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Fireblocks Emerges From Stealth Mode With $16 Million in Funding to Help Institutions Secure Digital Asset Movement

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Fireblocks (www.fireblocks.com), an enterprise platform for securing digital assets in transit, announced today its launch out of stealth mode with $16 million in Series A funding from Cyberstarts, Tenaya Capital, Eight Roads (the proprietary investment arm of Fidelity International), Swisscom Ventures and MState.

Fireblocks’ customers, which count some of the largest institutional digital asset trading operators like Galaxy DigitalGenesis Global Trading and more, use the platform to safeguard the digital assets in its portfolio as it is moved across exchanges, OTCs, counterparties, hot wallets, and custodians. Currently, Fireblocks is integrated with 15 digital asset exchanges and offers support for over 180 cryptocurrencies, tokens, and stablecoins.

More than $3B in digital assets were stolen by hackers over the last 18 months due to private key theft, spoofing, and compromised credentials. Recently, Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the world lost $40MM in bitcoin due to an insecure hot wallet and compromised API credentials. Founded by Michael Shaulov and Pavel Berengoltz,whose mobile security company Lacoon Mobile Security was acquired by Check Point, and Idan Ofrat, the VP R&D of C4 Security which was acquired by Elbit Systems, Fireblocks aims to eliminate the root cause of digital asset hacks and scams.

“While Blockchain based assets by themselves are cryptographically secure, moving digital assets is a nightmare. After interviewing over 100 institutional customers, including hedge funds, broker-dealers, exchanges, and banks, we concluded that the current process is slow and highly susceptible to cyber attacks and human errors,” said Michael Shaulov, CEO and Co-Founder of Fireblocks. “We built a platform that secures the process and simplifies the movement of funds into one or two steps.”

Joined by top security engineers from Symantec, Trusteer, IBM security and leading cryptography advisor, Prof. Ran Canetti, Fireblocks is introducing the first patent-pending Secure Transfer Environment that works with a Hot Vault system. Together, it enables digital assets to be easily transitioned from any storage solution to be primed for immediate settlement and transfer on the blockchain.

“Moving digital assets 24/7, across the globe, uninterrupted, while meeting all enterprise security requirements is industry changing,” said Ivan Brightly, CISO of Galaxy Digital.” For digital asset trading operators, the Fireblocks platform provides a robust security system for digital assets, whether stored or in transit.

“Sitting as part of the broader Fidelity group, we realize that cybersecurity is crucial in the adoption of blockchain and digital assets,” said Davor Hebel, Partner, Head of Eight Roads Ventures EuropeWe are excited to support the Fireblocks team as it develops a cutting edge technology that will help propel digital assets trading to the next level of evolution, enabling huge improvements in operational efficiencies, security, and trust.”

“Securing Blockchain based assets is one of the key challenges in modern Cybersecurity warfare, and it requires heterogeneous expertise in mathematics, system level programming and years of hands-on Cybersecurity experience,” said Gili Raanan, Partner at Cyberstarts and Sequoia Capital. “The Cyberstarts team is thrilled to partner with Michael, Idan & Pavel, who amazed us with their technology breakthrough to eliminate risk from digital assets management.”

 

SOURCE Fireblocks

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PINTEC Partners with Bank of Ganzhou to Establish a Fintech Research and Development Center

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Pintec Technology Holdings Ltd. (“PINTEC”; NASDAQ: PT), a leading independent fintech solutions provider, today inked a strategic partnership agreement with Bank of Ganzhou in Jiangxi Province for comprehensive cooperation in financial innovation and services, including fintech research and development, intelligent asset allocation and e-commerce.

With the fast growth of the fintech industry, it has become a global trend for the convergence of technology, internet and financial services. According to the partnership agreement, PINTEC and Bank of Ganzhou will jointly establish a fintech research and development center, focusing on advanced fintech researches in big data, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, financial security and block chain. PINTEC will also support Bank of Ganzhou in developing a digital operation system with data services covering all business scenarios and procedures, and launching new products and services for inclusive finance.

“With the deepening of financial reform in China, the internal and external environments for the banking industry have changed fundamentally, and banks are looking for new growth models,” said Zhou Yi, deputy director, the Office of Financial Work under Ganzhou government, at the signing ceremony. “It is an effective way for traditional banks to adopt fintech solutions to speed up innovation and technology upgrade and realize business transformation. I hope the partnership between Bank of Ganzhou and PINTEC will become a good example on how a fintech company can help propel growth of a regional bank.”

Bank of Ganzhou is a state-owned regional commercial bank supervised by the Ganzhou government. After 17 years of development, it is the largest local financial institution in the Southern Jiangxi Province. With its advanced financial technology and experience, PINTEC will provide Bank of Ganzhou with efficient and customized lending solutions for individual financing, small and micro-sized enterprises financing and industry chain financing.

