Archive for category financial

The Future of the Blockchain

blockchain, technologyThe concept of Blockchain technology has been around since 2008 and more recently has been the topic of debate regarding whether it’s use in the financial sector was going to be limited to digital currency and financial contracts or scale and evolve to handle all transactional data and communications. Organizations are researching customized uses for specific proof of concepts to address related, but different industry goals.

The original Bitcoin technology stack had limitations and shortcomings that had to be addressed or replaced by emerging Blockchain technology consultant companies. Some have reached a testing stage and have the ability to demonstrate the technology by integrating it with other systems, while others are still assembling components and structure. Few of these start-ups are located in the United States and most are currently located on the west coast.

Through the next five years, there will be multiple distributed ledger platforms powering digital business and laying the foundation for an autonomous programmable economy. The path to this economy may not take the earlier estimated decades to deliver due to continually increasing the pace of technological advancement. The internet took decades to reach full potential but the increments between each monumental step decreased along the way. To date, it has completely altered everyday life and changes are constant.

Much has been learned since then and today industry is more motivated than ever to remove redundant, wasteful, fraudulent transactions from the original technology. The world wide web or distributed networks we have all been working on are modified off a system based on the technology of the early 90s and are now overwhelmed with data that is either leaking or being breached at every computer, platform, and application’s weak point of contact with another system.

The term “distributed ledger” is used in unison with “Blockchain,” to better describes the flexibility and support the concept of businesses as “platforms.” Some emerging Blockchain companies refer to themselves as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) business. This evolution takes Blockchain technology to more advanced alternatives for transferring various forms of data in all businesses and industries. Imagine:

  • cars that can negotiate parking space availability, receive bids on spots, calculate appropriate costs, and make the payments
  • landowners who can undeniably verify deeds
  • systems that track resume and identity through education history and credentials
  • healthcare records stored and linked to insurance, lab results, and prescription medications
  • accurate, real-time political voting systems
  • recording property such as music and art, intellectual property rights, creation dates, and avoiding potential third party claims

 

It is through the shortcomings of the Bitcoin technical architecture that alternative versions of the Blockchain distributed ledger system were discovered. Transactions can be confirmed through an automated network of computers controlled by mathematical rules resulting in transparency across industries. This is not a trend or fad but a new basis for global interaction. Take a step forward to avoid extended disruption to business processes and wasted funds for massive architecture changes later. Corporate Internet Officers should be finding a place to integrate and test Blockchain technology on a portion of their operating systems now in order to go full scale later.

The coming wave of The Internet of Things (IoT) will tie corporations to businesses and workplaces to households as well as how we travel in between.

Read What Chief Information Officers Need to Know About Blockchain

Find Charlotte’s new Blockchain Council

Join the Blockchain Council LinkedIn group

Find information on a list of 10 more of the most recent Blockchain start-ups

Learn basic Blockchain Terms

See a list of resources pertaining to these articles

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What Chief Information Officers Need to Know About Blockchain

block chain CIOChief Information Officers (CIO)s should consider the possible effects of blockchain investments against existing technologies and capabilities and be ready to move when productivity begins to outweigh the earlier hype. As many CIOs begin looking into their digital business transformation strategies, they may wonder how and where blockchain technology fits into their platforms.

CIOs at major banks and financial services companies have already launched full-scale analysis into savings potentials and possible business disruption while integrating new systems.

These are not the only areas for blockchain advancement. CIOs across all industries should understand how blockchain works, and why its limitations are spawning distributed ledger platforms ready to test the first basic integrations for the future programmable economy.

The First Step is Education

Begin by finding blockchain councils, newsletters, and think tanks that share a common goal in finding practical uses for this technology that explain substantial improvements in resource efficiency. Understand how taking advantage of this technology will drive innovation and growth in regions that have not yet modernized to this shift. Pitch your own ideas, incorporate others, and ask questions to solve development issues.

The current focus is on the following industries:

  • Supply Chain: fraud prevention, leakage detection
  • Cyber Security: messaging, signing, authentication
  • Big Data: auditing and analytics
  • Internet of Things: registration, tracking usage data, payments
  • Human Resources: incentivizing employees, real-time performance, reporting
  • Financial: settlements, post-trade data, back-office efficiencies
  • Healthcare: patient records management, security, reduced errors

Look for companies like these 10 enterprising start-ups in 2016 striving to achieve the best possible blockchain applications. One promising start-up on the east coast and based in Charlotte, NC is doing that through the creation of LinkedIn groups, network and meet up events both online and locally, up to date newsletter information, and an online Blockchain Council run by Encrypted Labs intended to be a collaborative think tank for technical experts and collective industry knowledge experts to work together.

