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CryptoCorner: South Korean Bank to Launch Digital Asset Custody Offering, Telegram Will Have Limited ICO Through Liquid Exchange, Nasdaq Partners with CryptoCompare for New Product

CryptoCorner: South Korean Bank to Launch Digital Asset Custody Offering, Telegram Will Have Limited ICO Through Liquid Exchange, Nasdaq Partners with CryptoCompare for New Product

Jun 11, 2019 (Investorideas.com via COMTEX) —

Point Roberts, WA and Delta, BC – June 11, 2019 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Investorideas.com, a leader in crypto and blockchain investing news, in partnership with Fit Pay, Inc.’s (subsidiary of NXT-ID (NASDAQ: NXTD) crypto payment tech, Flip and the Genesis Exchange and Wallet App bring you today’s edition of the Crypto Corner podcast and commentary on what’s driving the cryptocurrency market.

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CryptoCorner: South Korean Bank to Launch Digital Asset Custody Offering, Telegram Will Have Limited ICO Through Liquid Exchange, Nasdaq Partners with CryptoCompare for New Product

June 11, 2019

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Crypto Corner

CoinDesk reports that South Korea’s biggest bank KB Kookmin will launch a digital asset custody offering. To do so, the bank has signed a strategic business agreement with blockchain startup Atomrigs Consulting, a company that secures digital assets such as cryptocurrencies using secure MPC (secure multiparty computation) technology. CoinDesk quotes a representative of KB Kookmin:

“We hope that the two companies will grow together by discovering innovative services in the field of digital asset management. We will continue to cooperate with various technology companies in the digital ecosystem to expand our offerings.”

Messaging app Telegram is selling its Gram token in a limited public sale through crypto exchange Liquid starting July 10, according to a report from TechCrunch. The limited sale excludes buyers in the U.S., Korea and Japan and precedes a full public sale in October this year. The funds raised through the sale will go toward the development of the company’s blockchain platform, the Telegram Open Network (TON). Mike Kayamori, co-founder and CEO of Liquid said in a press release today:

“We share the vision for a more secure and open value transfer system in order to enable the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. The TON Blockchain infrastructure can help enhance Telegram’s current capabilities as a peer to peer network of value, with the launch of their cryptocurrency light wallets for Telegram’s highly engaged user base.”

Cointelegraph reports that Nasdaq has partnered with crypto data provider CryptoCompare to launch a cryptocurrency pricing product targeted at institutional investors. Called the Nasdaq/CryptoCompare Aggregate Crypto Reference Prices, the product will “provide ostensibly minute-by-minute pricing data from those cryptocurrency markets that have the highest liquidity”. Charles Hayter, CryptoCompare’s co-founder and CEO, told CoinDesk:

“We are delighted to partner with Nasdaq on a joint Aggregate Crypto Reference Prices product. Reliable data is the bedrock of transparent, liquid markets and by bringing our high quality, granular dataset to a global institutional client base, via the Quandl platform, we will give traders and investors a competitive edge.”

The central bank of the Philippines is concerned over risks associated with cryptocurrencies, according to a report from the Philippine Star yesterday. The bank’s Deputy Governor Diwa Guinigundo warned that crypto could be disruptive for traditional banking systems:

“For this reason, game theory dictates possible dysfunction when there is market breakdown, when everyone may distrust one another. There cannot be a total disregard for a central bank or a third party that provides lender of last resort facility.”

Sam Mowers, Investorideas

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An Update on France’s Emerging Initial Coin Offering Regime

France is moving forward to embrace blockchain technology and the issuance of digital assets. While security tokens will be regulated just like the securities they are, France has crafted a regulatory regime that supports the issuance of utility tokens.

Last December, the French Government issued a decree (Décret n°2018-1226 du 24 décembre 2018) outlining a portion of the utilization of blockchain for securities. The decree made France the first European countries to take such a step. While not specifically mentioning blockchain or distributed ledger technology, the language aligned with the intent to facilitate securities tokens.

