Sri Lanka’s Hatton National Bank selects Infosys Finacle for block-chain based transaction

New Delhi: Sri Lanka-based Hatton National Bank has selected its Finacle Trade Connect, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infosys, to enable a …

New Delhi: Sri Lanka-based Hatton National Bank has selected its Finacle Trade Connect, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Infosys, to enable a blockchain-based domestic and cross-border trade finance network.

The Finacle Trade Connect solution will be used by HNB to pilot a trade network with other corresponding banking partners and its corporate clients. The network is expected to help HNB and other participating entities substantially increase automation and transparency, while efficiently managing risks in trade and supply chain financing operations, Insosys said in a statement.

Banks will be secure from technology evolution risks as the Finacle Trade Connect is agnostic to underlying blockchain infrastructure such as Hyper ledger, Corda, Ethereum and Bitcoin, Infosys added.

“Blockchain technology offers unprecedented opportunities to transform banking, with advantages increasing exponentially with increased collaboration. We have pioneered multiple solutions to help our clients take advantage of this emerging technology to realize real business benefits,” Sanat Rao, Chief Business Officer, Infosys Finacle, said.

Finacle solutions address the core banking, omnichannel banking, payments, treasury, origination, liquidity management, Islamic banking, wealth management, analytics, artificial intelligence, and blockchain requirements of financial institutions.

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Ripple Announces $100 Million Blockchain Gaming Fund with Forte

The company behind the XRP digital currency has announced plans to integrate blockchain technology with video gaming. To facilitate development …

The company behind the XRP digital currency has announced plans to integrate blockchain technology with video gaming. To facilitate development on the project Ripple will be working with Forte, a startup founded this year and backed by Coinbase Ventures, Battery Ventures, and other prominent Silicon Valley investors.

Amongst other things the goal of the project will be to bring greater efficiency to in-game marketplaces using blockchain technology. The current methods used by players to trade in-game assets are often legally questionable and sales take place using third-party services such as eBay.

Ripple to Move into the Gaming Industry

Broadening their horizons beyond strictly the financial sphere, digital currency company Ripple has announced intentions to move into the video gaming industry. The firm behind the divisive XRP currency has announced that it will be working with San Francisco-based Forte to pursue the development of marketplaces to allow for the sale of scarce digital items found in many games.

As part of the effort to move into gaming, Ripple has announced a $100 million fund. This will be distributed to game developers of titles with more than 50,000 active users. According to a report in Fortune, a senior executive at Ripple’s Xpring development department, Ethan Beard, stated that these payments would be made in XRP and could be millions of dollars each.

Beard went on to comment on the integration of blockchain technology with video games:

“Video games have long been quick to adopt new technology, from console to the PC to mobile. Now, blockchain will help game designers who’ve had a hard time facilitating an economy that can serve all types of players.”

Games like World of Warcraft lack built-in marketplaces to trade rare items.

The premise of a marketplace for trading digital items within a game has already been tried a few times previously but with little lasting success. Perhaps most famous was the example of CryptoKitties, a collectable game built on the Ethereum network in which players had to collect digital cats.

The game proved highly popular initially and some of the rarest felines traded for thousands of dollars. However, it also served to highlight the shortcomings of the Ethereum network itself. At the height of CryptoKitties’s popularity, the number of transactions associated with the game contributed heavily to a huge transaction backlog at the end of 2017.

Former Facebook executive and current Chief Platform Executive of Forte, Brett Seyer, had the following to say about taking the idea demonstrated by CryptoKitties steps further:

“CryptoKitties introduced what a blockchain could do. It showed the benefit of having a public record of transactions people could trust, and how an in-game economy is well suited to blockchain.”

A similar effort was made by Major League Baseball. The professional sporting association created MLB Crypto last year. However, like CryptoKitties, it has remained niche owing to technical barriers to entry associated with running Ethereum dApps.

Examples such a CryptoKitties and MLB crypto provide reasonable proof-of-concept but being entirely one dimensional in gameplay, they lack the kind of widespread appeal of more popular existing titles. We can infer from the fact that Ripple has mentioned would-be recipients of shares of the $100 million developer fund need to have active user bases that it will be targeting established franchises for blockchain integration, rather than attempting to build games from the ground up. This could see another widespread use case for the much-hyped technology.

Related Reading:Can Ethereum’s ERC721 Standard Reshape the Blockchain Gaming Industry?

Featured Images from Shutterstock.

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Ripple’s Xpring and Forte Establish $100 Mln Fund to Support Blockchain in Gaming

Ripple’s developer ecosystem project Xpring and game industry blockchain platform Forte have jointly established a $100 million fund to support …

Ripple’s developer ecosystem project Xpring and game industry blockchain platform Forte have jointly established a $100 million fund to support game developers. The news was announced in a press release published on March 12.

The initiative is designed to bolster the mass adoption of blockchain technology in the game industry through the increase of engagement and monetization with players. Forte is reportedly targeting game developers running live games economies with more than 50,000 daily active users and an interest in blockchain deployment. Brett Seyler, Chief Platform Officer at Forte said:

“Blockchain technologies’ key innovations unlock vast potential for nearly all forms of digital interaction. Gaming is a $140 billion global industry driven predominantly by digital micro-transaction economies, which we believe will benefit immensely from the integrity and resilience of blockchain technology.”

Forte’s products reportedly use the open-source Interledger Protocol with Ripple’s XRP token and the container-based hosting solution Codius, which purportedly facilitates cross-chain transactions.

Forte is a San Francisco-based blockchain startup backed by such big industry players as venture fund Andreessen Horowitz, early-stage capital firm Canaan Partners and Coinbase Ventures among others. Xpring is Ripple’s initiative to create a community of developers, entrepreneurs and companies engaged in blockchain technology.

