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Flash Loans: The Existing Threats And The Ways of Avoiding Them (Interview)

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[Featured Content]

Flash loans are an innovative financial lending tool that has a big impact on the world of finance. For the first time, loans do not need collateral, and borrowers and lenders bear zero financial risks when engaging in lending operations.

Such a trustless environment is achieved thanks to the use of blockchain technologies, as the entire cycle of a flash loan is implemented on a decentralized network. In decentralized finance or DeFi, lenders provide their funds for loans to arbitrageurs, who reward them with a small percentage of the profits generated from profitable transactions. If the transaction is unprofitable, the flash loan is simply reverted and the transaction is recorded as unfulfilled.

On instant lending platforms, users can make transactions with any amount of cryptocurrencies without even owning them and receive a percentage from profitable transactions. But is the situation with flash loans really so attractive, and is the entire process truly so transparent and secure?

Readers have probably already heard about a number of scandalous attacks on flash loan platforms. By resorting to audacious attacks, the malignant parties managed to withdraw assets worth more than $7.2 million from the BurgerSwap decentralized exchange.

In September of 2020, an unknown hacker withdrew $15 million from the Eminence DeFi project, created by André Cronje – the founder of the popular Yearn. finance decentralized financial protocol. The largest flash loan hack in 2021 occurred last February when the Alpha Homora protocol was drained using Iron Bank, Cream’s lending platform.

The combined effect of such hacks and losses is hitting the reputation of the DeFi sector hard and is deteriorating the trust that users bear for it.

Why is the system of flash loans so attractive and at the same time so vulnerable to the attacks of cybercriminals? What are the prospects of the flash loans market? We found out all the answers to these and many other questions in an interview with the CEO of Equalizer Finance Iulian Nita.

How many years have you been in fintech? Why did you choose DeFi as a direction of development?

“I have been working in the fintech ecosystem for more than 5 years, enjoying each moment and discovering new challenges each day. I have chosen the DeFi market because I believe in its disruptive potential. I believe that DeFi is the first real use case of blockchain technology and smart contracts. I am very confident that the DeFi market is here to stay and we are just at the beginning of an incredible journey.

Three years ago, I decided to shift my professional interest from the classical financial system towards decentralized finance, as I am a strong believer in this powerful technology that will definitely have a big social and economic impact.

I have started to realize that life can be better without banks and financial institutions that play the role of intermediaries. We are becoming a bankless nation! We are building the decentralized revolution and the big change is inevitable.”

flashloans-pic1
CEO of Equalizer Finance Iulian Nita

This year, you started developing a multi-chain platform for flash loans. A large-scale project! There is so much buzz and confusion surrounding flash loans. What motivated you to start your project, considering all this?

“Flash loans are an incredible feature available only on the blockchain, something that is not possible in the centralized financial space. They are unique and possible only thanks to the capabilities of smart contracts.

After analyzing the current status of the flash loans market, I found out that its monthly volume exceeds $1 billion. Going deeper into the available data, I discovered that the main use of flash loans is arbitrage, a must-have component in the decentralized finance market.

Having a clear use case, a huge market size, and an exponential increase of the DeFi ecosystem, I brought to life the business idea of having a professional, multi-chain, dedicated flash lending marketplace, as a building block for a reliable DeFi market.”

Hacker attacks have severely tarnished the reputation of DeFi and flash loans. What are the main vulnerabilities of flash loans? Where are the risks real and where are they far-fetched?

“It is true that the media only publishes news regarding the negative aspect of the flash loans, as being used for attacks. The truth is that these attacks happen not because of the existence of flash loans, but because the protocols that are attacked have a vulnerability in their design.

We want to change this negative perception and want to show that flash loans are a very useful tool that is needed in the DeFi space. We are focused on designing the protocol in such a way that it cannot become a vector of attacks but will become a platform that will empower the lenders and the borrowers to profit from many opportunities already available on the DeFi market.”

What are the ways to overcome the vulnerabilities of flash loans? Is it possible to avoid or minimize the threat?

