"This time around, traditional bank-to-bank competition is not the issue. This new wave of competition is coming from both nimble, innovative, cloud- and mobile-first startups as well as the major technology players largely unencumbered by policy and regulation." This is how David Lynch, managing director at Hong Kong-based DBS Bank, describes the current state of play in the global banking sector, with traditional banks vulnerable to the latest wave of innovation coming from startups across the world. Some of the biggest names in tech are coming to TNW Conference in Amsterdam this May. "These companies are able to arbitrage their own scale and customer reach to create new revenue streams," he says.
Technology is and has always been a crucial part of finance. From the first promissory notes (banknotes) in the Netherlands and China, there was a race with counterfeiters that parasitically undermined trust. As in political communication, technology is the message, rather than merely "a tool": when it comes to money, trust is not just instrumental, it is fundamental. With cashless payments being the norm and social media platforms weαving an additional layer of involvement in our social data web – Amazon, Google, Facebook, Apple – Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already in our wallets, business, and financial affairs. In a non-western setting, one may refer to the Chinese "social rating" system, which allows the state to value and evaluate social behaviour patterns, creating a link to individual credit rating.
In an effort to spur development and innovation on the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain, VC investment fund Permissionless Ventures is holding a series of hackathon contests called BCH DEVCON around the world. The first will take place on October 10-11th as part of San Francisco Blockchain Week (SFBW), followed later by events in Amsterdam (October 27-28th), Israel, Japan, South Korea, and India. Also see: Is a Bitcoin ETF Approval Closer with New SEC Appointee? BCH DEVCON is offering 10 BCH plus investment by Permissionless Ventures for the first-place getter, 5 BCH for the second and 1 BCH for third. Participants will also benefit from the attention they receive from SFBW's 5,000 attendees, plus direct mentorship and advice from representatives of Bitcoin ABC, Coinbase, MoneyButton, and Bitbox.
StormX, the Blockchain-powered adtech and micro-task innovators, today announced the plans for integration of the Bancor Protocol, a standard for autonomously convertible Blockchain cryptocurrencies and other tokens called Smart Tokens . The collaboration will allow STORM tokens to be converted to and from ETH and other tokens in the Bancor Network, directly from a simple web application. The protocol enables Smart Tokens to be purchased or sold directly through the tokens' smart contracts, without any counterparty. This newly embedded functionality in the STORM token will enhance user experience by offering additional stability thanks to an algorithmic price determining mechanism. Guy Benartzi, Bancor Co-Founder and member of StormX's Board of Advisors, said: "The addition of STORM tokens to the Bancor Network is a great pleasure for us as another step towards autonomous convertibility between all cryptocurrencies.