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Finastra’s Ignite! conference highlights key innovation strategies for community banks and credit unions




Takeaways emphasize the importance of creating an enhanced customer experience, and using technology to deliver meaningful moments and interactions

ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 9, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Finastra, a global provider of financial software applications and marketplaces, brought together leaders from community banks and credit unions across the United States to discuss innovation in financial technology, operational and strategic initiatives, and the power of collaboration at its annual Ignite! Conference in Orlando. Hosted in early June, the event emphasized collaboration and community, providing a forum for Finastra Universal Banking customers to come together and share experiences while working together to both support the local community and to embrace a more open financial services industry.

Through a series of panel discussions, strategy workshops, and educational sessions, presenters from Finastra’s Universal Banking leadership team, senior business and technology executives from community banks and credit unions, and partners in Finastra’s growing ecosystem, covered topics related to navigating the digital era, sharing success stories, customer-centric innovation, finding growth opportunities, and the importance of thinking creatively to solve problems.

Addressing customers and partners during her opening remarks, Siobhan Byron, EVP, Universal Banking said, “Technology provides tremendous opportunities to transform lives. At Finastra, our mission is to not only help you imagine those possibilities, but to bring them to life. I encourage you all to use this conference as your chance to learn how others are re-imagining their future, and hear how we are helping with our technology, our people, and our ecosystem.”

Throughout the two-day conference, several key takeaways were highlighted, including:

  1. Deliver a meaningful customer experience: Howie Wu, EVP and Head of Product at Seattle Bank, and Peter Longo, Vice President, Product Management at Finastra explained how today’s banking customers are heavily experience-focused, and that two-way engagement is critical to a successful relationship. During a panel discussion, Wu and Longo stressed the importance of simplifying the customer journey and that the key to unlocking innovation is to simply solve common problems.
  2. Data is valuable, but use it wisely: Extracting and utilizing data in an intelligent way can be challenging. To unlock its potential, start small and find the right talent to help interpret the data. Wu noted that starting with one piece of data is key, using credit card transactions as an example. He explained how much can be learned about a customer’s goals and financial journey by analyzing spending patterns.
  3. Combining technology and people to make an impact in the moments that matter: David McCoy, President and CEO at First National Bank and Trust of Beloit, Johnny Brooks, CEO at Citizens State Bank, and Kendell Lewis, EVP Chief Technology & Innovation Officer at United Bank, noted how crucial it is to simply ask customers what they want and to not make assumptions. By actively surveying customers, financial institutions can ensure they are investing in the right technological solutions to meet the needs of their communities. By listening to and understanding common themes that exist amongst customers, industry leaders have an opportunity to make sound investments in technology.
  4. Succession planning for customers: As customers age, financial institutions must create strategies to retain these loyal account holders while also serving the needs of emerging generations. During executive breakout sessions, Johnny Brooks and other industry leaders brainstormed various approaches for using technology to bridge this gap, noting how customer needs are always evolving no matter the generation.  
  5. Agile and adaptable core technology is more important than ever: With technology advancing so quickly, banking leaders discussed how being locked into a core system that cannot evolve to meet customer expectations can create major challenges, highlighting the importance of cloud-based, agile core systems. Participants emphasized how solutions featuring open APIs allow financial institutions to seamlessly integrate new services into their overall service offerings.

Closing out the two-day event, Finastra showcased its commitment to Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) values with a volunteer activity alongside the nonprofit organization A Gift for Teaching, benefitting the Foundation for Orange County Public Schools. Ignite! attendees worked together to assemble backpacks filled with supplies for 900 children attending public schools in Florida’s Orange and Osceola counties. Reflecting Finastra’s value of doing well by doing good and being a responsible community partner, the activity aimed to inspire attendees to bring the concept of ESG back to their workplaces and local communities.

“Cooperation, teamwork and shared experiences are among the key differentiators community banks and credit unions use to deliver outstanding products and services to their customers,” said Byron. “Over the past two days, during panel discussions, roundtables and brainstorming sessions, we’ve seen that community spirit in action. I look forward to continuing these incredible conversations and I am tremendously excited to see what we will achieve by working together.”

About Finastra
Finastra is a global provider of financial software applications and marketplaces, and launched the leading open platform for innovation,, in 2017. It serves institutions of all sizes, providing award-winning software solutions and services across Lending, Payments, Treasury & Capital Markets and Universal Banking (Retail, Digital and Commercial Banking) for banks to support direct banking relationships and grow through indirect channels, such as embedded finance and Banking as a Service. Its pioneering approach and commitment to open finance and collaboration is why it is trusted by over 8,000 institutions, including 45 of the world’s top 50 banks. For more information, visit  

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Blockchain Press Releases

aelf Leads the Fusion of AI and Blockchain to Shape the Future of Technology




Singapore-based blockchain pivots to artificial intelligence to unlock new frontiers in blockchain efficiency, scalability, intelligence, and security; and deploys $50 million ecosystem fund to support the AI transformation initiatives.

SINGAPORE, April 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — In a transformative move for the blockchain industry, aelf, a pioneering blockchain network, has announced its strategic shift to integrate artificial intelligence (AI) within its blockchain. This significant leap forward marks the beginning of a new phase for the aelf blockchain, transitioning from a decentralised network to a vibrant ecosystem enriched with state-of-the-art AI models and agents, broadening its functionalities and enriching user experiences.

