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Largest Series A in Hungarian Startup History

Largest Series A in Hungarian Startup History

The Story of SEON’s €10M Series A Funding

SEON secured its first significant round of venture capital financing, thanks to the team at Creandum.

The venture capital firm is known for backing the biggest Euro tech success stories such as SpotifyKlarna, and Bolt. Angels joining Series A also include founders of N26SumUpTideOnfido, and ComplyAdvantage as well as the ex-CPO of iZettle and ex-CFO of Revolut.

Largest Series A in Hungarian Startup History

Setting a new record for Hungarian companies, this €10M Series A proves that CEE startups are gaining visibility on the world stage. Companies like UIPath, Brainly, and Vinted are also brandishing the flag for the region, demonstrating that it’s possible to attract international attention even when your headquarters aren’t based in a traditional startup hub.

But of course, it all starts with the quality of the product.

Strong Risk Tech as a Cornerstone

From its earliest incarnation, SEON was always about strong technology. When Tamas and Bence couldn’t find a good risk startup to protect their crypto exchange from fraudsters, they decided to build it themselves.

The products, in short, were designed as an antidote to legacy risk companies, whose expensive integrations and outdated data analysis tools did not meet the needs of small businesses. They wanted more agile tools, with better results and faster implementation.

It turns out SEON and its early adopters weren’t the only ones interested. Innovative anti-fraud technology is increasingly valued by big companies too. Air France, Avis, and Patreon are now all big fans

Focusing on the Next Steps

Closing a funding round feels both like a victory and a challenge. The stakes get higher. Business decisions become more impactful. Luckily, SEON is already a sustainable startup. But it doesn’t mean they plan on resting on our laurels.

SEON has a long-term game plan and a big mission: to eradicate online fraud.

This is only possible thanks to all the people at the startup who work hard every day to make it happen. Growing the team, enabling their growth and that of their products to benefit customers is exactly what this investment is all about.

Glovo raises €450M in Series F funding round led by Lugard Road Capital and Luxor Capital Group

Glovo raises €450M in Series F funding round led by Lugard Road Capital and Luxor Capital Group

Glovo, one of the world’s leading multi-category delivery players, today announced that it has raised €450M ($530M) in its Series F funding round led by New York-based investment managers Lugard Road Capital and the Luxor Capital Group.

The round also saw participation from returning investors including Delivery Hero, Drake Enterprises, and GP Bullhound, and reflects both the significant growth potential in the online delivery sector and the strong demand from existing shareholders to invest in the company.

“We’re thrilled to have the continued backing of Luxor Capital Group and all of our existing investors. Over the last few months, we’ve moved very, very quickly but our vision remains unchanged. This investment will allow us to double-down in our core markets, accelerate our leadership position in places where we are already very strong, and continue to expand our excellent Q-Commerce division, as well as bring new innovations to our unique multi-category offering to extend more choice to our customers.” Said, Oscar Pierre, Co-founder, and CEO of Glovo.

Following this latest funding round, the largest in history for a Spanish startup, Glovo will invest in expanding its footprint in the 20 markets in which it currently operates. The company will also focus on growing its newly-launched Q-Commerce division, which forms a significant part of its strategic commitment to multi-category deliveries in these markets.

Earlier this year Glovo announced a €100M partnership with Swiss-based real estate firm Stoneweg to grow its network of dark stores and the hiring of new CTO, Narek Verdian, who recently served as vice-president of engineering at American Express. Verdian will oversee the expansion of the engineering team from 300 to 500 at Glovo’s Barcelona headquarters and its tech hubs in Madrid and Warsaw.

Q-Commerce division excels in “ultra-fast” delivery

The focus of the funding for Glovo will center around its Q-Commerce division and deepening its unique multi-category offerings in all the markets in which it operates. The company, which has a strong base of more than 10 million users and a marketplace of premier partners, is paying particular attention to growing its groceries and retail categories through key local partnerships. In its biggest cities, it’s already able to provide ultra-fast last-mile delivery within 10 minutes through its network of dark stores, as the company anticipates a permanent shift in consumer habits towards same-day and instant delivery.

More focus on groceries and partnerships with leading retailers

To spur on the growth of its groceries category, Glovo will continue to seek strategic partnerships similar to its deals with supermarkets such as Carrefour, Continente, and Kaufland, while also investing in its own infrastructure and fulfillment centers. The company currently operates dark stores in cities including Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon and Milan, and will be opening similar stores in Valencia, Rome, Porto, and Bucharest, among others. The company aims to have 200 dark stores by the end of 2021.

