Tokenisation Of German Real Estate Fund – The First RAAY OS Application

Blockchain is a foundational technology, an underlying technology layer for applications built on top of it, allowing them to share a joint database and a ledger. It provides realtime access to an immutable and consistent data set. Based on our experiences launching the Building Blocks project on behalf of the United Nation’s World Food Programme (WFP) in May 2017, we launched its RAAY project in early 2018. 

RAAY’s goal is to become a new operating system for banking. Since the finance industry hasn’t changed much during the last decades, and financial crises followed by new stern regulatory frameworks have made banking even harder, banks are faced with a multitude of challenges, from a degenerated trust to inflexible and overcharged IT infrastructures and processes. For the RAAY team, blockchain provides the ideal basis for renewing trust and making IT more efficient for banking. Therefore, RAAY has been working on a new operating system to enable players of the finance industry with a blockchain-based technology layer to build lean, efficient, trust-less applications on top of it.

RAAY is partnering with a German bank to create a blockchain-based token representing the ownership of a German real estate fund. The token is part of an immutable, trust-less and decentralised system built specifically for the new RAAY operating system for banking. The token and the auxiliary system achieves an improved model for ownership of real estate by applying blockchain technology, secure and scalable identification solutions and tried-and-tested account management software. 

The token is characterised by a smart contract defining key functionality (transfers, rights, etc.) and listing properties (ownership, price, fund information, etc.). The token smart contract is linked to another smart contract which manages the different tokens and allows users to interact with various tokens in a simple way. Ownership of a token is proven by the possession of a private key. The corresponding public key is publicly listed in the smart contract. Building on the immutability and security of blockchain technology allows any token holder to prove ownership to anyone, in real-time, without doubt. 

The auxiliary system contains three main components: 

  • Identification, 
  • Application for Tokens and 
  • Fund-Connection. 

The Identification takes place according to applicable KYC-regulations with the addition of the creation of a blockchain identity, in effect a public-private key pair. The secret private key is much like a password and can be either downloaded to a secure offline-storage by the client or can be stored in a so-called cold wallet managed by a future RAAY-bank entity. If investment amounts exceed a certain limit, tokens are stored in a multi-signature wallet for additional security. 

The Application for Tokens is a protocol for converting any type of funds (fiat or cryptocurrency) into tangible asset tokens. It requires an account with a depository bank for fiat currencies. 

The Fund-Connection is the direct correspondence between existing tokens and shares of the fund in question. This ensures the validity of each claim that a token holder may have, on any ownership/access to dividends from the fund. 

This is the first step in RAAY’s strategy to create the new operating system for banking. It is a needed use case that will be operational and reduce costs for the fund deploying it. By going stepwise from one application area to another, RAAY will build a modular and configurable OS for banking that removes inefficiencies regardless whether the partner is a fund, a bank or a fintech-company.

Cryptoexchange EtherDelta Officially Lists CrowdstartCoin XSC

As of today, 1 December 2017, our CrowdstartCoin XSC is tradable on EtherDelta, a decentralized cryptoexchange. 

We are very happy that, ten days after having issued the first CSC to IOTA developers at IOTA hackathon, in Gdansk, the tokens have been officially listed on EtherDelta!  From today, blockchain developers can grow the value of their own token that serves as a reward for contributing to the evolution of the blockchain ecosystem!

Don‘t waste your time, devs! Go, claim your XSC – and trade them!

UN’s World Food Programme WFP Appoints Baltic Data Science As Partner In Building Blocks Project

Our subsidiary Baltic Data Science (“BDS”) has formally been appointed by WFP to support them on the scale-up of the Building Blocks project.

We are very proud to announce that our close development partner and Polish associated company BDS has formally been appointed by the World Food Programme for the further roll-out the existing Building Blocks platform. At the beginning of the this year, we together with our partner BDS started to build a blockchain-based proof-of-concept for WFP and transformed it into a fully-functional blockchain-based transaction platform in Jordan. The inhabitants receive food vouchers that can be used in the village’s supermarket.

So what are the benefits compared to traditional transaction payments? Thanks to the blockchain technology, our innovative system provides higher transparency of aid accounts for beneficiaries and easy tracking of transaction which helps to lower the effort of bookkeeping for vendors and WFP. The biggest, however invisible, advantage is a minimized risk of fraud or data mismanagement.

