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SunSpec uses blockchain to standardise solar panels

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The goal of the alliance is to streamline the use of solar panels and offer more value to consumers

The Energy Web Foundation (EWF) recently announced its newest member to join the renewable energy blockchain consortium. The strategic alliance is working to standardise protocols, solutions and certifications to allow interoperability between different brands of solar panels.

SunSpec Alliance is a group consisting of 100 different solar and storage companies across the globe. Partners include prominent names like Tesla, LG Electronics and Schneider Electric.

The other side of the collaboration is the Energy Web Foundation, a nonprofit that develops blockchain-driven customer-centric electricity systems. Its Energy Web Decentralised Operating System will, “enable any device, owned by any customer, to participate in any energy market,” according to the release.

New ways for solar to grow

By leveraging SunSpec and its group of producers, components and software,  the technology can be streamlined under a standardised system to enable “plug and play” solutions without needing additional software or hardware.

The CCO of Energy Web, Jesse Morris, commented on the project:

“SunSpec’s focus on plug-and-play interoperability for solar PV and battery energy storage systems and Energy Web’s focus on building a public, open, digital ‘DNA’ for the future electricity system are a natural fit.”

The whole system strives to be user friendly and could potentially decrease costs related to installing or purchasing third party software or parts to achieve compatibility between different brands.

In many areas of the world PV power could make a big difference. The biggest challenge is creating new grid architectures that allow people to take full advantage of small and medium scale generation, which blockchain could help with tremendously.

EWF is not stopping

The EWF has been creating new connections all around the world. Some of the most recent projects promote the adoption use of decentralised, distributed technology in the electricity industry.

In Brazil, the EWF formed a partnership with energy intelligence company Fohat to create a renewable energy blockchain trading platform, issuing international renewable energy certificates (I-REC), proving the origin of the renewable energy that was received.

Last month, a pilot I-REC system was also launched in Turkey with the help of EWF and local energy firm Foton Energy – the same kind of projects are also being developed in Central America, where high energy prices could be helped by using more solar power.

Source: https://coinjournal.net/news/sunspec-uses-blockchain-to-standardise-solar-panels/

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Tokenization of Classic Cars: Revival of a hidden gem for financial asset diversification?

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When the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO was auctioned off for more than 48 million dollars at RM Sotheby’s Auction on August 25, 2018, many raised their eyebrows due to the astonishing amount of money some people are willing to pay for cars over the age of 30 years. Cars tend to be considered a “bad investment”, as their value drops sharply after purchase and solely human emotions give them their true “intrinsic value”. But maybe it is in fact this emotional connection to cars that makes them so attractive from an investment standpoint. Classic cars are often sold and purchased through a variety of different channels, their value is estimated by different models and overall, the industry is very regionally fragmented. The tokenization of these assets could cope with the mentioned issues and lead to a standardized, equally fair system. Therefore further boosting this precious industry. – Author: Nicolas Weber

How issuer and investor can benefit from the tokenization of classic cars

Investing in alternative assets like classic cars can have major advantages compared to traditional investments. After experiencing a high degree of volatility in the stock and currency markets amid the Covid-19 pandemic, aspects like a store of value became increasingly relevant when looking for investments. Classic cars provide an efficient hedge against inflation and consequently inherit the role of storing value. When tokenized, ownership in classic cars and other illiquid assets can be distributed since partial ownership is enabled. This creates perfect conditions for a diversified portfolio to minimize risks. Now even retail investors can participate in investing as they can easily acquire fractions of the typically expensive vintage cars. This will lead to a far greater capital influx, due to the fact that classic cars are morphed into 24/7, peer-to-peer tradable assets for everyone. It is furthermore easily conductible to liquidate your assets at any desired time and day without the regular hurdles including lawyer, paperwork, and costly working hours. Besides, tokenized assets in Liechtenstein are significantly attractive from a tax standpoint.

Generally, alternative assets offer promising returns, since they often act anti-cyclical and hence diversify your portfolio. Nevertheless, prosperity is plagued by disadvantages such as low transparency and a lack of liquidity in the market. This is associated with high risk on both sides – investor and owner. To counteract this, the unique Liechtenstein Token Act was implemented in January 2020. It enables the perfect legal conditions for true equity and ownership tokens. In this model, the disruptive framework offers a legally compliant structure to tokenize ownership-based rights. Amazing Blocks is a first mover in this field, by for instance conducting the first true equity tokenization worldwide and fulfilling bankless incorporation solely with ETH as an initial contribution.