Jonathan Green, Founder and Portfolio Manager at Lugard Road Capital, said: “Our investment in Glovo reflects our commitment to a company and leadership team that continues to innovate and disrupt in the on-demand delivery space.  As a long-term investor in Glovo, we are excited to watch the company continue to delight its customers through its unique multi-category offering, amidst an enormous market opportunity in both existing and new geographies.”

About Glovo 

Glovo is a pioneering multi-category delivery app and one of the world’s leading delivery platforms. Founded in Barcelona in 2015, it operates in Southern Europe and EEMEA. The app connects users with restaurants, grocery chains, pharmacies, and retail stores, and also includes an “anything” category that allows users to order whatever they want in their city.

About Lugard Road Capital

Lugard Road Capital is a multi-billion dollar global investment fund primarily focused on public and private companies in the Internet, software, consumer, and technology sectors.

About Luxor Capital Group

Luxor Capital Group, LP (“Luxor”) is a multi-billion dollar investment fund that was founded in 2002.  Applying a bottom-up, fundamental approach, Luxor takes a long-term view towards investing and often works closely with the management teams of their portfolio companies.

Digital-First Tylko Raises €22 Million in Series C as Part of Its Commitment to Set New Standards in the Furniture Industry

Digital-First Tylko Raises €22 Million in Series C as Part of Its Commitment to Set New Standards in the Furniture Industry

Including Series C funding, the innovative start-up has raised €33 million since its inception in 2015. The company will more than double its 140-strong team of parametric designers, developers, researchers, production specialists, and marketing experts to continue to push the boundaries of furniture design and technology.

Tylko, the Polish digital-first furniture company, announced today the close of a €22 million Series C round of funding led by Israel-based Pitango Ventures and Finnish Evli Growth Partners. Since its creation in 2015, Tylko has served almost 60,000 satisfied customers and shows no signs of slowing down. The €22m investment follows a strong year for Tylko, with its unique approach to furniture design generating a 132% increase in sales in 2020 in comparison to previous years.

The new investment shows confidence in Tylko’s offering of premium design coupled with a user experience that puts the customer in control. The brand’s unique business model is premised on its belief that through investment in innovation and cutting-edge technology, the furniture industry can be swayed from ‘fast furniture’ towards durable, user-first products. By embedding conscious consumption in everything it makes, Tylko incorporates sustainability into high-quality and well-designed products. 

Angel investors in this Series C round include Brian Walker, former CEO of furniture giant Herman Miller, who had been advising Tylko prior to his investment, and Mark Williamson, COO of renowned US-based online classes platform MasterClass. As part of this investment, Rami Kalish from Pitango Ventures, Mikko Kuitunen from Evli Growth Partners and Brian Walker will join the company’s Supervisory Board. 

A future-proof business model

Tylko has seen sales during the pandemic rise by 132%, as its future-proof business model adopts an online-only, direct-to-consumer (D2C) and made-to-order approach. Individually designed by the customer from home, based on the principles of parametric design, each item is an individual solution. From each order Tylko’s unique proprietary software automates the manufacturing process for its production partners: a directly scalable process.

These advantages have driven the €33 million in funding which Tylko has raised to date. 

Tylko will use the Series C capital to find the next generation of creators and talent who will help to drive the company’s mission and vision to make ever-better products through industry-leading technology and a personalised approach to design.

Mikko Kuitunen, Growth Partner at Evli Growth Partners, Founder and CEO of Vincit. “We are impressed by Tylko’s exceptional growth and ability to scale the company as a market leader, offering new, customized solutions within the furniture market. Tylko’s strong impact-driven vision and made-to-order business model drives the market’s transition towards more sustainable solutions. By optimizing material use, production efficiency and offering customers unique, long-lasting design we believe Tylko is positioned at the forefront of such a transition.”

€36m in sales for Tylko during the pandemic

The successful Series C funding round comes off the back of a strong year for Tylko. With the pandemic transforming homes into workplaces, schools and beyond, our interiors have never been more important. Tylko’s unique offering – environmentally conscious, customizable, premium design – has struck a chord with taste-conscious and environmentally minded consumers alike.

In 2020, during the first lockdown, the company saw a 40% MOM growth in trade, with sales from June to August tripling compared to the same time period in 2019. Last year alone, Tylko served over 30,000 satisfied customers.

