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Ripio Closes $37 Million ICO for Ethereum Lending Network

Blockchain startup Ripio has raised $37 million in an initial coin offering (ICO).

Originally known as BitPagos, the company (which rebranded early this year) had previously raised $31 million during a presale, which included backing from FBG Capital and Blocktower Capital, among others. Investors from 25 countries participated in the two rounds, contributing a total of 121,300 ETH, according to the startup. The sale closed on November 5.

The RCN whitepaper indicates that 42.5 percent of the tokens would be dedicated to a pre-sale maximum, with 8.5 percent set aside for a public sale minimum. The remaining 49 percent were reserved for operational needs, such as incentives, marketing and expenses.

“The original idea of Ripio Credit Network was to widen financial inclusion by extending credit lending globally,” CEO Sebastian Serrano said in a press release. “The support, not only for our platform but for our mission, is truly inspirational and an unforgettable benchmark in the evolution of the lending infrastructure.”

The Ripio Credit Network will serve as a peer-to-peer lending platform, using the token and its associated smart contracts to secure each loan. The system will ultimately capture all of the parties involved in every loan made, including a co-signer on each loan. The cosigner takes on the role of a reinsurer, agreeing to repayment of the loan – under the terms of the smart contract – should the borrower default.

The company’s existing loan portfolio includes 130,000 registered users in Argentina and Brazil. It is currently working on partnerships in places in Mexico, South Korea and Vietnam.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripio.

Cluster of marbles image via Shutterstock.

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Blockchain’s Multiple Identities Enable Solutions to Countless Vexing Problems

Blockchain is a novel technology that is finding implementation in almost every area of human endeavour. Based on their particular needs, different users are finding different ways to use the Blockchain.

What is Blockchain?

Since the invention of the first Blockchain by Satoshi Nakamoto, the technology has not relented in growth and evolution. It has grown so much in popularity that sometimes even its active users pause and ask the question – “what is Blockchain?”

From an incorruptible ledger to a transparent transaction system, an immutable data base, a secure data storage technology; all definitions have been correct depending on the appropriate implementation of the novel technology.

Michael Vogel of Netcoins views Blockchain technology as a more secure and modern way to store and organize data. He notes as a prime example how Bitcoin payments are recorded on the Blockchain in a manner such that all transactions are guaranteed and irrefutable; the Blockchain allows two parties who don’t know nor trust each other to transact securely.

Having acknowledged that all applications using databases do not necessarily require a migration to a Blockchain-based environment, Vogel notes that Blockchain ledgers and technology allow for perfect record-keeping and data management in ways never thought possible, especially with the decentralized aspect where data is not centrally controlled or possible to manipulate. Vogel says:

“Triple-ledger accounting (with the third ledger being a Blockchain-based copy) is an example of how traditional accounting and audit methods can be replaced (or augmented) with a Blockchain component. This allows for financial statements to be created (and audited!) in real-time.”

An ideal tool for community building

From his own use case, Gideon Gibson of KickCity sees Blockchain as a tool for creating a decentralized online community with its own rules, supported by smart contracts as well as a token economy.

Gibson notes that most online communities are currently on Facebook, Slack and Telegram. However, according to him, these platforms were not optimized for community building and that is why most power users have issues using them. He identifies problems such as lack of trust, absence of specific governance, navigation problems and cost as some of the weaknesses of these traditional platforms.

According to Gibson, KickCity is a primarily a decentralized incentive-based community platform, and an ideal platform for event vendors.

Gibson says:

“KickCity products are designed to create communities and generate revenue. We are currently attending a Blockchain solution forum in Barcelona and we already have a number of Blockchain event vendors who want are implementing the KickCity platform. The fact that we support automatic bitcoin ticket purchase is appealing to these communities.”

Financial restructuring

There is also the faculty that describes the Blockchain as a tool for payment processing, providing credit and enabling access to the Bitcoin ecosystem. Prominent among these class of startups is Ripio Credit Network, formerly known as Bitpagos.

Riding on the transparency and reliability of Blockchain technology, platforms like Ripio avail individuals across the globe the opportunity to access credit and provide loans without the limitations of geographical location or that of banking procedures. To such innovators, Blockchain can be described as a tool for restructuring the global financial system.

A defender

On some other platforms, Blockchain functions as a robust security system to protect against DDoS attacks. A typical example is found in Maryland-based Gladius which is creating a system that would allow people to rent out their unused bandwidth so that it can be used to absorb malicious DDoS traffic and mitigate attacks.

The decentralized platform will provide a system whereby pooled bandwidth can be accessed and utilized in ways far superior to single-server centralized models, where bandwidth is limited.

The list can go on and on, however, the universal application of the Blockchain qualifies it in so many ways as a technology that is out to disrupt the traditional ways of doing things. Blockchain, in its most basic sense, is “a solution technology.”