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Enterprise Augmented Reality Solutions – Build or Buy?



Short of time? Listen to the accompanying podcast (~8 minutes) available here.

This is a question with no simple answers. As enterprises contemplate deploying AR solutions, one of the first questions to confront them is a fundamental one: should we build or buy? This AREA editorial explores the factors that may help organizations answer this critical question.

The build-or-buy decision essentially boils down to determining the relative priorities of cost, control, solution availability and time to market.  In traditional solution deployments, the advantages and disadvantages of each approach can be summarised as in the table below.

Consideration for Enterprise Augmented Reality

When it comes to enterprise AR deployment, the build-or-buy deliberations need to take in additional considerations. These may include some or all of the following:

  • Implementations on novel or unfamiliar hardware
  • Development of advanced computer vision capabilities
  • Application development based upon AR toolkits
  • Data processing, protection and optimisation (e.g. for 3D models)
  • Integration into enterprise business systems
  • Development of custom content for new methods of deployment and user interaction
  • Customisation of the base solution to meet specific needs

A previous AREA editorial explored how AR should be considered within the scope of a technology strategy. For the purposes of this editorial, we shall omit custom hardware development from the discussion, but rather, focus on the software build-or-buy decision. There may also be wider implications if significant customisations are needed or content must be created by internal or external personnel.

Here’s a typical set of steps leading to the decision-making phase:

  1. Identify business use case, perform investment analysis and secure budget.
  2. Define weighted requirements for the solution to the identified business problems or opportunities.
  3. Identify potential vendors and their commercial solutions.
  4. Perform a gap analysis between commercial offerings and solution requirements.
  5. Identify whether gaps can be closed with customisation or custom development.
  6. Perform cost analysis of internal/external development versus commercial solution.
  7. Evaluate options and make strategy decision.

Target use cases are an important factor

It’s important to understand that enterprise AR-based solution needs may vary significantly according to the target use case. For example, the table below provides a view on how aspects of the solution needs vary across four example applications of AR for business use cases:

Such factors may play an important influence in the build-or-buy process. Take the AR-enhanced product demonstrator (sales) use case above, for example. The low levels of integration with business systems and data that this solution requires, coupled with other factors such as time criticality and reduced longevity needs, may make it appropriate to subcontract all software development and content creation to a third party.  

If your use case is unusual, then you may need to consider purchasing an AR platform that allows custom development (whether via drag’n’drop authoring, coding or other mechanisms).

Example checklists

Typical questions to consider when making the build-or-buy decision are as follows:

  • Have you identified the business applications (or problems to solved)?
  • Have you developed the requirements needed to address the business problem?
  • Are there commercial offerings claiming to provide a solution for your use cases?
  • Are you confident that the solution meets your functional requirements?
  • Would more than one commercial product be needed to provide the solution?
  • Are you confident of the solution provider’s financial viability?
  • Are there gaps between the commercial solution and your requirements? Are these gaps important and/or able to be closed? Are there other edge cases to be considered?
  • Do you have the required skills in-house? Alternatively, are there vendors who can supply the skills within budget?
  • What toolkits are available that can help provide the underpinnings of a custom solution?
  • Is complete control and ownership of the solution important to your business (for reasons of market differentiation, security or others)?

The following table offer some additional important considerations more specific to an AR-based solution:

Choose wisely – and consult experts

This editorial has explored a number of considerations that are important when seeking to adopt AR in an enterprise setting. Companies may be tempted to develop prototype applications when first investigating AR, perhaps using one or more of the commercially available toolkits. However, there are clearly a number of important aspects to consider in reaching a build-or-buy decision.

It is unlikely that an industrial company will develop an in-house AR application from the ground up, as this requires significant expertise in numerous areas, including computer vision, 3D computer graphics, mobile device management, etc. If your use case is truly unique and there are no commercial products that support the use case, then your only option may be to develop the solution this way.

Far more likely, however, is the decision to purchase a commercial-off-the-shelf solution. As we’ve discussed, and depending upon your target use case, there may be significant requirements on systems integration, data processing, content creation and other forms of customisation required prior to considering a deployable solution.

As discussed above, the decision is often driven by requirements of cost, control and timing. If cost and timing are a higher priority, then a commercial offering is likely the more appropriate solution. If control is most important, then it is perhaps better to pursue internal development or, more likely, contracting the work to a third party.

