Top startup news for today, Friday, December 14

Noken, a trip inspiration app, has secured $2.5 million led by Bessemer Venture Partners, the oldest U.S. venture firm. The startup had previously …

Good morning! Here are some of the top technology startup news stories for today, Friday, December 14.

Travel startup Noken raises $2.5 million for trip planning.Noken, a trip inspiration app, has secured $2.5 million led by Bessemer Venture Partners, the oldest U.S. venture firm. The startup had previously raised a half-million-dollar seed round. Noken, which relaunched in November after a pivot, gives travelers, especially millennials, advice on visiting Iceland, Portugal, and Japan — with more nations to come. Founded in 2017 by Emily Brockway and Marc Escapa, Noken build curated trips to new countries that adapt to your budget and dates and introduce people to a new country. Travelers can adapt a Noken Travel Blueprint based on their budgets and timelines and book their accommodations, experiences and transportation. These Travel Blueprints balance helpful guidance with the ability to create your own adventure, introducing travelers to the country’s iconic landmarks as well as local gems. Noken gives travelers the best of both worlds: the liberation from countless hours of planning and the guidance on the ground to meet a new country.

Security platform TokenSoft acquires interest in Broker-Dealer to expand client service offerings to meet growing market demand. TokenSoft, the blockchain startup that build tools to help companies join the tokenized economy,announced its investment in a broker-dealer registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), now renamed as TokenSoft Global Markets, LLC. In addition to its investment, TokenSoft has the ability to acquire 100% of TokenSoft Global Markets, subject to regulatory approval. TokenSoft Global Markets will expand the range of services available to TokenSoft clients, including referrals to exchanges or brokers, custody solutions, or private placements services. Founded this year, TokenSoft offers a suite of technology and security products that enables companies to use digital assets as a growth strategy.

Design Marketplace Minted raises $208 million Series E funding to fuel expansion. As we reported yesterday, Minted, a venture-backed design marketplace that crowdsources graphic designs and content from a global design community, has closed $208 in million Series E financing to expand into new channels and reach more consumers. The investments were led by Permira’s Brian Ruder, Co-Head of Technology and Partner, and T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.’s Henry Ellenbogen, portfolio manager of T. Rowe Price New Horizons Fund. Prior to its Series E, Minted had raised $91 million from Ridge Ventures, Benchmark Capital, Norwest Venture Partners, Technology Crossover Ventures, and Menlo Ventures. To date, Minted has raised over $297.1 million in funding over 6 rounds. Their latest funding was raised on Dec 14, 2018 from a Series E round, according to publicly available funding data.

Chinese startup VIPKid partners with City of Chicago to enhance Mandarin Language Programming at Chicago Public Schools. Mayor Rahm Emanuel and VIPKid announced a partnership to expand Mandarin Chinese learning opportunities through VIPKid’s Mandarin platform, Lingo Bus. VIPKid will offer Chicago Public Schools students free, real-time, online immersive courses, as well as a virtual pen pal program with students in China. Founded in 2013 and formally launched in 2014, VIPKid has become China’s market-leading online education startup, attracting investment from Tencent, Coatue Management, Sequoia Capital, Sinovation Ventures, Yunfeng Capital, Matrix Partners, Learn Capital, Northern Light VC and Bryant Stibel, among others.

Harvard Business School’s online initiative HBX, launches Scaling Ventures, a course to help startup founders and senior leaders navigate rapid scaling and change. As we reported yesterday, Harvard Business School’s online initiative, HBX, has launched “Scaling Ventures,” a new eight-week live, interactive online course program to help startup founders and senior leaders successfully scale. Scaling Ventures will be taught by Harvard Business School (HBS) entrepreneurial management professors and seasoned entrepreneurs Shikhar Ghosh and Jeffrey Rayport. The eight-week course will take place via a live, interactive online classroom that brings HBS’s famed case method to life. The cost for the eight-week course is $4,500.

Hybrid blockchain platform Orbs raises $15 million in cryptocurrency led by South Korea’s Kakao. Hybrid blockchain platform Orbs has raised over $15 million in cryptocurrency with help from South Korean app provider Kakao. Orbs raised 139,000 ether ($12,371,000) and 892 bitcoin ($3,017,026), which amounts to about $15.4 million as of press time. Orbs will use the new capital for research, as well as continuing to develop its core technology. Founded in 2017 by Daniel Peled, Tal Kol, and Uriel Peled, the Tel Aviv, Israel-based Orbs is a blockchain Infrastructure as a Service for established consumer brands. Orbs provides the blockchain infrastructure that makes it possible for established consumer brands to transition their millions of existing users to the new decentralized economy. The Orbs platform is a blockchain Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for large scale consumer applications. Orbs provides the infrastructure for decentralized applications in a similar manner to existing cloud computing platforms which provide the infrastructure for centralized applications.


