A car's dashboard, with the number 2019 stuck to it, symbolizing the automotive market of the year 2019 in this review article.

2019: The Year in Automotive

Photo of Thijs Reus, co-founder of trimplement
Thijs Reus looks back on the automotive developments of 2019

Sometimes, things take longer than expected. 

In my 2018 review, I have hinted at how PSD2 and GDPR would ring in a new, more dynamic era of fintech, filled with opportunities. And then again it didn’t. The PSD2 deadline has been expanded, as banks and other financial companies have kicked the adaption of their systems and services down the road, so to say.

In the meantime, BigTech companies like Google, Alibaba or Apple cement their market position with their own smart payment solutions.

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2019: The Year in Cryptocurrency

Natallia Martchouck looks back on the cryptocurrency developments of 2019

Another fintech year is over. Even a fintech decade. A lot of things happened last year and in good tradition, I’d like to look back at 2019. In this article, I’ll recap the highlights of the crypto scene from my point of view. It has been a year full of victories and drawbacks, as usual.

The beginning of the crypto year was quite turbulent.

The 51 Percent Attack

Bitcoin, father of the crypto industry and most prominent and popular cryptocurrency, started the year below the 4.000 USD mark, achieved a yearly high in July at approx. 12.000 USD and then fell back to 7.000 USD at the end of the year.

In the meantime, the start of the new year wasn’t much better for Ethereum Classic. The blockchain experienced a 51% attack. The attack began on January 5th, went on for three days, finally ending on January 8th with estimated losses of 1.1 million USD. The attack could be stopped due to the collaboration of blockchain analytics companies and exchanges, who halted the ETC transactions and provided data to the analytics companies. Even though the possibility of a 51% attack on a proof-of-work blockchain was known it was scary to see it becoming reality on a blockchain that ranks in the top 20 crypto assets list.

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A picture of a waiting area at the FinTech Connect 2019 conference in London

FinTech Connect 2019 – Our Experiences

When you are browsing the net for a list of attractive fintech and banking locations around the globe, you will surely find London at the top end. It’s not only where Big Ben shakes its clapper but also where Big Tech and Big Finance shake hands. 

A few weeks ago, we set out to the capital of the UK to do very much the same, to network with the European fintech scene and present our software products and services. The occasion: The FinTech Connect 2019 conference.

To state it right away: The connection buildup proceeded well, but not without a few issues. Time to give FinTech Connect 2019 a run-down. 

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Art & Technology: Value Manifesto

Introduction – What is Value Manifesto

Last week the Value Manifesto project has officially launched. As trimplement, we are proud to be part of this exciting undertaking.

In this article we are going to elaborate on the technical concepts of the project – for those interested in what happens behind the curtains.

But before we dive into the details, let’s start with some high level information about the Value Manifesto project itself. 

Value Manifesto is an interdisciplinary project, combining modern art and cutting edge technologies (like Blockchain and IoT). It aims to establish a whole new category in arts. Extrapolating the commercial and economical aspects of art, Value Manifesto declares the art object’s value itself to be art. 

But what does Value Manifesto define to be the actual artwork? The Value Manifesto art objects are called “crypto multiples”. They unite art, craftsmanship and technology in a beautiful way. Every single one of the 250 nixie tubes devices is linked to a dedicated unique Token, stored on the Ethereum Blockchain. The tubes display the current market value of this limited artwork at any given time.

Like any valuable scarce resource on this planet, the Value Manifesto crypto multiples are also limited to 250 pieces.

The detailed explanation of the artistic concept behind Value Manifesto can be found on the project’s site: https://www.valuemanifesto.ch/

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Portrait of Andrei Martchouk, interview partner of the first finquiry episode, talking about blockchain and cryptocurrencies.

Finquiry #1: Andrei Martchouk on Blockchain

The financial industry of today and tomorrow branches out in many directions. As providers of software foundations for ewallets, payment processing systems and crypto exchange, we plant the roots on which your trailblazing financial products can stand firmly. Yet, with catchwords like  “PSD2”, “fintech”, “blockchain”,” neobanking” and “robo-advisory” entering the scene every day, it’s easy to miss the forest for the trees.

To keep oneself up-to-date on the newest industry developments, what better way than to ask the experts. In our new blog series “Finquiry”, we interview professionals about the today and the tomorrow of the financial industry. 

Our Guest: Blockchain expert Andrei Martchouk

Our interview partner Andrei Martchouk is Managing Director and Co-Founder of KI decentralized GmbH. We have asked him about blockchain and the cryptocurrency sphere. 

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A gravestone, showing a list of numbers resembling an iTAN list, standing as a symbol for the demise of the iTAN procedures due to the PSD2 Open Banking regulations

iTAN – An Obituary

Here lies iTAN. 

On September 14th 2019, after a lingering and worsening case of backwardness, it passed away. It joined the likes of videotex and MeChip in the peaceful hereafter of online banking.

Alas, poor iTAN, we knew you. 

In your brief existence of only 14 years, you have put your mark on the whole banking industry. And on myriads of printed lists. Precious times we have spent on your behalf, poring over papers, grubbing for that one golden number to end our insecurity – and get those funds transferred from our budget account to our savings account. 

You, iTAN, have managed to rise above its forebears, ending the whateverism of the old TAN dynasty. And yet, you had trouble keeping a stiff upper lip in the face of all those hyperactive neo banking millenials. You passed with dignity.

Farewell, iTAN. We will miss you.

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Two computers placed opposite of each other, symbolizing the advantages of third party software over in-house development

Why Third-Party Solutions Bring First-Rate Results

Do it yourselfit’s an overrated mantra. 

At first, those three letters promise empowerment. You have full control over what you do and which way you want it to be done. Take fice, third-party software, we are on it ourselves. 

But then you stumble over the prerequisites. You have to know how to do it all in the first place. And that you have the right tools for the task. But that should be doable, too. I have a screwdriver lying around somewhere? And there must be a YouTube tutorial for this, right? 

Well, when it comes to the complex field of software development, the truth is a little more complicated. 

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Coding Smart Contracts – Tutorial Part II

How to use a smart contract from a java application

Photo of Natallia Martchouk, co-founder of trimplement
Natallia Martchouk, co-founder of trimplement, explains how to develop Ethereum smart contracts.

In Part I of my tutorial I’ve explained how to develop and deploy a simple smart contract. Today we will see how this deployed contract can be used in java applications. 

We are going to use Parity as Ethereum client and Web3j java library for interaction with Parity. I’m assuming that you already have installed Web3j, solc and Parity following “Prepare” instructions in Part I.

5. Get Parity Synced

First of all your Parity needs to get synchronized with the Ethereum testnet Rinkeby, meaning it needs to download the current database status to your local machine. Start your local parity with 

$parity --chain rinkeby --rpcapi "eth,net,web3,personal"

See also this documentation of Parity about getting synced.

In the meantime, we can prepare everything that we need to call our smart contract from a java application.

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