The Biggest Video NFT Drop Event in Asia Ended With 103.5 ETH on Define Art 5382

DeFine Art has completed the biggest video NFT drop event in Asia with Bart Baker, the No. 1 American social media influencer in China. It is another milestone for NFTs in Asia after Korea’s first NFT art auction from Mari Kim. Bart Baker’s video NFT drop lasted 24 hours from 3 p.m. March 29 to 3 p.m. March 30 KST. The auction closed with a total auction sale of 103.5 ETH (~$190,000) in a successful effort from a top social media influencer in the Asia NFT market.

One of the eight NFTs called The Bart Baker Experience sold for 80ETH. The winner of that NFT would, for the first time in history, make a video with Bart, which would be distributed on his social media channels and minted into an NFT. The seven other NFTs were Bart’s most popular videos, including Journey to the West, Song to a Hero, and more.

Bart Baker is the No. 1 American influencer in China with over 40 million followers worldwide and over 25 million followers in China across Douyin, Kuaishou, and Weibo. In the United States, Bart also has over 16 million followers, with 10 million on his YouTube alone.

DeFine Art is the premier decentralized NFT Platform that supports Asia’s broader NFT ecosystem. The platform facilitates the fusion of real-world assets and blockchain technology in many aspects, with digital art, music & videos, gaming, collectibles, and decentralized financial assets being tokenized into digital assets. It is the gateway for top artists, musicians, influencers, and creative talent across Asia to enter into the NFT world. Additionally, it functions as a decentralized NFT marketplace with features including auctions, Initial NFT Offerings (INO), on-chain exhibition, and DeFi modules that enable NFT assets’ tokenization into more liquid financial assets.

This drop has attracted extensive social media attention from the DeFine Art community, especially from the Korean market. It has become the first effort of top social media KOLs like Bart Baker to tokenize videos and successfully pushed NFT in the Asian crypto market.

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TAAL Reports Third Quarter and Nine-Month 2020 Financial Results & Announces Chris Naprawa as Interim CFO 8009

TAAL Distributed Information Technologies Inc. (CSE: TAAL) (FWB: 9SQ1) (OTC: TAALF) (“TAAL” or the “Company”) a blockchain infrastructure and service provider, today announced its financial results for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2020 (“Q3-2020”). The Q3-2020 unaudited interim financial statements and related management discussion and analysis (“MD&A”)  are available for review on the Company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com. TAAL reports all amounts in Canadian dollars, unless otherwise stated.

Q3-2020 Highlights

  • Company had $12,993,341 million in working capital at the end of September, 2020.
  • Completed the acquisition of WhatsOnChain Limited (“WhatsOnChain”), accelerating TAAL’s strategy of becoming a leading provider of enterprise blockchain infrastructure services.
  • The establishment of a European office in Zug, Switzerland, a leading technology hub in Europe.
  • Filed second patent for L0 token technology to enable smart contracts to be built on Bitcoin SV which will facilitate an expansion of the fee market available to TAAL.
  • Increased liquidity to U.S. investors with upgrade to OTCQX.
  • Entered agreement to establish 175 PH of custom computing capacity in a trusted North American environment to power Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (“BSV”) transaction solutions for global enterprise clients, subsequent to the quarter end.
  • Completed management and senior executive appointments; Stefan Matthews as Executive Chairman and CEO, Chris Naprawa as President and Interim CFO following the departure of Satoshi Kitahama, and Jerry Chan as CPO, subsequent to the quarter end.
  • David Allen, a seasoned finance executive with Fortune 250 Canadian companies and former VP, Corporate Controller at Canada Goose Inc. retained as financial consult

