Go Global with Cryptocurrency Accounting Platform

Recap, a privacy-focused accounting software platform for cryptocurrency has secured a sizeable grant from Innovate UK to help launch its services worldwide.

Recap has been granted £135,136 as a winner of the Transforming accountancy, insurance and legal services with AI and data competition. The funding was provided through the Government’s modern industrial strategy by Innovate UK, part of UK Research and Innovation.

Recap is an encrypted, bespoke platform which allows those with complex cryptocurrency portfolios to track, manage and strategise by bringing all the information into one platform. One of its key features is to track the large numbers of taxable transactions many investors in cryptocurrencies incur, sometimes on a per second basis.

Co-founder and Director Daniel Howitt said: “It’s exciting times here at Recap, we have an ambitious backlog of work to deliver by March. The US tax deadline for the 2018 tax year closes mid-April. We want Recap to be available way ahead of this deadline, meaning we need to internationalise the product, design and build a US capital gains tax engine and also fully monetise the product so we can start collecting annual subscription revenue.

“The US launch comes off the back of our successful private beta launch to early adopters in the UK.”

The fintech start-up, based in the East Midlands and founded by Directors Daniel Howitt and Ben Shepheard and is the first platform of its kind in the UK and is supported by software experts Selenity and chartered accountants Wright Vigar.

Daniel added: “Our seed raise of £150,000 will allow us to meet the match funding requirement of our £135,000 grant to give us £280,000 investment.

“These funds will allow us to develop our transaction matching IP, release our 1.0.0 version of the product and actively market the platform in the UK and US.

Recap is currently raising a £150,000 seed round led by a cryptocurrency investor and customer of Recap.

To find out more, visit the website here: www.recap.io

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From Centralised Slots to Decentralised Kitties: The Evolution of Online Gaming

The online gaming industry is one of the biggest success stories of the last two decades. Starting out at nothing more than a handful of rudimentary sites at the end of the nineties, online casino gaming alone is now worth upwards of $51 billion/£39.5 billion. Naturally, as the industry has become more lucrative, technology, tastes and gaming options have evolved. Indeed, when you compare early online gaming to today’s emerging blockchain-based creations, things have changed markedly.

Building the Foundations of Online Gaming

“Equations in my dreams” (Public Domain) by tcctrain

If we go back to 1999, Playtech was one of the first developers to harness the power of random number generator (RNG) software. Following the example set by Microgaming in 19995, Playtech’s developers found that complex algorithms could recreate random scenarios. With technology able to ensure a fair result, the company set about developing some of the earliest online casino games. Two decades later, this technology still forms the basis of all online casino games. Whatever title you select inside https://games.paddypower.com/c/slots, the underlying RNG technology will be the same as it was back in 1999. Yes, it will have been refined. However, the fundamental principles are still in place, meaning that everything from Electric Tiger to Gold Frenzy are fair.

From this base, online gaming has cherrypicked ideas and innovations from across the gaming industry at large. For example, almost all online bingo sites now have chat facilities, emojis and more. Essentially borrowing from https://www.facebook.com/games/, bingo sites now offer the same social experience as Words with Friends or 8 Ball Pool. Beyond socialisation features, live streams have become popular. Taking inspiration from https://www.twitch.tv/ and other streaming platforms, developers have been able to create live gaming experience. By combining webcams with RFID technology, players can now interact with real dealers hosting real games inside specially designed studios.

Can Blockchains Decentralise Casino Gaming?

“ETC Wallpaper – No Cryptokitties” (Public Domain) by EthereumClassic

The question is, how will online gaming evolve with the help of blockchain technology? Visit https://www.cryptokitties.co/ and you’ll start to get an insight into the direction blockchain gaming is going. Although an early attempt to utilise decentralised technology for recreational purposes, Axiom Zen’s Cryptokitties has one interesting feature that could be used to improve player safety. As part of the game, each Cryptokitty is represented by a non-fungible ERC-721 token. This allows ownership of the virtual cat to be tracked via Ethereum’s smart contract system. Applying this idea to online gaming, developers could use it to track player IDs. On the one hand, this would reduce the risk of fraud as it would be easier to track and control transactions between players and between players and the casino. Additionally, this technology could be used to create a multifaceted casino ecosystem.