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Binance Academy: The New Platform to Learn More about Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform volume wise, has launched a new platform that aims to help new users become more familiar …
Binance Academy: The New Platform to Learn More about Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies

Binance, the largest cryptocurrency exchange platform volume wise, has launched a new platform that aims to help new users become more familiar with not only cryptocurrency but also the blockchain technology.

This move will be set to action by the help of Binance Academy, the company’s education platform, to help users get more familiar with the technology. Binance Academy features a wide range of explainer pieces and is available in 15 different languages including French, German, Spanish Russian and Chinese. On this platform you’ll fine over 450 videos and articles with information on important concepts such as, “History of Blockchain’’ and “Mining’’.

The academy is currently divided into four major categories:

  • Blockchain
  • Economy
  • Security
  • Tutorials

It also has a separate glossary segment for those who want to catch up on the most common terms used in the crypto space.

The digital exchange platform aims to attract new investors who usually turn to YouTube or other educational platforms on the internet. Another good thing is that the platform also has a page where first time visitors can suggest topics for future explainers.

Binance and the Blockchain TechnologyBinance and the Blockchain Technology

Binance and the Blockchain Technology

With the rate at which cryptocurrencies are gaining popularity, Binance is right to want to remain the largest exchange platform in the market. The company is continuously trying to push forward in the crypto space.

Mid this year the company launched a $1 billion fund to support the growth of startup companies in the industry. The Academy is Binance’s latest launch in the series projects happening day by day on the platform.

The Academy is a non-profit, and therefore it is more likely to attract new investors to its digital coins exchange platform.

Every time a new investor wants to join the crypto ecosystem, the first advice they get is that they should invest a very small percentage of assets, -assets that they are willing to lose in case things don’t go as anticipated.

This new service on Binance will not just stand as a marketing strategy but will help educate users and investors about the basic tenets of the technology.

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Zcoin Goes Live with Highly Anticipated Merkle Tree Proofs to Democratize Cryptocurrency Mining

MTP is a Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm which aims to level the playing field for cryptocurrency miners by fighting against crypto mining centralization …

MTP is a Proof of Work (PoW) algorithm which aims to level the playing field for cryptocurrency miners by fighting against crypto mining centralization like ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) farms. It was first described in an academic paper called Egalitarian Computing by Alex Biryukov and Dmitry Khovratovich.

“We are excited to be the first cryptocurrency to pioneer MTP on a blockchain network and see this as a necessary step in our fight to bring back fair distribution to crypto mining. In the early stages of cryptocurrency, we need to find solutions which prevent those with sufficient resources like ASICs to gain an unfair advantage over the network and push out the everyday crypto user,” says Reuben Yap, COO of Zcoin.

ASICs which are designed to mine for cryptocurrencies greatly outperform general purpose computing like CPUs (Central Processing Unit) or even GPUs (Graphics Processing Units) in both speed and efficiency.

MTP is a memory-hard algorithm which uses a large amount of RAM intensively, significantly increasing the cost of ASIC development and limits their advantage over common hardware devices like CPUs and GPUs.

MTP creates a system based on egalitarian computing, giving everyday users an equal opportunity to mine for cryptocurrency and deterring automated large-scale attacks. A fair mining system leads to a wider and fairer distribution of coins, which is important if a cryptocurrency is to gain traction. Ensuring that people can mine with widely available hardware combats censorship, miner centralization, and potential 51% attacks.

There are also plans for Zcoin to further improve MTP, for example in reducing its proof sizes and further evaluating its ASIC resistance.

About Zcoin:

Zcoin (XZC) is an open source, decentralised privacy coin that focuses on achieving privacy and anonymity for its users while transacting on the blockchain. It is the first full implementation of the Zerocoin Protocol, which allows users to have complete privacy over their transactions via zero-knowledge cryptographic proofs. It also is the first coin to implement the Dandelion protocol to prevent IP addresses from being tied to a particular transaction to protect a user’s identity.

Media contact

Rachael De Foe

Email: rachael@yapglobal.com

Mobile: +44-74444209929

Telegram (@rachdefoe)

SOURCE Zcoin

Related Links

https://zcoin.io

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Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market 2018-2023 By Chain, Coinbase, Ripple, Baidu, Alibaba …

Global Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market Report 2018-2023, describes an in-depth evaluation and professional study on the present and …

Global Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market 2018-2023

Global Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market Report 2018-2023, describes an in-depth evaluation and professional study on the present and future state of the Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market across the globe, including valuable facts and figures. Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market report provides a comprehensive overview of Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market including definitions, Scope, Segment by Type, Production and CAGR (%) Comparison, Share, Application, Region, Revenue Status and Outlook, Capacity, Production Status and Outlook, Consumption, Export, Import, Growth Rate, Market Drivers and Opportunities, Emerging Markets/Countries.

