation of the real estate market: Swiss BrickMark makes largest ever property purchase in tokens

2020 has started with a bang.

Swiss real estate investment firm BrickMark announced that it has signed an agreement to make the largest property purchase ever made using tokens. The building has a prime location ̶ Zurich’s Bahnhofstrasse ̶ with the total transaction valued at CHF 130 million.

In the latest episode of #FinancialFox, crypto guru Stefania Barbaglio talked to Stephan Rind, CEO of BrickMark, about this pioneering transaction and the impact of such a deal on the blockchain industry.

Founded 18 months ago, BrickMark is now a member of EPRA (European Public Real Estate Association) and has already earned the position of leading blockchain real estate investment firm. The company is combining the asset value and profitability of this asset class with the technological possibilities of smart contracts in blockchain and tokenisation to create a more efficient “form of capital designed specifically for the needs of today’s global institutional investor,” said BrickMark on the announcement.

BrickMark sees this transaction as the first of a planned large-scale international real estate portfolio . The tokens will be built on the Ethereum blockchain and will make use of smart contracts to establish rights and entitlements of the token holders. “The market was waiting for a transaction of this size,” says Stephen.

CEO Stephan Rind

As for the high value of the purchase, Stephen says that ‘it is about trust, long-lasting relationships and track record’ and that the seller company RFR was a idealgreat international transaction partner.

Dr. Alexander Koblischek, Managing Director of RFR Management GmbH, said: “We gladly accepted the BrickMark tokens as part of the purchase price. We assume that digital financial instruments will also significantly gain in importance in the real state sector in the future.”

The BrickMark team has long-term experience in investment and real estate management. Two years ago, they realised the potential of blockchain in the industry.

“Real estate is the biggest asset class in the world and only 5% of all real estate investment is available for public investment through shares, bonds or fund units. The rest is locked in the hands of private investors. BrickMark tokens or other tokens that follow our concept are able to unlock this value and give access to these properties and wealth to people who haven’t had the chance to invest in prime properties in top locations around the world.”

Stephen believes this transaction is the first stage of BrickMark’s growth trajectory towards building a portfolio of high-quality properties.

Beyond tokens and smart contracts, blockchain technology can have other positive impacts on the real estate industry, especially in the developing world where land registry remains an issue to be solved. In many developing countries, property records are vulnerable to inconsistencies, as well as issues like tampering, damage, and loss, mainly due to the lack of a suitably secure system for land governance. These issues lead to vast areas of land ending up locked and unproductive.

The use of distributed ledger technology can streamline land and property records, reducing expropriation risks, facilitating market transactions, and unlocking access to finance, says the World Bank.

Watch the interview:

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CARDANO BLOCKCHAIN EVOLUTION

Cardano enters a new evolution phase with Shelley Testnet. Focus on decentralisation, power efficiency, community engagement and much more in an exclusive interview with Charles Hoskinson

In the latest episode of FinancialFox, crypto guru Stefania Barbaglio welcomed Charles Hoskinson, co-founder of IOHK and Cardano (ADA), one of the most prominent and most followed innovators in the blockchain/crypto space. In this three-episode series, Charles talks about the much anticipated Shelley test, updates on Cardano’s next phases and plans, more socially relevant partner projects, and the crucial element of community engagement.

Cardano was developed to be more than a cryptocurrency: a smart contract platform which seeks to deliver more advanced features than any previous protocol. It is the first blockchain platform to evolve out of a scientific philosophy and a research-first driven approach. It also ranks within the top 15 cryptocurrencies by market capitalisation.

Input-Output Hong Kong (IOHK) is the brains behind the Cardano blockchain. The team comprises scientists and engineers committed to developing decentralised open-source technologies that can cause cascading disruption.

These are exciting times for Cardano enthusiasts as the team gears up to complete the Shelley testnet. According to Hoskinson, after Shelley and planned updates, Cardano will be a true ‘third-generation cryptocurrency’ whose mission is to unlock a new era of development, powered by technology and decentralisation.

Shelley will see the introduction of a delegation and incentives scheme: a reward system to drive stake pools and community adoption. By the end of the Shelley era, Cardano should be 50–100 times more decentralised than any other extensive blockchain network. The Shelley era represents the natural maturation of the network, through which it emerges more useful, rewarding, and valuable for users. Shelley will set the stage for a fully distributed system.

From https://cardanoroadmap.com/en/

This past weekend, IOHK announced the successful set-up of the Shelley-incentivised test network via Twitter, allowing for the creation of stake pools. For those wishing to participate, IOHK has released a series of tutorial videos exploring the different stages of building up a functioning stake pool in the testnet. With the new incentivised network now up and running, pool operators are set up and ready for the Rewards wallet launch next week.

While other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are criticised for their high energy consumption, Shelly and Proof-of-Stake will enable Cardano to improve scalability and energy efficiency, bringing significant value and advantages without compromising on security or decentralisation. The entire Cardano network runs at a fraction of the power cost of equivalent proof-of-work blockchains, using the electricity equivalent of a single house, rather than that of a small country.

Hoskinson talks about the future of digital payments and AdaPay, a solution developed by the Cardano Foundation and COTI launched in November which allows merchants to accept ADA payments with a near-instant settlement into 35 fiat currencies.

Despite its advanced technology and expert team, Cardano has been struggling to break into the mainstream crypto industry and compete in the major league, which has disappointed some members of the community. Charles talks about the challenges inherent in crypto success and the importance of having a project with a solid mission behind it.

In the second part of the interview, the Cardano founder shares his views about quantum computing and the impacts of this new technology. It is a significant development, but it may take a while before quantum computing forms part of mainstream technology. Nevertheless, Charles believes that innovation is a process, and evolving technologies are a part of this.

