Blockchain Project’s Big Ideas Include Bike That Can Mine Crypto as You Cycle

A blockchain-based platform says it is the first that puts all users and ecosystem participants on an equal level, and has set out its vision for how its platform will develop in the coming months and years.

Transcendence describes its blockchain as open source and decentralized, and says it offers full compatibility with existing systems such as AmiCloud, an internet-based file storage and file sharing facility, and the indieGO app store.

The company says it wants its platform to offer an open marketplace for developers and artists, giving content creators a way to interact through a decentralized messaging service that provides an option for private communication.

Wallets for Telos Coin, Transcendence’s native cryptocurrency, are being made available through eight operating systems. As well as Windows, iOS, Mac, Android and Linux, support is being offered for those who use AmigaOS, AROS and morphOS.

Through the online web wallet for Telos, the company says that users no longer need to store their private keys or use an offline wallet – adding that transactions can be completed quickly and easily. Further, users have the opportunity to receive payments for the services they offer, with merchants able to integrate the TelosPay system into their website if they so wish.

“Fully fledged infrastructure”

In a video explaining its offering to consumers, Transcendence said its Telos Coin is based on a fork of PIVX technology. The clip adds: “Low energy consumption in comparison to other Proof of Work coins means Telos Coin offers an extremely low cost entry point, which means there is a significantly reduced barrier to entry for users. Everyone can now enjoy the benefits and security of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.”

The project says that its infrastructure is fully fledged and based on a “decentralized and democratic peer-to-peer model.” Transcendence believes that, in practice, this means that no single entity has the capability of causing its network to stop working – and resultantly, this means funds remain safe and secure at all times.

One of the main services offered by the project is a dashboard where users can send and receive coins, check their balance, and monitor current exchange rates for Telos in one place. The team behind Transcendence says that creating a well-designed and user-friendly dashboard has been a priority.

The next phases

In its white paper, Transcendence has also set out a series of projects where users will be able to use Telos Coin as payment. Among them is ProfitCycle, a concept which enables crypto enthusiasts to earn the currency as they ride their bike in everyday life. An app serves as a wallet, navigation system and community hub – directing the user to places where they can spend their crypto. Power banks are used to power the technology behind the ProfitCycle, and also enable the cyclist to keep their cell phone charged while they are on the move. When the product launches, customers will have the option of purchasing a kit to adapt their existing bike, or buy a completely new one that is furnished with the technology.

Meanwhile, CryptoMages is a trading card game which is set to launch on the Transcendence blockchain. As well as monthly online contests and a global ranking system, the project has plans to release physical decks for the cards which players could use to store Telos Coin in the real world.

Transcendence is the brainchild of Pascal Papara, and Telos Coin has already been listed on five exchanges – including Graviex, SouthXchange and BiteBTC.

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Jelurida launches major new version of the Ardor blockchain platform

Jelurida launches major new version of the Ardor blockchain platform

Jelurida, creators of the NXT and Ardor blockchains recently released Ardor version 2.2.1, a mandatory upgrade which will activate three powerful new features on mainnet around January 10, 2019: Ignis Lightweight Contracts, Asset Properties (name/value metadata for assets), and the Max Property Group child brain.

The Turing-complete Ignis Lightweight Contracts, coded in Java is the Ardor platform’s response to the limitations of first-generation smart contracts. This new type of smart contracts allows businesses to easily manage contract lifecycles, automate business processes, and seamlessly integrate relevant aspects of external systems with the distributed ledger.

The Asset Properties feature, allows for the ability to assign name/value metadata to assets, and significantly expands the platform’s supply chain capabilities by making it easier than ever to tokenize assets and link their relationships. A simple example would be tokenizing a farm, the various trees as related to the farm, and the fruit produced as related to each tree.

Last, in an extension of the Ardor (ARDR) platform’s real-world use cases, the Max Property Group (MPG) child chain will go live, bringing real estate offerings and investments to the Ardor ecosystem.

All users must upgrade to this Ardor release before Jan 9, 2019 (block height 543000) as it is mandatory. All public nodes, exchanges, block explorers, forging pools, etc, should upgrade to 2.2.1 or later before that date.