We are excited to follow the next phase scale-up of the transaction platform and want to thank WFP for their trust and wish both partners a successful roll-out.

If you want to learn more about our services or specifically this project, please contact us at info@datarella.com or BDS at info@balticdatascience.com.

About WFP:
The United Nations World Food Programme “WFP”, with its headquarters located in Rome, Italy is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide. WFP is mandated to deliver the food necessary to save the lives of victims of natural disasters, wars, and civil unrest. On average, WFP reaches more than 80 million people with food assistance in 75 countries each year. About 11,500 people work for the organization, most of them in remote areas, directly serving the hungry poor. WFP is part of the United Nations (UN) System.

About BDS:
Headquartered in Gdansk, Poland, BDS is an international data science and blockchain development company specializing in business-focused solutions. BDS develops data-driven applications (mobile/desktop frontends and backends) for international customers as well as blockchain-based applications.

 

An Incentive Scheme For The Blockchain Ecosystem – Supporting The Crowdstart Capital Token Sale

We at Datarella are strong believers in blockchain technology. We have been working on blockchain projects since 2015 – with leading índustry players and organisations. Since we are platform-agnostic, we have worked with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Hyperledger, IOTA, and other blockchains.

One key takeaway of two years of blockchain experience is, that – in the fall of 2017 – most blockchains are still quite immature and a lot of work has to be done in order to make them industry-ready. We see a huge demand for development and investment in not only blockchain-related projects but also in the core blockchain protocols. The key development challenges in 2018 will be to significantly improve the scalability, the stability and the security of blockchain platforms.

As digital organisms fed by communities of developers, blockchain protocols evolve through changes in their code, i.e. either by changes to the original code or through adding a new microorganism – a side chain – by forking the original chain. Both, changes to the original code and forks, could be combined by creating a forkless blockchain with specific rules in the protocol that are created by other rules (see: the Nomic game ). This way, forks would not be needed anymore since rules could be changeable by other rules.

Most industry blockchain projects are developed using side chains. First, that’s to eschew the disadvantages of public blockchains, s.a. PoW, and then, it’s because of the lack of industry-grade conditions in public blockchains. Most, if not all, industry-led blockchain project teams would love to use public chains if they could be used in a reliable way.

Tragedy Of The Commons

That said, strong evolutionary processes in blockchains are needed. But, where’s the incentive for developers to invest resources into the core protocols? The only way to benefit from working on core blockchain protocols is mining tokens and profit from a potential increase in value or joining on elf the blockchain’s foundations and getting paid by them. This imbalance of having no incentive to work on a core technology which everybody would like to see well developed is called the tragedy of the commons: the economic reward for a developer improving blockchain technology is low.

Funding work on core blockchain protocols and thereby the creation of incentives for developers could be provided by private institutions, s.a. Venture Capital (VC) firms, and by public funding, e.g. through a public crowdfunding initiative: the Ethereum foundation could sell Ether through a crowdsale to the developer community working on a specific update in Ethereum’s evolutionary process. For the blockchain’s foundations that would be straightforward thinking.

VCs, however, would have to make sure that their assets, i.e. portfolio companies, profit from an investment in the core blockchain protocol. This could be done indirectly, if blockchain projects don’t need to develop certain functionalities which are already woven in the core protocol, and therefore minimize their efforts and streamline their roadmaps to exit. It can be questioned if that’s an adequate benefit from the VC‘s perspective.

Crowdstart Capital dedicates tokens to the blockchain developer community

With our sister company Crowdstart Capital (CSC) we are planning to address the funding challenge described above. Crowdstart Capital’s goal is to foster blockchain core technologies and applications. CSC wants to contribute to helping blockchain evolve into an enterprise-ready technology. In order to lay a basis for a cryptoeconomic incentive scheme to support the development of blockchain-related projects and to provide incentives to developers to dedicate their work to blockchain‘s core protocols, XSC tokens will be dedicated to the active blockchain community.

