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Trump’s chloroquine hype is a misinformation problem bigger than social media (www.blockcast.cc)

Since late March, President Donald Trump has been promoting the antimalarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as treatments for the novel coronavirus. Among other things, he’s described “strong, powerful signs” that the drugs work and called them potentially “one of the biggest game-changers in the history of medicine.” That will be fantastic if it proves true, but right now, we have no idea. As the hype around the drugs has grown, it’s demonstrated that disinformation isn’t always a social media problem. And it’s forcing platforms and traditional media to grapple with preventing powerful people, not just anonymous trolls, from twisting the truth.

Researchers are still testing hydroxychloroquine, also sold under the name Plaquenil, as a COVID-19 treatment. There’s been a study with tentatively positive results (and some serious limitations), but also a few studies that show little to no therapeutic effect. Proponents have offered anecdotes about people who tried hydroxychloroquine as an experimental treatment and recovered, but those don’t definitively tell us whether the drug was responsible, especially while researchers know so little about the disease. There’s even less evidence that the drugs prevent COVID-19, despite an assertion made by Trump and others in the White House that doctors recommend “taking it before the fact.”

These repeated promises aren’t simply missteps or honest mistakes; in fact, they conflict with messaging from Trump’s own coronavirus task force. And while the president has at least kept his statements relatively vague, the general rush to hype the drugs has come into direct conflict with platforms’ medical misinformation policies.

Twitter recently removed a video from Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro, who asserted that the drugs were “working in all cases.” (It also removed Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro’s claim about a virus-stopping “brew.”) It took down tweets from Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, who called the treatment “100 percent effective” after touting a New York doctor’s dubious claims about a cure, and Fox News host Laura Ingraham, who misleadingly described a patient’s “Lazarus”-like recovery. Facebook also removed the Bolsonaro video and flagged the “100 percent effective” claim as false.

Web platforms often struggle to police rule-breaking posts by politicians. But as Bellingcat writes, these posts aren’t even a tricky moderation call: “doctors do not advise people to take chloroquine to treat or prevent the novel coronavirus, and so anyone saying otherwise is clearly spreading disinformation.” Services like Twitter and Facebook have typically given wide leeway to political figures, generously interpreting harassment or misinformation policies and — in Facebook’s case — arguing against fact-checking their ads. The coronavirus, however, has created a new sense of urgency and a greater threat of harm. Bad information about an ongoing pandemic can do immediate and tangible harm, so harsher moderation is easy to justify. But in this case, some of that misinformation is coming from the most powerful people in the world.

The bombastic promises about chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine have the hallmarks of a medical advice post from a sketchy Facebook page, but they aren’t dredged from the depths of the web. Wired credits much of the drug’s prominence to a more moderate online proposal written by a blockchain investor and lawyer, then circulated by — among other people — Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. One of the authors discussed the drug on Fox News, where hosts like celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz have since promoted it more than 300 times by one count. Soon after that first appearance, Trump began talking about chloroquine. The hype got a little more pronounced with each step until it was not just a potential treatment but a nearly surefire cure.

Almost nobody in this saga fits the stereotype of a misinformation purveyor: someone who’s uninformed, undereducated, hopelessly internet-addled, a pill-hawking scammer, a Macedonian teenager, or a Russian troll. They’re successful businessmen, non-internet media, and the literal presidents of two countries. These are the metaphorical adults in the room — the categories of respectable gatekeepers who are supposed to be holding our consensus reality together. Instead, social media companies are taking the rare step of policing world leaders and other political figures.

Twitter and Facebook spent the past several months trying to lay out policies for when politicians could lie on their platforms. TV broadcasters — which hold themselves to much higher editorial standards — are now trying to draw their own lines. CNN and MSNBC started cutting away from Trump’s confusing and sometimes factually incorrect speeches when they go off-topic. Advocacy group Free Press submitted a scorched-earth complaint to the Federal Communications Commission, urging it to investigate stations airing Trump’s false statements under the “broadcast hoaxes” ban. (The FCC denied the petition, declaring that “we will not censor the news.”) The request echoed the common calls to make platforms ban misinformation — but for a medium that’s not usually seen as a target for regulation.

There are long-standing complaints about Trump distorting the truth and media inadvertently amplifying his false statements. But this is a clarifying moment for outlets that have struggled to differentiate misinformation from political spin because this premature hype for chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine treatments is so sustained, specific, and potentially harmful. At best, it misinforms people during a crisis. At worst, it encourages taking drastic measures to get these drugs, leading to tragic mistakes. One man died last month when a couple drank fish tank cleaner containing non-medicinal chloroquine phosphate. According to his wife, they got the idea after watching the press conferences on television, where “Trump kept saying [chloroquine] was basically pretty much a cure.”

Lots of clearly false claims are still spreading and mutating primarily online, including people selling fraudulent cures that couldn’t possibly work, not just ones that haven’t been proven effective. The chloroquine story, though, demonstrates the limits of discussing misinformation as a social media or critical thinking problem. It’s not a case of online mob mentality or a new technology gone wrong. It’s an entire information ecosystem straining under a few powerful people’s deliberate disregard for the truth.

The idea of social media companies keeping elected officials and TV networks in check seems completely backward, but that’s what has happened here and probably not for the last time. It’s a blow to the idea that we can return from the chaos of social media to a simpler era of trustworthy, centralized media or authority figures. But it’s also a heartening sign that disinformation policies are getting applied to everyone — not just the less powerful.

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#Binance co-launches $50m blockchain fund for #India (www.blockcast.cc)

Global blockchain company Binance and Indian crypto exchange platform WazirX announced that they have jointly set up a US$50 million fund to support the development and growth of blockchain startups in India.

The fund, backed by BNB, BUSD, and WRX digital assets, will invest US$100,000 to US$5 million in both equity and tokens, according to a statement.

It looks to incubate blockchain projects and startups focused on solving industrial and social problems. The investments may include fiat-to-digital asset gateway solutions, trading platforms, payment and remittance solutions, digital asset wallets, stablecoins, decentralized financing platforms, and decentralized applications, among others.

Binance and WazirX will also partner with venture funds that are actively investing and supporting India’s blockchain space.

Additionally, the initiative will look to provide mentorship and support to universities and student organizations interested in setting up university blockchain technology incubators. Selected startup founders and teams will get direct access to Binance’s ecosystem of products and initiatives.

“We have more new initiatives in our pipeline that we will be coming out within the next few months to help build the Indian blockchain ecosystem from a broader scope, including project funding, technology and talent development,” said Changpeng Zhao, CEO and founder of Binance.

The team is now looking for talent with venture capital and blockchain research backgrounds to join the fund. It’s also searching for industry leaders, executives for business development and government relations, as well as advisors for its advisory committee.

Malta-based Binance acquired WazirX last year to promote the use and adoption of blockchain technologies in India.

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CoinGenius Presents Collective Intelligence, Virtual Conference Begins Tomorrow at 8:30am PT (www.blockcast.cc)

LOS ANGELES, April 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — via CryptoCurrencyWire — CoinGenius, an advanced intelligence and analytics platform specifically intended for cryptocurrency traders, today announces it will host “Collective Intelligence,” a one-day virtual conference that aligns the brightest minds in crypto, Wall Street, government and artificial intelligence (AI).

Featured speakers include:

  • Brock Pierce, Chairman of Bitcoin Foundation & Integro Foundation
  • Nick Spanos, Founder of Bitcoin Center and Blockchain Center
  • Vinny Lingham, CEO & Co-Founder of Civic
  • Tron Black, Lead Developer of Ravencoin

For the full list of speakers, which includes 50+ other innovative business leaders and founders, visit https://media.coingenius.ai/coingenius-virtual-summit/.