Download packages and the source is now available on the Jelurida repository at Bitbucket.

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Malaysian developer launches KYC compliant blockchain

Malaysian developer launches KYC compliant blockchain

Kuala Lumpur-based Belfrics Group, has launched a blockchain service that aims to help businesses cut time and cost involved in carrying out Know Your Customer (KYC) processes.

The firm said that the new service-Belrium Mainnet-enables businesses and enterprises to reduce the customer on-boarding time and simplifies the compliance process by eliminating the need for repetition.

“Various national IDs, land records, universities, banks and charity organisations will soon be doing live transactions on Belrium blockchain,” said Praveenkumar, chief executive officer and founder, Belfrics. He added that the traditional KYC verification system on its Belfrics Exchange will also be replaced by Belrium blockchain verification.

“Belrium does not process any unverified wallet transaction on its public blockchain. The private blockchain, which is called BKVS (Belrium KYC Verification System) acts as the identity verifier for the wallets,” said Santhosh Palavesh, chief innovation officer, Belfrics Group.

Belfrics is also releasing two decentralized apps (Dapps) on the blockchain—a certificate issuance Dapp and a payroll Dapp. Praveen said that these will give an easy access to small and medium enterprises to experience the capabilities of the distributed ledger technology within their business domain.

The four-year old company has development centres in Malaysia and India. It runs fiat-crypto currency exchanges and blockchain development solutions across 10 countries, including those in Middle East and Africa. It has live exchanges operating in India, Singapore and Kenya.

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How Payment Platforms Connect Merchants With Augmented Reality

How Payment Platforms Connect Merchants With Augmented Reality

To let shoppers discover and try out new products, payment companies are helping merchants launch augmented reality (AR) experiences within social media platforms. Pan-African payments firm Cellulant, for instance, created an AR experience in Facebook Messenger. The firm chose a Kenyan brand, Huddah Cosmetics, as the first social commerce merchant on its Mula service to roll out the platform. With the experience, customers use their cell phone cameras to “try” on different shades of lipsticks and make purchases through Mula.

According to Cellulant, Huddah Cosmetics was an interesting brand to launch for the platform. For starters, founder Alhuda Njoroge (who is popularly known as Huddah Monroe) has a strong Instagram following of more than a million users. In addition, the company said that her brand is well-known and capable of generating buzz. At the same time, Cellulant said her products appeal to millennials who spend a lot of time on social media. In fact, the brand’s target market is millennial women between the ages of 20 and 37 with disposable income who live in an urban area.

Of course, eCommerce has its challenges, and shoppers can’t always touch, feel or otherwise try out a product before they make their purchases online. Cellulant told PYMNTS.com in an interview, “One of the things that Huddah struggled with in trying to move her products online [was that] most female shoppers [informed] her they were not sure of how certain colors would look on them. This created a challenge as she didn’t have her own shop where [her] customers would go to try her different shades of lipstick before [making a] purchase.”

Huddah and merchants that offer similar products, however, are not alone: “This need to try out before purchase is not only applicable to the cosmetics industry but also to real estate and even household retail for items such as furniture,” according to Cellulant. Yet, the company noted that AR technology is still somewhat expensive in regions such as Africa. With its efforts to build this technology into social media platforms, however, Cellulant is “enabling up-and-coming merchants leverage this to scale their businesses without them having to figure out the nuts and bolts of how it works.”

Cellulant’s deployment of the AR technology comes amid a social media boom in Africa, with the rise of smartphone uptake and usage in the region. According to Cellulant, Facebook has 17 million users in Africa and one of every 10 internet users is active on the platform. At the same time, social networking sites are seeing a rise in informal commerce: A survey last year found that 32 percent of online shoppers buy items through Facebook groups amid a landscape where merchants and payment firms are eyeing AR technology.

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Cloud Trade Platform Reshapes Nigeria’s FX Market

Cloud Trade Platform Reshapes Nigeria’s FX Market

Trading foreign currencies has been a challenge for Nigerians as trade platforms have been weak, largely unknown and generally  unsophisticated, this has meant that several inefficiencies have emerged giving room to large arbitrage opportunities.

