China-based RELX, the leading e-cigarette company in Asia has filed for as many as 170 patents at a global level. The company seems to be in a hurry to get as many patents as possible while the industry is still at a nascent stage and it goes without saying, that it is a sound strategy. More than three-fourths of the total patents filed by the company have been filed in the period between May and October this year.

The frenetic pace at which the patents have been filed puts the average at 5 patents a week. The Chief Executive Officer of the company Kate Wang stated,

“These patents demonstrate our dedication to pushing the industry forward and bringing consumers top-quality products. We want smokers to be able to enjoy worry-free relaxation.”

Also, the company has also revealed that out of the patents that it has filed; more than 85 of them are inventions.

It remains to be seen if they get the approval, but at the same time, it is quite clear that RELX is moving into the vape industry in a big way and could well challenge some established companies. Regarding the company’s operations, Wang further stated,

“For example, after a dedicated research process, we have installed a self-control temperature component in the vape circuit. This solves the problem of possible cracks appearing on the e-liquid pod due to the overheating—a problem that the industry has been struggling to solve for years.” 

On October 17, Canada will complete one year of its legalization of Cannabis. The ban on the commercial sale of Cannabis was received with much enthusiasm. It has waned slightly as the government comes to grip with structures to restrict its illegal sale. Reforms in the police force to stop cannabis consumers from driving in the streets in a drugged state have also not been fully implemented.

The major stumbling block has been the delay in getting a license for opening a cannabis shop. It leads to shopkeepers indulging in the illegal sale of drugs, which also fetches a higher price. Users accustomed to buying drugs illegally also grudge, paying a higher price for cannabis. They disregard the fact that the cannabis available in stores comes from certified companies, and the product is guaranteed for safety and quality. The federal and state agencies are still grappling with putting in place laws that will prevent unscrupulous elements from getting hold of a cannabis license.

Efficient policing to stop the illegal sale of cannabis is still lacking. Oral-fluid devices similar to alcohol breath analyzers were to be provided to all policemen to monitor cannabis levels in users. These have not been provided in sufficient numbers. The result is that hardly any people have been caught for driving under the influence of cannabis. Moreover, for proving high levels of cannabis in a user, his blood test is also required along with the oral fluid test. These blood test results are taking more than six months at present.

The Canadian government recognized that its people would be better for smoking cannabis bought from a shop than bought illegally from street-side dealers. Due to the intoxicating and addictive nature of cannabis, the government has to necessarily tread carefully in deciding who should be trusted for distributing it among the masses. Additionally, activists and groups demanding the legalization of cannabis have been putting up videos as well as literature on how to smoke cannabis safely.

On October 11th, Alfa Bank made an important announcement regarding its collaboration with NLMK (Novolipetsk Steel Company), Vesuvius GmbH (global leader in molten metal engineering and technology) and Commerzbank (a leading international commercial bank having offices in more than 50 countries all over the bank), to launch a pilot project of cross border payments via Marco Polo. Marco Polo is an international trade finance network linked jointly with technology firms R3 and TradeIX, that offers a wide range of trade finance solutions internationally. It is the first-ever Russian-German collaboration for import-export finance operations for Marco Polo. Alfa- bank described itself as the largest financial institution in Russia in terms of total assets, total equity, loans, and deposits.

This cross-border pilot project aims at building end-to-end digital finance and supplying blockchain finance solutions. Improving the trade efficiencies and delivering better customer services are the main concern, which this recent collaboration is focusing on.

Marco Polo, along with some of the world’s leading banks and TradeIX, is steering the trade financial solutions using blockchain technology. The Marco Polo initiative has developed a post-shipment trade financing solution, which is powered by TradeIX and R3, to offer seamless connectivity amongst trade participants. Marco Polo also eliminates data silos that obstruct the free flow of information, thereby creating discrepancies. Marco Polo network eases out direct communication with ERP systems with the help of APIs (Application programming interfaces). It thereby allows the international trade participants to create irreversible payment obligations within a transparent system.

Anna Sokolova, the Director of NLMK, in response to this integration, said, “Our decision to take part in the pilot project was prompted by our intention to optimize the process of interaction with partners based on blockchain technology. We expect Marco Polo to ensure seamless collaboration of several sides engaged in international trade operations (banks, suppliers, insurance companies, etc.) with a flexible access to working capital financing instruments to the parties”.

Besides launching this pilot project via Marco Polo, Commerzbank is also setting records by merging with its rival Deutsche bank as per reports. Though there were huge speculations about this mega-merger, both the banks were tight-lipped about this. It was only on Sunday that both these banks came forward and acknowledged the speculations that were going on for the past few months about the merger.

