Connect with us

Top Stories

Removing the Myths of Blockchain

Published

on

Removing the Myths of Blockchain

By Marie Tatibouet, CMO of Gate Technology

Marie Tatibouet, CMO of Gate Technology

Marie Tatibouet, CMO of Gate Technology

In the technology driven world that we live in today, the distributed ledger, blockchain, allows digital information to be dispensed in a secure and efficient manner. By allowing digital information to be distributed, but not copied, the technology has created the backbone of a new type of internet for its users.

With the fast developing pace of the blockchain industry and with many sectors now utilising the technology, it is important to address the misunderstanding and confusion of the market that remains. It’s now more important than ever for companies to ensure that customers are not fazed by the myths that circulate the blockchain industry.

Here we take a look at some of the most common myths surrounding blockchain.

Myth #1: Blockchain isn’t secure or trustworthy

One of the main myths related to blockchain is that it isn’t secure or trustworthy, when in fact it is said to be the securest transaction system in the world. Blockchain is a distributed ledger, which means that the elements of the system are stored on a number of different networks and storage for the data is not connected to the same processor. As a result of this, it means that the records cannot be retroactively altered without changing all of the blocks involved. Therefore, this makes it difficult for hackers to change the recorded block without detection.

Myth #2: There is only one type of Blockchain

There is a general assumption that there is only one type of blockchain, however there are actually three different types. The first is a public blockchain, the most common one. As the name suggests, it is open to the public and it has no restrictions on who can access it. Anybody who has access to the internet is able to handle a transaction and complete the validation. Additionally, anyone can review the transaction at any time and anywhere on the blockchain.

A private blockchain is the second most common blockchain. The private blockchain has someone who is in charge and who regulates everything within the blockchain. It is also not free for everyone and the individual in charge has to give permission to users wanting to join. A private blockchain is mostly used within organisations.

Lastly, a consortium or federated blockchain is the third type of blockchain. This type of blockchain is a mixture of both public and private blockchains. There is more than one person in charge, usually a group of individuals or a number of companies. These people make decisions together which is best suited for the network.

Myth #3: Blockchain can only be used in the financial industry

Many believe that blockchain can only be adopted within financial industries which isn’t the case, even though this is usually where we hear about it most. More and more industries are now integrating this technology into businesses in order to revolutionise the way they work, and keep their valuable information secure.

Blockchain is being used within supply chains in order to improve efficiencies and reduce costs. These businesses are able to keep solid records as well as tracing products, creating end-to-end visibility. The medical sector is another example of an industry embracing blockchain to support their business. Blockchain technology is leveraged to keep health records safe in a private ledger, whilst medical professionals are able to request permission to access a patient’s record regardless of where they are in the world. The education industry is also utilising blockchain to keep student records secure, as well as sharing student records in a safe manner. With cyber attacks on the rise and personal information in a vulnerable state, blockchain is able to help keep this information protected and secure from hackers.

Myth #4: Blockchain is the same as Bitcoin

In addition, many believe that blockchain is the same as bitcoin and that it is not public, which is not the case. Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, or digital currency, whereas blockchain is the technology that underpins Bitcoin.

Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency which has different rules depending on country specific regulations and laws. The goal behind Bitcoin is to create a currency that can bypass government currency controls by being decentralised and avoid negotiations that can increase costs of transactions. On the other hand, blockchain is a digital ledger technology where each transaction is encrypted and forms a chain of data. This chain holds all of the record and requires a code to unlock.

Although these misconceptions of blockchain can change people’s opinion on the technology, there are many benefits that people are largely unaware of. Some of these being increased transparency, reduced costs and greater transparency.

Helping users understand and clearing up the myths of blockchain will enable them to better understand this exceptional invention and how it can create an improved system for everyone, due to the enhanced security of the platform and how all data is stored in one, secure place. The potential for blockchain to transform how organisations add value is vast.

Top Stories

UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints – BoE’s Vlieghe

Published

on

UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints - BoE's Vlieghe 1

By David Milliken and William Schomberg

LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England might need to cut interest rates below zero later this year or in 2022 if a recovery in the economy disappoints, especially if there is persistent unemployment, policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said on Friday.

Vlieghe said he thought the likeliest scenario was that the economy would recover strongly as forecast by the central bank earlier this month, meaning a further loosening of monetary policy would not be needed.

