Azarus Raises $1.8 Million for Blockchain-based Competitive Gaming Challenge Platform 10272

Azarus

Azarus has raised $1.8 million from some well-known investors to build out its blockchain-based “Smart Challenge” platform, which offers gamers the ability to compete for digital assets in both casual and competitive gaming challenges.

The money comes from from Galaxy Digital via its Galaxy EOS VC Fund, Kleiner Perkins, and SVK Crypto, among others. Launched in late 2018, Azarus’s “Smart Challenge” platform motivates players by using in-game applications programing interface (API) data and information pulled from Twitch extensions to measure victory conditions in online games, paying out rewards to the victors and theirs fans alike.

Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, said in an interview with GamesBeat that retention and engagement are critical in successful online games. The Azarus challenge and reward platform gives players a bigger stake in what is happening in the game.

The “Smart Challenge” platform empowers users to create their own rules and challenges, the terms of which are notarized on the EOSIO blockchain in order to maximize transparency and fairness. (Blockchain is a transparent and secure decentralized ledger that powers innovations such as cryptocurrency or supply chain security).

“I like blockchain and competition, and I like the brand approach as well. I knew [cofounder] Erik [Whiteford] when he was at EA Sports and Madden. He hosted the Madden tournament at the Super Bowl for multiple years. I trust his nose for bringing competition to gamers,” said Gordon. “He has been doing high-level, head-to-head esports since the 1990s.”

Viewers and players earn AZA credits by watching Azarus-enabled amateur and professional esports streams and answering historical or predictive questions based on the broadcasts. AZAs can be redeemed at the Azarus Marketplace in exchange for rare in-game items, in-game currencies, digital assets, and more.

“Azarus’ implementation of blockchain tech and the EOSIO protocol is precisely what we look to invest in from the Galaxy EOS VC Fund: a scalable and consumer-friendly gaming platform that demonstrates the promise of blockchain technology,” said Sam Englebardt, cofounder of Galaxy Digital and the firm’s co-head of principal Investments, in a statement. “We have tremendous confidence in the team’s vision and ability to execute.”

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2020 is the Year SMBs Invade ERP, According to ERP Advisors Group Annual Report 13834

If there was a theme for 2019, it was the year cloud-based ERP finally arrived. No longer a novelty, cloud ERP is the new normal, the “big deal” — the baseline paradigm.

But if 2019 was big, 2020 will be small … and medium. For the ERP Advisors Group Annual Report on the State of ERP, Shawn Windle sat down for a video interview to reflect on ERP trends from the past year and discuss why 2020 is the year the SMBs invade ERP.

“With robotic process automation, artificial intelligence and blockchain technology, all of these factors are converging to make investing in technology make a ton of sense,” said Windle. “In 2020, you’re going to have a ton of great options for software. It’s going to be the year where, if you’ve been on the fence, waiting to see if the cloud is for real — it’s for real.”

Windle noted that advances in ERP systems are allowing vendors to be more agile with industry-specific solutions. “Large vendors that focus on bigger companies like Workday or Oracle are moving downmarket,” he said. “And the companies that have traditionally focused on smaller businesses are going upmarket. Your options for software are going to be awesome in 2020.”

“There are several organizations that build apps on top of their platform so that, almost overnight, they can come in with an industry-specific solution for a micro-vertical,” said Windle.

Here are the three biggest ERP trends for 2020:

1. Companies and organizations of all kinds are investing in software. And that includes everyone from gigantic government agencies to emerging startups.

2. Industry-specific solutions are dominating their respective fields. The deployment cost of bringing new applications to market is lower than ever, meeting the needs of the most demanding micro-verticals.

3. ERP implementation partners are coming of age. They are meeting the challenge of understanding your business, the product, the technology, the configuration, and the customization you need.