Regarding, initial coin offerings (ICOs), France took a unique step to quickly draft legislation to support the issuance of tokens not deemed to be a security.  Some government officials view the strategy of embracing digital ledger technology as burnishing France’s innovation credibility and creating a center of prominence for blockchain entrepreneurs.

One French MP warned his peers not to let blockchain tech become the next “Minitel” – France’s attempt to guide the internet from back in the 80s. After a prolonged campaign for widespread adoption, the Minitel was discontinued in 2012. The Minitel is a cautionary story about letting innovation take place without too much government intervention.

The language of the French Loi Pacte (Pacte Law) allows ICO issuers to raise capital online and trade in a secondary market. These digital assets may not be considered securities. Issuers may seek the approval of the French Autorité des Marchés (AMF) – but approval is not necessary to launch an ICO. If an issuer does not seek approval, the issuer must prominently promote the fact that an offering has not received a stamp of approval from the AMF.

It has been reported that France is promoting its approach and possible adoption at the European Commission.

Last month, industry advocates announced the creation of the French Digital Asset Association (FD2A). This new association seeks to nurture this nascent sector of Fintech while advocating on behalf of supportive regulation at both the EU and the international level.

So has France created an effective, bespoke regulatory regime to allow entrepreneurs to issue utility tokens minus all of the bogus offerings which peppered the ICO craze?

We will find out soon enough as the law becomes actionable in the coming days.

At the end of May, Crowdfund Insider spoke with Attorney Thibault Verbiest who is in the thick of the regulatory discussion in France and at the EU level. Thibault not only represents aspiring issuers and platforms but he also advises the World Bank on blockchain tech.

In March, Verbiest published a good review of the Loi Pacte that outlined what issuers may expect.

We asked Verbiest if the Loi Pacte will become actionable in June, which is sooner than originally anticipated. He said yes that is correct:

“…the new regime was initially (and cautiously) announced for September,  but as the Law was adopted in May (still not promulgated yet though), the government and the regulator speeded up the process.”

The new ICO regime will enable “utility” type tokens to be issued and traded. So what do market participant expect in France?

“They expect at least two positive consequences. First the attitude of the banks [which will improve] … so far [banks are] very reluctant to cooperate with crypto related ventures,” said Thibault. “With the “visa” of the AMF, the banks should hopefully deal more openly with the ecosystem, especially for ICO’s in France. The Law has even implemented a “right to a bank account” for the “licensed” ICO’s.”

Thibault said the second outcome is that the sector anticipates there will be an enhancement of the quality of the operations and therefore of the image of the crypto-economy in France.

“Only “serious” businesses will be eligible for the new regime, and that should boost the sector,” explained Thibault.

CI asked if many new “crypto-exchanges” have launched in anticipation of the new Law. Thibault said that, at this early stage, it was impossible to measure:

“There are very few crypto exchanges in France (most are established in Malta and Estonia today). But it is known that some major exchanges are talking to the regulator to possibly apply for the “crypto exchange license,”  Thibault said.

He added that the crypto exchange license is anticipated to be made available later than the ICO regime because the legislation necessary to allow for secondary markets has not yet been adopted.

CI has heard that France’s blockchain friendly posture is attracting solid interest from international blockchain entrepreneurs. We inquired if he was seeing much interest from non-French entrepreneurs considering a move to France?

“The answer is yes,” said Verbiest. “I was in New York last week for Consensus and I met entrepreneurs seriously considering France and its new regime as a “trust mark”. France is today the only “big country” with such a crypto friendly regime.”

He added that the regime is optional, and not mandatory, an important element and a regulatory character to watch.

CI has reported that France is lobbying at the European Commission level for their ICO rules to be adopted across the European Union. Verbiest confirmed this fact saying it is true that France is promoting its model towards the European institutions and the ESMA (the European Securities and Market Authority, the EU’s capital markets regulator).

“I concur it is a good approach. Since ESMA recognized that utility tokens are not securities under EU laws, the French approach seems to be the only reasonable and balanced approach, ” Verbiest said.

