How Omnitude allows businesses to adopt blockchain quickly and efficiently, James Worthington

With many crypto-currencies, and Stellar in particular, the cost for a transaction is so low as to make extremely small transactions, say the equivalent of …

Interview with James Worthington from Omnitude.

What is Omnitude?

Omnitude is a Blockchain Middleware platform. It acts as a middleware layer allowing businesses to adopt blockchain quickly and efficiently

What does ‘Middleware’ mean to Omnitude?

Middleware coordinates and executes communication between multiple internal and external systems. Specifically for Omnitude, that includes multiple Blockchains as well as traditional enterprise systems.

We’ve lost control of our private information online. Whether we’ve done so because of convenience or unknowingly signed away our data under the veil of obscure Terms and Conditions. It’s time to take back control of your #data! https://t.co/ICNxwaEl06#OID#OmnitudeID

— Omnitude (@Omnitudeorg) January 17, 2019

What Blockchains will your middleware interact with?

Currently Omnitude supports and utilizes Hyperledger Fabric (data), Hyperledger Indy (self-sovereign ID), and Stellar (crypto currency) for microtransactions. More will be added as we continue to extend our platform.

What are microtransactions?

Microtransactions are currency or other value exchanges that are too small to be economically viable with existing fiat systems. It costs more to do a transaction for $0.01 than the transaction value itself. With many crypto-currencies, and Stellar in particular, the cost for a transaction is so low as to make extremely small transactions, say the equivalent of $0.0001, to be cost effective.

Why did we choose Stellar as the platform for microtransactions?

The first criteria was microtransaction capable and then cost effective for microtransactions. Several crypto currencies satisfy those criteria. Stellar is outstanding at those, but it is also the other capabilities of the Stellar platform that lead to our decision. Specifically, they have one of, if not the lowest cost per transaction. Stellar provides the capability to define and issues tokens for any asset, and doesn’t require the use of only the Stellar token. But the real clinchers were the additional capabilities for interacting with other crypto currencies AND fiat currencies. And to co-exist with the current financial systems of the world there is a Stellar capability for KYC.

What is the Omnitude ID?

Omnitude ID is collection of identity attributes that allow individuals, organizations, and devices to interact with traditional and blockchain systems in a self-sovereign manner.

The #10YearChallenge can be quite a shock, forget about what the decade has done to your face… look what it’s done to the Malaysian Rainforest. Lets hope in the next 10 years blockchain will help build a sustainable ecosystem. One of the many issues Omnitude is hoping to tackle pic.twitter.com/QVer9fJjQb

— Omnitude (@Omnitudeorg) January 17, 2019

What is self-sovereign ID, why is it important, and what does that mean in the Omnitude platform?

Self-sovereign id is a concept meaning that all aspects of an identity is under complete control of the ID owner, not some third party organization like a government, etc. No one can control, access, or take away a self-sovereign ID. The ramifications of this are really important to individuals AND Omnitude. Currently, the Googles and Facebooks of the world not only ‘own’ your data, but they make money from selling YOUR data. Self-sovereign ID means YOU control your data, and YOU receive any benefits IF you decide to share YOUR data.

What are some of the first uses of Omnitude ID?

Our first application, Omnitude ID for Ecommerce, allows single-sign on with any Omnitude enabled ecommerce site, and provides for payments directly from ecommerce vendors to individuals for any sharing of personal data they might authorize. This is fantastic news for both people and vendors. Currently vendors pay Google, or Facebook, or third party information brokers for inaccurate and incomplete data about you. By paying you directly, the information is much more complete and accurate, you get the benefit, and you get to decide if, when and what data you share.

Building on our Omnitude ID, we use that as the basis for additional products in the suite, including Certificates of Authenticity, Ownership, Possession, Aggregations, and Provence. These can be applied to many domains, luxury goods for example, where counterfeiting is rife and severely impacts both the primary and secondary markets, as well as Supply Chain applications, where visibility and traceability from creation to consumer are important for traditional supply chain needs, but even more so as the world also looks to insure sustainability initiatives. We are also heavily involved in utilizing Omnitude ID for Clinical Trials, as data accuracy, ownership, and provenance is critical.

The applications only barely touches the full set of possibilities for the Omnitude ID and our middleware platform to deliver the security and certainty the world needs across every industry and domain for individuals, organizations, and devices.


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FEATURED: Motorcycle buyers can now pay using SPENN

SPENN was developed by Blockbonds, a Norwegian financial technology company working to formally financially include the unbanked population …

Customers of Rwanda Motorcycle Company (RMC) can now pay for motorcycles or buy accessories using SPENN and I&M Bank Rwanda as a mode of payment after the two companies entered into a partnership early this week. SPENN platform is a mobile banking application that enables Rwandans to make a range of financial transactions without using cash.