Ultimately, the decision is yours. However, prior to making that decision, we recommend that you look at the offerings of the AREA solution provider members who will be happy to discuss and hopefully meet your requirements.

The post Enterprise Augmented Reality Solutions – Build or Buy? appeared first on AREA.



Illicit crypto transactions are getting more attention from the government



The COVID-19 pandemic has forced governments worldwide to focus on bringing blockchain technology to their financial services, along with the needed regulatory upgrades to keep the burgeoning fintech industry clean.

Related: Not like before: Digital currencies debut amid COVID-19

For example, on Sep. 10, Switzerland — a global center for the wealth management industry, housing around $2 trillion or 27% of global offshore wealth — passed a reformed Blockchain Act that includes a new set of laws and regulations to support the growth of blockchain and decentralized finance companies in the country.

Related: Why Switzerland is becoming a “crypto nation” with a flourishing ICO market: Expert take

Furthermore, in a major milestone for the crypto industry, leading travel rule solutions nonprofit Travel Rule Information Sharing Alliance, or TRISA, from Ciphertrace and developer of the world’s first tracing tool for Monero, together with Sygna Bridge from CoolBitX announced their interoperability proof-of-concept, allowing crypto service providers from both platforms to meet the requirements as outlined by the travel rule. It is available to the public on GitHub.

The travel rule was introduced by the Financial Action Task Force in June 2019 and requires financial institutions participating in cryptocurrency transactions to exchange relevant beneficiary and originator Know Your Customer, or KYC, information. As a result, Virtual Asset Service Providers, or VASPs, between the two solutions can communicate compliance data with minimal disruption.

As Michael Ou, CEO of CoolBitX and creator of Sygna Bridge, explained: “In the last few years, several innovative solutions have appeared to help crypto and virtual asset businesses comply with anti-money laundering regulations that are beginning to develop around the world — each addressing the needs of different audiences. At the end of the day, money-laundering and terrorist financing are global issues that require the collaboration between different entities. This all begins with ensuring that the solutions are able to communicate effectively between each other. By adapting industry standards such as the IVMS101 and building tools to ensure correct translation and connectivity, Sygna Bridge and TRISA are working together to ensure that the cryptocurrency industry is growing and maturing in a positive direction.”

John Jefferies, chairman of TRISA, added:

“Achieving global interoperability for Travel Rule compliance across jurisdictions is vital for a successful sunrise phase. We are pleased to enable message interoperability and extend mutual VASP authentication in this Travel Rule proof of concept.”

According to statistics released by the United States Office on Drugs and Crime, up to $2 trillion is laundered on the global market annually, which bypasses the latest cryptocurrency KYC measures. Financial institutions could be missing up to 90% of cryptocurrency-related transactions, as they overlook lesser-known digital asset exchanges, according to the latest report by CipherTrace.

Until they are eventually caught by United States law enforcement, criminals prefer using cryptocurrency tumblers or cryptocurrency mixing services when paying for illicit goods and services that are transmitted with no oversight by governments or central banks, thereby obscuring the trail back to the fund’s original source.

Related: Illicit uses of cryptocurrency gaining attention around the world: Expert take

Nearly a month after announcing the largest-ever seizure of cryptocurrency assets used by terrorist organizations in a multi-agency investigation conducted alongside the Federal Bureau of Investigations, Department of Homeland Security Investigations and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Department of Justice showcased the results of a five-year operation targeting Mexican drug cartels on Sept. 3.

Robert Murphy, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s special agent in charge at Atlanta division, said:

“We have a Mexican drug cartel who initially came to our attention through U.S. Fish and Wildlife when they smuggled over 900 kilos of cocaine with frozen sharks.”

The indictment charged 12 defendants and two businesses with mail and wire fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, and money laundering conspiracy. The charges carry potential penalties of up to life in federal prison with no parole.

A week later, on Sept. 10, the DEA announced the results of a six-month operation, “Crystal Shield,” again targeting Mexican drug cartels operating major methamphetamine transportation hubs in the United States. The operation led to “nearly 1,840 arrests and the seizure of more than 28,560 pounds of methamphetamine, $43.3 million in drug proceeds, and 284 firearms.” The U.S. Attorney General William Barr said more than 60 Mexican cartel figures have been extradited this year, and more are expected. Barr added:

“Unfortunately Covid has intervened and has tempered a lot of the progress we had been making, reduced our momentum.”