In today’s online gaming community, players have to create individual accounts. By tracking players in the same way Cryptokitties are tracked, it could be possible to bridge the gaps. In other words, players would create a central account which could then be used to access multiple sites. As it stands, many of the leading brands are part of a larger network. Therefore, with this technology, it could be possible to link players across all sites within the network. By marking each account with an ERC-721 token, everything from a player’s personal details to their account balance and playing preferences would become decentralised (i.e. not held by one site). While this would require cooperation and communication between casino brands, the fact networks already exist suggests it could work. Indeed, if online casinos were able to take something from Cryptokitties, it would give players more flexibility, choice and, ultimately, provide a more entertaining experience.

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Here’s How Cryptocurrencies Could Change the Gaming Landscape

Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain have started to change many aspects of our lives and entertainment in recent years. However, one area that appears to have been slower than others in adopting this approach is that of gaming.

At first glance, there are a lot of areas of crossover between cryptos and gaming. Some people have even suggested that gaming paved the way for these coins to appear as per https://medium.com/singulardtv/how-video-games-helped-pave-the-way-for-cryptocurrency-f930521eef55. Yet, the expected surge in this area hasn’t appeared so far. In what ways could these industries come together in the future to change the gaming landscape?

“a gamer of XboX” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by AleZZitO1

Gaming ICOs Being Launched

There is work being done on numerous new decentralised gaming solutions. These are projects that use the blockchain and introduce their own cryptocurrencies that users can typically earn, buy or exchange.

Among the biggest and most talked about ICOs of this type is Bountie, with full details on it to be found at https://www.bountie.io/tokensale/. This is a platform that promises to use AI and IoT in order to modernise the world of gaming.

Another project of this type is called ALAX. In this case, the idea is that players in developing countries can play on their mobile devices even if they don’t have access to traditional banking facilities. The platform uses their own ALX token to monetise gaming, as described on their site, https://alax.io/tokens/.

Unless an ICO offers something new and useful, the fact that it is decentralised isn’t going to be enough. Let’s not forget that over half of all ICOS fail in the first few months too, according to the Boston College research at https://www.coindesk.com/over-half-of-icos-fail-within-4-months-suggests-us-study. So, there is no guarantee that these new platforms will succeed. Many gamers are happy to play in the ways that are currently available to them.

Indeed, among the most popular gaming options gaining ground right now are online casinos. These are websites where numerous casino games are brought together. For example, at https://casino.betfair.com/c/slots we can see dozens of slots ranging from Hot Gems to Grease and from Big Bear to Captain’s Treasure.

Source: Pixabay

Playing with Digital Currencies

Another possibility is that players start to use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin to fund their games online. This may seem like a natural progression, since many gamers are now used to using in-game tokens and currencies.

However, perhaps the volatility of virtual currencies will play a big part in how widespread this becomes. Since these coins can gain or lose value very rapidly, anyone who pays using them is essentially making an investment rather than simply exchanging tokens.

It seems fair to say more stable cryptocurrency prices are likely to encourage more gamers to use these coins. There are certainly some good reasons for thinking this is a good idea. For example, it allows for virtually anonymous spending and means that no link to a bank account or credit card is needed.

It wouldn’t be a big surprise if the future were to bring a closer relationship between gaming and cryptocurrencies. Having said that, it would appear that we are still waiting for the perfect combination of these technologies that allows gamers to use cryptos to their full potential.

 

 

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Could Online Gaming Aid the Growth of Cryptocurrencies?

The growth of cryptocurrencies has been a source of many headlines in the last few years. Yet, research by Finder shows that only 8% of Americans have invested in these digital currencies. What is needed to help them to truly break into the mainstream?

One suggestion is that online gaming could be the key. Could gamers around the world give Bitcoin, Ethereum and other coins the boost they need to move to the next level of popularity?

“Young gamer playing video game wearing h” (CC BY 2.0) by nodstrum

Gamers Are Comfortable with Virtual Money

Perhaps the most important factor here is that gamers were comfortable dealing with virtual money long before most other people had even considered the idea. This has been an important part of many games for some time, but it is the Mesos used in MapleStory from Nexon that are widely credited as being the first gaming currency to really take off.

The most popular games now have giant economies spring up around them. Gamers are happy to spend their fiat money on virtual tokens that can only be used in a certain game. This concept has seen the gold mining industry in World of Warcraft pass the “$2 billion mark”, while in-game revenue in FarmVille is now over $1 billion.

Non-gamers tend to need to make a mental shift to value digital money as much as the paper currency they can hold in their hand, whereas gamers already understand that digital tokens can be just as valuable to them.

The global gaming industry is continuing to grow at an impressive rate. According to a forecast from analysts Newzoo, the $134.9 billion market value in 2018 was a 10.9% increase on the figure achieved in 2017. As more new gamers appear, the concept of cryptocurrencies is likely to be more widely accepted.

