Settlemint: Demo & Walkthrough on March 31, 2022 – 13:00 CET

Settlemint: Demo & Walkthrough on March 31, 2022 – 13:00 CET

Settlemint, a company from Belgium, offers a low-code platform enabling any company to start projects, with simple steps and a visual overview of set-up, costs and tracking of performance. TruBlo invited Settlemint to talk about their low-code platform for fast blockchain onboarding.

Please join us on Thursday, March 31 at 13:00 CET
Zoom-Link: http://settlemint.zoom.us/j/97664560875

Settlemint is a tech start-up from Belgium, five years in business by now and a leader in this particular field. There are a number of reasons why making it easier to launch blockchain projects will meet a lot of demand.

  • Firstly, there is by now much interest in how established businesses can actually use blockchain technology, in order to enhance and extend their workflows. 
  • Secondly, there is a severe scarcity of developers who have experience with blockchain. This means that only a few companies can start exploring blockchain right now. 
  • With Settlemint it is possible to get started much fast, connect data from your current cloud and then explore the options with a variety of available blockchain protocols. Settlemint offers a cost calculator, provides a visual overview and all other needed components. 

We want to hear about the Settlemint platform and see it in action. Stefan Günther from Settlemint will provide an overview and a short presentation in our one-hour event.  

The event is organized jointly by Settlemint and TruBlo, an EU-funded project funding innovative approaches towards “trusted content on future blockchains”. https://www.trublo.eu

More info:

Short article about Settlemint on TruBlo:
https://www.trublo.eu/2022/03/17/settlemint-provides-a-faster-simpler-option-to-get-started-with-blockchain/

Settlemint homepage:
https://www.settlemint.com

 

SettleMint provides a simpler, faster option to get started with blockchain

SettleMint provides a simpler, faster option to get started with blockchain

Many companies and organisations would really like to get started with blockchain projects, either to gain know-how or to expand their business. But two factors are blockers right now. First, there is a need for experiments to gain insights into how an existing business – for example an art gallery – could actually benefit. Secondly, there is a severe scarcity of blockchain developers. The lack of resources keeps many from early experiments and real innovation work.

A feature-rich platform to get started 

Settlemint, a company from Belgium, wants to change this. They have created a low code platform that promises to provide a fast way to “build, launch, integrate and monitor blockchain implementations with a low-code environment”. 

The platform Settlemint has developed offers support for multiple cloud services (Google, AWS and Azure) and allows for the selection of a suitable blockchain protocol. Users can choose between Enterprise Ethereum, Ethereum, Hyperledger Fabric, Avalanche, Binance Smart Chain, Tezos and Polygon. According to the founders, almost 95% of all current use cases can be started with one of these protocols. With this background, even projects in an early stage will find the right chain, based on the needs and demands of a particular project.

The core: Adapting smart contract to a business logic

In many projects, it is the option to include smart contracts for certain workflows which is the new element of doing business. Here Settlemint can support a quick start through a number of pre-built smart contract templates, which can be adapted, based on the business logic of the client. All of the templates can be accessed at the code level so that developers can change and adapt based on a particular client’s needs.

Instead of having to self-develop clients can use a visual dashboard to drag and drop applications together, based on a library of prebuilt integration modules. 

Integration Studio. Source: Settlemint.

Additional services are a special backend solution to generate GraphQL APIs for data to be used in a given project. There is a Graph Middleware to connect applications. Finally, a monitoring tool enables the analysis of test runs, or to check on deployments for extensions and maintenance.. 

Like Lego for blockchain

“Settlemint was basically like Lego for us”, is what one client said about the experience with the platform. Settlemint was founded in 2016 and currently has a team of currently 45 people working. So far the company has already completed more than 50 Enterprise blockchain implementations. “We strongly believe that blockchain is the technology that will change our society, revolutionize our global economy and disrupt our industry”, says  Matthew Van Niekerk,  a founder & the CEO of SettleMint.

The focus of projects includes set-ups for NFT platforms or solutions for certain industries, such as banking, insurance, supply-chain management, food and beverage and logistics as well as use cases in energy or healthcare.

Visual of Settlemint Blockchain Monitoring Tools

Monitoring Dashboard. Source: Settlemint

A sign of maturity is that on the homepage Settlemint offers a very simple way to calculate monthly prices for a given blockchain/cloud project – potentially clients can calculate themselves or get assistance from specialists. The question “How much does it cost?” seems to be a very frequent inquiry, with the calculator one can define a range. All resources are scalable, they can be extended with usage over time. 

More information

For companies interested in trying out Settlemint, there is a 25-minute demo video where the CEO provides a walk-through of how the platform works. The demo is comprehensive and shows the platform in action – it really is quite simple to get started. Single users or teams can register for a free trial test of the low code platform on www.settlemint.com.

