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Will Blockchain Revolutionize the Education System?

Education has become an integral part of our lives, and the 21st century has also welcomed a revolutionizing world of cryptocurrency along with it. Everything that we do, or we wish to do depends on our education system that we are a part of, and it is safe to say that it is what sets the bar for any country and puts in the global map. Since the last few decades, technology and science have come very far from what any of us imagined and, it has been terrific.

But what if we tell you that the combination of one of the greatest assets of the world, education and the stupendous world of blockchain might bring the massive change that none of us imagined? Yes, you read that, right! There is a positively growing curiousness around this question, and the developed countries are working at bringing us astounding results while looking at the possible effects of what would happen if two greatest powers combine.

Ways Blockchain Can Transform Education

Blockchain is defined as the public ledger, which can automatically record and verify transactions and is also known as the distributed ledger technology (DLT).

  1. No Paper Trail

This ultimately means that there will be no need whatsoever for storing paper records for years. One of the biggest benefits of combining blockchain technology with education is for evanesce of the paper trail and saves a lot of work to the admin. There are several schools and colleges that are trying to improvise on the old-school methods and adapting the modern solutions of blockchain and map out the pros and cons over time.

  1. Verify Credentials

Another transformation of such technology could mean the impossibility of faking a document since blockchain ledgers are designed in a way that can automatically verify the document that is uploaded on the platform. It can be used to check the authenticity of the document, which means that there will be less to no cases of duplicate or fake diplomas.

  1. Privacy Reasons

Privacy is becoming an understandable concern today, and the parents are worried about protecting the privacy and the details of their children. Industries have already been using the technology to protect their data and privacy, and the schools can take the same initiative with the blockchain ledger. There have been several tests carried out in the past, and the ledger has been designed stronger than ever now, and schools should take the data breach threat seriously.

Financial institutions, industries, and hospitals have been successfully using the help of blockchain in order to fight against the data breaches and protect their data and sensitive information in such cases. In a school, privacy turns to a more serious subject where blockchain can help.

  1. Tools for Education

The changes mentioned above are possible when we look at the long-term effects of this technology. But if we are to adapt to blockchain in classrooms, literally, we can also benefit from the wide array of educational tools that it would provide. There has already begun an enormous reformation when it comes to testing prep and learning with the use of blockchain platforms. Here are some of the famous platforms that help students by answering their questions and keep their progress on digital ledger.

Some of the researches also believe that along with creating helping tools for students, blockchain technology can also be used for the ease of transformation for these kids. In the future, the roads will get congested, and it can be difficult for students with different needs to get to school, and therefore, the platform can help raise funds for that as well.

  1. Employee’s Profile

The database is so wide and full of space for information that the employers can add data about their employees on the online ledger to eliminate the need for papers and mistakes. One can add the employee/teacher’s credentials, achievements, and degrees on it. It can even be possible to add teaching hours on it for the ease of access to both the involved parties.

This way, this profile can be checked by a potential new employer who wishes to know more about the person that they might hire.

All in all, the world of blockchain and crypto world offers endless opportunities and several possible reasons for how revolutionizing it can be. However, this system is new, and not many have explored its depths so we can only imagine the wonders it could bring under the right hands. If you think you have other ideas of how education can be transformed with blockchain technology, please let us know in the comments!

An Overview of Forex Trading – Explained!

Forex is a counterword for foreign currency exchange. Foreign exchange can be defined as the process of changing one country’s currency into another country currency for various reasons, for business, exchanging, or the travel industry. The foreign exchange market is where currencies are exchanged. Currencies are essential to many people around the world, regardless they understand it or not, considering currencies should be traded to conduct business and foreign trade.

Features of Forex Trading

  • One of the essential aspects of the global market is that there is no central market place for foreign trade. Besides, currency exchange is carried out electronically OTC (over-the-counter), which implies that all transactions happen to utilize computer networks between traders throughout the world, instead of one centralized exchange.
  • Moreover, the market is open 24 hours per day, five and a half days in a week, and currencies are exchanged worldwide in major financial centers of London, Tokyo, New York, Zurich, Hong Kong, Singapore, Frankfurt, Sydney and Paris across over every time zone.
  • There are three different ways that companies, institutions, and people exchange in forex: the spot markets, the futures market, and the forward’s markets. The forex exchanging is done through the spot market, which is the biggest since it is the useful primary resource that the future and forward markets depend upon.
  • Furthermore, when individuals refer to the forex market, they relate to the spot market. However, the Future and forward markets, in general, be well known with organizations that need to support their foreign exchange risks out to a particular date at a later date.
  • To be more specific, the spot market is the place where currencies are purchased and sold as per the present price. Moreover, this price is fixed by demand and supply and is controlled by few things which include current interest rates, financial performance, progressing political circumstances both locally and globally, and perception of future performance of one currency compared with another.
  • As compared to the spot market, the future and forward markets do not exchange real currencies. Instead, they deal with contracts that represent claims to a specific type of currency, a particular cost for each unit, and a future date for repayment.