Developers committing code to key blockchain projects can opt in to receive XSC tokens for every line of code that is accepted for the respective projects. CSC will set up a smart-contract-based system that will pay out the tokens according to the commits. This incentive is meant as CSC’s contribution to the blockcahin developer community – there will be no further obligations, i.e. CSC does not demand any return for this.

Technologies to be supported by these incentives include the core protocols of leading blockchains, s.a. Ethereum. Also, all projects that participate in the CSC acceleration program are supported. In a second phase it is planned, that members of the community will be able to suggest projects to be included in the incentive scheme. Which project should be included will be voted for by the community in token-based ballots.

We know that we won‘t achieve our goal over night. And we know that we might adapt our plan when necessary. Finally, the most important factor is the blockchain community itself. If we can successfully motivate blockchain developers to join the scheme, to use the XSC tokens and to spread the word to their respective communities – then we can potentially crowdstart something new: an efficient incentive scheme for the evolution of blockchain technology.

“Traditional VCs Are Dead”: Full House at The State Of The ICO Ethereum Meetup

“I can honestly say my industry is being disrupted beyond belief right now. The funny thing is, I like it”, said Jamie Burke during yesterday’s Ethereum Munich meetup “The State of the ICO”. Jamie is betting his Outlier Venture’s fund on the idea to launch a handful, large ICOs to invest in communities and therefore in economies, rather than in startups.

Jamie’s fireside chat (no, there was no fire but it was hot as hell) with Datarella’s founders Michael Reuter and Joerg Blumtritt was a fascinating tour de force towards a potential next level of venture investing in general, and a new breed of investors focusing on communitarian, anti-fragile investments rather than amassing a portfolio of companies of which 90% will fail.

Before, lawyers Dr. Nina-Luisa Siedler of DWF and Dr. Markus Kaulartz of CMS inspired the audience with their highly informative and at the same time very sympathetic presentation on the legal aspects of ICOs. Both being long-time experts in the field of blockchain, managed to entertain everybody although their messages were far from being easy-going. Especially their slide “Consequences in case of incompliance” filled the room with enthusiasm. Their complete slidedeck “Legal Aspects of ICOs” can be downloaded here.

Again, the Ethereum meetup was a great success: everybody learned a lot, and from what we overheard on the floor, some of the individual conversations until late at night resulted in new ideas for …. future ICOs.

The State Of The Initial Coin Offering ICO

In our upcoming Ethereum Meetup we will discuss one of the hottest topics you can read about in the tech space: Initial Coin Offerings ICO, sometimes referred to as Initial Token Offerings ITOs or, more simply, as Token Sales.

In June 2017, blockchain project teams have raised more money through ICOs than through traditional venture capital firms. Has one of the key aspects of applied blockchains – the elimination of the middle-man – unexpectedly come upon the venture capital industry?

It might be too early to confirm this assumption but some VCs have supposedly decided not to wait any longer but to start using ICOs as an instrument to leverage their traditional businesses. Over at CrowdstartCapital, we have compiled a list of the world’s largest ICOs.

Jamie Burke, Dr. Nina Luise Siedler, Dr. Markus Kaulartz

In our meetup, we will approach the ICO from different perspectives, trying to get hold of this phenomenon:

  • Is an ICO the right moneyraising tool for your project?
  • What are the pitfalls of an ICO?

We are very happy to have one of the most prolific experts in the field of blockchain investing to present his perspective on ICOs: Jamie Burke, Founder and CEO of Outlier Ventures and Convergence VC. Jamie and bis team have analysed over 1,000 blockchain-related startups. He is quite critical when it comes to ICOs, That’s the reason we are very much looking forward to meeting Jamie on 25 July.

Right after Jamie introduced us to the actual ICO sphere, we are happy to have Dr. Nina Luise Siedler and Dr. Markus Kaulartz with their interactive take on the legal aspects of ICOs. Everybody has heard of Bitcoin and other crypographic coins or tokens, and most of us know what those are from a technical perspective. Markus and Nina will go beyond that and will explain what tokens are under applicable laws. They will give some practical insights to explain that there are different kinds of tokens which can be used for various business purposes. Depending on the kind of token, different regulatory frameworks apply to ICOs. Markus and Nina will share insights of what companies have to consider when running their own ICO.

