FCA Launches Digital Sandbox for Tackling COVID-19 Solutions

FCA Launches Digital Sandbox for Tackling COVID-19 Solutions

The sandbox will provide opportunities for blockchain firms targeting solutions related to COVID-19 to expedite development

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The United Kingdom Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) announced it will pilot a digital sandbox intended to foster innovation from firms developing solutions addressing the COVID-19 pandemic on May 4.

While applications have not opened yet the FCA welcomes initial expressions of interest from firms.

FCA launches digital sandbox amid coronavirus

The FCA noted that it has been exploring the concept of a digital sandbox since before the coronavirus outbreak.

However, the virus prompted the regulator’s decision to launch an early pilot to trial aspects of its digital sandbox to expedite the development of solutions to COVID-19.

The digital sandbox will offer enhanced versions of features currently available through the FCA’s Innovation Hub, Regulatory Sandbox, and TechSprint programs to allow „innovative firms to test and develop proofs of concept in a digital testing environment.”

The FCA will also play a more active collaborative role within the Digital Sandbox, emphasizing that it will maintain “open dialogue” with industry while conducting the pilot to stimulate collaboration.

FCA to collaborate with sandbox participants

The FCA names a number of applications that it hopes to foster through the Digital Sandbox, including several that are synonymous with distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The regulator hopes to drive the development of “access to high-quality data assets including synthetic or anonymized data sets to enable testing and validation of technology solutions.”

An “observation deck” to enable regulators and other interested parties to observe in-flight testing at a technical level” and “vendor market place[s]” are also named as initiatives it hopes the FCA hopes to foster — applications for which blockchain has been demonstrated to facilitate increased privacy, transparency, and significant efficiency savings.

Firms working to build application programming interfaces (APIs) or facilitate regulatory support relating to the coronavirus are also encouraged to express interest in the digital sandbox.

Blockchain mobilized to fight COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the efficacy of blockchain-based solutions in tackling issues concerning data collection, privacy, and traceability.

In recent weeks, DLT has been employed in contact tracing, to track and distribute medical supplies, and to prove immunity to the virus.


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The sandbox will provide opportunities for blockchain firms targeting solutions related to COVID-19 to expedite development

How Crypto Exchanges Are Tackling Poverty

How Crypto Exchanges Are Tackling Poverty

Developing countries can rely on technology that stands behind crypto to improve their economies

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Ongoing technological advancement in digital currencies is a phenomenon that can help developing countries both politically and economically. Cryptocurrencies can solve problems that are unique to these countries by providing access to a bank account, easy transfer of money across borders, and fractionalized payments.

Improving the accessibility of financial services can help improve developing economies by providing greater transparency in transactions and reducing corruption at all levels, and including previously unbanked persons into the financial system stimulates economic growth and enables more accurate forecasting, risk management, and analysis.

Cryptocurrency allows money to be sent from someone on any corner of the world to anyone else, without the need for a bank account or the often-draconian Know Your Customer regulations that come with them and are sometimes deliberately designed to keep low-earning customers out.

All that a person needs in order to transact in cryptocurrency is a mobile service signal and a basic handset. With this everyday item, users can gain access to a wallet, a private key for that wallet, and a world of possibilities that they had never known before.

Aiding and partnering up with organizations that support developing countries is a sure-fire way to help raise awareness of cryptocurrencies on a global scale. Only through engaging with cryptos and interacting with wallets and exchanges will people become more acquainted with the technology as well as more open to adopting it.

Misconceptions

There are many misconceptions about exchanges and trading, one of which is that crypto is limited to trading and anonymous transactions without any care or consideration for its potential contribution to societal issues such as human trafficking and terrorism. This is coupled with the perception that traders are greedy and only interested in benefiting themselves and their profits from trading activity by relying on hedging and speculation to reap rewards.

For this perception to change, the cryptocurrency exchange industry needs to be encouraged to look beyond profit, opportunistic trading and hedging by giving back to society and underprivileged communities through publicly beneficial initiatives and partnerships.

Charities are always open to new ideas and fundraising opportunities, and establishing partnerships with them can often help organizations expand their fundraising base and diversify their scope of expertise while giving them visibility and access to new markets. This approach helps to spread the benefits of cryptocurrency and promote long-term adoption.

Philanthropy

Cryptocurrency businesses providing services to charities has become a growing global trend. Earlier this year, Altcoin Fantasy partnered with popular crypto influencer Datadash to promote a Christmas trading contest for four charity organizations, while the Binance Charity foundation has so far raised more than 449 BTC for a variety of charitable causes, ranging from tackling poverty to providing safe shelter for refugees.

Oxfam also recently launched the second phase of its Vanuatu disaster relief program, which uses the MakerDAO stablecoin DAI to distribute financial aid following natural disasters. Additionally, blockchain technology is also being used to tackle the issue of ocean plastics. Dutch company Waste2Wear uses blockchain to track the provenance of ocean plastics, so environmentally-minded consumers can be certain they are really wearing items made from recycled plastics recovered from oceans.

