How COTI Is Using Trust to Transform Crypto Payments 220

Crypto naysayers have been pointing out that calling tokens “currency” is a misnomer. Sadly for crypto advocates, the naysayers do have a point. Cryptocurrencies do lack certain attributes of fiat currencies. They are yet to be generally accepted and their values are far from stable. Even with the emergence of Bitcoin ATMs and Bitcoin-backed debit cards, the cryptocurrencies still have to reach the level of ubiquity that fiat currencies enjoy.

This is partly the reason why crypto payments seem to struggle gaining momentum despite the current frenzy in the payments space. The boom of retail and digital commerce has triggered an arms race that prompted various entities like card companies, payment processors, phone manufacturers, and mobile service providers to make plays in digital payments.

Many of the currently available crypto payments projects focus on making Bitcoin and similar tokens usable. Crytopay and Uquid, for instance, offer wallets and physical cards that make cryptocurrencies spendable in existing checkout systems. Other projects like Ripple focus on grander things like replacing the infrastructure for transactions of banks and financial institutions. These projects have met varying levels of success but there still appears to be space for improvements and fresh takes.

COTI, an upcoming crypto token and payments platform, aims to transform the segment and push crypto payments to the mainstream. Instead of simply enabling the use of crypto assets to pay for purchases, it also plans to establish a healthy payments ecosystem that is based on trust.

Trustchain Protocol

Trust has become a vital factor in payments especially with the rise of peer-to-peer commerce and the gig economy. In such transactions, it can be impractical to use cryptocurrencies for payments. Blockchain payments are irreversible so it is quite risky to use when there are no mechanisms available to ensure that the other party will deliver once payment has been sent. For merchants, supporting even established methods like credit cards also entails risk due to the increasing cases of stolen card use and chargeback fraud. Chargeback fraud is expected to cost businesses $31 billion by 2020.

At COTI’s core is its Trustchain Protocol which aims to incentivize positive user behavior on the platform. The protocol keeps track of each transaction and creates a trust score for each user. Users (whether buyer or seller) who engage in smooth deals and issue-free trade would get positive scores. They are then incentivized with lower fees when using the platform. Those with spotless records will not be charged by the system. With such an incentive system in place, users are encouraged to be trustful and trustworthy when conducting business.

Cost Effective

A key advantage that crypto payments have over conventional mechanisms is cost. Traditional payments typically involve several intermediaries. A simple retail sale would often include a payment processor, a card company, clearinghouse, and a bank. Oftentimes, each of these entities would impose fees such as transaction fees, processing fees, and currency conversion fees – all of which affect pricing and the seller’s margins.

COTI helps users save on fees by linking the transacting parties directly thus eliminating the need for intermediaries. Through the Trustchain protocol, there is also little need to engage an entity to perform escrow services since parties are compelled to honor the agreements. COTI also features exchange integration allowing the platform to support multiple crypto and fiat currencies.

Dispute Resolution

The modern payments experience also demands other mechanisms that provide protection for users in cases where transactions get bumpy. Even with features like Trustchain, disputes can happen. In traditional payments, disputes are often handled by case agents who decide on the matter. Most of the time, the process isn’t transparent leaving users with little choice but to accept whatever verdict is handed. Card companies typically favor the customer in cases of chargebacks or fraud putting merchants at a disadvantage.

COTI decentralizes the dispute resolution process. Disputes are crowdsourced to mediators on the platform. So, rather than having cases be decided upon by some secretive process, disputes are resolved through a real jury of peers aided by the platform’s transparency. As a reward for participating in the processes, mediators get to earn COTI tokens.

DAG Architecture

Other crypto payment platforms rely on other blockchains like Ethereum to work. COTI runs on its own network which isn’t a conventional blockchain. Instead, COTI uses a directed acyclic graph (DAG) architecture that gives the platform speed and scalability. With DAG, transactions confirm each other so the network scales as usage ramps up.

This helps COTI avoid network bottlenecks that are common to conventional blockchains. COTI is expected to be able to handle 10,000 transactions per second. Bitcoin can only do about 2 transactions a second on average. Many crypto transactions also take time to get confirmed depending on the blockchain’s consensus algorithm. This makes most crypto tokens unusable for scenarios where speedy checkout processes are ideal. This wouldn’t be an issue for COTI.

