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Three FinTech Entrepreneurs To Look Out For In 2021 | Instant News

Three FinTech Entrepreneurs To Look Out For In 2021

Although the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the global economy, 2021 remains an important year for the world of fintech.

Here are three entrepreneurs to watch out for this year, as they continue to make waves and pilot change in this area …

Nick Spanos

Nick Spanos

(Photo: Nick Spanos)

Nick Spanos is one of the most well-known investors and innovators in the blockchain and crypto world. In 2013, he made headlines when he founded Bitcoin Center NYC – the first cryptocurrency trading floor – just across from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in the Lower Manhattan financial district.

He is also the CEO of Blockchain Technologies Corp., which holds multiple blockchain patents for blockchain voting and VoteWatcher, the world’s first blockchain-based voting platform, and is working on many other projects that enhance blockchain’s real-life applications.

One of Spanos’ interesting and potentially disruptive projects is ZAP, which he co-founded in 2017. ZAP is essentially a marketplace and tool that allows developers to build and launch decentralized applications (Dapps) and smart contract which makes use of real-world data and events to trigger the aforementioned contracts.

He’s also been featured in a Netflix documentary about Bitcoin, and he’s spoken at dozens of different blockchain shows in the US and far beyond.

Ben-Ezer Barracks

Ben-Ezer Barracks

(Photo: Ben-Ezer Barracks)

Next, there is Barak Ben-Ezer, CEO of digital banking applications Grace. He is also the man behind SOV, the blockchain-based currency which, according to a bill passed in February 2018, is the new legal tender in the Marshall Islands. This makes SOV unique and fundamentally different from Bitcoin and other stablecoins and altcoins.

The main difference between SOV and traditional fiat currencies is the fact that the first rate of supply growth is algorithmically fixed at four percent per year, at which point for fiat, the government or central bank can increase the money supply as much as they want, potentially. leading to a high rate of inflation.

Additionally, Ben-Ezer won the Geektime Award in 2014 and previously served as the co-founder and co-CEO of Libra Trade – a popular FOREX and options trading platform.

Soravis Srinawakoon

Soravis Srinawakoon

(Photo: Soravis Srinawakoon)

Lastly, we have the CEO & co-founder of Band Protocol, Soravis Srinawakoon.

The permissionless blockchain protocol, which is supported by the likes of Sequoia Capital and Binance Labs, works in a similar way to the ZAP Spanos platform, as it connects blockchain applications with real-world data and transactions.

Prior to launching Band Protocol, Srinawakoon worked as a software engineer at Ericcson before becoming a teaching assistant at Stanford University, where he graduated in 2013.

Srinawakoon, from Forbes Asia 30 Under 30, also founded Better Off, a charity that builds libraries for children’s use in rural Thailand.

Ⓒ 2021 TECHTIMES.com All rights reserved. Don’t reproduce without permission.


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FIFA World Cup 2022 ™ – News – Rodriguez: Switzerland see ourselves as equal to Italy | Instant News

  • Rodriguez is a mainstay of Switzerland despite worrying about relegation at club level
  • He scored the all-important opener against Bulgaria
  • Says Switzerland “more unpredictable than any other team”

The last few seasons have not been easy for Ricardo Rodriguez. Last year he was on loan at PSV Eindhoven from AC Milan, but while his stint there initially looked promising, it was soon ended by the COVID-19 pandemic.

This season he has been at Torino in Serie A, where the team has surprisingly been involved in a relegation battle. Better yet, that the left foot also plays for the Swiss national team and is the cornerstone of the team’s experienced 74 international caps to date, operating either at left-back, as a left midfielder or as part of a defender. three.

Switzerland begins its Group C FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 ™ qualifying campaign with a comfortably won 3-1 in Bulgaria, with Rodriguez scoring the opener after just six minutes with a perfect cross inches into Breel Embolo’s head.

Before the team’s next match against Lithuania at St. Petersburg Gallen on Sunday, the man from Zurich took time off for an interview FIFA.com.

© Getty Images

FIFA.com: What do you think is your best position right now? As part of a back three, as a winger in a back three, or as a more traditional full-back?

