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Blockchain Versatility Drives Growth in the Banking Industry

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Blockchain Versatility Drives Growth in the Banking Industry

FinancialBuzz.com News Commentary

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, August 20, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --

According to a report published by International Data Corporation, worldwide spending on blockchain solutions is expected to reach USD 1.5 Billion in 2018, a number double the amount spent in 2017. The financial sector is expected to lead the blockchain investment push, with USD 552 Million in 2018. The rapid adoption of blockchain technology in the banking industry is one of the factors that drive the blockchain spending in the financial sector. Blockchain technology now can be used for regulatory compliance, cross-border payments & settlements, custody and asset tracking, and trade finance & post-trade/transaction settlements. During the forecast years, the United States will see the largest blockchain spending, followed by Western Europe and the Asia/Pacific region. Victory Square Technologies Inc. (OTC:VSQTF), Overstock.com Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK), Xunlei Limited (NASDAQ:XNET), Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ:RIOT), HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (OTC:HVBTF)

Stacey Soohoo, Research Manager with IDC's Customer Insights & Analysis team, said, "Enthusiasm for blockchain continues to be universally shared across regions as businesses and organizations alike continue to explore the technology's potential business application. Regulatory concerns and industry standards continue to hinder widespread adoption as governments around the globe work with enterprises to formulate policies and governance. As such, cross-business collaboration and blockchain interoperability are emerging as key aspects in the growth of the distributed ledger technology (DLT)."

Victory Square Technologies Inc. (OTC:VSQTF) also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the ticker (CSE:VST). Earlier last week, the Company announced that it is, "partnering with the Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality Association ('VRARA') to host the 2018 VR/AR Global Summit (the 'Global Summit') September 21st and 22nd at the newly-opened Parq Vancouver, a casino, entertainment and hospitality complex situated adjacent to BC Place Stadium in Vancouver.

As the premier marketplace and conference for industry leaders in immersive technology content, knowledge and creation, the Global Summit will feature dynamic keynote speakers, collaborative forums, workshops, creative hubs, demonstrations, exhibits, breakout meetings and a variety of exclusive VIP events. It will showcase the best and most interesting projects that the industry has to offer.

'Having the support from Victory Square Technologies as a Presenting Sponsor of the VR/AR Global Summit is truly an honour,' said Nathan Pettyjohn, President of the VR/AR Association. 'Victory Square is helping to bring together a global community of some of the brightest minds in the VR and AR industry, as well as some of the leading brands utilizing VR and AR technologies. We're excited to have them on board in a leadership position with our Global Summit.'

The VR/AR Global Summit boasts an impressive list of speakers from companies such as Amazon, NASA, IBM Watson, The Vatican, HTC Vive and Adobe Systems. Each marquee company will be offering their insight of how immersive technology is being used as a vital tool in the world's most progressive companies today and how applications will only grow over the next few years.

'The VR/AR Global Summit is an impressive forum in which we can and will bolster our deepening pool of high tech incubation prospects while extending our reach and influence in the network of elite industry giants,' said Victory Square CEO Shafin Diamond Tejani. 'Our immersive technologies and gaming division has already generated over 300% year-over-year growth in revenues derived from building customized games, AR/VR and immersive experiences for large global brands such as Chrysler, Intel, SONY, Paramount and TED. The VR/AR Global Summit is simply another stepping stone in building our presence and engagement at the highest levels of our industry.'

Victory Square will host the first-ever 'Pitchfest' at the VR/AR Global Summit on Friday, September 21st, with eight startup finalists presenting their innovative technology and/or products to an audience of accredited global VR/AR investors dedicated to investing in game-changing entrepreneurs. After each finalist gives a three-minute presentation, one startup will be selected to receive a prize of USD 15,000.

It is another example of how Victory Square has used leadership in incubation and acceleration to create an immersive technology portfolio that includes companies such as Shape Immersive, Fantasy 360 Technologies Inc. (dba Immersive Tech), V2 Games & Flo Digital Inc.

'Strong growth from this segment comes from the ingenuity behind products such as Flo Digital's Virtual Reality Test Drive Simulator for Chrysler Canada, Immersive Tech's customized immersive pop-up experiences built for Intel and the world's first and most spatially accurate multi-player MR experience, created by Shape Immersive and presented at TED 2018,' noted Tejani.

Tejani added that Victory Square is very pleased with the progress of its companies in their respective immersive technology portfolios as they continue to reach milestones and leverage significant market opportunities in North America and around the world."

