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Remark Holdings Reports Second Quarter 2019 Results

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Remark Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: MARK), a diversified global technology company with leading artificial intelligence (AI) solutions and digital media properties, reported its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2019.

Management Commentary

“During the second quarter, we continued to broaden our base of contracts and are currently installing our AI solutions in the real estate, pharmacy, and transportation sectors, while working with additional partners to expand upon our retail deployments,” said Kai-Shing Tao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Remark Holdings. “Our focus on our customer’s return on investment is resonating with them, leading to additional organic revenue opportunities, expanding upon their existing large footprints,” Mr. Tao added.  “At the same time we’re continuing to align our cost structure, as we pursue business in a disciplined manner and lay the path to profitable growth.”

Recent Highlights

  • Completed the sale of Vegas.com and used proceeds to significantly reduce debt.
  • Entered into a “smart-building” partnership agreement with Hanvon Technology Co. Ltd, one of China’s top software companies, to utilize KanKan’s facial-recognition technology to provide entry/exit management at access points in the portfolio buildings of the software company. The partnership has already resulted in deployment at more than 1,000 access points, with plans to continue deployment to more than 10,000 building units by the end of 2019.
  • The company’s installation of 5,000 units of its pharmacy-patient terminal system in 2018 led to an additional contract to install 15,000 terminals in pharmacies in additional Chinese cities in 2019.
  • Completed the installation of KanKan’s taxi-safety-monitoring system in more than 2,000 taxis in the Chinese city of Xi’an. Remark is pursuing additional business opportunities for the taxi-safety-monitoring system in Guiyang and Chongqing, cities representing a total addressable market of approximately 25,000 vehicles and a revenue opportunity of more than $10 million.
  • Sharecare received a strategic investment led by Quest Diagnostics, further highlighting the value Sharecare is creating. Remark owns approximately five percent of Sharecare’s issued stock and continues to explore avenues to optimize the monetization of this asset to best create long-term value for its shareholders. To date, Sharecare has raised in excess of $400 million.

Three Months Ended June 30, 2019 compared to Three Months Ended June 30, 2018

  • On May 15, 2019, the company completed the sale of Vegas.com for an aggregate purchase price of $30.0 millionand used the proceeds to significantly reduce its obligations to its lenders. A gain of $6.5 million was recorded in discontinued operations on the sale of the Vegas.com business that formerly comprised Remark’s Travel and Entertainment segment. The results of the formerly-reported Travel and Entertainment segment are now reported as discontinued operations.
  • Revenue for the second quarter of 2019 was $2.9 million, down from $3.9 million during the comparable period of last year. Regulatory changes in China’s financial services market caused the company to discontinue its FinTech business in 2018, but the absence of FinTech revenue was partially offset by an increase in revenue from AI projects. Additionally, AI revenue in the second quarter of 2019 was more than double the $1.2 million reported during the second quarter of 2018, and significantly higher than the $0.4 million reported in the first quarter of 2019, representing the completion and passing of several proof-of-concept tests on projects and the beginning of deployment and implementation phases.
  • Total cost and expense for the second quarter of 2019 was $5.8 million, a decrease from the $10.6 million reported in the second quarter of 2018. The decrease is primarily attributable to decreases in cost of sales as a result of the discontinuance of FinTech services, in consulting fees due to declining use of external consultants, in payroll and related costs as a result of headcount reductions, and in bad debt expense.
  • Operating loss declined to $2.9 million in the second quarter of 2019 from $6.7 million in the second quarter of 2018 commensurate with the cost and expense declines.
  • Adjusted EBITDA was ($2.7) million from continuing operations, as compared to ($5.3) million.
  • Net loss totaled $2.8 million or ($0.06) per diluted share in the second quarter ended June 30, 2019, compared to net income of $3.4 million, or $0.10 per diluted share in the comparable period of the prior year. The income in the prior year was driven by a $10.1 million gain in the change of the fair value of the warranty liability.
  • At June 30, 2019, the cash and cash equivalents balance was $2.1 million, compared to a cash position of $1.4 million at December 31, 2018. Cash increased primarily due to timing of payments related to elements of working capital and the issuance of common stock.


