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MENLO PARK, Calif., Sept. 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — According to the 2018 Finance Trends Survey Report released today by global consulting firm Protiviti, CFOs and finance executives view data management (security, privacy and governance) and predictive data analytics to be among their most significant issues to address. Survey respondents rated different areas in the finance function to reflect their priorities to improve their knowledge and capabilities over the next 12 months.

Security and privacy of data in finance applications is a high priority for 71 percent of all respondents and 75 percent of CFOs/finance vice presidents, specifically. This comes as no surprise given the volume, complexity and sensitivity of data that finance groups must manage and keep secure. These security challenges are compounded as more finance data warehouses move to the cloud, which introduces a broad range of new security risks.

“Another key area that CFOs and finance leaders are struggling to manage is data quality. The analysis and reporting that finance delivers to the organization rests on the quality and completeness of the available data, making data governance critical,” said Christopher Wright, a Protiviti regional managing director and leader of the firm’s Business Performance Improvement practice. “If a master data management system were to be implemented, CFOs and their management would have a much clearer understanding of different organizational functions and areas of profitability and risk. Also, as the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning grows in the months and years ahead, data quality will become even more paramount to business transformation initiatives.”

“Following the top-rated areas of data and analytics and process improvement, the next most highly rated priority is the changing demands and expectations of finance’s internal customers,” said Shawn Seasongood, a Protiviti managing director in the Financial Performance Management practice. “More and more departments throughout companies are seeking access to real-time data and predictive analysis about the performance and profitability of products and services. The finance group is a critical source of this information — being able to deliver this information reliably further enhances the internal customer experience, increases the value proposition of finance groups and helps lead to the organization’s long-term growth.”

Regarding the new lease accounting standard, there are some expected differences in the findings between public and private organizations. More than one in five public companies — 22 percent — are making adjustments in the finance organization based on the impact of the new standard, compared to 11 percent of private organizations. This concentration may change as private companies draw closer to their adoption deadline.

Interestingly, virtual and crypto currencies are not even on the radar of responding organizations. More than eight out of 10 are not using, interested in using, or investing in virtual and crypto currencies, nor are they being pressured by employees, customers, suppliers or partners to use virtual currencies.

The Protiviti study, titled “The Shifting Landscape of Finance,” shares survey data gathered in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2018 from close to 400 (n = 393) CFOs, vice presidents of finance, finance directors, controllers and other finance professionals at both publicly and privately held companies (79 percent) in an array of industries. The remaining 21 percent of responding organizations are in the non-profit, government and education sectors. Fifty-seven percent of companies represented in the survey have revenues of $1 billion or more.

Survey Resources and Webinar
The Finance Trends Survey Report, an infographic, a short video and a podcast about key findings are available for complimentary download at www.protiviti.com/financetrends.

On October 23 at 10:00 a.m. PDT, Protiviti will host a complimentary webinar to discuss key takeaways from the survey. Joining Wright and Seasongood on the webinar will be Ken Thomas, a Protiviti managing director in the firm’s Business Performance Improvement practice. Please register for the 60-minute webinar here.

About Protiviti
Protiviti (www.protiviti.com) is a global consulting firm that delivers deep expertise, objective insights, a tailored approach and unparalleled collaboration to help leaders confidently face the future. Through its network of more than 75 offices in over 20 countries, Protiviti and its independently owned Member Firms provide clients with consulting solutions in finance, technology, operations, data, analytics, governance, risk and internal audit.

Named to the 2018 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For® list, Protiviti has served more than 60 percent of Fortune 1000® and 35 percent of Fortune Global 500® companies. The firm also works with smaller, growing companies, including those looking to go public, as well as with government agencies. Protiviti is a wholly owned subsidiary of Robert Half (NYSE :RHI ). Founded in 1948, Robert Half is a member of the S&P 500 index.

Protiviti is not licensed or registered as a public accounting firm and does not issue opinions on financial statements or offer attestation services.

Editor’s note: Photos available upon request.

SOURCE Protiviti

Related Links

http://www.protiviti.com

The post Data and Analytics Are Top Priorities for Finance Executives, According to New Protiviti Study appeared first on ICOAxiom.

