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British blockchain startup launches new network to power a fairer, faster, safer internet

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British blockchain startup launches new network to power a fairer, faster, safer internet
  •  The new ‘DADI’ network will be faster, fairer, safer and majority-owned by the public
  •  Consumers will earn income by contributing spare computing power to the network
  •  DADI raised $30m in January, in the UK’s largest early-stage funding round of 2018

London, UK – A British technology startup today begins the rollout of its revolutionary ‘DADI’ network – the Decentralized Architecture for a Democratic Internet.

The new peer-to-peer network, which is built on blockchain technology and the concept of ‘fog computing’, is faster, more secure and up to 60% cheaper than the internet’s existing infrastructure. Aiming to wrestle back control of the internet from corporate technology giants such as Amazon and Microsoft, it will be powered and majority-owned by the public.

The DADI network was built by a world-class group of technology experts, with experience in technical leadership roles at brands including the BBC, Barclays, Diesel, Renault and Nike. The team spent four years and $2million of direct personal investment in Research & Development, preparing the network’s launch. The business then closed a $30million crowdfunding round for its blockchain-based concept this January, in the UK’s largest first-level funding round of 2018 so far.

The new DADI network represents a radical overhaul of the current approach to hosting, storing and distributing data on the internet – which sees information stored and served from costly data centres that are predominantly managed and monetised by large technology corporates. As adoption of this approach reaches maturity, three quarters (74%) of the market is now controlled by just four technology companies: Microsoft (31%), Amazon (26%), IBM (9%) and Google (8%).

In contrast, the DADI network will be ‘decentralized’, running on spare computing power in millions of businesses and homes around the world. Consumers will be able to link their own device, and earn income in exchange for becoming a contributor to the network. The level of this income will vary depending on the amount of power each user contributes to the network. Businesses will be able to build, store and serve content on a network that is faster, more secure and up to 60% cheaper than existing alternatives.

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Explaining this new approach, DADI founder and CEO Joseph Denne said: “A vast amount of computational power currently goes unused in homes and businesses, around the world. Expensive computers, games consoles, set-top boxes, smart televisions and other devices spend large amounts of their life unused or in standby mode. And that’s the power we’ll harness for this new network – drastically reducing reliance on expensive data centres that harm the environment.”

“In the same way that homeowners can now install solar panels and sell excess electricity back to the National Grid, the public will be able to connect their devices in the home to the DADI network – earning passive income as a contributor and part-owner of a fairer, faster, safer internet.”

The team behind DADI prioritises purpose before profit. Just 10% of revenue generated by the network will be retained for maintenance costs, while 85% will be passed directly to consumers and businesses offering up spare computing power to the network. The remaining 5% of revenues will be allocated to the new DADI Foundation – a charitable organization focused on the promotion of democracy and fair internet access for all. The foundation is led by Jennifer Martin-Nye – previously a human rights advisor to the People’s Postcode Lottery, the world’s third-largest charitable donor.

Paul Regan, Product Director at DADI, added: “In countries like the UK and US, we must remember how much easier unrestricted access to the web has made our lives – and how important it is for the internet to be supported by open and fair practices. We are at risk of sleepwalking into giving irreversible control to large corporations of digital services that should at least be shared by all – and at best be a basic human right. That’s why we are committed to making sure the DADI network will always be owned collectively by the public for the benefit of the public.”

From July, early adopters can begin contributing to the DADI network from July. The full public rollout of DADI network contribution will take place over the remainder of 2018, with onboarding managed through a controlled availability process by geographic region – on a first come, first serve basis. To register early interest, visit: https://dadi.cloud/en/network

Businesses can begin building on the DADI network today. For more information, visit:
https://dadi.cloud

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England 1

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce more funding for apprenticeships in England when he unveils his budget next week, the government said on Friday.

Employers taking part in the Apprenticeship Initiative Scheme will from April 1 receive 3,000 pounds ($4,179) for each apprentice hired, regardless of age – an increase on current grants of between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds depending on age.

The scheme will extended by six months until the end of September, the finance ministry said.

Sunak will also announce an extra 126 million pounds for traineeships for up to 43,000 placements.

Sunak’s March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.