Taking place April 10, 2020, from 8:30 a.m. PT to 5:30 p.m. PT, Collective Intelligence focuses on Fear, Greed & The Evolution of Money.

“We’re very pleased with how quickly the crypto community has rallied to support our inaugural virtual conference,” stated CoinGenius CEO Jeremy Born. “With the digital side of our lives more important than ever before and the unprecedented challenges ahead, we’re finding that the timing of this event couldn’t have been more perfect. Our team anticipates virtual events like this will become a key part of our mission to empower the community with high quality content, analytics and education.”

To register for a free virtual ticket, visit https://media.coingenius.ai/coingenius-virtual-summit/
To inquire about sponsorship opportunities, email Sponsorships@Geniusxv.com

About CoinGenius

CoinGenius is an advanced intelligence and analytics platform specifically intended for cryptocurrency traders. The company’s sophisticated artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms empower crypto traders with the most vital information needed to make sound investment decisions in real-time.

For more information, visit https://www.coingenius.ai/

CoinGenius Contact
CoinGenius
Orange County, CA
www.CoinGenius.ai
info@geniusxv.com

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Programmable fintech payments startup Sila raises $7.7M seed to wipe out ACH (www.blockcast.cc)

Fintech is white hot these days, with major acquisitions and funding rounds galore. It’s also a relatively new space, with startups only really breaching the thicket of regulations that defines the modern banking and finance world in the past few years.

So it is fascinating to watch how Shamir Karkal, one of the original fintech entrepreneurs, is coming back for a second round in this still-nascent industry.

Karkal co-founded Portland-based Simple back in 2009, a company that was among the first of a wave of startups now generally known as “neobanks.” Karkal and his co-founder Josh Reich grew the online banking startup for a while before eventually selling the company to BBVA for $117 million in 2014. He then spent several years integrating Simple’s systems into BBVA’s as well as building out the company’s API products like BBVA Open Platform.

Karkal became “frustrated” though at handling the incredible bureaucracy that comes with working within a large, 150-year-old-plus banking institution, saying that “you could integrate into the sandbox in a couple of weeks, [and] it would only take you a couple of years to get through risk compliance, legal, and everything else internal.” So he finally headed back out on his own in late 2017 to explore where fintech was headed next.

He eventually connected with three co-founders, Angela Angelovska, Isaac Hines and Alex Lipton and began thinking about how to rebuild finance from the ground up, starting with the venerable but creaky payments system known as ACH. ACH continues to power much of U.S.-based financial payments, but it is slow — taking days to process — and is still built on ideas first fleshed out decades ago.

Together, their thinking eventually turned into Sila, which is a payments and banking API infrastructure company designed to eventually supplant ACH as the payments choice for companies who need to move money. Sila follows the ERC-20 token protocol and is built on top of the Ethereum blockchain.

The startup announced today a $7.7 million seed funding round led by Hope Cochran of Madrona Venture Group and Rick Holt of Oregon Venture Fund, who will both be joining Sila’s board as part of the investment.

Sila’s key product is an API for identity verification, which empowers developers to identify their users and then use that info in the company’s banking API, which allows users to debit their accounts and move funds from one account to another. On top of that foundational infrastructure, Sila’s Ethereum basis allows for automatic creation of smart contracts, which should allow for more rapid deployment of financial applications.

Karkal sees greater movement to online banking services, particularly given the outbreak of novel coronavirus underway across the world right now. “I think this whole crisis, if anything, will accelerate that change, because people weren’t really going into bank branches that much last year, and they’re definitely not doing it now and I don’t think they’ll just start doing it again next year.” Without the physical branch infrastructure in place, financial services have to solve for problems like individual and business identity verification.

Cochran of Madrona sees a huge opportunity for better payments solutions, given her former experience as a CFO of King Digital, the producer behind popular mobile game Candy Crush, and Clearwire, a telecom operator. Payments “seems like it should be easy but it is not,” she said. “I think people who haven’t lived in payments think that they just happen [but] the amount of time it takes to move money always frustrated me” as CFO.

In terms of customers, Sila is in production with several, and the team is focused on reliability and scalability. That was ultimately why the team decided to start with Ethereum as a base, rather than rolling their own solution. “Speed is always a relative thing — you get transactions on Ethereum in like one or two minutes, which is not two seconds, but it’s still way better than two days for an ACH” transaction, Karkal said. Ultimately, he sees a future where customers can pick and choose whatever ledger technology they might wish to use.

One key aspect of Sila’s pricing model that might be attractive to certain customers is that the company has fixed, flat-rate pricing for all transactions. It’s pricing — like many fintech startups these days — is a combination of SaaS subscriptions and fixed transaction fees, providing companies with better options around transaction volume than incumbent payment solutions.

The company intends to use the venture funds to focus on filling out more of its API offerings, as well as expanding its customer base. You “can’t underestimate how many businesses trip into needing payments,” Cochran said.

In addition to Madrona and Oregon, Mucker Capital and 99 Tartans joined the round along with Transferwise co-founder and CEO Taavet Hinrikus and Jerry Neumann.

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The Team Behind #CryptoKitties Is One Step Closer to Leaving #Ethereum (www.blockcast.cc)

Dapper Labs product lead Kim Cope (right) speaks at Consensus 2019. (Photo via CoinDesk archives)

One of Ethereum’s early stars is pinning its future hopes to a blockchain of its own making.Dapper Labs, the startup that raised roughly $39 million from venture capitalists after its brief success with the CryptoKitties collectibles game in late 2017, launched a simulator Thursday for its upcoming Flow blockchain.The move positions Dapper Labs among a number of startups looking to build protocols that will unseat Ethereum as the blockchain of choice for a variety of applications.

“We built this blockchain because we wanted a different blockchain to build our games on top of,” said Dapper Labs co-founder Dieter Shirley.

The Flow Playground, as the Dapper Labs simulator is called, aims to attract app developers.

“When you have a new programming domain it makes sense to have a new programming paradigm,” Shirley said of the startup’s new programming language, Cadence.

From his perspective, scaling limitations weren’t the only reason Dapper Labs switched over from using Solidity, Ethereum’s native language. Shirley said Ethereum’s forthcoming sharding approach in Eth 2.0 would “really limit what you can do with smart contracts” and his team wanted to use a more “consumer-oriented” platform that can handle gaming volume without clogging the network, as CryptoKitties once did to the ethereum blockchain.

Dapper Labs failed to garner sustainable traction with Ethereum-based games following its breakout hit. This week CryptoKitties attracted fewer than 200 users, according to DappRadar, down from the 2017 peak of 14,914 daily active users. Recent partnerships with sports leagues like the UFC and the NBA suggest mainstream aspirations for the firm, which helped popularize ethereum’s ERC-721 non-fungible token (NFT) standard.

With nearly 100 employees eager for their next big hit, Shirley said the Dapper Labs team is planning a token sale later this year for accredited investors, the details of which are still unclear.

“Blockchains have their own revenue stream as a part of them, from selling tokens,” Shirley said, adding that tokens won’t be sold to the public until it is legally “prudent” to do so. “We do think the financial support for building a blockchain should be separate from funding from the games. The games need to make sense on their own.”

The startup is tapping partners in academia to help roadtest the new blockchain in the early going.

“If Ethereum is blockchain 2.0, then we view Flow as version 4.0. We view Flow as the blockchain technology for the mass market,” Purdue University researcher David Broecker said in explaining why his team will eventually run a Flow node. “Being able to broaden opportunities for faculty and students is incredibly exciting.”