Players Spend These Currencies to Buy Games or to Play

It is still a fairly common assumption that Bitcoin can only really be used by gamers. Indeed, it is easy to imagine that some people have failed to invest in cryptocurrencies so far because they believe it is of no use unless they play games.

While there are now many other ways of spending Bitcoin, it is true that gamers can spend or earn these coins more easily than other people. On many sites, it is possible to buy games and there are games where you use virtual coins as you play. Steam has stopped accepting this currency but others, such as MMOGA and Microsoft, let you shop with virtual coins.

A case where future progress is expected is in internet casinos, where Bitcoin deposits and withdrawals make sense. At the moment, there is a limited number of Bitcoin casinos. The big-name casinos, the ones with dozens of slots, table games and live dealer lobbies, such as Paddy Power, have so far tended to stick to traditional payment methods.

If acceptance of cryptocurrencies goes mainstream, with gaming sites like this beginning to adopt them, the demand for them will greatly increase. People will also become more trusting of cryptocurrencies if they begin to use them on a regular basis for something that gives them a lot of pleasure.

Indeed, the world of gaming is still closely linked to cryptocurrencies. There is a good chance that any major growth in the future will be linked to gamers and how they spend their money online.

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Take a sneak peak at v1.0.0 of Upfiring’s dApp

Upfiring’s is a blockchain firm were keeping a close eye on here at CoinSpectator, the team recently showcased a demo of the dApp for its upcoming v1.0.0 release.

The firm is looking to revolutionise the P2P file-sharing sector by utilising the Ethereum blockchain.

Take a look at Upfiring’s v1.0.0 demo below:

 

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Launch of CEDEX – Blockchain Diamond Exchange going live in Beta mode

TechFinancials a listed fintech software provider of financial solutions including blockchain-based digital assets and traditional financial trading solutions for retail clients, is pleased to announce that the CEDEX blockchain diamond exchange, CEDEX, has gone live in Beta mode, allowing investors to trade diamonds as a financial asset class. TechFinancials has a 2 percent interest and an option to acquire a further 90 per cent of Cedex Holdings Ltd, the holding company for the CEDEX blockchain-based online exchange for diamonds which would give TechFinancials up to 92 % of CEDEX or 87.4 % on a fully diluted basis.

TechFinancials has played a major role in the launch of CEDEX as the main provider of the infrastructure, blockchain and smart contract development on which the CEDEX platform is built.

 

CEDEX allows investors to securely and easily trade in digitized diamonds (DDC – Digital Diamond Certificate), while enabling diamond holders to liquidate their assets. Using the innovative DEX proprietary algorithm and blockchain technology, CEDEX has overcome the three main obstacles that have prevented diamonds from becoming a tradable asset class: lack of transparency, liquidity and standardization.

In order to overcome these obstacles, CEDEX has focused on the following activities over the past six months:

  • Developing the proprietary DEX algorithm and building the diamond commodity exchange in conjunction with TechFinancials;
  • Establishing business relations with diamond dealers in order for them to supply the initial diamond inventory on the CEDEX platform, which will comprise over 2000 diamonds in specific categories, at the time of the launch;
  • Constructing the complex logistic business solution to support the product launch, including setting up business relations with custodians, GIA (Gemological Institute of America) and shipping partners;
  • Obtaining the legal approvals to offer the phase one product worldwide.

Asaf Lahav, Chief Executive Officer of TechFinancials commented: “We are delighted to have played a pivotal part in the launch of the first blockchain-based diamond exchange in the world. This milestone achievement is testament to the innovative capabilities of both CEDEX and TechFinancials to build a new, ground breaking platform and we look forward to updating the market on its progress in due course.”

Saar Levi, Chief Executive Officer of CEDEX stated: “This is a major step forward in our exciting journey to transform diamonds into an asset class. At CEDEX, we are commited to realizing our long term vision in which both institutional and individual investors will be able to trade diamonds as one of the leading commodities.”

Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure

Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014 until the release of this announcement.

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Discover how the cream of Europe’s blockchain investors are forging the future in London this month.

Fancy seeing how the top brass in blockchain are laying the foundations for a mind-boggling future we’ll all reap the benefits from? If you can get yourself to London on November 21st, you’ll see it all up close and personal.

Event hosting masters Webrazzi are laying down the gauntlet for the rest of the crypto world to follow, with its Blockchain Venture Summit gracing London with its presence at the central 8 Northumberland venue.

