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Develop your First Image Processing Project with Convolutional Neural Network!

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Former U.S. Ambassador throws support behind embattled Toshiba board chair

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TOKYO (Reuters) – Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan John Roos on Saturday endorsed the continued leadership of Toshiba Corp Board Chairman Osamu Nagayama, who has come under intense pressure to resign amid a deepening crisis at the Japanese conglomerate.

Both Nagayama and Roos served as independent directors at Sony Group Corp’s board when the electronic giant emerged from a turbulent earnings period to a sharp recovery.

“I am convinced Toshiba’s shareholders will benefit from him continuing to provide his steady hand and strong leadership,” Roos said in the statement.

(Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/former-us-ambassador-throws-support-behind-embattled-toshiba-board-chair/15609

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China’s cryptocurrency-mining crackdown spreads to Sichuan

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By Samuel Shen and Alun John

SHANGHAI/HONG KONG (Reuters) – China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency “mining” has extended to the southwest province of Sichuan, where authorities ordered cryptocurrency mining projects closed in the major mining centre.

Cryptomining is big business in China, accounting for more than half of global bitcoin production. But the State Council, China’s cabinet, last month vowed to clamp down on bitcoin mining and trading as part of a series of measures to control financial risks.

Other popular mining regions, such as Inner Mongolia, have cited cryptocurrency mining’s use of electricity generated from highly polluting sources such as coal in orders targeting the industry.

Friday’s move in Sichuan – where miners mostly use hydropower to run the specially designed computer equipment used in verifying bitcoin transactions – suggests the crackdown is more broadly based.

The Sichuan Provincial Development and Reform Commission, and the Sichuan Energy Bureau issued a joint notice, dated Friday and seen by Reuters, demanding the closure of 26 suspected cryptocurrency mining projects by Sunday.

Sichuan is China’s second-biggest bitcoin mining province, according to data compiled by the University of Cambridge. Some miners move their activities there in the rainy summer to take advantage of its rich hydropower resources.

The notice orders state electricity companies in Sichuan to conduct inspections and make corrections, reporting their results by Friday. They are to immediately stop supplying electricity to cryptomining projects they have detected.

The authorities urged local governments in Sichuan to start combing for cryptomining projects and shut them down. It banned new projects.

Other regional mining centres including Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia and Yunnan have ordered crackdowns on bitcoin mining.

Friday’s notice appears to indicate that Beijing’s displeasure with cryptocurrency mining extends beyond cases where it uses electricity generated by burning coal.

“Renewable power does not help,” said Winston Ma, NYU Law School adjunct professor and author of the book “the Digital War”.

“The four largest mining regions – Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Yunnan and Sichuan – have implemented similar crackdown measures, even though mining in the latter two are mostly based on hydropower, whereas the first two are on coal,” Ma told Reuters.

Some miners have been considering moving elsewhere due to the crackdown.

(Reporting by Samuel Shen in Shanghai and Alun John in Hong Kong; Editing by William Mallard)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/chinas-cryptocurrency-mining-crackdown-spreads-sichuan/15608

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Bitcoin falls 7% to $35,431.15

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(Reuters) – Bitcoin dropped 7% to $35,431.15 at 20:02 GMT on Friday, losing $2,666.53 from its previous close.

Bitcoin, the world’s biggest and best-known cryptocurrency, is down 45.4% from the year’s high of $64,895.22 on April 14.

Ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain network, dipped 8.66 % to $2,165.68 on Friday, losing $205.45 from its previous close.

(Reporting by Juby Babu in Bengaluru; Editing by Chris Reese)

Image Credit: Reuters

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Source: https://datafloq.com/read/bitcoin-falls-7-3543115/15607

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Can fintech innovation really move economies forward?

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We are now living in the thick of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR 4.0), and with it has come an explosion of financial technology (fintech) innovation. Characterized by the avalanche of data produced daily, IR 4.0 brings about the complete disruption of many industries and their business models.

The banking industry has undeniably experienced many shake-ups. Technology has brought about the digitization of money, opening up numerous possibilities for fintech innovation, capturing value-added data insights while we’re at it. In and around Asia, fintech – the usage of technology to improve financial services – is booming.

Technology-led financial services are set to bring in US$11 billion in revenue in Southeast Asia (SEA). By 2025, it will account for 11% of total financial services in SEA, itself considered the fastest-growing region worldwide.

Asian fintech companies such as China’s Ant Finance and Indonesia’s OVO are already dominating the fintech landscape and despite setbacks like Ant’s failed blockbuster IPO, are showing no signs of slowing down.

As consumers are used to the digital experience offered by companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple, they expect the same level of customer experience from their financial services providers. Fintech provides a very appealing alternative to traditional banks, as they provide customer-centric solutions that incumbent banks cannot provide.

At the recent Fintech and Blockchain session, Revolut’s COO, Richard Davies, the COO of global fintech super app Revolut that has been spreading its wings in APAC, stated that fintech is already poised to bring major economic benefits globally. According to Davies, there are a few key reasons why fintech is appealing to consumers.

  1. Price

Davies noted that 27% of consumers opt for fintech services because it is significantly cheaper compared to incumbent banks. An example is cross-border payments. Often, fintech offers lower foreign exchange rates, and does not come with any hidden fees.

  1. Efficiency

For the tech-savvy consumer, fintech services are more efficient compared to those offered by traditional banks. Fintech apps, for example, often come with user-friendly interfaces that would seamlessly guide a consumer through the process that they are undertaking.

20% of consumers opt for fintech services because of the ease of setting up, with 12% of consumers siding with it because of better user experience.

  1. Fintech product innovation

Because fintech companies do not need to contend with legacy staff and systems, they can afford to innovate relevant products quickly and cheaply.

Also, fintech companies often have a dedicated focus on fixing specific problems, and can, therefore, come up with tailor-made solutions for their customers. This is rarely possible for legacy banks as there is little room for agility –solutions are usually provided in a one-size-fits-all form.

Davies believes that we have already reached an inflection point for the mass adoption of fintech. This couldn’t be truer for Asia, whose fintech landscape is already vibrant and highly competitive. Regulators in the region are supportive of fintech, as can be seen in countries such as Singapore and Thailand.

Both countries have agreed to open up regulatory sandboxes that allow fintechs to test their solutions prior to bringing them into the market. Further, Singapore and Malaysia are also giving out virtual banking licenses that can make the operation of neobanks easier.

Ultimately, traditional banks need not fear technology. The willingness to adapt and collaborate with others will enable technology to serve all parties – banks, fintechs, and consumers- in the financing sector well.

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Source: https://www.fintechnews.org/can-fintech-innovation-really-move-economies-forward/

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