These U.S. Federal agencies have bolstered their cryptocurrency oversight and enforcement efforts for 2021 — which begins in October of 2020 — with millions of dollars in new funding to shore up national and international cryptocurrency investigations.

Related: The US plan to monitor illegal crypto activities more sufficiently

The IRS is already spending some of that funding on a bounty of up to $625,000 to anyone who can crack untraceable privacy coins.

The IRS’s federal whistleblower program

It should be noted that the IRS has a federal whistleblower law program for informants (including foreigners) who provide information that leads to the collection of taxes, whether from undisclosed fiat or cryptocurrency, and offering up to 30% of the resulting tax and penalty revenue.

At the direction of Senator Charles Grassley, Dean Zerbe, a partner at law firm ZMFF&J, was responsible for the modern IRS whistleblower law, which was signed into law in 2006. He also established the IRS Whistleblower Office and created an award program for tax whistleblowers while he was senior counsel and tax counsel for the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, from 2001 to 2008.

This legislation led to the famous UBS tax evasion case that reverberated around the world. UBS, Switzerland’s largest bank, admitted to helping Americans dodge taxes, and it agreed to pay the U.S. government $780 million. In a departure from its own legal standards, the Swiss government also divulged banking client secrets. Alarmed by the affair, many U.S. depositors pulled their money out of UBS, and thousands of tax-dodging Americans came clean with the IRS. The IRS awarded $104 million to the banker-turned-whistleblower who helped the government uncover the massive scheme, which was the largest bounty ever granted to a single whistleblower in the U.S. at the time.

As Dean Zerbe explained:

“The IRS released its 2019 annual report on the whistleblower program — showing over $616 million dollars brought into the Treasury thanks to the work of tax whistleblowers speaking out about tax evasion. […] The trend is clear that the IRS has embraced the modern mandatory tax whistleblower program created by my old boss Chairman Charles Grassley (R-IA) — and it is honest taxpayers who have most benefited.”

The report makes note that whistleblowers can be paid for FBAR violations (undeclared foreign bank accounts) as well as criminal fines.

However, “the top reason — 51%! — whistleblower submission is rejected is because the submission is not specific. […] The IRS does not want submissions that are speculative. The IRS wants and welcomes submissions that are grounded — particularly those coming from credible whistleblowers — containing known facts, dealing with specific taxpayers and ideally, with documents in hand and involving recent/current tax evasion,” pointed out Dean Zerbe.

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.

Selva Ozelli, Esq., CPA is an international tax attorney and certified public accountant who frequently writes about tax, legal and accounting issues for Tax Notes, Bloomberg BNA, other publications and the OECD.


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Tezos price analysis: Technical indicators suggest XTZ might surge towards $4.5

Tezos aiming to reach its all-time high again XTZ/USD pair maintaining parallel ascending channel Historically proven indicator presents another strong buy signal For the first time in the course of three months, Tezos price action sets forth a vital buy signal which should result in a massive upside break. In defiance of August’s crypto market […]



  • Tezos aiming to reach its all-time high again
  • XTZ/USD pair maintaining parallel ascending channel
  • Historically proven indicator presents another strong buy signal

For the first time in the course of three months, Tezos price action sets forth a vital buy signal which should result in a massive upside break. In defiance of August’s crypto market flip, technical indicators signal a superb buying opportunity for XTZ. Furthermore, some bullish patterns suggest that Tezos price might have the capability to reach a new all-time high.

Following the March coronavirus-triggered market decline, the XTZ/USD pair was trading beneath $0.98. However, the bulls managed to consolidate enough momentum to trigger a 300 percent upside rally towards the $4.5 price level a few months after the crash, recording a massive rise in trading volume and number of transactions.  

Tezos price action prepared to recommence bullish momentum?

The XTZ/USD pair experienced a sharp correction after hitting a new ATH back in August. The value of Tezos depreciated by about 50 percent hitting a low of $2.3 after the correction. Nevertheless, regardless of the massive decline in Tezos price, a peculiar technical indicator implies the digital asset would soon switch red for green.

Tezos 3-day chart

The initial pattern to notice from the chart is an ascending parallel pattern in the Tezos price action in 2020. Notably, XTZ has been hovering within this ascending channel for most part of this year, having to bounce back from the bottom part of the channel multiple times.

Tezos price analysis: Technical indicators suggest XTZ might surge towards $4.5 1
XTZ/USD 3-day chart: TradingView

At the moment, the XTZ/USD pair is protecting the 100- simple moving average(SMA) at $2.39 and a vital anchor point and the relative strength (RSI) near 40. During the pandemic-driven cryptocurrency market crash in March, the RSI level declined towards 39, from which the XTZ/USD pair recovered resolutely. An identical level was protected back on July 2.