Overstock.com Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK) is an online retailer based in Salt Lake City, Utah that sells a broad range of products at low prices, including furniture, décor, rugs, bedding, and home improvement. Overstock and t0.com Inc. ("tZERO"), recently announced that the Companies have both signed term sheets with GSR Capital, a Hong Kong-based private equity firm, to invest up to USD 374.55 Million in exchange for common equity in blockchain subsidiary tZERO and common equity in Overstock.com. Overstock and GSR Capital have also entered into a purchase agreement pursuant to which GSR Capital will purchase USD 30 Million in tZERO Security Tokens from Overstock. tZERO is a majority-owned subsidiary of Overstock.com, focusing on the development and commercialization of financial technology (FinTech) based on cryptographically-secured, decentralized ledgers - more commonly known as blockchain technologies. "GSR Capital has the prescience to understand the disruptive power of blockchain capital markets," said Patrick M. Byrne, Founder and Chairman of tZERO, and Founder and CEO of the parent company, Overstock.com. "They are aligned with our vision for the future of capital markets built upon the speed, trust, and security of the blockchain. And most importantly, they think big, and want to help us scale this vision globally as quickly as possible."

Xunlei Limited (NASDAQ:XNET) is a leading cloud-based acceleration technology company in China. The Company recently announced that it has launched the ThunderChain File System (TCFS) and three TRC Smart Contract Standards to support the development of blockchain applications. The Company also revealed the winners of Xunlei Blockchain Applications Global Challenge final tournament held in Shenzhen. ThunderChain File System (TCFS), based on Xunlei's proprietary distributed technology and millions of shared computing nodes, is a distributed file system for data storage and authorized distribution. It is built specifically for blockchain platforms including ThunderChain and other platforms. Blockchain developers and enterprises can build decentralized applications (DApps) with distributed data storage and integration, possessing the improved capabilities in openness, transparency, non-temper ability, traceability, reliability, security and encryption, mass storage and authorization. In addition to TCFS, Xunlei published three ThunderChain Request for Comment (TRC) standards to help blockchain developers and companies reduce costs and build a ThunderChain ecosystem. These standards are TRC1 (token standard, compatible with ERC20), TRC2 (non-fungible token standard, compatible with ERC721) and TRC2-1 (authorizable non-fungible token standard). Mr. Lei Chen, the Chief Executive Officer of Xunlei, stated, "Xunlei is committed to amplifying the power of individuals through technological innovation. That is why we introduced ThunderChain File System and other new initiatives as we continue to help developers unleash the real value of blockchain. We are also delighted to see a large number of practical blockchain projects developed during the challenge and would like to thank everyone for their great contribution."

Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ:RIOT) is focused on building, supporting, and operating Blockchain technologies, primarily through its cryptocurrency mining operations and other internally developed businesses, as well as through potential joint ventures, acquisitions, and targeted investments in the sector. Riot recently announced the beta development of its own private Bitcoin Mining Pool. Mining pools are groups of miners that work as a team and contribute their hashing power to solving computations that secure the blockchain. By pooling resources, miners increase the odds and consistency of receiving block rewards, which are the fees collected as part of Bitcoin's "proof of work" security model. Securing the Bitcoin network is based heavily on the distributed nature of mining power. As mining pools have become more popular, higher percentages of the global hash rate have become centrally managed. This centralization has created potential security concerns within the Bitcoin community. The Company is privately testing its own mining pool platform intending to provide an alternative to major players such as AntPool and BTC.com, which are owned and operated by Bitmain.

HIVE Blockchain Technologies Ltd. (OTC:HVBTF) is a growth-oriented, TSX.V-listed company building a bridge from the blockchain sector to traditional capital markets. HIVE recently announced that it will launch 200 Petahashes ("PH") of cloud-based SHA-256 mining power ("Cloud Mining") in September 2018. The Cloud Mining is an amendment to the terms of HIVE's previous December 2017 agreement with Genesis Mining Ltd. to add 200 PHs of SHA-256 capacity in Sweden. Under the revised agreement, 200 PHs will be provided pursuant to a cloud hosting arrangement until delivery of the mining rigs occurs within the next twelve months. The amendment allows for lower operating costs than was previously expected of taking delivery of the miners in Sweden and gives HIVE flexibility to install the future delivery of the mining rigs in an advantageous region, which is anticipated to be in a facility in North America. As previously announced, production is expected to commence on September 30th, 2018. The strategic decision to implement cloud-based deployment with its technology partner, Genesis, allows the Company to benefit from more cost-effective mining operations and enhances HIVE's operational flexibility by enabling the Company to more quickly adapt to changing network conditions across multiple geographies. "HIVE remains dedicated to adding additional low-cost capacity to our mining network and we continue to work with our partners at Genesis who remain flexible and committed to helping HIVE explore best alternatives," said Harry Pokrandt, Chief Executive Officer and Director of HIVE.

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