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NEW YORK, Sept. 21, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — In Satoshi Nakamoto’s famous Bitcoin whitepaper, there are eight references to prior work on page 9. Three of those belong to W. Scott Stornetta and Stuart Haber, co-inventors of the early blockchain in BellCore circa 1991. Dr. Stornetta has recently been in the news after an old article in The New York Times from 1995 surfaced naming him as blockchain co-inventor and as more attention is paid by the broader media to where and how the blockchain got started. Scott has not joined The Bitcoin Foundation or Ethereum Foundation; nor did he get behind exchanges like Binance or Coinbase. He has not advised 100 random ICOs. Scott was sitting on the sidelines of the cryptocurrency world looking for a special project that can really scale the public blockchain.

A few weeks ago, Scott agreed to join Celsius Network and team up with its founders to bring the next 100 million people into crypto. Scott will be supporting a team led by CEO Alex Mashinsky, one of the inventors of VoIP (Voice over IP), perhaps the most pervasive peer-to-peer application ever built, which is used by over three billion people around the planet. The Celsius team seeks to bring the next 100 million people into crypto through a growing set of innovative financial products via a mobile app that is truly doing what is in the best interest of its community members.

Dr. Stornetta, Chief Scientist of Yugen Partners, said, “We all hope for a better world. But getting there requires both idealistic goals and disciplined execution. I elected not to serve on any blockchain boards. Although many ask, I try to choose the ones that best represent the promise of the entire blockchain community. Celsius is one of those exemplars. The promise of blockchain to improve the lives of billions is real. But it takes a great deal more than wishing to get there. After really getting to know Alex and the Celsius team, I’m persuaded that they have what is needed to achieve their mission and that it is one the entire community can get behind. Namely, they are deploying ‘customer-first’ financial services based on a token that maximizes value creation for all of their members.”

Celsius looks forward to working closely with Stornetta, who, besides his early work on the blockchain, has extensive experience helping to transform promising technologies into value-creating products in the cryptocurrency market.

“I’ve followed Scott’s work for a long time and I am excited he chose Celsius out of so many great projects. I am thrilled to have someone like Scott join us and help us scale the lessons I learned creating VoIP during the first internet revolution to MoIP (Money over IP) in this upcoming blockchain revolution. Scott embodies the best of the blockchain community and represents perfectly what we hope to achieve. Having him endorse our work is a huge validation for our project. Having him as a resource for our team will be invaluable,” declared CEO Alex Mashinsky.

About Celsius:

Celsius Network is a blockchain-based Fintech startup which provides members access to borrowing dollars using crypto as collateral and earning interest on BTC and ETH coins. Members of the Celsius Network can also earn interest on digital assets being lent out by Celsius to hedge funds.

Celsius plans to bring a new wave of financial products to the digital currency market in order to bring the next 100 million people into blockchain.

Celsius’ focus is always on representing its members’ best interests through itspool of Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP) and other top-20 coins to generate highest returns at the lowest risk possible. Celsius uses a new set of financial products that are designed to work in the best interest of its members instead of trying to make as much profit as possible the way banks typically do.

Website: https://celsius.network/

Download the App: https://celsiusnetwork.app.link/download

Telegram: https://t.me/celsiusnetwork

Contact: sales@celsius.network

About Yugen Partners:

Yugen Partners is a global investment firm, assisting institutional investors in engaging the opportunities of the emerging blockchain space. info@yugenpartners.com

Media Contact: 
Ingamar Ramirez 
Telegram: @Ingalandia
Email: ingamar@celsius.network

Related Links

Website

Download the App

Related Video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHzBOcoT3Tw

SOURCE Celsius Network LTD

Related Links

https://celsius.network/

The post Co-Inventor of Blockchain Teams Up With Inventor of VoIP to Bring Next 100M People Into Crypto appeared first on ICOAxiom.

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Outlook – Positive LocalCoinSwap Overview

LocalCoinSwap is a peer to peer exchange that is owned by the community. After accounting for cost associated with running the peer to peer exchange, the profit is then distributed to the community that owns LocalCoinSwap tokens through smart contracts. They aim to be a 100% transparent exchange. They are basically going to be the online version of a local coin exchange, just as their name suggests. The LocalCoinSwap will make a small profit on all currency transactions on their site, which will be distributed back to token holders. The service will be operated on the proof of stake system.

