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Black Knight Recognized as One of Housing Finance Industry’s Most Innovative Technology Companies; Selected for 2019 HousingWire Tech100 List

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Black Knight, Inc. (NYSE:BKI), a leading provider of integrated software, data and analytics to the mortgage and real estate industries, was named to the 2019 HousingWire Tech100 list, which recognizes the 100 most innovative technology companies in the U.S. housing economy, spanning mortgage lending, mortgage servicing, real estate and investments. This is Black Knight’s second consecutive appearance on the annual list, and its fifth overall.

This year, Black Knight was recognized for its groundbreaking, consumer-facing Servicing Digital solution. Available to Black Knight servicing clients as a white-labeled native mobile and responsive web application, Servicing Digital provides borrowers the ability to make loan payments from their phones and gain deep insights into their mortgage loan, home and neighborhood. In an industry that is moving increasingly digital overall, Servicing Digital extends digital capabilities into the servicing life cycle, allowing mortgage servicers to enhance the customer experience and improve retention.

“It is extremely gratifying to be recognized by HousingWire as one of the U.S. housing economy’s leading technology providers for the second year running,” said Black Knight CEO Anthony Jabbour. “This award demonstrates our commitment to innovating with a sense of urgency and executing upon our mission to help transform the mortgage industry with our clients. Servicing Digital not only changes the way mortgage servicers interact with their customers, but also helps them build richer, deeper relationships that translate into improved retention and revenue generation.”

Many of the nation’s largest financial institutions rely on Black Knight’s comprehensive suite of proven origination, servicing and default solutions and massive property, loan and public records data to help gain new clients, retain existing clients, operate more efficiently and reduce risk.

“These companies hold the most innovative and impactful technology in mortgage finance, and continue to move markets forward with their new innovations,” said Kelsesy Ramirez, HousingWire Associate Editor, in a press release revealing the winners of the 2019 Tech100 awards. “The future is bright for the mortgage industry, and it’s because these companies continue to push the edge of what is possible.”

 

SOURCE Black Knight, Inc.

VC Investment In The U.S. Remains Strong At $32.6 Billion In Q1′ 2019 With Unicorn IPOS Looming: KPMG Report

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Venture Capital (VC) investment in the U.S. continued performing at a high level during Q1 ’19 with $32.6 billion invested as the U.S. economy remained strong, and increased IPO activity set the stage for further investment at all points of the deal spectrum — from early stage to late stage, according to KPMG’s Venture Pulse Q1′ 2019 report.

The largest deals in Q1’19 included a $5 billion raise by shared-space provider The We Company (formerly WeWork), and a $1 billion raise by freight logistics company Flexport – earning that company coveted unicorn status.

“In the past five years, the number of U.S. unicorns has more than doubled to over 160 as private capital is readily available allowing companies to stay private longer,” said Brian Hughes, National Co-leader, KPMG Venture Capital practice in the U.S. “We finally saw some unicorns choosing to go public in late 2018, and this unicorn IPO trend is expected to continue well into this year, spurred by recent high profile offerings and the ongoing strength of the public markets.”

Lyft hosted a successful IPO on Nasdaq in late March, raising $2.3 billion to value the company at $24 billion. It is the first in a line of large IPO unicorns expected in 2019, with ride-hailing company Uber also expected to file publicly, amongst others. The good performance of these unicorn companies in the early part of 2019 will trigger more investor interest in mature unicorns later in the year, in addition to providing additional capital for early stage deals.

U.S. investors continued to invest in established verticals in Q1’19, including food-delivery, healthcare and transportation, while mega-funds gained a significant amount of attention, coupled with strong activity in smaller-size funds.

Growth and Innovation Occurring Beyond Silicon Valley
The report found a growing boom of VC investment outside of Silicon Valley and the West Coast. In 2018, while 39 percent of VC deals occurred on the West Coast, 20 percent occurred in the Mid-Atlantic region, 9 percent in New England, and 9 percent in the Great Lakes region. These numbers reflect the growing number of innovation hubs appearing in cities such as New YorkBoston and others –a trend continuing this year.

In Q1’19, New York and New Jersey both attracted big deals, such as The We Company’s $5 billion raise, and Knock’s $400 million raise.