Forex is a way to combat Hedge currency risk

Organizations carrying out business in abroad are in danger because of fluctuations in currency values when they purchase or sell services and goods outside their domestic market. Moreover, foreign exchange markets give an approach to hedge risk of currency by fixing a rate at which the exchange will be completed.

Forex as Trading

Some of the factors like trade flows, interest rates, the travel industry, economic performance, and geopolitical risks influence supply and demand for currencies, which creates instability in the forex markets. Moreover, the opportunity exists to benefit from changes that may increase or decrease currency value when contrasted with another.

Risks of Forex Trading

Exchanging currencies can be dangerous and complicated. Moreover, the interbank market has changing degrees of regulation, and forex instruments are not standardized. Besides, in certain parts of the world, forex exchanging is unregulated.

Advantages and disadvantages of Forex Trading

Advantages

  • The foreign exchange markets are the biggest in exchanging volume in the world, and in this way, offer more liquidity. This makes it simple to enter and leave a situation in any of the significant currencies with a fraction of a second for a little spread in most economic conditions.
  • The forex market is exchanged 24 hours every day, five days a week, beginning every day in Australia and concluding in New York. Some of the major centers are Hong Kong, Sydney, Tokyo, Singapore, Paris Frankfurt, Newyork, and London.

Disadvantages

  • Banks, dealers, and brokers in the forex markets permit a high measure of leverage, which implies that traders can control enormous positions with generally minimal money of their own. Moreover, leverage in the scope of 100:1 is a high proportion yet typical in forex. A trader must comprehend the utilization of leverage and the dangers that leverage presents in an account. Extraordinary measures of leverage have prompted dealers getting to be insolvent.
  • Besides, exchanging currencies requires an understanding of financial basics and indicators. A Trader needs a significant picture in understanding the economies of the different nations and their interrelation to embrace the fundamentals that drive the value of the currency.

Dutch Optical Retailer GrandVision to be Acquired by French Giant EssilorLuxottica

French optical retailer EssilorLuxottica has reached an agreement to acquire Dutch company GrandVision in an all-cash deal. The deal could eventually be worth as much as 7.2 billion Euros. 

 

Over the years, it has been seen that when it comes to achieving consistent growth, then most of the large companies resort to acquisitions and more often than not, it works well. This is something that has worked well across a wide range of industries and it is no different when it comes to the optical retail business. In a new development, French eyewear company EssilorLuxottica made the announcement on Wednesday that the company has reached an agreement to acquire GrandVision, a Dutch optical retailer. The deal in question is going to be an all-cash transaction and over the long term, the entire value of the deal could be worth as much as 7.2 billion Euros.

 

It is interesting to note that only last year, EssilorLuxottica had been established after the merger between Luxottica and Essilor. However, the combined company is now back with another merger that could see it becoming one of the biggest all service optical retailers in the world. According to the details that have emerged so far, EssilorLuxottica is going to buy a 76.72% holding in GrandVision and it is going to pay 28 Euros for each share of the Dutch company. However, if the acquisition is not completed within a year, then the price of each share is going to go up to 28.42 Euros each and the total deal will then be worth 7.2 billion Euros. GrandVision shareholders are getting a substantial premium on their shares, which closed on Tuesday at a price of 25.36 Euros.

 

The executive chairman at EssilorLuxottica, Leonardo Del Vechhio, spoke about the deal and the company’s vision about the future. He said, “With GrandVision we will be able to develop our retail network, finally extended throughout the geographies, and fully enable our multichannel and digital platforms. We will raise the quality of in-store experience for products, brands, and services for the benefit of all consumers and our wholesale customers.” It is a significant deal and one that could have far-reaching consequences for the industry at large. However, it is going to be interesting to watch how the GrandVision stock reacts over the next few days.

