TCS Quartz Blockchain Platform Introduces Support for Ripple

Launched a few months back, Quartz is an API that allows TCS clients to easily connect to other existing distributed ledger based payment networks …

TCS has also joined the club of Indian companies supporting Ripple for cross-border transactions. Company’s Quartz blockchain solution will work with Ripple’s products. This was announced yesterday.

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It looks like Ripple’s technology has found a new tryst among Indian corporations. After various banks now IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has also joined hands with Ripple for providing blockchain related services to its prestigious clients around the globe. The clientele of the company includes Citibank UK, General Electric and Microsoft, and therefore it’s looking that the company can play a major role in increasing the adoption of RippleNet.

TCS said in its announcement that it will be offering a new way of connecting to Ripple’s cross-border payment solutions. TCS already offers its own Quartz blockchain platform, and according to company’s press release, Ripple’s solutions will work jointly with that platform. Have a look on what company’s PR said:

“The Quartz Cross Border Remittances solution enables banks/payments systems to connect to newer DLT based payment infrastructures (like RippleNet) for processing of Cross border FX remittance transactions.

The Quartz Gateway seamlessly connects the TCS BaNCS Payments system to the blockchain based Payments platform using APIs, and supports services related to FX Quote finalization and debit/credit of beneficiary accounts. Leveraging this approach, existing/core systems operational at banks/ other payment institutions need not undergo changes in connecting to the blockchain platform, as this complexity is absorbed by the Quartz Gateway.”

Interestingly, the company didn’t specifically tell about which Ripple solutions are going to work with its Quartz platform. It may be RippleNet, or it may also be xRapid. We’ll have to wait for a while to know about it. But since Quartz platform utilizes R3’s Corda Enterprise Blockchain platform, XRP integration in Quartz will be an easy affair due to in-built support for it in Corda. For more details we’ll have to wait.

Launched a few months back, Quartz is an API that allows TCS clients to easily connect to other existing distributed ledger based payment networks for real-time settlement of cross-border transactions. Since Ripple is emerging as a major force in cross-border remittances, it was only a matter of time for Quartz to start supporting it. And now it has happened. We’ll keep an eye also on the other developments related to this thing and will let you know as they unfold in the coming days.

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Meet the new Quartz Pros: Roy Bahat, Beth Ferreira, Zoltan Istvan, Tom McGough, Bonnie St. John …

Beth Ferreira, managing director, FirstMark Capital—Prior to FirstMark, Beth founded and was the managing partner at WME Ventures, the venture …

Quartz recently launched an app for smart, constructive discussion about the news. We’re working to build that community and regularly adding new features based on how people are using it.

The app features Quartz Pros, some top thinkers and doers in business who have committed to sharing their takes on the news regularly. We’re expanding the group of Pros, and are excited to introduce you to the newest members of this hand-picked roster of leaders so that you can look out for them and follow them in the app.

Roy Bahat, head, Bloomberg Beta—Roy leads the early-stage venture firm backed by Bloomberg that invests in startups making work better, with a focus on machine intelligence. Roy is a lecturer at UC Berkeley, was the founding chairman of Kickstarter-backed game console OUYA, and is former president of IGN Entertainment. He is a board member at the Center for Investigative Reporting. Roy has served in government and led a nonprofit in addition to his work at established corporations and startups.

Beth Ferreira, managing director, FirstMark Capital—Prior to FirstMark, Beth founded and was the managing partner at WME Ventures, the venture capital arm of WME IMG. Beth focuses on next generation commerce, consumer tech, and the enterprise companies that support them. Beth was earlier chief operating officer at Fab, and vice president for finance and operations at Etsy. Beth has also held positions at Flatiron Partners, the Boston Consulting Group, and Union Bank of Switzerland.

Zoltan Istvan, author, The Transhumanist Wager—Zoltan has helped spearhead the modern-day transhumanist movement, which advocates for using radical science to improve and evolve the human being. He was the 2016 US presidential candidate for the Transhumanist Party and toured the country in the Immortality Bus. He earlier wrote the science-fiction novel The Transhumanist Wager, and was a journalist at National Geographic. Zoltan has been a real-estate developer, with properties in Argentina and Napa Valley.

Tom McGough, executive vice president and co-chief operating officer, Conagra Brands—Tom oversees Conagra Brands’ Grocery & Snacks and Foodservice operating segments, as well as research & development. Tom began his packaged foods career at H.J. Heinz in 1990.