The furniture market is one of the largest consumer categories. Its online penetration was experiencing a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 14% before the Covid-19 pandemic, creating market potential in the future. The total furniture market size in Europe and US in 2020 was €341.1 bn. Tylko’s sales have doubled every year since 2015, with 2020 seeing €36m revenue and profitability in Q4.

Rami Kalish, Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Pitango “Tylko has a huge vision to disrupt the furniture industry that has “frozen in time” with its outstanding technology and unwavering commitment to protect Mother Earth. We believe in Tylko because its outstanding founding team excels in all the business parameters of scale, growth and customer satisfaction, while maintaining excellence in executing an inspiring ESG and sustainability vision.”

Create customer value where sustainability and durability are a norm

Tylko is committed to developing contemporary products that positively influence people’s lives whilst preventing negative effects on the planet. The furniture industry contributes heavily to the climate crisis: it is responsible for over a billion trees falling every year, alongside 670 thousand tonnes of landfill in the UK and 10 million tons in the US. Despite the increasing importance of climate, this trend continues to accelerate.

Jacek Majewski, Co-Founder, Co-CEO Tylko, commented on the planned expansion: “Tylko’s vision has always been about putting the user experience first, in order to create a product that is perfectly designed, high-quality and sustainable. We believe that driving sustainability into this huge industry can only be done by creating highly desirable products that will win over customers by their features rather than certificates.”

Constant product rotations and disposable furniture have become the norm across the entire industry, with badly sourced materials compounding the issue. Tylko wants to transform this behaviour with a product that is perfectly adjusted to the individual’s space and needs, is easy to assemble and disassemble, and provides a hassle-free product experience. Every item is a durable, individual solution, thereby requiring less consumption and so helping the planet.

As part of the €22 million investment, Tylko will continue to invest in:

  • Its supply chain, to develop and create new sustainable and durable materials suitable for the furniture industry.
  • Improved delivery, packaging and logistics processes to ensure the most efficient supply chain optimisation.
  • An expanded network of collaborators (artists, designers, brands) to reach more people.
  • Technologies that improve Tylko’s customer experience (AR, Space Recognition, Parametric Design tools).

Tylko’s ambitious investment in people 

From its founding in 2015, Tylko began to put together a workplace where employees have the freedom to create, develop and contribute towards the industry. 2021 offers an enormous opportunity to rapidly expand its team which already includes 140 specialists, investing in the best talent in the industry. 

Mikołaj Molenda, Co-Founder, Co-CEO Tylko, added: “Right now, we need to invest in the best people in the industry to work with us and achieve Tylko’s mission – to help us build the value for customers and shape the future of the furniture industry. To change our outlook on our home and interior decisions we make. What we offer is a freedom to think, do, change and evolve. Come and join us as we work on innovative solutions for people and the planet.”

Global expansion and new products 

Additionally, the new funding will support Tylko’s further expansion into markets beyond Europe as well as the launch of new product categories. Currently, Tylko’s portfolio consists of the original Type01 in Plywood and Veneer and its successor the Type02, two product families in which customers can configure anything from a bookcase to a shoe rack to a TV stand. 

In late 2020, Tylko introduced a new product category, with a new version of the configurator and extra features. This illustrates how easily Tylko can expand its product portfolio: simply with further software upgrades, a whole new product family can be made. Further product development in this way is planned for 2021.

Community & Support Representative

Community & Support Representative

[vc_row type=”in_container” full_screen_row_position=”middle” scene_position=”center” text_color=”dark” text_align=”left” overlay_strength=”0.3″ shape_divider_position=”bottom” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_column column_padding=”padding-5-percent” column_padding_position=”right” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”2/3″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”none” column_border_style=”solid” bg_image_animation=”none”][vc_text_separator title=”About the company” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-building-o” color=”custom” add_icon=”true” accent_color=”#336699″][vc_column_text]

Canada’s Top SME Employers, according to “The Globe and Mail” and fastest-growing business according to the PROFIT 500, providing inventory management software is looking for community and support representatives to work remotely from Poland to support their European customers.

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Benefits” color=”custom” accent_color=”#336699″][vc_column_text]

  • Work from home five days a week 
  • Visiting the headquarter in Toronto twice a year for training and hanging out with a pretty fun and diverse crew!
  • Attend an all-expense-paid conference once a year together with the Toronto team.

