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Banking/Financial Services

MovoChain Enables Purchases and Instant Peer-to-Peer Spend with Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash Through BitPay

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: siliconangle.com
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MovoCash™, the creator of MOVO®, a mobile payments platform and app, today announced the company is enabling Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash purchases and peer-to-peer top-ups, powered by BitPay, the largest global blockchain payments provider. The patented technology called MovoChain™ enables consumers to convert Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash to cash value that’s instantly loaded onto an FDIC-insured digital card account for purchases online and in-store, for cash back or for peer-to-peer payments. This service is available to anyone in the United States with an email address or phone number, subject to ID verification.

“We support MovoCash’s efforts to promote the value of cryptocurrency by making it easy for those who have Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash to spend it in a comfortable and familiar way,” said Sonny Singh, Chief Commercial Officer at BitPay. “BitPay’s goal is to make accepting cryptocurrency a seamless process for all customers.”

As a push transaction, the customer sends the exact amount of Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash required. BitPay processes the transaction and MovoCash settles the transaction within one hour directly to the customer’s account in U.S. dollars. The funds are loaded onto a digital debit card which can be used for peer-to-peer payments, provisioned to Apple Pay, Google Pay or Samsung Pay, and more. There is no Bitcoin or Bitcoin Cash price volatility risk for MovoCash or its customers.

New York-based Metropolitan Commercial Bank is an issuing bank for debit cards offered by Bitpay and MovoCash.

Nick Rosenberg, Executive Vice President and Head of Global Payments Group of Metropolitan Commercial Bank, commented: “We are pleased to work with MovoCash, Inc. in bringing this next-gen cryptocurrency conversion product to market. This is another program that speaks directly to The Entrepreneurial Bank spirit that we have and continue to promote. MovoCash is one more bridge between traditional banking and cryptocurrencies that is safe and compliant.”

With the launch of MovoChain, MovoCash offers a link between the $150 billion global cryptocurrency market (Coinmarketcap.com) and the $884 billion U.S. digital payments market (Statista) through its platform, while granting customers access to a flexible payments app.

“With BitPay, MovoChain makes cryptocurrency malleable by allowing consumers to use their Bitcoin and Bitcoin cash value for everyday items like rent, lunch, groceries or gas,” says Eric Solis, CEO of MovoCash. “Further, the service overcomes the volatility of the cryptocurrency market and provides a haven for confident spending.”

Bitcoin blockchain uses distributed ledger technology which is essentially an open, online spreadsheet. A major advantage is that blockchain provides incredible transactional transparency as every transaction is verified, recorded and stored. This process creates highly efficient services and an overall better experience for MovoChain customers.

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There a many things that shape a man, but the carving is done by the hobbies and passions. I've pursued two main careers, professional photography and webdesign, while also keeping a passion for automobiles, technology and games. At PICANTE NEWS, I take care of news editing and press release publishing in se
veral categories and as I've mentioned, during my spare time, I am also a professional photographer with webdesign skills.

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Banking & Financial Service

LGT opens wealth management office in Thailand for high net worth investors

Vlad Poptamas

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Photo source: reuters.com
Reading Time: 2 minutes

 

LGT, the international private banking and asset management group owned by the Princely House of Liechtenstein, today announced the opening of its wealth management business in Thailand, following the successful award of regulatory approvals. Located in downtown Bangkok, LGT will offer a unique set of investment and wealth management services to high net worth individuals and corporates in the country.

Commenting on the announcement, H.S.H. Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein, CEO LGT said, “We are delighted to start operations in Thailand and look forward to offering full-fledged wealth management services to high net worth individuals, their families and corporates here in Bangkok. We see Thailand as an important growth market, and the establishment of an onshore presence reflects our ambition to continue our growth path in Asia.”

Headquartered in Vaduz, Liechtenstein, LGT is the largest private banking and asset management group in the world that is wholly-owned by an entrepreneurial family, the Princely House of Liechtenstein. As per mid-2018, LGT managed assets under management of USD 207.5 billion on behalf of wealthy private individuals and institutional clients. In Asia, LGT is ranked the 12th largest Private Bank with over USD 60 billion assets under management.

H.S.H. Prince Max von und zu Liechtenstein added, “Our stable ownership structure, our international network, personal approach, as well as our advisors’ comprehensive experience in managing substantial family assets, is what distinguishes LGT. Our clients can invest like the Princely Family, and thus benefit from our investment expertise. This results in a natural alignment of interests between ourselves and our clients.”

LGT’s subsidiary in Thailand will be known as LGT Securities (Thailand) Limited. A team of investment consultants and investment planners will provide investment and wealth management services to Thai clients from the Bangkok office and complement LGT’s existing private banking efforts in Hong Kong and Singapore.