Frictionless Experience

The modern business environment requires a frictionless experience. This is why retail and e-commerce demand dependable and feature-rich payments solutions. Unfortunately for crypto payments, simply providing means for crypto asset holders to spend their coins isn’t enough. Speed and performance also matter. Crypto payment services should perform quickly enough so that the experience isn’t a step back to what is currently available today.

Payments solutions must also be able to provide trustworthy mechanisms for parties to transact and resolve issues. COTI ticks all of these requirements by putting trust at the core of the service. Hopefully, the trust-based experience that the project aims to provide could help encourage more users to adopt crypto payments.

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NFT Mania: For the 1st time, a GRAMMY – Winner sells an NFT music album as a solo artist 3813

NFT marketplace Rarible has announced that the awaited Al Walser NFT album drop will be launched on their auction site on March 18th at 12 EST. Auction participants will get a rare chance to own a true and scarce NFT by one of the music business’ biggest unicorns.

Scarcity and story is what drives NFT prices. The artist from the world’s smallest double landlocked microstate Liechtenstein embodies those elements unlike any other artist. Even President Obama follows him on Twitter. Al Walser is in its truest form a unicorn, and NFT collectors know they’ll be buying into a rare opportunity of scarcity and historical fascination with a promising secondary market.

Even within the tiny state, sandwiched between Switzerland and Austria with a population of less than 40,000, Walser also stands out as being its very first biracial citizen son.

Star producer Diplo, when asked by the AP, says: “I love everything about him!” On Instagram, posing next to Walser, Diplo writes: “With the legend al walser”

In 2012, Al Walser was responsible for what many call the ‘independent Big Bang’ of what later made him the GRAMMY®’s biggest underdog. It caused ripples throughout the entire music industry. Deadmau5 about Al Walser: “Everybody cares apparently. It’s like all the big news man. I hope he wins.” Star producer Calvin Harris tweeted: “Good luck Al you deserve it mate.”

Today, Walser is more active than ever. His production work won him a Grammy in 2020. His 2 hour Christmas TV Special, a 2021 EMMY® contender, was one of the most seen Holiday Specials released in 2020.

The album artwork is beautifully unusual, depicting Walser stepping out of a coffin. Al Walser: “This album means a lot to me, it’s a direct result of what happened after that pivotal cultural moment years ago. It’s no surprise it has a very raw and modern Rock’N’Roll edge all throughout.” The album will also include one unreleased song.

Walser’s appearance at the GRAMMY®s in an Apollo space suite became legendary. EDM DJ Kaskade shared it with his fans on social media, responding to media: “The Space Suite was a good touch!” It became one of the most publicized pictures taken at the red carpet. That original flag will also go to the highest bidder, along with the album.

Masha Vyazemsky, Head of Communications at Rarible: We’re excited to be exploring the use cases for NFTs in music, and to support fantastic artists such as Al Walser among the pioneers in the space.

Auction bidding for the Al Walser NFT drop will start, March 17th on Rarible and OpenSea. with Rarible as the primary marketplace. The auction will run for 1 week.

Free TON Open Network Evolves as the Next Generation of Blockchain 4197

According to Radiance Team (independent blockchain developers) the future of blockchain is already here, with the launch of a brand new platform and native currency that aims to address some of the biggest challenges in applying digital cryptocurrency to real world scenarios. Prioritizing user-friendliness, TON – the next generation of blockchain – will offer high speed transactions thanks to dynamic sharding.

Transactions using the TON Crystal eradicate many of the problems of using cryptocurrency for everyday payments, such as extended transaction times and hefty fees. Currently, Bitcoin and Ethereum can process around 7 and 15 transactions per second (TPS) respectively, while TON is capable of processing millions of TPS, making it faster than VISA and MasterCard. TON users will be able to make transactions for less than $0.01 in fees, and pay less than $0.05 per coin exchange transaction (swaps).

Initially created by the Durov Brothers – Nickolay and Pavel – back in 2017, the original Telegram Open Network (TON) faced challenges last year when the US Securities and Exchange Commission made it impossible for the brothers to continue the development of the platform; a move that affected more than 400 million users. However, in May 2020, an online community of developers from across the digital currency industry came together to create a new, decentralized version – Free TON – to bring the innovative TON blockchain to life.

Now supported and powered exclusively by Free TON community, all TON Crystal cryptocurrencies on the TON blockchain are owned by the community itself, without an ICO or token pre-sales. TON Crystals are distributed via contests as rewards for the useful actions of community members, and perhaps most importantly, Free TON platform will continue to be supported by fully decentralized autonomous organizations.