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Job description” color=”custom” accent_color=”#336699″][vc_column_text]Help businesses with the software and build a user community!

As a community and support representative, you’ll be helping customers get set up with their products, support them throughout their journey. Create a smooth and humane experience and build a great user community.

What you’d do

  • Work 100% remotely, full time on a 1-year contract (with opportunity for long term employment)
  • Talk to customers through email, live chat and phone during business hours (9 am to 6 pm local time, Monday to Friday)
  • Provide customer support for thing such as:
    • Help customers get set up through onboarding calls and toolkits
    • Troubleshoot technical issues (e.g. investigate SQL databases and computer network issues)
    • Teach customers how to use the products 
    • Answer questions about what the product can and can’t do 
    • Recommend upgrades and/or add-ons to help them grow
  • Retain existing customers and save canceled accounts
  • Work on side projects to boost retention and customers satisfaction
  • Work with the product team to solve complex issues
  • Gather feedback from customers and share with the leadership and product team 
  • Discover software bugs and help find solutions 
  • Help suggest ways to improve communications, culture, and growth between the Toronto office and the remote team
  • Come up with your own ideas on how to help out!

[/vc_column_text][vc_text_separator title=”Qualifications” color=”custom” accent_color=”#336699″][vc_column_text]

  • Self-starter.  As a member of the remote team, you are naturally self-motivated and can manage your own time well.
  • Remote work environment. You are comfortable working from home five days a week and communicating with the rest of the team online.
  • Customer-centric and empathetic. You empathize with customer pain points and genuinely care about finding them a solution.
  • Technical.  You have strong problem-solving skills and are not afraid to tackle tough technical computer issues.
  • Quick learner.  You can learn sophisticated software and processes quickly.
  • Strong communicator.  You can explain complicated concepts concisely and understandably.
  • Team player. Be a passionate team player.
  • Great personality.  No need to be the life of the party, but you are friendly, positive, and likable.
  • English skill is a must. Oh, and you can type quickly (at least 50 words per minute). 

Nice to have

  • Experience in front-line or service-based positions with direct customer interactions (support, hospitality, retail, etc.)
  • A plus – experience with technical support, inventory management, small businesses, working remotely, and weird hobbies!

[/vc_column_text][nectar_btn size=”jumbo” open_new_tab=”true” button_style=”regular-tilt” button_color=”Accent-Color” icon_family=”fontawesome” url=”http://piraiee.com/cv/” text=”Apply Now!” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-envelope-open-o”][vc_column_text]

Please include the following sentence to your CVs:

[PL] Wyrażam zgodę na przetwarzanie moich danych osobowych w celu rekrutacji zgodnie z art. 6 ust. 1 lit. a Rozporządzenia Parlamentu Europejskiego i Rady (UE) 2016/679 z dnia 27 kwietnia 2016 r. w sprawie ochrony osób fizycznych w związku z przetwarzaniem danych osobowych i w sprawie swobodnego przepływu takich danych oraz uchylenia dyrektywy 95/46/WE (ogólne rozporządzenie o ochronie danych).

Or

[EN] I hereby give consent for my personal data included in the application to be processed for the purposes of the recruitment process in accordance with Art. 6 paragraph 1 letter a of the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council (EU) 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation).

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column column_padding=”padding-3-percent” column_padding_position=”all” background_color_opacity=”1″ background_hover_color_opacity=”1″ column_link_target=”_self” column_shadow=”none” column_border_radius=”none” width=”1/3″ tablet_width_inherit=”default” tablet_text_alignment=”default” phone_text_alignment=”default” column_border_width=”2px” column_border_color=”#336699″ column_border_style=”solid” enable_border_animation=”true” bg_image_animation=”none”][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-calendar” color=”Accent-Color”]Announced on Jan 27th[/text-with-icon][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-pushpin” color=”Accent-Color”]Job title: Community and Support Representative[/text-with-icon][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-tags” color=”Accent-Color”]Job type: Full-time, Remote[/text-with-icon][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-money” color=”Accent-Color”]Salary: 3000-6000 PLN/Month[/text-with-icon][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-time” color=”Accent-Color”]Hours: 40h / week[/text-with-icon][text-with-icon icon_type=”font_icon” icon=”icon-fire” color=”Accent-Color”]Perks: working from home, visiting the headquarter in Toronto twice a year, attend an all-expense-paid conference once a year.[/text-with-icon][nectar_btn size=”jumbo” open_new_tab=”true” button_style=”regular-tilt” button_color=”Accent-Color” icon_family=”fontawesome” url=”http://piraiee.com/cv/” text=”Apply Now!” icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-envelope-open-o”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

