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ICE71 Accelerate unveils third cohort of promising start-ups to spur cybersecurity innovation in Asia

Vlad Poptamas



ICE71 presents 10 cybersecurity start-ups at its third ICE71 Accelerate Demo Day


Ten cybersecurity start-ups are the latest graduates of the Innovation Cybersecurity Ecosystem at BLOCK71‘s (ICE71Accelerate programme, which has empowered and supported 25 companies since it launched in March 2018. At the third ICE71 Accelerate Demo Day, the start-ups pitched to more than 150 investors and cybersecurity leaders from several countries to seek funding and business development opportunities.

Founded by Singtel Innov8, the venture capital arm of the Singtel Group, and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), and supported by the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore (CSA) and the Infocommunications Media Development Authority (IMDA), ICE71 aims to strengthen Singapore’s growing cyber security ecosystem by attracting and developing cybersecurity start-ups with innovative competencies and new technologies.

The start-ups come from diverse backgrounds, originating from seven countries, including SingaporeAustraliaBulgariaFranceIndiaNepal and New Zealand. They offer a broad range of cybersecurity solutions that are applicable to consumers, enterprises and governments. Several of them have completed their proof of concept and secured lead customers across different countries. (Information on the ten start-ups can be found in Annex A).

The current batch of start-ups builds on the success of the previous two ICE71 Accelerate cohorts. Many of the start-ups have since raised additional funding, secured new business and expanded internationally. For example, 689Cloud announced last month that it is partnering with Ricoh of Japan to provide its document security technology for Ricoh’s new “RICOH Doc Trace” service. Another start-up, Keyless, which offers a privacy-first biometric authentication and personal identity management platform, has raised US$2.5 million in funding to date from leading venture capitalists in SingaporeSwitzerland and the United States. Keyless is building a privacy-first biometric authentication and personal identity management platform. Both 689Cloud and Keyless are from the second cohort of ICE71 Accelerate.

Professor Freddy Boey, NUS Deputy President (Innovation and Enterprise), said, “With an existing vibrant cybersecurity community on campus, NUS continues to expand the cybersecurity ecosystem by creating platforms for business development, networking and learning through ICE71’s programmes and community events. By guiding and connecting our start-ups with investors and other corporates, we hope to accelerate their growth and further develop the cybersecurity ecosystem of start-ups, accelerators, lead demand drivers, government bodies, and institutes of higher learning. We look forward to attracting more cybersecurity entrepreneurs, academics and start-ups from around the world in future cohorts.”

Mr Edgar Hardless, CEO of Singtel Innov8, said, “The growth of the cybersecurity ecosystem has created a fertile environment for start-ups, and we’re pleased to see next-generation ideas and innovations being developed right here in the region. By providing access to valuable resources such as mentorship, investment, partners and customers, and Singtel’s own cybersecurity capabilities, we enable start-ups to go to market and scale to the next level, both locally and internationally. We welcome the talent and energy that each cohort brings with them, and look forward to supporting many more future innovators.”

To deliver the accelerator programme, ICE71 works with CyLon, a dedicated cybersecurity accelerator, originating from London, to support the start-ups in their growth both locally and internationally.

Mr Jonathan Luff, co-founder of CyLon, said, “Singapore is rapidly developing into a global cybersecurity hotspot, as demand increases in the region for sophisticated security products. At CyLon, we are seeing more and more talent emerge from Asia, and the third ICE71 cohort is no exception. Here we have ten new companies building products to keep the region safe and secure. We are confident that the market for cybersecurity products in Asia will continue to grow at speed, and we look forward to working with more exceptional founders in the future.”

After Demo Day, ICE71 will continue to guide and support these start-ups through further fundraising, and commercial expansion. It will also provide access to community events with ecosystem partners, thought leadership programmes, engagements with enterprises and government entities, and opportunities to present at regional cybersecurity conferences.

Applications are now open for ICE71 Accelerate Cohort 4 (taking place from 24 February to 22 May 2020). Interested start-ups and cybersecurity entrepreneurs can find more information at




Paytah Supports Global Growth Strategy

Vlad Poptamas





Considered as one of the top payment service providers in Europe, Paytah

Payment Solutions (PAYTAH), which uses cutting edge financial technology applications, is also the first finance institution to offer IBAN (International Bank Account Numbers) running on blockchain.

A participant of the European Payment Council, this user-friendly and cost-effective banking service alternative is one of the first crypto-friendly payment service providers. Its services include instant transfers within Paytah accounts, Euro transfers to external accounts via SEPA, Euro deposits through SEPA, International wire and credit card transactions, private encrypted messaging between client/Paytah or client/client.

Designed to ensure payment safety, product quality and data integrity throughout the life cycle of a regulated product, the personalized IBANs and SEPA help facilitate the process of opening a business or individual account less the bureaucracy, thus, a much faster service. This brings Paytah at the forefront of financial innovation and continues to help in the growth of the company.