SOURCE Remark Holdings, Inc.

Riot Blockchain Announces Q2/19 Financial Results

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Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) (“Riot” or the “Company”) announced the filing of its 2019 Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, which can be viewed on the Company’s website or at SEC.gov.

Highlights extracted from the June 30, 2019 quarterly consolidated condensed financial statements (unaudited) (“Q2/19”):

  • Generated approximately $2.4 million in mining revenue on the production of 316.19 bitcoins, 143.81 bitcoin cash, and 870.01 litecoins for the quarter. This compares to Q2/18 revenues of $2.8 million on the production of 311.12 bitcoins, 272.81 bitcoin cash, and 314.04 litecoins.
  • The average price of bitcoin for the quarter was $7,301 as compared to $7,767 in Q2/18. Additionally, the Q2/19 average price was substantially higher than the $3,799/BTC average price in Q1/19. Bitcoin mining makes up the large majority of Riot’s cryptocurrency mining operation.
  • Gross margin as a percent of mining revenues improved significantly to 35% from (5%), sequentially, in the second quarter due primarily to higher average cryptocurrency prices as bitcoin, bitcoin cash, and litecoin gained 92%, 122%, and 158% relative to Q1/19 averages. Recent improvements in bitcoin prices, should they continue, are expected to further assist in improving gross margin break-even results.
  • Net loss attributable to the Company in Q2/19 was approximately $1.3 million or $0.08/share. This marks a significant improvement from Q2/18, when the Company posted a comparable net loss of approximately $24.0 million or $1.81/share.
  • Balance sheet was strengthened with a Q2/19 cash and cryptocurrency position of $18 million as compared to $225,000 at the end of FY/18. Total liabilities were reduced to $4.8 million in Q2/19 from $9.4 million at the end of FY/18 as outstanding payables were liquidated including settlement of certain debts – some at notable discounts.

Business update and highlights:

  • Riot’s fully-owned hashing power was approximately 101 Petahash as of June 30, 2019; which ranks the Company among the largest publicly-listed miners of bitcoin. The mining operation continues to be fully deployed with 24/7 real-time monitoring of status and margin contribution. Based upon recent operating metrics and difficulty levels, at a price of $10,050/BTC an S9 miner would generate digital currency revenues of approximately $0.12/kWh.
  • Riot recently acquired 200 Bitmain S9 and 30 Bitmain L3 miners for a cost of approximately $100,000. We plan to continue to look to enhance our mining operations through opportunistic value acquisitions.
  • Riot maintains ownership of approximately 12% of Coinsquare, a leading cryptocurrency exchange in Canada.
  • The previously disclosed Securities and Exchange Commission investigation associated with the subpoena received by the Company in April 2018 is still ongoing, and the Company has been cooperating with the SEC in that investigation.
  • The Company continues development progress with RiotX, its planned cryptocurrency exchange, as it engages additional partners in the establishment of the exchange.
  • Riot recently announced the establishment of an Advisory Board that is comprised of well-recognized creative leaders with a wealth of operational and strategic experience from across the blockchain space including: bitcoin software development, node projects, bitcoin education, start-up advisory, and venture capital/angel investing. The Advisory Board has been established to assist the Company in its strategic mission and enhance shareholder value through the advisors’ industry-leading insights and vast network of innovators and pacesetters.


SOURCE Riot Blockchain, Inc.

Data Gumbo Commended by Frost & Sullivan for Automating Contract Execution in the Oil and Gas Industry with Its Blockchain-as-a-Service

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Based on its recent analysis of the North American smart contracts market for the oil and gas industry, Frost & Sullivan recognizes Data Gumbo Corporation (Data Gumbo) with the 2019 North America Technology Innovation Award. It developed a distributed ledger to serve as a consensus algorithm, with nodes based with each stakeholder to create a scalable and reliable model. The company offers its blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) solution to a variety of industrial applications with complex contracting measurements that require a trusted data source. Data Gumbo designed its fully managed BaaS platform solution specifically for the oil and gas sector to coordinate the entire process of data acquisition, validation, and execution. It enables unprecedented levels of trust in the consensus data, aligns incentives across the board for maximum efficiency, and automates contract execution.