MIT Enterprise Forum CEE 2nd Edition

MIT Enterprise Forum CEE 2nd Edition

MIT Enterprise Forum CEE DemoDay
On December 9th had the pleasure of following the story of MIT Enterprise Forum CEE during the demo day of 2nd batch of their startups. Congratulations to Chatbotize, Digital Engineering Solutions, GlucoActive, Teleneuroforma , Saventic for reaching the next step at Boston Bootcamp! And whole MIT EF CEE team that is getting bigger and bigger
From over 200 companies that applied from all over the Central and Eastern Europe, 13 young and innovative entrepreneurs from Poland, Belarus, Estonia, and Ukraine were selected. With the support of business partners, mentors and experts. They developed their technologies, redefined business models and determined the directions of their expansion.

Photo album here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/RSXZWNNcHDZ3Q2NX9

Get to know 13 innovative startups:

  • Chatbotize – an innovative platform supporting activities in the field of conversational marketing. The solution allows almost anyone, even people without any programming knowledge, to create a dedicated chatbot, facilitating interaction with the customer and shortening the shopping path.
  • Digital Engineering Solutions – a pioneer in the construction industry, whose solution combines AI technologies and advanced image analysis with the capabilities of smartphones, using them in the area of Asset management in order to reduce costs.
  • GlucoActive – the company offers the world’s first completely non-invasive blood glucose meter for people with diabetes.
  • LULU – a system that allows measuring and reducing stress in patients during dental procedures.
  • Mobility Lab – software that meets the needs of business customers in the field of electromobility, facilitating the management of car fleet, necessary infrastructure, energy consumption and billing related to the use of electric vehicles.
  • Raccoon.World – a rehabilitation tool based on solutions in the area of BIG DATA, Machine Learning and video games, supporting the process of rehabilitation of patients after injuries and neurological diseases.
  • Saventic – a platform (SARAH) with artificial intelligence algorithms allowing to diagnose oncology and rare diseases based on medical data i.e. patients’ electronic health records.
  • SmartVent– project management software that allows energy efficiency optimization of commercial properties. The solution provides up to 40% savings in energy consumption.
  • Tap2Pay – a system for optimizing online payments, targeted at small and medium-sized enterprises, ensuring high conversion in all sales channels.
  • TeleNeuroforma – a system for rehabilitation at home, supporting patients suffering from chronic diseases with interactive exercises in the form of games and remote care.
  • Wellify – an application whose operation is aimed at improving well-being, developing the emotional intelligence of employees through the use of various tools, including gamification.
  • Vaxican – a proprietary platform for the production of new generation immunological drugs – dedicated to patients with cancer.
  • Visadb.io – offers a tool to discover countries where we can travel without a visa. The app monitors over 200 countries for visa changes, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, disease epidemics, and political events, supporting travelers in planning their foreign travel.
Bioprinting will save pharmaceutical industry billions and deliver safer drugs, faster

Bioprinting will save pharmaceutical industry billions and deliver safer drugs, faster

April 4, 2018 With a 12% success rate for drugs entering clinical trials, there is no doubt that drug companies need more accurate prediction platforms to help them save billions in bringing a drug to market. 3D cellular models, such as spheroids, organoids and organ-on-chips, offer a promising solution to this issue. But how can these models be built at the complexity and scale needed for pharma? Bioprinting’s ability for increased complexity and automation is the clear answer.

Today, Allevi Inc announced a co-authored paper with Dr. Anthony Atala, Director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine (WFIRM) and featured on TED, describing the potential of bioprinting to improve drug testing. “Bioprinted organoids can potentially provide significant benefits to drug companies and patients alike,” said Atala. “More accurate and faster testing brings new drugs to market sooner, and the possibility of engineering tumors in the lab from a patient’s own cells means patients can get the best therapy right away – without time spent taking therapies that won’t work for them.”

One of the unique aspects this revolutionary technology provides is the ability to achieve complex geometries that more accurately mimic the human body. For example, printed heart cells patterned in lines mimicking how they are found in the body behave much more like the real heart than 2D models of heart cells randomly dispersed in a dish.

