August 27, 2016

What is Bitshares?

With BitShares it is possible to trade many different types of assets in addition to the native cryptocoin. In particular, there are what are called Smartcoins and User-Issued Assets. Smartcoins are coins like bitUSD, bitGOLD, and bitCNY that track the value of their counterparts, so that 1 bitUSD today will be worth 1 USD a week, month or year from now. With Smartcoins, people can enjoy the benefits of the blockchain payment network without being exposed to the volatility associated with its disruptive yet nascent stage of development. User-Issued Assets are, as the name suggests, assets issued by the user – meaning anyone can issue their own asset. The issuer of the asset can set various levels of control that they have of the asset, including having no control at all.


FinTech in Canada Explained

Robo-advisors are no joke, they’re completely changing the industry. Now you can get a professionally managed portfolio at a fraction of the price of mutual funds. It’s not like it’s actual robots running your portfolios, there are real people behind the scenes that have designed portfolios based around ETFs. The general idea is that you answer a series of questions and then a portfolio will be recommended to you. The portfolios are passive and change only happens when certain preset conditions are met. It’s still cheaper to be a DIY investor, but there’s no denying that robo-advisors are a good alternative. Your investments are also protected under the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Don’t worry if you have lots invested, many robo-advisors have additional insurance available that is free.


Will Blockchain Technology Revolutionize the Banking Industry?

Given the unique capabilities of blockchain, it is no surprise that financial organizations are actively exploring its use in a variety of potential applications. They can, for example, use it to enable faster processing time, gain greater insight into market moves, increase transparency and compliance, and substantially lower costs. According to a report co-authored by Santander, it’s estimated that blockchain technology could reduce banks' infrastructure costs alone by up to $20 billion a year. There are broader applications of blockchain across other industries, as evidenced by the fact that investments and funding of blockchain-related start-ups had grown from US$298 million in 2014 to almost US$460 million. The potential exists to transform any transaction where speed, trusted and reconciled data, and secure handling of payments.


Public blockchains gaining acceptance at Bank of Japan’s Payment and Settlement Forum

“When digital currencies become to be widely used, people will not have to have bank accounts for payment purposes.” Commercial banks could become “unable to provide ‘finality’ to payments,” Hoki states. In this scenario, non-bank financial intermediation “might become more pronounced,” he claimed, and the possibility of using public-type DLTs for fund settlements will subsequently be undeniable. A discussion about financial blockchain applications followed Koji's presentation. Ryu Takaki, an Associate Partner at IBM Japan, Ltd, raised various issues including anonymity, transparency, delayed finality, and maintaining mining incentives.


How the ‘third unbundling’ is disrupting traditional business

The third unbundling is reshaping entire industries, as businesses break down enormous operating structures into smaller, more agile and innovative units. As with most transformational trends, this idea is heavily rooted in Silicon Valley thinking – where companies think big and think disruptive, asking the question, ‘How can we challenge the big institutions that are forcing us to do things in a certain way?’ The ‘Silicon Valley’ mind-set takes the view that by using the right people, processes, tools and technologies, it is possible to remake whole industries for the better. The services and suppliers that are causing unnecessary hassle in people’s lives are disassembled and then remade as ‘customer first’ businesses.


Why Compliance is a Key Element in Fintech

Consider a case where a client’s fraudulent scheme placate a financial institution. If they willfully defects to file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR), then by default it will be flagged as the co-conspirator and becomes liable to litigation. This renders a clear message for fintech companies to possess higher accountability for actions which it may have otherwise neglected. CCOs (Chief Compliance Officers) will be under the constant burden to substantiate that their ventures are on track and compliant with the rules. Hence, nowadays they primarily come up with sandbox protocols for testing required compliance issues. To augment it, they are creating internal control processes to analyze Currency Transaction Reports (CTRs) and SARs. Regular audits are invoked to rejuvenate the regulatory updates to the concerned officials.


How to prevent your IoT devices from being forced into botnet bondage

Some of the problem stems from inherent limitations characterizing IoTdevices. “Device constraints preventagents such as antimalware, antivirus and firewall to be run on the device to protect itself, thus, traditional IT security practices are difficult to deploy on IoT devices,” says Preetham Naik, business development expert at Subex. These constraints include computation and storage limitations, as well as the use of stripped-down versions of known operating systems such as Linux. As Zeifman points out, the combination of advanced computing capabilities, high connectivity and lackluster security makes IoT devices “perfect candidates for botnetrecruiters.” Also relevant is the mostly autonomous nature of IoT devices.


Debunking the most common big data backup and recovery myths

Big data has become a priority for most organizations, which are increasingly aware of the central role data can play in their success. But firms continue to struggle with how to best protect, manage and analyze data within today's modern architectures. Not doing so can result in extended downtime and potential data loss costing the organization millions of dollars. Unlike traditional data platforms (Oracle, SQL*Server, etc.), which are managed by IT professionals, big data platforms (Hadoop, Cassandra, Couchbase, HPE Vertica, etc.) are often managed by engineers or DevOps groups and there are some common misconceptions around big data backup and recovery that need to be cleared up.


So your company’s been hacked: How to handle the aftermath

"Companies are getting hacked left and right. When you get to the point where every day you read about another major company getting hacked and your reaction is, like, 'OK,' then that's a really, really big problem. People are apathetic about cyber security. We have a serious problem. "It's not like we use devices only as a tool. They have become part of daily life and we rely on them. We have shifted to where have so many different types of systems -- from banking to healthcare to transit and the power grid." Cohen Wood believes companies need to educate workers about cyber threats and that IT shops need to assiduously stay on top of cyber threats with a shed of tools. She's also concerned that the major university computer science programs in the U.S. are failing to do nearly enough to prepare IT workers and coders with cyber security courses.


The 3 Biggest Mistakes In Cybersecurity

Cyber security is not an IT problem. It is a risk management problem. This is easier to understand in you work in a regulated industry. There, the concept, language, even governance of risk management is part of the daily lexicon. Not so with small and mid-market business less familiar with the risk management function. It doesn’t help that the very nature of the threat and the way the “payload” of the attack is delivered is via information technologies. It almost makes sense to have IT deal with cyber security. But the victims are not the computers. The victims are the businesses and their people. More importantly: A company’s Information Technology generates Value. It does so a myriad different ways depending on the business you are in, from the actual delivery of goods to clients to complementing, enhancing, and realizing the mission and vision of the company



Quote for the day:


"If Columbus had turned back, no one would have blamed him. Of course, no one would have remembered him either." -- Unknown