Nevertheless, since  June 2016 ,Eagle Global (EGM), a Nigerian trading platform has changed the landscape of trading foreign currencies in the local foreign exchange (FX) market.

As a multi -asset derivative platform EGM launched its  “Cloud Trade Platform” that is  a naira-based trading ecosystem that enables Nigerians execute transactions in real time.

This is in addition to gaining access to MT4, the most popular trading platform globally, which provides tools for analysing the price dynamics of financial products while executing ultra-fast trades and providing opportunity for traders to use or create their own automated trading programs through Expert Advisors.

In a recent interview with the EGM’s Global Markets team , Proshare WebTV got further insight into the operations, scope and strategy of the company.

It was also an opportunity to enlighten the investing public on the risks and benefits of global FX trading in the country.

On regulatory issues raised recently by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), on Nigerians exercising caution in trading in FX as it was largely slimly regulated, Temitayo Sanusi, Director of Operations of the platform noted that EGM is FCA-UK regulated and covered by liquidity and technology.

She noted that there are trades of up to $60m assuring clients that they had nothing to worry about in respect of the integrity of the system.

According to Sanusi, “funds are transferred to an account called a segregated account, while the platform itself is secured by a team of technology experts based in the United Kingdom”.

Sanusi says EGM has a 24 hour customer service window that is accessible for communication, enquiries, support and assistance to clients.

In the area of product offerings to customers, Barbara Aleshe the platforms Sales Manager says EGM has over 1,000 financial instruments and covers a variety of financial products  ranging from Forex (FX), equities, commodities and indices.

“The i-phone and Android applications are the Cloud Trade and EGM MT4 Mobile platforms respectively. This basically allows people to view live charts, place trade and manage trading account from anywhere with advanced app that put live streaming prices and trading tools amongst many other functions” Aleshe said.

Understanding the driving force of the company’s service in the market Ademola Adeniyi, the  Operations Executive noted that the top priority of the company was customer satisfaction which drives the organisations customer acquisition and retention strategy.

The platforms executives note that one unique value that EGM has brought to the market is its emphasis on financial education and enlightenment programmes, Uchenna Minnis the Chief Market Analyst , says that something that makes the company outstanding is its different approach and thought to the business of FX trading and customer experience management.

Speaking on Financial Literacy and Awareness in FX trading Uchenna notes that there are different categories of instructors and lessons available for every individual irrespective of work or location.

According to Uchenna , classes are offered at the company’s head office in Ikoyi and at its premises at Marina, Lagos, while  there is an academy at Ikeja. He observes that EGM also offers Online Webinars for clients who are not available in the localised area, and weekend classes are prepared for people that have heavy work schedules.

Giving a panoramic view of EGM’s operations and strategy Mr Gbite Oduneye Co-founder of Eagle Global Markets says that “You can trade any financial instrument in real time using Naira and it could be long term or short term on Apple, Google, Snapchat, oil and Gold can be traded with EGM”.

Mr Oduneye acknowledges that clients have been able to adapt to this, and they have changed their behaviour from the robust MT4 platform to Cloud Trade platform and this has been achieved through education and enlightenment.

Stressing the importance of education, he said the platform offers segregated accounts and best practises. He also shared that EGM has engaged SEC Nigeria on what will be the guidelines and regulations for the sector.

“People need to be knowledgeable on the opportunities that exist, as lack of interest stems from lack of knowledge. And there is no business without the customer” Oduneye said.

The Co-Founder of EGM assured stakeholders that it remains committed to the availability of a fair and transparent platform for clients to take advantage of fast-moving emerging opportunities.

Looking at the markets Oduneye emphasizes the fact that in investing there are no guarantees, noting that once you find the opportunity the next thing is to assess the risk.

Access to liquidity and capital has been difficult as a result of inflation, thereby other investment such as property has been unable to pull out returns, so something else that will provide returns is being used.

