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Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Targets GreenSky for Unauthorized Loans to Consumers

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has taken action against GreenSky, LLC for “enabling contractors and other merchants to take out loans on behalf of thousands of consumers who did not request or authorize them,” according to a statement from the Bureau.

The CFPB has issued a consent order against GreenSky requiring the company to refund or cancel up to $9 million in loans, pay a $2.5 million civil penalty, and implement new procedures to prevent future fraudulent loans.

CFPB Acting Director Dave Uejio issued a statement claiming that GreenSky’s careless practices enabled its merchants to take advantage of vulnerable consumers who needed financial help without consumers’ consent:

“For consumers to wind up in debt to GreenSky for loans they never knew about is simply wrong. The CFPB will not stand for practices that allow conduct like this in the marketplace.”

GreenSky President Tim Kaliban issued the following statement regarding the CFPB action:

“We are exceedingly proud of our record of consumer advocacy and have already implemented many of the protocols and business practices called for by the agreement, which protocols and practices have been very well received by our merchants and will only serve to enhance our best-in-class merchant and consumer experience. The resolution of this matter also allows us to devote our full and undivided attention to growing and strengthening our business, which is built on a foundation of integrity and trust. We cooperated fully with the CFPB in connection with its inquiry and respect and value the important role it plays in regard to consumer protection.”

GreenSky, a non-bank institution headquartered in Atlanta, used merchants, primarily those providing home improvements, to promote and offer financing to customers before making on-the-spot lending decisions based on criteria provided by its partner banks. The CFPB states that some consumers complained that they never applied for a loan or even heard of GreenSky before receiving billing statements, collection letters, and calls from the company.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/177818-consumer-financial-protection-bureau-targets-greensky-for-unauthorized-loans-to-consumers/

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Pierce to Revive Mt. Gox, Bitcoin Survives Recent Drags

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Even in the face of some high-profile opposition, cryptocurrency prices continue to rise, GlobalBlock sales trader Alexandra Clark said in her latest research note.

While recent commentary from Janet Yellen and Elizabeth Warren was negative, Bitcoin reached a high north of $40,000 July 27. While the news that Amazon denied plans to accept crypto payments served as a bit of a drag, Bitcoin is taking at shot at breaking past the $40,550 resistance area. Technical indicators are bullish, with Bitcoin’s price breaking above the 200-day EMA, the RSI crossing above 70 and the Stochastic oscillator making a bullish cross, although it has yet to cross the 200-day SMA. Should that SMA cross occur, that could prove to investors that the bulls are driving the train.

During this bounce back more than $1 billion of short crypto positions have been liquidated. Bitcoin’s dominance nears 50 per cent, which is still far off its early January 73.68 per cent peak.

Count VeChain as one of the beneficiaries of the market recovery. Stronger price action today suggests solid price bookings were done earlier this week. As it moves to $.10 investors will be tempted to opt in.

The other top performers are Dogecoin, Cardano, Bitcoin Cash, and Wrapped Bitcoin,” Clark said. “This strong performance is mostly because of the overall positive sentiment in the digital currencies space with the crypto fear and greed index rising to 24, which is above last week’s low of 10.”

Brock Pierce plans to resurrect Mt. Gox and repay its 24,000 victims using its bankruptcy trust and building a new entity. It is believed debts could be repaid in three to five years but if a majority of creditors join a creditor committee it could be solved in one year. Pierce’s plans also include developing a Gox Coin which provides original creditors with a stake in the new firm.

After failing to meet United Kingdom anti-money laundering requirements, Binance plans to become a fully regulated financial institution. The CEO said he is willing to step down in favor of a compliance expert.

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
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Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178442-pierce-to-revive-mt-gox-bitcoin-survives-recent-drags/

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NEO Blockchain Developers Announce New Codebase Modifications, and Frontier Launchpad Results

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The developers of NEO, a blockchain platform supporting an open network and smart economy, reveal that the Neo Frontier Launchpad winners were recently announced.

Around two months back, the NEO team had put out a call for “trailblazers” who were “up to the challenge” of being among the first to create applications using N3. Over 670 blockchain developers had signed up to answer that call – and NEO’s team say they’re quite pleased with the results.

Participants submitted 60 different plans and 58 projects during the competition, according to a blog post published by NEO. These decentralized applications (dApps) used many of N3’s new features, including native Oracles as well as NeoFS, demonstrating functionality that was “never before possible on a single chain.”

The update from NEO developers further noted that contestants were “the first to use the many tools developed by [their] global community, including the Neo Blockchain Toolkit, the Neo Python Suite, Neow3j, and many more.”

As mentioned in the update, contestants were able to offer “critical feedback that will help improve Neo’s developer experience and provided real-world dApp examples that will benefit the next wave of N3 pioneers.” (Note: for more details on this announcement check here.)

In another update, the NEO team confirmed that Neo N3 RC4 codebase had been released on July 20, 2021.  The corresponding testnet was scheduled to be set up on July 21, 2021. This update reportedly includes “the completion of all the tasks required for Neo N3, and is a candidate of the Neo N3 Formal TestNet.”

The extensive list of enhancements and optimizations in this version include:

  • Nonce-based random number generator for smart contracts that can be improved with BLS in the future
  • OSX compatibility
  • Get network syscall
  • Various bug fixes and optimizations “especially in VM and Oracle”

The deployment of RC4 is “a step on the final road to Neo N3 MainNet,” the announcement from NEO noted while confirming that in the coming weeks, Neo will “systematically onboard critical components of the network, such as Initial Council members, NeoFS nodes, and Oracle nodes.”

As stated in NEO’s most recent monthly report:

“June proved to be one of the most active months so far in terms of development in the Neo ecosystem. Hackathon participants strived to complete their projects as the Neo Frontier Launchpad’s development phase draws to a close, while developer community members remained close by to lend their support and guidance.”

