Tagged with 'Blockchain'

Addressing the weakness of blockchain

BLOCKCHAIN is touted as the next step in the digital revolution, a technology that will change every industry from music to waste. There are many versions of public blockchains in existence, but the majority of them share a basic premise: they offer a secure, decentralised infrastructure to maintain a "single version of the truth", recording all changes made on the blockchain database since its formation.

 

A lot of banks and fintechs started experimenting with blockchain in 2015, trying to capitalise on the speed and transparency it offers. But four years later, the idea that blockchain will remove banks as intermediaries in our payments system still seems a long way off. That's because there are five basic challenges that the technology has to overcome if it is to be accepted as part of the financial system.

1. STANDARDS

Different blockchains organise information in a plethora of ways. This means feeding information from one to another is not always easy.

There is no agreed universal layout of the transaction data structure. In a financial payment, a block will hold the person or company's name, account information, payment, location address and any other relevant factors. But crypto currencies all do this differently, so it would be difficult to move from one currency to another. They need to create standards for the information they contain and how it is systematically laid out.

2. LIABILITY

There is no liability for the platforms when things go wrong at the moment. For instance, in 2017, Canadian digital currency exchange QuadrigaCX announced that a computer error had led to losses of ether worth US$14 million. Surely, liability will need to be cleared up before the public can trust blockchains with their money. For this, we need more regulation in the space of crypto and blockchain in general.

3. SCALABILITY

Blockchain is still at a very small scale compared to everyday electronic payments. Bitcoin's blockchain does 2,000 transactions every 10 minutes, whereas Visa handles more than 65,000 transaction messages every second; Swift, the global messaging system used by banks and financial institutions to transfer payments, deals with 24 million messages a day.

The "block size debate" over how many transactions each block of a blockchain should handle has raged since the early days of bitcoin in 2009. This must be resolved for blockchain platforms to grow big enough to become part of the world's financial plumbing.

4. GOVERNANCE

Blockchain's strength is it has no central authority, but this is also its weakness. Who makes the decisions about how the technology works or when it needs updating?

Public blockchains operate more like communities. There is no systematic way to decide on updates or improvements. Sometimes this can result in a split.

Blockchains haven't figured out how to effectively govern yet. Often, simple majority voting mechanisms are used to make decisions, which means issues are vulnerable to lobbyists or active contributors seizing control.

5. TRANSPARENCY AND IDENTITY

Blockchain payments mean all users can see all the transactions, making them easy to audit and trace. Users are pseudo-anonymous, in that they are not obliged to identify themselves in any way, but they can still be traced through their alphanumeric address and use of tokens on the network. This transparency is part of the blockchain's strength. It means other users can see the amount of bitcoins going from one address to another, but no name is linked to that address. This can be regarded as both a strength and a weakness, and has to be adressed.

 

Eventually, blockchain's lack of an identification framework will be problematic for many users and investors, as it is a fundamental premise on which the financial system is built.

But when these issues are addressed, it is almost inevitable that blockchains become the new foundation of our financial system.

 

Is our bankingsystem threatened?

The battle lines have been drawn and the troops assembled. On the one side stands the combined might of the banking cartels, centuries of deeply entrenched financial infrastructure supporting them. And on the other side stands a handful of crypto companies armed with little more than a passionate plea: “Ditch the legacy system and come join us. Where we’re going, you won’t need banks.”

It’s an enticing call – but is anyone heeding it? Every couple of months, a new trend comes along that captures column inches and crypto Twitter chatter, before everyone moves on to the next new thing. Last month it was defi, before that IEOs, and before that exchange tokens. Right now, the hot topic is crypto lending, and it comes bearing an intriguing question: are crypto lending platforms a solution to a common problem, or a solution in search of a problem to wrap itself around?

Crypto Lending Platforms Prepare to Assail the Banking System?

Before we attempt to answer that, some basic facts: getting a bank loan for personal or business use is extremely hard, verging on the impossible these days. Unless you have property you can collateralize against, you’ll struggle to get a loan, and even if you do, the interest will likely be exorbitant. Gone are the days when you could walk into your bank, have a sit down with the manager and thrash out the terms of a loan with which to start your own business. Attempt that today, casually dropping into the conversation that you were planning your own crypto startup, and not only would you be refused credit, but you’d be liable to have your account closed. Such is the suspicion with which the legacy financial system views crypto. They’ll be proven wrong eventually, around the same time as the last of their venerable banking houses are being converted into nightclubs and apartments.

Crypto Lending Platforms Prepare to Assail the Banking System?

From Bricks and Mortar to Binary Code Bartlomiej Wasilewski is the founder of Marshal Lion Group, a tokenized lending market that provides non-bank loans for businesses and individuals. He told news.Bitcoin.com: “The digitization of finance is inevitable, not just within the crypto sector, but also more broadly, as shown by the rise of microloan platforms that enable individuals to lend capital to businesses, while retaining oversight over how it is deployed, and the ability to witness the benefits of their investment in action and be remunerated for their services.” He added: Within the crypto space, lending is about more than simply attempting to mirror the products to be found in the traditional financial system.

A lot of crypto businesses struggle to obtain banking facilities, and for these entities, having access to alternative sources of capital, be it as a bridging loan or to support long-term growth, is vital. Wasilewski’s vision is slowly materializing, but the wounded banking system is not yet in its death throes. It will likely take a decade or more before digital currencies render it obsolete. In the meantime, those who have been refused credit by financial institutions are being urged to turn to crypto lending. But are crypto lending protocols and platforms enterprise-ready?
And if so, what do they have to offer entities that have been turned away by the banking system?

 

Source: Bitcoin News 29 August 2019

Swiss watchmaker using blockchain tech

The 263-year-old Geneva-headquartered watchmaker Vacheron Constantin has spent over two-and-a-half centuries protecting the traditional crafts around handmade watches.

But it is also a brand that’s willing to embrace bleeding-edge 21st-century tech.

At the VivaTechnology conference in Paris last month, it announced that it was rolling out the blockchain technology for its Les Collectineurs series of vintage watches.
Blockchain is a largely impenetrable system that is immune to efforts to externally tamper with the system. Therefore, the watch brand is using it to issue digital certificates that establish the authenticity of the watches.

These digital certificates issued via the blockchain platform will accompany the traditional physical paper certificates issued for each watch.

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Technology-enabled sustainable economy

From ESG-themed data mining to blockchain voting, technologies around sustainability practice and reporting are expanding rapidly. Companies are starting to discover how they can incorporate new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain or the Internet of Things (IoT) to advance their environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts and the way they report on them.
Over the past decade the world’s biggest companies have started to come under pressure from stakeholders to improve the management of natural resources and human capital.
 

How technology is driving the evolution of intelligent banking

Globally, retail banking has changed considerably over the past decade. Retail banks have adapted to changing consumer demands and expectations, new technologies (eg, artificial intelligence, AI, blockchain and the Internet of Things), new competitors (eg, neo-banks, payment players and tech giants) and new regulations (eg, open banking and PSD2) while reducing costs and creating value. These combined factors have resulted in retail banks adjusting their business models, rethinking their innovation strategies and investment focus, and altering their product offerings and how they are delivered.

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Sweden-based Fintech company implements AI-module for Fluent Digital Presence

 

Sprinkle is implementing an AI-module in which all content and functionalities are constantly adjusting and updating to the latest trends and technology.The Sweden-based Fintech company will integrate blockchain technology for smooth investing and a unique widget that allows automated newsfeeds and digital profiles.

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