And what about competition from smaller EU countries like Malta that have moved quickly to capitalize on the new tech? Or Switzerland (non-EU) which has created their own regulatory regime to help encourage blockchain innovation? Verbiest sees this as a positive for the sector:

“I see that so-called competition as positive … Entrepreneurs licensed already in Malta might also be interested in a French visa, as both regimes are not “passportable” within the EU. And Switzerland is outside the EU, and will continue to play its role of an international (crypto) financial place.”

Source: Initial Coin Offering Search Results
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SEC sues Kik for running an unregistered Initial Coin Offering

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Kik

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is suing messaging service Kik Interactive, stating that its 2017 digital token sale, which raised $100 million, was essentially an illegal, unregistered securities offering. According to Bloomberg, this is one the highest profile cases yet where the SEC has targeted a company for not registering an offering with the regulator.

When Kik’s user base began to shrink in 2017 and the company started running out of money, it launched an ICO — an initial coin offering. This is where investors receive digital tokens instead of traditional stock. Kik called its tokens “Kin.” But, according to the SEC, Kik’s offer and sale of Kin was not registered with the SEC, which considers tokens (with the exception of Bitcoin and ether) to be essentially securities. Furthermore, the SEC says Kik should have revealed the troubled state of its finances to potential investors, which it did not.

Court filings state that the SEC — which recently approved a stock exchange for tech startups — is seeking unspecified monetary penalties, alleging that Kik knew its ICO would be considered a securities offering. Kin has since launched a crowdfunding site, DefendCrypto.org, to raise money to fight the SEC’s claims, which it says “set a dangerous precedent and stifle innovation.” The SEC’s co-head of enforcement, Steven Peikin, counters that “companies do not face a binary choice between innovation and compliance with the federal securities laws.”

Source: Initial Coin Offering Search Results
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Chicken-Waffle & Centertec Join Forces to Win Best in Show, VR, at the AWE 2019 Auggie Awards.


Chicken-Waffle & Centertec Join Forces to Win Best in Show, VR, at the AWE 2019 Auggie Awards. – IT Industry Today – EIN News

























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SEC Sues Messaging App Kik Over $100 Million Initial Coin Offering

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SEC sues Kik alleging that ‘initial coin offering’ of Kin tokens was illegal

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has finally sued Kik Interactive Inc. for conducting an alleged illegal initial coin offering a week after the company itself started crowdsourcing donations for the fight.

The SEC alleges that the ICO was illegal because Kik sold the tokens to U.S. investors without registering their offer and sale as required by U.S. securities law.

Kik raised $98 million in the ICO in 2017, including $50 million in presales, for Kin, an Ethereum blockchain-based cryptocurrency that was pitched both as allowing the company to expand Kik’s features and supporting developers with an open app ecosystem.

The disagreement between to the two comes down to the SEC claiming that Kik sold the Kin tokens as an investment opportunity while Kik claims that that the ICO was for a currency and not an investment opportunity under securities law.

Among the allegations leveled at Kik are that the company told investors that rising demand would drive up the value of Kin. The pitch was tied to Kik incorporating the tokens into its messaging app, creating a new Kin transaction service and building a system to reward other companies that adopt Kin.

The SEC noted that the products did not exist at the time of the ICO and that there was nothing to purchase at the time using them. Further, it noted that Kik kept three trillion Kin tokens which the company would trade on secondary markets allowing them to profit alongside investors, making them securities transactions.

“Kik told investors they could expect profits from its effort to create a digital ecosystem,” Robert A. Cohen, chief of the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit said in a statement. “Future profits based on the efforts of others is a hallmark of a securities offering that must comply with the federal securities laws.”

Kik Chief Executive Officer Ted Livingston, who is previously on record as saying that the SEC action is a test case for ICOs, responded to the news by saying that “this is the first time that we’re finally on a path to getting the clarity we so desperately need as an industry to be able to continue to innovate and build.”

Investors didn’t take the news well. The price of Kin dropped almost 30% in trading today. The market cap of Kin tokens is now $18.9 million, down around 80% since its IPO.

