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Two Brothers Disrupt the Counterfeit Economy with Blockchain Start-up Seal Network

February 25th 2018, marks the pre-ICO launch of blockchain powered product authentication and services platform Seal. This Amsterdam start-up enables anyone to verify if a product is genuine or fake. Bart & Joris (founders) share: “We come from a family of creators. Our mother frequently saw her products get imitated, so we know first hand how devastating the impact of counterfeiting is. “Our family suffered.” Seal combines NFC chips, which are embedded into physical products, the Seal app, and the Seal Network to provide a fast, simple, and secure way to provide products authenticity and other services.

By facilitating a secure tokenized version of a physical product, Seal allows product-specific services to operate such as transferring ownership, theft prevention, product recalls, brand activation campaigns, product analytics and custom integration with third-party software, like the brands’ own app or e-commerce sites. In addition to solving the counterfeiting conundrum, Seal lets brands deal with parallel trade and midnight shifting once and for all.

Counterfeiting Fuels Organized Crime

Seal Network was founded by Bart and Joris Verschoor, two brothers who spent a lifetime developing products and technology. Bart shares: “Our family suffered from it, but the real impact is far more insidious. Counterfeiting fuels organized crime on a massive scale. It’s the single biggest source of funding for crime rings, terrorism, and cartels. Buying knockoffs are perceived an innocuous crime, but that Michael Kors wallet from your local street market or that fake iPhone charger from Alibaba might be funding the next attack like the London Subway or 9/11.”

Disrupting the Counterfeit Economy

Seal Network is designed for adoption by brands. Its business model allows brands to charge fees for services. For the first time in history, brands can earn money from items sold through the second hand trade, while simultaneously protecting their markets from counterfeiters. Every time products change hands, the brand earns a fee, turning their products into revenue streams. This offsets the costs of equipping the products with NFC-chips while providing a lucrative revenue stream where brand monetizes their authenticity. By using the power of the blockchain, authenticity can be checked and ownership can be transferred decades from now, even if the product itself is discontinued, as long as people contribute to the decentralized Seal network.

The Blockchain Revolution in the Palm of your Hands

Whether products are sold in stores or on the second hand market, people can purchase goods with confidence again. Seal brings all the benefits of the blockchain revolution into the physical world. It puts the power of the blockchain into the hands of people. When asked what the vision for Seal is, Bart explained: “The ultimate ambition of Seal? To become the currency of authenticity, where products can be paid in full with Seal. Using Seal to pay for products provides both buyer and seller a guaranteed exchange of goods that are simply impossible with FIAT currencies. The powerful properties of Seal and its functionality as a medium of exchange are a giant leap forward because it is optimized to securely settle the exchange of physical goods.” The start-up is a tribute to all the creators in the world, who work incredibly hard to make the products we all love so much. They’ve dedicated their lives to improve those all around the world. Now it’s time to return the favour. Seal aspires to ignite a renewed appreciation for the world’s most beloved and worthwhile brands. Out of love for creation.

About Seal:

Seal enables anyone to verify the authenticity of their favourite products. They want to bring back confidence to consumers and allow for brands to interact with their most heavily vested customers in the most direct way the internet has ever seen. They are building a better world in which consumers appreciate the creative work of makers and stop feeding the counterfeit economy and its disastrous effects on the world.

This is a sponsored press release and does not necessarily reflect the opinions or views held by any employees of The Merkle. This is not investment, trading, or gambling advice. Always conduct your own independent research.

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SBI Remit is Using the Blockchain to Make Money Transfers Between Japan and Africa

SBI Remit, a Japanese money transfer company, is teaming up with a venture-backed firm to use its new treasury management service that uses the blockchain for increased transparency and liquidity to small and medium-sized businesses operating between Japan and Africa. SBI Remit and BitPesa The service is provided by BitPesa, which has raised $10 million to turn the Bitcoin blockchain into an enterprise payment rail. Normally, consumers moving money from Japan to Africa have to rely on banks and other middlemen to make their transactions, first exchanging yen into U.S. dollars or euros, then into African currencies. BitPesa, on the other hand, uses a combination of the Bitcoin blockchain and other services to create new currency pairs which greatly simplify the process. The partnership follows a path already laid out by BitPesa, and specifically targets cosmetics companies, electronics companies, and the lucrative used car market between Japan and Africa. It enables direct currency pairs between Japanese yen and the fiat currencies of Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to Forbes. Generally speaking, by embracing the decentralized nature of the blockchain BitPesa illustrates how useful Bitcoin is for real world applications. Not only does this system permit remittances to be completed in less than an hour — thanks to the blockchain’s fast settlement times — it will also help jump start African commerce with Japan on a larger scale by adding a much-needed layer of trust and transparency, according to Nobuo Ando, SBI Remit director. “Many companies are doing trade with African countries and they are suffering from the high cost and the slow speed and not very precise administration,” said Ando. “So this is the market that we would like to go in, together with Bitpesa.” Moving Funds from Asia to Africa Historically, individuals and businesses conducting trade between Japan and the countries BitPesa serves had to move Japanese yen through multiple correspondent banks. As noted, along the way the yen was frequently converted to more liquid intermediary currencies like the U.S. dollar or the euro, which added lofty fees each step of the way. According to World Bank estimates, the average remittance fees for this process can reach 7%, but the real cost is often much higher. It can also take several days to complete. By removing these correspondent banks and secondary currency exchanges from the process, BitPesa is able to provide similar services almost instantly for less than 3% of the total transaction. To avoid fluctuations in the price of both fiat currency and Bitcoin, Elizabeth Rossiello, BitPesa founder, said her company’s treasury services are designed to insulate their customers from risk on either side: “If it makes sense for us to settle using cryptocurrency or fiat currencies then we do,” Rossiello said. “And in this case, we’re happy that SBI feels the same way, so we’re open to using digital or fiat currencies to settle between us.” Looking ahead, the remittances market in sub-Saharan Africa it is expected to grow 7% this year to $41 billion. Although this number is just a fraction of the worldwide remittance market as a whole, with relatively little competition for African business Rossiello is confident her company can use the lower costs of the Bitcoin blockchain to help catalyze commerce between Africa and the rest of the world. Rossiello, who is among the earliest founders of a Bitcoin company established BitPesa in 2013 when the cryptocurrency was trading between around $100 and $1,000. As of today, Bitcoin is trading at over $6,600. Featured image from Shutterstock. The post SBI Remit is Using the Blockchain to Make Money Transfers Between Japan and Africa appeared first on NewsBTC.

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