Among companies headquartered in Silicon Valley, there has been a shift toward scaling outside of the Valley in order to access or attract talent and better manage labor and space costs. Late in 2018, for example, Slack announced a new Denver Office, while other companies set up offices in ArizonaSalt Lake City and beyond. This trend is only expected to continue as companies look to balance a presence in the Valley with the need to scale and grow efficiently.

Digital Banking Heats Up
The digital banking space in the US continued to gain traction in Q1’19.  Chime’s Q1’19 $200 million raise earned it unicorn status, with a number of non-U.S.-based banks voicing plans to raise capital to fund a U.S. expansion.

The U.S. is well positioned for growth
The maturing fintech sector is also expected to see more M&A activity as companies are looking for scale and consolidate market share. In Q1’19, FIS announced plans to acquire Worldplay in a $34 billion deal.

“The story in the U.S. continues to be very positive.  The 2018 IPOs generally performed very well and the pre-public companies that have completed financings recently have been at high valuations,” said Conor Moore, National Co-Lead Partner, KPMG Venture Capital practice in the U.S. “This should encourage greater investment at all points on the investment spectrum from seed to late stage.”

 

SOURCE KPMG LLP

AI-Powered Virtual Healthcare Available To Canadians

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VirtualMED is partnering with HealthTap, a US-based health technology company, to provide Canadians with easy access to high quality, AI-powered virtual care. No more waiting hours at the emergency room or weeks and months for a doctor’s appointment. VirtualMED members will have fast access to primary care, 24/7, from a team of licensed physicians on any internet-enabled device, complete with an AI symptom checker. If a diagnosis cannot be given through teleconsult, an in-person appointment is available within 24 hours.1

First class care
VirtualMED is physician-owned and registered with the Collège des médecins du Québec to provide healthcare services to Canadians. Powered by HealthTap’s technology, VirtualMED will offer consumers and businesses immediate, virtual access to the VirtualMED team of leading physicians. VirtualMED will provide its members with a complete range of services including diagnostics, referrals, prescriptions, lab results, and treatment plans across Canada and the US. “We are proud to be the first to help Canadians and businesses save precious time and money by offering quick and easy access to our team of physicians through the unique combination of HealthTap’s renowned virtual care app and our brick-and-mortar clinics,” said Dr. Patricia Côté, co-owner of VirtualMED.

VirtualMED will offer packages to businesses directly and through their insurance carriers who wish to provide access to virtual primary healthcare for employees which will reduce costs, save time, and increase satisfaction. Individual and family packages will also be available for all Canadians. Users will have access to VirtualMed’s licensed doctors through an AI-based app which provides personalized, convenient diagnoses and treatment plans. VirtualMED members will also have access to affordable, virtual care when travelling in the US, which can prevent expensive treatment costs. VirtualMED services and app will be available to all Canadians in French and English by the end of 2019.

Health technology leader
HealthTap is a globally renowned health technology company that provides comprehensive access to quality primary healthcare in an engaging, satisfying, and value-packed app. HealthTap’s AI-powered platform personalizes users’ care and enables an instant connection between the members and their doctors. According to Sean Mehra, Chief Strategy Officer at HealthTap, “HealthTap is excited to partner with VirtualMED to overcome the issues that affect Canadian healthcare by implementing HealthTap’s comprehensive consumer healthcare experience, powered by AI and supported by a large, global community of doctors and patients. VirtualMED’s established reputation for delivering quality will now be amplified to be Canada’s exemplary healthcare provider committed to timely access to care for all.”

HealthTap’s technology currently serves employers, insurance companies, health systems, and users around the world with industry-leading results. Businesses see user engagement rates up to 18 times the healthcare industry average. Members and doctors using the app report satisfaction scores 7 or more times greater than stand-alone telemedicine solutions. Because employees use it and enjoy it, HealthTap saves time and money for both businesses and consumers.

 

SOURCE VirtualMED

Acer Announces New Predator Orion 5000 Gaming Desktop, Massive 43-inch Gaming Monitor and Refreshed Gadgets

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Acer today announced new additions across its growing Predator line of gaming products at the annual next@acer global press conference in New York. The new Predator Orion 5000 desktop PC powered by Windows 10 is a mid-tower targeting hardcore gamers, with Intel’s latest Z390 chipset, 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-9900K processor, and features an NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 2080 GPU. In addition, Acer has launched a massive 43-inch Predator monitor, alongside new additions to its series of Predator gadgets.

