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Codex Protocol Announces New Ecosystem Members Providing Services To Fine Arts Industry

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Codex Protocol Announces New Ecosystem Members Providing Services To Fine Arts Industry

Partners to utilize and contribute to provenance on Codex Record

Codex Protocol, a leading decentralized title registry for the $2 trillion arts & collectibles (A&C) asset class, has announced key partners joining the Codex Ecosystem — a group of major A&C stakeholders spanning the complete spectrum of all industry partners, including collectors, auctioneers, dealers, museums, and other organizations vetted by existing members.

New partners include Heffel Fine Art Auction House, Feral Horses, Luxury Asset Capital, ValueMyStuff, Dust, and The Clarion List. Through interactions with pieces on the protocol holding the Codex Record, members will utilize or write on the title registry, thereby contributing to the pieces’ provenance.

Codex CEO Mark Lurie said: “The Codex ecosystem members play an integral role in delivering additional value to Codex record holders and driving increased adoption within the industry. Until very recently, there was no permanent record to prove who owned what and when within the A&C market when almost the entire value of A&C is based on provenance and authenticity. We are committed to bringing on board the most versatile and high quality members to the Consortium in order to provide the best vendors and data providers to our users. These partnerships will help us create a larger and more trusted art and collectibles market for collectors and investors, empowering them to purchase, sell, and utilize their luxury assets with greater confidence.”

Having an efficient title registry enables alternative models for arts & collectibles ownership, allows holders of cryptocurrency to bid in auctions, and will help the arts and collectibles asset class to flourish. Heffel, Canada’s leading fine art auction house, holds both live and online auctions and items sold at Heffel’s auctions will be assigned a Codex record. Feral Horses, a live trading platform to buy and sell “shares” of artworks, allows artists who go through the platform’s due diligence process to upload their works for a defined selling period and a minimum threshold and sell them to a pool of art lovers and investors. The fractional ownership also allows artists to retain shares in their work. When the threshold has been met, investors can start trading their “shares” while the physical artworks are offered for rental to increase their visibility and generate dividends for the co-owners.

Investors should be able to borrow against their assets. However, few arts and collectibles owners are able to borrow against their luxury items. Luxury Asset Capital provides capital to individuals and businesses in exchange for luxury assets that may either be purchased or held onto as collateral.

Consortium partners not only make use of provenance on the Codex Protocol, but can also help write provenance onto the blockchain. ValueMyStuff has a team of highly experienced appraisal experts, most of whom have previous experience appraising for major auction houses such as Sotheby’s, who can typically turn around a valuation within 48 hours and record the results onto the Codex Record.

To address the practical challenges and logistical complications of linking tangible assets to intangible tokens, Codex has partnered with DUST Identity, a Boston based technology company that uses diamond dust to imprint a unique crystalline signature on physical items. This high security fingerprint is invisible to the naked eye, but can be scanned to verifiably link physical items with digital records like Codex Records.

To be a participant in the arts & collectibles market means more than just dealing with artists, auction houses, and art dealers. The Clarion List is the leading online resource for art market participants to discover top-rated art service companies worldwide, including art consultants, appraisers, framers, storage and installation companies, private dealers, e-commerce platforms and more. Upon integration with The Clarion List, those who hold Codex Records for unique assets in the Codex decentralized registry can provide service providers access to their virtual records in order to obtain quotes more efficiently for desired services like consultations, conservation, insurance, disposition and more.

These partnerships, for applications for build on top of Codex Protocol and use CodexCoin mark a significant expansion to the Codex ecosystem. For more information on the Codex Protocol, please visit https://codexprotocol.com/.

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears

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Australia says no further Facebook, Google amendments as final vote nears 1

By Colin Packham

CANBERRA (Reuters) – Australia will not alter legislation that would make Facebook and Alphabet Inc’s Google pay news outlets for content, a senior lawmaker said on Monday, as Canberra neared a final vote on whether to pass the bill into law.

Australia and the tech giants have been in a stand-off over the legislation widely seen as setting a global precedent.

Other countries including Canada and Britain have already expressed interest in taking some sort of similar action.

Facebook has protested the laws. Last week it blocked all news content and several state government and emergency department accounts, in a jolt to the global news industry, which has already seen its business model upended by the titans of the technological revolution.

Talks between Australia and Facebook over the weekend yielded no breakthrough.

As Australia’s senate began debating the legislation, the country’s most senior lawmaker in the upper house said there would be no further amendments.

“The bill as it stands … meets the right balance,” Simon Birmingham, Australia’s Minister for Finance, told Australian Broadcasting Corp Radio.

The bill in its present form ensures “Australian-generated news content by Australian-generated news organisations can and should be paid for and done so in a fair and legitimate way”.