The SEC is suing Kik with violating the registration requirements of Section 5 of the Securities Act of 1933.  The lawsuit seeks a permanent injunction, disgorgement plus interest and a penalty.

Image: Kik

Since you’re here …

… We’d like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.

If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.

Source: Initial Coin Offering Search Results
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Kik crowdsources donations to fight SEC over legal status of its ‘initial coin offering’

Messaging app firm Kik Interactive Inc. announced today that it’s crowdsourcing donations to help it fight a likely legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over its 2017 initial coin offering.

Kik raised $98 million in the ICO, including $50 million in presales for Kin, an Ethereum blockchain-based cryptocurrency that was pitched both as allowing the company to expand Kik’s features and supporting developers with an open app ecosystem. The problem arose with an SEC investigation finding that the Kin tokens should have been registered as securities, a contention Kik disagrees with.

The SEC first ruled in 2017 that ICOs are subject to securities laws, further clarifying when ICOs should be registered as an offering of securities in June. The differentiating factor is whether a coin or token issued in an ICO is tied to an actual company or operates strictly as a currency. The former requires registration under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, while the latter does not.

Kik argues, despite the ICO being linked by the company at launch to assisting it in building out its messaging app, that Kin was strictly a currency and hence does not require registration.

Discussing the crowdsourcing campaign on the Unchained Podcast today, Kik Chief Executive Officer Ted Livingston claimed that Kin was “the most-used cryptocurrency in the world,” and that more than 250,000 people had used it, making it a currency and not a security.

The crowdsourcing, through a website called DefendCrypto.org, is being pitched as not specific to Kik and Kin but for cryptocurrencies and ICOs alike. “For the future of crypto, we all need Kin to win,” the website states. “This case will set a precedent and could serve as the new Howey Test for how cryptocurrencies are regulated in the United States.”

The Howey Test was created by the U.S. Supreme Court for determining whether certain transactions qualify as investment contracts and hence subject to securities law. Kik is attempting to obtain a similar Supreme Court ruling that would finally determine how cryptocurrencies fall under securities laws, preferably in its favor.

Despite only launching in the last 24 hours, the crowdsourcing campaign, which accepts donations in 19 different cryptocurrencies, is already finding support. As of 9:45 p.m. EDT, the campaign had raised $5.312 million, already surpassing the initial goal of raising $5 million. Prominent backers include Circle Inc., ShapeShift AG, Messari Inc. and Arrington XRP Capital.

The only detail missing is exactly when the case may go to court. The SEC initially wrote to Kik in November saying that it had made a preliminary determination that the 2017 ICO was subject to securities laws, giving the company the opportunity to respond prior to court action. Kik responded in December, then went on to say in January that it was planning to fight the SEC ruling in court.

The SEC has yet to comment publicly on the case at all, let alone confirm that it was taking legal action against the company. The lack of comment is notable because the SEC has never been shy in publicizing details of action it was taking against companies promoting allegedly illegal ICOs in the past.

Image: Kik

Since you’re here …

… We’d like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.

If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.

Source: Initial Coin Offering Search Results
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Kik crowdsourcing donations to fight SEC over legal status of its ‘initial coin offering’

Messaging app firm Kik Interactive Inc. announced today that it’s crowdsourcing donations to help it fight a likely legal battle with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over its 2017 initial coin offering.

Kik raised $98 million in the ICO, including $50 million in presales for Kin, an Ethereum blockchain-based cryptocurrency that was pitched both as allowing the company to expand Kik’s features and supporting developers with an open app ecosystem. The problem arose with an SEC investigation finding that the Kin tokens should have been registered as securities, a contention Kik disagrees with.

The SEC first ruled in 2017 that ICOs are subject to securities laws, further clarifying when ICOs should be registered as an offering of securities in June. The differentiating factor is whether a coin or token issued in an ICO is tied to an actual company or operates strictly as a currency. The former requires registration under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, while the latter does not.

