Cassiopeia Data Series: Intersection of Data and Disruptive Technologies

In this Information Age, data has become one of the most valuable assets in society. Data is defined as pieces of information collected to be examined and considered, and used to help decision-making; or information in an electronic form that can be stored and used by a computer.

The Global Big Data market is expected to reach $118.52 billion by 2022, growing at an impressive rate of 26.0% from 2015 to 2022, which includes the aggregated value of data in different products and services. The main factors driving this trend upwards are growth in consumer data, superior information security, and enhanced business efficiencies.

The data market is vast and full of opportunities, especially for those developing and curating technology. The total number of data workers in the 28 EU countries is estimated at 6.1 million, a figure that could almost double by the year 2020 if growth keeps on at this pace. On top of this, the number of organisations producing and supplying data-related products and services could reach almost 350,000 in 2020, when the number of data users could be more than 1.3 million.

Data is a concept society is still trying to grasp, and the questions around its uses are numerous and complex — concerning data ownership, privacy and surveillance, among others. Data requires careful and ethical management, as once information is made available online, it rarely gets deleted, making it difficult to measure the consequences of misuse.

“You can’t make a data set disappear. Once you post it, and people download it, it exists on hard drives all over the world,” says researcher Adam Harvey, whose project Megapixels documented the details of dozens of data sets and how they are being used, to the FT.

It is important to note that data in itself has no beneficial or damaging features. What defines it are the applications and purposes which it serves. As disruptive technologies continue to evolve and digitisation becomes more widespread, the uses of data become increasingly more diverse.

A PwC study has identified the top eight disruptive technologies of today, which are the flagships of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and can dramatically change the way we do business: Artificial Intelligence (AI), Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT), Drones, 3D Printing and Robotics.

These are the core technologies that will matter most for business, across every industry, over the years to come. A stronger way to harness those technologies would be combining them to yield powerful applications that are even more beneficial and efficient.

From PwC, The Essential Eight

Each one of these technologies interacts with data in different ways: they have diverse functions. Ultimately, harnessing data is a fundamental part of this new wave of technology.

Internet of Things (IoT) collects data

In an Internet of Things (IoT) system, computing devices, mechanical and digital machines, objects, animals or people are all interrelated with the use of unique identifiers (UIDs), and with which they can collect and transfer data over a network without requiring human-to-human or human-to-computer interaction.

IoT technology is used in the consumer, enterprise, industrial, and government market segments, each of which produce massive amounts of data, generally of the unstructured variety, requiring data technologies for management and processing.

This is where Artificial Intelligence enters the scene…

Artificial Intelligence (AI) processes and analyses data

With the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithms, we enhance the ability of big data analytics and IoT platforms to provide value to each of these market segments. AI algorithms can be trained to manage and process data according to certain standards. This feature turns raw data into meaningful information, which is then useful for decision-making purposes.

This chart shows forecasted cumulative global artificial intelligence revenue 2016–2025, by use case.

Blockchain stores and distributes data

In the blockchain realm, data and decentralisation enjoy a powerful relationship. Data can be fed into blockchain networks securely and privately, avoiding centralised storage. Blockchain can be used as the foundation for decentralised data storage providers.

Because of the architecture of blockchain networks, data stored on them is immutable and cannot be forged, making it a highly secure technology for preventing fraud.

The “essential eight” technologies are evolving rapidly, becoming increasingly more sophisticated and equally complex, also prompting questions around legislation and ethical uses of data. The scenario leaves plenty of room for further research and discussion about how technology can help drive society forward without compromising rights and principles.

Cassiopeia Services is a key partner and the official PR/Media representative of the World Ethical Data Forum (WEDF), a leading global organisation that embraces the full spectrum of interrelated issues around the use and future of data.

We are working with WEDF on its next Global Forum set to take place in London in 2020. Dates, venue and keynote speakers will be announced in due course.