“It is clear that flash loans already exist and are here to stay. They have many positive use cases that are needed in decentralized markets, like arbitrage, collateral swapping, portfolio rebalancing, liquidations and self-liquidations. Therefore, we have to learn to accept them and to design or redesign DeFi protocols in a way that limits the risk. Many protocols on the DeFi market have already applied updates to eliminate the vulnerabilities of flash loans. Limiting the size of a flash loan or shifting the validation of the transaction to the next block are a few ways to avoid the threats.”

If the user decides to use this attractive financial instrument, what should they look for when choosing a platform? For instance, how is the Equalizer “protected”?

“The Equalizer platform is a marketplace, meaning that it has two categories of users:

Liquidity Providers are users who can stake their crypto assets in the listed vaults and receive passive income coming from the fees generated by the flash loan service. Additionally, there will also be a yield farming program deployed for the selected vaults that reward long-term liquidity providers with EQZ tokens. All the assets of the users are fully protected by the smart contract that is audited by a reliable audit company. On top of that, an additional insurance program will also be available. Therefore, lenders have the chance to put their capital at work without any risks and, more importantly, with no impermanent loss.

Borrowers are users who engage in arbitrage and trading strategies and have the chance to use a dedicated flash loan service that comes with clear advantages compared to its competitors. That includes the lowest fees on the market, standard and open-source interfaces based on EIP-3156, the lowest gas fees for transactions, the widest range of tokens to select from, as well as a scalable and multi-chain infrastructure. There is no risk for borrowers, as the basic principle of flash loans states that a transaction that is not profitable enough to pay back the borrowed asset will be reversed and all the operations undone. So, just try it, you have nothing to lose!

It looks too good to be true. So where’s the catch? The real profits come from the best arbitrage trading strategies!”

Do flash loans ever have a chance of becoming a completely secure financial instrument in the future, or should users always be ready to risk their own funds by providing them to one or another protocol? What are your predictions?

“I believe that flash loans are the most secure financial instrument on the DeFi market. Let me explain why. Flash loans enable anyone to borrow any amount instantly and easily with no collateral needed, but only if that amount is returned to the vault within the same block. If this does not happen, the whole transaction is reversed, and all the operations executed until that point are undone. This guarantees the safety of the funds in the vaults and the safety of the transaction. If the transaction is profitable, it will be successfully executed. In case the transaction is not profitable, it will be reversed.

I am confident that the flash loans market will continue to grow in parallel with the DeFi market. As I have already said, operations like arbitrage, liquidations, collateral swapping, and portfolio rebalancing are a necessity on the DeFi market, not a trick. That is why the goal of Equalizer is to equalize the markets in the decentralized finance ecosystem by building the first-ever, dedicated flash loan marketplace.

For more information, Check our platform and form your own conclusions about flash loans.”

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Source: https://coingenius.news/flash-loans-the-existing-threats-and-the-ways-of-avoiding-them-interview/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=flash-loans-the-existing-threats-and-the-ways-of-avoiding-them-interview

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Consider the safety aspect of collaborative robots

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I’ve talked about collaborative robots many times, but this time, let’s touch on a little more in-depth content. Among the collaborative robots, it is dealing with danger. How to minimize the risk. It is a supreme proposition for robots.

The collaborative robot itself is basically a highly safe robot. That should be it. As you can see from the name of collaboration, you can work with people. Consider the safety aspect of this.

[Sensors] For safety, collaborative robots are usually equipped with sensors. Since we work close to people, we always need to know where they are. So there is the sensor. By installing this, you can stop the operation immediately when a person approaches. However, instead of switching the unit on and off, step-by-step control such as slowing down the operation is also possible. This flexibility is of great significance at any manufacturing site.

[Flexibility] Safety and flexibility are inseparable. Safety can be ensured because of the flexibility of programming and adjustment. Basically, cobots are easy to give instructions. In other words, if the requirements or work required on the production line change, the settings can be changed each time. Although some knowledge is required, it is considerably easier to operate and adjust than conventional robots.

[Efficiency] Efficiency and safety are usually in a trade-off relationship. To be sure, too much safety comes at the expense of efficiency. But for cobots, this doesn’t necessarily mean giving up. Slow down or stop only when you sense danger. When a person leaves, they immediately start to act. By switching quickly in this way, waste can be minimized.