Kik argues, despite the ICO being linked by the company at launch to assisting it in building out its messaging app, that Kin was strictly a currency and hence does not require registration.

Discussing the crowdsourcing campaign on the Unchained Podcast today, Kik Chief Executive Officer Ted Livingston claimed that Kin was “the most-used cryptocurrency in the world,” and that more than 250,000 people had used it, making it a currency and not a security.

The crowdsourcing, through a website called DefendCrypto.org, is being pitched as not specific to Kik and Kin but for cryptocurrencies and ICOs alike. “For the future of crypto, we all need Kin to win,” the website states. “This case will set a precedent and could serve as the new Howey Test for how cryptocurrencies are regulated in the United States.”

The Howey Test was created by the U.S. Supreme Court for determining whether certain transactions qualify as investment contracts and hence subject to securities law. Kik is attempting to obtain a similar Supreme Court ruling that would finally determine how cryptocurrencies fall under securities laws, preferably in its favor.

Despite only launching in the last 24 hours, the crowdsourcing campaign, which accepts donations in 19 different cryptocurrencies, is already finding support. As of 9:45 p.m. EDT, the campaign had raised $5.312 million, already surpassing the initial goal of raising $5 million. Prominent backers include Circle Inc., ShapeShift AG, Messari Inc. and Arrington XRP Capital.

The only detail missing is exactly when the case may go to court. The SEC initially wrote to Kik in November saying that it had made a preliminary determination that the 2017 ICO was subject to securities laws, giving the company the opportunity to respond prior to court action. Kik responded in December, then went on to say in January that it was planning to fight the SEC ruling in court.

The SEC has yet to comment publicly on the case at all, let alone confirm that it was taking legal action against the company. The lack of comment is notable because the SEC has never been shy in publicizing details of action it was taking against companies promoting allegedly illegal ICOs in the past.

Image: Kik

Since you’re here …

… We’d like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.

If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.

Source: Initial Coin Offering Search Results
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PEC Digital Trends Stream and More News!


Two Digital Trends Breakout Sessions – 2019 Passenger Experience Conference

In last week’s issue of IFExpress we reviewed the opening session from the Passenger Experience Conference (PEC) held in Hamburg, Germany earlier this month. This week, we will focus on the conference’s Digital: The New Reality Breakout Sessions. We found these panel discussions to be informative and pertinent to the current trends in our industry.

From an important perspective, The Digital: The New Reality stream looked at how digital tools are surpassing the current mobile apps and will eventually be integrated across the entire journey, creating a seamless digital user space.

The keynote address for this stream was Practical applications of digital in the passenger experience. The cabin is a 3-dimensional object but the 4th dimension is time, and was presented by Anaïs Marzo da Costa, Head of Aircraft Interiors Marketing, Airbus. Anaïs discussed the current digital trends that Airbus has been looking at.  She said that Airbus has been working at connecting the airplane and they are now focusing on trying to connect the cabin. She stated that studies indicated there were 3 billion smartphone users in 2018 and that number is estimated to double to 6.1 billion by 2020.  Anaïs continued by stating that Airbus anticipates 23,100 aircraft to be equipped with connectivity by the year 2025. Looking back, there were zero airlines connected in 2007, and ten years later, in 2017 there were 106 aircraft connected. Needless to say, the forecasted rate of implementation over the next nine to ten years is impressive and enhances the fact that the integration of digitalization is growing rapidly.

How is connectivity coming onboard? Smartphones are used by travelers for booking and check-in – smartphones are the #1 travel companion. What does this information translate to onboard the aircraft? Passengers want choice! Airbus stated that the 2017 SITA IT Trends Survey & the Gogo Global Traveler 2018 Survey foresee more multi-screen environments in the future – both BYOD & inseat screens. This degree of digitalization provides an opportunity for a more tailored/targeted service and airlines are in the process of developing personalized offers that are enabled by: mobile connectivity, data analytics, and the passenger’s willingness to share personal data (right now that is roughly 27% of consumers).

