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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

Hydrogen-carbon low-for the future?


 
 
 
 
Hydrogen is the new kid on the block of low-carbon alternatives, with applications in mobility, industrial processing and heavy transport. It also can be used to provide electricity and heat, and can be blended with natural gas to help decarbonize existing natural gas grids. But even with these opportunities, across the globe — from corporate offices to industry roadshows — one hears a frequent refrain: it is too expensive and it won’t scale. (Interestingly enough, this is the same reputation solar PV had a decade ago.)

As misconceptions about hydrogen abound, there is an opportunity to dispel some common myths about this emerging technology.

This is not winner-take-all.
The energy transition will be a blend of alternative fuels and electrification.

When it comes to technology change, most people think of it as a roulette game where the winner takes all. The debate around green options for low-carbon mobility, as well as freight, heavy industry and materials movement, is no different. The general thinking is that the payoff will come from either electrification or innovative fuels, but not both. 
This is not an either-or situation. Instead, it’s like being stranded on a desert island and choosing between water or food when the only survivable option is to find both. The ultimate solution for low-carbon transport most likely will be a blend of electricity-based and fuel-based options.

Among the fuel-based options, hydrogen dominates the conversation. As generally happens when you’re popular, the haters are expressing doubt over the development of hydrogen resources, fearing that it competes with electrification and battery technology, but this concern doesn’t reflect reality. While electrification and fuels such as hydrogen both come with their own set of challenges, they both have important roles to play. 

When electricity from low-carbon generation is substituted for fossil fuels, we can achieve significant reductions in CO2 emissions. With its zero-carbon potential and the role it can play in increasing demand for renewable energy, hydrogen has an important role in our energy transition and is a key complement to electrification.

Hydrogen is already in high demand and the industry will only continue to grow.

New interest in hydrogen has come from the mobility, freight, shipping, power and industrial processing sectors as they strive to move toward a decarbonized future. There is, however, a large preexisting demand linked to refining and ammonia production and as a feedstock for industrial chemical processes. The development of the hydrogen market reflects the potential for distributed production and the need for flexibility in our transport mix. For example, hydrogen fuel cell buses typically have a range of about 310 miles versus 124 miles for electric buses. With this range, hydrogen has both the potential to decarbonize rural transport and to offer a solution for uninterrupted services.



Source: Greenbiz, 31 Aug -19

Power One invests in smart hydro

Hydropower is a renewable source of electricity, but in traditional form it not only destroys entire valleys for its reservoirs, it also destroys natural biodiversity. But that is how it used to be. Today it is also an ecologically sustainable source. With today's so-called smart hydroelectric plants, no valleys are submerged. Biodiversity is not destroyed by these either. Power One has therefore decided to utilize the hydropower in the small river that flows through Kabonga. It is a small river, but with a constant flow even during the dry season, and is well suited for smart hydropower.

What is the difference between traditional and smart hydropower?

Last century was the century of large scale. At that time, almost all hydropower was built with dams and turbines. The dams were used to even out production during the year. However, these dams have placed large areas of forest land under water, while at the same time they have become obstacles to fish migrations. Not only the forests in the valley above the dam but also the biodiversity of the river were affected. Fish cannot get up or down alive through a turbine, and as many species of fish multiply in special places, to where they must move, entire species have also disappeared from river systems.

The smart hydropower does not use dams. By removing these, the disadvantages of hydropower are avoided, but at the same time, of course, its purpose disappears, to level out the seasonal changes of hydroelectric power. When using smart hydropower instead this has to be compensated by combining power sources that have different seasonal cycles, like wind and solar. In this way, both the costly and environmentally damaging dam plant is avoided. Instead, freedom is gained from using small and inexpensive systems that are also scalable. Instead of a single large plant, the fall height can be utilized in several places. Today thereare plenty of different varieties of smart hydro adapted to different conditions. Power One in Kabonga will therefore use different smart hydro in different parts of the river.An example of a smart hydro that does not affect biodiversity is the Dutch Turbulent. A Turbulent smart hydro costs between $ 80,000 to $ 300,000, but it generates approximately the same revenue in three year under favorable conditions. The water flow in the small river in Kabonga is at least 1 m2 per second, year-round. This is suitable for the smaller turbulent power plants, which are located at about 55 kW. To calculate the power economically, you multiply the installed power by 7500 and by the price per kilowatt. For a 55kW power plant in Kabonga, the calculation is 55 kW x 7,500 x 0.24 USD, which gives an annual revenue of $ 100,000 for an investment of $ 300,000. The fall height of the small river in Kabonga is just over two hundred meters, and since each power plant does not require more than a maximum height of 4 meters, the river can accommodate a large number of these, without negative impact on the river's fish and fauna. However, there are more models of smart hydro that are suitable for different conditions.

