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Oct 14, 2020

Shenzhen’s tech hub status turbocharged by Beijing’s plan to introduce digital yuan, big data protections

Posted by in categories: education, energy, finance

Jointly issued by the Chinese Communist Party and the State Council on Sunday, the measures targeting the tech sector are an important part of Beijing’s 2020–2025 plan for the city, which include pilot reforms in areas from finance and energy to education and transport.


Beijing’s plan doubles down on hopes that Shenzhen will become a global leader in technology and finance and a showcase for Xi’s vision of an ideal Chinese society.

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Oct 12, 2020

Ant Group and fintech come of age

Posted by in categories: business, finance

If the surge in digital finance is universal, the business models behind it are not. In Latin America look out for digital banks and e-commerce pioneers such as Nubank and MercadoLibre, owner of Mercado Pago. In South-East Asia Grab and Gojek, two ride-hailing services, are becoming “super-apps” with financial arms. Fintech firms now provide the majority of consumer loans in Sweden. In America credit-card firms such as Visa (the world’s most valuable financial firm), digital-finance giants such as PayPal (the sixth) and the big banks both co-operate and compete. Tech giants such as Apple and Alphabet are dipping their toes in, tempted by the financial industry’s $1.5trn global pool of profits.


A blockbuster listing shows how fintech is revolutionising finance.

Oct 7, 2020

Surviving Corona — A Warning: Facts, Fakery, and Hope for the Future

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, mapping, policy

In this brief, at times controversial— even radical—volume. Dr. Ian C. Hale guides us through likely scenarios and gives us life-saving recommendations for effectively dealing with the next waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is a must read for public policy makers, medical professionals, and those mapping out their financial future in the post-corona world.

Sep 29, 2020

National Math and Science Initiative Appoints First Chief Development Officer

Posted by in categories: finance, mathematics, science

DALLAS, Sept. 29, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — The National Math and Science Initiative has named veteran fundraiser Laure O’Neal as its first chief development officer, charging her and a restructured fundraising team with diversifying the organization’s funding sources.

NMSI was founded in 2007 with generous support from the ExxonMobil Foundation, Texas Instruments Foundation and other corporate and philanthropic organizations. It continues to receive financial support from those and other organizations and is expanding its fundraising to more quickly reach additional students, teachers and school systems across the country.

“Laure brings two decades of experience in connecting corporate, foundation and individual givers with academic institutions and other organizations that support individuals and communities,” said NMSI CEO Bernard A. Harris, Jr. “I’m excited about the energy and expertise Laure brings to secure new support to reach more communities with our programs.”

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Sep 28, 2020

Russia’s biggest lender Sberbank wants to transform into Big Tech company

Posted by in categories: finance, robotics/AI

In a major strategy shift, Sberbank, the most popular Russian lender, wants to build its own ecosystem going far beyond the world of finance and to be known not just as a bank, but also as a tech company.


During its first major online event, which was held on Thursday, Sberbank – now rebranded as Sber – presented a range of services and gadgets signaling it wants to go deeper into the tech sector. For example, the bank presented a family of “emotional” virtual assistants, called ‘Salute’, which will be incorporated into all of Sberbank’s devices and mobile apps.

There are three assistants in the Salute family, called Sber, Joy, and Athena. Unlike Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa, the company is betting on the “emotional” features of the virtual assistants, as each has its own “temper,” allowing users to choose the one they find most suitable.

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Sep 24, 2020

Ripjar, founded by GCHQ alums, raises $36.8M for AI that detects financial crime

Posted by in categories: business, cybercrime/malcode, finance, government, privacy, robotics/AI

Financial crime as a wider category of cybercrime continues to be one of the most potent of online threats, covering nefarious activities as diverse as fraud, money laundering and funding terrorism. Today, one of the startups that has been building data intelligence solutions to help combat that is announcing a fundraise to continue fueling its growth.

Ripjar, a U.K. company founded by five data scientists who previously worked together in British intelligence at the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ, the U.K.’s equivalent of the NSA), has raised $36.8 million (£28 million) in a Series B, money that it plans to use to continue expanding the scope of its AI platform — which it calls Labyrinth — and scaling the business.

Labyrinth, as Ripjar describes it, works with both structured and unstructured data, using natural language processing and an API-based platform that lets organizations incorporate any data source they would like to analyse and monitor for activity. It automatically and in real time checks these against other data sources like sanctions lists, politically exposed persons (PEPs) lists and transaction alerts.

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Sep 22, 2020

U.S. Federal Regulators Allow National Banks To Back Digital Dollar Stablecoins

Posted by in category: finance

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) has issued its second letter this afternoon allowing U.S. financial institutions to back digital dollar stablecoins under the leadership of Acting Comptroller Brian Brooks. This letter permits U.S. financial institutions to hold deposits as reserves for stablecoins that represent fiat currency such as the U.S. dollar.

The OCC regulates large national banks such as Wells Fargo WFC and J.P. Morgan Chase, so the guidance from this agency only applies to ‘National Associations’ and ‘Federal Savings Banks’. In coordination with the OCC, a statement from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the agency that has for the most part dominated this area of regulation in the U.S., supported the actions as well.

Sep 21, 2020

World War III will be fought over water

Posted by in categories: existential risks, finance, food, law, terrorism

RS: The third world war is at our gate, and it will be about water, if we don’t do something about this crisis. These walks are to raise awareness—this year we covered 17 countries, and in nine of them there were displaced people. So many people in the Middle East and African countries are moving to places like Europe, in part because of water scarcity—after forced migration comes, tension, conflict, and terrorism. Where terrorism is active, there is usually a scarcity of water. Look at Syria—a long time ago, it had very good agriculture, but then Turkey built a dam that changed things. It’s a similar story with Libya. If we want a safe future, we need to start conserving water.

What role can regulation play in conservation? Do you think privatizing water is a good way to promote its efficient use?

RS: If we really think about legal changes, we have to first think about river rights, or the rights of nature, and only then about water rights for humans. This type of thinking doesn’t exist today but we need this kind of legal framework that assures that the land of the river is only for the river, that the flow of the river is kept clean, and that the river has greenery on both banks to prevent erosion and silting. Only with all these factors can we ensure that rivers are healthy and only then that we are healthy.

Sep 16, 2020

Brigadier General Dr. Loree Sutton New York’s Next Mayor?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, health, military, neuroscience

In recent years we have seen the move away from ‘politics as usual’. Non-traditional figures have entered the political arena to disrupt the typical entrenched narratives. The election and worldwide popularity of Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister just one example of a new kind of leader who prioritises national wellbeing and happiness in the belief that everything else will follow.

Brigadier General (Retired) Dr. Loree Sutton Next Mayor of New York City?

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Sep 11, 2020

Blockchain platform commercializes digital bank guarantees in Australia

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, finance

The Lygon blockchain platform, which runs on IBM Public Cloud, has reportedly successfully conducted its pilot since last year with Australian banks ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and Westpac and a group of 20 Australian businesses.

Banks are expected to issue bank guarantees in just one day once they implement Lygon compared to the current paper-based guarantees that can take a month. The three Australian banks and retailers Scentre Group and IBM are planning to expand the Lygon platform for commercial use, according to a report on Sept 1.

A bank guarantee is a type of financial backstop offered by a lending institution. The bank guarantee means that the lender will ensure that the liabilities of a debtor will be met. The financial guarantees are said to be needed as part of retail property leases and from this month. Lygon chairman Nigel Dobson added that:

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