LocalCoinSwap Idea/Concept

The idea/concept is that this is a peer to peer exchange that returns profits back to the community which holds the tokens. This of this as escrow service meets credit union. (In the United States, Credit Unions are financial institutions that return profits via lower interest rates) The idea isn’t outrageous or something that isn’t viable. Its also an alternative to having to sell your coins to the major exchanges.

One thing I always look at is does not service/exchange need to be on the blockchain and in their case it does need to be on the blockchain, the profits are distributed through smart contracts.

LocalCoinSwap Product

The product is a peer to peer exchange. There is no live product yet which you would be able to test out. However they did release the coding for the exchange on github, which everyone is able to view it. Those participating in the LocalCoinSwap ICO will have first access to the platform.

LocalCoinSwap Team

The team consists of 8 members and 10 advisors. The team is led by Nathan Worsley – Chief Technical Oficer, Thomas Underwood – Chief Financial Officers and Daniel Worsley – Cheif Operating Officer. The also have 10 advisors, led by many with backgrounds in Finance and Legal.

LocalCoinSwap Tokens

The company is looking to raise $20,000,000 via a token sale. One LCS token is worth $.40 Any unsold tokens will be burnt. While the tokens are not needed to conduct trades on their platform, they are needed in order to receive your distribution of the profit.

Our Take on LocalCoinSwap Positives Profit sharing

Personally, I think this is one of the best selling points, through ownership of the tokens you are eligible to any profits generated on their system. So as the exchange grows and becomes successful, token holders get to participate and share in the profits of the exchange.

Many currency options

They are starting off with providing a platform to exchange 10 different crypto currencies and they are looking to expand from there. They also accept fiat currencies and even gold as a payment method in the transactions that occur on their platform.

Concerns No Verification Required

On their website they state that No Verification is required, so I understand they are a peer to peer exchange, they are creating the platform. I do think that could become an issue for them later on, if regulators want to crack on them. For example Paypal is also a peer to peer platform, however they require to obtain certain information about their customers as part of the Know your Customer process. While its not a major concern at the moment, it should be something that they will need to pay attention to as the regulatory environment clears up.

Additionally, Governments across the world have targeted exchanges, for example. In the United States the IRS sued Coinbase in order to obtain data in their users who have acquired or sold a certain amount of coins.

In New York, financial regulators have required crypto currency exchanges obtain a license to operated there.

Given the regulatory history, it is a legit concern that they could be impacted to some degree by financial regulators either in the United States or abroad.

Getting members

They sort of have a chicken and egg problems, in order to increase the transactions on their platform, they need more members to be on the platform willing to make a counter trade, without having lots of users, transactions may take longer to complete or not at all, which will force people looking to sell their currencies to other platforms and exchanges. They can alleviate that issue by being the counter party on trades initially, but in doing so they wouldn’t be a pure peer to peer exchange.

No Marketing budget – I don’t see anything in their whitepaper related to marketing of their exchange, I would hope that they would spend some money on promoting their service in order to obtain users quickly. More users on their platform would help connect users with other users looking to complete coin exchanges which would help generate more profits on their platform. I believe that they are hoping for word of mouth to help grow their peer to peer exchange, which while that maybe the case over time, doing that route will likely impact the number of transactions and profits on their system.

Conclusion

LocalCoinSwap is looking to move the local coin exchange from Starbucks to online. Enjoy all the benefits of a local coin swap such as swapping your crypto currency for fiat currency, just online. The company plans to reward token holders with priority access to their platform and the majority of the profits generated on their system.

The one major concern is their no verification standpoint, while I don’t have a legal background. I do see that being as something of an ongoing risk since that could result in the exchange being shutdown or prevented from operating in the United States.

The positives are a peer to peer exchange that provides more options to individuals and allows users to share in the success of the platform as token holders will receive 80% of the profits generated from the exchange.

Overall, our take on this ICO is positive.

As always, this reviews should be considered information only and should not be considered investment advise. Please see our full disclosure here.

The post LocalCoinSwap (LCS) ICO Review appeared first on ICOAxiom.

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Outlook – Negative Overview of Petro

The ideal/premise of the Petro Cryptocurrency is that one 1 PTR Token will equal the price of one barrel of oil. This would be one of the few cryptocurrency backed by a commodity.

Venezuela sits on one of the largest oil reserves in the world. So for them to issue a cryptocurrency based on the most valuable assets isn’t that far fetched. The currency would be called Petro and that there would only be 82,400,000 PTR issued.

