Elixxir, led by David Chaum, the “father of online privacy,” announces Elixxir’s unprecedented privacy-protecting blockchain technology will be launched on a BetaNet supported by node operators on six continents.
The Elixxir platform will allow users to communicate without revealing metadata related to their activities—that is, Elixxir will obscure who sends messages, when messages are sent, where they are sent from and who receives them.
Metadata recently became a hot topic when Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg laid out a Facebook “privacy-first vision for social networking,” focused on readily available end-to-end encryption with no attention to protecting metadata. In an open letter to Zuckerberg covered by Forbes, Chaum described the Zuckerberg approach to privacy as “fooling those mostly young people [Zuckerberg] says are moving off newsfeed to messaging into believing that end-to-end encryption means privacy.”
Though end-to-end encryption obscures message contents, it does not protect the behavioral details of people’s activities. Elixxir nodes, which operate a highly efficient decentralized mix network, provide full metadata protection for users as well as end-to-end encryption. The Elixxir mix network technology, invented by CEO David Chaum, delivers unprecedented speed by using precomputation to create a mix network framework in advance. After precomputation is complete, each team of nodes stands ready to rapidly process a batch of messages, quickly breaking the links between message sender and recipient, as well as links between users and their blockchain message history.
Elixxir BetaNet Nodes
In January, Elixxir initiated its BetaNet node selection process with a community survey addressing preferences for platform governance, incentives, and community structure. Based on survey results, a node application was designed to determine which nodes would operate the Elixxir BetaNet. Since the release of the application, Elixxir has received hundreds of applications from around the world. Elixxir plans to launch a privacy-protecting, decentralized BetaNet supported by node operators on six continents.
Members of the public interested in furthering Elixxir’s mission of protecting the privacy and security of users are encouraged to apply to run a BetaNet node before Friday, April 19th on the Elixxir website.
As part of its efforts to rally the privacy community, Elixxir has launched a bounty program to raise the profile of the BetaNet node selection process. Participants who refer applicants who successfully run a BetaNet node will be eligible for up to two extra nodes in Elixxir’s MainNet.
Credify announces seed investment by BEENEXT and DEEPCORE
Credify Pte Ltd is proud to announce it has successfully closed a USD 1M seed round investment with two leading Venture Capital funds: BEENEXT and DEEPCORE.
Credify provides Universal Identity and Trust System solutions to companies active in e-commerce and finance. Credify’s Universal Identity product acts as a personal data bridge, connecting consuming services like e-commerce marketplaces and lending platforms with institutions that possess valuable, yet untapped information like identity verification results and credit scores. In this way, Credify enables entirely new revenue streams for these traditional organisations in a completely secure and data privacy compliant manner.
On top of this powerful identity system, Credify is developing an innovative credibility mechanism that addresses issues inherent to the trust systems we rely on in e-commerce and digital lending, like fraud and manipulation, that lead to an estimated USD 1T in transacted value being negatively impacted every year.
Chosen out of 250+ companies around the world, Credify is one of the outstanding startups in Plug and Play Japan’s 2020 FinTech Accelerator program. Credify was also awarded the UK Tech Rocketship: Future of Financial Services Award 2019 by the UK’s Department of International Trade and Scottish Development International.
This funding round allows Credify to enhance the development of its suite of products, further localize its software development operations in South East Asia, and move ahead with its live client engagements. ASEAN nations represent the fastest growth opportunities globally in FinTech and E-commerce: USD 72B FinTech market with 72.5% CAGR by 2020, and USD 102B E-commerce market by 2025. At the same time, South East Asia fraud rates in finance and e-commerce are one of the highest globally. Credify aims to tackle these issues with its leading-edge technologies.
Credify CEO Makoto Tominaga expressed his excitement: “This investment from BEENEXT and DEEPCORE represents far more value than the capital that will assist us as we execute on our vision to elevate trust in digital economies. Both firms bring with them strong networks within our target markets and deep understanding of the strategic and practical execution necessary to transform early stage businesses to large-scale growth enterprises. Credify could not have asked for better partners in this early stage of our journey, and we are overwhelmed with appreciation to have this opportunity to work with both teams for many years to come.”
BEENEXT CEO Teruhide Sato shared his thoughts on the investment: “We were impressed by the quality of Credify’s multi-disciplinary team and the technology they have developed which provides great synergies with some of our portfolio companies. We look forward to supporting Credify in its business development and expansion in South East Asia and beyond.”
DeepCore commented: “We appreciate the Credify team’s deep understanding of the industry’s pain points and the ability to implement cutting-edge technologies, such as blockchain, into systems to solve issues. We hope that the excellent team that has developed the business at KERNEL HONGO will expand its business to the world by solving issues in areas where counterparty risk occurs.”
Consumers Are Willing to Share Personal Data in Exchange for Better Customer Experience, Broadridge Study Finds
Amidst a backdrop of increasing emphasis on data privacy via the introductions of the General Data Protection Regulation and California Consumer Privacy Act, nearly half of consumers in North America (45%) would be willing to share their data if it meant that it would enhance their customer experience (CX), according to a new study from global Fintech leader Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (NYSE:BR).