“The Predator Orion 5000 series is designed for gamers who prefer to max out their settings in and potentially dive into streaming with little-to-no impact on performance,” said Jeff Lee, General Manager, Stationary Computing, IT Product Business, Acer Inc. “With the latest gaming technologies like a GeForce RTX GPU and overclockable 9th Gen Intel Core i9-9900K Processor, the new Orion 5000 packs enough power to satisfy even the most demanding gamers.”

“It’s great to see Acer bring such a wide portfolio of gaming devices designed to meet the needs of so many different types of gamers with their new Predator and Nitro series offerings,” said Mark Linton, General Manager, Consumer and Device Sales, Microsoft Corp. “Acer continues to innovate and bring great gaming experiences to market for consumers.”

Acer’s New Predator Orion 5000: Ideal for High-performance Gamers

The new Predator Orion 5000 (PO5-605S) adopts the overclockable octa-core 9th Gen Intel® Core™ i9-9900K (with Z390 chipset) with support for dual-channel DDR4 configurations (up to 64GB) to deliver premium gaming experiences. For superior graphics performance, the revolutionary NVIDIA Turing™ architecture on the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 GPU combines real-time ray tracing, artificial intelligence, and programmable shading to immerse players in a visually-stunning gaming experience. With the extreme processor the Orion 5000 has under the hood, a Cooler Master® CPU Liquid Cooler1 regulates temperature to maximize peak performance. Strategically-placed intake and exhaust fans as well as a shrouded power supply unit outfitted with its very own removable dust filter ensure each internal component of the Orion tower stays cool during extended gaming sessions.

The tower’s chassis has been trimmed down to just 30 liters so users can choose a powerful machine with a reduced footprint, while the see-through side panel includes a layer of metal mesh which, along with the rest of the case, gives EMI shielding to inner components. Users can maintain superiority over the competition with 2.5Gbps Ethernet, and when victory is assured, they can hang the headset on either of the chassis’ two headset cradles.

The Easy-Swap expansion bay supports 2.5 inch form factor SATA I/II/III SSD and HDD drives, providing file transfer speeds of up to 6Gbps, for quick and easy moving or switching of data without tools or rebooting. It’s ideal for gamers who want to swap data, move systems, or travel with their 2.5 inch SSD quickly.

Revved Up RGB

Users can choose an RGB lighting pattern that fits their style, or one that suits the game of choice. Light bars and case fans tucked away within the hardened shell support 16.7 million colors. With Lighting Maker, customers can fine tune lighting and let it dance with the music being played.

Acer’s Predator 43-inch LFGD Gaming Monitor: The Ultimate Orion 5000 Companion

Acer revealed its Predator LFGD (Large format gaming display) monitor (CG437K P) measuring an astounding 43-inches. Designed for hardcore PC and console gaming enthusiasts looking for ultra-high definition (3840 x 2160), the 4Kmonitor features a fast 144Hz refresh rate for incredibly smooth and tear-free imagery, essential for tracking objects as they zip across the screen. The monitor’s AdaptiveSync feature adapts to the frame rate of the outputting device, resulting in uninterrupted gameplay so users can concentrate on the task at hand. The VA display panel features a wide color gamut of 90 percent of the DCI-P3 color space for vibrant colors that pop out and deeper blacks. For enhanced color vibrancy, VESA-Certified DisplayHDR™ 1000 certification ensures better contrast and color accuracy, allowing customers to experience AAA games as they are meant to be. It’s not just for hardcore PC gamers. Console gamers will appreciate its three HDMI ports, plus a Type-C, and a DisplayPort.

The Predator CG437K P features power saving technologies, such as a light sensor that can detect the light level in the room and automatically adjusts brightness for comfortable viewing, and a proximity sensor, so as viewers move to the front of the monitor it will automatically wake up from standby mode, or revert to sleep mode when there is no movement in the room. It also includes a remote control, making it convenient for living room use.