Every cryptocurrency we review on offering based on a number of different metrics which are Idea/Concept, Product, Team, Competitors, Social engagement, Token stats/usage

Idea/Concept

The concept of the PTR currency is that is backed by a physical commodity. The US Dollar was backed by Gold until the 1970s. One dollar was equal to one dollar worth of gold. So the concept is not that radical. In theory if the Venezuelan government wanted to they could tie oil, gold and diamonds to their current fiat currency, doing so would also help rain inflation, which is extremely high. They could accomplish this without starting cryptocurrency.

Product

The product is a cryptocurrency backed by oil, gold and diamonds.

Team

There is very little details about the team, however there is some speculation that Russia is helping Venezuela launch the cryptocurrency. Which isn’t that surprising given their history and that Russia has loaned Venezuela money and this maybe a way for them to repay them.

Our Concerns About the Petro

We have many concerns with this currency offering. Venezuela has sky high inflation, their official currency is worth basically nothing, its also a country that has been hit with sanctions by the United States for Human rights violations. We believe the creation of this currency is one to generate some much need cash (http://money.cnn.com/2017/07/17/news/economy/venezuela-reserves-20-year-low/index.html)

And to skirt the sanctions placed on them. As a result, I’m not sure how committed they are to the cryptocurrency.

They have also changed their whitepaper number times, the latest version of the whitepaper does not indicate an exchange rate for the currency/barrel of oil. Meaning you can’t turn in your PTR Coin for a barrel of oil. They have change platforms numerous times as well, which to me is concerning.

They also don’t indicate how they will keep the commodities in reserve nor how they will be audited to ensure that there are sufficient commodities backing the PTR Coin

The currency is not minable, all nodes are controlled by the government, which can be shutdown anytime they desire. It can also be shut down if there is a change in government control. There is little faith that this currency would be around for the long term

The Petro can only be purchased with a dollars not Venezuela’s own currency which will limit the ability for Venezuela’s own citizens to be able to purchase the cryptocurrency. The Petro can’t be converted for oil probably because that oil has been pledged away. The Petro can only be used to pay taxes and fees.

Our other main concern is the reality of the situation in Venezuela. Oil production is at its lowest level in 30 years (http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/12/news/economy/venezuela-oil-production/index.html)

The oil that they due produce is claimed again by China http://foreignpolicy.com/2017/06/06/venezuelas-road-to-disaster-is-littered-with-chinese-cash/ which Venezuela has borrowed heavily from in order to stay a float. So you have a cryptocurrency backed by oil, in a country which oil production is decreasing and the oil that they do produce is given to China as payment method for the cash that they borrowed.

They also have a recent history of missing debt payments https://www.ft.com/content/062f6250-9695-30fc-acb5-0478c96b3b6e

But let’s assume that everything is correct, that they will issue a cryptocurrency tied to oil. Even if you assume that oil will double from here (We have our doubts about that as well) the best that you will do is doubling of the cryptocurrency. Given that even if oil doubles, it likely won’t do so overnight or even in one year. Here is a chart of oil for the last 10 years http://www.macrotrends.net/2516/wti-crude-oil-prices-10-year-daily-chart It has traded from $140 a barrel down to under $30 a barrel.

Social Engagement

They have a twitter and facebook page, their twitter page has almost 2700 followers, no telegram channel. There facebook page went live at the same time they started their ICO and their twitter account only has one tweet. Basically, pretty low social engagement

Token Usage

Benchmarking a currency to a commodity isn’t a new concept, it also doesn’t require a cryptocurrency coin to do so either. Other than using the token to speculate on the price of oil there is not really much of a utility for this token and if you want to speculate on the price of oil, there are better ways to do so then with the Petro token.

Our Overall Take

We have a negative few of this cryptocurrency as we believe it carries a high risk for a limited reward/upside. While a currency tied to actual commodities has worked in the past and can work in the future I don’t believe that this currency is that though. Given the overall situation in Venezuela this ICO is very risky and gains would be limited to the price increases/decreases of the basket of commodities that it is tracking. We recommend that you complete your own research on this ICO.

The post Petro ICO Review appeared first on ICOAxiom.