Many experts believe that decentralization is key to creating a strong blockchain future, shifting control away from a single decision maker and towards a distributed network; in this case, Free TON community. Decentralization stands to bring numerous advantages to the blockchain, including improved reliability of the entire network and reduced risks of centralized control over the blockchain. For users, it means that cryptocurrency coins can be transferred directly from person to person, without the need for a ‘middleman’. It becomes as easy as sending an email.

Free TON was launched in May 2020, and the community has big plans for ongoing growth and development this year. It has been announced that Decentralized Finances (DeFi) products will be introduced to Free TON during this month. One of the developers, Radiance Team, in collaboration with Extraton Wallet is preparing the Decentralized Exchange (DEX) to beta launch in Quarter 2, 2021.

Prescryptive Health Announces Free COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Solution to Support Independent Pharmacies Nationwide 4647

Prescryptive Health, a healthcare technology company, announced a free vaccine scheduling solution for pharmacies across the country. This service builds on their successful COVID-19 testing partnership with the State of New York, and will be available nationwide beginning today. The initiative is part of a larger commitment by Prescryptive Health to empower pharmacists and consumers through its digital platform to improve the way healthcare is delivered, making it more affordable and accessible to all.

“Local pharmacies play a critical role providing vaccines, yet they don’t have a solution that can meet their needs and address their specific challenges with COVID-19 vaccines,” said Chris Blackley, CEO of Prescryptive Health. “Our solution closes that gap, is easy to use and is now available at no cost to pharmacies nationwide.”

Prescryptive’s scheduling solution is designed for pharmacists by pharmacists to provide the security, flexibility, and ease-of-use required to deliver COVID-19 vaccines in today’s fluid environment. Pharmacists can configure when and where they provide vaccines, customize patient screening criteria to comply with state and local guidelines, and manage patient demand with a new “waitlist” function that allows them to invite patients directly for appointments to prevent over-booking. Equally important, Prescryptive’s solution is architected on blockchain, fully encrypted, and HIPAA-compliant.

Patient success has also been engineered into Prescryptive’s solution. The mobile-first design allows patients to minimize time spent onsite at the pharmacy and to receive real-time notifications from pharmacists when appointments become available. Patients receive a digital proof of their vaccination with links to additional health and safety information—including the CDC v-safe program. Beginning in April, patients will also have the ability to book appointments directly with a local pharmacy at MyRx.io.

Huobi Tech’s Subsidiary Huobi Asset Management Got the Approval to Launch 100% Virtual Asset Funds and Plans to Launch 3 Virtual Asset Funds 4568

Huobi Technology Holdings Limited (“Huobi Tech” or the “Company”, stock code: 1611), is pleased to announce that Huobi Asset Management (Hong Kong) Limited (the “Huobi Asset Management”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, has obtained the Securities and Futures Commission’s (the “SFC”) approval to manage and distribute 100% virtual asset funds with effect from 3 March 2021. Huobi Asset is the second licensed virtual asset manager in Hong Kong to fall under the SFC’s “Proforma Terms and Conditions for Licensed Corporations which Manage Portfolios that Invest in Virtual Assets” (“T&C”) since October 2019.

As the first licensed virtual asset fund manager approved by the SFC to issue virtual asset funds with an active investment strategy, it is the first virtual asset fund manager in the Hong Kong market to accept fiat currency or virtual asset subscription channels. Huobi Asset Management plans to launch three virtual asset funds: BTC tracker fund, ETH tracker fund, and multi-strategy virtual asset fund. Besides, Huobi Asset Management is launching its multi-asset fund with 10% allocation to virtual assets whilst 90% into traditional assets such as equities and fixed income.

A senior investment team will manage Huobi Asset Management’s virtual asset funds. The main business partners include Sidley Austin, Mourant, DBS, Fidelity Digital, and other world-renowned institutions. Ms. Gillian Wu, CEO of Huobi Asset Management, said, “We aim to provide various choices to investors with different risk appetites. We have covered comprehensive perspectives through in-depth dialogues with SFC and made full preparations on corresponding solutions. We are confident that our funds could offer one of the most secure and reliable channels for Professional Investors to access this novel asset class conveniently.”