“Fintech is becoming a new driving force in the transformation of the financial industry, especially for traditional banks,” said Xie Kai, vice president of Bank of Ganzhou. “With this partnership, we will leverage our respective advantages and resources, and work together to drive financial innovation and revitalize traditional finance.”

“PINTEC is committed to applying advanced technology to improve the efficiency of financial services, and the partnership with Bank of Ganzhou is a major progress in our efforts to serve financial institutions,” said Chen Bingqing, chief strategy officer of PINTEC. “With the jointly established fintech research and development center, PINTEC will conduct cutting-edge fintech researches and share research results, develop new financial products and services, and contribute to the digital transformation and upgrades of the local financial ecosystem.”

By the end of 2018, PINTEC has provided fintech solutions to 93 financial partners, including Bank of Nanjing, Bank of Zhengzhou, Jiangxi Bank, Harbin Bank, Bank of Guizhou, Minsheng Securities, Industrial Consumer Finance, and China National Investment & Guaranty Corporation. Through PINTEC’s solutions, these financial institutions served 5.5 million individuals and more than 50,000 small and micro-sized enterprises, and facilitated loans exceeding RMB35 billion.

 

SOURCE PINTEC

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The Family Office Landscape – A Forever Moving Target at Anthony Ritossa’s 9th Global Family Office Investment Summit Under the High Patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco

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The 9th Global Family Office Summit hosted by Anthony Ritossaconcluded in Monaco this week as a global forum for 400+ leading family offices and ultra-high net worth individuals representing $4 trillion+ in investor wealth. Held June 18-20 and themed “The Rise and Rise of Family Offices,” the Summit surpassed previous events in terms of the quality of family participants and 600 total delegates.

In keeping with the Ritossa tradition, the elite family offices, prominent business owners, Sheikhs, Royal Families, Private Investment Companies, International Business Executives, Sovereign Wealth Funds, and Industry Professionals from throughout Europe, the Middle East and around the globe convened at the Fairmont Monte-Carlo under the High Patronage of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco.

A crowd-pleasing talk by Formula 1 World Champion and Monaco resident Nico Rosberg proved to be a highlight and he received a standing ovation for his comments on transitioning from World Formula 1 Champion in 2016 with Mercedes AMG Petronas, Monaco, to head of the Nico Rosberg Family Office dedicated to improving the world through activities such as his Greentech Festival in Berlin. His presentation was part of the session entitled “Iconic Monaco Family Offices At Work” moderated by SVG Hon. Consul Giuseppe Ambrosio, President of the Monaco Single & Multi Family Office Association.

Importantly, The Knights Society of Elviña, formed to exalt the British and Spanish chivalric values that favored the triumph in the Battle of Elviña during the Spanish War of Independence, named Sir Anthony Ritossa as a Knight. He is now one of only 55 members of the limited society that recognizes a select group of political class, nobility, royalty as well as great writers and entrepreneurs under the Royal Patronage of His Highness Mahmoud Salah Al Din Assaf.

SVG Hon. Consul Giuseppe Ambrosio, President of the Monaco Single & Multi Family Office Association and a fellow philanthropist, presented seven prestigious award to honour select recipients for their contributions to our global society and the family office community.

Family Office Lifetime Achievement in Philanthropy 2019 Award – Presented to His Serene Highness Prince Albert II of Monaco to recognize his Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation which addresses our planet’s alarming environmental situation by supporting initiatives of public and private organizations, in the fields of research and studies, technological innovation and socially aware practices. This prestigious award was presented to Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou in 2018 and is intended to honour stellar philanthropic accomplishments on a global level.

Family Office Shipping and Yachting 2019 Award – Presented to Manfredi Lefrevre d’Ovidio, Chairman, Heritage Group and Silversea Cruises, Monaco.

Family Office Private Debt 2019 Award – Presented to Evgene Denisenko, Managing Director, Apolis, Monaco.

Family Office Social Responsibility 2019 Award – Presented to Kerry E. Adler. As Founder, President and Chief Executive Officer of SkyPower, the leading global developer, owner and operator of large utility-scale solar projects with an active presence in over 36 countries and multibillion dollar electricity contracts, he is recognized as one of the early pioneers of solar energy and a leading authority on renewable energy around the world. (The 2018 award was presented to Guido Giannotta of Ferrero.) Presented to Ferrero and collected by Guido Giannotta.

Family Office Innovation in Private Equity with Impact 2019 Award – Presented to Mungo Parks, Chairman of Innovator Capital and Co-Founder of CleanEquity, Monaco.

Family Office Enlightened Governance 2019 Award – Presented to Mohamed Al Ali, CEO & Advisor, Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum International Investments Enterprise, UAE.