As mentioned in the report from NEO, these final stages between N3 RC3 and the official N3 release will involve Neo’s core developers working to optimize the codebase. At the core protocol level, the benefits of the ongoing hackathon may “already be witnessed.” Several enhancements carried out last month can “trace their origins to hackathon participant feedback, such as changes in the Oracle module and various bug fixes.”

As explained in the report:

“Much of the remaining work in the Neo codebase is to do with optimization and bug fixes, but the core developers also continue to add useful new features and make other changes intended to improve developer experience. A notable example from last month was the implementation of a built-in random number generator powered by a verifiable random function (VRF).”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178311-neo-blockchain-developers-announce-new-codebase-modifications-and-frontier-launchpad-results/

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NEO Blockchain Developers Announce New Codebase Modifications, and Frontier Launchpad Results

Published

on

The developers of NEO, a blockchain platform supporting an open network and smart economy, reveal that the Neo Frontier Launchpad winners were recently announced.

Around two months back, the NEO team had put out a call for “trailblazers” who were “up to the challenge” of being among the first to create applications using N3. Over 670 blockchain developers had signed up to answer that call – and NEO’s team say they’re quite pleased with the results.

Participants submitted 60 different plans and 58 projects during the competition, according to a blog post published by NEO. These decentralized applications (dApps) used many of N3’s new features, including native Oracles as well as NeoFS, demonstrating functionality that was “never before possible on a single chain.”

The update from NEO developers further noted that contestants were “the first to use the many tools developed by [their] global community, including the Neo Blockchain Toolkit, the Neo Python Suite, Neow3j, and many more.”

As mentioned in the update, contestants were able to offer “critical feedback that will help improve Neo’s developer experience and provided real-world dApp examples that will benefit the next wave of N3 pioneers.” (Note: for more details on this announcement check here.)

In another update, the NEO team confirmed that Neo N3 RC4 codebase had been released on July 20, 2021.  The corresponding testnet was scheduled to be set up on July 21, 2021. This update reportedly includes “the completion of all the tasks required for Neo N3, and is a candidate of the Neo N3 Formal TestNet.”

The extensive list of enhancements and optimizations in this version include:

  • Nonce-based random number generator for smart contracts that can be improved with BLS in the future
  • OSX compatibility
  • Get network syscall
  • Various bug fixes and optimizations “especially in VM and Oracle”

The deployment of RC4 is “a step on the final road to Neo N3 MainNet,” the announcement from NEO noted while confirming that in the coming weeks, Neo will “systematically onboard critical components of the network, such as Initial Council members, NeoFS nodes, and Oracle nodes.”

As stated in NEO’s most recent monthly report:

“June proved to be one of the most active months so far in terms of development in the Neo ecosystem. Hackathon participants strived to complete their projects as the Neo Frontier Launchpad’s development phase draws to a close, while developer community members remained close by to lend their support and guidance.”

As mentioned in the report from NEO, these final stages between N3 RC3 and the official N3 release will involve Neo’s core developers working to optimize the codebase. At the core protocol level, the benefits of the ongoing hackathon may “already be witnessed.” Several enhancements carried out last month can “trace their origins to hackathon participant feedback, such as changes in the Oracle module and various bug fixes.”

As explained in the report:

“Much of the remaining work in the Neo codebase is to do with optimization and bug fixes, but the core developers also continue to add useful new features and make other changes intended to improve developer experience. A notable example from last month was the implementation of a built-in random number generator powered by a verifiable random function (VRF).”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178311-neo-blockchain-developers-announce-new-codebase-modifications-and-frontier-launchpad-results/

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Digital Insurance Company Spot Raises $17.5M

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Digital insurance startup Spot has raised $17.5 million in funding, including $15 million in equity and $2.5 million in debt. The round was led by GreatPoint Ventures, with participation from Montage Ventures, Mutual of Omaha, MS&AD, and Silverton Partners. Mike McCormick, principal at GreatPoint Ventures, will join Spot’s board The company will use the new capital hiring, marketing and business development.

Spot customized injury insurance policies through its partnerships with companies and organizations, allowing partners’ customers and communities to purchase coverage when they sign up for activities or memberships. They developed “on-the-mountain” coverage for skiers and snowboarders, which can be purchased along with a lift ticket, and “on-the-bike” coverage for members of cycling organizations. Spot’s partners include USA Cycling, Powder Mountain, USA BMX, National Ski Patrol, and athleteReg.

“Health insurance across America is broken and high medical costs are causing Americans to go into debt and even file for bankruptcy,” said Matt Randall, co-founder and CEO of Spot. “Monthly premiums on health insurance are much higher than what the average American can afford, so Spot is rethinking insurance and offering a new alternative for today’s consumers, while finding ways to help Americans live their lives without going broke. Our team is providing peace of mind for as little as $25 per month, and driving awareness of much-needed injury insurance coverage options.”

Spot also provides affordable, month-to-month accidental injury coverage starting at $25/month, which can be used with or without traditional health insurance. Plans cover the actual costs of medical bills, up to $20,000 per injury. Spot allows customers to sign up in just one minute for immediate coverage at any time, so they can get the treatment at any licensed physician, hospital, or urgent care clinic.

“Spot is a fundamental fix to the broken US health insurance system, which currently leaves so many people physically and financially ruined,” said Mike McCormick, principal at GreatPoint Ventures. “I believe Spot can fill health coverage gaps for millions of Americans who need better healthcare, and I’m honored to support the company’s mission.”

PlatoAi. Web3 Reimagined. Data Intelligence Amplified.
Click here to access.

Source: https://www.crowdfundinsider.com/2021/07/178441-digital-insurance-company-spot-raises-17-5m/

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