“EGM has launched a brand new asset class, not taking individuals away from stocks, properties and fixed income that gives exposure to other financial instruments to complement what is already had. EGM has provided Nigerians with extra opportunities to make money whilst investing” The Co-founder shared.

EGM is an award-winning platform, with laurels in the following areas;

  • The 2018 FX trading portal of the year by Proshare markets
  • One of the fastest 100 growing SMEs companies in Nigeria by Businessday Newspapers
  • The 2018 Digital Financial Platform of the year at the Businessday Banking and Financial Institutions Awards (BAFI).

This shows that the Naira-based Cloud Trade Platform has been embraced by the clientele, the wider financial establishment or ecosystem.

Mr Gbite Oduneye stressed that client satisfaction and team work are the essential values upon which EGM was built, with high value for excellence and innovation.

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Ant Financial in talks to buy UK payments firm WorldFirst

Ant Financial Services Group, Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Limited’s (N:BABA) fintech affiliate, is in advanced talks to buy British currency exchange startup WorldFirst in a deal that could be worth more than 500 million pounds, Sky News reported on Monday, citing sources.

Ant Financial, China’s biggest online payments platform, has been in talks with WorldFirst for several months, according to the report.

“We don’t comment on market rumours,” an Ant Financial spokesperson said, when asked about the report.

WorldFirst did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Sky News report also said that it was unclear whether existing investors would retain a stake in WorldFirst, which was founded in 2004 in the basement of a house in South London.

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Blockstream, Swiss IT Consulting Firm Sign MoU for Blockchain Integration Services

Blockstream, Swiss IT Consulting Firm Sign MoU for Blockchain Integration Services

Global blockchain company Blockstream has partnered with а Swiss crypto consulting firm to launch a blockchain-driven settlement network, according to a press-release Dec. 17.

Inacta AG and Blockstream have reportedly recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide integration services for Liquid — a sidechain solution launched by Blockstream in October. Liquid reportedly combines key features of public and permissioned blockchains, allowing for the issuance and transfer of different crypto tokens.

As per inacta AG’s release, the company will focus on “helping financial institutions to leverage the benefits of the Liquid blockchain.” The Swiss firm will provide support for clients considering issuing their own assets via Liquid.

In addition to that, inacta has integrated Liquid with its own platform, Tokengate, that was initially developed to make the initial coin offering (ICO) market in Zug Valley compliant and transparent.

This week, Blockstream also announced that it has expanded its crypto satellite services. The company is now broadcasting the BTC blockchain to all of Earth’s major land masses, with the recently-added fifth satellite covering the Asia Pacific region.

Switzerland’s Zug Valley, dubbed Crypto Valley for hosting multiple industry-related startups, has recently been ranked the fastest-growing tech community in Europe.

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Pandora Crypto Exchange

Official Launch of Pandora – A new cryptocurrency trading platform

PANDORA, a revolutionary, next-generation cryptocurrency trading platform, is excited to announce that it has launched to the public on the 3rd of December, 2018. PANDORA offers state-of-the-art forex trading technology to cryptocurrency traders, finally giving them the solutions that they need to effectively invest in the market. With expertise in forex, stocks, futures, and cryptocurrency, PANDORA has been able to create a complete trading ecosystem that leverages well-known, popular professional trading solutions.

“PANDORA is honored to usher in the next wave of cryptocurrency trading, with a complete solution for traders who want to leverage robust, professional tools to invest in the cryptocurrency market,” says Anton Kulikov, the CEO of the company. “Through PANDORA, investors will find managing their cryptocurrency portfolios easier than ever, using some of the same trading and analytical solutions that professional traders have relied upon for years.”

Through PANDORA, traders will be able to leverage the most efficient trading solution in the world – MetaTrader 5. Through MetaTrader 5, cryptocurrency traders will be able to manage investments from multiple exchanges, synchronize their accounts, and automate their trading based on chosen performance indicators. As an intelligent solution, PANDORA provides access to indicators, trading bots, and social trading — a modern type of trading that lets investors copy trades from professional traders. When paired with news and analytic services, PANDORA becomes a complete, all-in-one resource for traders of all skill and experience levels.

