Blockchain Beyond Banking


first_imgK.R. Sanjiv is the Chief Technology Officer for Wipro Limited. The views expressed in this article are his own and his employer does not subscribe to the substance or veracity of these views. ToyBox and PlayTable Partner Together For Block… K.R. SanjivChief Technology Officer for Wipro Limited Thanks to all the media attention surrounding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology is commonly associated with finance. But that’s too narrow a vision of this technology’s true capability — the concept of a digitally signed and distributed ledger is universally applicable to business processes.Blockchain technology serves as an objective, technologically sound way to eliminate the middleman from many different kinds of exchanges. And when a step in a process becomes nonessential, removing it becomes obvious, granting businesses immense potential to streamline operations in many ways; we’re already seeing the technology appear in industries like retail, supply chains, and more.To put it simply, blockchain technology will proliferate industries far and wide at a speed that will leave consumers and business leaders struggling to keep pace. The change in the air has potential to cannibalize existing revenue streams and create new revenue streams; companies that don’t start implementing it will soon find themselves losing to competition.Capitalizing on the BlockchainExecutives implementing blockchain into their businesses are starting to see several operational improvements, including:1. Lower operating costs: The blockchain acts as an intermediary, so there’s no need for a middleman to facilitate direct transactions. Smart contracts streamline processes, making them more cost-effective for businesses.2. Reduced defects: A shared ledger improves confidence of both buyers and sellers. It can be a boon for legitimate businesses.3. Decreased cycle times: Smart contracts operate on an IFTTT basis. In other words, if the agreed-upon conditions are met (as verified by every node on the network), an action is triggered automatically and instantly. This greatly reduces verification times, which can bottleneck execution speeds.These benefits are important, but perhaps they’re not as revolutionary as one of the foremost changes blockchain beyond banking brings: opening up new streams for revenue generation.Consider, for instance, SWIFT, a financial messaging services provider: In 2017, SWIFT launched a Proof of Concept designed to streamline cross-border payments. This is important because these payments account for nearly half of global payments. The current protocol is slow-moving, especially among the unbanked, and exchange rates can fluctuate greatly in the time between when a payment is sent and received.Unbanked individuals themselves present another opportunity for blockchain technology to create new revenue streams. For example, it’s easier to get a cell phone than a bank account. Because of this, there are nearly five times as many mobile phones in the world as bank accounts (5 billion versus 1.2 billion). That means telecom service providers can capitalize on this imbalance by accepting cryptocurrencies for remittances. Not only will they generate more revenue, but they’ll also save money on bank transaction fees.We see this technology spilling over into entertainment, too. Smart contracts — legal agreements based on blockchain technology that pay out artists’ royalties automatically — are poised to revolutionize the music industry.Two of the biggest pain points in music are digital rights management and royalty payments. An analysis by the Institute for Policy Innovation estimates global piracy costs the music industry $12.5 billion annually. This is due to businesses playing songs and consumers listening without either party paying, but blockchain has potential to become the core aggregator that solves these issues. With a distributed ledger containing set terms for usage of a recorded file, every transfer and play can be tracked. This streamlines the process to ensure both the artist and recording studio can accurately track a song’s reach and collect revenues accordingly.Going further, several organizations, including major utility companies, are working to develop blockchain energy solutions for a peer-to-peer energy network — a concept never seen (nor possible) before shared digital ledgers came into existence. It seems like a natural evolution as so many homes and commercial buildings are now equipped with energy-generating solar panels. In fact, the electric companies could cut bankers out of the equation much like telecom and simply trade energy with consumers on the blockchain.This is about as distilled as the model can become, as cryptocurrency tokens’ values are affected by the amount of energy consumed to generate them. The above article from The Guardian notes that several startups, like Power Ledger, are working on a platform for exactly that. Another, LO3 Energy, is launching a green energy microgrid in Brooklyn, New York, based on blockchain technology as well.And what does this mean for business? From the looks of it, some existing revenue streams may be threatened as blockchain’s prevalence grows. Banks, for example, may find a good chunk of their transaction fees substantially reduced (or even eliminated) because of blockchain technology replacing them as the middleman — forcing banks to look for new revenue opportunities. In the digital world, businesses will likely see cross-disciplines emerge; for example, telecoms and internet service providers have good knowledge of customers, which could be leveraged for financial products.While cryptocurrency gets all the media attention, the underlying blockchain technology is quickly being adopted into more industries than you can imagine. If this rate of progress and investment is sustained, it’s going to be extremely disruptive in as little as just a few years from now. Business executives need to start paying attention and launching pilot programs as quickly as possible to adopt to this change.Blockchain technology goes far beyond cryptocurrencies, and it’s set to disrupt so much more than just financial institutions. The use cases abound, and the benefits are clear — and if that’s the case, what’s stopping you from getting started? Related Posts Tags:#Blockchain How Blockchain Changes Nowadays Business Security Why is Bitcoin Soaring? Blockchain – Impending Revolution in Glob…last_img read more