But inventing a new programming language and a new blockchain structure to boot, as Dapper Labs is doing, is notoriously fraught.

Regardless of how many companies are now creating their own languages associated with token sales, such feats are usually problematic, said independent software developer Yuval Kogman. He pointed to the example of JavaScript, which decades later is still so flawed that it’s become a running joke among developers.

“Designing languages is almost impossibly complex,” Kogman said. “I can’t think of a single programmable or scriptable system where this actually went well unless the language itself was a central focus, designed with clear principles and requirements in mind.”

That’s why some Ethereum competitors are taking so long to lay the groundwork, and eagerly vying for limited developer mindshare with simulators and contests in the meantime.

Flippening?

Dapper Labs is hardly alone in this approach. Numerous startups are gunning for Ethereum’s throne.

For example, Chia CEO Bram Cohen is also inventing a language for the upcoming, venture-backed Chia Network. Cohen said he might “completely unseat Ethereum” with Chia, which will eventually allow token issuance and smart contracts just like both the above-mentioned blockchain projects. (While Flow doesn’t have a prospective mainnet launch date yet, the Chia Network is scheduled for launch sometime before 2021.)

Cohen said the Chia ecosystem won’t be based on Eth 2.0’s upcoming proof-of-stake (PoS) model, which he sees as fundamentally centralized. Shirley, on the other hand, is opting to follow that part of Ethereum’s strategy, letting stakeholders lock up funds to fuel the network. On the other hand, Shirley balked at the idea of using Ethereum-inspired projects like Tron, which is already popular with game developers, because Shirley said Tron is too centralized for his goals. Each founder views centralization risks through their own lens.

Likewise, Larry Pang, head of business development at the token-sale-funded startup IoTeX, said he expects to see more companies like Dapper Labs move away from ethereum once grants, events and other sponsored perks run out. (Dapper Labs didn’t receive any such grants, but Ethereum creator Vitalik Buterin was formerly an adviser to the fund that owns Dapper Labs investor Fenbushi Digital.)

Unlike Chia and Dapper Labs, IoTeX didn’t invent a unique programming language for its token, used to raise nearly $30 million in a 2018 initial coin offering (ICO).

“Our blockchain is coded in Go … it was important to not completely isolate ourselves,” Pang said. “The ability to port smart contracts from the IoT world was also important to us.”

Regardless of whether Pang, Cohen or Shirley eventually “flip” Ethereum, developer Cindy Zimmerman, who worked on AxisPoint projects for clients such as Dapper Labs investor Warner Music Group (WMG), said it may be a “smart move” for companies trying to serve enterprise clients to stop relying on Ethereum. There are many reasons, she said, including the costs of operating nodes and broader congestion on the Ethereum network. (WMG could not be reached for comment by press time.)

“Developing their own in-house blockchain solution would allow WMG to have more control of the blockchain from a multitude of directions including information and security,” Zimmerman. “The challenge they might face with their in-house blockchain solution is viability to clients as well as other actors in the space.”

Therein lies the million-token question: Is there enough demand for blockchain-related products and services to justify the multiplayer battle among business-to-business startups?

As IoTeX’s Pang pointed out, “we’re realizing you can’t change how the enterprises see [their processes] and you have to meet them where they’re at.”

For now, Dapper Labs’ Shirley said his team is focused on attracting developers and prospective stakeholders to its nascent blockchain.

“At launch, the people running nodes will probably be our investors and our partners, people we know. But the architecture design of the blockchain doesn’t depend on a small number of known participants for security. It can scale to thousands of participants that are anonymous,” Shirley said.

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NASDAQ Sets Ex-Dividend Date for Overstock’s Innovative Digital Dividend (www.blockcast.cc)

Company confirms key dividend dates

SALT LAKE CITY, April 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK) announces that it has received an ex-dividend date for its Series A-1 Preferred Digital Stock Dividend from NASDAQ, and confirms the following dates related to the issuance of the dividend:

Key Dates for Issuance of Dividend:

  • Ex-Dividend Date: April 24, 2020
  • Record Date: April 27, 2020
  • Distribution Date: May 19, 2020

“We appreciate the cooperation market participants and regulators have provided as we move to pay this innovative dividend,” said Overstock CEO Jonathan Johnson.

NASDAQ has indicated due bills will not be issued in connection with the dividend.

The company continues to provide detailed information on the dividend, including a timeline and answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), on its website at https://www.overstock.com/dividend.

Investor Notice
This press release does not constitute an offer to sell or a solicitation of an offer to buy the Digital Voting Series A-1 Preferred Stock (the “Series A-1”), by Overstock and its subsidiaries and affiliates and no offer, solicitation or sale of the Series A-1 shall be made in any state or jurisdiction in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful prior to registration or qualification under the securities laws of any such state or jurisdiction. This press release is being issued pursuant to and in accordance with Rule 134 under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended. Offers, solicitations and sales of the Series A-1 will be made only by means of a prospectus supplement and the accompanying prospectus, forming a part of an effective registration statement.

Investors should note that trading the Series A-1 shares could involve substantial risks, including no guarantee of returns, costs associated with selling and purchasing, no assurance of liquidity which could impact the price and ability to sell, and possible loss of principal invested.

About Overstock
Overstock.com, Inc Common Shares (NASDAQ:OSTK) / Digital Voting Series A-1 Preferred Stock (Medici Ventures’ tZERO platform:OSTKO) / Series B Preferred (OTCQX:OSTBP) is an online retailer and technology company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Its leading e-commerce website sells a broad range of new home products at low prices, including furniture, décor, rugs, bedding, home improvement, and more. The online shopping site, which is visited by nearly 40 million customers a month, also features a marketplace providing customers access to millions of products from third-party sellers. Overstock was the first major retailer to accept cryptocurrency in 2014, and in the same year founded Medici Ventures, its wholly owned subsidiary dedicated to the development and acceleration of blockchain technologies to democratize capital, eliminate middlemen, and re-humanize commerce. Overstock regularly posts information about the Company and other related matters on the Newsroom and Investor Relations pages on its website, Overstock.com.

O, Overstock.com, O.com, Club O, Main Street Revolution, and Worldstock are registered trademarks of Overstock.com, Inc. Other service marks, trademarks and trade names which may be referred to herein are the property of their respective owners.

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements include all statements other than statements of historical fact, including but not limited to statements regarding key dates for the Series A-1 Preferred Digital Stock Dividend. Additional information regarding factors that could materially affect results and the accuracy of the forward-looking statements contained herein may be found in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2019, which was filed with the SEC on March 13, 2020, and any subsequent filings with the SEC.

SOURCE: Overstock.com, Inc.

Media Contact:
pr@overstock.com

Investor Contact:
ir@overstock.com

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Why Blockchain-Enabled Digital Ecosystems Are Vital To Your Digital Transformation (www.blockcast.cc)

Blockchain is being used by leading organizations to aid in the adoption of digital ecosystems. While ecosystems have been in existence in some form or another for quite some time, digital changes all that. Digital ecosystems exceed the sum of their connections; they are complex, adaptive, learning and self-organizing.

Examples such as Uber or Airbnb show that the reinvention of existing business models into platform businesses can be widely successful. Blockchain provides capabilities to bridge these connections while also supporting the fundamental economic principles of a platform business model. This model is so pervasive that it is reflected by the top 10 companies worldwide based on market capitalization.

Blockchain provides compelling new ecosystem capabilities that enable the interaction between people and things that may render existing models either ineffective or obsolete.

What Is A Blockchain-Enabled Digital Ecosystem?