Data published on Friday suggested the economy had stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown hit retailers last month, while businesses and consumers are hopeful a fast vaccination campaign will spur a recovery.

Vlieghe said in a speech published by the BoE that there was a risk of lasting job market weakness hurting wages and prices.

“In such a scenario, I judge more monetary stimulus would be appropriate, and I would favour a negative Bank Rate as the tool to implement the stimulus,” he said.

“The time to implement it would be whenever the data, or the balance of risks around it, suggest that the recovery is falling short of fully eliminating economic slack, which might be later this year or into next year,” he added.

Vlieghe’s comments are similar to those of fellow policymaker Michael Saunders, who said on Thursday negative rates could be the BoE’s best tool in future.

Earlier this month the BoE gave British financial institutions six months to get ready for the possible introduction of negative interest rates, though it stressed that no decision had been taken on whether to implement them.

Investors saw the move as reducing the likelihood of the BoE following other central banks and adopting negative rates.

Some senior BoE policymakers, such as Deputy Governor Dave Ramsden, believe that adding to the central bank’s 875 billion pounds ($1.22 trillion) of government bond purchases remains the best way of boosting the economy if needed.

Vlieghe underscored the scale of the hit to Britain’s economy and said it was clear the country was not experiencing a V-shaped recovery, adding it was more like “something between a swoosh-shaped recovery and a W-shaped recovery.”

“I want to emphasise how far we still have to travel in this recovery,” he said, adding that it was “highly uncertain” how much of the pent-up savings amassed by households during the lockdowns would be spent.

By contrast, last week the BoE’s chief economist, Andy Haldane, likened the economy to a “coiled spring.”

Vlieghe also warned against raising interest rates if the economy appeared to be outperforming expectations.

“It is perfectly possible that we have a short period of pent up demand, after which demand eases back again,” he said.

Higher interest rates were unlikely to be appropriate until 2023 or 2024, he said.

($1 = 0.7146 pounds)

(Reporting by David Milliken; Editing by William Schomberg)

 

Continue Reading

Top Stories

UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit

Published

on

UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit 2

By William Schomberg and David Milliken

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy has stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown last month hit retailers, and business and consumers are hopeful the vaccination campaign will spur a recovery, data showed on Friday.

The IHS Markit/CIPS flash composite Purchasing Managers’ Index, a survey of businesses, suggested the economy was barely shrinking in the first half of February as companies adjusted to the latest restrictions.

A separate survey of households showed consumers at their most confident since the pandemic began.

Britain’s economy had its biggest slump in 300 years in 2020, when it contracted by 10%, and will shrink by 4% in the first three months of 2021, the Bank of England predicts.

The central bank expects a strong subsequent recovery because of the COVID-19 vaccination programme – though policymaker Gertjan Vlieghe said in a speech on Friday that the BoE could need to cut interest rates below zero later this year if unemployment stayed high.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson is due on Monday to announce the next steps in England’s lockdown but has said any easing of restrictions will be gradual.

Official data for January underscored the impact of the latest lockdown on retailers.

Retail sales volumes slumped by 8.2% from December, a much bigger fall than the 2.5% decrease forecast in a Reuters poll of economists, and the second largest on record.

“The only good thing about the current lockdown is that it’s no way near as bad for the economy as the first one,” Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said.

The smaller fall in retail sales than last April’s 18% plunge reflected growth in online shopping.

BORROWING SURGE SLOWED IN JANUARY

There was some better news for finance minister Rishi Sunak as he prepares to announce Britain’s next annual budget on March 3.

Though public sector borrowing of 8.8 billion pounds ($12.3 billion) was the first January deficit in a decade, it was much less than the 24.5 billion pounds forecast in a Reuters poll.

That took borrowing since the start of the financial year in April to 270.6 billion pounds, reflecting a surge in spending and tax cuts ordered by Sunak.

The figure does not count losses on government-backed loans which could add 30 billion pounds to the shortfall this year, but the deficit is likely to be smaller than official forecasts, the Institute for Fiscal Studies think tank said.

Sunak is expected to extend a costly wage subsidy programme, at least for the hardest-hit sectors, but he said the time for a reckoning would come.