Relying on the unique Liechtenstein Token Act, the physical validator within the blockchain layer enables a fully legal and licensed transfer of ownership after respective tokenization. Hence efficient purchase and sale of tokenized assets become instantly possible, while features like fundraising-on-the-go are some of the accompanying benefits. Illiquid collectibles like classic cars are now transformed into a new, dynamic asset class. As a result, the rather localized industry (e.g. Germany as the hub) gains international access to investors paired with the promised liquidity through tokenization. Even a fund of tokenized classic cars becomes possible while investing in classic car tokens under one umbrella.


A brief overview of tokenization

Based on smart contracts, the so-called tokenization will disrupt contemporary business models. With the Token Container Model (TCM), the small state of Liechtenstein has created an ideal explanatory approach for this. Within this framework, a token is to be understood as a “technical container” with the ability to hold rights of all kinds. This approach establishes a special purpose vehicle (e.g. token) for a right or asset and allows separation of them respectively. The special purpose vehicle is embodied by Ethereum based ERC20 tokens on a blockchain-based layer. In this way, a distinction is made between (1) right and (2) technology. This leads to numerous advantages. Tokenization creates the basis for the digital financing and investment economy of the future. The gradually growing fusion of technology and finance is thus driven forward. The process of tokenization can be seen in Figure 1 below. Behind the tokenization is blockchain technology, which primarily functions based on the “relationship model” of the private and public keys within these systems, the foundation of a sustainable “token my”.

Diversification in the world of finance

Ask any successful investor, he will give you the same answer: Diversification is key. It not only helps to mitigate risk but also enables you to invest in a vast amount of different projects, which can reshape the world. Having a well-balanced portfolio is especially in times of “financial stress” essential. But as a private investor, it can at times be difficult to actually and fully diversify your portfolio. This is where tokenization gains significance, as it allows investors to also invest in real-world assets such as art, real estate, or classic cars. This works without having to invest the normally large amount of money or filling out enormous amounts of paperwork. This is due to the fact that ownership can be fragmented through tokens and can be newly minted. Ownership can be split and traded whenever wanted and therefore also transferred.


Introduction to the classic car industry

The fascination with the design evolution of cars, the backbone of reasons for purchasing classic cars began in 1886 when the first gasoline-powered vehicle was invented by Karl Benz. If we fully want to grasp the opportunities tokenization comes across, we first need to get an overview of the contemporary structure within the industry. According to a study conducted by the VDA (Verband der Automobilindustrie = German institution for cars), the estimated market capitalization is around 10 billion dollars. The amount of potential prospects (cars over 30 years old) exceeds 2.2 million pieces, therefore clearly illustrating the economic powers and reach that is at play here. This figure is set to grow by around 70,000 cars annually over the course of the next few years. Ultimately, vintage cars can be seen as a very attractive investment alternative, due to their auspicious performance compared to other asset classes, as illustrated in Figure 2 below.

The main issue today within the industry are the various amounts of different and complex pricing models facilitated to give each car its deserved value. However, no one can ever really determine what the exact value is, due to the lack of standardization and huge regional fragmentation. Usually, the value is determined by the global inventory, the historical sale price of the vehicle, the condition of the vehicle, and the going market rate based on demand. Another interesting aspect to know is the fact that approximately 70% of sales are conducted through peer-to-peer exchange making it predestined for blockchain applications. Peer to peer transactions are a core element within the ever-evolving industry and tokens are exchanged through this model on a daily basis. The most common way to determine the price of a vehicle is by obtaining the services of a licensed appraiser, a costly effort, but thus far the only way to really receive a price no one can argue about.

Tokenization and classic cars combined

Now we ask ourselves the question, how can tokenization be applied in this industry? First of all, as mentioned earlier, peer to peer exchange of tokens is a core element of blockchain. I say a 1954 Mercedes Benz was to be tokenized through a sophisticated software solution startups as Amazing Blocks provide, owners of fractions of these tokens could deliberately continue the well-loved practice of peer-to-peer trading. Also by efficiently utilizing the functions of a blockchain system, a standardized pricing model can be developed. It would then be pinned to the respective tokens representing each car by collecting data from all available pricing tools. Demand could be dependent on information from the now ubiquitously applicable pricing tools. This standardized format could lead to far greater transparency for buyers and sellers alike which now can fully assure that the correct value is determined. Tokenization of classic cars will therefore create a whole new asset class for investors all over the world.