“The opening of our office in Bangkok is another strategic milestone for our steady development in Asia,” commented Henri Leimer, CEO LGT Private Banking Asia. “We have recorded very pleasing growth in recent years in the region and significantly increased our assets under management. Thailand is a rapidly growing market with extremely interesting opportunities. With our local presence in Bangkok, we can now advise and support our Thai customers even better on-the-ground.”

LGT’s Thai market expansion is overseen by industry veteran Karn Karuhadej, who has close to 20 years’ experience in private banking. The local office in Thailand will be led by CEO, Ekkapob Makeguljai, a homegrown career banker who has over 16 years’ experience in financial services and wealth management. The team will consist of experienced local and international wealth managers.

LGT in brief
LGT is a leading international private banking and asset management group that has been fully controlled by the Liechtenstein Princely Family for over 80 years. As per 30 June 2018, LGT managed assets of CHF 206.0 billion (USD 207.5 billion) for wealthy private individuals and institutional clients. LGT employs over 3000 people who work out of more than 20 locations in EuropeAsia, the Americas and the Middle Eastwww.lgt.com

 

SOURCE LGT

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Awards

The BBVA Foundation recognizes Ivan Sutherland for revolutionizing human-machine interaction through computer graphics and virtual reality

Vlad Poptamas

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(PRNewsfoto/BBVA Foundation)
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The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Information and Communication Technologies category has gone in this eleventh edition to American computer engineer Ivan Sutherland, for “pioneering the move from text-based to graphical computer displays,” in the words of the citation. Almost sixty years ago, at a time when computers took up an entire room, Sutherland not only invented the first system supporting graphical interaction with these machines, he also developed the first virtual reality headset, which he nicknamed the “Sword of Damocles.”

In a career spanning more than six decades, Sutherland has paired “a deep knowledge of technology with an understanding of human behavior to transform computer interaction,” the citation continues. Nowadays, “everybody using a computer or smartphone benefits from his vision and contributions.”

Sutherland gave notice of his visionary talent with his doctoral thesis, presented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1963 under the supervision of Claude Shannon, the “father” of information theory. It described the Sketchpad program, which showed that computer graphics could provide a more natural interaction between user and machine, and is generally regarded as the predecessor of the graphical interfaces we know today, from the windows system begun by Apple to the icons of our smartphone apps. It is in honor of these achievements that the committee describes him as “the father of computer graphics.”

At a time when punch cards were the norm, the ideas behind Sketchpad were “revolutionary,” says the awards committee. The program “laid the foundations for intuitive and powerful human-computer interaction through drawing and manipulating shapes and icons rather than through typing commands. Sketchpad provided a light pen and commands to draw directly on a computer display, to zoom in and out, and to transform objects.”

In conversation yesterday after hearing of the award, Sutherland gave thanks to Wesley Clark, builder of “what was then the world’s biggest computer, the TX-2” for letting him use it “for hours at a time” to develop Sketchpad. “Being able to draw on a computer screen was totally unusual and unexpected, and awakened a lot of people to the possibility of using computer graphics,” the new laureate remarked.

Asked if he could imagine then the kind of applications his work would inspire, Sutherland admitted he had “no idea what it would lead to. I did it because it was interesting to do. I was given access to a computer. I wanted to make drawings on that computer, because I liked drawings, and I liked to make them neat, and the computer delivered that. I did what I did because each step was interesting and technically possible, and clearly gave us access to information in a new way that would obviously be useful, even if how it would be used was not clear.”

The first virtual reality headset

A few years later, as a professor at Harvard University, Sutherland created the first virtual reality headset “with potential to track the user’s gaze,” the committee explains. This device, which he built with his students in 1968, was nicknamed “The Sword of Damocles” due to its weight, and is referred to in the citation as the precursor of “today’s virtual and augmented reality systems such as HoloLens, Rift and Vive.”

In the original paper describing the device, Sutherland explained that his goal was “to surround the user with three-dimensional information,” an image that “must change in exactly the way that the image of a real object would” when the observer moves their head. The objects projected “appear to hang in the space all around the user,” writes Sutherland, for whom “the biggest surprise” was the enthusiastic response of the device’s initial public and the “realism” of its images. He ends the report confessing that at the outset he had “no idea how much effort would be involved.”

As with Sketchpad, Sutherland had no inkling of the world that virtual reality would open up. Nor is he willing now to hazard predictions about its future uses: “If you want to know the future, you have to ask the people who make it not the people who started it. I have no idea what other people will do.”

More than 60 patents

Sutherland’s influence has spanned academia and industry. Not only does he himself hold over 60 patents, but a number of his students have gone on to found some of the sector’s most thriving companies.

In 1968 he moved to the University of Utah, where he incorporated Evans & Sutherland, a firm that pioneered the development of 3D graphics hardware, and was accompanied by “brilliant students,” he remarked yesterday. “Their excellence enabled several of them to be involved in entrepreneurial companies, some of which did marvelous things. For instance, Edwin Catmull started Pixar, which makes very entertaining films. And John Warnock was one of the founders of Adobe. I am pleased to have known those people and made some small contribution to their education.”