The Future

It is through the shortcomings of the Bitcoin technical architecture that alternative versions of the blockchain distributed ledger system were discovered. Transactions can be confirmed through an automated network of computers constrained by mathematical rules resulting in transparency across industries. This is not a trend or fad but a new basis for global interaction. Take a step forward to avoid extended disruption to business processes and wasted funds for massive architecture changes later. Corporate Internet Officers should be finding a place to integrate and test blockchain technology on a portion of their operating systems now in order to go full scale later.

Read about The Future of Blockchain

Find Charlotte’s new Blockchain Council

Join the Blockchain Council LinkedIn group

Find information on a list of 10 more of the most recent Blockchain start-ups

Learn basic Blockchain Terms

See a list of resources pertaining to these articles

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3 Comments

The Blockchain Council at Encrypted Labs, Charlotte, NC

blockchain, Encrypted LabsThis council is comprised of businesses united in the development of Blockchain infrastructure for business applications. A membership includes hands-on workshops, monthly meetups, access and testing of the latest applications to develop proof of concept. Networking opportunities with technical experts and collective industry experts to avoid having to use your in-house resources or research costs, employee training for IT personnel on design, configuration, implementation based on customer needs, and how to customize and scale to suit your specific business and industry. These first experiments develop and help achieve the basics of integration.

Blockchain has been hailed as one of the most transformative emerging technologies. Pooling knowledge on the potential uses gives everyone the power to develop effective, practical applications that offer the most improvements over traditional systems.

Staying up to date regarding emerging Blockchain Technology helps discover new ways it can be integrated into enterprise systems to provide value. Topics covered in the Blockchain Council meetup and the LinkedIn Blockchain Council group will range from the introduction to Blockchain, BigchainDB, Smart Contracts, Consensus, Ethereum, Dapps, IoT, Big Data/Predictive Analytics, and much more.

block chain image.google search

Read about The Future of Blockchain

Read What Corporate Internet Officers Need to Know About Blockchain

Find information on a list of 10 more of the most recent Blockchain start-ups

Learn basic Blockchain Terms

See a list of resources pertaining to these articles

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Leave a comment

The Future of the Blockchain

block chain logo collage.google imagesThe concept of Blockchain technology has been around since 2008 and more recently has been the topic of debate regarding whether it’s use in the financial sector was going to be limited to digital currency and financial contracts or scale and evolve to handle all transactional data and communications. Organizations are researching customized uses for specific proof of concepts to address related, but different industry goals.

The original Bitcoin technology stack had limitations and shortcomings that had to be addressed or replaced by emerging Blockchain technology consultant companies. Some have reached a testing stage and have the ability to demonstrate the technology by integrating it with other systems, while others are still assembling components and structure. Few of these start-ups are located in the United States and most are currently located on the west coast.

Through the next five years, there will be multiple distributed ledger platforms powering digital business and laying the foundation for an autonomous programmable economy. The path to this economy may not take the earlier estimated decades to deliver due to continually increasing the pace of technological advancement. The internet took decades to reach full potential but the increments between each monumental step decreased along the way. To date, it has completely altered everyday life and changes are constant.

Much has been learned since then and today industry is more motivated than ever to remove redundant, wasteful, fraudulent transactions from the original technology. The world wide web or distributed networks we have all been working on are modified off a system based on the technology of the early 90s and are now overwhelmed with data that is either leaking or being breached at every computer, platform, and application’s weak point of contact with another system.

The term “distributed ledger” is used in unison with “Blockchain,” to better describes the flexibility and support the concept of businesses as “platforms.” Some emerging Blockchain companies refer to themselves as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) business. This evolution takes Blockchain technology to more advanced alternatives for transferring various forms of data in all businesses and industries. Imagine:

  • cars that can negotiate parking space availability, receive bids on spots, calculate appropriate costs, and make the payments
  • landowners who can undeniably verify deeds
  • systems that track resume and identity through education history and credentials
  • healthcare records stored and linked to insurance, lab results, and prescription medications
  • accurate, real-time political voting systems
  • recording property such as music and art, intellectual property rights, creation dates, and avoiding potential third party claims

linkedin supply chain imageIt is through the shortcomings of the Bitcoin technical architecture that alternative versions of the Blockchain distributed ledger system were discovered. Transactions can be confirmed through an automated network of computers controlled by mathematical rules resulting in transparency across industries. This is not a trend or fad but a new basis for global interaction. Take a step forward to avoid extended disruption to business processes and wasted funds for massive architecture changes later. Chief Information Officers should be finding a place to integrate and test Blockchain technology on a portion of their operating systems now in order to go full scale later.

The coming wave of The Internet of Things (IoT) will tie corporations to businesses and workplaces to households as well as how we travel in between.

