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JUMIO PARTNERS WITH EIGHT LEADING BITCOIN PROVIDERS TO FORM IDENTITY SECURITY NETWORK

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New BISON Network to Drive Greater Transaction Legitimacy and Instill Trust Between Bitcoin Buyers and Exchanges or Wallets

Jumio, Inc., the fast growing credentials management tech company today announced the formation of the Bitcoin Identity Security Open Network (BISON). Initial members of the network comprise eight leading Bitcoin exchanges, wallets and ATM providers worldwide including BitAccess, SnapSwap, CoinMkt, Digital Currency Exchange of Texas, CoinRnr, Hashop.io, NoveltyLab and Bitnet Technologies as the initial members.

JUMIO PARTNERS WITH EIGHT LEADING BITCOIN PROVIDERS TO FORM IDENTITY SECURITY NETWORK 3As the Bitcoin industry matures, industry participants see value in proactively self-regulating, and adopting best practices rather than have standards be imposed by outside entities. One such initiative, the BISON Network is designed to instill greater trust and confidence in the Bitcoin ecosystem by providing exchanges an efficient way to collect and validate buyer identities at the point of transaction via any connected device. Transacting customers hold up their driver license or passport issued by over 100 countries to their device camera and Jumio’s integrated technology Netverify scans and validates the ID, extracts the personal info it contains and populates it into the transaction form. The entire process takes place in-real time and contributes to higher completion rates due to its speed and improved user experience.

The buyer’s identity is used solely in the relationship with the exchange or wallet and does not change any aspects of the Bitcoin transaction flow. This summer additional functionality will roll out which enables an opted-in, validated customer on one exchange to be automatically validated on another without rescanning their ID. BISON members also receive periodic reviews of fraud trends within the network.

“We believe that crypto-currencies, and Bitcoin chiefly among them, are an important new part of the payments world, however, to reach their full potential it’s time to instill a higher degree of confidence in the system,” said Daniel Mattes, Jumio founder and CEO.  “The vast majority of Bitcoin users are honest and engaging in a range of legal transactions, but a small minority are not and that threatens the entire ecosystem, especially during this formative period. BISON is designed to minimize the problem by weeding out those who use false or manipulated IDs, which is a strong indicator of intended fraud or other illegal activity.”

“Since our inception, we’ve placed a great emphasis on KYC processes and other regulations,” said Moe Adham, co-founder, BitAccess. “That’s why we chose to work with Jumio in the first place and it’s a natural extension for BitAccess to help develop this initiative.”

About Jumio:

Jumio is a next-generation payments and ID software-as-a-service company that utilizes proprietary computer vision technology to reduce mobile/online payment and ID friction and fraud, while increasing revenue and customer satisfaction. The company’s mission is to provide its clients with intuitive, consumer-facing technologies that make it possible to conduct a wide range of mobile transactions without a single keystroke.  Half of the top 10 consumer internet companies, along with hundreds of other retailers, financial institutions, marketplaces, gaming companies and more have adopted Jumio products to enable their customers to efficiently speed through sign-up and checkout processes yielding not only higher completion rates but an improved customer experience.  Jumio has received numerous innovation awards from leading industry associations and is listed on The Sharepost 100 as one of the world’s most innovative and compelling private companies.

Jumio was founded in 2010 by CEO Daniel Mattes and is backed by top tier investors including Andreessen Horowitz, Citi Ventures and Facebook Co-Founder, Eduardo Saverin. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Jumio operates globally with offices in the US and Europe and processes credentials issued by over 100 countries. For more information, visit http://www.jumio.com/

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Bitcoin overtakes “long tech” as most crowded trade – BofA fund manager survey

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Bitcoin overtakes "long tech" as most crowded trade - BofA fund manager survey 4

LONDON (Reuters) – A long position on bitcoin overtook “long tech” as the trade fund managers said was the most crowded in January, Bank of America’s monthly fund manager survey showed on Tuesday.

For the first time since October, a long position on technology companies was knocked off the top spot, as investors said that long bitcoin was the most crowded trade. A short position on the U.S. dollar was seen as the third most crowded.

A steeper yield curve was expected by a record 83% of investors – that’s more than after the 2008 Lehman Brothers collapse, the 2013 U.S. Federal Reserve’s “Taper Tantrum” or after the 2016 U.S. election. The expectation of higher bond yields was at or close to all-time highs.

The top tail risks to the economy were thought to be problems with the vaccine rollout (30%), the Fed easing its asset purchases (29%), and a Wall Street bubble (18%).

(Reporting by Elizabeth Howcroft; editing by Thyagaraju Adinarayan)

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British hospitals use blockchain to track COVID-19 vaccines

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British hospitals use blockchain to track COVID-19 vaccines 5

By Tom Wilson

LONDON (Reuters) – Two British hospitals are using blockchain technology to keep tabs on the storage and supply of temperature-sensitive COVID-19 vaccines, the companies behind the initiative said on Tuesday, in one of the first such initiatives in the world.

Two hospitals, in central England’s Stratford-upon-Avon and Warwick, are expanding their use of a distributed ledger, an offshoot of blockchain, from tracking vaccines and chemotherapy drugs to monitoring fridges storing COVID-19 vaccines.