This higher performance provides for much more accurate drug testing. More accurate testing allows pharmaceutical companies to fail earlier in the drug development process, saving companies from lengthy, expensive clinical trials and preventing patients from exposure to potentially harmful drugs. Bioprinting not only allows for the complexity needed to create these models but can also automate the process, saving time and increasing reproducibility.

When these models are made with a patient’s own cells, they have even more potential to revolutionize not only general drug development but also personalized medicine. For example, these models could have huge implications in terms of cancer treatment by using a patient’s own tumor cells to test a personalized therapy. These types of models have potential to help develop drugs tailored to a specific patient and could allow doctors to test a therapy on a personalized model before exposing the patient to potential harm.

As Dr. Aleksandra Skardal, Assistant Professor at the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine and who is not an author on this publication, describes, “Bioprinting has been often regarded primarily as a way to create tissues and organoids for therapeutic uses such as transplantation in patients. But as the authors describe in this publication, this technology could be incredibly valuable for the pharmaceutical industry and in the clinic by supporting automated deposition of large numbers of microphysiological systems, or microtissues, for high throughput drug screening.”

The ability for bioprinting as a platform to accurately capture the design of several different tissues types is extremely powerful. Margaret Prendergast, Director of Bioengineering and Pharmaceutical Development, explains “Bioprinted organ-on-a-chip models demonstrate enhanced biological relevance in a variety of tissues, such as the heart, liver, brain and lung. There is huge potential for these models to revolutionize the way we test and develop medicine.”

Ricky Solorzano, CEO of Allevi, “Bioprinting solutions have an immense potential to offer automation, increased complexity, and personalization in a host of different ways. Allevi’s solutions are gearing up to solve to some of pharma’s biggest problems and we are excited to begin working together.”

Fiat Money vs Cryptocurrencies

Fiat Money vs Cryptocurrencies

BlockchainTech Congress is the first edition of the event, which is entirely dedicated to blockchain technology. Blockchain is a big chance for most sectors, which can be completely changed by the ultra-modern technology. On 28 March 2019 at The Westin Warsaw Hotel, I am going to moderate a debate on “Fiat Money vs Cryptocurrencies – How are cryptocurrencies not just another form of fiat money?”

Panelists include Kumar Gaurav, Founder & CEO, Cashaa, UK, Justyna Laskowska, CMO, BitBay, Bartłomiej Michałowski, Expert in New Technologies, Sobieski Institute

To start this topic, first we need to know what “Fiat Money” and “Cryptocurrency” is.

Fiat is Latin for “let it be done.” and a Fiat money is currency that a government has declared to be legal tender, but it is not backed by a physical commodity.

  • Because fiat money is not linked to physical reserves, it risks becoming worthless due to hyperinflation.
  • If people lose faith in a nation’s paper currency, like the U.S. dollar bill, the money will no longer hold any value.
  • Fiat money is inconvertible and cannot be redeemed (unlike Representative money)
  • Fiat money rose to prominence in the 20th century, specifically after the collapse of the Bretton Woods system in 1971, when the United States ceased to allow the conversion of the dollar into gold
  • There are more opportunities for the creation of bubbles with a fiat money due to its unlimited supply.

A cryptocurrency is a digital asset designed to work as a medium of exchange that uses cryptography to secure its transactions, to control the creation of additional units, and to verify the transfer of assets.

  • On March 5th, 2018, the word “cryptocurrency” was added to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
  • Cryptocurrencies are a type of digital currencies, alternative currencies, and virtual currencies.
  • Cryptocurrencies use decentralized control as opposed to centralized electronic money and central banking systems.

According to Jan Lansky, a cryptocurrency is a system that meets all of the following six conditions:

  1. The system does not require a central authority, distributed achieve consensus on its state.
  2. The system keeps an overview of cryptocurrency units and their ownership.
  3. The system defines whether new cryptocurrency units can be created.
  4. Ownership of cryptocurrency units can be proved exclusively cryptographically.
  5. The system allows transactions to be performed in which ownership of the cryptographic units is changed.
  6. If two different instructions for changing the ownership of the same cryptographic units are simultaneously entered, the system performs at most one of them.

Q: The Federal Reserve controls both the supply and ease of borrowing our money and thus controls inflation. Inflation is a transfer of wealth from poor and middle-class to rich and wealthy people. Why should bankers operate a scheme that transfers wealth in this way?