“It’s right that once our economy begins to recover, we should look to return the public finances to a more sustainable footing and I’ll always be honest with the British people about how we will do this,” he said.

Some economists expect higher taxes sooner rather than later.

“Big tax rises eventually will have to be announced, with 2022 likely to be the worst year, so that they will be far from voters’ minds by the time of the next general election in May 2024,” Samuel Tombs, at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said.

Public debt rose to 2.115 trillion pounds, or 97.9% of gross domestic product – a percentage not seen since the early 1960s.

The PMI survey and a separate measure of manufacturing from the Confederation of British Industry, showing factory orders suffering the smallest hit in a year, gave Sunak some cause for optimism.

IHS Markit’s chief business economist, Chris Williamson, said the improvement in business expectations suggested the economy was “poised for recovery.”

However the PMI survey showed factory output in February grew at its slowest rate in nine months. Many firms reported extra costs and disruption to supply chains from new post-Brexit barriers to trade with the European Union since Jan. 1.

Vlieghe warned against over-interpreting any early signs of growth. “It is perfectly possible that we have a short period of pent up demand, after which demand eases back again,” he said.

“We are experiencing something between a swoosh-shaped recovery and a W-shaped recovery. We are clearly not experiencing a V-shaped recovery.”

($1 = 0.7160 pounds)

(Editing by Angus MacSwan and Timothy Heritage)

 

Continue Reading

Top Stories

Oil extends losses as Texas prepares to ramp up output

Published

on

Oil extends losses as Texas prepares to ramp up output 3

By Devika Krishna Kumar

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil prices fell for a second day on Friday, retreating further from recent highs as Texas energy companies began preparations to restart oil and gas fields shuttered by freezing weather.

Brent crude futures were down 33 cents, or 0.5%, at $63.60 a barrel by 11:06 a.m. (1606 GMT) U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures fell 60 cents, or 1%, to $59.92.

This week, both benchmarks had climbed to the highest in more than a year.

“Price pullback thus far appears corrective and is slight within the context of this month’s major upside price acceleration,” said Jim Ritterbusch, president of Ritterbusch and Associates.

Unusually cold weather in Texas and the Plains states curtailed up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production and 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas, analysts estimated.

Texas refiners halted about a fifth of the nation’s oil processing amid power outages and severe cold.

Companies were expected to prepare for production restarts on Friday as electric power and water services slowly resume, sources said.

“While much of the selling relates to a gradual resumption of power in the Gulf coast region ahead of a significant temperature warmup, the magnitude of this week’s loss of supply may require further discounting given much uncertainty regarding the extent and possible duration of lost output,” Ritterbusch said.

Oil fell despite a surprise drop in U.S. crude stockpiles in the week to Feb. 12, before the big freeze. Inventories fell by 7.3 million barrels to 461.8 million barrels, their lowest since March, the Energy Information Administration reported on Thursday. [EIA/S]

The United States on Thursday said it was ready to talk to Iran about returning to a 2015 agreement that aimed to prevent Tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Still, analysts did not expect near-term reversal of sanctions on Iran that were imposed by the previous U.S. administration.

“This breakthrough increases the probability that we may see Iran returning to the oil market soon, although there is much to be discussed and a new deal will not be a carbon-copy of the 2015 nuclear deal,” said StoneX analyst Kevin Solomon.

(Additional reporting by Ahmad Ghaddar in London and Roslan Khasawneh in Singapore and Sonali Paul in Melbourne; Editing by Jason Neely, David Goodman and David Gregorio)

Continue Reading
Editorial & Advertiser disclosureOur website provides you with information, news, press releases, Opinion and advertorials on various financial products and services. This is not to be considered as financial advice and should be considered only for information purposes. We cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information provided with respect to your individual or personal circumstances. Please seek Professional advice from a qualified professional before making any financial decisions. We link to various third party websites, affiliate sales networks, and may link to our advertising partners websites. Though we are tied up with various advertising and affiliate networks, this does not affect our analysis or opinion. When you view or click on certain links available on our articles, our partners may compensate us for displaying the content to you, or make a purchase or fill a form. This will not incur any additional charges to you. To make things simpler for you to identity or distinguish sponsored articles or links, you may consider all articles or links hosted on our site as a partner endorsed link.

