Will Small Companies Beat Large Corporations if They Use Blockchain?

An American startup is building a blockchain agnostic protocol in a bid to provide small businesses with affordable access to new technology, and drive the mass adoption of blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Opporty, with experienced founders from the U.S., has also set up a “trusted and verified services marketplace” on the Ethereum blockchain, with features such as smart contracts, decentralized escrow, and lead generation. The company believes its platform helps small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to compete with large corporations, without requiring large investments in technology and marketing.

Widespread coverage

By now, Opporty has launched its platform’s localizations in China, the UK, Canada, the USA, and Australia. As the company reported to Cointelegraph, currently there are approximately up to 10 registrations per day, by new providers on the platform. “Therefore, we observe that SMEs are ready to grow and benefit with Opporty, an online Marketplace that cares,” added the company’s representative.

First providers already signed up

In the beginning of 2018, Opporty has acquired two new clients in New York. Both offer crypto payment options on their websites.

Universal Accounting Systems, uses the company’s platform to allow its clients to pay with Bitcoin and Ethereum for tax preparation and other services. It uses Opporty’s smart widget to offer its clients a simple view of its services, and allows them to pay with cryptocurrency.

Hudson Law Group, a midtown firm headed by David Treyster, has posted some customized crypto-based offerings for its clients using the Opporty marketplace. It also uses the smart widget and has already begun receiving crypto transactions through it.

The company says, the amount of U.S.-based providers which registered on the platform has increased. The Australian version, which has recently been released, already has new providers that accept crypto payments, including OPP, the company’s token.

The widgets by Opporty allow users to receive payments from customers. Companies that have listed their crypto-based offers at Opporty, ​get smart widgets on their websites​. Once the widget is placed, consumers can choose from several payment options, including ETH and BTC.

“Small business owners now realize that cryptocurrencies can give them a head start over their competition,” Opporty founder Sergey Grybniak said in a release. Opporty enables anyone to use cryptocurrency, and the attendant benefits of blockchain, without having to master the underlying technology, the entrepreneur added.

Opporty’s Plasma Protocol

In March 2018, the Opporty team decided to implement ​Ethereum’s Plasma Protocol to “resolve the trust issues in business transactions and lack of privacy in traditional blockchain solutions.” The ​First backend version of Opporty’s Plasma solution allowed users to process around 5,000 transactions per second, the company said.

“Then we have decided to come up with our own solution for ​Plasma Cash​, an enhancement technology for Plasma Protocol. After tireless work, our developers managed to enhance the technology​ to achieve the highest public test, which was more than Alipay at peak,” reported the Opporty team to Cointelegraph.

Opporty’s B2B platform allows providers to list their offerings on the B2B services marketplace in a targeted manner, post requests for proposals, receive bids, and execute deals.

The company claims that it resolves trust and sustainability problems between counterparties by storing business transaction data, including transaction quality, on the blockchain. It enables verification and validation of counterparty trustworthiness by implementing the Plasma Protocol. Its benefits position Opporty as a reliable option for domestic and cross-border transactions using cryptocurrencies, which can be used in supply chain risk management, corporate transactions and government procurements. The PoE protocol allows integration with other blockchain-powered platforms.

Big Achievements

Opporty’s project is constantly acquiring new updates and features, such as BLS threshold signatures and Delegated Proof of Stake, zk-SNARKs.

Right now Opporty is in its beta development, with MVP (Minimum Viable Product) already available for application and use. The open-source code has been released on GitHub.

Opporty is a member of China Cooperative Trade Enterprise Association, and the company is advised by Mr. Daniel Wu, who is a Deputy Director of One Belt One Road Development center.

In April 2018, Opporty joined the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), the world’s largest open source blockchain initiative. EEA is a non-profit organization that supports Ethereum-based technology best practices and the whole industry.

The company is proud to be a partner of InfiniVision Network Technology (Shanghai) in the fields of big data and blockchain integrations.

In 2018, ​Opporty has scored two Bronze Awards​, a renowned reward among entrepreneurs and innovators. It won the Stevie International Business Competition in the following nominations: Company of the Year  —  Business or Professional Services  —  Small category, and Online Marketing Campaign of the Year category.

Understanding that an online marketplace could be something much more than just a business product, Opporty has become a UN Global Compact participant. Taking part in this initiative, the Opporty team conducts research work in the fields of resolving issues of poverty and unemployment.

OPP, the company’s token, is already available on several exchanges, and the list is being updated.

 

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Major Agriculture Companies Partner to Use Blockchain in Grain Trading

The world’s four largest agriculture companies, commonly known as ABCD, have partnered to digitize international grain trading by using blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, Reuters reports Thursday, Oct. 25.

ABCD, composed of Archer Daniels Midland Co., Bunge Ltd., Cargill Inc., and Louis Dreyfus Co., states that blockchain implementation could make trading more efficient and transparent, as well as reduce costs. The conglomerate aims to digitize the system that has previously relied on paper contracts, invoices, and manual payments.

According to grain industry news outlet World-Grain.com, blockchain and AI will be initially used to automate grain and oilseed post-trade execution processes, which are a highly manual and costly part of the supply chain.

In the long run, ABCD plans to integrate blockchain technology on different levels of the supply chain, including shipping, storage, and customer experience.