Must-Know Filmmaking and Music Trends for 2018


first_imgIn their Creative Trends 2018 report, Shutterstock reveals the most-searched keywords for royalty-free footage and music.All images via Shutterstock.Whether you sell them stock footage or simply license royalty-free video clips and music, the global marketplace Shutterstock has released their report on the biggest Creative Trends of 2018. This report details how some keywords have seen an astronomical increase in searches.It’s worth knowing about these trends, as you may find yourself tasked with creating a video using some of these trending topics. More importantly, you have the opportunity to sell any trending footage you might own through Shutterstock’s contributor platform. So here’s what you need to know to make some money — or start working on some trending projects.Major Trend 1: FantasyWhether it’s for a traditional fantasy like Game of Thrones or the modern horror-fantasy crossover Stranger Things, people have increased their searches for mystical creatures massively. Terms like “unicorn” are up 297 percent and “mermaid” 145 percent.In terms of music, there seems to be a crossover in this genre. Epic orchestral music continues to grow in popularity, but the synthwave soundtrack to Stranger Things has seen an even greater boost, as synthwave sound has increased 494 percent.You can check out the Shutterstock Fantasy footage collection here.Here are some royalty-free playlists worth a listen:’80s Synth MixtapeStrange ’80s Synth Music for Horror and Fantasy FilmsImmersive Epic Music Major Trend 3: New MinimalismFor filmmakers, new minimalism isn’t only about images — it’s also about creating clean lines and bold looks. With increases in the search terms “continuous line” up 432 percent and “neon circle” up 387 percent, this look represents a rising public interest, reflected in films like John Wick, Atomic Blonde, and countless music videos. The use of quasar lights has become a standard on many sets, not only because of their affordability but also because of the dynamic look they create.Check out these collections from Shutterstock:New Minimalism imagesNew Minimalism footageNew Minimalism music Major Trend 2: SpaceMaybe you don’t want to live on this planet anymore, or maybe you’re a dreaming of a dystopian sci-fi future — either way, searches for space are on the rise. Searches for “solar” are up 991 percent, and interest in “astro” has increased 671 percent. As with its popularity in the fantasy genre, synthwave continues to dominate — likely based on the incredible score to Blade Runner 2049.Dive into this popular look and these popular sounds:Futuristic Sci-Fi Synth: Royalty Free Music for Ultramodern Noir ThrillersSpace Footage by ShutterstockSpace Music by Shutterstockcenter_img See More Creative TrendsYou can discover all of the 2018 Creative Trends on Shutterstock. The page houses some really beautiful collections of images, footage, and music for each of these trends — as well as many other design-oriented topics. Here’s the full list:Natural LuxuryPunchy PastelsA Global MarchCactusDigital CraftsAncient GeometricsCryptocurrencyHolographic FoilYou can also see trends from around the world based on geography. It’s a really cool dive into Shutterstock data, and I highly recommend giving it a read.last_img read more