A blockchain-enabled digital ecosystem is a value network that harnesses digital technologies and data decentralization techniques. These ecosystems leverage the unique capabilities of blockchain, such as data self-sovereignty, tamper-resistant data, peer-to-peer data collaboration and distributed governance.

These ecosystems can be complex given the many different facets to them. There are four major aspects to a blockchain-enabled ecosystem. These aspects ensure a separation of duties, such as a governing board-setting policies, and they provide broad oversight to the technical road map, deployment and daily support issues. The following aspects are found in blockchain-enabled ecosystems:

• Governing organization: A group of organizations that sets policies and provides broad oversight into the vision, economics and capability development of the ecosystem.

• Ecosystem operations: The ecosystem platform covers two major areas: ongoing development and technical road maps, along with the evergreen operational support.

• Membership: The environment in which the blockchain ecosystem operates. Participants, observers and other roles exchange value within the ecosystem.

• Blockchain platform: The underlying blockchain infrastructure and required dependencies deployed through any number of means (cloud, on-premises, hybrid, MSP, etc.).

These blockchain-enabled digital ecosystems are being created across most industries. Take GE Aviation’s Digital Group (GEAD). (Full disclosure: GEAD is a Microsoft customer.) Its vision is to provide a blockchain-enabled ecosystem that is collaborative and inclusive to all segments of the aviation industry. This would provide a direct response to supply chain inefficiencies and fraudulent aviation parts and would expose new aviation innovations using insights from newly exposed data.

Aviation experts agree. They also found that using blockchain technologies could cut maintenance, repairs and overhaul costs by about 5% annually, or $3.5 billion.

With over 90 blockchain-enabled ecosystems in various forms of development, we find that each industry is using blockchain in slightly different ways. Within the insurance industry, the RiskStream Collaborative has a vibrant ecosystem of 30 members that expect to accelerate time to market and adoption of insurance products.

Meanwhile, in the pharmaceutical industry, regulations like the Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA) are driving blockchain-enabled ecosystems like the Pharmaceutical Utility Network (PHuN) to make organizations more complaint.

Recommendations

Building these blockchain-enabled digital ecosystems is hard. Perhaps even harder than understanding the technology is bringing together diverse stakeholders across many companies. Below are some practical recommendations to get started:

1. Demystify blockchain for business and technical leaders. Blockchain is in full hype mode, and there are many misconceptions about what the technology can provide to businesses. Conduct an educational and envisioning workshop with key leaders to show them the potential. Be prepared to articulate blockchain in business terms, where blockchain has driven clear business results.

2. Toss out the abstract buzzwords. Abandon words like “trust system” and “decentralization,” both of which are abstract and completely removed from any sort of value statement that your organization’s leaders would care about. Instead, talk about where blockchain can solve challenges or open new opportunities for your business.

3. Look for new forms of value exchange. Don’t just focus on existing B2B relationships, but balance that with identifying new business models. Remember, value isn’t just monetary; it can include compliance risk, reputation, information and other nonmonetary exchanges. In some cases, these aspects can be equally or more valuable parts of a digital ecosystem.

4. You don’t have to have all the ideas. Gain inspiration from other companies within or outside of your industry. This can be their transformation journey lessons or even adoption of specific use cases that are transferable to your industry.

5. Create a compelling vision. Blockchain ecosystems require a structure and road map that will support and anticipate current and future participant needs.

6. Blockchain is only a component of the ecosystem. The number and density of connections between people, organizations and things are increasing almost exponentially, and while blockchain provides a vital component of a digital ecosystem, there are still other technologies that are vital.

7. Blockchainenabled digital ecosystems are largely inconstant. Digital ecosystems that use blockchain are often fragmented and complex implementations of different types, which makes them confusing, misleading and difficult to analyze.

8. Be deliberate with a business model. Don’t expect that your ecosystem will have the same motivations, legal considerations, economics and operating model as others. As I noted in my previous article, conduct a business envisioning session that leverages these three ecosystem models.

9. Avoid low value and relevance quick hits. Getting lulled into moving quickly while sacrificing relevance to your business is a big mistake. Building a digital ecosystem requires a clear understanding of how data evolves and what it integrates with across the end-to-end process.

10. Get out of the lab. Executives are quickly mentioning blockchain fatigue from all the proofs of concept (POC) that show the legitimacy of the technology but not the relevance to their business. Have a plan to rapidly move from POC stage to controlled pilot in a represented production environment is essential.

Blockchain can be a powerful addition to your company’s digital arsenal. However, like with any technology, a deliberate business strategy is required to understand how and when these technical capabilities can be applied to the delivery of your business.

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Deliveroo, Graphcore and other big UK startups say they’re being cut out of COVID-19 lending relief (www.blockcast.cc)

The U.K. government, like a number of other countries around the world such as the U.S., has stepped up its pace in providing relief in the form of loans for businesses being impacted by the coronavirus health crisis and the related shutdown that we’ve seen across the economy and life as we knew it. But startups in the U.K. are increasingly getting worried that they are being left behind.

An open letter to the Chancellor published today and signed by the U.K.’s biggest “scale-ups” — later-stage, highly valued, but still venture-backed (and often loss-making) startups such as Deliveroo, Benevolent AI, Citymapper, Graphcore and Bulb — urged the U.K. government to make room to provide lending options to companies like theirs and other startups.

They are specifically calling for a special task force to be created to consider how to build lending schemes for companies like theirs, as well as to alter the rules on the three big schemes that have already been announced to accommodate them, and give them the same access as other businesses.

The letter, which we’re publishing in full below, is not the first cry for help. Earlier this week, another initiative called SOS (Save Our Startups), also published an open letter asking for access to the same lending schemes that other businesses are getting. SOS includes dozens of smaller startups and a number of the VCs that back them.

The crux of the matter has been that startups backed with tens or hundreds of millions of dollars in funding from VCs to scale their growth have not been built or planned with profitability as a short-term or even medium-term goal. Many of them have so far eschewed public listings (and subsequent credit ratings, for starters) for longer in part because of the large amount of money available to them these days through the private markets — venture capital, family offices, private equity and so on — to grow.

All of that is predicated, however, on the continued health of the wider economy and consumer demand that helped nurture their businesses in the first place.

The current public health crisis has thrown that model into disarray, and has meant that the growth these companies had expected will simply not be coming in the form that they expected, if it comes at all. VCs might pick up some of the slack — the biggest of these are still raising, and have in their hands already, huge funds and will step up to support their most promising portfolio companies.

But we don’t know how long the effects of the coronavirus will linger, and most likely these startups, like other businesses, will need more. That may not mean that the most highly-capitalised businesses will need money, especially if they’re seeing business boom right now, but at a time like this, it’s important for solidarity of purpose, since you never know when you might need a loan to supplement what you already have or may raise from your usual channels.

Countries like France and Germany have accounted for this business disparity. They have created special provisions for lending to startups in response to the COVID-19 economic and social upheaval, and respectively there have been programs backed with $4.3 billion and $2.2 billion in government money put into place.

But the three main U.K. initiatives that have been announced — Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Covid Corporate Financing Facility and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme — have basic requirements that effectively rule out scaled-up and smaller startups from applying.

These include provisions around having established credit ratings for public companies (as in the case of the bigger loan schemes), or financing that is too small (as in the case of the smaller loan schemes), or the scaled-up companies have annual revenues that are too high (both the CBILS and CLBILS schemes have respective turnover thresholds of £45 million and £500 million).

In the meantime, the U.K. government has made small moves to encourage startups to continue building in a more focused way — for example, last week it announced £20 million in grants to businesses that are building better “resiliency” products to help companies better weather crises like this in the future. But for companies that regularly see revenues (and corresponding expenses and losses) in the tens and hundreds of millions, grants in the tens of thousands of dollars are like putting drops of water into the ocean.