“Data Gumbo recognizes key performance indicators in a smart contract solution depending on the timelines and completion schedules important to operators, contractors, and suppliers. Its user interface helps asset managers and accounting departments monitor progress and spending without needing special IT training. The company’s database makes searching for records and transactions easy, without requiring custom coding,” said Clare Walker, Industry Principal at Frost & Sullivan. “The service hosts everything for users and provides private blockchains for viewing authorized transactions. As more operators, contracts, and suppliers become part of its blockchain network, Data Gumbo will make it easier for interconnected parties to work together with smart contracts.”

Data Gumbo built its blockchain network to direct smart contracts, generating trust among parties, and executing contract terms. In a single day, the company can begin testing inputs and variables in preparation for running a live contract. Once it goes live, the platform acquires and standardizes the incoming data into formats applicable to the algorithms and, according to completion of components, produces a block in the chain or distributed ledger. Each block distributes to each node on the participants’ systems, wherein each node analyzes the functions of the contract, and each compares the results. When all nodes agree and certify the legitimacy of the contract terms and fulfillment, the platform approves the results and executes payment automatically.

Data Gumbo has the first-mover advantage as a provider of BaaS in the oil and gas sector and has begun expanding the use cases of its blockchain smart contract solution across the value chain, in shipping and logistics, supply chain, and trading. The company has also partnered with an energy leader, the Carnrite Group, to bolster its offering and to scale implementation.

“Data Gumbo ensures that smart contracts on its BaaS solution safeguard trust and security, assuring oil and gas sector companies of essential transparency and data confidentiality,” noted Walker. “Its blockchain ledger ties directly into the originally built secure Internet of Things data platform, providing end-to-end security for the data entering the ledger blocks.”

Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to the company that develops a product with innovative features and functionality that is gaining rapid acceptance in the market. The award recognizes the quality of the solution and the customer value enhancements it enables.

Frost & Sullivan Best Practices awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research to identify best practices in the industry.


SOURCE Frost & Sullivan

Minister Bains announces investment to help prepare young Canadians for tomorrow’s jobs

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Canada needs a workforce savvy in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), capable of taking on challenges to compete in the digital economy. That’s why, to prepare the next generation of Canadian workers to succeed in the increasingly digital economy, the Government of Canada is supporting millions of young Canadians in improving their digital skills.

During a visit to Sir James Douglas Elementary School in Vancouver today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence, announced a $8.1 million investment for Kids Code Jeunesse as part of the second phase of the Government of Canada’s CanCode program.

CanCode gives students from kindergarten to Grade 12 the opportunity to learn digital skills, like coding, data analytics and digital content development, including artificial intelligence. The program also helps Canadian teachers acquire the know-how to incorporate new digital skills and technologies into their classrooms, and it encourages young women, Indigenous peoples and other under-represented groups to pursue careers in STEM.

Kids Code Jeunesse is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to building digital skills communities and empowering children, teachers and parents to thrive in a technology-driven society. With this funding, the company will deliver 415,000 coding and digital skills training opportunities to students, from kindergarten to Grade 12, as well as to 12,000 teachers across the country.

Canadian students and their teachers in every province and territory will receive digital skills training through in-class workshops and through the organization’s new #kids2030 initiative—a webinar style of instruction on coding, AI and the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals that will reach classrooms in rural and remote communities.

CanCode aligns with Canada’s Digital Charter, a made-in-Canada, principles-based approach to building trust in the digital world. The first principle of the Charter is focused on ensuring that all Canadians have equal opportunity to participate in the digital world and the necessary tools to do so, including access, connectivity, literacy and skills.