Airbus has been actively pursuing the future of the connected cabin (the wireless network that links everything in cabin: galleys, overhead bag bins, flight attendants, passengers, cargo bays, lavatories, etc.), creating a cabin ecosystem for seamless connectivity of the various cabin elements, enabling additional value for both the airlines and the passengers. “The idea is to have every commodity in the cabin talking to each other, creating value for the airline and the passenger.”

Anaïs said, “There are three (3) pillars of the connected experience: 1) Operational Efficiency, 2) Ancillary Revenue, & 3) Passenger Experience.” Examples are:  Operational Efficiency – predictive maintenance, cabin crew operations and turnaround times; Ancillary Revenues – personalized inflight retail, tailored advertising, and news services; and the Passenger Experience – personalized catering, individual comfort settings, personalized services and the amount of bag bin space available. All the aforementioned will be achieved by using an IoT platform.

“At the moment we (Airbus) are doing predictive maintenance with the aircraft data but we want to be able to map that over to the cabin as well. Airbus is working with other aircraft manufacturers and suppliers in order to facilitate this in the near future. We, as an industry, are working on a common and secure language because this will benefit both the airline and the passenger”. In closing, Anaïs said, “I’ve recently asked Fritz Urban (Airbus’ cochair of the ARINC CSS committee) if CSS is going to write a standard for this network. As of today, there has been no response.”

The First Panel Discussion on Digital Trends pertained to Creating the Complete Digital and Physical Journey. This stream focused on how biometric technologies are providing an opportunity to reach the passenger on their journey through the airport and onto the aircraft.

Russell Holmes, Strategy Director & Partner of ico Design, was the first to address attendees. Mr. Holmes has been working with the London Luton Airport team over the past 5 years and has been instrumental in developing their brand.  His message evolved around the concept of looking at best practices. He said, “Everything should be underpinned by something that is not working as individual silos.” He went on to say, “The airport identity needs to work not only in a physical space but also in a digital space.” The airport identity should be completely flexible. One cannot look at the airport as static space. The question then is: How do you create something as a brand that can live in both the physical and digital space?

The next panelist was David Bartlett, CTO of Panasonic Avionics. David spoke to the assembly about the concept of competitive differentiation and the concept of the 4th Dimension/Place. He explained that for people the First Place is Home, the Second Place is Work and the Third Place (as defined by Ray Oldenburg in 1989 who stated it was critical to modern society, democracy) is a place that you go that you opt in (think coffee shop or a café). A prime example of a company that has really leveraged the concept of the Third Place is Starbucks. Mr. Bartlett sated, “We at Panasonic Avionics are proposing that Travel is the Fourth Place. Why is travel the logical fourth place?  We believe the travel experience is the co-mingling of the first 3 places. When you travel you socialize, work, sleep, eat.”

The concept of the 4th place is it must be a place that people look forward to being in. This is achieved by removing a lot of the friction points. How do we do this? How do we make the journey more of a place that people want to be in? How do we do this an industry? People want an experience that is seamless and gives them an immersive experience. How do we, as an industry, provide them with one connected experience starting from the home, throughout the journey, then back to the home? In other words, how do we provide a more personally curated experience? Panasonic cannot do this alone. It is an action call to the industry to leverage the entire ecosystem to work together in a new and more open way to achieve this.

The third panelist was Simon Krasowski, SVP Digital Transformation, Diehl Aviation; who discussed Digital Aviation Transformation. Simon said, “The world is shifting and becoming more complex. We are moving from complicated to more complex systems. How do we solve the problems and tackle them? It is more about testing different options. So, we need to change the way we work, take risks and allow failures.” He went on to say that we must make certain that we, as an industry, have seamless processes through the value chain. Right now, competitive priced products may be an answer, but in the future, it will be more about customer concentricity and speed of innovation – in other words, design thinking. “We must work closer within our work ecosystem and work with partners in order to achieve better and faster results. In other words, the key for success is collaboration within ecosystem. This calls for a balance between traditional working methods and agile working methods.”