But with startups accounting for some 30,000 businesses and some 300,000 workers in the U.K., and significant sums toward the country’s GDP and operations, it seems like a big problem to ignore for too long.

[letter follows below]

Dear Chancellor,

We greatly appreciate the significant steps that you have taken to help British businesses through the COVID-19 crisis. But as founders and CEOs of leading UK companies we are concerned that unless urgent changes are made to the current schemes then the high-growth UK tech sector will be put at risk.

As innovative companies we build technology and systems that transform sectors. For customers, we drive costs down, standards up and for society we create whole new categories of products and services. We are vital to productivity, clean growth and UK exports.

But unfortunately, the COVID-19 lending schemes you have put in place benefit established firms and do not help companies of the future such as ours.

The businesses we run serve millions of customers across the UK, and overseas. We are stepping up to help the country at this difficult time by helping tens of thousands of small businesses to continue operating, helping vulnerable customers get essential services and using innovative technology to give the NHS better tools to tackle the pandemic.

The high-growth tech sector has introduced innovative new products that have improved the lives of millions of customers in the UK and many more around the world. We have created huge numbers of high skilled jobs and we export across the globe.

Our sector will be crucial to helping the UK economy bounce back quickly after the pandemic. The UK tech community is a world class engine for innovation and growth, however, it has not yet received Government support, unlike our competitors in France and Germany.

Our companies have all invested in technology and growth rather than short term profitability, which means that we are currently unable to access the schemes which have been designed with longer-established businesses in mind. The current schemes that you have put in place – the Covid Corporate Financing Facility (CCFF), the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) – are not accessible to our businesses.

We are therefore writing to ask you to urgently set up a taskforce meeting of leading tech businesses to work with you and your officials to find a way for high-growth tech companies to be able to access the lending schemes you have already established or new schemes if necessary.

As you said in your Budget speech earlier this year, to help Britain’s businesses lead the next generation of high productivity industries, we need to invest in the technologies of the future. The high-growth tech sector has a vital role to play in the future success of the UK economy, and we urge you to work with us to ensure that it is helped through the crisis and that the UK is still the best place in the world to build a tech company.

Confirmed Signatories

Ali Parsa, Babylon

Joanna Shields, BenevolentAI

Peter Smith, Blockchain

Hayden Wood, Bulb

Azmat Yusuf, Citymapper

Poppy Gustafsson, Darktrace

Will Shu, Deliveroo

Marc Warner, Faculty

Stan Boland, Five AI

Hiroki Takeuchi, GoCardless

Nigel Toon, Graphcore

Herman Narula, Improbable

Read More

Categories
Press Releases

Canaan Inc. Reports Unaudited Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Financial Results (www.blockcast.cc)

HANGZHOU, China, April 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Canaan Inc. (NASDAQ: CAN) (“Canaan” or the “Company”), a leading high-performance computing solutions provider, today announced its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter of 2019 and full year ended December 31, 2019.

Fourth Quarter 2019 Operating and Financial Highlights

Total computing power sold increased by 86.6% to 2.9 million Thash/s from 1.6 million Thash/s in the same period of 2018.
Total net revenues increased 66.8% to RMB463.2 million (US$66.5 million) from RMB277.7 million in the same period of 2018.
Gross loss was RMB673.4 million (US$96.7 million) compared to a gross profit of RMB11.6 million in the same period of 2018.
Net loss was RMB798.2 million (US$114.7 million) compared to RMB27.5 million in the same period of 2018.
Non-GAAP adjusted net loss was RMB750.5 million (US$107.8 million) compared to RMB23.1 million in the same period of 2018.

Full Year 2019 Operating and Financial Highlights

Total computing power sold increased by 47.1% to 10.5 million Thash/s from 7.2 million Thash/s in 2018.
Total net revenues were RMB1,422.6 million (US$204.3 million) compared to RMB2,705.3 million in 2018.
Gross loss was RMB516.0 million (US$74.1 million) compared to a gross profit of RMB508.2 million in 2018.
Net loss was RMB1,034.5 million (US$148.6 million) compared to a net income of RMB122.4 million in 2018.
Non-GAAP adjusted net loss was RMB764.3 million (US$109.8 million) compared to non-GAAP adjusted net income of RMB141.0 million in 2018.

“The success of our initial public offering in November 2019 has elevated the global recognition of our brand and demonstrated the attractiveness of our value proposition to the investment community,” commented Mr. Nangeng Zhang, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Canaan. “During the fourth quarter of 2019, we recorded solid top-line year over year growth while further solidifying our market leadership in spite of the increased Bitcoin price volatility in the quarter. To fuel our growth in the years to come, we will remain focused on the optimization of our supply chains, enhancement of our product offerings, and execution of our new business initiatives. We are confident that our efforts in these areas will improve our ability to further diversify our revenue streams, capture the tremendous growth opportunities within the IC industry, and overcome any potential market obstacles in the future.”

Mr. Quanfu Hong, Chief Financial Officer of Canaan, stated, “Our total net revenues in the fourth quarter grew by 66.8% year over year, driven by increases in total computing power sold in the period. Looking forward, we will continue to invest in the development of our core research and development capabilities and expand into the fields of artificial intelligence and supercomputing. We firmly believe that investment into these new initiatives will position us well to capture those opportunities that will inevitably arise in the wake of the pandemic.”

Fourth Quarter 2019 Financial Results

Total net revenues in the fourth quarter of 2019 increased by 66.8% to RMB463.2 million (US$66.5 million) from RMB277.7 million in the same period of 2018. The growth was mainly driven by increases in total computing power sold. During the fourth quarter of 2019, total computing power sold increased by 86.6% year over year to 2.9 million Thash/s from 1.6 million Thash/s in the same period of 2018.

Cost of revenues in the fourth quarter of 2019 was RMB1,136.7 million (US$163.3 million) compared to RMB266.1 million in the same period of 2018. The increase was primarily due to inventories and prepayments write down of RMB729.0 million (US$104.7 million), which was a result of the significant drop in the Bitcoin price throughout the issue of the financial statements, which drives the significant decrease in both the demand and selling price, as well as the increase in sales volume in terms of Thash.

Gross loss in the fourth quarter of 2019 was RMB673.4 million (US$96.7 million) compared to a gross profit of RMB11.6 million in the same period of 2018.

Total operating expenses in the fourth quarter of 2019 were RMB127.7 million (US$18.3 million) compared to RMB86.2 million in the same period of 2018.

Research and development expenses in the fourth quarter of 2019 were RMB63.6 million (US$9.1 million) compared to RMB51.1 million in the same period of 2018. The increase was mainly due to higher share-based compensation expenses in the fourth quarter of 2019. As a percentage of total net revenues, research and development expenses in the fourth quarter of 2019 decreased to 13.7% from 18.4% in the same period of 2018 due to the increase in revenue.

Sales and marketing expenses in the fourth quarter of 2019 were RMB7.7 million (US$1.1 million) compared to RMB4.4 million in the same period of 2018. The increase was primarily due to a higher amount in compensation expenses paid to the Company’s sales and marketing staff as a result of the increase in product sales during the fourth quarter of 2019. As a percentage of total net revenues, sales and marketing expenses in the fourth quarter of 2019 increased slightly to 1.7% from 1.6% in the same period of 2018.

General and administrative expenses in the fourth quarter of 2019 were RMB56.4 million (US$8.1 million) compared to RMB30.6 million in the same period of 2018. The increase was mainly due to higher share-based compensation expenses in the fourth quarter of 2019. As a percentage of total net revenues, general and administrative expenses in the fourth quarter of 2019 increased to 12.2% from 11.0% in the same period of 2018.