The tech will bolster record-keeping and data-sharing across supply chains, said Everyware, which monitors vaccines and other treatments for Britain’s National Health Service (NHS), and Texas-based ledger Hedera, owned by firms including Alphabet’s Google and IBM, in a statement.

Logistical hurdles are a significant risk to the speedy distribution of COVID-19 vaccines but have resulted in booming business for companies selling technology for monitoring shipments from factory freezer to shots in the arm.

Pfizer Inc and BioNTech’s shot, for example, must be shipped and stored at ultra-cold temperatures or on dry ice, and can only last at standard fridge temperatures for up to five days.

Other vaccines, such as Moderna Inc’s, do not need such cold storage and are therefore easier to deliver.

“We can absolutely verify the data that we’ve collected from every single device,” Everyware’s Tom Screen said in an interview. “We make sure that data is accurate at source, and after that point we can verify that it’s never been changed, it’s never been tampered with.”

Firms from finance to commodities have invested millions of dollars to develop blockchain, a digital ledger that allows the secure and real-time recording of data, in the hope of radical cost cuts and efficiency gains.

Results have been mixed, though, with few projects achieving the revolutionary impact heralded by proponents.

Everyware’s Screen said it while it would be possible to monitor the vaccines without blockchain, manual systems would raise the risk of mistakes.

The system will “allow us to demonstrate our commitment to providing safe patient care,” said Steve Clarke, electro-bio medical engineering manager at South Warwickshire NHS in a statement.

(Reporting by Tom Wilson; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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Shares climb ahead of Yellen speech, earnings in focus

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Shares climb ahead of Yellen speech, earnings in focus 6

Via Reuters

By Danilo Masoni and Wayne Cole

MILAN/SYDNEY (Reuters) – Global shares climbed and the dollar eased on Tuesday ahead of Janet Yellen’s Treasury Secretary confirmation speech, in which she is expected to bolster the case for heavy fiscal stimulus in the world’s largest economy.

Concerns that pandemic lockdowns could slow the road to economic recovery faded into the background as markets prepared for possible positive surprises from the earnings season.

Asian shares posted strong gains and in Europe upbeat earnings reports from miner Rio Tinto and computer peripherals maker Logitech helped the STOXX 600 benchmark index edge up by 0.1% in morning trade.

Wall Street looked set for a strong start, with S&P 500 futures rising 0.6% and Nasdaq futures up 0.9% after the long holiday weekend.

The MSCI world equity index, which tracks shares in 49 countries, was up 0.3% by 0907 GMT.

“Yellen … will attempt to sell U.S. President-elect Biden’s $1.9 trillion fiscal stimulus plan (arguing that low interest rates allow a big fiscal stimulus),” Paul Donovan, Chief Economist of UBS Global Wealth Management, said in a note.

“If the growth rate generated by government investment in infrastructure or people exceeds the cost of borrowing, it is a worthwhile exercise.”

Yellen will tell the Senate Finance Committee that the government must “act big” with its next coronavirus relief package, according to her prepared statement seen by Reuters.

Asian shares had climbed on investor expectation that China’s economic strength would help TO underpin growth in the region. MSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan rose 1.5% to a record high.

Data on Monday confirmed that the world’s second-largest economy was one of the few to grow over 2020 and actually gathered pace as the year drew to a close.

Analysts at JPMorgan felt the coming earnings season could brighten the mood, given the consensus in Europe was for a 25% fall year on year, setting a very low bar.

“The projected EPS (earnings per share) growth in Europe now stands at the lows of the crisis, which seems too conservative and could likely lead to positive surprises over the reporting season,” they wrote.

The same could be true for the United States, where results from BofA, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Netflix are due this week.

Despite the risk-on mood on Tuesday, dealers were wary ahead of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday, given the risk of more mob violence.

Wall Street is also bracing for tougher regulations now that the Democrats control the Senate, with Biden set to nominate two consumer champions to top financial agencies.

In foreign exchange markets, the U.S. dollar slipped from close to its highest in nearly a month as caution set in before Yellen’s speech.

The dollar index was last at 90.63, down 0.15% on the day but comfortably above its recent trough of 89.206.

The euro rose 0.2% to $1.2106 after touching a six-week low of $1.2052 overnight, while the dollar weakened by 0.3% against the safe-haven yen at 104.04.

In fixed income markets, Italian 10-year bond yields fell slightly to 0.592% ahead of a confidence vote in the Senate that could force Prime minister Giuseppe Conte to resign.

But expectations that snap elections are unlikely, coupled with ECB stimulus to fight the adverse impact of the coronavirus crisis, limited any sell-off.

Gold rose 0.3% to $1,843 an ounce after briefly reaching a six-week low of $1,809.90 overnight. [GOL/]

Crude oil prices firmed on optimism that government stimulus will buoy global economic growth and oil demand. Brent crude futures rose 0.7% to $55.40 a barrel and U.S. crude was up 0.5% at $52.60. [O/R]

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni and Wayne Cole; Additional reporting by Julie Zhu; Editing by David Goodman)

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