Collaborative robots have both safety and performance. Demonstrate strength in every field. It is because we can ensure safety that the power of human resources is drawn out, and ultimately the improvement and the true value at the manufacturing site are demonstrated. There is no reason not to pay attention to this. First, identify the greatest risk in the field. Only then can you think about what dangerous workarounds you can implement. And let’s apply this scenario to a collaborative robot. This completes the general safety aspect. Another strength is that it supports adjustments that accompany daily observations.

Source: Plato Data intelligence

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10 Universities Dedicated To AI Research

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Artificial Intelligence (AI) has developed into a technological phenomenon that has spread through various industries. From data analytics to deep learning, to big-data mining, and so on, AI has transformed technology for the better, it seems.

So, if you want to join this lucrative industry in working with AI, consider getting a degree from an accredited college or university. Here are 10 universities that are dedicated to AI research: 

Cambridge University

Cambridge’s Department of Engineering is one of the most sophisticated schools in the world. From constant research to ongoing developments, students not only learn about AI, but also develop their foundational roots in disciplines that allow them to work hands-on with technology. With a large network, students can share and develop what they’ve learned.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University invites students to learn about AI. With more than 400 startups linked to this prestigious university, as well as endorsements and backing from companies like Argo AI, Aurora, and Uber, CMU is all about turning novice engineers into the driving force that brings AI further and further into the spotlight.

Columbia University

Columbia University also shares its enthusiasm for engineering. From healthcare to electrical engineering, CU understands the complexities and roles that AI plays in such industries. With acclaimed engineers and scientists like Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, Christine Hendon, Tal Danino, and Elham Azizi assembling the roundtable of tech-based discussions in conjunction with Columbia Engineering magazine, they share their inputs on AI in healthcare and electrical engineering.

Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences

The Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) exposes students to realities concerning technological advances, including AI. Since 1847, Harvard has been the champion of engineering and applied sciences. And now, with AI, the school continues to be the champion for engineering excellence, especially in a time when AI is growing more and more in popularity.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT takes pride in America’s industrial revolution. The school understands that technology has many avenues that people can pursue – AI included. With rising talent and jobs to fill, MIT is committed to growing the AI community by offering relevant disciplines, and by allowing its students to work with technology through artistic and inventive ways.

Oxford University

Oxford offers Engineering Science, which is made up of various subjects like microelectronics and offshore oil platforms. With amazing studies in engineering:

Biomedical

Chemical

Civil

Electrical

Information, AND

Mechanical

… students will learn how AI is at the forefront of engineering. 

Stanford University – School of Engineering

Stanford takes AI seriously through research and innovation. Here, students will know the going-ons of technology in the 21st century, along with the major challenges that surround this generation. By studying various backgrounds, beliefs, and perspectives, students will learn to incorporate what they’ve learned about AI into the real world.

University College London

With global data networks, renewable energy, driverless vehicles, etc. on the rise, UCL is committed to teaching students about the high-tech world, and how AI is involved behind the scenes. From mathematics to physics to engineering and computer science, UCL ensures that students will learn the full extent of this growing technological phenomenon. 

University of California-Berkeley

UC Berkeley’s Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research has a new professional degree program in the College of Engineering. Students will learn about optimization, data analytics, risk modelling, simulation, and so on, which are vital to understanding the complexity of AI. UC Berkeley is there to teach students about the various scenarios that AI is most needed – healthcare, transportation, finances, the works.

University of Texas (Austin) – Cockrell School of Engineering

Finally, UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering is focused on growing tech trends like AI. Here, students will learn about the leading pioneers of the high-tech world, and how AI is cementing its greatness in such a world. Students will eventually be subject to an ever-growing network of opportunities in AI, including jobs, internships, etc. from various companies like Apple, IBM, Dell, Samsung, Google, and many more. 

Conclusion

So, you see, AI is a desirable skill to obtain. So, when you consider these 10 universities, you’ll know just how popular AI is, and what benefits you’ll get from attending one of them. Knowledge in AI opens many doors, so why not open the door to any of these wonderful schools today? 

~ Christina Lee is a writer and editor at Studydemic. As a content writer, she writes articles about technology, coding, and engineering.