Loss from operations in the fourth quarter of 2019 was RMB801.2 million (US$115.1million) compared to RMB74.5 million in the same period of 2018.

Net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders in the fourth quarter of 2019 was RMB798.2 million (US$114.7 million) compared to RMB27.5 million in the same period of 2018.

Non-GAAP adjusted net loss in the fourth quarter of 2019 was RMB750.5 million (US$107.8 million) compared to RMB23.1 million in the same period of 2018. Non-GAAP adjusted net loss excludes share-based compensation expense. For further information, please refer to “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” in this release.

Basic and diluted net loss per ADS for the fourth quarter of 2019 was RMB5.34 (US$0.77) compared to RMB0.21 in the same period of 2018. Each ADS represents 15 of the Company’s Class A ordinary shares.

As of December 31, 2019, the Company had cash and cash equivalents of RMB516.6 million (US$74.2 million) compared to RMB258.9 million as of December 31, 2018.

Full Year 2019 Financial Results

Total net revenues in 2019 were RMB1,422.6 million (US$204.3 million) compared to RMB2,705.3 million in 2018. The decrease was mainly due to the decline in ASP per Thash sold, which in turn was the result of the Bitcoin price drop that began in 2018. The decrease was partially offset by increases in total computing power sold, which increased by 47.1% year over year to 10.5 million Thash/s in 2019 from 7.2 million Thash/s in 2018.

Cost of revenues in 2019 decreased by 11.8% to RMB1,938.6 million (US$278.5 million) from RMB2,197.2 million in 2018 as a result of realization of inventories and prepayments write down of RMB589.5 million which was recorded in 2018, partially offset by the increase in sales volume of Thash.

Gross loss in 2019 was RMB516.0 million (US$74.1 million) compared to a gross profit of RMB508.2 million in 2018.

Total operating expenses in 2019 were RMB538.5 million (US$77.4 million) compared to RMB375.1 million in 2018.

Research and development expenses in 2019 decreased by 10.9% to RMB169.0 million (US$24.3 million) from RMB189.7 million in 2018, primarily due to the contraction of research and development projects.

Sales and marketing expenses in 2019 decreased by 43.4% to RMB21.9 million (US$3.1 million) from RMB38.7 million in 2018, primarily due to the decrease in sales, as the compensation of our sales and marketing personnel is linked to the actual sales of products.

General and administrative expenses in 2019 were RMB347.6 million (US$49.9 million) compared to RMB146.7 million in 2018. General and administrative expenses in 2019 included RMB247.4 million (US$35.5million) of share-based compensation expenses. The higher share-based compensation was mainly due to the excess of appraised fair value of ordinary shares transferred from existing shareholders to other existing shareholders who were also employees.

Loss from operations in 2019 was RMB1,054.5 million (US$151.5 million) compared to income from operations of RMB133.0 million in 2018.

Net loss attributable to ordinary shareholders in 2019 was RMB1,034.5 million (US$148.6 million) compared to net income attributable to ordinary shareholders of RMB122.4 million in 2018.

Non-GAAP adjusted net loss in 2019 was RMB764.3 million (US$109.8 million) compared to non-GAAP adjusted net income of RMB141.0 million in 2018. Non-GAAP adjusted net loss and non-GAAP adjusted net income excludes share-based compensation expense. For further information, please refer to “Use of Non-GAAP Financial Measures” in this release.

Basic and diluted net loss per ADS in 2019 was RMB7.21 (US$1.04) compared to basic and diluted net income per ADS of RMB0.93 in 2018.

Business Outlook

The first challenge that the Company is facing in 2020 is the COVID-19 outbreak. At the current stage of development, our top priority is the health and safety of our employees. As a result of the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak, a widespread health crisis that adversely affected general commercial activities, the economies, financial markets, as well as the cryptocurrency market activities, we have lowered our expectations for business in the year of 2020. For the first quarter of 2020, the Company expects total revenues not less than RMB60 million. This forecast reflects the Company’s current and preliminary views on the market and operational conditions, which are subject to change.

Conference Call Information

The Company’s management team will hold a Direct Event conference call on Thursday, April 9, 2020, at 8:00 A.M. Eastern Time (or 8:00 P.M. Beijing Time on the same day) to discuss the financial results. Details for the conference call are as follows:

Event Title: Canaan Inc. Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2019 Earnings Conference Call
Conference ID: #2844497
Registration Link: http://apac.directeventreg.com/registration/event/2844497

All participants must use the link provided above to complete the online registration process in advance of the conference call. Upon registering, each participant will receive a set of participant dial-in numbers, the Direct Event passcode, and a unique access PIN, which can be used to join the conference call.

A replay of the conference call will be accessible through April 16, 2020, by dialing the following numbers:

International: +61-2-8199-0299
United States Toll Free: +1-855-452-5696
Mainland China Toll Free: 400-632-2162
Hong Kong, China Toll Free: 800-963-117

A live and archived webcast of the conference call will also be available at the Company’s investor relations website at investor.canaan-creative.com.

About Canaan Inc.

Established in 2013, Canaan Inc. provides high-performance computing solutions to efficiently solve complex problems. In 2016, Canaan successfully initiated the production of its first 16nm chip and passed the test to receive China’s national high-tech enterprise certification. In 2018, Canaan achieved major technological breakthroughs to launch the K210, the world’s first-ever RISC-V-based edge artificial intelligence (AI) chip, which is now widely used for access control in situations such as smart door locks and more. Canaan Inc. is currently focused on the R&D of advanced technology, including such areas as AI chips, AI algorithms, AI architectures, system on a chip (SoC) integration and chip integration. Using the AI chip as its base, Canaan Inc. has established an intellectual value chain. Canaan Inc. also provides a suite of AI service solutions and is able to tailor these solutions to the needs of its partners. For more information, please visit: investor.canaan-creative.com.

Exchange Rate Information

This announcement contains translations of certain RMB amounts into U.S. dollars (“US$”) at specified rates solely for the convenience of the reader. Unless otherwise stated, all translations from RMB to US$ were made at the rate of RMB6.9618 to US$1.00, the noon buying rate in effect on December 31, 2019, in the H.10 statistical release of the Federal Reserve Board. The Company makes no representation that the RMB or US$ amounts referred could be converted into US$ or RMB, as the case may be, at any particular rate or at all.

Safe Harbor Statement

This announcement contains forward−looking statements. These statements are made under the “safe harbor” provisions of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward−looking statements can be identified by terminology such as “will,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “future,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “estimates” and similar statements. Among other things, the business outlook and quotations from management in this announcement, as well as Canaan Inc.’s strategic and operational plans, contain forward−looking statements. Canaan Inc. may also make written or oral forward−looking statements in its periodic reports to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) on Forms 20−F and 6−K, in its annual report to shareholders, in press releases and other written materials and in oral statements made by its officers, directors or employees to third parties. Statements that are not historical facts, including statements about Canaan Inc.’s beliefs and expectations, are forward−looking statements. Forward−looking statements involve inherent risks and uncertainties. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward−looking statement, including but not limited to the following: the Company’s goals and strategies; the Company’s future business development, financial condition and results of operations; the expected growth of the Bitcoin industry and the price of Bitcoin; the Company’s expectations regarding demand for and market acceptance of its products, especially its Bitcoin mining machines; the Company’s expectations regarding maintaining and strengthening its relationships with production partners and customers; the Company’s investment plans and strategies, fluctuations in the Company’s quarterly operating results; competition in its industry in China; and relevant government policies and regulations relating to the Company and cryptocurrency. Further information regarding these and other risks is included in the Company’s filings with the SEC, including its registration statement on Form F−1, as amended, and its annual reports on Form 20−F. All information provided in this press release and in the attachments is as of the date of this press release, and Canaan Inc. does not undertake any obligation to update any forward−looking statement, except as required under applicable law.