Bonnie St. John, CEO, Blue Circle Leadership Institute—Bonnie is a speaker, author, and leadership consultant, combining her research and experience as an Olympic athlete, Rhodes Scholar, author of Micro-Resilience, former White House official, and entrepreneur into techniques, programs, and speeches that boost resilience and inclusion in the workplace. Bonnie is the first African-American to win medals in Winter Olympic competition, taking home a silver and two bronze medals at the 1984 Winter Paralympics in Innsbruck, Austria.

Baratunde Thurston, futurist comedian, writer and cultural critic—Baratunde helped re-launch The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, co-founded Cultivated Wit and the About Race podcast, and wrote the New York Times bestseller How To Be Black. He has also worked for the Onion and advised the Obama White House. Baratunde is on the board of BUILD, an advisor to the Data & Society research institute, and on the board of the Brooklyn Public Library.

You can follow any of these new Pros in the Quartz app by clicking on their names above. We’ll continue expanding the Pro roster in the coming months and will keep you updated as there are new members.

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Careem has a wider reach in North African markets compared to Uber

Careem has a wider reach in North African markets compared to UberUber buys Careem in $3.1 billion Middle East, North Africa deal — Quartz …

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Yomi Kazeem

, Reporter at Quartz, Quartz

Last updated: 22 hours ago

Data: Uber, Careem

Last updated: 22 hours ago | Data: Uber, Careem

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Quartz forms Quartz AI Studio with $250k grant from Knight Foundation

Quartz has used artificial intelligence technology to help it promote articles through its AI-enabled chatbots. Now the publication is looking to …

Quartz has used artificial intelligence technology to help it promote articles through its AI-enabled chatbots. Now the publication is looking to incorporate computers more in the reporting of those articles.

Quartz has formed the Quartz AI Studio to produce articles that use machine learning, a form of artificial intelligence that trains computers to identify patterns and anomalies and otherwise analyze data, to assist in the reporting of those articles, such as by separating the signal from the noise in terabytes of data in a fraction of the time that it would take a team of humans to comb through them.

Similar to the Quartz Bot Studio, which was established in November 2016 to develop chatbots and apps for conversational interfaces like Facebook’s Messenger and Amazon’s Alexa, the formation of the publication’s AI outfit stems from a Knight Foundation grant. Quartz will use the $249,000 grant from the Knight Foundation to hire a developer and a producer to join the Quartz AI Studio alongside John Keefe, technical architect for bots and machine learning at Quartz. Quartz expects to make those hires in time to begin working on stories in January, said Keefe.

“Artificial intelligence has the potential to have a transformative impact on the ways in which journalists share and spread the news. The Quartz AI Studio will hone this opportunity, putting artificial intelligence reporting methods into the hands of more journalists and helping small and mid-size news organizations increase their capacity to innovate,” said Paul Cheung, Knight Foundation director for journalism and technology innovation, in an emailed statement.

Publications, like BuzzFeed and The Washington Post, already use artificial intelligence to investigate hidden spy planes and cover companies’ earnings reports. Quartz AI Studio will produce similar work, but it will also be tasked with producing materials to help other publications produce such work on their own as well as in tandem with Quartz.

“This is taking [data journalism] to the next level where we’re trying to get journalists comfortable using computers to do some of this pattern matching, sorting, grouping, anomaly detection — really working with especially large data sets,” said Keefe.

Quartz AI Studio is expected to work on six articles in 2019, and Quartz hopes that at least half of those articles will be produced in collaboration with other publications, said Keefe.

Over the next six weeks, Quartz will brainstorm what stories would make sense for the AI Studio team to work on. “Machine learning won’t help with every story,” he said. Quartz has not set specific areas of interest for its AI Studio team that indicates any changes in the publication’s editorial coverage, Keefe said. The publication will also reach out to other news organizations, large and small, to see if they have any projects in the pipeline that could benefit from collaborating with Quartz AI Studio.

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The Knight Foundation grant will subsidize Quartz AI Studio’s work for the next year, during which time Quartz could find ways to make money from it in the long run. As it has done with its Bot Studio, Quartz could have the AI Studio team to work with brands, though that’s not part of the plan for AI Studio’s first year, Keefe said.

Also not part of the plan, at least initially, is having Quartz AI Studio produce content specifically for Quartz’s new paid membership tier. Not only will the AI Studio team be working on big enough projects that “we will want to have out to the general population,” Keefe said, but half of those projects are likely to be produced with other publications that wouldn’t want to limit their own audiences’ ability to access it.

In addition to incorporating more computer-assisted reporting in its own journalism, the publication plans to use its AI Studio to help others, particularly small- and mid-sized outlets that may not be able to staff a standalone team dedicated to AI-assisted reporting. The Quartz AI Studio team will publish how-to guides and release code examples that other publications can use to start incorporating the technology into their own reporting.

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