Cardano is a social project as much as a financial one. It is not just payments; it’s about applications that can improve how things work in today’s world.

Stefania and Charles also discussed the signficant opportunity within the fashion and luxury sector to improve supply chain management and brand reputation and trust. Cardano has recently partnered with New Balance, the footwear giant, to allow people to establish ownership of the products they buy as an effort to combat counterfeit products. Blockchain also has the power to make the second-hand retail market more transparent and better regulated.

The food industry, land registry, digital identities and digital assets also offer considerable opportunities for implementation of blockchain technology.

Innovative technology developers like Cardano have the ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity to enter markets in developing economies, where they can introduce their technologies to have a high impact on social and economic structures.

Cardano offers the technology necessary for systematic change. With the multitude of applications that blockchain offers, a decentralised technology can enable digital payments, smart contracts and food traceability, to name but a few.

In the last segment of the interview, Charles expands on the crucial role played by the community and the importance of engaging with people to raise awareness about Cardano and cryptocurrencies in general.

He also comments on the MMA fight with Chico Crypto. Is it going to happen?

Watch the interview on our channel:

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Facebook’s Libra: a coin-toss towards digital economy evolution and crypto’s mainstream status

Facebook’s announcement of its plans to introduce Libra, a global cryptocurrency focused on achieving the financial inclusion for unbanked people, spurred substantial backlash over data privacy and security issues from governments and their regulators. Libra has faced cynicism in relation to the social media giant’s controversial past regarding its failed attempts to protect users’ privacy.

While the governments’ main focus is on the regulatory issues, the industry experts believe Libra plays a more significant role for the crypto community in general and the development of the digital economy. Nonetheless, Facebook’s blockchain project seems to affect on every aspect of the modern digital economy and appears to have all-encompassing influence.

Mass adoption of cryptocurrencies and digital payments

This pessimistic approach of governments and regulators towards innovative technologies is however, nothing new. From an innovation aspect, Libra as a blockchain-based digital currency presents the next step in the evolution of money: an inflection point in the form of financial solution created not by governments and central banks, but the private companies which will ultimately disrupt the deeply ingrained monopoly set up by the mainstream money systems.

During the latest episode of Financial Fox, hosted by PR guru Stefania Barbaglio, Jared Tate, founder of DigiByte, explained that Libra symbolises significant validation for the novel blockchain technology, and starts to forge a new path for the future of finance and the crypto technology. Due to its pre-existing association with a well-known name such as Facebook and its 2.5 billion users, Libra stands a chance of becoming successful, and is essentially expected to be an advocate for cryptocurrencies, encouraging a lot more people to step into the crypto space.

As such, even if deemed unsuccessful, Libra symbolises an important first step towards the mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. It will allow for a large segment of the public to get familiar with the crypto space and educate them on fundamental concepts and the key idea of controlling their own funds, as claimed by the Charles Hoskinson, founder of Cardano, during his conversation with Stefania Barbaglio for the Financial Fox Crypto Show.

Issues on data privacy and the control of technology market

Due to its potential for mass-adoption, Libra raises serious questions on the aspect of regulation and as such has been greeted by backlash from the regulators and members of traditional financial institutions, mainly over serious concerns as to whether the digital currency threatens the stability of the US dollar and other government-backed currencies, or could infringe on consumers’ privacy.

Essentially, there is no limit on the type and the amount of data Libra will gather, and absolutely no guarantee on privacy. Facebook’s business model is based on how much it knows about you. As Libra itself is based on the permissioned blockchain, it means Facebook has full censorship power backed up by money that people, especially the unbanked, are going to need, said Jean Phillipe Beaudet, Director and CTO of ZeU Crypto network for the Financial Fox.

Such concerns among experts regarding the Libra stable coin are predominantly rooted in the market dominance of its parent company, Facebook, and the latter’s controversial past regarding data handling. With that in mind, introducing Libra, a payment system powered by Facebook, raises serious political power and consumer privacy concerns.

Jean Philippe Beaudet, director of ZeU, argued that although cryptocurrencies are always seen as a decentralisation tool that will help people gain more freedom, they can also become the most effective control tool ever made, as this is smart money needed by everyone. “We are now at the point where we have to balance these requirements of being a bit regulated and not enabling the governments to control their populations. That is potentially going to be a great challenge and Libra is not helping on that front. I believe it’s just creating a scarier monopoly”, added Jean Philippe Beaudet for the Financial Fox.

Adoption of Libra in different countries

Libra’s main objective — to bank the unbanked in developing countries — seems to be running into obstacles already.

Jared Tate, Bill Barhydt, Jean-Philippe Beaudet, Ajeet Khurana and the host, Stefania Barbaglio

It appears that Libra’s mission could be undermined as some of the developing economies such as India, Libra’s largest potential market, seems to have adopted a hostile approach towards cryptocurrencies. Earlier in 2019, India introduced a bill on Banning Cryptocurrencies and Regulation of Official Digital Currency, proposing a 10-year-long prison term for people who “mine, generate, hold, sell, transfer, dispose, issue or deal in cryptocurrencies”, ultimately preventing Libra and any other innovative crypto-technology project from entering the Indian market.

Ajeet Kurana, Indian entrepreneur and former CEO of Zebpay India shares his hopes in the interview with Director of Financial Fox Stefania Barbaglio, in regards to Libra’s efforts in India: “If in such an environment, Facebook’s Libra succeeds in leading the way against the Indian government or in fact any such government hesitant towards cryptocurrencies, showing that the unbanked are truly the marginalised community in question, that would open the doors to all the other cryptocurrencies and digital assets to enter the Indian market.”