“Young Canadians are the leaders of tomorrow and will drive our economic success for years to come. By investing in resources that teach them digital skills and making higher education more affordable, our government is helping them transition successfully from classrooms to research labs, shop floors or boardrooms.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Preparing the next generation to succeed in an increasingly digital world requires investing in the youth of today. Encouraging young women, Indigenous peoples and under-represented groups in this industry will make Canada’sdigital economy more competitive. This commitment means that students and teachers in every province and territory will have the opportunity to learn critical digital skills.”
– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of National Defence

“It is essential that Canadians are educated to be engaged citizens with an understanding of how to communicate and create in the world around them. Canadians need to learn computational thinking, algorithmic literacy and how to build with technology. And it is our collective responsibility to ensure that kids’ education keeps up with the digital revolution.”
– Kate Arthur, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Kids Code Jeunesse

Quick facts

  • Budget 2019 is investing $60 million in CanCode. This investment is in addition to the $50 million from Budget 2017, for a total of $110 million.
  • To date, our government has provided 1.9 million experiences in coding and digital skills training to Canadian students and 96,000 teachers through CanCode activities. Through this second phase of CanCode, more than two million additional training opportunities will be provided to students and teachers by March 2021.
  • CanCode has a student stream and a teacher stream. CanCode recipients deliver digital skills learning opportunities for students from kindergarten to Grade 12 and/or training programs and workshops for teachers.
  • CanCode is designed to complement educational curricula and to promote, encourage and spark awareness and interest in coding and digital skills more broadly. The long-term goal is to make Canada a leading innovation economy with a diverse and inclusive workforce.


SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Microchip Enters Memory Infrastructure Market with Serial Memory Controller for High-performance Data Center Computing

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As the computational demands of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning workloads accelerate, traditional parallel attached DRAM memory has presented a major roadblock for next-generation CPUs, which require an increased number of memory channels to deliver more memory bandwidth. Microchip Technology Inc. (Nasdaq: MCHP) today announced an expanded data center portfolio and its entrance into the memory infrastructure market with the industry’s first commercially available serial memory controller. The SMC 1000 8x25G enables CPUs and other compute-centric SoCs to utilize four times the memory channels of parallel attached DDR4 DRAM within the same package footprint. Microchip’s serial memory controllers deliver higher memory bandwidth and media independence to these compute-intensive platforms with ultra-low latency.

As the number of processing cores within CPUs has risen, the average memory bandwidth available to each processing core has decreased because CPU and SoC devices cannot scale the number of parallel DDR interfaces on a single chip to meet the needs of the increasing core count. The SMC 1000 8x25G interfaces to the CPU via 8-bit Open Memory Interface (OMI)-compliant 25 Gbps lanes and bridges to memory via a 72-bit DDR4 3200 interface. The result is a significant reduction in the required number of host CPU or SoC pins per DDR4 memory channel, allowing for more memory channels and increasing the memory bandwidth available.

A CPU or SoC with OMI support can utilize a broad set of media types with different cost, power and performance metrics without having to integrate a unique memory controller for each type. In contrast, CPU and SoC memory interfaces today are typically locked to specific DDR interface protocols, such as DDR4, at specific interface rates. The SMC 1000 8x25G is the first memory infrastructure product in Microchip’s portfolio that enables the media-independent OMI interface.

Data center application workloads require OMI-based DDIMM memory products to deliver the same high-performance bandwidth and low latency results of today’s parallel-DDR based memory products. Microchip’s SMC 1000 8x25G features an innovative low latency design that delivers less than four ns incremental latency over a traditional integrated DDR controller with LRDIMM. This results in OMI-based DDIMM products having virtually identical bandwidth and latency performance to comparable LRDIMM products.

“Microchip is excited to introduce the industry’s first serial memory controller device to the market,” said Pete Hazen, vice president of Microchip’s Data Center Solutions business unit. “New memory interface technologies such as Open Memory Interface (OMI) enable a broad range of SoC applications to support the increasing memory requirements of high-performance data center applications. Microchip’s entrance into the memory infrastructure market underscores our commitment to improving performance and efficiency in the data center.”