Financial Highlights for the Three and Nine Months Ending September 30, 2020

  • Gross revenue from operations generated $245,629 for the three-months ended September 30, 2020, as compared to $7,380,758 for the same period in 2019, which decrease reflects the suspension of digital asset hashing operations in May 2020 in advance of the halving. This resulted in gross revenue of $7,854,585 for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, as compared to $11,685,385 for the same period in 2019, which decrease reflects the suspension of hashing operations in 2020 partially offset by fleet management revenue.
  • Operating expenses totaled $4,965,786 for the three months ended September 30, 2020, as compared to $1,446,645 for the same period in 2019. The increase in expenses is largely attributable to one-time impairment charge related to blockchain computing equipment of $2,444,857 recognized in the quarter, as well as management fees, salaries and wages of $1,455,820, office and administration of $331,631, and share-based payments of $255,955 compared to $322,388$143,643, and $230,605, respectively, for the same period 2019. The increased expenses reflect the continuing investment in the team to deliver the new business line, including the transition to transaction processing, and the delivery of other value-added services for enterprise clients. For further information regarding the impairment charge, see the Company’s interim financial statements for the period ended September 30, 2020.
  • Net loss of $5,928,027 for the three months ended September 30, 2020, as compared to a net loss of $756,603 for the same period in 2019. Net loss of $9,120,930 for the nine months ended September 30, 2020, as compared to a net loss of $1,928,212 for the same period in 2019.
  • Working capital of $12,993,341 as of September 30, 2020, providing liquidity for at least the next 12 months.

Management Commentary

“In Q3-2020 the Company maintained a strong working capital position, allowing us to service clients and develop our infrastructure in North America and Europe, including closing the acquisition of WhatsOnChain in the UK, opening a TAAL EU office in Zug, Switzerland and subsequent to the quarter, strengthening our leadership team in Canada with the appointment of Chris Naprawa as President. Chris also takes on the role of Interim CFO with the departure of Satoshi Kitahama. These are important achievements which further our capacity as a first-mover in providing trusted blockchain infrastructure services to a growing global enterprise market,” comments Stefan Matthews, TAAL CEO and Executive Chairman.

Management Appointments Subsequent to the Quarter

The Company made various appointments and/or changes to its senior management and executive team subsequent to the quarter, which the Company believes have strengthened its financial, capital markets, product development and global commercial capabilities:

–  Stefan Matthews to Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
–  Chris Naprawa to President, and Interim Chief Financial Officer
–  David Allen to Senior Financial Consultant

Mr. Naprawa, with the assistance of Mr. Allen, has also assumed the function of Interim CFO following the departure of former CFO Mr. Kitahama, who left the Company as of November 24, 2020.

About TAAL Distributed Information Technologies Inc.

TAAL Distributed Information Technologies Inc. delivers value-added blockchain services, providing professional-grade, highly scalable blockchain infrastructure and transactional platforms to support businesses building solutions and applications upon the BSV platform, and developing, operating, and managing distributed computing systems for enterprise users. The Company is led by an experienced management team, Board and Advisory Board members that include entrepreneur and BSV advocate Calvin Ayre, and renowned computer scientist and visionary Craig Wright.

Visit TAAL online at www.taal.com

This press release has been reviewed and financial content approved by the Company’s Audit Committee of the Board of Directors.

The CSE, nor its Regulation Services Provider, accepts no responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

CAUTIONARY STATEMENT REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

Certain statements included in this news release constitute “forward-looking information” as defined under applicable Canadian securities legislation. The words “will”, “intends”, “expects” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking information, although not all forward-looking information will contain these identifying words. Specific forward-looking information contained in this news release includes, but is not limited to statements regarding: TAAL’s strategy and vision; the expansion of the free market available to TAAL; TAAL’s future business success; and TAAL’s ability to provide trusted blockchain infrastructure services globally. These statements are based on factors and assumptions related to historical trends, current conditions and expected future developments. Since forward-looking information relates to future events and conditions, by its very nature it requires making assumptions and involves inherent risks and uncertainties. TAAL cautions that although it is believed that the assumptions are reasonable in the circumstances, these risks and uncertainties give rise to the possibility that actual results may differ materially from expectations. Material risk factors include, but are not limited to: global pandemics, including the affects of COVID-19; the future acceptance of BSV and other digital assets and risks related to information processing using those platforms; TAAL’s ability to leverage its intellectual property into viable income streams; and other risks set out in Item 20 – Risk Factors of TAAL’s Form 2A – Listing Statement dated July 31, 2018 and elsewhere in TAAL’s continuous disclosure filings available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. Given these risks, undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking information contained herein. Other than as required by law, TAAL undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking information to reflect new information, subsequent or otherwise.