For more information about how to get involved, drop us an email at cassiopeia@worldwthicaldata.org

Cassiopeia Services partners with World Ethical Data Forum

Cassiopeia Services Ltd., the innovative London-based PR/IR agency, is pleased to announce it has been chosen to manage the Public Relations, Media Partnerships and Sponsorships for the World Ethical Data Forum (WEDF), a leading global organisation that embraces the full spectrum of interrelated issues around the use and future of data.

Founded by Stefania Barbaglio in 2015, Cassiopeia is a global PR and IR agency with a strong focus on and experience in the new technology and innovation sector. Since 2017, Cassiopeia has focused on delivering strong communications strategies for companies and startups in the blockchain and technology sector. Stefania is a London based eclectic entrepreneur and well-recognised PR expert, presenter and speaker, international journalist and qualified blockchain strategist by the University of Oxford.

In 2018, the first edition of the WEDF in Barcelona, Spain brought together the most prominent data experts such as Julian Assange and Dr. Ralph Merkle. The streamed event received 2.4 million YouTube views in a single week.

WEDF is the single most important event in the worldwide data realm. In 2020, the WEDF will approach the intersecting questions around data use in the Information Age, diving into conversations on data analysis, use and regulation; data privacy; future of data and new technologies; fake news and responsible journalism; data intelligence/security intersection and censorship; and future of democracy. The date and venue will be announced in due course.

Data has become one of the most valuable assets in the global economy: as important a commodity as oil, according to specialists. In these times of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, data is the common factor underlying many technologies and shaping up the future of society. This unprecedented use of data urges the construction of new social, political and economic systems, which are better fitted to address the data economy.

Stefania Barbaglio, Director at Cassiopeia Services commented: “I am delighted to be working with the WEDF to promote their next edition. Cassiopeia is always at the forefront of innovation and we recognise the power of data and the revolution happening with development of data technologies. This also poses big ethical questions and challenges which require serious dialogue and practical solutions. The WEDF is the place for those discussions to happen.”

John David Marshall, CEO of the WEDF commented: “The issues we’re dealing with are so important historically that having the right team in place able to comprehend them and cope with the enormity of the challenges they present is vital. I’m looking forward to the work ahead, and to what we’ll accomplish together.”

For more information about how to get involved, please email stefania@worldethicaldata.org

New applications of Blockchain: Future of Big Tech still bright in Web 3.0

The current web architecture, Web 2.0, may well be user-friendly and familiar, but there is plenty of indication that this formula is starting to break down, giving way to a new internet. The greatest concern about Web 2.0 has been the centralised control over data: at the moment, ‘Big Tech’ companies like Google and Facebook act as central databases for a vast amount of user information.

The advent of new technologies is allowing for decentralisation, bringing about marked disruption. In 2018, we saw the start of scrutiny over the way tech companies deal with user data. In Europe, the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal shows that the public and authorities are sitting up and paying attention. The need for a new internet structure has never been more pressing, so on the horizon now is an environment in which users keep control over their own information: Web 3.0

Technology experts say that Web 3.0 will be powered by blockchain, as the technology is decentralised, therefore user-centric. While users are optimistic about the future of the internet, the Big Tech companies are faced with the challenge of re-inventing themselves to embrace the latest developments and focus on delivering high value and security to their users. Equipped with considerable capital and some of the finest minds in the tech workforce, these companies are uniquely positioned to make the most of the next phase of the blockchain revolution.

Infographic credit to https://101blockchains.com/

In light of this shift, many technology and payment companies are working with projects to develop more sophisticated applications of blockchain. Digital identity systems and smart contracts are among the concepts being intensely explored.

A digital identity is a digital and unique representation of legal identity. As connectivity becomes wider, paper-based identities become inconvenient, inefficient and potentially unsafe. This is one of the most promising areas for blockchain application and can provide a very high use-case value.

The World Economic Forum has already highlighted the need to create a global, borderless and efficient system incorporating all factors that make up an individual’s identity in a single tool: “Today, most identity systems exist in isolation. Different public and private solutions record and maintain identical identity data potentially hundreds of times over, and are not interoperable, creating a significant amount of redundant identity information. This is a waste of resources for the network in question, is difficult to scale and is buried in error- prone and paper-heavy processes.”