Call For Entries

Global Banking and Finance Review Awards Nominations 2021
2021 Awards now open. Click Here to Nominate

Latest Articles

UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints - BoE's Vlieghe 4 UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints - BoE's Vlieghe 5
Top Stories2 hours ago

UK might need negative rates if recovery disappoints – BoE’s Vlieghe

By David Milliken and William Schomberg LONDON (Reuters) – The Bank of England might need to cut interest rates below...

UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit 6 UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit 7
Top Stories2 hours ago

UK economy shows signs of stabilisation after new lockdown hit

By William Schomberg and David Milliken LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s economy has stabilised after a new COVID-19 lockdown last month...

Dollar extends decline as risk appetite favors equities 8 Dollar extends decline as risk appetite favors equities 9
Trading2 hours ago

Dollar extends decline as risk appetite favors equities

By Stephen Culp NEW YORK (Reuters) – The dollar lost ground on Friday, extending Thursday’s decline as improved risk appetite...

Bitcoin hits $1 trillion market cap, soars to another record high 10 Bitcoin hits $1 trillion market cap, soars to another record high 11
Trading2 hours ago

Bitcoin hits $1 trillion market cap, soars to another record high

By Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss and Tom Wilson NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – Bitcoin touched a market capitalization of $1 trillion as it...

Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb 12 Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb 13
Investing2 hours ago

Shares rise as cyclical stocks provide support; yields climb

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gauge of global equity markets snapped a 3-day losing streak to...

Battling Covid collateral damage, Renault says 2021 will be volatile 14 Battling Covid collateral damage, Renault says 2021 will be volatile 15
Business3 hours ago

Battling Covid collateral damage, Renault says 2021 will be volatile

By Gilles Guillaume PARIS (Reuters) – Renault said on Friday it is still fighting the lingering effects of the COVID-19...

Portable Oxygen Concentrators Market to Register 7.8% CAGR Through 2026; Sales to Surge as Oxygen Therapy Becomes Crucial in Covid-19 Treatments 16 Portable Oxygen Concentrators Market to Register 7.8% CAGR Through 2026; Sales to Surge as Oxygen Therapy Becomes Crucial in Covid-19 Treatments 17
Research Reports5 hours ago

Portable Oxygen Concentrators Market to Register 7.8% CAGR Through 2026; Sales to Surge as Oxygen Therapy Becomes Crucial in Covid-19 Treatments

Portable oxygen concentrator manufacturers are largely concerned with the maintenance of inventories throughout the coronavirus crisis, with optimization of supply...

Cancer Supportive Care Products Market to Reach US$ 32 Bn by 2030; Sales Limited by Complications for Cancer Patients Through Covid-19 Infections 18 Cancer Supportive Care Products Market to Reach US$ 32 Bn by 2030; Sales Limited by Complications for Cancer Patients Through Covid-19 Infections 19
Research Reports5 hours ago

Cancer Supportive Care Products Market to Reach US$ 32 Bn by 2030; Sales Limited by Complications for Cancer Patients Through Covid-19 Infections

The cancer supportive care products market is anticipated to reach a valuation of US$ 32 billion by 2030. The industry is expected...

Bronchoscopes Sales to Rise 1.5x Between 2018 and 2028; Potential Covid-19 Diagnostic Applications to Generate Lucrative Growth Opportunities 20 Bronchoscopes Sales to Rise 1.5x Between 2018 and 2028; Potential Covid-19 Diagnostic Applications to Generate Lucrative Growth Opportunities 21
Research Reports5 hours ago

Bronchoscopes Sales to Rise 1.5x Between 2018 and 2028; Potential Covid-19 Diagnostic Applications to Generate Lucrative Growth Opportunities

Bronchoscope manufacturers remain focused on development initiatives to improve product functionality and accuracy for higher adoption amid healthcare facilities. The bronchoscopes...

US$ 1.1 Bn Hypoparathyroidism Treatment Market Still in Infancy 22 US$ 1.1 Bn Hypoparathyroidism Treatment Market Still in Infancy 23
Research Reports5 hours ago

US$ 1.1 Bn Hypoparathyroidism Treatment Market Still in Infancy

Mushrooming incidences of thyroid cancer have amplified the number of thoracic surgeries, thus stimulating growth of hypoparathyroidism treatment market. Future...

Newsletters with Secrets & Analysis. Subscribe Now