Ricardo Rodriguez:I can play in any role. Sounds normal, I’ll play wherever the coach puts me. I would say that I am quite flexible.

You have more than 70 international caps and are one of the team’s most experienced players. How has your role developed?

I came to the national team when I was 18 years old. I certainly can’t deny that I’m getting old, if only from a biological point of view. I have gained experience and maturity over the years. I take responsibility and try to give back to the team and the coach by doing well.

The Swiss European Championship qualifying campaign is running smoothly as a whole. What will be the key to World Cup qualification?

That we focus on our own strengths. We aim to impose our game on every opponent, to express ourselves, be efficient and play as a team. I think we are more unpredictable than other teams because we are a unit and don’t depend on individual players.

The Ricardo Rodriguez Award

What still needs to be improved with the aim of having a successful World Cup and European Championship qualifying campaign?

I think we are on the right track. Now it’s about getting ready for the right moment and the important moment so we can do our best. We proved recently in the Nations League that we can defend against the big teams. That is and must continue to be our benchmark.

What do you associate with Italy, where you have been playing for a few years now?

When it comes to football, a highly trained defensive and tactical approach in Serie A. In other respects: I enjoy the Italian lifestyle, the food, the culture and the warmth.

Can we expect a disagreement between Italy and Switzerland for the top spot in Group C, or is that too cocky?

Italy are favorites to win the group, but we see ourselves as equal to them. We have nothing to fear, and we will not fear them.

What is your view on Italy rebuilding their national team? What are their strengths and what will be important for Switzerland in your match against them?

The Italian team has changed in recent years. There are new faces and some very good players. They have excellent tactical understanding, scored a lot of goals in European Championship qualifiers, and have been in good form recently. So we have to be vigilant.

What types of play do you expect during the World Cup qualifiers?

This is the start of a new campaign, so we have to try hard and not make any mistakes. But I am optimistic that we will get off to a good start if we focus on ourselves, keeping in mind that we will face tough opponents.

In a separate interview, you recently commented on how fast time flies as a footballer. What goals did you set for yourself in your late 20s?

You pay more attention to your body and to recover well. In general, you pay more attention to things than ever before.


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Can a person who has been fully vaccinated still transmit COVID-19 to an unvaccinated person? | Instant News

Real-world vaccine effectiveness: Preliminary analyzes from the United States, United Kingdom, and Israel show that the two-dose COVID-19 mRNA vaccination sequence is highly effective against SARS-CoV-2 infection (including symptomatic and asymptomatic infections). In the United States, the vaccination effectiveness of COVID-19 mRNA (either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) was 89% against SARS-CoV-2 infection; vaccinated people diagnosed with COVID-19 had a 60% lower hospitalization rate than unvaccinated people 14. Among UK health workers, Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccination is 86% effective against SARS-CoV-2 15 infection. UK adults aged ≥ 80 years, including those with various underlying medical conditions, the vaccine’s efficacy against symptomatic disease is estimated to be 85% 16.In Israel, two doses of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine are 90–94% effective against a spectrum of diseases: asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, symptoms of COVID-19, and very severe COVID-19 17. Initial data from Israel shows that people vaccinated with the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine who developed COVID-19 had the virus four times lower . load compared to unvaccinated persons 18. These observations may indicate a decrease in transmission, as viral load has been identified as the main driver of transmission 19.



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Qantas and Air New Zealand saw recovery despite losing 1 hour | Instant News

SYDNEY – Qantas Airways and Air New Zealand said separately on Thursday that they believed international travel would return later this year, led by the launch of a coronavirus vaccine, even as both airlines reported heavy losses as travelers stayed home for most of 2020.

The Australian airline has signaled a possible resumption of international air travel by the end of October, in line with a time frame for completing vaccinations in the country, which starts this week. The airline expects domestic capacity to increase to 80% from pre-pandemic levels in the fourth quarter of 2021.

“The rollout of the COVID vaccine in Australia will take time, but the fact that it is ongoing gives us more certainty,” said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in a statement.

Qantas incurred a fundamental loss – the most closely watched financial measure – of A $ 1.03 billion ($ 816.7 million) over the six months ended December 31, the airline’s fiscal first half, compared to an underlying profit of AU $ 771 million in the same period the previous year. Six-month revenue fell 75% to AU $ 6.9 billion as international travel collapsed and domestic flights were capped at 30% capacity.