The future of Libra in China, the other leading emerging economy, does not seem much brighter. The media outlets Facebook and WhatsApp are already banned in China, the most restrictive country when it comes to ICO’s, prompting social media consumers to use WeChat, a similar app that allows the options of payment transfers and purchasing goods without ever leaving the app.

Jared Tate, founder of DigiByte, believes that “If history is any sort of track record, the Chinese government will opt to do something very similar to Libra, creating their own digital currency”. The central bank of China is reportedly working on its own digital currency to stop Facebook from taking over the market.

Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Ecosystem to expect other players, inspired by Facebook

Charles Hoskinson in an interview for the Financial Fox

Charles Hoskinson, CEO of Input-Output Hong Kong, shared in his interview for the Financial Fox his prediction of the Crypto and Blockchain market: “The existence of Facebook in the market will be an invitation to the others to come in as well. It is kind of the next wave and a great competitive pressure to existing players such as Cardanos, Ethereums and Bitcoins to evolve more quickly. Ultimately it’s Darwinian technology and we have to be obsessed with usability, consumer experience and usefulness in order to survive. Facebook has certain advantages which other smaller players don’t.”

However, those advantages don’t seem to be stopping other big companies either. We are possibly expecting to see other big platform providers such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft entering the Blockchain and Crypto space. Samsung has already announced experiments on developing an Ethereum-based Blockchain , while Nestle announced its new Blockchain initiative to support its supply chain.

Decentralised technology

The decentralised nature of blockchain technology means that it doesn’t rely on a central point of control. A lack of a single authority makes the system fairer and considerably more secure. The way in which data is recorded onto a blockchain epitomises its most revolutionary quality: decentralisation.

Instead of relying on a central authority to securely transact with other users, blockchain utilises innovative consensus protocols across a network of nodes to validate transactions and record data in a manner that is incorruptible. However, that can’t really be said in the case of Libra, which is supposedly backed up by the pool of securities.

In that respect, Jared Tate, founder of Digibyte, believes that the truly decentralised projects out there really cannot be compared with these fiat currency-backed projects. Jared told Financial Fox that in the case of Libra, there needs to be a differentiation from the regulators’ perspective on how an everyday, transactional stable coin is operated versus a truly decentralised digital asset like Bitcoin or Digibyte. We can’t really compare the two as they don’t function in the same way, considering that the Libra project is pegged to the US dollar, which is subject to inflation.

So far, Facebook doesn’t have a very good record of decentralising things and giving power to the users. It is, like most Silicon Valley companies, the middleman of necessity and in occupying that position, has the enormous control over your privacy, your information and your autonomy. “They like being dictators in that respect”, said Charles Hoskinson, CEO of Input-Output Hong Kong in an interview for the Financial Fox.

That perhaps subjects Facebook’s decentralised technology to even more scrutiny, as calling it decentralised while in essence it is not, makes it even more controversial.

So where does that leave Libra? Ultimately, it is at the forefront of this paradigm shift towards a more developed digital economy of the future. But until further developments are completed and authorities start to warm to the idea of digital money, Libra’s near future depends on its collaboration with the financial sector, social impact organisations, regulators and experts across various industries. This is the way to ensure that a sustainable, secure and trusted framework underpins Libra’s system, allowing it to deliver a leap forward for economic empowerment on a global scale by ultimately encouraging the development of digital economy, as has been promised by Facebook.

To watch the debate about Libra and follow other related stories subscribe to our Youtube Channel and follow @financialfox for the upcoming updates.

Libra’s boundary pushing causes worldwide backlash

A month after the announcement of Libra’s proposed launch, Facebook’s cryptocurrency has faced considerable backlash from authorities, raising uncertainty around its future plans. The blockchain project has been greeted frostily by most regulators and financial institutions all over the world, as they collectively indicate that an unregulated digital currency available to billions of social media users globally would bring about significant financial disruption.

The negative response has prompted skepticism around the feasibility of bringing Libra to the market in 2020 — if ever. According to CNBC, the tech industry is expressing doubts over whether the cryptocurrency will become available next year, in light of the issues raised by US lawmakers.

The lack of public trust in the social media company is also a factor that could hinder further developments: “Facebook won’t get far with Libra if consumers are worried about their financial data being compromised or misused, and regulators don’t trust Facebook to keep that data secure,” Dimitri Sirota, CEO of BigID, a New York data privacy firm said to CNBC.

The US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said the US central bank has “serious concerns” about Libra, the Wall Street Journal reported. Both the Federal Reserve System and the separate Financial Stability Oversight Council are meeting to discuss Libra alongside global policy makers.

Facebook faces pushback from regulators over Libra launch

The backlash, however, does not seem to have stopped Facebook from moving forward with their plans. In a letter addressed to the US Senate Banking Committee last Monday, Facebook blockchain lead and Libra project leader David Marcus attempted to ease concerns, stating that the social media company is open to collaboration with authorities and other regulatory bodies to make the Libra project work within the right framework:

“I want to give you my personal assurance that we are committed to taking the time to do this right. We understand that big ideas take time, that policymakers and others are raising important questions, and that we can’t do this alone. We want, and need, governments, central banks, regulators, non-profits, and other stakeholders at the table and value all of the feedback we have received,” Facebook’s blockchain lead stated.

David Marcus is scheduled to testify before the Banking Committee next week.

India and China not open to Libra, but China considers the benefits of crypto

If Facebook is facing problems with the US Senate, the international stance on Libra is no friendlier. In the biggest Asian markets, India and China, Facebook’s cryptocurrency seems to be an increasingly remote possibility.