New Predator Gadgets and Accessories Level Up the Gaming Experience 

A new range of Predator gaming gadgets was also unveiled, including:

  • Predator M-Utility Backpack: designed for gamers, streamers and photographers, it’s water-repellant and offers easy access to its 17-inch laptop compartment through a 180-degree fold-flat opening, making it easy for passing through airport security; plus it has a plethora of pockets including a tripod holder, built-in luggage strap for traveling, adjustable straps, and air mesh back padding.
  • Predator Cestus 330 gaming mouse: Featuring the newly released solid Pixart 3335 sensor that provides responsive tracking and ultimate accuracy for competitive gaming, 16,000 DPI with seven programmable buttons, on-the-fly DPI switching (5 levels) and 16.8 M RGB backlighting. Users can customize settings with the Predator Quartermaster for improved accuracy and precision.
  • Predator Aethon 300 gaming keyboard: With Cherry switches (MX Blue), teal blue backlighting, and anti-ghosting on all keys.
  • Predator Galea 311 foldable gaming headset: precision-tuned 50 mm drivers featuring Acer’s TrueHarmony, hard key mutable mic, comfortable foam ear cushions and a 3.5 mm headphone jack connector.

Price and Availability

The Predator Orion 5000 gaming desktop will be available in North America in August starting at USD 1,199.99; in EMEA in June, starting at EUR 1,999.00; and in China in May, starting at RMB 15,999.

The Predator CG437K P gaming monitor will be available in North America in September, starting at USD 1,299.00; in EMEA in September, starting at EUR 1,499.00; and in China in August, starting at RMB 9,999.

Predator M-Utility Backpack will be available in North America in June for USD 179.99; in EMEA in June, for EUR 179.00; and in China in October, for 1,499 RMB.

Predator Cestus 330 gaming mouse will be available in North America in June for USD 69.99; in EMEA in June, for EUR 79.00; and in China in October, for 499 RMB.

Predator Aethon 300 gaming keyboard will be available in North America in June for USD 119.99; in EMEA in June, for EUR 149.00; and in China in October, for RMB 999.

Predator Galea 311 noise-isolating gaming headset will be available in North America in June for USD 99.99; in EMEA in June, for EUR 69.00; and in China in October, for RMB 339.

Exact specifications, prices, and availability will vary by region. To learn more about availability, product specifications and prices in specific markets, please contact your nearest Acer office via www.acer.com.

The new Predator Orion 5000 desktop, Predator CG437K P monitor, and latest gaming gadgets were unveiled today at the next@acer press event held in New York, where the company announced a range of new devices and solutions for gamers, creators, families, students, and professionals. For more information, visit www.acer.com/nextatacer.

 

SOURCE Acer Incorporated

St-Hubert selects Intouch Insight’s customer experience management software, LiaCX™

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Intouch Insight Ltd. (“Intouch”) (TSXV: INX) (OTCQB: INXSF) today announced that it has signed a two-year agreement with St-Hubert BBQ Ltd. to provide its customer experience management software, LiaCXTM. The agreement is for two years and will renew on an annual basis until terminated by either party.

St-Hubert is part of Recipe Unlimited Corporation (formerly Cara Operations Limited). St-Hubert currently operates 124 restaurants in Canada and is known for its famous roasted chicken served since 1951. The restaurant chain will use LiaCX to collect and combine real-time customer feedback, contextual data, and operational data. The LiaCX platform will provide St-Hubert with a deep understanding of customer experience (CX) at every location and empower teams across the organization to take effective, measurable actions to drive ongoing CX improvements.

“Excellent customer experience is crucial to me and all the franchisees of our restaurants. We were looking for ways to take our customer experience data collection and analysis to another level,” said Richard Scofield, President of St-Hubert BBQ. “The Intouch product is user friendly and includes forward-thinking elements such as artificial intelligence and predictive analytics that we felt would best support our commitment to customer satisfaction, employee engagement, and superior results. When we considered the product’s strength, competitive pricing, and the company’s long history of customer service, we felt that Intouch was the right decision.”

“We are absolutely thrilled to have been chosen to partner with such a strong and iconic brand in Québec as they continue to measure and improve their customer experience. We are confident that by combining our patent-pending Action CampaignTM technology with our automated collection and analysis of customer feedback and contextual data, we will be able to provide tremendous value to St-Hubert,” said Cameron Watt, President & Chief Executive Officer, Intouch Insight. “We are excited about how progressive the management at St-Hubert is about leveraging technology to deliver better experiences, and we anticipate that this partnership will continue to flourish as we work together more closely. We are looking forward to discussing some of the more cutting-edge applications of LiaCX such as Internet of Things sensors,” said Watt.

 

SOURCE Intouch Insight Ltd.