 

A design of smart hydropower requires many factors, including flow, altitude, geology and biology. Power One's Peter Rinaldo gives in the following filmed reportage a picture of how the initial design work in Power One goes.

Please turn on subtitles in the browser for English.

Power One will invest in smart wind

Wind power is a renewable source of electricity. Traditionally, it has required steady and steady wind to be effective. The old "propeller spins" with horizontal shaft cannot withstand turbulent winds, although it can contain as much energy. The so-called vertical wind turbines have not previously reached the same efficiency as the propeller-driven, but have now been updated with more shafts and thus a whole new ability to take advantage of turbulent winds. They are also effective on a smaller scale and Power One has now decided to use these instead of the traditional ones.

Traditional propeller-type windmills use the “horizontal axis x propeller type” method, but the horizontal axis is difficult to respond to changes in wind direction, and the propeller type has a risk of runaway velocity due to strong winds. A horizontal axis propeller type windmill can generate power with high efficiency when the wind direction and wind speed are bothstable, but it is difficult to cope with sudden changes in wind speed and direction. The wind direction of the tropics is not stable, and under such circumstances, the vertical axis Magnus wind turbine can achieve stable operation and achieve a higher capacity utilization rate.

The "vertical axis Magnus type" system is compatible with wind in all directions because of the vertical axis, and by using the Magnus type, the rotational speed of the wind turbine can be kept constant according to the wind speed by controlling the rotation of the cylindrical blades. can. By controlling the rotation speed of the windmill, stable power generation is possible without runaway even in sudden strong winds. The wind environment in the tropics is very harsh for windmills that are subject to drastic changes in wind direction and speed and among them, the vertical axis Magnus wind turbine can generate power stably, and it can be expected to dramatically improve the operating rate of the wind turbine. In addition, by using a cylindrical blade instead of a propeller, the manufacturing cost can be greatly reduced, so it is possible to supply inexpensive power using renewable energy. 

Tanganyika is a fantastic lake. It is huge not only to the surface but also to the depth. It is also pure and undisturbed with one of the world's largest biodiversity. Because of its surface, the winds get a smoother flow and do not become as turbulent. Therefore, the shores of the lake are suitable for the traditional propeller-driven wind turbines. However, these are both costly and difficult to maintain. They also have a great aesthetic influence. Since the modern vertical wind turbines do not require proximity to the lake's steady flow, they can be placed a little anywhere, preferably up in the mountains.

Power One will therefore invest in a larger number of these vertical small power plants up in the mountains instead of a large propeller-driven power plant at the lake.

China passes law allowing regions to set resource taxes

SHANGHAI/SINGAPORE - Chinese legislators approved a new law on Monday that will give local governments authority to tax as many as 164 different resources, including fossil fuels, minerals and eventually water, the Ministry of Finance said on Monday. The National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, approved the new resource tax law on Monday and it will go into effect in September next year, the ministry said in a briefing.
Officials insisted it will not raise the overall tax burden on local firms.

 Source: Reuters

Does a Data Breach Impact Such a Newly-Loved Brand Like Monzo?

Monzo is best known as a neo-bank disrupting the norm, developed for the smartphone generation, and removing the need for physical branches, cheque books and call centres. The entire principal is based around its app with a focus to build the best current account in the world. They have a vision to become an intelligent hub for your entire financial life. Monzo has gone from strength to strength since its launch in 2015, with more than 2 million customers in the UK – and adding to that, a unicorn value. Recently they have announced a formal expansion into the U.S market. The work began several months ago and will see a U.S Monzo app and Mastercard debit card made available at pop up sign-up events around the country. The initial launch will see just a few thousand card issues with a waiting list in advance of a wider national launch. 


Source: Thefinetechtimes

Natural capital can be the bedrock of good business

With the right digital tools, natural capital approaches can transform a business' relationship with nature, argues AECOM's Robert Spencer. 
With climate change and biodiversity urgently becoming a focal point for all UK businesses, the way in which the industry interacts with nature is significantly changing and will continue to transform...

 

Source: Business Green

Shell closes in on takeover deal for Australian energy supplier ERM Power

Oil giant makes first foray into Australia's competitive power market as it continues drive into consumer energy supply, renewables, and clean technologies. Shell is closing in on its first foray into Australia's competitive electricity sector with a (AUS) $617m takeover bid for ERM Power Ltd, as the oil and gas giant continues its drive into the consumer...

 
 
Source: Business Green
 

Merkel's Bavarian allies call for German climate bond

FRANKFURT - Germany’s Christian Social Union (CSU), the sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU), are planning to launch a climate bond to help fund its efforts to reduce emission targets. “Climate change needs billions of euros of investment in climate friendly technologies,” Alexander Dobrindt, a senior lawmaker from the CSU Bavarian party in Merkel’s coalition, told the weekly Bild am Sonntag.

Source: Reuters

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