According to Daniel Aanonsen, Country Director of SPENN Rwanda, the new partnership with RMC is not only going to help buyers of motorcycles with quick transactions, but will also help RMC to carry out smooth and documented transactions. “We are happy to have entered into a partnership with RMC and are sure that the arrangement is going to benefit both the buyers and the seller to carry out smooth transactions,” he said.

Aanonsen also added that though most buyers may not be SPENN users, it is very simple and quick to register as a user and does not require you to have an account with I&M Bank. “We have already set up space at RMC and our staff will be here to explain to customers how to use SPENN to make transactions and the advantages of using the SPENN App. Using technology like this will replace physical currency with digital currency. This is part of supporting the Government’s vision of going cashless by 2020.”

The Commercial Director at RMC, Nsengiyumva Cédric, says that they entered into the partnership with SPENN and I&M Bank because they are working in accord with the country’s vision of having a cashless economy by 2020. “We have always wanted to speed up our transactions and SPENN is the solution. We want to be part of the country’s vision of a cashless economy and at the same time have the opportunity to be fast and efficient in doing business,” he said.

Nsengiyumva added that most of their customers are bound to like the new arrangement of paying through the SPENN App because it is fast and free, with no additional charges. “It takes between 10 to 15 minutes to make a cash transaction and involves a lot of counting bills, sometimes having to go to the bank, whereas with SPENN, the transaction can take less than 5 minutes and is free with no additional charges.”

The Kigali Prime Economic Zone-based Rwanda Motorcycle Company opened shop in May 2018 and has assembled more than 300 motorcycles since, with 130 sold in the country. It has seven motorcycle brands, Ingenzi, Indakangwa, Indahigwa, Imparage, Ifarasi and Inzovu, whose Kinyarwanda names define their strengths. The motorcycles cost between Rwf 1.2 million and Rwf 3 million each, depending on engine power and size. They have CG250 and CG125 engines.

SPENN was developed by Blockbonds, a Norwegian financial technology company working to formally financially include the unbanked population which remains relatively high in the country. The application allows smartphone users to transact and pay for goods and services. Unlike many other blockchain technology platforms, SPENN uses a different model that removes the need for cash by digitalising national currencies.

Blockbonds’ partnering with I&M Bank makes them the first financial technology company to digitalise the Rwandan franc. It also means that people, regardless of whether they are customers of I&M Bank, can now own a SPENN account. As a user, after downloading and registering with the app, you immediately have a digital account and the ability to transact with others in the financial system at no cost.

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Saudia Arabia, UAE jointly pilot cross border digital currency

Saudia Arabia, UAE jointly pilot cross border digital currency … According to the statement: “The cross-border digital currency will be strictly … are the Ripple and Stellar networks, and their related currencies XRP and Stellar Lumens.

On Saturday the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates announced a new cross border cryptocurrency initiative. It’s just one of seven projects unveiled as part of the Saudi-Emirati Coordination Council which has a vision of economic, social and military integration between the two countries.

The announcement said that the Saudi-Emirati pilot cryptocurrency was launched during the meeting. According to the statement: “The cross-border digital currency will be strictly targeted for banks at an experimental phase with the aim of better understanding the implications of Blockchain technology and facilitating cross-border payments.”

It’s unclear whether this will be a joint Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). If it is a CBDC, it’s a “wholesale” one given it’s only meant for use by banks.

One of the countries to extensively explore CBDC’s is the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). Both MAS and the Dubai Financial Services Authority are members of the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) which is designed to be a global sandbox for financial innovation and to “trial cross-border solutions”.

Digital Currency benefits

The Saudi-Emirati statement referred to a single cryptocurrency. The purpose is usually two-fold. Firstly, creating digital money to use alternative international payment rails other than SWIFT. But it’s not necessary to use a special currency to use an alternative payment rail. And the second benefit is to save on foreign exchange costs by using a single intermediate digital currency that is usually used for many different currency pairs.

To execute foreign exchange transactions, banks usually need a foreign currency bank balance with the other bank it’s trading with. Having lots of foreign currency bank accounts is expensive. Alternatively, they use third-party correspondent banks who hold the foreign currencies at the counterparty bank. That’s also not cheap.

The cryptocurrency alternative is to hold a single digital currency rather than several foreign currency ones. The digital currencies are usually cheaper to exchange, though there is still some foreign currency risk.

The current high profile blockchain solutions are the Ripple and Stellar networks, and their related currencies XRP and Stellar Lumens. One of the biggest remittance companies in the UAE is using Ripple already.