The fourth panelist was Anne de Hauw of IN Air Travel Experience. Ms. De Hauw started her presentation stating that traditionally, airlines focused on safety and the passenger focused on the experience. Today, the question is should the focus be on the customer or technology? “At IN Air, we believe that time is your customer’s most valuable resource.  Airlines are going from creating technologies to services. They will do this by using technology as an enabler (AI, block chain). Technology (AI) will be crucial in customer service and convenience will be the new loyalty.”

Anne went on to discuss the 5 Key Pillars that will be needed, and they are: 1) Data-Driven: data gathering, machine learning and rapid analysis. This will lead to predicting behavior > intelligent offers > higher revenues. 2) Connectivity: onboard connectivity is transforming the travel experience to an open & connected world. Passengers behave like usual digital consumers. 3) Customer-Centricity: Reinvented offerings to evolve into hyper-personalized, immersive and emotional experiences. 4) Personalization: Faster and more efficient personalized services. 5) Collaborative Eco-System: Stakeholder interaction, passenger engagement and data sharing to create a positive and competitive experience.

She went on to discuss the New Brand Hierarchy, where, companies like Apple, Google and Amazon hold the top tier. Airlines are located on the second tier. She asked the question of how to play on that level? IN Air believes the answer is in providing ultimate convenience to the passenger. It has to be fast, easy and fun (FEF). This is achieved by being a combination of both digital and human interface. The best of the digital conveniences would be comprised of: seamless and single token, AI and Service Bot, Data analytics, connectivity. The best of human interface would be comprised of: hospitality, culture, emotional experiences, service. The best of both: Personalization/CURATION, Loyalty/COMMUNITY, engagement/CREATION and convenience/CONNECTIVITY. Anne wrapped up her presentation with the following, “The human interface will become the new premium service. The human interface is comprised of empathy, passion and creativity, with emotion at the core.” “The airline must care,” said Anne. She used an example of economy food service. What the food looks like, how it is presented, etc. and stated that this is an example of how the human interface currently needs to be improved in today’s market. She asked, “Why can’t the food look appealing and be presented in a more appetizing fashion? This is not helping the cause. There are technologies that are disrupting airline catering. New initiatives are on the cusp for utilizing the digital advancements to get this going. This is what we as an industry need to strive for!

The last speaker from this session of the Digital Trends stream was Elizabeth “Bess” Chapman, Operating Principal of JetBlue Technologies (JBT). She works with portfolio companies to create compelling value propositions for JetBlue, source new technology and identify emerging trends. She stated that innovation is a big part of JetBlue’s airline identify but she has found it has become more challenging to become more innovative. “We want to find the next Uber in aviation,” said Bess.

How does JetBlue Technologies work? They scan the global ecosystem for start-ups. Once they find one that is appealing JBT partners with them. They help them get going then bring them back into JetBlue. “We work with startups both via investment but with time as well,” said Bess. Over time, they have invested in 22 companies.

“Brand is an identity former. Look at Apple. They have incredibly strong brand identity. If they were to launch an airline, who wouldn’t fly it?! Virgin has a very strong brand identity, but many others do not,” she said. “People and their interaction and empathy are very significant. Again, look at an Apple store vs. an airline counter at an airport.”

One challenge now is to test and take risks and see what really works, but also, the industrialization to make certain you have the best product for your customer.

Disruptions in a business like an airline is very different from an electronics giant like Apple. Whether it is a delay, etc. How do you get that irate passenger to come around and change their position from being annoyed to appreciative? Is it offering them free Wi-Fi, a glass of champagne? You really have to know the individual’s wants/needs. This is another advantage in digital technology – it is not only cutting cost but being able to deliver. And reliability is very important.

Value Perspective: What is the next big value disruption? With regards to AI, a lot has been done with biometrics via facial technology for within the airport that allows passengers to board using biometrics, so there is no need for a boarding pass, because facial recognition is so secure. With this digital information, there is then the opportunity to target those people with sales/shopping en route to the gate. JBT also believes that the insights from the data will be absolutely game changing for our industry.