Furthermore, digital identities are a far more secure alternative than the current structure. With the ending of a centralised database, breaches and cyber attacks become less frequent and less damaging. Due to the proliferation of data breaches, reliance on weak or leaked login credentials accounted for 81% of data breaches. As digital identities become more mainstream, security measures like passwords and single-factor authentication become outdated.

A blockchain-based system is needed to secure more privacy and security for individuals and corporations over sensitive data. For the next year, the GDPR compliance market will grow by 75%, leaving a huge opportunity for solution makers among the technology companies. Digital identity authentication and validation measures are critical to ensuring web and network infrastructure security in the public and private sectors.

Earlier in May, Microsoft presented a new and an even more concrete concept of digital identities: a DID network built on top of the bitcoin blockchain. Named the Identity Overlay Network (ION), the infrastructure has been reportedly developed to accommodate tens of thousands of operations per second. The system lets users obtain control over their own data via the management of their Public Key Infrastructure (PKI).

Daniel Buchner, senior program manager at Microsoft Identity Division, explained: “Today, the most common digital identifiers we use are email addresses and usernames, provided to us by apps, services, and organizations. This puts identity providers in a place of control, between us and every digital interaction in our lives. Our goal is to create a decentralized identity ecosystem where millions of organizations, billions of people, and countless devices can securely interact over an interoperable system built on standards and open source components.”

Following Microsoft, MasterCard and Samsung announced a partnership to develop secure digital identity beyond passwords. Mastercard said that consumers soon will be able to use a digital identity method for their devices that works for both physical and digital interactions. This method would be used for everything from accessing email to opening a bank account, shopping online or streaming video.

In addition to allowing the emergence of digital identities, blockchain and decentralised technologies are the keys to enabling more efficient ways of managing and integrating global supply chains, especially in the realm of smart contracts. Amazon is reportedly investing heavily in its ‘Managed Blockchain’ service, which was created to help companies set up their own blockchain networks that are scalable and easy to create and manage.

Amazon’s blockchain service is under further development and Microsoft’s digital ID is not yet fully available, but when it comes to companies like these, we can be sure that even more innovation is around the corner.

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

Lithium: Still the favourite metal for a battery-powered future

The push for electric vehicles (EVs) by governments around the world in order to meet low carbon emission targets has put lithium in the spotlight. Lithium is the main metal composing lithium-ion batteries, which power electric cars, among many other devices.

The global lithium-ion battery market has been valued at $ 24.5 billion and is projected to grow to $ 56 billion by 2024, driven mainly by increased demand for batteries for smart devices and electric cars. Bloomberg reports that there is a “wave of planned new lithium-ion factories” coming over the next five years, from factories in China, the U.S., Thailand — and other locations around the world.

Even though electric cars still represent a small portion of the total automotive market in the US, data from IHS Markit showed that there were 208,000 new registrations for electric vehicles in the U.S. last year: more than double the number filed in 2017. The numbers are set to keep growing as more EVs enter the market and EV owners stick with the technology.

In China, the market is also heating up: the number of EVs sold in China reached 254,000 in Q1 2019, a 118% year-over-year jump from Q1 2018. The spike in sales is a result of the Chinese government’s incentives towards electric cars.

In order to meet the demand, lithium-ion battery capacity must follow the needs of the market. Over the Q1 2019, the global capacity of lithium-ion battery factories has increased sharply. According to CleanTechnica, planned annual battery output by 2023 has crossed 1,000 GWh of capacity, with more than 70% of that capacity in China.

This means that there is enough global lithium-ion production capacity in the pipeline to supply over 21 million EVs each year (around 25% of the global vehicle market) by 2023.

From https://cleantechnica.com/2019/04/14/global-lithium-ion-battery-planned-capacity-update-9-growth-in-a-single-month-march-charts/

Lithium prices in downslope — but that’s good news

The lithium price peaked in 2018, signalling the hype and over-expectation around EVs. Over the past months it has slowly decreased, although it still remains higher than in 2016 and 2017.