With an intimate and exclusive allocation of just 500 tickets, the summit has already nearly sold out, even though the agenda has just been announced. The word ‘hotcakes’ comes to mind.

Attendees can expect to witness great things as the keynotes, panels and discussions will be delivered from a cluster of those at the very top of the blockchain game, from crypto investors, to venture capitalists, and hedge fund managers to trail-blaising entrepreneurs: it’s an all-star line up that doesn’t pull any punches.

Discussions and speeches will be across a multitude of hot topics, from Equity vs Token investments, unlocking institutional money, blockchain investing, mining, the future of crypto venture capital, corporate ventures, what’s in store for ICOs, security tokens and much more.

Many of the big-hitting blockchain speakers come from an array of heavyweight influential companies in the scene, with the likes of Consensys, StakeZero Ventures, Cambrial, Kryptonite1, Outlier Ventures and more stepping up to deliver the goods.

For those desperate to get tickets, luckily there are still a few ‘hotcakes’ for folks who act fast to get their hands on. And how’s this for an extra bonus, use the promo code “BVSLDN18” and you’ll receive a discount on the ticket price… if you’re quick off the draw.

Register to check the agenda, VIP line-up and all other details over at https://blockchainventuresummit.com

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How one company is giving power to the people to help limit climate change before it’s too late.

With climate change and various environmental factors threatening our way of life and those of our children, there’s been a huge increase in recent years of people striving to live a green, clean life that minimises any adverse impact they have on the world. There are many different ways people are able to change their lifestyles. Limiting energy consumption and recycling and two easy and quantifiable ways to help the environment, but the tricky aspect of lowering one’s carbon footprint has been a much more difficult beast to tackle in any measurable terms, until now.

Ecoingot, a group of environmental tech experts, are busy creating a platform which helps eco-conscious individuals gather and assess their carbon impact data across everything from their everyday purchases to activities and lifestyle choices. And they’re doing it on the blockchain.

 Ecoingot,

Their solution, titled the Internet of Carbon, is said to use cutting-edge technological methods to gather the data and process it in a way that makes it easy to access by everyone with the aid of an app. This is all made transparent and secure by building the platform on the blockchain, so every piece of data is accounted for and can be tracked. It aims to provide carbon usage data on everything from a cup of coffee to taxi rides, to Amazon deliveries or doing your laundry.

Ecoingot’s platform could not be coming at a better or more urgent time, since the IPCC have reported that a global temperature rise of 1.5 degrees will have truly catastrophic consequences for mankind, that monumental changes are needed in the world to ensure this doesn’t happen, and that time is drastically running out before it’s too late to implement these changes. The world needs everyone to club together and help make the changes needed.

And currently, it is not happening fast enough, especially when it comes to industry level changes, which take years to implement due to the arduous processes they need to go through, and the many people deliberately trying to put roadblocks in the way so they can hang onto their profits at all costs. This is why Ecoingot is doing its best to put pressure on big-wig industries and retailers. But as they know they have a long battle ahead of them, they’re currently focussing their attention on those they can rely on to help: the public.

Ecoingot uses three main approaches in its mission to reduce carbon footprints: education, reduction and offsetting. Not only will their app tell its user about the different carbon impacts their choices have on the environment, it will give them an easy opportunity to redress any carbon-heavy lifestyle choices by providing alternatives.

 Ecoingot,

The team are currently developing a data engine, ECOSISTM, using a carbon impact calculation model created by climate change expert Professor Mike Berner-Lees and his team. As no such data is currently available for consumers to assess what their personal carbon footprints is, this looks to be the first of its kind. With a variety of big data already available about large parts of our lives, such as fitness trackers and sleep monitors, having access to data that can potentially save the world should be at the top of the list of things we require.

Their EGT token is launching at the Malta Blockchain Summit, while their app is due to launch in April 2019, coinciding with Earth Day, which focuses attention on environmental factors threatening the planet. If it’s a success, there’s a chance it could make a real difference to one of the biggest issues facing humankind.

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Canadian Court Ruling Epitomizes the Issues Facing Real Estate Data Sharing

Earlier in May of this year, a monumental case regarding real estate data was brought forward to the Canadian Supreme Court. Prior to the ruling, websites were restricted from listing detailed information on data pertinent to real estate sales. Although this data if often available in other jurisdictions such as the United States, Canadian firms operating within the industry were unable to access it.

The Supreme Court of Canada ruled that real estate platforms can now list more detailed information on home listings. The court battle, which dates as far back as 2011, involved the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), who claimed that by publishing data linked to real estate selling prices, home owner privacy was being violated.