For better market analysis, PANDORA’s special Pandfolio software solution allows to automatically synchronize exchanges using an API, ensuring that cryptocurrency investors have all of the statistics they need to track and analyze their portfolios. Users can connect to popular exchanges like Binance, Bitfinex, Kucoin, and Poloniex.

With the cryptocurrency market growing fast, it’s become necessary for trading to become more advanced. Trustworthy, reliable platforms are necessary for cryptocurrency to grow into the large, diverse, and profitable market that it will become. PANDORA is proud to be on the vanguard of new cryptocurrency trading utilities, designed to make the market more professional, accessible, and mainstream. PANDORA’s ultimate goal is to break down the boundaries between the current, traditional currency exchange markets at cryptocurrency markets, providing more solutions for cryptocurrency investors. Investors interested in learning more about the PANDORA platform can visit the website at i-Pandora.com.

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R3 Corda’s Latest Settlement Layer Now Supports the XRP Token

R3 Corda’s Latest Settlement Layer Now Supports the XRP Token

Distributed ledger company, R3 has launched Corda Settler or Corda Application. This software aims to provide everything a modern business that needs a blockchain product will require. It can operate as a translator for digital assets and fiat. It works by verifying a transaction has been received.

The Corda Settler Option is Currency Agnostic

A receiving party in transactions initiated using Corda Settler has no reason to use Corda to collect payment. The sender doesn’t need to use XRP. The elements are quite simple. The transaction must broadcast, and be verified as sent before getting confirmed as received. Meaning you could send XRP using something new to they get their funds. The notification for settlement is broadcast using a “settlement oracle.”

R3’s Open Makes it Easier for Others to Adopt the Technology

R3’s open nature means Ripple and others may adopt it and integrate it into their network. However, this doesn’t immediately give banks and financial firms funding R3 and contracting the enterprise product. Hence, it is safe to say Corda will be the best in coming years. Over time, more Corda networks will make integration into the Settler program.

Big Guns Still in For Crypto

Baidu, Nasdaq, Sequoia, Fidelity are among some of the largest technology conglomerates, and financial startups to make enormous bets on cryptocurrency in the past week. It appears the bear market (which has resulted in major cryptocurrencies losing up to 80 to 90% in value on average) hasn’t deterred big investors from betting on crypto.

As recently as last week, digital asset-related startups and blockchain protocols raised millions of USD from institutional investors. On December 4, the world’s second largest exchange, Nasdaq and the fourth biggest asset manager in the world Fidelity Investments, invested in ErisX a U.S based exchange.

The startup has secured $27.5 million in funding led by Fidelity Investments and Nasdaq Ventures in just less than two months after ErisX raised funds from electronic brokerage giant, TD Ameritrade, valued at $30 billion. When this took place, J.B. Mackenzie, who serves as the head of futures and foreign exchange trading with TD Ameritrade, revealed that his firm’s investment in ErisX shows its interest in creating a platform that allows retail traders and accredited investors in the U.S. market to invest in digital currencies in a compliant and protected space.

With the recently acquired capital, the CEO of ErisX Thomas Chippas said that his company would start to expand its team aggressively throughout the country to ultimately provide support to individual and institutional investors in the entire 50 U.S. states.

As for Nasdaq and Fidelity, making an investment in a growing sector like the virtual currency market, regardless of the sustainability and success of the business, is typically approached cautiously. The reason is that deals like this including the $27.5 million bet made on ErisX demonstrates that there is still confidence in the growth of the sector on the long-term.

A major investment in a digital asset business during a highly volatile period field with uncertainty as well as doubt could rekindle interest from investors into the global crypto market. The sector may still move passed this phase after all.

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Poloniex Crypto Exchange Opens New Institutional Investor Accounts

Poloniex Crypto Exchange Opens New Institutional Investor Accounts

One of the most popular virtual currency exchanges, Poloniex, announced that institutional accounts are now available on their platform. The main intention is to offer services to institutions of different sizes. The information was released by Circle in a blog post on December 4.