From https://tradingeconomics.com/commodity/lithium

The decrease in price does not necessarily mean bad news, analysts believe. It can be positive because it means the metal is more accessible. “It’s a very versatile technology, so every time it gets cheaper, that opens up more demand segments for it,’’ said Logan Goldie-Scot, head of energy storage research at BloombergNEF. If the price drop continues, it will very likely open markets for new and improved use of lithium in batteries.

In a secondary benefit, the growth in lithium-ion battery production has spurred the market for other secondary minerals, such as graphite, as well as some precious metals like palladium.

Mining experts expect lithium producers to continue to boost output to meet growing demand. They anticipate global lithium supply to reach 363,000 tonnes per year of lithium-carbonate equivalent (LCE) in 2019. They also expect global lithium demand to grow to at least 1.1 million tonnes per year of LCE by 2025.

Christopher Perrella, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, says that “lithium prices are stabilising now”, which opens up opportunities for new players: “A good chunk of the easily accessible, most economic lithium has already been extracted, so there’s going to be a need for small-scale greenfield projects going forward,” he added.

This week, on our TV Show Financial Fox @_FinancialFox , we will speak to one of the best-known international mining experts, Mickey Fulp, AKA The Mercenary Geologist @mercenarygeo and also discuss about latest technologies development for lithium mining project with Enrico Di Cesare, VP, Metallurgy & Director of St-Georges Eco Mining @StGeorgesPlat

Stay Tuned @stefixy

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

Live Streaming of DigiByte Summit

Cassiopeia Services, official PR for DigiByte Blockchain, is pleased to announce the First DigiByte Global Summit happening in Amsterdam this coming Friday will be streamed live on Vimeo.

“We wanted to make sure that the whole DGB global community who could not personally attend the summit in Amsterdam, can still be part of the reunion and hear about the latest developments and upcoming news. DigiByte has one of the most multicultural, diverse and passionate communities in the crypto space, and we would like to give every member the opportunity of joining us at this epic gathering,” said Stefania Barbaglio, PR lady for DigiByte.

Confirmed speakers are: DigiByte founder Jared Tate, DigiByte Foundation Member and Chief Fun Officer (CFO) Josiah Spackman, Official DigiByte PR Steffy (Stefania Barbaglio), co-founder of the DigiByte Awareness Team Rudy Bouwman, Founders of V-ID Marnix van den Berg and Pim Voets, Lead Business Dev of V-ID Joshua Jenster, Founder of Antum ID Jan Muyldermans, Founders of Vertbase Justin Seidl and Stuart Menzies, and CEO of Block 30 Labs Brian Foote.

The projects presenting at the summit have multiple applications and serve different purposes — from data authentication to digital assets trading, but they were all built on top of DigiByte blockchain. It highlights its versatility and security, and it shows how decentralised technologies have the potential to reshape our system.

The summit will start 2pm, Amsterdam Time — 12 noon GMT.

The link to connect is https://vimeo.com/330997656

You can follow @cassiopeia_ltd and @stefixy for live tweets on the summit

Cassiopeia would like to thank our main sponsor Vertbase, our partners: DGB Awareness Team, Change Angel, V-ID, Antum ID, Block 30 Labs and our media partners: Coin Rivet, ICO Holder, Coin Revolution, Crypto Updates, AMB Crypto, Coin Codex, Crypto News Z and Top Market Group.

Look forward to seeing you there!

Malta: Capital of Innovation in Europe

Malta is positioning itself as a leading European hub for innovation and openness to technology. Its reputation stems from a number of business-friendly regulations put in place to attract investment and spur economic activity in the Mediterranean island.

Malta was once a British colony — gaining independence in 1964. The island nowadays leverages its language and cultural heritage to support business and trade — alongside a prominent set of regulations which bring value to the national economic activity.