 

Read What Chief Information Officers Need to Know About Blockchain

Find Charlotte’s new Blockchain Council

Join the Blockchain Council LinkedIn group

Find information on a list of 10 more of the most recent Blockchain start-ups

Learn basic Blockchain Terms

See a list of resources pertaining to these articles

 

 

 

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7 Comments

What Chief Information Officers Need to Know About Blockchain

chain.pixabay imageChief Information Officers (CIO)s should consider the possible effects of blockchain investments against existing technologies and capabilities and be ready to move when productivity begins to outweigh the earlier hype. As many CIOs begin looking into their digital business transformation strategies, they may wonder how and where blockchain technology fits into their platforms.

CIOs at major banks and financial services companies have already launched full-scale analysis into savings potentials and possible business disruption while integrating new systems.

These are not the only areas for blockchain advancement. CIOs across all industries should understand how blockchain works, and why its limitations are spawning distributed ledger platforms ready to test the first basic integrations for the future programmable economy.

The First Step is Education

Begin by finding blockchain councils, newsletters, and think tanks that share a common goal in finding practical uses for this technology that explain substantial improvements in resource efficiency. Understand how taking advantage of this technology will drive innovation and growth in regions that have not yet modernized to this shift. Pitch your own ideas, incorporate others, and ask questions to solve development issues.

The current focus is on the following industries:

  • Supply Chain: fraud prevention, leakage detection
  • Cyber Security: messaging, signing, authentication
  • Big Data: auditing and analytics
  • Internet of Things: registration, tracking usage data, payments
  • Human Resources: incentivizing employees, real-time performance, reporting
  • Financial: settlements, post-trade data, back-office efficiencies
  • Healthcare: patient records management, security, reduced errors

Look for companies like these 10 enterprising start-ups in 2016 striving to achieve the best possible blockchain applications. One promising start-up on the east coast and based in Charlotte, NC is doing that through the creation of LinkedIn groups, network and meet up events both online and locally, up to date newsletter information, and an online Blockchain Council run by Encrypted Labs intended to be a collaborative think tank for technical experts and collective industry knowledge experts to work together.

The Future

It is through the shortcomings of the Bitcoin technical architecture that alternative versions of the blockchain distributed ledger system were discovered. Transactions can be confirmed through an automated network of computers constrained by mathematical rules resulting in transparency across industries. This is not a trend or fad but a new basis for global interaction. Take a step forward to avoid extended disruption to business processes and wasted funds for massive architecture changes later. Chief Information Officers should be finding a place to integrate and test blockchain technology on a portion of their operating systems now in order to go full scale later.

linkedin blockchain image

Read about The Future of Blockchain

Find Charlotte’s new Blockchain Council

Join the Blockchain Council LinkedIn group

Find information on a list of 10 more of the most recent Blockchain start-ups

Learn basic Blockchain Terms

See a list of resources pertaining to these articles

, ,

4 Comments

Global Tax Evasion and Money Laundering

Road to nowhere.deathtostock image croppedTo the next President of the United States of America, please find a way to level the playing field economically and financially for all citizens. Not only do Americans suffer and struggle in a country that has considerable wealth, but the rest of the developed countries around the world are experiencing the same. While the average American lives with the knowledge that there is a class of people who feel their needs are above the majority of the rest of the planet, it is a bitter pill that gets harder and harder for the working middle-class society to keep swallowing. The blood recently drained out of my face reading the news regarding the Panama Papers. What gives the elite the right to hoard billions and trillions of dollars in attempts to evade taxes when millions of other people in the world watch their lifestyles diminish each decade?

A Gross Need for Greed

A report by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists recently describes a yearlong investigation in cooperation with more than 100 other media organizations, including the BBC, The Guardian, Univision, and McClatchy. Some documents came to light by an anonymous source who went to a German newspaper who then shared it with the ICIJ.  They reference decades worth of information regarding 12 current or former world leaders and 128 other politicians and public officials, include over 11 million emails, documents, and client records allegedly leaked from Mossack Fonseca, a law firm based in Panama.

Big banks and financial companies based in the U.K. including UBS, Credit Suisse, and HSBC used the law firm to help clients hide cash in offshore shell companies. As usual, the banks and the law firm deny the allegations. This law firm also helped create more than 1,000 companies in the United States, through a Las Vegas subsidiary.

The ICIJ reports already ignited a government crisis in Iceland and the Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson resigned on Tuesday as alleged links related to holdings in Iceland’s collapsed banks and triggered mass protests in the country’s capital. China has been restricting search results and discussions on social media using the terms “Panama Papers” and “Panama” and blocking the use of names of relatives of current and former Chinese leaders. This smacks of guilt, but will somehow get swept under the rug if past history of accountability gives any indication.