“The integration of computation, LLM (large language model) and agents within the aelf’s blockchain is not just an enhancement; it’s an evolution,” stated Auric, Founder of aelf. “7 years ago, we have identified blockchain’s future and been relentlessly developing modular systems, parallel processing, cross-chain bridges and cloud-native architecture, which are now what the industry has been talking about. Now, we envision AI as the next catalyst for the future of blockchain and are determined to be the first in Asia to bring this evolution to fruition. This AI transformation is about cultivating a self-evolving system—a smarter, self-learning blockchain where each new block is more advanced than the last.”

To nurture and accelerate the convergence of AI and blockchain, aelf Ventures, aelf’s investment arm, will be strategically deploying its $50 million Ecosystem Fund to support innovative AI initiatives seeking blockchain enablement. With the roll-out of developer-friendly toolkits, aelf will further catalyse this AI blockchain innovation by empowering the community to utilise those new technologies for data pre-processing, model training, fine-tuning and deployment, agent development, on-chain deployment and monetization with the aelf blockchain environment.

Existing projects and games on the aelf blockchain are set to integrate these AI capabilities while new projects will benefit from aelf’s robust foundation, offering a dynamic and responsive blockchain ecosystem that delivers enhanced efficiency, strengthened security protocols, and sophisticated intelligent automation.

This AI transformation embodies aelf’s commitment to fostering an environment of continuous innovation and maintaining its position at the forefront of blockchain technology. With a steadfast dedication to expanding its capabilities, aelf remains focused on generating user-centric value and propelling the entire blockchain domain forward.

About aelf

aelf, the pioneer Layer 1 blockchain, features modular systems, parallel processing, cloud-native architecture, and multi-sidechain technology for unlimited scalability. Founded in 2017 with its global hub based in Singapore, aelf is the first in the industry to lead Asia in evolving blockchain with state-of-the-art AI integration, transforming blockchain into a smarter and self-evolving ecosystem.

aelf facilitates the building, integrating, and deploying of smart contracts and decentralised apps (dApps) on its blockchain with its native C# software development kit (SDK) and SDKs in other languages, including Java, JS, Python, and Go. aelf’s ecosystem also houses a range of dApps to support a flourishing blockchain network.

For more information, visit

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Blockchain Press Releases

Bitrue Gears Up for 2024 Bitcoin Halving with Trading Competition




SINGAPORE, April 12, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Leading cryptocurrency exchange Bitrue unveiled a new competition available to all users on the platform that comes with a total prize up to $850,000 USDT in a recent X announcement.

The contest is being held in honor of the much anticipated Bitcoin Halving – an event that occurs once every four years to regulate the supply of new BTC entering the digital asset economy, and helps ensure long-term value through scarcity of supply.

The competition will rank traders according to their trading volume on the exchange during the contest period. The competition begins on Thursday April 11th and will continue until the halving event occurs (estimated April 20th). The prizepool will increase according to the number of valid participants in the competition, with the grand prize winner set to take home 25% of the total reward (212,500 USDT). All participating users will have a chance to win prizes regardless of their final rank.

With all eyes on this historic event, Bitrue is thrilled to be able to offer an exciting and rewarding way for its 10 million users to mark the occasion and provide them with an opportunity to earn a life changing amount of money. Interested parties should sign up on the Bitrue exchange now in order to be ready for when the contest goes live on April 11th.

About Bitrue

Launched in July 2018, Bitrue is a diversified digital exchange that supports trading, loans and investments. Bitrue aims to utilize blockchain technology to bring financial opportunities to everybody regardless of their location or financial position. It has offices in Asia and Europe, and continues to develop new features at a rapid speed to fully service the new wave of the digital economy. More information is available at Bitrue’s website.

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Financial industry bodies defend permissionless blockchains against Basel Committee’s classification




Five financial industry bodies have pushed back against the treatment of permissionless blockchains by a global banking supervision authority.

In December, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) published a report on proposed amendments to bank capital requirements for digital assets, stablecoins, and tokenized assets.

The report classified all permissionless blockchains as high-risk, claiming that some risks could not be mitigated through existing solutions. BCBS was particularly concerned about banks’ lack of control over third parties who conduct most operations on these blockchains. It also warned about their privacy, finality, liquidity, and political, legal, and policy risks.

In response, five global financial industry regulators have defended permissionless blockchains. In a joint response, they stated that the industry “has all necessary expertise and robust compliance frameworks to fully identify, manage and mitigate these risks.”

The five are the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, the Global Financial Markets Association, the Institute of International Finance, the Futures Industry Association, and the Financial Services Forum.

Blockchain’s application in the financial industry is evolving, and regulators must not disincentivize banks from exploring the technology, the regulators stated. By putting up unnecessary hurdles, the BCBS would only push these institutions to the non-regulated shadow banking space, which would be riskier for them.

The regulators further noted that dozens of global banks have conducted successful pilots using permissionless blockchains. These pilots have shed more light on the technology’s application and allowed them to understand and control emergent risks.

The BCBS approach is unfair to blockchain and veers away from the regulator’s long-held “same asset, same risk” approach, they added.

“While we acknowledge that risk mitigation techniques are evolving for permissionless crypto assets…we are confident that solutions already exist in respect of specific use cases,” the five stated.

They believe deciding whether to build on permissionless blockchains should be left to the banks.

The financial sector has been a leader in blockchain adoption, with some, like JPMorgan (NASDAQ: JPM), developing their own permissioned networks, albeit unsuccessfully. However, most have relied on existing solutions to build applications spanning settlement, bond issuance, tokenization, etc.


The post Financial industry bodies defend permissionless blockchains against Basel Committee’s classification appeared first on HIPTHER Alerts.

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