NON-IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES

The terms “EBITDA” (net income or loss excluding net finance income or expense, income tax or recovery, depreciation, and amortization) and “Adjusted EBITDA” (which is calculated by the Company by adjusting EBITDA to exclude share-based payments, fair value loss or gain on re-measurement of Digital Assets, gain (loss) on foreign exchange, and costs associated with one-time transactions) are not recognized measures nor do they have standardized meanings under International Financial Reporting Standards (“IFRS”). There is no standardized measure of “EBITDA” or “Adjusted EBITDA” under IFRS and consequently, TAAL’s method of calculating this measure may differ from methods used by other companies and therefore may not be comparable to similar measures presented by other companies. A reconciliation of “Adjusted EBITDA” to Net Loss can be found in the MD&A.

Sogou Ranks First in Facial Landmark Localization Challenge at ICPR 2020 9286

Sogou Inc., an innovator in search and a leader in China’s internet industry, ranks first in the Grand Challenge of 106-Point Facial Landmark Localization at the 25th International Conference on Pattern Recognition (ICPR 2020), a premier global conference on pattern recognition hosted by the International Association for Pattern Recognition (IADR). This demonstrates Sogou’s industry leading technological strengths and innovative breakthroughs, particularly in the computer vision space.

As facial landmark localization is crucial for numerous face related applications, such as face alignment for recognition, facial pose estimation, face image synthesis, etc., it has become a subject undergoing intense research by both academia and industrial practitioners.

The Grand Challenge of 106-Point Facial Landmark Localization sets high standards for the accuracy and robustness of algorithm’s generalization ability. Its dataset contains images with larger variations in identity, pose, expression and occlusion, as well as a stricter limit of model weights employed for computational efficiency. Sogou’s AI Interaction Division took top spots in both the validation phase and final evaluation, leading a number of top teams from enterprises and research institutes, such as OPPO, Meituan and Xi’an Jiaotong University. Leveraging breakthrough technologies such as enhanced HRNet-based structure and group convolution network, the Sogou team guaranteed the algorithm’s accuracy and efficiently reduced the complexity of the facial landmark localization model. In addition, the team also adopted Pose-based Data Balancing (PDB) strategy to better leverage predicted position of the corresponding landmark and solve unbalanced data under various positions.

Sogou has long maintained a strong momentum in research and development of computer vision technologies. It has achieved leading results at multiple international challenges, including the first prize in the CVPR 2018 Workshop on Autonomous Driving Challenge, and top scoring in the MegaFace Million-Scale Face Recognition Challenge with an accuracy rate of 99.939%.

Sogou believes that the exploration of cutting-edge AI technologies in facial recognition, voice recognition and natural language processing will fully empower its products and services in the future, providing the best user experience possible.

Technology and Insurance Giants are Among the Newest Members of MOBI 10216

The largest and most progressive companies in mobility continue to join MOBI, the Mobility Open Blockchain Initiative. The new community members join major automakers, smart city leaders, tech companies, startups, and other mobility stakeholders working together to accelerate the development and adoption of blockchain-based standards for the mobility ecosystem. These standards will be the foundation for a protocol-agnostic permissioned network that will enable all stakeholders to exchange, share, and monetize mobility and transit data.

“We are thrilled that AWS, Hitachi America, Ltd., Reply, USAA, and other mobility thought leaders see value in this technology, this community, and this vision,” said MOBI Co-founder and COO Tram Vo. “MOBI’s rapid growth is a testament to both the level of industry interest in blockchain technology and the recognition that companies of any size can benefit by collaborating to accelerate adoption.”

Companies seek to use blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to improve efficiencies and facilitate new services for valued clients and customers across the globe.

“AWS is delighted to join MOBI to work with its partners, sponsors, and affiliate members to help establish industry standards for smart mobility blockchain adoption,” said Bill Foy, Director of Automotive at Amazon Web Services, Inc. “Many of our automotive customers are working to apply blockchain and distributed ledger technologies to address mobility, supply chain, finance, and electric vehicle to grid opportunities. By participating in MOBI, AWS can help customers apply these new standards to make transportation greener, more efficient, and more affordable through collaboration with the community.”

Verifiable vehicle journeys are critical to building a trusted, intelligent, and shared mobility ecosystem. MOBI members across the mobility value chain are working together to create interoperable, scalable solutions that reimagine the business models of the future.