The exchange informs that investors will have the possibility to have access to the large curated selection of crypto asset trading pairs. Additionally, they will also have access to dedicated support and robust API services.

Poloniex will also be offering high withdrawal limits and a customer support specifically designed for these institutions.

On the matter, the exchange commented:

“Poloniex is focused on meeting the advanced trading needs of institutions. We offer higher withdrawal limits and professional customer support from a dedicated team of account managers in our Client Services department.”

Furthermore, Poloniex has a specialized and well-trained team that will guide each institutional customer through the onboarding process. Additionally, the team behind this trading platform will also be offering support in order to coordinate issue resolution and more.

A few days ago, Poloniex has also announced that there will be no fees on the BTC/USDC trading pair during the month of December. The main intention is to increase the trading volume of this pair and the number of users trading with the USD Coin, created by Circle, the owner of Poloniex.

During this year, different virtual currency platforms have been working in order to create the necessary infrastructure to receive institutional and wealthy investors. The bull run experienced by the market back in 2017 was created by retail investors entering the market.

As this year was negative for Bitcoin and other virtual currencies taking into account their price, institutions and traditional investors could help Bitcoin and other digital assets start a new bull market in 2019.

Another company that will soon have its platform ready to receive institutional investors is the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) that is going to release to the market the so-called Bakkt platform.

Poloniex is currently the 45th largest virtual currency exchange in the market with a trading volume of $25 million in the last 24 hours. Moreover, BTC/USDC is currently the second most transacted pair in the platform.

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Bursa Malaysia eyes shorter securities settlement

Bursa Malaysia eyes shorter securities settlement

Bursa Malaysia Bhd aims to shorten the securities settlement cycle to two days (T+2) from the three-day cycle (T+3) by the second quarter of 2019.

The stock exchange said in a statement that it has issued a consultation paper seeking public feedback on the proposed move for a shorter securities settlement cycle.

The proposal is part of ongoing efforts at improving operational efficiency, reducing systemic risks and aligning the clearing and settlement processes of the Malaysian capital market with international practices.

Bursa said the review of the settlement cycle was initiated to keep pace with changing trends of the market and the needs of market participants and investors.

It said among the benefits of the proposed two-day settlement cycle included, improved operational efficiency, reduced counterparty settlement risk, as well as strengthening marketplace competitiveness through harmonisation of post-trade infrastructure with major global exchanges.

The proposed key changes include: amendments to the cut-off times relating to tradeable balance in securities account, the delivery and settlement between a broker and its clients, and between the broker with Bursa Securities and amendments to the applicable timing with respect to buying-in, cash settlement, selling out and discretionary financing.

The public are invited to submit their comments and feedback to Bursa Malaysia by Dec 28.

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New cryptocurrency exchange launches in Singapore

On November 30th, an agreement on the launch of a new cryptocurrency exchange was signed in Singapore. Using corporate blockchain and intelligent antifraud system, the exchange is designed to be one of the safest ones in the world. The agreement was signed by two Singaporean companies: Soft Trade Services (the exchange operator) and Sin Tan Soft Pte Ltd (the developer).

The exchange locates at www.Coingocoin.com. Apart from an exceedingly-safe process-and-storage system, traders will also receive many professional benefits from a comfortable and professional trading platform to a great variety of other useful features. The new Coingocoin exchange can work with 14 type of wallets including ERC20 standard wallet.

Once received, user’s funds are transferred to “cold storages” with higher security access. Using a private blockchain, the database is better protected from not only internal threats, but also external ones from employee’s side. When a transaction happens, Coingocoin’s intelligent module automatically scans all user’s operations for any suspicious and fraudulent signs, based on abnormalities and previous experience, then stops and marks them with special triggers. Thus, trader’s activities are perfectly secured.

It’s well-known that without a standard, integration of a unique token into different systems is in absolute chaos. When an exchange integrates most of the standards, operation is much easier, which is a win-win scenario for all sides. That’s why an exchange should be familiar with new currencies and can declare listings of all ICO with minimal preparation time.