Commenting to the Financial Post, Daniel Steinfeld, a Toronto based realtor, explained that the real estate industry has been in a state of stagnation for some years now regarding access to data. Steinfeld noted that the court ruling has cleared the way for those operating in the industry to obtain important data and bring innovation to the industry.

In fact, following the ruling a real estate agency based in Toronto called Zoocasa experienced an increase of 3,000% in traffic.

Just three years prior, Zoocasa were ordered to stop posting information showcasing recently sold properties alongside their respective value. Failure to adhere to these demands would have resulted in them losing access to the Multiple Listings Service which is crucial for Canadian based real estate agencies.

Nevertheless, although the ruling is a step in the right direction, real estate data is still extremely difficult to come by. Moreover, even when data is available, there are no mechanisms in place ensuring the validity, relevance and accuracy of the data.

For example, in Spain, accessing real estate data on the prices of properties sold is virtually an impossible task. Although the Spanish land registry does in fact collect this information, they do not allow stakeholders to access it. Even if one were to obtain a Nota Simple – which is a paid-for document outlining a range of data linked to a specific property, it does not detail previous sale prices.

Can Blockchain Technology Solve the Reluctance to Share Data?

In the real estate industry there is an underlying issue of data hoarding. Essentially, private sector organizations that receive useful real estate data are reluctant to share it with their industry counterparts, preferring to keep it close to their chest.  The industry is also fragmented, with no single platform on which to search for, purchase and sell data and very little means to verify existing data already available. This is where blockchain project ReBloc is stepping in.

ReBloc are in the process of developing a decentralized marketplace on which real estate data can be shared. Vendors who share data are compensated with tokens which they can then trade for more data, or convert into another form of currency.  If one realtor wants to find out how much a particular property sold for, they can formulate a request on the platform.

The data which is held by another user can be autonomously exchanged in a direct peer-to-peer way, via a smart contract. Before the data is released to the user it needs to be verified by the platform’s validation protocol. Once it has been approved, it’s released by the smart contract, which then automatically sends payment to the data owner. This way buyers receive accurate data and vendors feel secure sending it.

By using the Enigma’s secret contracts protocol, sensitive data is encrypted and all inputs and outputs are hidden. As a result, data sharing through the ReBloc platform is kept confidential which is why organizations that have previously shown reluctance to share real estate data are hopping onboard.

Ultimately, the change in the way data can be accessed, evaluated and shared will have a positive and significant impact on the way real-world real estate decisions are made and the ease with which real estate information can be accessed. 

  

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One Million gamers set to embrace PlayChip’s new blockchain token

PlayUp, the Australian-based gaming firm behind one of the most promising token sales this year has already clocked over one million users across its ecosystem before the forecasted date.

The platforms universal gaming token, PlayChip will revolutionise the online gaming industry when integrated into its seven platforms which are already fully licensed with a growing user-base.

When the blockchain platform launches on the 19th of December 2018 the user-base will be able to participate in the seven different gaming platforms whether they are looking to take part in sport betting, casino games, fantasy sports or eSports, it will all be streamlined with the PlayChip token.

playchipPlayChip’s ecosystem has gained traction in the USA, UK, Australia and India with a presence in 70 countries around the world.

The initial coin offering has bucked the current trend of projects launching with merely nothing more than a website, PlayChip have done this with what’s called a ‘reverse-ICO” whereby the current ecosystem is tokenized and integrated into a fully operating business with a user-base and revenue.

playchip

“PlayChip is truly a unique token offering because while others write white papers about potential audiences and hypothetical use cases, PlayChip is well positioned with a very active global audience on multiple platforms that are already part of the PlayChip family,” Luke Lombe, Head of Blockchain with PlayChip said.

“The team at PlayChip are thrilled about hitting the million-user mark earlier than expected, and we look forward to continued strong growth. We are in the middle of our pre-sale and very much focussed on delivering a quality product that surpasses the expectations of our loyal following.”

The seven gaming platforms in the PlayChip ecosystem include PlayUp, DraftStars, Betting.Club, ClassicBet, TopBetta, MadBookie, and 123Bet. All players will be able to seamlessly move between platforms via the integrated PlayWallet and instantly cash out via the PlayXchange. In FY2018, these platforms are on track to exceed a turnover of US$430 million.

For more information, please visit: https://www.playchip.global/ or read the PlayChip Whitepaper: https://www.playchip.global/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/PlayChip-Technical-Whitepaper.pdf

 

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