“The mobility industry is experiencing significant changes as connected vehicles, autonomous cars, Industry 4.0, and IoT impact the landscape. By teaming up with MOBI, we believe that the deployment of this blockchain initiative will help to create mobility ecosystems for driving innovation and enhance our core technologies to contribute in social, environmental, and economic values for our customers,” said Dr. Harsha Badarinarayan, Vice President, R&D of Hitachi America, Ltd.

The convergence of multiple rapidly maturing technologies such as AI, IoT, 5G, and blockchain, permits anything to have a secure identity, be intelligent, and securely transact with other things. New sensors, chip sets, and electronics are being developed by the industry to facilitate connected vehicle communication with other vehicles and infrastructure (CV2X). Together, these capabilities will define the future of mobility in the Smart City.

“Blockchain technology is now mainstream alongside IoT, Cloud and AI in defining the future of our world,” said Reply CEO Tatiana Rizzante. “In MOBI we have seen the opportunity to work with forward thinking companies, governments, and NGOs in making mobility services more efficient, greener, safer and building a more transparent and trustworthy ecosystem for our customers and the entire automotive industry.”

DMALINK and WeOwn enter partnership to redefine decentralised finance 9820

DMALINK and WeOwn are pleased to announce a key strategic partnership in the institutional DeFi space. This ambitious partnership is set to be a game-changer for decentralised finance (DeFi) for digital assets. Initial plans revolve around combining low latency trade execution and real-time settlement and clearing via a decentralised multi custodian hybrid blockchain.

The objective is to develop a solution based on WeOwn’s and DMALINK’s existing technology stack, where client assets are held by custodians and tokenised onto the custodial blockchain ledger thereby integrating into the full lifecycle of a trade.

Manu Choudhary, CEO at DMALINK says: “The vast majority of DeFi projects are built on Ethereum (ETH). ETH, however, is not a stable and enterprise-friendly protocol and has shown itself to be incapable of scaling for institutional purposes and larger financial markets. Which is why we are so excited to work with WeOwn, who took the bold move to build their own stable and scalable protocol. Our goal is to develop a hybrid platform that is highly-scalable, performance-driven and focussed on transparency & decentralisation.”

Sascha Ragtschaa, CEO of WeOwn explains: “We are excited that this collaboration with DMALINK will ultimately result in the creation of the first European cross-asset decentralised exchange (DEX). With this novel structure, our ambition is to eliminate all counterparty, clearing and settlement risks and be able to execute and settle trades within milliseconds between multiple custodians. By removing intermediary costs, we can pass on those savings directly to our clients. This is a great initial use case and will bring major volume onto our platform and exchange from day one and greatly enhance our service offering for existing partners, clients and the SME market we are serving.”

DMALINK is a data-centric ECN for professional Foreign Exchange traders streaming anonymous and bilateral, proactively tailored and sustainable pricing with particular focus on Emerging Markets, Scandie crosses and CE3. We serve industry leaders, including Banks, Funds, Corporates, and Proprietary Trading Firms who have a particular demand for sustainable liquidity access across non-G-7 pairs.

WeOwn is a ground-breaking digital platform that helps SME’s to better manage their investors and stakeholder engagement. Far more than a ‘quick fix’ solution, WeOwn enables companies and investors to conduct their entire relationship – including voting – securely online. For businesses looking for funding, WeOwn provides access to peer-to-peer lending and equity financing. WeOwn offers SME’s the benefit of end-to-end digital capital solutions and a secondary marketplace for increased traction with investors.

Communities Will Shape the Next Revolution in Business, Says Coupa CEO 9053

The power of community will fuel a revolution in the way we do business. This is the premise of Coupa Chairman and CEO Rob Bernshteyn’s new book, Smarter Together: How Communities are Shaping the Next Revolution in Business, which published today (Greenleaf Book Group, September 2020).

The book’s core idea is that none of us is as smart as all of us, and that leveraging anonymous, aggregate data from all members of the community will be the answer to the question of where we can find additional information to drive value in today’s increasingly competitive marketplace. Bernshteyn refers to this concept as Community Intelligence, and views it as a game-changer that will enable businesses to operate with more efficiency and agility in the future.

“The confluence of community and technology in the enterprise software industry is showing signs of incredible potential. Finally, we are amassing enough data, generating the computing speed required, and thus starting to gain the benefits that are coming with instant information sharing and collaboration,” said Bernshteyn. “I couldn’t be more convinced that now is the time for businesses to adopt Community Intelligence, which is in part, why I wrote the book. It’s very much a call-to-action to join this revolution, and in doing so, we will all become smarter together.”

