Container ship outside Hong Kong

Blockchain and trade finance have always seemed like natural partners, and a company based in India is taking another stab at cracking the code.

Persistence has built the back-end infrastructure for a trade finance system that will allow small and medium-sized buyers to more easily find financing for commodities purchased from sellers, traveling between the main trade hubs of Asia, places like Singapore, Hong Kong and Dubai, among others.

The startup closed a $3.7 million token round led by Arrington XRP, along with Alameda Research and South Korean stablecoin company Terra, among others. The backers are purchasing the Persistence token, or XPRT, which is set to be released sometime late this year or early next year, once macroeconomic conditions appear to be stabilized, said Persistence CEO Tushar Aggarwal.

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“Commodity trading is a notoriously difficult industry to penetrate,” Aggarwal told CoinDesk in an interview, noting that other firms like Perlin and Centrifuge have already entered this space.

Persistence’s advantage, Aggarwal said, lies less in its technology than in its business-development strategy.

To build an application that would appeal to companies outside of the blockchain industry, Persistence settled on Tendermint as its base layer, after investigating both Ethereum and Waves.

“A big focus of ours is the institutional folks. On the institutional side we tried to abstract away some of the complexity,” Aggarwal said.

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Read more: Cosmos Gains Traction in India Amid Broader Crypto Resurgence

The specific trade finance platform was built as a separate application atop Persistence, called Comdex. That platform was turned over to a third party that already has access to the trade finance industry. Invoices get turned into non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that can then be collateralized to back

Environmental groups have filed a motion asking a federal appeals court to tell FirstEnergy Solutions’ bankruptcy court judge to take action in light of alleged corruption cases in federal and state court.

The Environmental Law & Policy Center, Environmental Defense Fund, Ohio Citizen Action and the Ohio Environmental Council want the judge to consider suspending the reorganization plan confirmed earlier this year. The groups also hope the bankruptcy court will consider revising that confirmation order and conduct additional hearings. The groups filed the motion on Oct. 5.

“We’re asking the 6th Circuit to deal with these truly extraordinary circumstances,” in which federal and state corruption charges relate directly to assets involved in the bankruptcy case, said Howard Learner, executive director at the Environmental Law & Policy Center. Among other things, Ohio House Bill 6 authorizes roughly $1 billion in subsidies over the next six years for two nuclear plants owned by Energy Harbor, formerly known as FirstEnergy Solutions.

The federal and state cases allege that former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder engineered a $60 million bribery scheme that used dark money organizations to hide the source of spending from FirstEnergy (known as “Company A” in some documents), its current and former affiliates, and others to pass HB 6 and prevent a referendum on the law.

“The remedy that we’re asking in the 6th Circuit complements what the Ohio attorney general has already asked for it its lawsuit,” Learner said. As he sees it, that case effectively asks the state court to “rescramble the eggs” and undo the reorganization.

Among other things, the state’s complaint asks that “each Defendant business entity and nonprofit [in the case] be dissolved or reorganized such that no agent, officer or representative found to have engaged in acts in furtherance of [the alleged wrongful conduct] retains

(Bloomberg) — Trading in Pandora A/S shares gave the jewelry maker its highest valuation since May 2018, after it raised its guidance for the year citing a spike in online demand.

a close up of a table: Silver and white gold rings sit on display in the window of a Pandora A/S jewelry store in Copenhagen, Denmark.

© Photographer: Freya Ingrid Morales
Silver and white gold rings sit on display in the window of a Pandora A/S jewelry store in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Copenhagen-based Pandora rose more than 10% after the market opened on Friday. Denmark’s index of benchmark shares was up about 0.9%.

Management opted to publish preliminary third-quarter results late on Thursday, after a “strong” performance improved its prospects for the year. It now expects 2020 Ebit margin to reach at least 17.5%, compared with 16% previously. That’s after online organic growth of 89% in the quarter.

a close up of a table: Silver and white gold rings sit on display in the window of a Pandora A/S jewelry store in Copenhagen, Denmark.

