Category Archives: Manhattan

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The Balance Is Shifting, but Only 20% of Those in Tech-Related Fields Are Female

New York Blockchain Week is back on 10-17 May, although it doesn’t seem like almost a year since the Lambos cruised down Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue, yet again the lack of female reps from the Blockchain industry highlights the fintech’s gender imbalance.

The second of such events hosted by CoinDesk and the New York City Economic Development Corporation is expecting industry stakeholder’s from over 100 countries to meet and collaborate in what has now become the de facto annual industry summit.

Industry big names such as Caitlin Long and Donna Redel will be speaking at the annual celebration of blockchain, but it would be nice to see other women pushing blockchain forward in attendance. Women at the top have long viewed diversity as the blockchain industry’s fundamental, but this doesn’t always stretch to big events such as these.

IBM’s blockchain sisters Bridget van Kralingen, Marie Wieck and Ginni Rometty showed what they could achieve in 2018.  Amber Baldet, once of JPMorgan, left Wall Street to develop her own software by founding Clovyr and get startups on the road to using blockchain technology more effectively. These are all voices the industry needs to tap into at the big events.

In 2018, Blockchain Women Ireland (BWI) was founded in the Irish Republic to further advance awareness of the blockchain sector in the country in an attempt to address the current figures which illustrate that still, only 20% of those in tech-related fields are female.

New York Blockchain Week speaker Caitlin Long is another who followed the Wall Street Exodus to blockchain, co-founding the Wyoming Blockchain Coalition which has been responsible for pushing innovative blockchain legislation forward in the state. She explains:

“The developments in Wyoming over the past year have been so positive for both the industry and Wyoming. We are paving the way for how to provide clarity to blockchain developers about what’s legal and what’s not.”

Speaker Donna Rede; professor at Fordham Law and leading advocate for the financial literacy of women runs courses in crypto and blockchain, is another leading from the top. The once chair at COMEX and one-time Managing Director and Board member at the World Economic Forum says her focus is now on educating future leaders in blockchain technology.

A recent UK government report revealed that salary imbalance between the genders when it comes to business is still slow to change. Although one in three entrepreneurs are women in the UK — a hugely improved figure — many of the companies run by women are also half the size of those with male directorship. The report goes on to indicate that accelerating female recruitment into the business over the next year could add an extra USD 25 billion to the UK economy alone.

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Manhattan Apartment Tokenized on Ethereum Blockchain

A USD 30 million apartment complex in the East Village of Manhattan, the center of New York City, has been tokenized on the Ethereum blockchain. This is the first major asset to be cryptographically tokenized on a blockchain in Manhattan’s history, and was made possible through a partnership between Propellr and Fluidity, two companies that facilitate compliant digital securities trading.

Smart contract technology on the Ethereum blockchain allows a non-fungible token to be created for any physical or digital asset. The difference between a non-fungible token and a fungible token is a fungible token like Bitcoin can be interchanged with other Bitcoins, while non-fungible tokens are each completely unique. Perhaps the most popular use of non-fungible tokens so far has been CryptoKitties, a game where people breed cats and trade them for Ether. The tokenization of this apartment complex in Manhattan proves the true potential of non-fungible tokens though. Instead of something simple and relatively cheap like digital cats, people can now buy and sell non-fungible tokens representing multi-million dollar apartments in New York City.

Now that the apartments in this Manhattan complex are tokenized, they can be bought and sold without the help of banks. The smart contracts and associated legal paperwork allow the owners of the tokens to trade the apartments however they wish. Further, the tokens representing the apartments are cryptographically secure, and can’t be hacked by even the most powerful supercomputer. These tokens can be sent anywhere in the world instantly. Thus, the tokenization of these New York City apartments allows them to be traded instantly in a completely secure manner and cuts out the fees associated with using banks.

Ryan Serhant, the real estate broker listed on this deal, said, “The market in New York is always strong, but it can take some time to sell for the right price in a new construction building. With blockchain tokenization, we can remove the unruly pressure of traditional bank financing, which is much healthier for the project and all of the stakeholders. Tokenization is paving the way for a new forefront in real estate development.”

The CEO of Fluidity, Todd Lippiatt, said, “Traditional securities structures and issuance frameworks haven’t evolved in a long time. With blockchain technology, a transparent and trustless ecosystem can start to solve the information asymmetry that hinders the market’s potential for liquidity. This asset, structure, sponsor, and sales team showcase this evolution. With proper discipline and respect, the future is bright for tokenized securities.”

Perhaps the tokenization of this Manhattan apartment complex is the first taste of a future where real estate deals worldwide are conducted instantly and securely using blockchains.

 

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NYC BlockChain Week Under Way with Twitter CEO, Fed President and Snoop Dogg

The inaugural Blockchain Week has come to NYC, courtesy of The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and CoinDesk.

Designed to showcase New York as a rising hub for the blockchain sector, the Midtown gathering, including key event Consensus, could be a more flamboyant affair than it might sound to those unfamiliar with the world of blockchain and digital currency, with more than 100 sponsors such as IBM, SAP and Microsoft Corp.

The expected 8,000 attendees to just one of the week’s events will feature hundreds of speakers, including Twitter Inc CEO Jack Dorsey, Federal Reserve Bank of S. Louis President James Bullard and FedEx Corp CEO Frederick Smith, according to co-sponsors CoinDesk.

The conference is not for the faint-hearted, with ticket prices ranging from USD 1,499 to USD 2,999, reports Bloomberg. Attendees on the first day were greeted by UpHonest Capital’s MK Li sporting a pink button-down shirt with a purple bowtie, clutching a sign which read, ‘Help a fellow VC to pay for this expensive conference!’, protesting what he felt was the ironic price tag of decentralized technology that was meant to purge expensive middlemen.

However, Blockchain Week is appearing to attract a wide spectrum of attendees from across the crypto space.  The opening event on May 10 event, included “a pink-haired woman in a dress suit sat across from a scruffy-bearded man in a jean jacket while crypto heavyweight Mike Novogratz told tales of meeting with Deutsche Bank AG and Goldman Sachs Group Inc”, according to Bloomberg.

Transport of choice for some appears to be the iconic Italian icon, the Lamborghini, many of which were seen roaring through midtown Manhattan towards the conference venue, hired at a cost of around USD 1,000 a day.

The after parties when the week winds to a close will include a bash hosted by Ripple featuring a gig by Snoop Dogg at a secret location in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.

 

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