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Outlook – Neutral MyDFS Overview

MyDFS is a project headed by Viktor Mangazeev. Viktor previous project was UTrener which daily fantaspy sports app targeting the Russian market. MyDFS uses blockchain technology and smart contracts to increase transparency in the daily fantasy sports industry. Their tokens will be used to collect entry fees and make payments to users who have won. Fantasy sports is a multibillion dollar a year industry.

Idea/Concept

Daily fantasy sports have been around for a couple years, so this isn’t a ground backing idea. Currently FanDuel and Draftkings are the leaders in the industry. Combined they control 90% of the daily fantasy sports industry. MyDFS idea is to launch a daily fantasy sports platform that is on the blockchain. The idea is that having it Daily Fantasy Sports app on that powered by the openness and transparency of the blockchain platform and smart contracts will improve speed, ease-of-use, transparency, governance and accountability for players.

Product

The product which according to the Road Map will be released in May. The App will be available on Android and iOS along with a web version. While we are not fans of companies holding an ICO without a product, we are confident that they will release a product. Our confidence is based on the fact that Viktor Mangazeev has released a similar product before. So they are not new to developing the app or the industry.

MyDFS will offer matchups in European soccer, American Football, Basketball, and Cricket. One of their interesting features is the ability to bet on the users playing, So if you play fantasy sports and have been unsuccessful you can bet on a successful player instead of building your own team.

MyDFS Team

There are 11 team members and 6 advisors on this project. MyDFS is headed up by Viktor Mangazeev, who previous started UTrener and KHL. The CTO (Chief Technical Officer) is Sergey Sheypak. Sergey previously worked at telecom giant Megafon, he is also a certified Hadoop and Teradata developer. The advisors on this ICO are Yobie Benjamin and Frank Kan Fu. Yobie is the CTO of DragonCoin and Frank is a managing Director at Meitu

Tokens

There are 125 million tokens being issued with only 50 million being available during the presale. The winners of the tourneys will be paid out in tokens and to enter into the daily fantasy matchups. The tokens can also be used by members to stake a professional play and take a percentage of the winnings. Basically, the tokens will be used for every aspect of daily fantasy sports on their platform.

Our Take Positive Things about MyDFS

MyDFS is looking to bring more transparency to an industry that was already in trouble for what was basically using inside information to enrich themselves and get an edge in tournaments. They are also allowing for a different way of participating in daily fantasy sports for users, so instead the users creating their own team they basically pick a professional to win an if they win they will get a portion of the proceeds with the professional also being compensated. I think that will help attract people who want to play in fantasy tournaments but haven’t been successful or don’t have the time to do research on matchups. The industry is growing, while maybe not as fast as it was the last couple years, It is still growing.

Concerns Regarding MyDFS

We have a couple concerns that we think can hamper the growth of MyDFS. Fanduel and Draftkings have over 90% of the market share for the daily fantasy sport market. They reason they have such a large market share is that they can offer large guaranteed prize pools to people to enter. The reason they those two can offer large prize pools is because they know those tourneys will fill up because of all the users that they have. That creates a sort of a chicken and egg problem. Without a large number of users they can’t offer large prize pools and without large prize pools they won’t be able to attract a large number of users.

Additionally, without a large base of people, there is a concern that they may not be able to attract the professional players, and without the professional players their one offering of allowing people to stake professional will lag in demand.

Another issue is the tokens, people want simplicity and having to purchase tokens in order to enter a tourney will discourage some people and when your first starting out, you really don’t want to discourage anyone from using your products or service.

Our last concern with the tokens is how the fluctuation of the token will impact demand and operations. For example if their token is valued at $1 usd and they have a guaranteed pay out of $1 million dollars they would need pay our 1 million tokens, not if that value of the token fell to .50 cents now they have to double their token payout or if they set a tournament payout at 1 million tokens and now those tokens fall in value, that may reduce demand for the tournament.

Conclusion

The MyDFS is an ICO launched by Viktor Mangazeev who has experience in the daily fantasy space. If anyone has the ability to succeed in the space its Viktor. However as we outlined in our concern section, they will have to overcome a couple huge issues including the ability to attract enough people to make the service viable. If they do attract enough players then we believe our other concerns such as demand for the coin and getting professional players on their network easier to overcome or they become non issues. This will definitely be an ICO that I will keep an eye on both from an potential investor and as a daily fantasy sports player.

The post MyDSF ICO Review appeared first on ICOAxiom.

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