Request For Sample Copy of Reporthttps://www.marketsresearch.biz/report/20182023-global-blockchain-supply-chain-finance-market-200881#request-sample

The Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market report analyses major data that helps Market/Industry experts, analysts and business call manufacturers to choose their business ways and attain planned business aims. The report compares this knowledge with this Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market state of the market and so discuss the forthcoming trends that have brought the Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market transformation.

This Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market report is studied with primary as well as secondary research of the Global Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market. The Global Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market in detail and presents overall forecasts regarding the market’s growth rate during the forecast period (2018–2023). The Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market report is based on Manufacturers, CAGR for each region for Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market and product distribution is their respect to region.

Manufacturers/Key Players have taken on a deciding role in the Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market in forecast years owing to the expansion of Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market sector. Dominant Key players in the Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market are:

Tecent

Chain

Coinbase

Ripple

Baidu

Alibaba

Libra

Chained Finance

With respect to various specification such as Basic Information, Manufacturing Base, Sales Area and Its Competitors. Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market Capacity, Production, Revenue, Price and Gross Margin. Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market Product Category, Application and Specification.

Global Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market sort By Product type

Debt Financing

Equity Financing

Global Blockchain Supply Chain Finance Market sort by End Industry

Traditional Enterprise

Financial Institution

Browse Full Report Herehttps://www.marketsresearch.biz/report/20182023-global-blockchain-supply-chain-finance-market-200881

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Allianz Global Investors CEO: Cryptocurrencies Should be Made Illegal

The legitimacy and efficacy of the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology industry has been a hot topic of debate among governments and leading …

The legitimacy and efficacy of the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology industry has been a hot topic of debate among governments and leading financial institutions in recent years. In spite of the growing global movement to invest in popular digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, some major key players remain unconvinced and even hostile towards its official regulation.

According to a recent publication, Andreas Utterman, CEO of Allianz Global Investors, has stated that cryptocurrencies in their entirety should not be regulated. On the contrary, Utterman believes that the European Union should instead move to have the digital phenomenon outlawed across the region.

Allianz

He recently voiced his position to the head of the Financial Conduct Authority in Britain, stating

“Cryptocurrency should be outlawed. I am surprised that regulators haven’t put in more effort in the industry.”

For those unaware, Allianz Global Investors are a leading asset management organization that are responsible for 500 billion Euros in client funds. The company employs close to 3,000 staff members and have offices in over 20 jurisdictions.

The Current General Consensus

The general consensus at the moment appears to lean towards stringent regulation to oversee the application and usage of cryptocurrencies in the European marketplace. For example, the European Union explained in 2015 that “virtual currency is a digital representation of value, not issued by a central bank, credit institution or e-money institution, which, in some circumstances, can be used as an alternative to money”, subsequently illustrating that cryptocurrencies should be viewed as a form of currency.

Moreover, recent discussions on the upcoming European Union 5th Money Laundering Directive have made specific reference to regulating cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

At the recent G20 summit, this positon was reinforced by 20 of the largest economies who came to the consensus that cryptocurrencies will be regulated but not banned. It was stated that “Cryptocurrencies will be regulated for anti-money laundering and to counter funding terrorism in accordance with the FATF standards. We will also give consideration to other responses needed.”

Individuals like Utterman who believe that cryptocurrencies should be made illegal are largely concerned that it will be used for illegitimate business transactions and may allow for the perpetration of fraudulent activity.

Bitcoin Money Laundering

Read: Bitcoin and Money Laundering: Complete Guide to Worldwide Regulations

Interestingly, the nature of blockchain technology is such that individuals will still be able to transact regardless of whether their government decides to regulate the platform or not. The impressive security and transaction speed offered by cryptocurrencies means that demand for it is unlikely to fall anytime soon.

Other financial instructions do not follow the same sentiment

Utterman’s position on the legitimacy of cryptocurrencies might be viewed as compelling, being the head of a global hedge fund. Nevertheless, other major financial institutions do not follow the same sentiment. For example, in July 2018, it was reported that global hedge fund Northern Trust were looking to involve their private equity division into blockchain assets. The financial institution, who currently manage in excess of $950 billion worth of client funds, also mentioned that they are looking to facilitate institutional scale custodianship services.

In a further blow to Utterman’s viewpoints, the Securities and Exchange Commission, who regulate the U.S. financial markets, are currently in the process of reviewing an application for the world’s first ever Bitcoin exchange traded fund (ETF). If the U.S. based regulator approve the application, which has been fronted by the Chicago Board Options Exchange, will provide the cryptocurrency industry with a significant element of legitimacy. As a result, Utterman’s comments regarding an outright ban of the digital currency arena may become somewhat redundant.

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