The laws would give the government the right to appoint an arbitrator to set content licencing fees if private negotiations fail.

While both Google and Facebook have campaigned against the laws, Google last week inked deals with top Australian outlets, including a global deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

“There’s no reason Facebook can’t do and achieve what Google already has,” Birmingham added.

A Facebook representative declined to comment on Monday on the legislation, which passed the lower house last week and has majority support in the Senate.

A final vote after the so-called third reading of the bill is expected on Tuesday.

Lobby group DIGI, which represents Facebook, Google and other online platforms like Twitter Inc, meanwhile said on Monday that its members had agreed to adopt an industry-wide code of practice to reduce the spread of misinformation online.

Under the voluntary code, they commit to identifying and stopping unidentified accounts, or “bots”, disseminating content; informing users of the origins of content; and publishing an annual transparency report, among other measures.

(Reporting by Byron Kaye and Colin Packham; Editing by Sam Holmes and Hugh Lawson)

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback

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GSK and Sanofi start with new COVID-19 vaccine study after setback 2

By Pushkala Aripaka and Matthias Blamont

(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline and Sanofi on Monday said they had started a new clinical trial of their protein-based COVID-19 vaccine candidate, reviving their efforts against the pandemic after a setback in December delayed the shot’s launch.

The British and French drugmakers aim to reach final testing in the second quarter, and if the results are conclusive, hope to see the vaccine approved by the fourth quarter after having initially targeted the first half of this year.

In December, the two groups stunned investors when they said their vaccine would be delayed towards the end of 2021 after clinical trials showed an insufficient immune response in older people.

Disappointing results were probably caused by an inadequate concentration of the antigen used in the vaccine, Sanofi and GSK said, adding that Sanofi has also started work against new coronavirus variants to help plan their next steps.

Global coronavirus infections have exceeded 110 million as highly transmissible variants of the virus are prompting vaccine developers and governments to tweak their testing and immunisation strategies.

GSK and Sanofi’s vaccine candidate uses the same recombinant protein-based technology as one of Sanofi’s seasonal influenza vaccines. It will be coupled with an adjuvant, a substance that acts as a booster to the shot, made by GSK.

“Over the past few weeks, our teams have worked to refine the antigen formulation of our recombinant-protein vaccine,” Thomas Triomphe, executive vice president and head of Sanofi Pasteur, said in a statement.

The new mid-stage trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and immune response of the vaccine in 720 healthy adults across the United States, Honduras and Panama and test two injections given 21 days apart.

Sanofi and GSK have secured deals to supply their vaccine to the European Union, Britain, Canada and the United States. It also plans to provide shots to the World Health Organization’s COVAX programme.

To appease critics after the delay, Sanofi said earlier this year it had agreed to fill and pack millions of doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from July.

Sanofi is also working with Translate Bio on another COVID-19 vaccine candidate based on mRNA technology.

(Reporting by Pushkala Aripaka in Bengaluru and Matthias Blamont in Paris; editing by Jason Neely and Barbara Lewis)

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Don’t ignore “lockdown fatigue”, UK watchdog tells finance bosses

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Don't ignore "lockdown fatigue", UK watchdog tells finance bosses 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Staff at financial firms in Britain are suffering from “lockdown fatigue” and their bosses are not always making sure all employees can speak up freely about their problems, the Financial Conduct Authority said on Monday.

Many staff at financial companies have been working from home since Britain went into its first lockdown in March last year to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

One year on, the challenges have evolved from adapting to working remotely to dealing with mental health issues, said David Blunt, the FCA’s head of conduct specialists.

“During this third lockdown, there has been a greater impact on mental well-being, with many people struggling with job security, caring responsibilities, home schooling, bereavements and lockdown fatigue.”

Bosses should continually revisit how they lead remote teams, he said.

“The impact of COVID-19 is creating a huge workload for those considered to be high performers, while the remote environment potentially makes it much more challenging for those who were previously considered low performers to change that perception,” Blunt told a City & Financial online event.

Companies should consider “psychological safety” or ensuring that all employees feel confident about speaking out and challenging opinions.

“We’ve heard varying reports of how successful this has been,” Blunt said.

Pressures in the financial sector were highlighted this month when accountants KPMG said its UK chairman Bill Michael had stepped aside during a probe into comments he made to staff.

The Financial Times said Michael, who later apologised for his comments, had told staff to “stop moaning” about the impact of the pandemic on their work lives.

Blunt was speaking as the FCA next month completes the full rollout of rules that force senior managers at financial firms to be personally accountable for their decisions to improve conduct standards.

There have only been a “modest” number of breaches reported to regulators so far as firms worry about being “tainted” but more cases will become public as sanctions are revealed, Blunt said.

“Regulators won’t be impressed by lowballing the figures.”

(Reporting by Huw Jones; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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