Paytah Founder and Chairman Marco Lavanna, who has successfully steered the company since late 2018, affirms that “Paytah provides true agility and responsiveness towards the market. We give first class customer experience while transactions are faster, more affordable, and highly safe. We are fully compliant with the European Payment Council, as we have proudly launched the Paytah Wallet, a wallet account application, meticulously developed to be seamless and user-friendly.”

Paytah is committed to finding solutions to challenges in the online finance sector as it expedites growth for companies and individuals.


SOURCE Paytah Payment Solutions

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Riot Blockchain Outlines 2020 Strategic Priorities

Vlad Poptamas



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Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT) (“Riot” or the “Company”), one of the few Nasdaq listed public cryptocurrency mining companies in the United States, has announced updated strategic priorities for 2020, including a more targeted focus on bitcoin mining.

Since 2017, Riot has concentrated on developing its cryptocurrency mining operations and investing in blockchain-focused technologies. Historically, the Company has produced newly minted bitcoin (BTC), bitcoin cash (BCH), and litecoin (LTC). In line with the initial strategic objectives, Riot also invested in several companies and internal initiatives with the intent of building and supporting blockchain technologies.  Going forward, Riot reinforces its confidence in bitcoin by focusing on bitcoin mining and pursuing opportunities more directly related to bitcoin mining.

Cryptocurrency Mining: Riot recently completed a full network upgrade at its Oklahoma City mining facility with the objective to increase operational efficiency and performance. As previously mentioned in a press release issued on February 11, 2020, Riot procured 4,000 S17 miners from Bitmain during December 2019. As of mid-February, the deployment of 4,000 S17s was completed at the Oklahoma City mining facility resulting an overall hashrate of 240 petahash per second (“Ph/s”), consuming approximately 12 megawatts of energy.

The Company plans to provide updates on monthly production levels, commencing with a report shortly after the February 2020 production totals are reconciled. Such production updates are anticipated to continue for at least three months.

Strategic Partnership: To assist the Company in evaluating its strategic growth opportunities, Riot has engaged XMS Capital Partners. Headquartered in Chicago, XMS is an independent global financial services firm with expertise in M&A and strategic advisory. XMS will help Riot navigate the dynamic bitcoin landscape and advise the Company on potential strategic transactions in bitcoin mining related operations. The Company does not have a defined timeline for any transaction and cannot provide any assurance whether or when a transaction will may be announced or consummated.

RiotX Exchange: In order to concentrate its focus on cryptocurrency mining, Riot has opted to sunset further development of Riot’s U.S.-based digital currency exchange, known as the RiotX Exchange (“RiotX”), originally initiated in early 2018. Riot considered a number of factors when evaluating the RiotX decision including, but not limited to, the evolving regulatory environment, cybersecurity risks, and the current competitive landscape facing U.S. based cryptocurrency exchanges. Riot is considering opportunities to divest the limited assets associated with the RiotX in the best interest of the Company and its stockholders.


SOURCE Riot Blockchain, Inc.

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Centotrenta Servicing redefines credit securitization management with IBM Blockchain Platform

Vlad Poptamas




IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Centotrenta Servicing announce the HyperMast STS platform, an end to end credit securitization management platform based on IBM blockchain technology designed to address financial sector requirements for their clients including data quality, process security, flow traceability, and the reduction of processing time and paper-based processes.

Centotrenta Servicing S.p.A, an Italian financial services company, currently manages approximately 200 securitization transactions per year in Italy with a combined value of 15.6 billion euros. As a servicer, Centotrenta Servicing is responsible for servicing the portfolio, collecting the receivables, providing cash and payment services, and monitoring the compliance of the securitization transaction with applicable laws and the prospectus.

Starting February 2020, the HyperMast STS platform project enters a phase of industrialization, and additional network participants including paying agents, originators, servicers, intermediaries, credit institutions and investors, law firms and technology companies are encouraged to join.

The HyperMast STS platform aims to provide the financial market with a tool to connect the entire ecosystem, made up of originators, servicers, intermediaries, credit institutions and investors –and allow them to interact in the different phases of the securitization operation in a transparent, secure and traceable way.

Based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), HyperMast STS offers real advantages for the stakeholders of the operations, providing them with a greater level of interaction between them, a greater sharing of processes and, greater confidence in the processes and degree of guarantee of the financial assets.

In addition to the technology partners IBM and Blockchain Reply, Reply Group companies specialized in innovative projects based on DLT technology, they are part of the ecosystem led by Centotrenta Servicing and including BNP Paribas Securities Services as account and paying agent bank, other banks, advisors and prestigious law firms.

The choice of the IBM Blockchain Platform was due to its robustness and reliability, and its capabilities when creating DLT permissioned environments, combining efficiency, operational versatility with a hybrid cloud model, and data privacy control.

The platform addresses the core processes in securitization operations such as forming and signing the initial contracts (block sale), and the contracts underlying the securities issuance activities (block issue), and the definition of a “smart contract”.

The prototype was completed in November 2019 and addressed several key issues, such as possible ways of interfacing with the Bank of Italy systems (Infostat, FE129), issues related to security and user profiling, data protection management and digital signature mechanisms that allow the various actors to sign the HyperMast STS platform regulations and perform onboarding according to their role.



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