Access to traditional banking systems is one of the biggest barriers that continue to widen the gap between rich and poor. Access to sound financial support is a key factor in alleviating poverty. Even now, an alarmingly high percentage of the world’s population remains unbanked or underbanked due to various political and socioeconomic factors. However, exchanges and cryptocurrencies can help to solve these problems.

Blockchain has already made huge waves among wealthy investors, but it also has the potential to benefit countless people worldwide who are living in poverty and are in dire need of secure, reliable and affordable financial services. Blockchain removes many of the obstacles that have traditionally hampered efforts to address poverty, and it does so regardless of political or geographical borders, which is perhaps the technology’s most powerful source of potential.

Goodwill

When crypto exchanges help nonprofit organizations, both parties can mutually benefit from the increased global interest in trading and cryptocurrencies — an interest that will only grow in the next decade.

As philanthropic initiatives in the crypto space have been gaining traction, exchanges have a unique opportunity to show the world that they are not just profit-oriented but rather ready to include the less fortunate in developing countries into the global economy, boost their standard of living, and help build up a culture of benefiting those in need.

Other crypto exchanges taking on initiatives to support NGOs to spread this message further would be an exciting development to witness. It is the season of goodwill, after all.

The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.

Ben Zhou is a co-founder of Bybit, a young crypto trading platform that has seen rapid growth since its inception in March 2018. CEO Ben Zhou is fully confident that blockchain technology, cryptocurrency and crypto exchanges are the future. Bybit’s philosophy has always been: listen, care, improve. Ben believes that if cryptocurrency exchanges help non-profit organizations, the potential benefits will be immense.


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Developing countries can rely on technology that stands behind crypto to improve their economies

Esports Platform Tackling Centralization in Betting Industry Amasses 260,000 Users

Esports Platform Tackling Centralization in Betting Industry Amasses 260,000 Users

An esports platform has unveiled partnerships with payment companies and cryptocurrencies as it aims to attract a broader base of esports fans #CT_sponsored #SPONSORED

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An esports platform with a working product on the Ethereum mainnet says it is tackling the centralized nature of the online betting industry by enabling users to place wagers with their friends and family instead of old-fashioned bookmakers.

Hero says it has amassed more than 260,000 registered users and a community in which anyone can create contests based on a plethora of sporting events. In recent months, the company has focused its resources on offering compelling markets for titles such as Dota 2, League of Legends and Counter Strike: Global Offensive, with more than 5,000 contests depicted on the Ethereum blockchain since January 2019. There has been a compound monthly growth rate of 43.7% on buy-ins placed on herosphere.gg.

Making things simple

The team behind Hero notes that it has been striving to build a platform that is easy to use for those who have little experience in using cryptocurrencies. Although the company knows that the adoption of blockchain technology is on the rise, it claims “overall awareness, trust and confidence have still not nearly reached mainstream dimensions.” To this end, the platform has prioritized ensuring that new users are educated and supported throughout the onboarding process — with in-depth information offered on every page that its customers encounter.

Hero says extensive care has gone into enhancing the user experience, with specialists making an effort to help users understand how to keep their funds safe and guaranteeing they are comfortable in using cryptocurrency wallets. In a blog post, the team explained how it had created a flowchart so that developers could examine every possible action that a user could take — allowing them to eliminate unnecessary elements, simplify vital ones and integrate upcoming features in a practical way.

The company also recently launched a shop that supports HEROcoin as a payment method — enabling gamers to buy skins for Counter Strike: Global Offensive or Dota 2, as well as prepaid cards and vouchers from Paysafecard, Steam and Blizzard.

Hero is available here

Esports fantasy section

After bringing esports fantasy and betting on the blockchain, HeroSphere.gg says the next big step is to implement live fantasy — allowing gamers to see the performance of their players in the contest in real time, interact and boost their scores. New features involving special items are also in the works, enabling users to receive extra points for certain in-game activities. 

Hero

Thrilling collaborations

Hero emphasizes that “fun, thrilling and exciting” partnerships have been struck with other companies in the process of building its blockchain-based business model.

Back in May, the brand formally announced a collaboration with Coinfinity that means the esports platform’s cryptocurrency, HEROcoin, is now available from more than 4,000 points of sale — including petrol stations and tobacconists based across Austria. This is achieved through the use of crypto vouchers that enable passionate gamers over the age of 18 to buy the asset in an accessible way.

The platform also recently integrated Dash, enabling gamers to make easy conversions into HEROcoin so they can get involved with contests on the platform. According to the company, the transactions can be completed via Herosphere.gg within a matter of seconds, all without compromising private keys or forcing gamers to lose control over their funds.

At the start of the year, Hero was named as one of the winning startups to gain access to the 360 Lab accelerator program — a scheme that helps tech companies to “achieve international market readiness.”

As reported by Cointelegraph last May, Vienna-based Hero was involved in a consultation with officials from Malta to explore how its gaming license could be broadened in order to include cryptocurrency.

Learn more about Hero

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.


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An esports platform has unveiled partnerships with payment companies and cryptocurrencies as it aims to attract a broader base of esports fans #CT_sponsored #SPONSORED