His next academic appointment, in the 1970s, was at the California Institute of Technology, where he worked closely with Carver Mead, winner of the Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the fourth edition. Sutherland’s name was put forward for the award by another Frontiers laureate, Leonard Kleinrock, honored in the seventh edition.

The latest awardee makes just one assertion about the future; that it will depend entirely on the next generation’s spirit of inquiry: “Young people are wonderful. They don’t know what they can’t do, so they go ahead and do it.”

Bio notes

Ivan Sutherland (Hastings, NebraskaUnited States, 1938) earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, then went on to complete an MS and PhD in the same subject at California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and Massachusetts Institute of Technology respectively.

His research and teaching career began at the University of Maryland, followed by appointments at Harvard and Utahuniversities, Caltech (where he set up the Department of Computer Science), Carnegie Mellon University, Imperial College London, the University of California, Berkeley, and Portland State University, where he is currently a Visiting Scientist.

He has founded a number of companies, including Evans & Sutherland Computer Corporation, Picture Design Group and Sutherland, Sproull & Associates, the latter acquired by Sun Microsystems to form Sun Microsystems Laboratory, where Sutherland would remain for several years as Vice President and Sun Fellow (the firm’s most senior technical post).

An intensive research enterprise in both the university and corporate sectors has earned him numerous patents; the first in 1956, when he was just 21 years old, followed by another seventy-four.

He combines his post at Portland State University with consulting work for the U.S. Government and firms like Oracle Laboratory and ForrestHunt

Information and Communication Technologies committee and evaluation support panel

The rigor, quality and independence of the judging process have earned these awards the attention of the international scientific community and a firm place among the world’s foremost prize families.

The jury in this category was chaired by Joos Vandewalle, Honorary President of the Royal Flemish Academy of Belgium for Science and the Arts, with Ron HoDirector of Silicon Engineering at Facebook (United States) acting as secretary. Remaining members were Liz Burd, Pro Vice-Chancellor in Learning and Teaching at the University of Newcastle(Australia), Georg Gottlob, Professor of Informatics at the University of Oxford (United Kingdom), Oussama Khatib, Professor of Computer Science at Stanford University (United States), Rudolf Kruse, Emeritus Professor in the Faculty of Computer Science at the Otto von Guericke University Magdeburg (Germany), and Mario Piattini, Professor of Computer Languages and Systems at the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain).

The BBVA Foundation is aided in the evaluation process by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the country’s premier public research organization. The Foundation and CSIC jointly appoint the evaluation support panels charged with undertaking an initial assessment of the candidates proposed by institutions across the world and drawing up a reasoned shortlist for the consideration of the award committees. CSIC is also responsible for designating each committee chair.

The evaluation support panel in this category was coordinated by María Victoria Moreno, the Council’s Deputy Vice President for Scientific and Technical Areas, and formed by: Carmen García, Coordinator of the Physical Science and Technologies Area and Research Professor in the Institute of Corpuscular Physics (IFIC); Manuel Lozano, Research Professor at the Barcelona Institute of Microelectronics (IMB-CNM); Pedro Meseguer, Scientific Researcher at the Institute of Research in Artificial Intelligence (IIIA); Federico ThomasResearch Professor in the Institute of Robotics and Industrial Computing (IRII); and Roberta Zambrini, Tenured Researcher in the Institute of Interdisciplinary Physics and Complex Systems (IFISC).

SOURCE BBVA Foundation

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Banking/Financial Services

BizClik Media Announces the Launch of FinTech Magazine

Vlad Poptamas

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Innovative Norfolk-based digital media company, BizClik Media, has launched its latest brand, FinTech Magazine.

As the finance industry continues to be disrupted by the advent of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, cashless payments and open banking, this new platform, based on the success of Gigabit Magazine, aims to bring you the latest insights from top-tier CTOs, CIOs and more.

FinTech Magazine explores the digital transformation journeys of leading global businesses and find out how the experts are navigating this exciting new financial landscape.

The cover star this month is global insurance leader Marsh, which has just released its latest CMT (communications, media and technology) study, outlining what the adoption of disruptive technologies like AI and IoT will mean for the industry. CMT Practice Leaders Alexander Chao and Thomas Quigley explain how the risks involved in digital transformation can be successfully navigated.

Meanwhile, the magazine team sat down with software solution provider Finastra’s Senior Director, Smita Gupta, a powerful woman in fintech who is responsible for the firm’s marketing across the APAC region. Gupta discussed Finastra’s newly-launched open banking readiness index and how financial institutions can best prepare for the future.

Be sure to check out the company reports on Santander, Generali, Nationwide, Adyen and more, as well as the top 10 this month examining which fintech startups are the ones to watch in 2019.

Read the latest issue here.

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