Due to tight regulations, Facebook is currently locked out of the Indian market, one of the largest in the world. Since April 2018, all entities regulated by the Reserve Bank of India have been banned from dealing in cryptocurrencies and virtual coins, and the government is working on a draft to increase penalties for those who trade and use cryptocurrencies.

“Design of the Facebook currency has not been fully explained,” India’s Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Garg said in an interview in New Delhi on Saturday. “But whatever it is, it would be a private cryptocurrency and that’s not something we have been comfortable with.”

Chinese authorities are reluctant to let Libra enter the market, but show interest in cryptocurrencies

Meanwhile in China, a senior official from the Central Bank stated that Libra must be “put under the oversight of monetary authorities” as reported by Bloomberg earlier this week.

Because as a cryptocurrency, Libra would be able to be transacted freely across borders, Chinese authorities are concerned that it “won’t be sustainable without the support and supervision of central banks,” Mu Changchun, deputy director of the People’s Bank of China’s payments department, told Bloomberg.

Mu has also expressed further concerns about the lack of clear commitment to counter money-laundering mechanisms, as well as clarification as to how Libra will protect its users’ privacy.

Nevertheless, Chinese authorities have not ruled out the use of digital currencies in their territory as they recognise the advantages of the technology in terms of improved efficiency.

Libra’s announcement has prompted the PBOC (People’s Bank of China) to look into plans to introduce a government-backed digital currency, aiming to secure China’s position in the global cryptocurrency race, as reported by the China Daily.

“A digital currency issued by the central bank can improve the efficiency of monetary policy, and help to optimise the payment system,” said Wang Xin, director of the PBOC Research Bureau.

Don't miss Cassiopeia live debate about Libra with crypto experts. SUNDAY 7PM UK TIME. Subscribe to our Youtube Channel and follow @stefixy @financialfox for participating link.

The two sides of Facebook’s crypto coin Libra

The launch of the cryptocurrency Libra announced by Facebook earlier this week has prompted many discussions about the future of finance, particularly the role of cryptocurrencies. The project has grabbed the attention of regulators all over the world, most of them calling for the project to be delayed or even scrapped.

In the crypto space, some experts have expressed their disapproval over a big tech company entering the area, while also acknowledging that the launch of Libra could be a tipping point in the history of blockchain.

On the latest FinancialFox, crypto PR guru Stefania Barbaglio interviewed On Yavin, CEO and founder of Cointelligence about his views on Libra. He is an angel investor and serial entrepreneur with more than 20 years of experience in the tech industry. A leading authority on cryptocurrency, he is also a data-driven strategist.

His company, Cointelligence, conducts data research and analysis for the crypto economy. Cointelligence was created to bridge the information gap in the crypto economy, and also offers professional due diligence and blockchain advisory services.

“The new Facebook coin is a fake cryptocurrency. They are calling it cryptocurrency because it is a buzzword. It may be a digital currency, but it is not a cryptocurrency. It is a crap coin,” says On Yavin.

On believes that Libra is not a real cryptocurrency because of three main factors:

- A Facebook digital currency will by definition be largely centralised.

- Facebook has a huge trust problem after its poor track record in securing its users’ personal data.

- Facebook is partnering with big companies such as Uber, Paypal, Vodafone and Visa to create Libra. In essence, this means that big corporations will continue to control the system and exploit users. “That is the opposite of what a cryptocurrency should be,” says On.

Libra might eventually have a financial value, he says, but the whole system sounds illegitimate and it does not represent a real cryptocurrency.

Libra could make crypto mainstream

Whilst Libra itself might sound like a poorly developed cryptocurrency, its impact on the cryptocurrency market is likely to be positive and could be the move needed to bring cryptocurrencies into the mainstream.

Regardless of the future of Libra, its launch has exposed huge numbers of people to cryptocurrencies and the world of blockchain. Because Facebook has now officially stepped in, crypto may start to be viewed as more serious and credible.

Up to this point, conversations about cryptocurrencies have been nearly exclusive to technologists. Now with the launch of Libra, Facebook is practically making cryptocurrency available to its two and a half billion users at once.

“I think that the positive side is that Libra will get so many people introduced to the new generation of digital payments and some of them will want to learn more about real cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum,” says On.

With the threat of disruption posed by a company the size and influence of Facebook launching a digital currency, regulators and central banks have started to look seriously at the crypto world, which could prompt much needed regulations of the market.

The launch of Libra means that the cryptocurrency market is bound to become more interesting for outside investors. Nevertheless, it is important for those entering the crypto space to be careful and carry out thorough research before putting down large amounts of money. We are still at the ‘young’ stage of the crypto market, so there are plenty of scams going around, which can easily lure eager investors into fraudulent projects.

On’s company Cointelligence helps to identify the most authentic projects and exchanges in crypto. Cointelligence found over 80–85% of crypto exchanges to be faking trading volume to get their rankings up on listing websites to increase revenue. “There’s very little transparency on crypto exchanges. This is misleading to investors,” says On. He warns users of different types of malicious actors around:

- Scammers: people who launch fake projects with the intention of stealing investors’ money

- ‘Mini scammers’: people who found crypto ventures quite genuinely, although the project is not feasible in reality and does not bring returns

- ‘Scamming neighbours’: the partners of a fake project, such as the publishers that advertise it and YouTubers and influencers who promote it

More developments are sure to unfold soon and whatever happens, the crypto market could be on its way to a great transformation. All eyes on Libra.