More allegations are directed at associates of Vladimir Putin, FIFA, Argentina’s President Mauricio Macri, the father of British Prime Minister David Cameron, Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko and others, each one outraged about the accusations as expected.

panama papers, money laundering, tax evasionThe ICIJ reports claim that Mossack Fonseca’s clients included at least 33 people and companies blacklisted by the U.S. government because of links to drug trafficking and terrorism. That means that these are people already suspected of criminal activity who have reason to hide the real origin of their money through money laundering.

Thankfully, governments in the U.K., France, Belgium, Australia and Mexico have pledged to investigate the leaks for possible cases of tax evasion. Even if it’s a false front, it looks better than immediate denial and depending on what results, possible points for creativity.

Two years ago, the International Monetary Fund stated that “Panama’s open economy, strategic location, and developed offshore financial services sector put the country at a high risk of being used for money laundering”. It has been on an international watch list due to weak anti-money laundering laws and blacklisted in Europe for being a non-cooperative jurisdiction and tax haven.

The Finances of the Average Citizen, US and Abroad

The fact that seventy-one percent of the world’s population remain low-income or poor, living on $10 or less a day is both devastating and embarrassing to consider from a middle-class perspective, let alone from the upper class. While middle America and middle-class citizens around the world continue to lose what little money they have and face serious concerns about their futures, the wealthiest have seen their net worth soar since 2000. They sailed through any hiccups or repercussions during the US historical downturn of 2008, untouched by the concept of morals or laws. Back in 2010, it took 388 mega-rich people to own half the world. Today it only takes 62. The top 1% own more than everyone else combined according to an Oxfam annual report based on Forbes annual list of billionaires and Credit Suisse’s Global Wealth Databook .

For many of us, that seems inconceivable, similar to imagining the size of the galaxy or knowing what infinity looks like. “The top 62 saw their net worth rise by more half a trillion dollars between 2010 and 2015 while the 3.6 billion people in the bottom half of the heap lost a trillion dollars. Each group has $1.76 trillion”.

Tax Laws Considered and in Existence in the US:

The Buffett Rule, named after legendary investor Warren Buffett, is a consideration designed to ensure those with net incomes of more than $1 million pay a tax rate of at least 30%, after allowing for charitable contributions.

Beyond the Buffett Rule, Clinton is currently proposing a 4% surcharge on income over $5 million creating a new tax bracket with a top income tax rate of 43.6%, up from 39.6% today. The surcharge would hit 0.02% of filers.

Ways of reducing higher income tax liability come in the form of estate taxes exempting the first 5.45 million of an estate and investment taxes to lower the income tax rate from 39.6% to 23.8% . There are still legal loopholes to shelter additional millions offshore and in IRAs.

Currently, those making more than $1 million will pay about 28% of their earnings in federal income and payroll taxes for 2015, according to estimates from the Tax Policy Center. By contrast, those making between $50,000 and $75,000 will pay 11% while households with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 will pay 13.4% on average.

So, dear future President of the United States, please put this in perspective for the rest of us. I’ve been writing articles for the past few weeks for different political websites. I think my grasp of our political system and it’s process is pretty up to date with regard to the upcoming elections. No matter who gets elected, I am non-biased due to having equally low expectations for all candidates. There seems to be a choice between a lack of experience or trustworthy behavior, some having neither. I would welcome the chance to be proven wrong in the next 4-8 years. Economic gaps are widening as we speak and the middle class has less and less to show for their efforts; they are scrambling for creative ways to sustain themselves and preserve happiness. Putting a few trillion dollars back into circulation could do wonders.

beach sunset.walking   If you would care to comment, please feel free to leave one below.

Resources and links:

LinkedIn Pulse’s series for #nextpresident 

Kottasova, I., CNNMoney US, 2016. Mosssack Fonseca: The Law Firm at the Heart of the Panama Papers Scandal, http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/04/news/mossack-fonseca-panama-papers/index.html?iid=EL

CNNMoney US, 2016. The publication of the Panama Papers sent shock waves around the world. http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/05/news/panama-papers-things-to-know/index.html?iid=EL

CNNMoney US, 2016. How Hillary Clinton Wants to Make Rich Pay Their ‘Fair Share’, http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/12/pf/taxes/hillary-clinton-taxes-rich/index.html?iid=EL

CNNMoney US, 2016. Luhby, T., The 62 Richest People Have as Much Wealth as Half the World, http://money.cnn.com/2016/01/17/news/economy/oxfam-wealth/?iid=EL

Mullen, J. CNNMoney US, 2016. Panama Papers: Rich and Powerful Respond to Claims they Hid Billions Offshore, http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/04/news/panama-papers-offshore-accounts-investigation/index.html?iid=EL

Kottasova I., CNNMoney US, 2016. British Banks Forced to Disclose Links to Panama Papers Firm, http://money.cnn.com/2016/04/07/news/panama-papers-banks-uk/index.html

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