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Thoughts on the future of fintech

By on Feb 2, 2016 in Editorial |

Royal Society, London, January 13th 2016. I was recently invited to attend the West Minster Business Forum, for its Future of Fintech conference. Having had a background in covering the cryptocurrency scene as a journalist, and more recently as a member of the Hullcoin team, I was interested to see what business minds were thinking when it came to FinTech (which is the latest buzz term for Financial Technology), my perspective on things is much more from a tech angle, so I saw this as an opportunity to learn more about the business aspect of this space. As full disclosure,This day was made possible by Dell UK, but all thoughts are my own. It was clear from this event that there is, at least, a lot of effort and good intention surrounding the development of FinTech in the UK. Katherine Braddick (Director of financial services, HM Treasury), actually said that there is a target for the UK to be the go to country for FinTech startups. This would be interesting as there is already a thriving UK startup scene, in both the north and south of the country. The north of the UK, which I’m most familiar with, has organisations like KeyFund, the dotForge accelerator, and the Northern Stars startup network. The most curious thing about the event, to me, was the strange way that blockchain technology was addressed – it was a white elephant in the room. Only one panelist in the event was an expert in the field – Eddy Travia of Coinsillium. In his talk, he highlighted the bad press that bitcoin has received, which has resulted in a movement away from Bitcoin itself, and to more general applications of blockchain technology. He’s right on both counts, and this is the way I saw Bitcoin going over three years ago. I found it frustrating listening to Travia because there was so much more he could have said, but because Blockchains are still so poorly understood, he had to tailor his message to the audience and avoid going into technical detail. For me, as someone who does understand blockchains, it was frustrating to hear the only blockchain expert have to speak in terms that, while technically correct,...

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The Best Accessories For Busy People On The Move

The Best Accessories For Busy People On The Move

By on Nov 14, 2014 in Sponsored Posts |

Nowadays, we all lead increasingly busy lives. Whether you’re heading to work or doing the school run, there are certain things you can’t leave the house without: Wallet/purse, keys and of course, your mobile phone. You find yourself with an ever-growing to do list, longer working hours, and a packed schedule. A great way to keep on top of all of this chaos is to utilise all that time spent on the move.   Everybody has a mobile phone these days and whilst they can be one of the most distracting things you own -with 58% of smart phone users saying they cannot bear to be away from their phone for more than an hour– they can also be a fantastic tool to help you organise yourself and your life. But a phone by itself is not always enough to keep you organised throughout a typical day. There is a bewildering array of accessories out there to help you. Here are a few ideas to help streamline your day and allow you to organise yourself while on the move.   Hands Free Headset For those who are looking to take and make calls whilst multi-tasking, a Bluetooth headset is essential. They automatically connect wirelessly with your phone and fit comfortably over your ear. Most have batteries that will last for hours of talk time and can even give you voice notifications about battery life and connection status. Also, because they sit over one ear, you can still stay tuned to everything else going on around you. Hands-free headsets are now more affordable and easy to get hold of, supermarkets like Tesco and Sainsbury’s have even started selling them.   Headphones If you prefer to listen to music during your commute, or during a break between busy work periods, a pair of phone-specific headphones is essential. They typically have noise blocking in-ear buds which sit just inside your ears. Great for noisy environments like buses or trains, they also include a microphone and volume control halfway up the cord. This means you can take and make calls, as well as listening to music, allowing you to shut off for a while.   In Car Charger   Without a doubt one...

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Weekly publications digest – May 23, 2014

By on May 23, 2014 in Publications |

Here are my latest publications from around the web. Brock Pierce defends Bitcoin Foundation election Newly elected Bitcoin Foundation board director Brock Pierce has written to the Bitcoin Foundation stating that he will not step down. In a letter obtained by the Wall Street Journal, he made clear his anger over the protest resignations of other members. 717 words Bitcoin blockchain used to prove creative ownership Proof of existence is a new online service that aims to provide a novel use for the Bitcoin blockchain. Rather than being a way to transfer funds, the service provides a way to prove when a file came into existence. Could this be a way to reduce to copyright system down into an algorithm in the same way that Bitcoin has done with finance? 521...

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Weekly publications digest – May 16, 2014

By on May 16, 2014 in Publications |

Here are my latest publications from around the web. eBay CEO confirms bitcoin is 'on the radar' eBay recently held its annual shareholder meeting in San Jose. Afterwards, CEO Jon Donahoe held a Q and A session in which he was put on the spot about competitors, policies, and more importantly … Bitcoin. 326 words Coinbase supports MIT initiative with bitcoin giveaway We recently reported on the social experiment being done at MIT, whereby a whole Bitcoin ecosystem would be created for undergraduate students to take part in. As a follow-up to this, Coinbase has has offered 0 worth of bitcoin to students who sign up to the service. 285 words Circle launches bitcoin banking services Circle, a Boston-based bitcoin startup, has just revealed plans for a no-free bitcoin banking service. These plans were announced on the company’s blog and showcased at the Bitcoin 2014 conference which is currently being held in Amsterdam. 534 words Prypto resurrects the idea of physical bitcoin transfer Irish startup Prypto is developing cryptocurrency scratch cards, which could be purchased from brick-and-mortar retailers. The idea behind this is to turn the intangible cryptocurrencies into a tangible physical product, which has been attempted before. In fact, BitBill even tried to patent the idea. Can Prypto succeed where others have failed? The idea of using scratch cards to physically transfer intangible assets is not new. They were once in widespread use for Pay as you Go mobile phone plans, and can still be purchased to this day. 441 words CeX replaces the Pound with Bitcoin in Glasgow CeX, who started paying out in Bitcoin last month, has been sounding the call for Scottish independence today. CeX, is a bring-and-buy retail chain in the UK, and has an international website where customers can buy and sell their games and gadgets, respectively from and to the company. The company tied the official launch of its Bitcoin payments to the debate on Scottish independence today, hoping that it would create a Bitcoin high-street experiment with its branch in Sauchiehall in Glasgow. 406 words Facebook shows maturing attitude to users and developers » Techly Facebook’s recent F8 developer conference brought with it a slew of landmark changes from the social...

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Weekly publications digest – May 9, 2014

By on May 9, 2014 in Publications |

Here are my latest publications from around the web. Chinese exchanges pull out of Bitcoin sumit The Global Bitcoin Summit, which will be held May 10th to 11th at the China National Convention Center, has lost five important attendees – all of whom are CEOs of Chinese crypto exchanges. The Chinese entrepreneurs pulled out of the conference after they were made to close their accounts by various Chinese banks. 638 words 24K donated to flooded Sean's Outpost Satoshi’s Forest, the Pensacola homeless sanctuary also known as Sean’s Outpost, as suffered severe damage after widespread flooding affected the local area. In response, the charity has opened requests for donations of Bitcoin and Litecoin to help with the rebuilding efforts. 483 words Printing circuits at home? It's now possible, and not just for engineers » Techly An Australian Kickstarter project that promises 3D printing of electric circuits has reached a massive 37K, 458% of its funding goal. Could we now build electronic devices at home, and what does this promise us? 706 words First Time Ultrabook. David Gilson’s Experience « Ultrabook News and the Ultrabook Database While Microsoft is going all-in with its “Modern UI”, the dual nature of Windows 8 is still trying the patience of many. This is partly due to the fact that most consumer laptops lack a touchscreen. Fortunately, Chippy was kind enough to loan me his 2013 Harris Beach developer Ultrabook after seeing me bemoan the “dual nature” of Windows 8. Here’s how a touchscreen device has changed my feelings about Redmond’s tiled interface. 1684...

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