Watch the full interview here:

Facebook’s Libra sparks privacy and security concerns

On Tuesday, Facebook unveiled plans of launching its own digital currency, Libra, in the first half of 2020. Facebook’s stablecoin will let users shop and send money overseas with almost zero transaction fees.

Facebook has united forces with some of the major names in payment and e-services including Mastercard, PayPal, Uber, Visa, Spotify, eBay, and Vodafone, to form the 28-members Libra Association, based in Geneva. Facebook hopes to have. It is reported they expect to have 100 members by Libra’s launch, showing the ambition underlying its plans. The Libra currency will be stored on the e-wallet Calibra, which is being developed by Facebook. According to the company, the Calibra wallet will be available in Messenger, WhatsApp and as a standalone app.

In less than 24 hours, the project already raised great concerns as Libra is poised to become a global currency that could potentially challenge major fiat currencies such as the US dollar, as well as take down traditional financial institutions.

Having a centralised tech company like Facebook orchestrating the launch and system of a cryptocurrency goes against one of the core principles of digital currencies advocates: decentralisation. With 2.7 billion users, Facebook has constantly been a target for hackers and malicious actors, because of the value of its users’ data — it can become even worse holding large amounts of money.

Whilst a more detailed plan of how Libra is going to work, it is clear that it will have a significant impact over the current financial system, perhaps even become a major player, given the large influence of Facebook.

Questions over privacy of financial information have emerged to put into question Facebook’s credibility of managing a digital currency. Recalling the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which saw the hijack of 87 million users data, just a year ago, Facebook does not have a positive track record of securing users’ data and privacy — so quite understandably, there have been doubts about Zuckerberg’s firm dealing with people’s money. Facebook has constantly been a target for hackers and malicious actors.

“It’s difficult for me to see anyone who cares about privacy actually adopting this new offering, particularly given Facebook’s laughable record on respecting their users’ privacy choices,” cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs said to CNBC.

The lack of legal protection for users is another of the main worries about the Libra project. The sector of digital currencies is at the moment largely unregulated, justifying the concerns of having the tech giant Facebook entering the competition. So far, in the cryptocurrency realm, investors across the world have lost hundreds of millions of dollars through price volatility, crypto-exchange hacks and illegitimate projects. In 2018 alone, $1.7 billion in cryptocurrency was stolen through hacking.

The market has also faced money-laundering and terrorist-financing allegations. In light of these allegations, Facebook said that the Calibra system plans to conduct compliance checks on customers who want to sign up, using verification and anti-fraud processes that are common among banks.

According to Kevin Weil, who runs product for the Libra initiative, the project gives a chance for regulators around the world to bring their attention to cryptocurrencies and start creating mechanisms of regulating the system: “It gives us a basis to go and have productive conversations with regulators around the world,” he told Reuters. “We’re eager to do that.”

Cryptocurrency experts took to social media to express their concerns over what Facebook’s entry to the crypto space could mean.

“If you’re concerned with Facebook knowing too much or having too much access to your private data, Libra will give Facebook even more direct access to your financial information,” said Phil Chen, a cryptocurrency expert who pioneered HTC’s first blockchain smartphone to the Independent.

“It’s not just access to the information of your transactions, it’s direct access to your wealth and capital. If the top-line question about Facebook and antitrust is about whether to break it up and spin off the likes of WhatsApp and Instagram — well Libra is the most invasive and dangerous form of surveillance they have designed thus far. This will easily become the most dangerous antitrust case in history.”

The Libra project has proved to be worrying for lawmakers who were quick to reprimand the cryptocurrency. The project is suffering backlash from regulators and lawmakers in the US and Europe with urges for the project to be delayed or even paused.

“Given the company’s troubled past, I am requesting that Facebook agree to a moratorium on any movement forward on developing a crypto-currency until Congress and regulators have the opportunity to examine these issues and take action,” said US Democratic congresswoman Maxine Waters.

The French Finance Minister, Bruno Le Marie, has said that this new cryptocurrency cannot operate as a sovereign currency. The minister also stated that the Libra currency should be a matter of discussion on the upcoming G7 meeting with central bankers in July.

On the next FinancialFox, crypto expert Stefania Barbaglio will interview On Yavin, CEO and Founder of Coin Intelligence. Coin Intelligence conducts data research and data analysis for the crypto economy. On will be sharing insights about the latest developments of Facebook’s Libra and its impact on the crypto market.

Don’t miss our next episode live tomorrow!

Online Blockchain OBC building the ‘Yahoo of Crypto’

In the latest episode of Financial Fox, crypto guru Stefania Barbaglio interviews Clem Chambers, CEO of London listed ADVFN and Online Blockchain about OBC latest product ‘FreeFaucet.io’

FreeFaucet is a revolutionary free application that allows users to distribute and access cryptocurrencies without mining. FreeFaucet was designed to address the technical difficulties faced by many people in entering the crypto world.

Access http://freefaucet.io/

“With crypto faucets, we take that technical difficulty away. People can get a little Bitcoin, a little Ethereum, a little Brazio ̶ they can just get it on the website. If they want to get more, they can subscribe.

This is the core of a crypto hub. OBC wants to be the Yahoo of crypto. This will be the place where people come for crypto stuff: coins, news, community, and more,” says Clem Chambers.

The faucet can be used by any cryptocurrency provider, meaning that any cryptocurrency — big or small, old or new — can now be easily exchanged for goods and services without users needing to mine the coin, which gives greater access to consumers and wider exposure for service providers.

FreeFaucet’s revenue comes from subscriptions and advertisements placed on the website. Cryptocurrency companies will purchase ad space on the FreeFaucet page to attract more coin holders. The same as ADVFN, which has been steadily growing since 1999 building a global platform for financial news and main hub for investors in equities.