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Source: https://www.aiiottalk.com/universities-dedicated-to-ai-research/

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How Might Technology Help Your Business? Three Ways Explained

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It’s challenging to keep up with the latest advances in technology, especially if you’re not a natural techie like most people. Instead of following every new technology craze, I propose that you focus on context, relationships, and intelligence within your company so your corporation can grow and achieve results. However, depending on the nature of your business, you should examine whether having the most cutting-edge technology can benefit your company and its products or services because having the best technologies incorporate within your business may not contribute towards your end goal.

In addition, we will look at three ways in which technology might help you enhance and develop your business within this article. 

Using Technology to Promote Your Business

You may use technology to advertise your business in a variety of ways. For starters, you are already promoting your business by having a website, and hopefully, you’re being active on your website and as well as all your relevant social media platforms. 

You can also use technology to advertise your business by conducting video marketing strategies, a lot of companies tend to make short videos because they’re known to grab people’s attention far easier than a paragraph about a product. 

In hindsight, there are so many online strategies to advertise your business and to make your corporation thrive. 

Enhanced Security

As technology advances, more businesses seek to incorporate the latest elements of technology into their business models in order to stay ahead of their competitors and stay on top of their respective industries.

As cybercrime becomes more widespread, more websites are attacked. Technology has greatly enhanced security measures, such as firewalls, password locks, and admin controls, all of which are difficult to penetrate. 

Almost every online business will put security first because they understand how crucial it is to protect their customers’ personal information and data. For example, online banks have the highest level of security because they deal with money and vital information about the public, one more example would be the casino gambling industry, just like these Curacao casinos they have the highest level of security available and that is because of the advancement of technology. 

Productivity Improvements

Employees now have access to a variety of productivity tools that help boost overall productivity, which means you’ll receive more work done by your staff and hopefully increase the company’s overall earnings and income. We can now use project and task management tools to stay on top of our responsibilities, as well as e-mail management tools to stay organized with the daily messages we receive on a day-to-day basis.

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Source: https://1reddrop.com/2021/09/21/how-might-technology-help-your-business-three-ways-explained/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-might-technology-help-your-business-three-ways-explained

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Coinbase Halts Plans for Crypto Lending Product Amid SEC Pressure

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Ethereum started a major decline below the $3,200 support zone against the US Dollar. ETH price traded as low as $2,807 and it is now attempting a recovery wave.

  • Ethereum started a fresh decline below the $3,300 and $3,200 support levels.
  • The price is now trading below $3,200 and the 100 hourly simple moving average.
  • There is a key bearish trend line forming with resistance near $3,020 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).
  • The pair could a steady recovery wave if there is a close above $3,050 in the near term.

Ethereum Price Corrects Losses

Ethereum started a major decline from the $3,500 resistance zone. ETH traded below many important support zones near $3,300 and the 100 hourly simple moving average, similar to bitcoin.

The bears gained strength below the $3,200 support zone. Finally, ether spiked below $3,000 and extended its decline. A low is formed near $2,807 and the price is now correcting losses. There was a break above the $2,920 and $2,950 resistance levels.

The price recovered above the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $3,455 swing high to $2,807 low. An immediate resistance on the upside is near the $3,020 level. There is also a key bearish trend line forming with resistance near $3,020 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD.

Ethereum Price

Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com

A close above the $3,020 and $3,050 levels could start a decent recovery. The next major resistance might be near the $3,130 level. It is near the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent decline from the $3,455 swing high to $2,807 low. A clear break and close above the $3,130 level could start a steady increase. The next major resistance sits near $3,300.

More Losses in ETH?

If ethereum fails to correct higher above the $3,020 and $3,050 resistance levels, it could start another decline. An initial support on the downside is near the $2,960 level.

The next major support seems to be forming near the $2,900 level. A downside break below the $2,900 support zone could lead the price towards the $2,800 zone. The next major support is near the $2,750 level, below which ether price might decline towards the $2,640 support zone.

Technical Indicators

Hourly MACDThe MACD for ETH/USD is slowly losing pace in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSIThe RSI for ETH/USD is still well below the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $2,960

Major Resistance Level – $3,050

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Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/eth/ethereum-confluence-resistance-3050/

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Source: https://coingenius.news/coinbase-halts-plans-for-crypto-lending-product-amid-sec-pressure-7/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=coinbase-halts-plans-for-crypto-lending-product-amid-sec-pressure-7

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