“In the past two decades, the most powerful consumer companies building the best products and business models have leveraged Community Intelligence in new ways to deliver tremendous value to users, to partners, and to investors. In the near future, most enterprise companies will either adopt this weapon or be destroyed by new entrants to their fields who do,” said Noam Bardin, CEO at Waze. “Rob Bernshteyn’s book is a great analysis of this weapon and a practical guide to how to use it in the business, rather than consumer, market. Your current or future competitor is reading it and applying it to your industry. Ignore it at your own peril.”

Secure Cryptophones 8288

In the recent past, various eye-opening revelations have been made about spying by government and private organizations. As a result, there has been a growing interest in how people can keep their communications private. After all, nobody likes to have his or her private conversations being snooped on.

Why Digital Privacy Matters So Much

Today, most people have their lives connected to their digital identities. With just a few keystrokes, hackers could empty your bank account and take measures that destroy your lives and the lives of those around you. Today, keeping your private communications is not simply a matter of philosophy; it is about guarding your livelihood. There are numerous examples of people who have their finances ruined because their private details leaked online.

How to Preserve Privacy

Today, there are various options for preserving privacy. For instance, you can opt to use a messaging service that offers end-to-end encryption. There are encrypted email services that allow you to send and receive encrypted emails to your friends and business partners. In general, there are numerous platforms and tools online to help you protect your privacy. It is especially important when you are sending sensitive documents with personal details.

Using Encrypted Phones

The problem with using encrypted apps and platforms is that communications still take place over an unsecured phone. As a result, even when those snooping on you cannot access these services, they can still access the phone itself and discover private details about you.

It is the reason why people seeking more protection are turning to encrypted phones. Cryptophones, as secure encrypted phones are called, offer a high degree of privacy protection compared to using individual apps. The pones use high-grade encryption to protect every aspect of the phone.

Consequently, those trying to gain access to any secure information will fail. Another benefit of these phones is that they encrypt voice communications between the two parties using the phones. The result is that anyone can discuss sensitive information on air without the fear that their information is visible to third parties, who might have malicious intent.

How to Pick a Secured Encrypted Phone

Besides communication, a modern Cryptophone should enable you to conduct financial transactions anonymously. You should thus go for a phone with full cryptocurrency supports. Cryptocurrencies ensure that your financial transactions do not go through a central hub, where they can be tracked.

Another you should look for is protection from GMS and GPS location tracking and IMSI catcher. The feature ensures that not only is your digital footprint protected but your physical movements also remain private.

A good example of a cryptophone that secures your privacy is the secure, encrypted Ano Phone from Germany. The phone is fitted with a protected Android OS that eliminates the risky backdoor APIs and Google library with tracking services. It arrives with a mobile-first secure private VPN service, and a firewall. It ensures all your private details remain protected at all times. The phone also brings support for cryptocurrencies and other payment options in favor of discerning customers. In recent comparisons and longterm tests, Ano Phone encryption on the hardware disk and the communication with end-to-end have been confirmed. In addition to the high-level security layer, it takes care of the OS performance, not slowing down though meeting the high encryption requirement and saving your battery with VPN running without leaks or interruptions.

Another option is the EMP line of phones from Canada. These phones also offer encrypted storage as well as secure voice and text communication. Other features included in the phone are secure call history protection, dynamic key generation after each call with same phone, and the lack of a central key management system. The device protects the data on the disk by software encryption. The product is not optimized for VPN usage for longterm but compatible for VPN on Wireless Lan without mobile data connections. By customer support, additional end-to-end communication tools can be purchased.

Besides, we found a lot of bad apples on the market with different brand names that still offer Google and Blackberry devices with built-in backdoors. Features like remote access, remote wipe, enrollment or distribution let you give up control to the provider, put privacy at risk and are a red flag.

Summary

In general, if your line of work entails handling sensitive communications over the internet, it is important to protect yourself. You never know what malicious actor could be dropping in on your calls. Cryptophones are also great for anyone who values their privacy and who wants to stay safe amidst the growing digitization of everyday life and the growth in cybercrime, especially identity theft.