Tokenization and classic cars combined

Now we ask ourselves the question, how can tokenization be applied in this industry? First of all, as mentioned earlier, peer to peer exchange of tokens is a core element of blockchain. I say a 1954 Mercedes Benz was to be tokenized through a sophisticated software solution startups as Amazing Blocks provide, owners of fractions of these tokens could deliberately continue the well-loved practice of peer-to-peer trading. Also by efficiently utilizing the functions of a blockchain system, a standardized pricing model can be developed. It would then be pinned to the respective tokens representing each car by collecting data from all available pricing tools. Demand could be dependent on information from the now ubiquitously applicable pricing tools. This standardized format could lead to far greater transparency for buyers and sellers alike which now can fully assure that the correct value is determined. Tokenization of classic cars will therefore create a whole new asset class for investors all over the world.

“Keeping up” with a car’s market value and security in real-time are deemed essential in this industry and tokenization delivers the foundation for this. Consequently, an instant adjustment of the current market value is enabled in real-time when traded on the secondary market. Now cars can even be utilized as collateral or be allocated in investment funds. When tokenized, the car can be stored in a safe location without having to be moved. Transportation tends to be a costly effort, as protection of the car needs to be assured to prevent damage and theft. Last but not least, even the insurance industry could be affected by this, as every vintage car is specially insured due to the high value personally and financially. Tokenization gives insurances as well as the insured the possibility of always referring to the contemporary market value of the tokenized classic car when any issues emerge. This could simplify the often long-lasting process of having to determine how much the insurance is going to reimburse.

How to proceed with tokenizing classic cars?

Initially, a legal entity in Liechtenstein has to be established. The whole process can be executed fully remotely with the option of bankless incorporation. After the establishment period, administrative software solutions find their use case. They function as the base for managing the tokenized entities and are ready to be utilized for investor onboarding, subsequent issuance of equity, debt, and ownership tokens, and further management decisions. Furthermore, in order to comply with the FMA in Liechtenstein, they need a digital register of ownership (e.g. digital share register). After tokenization, the classic car still belongs to the owner but can be physically stored in a secure location at the lowest possible cost. The owner will receive an Ethereum-based digital token that represents the rights to the classic car.

While ownership tokens do not grant the right of driving the cars, additional “coupon-tokens” can be minted to allow usage for a destined amount of time. The income of this can be then distributed between the respective investors based on their share in the car’s ownership. Last but not least, custody has to be taken care of. But this is not an issue, as any ERC20 compatible wallet like Metamask can be used to store the tokens. Custody can also be fulfilled with any other ERC20 compatible custodian like exchanges where access to the secondary market is granted. In terms of.


Future outlook and conclusion

In Germany alone, there are around 15 million people interested in vintage cars, therefore a supply and demand for these cars will always sustain. If we now presume the tokenization and subsequent trade of these cars will take place, the market value will significantly rise. Not solely “car enthusiasts” pour capital into the industry, but also investors from all over the world. Often they are car affine and want to diversify their portfolios with say a fraction of their dream car. They expect it to skyrocket in value based on years of gaining “subtle” knowledge when enjoying their free time and learning about their passions by for instance reading a vehicle magazine. In this fragmented industry, the proper implementation of tokenization of said cars can lead to flourishing accessibility, standardize and automate the fragmented structure and consequently align the cost-benefit ratio toward a more attractive direction for buyers, as well as investors. All in all, a car will morph from solely being a dusted up collector’s item into a dynamic asset paired with the collector’s emotional value.

Do you like this article? We would be happy if you share it on social networks or forward it to your colleagues. If you are an expert in the field and want to criticize or endorse the article or some of its parts, feel free to leave a private note here or contextually and we will respond or address.


Source: Nicolas Weber works in the department of Business Development Europe at Amazing Blocks – a tokenization startup from Liechtenstein offering consultation regarding the establishment of tokenized legal entities and software as a service for administration. He is your direct contact for any regards. You can contact him via email or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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Hackers Demand 200 Bitcoin Ransomware After Compromising Leading Israeli Insurance Company’s Sensitive Data

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A notorious hackers’ group called The Black Shadow has compromised one of the largest insurance companies in Israel – Shirbit. The attackers have already released sensitive client documents and have demanded a ransom in bitcoin, which could rise to $4 million by the end of the week.

Israeli Insurance Company Hacked

According to a local media outlet, the first confirmation of the hack came on Monday evening. Representatives of The Black Shadow group posted an initial batch of compromised documents on a Telegram channel.

Shirbit had contacted the National Cyber Directorate and Capital Market Authority to open an investigation. Shortly after, the organizations confirmed the breach and indicated that the hackers have also leaked numerous insurance details, alongside the initial documents.

According to the report, Shirbit has many high-profile customers, including government employees. Company CEO Zvi Leibushor said that the safety of its clients is Shirbit’s top priority.