Sunak is also expected to announce a “flexi-job” apprenticeship scheme, whereby apprentices can join an agency and work for multiple employers in one sector, the finance ministry said.

“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike,” Sunak said in a statement.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout 2

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking to build a consensus among G7 nations on how to stop large technology companies exploiting their dominance, warning that there can be no repeat of Facebook’s one-week media blackout in Australia.

Facebook’s row with the Australian government over payment for local news, although now resolved, has increased international focus on the power wielded by tech corporations.

“We will hold these companies to account and bridge the gap between what they say they do and what happens in practice,” Britain’s digital minister Oliver Dowden said on Friday.

“We will prevent these firms from exploiting their dominance to the detriment of people and the businesses that rely on them.”

Dowden said recent events had strengthened his view that digital markets did not currently function properly.

He spoke after a meeting with Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister.

“I put these concerns to Facebook and set out our interest in levelling the playing field to enable proper commercial relationships to be formed. We must avoid such nuclear options being taken again,” Dowden said in a statement.

Facebook said in a statement that the call had been constructive, and that it had already struck commercial deals with most major publishers in Britain.

“Nick strongly agreed with the Secretary of State’s (Dowden’s) assertion that the government’s general preference is for companies to enter freely into proper commercial relationships with each other,” a Facebook spokesman said.

Britain will host a meeting of G7 leaders in June.

It is seeking to build consensus there for coordinated action toward “promoting competitive, innovative digital markets while protecting the free speech and journalism that underpin our democracy and precious liberties,” Dowden said.

The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, but Australia has also been invited.

Britain is working on a new competition regime aimed at giving consumers more control over their data, and introducing legislation that could regulate social media platforms to prevent the spread of illegal or extremist content and bullying.

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Gareth Jones and John Stonestreet)

 

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit

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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would offer a fast-track visa scheme for jobs at high-growth companies after a government-backed review warned that financial technology firms will struggle with Brexit and tougher competition for global talent.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak said that now Britain has left the European Union, it wants to make sure its immigration system helps businesses attract the best hires.

“This new fast-track scale-up stream will make it easier for fintech firms to recruit innovators and job creators, who will help them grow,” Sunak said in a statement.

Over 40% of fintech staff in Britain come from overseas, and the new visa scheme, open to migrants with job offers at high-growth firms that are scaling up, will start in March 2022.

Brexit cut fintechs’ access to the EU single market and made it far harder to employ staff from the bloc, leaving Britain less attractive for the industry.

The review published on Friday and headed by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of payments fintech Worldpay, set out a “strategy and delivery model” that also includes a new 1 billion pound ($1.39 billion) start-up fund.

“It’s about underpinning financial services and our place in the world, and bringing innovation into mainstream banking,” Kalifa told Reuters.

Britain has a 10% share of the global fintech market, generating 11 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in revenue.

The review said Brexit, heavy investment in fintech by Australia, Canada and Singapore, and the need to be nimbler as COVID-19 accelerates digitalisation of finance, all mean the sector’s future in Britain is not assured.

It also recommends more flexible listing rules for fintechs to catch up with New York.

“We recognise the need to make the UK attractive a more attractive location for IPOs,” said Britain’s financial services minister John Glen, adding that a separate review on listings rules would be published shortly.

“Those findings, along with Ron’s report today, should provide an excellent evidence base for further reform.”

SCALING UP

Britain pioneered “sandboxes” to allow fintechs to test products on real consumers under supervision, and the review says regulators should move to the next stage and set up “scale-boxes” to help fintechs navigate red tape to grow.

“It’s a question of knowing who to call when there’s a problem,” said Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at consultants KPMG and a contributor to the review.

A UK fintech wanting to serve EU clients would have to open a hub in the bloc, an expensive undertaking for a start-up.

“Leaving the EU and access to the single market going away is a big deal, so the UK has to do something significant to make fintechs stay here,” Swinburne said.

The review seeks to join the dots on fintech policy across government departments and regulators, and marshal private sector efforts under a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).

“There is no framework but bits of individual policies, and nowhere does it come together,” said Rachel Kent, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells and contributor to the review.

($1 = 0.7064 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)

 

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