Category Archives: JPMorgan

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Blockchain Startups Refusing to Fail in the First Few Years Will Make History

Many CEOs and cryptocurrency experts are suggesting that many startups will fail but those remaining have the potential to be huge successes thanks to the blockchain, writes Business Insider.

References to the dotcom bubble have been made too many times for it to be an original view but pundits from within the industry continue to predict that cryptocurrencies have the potential to change/rewrite the rules of financial markets.

eToro CEO,Yoni Assia’s view that 95% of startups are going to end up badly is shared by many in the industry, suggesting that ‘Selling crypto now is like selling Apple in 2001’ he goes on to suggest that it’s the survivors who will reap the benefits and changed the face of the market, in the same way as the internet transformed people’s lives by becoming a feature of everyone’s lives.

Statistics show that more than 1,000 cryptocurrency startups worldwide have raised over $10 billion over the last two years to build significant market changing software projects. Over $9 billion has been raised through ICOs since the start of the year, according to consultancy Autonomous NEXT.

These views were shared by Ethereum co-founder Joe Lubin recently, suggesting the current situation is similar to the nineties’ dot-com bubble, which ended badly for many companies, but left the survivors thriving. Assia argues:

“If you’re into this technology, you’re like, why hasn’t everybody moved on to this technology? It’s an endless opportunity to move things on to the blockchain. You have an insane amount of very smart people who are envisioning this future and trying to build products for it.”

IOTA creator Dominik Schiener also shares the view suggesting that out of 1400 recent projects he expects less than 10 to make it. With former JPMorgan trader Danny Masters, it could be an even smaller figure: suggesting that no more than 5% percent of ICOs are worth backing.

Many pundits and crypto experts see digital currency’s underlying technology blockchain as the factor that will be the most transformational aspect of the predicted crypto boom, some going as far as to suggest it will “remake society.” A recent Forbes article suggested that in a study of 4,800 professionals from around the world, 66% of people believe that innovation will be the biggest factor influencing economic growth over the next 30 years, and one of the most promising of these developments was blockchain.

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Dutch Central Bank Rejects Below-Par Blockchain System

The Netherland’s central bank, De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB), has posted a blog post saying that as yet, blockchain is not fit for purpose in terms of being a payment system.

The bank maintains that that DLT won’t suit the central bank’s existing financial structure primarily due to lack of scalability with large volumes of transactions. The DNB was referring to a series of tests conducted over a period of three years called project Dukaton, testing four DLT prototypes.

The Dukaton team applied different consensus algorithms and validation mechanisms in the later stages of the tests, after experimenting with an original prototype based on the Bitcoin blockchain.

The bank admits that the blockchain does offer benefits, in that it can increase the bank’s resistance to external attacks, but the downside pointed to poor levels in terms of “scalability, capacity, and efficiency”.

“The current payment systems are very efficient, can handle large volumes and provide the legal certainty of payment. The blockchain solutions tested show that they are not sufficiently efficient, with regard to costs and energy consumption, and they cannot handle large numbers of transactions,” the post read.

The bank is prepared to look again, further down the track, to see if a better-designed algorithm might better be able to meet the technological requirements of Holland’s financial system.

In similar work, South Africa’s central bank yesterday announced positive results for the trial of its blockchain-based system for interbank clearance and settlement, after conducting a 14-week proof of concept trial. The trial settled the country’s 70,000 daily payment transactions within two days using a Quorum blockchain platform, the same as that developed by JPMorgan.

The South African central bank has now established its own self-regulatory organization to oversee crypto industry developments aimed at preventing “systemic risk”, although the bank stressed it was cautious not to “throttle growth”.

 

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Amber Baldet Steps Down From JPMorgan, Pursues Own Startup

Amber Baldet, the face of JPMorgan’s corporate blockchain project Quorum and former head at the bank’s Blockchain Center of Excellence, has stepped down from her post. Baldet is reportedly seeking to head up her own blockchain startup, after having set the direction for much of JPMorgan’s blockchain ventures.

According to Fortune, a JPMorgan spokesperson confirmed Baldet’s resignation, adding in a statement that “We respect her desire to start her own venture and we wish her nothing but the best.”.

An internal bank memo released on Monday indicated that Baldet’s replacement had already been appointed. She will be replaced by Christine Moy, currently a senior product manager at the bank’s blockchain center. Moy, incidentally, was the first hire made by Baldet during her tenure, hinting that she had handpicked her successor.

Moy will be expected to continue JPMorgan’s push into corporate blockchain technology, primarily through its Quorum private blockchain, which is self-described as “an enterprise-focused version of Ethereum”. Its popularity has already fueled rumors of a spinoff, in the belief that a platform independent from the bank could appeal to a wider audience.

Moy had been working closely with Bardet in JPMorgan and was most recently leading product development across its investor services and capital markets businesses.

Bardet “overwhelmed” by support

A popular figure in the industry, well-wishers and offers appear to be inundating Baldet’s social media accounts. She today tweeted that “… I currently have 2,080 LinkedIn requests and my DMs are basically melting. This level of support is amazing and a bit overwhelming.”

So I currently have 2,080 LinkedIn requests and my DMs are basically melting. This level of support is amazing and a bit overwhelming. Please hang tight if I don’t respond right away, I’m working on it! 🙏🏻🥂
https://t.co/Ho9TGOxaeu

— Amber (@AmberBaldet) April 3, 2018

Amber Baldet, 35, is a regular attendant at hacker conferences, seen as one of the few in the blockchain industry to successfully assume the seemingly contrasting landscapes of the corporate realm and crypto sphere. Bloomberg has described her as “comfortable in the bank world as well as the cypherpunk or crypto community, and she seems equally authentic for both”.

 

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