No denotified tribes in Tripura: Officials


first_imgAll 19 nomadic tribes of the State have been integrated into the list of Scheduled Tribes, officials of the Tribal Welfare Department told a visiting Central team.Bhiku Ramji Idate, Chairman, Commission of Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes (NCDNT), and member Shravan Singh Rathore paid a three-day visit to Agartala to compile a list of the marginalised tribes in the State.“Officials of the Tribal Welfare Department told us that there are no denotified tribes in Tripura,” said Mr. Rathore.Sunil Debbarma, Director, Tribal Research Institute, confirmed this. He, however, could not say if there are denotified tribes in the other Northeast States.5 dominant clansTribal people constitute 33% of Tripura’s population. Only five of the 19 clans are dominant. During their stay, the Commission members also held meetings with the department officials.The NCDNT, set up by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, examines various developmental aspects of nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes in the country.last_img read more

Assam Budget proposes development corporation for Muslims, gold for brides


first_imgA development corporation for indigenous Muslims and a tola (11.34 gram) for brides of all communities and e-bikes for girl students securing first division in higher secondary exams were among a slew of sops in the ₹1,193.04 crore deficit Budget that Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma presented in the Assembly on Wednesday.The Budget for 2019-20 fiscal has provision to splurge on 160 Hindu temples and monasteries across Assam with a total annual grant of Rs 4.11 crore – a whopping 451% increase from the ₹91.03 lakh for the current fiscal. These religious places would also be provided a one-time grant of ₹1 lakh each to set up CCTV camera for enhanced security.A few mosques and dargahs are among more than 800 religious destinations to be provided ₹10 lakh each for infrastructure improvement. But the focus of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party appears to be on creating a development corporation for the indigenous Muslims, who have been demanding a council like some ethnic groups.According to the 2011 census, Assam has 1.18 crore Muslims, out of which the indigenous or Assamese Muslims are estimated to be 72 lakh. Prior to the 2016 Assembly elections, the BJP had promised to protect the identity of the indigenous Muslims against the larger Bengali-speaking migrant Muslims.Such a development council “will take up various programmes aimed at the holistic development of this section of the society,” Mr. Sarma said in his Budget speech.“Once the corporation is formed, I will immediately allocate a sum of ₹100 crore for taking up various developmental and employment-related activities,” he added.Gold for bridesThe Finance Minister announced a ‘golden gift’ for brides of all communities who customarily provide gold at the time of the wedding. The facility will be for economically weaker sections with an annual income of below ₹5 lakh.“I am happy to announce that we shall give one tola gold, costing around ₹38,000 today, to brides… The benefit under this scheme can be availed upon formal registration of the marriages under the Special Marriage (Assam) Rules, 1954 and will reach the beneficiaries right in time for the social marriage,” he said. ₹300 crore has been allocated for this scheme named after Arundhati, the wife of sage Vashisht.Mr. Sarma also announced the introduction of a scheme to provide battery-operated e-bikes to all girl students who secure first division or above in their Class 12 examinations for commuting to their places for higher studies.For parents of schoolchildren whose annual income is below ₹2 lakh, the Finance Minister announced an admission fee waiver besides providing free textbooks up to degree level. The scheme, called Gyan Deepika, currently covers up to Class XII.Free riceThe Budget had focussed attention on tea plantation workers, who account for 17% of Assam’s population and are a major vote bank for the BJP.“The government has decided to provide rice, which is presently provided at the rate of Rs 3 per kg, free of cost to 4 lakh families in the tea garden areas as well as 2 kilos of sugar per month,” Mr Sarma said.Beyond the tea estates, 53 lakh households would be provided rice at ₹1 per kg under the Affordable Nutrition and Nourishment Assistance Yojana. The current rate is ₹3 per kg, he said.“We will start the pilot implementation of this scheme from March, for which ₹377 crore has been allocated,” Mr Sarma said.last_img read more

10 months agoRoma defender Manolas back on Man Utd radar


first_imgRoma defender Manolas back on Man Utd radarby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveAS Roma defender Kostas Manolas is back on the radar of Manchester United.TMW says United had Manolas scouted against Juventus.The Greek defender can leave Rome in June and has €36 million release fee.And United representatives were extremely impressed by his performance.The defender has just switched agents – joining Mino Raiola who is famously Paul Pogba’s rep. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

