The Rise AI-based app for crypto trading

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Removing volatility from the cryptocurrency market would most likely make it a more attractive mainstream investment. That is the hope of Rise, a fintech software company based in Germany. It plans to use its artificial intelligence (AI)  trading technology in the cryptocurrency markets in a way that will allow users to trade across multiple exchanges.

Currently, Rise algorithms are being used in stock markets, forex and commodities trading and since its foundation in 2012 it has grown its user base, with in excess of $50 million in assets under management. Hedge funds and insurance companies are among the big financial institutions using its products. More importantly, its consumer facing app, UpTick, which is focused on cryptocurrency, has been downloaded 100,000 times since it became available.

Its white paper explains: “The playing field is being levelled for all who join Rise, as well as bolstering the cryptocurrency market itself with data-driven investment strategies that are free of emotional human bias, ignore hype, and avoid the pump and dump marketing or boom and bust cycles that inevitably bring unnecessary risk to the market.”

Rise also believes that human traders looking to make a profit from cryptocurrencies are pretty much running out of time. The firm believes that this sector will go the way of the traditional stock market, where gains are primarily made by using “machines to which access is restricted to a small population of the uber-wealthy.” The Rise app will bring more democracy to the crypto trading environment and enable small investors to participate.

AI in the Rise app

This detailed explanation of how AI will be used in the app comes from the whitepaper (see link above): “In addition to trading manually on multiple crypto exchanges, the Rise platform will also allow users to subscribe to automated trading strategies with Autopilot, powered by the Rise AI. Users will be able to choose algorithms across a variety of risk classes, pick an allocation across any of their connected exchanges and then enable the Rise engine to automatically execute trades. A key feature is that users’ funds will never leave their wallet, which will allow for full control and protection of assets. Users can track returns and start, stop or pause algorithms at any time, directly via the application. Furthermore, users are able to define custom stop-loss levels for each algorithm to match each user’s individual risk preference. The vision with Autopilot is to become the trusted, automated trading companion that allows users to invest like the sophisticated trading elite, right on their mobile phone. “

Rise has a strong team with a competitive edge, so no wonder the company is upbeat about its forthcoming STO in November. What is more we won’t have to wait very long to use the AI-based Rise app – it is launching in the first quarter of 2019.

A blockchain revolution in Accountancy

Blockchain technology is heralded as the game changer in so many fields: banking, currency, logistics just being a few of them, but there is one service area that nobody has talked about so much and that is accounting.

Most people would agree that accountancy isn’t quite as ‘sexy’ as banking, hence the lack of excitement about how the blockchain may completely revolutionise a service industry that is centuries old. As much as we like to make jokes about accountants, their services are invaluable to businesses and to entrepreneurs.

History shows us that double-entry bookkeeping, the foundation of all accounting, can be traced back to medieval Jewish merchants in the Middle East, and later picked up by Genoese merchants in the 14th century. From there it became the standard method and it is relatively simple — for every intake of money in one account (credit), there must be an equivalent outflow in some other account (debit).

Overall, accountants focus on managing risk. It allowed businesses to keep track of a number of transactions at the same time, and in a range of currencies. Accountants have a specialist skill set, but as John Katsos argues, the blockchain could potentially make many in the profession unemployed.

In traditional accounting there is room for errors and fraud, as many famous cases have shown. When a mistake happens, more accountants have to be brought in to correct it, and that leaves rooms for more errors. Katsos claims that the blockchain is not double-entry bookkeeping; it is “potentially infinite bookkeeping.”

As he says, “blockchain technology can give every user in a system an automatically updated list (a “chain”) of all transactions (“blocks”) that have occurred within that system.” Plus it has validators: designated members of the system who come to “consensus” over a transaction. The only limitation is the number of users and the amount of computing power available.

There is also the potential to use permissioned blockchain to avoid fraud. In this system, people using the blockchain have been verified in advance and limits imposed on what they can do on the system, such as ‘read only’. Add in AI to detect fraud and we may have an even more robust accounting system. Is it the end of the accountancy profession? The answer is probably not, but there could be some big changes.