As cited by World-Grain.com, CEO of Louis Dreyfus Co. Ian McIntosh explained how blockchain could help develop the agriculture industry, noting the technology’s “capacity to generate efficiencies and reduce the time usually spent on manual document and data processing.”

Major food giants across the world have been testing blockchain to improve the efficiency of the supply chain. Louis Dreyfus Co., along with four other parties, conducted its first blockchain-based shipment back in January 2018, sending soybeans from America to China using the Easy Trading Connect (ETC) blockchain platform.

U.S. national milk marketing cooperative Dairy Farmers of America also piloted decentralized solutions among its farmer-members in 48 states, while major Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn used blockchain to track orange juice production.

As per a recent study by Reportlinker, blockchain use in agriculture and food supply chains market will be worth over $400 million in the next five years.

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India Has Become More Optimistic in Crypto as Big Companies Challenge Court

Crypto companies were heard in India today as they told the supreme court that the ban on banks interacting with cryptocurrencies is illegal. The global community has placed widespread pressure on the courts to stop the ban, as crypto exchanges have threatened to take their business elsewhere.

Banking Ban Could be Lifted Imminently

On July 5, regulated Indian banks were stopped from interacting with crypto companies leading to a reduction in the availability for users to withdraw or deposit funds. While some users are using peer-to-peer services to continue to use crypto companies, it has led to a reduction in services for Indian users.

The petition to the courts was filed by Kali Digital Eco-Systems, which was set to launch its own crypto exchange, CoinRecoil, in August. They argued the ban was unconstitutional on two grounds. These are Article 19(1) (g) of the Indian constitution, which allows citizens to enjoy the right to carry on any occupation, trade, or business; and Article 14, which prohibits discrimination and mandates equal protection under the law for all.

major cryptocurrency exchange Zebpay has also challenged the ban on digital asset trading in the courts, challenging the circular issued by the RBI as they “feel it is counterproductive, and against the interest of citizens.” The cases were merged into one hearing to save time after multiple petitions were filed from courts including Calcutta high court and Delhi high court.

Zebpay CEO Ajeet Khurana tweeted: “We have put our best foot forward for the SC hearing today. I am confident that the honorable court will take the right decision in national interest. #Bitcoin”

The government’s chief legal advisor, K K Venugopal, was present at the hearing today. The court required the attorney general of India (AGI) to attend as they felt the case was so significant.

An online petition has also been signed by 44,000 India crypto users who call on the government to clarify their stance on cryptocurrencies. A hearing has been postponed to September 11 as responses are required by the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and other regulatory bodies. It is believed this would be a wider clarification on crypto assets that would provide a clearer stance regardless of whether the bank ban is lifted or not.

India: No Plans to Ban Crypto

Recently, a source from inside the Indian government told Quartz that a ban on cryptocurrencies themselves is unlikely and said that the bank ban was an attempt to begin to regulate the market. The concerns appeared to be over anti-money laundering and that by separating banks from the crypto market, it gave the government time to regulate it.

“I don’t think anyone is really thinking of banning it (cryptocurrencies) altogether. The issue here is about regulating the trade and we need to know where the money is coming from. Allowing it as (a) commodity may let us better regulate trade and so that is being looked at,” a senior government official privy to the panel’s discussions told Quartz.

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China Sees 454% Increase in Companies with ‘Blockchain’ in Name


Today’s $1,000 bitcoin price rally aside, the cryptocurrency market might be enduring a bear cycle triggered by vanishing consumer interest, but blockchain, it seems, is still big business — particularly in China.

Citing government data sourced from Chinese-language outlet Qixin, the South China Morning Post reports that, from Jan. 1 to July 16, 3,078 China-based companies have filed to include qukualian, the Chinese word for blockchain, in their names, up from just 555 in all of 2017. In the past calendar year, 16,600 newly-registered firms have included blockchain as part of their business strategy.

That data stands in contrast to the U.S., where just 817 registered firms include the word “blockchain” in their names. Even that figure, though, has drawn comparisons to the dot-com bubble, when companies added “.com” to their names so that investors would perceive them as trendy tech companies. Valuations soared but ultimately collapsed as the 20th century gave way to the 21st.

High-profile examples in the U.S. blockchain industry include Riot Blockchain, a former biotech company, and Long Blockchain, which prior to its crypto rebrand operated under the name Long Island Iced Tea.

These firms quickly turned into “proxy stocks” for the cryptocurrency market, and their stock prices soared in Q4 2017 along with the bitcoin price, as crypto-shy investors sought to gain exposure to the burgeoning industry.

However, these valuations — built entirely on speculation and hype — have plummeted during the recent bear market, outpacing even cryptocurrency prices in their rate of decline.

long blockchain stock price
Source: Bloomberg

Long Blockchain, the ultimate face of the so-called “blockchain bubble,” now finds itself delisted from the Nasdaq Stock Market and relegated to over-the-counter (OTC) trading. Its share price, meanwhile, has declined to $0.38 from a mid-December peak above the $9.00 mark.

As CCN reported, China’s government has passed a number of policies hostile to cryptocurrencies, but it has also embraced blockchain and distributed ledger technology (DLT) as a key focus of its strategy to cement its status as the world’s leading tech center.

Earlier this year, for instance, President Xi Jinping said that blockchain is one of several technologies “substantially reshaping the global economic structure,” and the country’s central bank has devoted significant resources to researching how it can leverage DLT to digitize its national currency.

Featured Image from Shutterstock

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