This is a business model that benefits the consumer because the user gets value back in coins.

“It is not just about the money, it is about community and education, enabling people to enter the crypto world. FreeFaucet.io will help unlock the value of the crypto sector,” says Clem Chambers.

This is a revolutionary tool because it reverses the economic chain: money comes back to consumers rather than them paying the middlemen involved in purchasing a product or service.

Online Blockchain is focusing operations on building ‘the new generation of blockchain’, which according to Clem Chambers is all about services and applications built on top of cryptocurrencies. OBC is building an operating system, like Windows, powered by blockchain.

Visit FreeFaucet.io and @freefaucetio

Online Blockchain launches global free cryptocurrency hub- claim, send, receive and store a…

Online Blockchain launches global free cryptocurrency hub- claim, send, receive and store a variety of cryptocurrencies with FreeFaucet

Online Blockchain plc (LSE:OBC) announces the open beta of its FreeFaucet product, an innovative application that allows a variety of cryptocurrencies to be claimed, sent, received and stored.

Product Overview

In the crypto world, an online faucet ‘drips’ different coins and enables visitors to claim these cryptocurrencies. With FreeFaucet, users can obtain both renowned and emerging cryptocurrencies up to three times per day free of charge (20 times a day with membership), and access some of the highest-paying faucets on the net.

The product, which is in open beta, provides a simple way to claim, send, receive and store a diverse range of cryptocurrencies in one place. FreeFaucet offers many popular cryptocurrencies including: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Monero, Ravencoin, PlusOneCoin and Brazio. These claimed cryptocurrencies can then be securely stored on the FreeFaucet multicoin wallet (a cold storage solution).

FreeFaucet also boasts Geofaucet — a first-of-its-kind, location-specific faucet. Geofaucets are real-life, physical faucets in the form of a QR code. When these Geofaucet QR codes are scanned at a set location, the person scanning is rewarded with cryptocurrency. Additionally, anyone can create their own Geofaucet on the FreeFaucet site — and earn a passive income — by generating a unique QR code and placing it at a location of their choice. When a Freefaucet.io user scans this QR code, both the user and the Geofaucet owner receive cryptocurrency for free and will see their balance updated on Freefaucet.io. Any non-users scanning a Geofaucet QR code will be prompted to register on Freefaucet.io to have their claimed cryptocurrency added to their new account.

Users can claim from an unlimited number of Geofaucets per day and claim from any given Geofaucet once every 12 hours. Details of the Geofaucet locations and the simple steps for creating one can be found at: www.freefaucet.io/geofaucet

Another exciting feature of the FreeFaucet site is Bitferno, a powerful cryptocurrency miner of brand new cryptocurrencies. Approximately once a month, these cryptocurrencies will be distributed or ‘airdropped’ to all Freefaucet.io users. Distribution is scaled according to a user’s experience level: every single time a user interacts with the site e.g. logging in, claiming from a faucet or setting up a Geofaucet, they gain experience. Users with higher experience levels will be rewarded accordingly for their support and loyalty on the site. Bitferno is currently mining Bytecoin.

“There is unbridled interest in cryptocurrencies. Freefaucet offers a gateway to this market and enables established cryptocurrency enthusiasts and novices alike to earn free cryptocurrency with just a few clicks,” said Clem Chambers, CEO of Online Blockchain plc. “Freefaucet.io is now growing fast and our aim of making it a leading crypto community hub with many revenue streams has got off to a very exciting start.”

About Online Blockchain plc (LSE: OBC)

Online Blockchain (www.onlineblockchain.io) is a UK-based incubator and developer of businesses in internet and information-based technologies, including developers, administrators and custodians of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. The Company created ADVFN www.advfn.com and today still has a holding of 17.98% in ADVFN plc.

Online Blockchain plc continues to consider new related opportunities, particularly crypto currencies and blockchain-based opportunities including incubating cryptocurrency start-ups and developing technical innovation in the blockchain space. Led by a team with over two decades of pioneering in tech, Online Blockchain focuses on innovation in cryptocurrency and decentralised ecosystems via various applications of blockchain: incubating cryptocurrency start-ups and developing technical innovation in the blockchain space.

DIGIBYTE BLOCKCHAIN GLOBAL SUMMIT 2019

Cassiopeia Services is pleased to announce the resounding success of the first ever DigiByte Blockchain Global Summit 2019, which took place in Amsterdam on Friday 19th April.

The event was organised and hosted by Ms Stefania Barbaglio (Steffy), PR Guru, Founder and Director of Cassiopeia Services, and Official PR for DigiByte (DGB). The prime focus of the Summit ̶ sponsored by Vertbase, the Coinbase for altcoins ̶ was on DigiByte’s journey since its foundation in 2014, the role in the new digital economy of decentralised technologies and security blockchain applications built on DGB, and how they are transforming the world of data security and transactions.

The summit was attended by the vast majority of DigiByte’s followers and investors and was also live streamed for all the DigiByte and crypto enthusiasts around the world. Key Media partners featured IcoHolder, Coin Rivet and CoinCodex, among many others.

After Steffy’s introduction, Mr Jared Tate, the Founder of DigiByte, ran through DGB’s history and progress over the last 5 years. Founded in 2014 with no ICO, DigiByte boasts the longest UTXO blockchain in the world, highly secure and faster than that of bitcoin. Listed on over 100 exchanges globally, it is now developing the new generation of Digi-ID and Digi-Assets, which are rapidly becoming one of the key developments in the crypto market.