5 ways blockchain can save the environment

Blockchain technology is primarily associated with cryptocurrency, smart contracts, fintech and so on, but there are ways in which this new technology can solve environmental problems, and could potentially reverse climate change.

Blockchains they are particularly interesting for environmental causes, because they make it possible to track and verify transactions and interactions without a centralised authority. We can use this to increase transparency, accountability, and efficiency of environmental projects.

Here are five examples of how it could be used.

  1. Recycling

People are often not incentivised to participate in recycling. And, as most cities are responsible for their own recycling programmes, there is no way to compare their effectiveness. A recycling program on the blockchain could encourage participation by giving a financial reward in the form of a cryptographic token in exchange for depositing recyclables like plastic containers, cans, or bottles. These schemes already exist in some parts of Europe.

  1. Energy

Traditional power grids are centralised, which can create inefficiencies in energy distribution, like having unused surplus. A peer-to-peer blockchain based energy system would reduce the need to transmit electricity over long distances, and thus reduce loss and energy storage requirements. It could also encourage companies and people to get returns from investing in renewable energy.

  1. Environmental charities

It can be difficult to track how money donated to a charity is spent. Blockchain technology can ensure that money intended to be used as a reward for conservation, or a payment to a specific cause, does not disappear into the wrong places.

  1. Carbon footprint tax

Currently, the environmental impact of each product is difficult to determine, and its carbon footprint is not factored into the price. Consumers are given little price incentive to buy products with a low carbon footprint. A blockchain-based reputation system could give each company and product a score based on the carbon footprint of the products they sell.

  1. Consumer incentives

It can be difficult for individuals or companies to see the direct effects of their actions. Therefore, the incentives for acting in an environmentally sustainable way aren’t always clear, especially in the short term. Blockchain technology can be used to track data, such as carbon footprints and incentives created that encourage people and companies to act in a sustainable way through tokenised rewards for specific actions.


Is the blockchain the new home for messaging apps?

Which messaging app do you use? It’s most likely that you use one, whether it is Whatsapp or Facebook messenger, which dominate in Europe, and there are many others geared up to suit other regions of the world. Most of them use the Internet to send messages via smartphones. However, a new breed of messaging app is emerging and these use the blockchain as the their platform.

For example, Origin Protocol is a newcomer in this space and it has launched a peer-to-peer messaging application built on top of ethereum. You can read all about the product here in the statement blog from Origin.

Its aim is to build a decentralised marketplace where participants can communicate with each other. As Origin says: “One of the core features of any marketplace is the ability for participants to communicate with one another. Whether a buyer has questions about a product before committing to a purchase, or a host is delivering sensitive instructions to a home sharing guest, messaging is critical component necessary to facilitate meaningful transactions.”

The Origin Protocol will use users’ ethereum addresses as a public ID for sending and receiving text messages, while the content itself is encrypted via users’ private keys. But, because the data is not being broadcast to the ethereum network, there won’t be any ‘gas’ fees for sending messages. It’s not like making an ethereum transaction.

Origin Protocol also has a dispute resolution mechanism in place to handle any problems between buyers and sellers. To do this it has adopted the ERC-725 standard, which “links identity to a specific ethereum address and also allows a third-party arbitrator to audit conversation histories once granted permission by one of the participants,” as described by Coindesk.

The key characteristics of Origin are that it is open-source, secure (everything is encrypted end-to-end), decentralised (it is built on top of OrbitDB which is a serverless, distributed, peer-to-peer database) and it is fast, auditable, and free. An Origin user will be responsible for keeping only one secret: his or her Ethereum private key.

Origin hopes its messaging protocol will be adopted by other projects and it is entirely possible that in the not too distant future we will see other messaging services use Origin’s standard or yet another new development. It certainly brings more choice to the ‘messaging’ marketplace.