“IBM customer workload requirements are increasingly memory-intensive, which is why we have made the strategic decision for POWER processor memory interfaces to utilize OMI standard interfaces to increase memory bandwidth,” said Steve Fields, chief architect of IBM Power Systems. “IBM appreciates the partnership with Microchip to deliver this solution.”

SMART Modular, Micron and Samsung Electronics are building multiple pin-efficient 84-pin Differential Dual-Inline Memory Modules (DDIMM) with capacities ranging from 16 GB to 256 GB, conforming to the draft JEDEC DDR5 standard DDIMM form factor. These DDIMMs will leverage the SMC 1000 8x25G and will seamlessly plug into any OMI-compliant 25 Gbps interface.


“The Open Memory Interface (OMI) standard delivers a pin-efficient serial memory interface so a broad range of CPU and SoC applications can both scale memory bandwidth and seamlessly transition between an increasing number of emerging media types such as storage class memory,” said Myron Slota, president of the OpenCAPI Consortium. “The OpenCAPI consortium provides royalty-free host and target IP, as well as drives a broad set of initiatives to ensure standards compliance.”

“Google customers benefit from data intensive applications such as machine learning and data analytics that require high performance memory,” says Rob Sprinkle, technical lead for platforms infrastructure at Google LLC. “Google strongly supports open standards-based initiatives such as the Open Memory Interface (OMI), which provides a high-performance memory interface to meet these important bandwidth and latency performance goals.”

MEDSiS Announces Agreement with the World Token Issuing Alliance (WTIA) for Investment to Launch Argentina Registration and Payment System Powered by the MEDSiS’ “Maxwell” Stablecoin

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Less than one month after the announcement of the newly formed partnership, World Token Issuing Alliance (WTIA) and MEDSiS International, (a U.S. based identity management and financial services company) announced a deeper agreement and the support of the MEDSiS held contract in Argentinaand beyond.  With MEDSiS’ expertise in the Latin American region, the partnership with WTIA will not only launch the program, but bring the MEDSiS “Maxwell” Stablecoin to market with the support of the local government and entities.

The Argentinian Trade Union, SUPOFEPRA, is the first program of its kind in Latin America (LATAM) which would not only use technology to manage the union population, but do so by allowing a stablecoin to support the back-end of the financial inclusion and payments platform.  After identifying, registering, and banking the members of SUPOFEPRA, the addition of “Maxwell” will allow members to make and receive payments, as well as store wealth while in a stable system that eliminates the volatility in the local fiat market with the Argentinian Peso.

The unveiling of “Maxwell” and the partnership with WTIA was not the only technology announced to be used in the program.  MEDSiS will also be implementing the WTIA “Bunker”, a proprietary secure location to be able to deploy workers and technology into hard to reach places or areas with technological and logistical difficulties.  With the deployment of the WTIA “Bunker” system, MEDSiS will be able to fast-track the registration process for SUPOFEPRA and bring more people onto the platform, faster.  With the partnership, WTIA and MEDSiS will also be creating hundreds of jobs in the Argentinian market as well and the rest of LATAM using MEDSiS existing contracts in places like BrazilChilePeru, and several other countries. This new, large-scale “smart” job creation along with the issuing of “Maxwell” to every uniquely identified and registered user will provide opportunities for the region and a new standard in stablecoin adaptation.

“Maxwell is key to the SUPOFEPRA project. It will help stabilize the unbanked and add jobs and opportunities to new populations like never before.” 
– Joshua Dax Cabrera, CEO of MEDSiS

The investment into MEDSiS and the technological support for the SUPOFEPRA project is the first step in bringing users onto this new model which will all be traded on the WTIA exchange in the future. “Maxwell” will be one of the first cryptocurrency stablecoins to be used in multi-country government programs, giving access to every user to take advantage of participating in the global economy.  On the back-end, multi-country and multi-currency financial payments platform developed by RijndlPay, users will be able to build wealth and maximize the benefits of a blockchain hybrid banking system unlike anything in the market today.

“With more than 20M individuals, ‘Maxwell’ immediately becomes one of the largest cryptocurrencies in use, this makes our investment decision and entry into LATAM very attractive.”
–  Chairman Keun-Young Kim – WTIA Co., Ltd.

MEDSiS and WTIA will launch “Maxwell” in Latin America for the users of the existing financial inclusion contracts and use the model as an example for MEDSiS’ contracts around the globe.  With more than 20 million individuals already under contract to come online, “Maxwell” will immediately become one of the largest cryptocurrencies in use. The investment into the Argentina program also will bring MEDSiS to a new phase as a unicorn company as a planned STO event is currently being scheduled for December of 2019 ahead of the “Maxwell” launch to the consumer market in early 2020.  Details of the larger agreement between MEDSiS and WTIA are not being made public at this time, although both companies have agreed to be able to share the timing and specifics of the agreement internally as the partnership proceeds forward.


SOURCE MEDSiS International

OPSWAT Deploys CrowdStrike to Enhance Security Offering

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OPSWATa leader in critical infrastructure protection, today announced that it has partnered with CrowdStrike® Inc., a leader in cloud-delivered endpoint protection, to enhance the multiscanning capabilities of MetaDefender, its flagship content security platform, with CrowdStrike’s Falcon AI engine. Today’s announcement represents the first commercialization of the Falcon AI engine by any OEM partner.

The CrowdStrike Falcon AI engine leverages the data of the CrowdStrike Falcon® platform, built on the crowdsourced intelligence of the CrowdStrike Cloud, to understand and identify malicious intent based solely on the attributes of a file, without prior knowledge of it, without signatures, and without having to execute the file to observe the behavior. Through seamless deployment of CrowdStrike’s Falcon AI engine in MetaDefender Core, MetaDefender Cloud and MetaDefender Kiosk, OPSWAT users will experience the following benefits:

  • The added power of CrowdStrike’s AI-powered next generation anti-virus engine to the existing list of traditional anti-malware engines already integrated into the MetaDefender platform.
  • Support for a wide range of use cases and deployments, from Cloud to on-premises (MetaDefender Core) deployments. Falcon AI will also be available as an optional custom add-on engine.
  • Better detection capabilities, enabling more robust security regardless of the use case, the CrowdStrike’s Falcon AI technology enhances the detection capabilities of the MetaDefender platform without negatively impacting organizations’ operations.

“We are delighted to work with CrowdStrike to integrate their market leading Falcon AI engine with the OPSWAT MetaDefender advanced threat prevention platform. The joint-solution will offer the best-of-breed malware defense with deep content analysis,” said Yiyi Miao, SVP Products at OPSWAT.

“We are excited to be working with OPSWAT to protect the many users in their ecosystem with CrowdStrike’s Falcon AI engine,” said Sven Krasser, Chief Scientist at CrowdStrike. “Artificial intelligence is the first line of defense against modern day threat actors, whose sophisticated tactics, techniques and procedures are constantly evolving to evade detection. OPSWAT’s MetaDefender with CrowdStrike’s Falcon AI creates a comprehensive security platform to defend all customers from all malware.”



The leading blockchain cybersecurity firm Hacken upgrades its business model and migrating onto VeChain

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The leading cybersecurity firm based in Kyiv, Hacken, announced a complete overhaul of their current business model with the guidance of strategic incubator CREAMethod and is migrating their blockchain-related operations onto VeChainThor Blockchain.

Hacken was first introduced in 2017 as a fightback towards hackers who were responsible for one of the biggest ransomware hacks, ‘Petya.’ Hacken is an organization composed of a community of over 2000 white hat hackers, full-time cybersecurity experts, and cryptocurrency enthusiasts. Over the last two years, the Hacken team’s Hackenproof Bug Bounty Platform, which, with the help of the community resulted in world-class white hat hackers protecting more than 200 companies and projects including The US Department of Defense, AirAsia, and TradingView. Hacken is also the only cybersecurity partner of the Data Accountability & Transparency Alliance (DATA). DATA is an alliance co-founded by Coinmarketcap.com, with members consisting of 23 major cryptocurrency exchanges and Hacken as the only strategic entity.