BLAZE protocol introduces multi-dimensional ledger to solve blockchain’s scalability dilemma

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Blaze, a first of its kind block-lattice protocol designed for the ever-expanding needs of the digital economy, is commencing its private token sales and has already attracted interest from notable crypto-funds such as CRC Capital.

Blaze was founded by several technopreneurs including CEO Ankur Maheshwari, who is also Founder/CEO Deqode, a prominent blockchain development firm with 200 developers and counts big names in the blockchain space as clients. Jeremy Khoo, Managing Partner CRC Capital and Group CEO IFG Group also comes on board as Chief Product Officer.

Blaze’s unique infrastructure offers three advantages: making the governance effortless, improving the transaction processing speed and reducing blockchain bloat. The protocol has been designed to be robust and secure to support mission-critical applications. At the same time, it is flexible and resilient to keep up with the ever-changing needs of the industry.

“Having built and supported countless blockchain projects, it always comes down to how scalable versus decentralised the blockchain layer is, which is never answered convincingly,” says Ankur Maheshwari, “We therefore endeavoured to solve this complex problem, and believe we have the solution now.”

Blaze also provides a blockchain-as-a-service platform where businesses can set up their own isolated ecosystem without worrying about the security or a need to code. With features like lightweight smart contracts, smart transactions, built-in voting, messaging and more – Blaze ensures that the businesses transition fluently into the next era of technology.

With the token sales, Blaze looks to expand on its already substantial developer base and onboard high volume clients seeking the benefits of the blockchain as well as a highly scalable solution. Blaze will also commence building an open, permissionless e-commerce ecosystem that promises to be fast, scalable and register lowest fees.

With a seasoned blockchain entrepreneurial team in the fintech, IT development and e-commerce spaces, the Blaze community can look forward to major partnerships and utility on the tokens from a network as well as transactional commerce perspective.

“Blaze has been in active development for a while now, and has registered major interest from its fundraising activity,” says Jeremy Khoo, “From an e-commerce angle, IFG Group is glad to partner up and believe that we have finally found a solution to build an open commerce system for millions of users.”

Blaze is supported by a strong technical team of more than 200 active developers. The Blaze protocol has been patented on its block-lattice technology and is built in collaboration with the Institute of Engineering and Technology, India.

 

SOURCE Blaze

World Robot Olympiad: SMART Cities Theme to Drive Global Robotics Tournament in 2019

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World Robot Olympiad is a challenging and fun way to interest young people in robotics. Now, a new season of global competitions is being announced with the support of premium sponsors LEGO® Education and Juniper Networks, an industry leader in scalable and secure networking technology.

The competition consists of a range of different categories aimed at young people and university students. Robots in each category must complete a series of challenges in line with a topical theme that changes each year. The overall mission is to promote STEM subjects – science, technology engineering and math – and to inspire the innovators of tomorrow.

Visit: wro2019.org to know more about the event in Hungary.

There will be more than 27,000 teams taking part in the 2019 competition and the national winners will compete in the International Final in November, to be held this year in Hungary for the first time. The theme will be SMART Cities, where data can improve transport, street lighting and deliver a host of other solutions to make the environment more liveable. The Hungarian government has selected Győr as host city.

When teams qualify for the Final they join 400 other elite teams from more than 65 countries who are competing in four main categories. The competitions have different age groups, ensuring that competitors tackle appropriate challenges that are designed to test their skills and stimulate their creativity.

Key takeaways

  • More than 27,000 teams will participate in 2019.
  • The international Final attracts 400 teams from 65 countries.
  • There are several special awards made at each International Final. These include the Juniper Networks Engineering Simplicity Award and the LEGO Education Creativity Award.
  • The competition initially became popular in South East Asia, but has now gone worldwide.
  • Previous finals have visited New Delhi in India, San Jose in Costa Rica and Chiang Mai in Thailand.
  • Recent countries that have joined World Robot Olympiad include the UK, Cambodia, the Netherlands and Pakistan.
  • Each International attracts around 3,000 international visitors.
  • Teams consist of two to three young people supervised by a coach.
  • World Robot Olympiad held its first International Final in 2004 in Singapore.

 

Claus Ditlev Christensen, Secretary General of the World Robot Olympiad Association Limited stated:

“From small beginnings, World Robot Olympiad has become a way to get young people interested in robotics, no matter where they live in the world. For example, children from Costa Rica, Palestine and from townships in South Africa have successfully taken part in past International finals and brought their unique perspective to the common challenges being addressed . This is a way to promote robotics to diverse audiences, while building an interest in the STEM subjects and in working together to solve a problem. We all learn together and  create an experience to remember.”