Lufthansa’s Net Profit Collapses as Effect of Higher Oil Price and Price Wars Hit Home

If there is one industry that is known for having the thinnest of margins and also the exposure to a lot of risk with regards to rises in oil price, then it is the airline industry. Due to the low margins, airlines often try to continuously undercut each other by way of price wars, and ultimately, it can prove highly damaging for certain airlines. Lufthansa is one of the world’s biggest airlines, which operates on key international routes as well as on short-haul routes which are littered with budget airlines. The airline reported its earnings for the second quarter on 30 July and in a development that would come as a genuine shock, Lufthansa’s year on year profits plunged by as much as 70%.

The airline blamed the rising price of oil and the ongoing price war in the short-haul routes in Europe for the decline in profits. The total profits for the quarter stood at $252 million for the period from April until June. It goes without saying that the level of competition in the European airline industry has intensified significantly over the past few years and the persistent price wars have been a regular feature. In its statement, the company blamed, “Persistent overcapacities, aggressive competition and increasingly price-sensitive demand” While the price wars have definitely had their toll on the company’s bottom line, it goes without saying that Lufthansa’s costs have risen significantly as well.

The primary reason behind the rise in costs is due to the rising price of oil, and that has had a heavy toll on Lufthansa’s ability to maintain their margins. The airline revealed that is costs have increased by 7 percent year on year and in addition to that, the fuel bill in the second quarter rose by a whopping 255 million Euros from Q2 2018. The profit margins took an enormous hit as it went down by a massive 3 percentage points and for a company as big as Lufthansa, which is a significant drop. Lufthansa has stated that they are trying to reduce their costs in order to tackle the situation.

Thai Restaurant After You is Outperforming Giants like McDonald’s and Starbucks

The world of investment can often throw up trends that can often confound market watchers, but at the end of the day, almost all of those trends are ultimately rooted to solid insights from the market at large. Restaurant stocks might be regarded as ‘alternative investment’ by many, but it is still a multibillion-dollar industry and a lot of money flows into these stocks ever year. When it comes to the best-performing stocks, one would expect global chains like McDonald’s or Starbucks to be at the top, but in 2019, a surprise has sprung up. Little known Thai restaurant After You has emerged as the best performing restaurant stock in 2019, having tripled its value in the year so far.

However, it is interesting to note that the restaurant is not involved in traditional Thai food. It deals with pancakes, puddings, and brownies.  Haidilao International Holding Ltd of China, which deals in hot pot and Chipotle Mexican Grill has been the next best performers among restaurant stocks this year. You is listed in the Market for Alternative Investment in Thailand, and it is, for now, a clear indication that the company is regarded as a small or medium-sized firm. However, the company has managed to become the biggest one in that market thanks to the astonishing rally that it has enjoyed this year.

The dessert restaurant chain was established back in 2007 and currently, it only has 36 stores. However, that has not stopped the company from competing against local dessert restaurant chains and outperforming them comfortably. More importantly, McDonald’s and Starbucks have significant footprints in Thailand. The company, however, might not be satisfied with only dominating its market. It is currently exploring the possibilities of expanding abroad. A Bualuang Securities Pcl analyst said,

“After You has very high growth potential based on its strong brand in the domestic market and overseas expansion plans. The upcoming earnings results will indicate the level and pace of the upside potential.”

The company is now flying high and the investor will be watching this company closely in the months to come.

Market in Europe Open Higher on Optimism Surrounding Rate Cuts from the ECB

The investment climate on a global level has not been particularly great over the course of the year so far, and there are some important factors which have contributed to it. While the United States-China trade way has had its impact on the markets, the refusal of the world’s biggest central banks to cut rates according to the expectations of most investors has been another issue. Two of the world’s most influential central banks, the European Central Bank and the United States Federal Reserve, meet this month to decide on the same in their jurisdictions. The ECB is going to have its meeting this week, while the Fed is going to have its meetings on the last two days of the month.

That being said, there is now optimism among European investors about the ECB cutting rates ahead of the Fed. Due to that optimism, the European markets opened marginally higher on Wednesday. The Stoxx 600 index that tracks all stocks across Europe opened slightly higher this morning, and according to analysts, it is ideation of the market sentiments with regards to the ECB meeting. The International Monetary Fund had recently downgraded its forecasts with regards to global growth. In such a situation, investors and institutions are looking for a boost from the world’s leading central banks.

There are widespread expectations that the ECB is going to cut rates by 10 basis points in order to stimulate investment and growth in Europe. On the other hand, the expectations of the United States Fed are higher. It is believed that the Fed is going to cut interest rates by as much as 25 basis points later on this month. Last week, the head of the New York Fed, John Williams, had sparked a lot of optimism in the markets after he suggested at an event that the Fed should cut rates by 50 basis points. Later on, a spokesperson had stated that it was not a policy recommendation from John Williams, and as soon as the news came in, the markets tanked again.