Blockchain has been gradually making inroads into the game industry. Recently, Ethereum (ETH)-based digital asset tokenization startup Enjin announced it will launch a Software Development Kit for leading game development engine Unity. This will purportedly allow Unity developers to create, integrate and manage the distribution of ERC1155-compliant tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.

In February, blockchain company HashCash Consultants announced a partnership with an undisclosed Australian video game developer to roll out its white label cryptocurrency exchange and tokenization services for the gaming industry.

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Ethereum’s ProgPoW Mining Change to Be Considered for Istanbul Upgrade

The code designed to enact ethereum’s next system-wide upgrade, Istanbul, may feature the inclusion of a controversial mining algorithm said to allow …

The code designed to enact ethereum’s next system-wide upgrade, Istanbul, may feature the inclusion of a controversial mining algorithm said to allow for broader participation in its network.

Discussed Tuesday during a meeting of project managers working on the world’s second-largest blockchain, Ethereum Improvement Proposal (EIP) 1057, also known as Progressive Proof-of-Work (ProgPoW), has been long debated. On one side are those who believe it will limit large miners from dominating the $655 million annual market for new ether issuance, on the other are those who believe it does not go far enough in leveling access.

Now, with a recent hard fork successfully activated in late February, discussions on ProgPoW appear to be back in full swing. As suggested by Tim Beiko in Tuesday’s call, ProgPoW will be raised as a formal agenda item for discussion among core developers in a call this Friday.

Those assembled on Tuesday’s call said they plan to push for EIP 10557 to be included, should two third-party audits find no technical reasons for a delay.

Beiko said:

“In the worst case, if the audit comes with a huge red flag in it, we can pull that EIP out before Istanbul but assuming that everything goes well, we’ve already done the work … and the audit is just validation afterwards.”

Encouraging this suggestion to be raised to ethereum’s core developers, developer Lane Rettig estimated that the final EIP approval deadline for all Istanbul code changes would be sometime in mid-May.

“That’s something that would have to be brought up in the next all core devs call,” said Rettig.

Two-part audit

However, as the call shows, the results of the audit, aimed at solidifying the measurable benefits of a mining algorithm change, remain to be seen.

As community relations manager of the Ethereum Foundation Hudson Jameson wrote in a developer chatroom, “As far as the audit goes there are two components: benchmarking and examination of how long/efficient a ProgPoW ASIC would be.”

Jameson explained the audits would serve to “make sure it is even worth it to implement ProgPoW or if ASICs can be made super quickly (like less than nine months) and with more speed increase.”

Such comments acknowledge criticisms shared by investors including Dovey Wan and Martina Long who argue the growing number of ASICs on the ethereum blockchain “is largely a non-issue for ethereum,” especially given the planned switch to a new consensus protocol known as proof-of-stake (PoS).

Other community members see the continued scrutiny of ProgPoW as feet-dragging that is holding back an issue that has already achieved consensus.

Writing on an Ethereum Magicians forum on the ProgPoW audit, user “Anlan” warns:

“The whole point of ProgPoW on [ethereum] is to slow down incoming wave of ASICs and to prepare a more leveled field for any mining device. All [these] delays only give room to ASIC manufacturers to organized a counter-offensive move and prepare for a contentious [hard fork.]”

Mining rigs via Shutterstock

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Bitcoin & Ethereum On A Divergence, Back To November Levels That Prompted Breaking Yearly …

When it comes to the top two cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is currently in the neutral at $3,921 with 24-hours gains of 0.01 percent while Ethereum is up …
Bitcoin-&-Ethereum-on-a-Divergence-Back-to-November-Levels-that-Prompted-Breaking-Yearly-LowsBitcoin-&-Ethereum-on-a-Divergence-Back-to-November-Levels-that-Prompted-Breaking-Yearly-Lows

Bitcoin & Ethereum On A Divergence, Back To November Level That Prompted Yearly Lows

When it comes to the top two cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is currently in the neutral at $3,921 with 24-hours gains of 0.01 percent while Ethereum is up 0.13 percent in the past 24-hours at $134.81. However, the long-short ratio of both the cryptos on BitMex is in contrast to each other as crypto analyst Rptr45 took to Twitter to share,

“Market positioning is once again a tale of two cities. BTC’s funding rate on Bitmex has been negative for 12 of the past 15 days with the Bitfinex L/S ratio at its lowest point since ⅓. This is a stark contrast to ETH where yesterday saw the Bitfinex L/S ratio close at its 4th highest level ever (4.0586) with the exception of a three day period last September (9/21-9/23). MTD the Bitmex funding rate would be the second highest ever (to Sept ’18).”

Just recently, crypto trader, Hsaka had also shared the divergence in the market structure of the top two cryptos. He had further added that when this happens, the market tends to follow Ethereum.

While Rptr45 has this to say about ETH performance, “No surprise the ETH performance post a close >4.0 is decidedly negative with an average / median sell-off of -19.9% / -18.2% in the 20 days post. This is really only one data point so clearly not statistically significant but notable nonetheless.”

However, the point worth noting here is the fact that the last time this much significant of a divergence happened between Bitcoin and Ethereum was in September-November. This period was the one that preempted the crash in crypto prices hitting their 2018 lows that saw Bitcoin at $3,200 and Ethereum at around $80.

But the difference between the Sep-Nov period and now is that current Bitcoin seems to be in accumulation. Having said that, the analyst says, Ethereum can see a drop before it moves upward.

“BTC has seemingly been in accumulation mode which is a stark difference vs. Sept-Nov setup and other indicators are more washed out. That said think ETH can lead to a quick leg lower like we saw in early Feb before resuming the upward trajectory.”

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple (XRP) and BCH Price Analysis: Today’s Coin Price Prediction Forecasts