9 months agoDiego Lainez insists choosing Real Betis over Ajax best decision


first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Diego Lainez insists choosing Real Betis over Ajax best decisionby Carlos Volcano9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveDiego Lainez is delighted with his move to Real Betis.The 18 year-old Mexico international chose Betis over Ajax this week as he arrived from Club America.Lainez said, “I’m happy to be part of this great club. Surely it is the best decision I have made. There were other options but it was easy because I wanted to come here. I’m sure it’s a great club. “What I was told by (Lorenzo) Serra Ferrer and Federico (Martínez Feria, the general manager) I saw on Sunday, when I saw the match I saw a very good feeling because all the fans were encouraging from the minute one until the end. Andrés (Guardado) is very important here. Very happy and happy to be in this great club and now to respond and give the best of me with humility and good football.” last_img read more

6 days agoJuventus boss Sarri unconcerned with Serie A table


first_imgAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say Juventus boss Sarri unconcerned with Serie A tableby Carlos Volcano6 days agoSend to a friendShare the loveJuventus boss Maurizio Sarri insists he’s unconcerned with the Serie A table at this stage this season.Juve meet Bologna this weekend.Sarri said, “We’re not interested in the table at this stage, we must be aiming to get better and better.“What happened at San Siro no longer matters. I want to see my players focused on a difficult match because the international break is always dangerous.“It seems cliched, but removing a player from one context, that being the club, and putting them in another can create problems: it’s not easy to bounce from one style of play to another.“I don’t know if the game against Inter changed anyone’s mind about us. Scepticism towards me is something I’ve always lived with, and I don’t mind it that much.” last_img read more

Government Settles All Judgement Debts


first_imgStory Highlights The Government has settled all judgement debts due at the end of the 2017/18 fiscal year, made possible through a provision of $1.309 billion from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service. The Minister also noted that for the previous fiscal year (2017/2018), the Government disbursed compensation to 418 persons affected by the May 2010 security forces operations in West Kingston. He pointed out that the Ministry did not incur these debts, but had to satisfy them from its budgetary allocation. The Government has settled all judgement debts due at the end of the 2017/18 fiscal year, made possible through a provision of $1.309 billion from the Ministry of Finance and the Public Service.Minister of Justice, Hon. Delroy Chuck, who made the announcement during his contribution to the 2018/19 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 22, said the Government was able to settle all 303 matters.“All matters submitted from the Attorney General’s Chambers were paid.  We owe nothing! In fact, up to last Friday, May 18, we were able to pay up all our debts… 56 matters totalling just over $78 million,” he said.The Minister also noted that for the previous fiscal year (2017/2018), the Government disbursed compensation to 418 persons affected by the May 2010 security forces operations in West Kingston.He said the Ministry paid out $55.84 million to victims directly and transferred $134.57 million to the Administrator General’s Department to compensate the estates of deceased persons.Meanwhile, Mr. Chuck noted that while the Government satisfies its indebtedness for negligence and misconduct of public servants, he is urging the police, medical personnel and other public servants to act with due care and precaution in exercising their duties.He pointed out that the Ministry did not incur these debts, but had to satisfy them from its budgetary allocation.last_img read more

JSW Steel to raise up to 400 mn


first_imgNew Delhi: JSW Steel on Tuesday said it will raise up to $400 million through the external commercial borrowing (ECB) route. The Finance Committee of the board of directors of JSW Steel has approved the issuance of fixed rate senior unsecured notes aggregating to $400 million and has approved the pricing, tenure and other terms of the notes, it said in a regulatory filing. “The company intends to use all the proceeds for capital expenditure or any other purpose in accordance with the ECB guidelines,” it said. JSW Steel said the bonds have been rated Ba2 by Moody’s Investor Service and BB (EXP) by Fitch Ratings. The notes, bearing interest rate of 5.375 per cent per annum, to be payable semi-annually has been set for allotment date of October 4, 2019 and maturity date of April 4, 2025. The notes will be listed on the Singapore Exchange Securities Trading, the company said.last_img read more