The biggest prediction for ERP in 2020:

2020 will be the year of SMBs — the year that ERP for small and midsize businesses will finally become a cost-effective reality. For SMBs with an annual revenue between $50 million and $500 million, the number of ERP software options available in 2020 will be astounding.

ERP Advisors Group has helped over a thousand organizations become successful with their enterprise software initiatives. Because they remain technology-independent at all costs, ERP Advisors Group is becoming known as the world’s most trusted enterprise software advisory firm.

Taiwan’s ITM debuts new blockchain attestation solution for Qualcomm and Microsoft’s IoT chipsets at CES 2020 12761

QITC award winning Taiwanese blockchain solutions provider International Trust Machines Corporation (ITM) is taking to the global stage at 2020 International CES to unveil its latest project together with Qualcomm and Microsoft.

ITM, established just over a year ago in order to bring its founders’ innovative blockchain solutions to market, aims to help enterprises leverage blockchain for IoT technology by offering solutions for three common problems – scalability, privacy and cost.

ITM empowers Qualcomm and Microsoft chipsets

Together with Qualcomm Technologies and Microsoft, ITM has co-developed an edge agent for chipsets certified for Microsoft’s Azure Sphere Internet of Things (IoT) operating system. This chipset comes preconfigured with the Azure Sphere and will automatically connect to Azure Sphere security cloud services, while retaining hardware-level security.

The new chipset with ITM solution allows business transformations to take place with powerful edge computing, low latency connectivity, and end-to-end security. It will also make it easy for manufacturers to create secure solutions while keeping devices up-to-date via having OS updates securely created by Microsoft and delivered securely to each device by Microsoft.

Focusing on security, ITM oversees the blockchain technology in the new product. “We enable IoT innovations to be built on a solid foundation of security because we know this is the most crucial factor for companies. They are looking for assurance that their product, brand and clients are safely secured within the blockchain platforms,” said Julian Chen, CEO of ITM.

ITM’s blockchain solution

Apart from security, ITM’s cryptographic security algorithm enables the convergence of IoT and Blockchain, paving the way for the “blockchain of things”. This comes fortuitously on the heels of expectations for as many as 75 billion devices connected to each other and interacting in a variety of new ways over the next decade. As a result, there will be an explosion of data, bringing along business opportunities but there seem to be several hurdles.

Scalability, privacy and cost are the common issues enterprises face. Most public chains face the difficulty of processing a large amount of data generated by IoT devices and that affects the scaling up of a company. Meanwhile, it costs companies an exorbitant amount of money to have miners turn raw data into useful information. Concerns about data stored on a blockchain have also been raised owing to the lack of a mechanism to erase information after it’s been input,” said Chen.

Highlight of ITM’s solutions:

  • Low Cost: With 100kb size SDK, ITM’s scaling algorithm can be embedded into an MCU level controller which is ideal for IoT applications
  • Solution Scalability: ITM provides the first-ever solution for clearing millions of off-chain data with a single main-chain transaction
  • Data Privacy: The system’s main chain only contains 32 bytes crypto proof – combining the benefits of both a centralized database and decentralized blockchain
  • Data Processing: Utilizing a traditional database, ITM’s solution is capable for computing and rapid searches for big data and AI analysis
  • Accountability: An open source verification program that provides rapid retrieval and authentication via a one ledger fingerprint validation

About ITM

Founded in January 2019 in Taiwan, International Trust Machines Corporation (ITM) offers blockchain-enabled chips as a solution to scalability problem of public ledgers. Since its establishment, ITM has been working with local and international organisations to further promote blockchain technology. For example, in Taiwan, ITM has partnered up with the Institute for Information Industry to build the world’s leading healthcare ledger.

In recognition of its achievement and contribution, ITM claimed the 1st runner-up honours at the recent Qualcomm Innovate in Taiwan Challenge 2019 (QITC 2019). The blockchain solutions provider also won two major awards “Neo Star Top 3″ and “TTA Award” at the 2019 Meet Taipei Demo Show. It is also among the 80 startups chosen by the Taiwan Tech Arena to exhibit innovative products at the TTA Taiwan Tech Pavilion at 2020 CES.