TD sequential indicator presents third buy signal in 2020

Additionally, in the above chart 3-day chart, the TD sequential indicator presents traders with a buying signal. The initial buy signal presented by the indicator was formed on March 19, on the heels of the RSI touching 39. The subsequent second signal was created on July 5, and the third formed just the other day on September 12. Historically, the previous two buy signals this year have been validated, recording an average return of 84 percent.

Tezos price analysis: Technical indicators suggest XTZ might surge towards $4.5 2
XTZ/USD 3-day chart: TradingView

Given the fact that the RSI is over long and TD indicator just signalled a buy signal, the XTZ/USD pair could be targeting to reach its all-time high of $4.5 once more, recording a 70 percent rise in value. Regardless of the degree of doubt in the market recently, traders should take the buy signal under serious consideration given the substantial gains recorded during the previous two occasions.  

What to expect from XTZ/USD?

Although Tezos price action has presented a firm buy opportunity, the cryptocurrency is still facing vital challenges onwards. XTZ bulls have successfully created a couple of higher lows but still face vital resistance near $2.64. Tezos price action must clear this rejection to move further upwards.  

Notably, if the bears can manage to exert more selling pressure at this critical resistance, it would be calamitous for the bulls and XTZ. Although there are several higher lows formed, there is no firm anchor point and the price of XTZ might sink back to the $2.3 lows.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not a trading advice. holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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Bitcoin’s uptrend is only beginning and here’s proof



In the cryptocurrency world, every sign is a bullish sign. From China getting into blockchain, to Facebook launching its own cryptocurrency, to Donald Trump tweeting about Bitcoin, nearly everything can be construed to be a sign of the upcoming bull run. Needless to say, not all of these signs actually have any backing behind it.

When everything is a sign of a bull run, well, nothing is. However, looking at the actual price of Bitcoin against its previous trend, one can find signals that are worth their salt. Even if these signals aren’t flushed with ‘Bitcoin to the moon,’ they usually have one or two key points which suggest that the swing, in either direction, is strong or stronger than it has been previously. We have one such signal for you.

Looking at the Bitcoin markets of late, one would think that the bears have taken over. With a drop to $10,000 from over $12,000 after nearly a full month of holding strong, a collapse to four-digits is likely. While the initial hesitancy of the drop can override the long-term market feeling, a look at the data would suggest that Bitcoin’s price has just crossed a major threshold, despite the drop.

Plotting Bitcoin’s daily close against its yearly moving average presents a good snapshot of where the current price stands against its YTD value. Based on this premise, the drops of 12 March would have a huge impact on the MA because of two reasons – the severity of the crash (around 50 percent of the trading price) and the timing (72 days since the beginning of the year). Just that one day drop increased the difference between the BTC daily close price to its moving average from less than $1,000 to over $3,500.

The above chart plots the daily difference between Bitcoin’s closing price and its yearly moving average from the beginning of the year to the most recent drop on 4 September. Unsurprisingly, the difference began rising after the drop in March and has been increasing every day since then, with the current trading price closing the distance against the average.

Now, looking at how that gap has closed is important. Prior to the drop, the highest point of the moving average was $8,988, recorded on the 26th of February when Bitcoin rose above the $10,000 mark for the second time. While its rise above the level didn’t last long, it pushed its average up. Since then, the average has been consistently dropping, made worse by the March drop. However, at the beginning of September, the yearly moving average jumped over the 26 February-mark, marking a high of $9,028 on 1 September.

If you’re thinking the crash down to $10,000 on 4 September affected the average, it didn’t. The average has been consistently rising due to the number of days Bitcoin has maintained its price above $10,000 since the end of July. As things stand, the average is at $9,141, less than $1,200 away from the trading price of Bitcoin, but still, a good distance considering it took nearly four months to close the gap between $8,200 to $9,000 in the first place.

The chart below plots the daily close price of Bitcoin against the moving average, and you can see that the latter is crossing above its previous highest point in February.

To conclude, Bitcoin’s recent price run has not only pushed its current price higher, but also its yearly average. This is not just a positive sign in the here and now, but shows that the price surge is not a mere “pump,” but has enough backing to sustain itself for quite some time.

Source: Coinstats


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