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eTranzact gets shareholders’ nod to raise authorised share capital to N9.1bn

… the need of the Company to expand its operations, deepen its market share and to remain competitive in the financial technology industry.

By Perter Egwuatu

ETRANZACT International Plc has got the express approval of shareholders of the company to raise its authorised share capital from N2.1billion to N9.1 billion.

Stock Market

Naira loses marginally against dollar, now N361 to $1

The capital raise proposal of N7 billion was tabled by the Mr. Wole Abegunde, Chairman of eTranzact, at an Extraordinary General Meeting, EGM, of the company held in Lagos. He stated that the decision to raise additional capital became imperative considering the need of the Company to expand its operations, deepen its market share and to remain competitive in the financial technology industry.

According to Mr. Abegunde, the capital to be raised will be used to upgrade and enhance the Company’s technology infrastructure and network security systems and also to improve on its service delivery. He further stated that the company will also invest in its Agent Network Expansion Program, Human Resources and Employee Development.

Also, speaking with journalists at the EGM, the Managing Director/CEO of eTranzact, Mr. Niyi Toluwalope, believes that the injection of additional equity will enable the company’s management to strategically maintain the company leading position as a key market leader within the electronic payment industry.

Toluwalope affirmed that eTranzact will acquire state-of-the-art infrastructure, ensure that the company retains the best skill set available, achieve a fast response rate, reduce downtime, and expands its service offerings and market reach.

Founded in September 2003, eTranzact is Nigeria’s first award winning, multi-application and multi-channel electronic transaction switching and payment processing platform. It has evolved into a brand with global reach with operations in Nigeria, Ghana, and South Africa, with expansion inclination to more countries in the world.

Since inception, eTranzact has deployed mobile payment solutions to banks, non-bank financial institutions and was recently granted license by the CBN to provide Mobile Money services to individuals with a special focus on the unbanked.

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Faster Payments Outage Affects Lloyds Banking Group Customers. Time To Use Ripple’s xRapid?

Customers of Bank of Scotland, Halifax, and Lloyds are facing Faster Payments anomaly, making them to be unable to transfer fund on the go.
Tas Group Expresses Five Problems That Ripple (XRP) Solves

Customers of Bank of Scotland, Halifax, and Lloyds are facing Faster Payments anomaly, making them to be unable to transfer fund on the go. There seems to be an opportunity for Ripple’s xRapid here.

Lloyds Bank, in a statement on Twitter stated that “some” of its customers are unable to achieve faster payments, stating afterward that it is working on resolving the glitches, and that customers are going to see improvement shortly.

In the same line, Halifax and Bank of Scotland, which are owned by Lloyds Banking Group are having the same issues.

While Lloyds appears to be the only bank bedeviled with this problems, Lloyds pointed it had a planned maintenance between 1am and 6am on Friday, which affected mobile and internet banking.

On Twitter, some certain customers complained they are unable to withdrawing money from cash machines.

@AskLloydsBank Are you aware that non of your contact numbers are working as well? call lots of different numbers and when it rings it then goes straight to being cut off… this on top of not being able to make transfer online, any advice?

— Chase Hattan Watches (@ChaseHattan1) January 18, 2019

@AskHalifaxBank I’ve tried to get cash out from 3 different cash machines on 2 different accounts but the cash machine kept saying “unable to process transaction, contact your card provider”. This is very irritating as I need the cash for before 12

— potato 🥔 (@Amy_Brownxxx) January 18, 2019

Ripple’s xRapid is The Solution To Faster Payment Glitches

To achieve instant payment transfer, Ripple’s awesome cross-border remittance tool xRapid has been pointed as an unmatched innovation.

Several banks have lauded the awesome capacity of RippleNets, with central banks confirming the transfer network outperforms the likes of SWIFT.

While some see this as a capacity overblown, few days back, Mercury-fx Ltd announced it achieved its fastest and cheapest payment transfer using xRapid without paying exorbitant price. According to several firms using RippleNet, the blockchain remittance network is second to none.

Now, due to xRapid’s outstanding performance, around 27 financial institutions are now using the cross-border remittance service, which largely depend on XRP to achieve seamless transfer.

Ripple To Partner With Half World’s Reputable Banks In The Next 5 Years

Ripple’s CEO Brad Garlinghouse has plan to partner with half of world’s top banks in the next five years. The journey to achieve the goal was started last year when the blockchain platform doubled its effort and sealed many partnership deals than expected.

Different financial institutions, central banks and world top banks are now using Ripple network for seamless transfer. Banks with instant payment difficulties need not look elsewhere but embrace Ripple services and jettison the archaic style of remittance.

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