Mogo Lowers Interest Rate and Extends Credit Facility 14197

Mogo Inc. (TSX:MOGO) (NASDAQ:MOGO) (“Mogo” or the “Company”), one of Canada’s leading financial technology companies, today announced amendments to its existing senior credit facility (“Credit Facility – Other”) with funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC (“Fortress”). The amendments lower the effective interest rate from a maximum of LIBOR plus 12.5%, with a LIBOR floor of 2% to LIBOR plus 9%, with a LIBOR floor of 1.5%, effective July 2, 2020. In addition, the amendment increases the available loan capital from $50 million to $60 million and extends the maturity date of the facility by two years from July 2, 2020 to July 2, 2022.

The full terms of the amended and restated Credit Facility – Other will be filed on www.sedar.com.

About Mogo

Mogo — a financial technology company — offers a finance app that empowers consumers with simple solutions to help them get in control of their financial health. Financial health continues to be the #1 source of stress across all demographics and highest among millennials. At Mogo, users can sign up for a free account in only three minutes and begin to learn the 4 habits of financial health and get convenient access to products that can help them achieve their financial goals. The Mogo platform has been purpose-built to deliver a best-in-class digital experience, with best-in-class products all through one account. With more than 925,000 members and a marketing partnership with Canada’s largest news media company, Mogo continues to execute on its vision of becoming the go-to financial app for the next generation of Canadians. To learn more, please visit mogo.ca or download the mobile app (iOS or Android).

WAX Burns 243 Million Tokens on Strong Growth and Momentum 21557

When the Worldwide Asset eXchange (WAX)™ was born back in December 2017, Co-Founder William Quigley saw a need to bring video game and e-commerce transactions to the blockchain. Quigley recognized that people want to own and trade their digital assets without onerous restrictions from giant, faceless corporations.

WAX is delivering on this promise by providing decentralized blockchain tools and services that are secure, resilient and easy to use. As the WAX ecosystem continues to grow, the team has recorded three important developments in the past few weeks.

  • First Token Burn: Today the company announced 243 million WAX Protocol Tokens have been burned since the WAX Blockchain mainnet was launched on June 30, 2019. The burn is equal to 26.4% of tokens in circulating supply.

  • WAX FCAS Score Jumps: CoinMarketCap has increased WAX’s Fundamental Crypto Asset Score by 94 points (16.5%) since the mainnet launched 4 months ago and has assigned WAX a “B” project health score. The FCAS report noted that WAX’s user activity rose 102 points (14.95%) and its developer behavior spiked 170 points (23.6%) over this same 4 month period. 

  • New Account Growth: In the past 30 days, WAX users have created over 70,000 verified new accounts on the WAX blockchain, far outpacing new account creation rates on other well-known blockchains like TRON ($TRX), EOS ($EOS) and Ethereum ($ETH).

WAX anticipates several new developments in the next few months to support its mission to provide the most frictionless platform to own, trade and transact digital assets.

“This massive token burn reflects the amount of enthusiasm our community has for our platform. As more people unstake their Genesis WAX Tokens to use the WAX blockchain, we will see even more tokens being burned,” said William Quigley, co-founder of WAX.

The WAX Genesis Block Member (GBM) Rewards program
WAX ERC20 Token holders who participated in the mainnet token swap received Genesis WAX Protocol Tokens. Genesis WAX Protocol Token holders can double their tokens by leaving them staked for 3 years (i.e. one staked Genesis WAX Protocol Token will produce 1/1096 of a WAX Protocol Token each day for 1,096 days). Unstaked Genesis WAX Protocol Tokens permanently stop producing GBM rewards. All unearned GBM rewards are burned. To date, 243 million tokens have been burned.