 

Five Minute Blockchain – Weekly Newsletter #30

Five Minute Blockchain – Weekly Newsletter #30

TruBlo Newsletter #29

TruBlo Newsletter #29

Digital advertising: How does Google Topics differ from FLoC?

Digital advertising: How does Google Topics differ from FLoC?

Digital advertising is a big business and a privacy problem simultaneously. According to estimates, global ad spending in 2021 grew by 15.6% to $705 billion (€628 billion), another record. Analysts expect global advertising to grow even further in the coming years. Stopping the use of cookies is good for user privacy. But a new solution must balance at least three aspects: Firstly, advertisers will demand effective advertising. Secondly, the new approach must comply with stricter privacy laws. And thirdly, Google must consider the effects on the advertising market and competitiveness to stay in business.

The most recent approach is Topics and aims to do the trick: Shelter privacy but still enable effective digital advertising. How? Let us take a look. Here is a structured, quick overview of the current discussion.

What is “Topics”, and why is it relevant for trust in content?

In this overview article, we are looking at the newest technology suggested by Google to replace cookies. To put it into context, we briefly examine what the FLoC concept meant and why it failed. Then we list up what is known about the new approach called “Topics”. 

Why a new system? What is the problem with cookies?

Google, the largest company in digital advertising, announced to eliminate third-party cookies in the Chrome browser by 2022. The company started to work on an alternative with better user privacy. But of course, the interests of advertisers had to be considered, and a new system would have to perform similarly in targeting advertising without tracking people individually. 

What was FloC? 

Maybe it was the name. FLoC, which stood for “Federated Learning of Cohorts”) was an approach proposed by Google to replace cookies in digital advertising. From the beginning, there was criticism that FLoC would not achieve this goal, both for privacy and effective advertising.

On the Google Ads & Commerce Blog, this approach was introduced almost exactly a year ago on January 25, 2021. The promise: “To enable a privacy-first future of advertising.” But the FLoC concept was criticised from the start, and experts noted that tracking would be reduced but not stopped. The core approach was to cluster “large groups of people with similar interests” (Google). In other words:

“FLoC is a super-tracker that monitors user activity across all sites, stores the information in the browser and then uses machine learning (ML) on the the browser to place users into cohorts with similar interests.”

Advertisers would still reach certain groups with targeted ads without the deep invasion of privacy. According to tests by Google, FLoC achieved up to 95% of the conversions compared to cookie-based advertising. 

What were the main problems of FLoC?

An article from last year listed six problems of FLoC:

  • It was not a replacement for third-party cookies – it only worked in the Chrome browser but would not support cross-browser, cross-device advertising. 
  • The cohorts were quite broad and not specific enough for many advertising programs. Advertisers who spend millions of Euros want to structure their campaigns as detailed as possible, not to lose reach and effectiveness. 
  • Campaign effectiveness would have been hard to measure – because digital ads would be shown to a large group, it would have been harder to determine what worked and what did not. 
  • Partial privacy protection: Instead of individual profiles of users based on Cookies, there would have been anonymous IDs in the cohorts. But while advertisers would not know who they were talking to, Google would still know. 
  • Too much of a black box: The complicated grouping, the machine learning optimisation and other factors would have made FLoC a black box. Advertisers would never know whether Google changed, optimised, or tinkered with the approach. 
  • No perspective towards gradual improvement: The FLoC approach would more or less stay the same, potential for years. Such a perspective does not sound good in a software world, expecting an incremental improvement over time. But refining the cohorts further and further would potentially have led to the de-anonymisation of the users in the cohorts. 

In summary, most of the criticism was on the advertiser’s side. But why introduce a system that would (partially) end-user tracking but would not satisfy the interests of the paying customers?

What is “Topics”?

According to TechCrunch, the core of “Topics” works like this:

“The idea here is that your browser will learn about your interests as you move around the web. It’ll keep data for the last three weeks of your browsing history, and as of now, Google is restricting the number of topics to 300, with plans to extend this over time. Google notes that these topics will not include any sensitive categories like gender or race.”

All websites are mapped into a category based on 300 topics, and new sites would be categorised using machine learning. 

For advertisers, the data generated through this approach would still enable them to advertise to a particular group of potential customers. d

In a blog post from January 25, 2022, Google describes Topics as a “new Privacy Sandbox proposal for interest-based advertising”. 

“With Topics, your browser determines a handful of topics, like “Fitness” or “Travel & Transportation,” that represent your top interests for that week based on your browsing history. Topics are kept for only three weeks, and old topics are deleted.” (Source: Google)

Google has published the API for Topics on Github, with initial information on how the API works. 

Photo by Lucrezia Carnelos on Unsplash