Another area that JBT finds significant is the airlines that want to boost their customer service and personal interaction are the airlines who are looking at the concept of virtual assistants, so it really is a better balance, it isn’t actually trying to depersonalize the experience. How people interact with a virtual assistant may be key. You tend to talk with them in a neutral way vs. the way you may interact with a person or your partner. This may be a way that the technology understands who I am, how quickly I need to get through the airport, etc. All reducing the stress of the journey.

Next week the IFExpress team will wrap-up the Digital Trends Stream with “Taking the Pain Out of the Digital Journey” and the final session “Enhancing Your Reality”.


ASTRONICS

Astronics Corporation announced that it will supply inflight entertainment system hardware for a next-generation inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) system being developed by one of the largest airlines in the United States. Under the agreement, Astronics’ products will equip nearly 50 of the airlines’ new widebody aircraft. Provided by Astronics CSC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Astronics Corporation, Astronics is now delivering production units that are a combination of new and existing products, both standard off-the-shelf and custom designs.


GOGO

Gogo Inc. announced the pricing of the previously announced private offering of $905 million aggregate principal amount of 9.875% senior secured notes due 2024 (the “Notes”) to be issued by its direct wholly owned subsidiary, Gogo Intermediate Holdings LLC (“Holdings LLC”), and its indirect wholly owned subsidiary, Gogo Finance Co. Inc. (the “Co-Issuer” and, together with Holdings LLC, the “Issuers”).  The offering is expected to close on April 25, 2019, subject to certain closing conditions.


EDITOR’S NOTE

While IFExpress’ primary focus is IFEC, we have been flooded with news about the 737 MAX. We recommend this April 18, 2019 article from the IEEE Spectrum. It is both descriptive and technical and represents the observations and operating conditions of the aircraft by an author who is both a pilot and software developer.  How the Boeing 737 Max Disaster Looks to a Software Developer – IEEE Spectrum


OTHER NEWS

  • L-Band is being tested in Germany for the future of aviation communication and one of the reason is data rate – 2.6 Megabits/sec versus a few kilobits. Notes Avionics International: “First, it is an alternative link that pilots and controllers can use to digitally exchange much of the same information they communicate today verbally. Secondly, it can serve as an alternative positioning, navigation and timing signal for correcting aircraft navigation accuracy when global navigation satellite system links such as Galileo or EGNOS in Europe are interrupted or unavailable.” Flight Tests of LDACS Prototype Under Way in Germany – Avionics International
  • If you are into antennas, or you want to learn more about antennas, check out this site. The Antenna Theory Website As they (and Einstein) say: “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”

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Repeat drink driver walks from court after 6th offence

A KYOGLE man on his sixth drink-driving charge has walked free from court.

Aaron James Close, 32, was pulled over by police on Anzac Drive in Kyogle for a random breath test in the early hours of April 7 last year.

Close, who returned a blood alcohol reading of 0.172, was also a disqualified driver at the time.

When he was pulled over, police observed he was “well affected” by alcohol and he told them he’d consumed between four and eight beers and spirits since 5pm the previous day.

When he faced Casino Local Court for sentencing on these matters and an assault on Wednesday, solicitor Binnie O’Dwyer said her client had difficulties linking his actions with consequences.

She said Close had lost his own mother to a drink-driving-related crash and that his grief had an “impact on his ability to make good decisions”.

Magistrate David Heilpern said the incidents crossed the threshold for a term of imprisonment to be appropriate.

He will allow Close to serve that term by way of a 12-month intensive corrections order.

Mr Heilpern said it “beggars belief” why Close would continually get behind the wheel after drinking, given the loss his family had faced as a result of that kind of offence.

But he said “tragic” subjective circumstances worked in the man’s favour.

The court heard it was Close’s sixth drink-driving offence, although he had no prior high-range offences on his record.

He was disqualified from driving for three years and his ICO includes 80 hours’ community service.

He will be required to accept rehabilitation treatment and abstain from using alcohol and illicit drugs.

Source: ICO Inc News
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