 

“At LEGO Education, we strongly believe in the power of playful, hands-on learning. We deliver amazing learning experiences that will prepare today’s children for the world and careers of tomorrow. We deliver STEM based learning that encourages children to get hands on with the learning experience, engaging both hands and minds. Through WRO, students get a learning experience they will remember for the rest of their lives, and we are proud to be part of enabling this. Participating in WRO really helps students develop confidence in STEM, as well as many of the 21st century skills that are so important for the workforce of the future, such as collaboration, critical thinking, problem-solving, communication and creativity. The rules of the WRO categories encourage students to create unique approaches, and the idea that there is not one single “right” answer or solution to a problem really fits our learning philosophy. The same can be said of the international aspect of WRO, enabling students to connect across boarders through STEM and Innovation.”

–  Camilla Bottke, Head of Afterschool and Competition, LEGO Education

“Juniper Networks is focused on engineering simplicity to solve some of the world’s most challenging networking issues at a time when automation and digital transformation are revolutionizing many aspects of our daily lives. In World Robot Olympiad, we see teams of young people using technology to simplify, problem-solve and innovate in a similar fashion. Juniper is therefore convinced that the young people who take part in these competitions, at every level, are being given a unique opportunity to nurture key skills that will help transform the world of tomorrow.”

–  said Mike Marcellin, Chief Marketing Officer, Juniper Networks

“As the reindustrialization of Hungary has reached a new level with turning the focus of investments towards high tech industries, a new level of need for highly trained human capital has also been reached, recognized by the Digital Success Program of the Ministry of Innovation and Technology. Sectors of the economy related to Industry 4.0 are seeking employees with new sets of skills and knowledge. Problem solving, cooperation and creativity are in the highest demand, but first of all, coding, algorithmic thinking and engineering have become general requirements in most of the economic sectors, not only in IT. World Robot Olympiad has them all. The WRO competition simultaneously develops these skills in an engaging way. WRO can show purpose and opportunity for children and can prove that robotics, engineering and coding can not only be fun, but at the same time a fantastic career option. I am proud that our government supports this incredible competition which paves the way for the future.”

–  stated Dr. László Palkovics, Ministrer of Innovation and Technology, HUNGARY

 

SOURCE: World Robot Olympiad Association

Lower Cryptocurrency Prices Driving Innovation, Improved Security, and Heightened Adoption

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SOURCE USA News Group

 

Despite major cryptocurrency prices being down, key blockchain and cryptocurrency figure, Brock Pierce, believes that embedded within this space is a potential quadrillion dollar market. In the midst of a lower price market, plenty of new developments are arising from companies such as NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE: NC) (OTC: NTTCF), Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI), Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK), and even Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB).

“Security tokens are going to give birth to a quadrillion dollar market,” said Pierce in a recent interview with Forbes. “This is because we will see the tokenization of the world’s fiat money, debt market, real estate, equities, and art.”

Prior to reaching these levels, the crypto space will require leaders that can heighten mainstream acceptance of the concept. One innovator that’s rapidly expanding payment options around the world, and is NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE: NC) (OTC: NTTCF), which now supports 55 countries and 36 fiat currencies—servicing over 3 million merchants.

With prices for major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin being down, analysts such as Pierce see this as a period of greater innovation, and adoption.

“We’re going to see big things being built, multiple applications hitting a million users,” Pierce added. “I love the fact that prices are down. When prices are up, very little gets built because teams don’t stick around. Everyone is getting rich too quick and that de-motivates people. All the best things I’ve seen built in this ecosystem have been built in bear markets.”

For providers such as NetCents, the goal is to make merchant clients get rich quicker, and consumers save money on transactions. Incentivizing merchants is how to get adoption to happen quicker.

To achieve this, NetCents provides merchants with several appealing selling points, including low transaction fees (delivering a saves of 3-9% per transaction), instant settlements, and the ability to accept fiat, credit card, and/or cryptocurrencies equally. On average, a low-risk merchant typically faces a merchant fee between 3.5% to 5.5%, whereas a higher-risk merchant gets hit with a rate of 5.0% to 10.0%. NetCents’s merchant fee is only 1.99%—a savings of between 1.5% to 7.0% per transaction.