“Innovation is the key for future economies. Additionally, for a long time, crafts and trade were sidelined but innovation plays a role here too to revitalise them. The global economy is becoming more innovative and it is the responsibility of our country to be at the forefront of that innovation,” MEP Miriam Dalli recently said, outlining the country’s commitment to taking its ‘economy to the next level’.

Clear evidence of this prosperity is Malta topping the European Commission economic growth list for 2019 and 2020, after the Maltese economy presented growth of 6.6 per cent last year.

The innovative mindset is reflected in diverse sectors, from personal healthcare to financial technology. Malta has been the European gateway for many policies, including the legalisation of cannabis and embracing crypto and gaming projects.

Medical Cannabis Capital

In March 2018, Malta officially legalised medical cannabis. A month later, with the Production of Cannabis for Medicinal and Research Purposes Act in place, Maltese entities were able to cultivate, import, process and produce cannabis intended for medical and research purposes under a controlled and supervised environment.

These policies led to the Malta Medicines Authority gaining international reputation and prestige for its patient-centric work in the regulation of medicines. The strategy seems to be working so far: according to statistics from Eurostat, a 75% share of the population in Malta perceived their health as good or very good.

Last November, Malta hosted the Medical Cannabis World Forum, which brought together the policymakers, business leaders and healthcare practitioners who are shaping the global cannabis industry today.

“One would think that a small country like Malta would follow suit; instead, Malta is a dynamic … leader. The legislative measures enacted with respect to medicinal cannabis are not some transposition of provisions implemented everywhere else. Many in the field are cognisant that Malta has floodlit an area which may still be quite hazy elsewhere,” said Parliamentary Secretary Dr Deo Debattista at the Forum last year.

Gaming, blockchain and technology hub

Following recent advancements made in the legislation for Gaming operaters in Malta, the island has received over 20 applications from new companies looking to direct business in Malta. Parliamentary Secretary Silvio Schembri, who announced the surge of applications to the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) at the ICE London 2019 edition, the leading global gaming conference, identified the island as the ‘home of gaming excellence’.

This was clear at the event itself, as Malta had the highest number of stands at ICE London , with 11% of exhibitors being Malta-based operators.

Prompted by the uncertainty around the post- Brexit scenario in the UK, Malta has seen an influx of businesses moving part of their activities to the island, such as big UK-based gaming and betting companies — 888 Holdings and Ladbrokes’ parent company — announcing it would be moving some of its operations to Malta because of looser regulations and lower tax rates.

Regarding Malta’s openness to disruptive technologies such as blockchain,

high-profile exchanges like Binance, Bittrex, Okex, Bitbay, and Zebpay, have moved or extended operations from stricter regulatory jurisdictions to incorporate their businesses in crypto-friendly Malta.

Stefania Barbaglio, blockchain consultant and technology PR says: “Malta has become a role model in Europe, highlighting the role of positive legislation to boost economy and business activity. Outdated regulations and closed attitudes towards innovation can lead to elite nations — such as the UK and the US — losing their spot in the international investment scene. It is important that new regulations are centered around innovation and the social value of technology, so that the digital economies can flourish and develop.”

Malta AI & Blockchain Conference

The Malta AI and Blockchain Conference Spring Edition is approaching, giving stage to over 300 exhibitors and welcoming over more than 5,000 guests. Among the list of speakers, there is prime minister of malta Joseph Muscat and parliamentary secretary for financial services Silvio Schembri.

Last November, three innovative bills were launched during the event. In this 2019 edition, the Maltese Government will enact a world first: a fourth bill, giving a D.A.O. its own legal personality. In addition, a task force is also working around the clock on a set of incentives that will support businesses in Artificial Intelligence.

Ulticoin: The cryptocurrency gamers have been waiting for

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

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

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

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

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

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

ULTI Coin: Exchange gaming tokens for real currencies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Block 30 Labs: Powering DigiByte to build Digital Asset Indexes

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

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

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

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

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

Blockchain & E-commerce

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

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

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

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

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

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

Block 30 Labs is working on three projects:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DigiByte Global Summit

April 19th, 2019

De Balie

Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 10, 1017 RR

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Registration open: http://digibytesummit.io