Jared gave due credit to the community and DGB supporters as he revealed that some of his best developers are anonymous ̶ unknown even to him ̶ thus emphasising the beauty of decentralisation and the very fundamentals on which DGB has been built. He also gave some real insights into the hard work and determination that has got DigiByte to where it is today. DGB was initially built as an extension to the UTXO protocol pioneered by Bitcoin.

Jared mentioned that DGB was initially built as an extension to the UTXO protocol pioneered by Bitcoin. However, always striving for excellence, and after countless upgrades & hardforks, they created DigiShield in 2014 (one of the many great features of DigiByte) which was quickly adopted by Ethereum, Bitcoin etc. DigiByte also re-engineered the bitcoin wallets and today boast the best SPV wallets in the world. To add to this, since the activation of SegWit in April 2017, almost 2,70,000 nodes have been created along with 4 full-version updates for the DGB core wallet.

For the first time, DigiByte is referring not to a hard fork, but an algo fork, as it schedules the release of its latest version 7.17.1, known as the Odocrypt. DigiByte already has 5 running algorithms over which the DigiShield is split evenly, which helps in real-time weight adjustment. Thanks to this multi-level model, Digibyte has a 51% attack resistance globally. The new algorithm name is inspired by Star Wars as it is a shape shifter set to change every 10 days, thus making it ASIC resistant. It will replace the Groestl algo.

The DGB community also made history at the event as Jared created the first ever DGB DigiAsset using the DigiVault. The DigiFlame was the world’s first ever DigiAsset created during the summit, and it was passed on to Rudy. Subsequently, Jared also created a second DigiAsset known as the DigiTorch as a way to promote those organisations that are creating real-world solutions using DGB Blockchain. The torch was given to Block Labs 30 and will be passed onto other projects as time goes on. This marks a huge step for DigiByte as DigiAssets has always been taken seriously and seen as the mechanism to secure the future internet of value. Even in the core architecture of DGB, comprising 3 layers, the middle layer is dedicated solely to the digital assets.

Other speakers included some of the most brilliant minds in the crypto and blockchain space. To begin with, Rudy Bouwman, co-founder of the DigiByte Awareness Team fondly known as DGBAT, shared the importance of community support and engagement, and what it means to lead one of the largest crypto communities in existence. Founded on 18th May 2018, The DGBAT team is on its way to marking its one- year anniversary this coming month at the time of writing. It was founded because DGB had never had an ICO or pre-sale, so needed a revitalised marketing strategy. DGBAT today is made up of of passionate individuals who are determined to make way for the widespread adoption of DGB.

Adding onto the advancements and achievement of the DigiByte Community, Josiah Spackman connected from New Zealand to elaborate on Dandelion, an upcoming upgrade to the blockchain. The main reason for this upgrade is to improve privacy on different platforms for DGB users. The DGB Blockchain uses the same method of broadcast as Bitcoin: diffusion. However, there is a vulnerability in this method that may let intruders track IP addresses by looking at the transactions on the blockchain. In order to avoid this, the Dandelion upgrade will only transmit data to one neighbour at a time and mask the hop counts to protect privacy.

Jan Muyldermans from Antum ID, an organisation involved in projects that deploys DGB Blockchain again highlighted the essence of privacy in today’s world. Antum ID is an authentication platform that uses DIGI-ID fundamentals to help verify the identity of individuals by government/organisations while providing the highest level of privacy. Antum modified the Digi-Id and added in its SOAP API so that DIGI-ID can be used on all platforms and programming languages, thus cultivating DGB’s widespread adoption. With the recent data breaches and leakages, Antum ID is the best use case solution.

Continuing the theme of Decentralisation, Justin Seidl from Vertbase applauded DGB’s genuine growth and passionate community. A simple fiat-to-digital currency instant buy-and-sell platform, Vertbase is in the process of introducing GBP & EURO pairings for DGB. Its main USP is that it’s a non-custodial platform, meaning all funds are always in the user’s possession and by partnering with DGB, its next step is to enable consumers to use DGB and Vertbase for everyday transactions.

Another key innovative project was presented: Marnix van den Berg from V-ID highlighted the issue of cyber-crime and data integrity. VID’s core mission is to help prevent digital fraud. For this it uses blockchains to store data once it has been verified and validated: DGB being one of these blockchains. This in turn helps DGB to fully certify and secure all DigiAssets. In a real-world example of physical objects being verified and coded in the blockchain, V-ID demonstrated how it had securely stored a Rembrandt piece after verifying and validating it in the blockchain.

Finally, Block Labs 30, a California-based organisation led by MBA entrepreneurs Brian Foote and Jeff Hinshaw showcased their skills in working with merchants to increase DGB’s adoption. Their project is ambitious: creating a market place for Digital Asset transactions through verticals, while increasing security and trackability but integrated interconnectivity. All industries will benefit from block transactions built on DGB, the main one being real estate, but also fashion, food and art.

With such great minds and organisation at work, the DGB Summit was the first of its kind. In case you missed the live coverage, exclusive event footage is set to be released soon. Please stay tuned for further details.

Blockchain Applications Bring More Value To Gamers, Leading The Evolution Of The Multi-Billion…

Blockchain Applications Bring More Value To Gamers, Leading The Evolution Of The Multi-Billion Dollar Gaming Market.

The gaming market is growing at a fast pace. With more than 2.2 billion active gamers in the world, the UK gaming sector generates £3.864bn, making it larger than music and video combined. Revenue from digital gaming, accounts for 87% of the UK market. Globally the industry generated $135bn in 2018.

The market is indeed so attractive that even the ‘big tech’ companies are moving into it. Earlier this week, Apple was said to be investing more than $500 million for its Arcade service, which will let users play exclusive gaming titles across their Apple devices ad-free and offline.