Q: Gareth Murphy, a senior central banking officer has stated: “widespread use [of cryptocurrency] would also make it more difficult for statistical agencies to gather data on economic activity, which are used by governments to steer the economy”. He cautioned that virtual currencies pose a new challenge to central banks’ control over the important functions of monetary and exchange rate policy

Q: In addition to the social damage and the trillions of dollars that money laundering costs the global economy, it is estimated that an additional $1.6 trillion is lost to governments around the world every year (BBC News, 2009) due to corrupt politicians and public officials.

Q: The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimates the yearly cost of fraud to be 5% of global revenues, or, $3.7 trillion per year, based on 2013 global figures (Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 2014).

Q: Due to the frequency and magnitude of thefts in legacy systems, I will only refer to single theft events larger or similar in size to the largest ever single alleged Bitcoin theft event (Mt Gox in 2014), so as to not encumber the reader with too many examples.

Q: It is estimated that 1.4% of retail revenues, or $112 billion in 2012, are lost to petty theft and shop-lifting every year (Griffin, 2013).

Q: In addition to the more than $3 trillion dollars lost to laundering and corruption, the world’s economy is subject to a further loss of $1.8 trillion dollars to the black market. A lot of the money that enters the black market is “clean”, i.e., a citizen using legally obtained money to purchase illegal goods. The breakdown of this $1.8 trillion dollar market is shown in the table below (Havoscope, 2014).

How to recognize a fake ICO?

How to recognize a fake ICO?

BlockchainTech Congress is the first edition of the event, which is entirely dedicated to blockchain technology. Blockchain is a big chance for most sectors, which can be completely changed by the ultra-modern technology. On 28 March 2019 at The Westin Warsaw Hotel, I am going to moderate a debate on “How to recognize a fake ICO in the jungle of constantly emerging new blockchain implementations?”

Panelists include Piotr Smoleń, CEO & Managing Partner at Data Ventures VC, Katarzyna Ciupa, Bitcoin Austria Verein, Adam Vaziri, Director, Diacle.

As a blockchain and ICO advisor, one of my responsibilities is to have an eye on almost all new ideas, and I have to say it is becoming harder and harder to spot a fake ICO simply because scammers are getting better at it. First this article, I will talk about major factors to spot the right ICO, later during the debate, we will challenge all these ideas and try to demystify the definition of a fake ICO. Just to start by an example, we can monitor the Benebit ICO.  They had everything you look for in a legitimate ICO and it was so convincing that even reputable ICO review websites like icobench gave them a 4.1 out of 5 score, much higher than many legit ICOs. Benebit had a professional website, well written white paper translated into 3 languages, strong team with convincing linked profiles…etc. They could have run off with more money until someone found the team pic stolen from Thsboys.org.uk (Pictures below). They ran off with $2.7 million worth of Ether. They could have scammed more if not for the accidental find and we should all take that as a heavy lesson moving on.

Have a play at Yet Another ICO to see how easy to fake an ICO.

Here I am going to ask a few questions and try to provide more information about it to help you understand ICOs and be able to make your decision with more certainty. You can ask your questions in the comment section and will update the post after the debate.

What are the differences between Tokenized securities and Utility tokens?

Generally speaking, tokens that represent shares of business considered Tokenized securities. However, the SEC believes any token that can’t pass the Howey test should be considered as a security and fall under the 1934 Security Exchange Act.
The Howey test consists of the following:

  • Is it an investment of money or assets?
  • Is the investment of money or assets in a common enterprise?
  • Is there an expectation of profits from the investment?
  • Does any profit come from the efforts of a promoter or a third party?

The final factor of the Howey Test concerns whether any profit that comes from the investment is largely or wholly outside of the investor’s control. If so, then the investment might be a security.

The utility tokens are services or units of services that can be purchased. Balaji S. Srinivasan, CEO of Earn.com compares utility tokens to API keys, used to access the service.

How do you review the four T’s of ICOs (Team, Technology, Token, Timeline)?

Team: It can be said that in the ICO world, your team sells your project. The team should have a relevant track record in the same sector as the ICO and this claim should be able to be backed by multiple sources. The team is the initial point for determining whether a company is legitimate or a scam. You should be looking for how to complete their team’s LinkedIn profile is, how long the team has been in finance or tech, and if the team is backed by any major players.