Credit/Debit Card Top-Up for Singapore MCO Visa Card is Now Available 24360

Crypto.com, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform, is introducing SGD direct top-up for MCO Visa Cards in Singapore. A frequently requested feature, cardholders can now fund their MCO Visa Card with credit/debit cards, in addition to topping up from their Crypto Wallet.

Users can top up their MCO Visa Cards with no fees using debit cards and a 1% processing fee (based on the top up amount) will be applicable for top up using credit cards. Users can top up their MCO Visa card now by following these instructions.

Note: Requires app version iOS 3.40/ Android 3.40 or higher

About Crypto.com

Crypto.com was founded in 2016 on a simple belief: it’s a basic human right for everyone to control their money, data and identity. With over 1 million users on its platform today, Crypto.com provides a powerful alternative to traditional financial services, turning its vision of “cryptocurrency in every wallet” into reality, one customer at a time. Crypto.com is built on a solid foundation of security, privacy and compliance and is the first cryptocurrency company in the world to have CCSS Level 3, ISO27001:2013 and PCI:DSS 3.2.1, Level 1 compliance. Crypto.com is headquartered in Hong Kong with a 205+ strong team. For more information, please visit www.crypto.com.

Bahrain to Fast-track Setup Process for Global Startups 27765

Bahrain

The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) – the investment promotion agency for the Kingdom of Bahrain in partnership with Web Summit – announced today a fast-track setup process for startups globally looking to take advantage of the business environment and startup ecosystem in Bahrain. The initiative will also enable startups to access the broader MENA region markets with the hyper-connected Kingdom of Bahrain as their launchpad.

The announcement was made prior to the leading annual technology conference Web Summit 2019, which will be attended by a high-level delegation from Team Bahrain to include; the EDB, Tamkeem (Bahrain Labour Fund), Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Bahraini startups and accelerators. International startups and related entities interested in learning more about Bahrain startup ecosystem, and the benefits Bahrain has to offer, are encouraged to visit the Bahrain EDB stand – no. E359, pavilion 3 – where a team will be on hand for the duration of the summit (November 5 – 7) to answer any questions.

The fast-track setup process is a free service offered through a dedicated concierge, and includes:

  • A fast-tracked entry process which will cover residency, visa requirements and business registration
  • Guidance from Bahrain’s incubators and accelerators, as well as access to their networks and programmes that will provide businesses with the connections they need to grow and expand
  • Access to grants and financial support

The initiative will allow businesses and startups to benefit from the full ecosystem in Bahrain, which boasts operating costs up to 40% lower than its neighbours, one of the region’s most highly skilled local workforces and some of the most advanced soft infrastructure in MENA. Sitting at the nexus of the Middle East, the Kingdom offers a convenient springboard into the wider region opportunity, including its largest market, Saudi Arabia.

Commenting on this announcement, Ms. Pakiza Abdulrahman, Manager of Business Development – Startups at Bahrain EDB said:

“International startups can benefit hugely from the entrepreneurial support structure in Bahrain – offering access to capital, talent and new markets. With a hassle-free approach to setting up businesses in Bahrain, there is no better base to scale across the growing $1.5 trillion Gulf market.”

Michael Cunningham, Senior Vice President of Partnerships at the Web Summit said:

“We’re glad to see startup initiatives like that of the Bahrain Economic Development Board. It will be great that startups present at this year’s Web Summit will be able to benefit from their efforts.”

In recent years, Bahrain has expended considerable resources diversifying away from a previous focus on hydrocarbons. It now enjoys a burgeoning and increasingly dynamic digital economy; a maturing tech community; and a rapidly growing FinTech ecosystem. The Kingdom’s pioneering, agile and flexible regulatory framework allows it to regulate emerging technologies – such as open banking and cryptocurrencies – in a way other jurisdictions simply cannot. Thanks to this, Bahrain has earned a reputation as the region’s de facto test-bed for cutting edge technologies.