Google is also reportedly entering gaming. In March, the tech giant released a note about Stadia, its new platform that aims to deliver instant access to games on gadgets like laptops, tablets and mobile devices.

Gaming can provide one of the first playgrounds for experimenting with new technology, and the emergence of technologies such as blockchain, machine learning and virtual reality are changing the landscape of gaming as they become integrated into those platforms. The addition of these technologies is making the gaming experience a lot more sophisticated, fun and ever lucrative for users.

Gaming Integrating Blockchain

Technology pioneer OBC debuts in gaming space; Q&A with CEO Clem Chambers:

Blockchain is a mechanism to open the gaming market up further and take in-game values into the real world and vice versa.”

Earlier today, pioneering tech company Online Blockchain (OBC) announced its brand new blockchain-based gaming product FreeLoadr. FreeLoadr is a multi-platform application which allows gamers access to PC games for free in exchange for running the FreeLoadr application on their personal computer. The user donates “hash power” to earn points, which they can redeem for products on the FreeLoadr store’s selection of 2,500 titles.

OBC has been acting at the forefront of technology for decades. Previously known as On-Line plc, the company gained prominence during the dotcom boom. In 2017, the word ‘blockchain’ was added to signal its move into the fast growing blockchain industry. With the opportunity growing within the gaming sector, OBC is using the versatility of blockchain and developing applications with high user-case value and tailored for the needs of gamers. OBC also identifies and invests in strong projects in the space such as US-based gaming company Encryptid. OBC invested US$100,000 in cash in exchange for a 35% interest in the company.

Since then, OBC has developed multiple projects at a global level, envisioning widespread adoption of cryptocurrencies and exploring early stage opportunities for blockchain applications.

Cassiopeia Services talked to OBC CEO Clem Chambers about FreeLoadr, blockchain in gaming and opportunities in the industry. Chambers is a well-known figure (Maverick Genius) in the City of London, having made a sizeable fortune in the dot.com boom.

How was FreeLoadr inspired? What makes it special and different from other gaming applications available?

CC: “We’re constantly coming up with great ideas as a group and FreeLoadr was a favourite as it was such an accessible project, in the mainstream and in the heartland of the digital natives that love Crypto.”

What market demands in gaming can blockchain applications meet?

CC: “The potential is endless. Crypto opens up vast horizons for computer games because it allows for a real financial system to underpin the giant environments that are played in by millions of people.”

Nowadays, mobile gaming takes the biggest share in the gaming market. Why is mobile taking over consoles and PCs? In terms of blockchain applications for different platforms, is there any difference between them?

CC: “Mobiles are ever present and that’s spawned a whole new way of delivering and monetising computer gaming. Blockchain is a mechanism to open that market up further and take in-game values into the real world and vice versa.”

What are non-fungible assets and what advantages does it bring to gamers? Can it be monetised in the blockchain?

CC: “Most games have virtual goods that cost money but it is hard or often impossible to sell them on second hand. Micro transactions are already big new in computer games and blockchain will extent that environment much further not just by making non-fungible virtual game items fungible but by providing a platform for made-for crypto games, a tremendous example of this is the game by Encrypted we have invested in.”

Any more gaming projects for OBC in the future?

CC:We have invested in a tremendously exciting developer called Encryptd and the product is taking shape. They have deep crypto expertise and their game could be a smash. distributed Crypto games will light up the gaming market at some point, it’s just a case of when. We want to be part of that.”

Different kinds of fraud, cheating, and other attacks have become a big deal in the $135 billion game market, while research showed that one in five gamers fall victim to fraud while playing. How can blockchain help with preventing and countering gaming fraud?

CC: “Blockchain can and will help but there is no magic bullet for that. Never was, never will be. The best solution is solid game management, something deeply rooted in our heritage in the games business.”

In the case of FreeLoadr, users can enjoy free access to games in exchange for ‘hash power’. How does OBC use this ‘hash power’ to mine selected cryptocurrency? What is the cryptocurrency? Why is this a profitable exchange for OBC?

CC: “We farm the hash power out to mining pools. We receive Bitcoin and other coins from the pools, take our margin and use the rest to buy games for the user. It’s a very simple clean model.”

China is the country with the highest gaming revenues ̶ $34,400M ̶ showing the opportunity in this market. OBC will be launching FreeLoadr in the UK and in North America soon, but are there any plans to bring it to Asia and other parts of the world?

CC: “In one word, Yes. Asia is very interesting and exciting and we’re looking at that market.”

Blockchain and gaming is already a very potent combination, so do you think integrating cloud services with FreeLoadr’s model would help it expand in the future? Considering not all people have a lot of GPU power on their laptops, would it better to have an ecosystem of blockchain-gaming and cloud services?

CC: “This is a possibility, but I think we’re thinking about other verticals as the biggest opportunities. You could charge you Costa Coffee card with Freeloadr, for instance.”

Are there any plans to launch a FreeLoadr coin? Considering your plans to venture into the gaming console systems such as Playstation and Xbox, if people get the opportunity to have one unique coin for all their gaming purchases, it might help promote widespread adoption of FreeLoadr ̶ what are your views on this?

CC: “We will have a Freeloadr that buts console games, that will be a product for this autumn. The lesson we have learned over the years is to focus hard, stay under the radar, keep your risk surface low and embrace talent. Blockchain is a continent of opportunity and the key to success is to find a sweat spot and build your city there. Can you tell I got Civilization IV with Freeloadr points?”

Follow Freeloader on twitter @FreeLoadr_App