Open Call #2: Apply now. The deadline is September 10, 2021
Here is the key question: How could the introduction of blockchain technology enable new models, higher trust, better exchange? Do you know? If yes, don’t wait to send in your application before the deadline.
Selected ideas will get up to €175.000. If you are unsure, have a look at the ten projects TruBlo selected from open call #1. There is a profile of each project on our website:
Updates this week:
European Data Protection Agency argues against the use of additional data for credit scores
In a paper, the European Data Protection Supervisor said that using additional private data should not be the basis for credit scores by financial services. The recommendation came as an answer to a blog post by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). IMF researchers had suggested that credit scores would be more accurate if the analysis could use non-financial data points such as the “type of browser and hardware used to access the internet, the history of online searches and purchases”.
Gang behind ransomware attacks shuts down, provides decryption key for victims.
A ransomware gang named Ragnarok has shut down its operations. The group provided a digital key to enable victims to decrypt files blocked for use by the group. From reports, it did not become clear what caused the move – such as more pressure from police or other authorities. Recently other groups stopped their activities, too.
Sales of NFT collection Cryptopunks cross $1 Billion
NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are in high demand, partly driven by speculation about the potential rising values of digital collector’s items in the future.
For example, Visa, the credit card company, announced that it had bought one item of the Cryptopunk platform for $150.000 a week ago. The company said it wanted to add the digital asset to its financial history collection.
Cryptopunks is a collection of 10,000 computer-generated characters, collected and traded. As an NFT, there is proof of ownership; the information is stored on the Ethereum blockchain.
Now the Larva Labs, the company behind the project, announced that it crossed $1 Billion in all-time sales. Two other NFT platforms had reached that level before. Opensea reported all-time-sales of $3.54bn and Axie Infinity of $1.68bn, according to data published about different digital marketplaces via dappradar.com
Understanding NFTs: Artificial scarcity and the demand for status in a digital world
To anyone who is not exposed to daily news updates from the blockchain/crypto world, it is hard, really hard, to understand how and why digital collectables (NFTs) are in such strong demand by some people. The linked article might help to understand some driving forces here.
Axel Springer buys US news website Politico for $1bn
The news sector has been battling falling revenue from traditional print and advertising for 20 years. In 2013 Amazon founder Jeff Bezos paid $250 million for the “Washington Post”. Roughly eight years later, at least some digital news offerings demonstrate how to grow and make a profit in a digital world. In addition to the broader political reporting, Politico makes money by selling a professional feed of constantly updated info to lawmakers and politicians in the US capital.
New York Times adds a paywall to review site Wirecutter
Wirecutter is a website offering product reviews. The New York Times acquired the website in 2016; now, this content will get a separate paywall. In the future, readers will have to either pay five dollars per month or select the premium NYT subscription bundle.
The story of Wirecutter is interesting: Founded in 2011, the website provided unbiased help to select the best product in a given category. In the early years, the site was free and made money as an affiliate of Amazon, earning a commission when people would buy via a link from a Wirecutter review.
Apple reduces commission for digital subscriptions from 30 to 15%
Nieman Lab has a longer article looking at how and why Apple reduces the percentage paid for regular subscriptions. For example, smaller publishers who receive less than one million US-Dollars from Apple news subscriptions will benefit from the reduction.
How much big platforms charge from all others will be an ongoing discussion into the future. For news publishers, the pressure is already there today, given that many have lost print advertising budgets over the last two decades.
In a ruling from in South Korea, Apple is under pressure to allow developers the integration of other payment channels in addition to payments via the app store. John Gruber, an Apple expert and writer of the blog “Daring Fireball”, published an article about what to expect: More options, but more complexity, too, for sellers and buyers.
Global Market for “Blockchain-as-a-Service” platforms to grow from$2.31Bn in 2021 to $15.8Bn in 2026
A market study from ResearchandMarkets.com expects strong growth for blockchain services and platforms. Large, small, and medium firms are expected to increase the adoption of blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) tools. The resource can be used for payment systems, smart contracts, and to take part in market segments where digital currencies gain ground.
Twitter & Square CEO Jack Dorsey wants to build a decentralized Bitcoin exchange
Jack Dorsey is known to be a fan of cryptocurrencies. Now the entrepreneur seems to set the sight to develop a decentralized exchange to cater to the need to switch from standard currencies to various crypto tokens.
Centre, a consortium founded by Circle and Coinbase, expands team for global stablecoin exchange
This sounds similar. The idea is to establish exchanges for stablecoins, which are based on a specific currency worldwide. Several countries are Centre announced this week that the company has formed a team of specialists, intending to enable a “global network of stablecoins”.
After the shout-out
In 2018, we witnessed the first phase of speculative investments into blockchain and cryptocurrencies. A typical way to collect money at the time was an ICO – an “Initial Coin Offering”. The process shared some aspects of taking a company public, but in the case of an ICO, usually without any oversight by authorities. Later, many ICO projects did not deliver what they promised, folded and went out of business. Three years later, some people involved in promoting such ICOs get verdicts in lawsuits and are ordered to pay sometimes hefty fines.
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