Use of NonGAAP Financial Measures

In evaluating Canaan’s business, the Company considers and uses adjusted net income as a supplemental measure to review and assess its operating performance. The presentation of this non-GAAP financial measure is not intended to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for financial information prepared and presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP. The Company defines adjusted net income (loss) as net income (loss) excluding share­-based compensation expense.

Canaan believes that adjusted net income helps to identify underlying trends in the Company’s business that could otherwise be distorted by the effect of the expenses that the Company excludes in adjusted net income. The Company believes that adjusted net income provides useful information about our operating results, enhances the overall understanding of Canaan’s past performance and future prospects and allows for greater visibility with respect to key metrics used by the Company’s management in its financial and operational decision-making.

The non-GAAP financial measure “adjusted net income (loss)” is not defined under U.S. GAAP, is not presented in accordance with U.S. GAAP and has limitations as an analytical tool. One of the key limitations of using adjusted net income (loss) is that it does not reflect all of the items of income and expense that affect the Company’s operations. Share-based compensation has been and may continue to be incurred in Canaan’s business and is not reflected in the presentation of adjusted net income (loss). Further, the non-GAAP financial measure “adjusted net income (loss)” may differ from the non-GAAP information used by other companies, including peer companies, and therefore their comparability may be limited.

Investor Relations Contact

Canaan Inc.
Mr. Shaoke Li
Tel: +86-137-5090-0683
Email: IR@canaan-creative.com

ICR Inc.
Jack Wang
Tel: +1 (347) 396-3281
Email: canaan.ir@icrinc.com

CANAAN INC.
UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(all amounts in thousands of RMB, except share and per share data, or as otherwise noted)

    As of December 31,  
    2018     2019     2019  
    RMB     RMB     US$  
ASSETS                        
Current assets:                        
Cash and cash equivalents     258,940       516,607       74,206  
Restricted cash     286,270       8,239       1,183  
Short-term investments           11,005       1,581  
Accounts receivable     23,687       2,872       413  
Inventories     585,672       196,067       28,163  
Prepayments and other current assets     186,737       206,020       29,593  
Income tax receivable     27,054              
Amounts due from related parties     68              
Total current assets     1,368,428       940,810       135,139  
Non-current assets:                        
Property, equipment and software     27,926       22,602       3,247  
Right-of-use assets, net           22,764       3,270  
Other non-current assets     6,340       5,250       754  
Total non-current assets     34,266       50,616       7,271  
Total assets     1,402,694       991,426       142,410  
LIABILITIES, AND SHAREHOLDERS EQUITY                        
Current liabilities                        
Short-term debts     1,049,011       99,903       14,350  
Accounts payable     47,240       99,050       14,228  
Notes payable           27,462       3,945  
Contract liabilities     6,904       8,288       1,190  
Income tax payable     609              
Accrued liabilities and other current liabilities     57,952       40,691       5,845  
Lease liabilities, current           9,838       1,413  
Total current liabilities     1,161,716       285,232       40,971  
Non-current liabilities:                        
Lease liabilities, non-current           13,399       1,925  
Total liabilities     1,161,716       298,631       42,896  
                         
Shareholders equity:                        
                         
Ordinary shares (US$0.00000005 par value; 1,000,000,000,000 shares
  authorized, 2,000,000,000 and 2,372,222,222 shares issued, 1,948,376,000
  and 2,350,123,270 shares outstanding as of December 31, 2018 and 2019,
  respectively)
    1       1        
Subscriptions receivable from shareholders     (1 )     (1 )      
Treasury stocks (US$0.00000005 par value; 51,624,000 and 22,098,952
  shares as of December 31, 2018 and 2019, respectively)
                 
Additional paid-in capital     154,970       1,631,609       234,366  
Statutory reserves     97,307       97,307       13,977  
Accumulated other comprehensive loss     (65,230 )     (55,542 )     (7,978 )
Retained earnings (accumulated deficit)     53,931       (980,579 )     (140,851 )
Total shareholders equity     240,978       692,795       99,514  
Total liabilities and shareholders equity     1,402,694       991,426       142,410  
                         


CANAAN INC.

UNAUDITED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF COMPREHENSIVE INCOME (LOSS)
(all amounts in thousands of RMB, except share and per share data, or as otherwise noted)

    For the three months ended December 31     For the years ended December 31,  
    2018     2019     2019     2018     2019     2019  
    RMB     RMB     US$     RMB     RMB     US$  
Net revenues                                                
Products revenue     276,948       448,289       64,393       2,698,594       1,392,859       200,072  
Leases revenue           11,267       1,618             24,548       3,526  
Service revenue     185       1,877       270       5,956       2,668       383  
Other revenues     547       1,814       261       741       2,548       366  
Total net revenues     277,680       463,247       66,541       2,705,291       1,422,623       204,347  
Cost of revenues     (266,055 )     (1,136,676 )     (163,273 )     (2,197,172 )     (1,938,626 )     (278,466 )
Gross profit (loss)     11,625       (673,429 )     (96,732 )     508,119       (516,003 )     (74,119 )
Operating expenses:                                              
Research and development expenses     (51,140 )     (63,609 )     (9,137 )     (189,680 )     (168,982 )     (24,273 )
Sales and marketing expenses     (4,419 )     (7,684 )     (1,104 )     (38,731 )     (21,917 )     (3,148 )
General and administrative expenses     (30,590 )     (56,446 )     (8,108 )     (146,684 )     (347,633 )     (49,934 )
Total operating expenses     (86,149 )     (127,739 )     (18,394 )     (375,095 )     (538,532 )     (77,355 )
Income (loss) from operations                                              
Interest income     1,337       1,793       258       4,234       3,853       553  
Investment income     911       179       26       3,162       3,055       439  
Interest expense and guarantee fee     (18,889 )     (1,395 )     (200 )     (53,069 )     (20,038 )     (2,878 )
Foreign exchange (loss) gains, net     1,470       (1,392 )     (200 )     (1,178 )     6,809       978  
Value added tax refunds     7,111       905       130       110,231       1,253       180  
Other (loss) income, net     (621 )     2,867       412       3,838       25,093       3,604  
Income (loss) before income tax
  expenses
    (83,205 )     (798,211 )     (114,656 )     200,242       (1,034,510 )     (148,598 )
Income tax expense     55,689                   (77,810 )            
Net income (loss)     (27,516 )     (798,211 )     (114,656 )     122,432       (1,034,510 )     (148,598 )
Foreign currency translation adjustment,
  net of nil tax
    2,306       (3,272 )     (470 )     (65,230 )     9,688       1,392  
Total comprehensive income (loss)     (25,210 )     (801,483 )     (115,126 )     57,202       (1,024,822 )     (147,206 )
Weighted average number of shares
  used in per share calculation:
                                               
— Basic     1,948,376,000       2,240,601,754       2,240,601,754       1,964,499,660       2,153,172,769       2,153,172,769  
— Diluted     1,948,376,000       2,240,601,754       2,240,601,754       1,978,161,073       2,153,172,769       2,153,172,769  
Net earnings (loss) per share (cent
  per share)
                                               