Family Office Asset Manager 2019 Award – presented to Michael S. Young, CEO of Mediatrix Capital, Inc., The Bahamas, as his second consecutive award.

“I am humbled by the tremendous success our Summits continue to enjoy. It is an honour to be able to further cooperation and collaboration between European families and their counterparts in the Middle Eastthe United StatesAsia and Latin America by presenting an opportunity for leading family offices to meet in a private, invitation-only, confidential and closed-door environment,” said Anthony Ritossa, Chairman of Ritossa Family Office, a family business dating back 600 years to the Venetian Empire in Europe.

“This is the third time that Monaco has hosted this important Summit and the 9th time this Summit has been held around the world. Every time, it is larger and larger and the quality of the attendees is better and better. This year we had at least five continents represented and all attendees are all to be commended for their tremendous accomplishments, including shared vision, values and passion for the environment and sustainability. The greatest asset of this event is the quality of family offices attending and Anthony, myself and our Summit Advisory Board are committed to protecting these assets for the future,” said SVG Hon. Consul Giuseppe Ambrosio, President of the Monaco Single & Multi Family Office Association.

“The Summit is a good mix of families, of products and services. This sharing of current activities, and future trends is very important in such gatherings as a vehicle to move forward through the balance of 2019,” said H.R.H. Prince Michel de Yougoslavie, Grandson of King Umberto of Italy & Prince Paul of YugoslaviaMonaco.

“The 9th Global Family Office Summit event in Monaco was a great achievement for Anthony Ritossa, local & international partners, and everyone who participated. Attendees traveled from all over the world for high level discussions regarding strategic partnerships that are changing the world. Phenomenal days with Multi billions in deals signed during the event. East Meets West is a theme that will continue for future Summits and we look forward to hosting the group in Dubai in November,” said Mohamed Al Ali, CEO & Advisor, Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum International Investments Enterprise, UAE.

“The Ritossa Family Office Summit greatly surpassed my expectations. Anthony and his team put together an agenda filled with timely and thought provoking topics combined with outstanding panelists. It was an incredible way to meet and network with  so many interesting and successful people from around the world and at the same time to make new friends,” H.S.H. Prince Hermann zu Leiningen, Grandson of King Boris III of Bulgaria and Grandduchess Maria of Russia and Managing Director, Family Office Investments of Royal Bank of Canada.

Among the events and topics that were top of mind included:

Great Wealth is Created and Destroyed by Human Beings – Families must communicate about important topics, including monetary wealth, in order to move forward. Throughout history, families will struggle and have challenges yet they must stay connected, find a safe space and understand their shared vision.

Technology is the Answer – Families are comfortable with and understand technology, its moving parts and its broad spectrum, and are now delving into new areas referred to as Deep Tech. This is the future and is used to combine different technologies to solve some of mankind’s biggest challenges such as longevity and inequality, according to Nick Ayton, Founder and CEO of Chainstarter and a family office advisor.

Sustainability, Impact + ESG Themes in High Demand –  Investors increasingly seek returns that align with doing good for the world and are eager to embrace such opportunities, especially when they incorporate artificial intelligence, machine learning and ESG metrics. Next generation investors, in particular, view this as essential to the future of our society.

Invest in Oneself + The Family– In addition to investing our money, it is essential to invest in oneself and in the family in order to make continued wise decisions. Family stewardship and philanthropy is integral to family governance and the preservation of human capital. Practicing gratitude improves family-business balance.

Elite Investor Insights – Among the investment themes favoured by Summit speakers are: IoT/artificial intelligence/machine FinTech and lending, technology, healthcare, ecommerce, education, aquaculture, entertainment, disruption, start-ups, venture, alternative assets, real estate, solar power, art, clean energy, and digital assets.

 

SOURCE Ritossa Family Office

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Walmart China Takes on Food Safety with VeChainThor Blockchain Technology

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On June 25, in combination with Walmart China, China Chain-Store & Franchise Association (CCFA), PwC, Inner Mongolia Kerchin Co., Ltd., and VeChain, the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform, built on the VeChainThor Blockchain, was announced at the 2019 China Products Safety Publicity Week Traceability System Construction Seminar. This seminar was jointly organized by Walmart China and the CCFA in Beijing.

The announcement of the Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform came with the introduction to the first batch of 23 product lines that have been tested and launched on the Platform. The Platform is expected to scale by another 100 product lines by the end of the year covering more than 10 product categories including fresh meat product, rice, mushrooms, cooking oil, etc. It is expected that the Walmart China’s  traceability system will see traceable fresh meat account for 50% of the total sales of packaged fresh meat, traceable vegetables will account for 40% of the total sales of packaged vegetables, traceable seafood will account for 12.5% of the total sales of seafood by the end of 2020.