Under the law, Qantas reported a net loss of AU $ 1.08 billion for the six month period, compared to a net profit of AU $ 445 million a year earlier.

Air New Zealand chairman Therese Walsh said she was optimistic the changes made to the company over the past year had organized the airline well when borders reopened. © Reuters

Qantas said it remains on track to provide at least AU $ 1 billion in permanent annual savings in a fiscal year starting July 1, 2022, after laying off 8,500 of its staff last year. It has AU $ 4.2 billion in cash and undisbursed facilities at the end of December, which will help airlines deal with ongoing uncertainty.

“Delivery of a strong cash flow performance, coupled with additional liquidity, further eliminates the risk of rising equity,” said Jefferies analysts Anthony Moulder and Amit Kanwatia in a report. “We believe Qantas remains well positioned for the recovery of domestic travel in the near future and international travel in the coming years, supported by a more streamlined cost base,” they said.

Like its counterparts in the Asia-Pacific region, Qantas has also seen a sharp turnaround in its freight division as a lack of international flights leads to a temporary shortage of cargo space due to increased demand.

Meanwhile, Air New Zealand also benefited from strong cargo demand. Cargo revenue in the fiscal first half ended December 31 jumped 91% compared with the same period a year earlier to New Zealand dollars 373 million ($ 275.6 million).

However, that was not enough to make up for the loss of international passenger capacity, which resulted in the national airline having a net loss of NZ $ 72 million, compared with a net profit of NZ $ 101 million the previous year. Six months of total revenue slumped 59% to NZ $ 1.2 billion, largely due to the impact of border restrictions on international travel.

Air New Zealand, which in August reported its first annual loss in 18 years in 12 months ending June 30, 2020, said it had more than NZ $ 700 million in cash and outstanding facilities, thanks to a loan from the New Zealand government – shareholder. the majority. It also previously announced a potential increase in capital before the end of June.

The airline said it had spent more than NZ $ 1 billion in cash reserves since the start of the pandemic, but they expect spending levels to slow in the second half of the current fiscal year ending June 30. The airline has laid off a third of its 12,000 staff, grounded aircraft and leased office space.

Air New Zealand chairman Therese Walsh said she was optimistic the changes made to business over the past year had organized the airline well when borders reopened.

“This will be important as we enter recovery mode because it means we will not only be very cost effective but with the changes we have made to our fleet we will also have one of the most modern and efficient fleets in the world,” he said in a statement. .

Both Qantas and Air New Zealand have indicated that international travel is likely to remain calm even after borders have opened. That is, their medium-term prospects will be largely determined by domestic operations.

Air New Zealand has taken the lead over the greater Qantas. The airline said its domestic capacity had reached 76% of pre-pandemic levels, resulting in 1,800 flights over the six months ending December 31, which helped move 4 million passengers across the country.

Qantas, which derives most of its profits in the domestic market, has been particularly affected by the closure of state borders in Australia amid the second wave of COVID-19 infections in Victoria and smaller outbreaks in Queensland and Western Australia.

The airline said that state border restrictions would continue to weigh on the finances of the fiscal second half. It is estimated that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITDA, will be AU $ 350 million lower to AU $ 450 million due to the closure of domestic borders since late December.

The airline is also facing increased competition on some of its major domestic routes from restructured Virgin Australia – now under the supervision of US private equity firm Bain Capital and local airline Regional Express Holdings – which will begin operating lucrative Sydney flights – the Melbourne route begins in March 1st.

In response to difficult market conditions, the three domestic carriers have been offering promotional prices ranging from AU $ 50 to AU $ 150 over the past few weeks.

In an effort to clamp down on its smaller rivals, Qantas has also started operating on several regional routes previously operated only by Regional Express, prompting smaller airlines to raise the issue with Australian competition regulators earlier this month.

Qantas shares were up 2.9% to AU $ 5.16 in afternoon trade on the Australian Securities Exchange, while Air New Zealand shares were up nearly 1% to NZ $ 1.59.


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