Hacken also focuses on exchange legitimacy and blockchain security. Hacken owns and runs exchange research and ranking website CER.live, which focuses on exchange trading volume legitimacy, exchange cybersecurity, and exchange backend trading analysis.

Hacken and CREAM had worked closely in the past three months to create a brand-new cybersecurity product which will allow any cryptocurrency holder to take their cybersecurity to the next level in a revolutionary way. The product is called Hacken Ai.

The HackenAi (pronounced Hacken’Eye’) product is designed in every way to fit into the modern cybersecurity landscape. It is a 360°-cybersecurity-companion product that takes a proactive approach of user cybersecurity. It consistently watches all potential threats and malpractices, immediately prompts users with timely, detailed information, and suggested steps to take in mitigating the risks of exploitation. It also has a preventive approach to educate users to take charge of their digital assets to achieve a 99.9% level of protection against all known cybersecurity threats.

Over the past year, the Hacken team has been deliberating over migration options to all major blockchain platforms. After evaluation, Hacken believes the VeChainThor Blockchain to be the best available option in the market due to the following reasons:

  • Security. Hacken was a security auditor of VeChainThor Blockchain protocol
  • Technology. Unlike any other blockchains, VeChainThor’s Multi-Party Payment (MPP) and Multi-Task Transaction (MTT) brings greater accessibility and will be critical enablers of mass adoption.
  • Enterprise adoption. DNV GL, PWC, Deloitte, and many other corporations are actively working together with VeChain in pursuit of blockchain mass adoption.
  • VeChain Ecosystem. VeChain has an active community of projects build on the VeChainThor blockchain like OceanEx, 8Hours, Plair, Safe Haven, and more.



Petr Ložek, Head of CEE Technology Consulting at PricewaterhouseCoopers, to join speakers’ list at PICANTE TECH Conference Europe (TCE2019) Prague

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Leading expert with a focus primarily on financial services and technology consultancy to join the Fintech-related panel discussion at PICANTE TECH Conference Europe 2019.


The hybrid technology which we call Fintech is trending on news outlets worldwide and there is no righter time to address the industry’s questions, then at PICANTE TECH Conference Europe.

The conference will host several panel discussions and keynote presentations from the top trending technological industries which includes Fintech.

Recently there has been a report that Snoop Dogg-Backed Klarna is now EU’s most valuable Fintech Startup, we can see that the industry is in full development.

While Fintech Startups are striving, adoption is rising as well, this why we have strategically titled the Fintech-related panel discussion as “The Rise of Fintech in Europe”. The speakers will stress how Fintech has changed so many ways in which financial companies operate today and how we are just at the beginning.

The panel discussion, moderated by Simon McDermott (Business Development Director at TECH.eu),  will be joined by top names of the Fintech industry in Europe such as Jean Paul Fabri (Managing Director of ARQ Economic & Business Intelligence), Jakub Hytka (Senior Manager at EY) and the recently announced Petr Ložek (Head of CEE Technology Consulting at PwC).

PICANTE TECH Conference Europe (TCE2019) will take place in Prague on the 3rd of September at Vienna House Andel’s Prague

REGISTER HERE to secure your seat!

About Petr Ložek (Head of CEE Technology Consulting at PwC)

Petr Ložek leads PwC Technology Consulting in the CEE region. He has worked as a consultant for over 20 years. He focuses primarily on financial services and technology consultancy. He has worked for most leading banking and insurance groups in the region of Central Europe and has been engaged in numerous technology transformation projects.

The main areas of his expertise include IT and digitizing strategies, multi-channel solutions, process automation and digitization, business intelligence solutions and core banking transformations.

Before joining PwC, Petr Ložek worked for Accenture as the Managing Director, where he was responsible for key accounts in the area of financial services in the Czech and Slovak Republics, Hungary and Romania.

