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Singapore Startup Takes Bitcoin Into Real World With Visa

Singapore Startup Takes Bitcoin Into Real World With Visa
TenX’s Visa prepaid card converts digital currencies to cash The company has raised $80 million through a token sale
By Krystal Chia  and Sterling Wong July 23, 2017, 2:00 PM PDT July 23, 2017, 8:46 PM PDT
A recurring challenge for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is how to make them work in the real world. A Singapore-based startup says the answer is its Visa card.
TenX is pitching its debit card as an instant converter of multiple digital currencies into fiat money: the dollars, yen and euros that power most everyday commerce. The company said it takes a 2 percent cut from each transaction and has received orders for more than 10,000 cards. While transactions are capped at $2,000 a year, users can apply to increase the limit if they undergo identify verification procedures.
Tenx’s bid to make digital currencies easier to spend comes amid massive volatility and infighting within the cryptocurrency community. Bitcoin, the m…

SoftBank, Didi Hand $2 Billion to Uber's Biggest Asian Rival

SoftBank, Didi Hand $2 Billion to Uber's Biggest Asian Rival
Grab expects $500 million more to set record regional funding Grab is said to be valued at $6 billion when round closes
By Yoolim Lee July 23, 2017, 8:00 PM PDT July 23, 2017, 9:03 PM PDT
Grab raised $2 billion from Didi Chuxing and SoftBank Group Corp. in the largest–ever venture fundraising in Southeast Asia, as it joins forces with the Chinese company that drove Uber Technologies Inc. out of China.
The deal cements a loose alliance between Didi and Grab, which competes against Uber in markets from Malaysia to Thailand. The Singapore-based ride hailing company said Monday it expects to close another $500 million from unspecified new and existing backers. That will take its valuation north of $6 billion, making it the most valuable startup in Southeast Asia, a person familiar with the matter said.
The record financing follows Uber’s retreat from Russia and China, massive markets where Uber spent billions but ultimately…

Wisconsin Company To Implant Microchips In Employees

Wisconsin Company To Implant Microchips In Employees
July 22, 2017 07:24 AM
A Wisconsin company is about to become the first in the U.S. to offer microchip implants to its employees.
Yes, you read that right. Microchip implants.
"It's the next thing that's inevitably going to happen, and we want to be a part of it," Three Square Market Chief Executive Officer Todd Westby said.
The company designs software for break room markets that are commonly found in office complexes.
Just as people are able to purchase items at the market using phones, Westby wants to do the same thing using a microchip implanted inside a person's hand.
"We'll come up, scan the item," he explained, while showing how the process will work at an actual break room market kiosk. "We'll hit pay with a credit card, and it's asking to swipe my proximity payment now. I'll hold my hand up, just like my cell phone, and it'll pay for my product."
More than 50 T…

Big, bold … and broken: is the US shopping mall in a fatal decline?

Big, bold … and broken: is the US shopping mall in a fatal decline?
Once at the heart of the US consumer experience, the ubiquitous mall is in crisis. Of 1,200 across the country, just 50% are expected to be in business by 2023
Brian Sonia-Wallace, poet-in-residence, in action at the Mall of America. Photograph:
By Dominic Rushe in Minneapolis
Sunday 23 July 2017 05.39 EDT First published on Saturday 22 July 2017 07.00 EDT
Twenty-five years ago this August, the Mall of America, America’s largest shopping mall, opened its many, many doors for business. The Minnesota mall is currently wrapping up a year of celebration at the dizzyingly vast temple to consumerism. It’s a celebration that comes, ironically, as America’s malls are dying. But not the Mall of America.
Once the epicenter of American retail, malls are in crisis. Pictures of dead malls, their hollow shells left like abandoned sets for a George Romero zombie movie, are rapidly replacing pictures of decaying Detroit as the go-t…

Next Leap for Robots: Picking Out and Boxing Your Online Order

Next Leap for Robots: Picking Out and Boxing Your Online Order
Developers close in on systems to move products off shelves and into boxes, as retailers aim to automate labor-intensive process
Facing more pressure to speed orders more quickly to customers, a rising number of companies are using high-tech robots in their manufacturing process. But could it render humans obsolete? The WSJ takes a look inside.
By Brian Baskin July 23, 2017 7:00 a.m. ET
Robot developers say they are close to a breakthrough—getting a machine to pick up a toy and put it in a box.
It is a simple task for a child, but for retailers it has been a big hurdle to automating one of the most labor-intensive aspects of e-commerce: grabbing items off shelves and packing them for shipping.
Several companies, including Saks Fifth Avenue owner Hudson’s Bay Co. and Chinese online-retail giant JD.com Inc., have recently begun testing robotic “pickers” in their distribution centers. Some robotics companies say their machin…

Norway Takes Lead in Race to Build Autonomous Cargo Ships

Norway Takes Lead in Race to Build Autonomous Cargo Ships
The Yara Birkeland, slated for launch late in 2018, will make short trips delivering fertilizer
By Costas Paris July 22, 2017 7:00 a.m. ET
OSLO—Two Norwegian companies are taking the lead in the race to build the world’s first crewless, autonomously operated ship, an advance that could mark a turning point in seaborne trade.
Dubbed by shipping executives the “Tesla of the Seas,” the Yara Birkeland now under development is scheduled in late 2018 to start sailing fertilizer 37 miles down a fiord from a production facility to the port of Larvik. Using the Global Positioning System, radar, cameras and sensors, the electric ship is designed to navigate itself around other boat traffic and to dock on its own.
The vessel will cost $25 million, about three times as much as a conventional container ship of its size, but its backers say without need for fuel or crew it promises to cut annual operating costs by up to 90%. The 100-contain…

Millennials only have a 5-second attention span for ads, says comScore CEO

Millennials only have a 5-second attention span for ads, says comScore CEO
Millennial attention spans require ads that are just 5 to 6 seconds in length, according to a new study by comScore.
Millennials spent 61 percent of their online time in smartphone apps, 8 percent on the mobile web, 25 percent on desktop, and just 5 percent on tablets.
Michelle Castillo July 21, 2017
If you're an advertiser who wants to market a product to millennials, you're going to have to make it quick.
A new study by comScore revealed online ads targeted toward millennials have to be around 5 to 6 seconds to be effective, a sharp contrast from the traditional 30-second commercial seen on TV.
"The length of time of an episode or a viewing period is really important and has got to be short, otherwise you just won't keep the attention of millennials," comScore CEO Gian Fulgoni told CNBC's "Squawk Alley."
The format of advertising may have to be radically changed to reach m…