The New York Times Company to Launch Blockchain-Based ‘The News Provenance Project’ to Fight With False Digital Information

In the world, which we live a lot of misleading information is circulated across different digital platforms.  Trusting specific news is sometimes difficult in today’s tech world. Technology has provided various strong tools for bad actors to change the concept of the source, but the same technology also allows us to deal with fake news.

Various organizations such as food and mining, ocean shipping and financial institutions have experimented with blockchain technology, and this technology is considered as one of the powerful tools to monitor and verify the origin of the source. Now, a media publishing company of America, the New York Times is experimenting with blockchain technology.

The New York Times has provided new information on its blockchain-based project, earlier the development news was informed in March by a crypto source.

The new project of NYT ‘News Provenance Project’ will make use of blockchain technology to battle over false news in the media.

The development announced Tuesday, says a website for the editors News Provenance Project briefs how Research and Development team of NYT considers using Hyperledger Fabric powered by blockchain to validate images related to the news. This is being done by partnering with IBM Garage program.

The objective of the project is to offer a solution that is greatly relevant to different publications. The website states as follows,

“News consumers [who] are deceived and confused…eventually become fatigued and apathetic to the news.”

The News Provenance Project will stress more on photographs as they are widely distributed across various digital platforms without any rules.

The project will start by observing a blockchain system mainly to store and exchange a set of information about media and emphasizes more on images and videos that are issued by news institutions. As graphic information processes over the internet, the information is usually at high risk of getting manipulated from its actual content. Starting from cropping or modifying to the designing of deepfakes, users could be confused by the manipulated content or misguided. The new project intends to fight this by creating “a set of signals that can travel with published media anywhere that material is displayed.”  This information is available on the website, also mentioned on the social media platform, in search results, and group chats.

Research and Development team of the NYT consists of journalists and tech-savvy enthusiasts who examine the scope of new technologies for journalism and R&D team is leading the NYT’s project. They are operating with Garage team of IBM so as to design a technical based proof-of-concept created on open-source blockchain structure ‘Hyperledger Fabric.’

The New York Times expects to reveal updates on its project across the process, with the final conclusion of the pilot.

More affirmation was received through the post of Vivian Schiller, CEO of Civil Media, was also associated with the NYT and also through a Medium post of Sasha Koren, the project head of the program.

The project is in its initial stage. The website reads:

“Our initial work involves exploring a blockchain-based system for recording and sharing metadata about media—images and videos particular—published by news organizations. We are also conducting user experience research to identify the types of signals that can aid users in recognizing authentic media.”

$21 Million Raised Through Token Sale By Lending Platform RenrenBit

The prominent Bitfinex shareholder and founder of crypto lending wallet platform RenrenBit Dong Zhao, has captured 21 million worth assurance for a token sale. The platform sold 21 million RRB tokens on Monday. The price of each token was 1USTD. RRB token is a dollar-backed cryptocurrency issued by Teether.
Within a time, frame of four hours 21 million RRB tokens were sold, the mobile app of the platform issued the report. The startup has also allowed its investor to think once more by providing them for two days. After the noteworthy advancement of Binance’s BNB, this is another cryptocurrency exchange capitalizing on the token sale.
RRB is developed as ERC-20 token created on the blockchain of Ethereum. The token can be operated to reduce the crypto to crypto business fees as well as trading OTC on Renrenbit platform. It can also work as collateral for the lending service of the platform.
As the company publication, initially, RRB token can only be traded on the app of the RenrenBit. The 21 million token sales are only a part of the total issuance. Another portion of the total tokens will be kept with the RenrenBit crew, of which 2.1 million will be released for trading.
In one of the Ethereum wallet of the company, it was viewed about $19 million tokens were flocked over the weekend. Dong Zhao himself resealed the screenshot of that wallet. To trade RRB token the investor initially has to deposit 1000USTD tokens into RenrenBit account.
RenrenBit was founded in 2018 and worked as a broker for the lenders and borrowers of Chinese Yen and crypto-assets. For china and to the entire world, the platform emerged as a new platform for the crypto lending business.
Zhao is among the early investors of cryptocurrency in China. He started a crypto-based business in 2012 with $1.5 million capital.
He is also a notable OTC trader and a shareholder of Bitfinex and is also the owner of DG Group which is an OTC trading platform. The recent $3 million Series A round was commanded by venture capitals of the company like Dragon Fly and DFund. This has brought $16 million valuations to Renrenbit.