The annual study, which surveys the opinions of more than 3,000 individuals in North America on topics relating to consumer experience and essential communications, revealed that consumers’ desire for enhanced experiences coincided with an even stronger sentiment around the need for more data privacy legislation. In fact, more than 84% want more legislation that increases their ability to protect and control the personal data they provide companies, as well as greater transparency on how their data is used.
“Data privacy concerns are at a peak, and yet consumers are placing immense value on their experiences and are willing to share more of their personal data if it enhances the services they receive in return,” said Matt Swain, managing director and practice lead for communications consulting services at Broadridge. “Data is the bedrock of customer experience and providers of essential communications, like bills and statements, have a significant opportunity to modernize the way they customize consumers’ experiences. This can only be done if they are clear about what data is needed, how it will be managed and, ultimately, how it will improve the lives of their customers – on and offline.”
Demand for Paperless Communications Rises, and Companies are Missing Out
When it comes to essential communications, interest in going digital is growing. Compared to the 45% who prefer paper, two out of three respondents (67%) switched at least one bill or statement to paperless in the last year.
Although there’s increasing demand for digital bills and statements, the data suggests a missed opportunity for companies to grow paperless adoption, customer engagement and convenience at the onset of the relationship, while cutting costs. Only four out of 10 consumers were asked to go paperless when they opened a new account and 29% said that they were never asked at all.
In terms of motivations for going paperless, most respondents (72%) agree that reducing clutter was their primary reason for switching to online communications from their providers this past year.
Helping Consumers Take Financial Control with Advanced Features
Consumers making the leap to paperless are also increasingly looking to get more out of their bills and statements so they can take control of their finances. In fact, 72% would prefer advanced options, such as customizable dashboards, to control the look and feel of bills and statements. For those who have investment or retirement funds, insights and recommendations on their activities and spending relative to their financial goals are increasingly important (59%).
Interestingly, nearly one-third (29%) of respondents say they never review their bills or statements for reoccurring “zombie subscriptions,” which often hit consumers’ bank accounts unexpectedly.
Beyond customization of communications, consumers also want centralized delivery and storage options for bills and statements in the cloud (40%), particularly when it comes to accessing important and time-sensitive financial information. More than two-thirds (69%) of respondents say having all their financial documents in one archived location would make things like filing taxes much easier.
“Companies have the opportunity to transform the customer experience through bills and statements,” added Swain. “By reframing these household communications, companies can create more meaningful engagement with their consumers, helping simplify and organize their bills and statements, while also creating new layers of brand equity and additional revenue opportunities.”
To download the report, click here.
Broadridge Customer Communications commissioned ENGINE to conduct a CARAVAN Omnibus Survey. The 45-question survey was administered between November 6-13, 2019, to 3,006 U.S. and Canadian residents ages 25 and older. The sample was weighted to current U.S. and Canadian Census data for age, gender and region. The figures are statistically significant at the 95% confidence level with a margin of error of ±2 percentage points.
SOURCE Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.
Hitting $12B in AUM, Carson Doubles Down on Cutting Tech Costs for Partners
Carson Group, one of the fastest growing financial services firms in the country, announced that as of April 1, 2020, Carson will cover technology costs for all partner firms—encompassing software platforms Salesforce, Orion, Smarsh and Egnyte. eMoney will also be covered as of May 1, 2020. Instead of spending time and money evaluating and adopting technology, wirehouse advisors, IARs and RIAs in the Carson Partners network can now, more than ever, focus on what matters and maximize the value they deliver to the families they serve.
Carson President Teri Shepherd said, “Reaching $12 billion AUM is a testament to our advisors and their dedication to serving nearly 32,000 families across the United States. We want our partners to have the resources to continuously reinvest in optimization and growth. Paying for the tech stack is the latest example of our commitment to helping advisors serve their clients while empowering them to focus on being the CEO of their business.”
Carson Group had unveiled plans to eliminate the financial burden on advisor businesses leveraging the Carson CX (client experience) at its flagship industry-wide Excell conference in Chicago in May 2019. Plans for discounted services and direct cost savings to partners were among the key messages shared during Carson’s Partner Summit that takes place during Excell each year. The team announced zero costs on Orion Advisor Services fees within advisory accounts, which averaged a savings of more than $22,000 per advisor firm.
Bob Huntley, Founder and Wealth Advisor of Texas-based Carson partner firm Wise Counsel Wealth Management said, “I cannot tell you how exciting it is to be part of this movement Ron Carson has built. I am already making plans to reinvest 100 percent of the savings back into growth this year.”
This commitment to eliminating tech costs is the latest in an ongoing rollout of Carson CX (customer experience) releases and technology enhancements to help make complex issues simple for advisors and investors across the country. Over the past year, the organization has rolled out several value-added advisor services and support to its ecosystem, including an expanded brokerage solution, M&A consulting to help its advisors grow their practices, succession planning, and cash management options through its partnership with Galileo Money+, a new mobile-only banking service, available exclusively through financial advisors.
Carson Group serves advisors and investors in more than 120 partner offices across the country, including 24 Carson Wealth offices. In addition to being a mainstay in the Barron’s annual list of top wealth management firms, Carson Group remains among the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing companies, has been recognized for two consecutive years by InvestmentNews as a top-50 firm for Best Places to Work for Financial Advisors, and was recently awarded a Best Places to Work in FinTech by American Banker.
SOURCE Carson Group
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