Blockchain partners with leading Indian Bitcoin exchange, Unocoin
Unocoin, the top cryptocurrency exchange in India, has partnered with Luxembourg-based Bitcoin wallet provider, Blockchain.
This means that Unocoin’s services will be available within the Blockchain wallet, making it easier for Indian users to buy and sell Bitcoin.
Blockchain currently serves 140 countries and is the leading software platform for digital assets in the world. It was launched in 2011 and currently offers the world’s most widely-used wallet for digital currencies.
Unocoin is India’s largest bitcoin company, boasting over 150,000 customers. Founded in 2013, the company states it is ‘committed and has single-handedly driven the bitcoin awareness programme in India.’
Indeed, it has been estimated that 2,500 Indians invest in Bitcoins every day, and Blockchain hopes to support and increase this.
Nic Cary, Blockchain’s president has stated on Unocoin’s website that India has become ‘the fastest growing economy to witness a surge in use of digital wallets in daily transactions.’ He says India is ‘one of the top contenders for becoming the largest market for cryptocurrency.’
In a recent blogpost announcing the partnership, Blockchain stated that the integration of Unocoin into the bitcoin wallet will offer users ‘greater purchasing power without having to compromise on security or control’ and that it hopes the venture will make ‘digital currency simple and more accessible throughout India.’
Accessing Bitcoin has previously involved many steps, fees, settlement delays and untrustworthy service providers – some aspects Blockchain and Unocoin hope to be able to eliminate.
Unocoin’s CEO Sathvik Vishwanath describes Blockchain as ‘one of the most trusted companies in digital currency’ and states he hopes the partnership will ‘provide users a convenient way to participate in the digital currency ecosystem and experience all of the benefits it has to offer.’
Initially available to web users, it is panned that the Unocoin integration will expand to mobile for Android and iOS in the near future.
Beyond Limits: Cognitive AI in APAC
Courtesy of current estimates, it looks like Asia-Pacific AI will be worth US$136bn by 2025. Its governments and corporations invest more money than the rest of the world in AI tech, the data of its citizens is considered fair game, and its pilots are small-scale and, as a result, ruthlessly effective. This is why, according to Jeff Olson, Cognizant’s Associate Vice President for Projects, AI and Analytics, Digital Business and Technology, the APAC region ‘is right on the edge of an AI explosion’.
Now, startup Beyond Limits is pushing the boundaries of what AI can do, mirroring humans in its ability to find solutions with even limited information. As of this July, it’s partnered up with Mitsui, a global trading and investment company, to expand its impact in APAC.
How Does Beyond Limits Work?
Most AI companies claim that they can help businesses make better decisions. But many need astoundingly large stores of data to feed their information-hungry algorithms. Beyond Limits, in contrast, takes a different tack. Perfect data, after all, is largely a pipe dream kept alive by PhD students. In reality, systems must often make decisions from small, incomplete sets of intel.
But Beyond Limits’ AI is no black box. ‘When little to no data is available, Beyond Limits symbolic technologies rely on deductive, inductive, and abductive reasoning capabilities’, explained Clare Walker, Industry Analyst at Frost & Sullivan. While making these leaps in logic, however, the system also keeps track, ensuring that humans can review the AI’s ‘thought process’.
Why Partner With Mitsui?
Beyond Limits is built for specific applications such as energy, utilities, and healthcare—but lacks the extensive industry network of Mitsui. Partnering allows Beyond Limits to access a portfolio of firms specialising in minerals and metals, energy, infrastructure, and chemicals. ‘We’ve been working on this deal for several years’, said Mitsui’s Deputy General Manager Hiroki Tanabe. ‘Mitsui’s global portfolio and Beyond Limits’ AI technology will...deliver impact’.
In the first test of that dramatic statement, Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) will soon deploy Beyond Limits’ new system. If everything goes according to plan, LNG will optimise how it extracts and refines energy, making money for both itself and investors—including Mitsui. This, in fact, is Mitsui’s strategy: go digital and don’t look back.
Why Does This Matter?
Forty-five percent of Asia-Pacific companies surveyed in Cognizant’s thought leadership ebook consider themselves AI leaders. Positivity bias, that oh-so-common tendency of humans to position themselves as above average as compared to others, strikes again. (Most small companies fail to launch successful AI projects on their own.) And partly, this is because firms fail to integrate AI with industry expertise.
‘A large part of the focus on talent for AI today has been getting the people who are strong in mathematics, AI, and technologies’, said Olson. ‘But where you make your money out of AI projects is when you apply them to your business’. In short: APAC nations looking for ways to bridge the gap might follow Beyond Limits and Mitsui’s playbook—coupling startup AI with a corporate network.