© Photographer: Freya Ingrid Morales
Silver and white gold rings sit on display in the window of a Pandora A/S jewelry store in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Click here for more details of Pandora’s preliminary results


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Pandora seems to be getting “more bang for the buck” from its advertising, and is “catching consumer attention as peers hold back” on spending, Frans Hoyer, an analyst at Handelsbanken, said in a note.

“At a time when peers generally have a firm grip of the purse strings, Pandora says that continued advertising spend has enabled it to better catch consumer attention,” Hoyer said.

Pandora’s share price has soared 85% so far in 2020, as CEO Alexander Lacik succeeded in turning around the company’s fortunes after years of disappointing results. Pandora managed to improve its results despite the ongoing pandemic. On average, about 90% of its stores were open last quarter. By the end of the period, that number had risen to 95%, it said.

“Pandora continues to consider the macroeconomic environment and future Covid-19 development as uncertain and unpredictable,” it said.

ANNAPOLIS, MD — Gov. Larry Hogan gained national attention for his handling of Maryland’s ongoing coronavirus outbreak. Now, a fundraiser is capitalizing on his reputation.

The National Bobblehead Museum and Hall of Fame unveiled a Hogan figurine on Thursday that raises money for personal protective equipment. The hall of fame is teaming with Protect the Heroes and the 100 Million Mask Challenge to amp up PPE production through the sale of bobbleheads.

“We received several requests to make a bobblehead of Governor Hogan and other governors who have been instrumental in the continued fight against COVID-19,” Phil Sklar, the museum’s co-founder and CEO, said in a press release. “We’re excited to be releasing his bobblehead today.”

Other notable figurines available for purchase include those of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert. The effort started in April and has raised more than $275,000, Sklar says.

The Hogan bobblehead costs $25 plus $8 for shipping. Interest buyers can buy the figurine at this link.

The bobblehead will ship in January of 2021. Sklar says $5 from each purchase supports the nation’s health care workers.

“During these unprecedented times, we want to continue to raise funds for an amazing cause while putting a smile on people’s faces with bobbleheads,” Sklar said.

Through his chairmanship of the National Governors Association, Hogan became one of the faces in the fight against coronavirus. Recent polls reflect his popularity.

The approval rating of Hogan’s handling of coronavirus has fluctuated between 69 and 78 percent since late April. About 71 percent of Marylanders approved of his work, as of a Sept. 8 poll.

Manufacturer’s Note:These bobbleheads are not affiliated with, endorsed or approved by the Governors and were selected based on customer requests. They do not represent an

Video: Instant asset write-off available to 99 per cent of Australian businesses (Sky News Australia)

Instant asset write-off available to 99 per cent of Australian businesses



By Jane Lanhee Lee

a man riding a skateboard up the side of a building: FILE PHOTO: Instacart employee Eric Cohn works amid the coronavirus outbreak

© Reuters/CHENEY ORR
FILE PHOTO: Instacart employee Eric Cohn works amid the coronavirus outbreak

OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) – Delivery startup Instacart on Thursday said it raised $200 million in its latest round, valuing the company at $17.7 billion as it cashes in on a surge in online shopping due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


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In June, Instacart raised $225 million, and the company was valued at $13.8 billion in that round. This latest round is led by existing investors Valiant Peregrine Fund and D1 Capital.

The grocery delivery company, which has been branching out to deliver non-grocery goods as well, has signed up big names like Walmart Inc, beauty product retailer Sephora and convenience store 7-Eleven in the United States since its last round of financing.

Instacart’s order volumes have surged as much as 500% year on year during the pandemic in North America as consumers, hesitant to travel to supermarkets amid the health crisis, take to their phones to get groceries, alcohol and prescriptions drugs delivered to their doorsteps.

To help meet the demand Instacart said it has boosted the number of workers that shop for customers to more than 500,000 from 200,000 at the start of the pandemic.

Instacart said in June that an initial public offering is still on the horizon. It declined to comment on that this time.

The new funds will be used to develop new features on the app, better support retailers’ e-commerce needs and invest in Instacart Ads, it said.

(Reporting By Jane Lanhee Lee; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

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