VeChain’s blockchain technology is enabling Walmart China to implement a traceability strategy for products and pioneer the large-scale application of blockchain traceability. By scanning the desired products, customers can acquire detailed information, including the source of the scanned products and geographic location received by Walmart, logistics process, product inspection report, and many more data points. Data collection and data availability are to be continually added to the scale of the platform and its use of blockchain technology.

THE WALMART CHINA BLOCKCHAIN TRACEABILITY PLATFORM SIGNING CEREMONY

The Walmart China Blockchain Traceability Platform signing ceremony took place at the 2019 China Products Safety Publicity Week Traceability System Construction Seminar. The partners in attendance are represented by:

  • Mr. Pei Liang, President of CCFA
  • Mr. Chu Dong, Vice President of CCFA
  • Mr. Shi Jiaqi, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Walmart China
  • Mr. Yang Weizhi, Managing Partner of PwC China Strategy and Innovation
  • Mr. Feng Yikai, Chief Operating Officer of VeChain
  • Mr. Liu Xiaoen, Chief Procurement Officer of Walmart China
  • Mr. Chen Mingzhi, Chief Ethics Compliance Officer of Walmart China
  • Dr. Yan Zhinong, Executive Director of Walmart Products Safety Collaboration Center
  • Mr. Li He, Chairman of Inner Mongolia Kerchin Co., Ltd.

As part of the event, the signing ceremony attendees conducted a discussion on how to share responsibilities and use technological innovations to guarantee the quality and safety of products and edible agricultural produce, boost consumer confidence and satisfaction, and contribute to the upgrading of service consumption.

Kevin Feng, Chief Operating Officer of VeChain commented on the collaboration, said: “As the world-leading enterprise-public blockchain platform, VeChain aims to empower enterprises in the large-scale digitization process by providing safe and mature blockchain deployment solutions and promote the wide application of blockchain technology. We achieve this while putting forward new insights for the development of the businesses’ ecosystems. The launch of the Blockchain Traceability Platform by Walmart China, the world-class retail giant, is of great significance to the commercial application of blockchain technology. VeChain will work with Walmart China to actively take heed of the call of the government, by utilizing technology to promote the traceability of fresh food, and to provide innovative solutions for the traceability platform through digital technology, so as to generate more transparent and reassuring consumption experience.”

Shi Jiaqi, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer of Walmart China, stated: “Walmart has always worked to provide reliable products of quality and convenient services to customers, which is our core value proposition. With this target in mind, Walmart has continuously invested in the whole supply chain, from source procurement and commodity strategy, supply chain construction, to store and e-commerce platform operation management. We use digital methods to improve efficiency and transparency, providing products and services of quality to customers and making life better for busy families in China. ”

Elton Yeung, Strategy and Innovation Leader, PwC Mainland China and Hong Kong, pointed out: “PwC’s mission is ‘building trust and solving important problems’, which is the top priority of PwC in providing professional services and making business decisions. In the face of food safety, how to build consumer trust is a problem that PwC, our clients and partners have been trying to solve. We believe that Walmart’s Blockchain Traceability System will be an excellent example of blockchain technology applied in the retail industry, helping to improve food safety and quality management, and providing a strong guarantee for building consumer trust.

REALIZING LARGE-SCALE APPLICATION OF BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY AND PROMOTING PRODUCT TRACEABILITY IN THE RETAIL INDUSTRY

As a retailer trusted by consumers, Walmart has been devoted to improving food safety and quality management, and VeChain’s blockchain technology will enable it to take the lead in traceability management among retail peers. Walmart China has pioneered the large-scale application of traceability platform based on the VeChainThor Blockchain, giving priority to products of high-concern and high-risk. The first batch of 23 product lines have been tested and implemented using the public blockchain platform with more than 100 product lines following in the second half of this year, covering more than 10 categories.

Domestic customers are proposing higher demands on food safety, digitalization of food traceability will help suppliers to increase their brand value and win their consumers’ trust. Walmart China expects the use of the platform to continue to grow in scope, accounted scales, and geographic implementation. As the platform continues to expand, more categories of food will be traceable and thus the value transfer will be further expanded in the industry reflected on the VeChainThor Blockchain.

Through the technical support of PwC and VeChain, Walmart China has built the proprietary food safety traceability platform on the VeChainThor Blockchain. Participants in the supply chain will share their portion of data, and promote the visibility and management efficiency of the whole chain by utilizing the decentralized and tamper-proof blockchain technology. This platform enhances the transparency of product information, ensures the authenticity of product data, and boosts the trust of their consumers. In the future, the Walmart China Traceability Platform shall adopt multilateral cooperation, synchronizing data from local governments’ traceability platforms and suppliers’ own platforms, so as to provide customers with safe and high-quality products, all on the VeChainThor Blockchain.

 

SOURCE VeChain

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