Government of Iran approved cryptocurrency mining in the country

The government of Iran has finally allowed cryptocurrency mining within its borders after a week of uncertainty. As per the reports, the Economic Commission of the country has approved digital currency mining. The Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Agriculture and Industries of Iran announced on 22nd July, Monday.

The Governor of Iranian Central Bank, Abdolnaser Hemmati, said in a statement that the economic commission of the government had approved the mining of digital coins. And the matter will put for discussion later in the cabinet meeting. The administration is searching for ways to regulate the mining activities within the existing legal framework.

Hemmati further added the miners of cryptocurrency should contribute to the development of the economic condition of the country and should not let the mined digital currency escape the border.

On this context the chief of the economic commission Elyas Hazrat said, the cryptocurrencies are recognized as legal by the government of the country. The country should also get the advantage of its customs revenue and tax in return.

The Economic Commission of the country announced earlier that they are finalizing tariff scheme for the cryptocurrency miners of the country. Homayoon Ha’eri, the energy Minister, later announced that the tariff is completed and is waiting for the approval of the cabinet.  Although Ha’eri did not disclose the exact tariff scheme, he only said it would be dependent on the market factors like petroleum value in the Gulf region of Persia.

The government of Iran was in a dilemma on whether to approve mining of cryptocurrency within their border. In June two cryptocurrency mining firms were seized and closed by the government.

However, the region was always favorite for the miners because of its low-cost electricity.

The government of the country may have shown a green light to cryptocurrency mining, but its stance remains unclear about the approval of digital currencies for the domestic payments.

Jamal Arounaghi, the Deputy President of Customs Administration, declared that the agency is yet to approve the license for the import of mining equipment. The government has to take the final decision for the approval of the permit.

Crude Climbs and Asia Stocks Fall as Lower Fed Rate Cut Seems Likely

Over the past few months, investors had been clamoring for a rate cut from the United States Federal Reserve, but nothing too radical has been forthcoming thus far. The head of the New York Fed John Williams stated last week about the possibility of lowering rates by as much as 50 basis points at the meeting that is going to be held from 30-31 July. However, the New York Fed then rowed back on his comments and categorically stated that those comments were not related to policymaking in any way. The stocks in Asia had risen last week after those comments, but on Monday, the Asian stocks have fallen as investors pulled away from their money from the markets.

The MSCI index, which tracks shares in the Asia Pacific region, except for Japan, was down by 0.1%. On the other hand, the Shanghai Composite Index Hong Kong’s Hang Seng and KOSPI of South Korea, all recorded declines of 1.1%, 0.9%, and 0.1% respectively. The reaction comes after the Wall Street Journal reported that the rate cuts that are going to take place are going to be by around 25 basis points. The markets had expected cuts of as much as 50 basis point after the comments from John Williams.

On the other hand, the trade war between the United States and China continues to be a factor in this regard. A forex strategist working for IG Securities stated that any inflammatory comments from US President Donald Trump could trigger further declines this week. He said,

“A factor which could guide stocks lower this week are tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump pertaining to trade issues with China. Stocks could decline if he continues to make challenging trade comments directed at China this week.”

The price of crude oil went up after the tensions in the Middle East spilled over during the weekend. A British oil tanker had been captured by the Revolutionary Guard of Iran and that has caused a renewal of the tensions has that had affected the region throughout the year so far.

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Will Blockchain Revolutionize the Education System?

Education has become an integral part of our lives, and the 21st century has also welcomed a revolutionizing world of cryptocurrency along with it....

An Overview of Forex Trading – Explained!

Forex is a counterword for foreign currency exchange. Foreign exchange can be defined as the process of changing one country's currency into another country...

Dutch Optical Retailer GrandVision to be Acquired by French Giant EssilorLuxottica

French optical retailer EssilorLuxottica has reached an agreement to acquire Dutch company GrandVision in an all-cash deal. The deal could eventually be worth as...

Lufthansa’s Net Profit Collapses as Effect of Higher Oil Price and Price Wars Hit...

If there is one industry that is known for having the thinnest of margins and also the exposure to a lot of risk with...

Thai Restaurant After You is Outperforming Giants like McDonald’s and Starbucks

The world of investment can often throw up trends that can often confound market watchers, but at the end of the day, almost all...