Petr Ložek believes that the principal advantage of PwC compared to classic technology suppliers lies in PwC’s ability to pair technical skills with in-depth knowledge of the individual sectors, commercial perspective and regulatory issues, data analysis skills and, where relevant, also legal and tax aspects, whereby it can provide its clients with a comprehensive service package.

PICANTE Tech Conference Europe is designed to bring both people and knowledge together and provides the excellent ecosystem of networking and learning opportunities without interruptions with emphasis on comfort and communication. After learning from genuine world-class experts and wayseers, meeting achievers shaping the B2B ecosystem, all attendees will get the chance to grab a drink and relax while networking at the evening social gathering.


Vojtech Chloupek (Bird & Bird) explains how artificial intelligence is transforming compliance during TCE2019 Prague

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Experienced advisor with broad expertise in intellectual property and information technology will explain how the compliance industry is being reshaped with the help of AI at PICANTE TECH Conference Europe 2019.


Artificial Intelligence (AI) means different things to different people and it’s sometimes settling on a single definition to suit everyone is impossible. In part, individual views are shaped by where they sit on the spectrum of what it may bring, from technological utopia to dystopia.

When it comes to the compliance vertical, some companies are actively testing different AI systems for use in historic contracts, or in the automation of new contracts. Currently, we are at the tip of the iceberg in terms of proper utilization or realization of the benefits of AI in the compliance vertical.

The evolution of AI enables many repetitive tasks to get completed and will really replace a lot of the second-level activity that currently law companies outsource to outside law firms. By using AI, law companies are able to do this activity internally.

Already, artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are becoming the go-to options for addressing the troubles of modern-day AML and KYC, and regulators are encouraging the adoption of innovative solutions. The biggest draw is AI’s ability to interpret, synthesize and correlate vast amounts of data, a game-changing contribution to the ongoing battle against financial crime.

During PICANTE TECH Conference Europe (TCE2019), which will take place in Prague on the 3rd of September at Vienna House Andel’s Prague, you have the unique opportunity to hear more about how using AI is changing the compliance industry, and what are the laws around the use of AI, from Vojtech Chloupek (Partner at Bird & Bird).

REGISTER HERE to secure your seat!

About Vojtech Chloupek – Partner at Bird & Bird

Vojtěch is an experienced advisor with broad expertise in intellectual property and information technology.

Vojtěch is the head of the Intellectual Property Group in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.

Vojtěch specializes primarily in intellectual property and competition law. His expertise covers both contentious and non-contentious aspects of various intellectual property rights, including copyright, trademarks, designs, patents, unfair competition, information technology, domain names, trade secrets and data protection.

Besides frequent advice on numerous intellectual property (IP)/ information technology (IT) matters, he also regularly assists clients in connection with various antitrust matters, including anti-competitive practices, abuse of dominance, merger clearances and state aid. He represented clients in proceedings at the Czech Competition Authority as well as European Commission.

Vojtěch has significant industry expertise in a number of sectors, including aviation, electronic consumer products, media, life sciences, public transport and software.

He joined us in June 2009 having previously worked in Allen & Overy for five years. In 2007, he was admitted to the Czech Bar. Before starting a career in advocacy, Vojtěch worked in a Czech copyright collecting society.

Vojtěch belongs among the elite and internationally recognised experts in the intellectual property law in the Czech Republic. He was repeatedly awarded the Managing IP Star, gained the ILO Client Choice award in 2014 and 2015, was named as the WIPR Leader 2016 & 2017, recognised by Who’s Who Legal and is listed in Gold tier as an individual at the World Trademark Review.

Vojtěch gained a degree of Magister Juris in European and Comparative Law at the University of Oxford (St. Peter’s College). He also studied law at Charles University in Prague and theatre management at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.

PICANTE Tech Conference Europe is designed to bring both people and knowledge together and provides the excellent ecosystem of networking and learning opportunities without interruptions with emphasis on comfort and communication. After learning from genuine world-class experts and wayseers, meeting achievers shaping the B2B ecosystem, all attendees will get the chance to grab a drink and relax while networking at the evening social gathering.


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