We are very much looking forward to having exciting discussions! See you at our partner Deloitte’s  Munich offices on July, 25!

Versicherer entdecken Chanchen von Big Data

Nie gab es soviel Information über den Kunden. Ist das Auto tatsächlich in der Garage geparkt? Wie aggressiv fährt der Kunde auf der Autobahn und steigert damit seine Unfallwahrscheinlichkeit? Bis dato hält sich die Versicherungsbranche damit zurück, den Datenschatz zu heben.

Die Sparkassen-Direktversicherung bringt zu Jahresbeginn 2014 eine Police auf den Markt, bei der man mit vorsichtiger Fahrweise an der Prämie sparen kann. Für die nötige Transparenz dieser Kalkulation sorgt eine Visualisierung des eigenen Fahrverhaltens, die der Autofahrer am Computer begutachten kann. Zur Berechnung der Police werden aggregierte Daten eingesetzt, da die Versicherung laut eigener Auskunft die mathematischen Modelle zur Auswertung individueller Daten fehlen und zum anderen die hohe Sensibilität  der Deutschen hinsichtlich der Verwendung ihrer Daten eine vorsichtigen Herangehensweise gebieten.

Versicherungsunternehmen sind von Haus aus datengetrieben. Daher sind sie mit dem Sammeln und Verknüpfen von Daten vertraut – lediglich die Grössenordnung und die Effizienz der Verarbeitbarkeit der vorliegenden großen Datenmengen stellen eine Herausforderung dar. Aber auch die Chancen für exaktere Berechnungsmodelle und damit einhergehend fûr eine Ausweitung der potenziellen Klientel sind gestiegen: während eine Risikolebensversicherung bisher auf die Ehrlichkeit ihrer Kunden angewiesen ist, können Fragen wie “Rauchen Sie?” oder “Betreiben Sie Extremsportarten?” zukünftig über eine Verhaltensanalyse anstelle eines Fragebogens beantwortet werden.

Letztlich steht jeder Versicherer vor zwei grundsätzlichen Herausforderungen: die Optimierung seiner Tarifstruktur und die Maximierung seiner Kundenzahl. Ersteres ist mit Einsatz mathematischer Modelle auf Basis grosser Datenmengen mit überschaubarem Einsatz mit einer vorhandenen Expertise im Bereich Big Data umsetzbar. Die Ausweitung der Klientel hängt eng vom Fingerspitzengefühl des Unternehmens ab, mit dem er neue, differenziertere Policen auf den Markt bringt, die mit der Aufzeichnung des Kundenverhaltens korrelieren.

Eine wichtige Aufgabe für jeden Versicherer besteht unseres Erachtens darin, die Big Data Thematik im eigenen Unternehmen proaktiv anzugehen und Expertise in den eigenen Reihen aufzubauen. Sollte die Assekuranz eine lediglich abwartende Haltung einnehmen, wird Innovationspotenzial verschenkt. Wie in allen neuen Geschäftsfeldern wird es bei Big Data auch sein: die Claims werden frühzeitig abgesteckt und die zunehmend wechselwilligere Kundschaft wird zu dem Anbieter wechseln, der auf sie massgeschneiderte Tarife anbietet. Die Bereitschaft der Menschen zur Abgabe ihrer Daten ist wechselseitig: sie geben dem ihre Daten, der ihnen hierfür einen signifikanten wahrnehmbaren Nutzen zurückspielt: auch aus Kundenperspektive ist das Datenthema eine reine Kosten-Nutzen-Betrachtung.

Big Data’s Top PE Investoren

Ich habe mich schon lange gefragt, wer die aktivsten PE Investoren im Bereich Big Data sind und wie viel Kapital bereits von professionellen Investoren für diesen Bereich zur Verfügung gestellt wurden. In einem etwas älteren Beitrag aus März 2013 auf CN Insights wurde ich endlich fündig. Die Zahlen sind beeindruckend.

Seit der Finanzkrise in 2008 wurden insgesamt mehr als 4,9 Mrd. USD im Bereich Big Data investiert – eine beträchtliche Summe, wenn man bedenkt, dass PE-Investitionen seit 2008 stark rückläufig sind. Hier sind die Top 20 Investoren: