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Fronted, from former Bud, Monzo and Apple employees, wants to make life easier for renters

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Fronted, a new London-based startup aiming to make life easier for renters, is breaking cover today.

The company, founded by Jamie Campbell, Simon Vans-Colina and Anthony Mann — former employees at Bud, Monzo and Apple, respectively — will launch early next year with a fintech product to help renters finance their rental deposits.

The plan is get accepted into the FCA “sandbox” program (run by the U.K. financial services regulator) to begin lending cash that can only be used for a rental deposit.

The thinking is that by using Open Banking and other financial technology and offering a credit product designed to finance deposits directly, Fronted can lend more cheaply than existing options, such as credit cards, pay-day lenders and overdrafts, or insurance-backed membership schemes, and at lower risk.

“Renting sucks — anyone who rents knows it,” Fronted CEO Jamie Campbell tells me. “There are so many problems to solve and we intend to tackle them all bit by bit. But first, we are going to pay people’s rent deposits for them so they can pay us back in bite-size manageable amounts. Deposits are a large upfront expense and most people either use mum and dad to sort it out or stay where they are (in the worst cases they do to pay-day lenders).”

In a call late last week with Campbell and CTO Vans-Colina, the pair explained that renters that apply to use the Fronted service will be asked to link their bank using Open Banking, therefore sharing their recent transaction data, and provide details of the property they wish to rent. Then, once Fronted has run the required checks and agreed to provide credit, the startup sends the money directly to the estate agent to be placed in the U.K.’s Deposit Protection Scheme, meaning that the loan never touches the renter’s hands (or wallet).

“Customers will have a direct debit to pay us back over a set schedule, or they can pay it all off when they have the money to do so, [and] we don’t charge any fees,” says Campbell. There is also a planned “holiday mode” that will allow customers to temporarily reduce their monthly payments in order to help avoid falling into financial difficulty.

“Ultimately this first product is designed to be very convenient and we believe people will opt for this more manageable alternative to a normal deposit,” adds Campbell. “There are customers of ours that will be in ‘hidden households’ unable to move because of the upfront fees… Deposits can [also] sometimes take a long time to be returned from the schemes (something the government recently launched an enquiry into). Fronted wants to serve people who might otherwise be ‘double-exposed’ by deposits. We hope this first product increases social mobility by providing liquidity when people need it.”

Initially, Fronted will generate revenue through interest charged. It then plans to extend its fintech product offering with additional money-advance services “to help smooth out the bumps of renting.”

“We also intend on rolling out a ‘turn up and turn on’ service for utilities and internet,” says the Fronted CEO.

Read more: https://techcrunch.com/2019/12/03/fronted/

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Woonkly will be the official Title Sponsor of the 7th edition Global Blockchain Congress organized by Agora Group in Dubai

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Agora is very proud to be working with Woonkly again.

Woonkly will be the official Title Sponsor of the 7th edition of the Global Blockchain Congress, to be held on June 21st & 22nd, 2021 in Dubai and will also be the sponsor of the exclusive Cocktail Reception of the event – which will be held at a luxury yacht on June 20th.

More than 60 investors, Blockchain & DeFi Projects, and PR & Media Companies will join for an evening of smooth sailing and networking alongside Dubai’s gorgeous shoreline and enjoy a sumptuous selection of great food and refreshing drinks.

About Woonkly

Woonkly is a DeFi protocol that powers a Decentralized Social Network that makes use of Blockchain to connect advertisers, brands, and audiences, eliminating the intermediaries (the media) that normally get 100% of the profit.

Its main differentiator from other advertising companies in the blockchain sector is that, in Woonkly, 100% of the capital invested in advertising by advertisers is shared with the platform’s users, making use of its cryptocurrency, the WOOP.

The platform offers various services for users to Swap, provide Liquidity, and Stake with their cryptos in a simple way, without leaving Woonkly.

As of today, Woonkly has a community on Telegram of more than 15,000 people; a Crypto Startups accelerator; a proprietary Blockchain Network, created under the Hyperledger BESU protocol; a token created under the Binance Smart Chain Network, the WOOP; Crypto Wallet and Cryptocurrency Exchange licenses regulated by the European Union; connection with Polkadot, Ethereum, and Binance Smart Chain protocol; a decentralized network of nodes; and its token trades with a daily volume between 2,000,000 and 12,000000 US dollars.

For more information on the event: http://bit.ly/The7thGBC

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7th Global Blockchain Congress by Agora Group & TDeFi on June 21st and 22nd, 2021, Dubai.

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The 7th edition of the world-renowned flagship Global Blockchain Congress by Agora Group is taking place on June 21st and 22nd, 2021 in Dubai & co-hosted by TDeFi. We are also happy to have Woonkly as a Title Sponsor for this event.

This edition’s theme is “Celebrating DeFi and NFTs” and will boast an amazing line up of speakers including Keynote Addresses by His Excellency Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Executive Chairman & CEO of Dubai Multi Commodities Centre, Hubertus Thonhauser, Chairman of the Board of Tezos Foundation, Fiorenzo Manganiello, Partner at Lian Group and many others.

The event is a closed door, exclusive congress that can be attended by invitation only. Agora will be hosting more than 100 investors and 30 Sponsors (Global Blockchain, DeFi and NFTs projects looking to raise funds). 

 

The first six editions of the Global Blockchain congress were a tremendous success and we were able to host more than 450 investors and more than 90 blockchain startups and were able to raise Millions in funds for our participating projects.

 

 

This is an exclusive, closed-door Congress to connect startups with investors and secure funds.

 

Startup founders from all over the world need financial advocates on their side. Raising funds and receiving funding is vital to the growth and success of startups. NOW is the right time for international startups to tap into a pool of highly engaged investors from the MENA region who are actively looking to invest in exciting and promising companies.

“Pitches are good and all, but have you ever sat on a table for 8 hours with 30 minutes one-on-one meetings with 50 rotating investors? Agora is next level. I went to this conference last year, and it was like speed dating with investors. THIS IS EXACTLY HOW IT SHOULD BE. If you’re in Dubai or can get there, and are looking to raise funds for your project, this is your jam.”

Nikita Sachdev, Co-Founder, LunaPR.io

 

Previous Notable Speakers:

H.E. Naokazu Takemoto – Minister of State for Science and Technology Policy, Japan.

Dr. Obaid Al Zaabi – CEO, Securities & Commodities Authority, UAE.

Baiba Broka – Member of the General Council, International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, Working Group Member on Cryptocurrency Regulation, Ministry of Finance, Latvia, and Former Minister of Justice, Latvia.

Josef‌ ‌Holm‌ – Founding Partner, Draper Goren Holm

 

Kristina Lucrezia Corner – Managing Editor, Cointelegraph.

Ralf Glabischnig – Founder & Board Member, Crypto Valley Venture Capital.

H.E. Zulfiquar Ghadiyali – Executive Director Of DIHC under chairmanship of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Sultan bin Hamdan Al Nahyan

Zachary Cefaratti – CEO & Principal Founder, Dalma Capital

Wai Lum Kwok – Senior Executive Director & Financial Services Regulatory Authority, Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM)

 

For participation apply here:  http://bit.ly/The7thGBC 

Official website: https://agoragroup.ae/events/global_blockchain_congress_7th_edition

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4 Common Cryptocurrency Scams

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4 Common Cryptocurrency Scams

Wherever there is a new financial product or industry trend, you can be sure that there are scammers out there waiting to try and take advantage. Cryptocurrency has exploded in recent years, and for this reason, you need to be really careful when you are involved in the industry and buying and selling crypto. There are a few common scams that you should be aware of. This will greatly reduce your chances of getting conned.

This isn’t an exhaustive list, there are certainly more crypto scams out there than on this list, but by knowing the most common ways in which you can get scammed, you’re more likely to prevent it from happening. Combine this with tools like reverse email lookup to ensure you know who to trust.

Exchange and Wallet Hacks

Your data is at risk when you use a crypto wallet service. There have been high-profile hacks where hackers manage to steal thousands of email addresses and other personal details. These can be published or sold on the dark web and you could even find yourself susceptible to an account takeover. When you use a crypto exchange or wallet, you must make sure that you know the company is trustworthy. Even then, some aspects are out of your hands.

 

ZDnet reports that there were billions stolen last year, including attacks on Exchanges to the value of $300 million in losses. Even if the cryptocurrency itself is secure, hackers may have a way around it; targeting the wallets.

 

This government bulletin even warns people about the fact that crypto can be susceptible to hacking.

Scamming Emails

It’s always a possibility that you will get caught out by a scam email. Many scammers send out phishing emails posing as a crypto marketplace or wallet you might be signed up to. This can make it incredibly difficult to differentiate what is real from what is a scam. If you get caught out you might end up accidentally giving your data to a scammer.

 

Always use a reverse email search tool so that you can check if the source of an email looks legit. It could be that it has come from a domain that is a spoof or has a history of scams.

Social Media Scams

Social media account takeovers and hacks can be dangerous. In some cases, Twitter accounts have been taken over, and people have asked for funds to be sent to their blockchain address. This is usually in return for a promise of the money being sent back double, or some other reward that is never going to come. Even Elon Musk has had his account hacked and ended up a part of one of these crypto social media scams. Twitter’s share price dropped 5% as a result.

ICO Scams

Initial coin offerings give scammers the opportunity to scam people. This could be through a fake website, for example. It appears like any other ICO but when the user deposits their coins into the wallet, money may be stolen.

ICOs can be fully fraudulent, as people use fake advertising to try and scam people out of their hard-earned cash. The SEC has even had to step in with some examples, such as Plexcoin, which turned out to be nothing more than a Ponzi scheme.

 

There was a huge boom in these types of scams in 2017, largely triggered by the publicity of Ethereum, but ICO scams are becoming less frequent as the industry is now regulated far more heavily, but there are some scary examples of people losing a lot of money.

How to Report Cryptocurrency Scams

When you get scammed, quick reporting might help you to try and regain the money or to stop others from experiencing the same thing.

 

You don’t even have to have been the subject of a scam to report it. For example, if you see something on Twitter that looks like a scam, you may want to let the authorities know.

 

The Federal Trade Commission is responsible for this and they have published some intriguing figures. Did you know that according to the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, crypto has overtaken checkbook and money order scams in frequency, and the value now exceeds that of debit card scams?

 

The FTC may be able to help. Go straight to the FTC at ftc.gov/complaint where you can fill in a form providing details or even contact them directly. The FTC is working hard to prevent these types of financial scams.

Conclusion

Like virtually any big, growing industry, there are teething problems. For crypto, scams are one of the biggest issues people face. This doesn’t mean that you should avoid the industry altogether, but it makes a lot of sense to be vigilant and try to ensure that you don’t lose money by being too trusting. Treat all emails and social media communication with a lot of caution when they are discussing Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies, and ensure that you stay safe whenever giving out your details or handing over money.

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Overview and Market Trends of Crypto Games in 2021

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The number of gamers worldwide is estimated at around 2.6 billion in 2020. The upward trend will add another 125 million by the end of 2021. About half of them hail from the Asia-Pacific region. The crypto gaming scene is representing an increasingly large portion of that number. Crypto games are still a relatively unknown term, at least to the general public, but in 2021 they are expected to explode due to various trends detected in this year. The potential is just too great to be ignored. Ability to reward players and let them trade for real money their in-game items is something a lot of games have tried – mostly unsuccessfully – to achieve in the past. Thanks to blockchain technology, that goal is possible now.

What Is Crypto Gaming?

Crypto games are a relatively new addition to the gaming world. The first games appeared just a few years ago. The main aspect of crypto games is collecting items that rise or fall in value and that can be sold at any time, provided you can find a buyer. One of the first popular crypto games was CryptoKitties. In the game, you can buy a cat and groom it. You can even buy two and breed new kittens. The price goes up and down and you can sell your cats or buy new ones. The most expensive cat ever sold on CryptoKitties reached an astonishing price of $117,000. It was to be expected that the first crypto games would be about cats, but they came in all shapes and flavors. You can collect heroes, monsters, fish, even hamsters. Considering the choice of genres, it is easy to find a game that suits your preferences.

Crypto and iGaming

The iGaming industry is one of the fastest-growing segments of gaming. It is expected to reach a value of 300 billion by 2025. It is no wonder then that a lot of crypto developers are pivoting to it, making their coins iGaming-friendly. 2021 will be huge in terms of using bitcoin for iGaming, judging by some indicators. There is even talk of creating digital coins exclusively for online gambling, although that is far-fetched at the moment. Already established coins, like Bitcoin, Tether, and Ethereum are functioning just fine and are being adopted by more and more online casinos. At this rate, there won’t be an online gambling platform that doesn’t accept them by the end of 2021.

The Trending Platform in 2021

Most crypto games available today are based on the Ethereum blockchain and we don’t see that changing in 2021. Simply put, the Ethereum blockchain is an extremely convenient platform for this kind of apps. IT is readily available, easily modified, and has great tech support to bail out developers when they hit a snag. All these attributes make Ethereum perfect for crypto gaming since the majority of the studios developing games are independent. As such, they can’t afford the muscle power large developers have at their disposal, and having friendly tech support and a platform that can be easily adapted to their needs is crucial. However, this too can change in the upcoming year, but more on that later.

The Developers

As we mentioned earlier, there is only a handful of big names in crypto gaming. Most developers are small indie companies and startups. For the last two or three years, they have been working diligently to create games and in 2021, they are poised to reap the benefits of their hard work. Some of the games, like My Crypto Heroes or Blockchain Cuties, already boast thousands of players and are ready to blow. This will allow their creators to emerge as the first crypto gaming powerhouses on the market. On the other hand, a lot of established studios are eyeing crypto gaming and making plans to join in the fray. They will bring to bear a massive amount of money, influence, and talent, which will affect the segment in a considerable way.

The Benefits of Crypto Gaming

Blockchain technology is on the verge of transforming the Internet. The benefits it offers are huge, but one thing that is slowing its implementation is that most people don’t know enough about it. Crypto games can help with that. By presenting this newfangled technology in a familiar manner – and what is more familiar than gaming – crypto games will allow people to get acquainted with it. This familiarity will make the adoption of all other applications of blockchain that much easier. Even casual gamers, who spend just a few hours weekly playing crypto games will be familiar enough with it that blockchain won’t sound so alien to them. Crypto games will help the world adjust to blockchain in preparation for its wide application.

Crypto Games That Will Mark 2021

Predicting which games will be huge in 2021 can be ungrateful, but we will give it a try. One of our favorites is Forgotten Artifacts. It appeals to our Dr. Indiana Jones fantasies, as it lets you collect various items and artifacts around the game world. The game is still in beta and one limitation is that it can only be played with an Enjin wallet. My Crypto Heroes is another game that shows tremendous potential. Based on Japanese mythology, it allows you to collect various heroes and train them to add new characteristics and increase their value. For our final recommendation, we have chosen Blockchain Cuties. Think of it as Tamagotchi, but with cute monsters instead. You can collect them, breed them, and train them to increase their skill in battle.

 

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