However, one major development that the NetCents team has put forth to bridge the gap for merchants, is its proprietary cryptocurrency credit card that pulls directly from the user’s NetCents wallet.

Usable anywhere that Visa or MasterCard are accepted, the unique credit card opens the world of cryptocurrency users to millions of merchant locations around the world. Mixing together everyday credit card transactions could be the perfect lead-in that the cryptocurrency world needs for mainstream acceptance.

But are cryptocurrencies still an investment in and of themselves?

Crypto Equity Is On The Way

NetCents has been quietly adding new currencies to its portfolio, including a recent agreement with ILO Crypto (ILOCX), which has its own platform that allows companies to raise non-equity capital through the sale of Initial License Offerings (“ILOs”).

ILOs are a revenue-based method of raising capital, that give buyers the right to promote and or sell an underlying product or service and receive royalties based on the gross revenue of the company. ILOCX has signed 54 companies to its first exchange platform allows its companies to list and sell an ILO to raise capital and enhance sales. There are currently more than 20 companies already listed on the exchange.

“The significance of this transaction is enormous for crypto holders everywhere, this partnership is giving them high quality alternative options for utilizing their capital currently locked in Bitcoin, ETH and various other altcoins,” said, CEO of ILOCX, Edward Fitzpatrick upon the agreement signing. “Hundreds of billions of dollars are sitting in crypto looking for new ways to put this capital to work, thanks to this partnership NetCents and ILOCX we can say with confidence that the era of utilization is here.”

Through the merchant agreement, ILOCX is set to use the NetCents Merchant Gateway to power cryptocurrency transactions for its capital raising services. With $300 million in deals on the exchange to date, this platform gives NetCents and ILOCX another way to tap into the hundreds of billions in crypto capital, giving crypto-holders alternative options for utilizing their capital and giving companies listing on ILOCX access to the capital they need.

Bringing Banks On Board

With banks such as JP Morgan Chase flirting with the idea of using blockchain ledgers for transactions, there is hope for acceptance from financial institutions on the horizon. In an effort to lubricate the transition, NetCents has also launched its Crypto Banking Stack (CBS), which allows for a low-cost crypto ready processing solution to be quickly implemented without the requirement for an extended and costly development cycle.

Banking clients get benefits from the CBS as well, as it will have the ability to provide account holders with the ability to convert and move balances between their crypto and fiat bank accounts. The cryptocurrencies which will be initially supported through the CBS are Bitcoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

Upon integration through the CBS API, financial institutions can potentially offer their customers crypto banking services accessible via their current online bank profile. These crypto bank accounts would have the same functionality as standard chequing and savings accounts.

Clients could then add various crypto accounts/wallets, transfer, deposit, withdraw, make a payment, view transactions; and the ability to link their crypto bank account to their existing debit cards—Blurring the lines between standard banking, and blockchain/crypto.

As lines blur, major companies too will look towards adopting these tech platforms that can help their businesses grow.

For a more in-depth look into NetCents Technology you can view the in-depth report at USA News Group: http://usanewsgroup.com/2018/12/12/the-sectors-that-could-change-the-way-you-view-2019/

Bigger Players Adopting Crypto In Their Own Way

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI) – Cryptocurrency within gaming is not a new concept. However, for Activision Blizzard, the makers of Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft, much of its 2018 record net revenue of $7.5 billion came from what are called microtransactions. In 2017, these in-game purchases accounted for $4 billion of its total $7.16 billion over the entire fiscal year, also a record at that time. A leading revenue driver for the company was what are called CoD Points, which are a ‘premium’ currency that are acquired with real money, and can only be spent buying virtual goods inside the Call of Duty game. At the moment, CoD Points can be acquired from third-party vendors, such as Amazon, but cannot be spent elsewhere. Should the game developer open up use of this digital currency outside of the platform, it would be interesting to see where the value of the currency would go.

Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK) – Massive online retailer Overstock.com has built its name providing offerings such as home and garden products, furniture, housewares and more. However, with the launch of its new security trading platform tZERO underway, the company believes a market boom for its new product is around the corner. This alternative trading system (ATS) will use crypto tokens, and could open up the securities market to a much, much larger audience of investors from around the world. In the meantime, the tZERO dream is still dealing with regulatory questions, in order to satisfy FINRA and the SEC, who want to see them working with one broker.

Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) – Social media giant Facebook is preparing the launch of its own version of Bitcoin, to be used in its messaging applications, WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. Dubbed the “Facecoin”, the new cryptocurrency could be the global technology giant’s breakthrough into the lucrative market for retail financial services. Very little is known about Facebook’s overall plans with the Facecoin, as so far there’s only a single company statement about a new group set up to look into cryptocurrencies. Media outlets have tipped small hints at the project, stating that the ambition is to explore multiple applications, and to establish Facecoin as a “stablecoin”. Facebook would have a fixed price, and the amount in circulation will vary.

Article Source:
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Ben Franklin Technology Partners Debuts Blockchain-Enabled Onboarding and Tokenization Platform for Global Opportunity Philadelphia Fund

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Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Southeastern Pennsylvania (Ben Franklin), a leading seed stage capital provider, announced the availability of its blockchain-enabled onboarding and tokenization platform that streamlines and manages investor interests in the Global Opportunity Philadelphia Fund (GO Philly Fund)Ben Franklin is leveraging Securitize as the fund’s compliance platform for issuing and managing digital securities on the Ethereum blockchain. The platform is also managing KYC/AML and accredited investor compliance.

The new blockchain-enabled platform allows limited partnership interests in the GO Philly Fund to be represented as digital “GO Philly Tokens” that are fully compliant with the ERC-20 standard worldwide. The tokens, now available at GOPhillyFund.com, will be issued electronically by the fund at an offering price of $0.50 per GO Philly Token. Subscriptions for the tokens can be purchased through the platform by individual investors with U.S. dollars, Bitcoin (BTC) or Ether (ETH). Prospective investors must apply to subscribe for a minimum amount of $250,000 or equivalent amount in BTC or ETH.

“The GO Philly Fund intends to utilize rapidly emerging standard technologies to streamline and manage investor interests in the fund,” explained Scott NissenbaumBen Franklin’s Chief Investment Officer. “Through the use of blockchain technology, we are now facilitating and streamlining individual investor participation from around the globe while allowing for cryptocurrency to be accepted.”

The availability of the onboarding and tokenization platform comes on the heels of the recently launched GO Philly Fund, a regional venture fund that allows private investors to invest in a broad variety of early-stage technology-focused companies located in the Greater Philadelphia region. The GO Philly Fund has raised more than $15 million and seeks to provide up to $50 million of capital  alongside Ben Franklin’s investments.

The fund was formed in conjunction with EPAM (NYSE:EPAM), a leading global product development and digital platform engineering services company headquartered in the Philadelphia area with more than $1.8 billion in revenue.  Subscription for the GO Philly Fund is open to domestic and international accredited investors who seek to capitalize on the region’s growth.

Interests in the GO Philly Fund are being offered only through the fund’s private placement memorandum, limited partnership agreement and subscription package. A copy of the private placement memorandum containing more detailed information about Ben Franklin and the GO Philly Fund is available by request. For accredited investors and seed and early-stage companies interested in learning more, please visit: gophillyfund.com.

 

SOURCE Ben Franklin

AllocateRite Announces Hiring of New Chief of AI and Data Science

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AllocateRite, the New York FinTech and data science company that provides asset managers with dynamic asset allocations employed through ETF-based smart investment strategies, is excited to announce world class AI and data science expert Michael Spece has joined AllocateRite as its Chief of AI and Data Science. Mr. Spece will work directly with Abbas Shah, AllocateRite’s Chief Algo Specialist.

AI and data science are revolutionizing the financial industry at an unprecedented pace, and AllocateRite now finds itself at the forefront of this paradigm shift,” said AllocateRite Chief Algo Specialist, Abbas Shah.

AllocateRite is fast becoming a force in AI and data science as it continues to rapidly develop and deliver unique intelligent platforms to the asset and wealth management industry, and the addition of Spece adds a world class AI and data science expert to AllocateRite’s team, where he will focus on making AllocateRite’s current AI platform even more robust and diverse.

Mr. Spece graduated first in his class at Caltech, and from Carnegie Mellon University with a perfect academic record, earning degrees in four interdisciplinary fields: Applied & Computational Mathematics (BS), Business Economics & Management (BS), Machine Learning (Ph. D.), and Statistics & Data Science (Ph. D.).

 

SOURCE AllocateRite, LLC