Many of the technologies we now take for granted were quiet revolutions in their time. Just think about how much smartphones have changed the way we live and work. It used to be that when people were out of the office, they were gone, because a telephone was tied to a place, not to a person. Now we have global nomads building new businesses straight from their phones. And to think: Smartphones have been around for merely a decade.
For the last two years, it seems that fintech has been the ones trying to monopolize facial recognition to mainly increase security in payments. China adopted the concept and chose to adapt it to public services. Alipay’s 2015 partnership with Face++, a tech company who focus on facial recognition technology, is a only the tip of the iceberg of China’s craze for this technology. Indeed, since even the cheapest smartphone is able to download and use a facial recognition system, the face screening system they created is now currently used by 150 million Alipay’s account owners.To limit fraud, retrieve a password or authorise high-risk transactions, the system will ask of its user to blink for the camera and they will then proceed with the action needed. But what’s more interesting is that this technology is currently preempted by public services in China. Combined with the identity card system, Chinese government has indeed spent 10 years to develop a centralized and unified identity library, along with a fingerprint library, in order to provide identity verification services to financial institution and other public originations.
The outlook for global independent exploration and production firms remains positive, according to Moody’s. Increased oil and natural gas production, higher commodity prices, and moderate cost increases will help independent business’ earnings grow at a healthy pace over the next 12-18 months. The global E&P sector EBITDA – Earnings Before Interest, Taxation, Depreciation and Amortization – is expected to grow by 20-30% in 2017, following declines of about 25% in 2016 and a roughly 45% drop in 2015. The sector’s oil and natural gas production will rise about 5%, and mergers and acquisitions will be robust Markets.
According to an Arab Monetary Fund analysis, most of the Arab oil-exporting countries have had to readjust owing to unfavorable global economic developments. As for economic growth expectations for 2017, the Arab economies are expected to see a reduced growth of 2.3 percent in 2017 and 2.8 percent in 2018, reflecting the decline in the growth rate of the Arab oil-exporting countries to 1.8 percent through the OPEC production adjustment. Growth in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries is expected to reach 1.7 percent in 2017 compared to 1.9 percent in 2016.
A well-known obstacle to the greater popularity of Bitcoin as a medium of payment is the high volatility of its exchange value. This volatility results from its built-in quantity commitment: because the number of Bitcoins in existence stays on a programmed path, variations in the real demand to hold Bitcoin must be accommodated entirely by variations in its unit value. When demand goes up, there is no quantity increase to dampen the rise in price; and vice-versa for a fall in demand. Not surprisingly, several cryptocurrency developers have thought of creating a cryptocurrency with a price commitment–namely a pegged exchange rate with the US dollar–rather than a quantity commitment, in hopes of greater popularity. The aim is to create a system in which dollar-denominated payments can be made with the ease, security, and low cost of Bitcoin payments, but without the exchange-rate risk.