“Shirbit has invested millions of shekels in securing databases and protecting against cyber-attacks and meets all the stringent regulatory requirements in this area.” He added that the firm has invested “all resources and efforts needed for an effective safe and rapid solution to this cyber-attack, whose real goal is to try to harm the Israeli economy.”

Demand Requested In Bitcoin

After releasing a small part of the compromised documents, The Black Shadow reps have contacted the victims to request 50 bitcoins (about $960,000 with today’s prices).

However, in case Shirbit failed to pay the attackers within the first 24 hours, the demand would double to 100 bitcoins. The procedure will repeat and double to 200 bitcoins if another 24 hours pass without payment.

Furthermore, the hackers threatened the insurance company that if it fails to transfer the funds by the end of this week, they will sell all compromised data to other bidders.

It’s worth noting that numerous other Israeli companies and high-profile individuals have recently become victims of similar hacks and demands.

CryptoPotato recently reported that 20 Israeli crypto executives, all clients of the local telecommunications giant Partner, were hacked by stealing their SMS messages.

Another coverage informed that a new type of ransomware attacked called Pay2Key has been executed against several Israeli companies in the second part of 2020. The perpetrators had requested the demand in bitcoins, similarly to the Shirbit hack.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/hackers-demand-200-bitcoin-ransomware-after-compromising-leading-israeli-insurance-companys-sensitive-data/

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Bitcoin Price to Hit $36,000 in 2021: Kraken Crypto Sentiment Survey

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From what happened in the last couple of weeks, it appears that the crypto bull market is upon us. Bitcoin has been consistent with its volatility-induced rallies, and this is infusing confidence in investors.

So much, so that VIP clients in Kraken’s latest Crypto Sentiment Survey say that BTC will skyrocket to about $36,000 in 2021. They also feel that ETH could revisit its previous highs of $1500.

Bitcoin And ETH To Trade At Average Prices Of $15K and $549 By 2020 End

The latest Kraken Crypto Sentiment Survey covers investor sentiment for the second half of 2020. The exchange had already conducted a similar survey back in March this year. But then investors were way more optimistic about BTC and ETH price growth by December.

Now, the same respondents have retracted their bullish calls for bitcoin and ether (ETH) this year. According to the latest numbers,

The average bitcoin price target among 309 responses fell -35% surveyover-survey to $14,866, well below February’s average of $22,866. The median price target also retraced -28% from $19,424 to $14,000, and the most commonly cited price target was $15,000, down -25% from $20,000.

With respect to ether (ETH), the average price target among 289 responses was $549, off -32% from the previous survey’s average of $810. The median price target was unchanged at $500 and the most frequently cited price target was $500, up +66% from $300.

At 72 percent, traders and investors (down from 81 percent when the survey was conducted in March) comprised a majority of the survey responses. 18 percent of responses came from Institutions (broker, custodian, family office, hedge fund, lender, market maker, private equity firm, proprietary trading firm, or venture capitalist).

And the rest 4 percent – from crypto service providers (ATM, exchange, lender, payment processor) and miners. As compared to March, the researchers at Kraken anticipated a lower price growth optimism from the said respondents since the year is so close to its end.

The Outlook For 2021 Remains Super Bullish

When asked about how they see bitcoin and ether prices in the next year, respondents didn’t shy away from expressing their mega bullish calls. Survey participants called for an average bitcoin price target of $36,602 in 2021. Some put the median bitcoin price target at $25,000, but a lot of folks (approximately 61 percent) felt if not anything else, BTC will at least hit $20,000.

A small section of respondents reported hopium-induced ultra bullish calls.

Approximately, 8% of respondents provided a price target greater-than-or-equal-to $100,000, roughly 20% of respondents reported a price target greater-than-or-equal-to $50,000…

Survey participants were very optimistic about ETH’s outlook as well in the next year. This sentiment came from the discussions around Ethereum’s network upgrade and the growing popularity of the DeFi ecosystem. Respondents think ETH will trade at an average price of $1454 in 2021. Also, at the same time:

Close to 59% believe that ether will, at least, hit $800. Additionally, 22% of respondents see ether surpassing its previous all-time high of $1,595 set in early-January 2018 and just under 92% see ether, at the very least, trading higher than current price in 2021.

What becomes evident from the aforementioned numbers is that participants in a price prediction survey tend to project bullish figures for a longer-term.

Will Bitcoin(BTC) and ether (ETH) hit the above price targets in 2021? That still remains to be seen.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/bitcoin-price-to-hit-36000-in-2021-kraken-crypto-sentiment-survey/

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