Technology:  More tech-savvy investors determine if they want to invest in an ICO solely on the platform. Having solid technology is a surefire way to sell any ICO investor into spending their hard-earned money. This is akin to crowdfunding in a lot of ways. People are promised a product in the future, investors line up to buy, and the product delivered is either faulty or not delivered at all. It can be very disheartening for any newcomer to experience an exit scam the moment they join the ICO world. Unfortunately, it occurs at a higher frequency every single day.

Token: Token’s and their tokenomics are important to look at, but it is hard to define how useful they are in determining the viability of an ICO. Unfortunately, if you ask 100 different people on which of the three (utility, security, and equity) tokens is the best and why you will get 100 unique answers. Many veterans advise you to look at a platform’s tokens. If you cannot determine whether a project is legit or not after reviewing their team and technology, tokenomics may help you decide whether an ICO is worth it. Good tokens backed by a solid team and platform will usually be legitimate. The opposite is completely true as well. A bad token usually means a bad ICO.

Timeline: Timeline is last but not least. Knowing when a project plans to deliver on its promises is incredibly important. While not as pressing as tech and team, a weak timeline will convert into less interested users and increased levels of FUD. It is hard to find an example of a successful ICO with a weak timeline. Most usually never make it past their “raise.” Most usually exit scam. An excellent way to get a sense of a company’s timeline is to visit their Slack or Telegram groups. If the core team is responding regularly, it is an excellent indication of a legitimate ICO. People who care about their projects tend to be slightly neurotic about it. If a CEO or founder is constantly correcting or answering questions, it is a good sign that the team is connected.

What is the best industry to be disrupted by blockchain?

Voting: Blockchain can eliminate voter fraud, providing a clear record of the votes cast, and prevent any chance of a rigged election. Furthermore, this could all be done on a mobile platform, allowing busy individuals the opportunity to cast their vote without going to a polling station. Follow My Vote promises an ‘online voting solution for the modern age’ via blockchain technology.

Healthcare: Current challenges in the healthcare sector include keeping patient records private from hackers while allowing authorized access by providers. Applying blockchain to healthcare records promises improved data security, with better access for healthcare professionals and patients alike, and greater transparency for healthcare transactions. Gem has partnered with Philips in this space.

Photography: Photographers can face challenges when it comes to getting paid royalties for their snaps, especially in our digital world where image theft is often just a click away. With that in mind, at the recent CES show in Las Vegas, Kodak revealed its new digital currency, KODAKCoin, which is backed by a blockchain ledger and image rights platform called KODAKOne.

Internet of Things (IoT): In 2015, IBM and Samsung showed off an application of the blockchain known as ADEPT (Autonomous Decentralized Peer-to-Peer Telemetry), which is designed to decentralize the IoT, and allow devices to communicate directly, without a manufacturer’s hub getting in the way and trying to lock users into a particular ecosystem.

Cloud storage: Storing data in the cloud has become an increasingly popular and convenient practice, although it still has potential problems – like downtime and losing access to your data temporarily, or more seriously, the cloud service being hacked. Storj is a company that’s using the blockchain for open source cloud storage.

Public records: The use of the blockchain represents an innovative solution to encode the public data in a digital ledger, keeping the info safe from being altered. In the US, Delaware-based Ubitquity has the first blockchain-based system for property record management including titles, which is in testing overseas at the Land Records Bureau in Brazil.

Banking: Financial institutions continue to face challenges with identity theft, cost efficiency of transactions, and just general security. The blockchain will certainly digitally disrupt this industry, and holds the potential key to faster transactions, at less cost, and with a higher degree of security. IBM has partnered with Axoni and R3 to develop and deploy distributed ledger technology to the financial industry.

Car Leasing: Leasing a car can end up being a protracted process, with multiple parties involved in the transaction, all needing to verify information before the car rolls off the lot. DocuSign, has partnered with credit card giant Visa to apply blockchain technology to Smart Contracts that promise a streamlined ‘click, sign and drive’ approach to securely leasing a vehicle.

Music rights: The entertainment industry is looking to blockchain technology to secure digital rights for music and other media, with the potential to recapture that income. The British company JAAK has grabbed attention with its effort to create Smart Content with a “global view of content ownership and rights”.

Worker credentials: When companies hire an individual for a job, they want to get the best-qualified person with the most appropriate experience levels. The Learning Machine is applying blockchain technology, worker and professional credentials can be verified and kept in a secure digital ledger, which cannot be altered down the road to fit another position the applicant is subsequently interested in. The firm promises inherent fraud protection which could make choosing the right person for a job a good deal easier.