— Basic     (1.41 )     (35.62 )     (5.12 )     6.23       (48.05 )     (6.90 )
— Diluted     (1.41 )     (35.62 )     (5.12 )     6.19       (48.05 )     (6.90 )
Share-based compensation expenses
  were included in:
                                               
Research and development expenses     2,401       17,649       2,535       9,611       22,465       3,227  
Sales and marketing expenses     215       28       4       1,088       358       51  
General and administrative expenses     1,779       30,018       4,312       7,887       247,419       35,540  

The table below sets forth a reconciliation of net income (loss) to adjusted net income (loss) for the years/period indicated:

    For the three months ended December 31     For the years ended December 31,  
    2018     2019     2019     2018     2019     2019  
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Press Releases

March 2020’s Most Wanted Malware: Dridex Banking Trojan Ranks On Top Malware List For First Time (www.blockcast.cc)

Check Point’s researchers find Dridex has been updated and spread via multiple spam campaigns to deliver targeted ransomware, increasing the risk from the long-established trojan

Check Point March Top malware

Check Point March Top malware

Check Point March Top malware

SAN CARLOS, Calif., April 09, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Check Point Research, the Threat Intelligence arm of Check Point® Software Technologies Ltd. (NASDAQ: CHKP), a leading provider of cyber security solutions globally, has published its latest Global Threat Index for March 2020. The well-known banking trojan Dridex, which first appeared in 2011, has entered the top ten malware list for the first time, as the third most prevalent malware in March. Dridex has been updated and is now being used in the early attack stages for downloading targeted ransomware, such as BitPaymer and DoppelPaymer.

The sharp increase in the use of Dridex was driven by several spam campaigns containing a malicious Excel file which downloads Dridex malware into the victim’s computer. This upsurge in Dridex malware highlights just how quickly cyber-criminals change the themes of their attacks to try and maximize infection rates. Dridex is a sophisticated strain of banking malware that targets the Windows platform, delivering spam campaigns to infect computers and steal banking credentials and other personal information to facilitate fraudulent money transfer. The malware has been systematically updated and developed over the past decade.

XMRig remains in 1st place in the Index of top malware families, impacting 5% of organizations globally, followed by Jsecoin and Dridex which impacted 4% and 3% of organizations worldwide respectively.

“Dridex appearing for the first time as one of the top malware families shows how quickly cybercriminals can change their methods,” said Maya Horowitz, Director, Threat Intelligence & Research, Products at Check Point. “This kind of malware can be very lucrative for criminals given its sophistication, and is now being used as a ransomware downloader, which makes it even more dangerous than previous variants. So, individuals need to be wary of emails with attachments, even if they appear to originate from a trusted source – especially with the explosion in home working over the past few weeks. Organizations need to be educating employees on how to identify malicious spam, and deploy security measures that help protect their teams and networks against such threats.”

The research team also warns that “MVPower DVR Remote Code Execution” remained the most common exploited vulnerability, impacting 30% of organizations globally, closely followed by “PHP php-cgi Query String Parameter Code Execution” with a global impact of 29%, followed by “OpenSSL TLS DTLS Heartbeat Information Disclosure” impacting 27% of organizations worldwide.

Top malware families
*The arrows relate to the change in rank compared to the previous month.

This month XMRig remains in 1st place, impacting 5% of organizations globally, followed by Jsecoin and Dridex impacting 4% and 3% of organizations worldwide respectively.

  1. ↔ XMRig – XMRig is an open-source CPU mining software used for the mining process of the Monero cryptocurrency, first seen in the wild on May 2017. 
  2. ↑ Jsecoin – Jsecoin is a web-based cryptominer, designed to perform online mining of Monero cryptocurrency when a user visits a particular web page. The implanted JavaScript uses a large amount of the end user’s computational resources to mine coins, thus impacting the system performance.
  3. ↑ Dridex – Dridex is a Banking Trojan that targets the Windows platform, and is delivered by spam campaigns and exploit kits, which rely on WebInjects to intercept and redirect banking credentials to an attacker-controlled server. Dridex contacts a remote server, sends information about the infected system and can also download and execute additional modules for remote control.

Top exploited vulnerabilities
This month the “MVPower DVR Remote Code Execution” remains the most common exploited vulnerability, impacting 30% of organizations globally, closely followed by “PHP php-cgi Query String Parameter Code Execution” with a global impact of 29%. In 3rd place “OpenSSL TLS DTLS Heartbeat Information Disclosure” is impacting 27% of organizations worldwide.

  1. ↔ MVPower DVR Remote Code Execution – A remote code execution vulnerability that exists in MVPower DVR devices. A remote attacker can exploit this weakness to execute arbitrary code in the affected router via a crafted request.
  2. ↑ PHP php-cgi Query String Parameter Code Execution – A remote code execution vulnerability that has been reported in PHP. The vulnerability is due to the improper parsing and filtering of query strings by PHP. A remote attacker may exploit this issue by sending crafted HTTP requests. Successful exploitation allows an attacker to execute arbitrary code on the target.
  3. ↓ OpenSSL TLS DTLS Heartbeat Information Disclosure (CVE-2014-0160; CVE-2014-0346) – An information disclosure vulnerability which exists in OpenSSL. The vulnerability is due to an error when handling TLS/DTLS heartbeat packets. An attacker can leverage this vulnerability to disclose memory contents of a connected client or server.

Top malware families – Mobile
This month xHelper retained the 1st place in the most prevalent mobile malware, followed by AndroidBauts and Lotoor.

  1. xHelper – A malicious application seen in the wild since March 2019, used for downloading other malicious apps and display advertisement. The application can hide itself from the user and reinstall itself in case if uninstalled.
     
  2. AndroidBauts – Adware targeting Android users that exfiltrates IMEI, IMSI, GPS location and other device information and allows the installation of third-party apps and shortcuts on mobile devices.
     
  3. Lotoor – A hacking tool that exploits vulnerabilities on Android operating systems to gain root privileges on compromised mobile devices.

Check Point’s Global Threat Impact Index and its ThreatCloud Map is powered by Check Point’s ThreatCloud intelligence, the largest collaborative network to fight cybercrime which delivers threat data and attack trends from a global network of threat sensors. The ThreatCloud database inspects over 2.5 billion websites and 500 million files daily, and identifies more than 250 million malware activities every day.

The complete list of the top 10 malware families in February can be found on the Check Point Blog.

Follow Check Point Research via:
Blog: https://research.checkpoint.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/_cpresearch_

About Check Point Research
Check Point Research provides leading cyber threat intelligence to Check Point Software customers and the greater intelligence community. The research team collects and analyzes global cyber-attack data stored on ThreatCloud to keep hackers at bay, while ensuring all Check Point products are updated with the latest protections. The research team consists of over 100 analysts and researchers cooperating with other security vendors, law enforcement and various CERTs.

About Check Point Software Technologies Ltd.
Check Point Software Technologies Ltd. (www.checkpoint.com) is a leading provider of cyber security solutions to governments and corporate enterprises globally. Check Point’s solutions protect customers from 5th generation cyber-attacks with an industry leading catch rate of malware, ransomware and advanced targeted threats. Check Point offers a multilevel security architecture, “Infinity Total Protection with Gen V advanced threat prevention”, this combined product architecture defends an enterprises’ cloud, network and mobile devices. Check Point provides the most comprehensive and intuitive one point of control security management system. Check Point protects over 100,000 organizations of all sizes.

MEDIA CONTACT:
Emilie Beneitez Lefebvre
Check Point Software Technologies
press@checkpoint.com
  INVESTOR CONTACT:
Kip E. Meintzer
Check Point Software Technologiesi
r@us.checkpoint.com

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/571490b8-79f4-4103-9f95-c08d4b3cf7ec