The management of Huobi Tech said, “We are delighted that Huobi Asset Management team has secured such a breakthrough. The approval’s timing is perfect, coinciding with the mainstream institutional adoption of virtual assets starting from this year. We will continue to explore the possibility of diversifying our businesses in relevant areas to enhance our growth prospects and bring long-term sustainable returns to our shareholders.”

Max Dilendorf Serves as a Bitcoin Expert Witness in USCIS EB-5 Green Card Adjudication Proceedings 5012

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has frequently denied EB-5 applications that list Bitcoin exchange-traded-funds as a legitimate “source of funds”. Yet, in an unprecedented approach that included forensic reporting analysis, attorney Max Dilendorf provided an expert legal opinion and due diligence report proving that a green card applicants’ source of funds met the standards to be qualified under this program.

Because USCIS only requires a “preponderance of evidence” showing the legal acquisition of investment funds in EB-5 petitions and offers little guidance for applicants whose funds originated in cryptocurrency, Dilendorf’s confirming evidence was a significant achievement.

The Dilendorf Law Firm, NYC’s top law firm for the digital age, represented several clients in EB-5 matters with the USCIS concerning the clients’ EB-5 investments funded with cryptocurrencies. By submitting blockchain and cryptocurrency expert reports in these cases, the firm has provided evidence to support the legitimate “source of funds”.

The firm’s clients were software engineers and early cryptocurrency adopters who, in the opinion of the crypto compliance law firm, are legally qualified for obtaining EB-5 investor green-cards, as there was little doubt on the legality of the source of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds.

Dilendorf’s legal opinions and blockchain forensic reports, as submitted to the USCIS, included an expert assessment of the following:

  • legality of the specific digital assets and regulatory framework for the involved financial institutions dealing with cryptocurrencies;
  • origin and flow of cryptocurrencies funding the EB-5 investments;
  • mechanism and sufficiency of digital wallets, private cryptographic keys, crypto trading platforms and accounts establishing ownership of the clients’ cryptocurrency funds;
  • KYC/AML compliance measures taken at each point of the funds’ journey by clients and third parties, including crypto exchanges and OTC traders.

Max Dilendorf, Esq. is also a top forensic Bitcoin and crypto expert witness. His expertise has also made him one of the top cryptocurrency consultants for Fortune 500 companies.  Mr. Dilendorf’s recent speaking engagements have included the Thailand SEC, IBM, Berkshire Hathaway, and New York University, to name a few.

The9 Appointed Cai ZhiFang as the CEO of NBTC Limited to Lead the Development of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Business 4915

The9 Limited (Nasdaq: NCTY) (“The9”), an established Internet company, today announced the appointment of Cai Zhifang as the Chief Executive Officer of NBTC Limited (hereinafter referred to as “NBTC”), a wholly-owned subsidiary of The9, to lead the development of blockchain and cryptocurrency business in NBTC. Mr. Cai has been on board.

Mr. Cai is an early pioneer in the blockchain industry. In 2013, Mr. Cai co-founded YiBit Digital Technology Company Limited, one of the earliest integrated platforms in blockchain industry in China. In 2015, Mr. Cai served as the general manager of WeiTui Technology Limited Company, which self-operated Bitcoin mining by the purchase of AvalonMiners from Canaan. The peak hash rate managed by Mr. Cai at that time accounted for nearly 4% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin. Afterwards Mr. Cai established a strategic partnership with Canaan, responsible for assisting its customers in establishing, operating and maintaining AvalonMiners. At that time Mr. Cai managed and operated more than 300,000 AvalonMiners, with an accumulative hash rate exceeding 5,000 PH/S, accounted for nearly 5% of the global hash rate of Bitcoin at that time.

After joining the NBTC team, Mr. Cai will be responsible for leading the expansion of NBTC blockchain and cryptocurrency business, making full use of his industry experience and resources to formulate and execute NBTC’s business strategy, and to implement the cooperation between NBTC and worldwide cryptocurrency ecosystem partners with the goal to accelerate the establishment of The9’s global leadership in the cryptocurrency industry.

In January this year, The9 announced the establishment of the wholly-owned subsidiary NBTC to engage in blockchain and cryptocurrency related businesses. Immediately within two months, Bitcoin and Filecoin mining machines had been acquired as the first step to build The9’s cryptocurrencies mining business.

About The9 Limited

The9 Limited (The9) is an Internet company based in China listed on Nasdaq in 2004. The9 aims to become a diversified high-tech Internet company.