When it comes to social issues, big corporations generally stay away and try to keep their hands clean. They normally act as pressure groups and work behind the scene. However, Amazon re-defined those dynamics. They recently added a webpage titled “Our Positions” in its about page. The page carves out the firm’s stand on public policy agenda, which has a direct impact on business in America.

Amazon put forward its views on a total of 11 socio-political issues, including Federal minimum wage, climate change, diversity and inclusion, energy, LGBTQ+ rights, immigration, technology-based governance, regulatory framework, counterfeiters, data privacy, and corporate taxes. Besides lining out a framework, the company urged, “There is much room for healthy debate and differing opinions. We hope being clear about our positions is helpful.”

On the issue of minimum federal wages in the US, Amazon uttered that the allowance is “too low and should be raised.” It is speculated that the issue might become a hot topic for the upcoming presidential elections. Further, the section states the federal minimum wage at $7.25 and has not been hiked since 2009. According to the firm, the increase in minimum wage will “have a profound impact” and help in coping with the issue of growing income disparity. Moreover, it cleared that the firm pays a minimum wage of $15 an hour to all employees working across the United States.

Addressing the issue of climate change, Amazon assured to fulfill ‘The Climate Pledge’ of the Paris Agreement 10 years early. Additionally, the page stated that Amazon is investing to be a carbon-neutral firm by 2040 and will run on 100% renewable energy by 2030. The Seattle based tech firm supported and lobbied for reforms to the immigration system. The framework proposed by the page includes a legal way for immigrants to be a citizen, several reforms to the green card and a highly skilled visa program. The company also pointed out the travel ban imposed by the Trump administration.

As per Amazon, the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and Copyrights should be taken much more seriously. The firm suggests that counterfeiters are “undeterred and continue to push their products through online and physical stores, harming both consumers and the retail companies, who serve them.” Woking for curbing down the issue, Amazon invested more than $400 million to fight fraud and counterfeiting.

Data is going to be the biggest commodity in the upcoming times. The policy paper said, “Consumer data privacy should be protected under federal law.” Further, Amazon elaborated that the corporate tax code should be aimed at “incentivize investment in the economy and job creation.” There shouldn’t be any loopholes and overlap in tax brackets. Taking the global community into consideration, it declared support for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which is an organization working on reviewing the international tax system.

Interestingly, Amazon is expected to be a $1 Trillion firm yet again. At present, Microsoft and Apple are the two companies that are ahead of Amazon in the total market capitalization.

One of the biggest concerns for any professional in the United States nowadays is related pension and experts are increasingly gloomy about their prospects in that regard. Experts now believe that the sort of retirement security that was enjoyed by earlier generations in the US is going to be a thing of the past and many Americans are now in danger of spending their old age in poverty. An investor education expert at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority stated that people should start planning their retirement as soon as they start earning. The experts stated, “The minute you have a paying job, it’s a good idea to start thinking about retirement. One of the best ways to invest is a company-sponsored retirement plan like a 401(k). That’s a great way for younger people to get started.”

The data that has been made available by a range of reliable entities make for grim reading. Fidelity Investments revealed that the employee contribution on average was 8.8% of a person’s salary on average in the first quarter of the year. Employers’ contribution stood at 4.7% on average during the same quarter. However, the most vital take away from the whole thing is the fact that experts now believe that there are plenty of Americans who are not having a comfortable retirement fund. Northwestern Mutual, which is a financial services outfit, stated that 20% of the current working population in the country have not saved even $5000 towards their retirement fund. However, it is more alarming to note that as many as 15% do not have any savings to speak of.

While the situation with the retirement fund is bleak in itself, the earnings of many Americans sound problematic as well. The same Northwestern study has pointed out that as many as 33% of Americans would need to borrow money in order to meet their expenses if they go without three paycheques. It points to a situation in which a large percentage of Americans no longer have the sort of financial security that previous generations took for granted. People in their 20s often do not earn enough and neither do they have required skills to save enough. On top of that, many in that age group have huge student loans. That has also been cited as a major factor behind low savings. However, we can expect a substantial solution to this as IT behemoth Genpact is going to come up with finance and accounting solution partnering with OneSource Virtual and Deloitte.

The Fintech sector has truly exploded over the course of the past decade or so and much of the credit goes to the innovators who have been able to come up with a wide array of highly inventive products. At the same time, the ideas of such innovators have been backed up by generous funding from established companies and venture capitalists in a big way. At the end of the day, any business which is heavily dependent on tech needs some time before it can start earning revenues meaningfully and hence, investment is such an important factor. In a new development, it has emerged that Fintech firm DotPe is all set to raise $10 million from corporate behemoths like Fosun International and PayU. Notably, PayU has acquired a majority stake in the Singapore based Fintech company Red Dot Payment.

The two companies are going to get an equity stake in DotPe following this round of investment and make for an excellent performance from the company in its first-ever financing round. However, that is not all. Sources which are close to the developments have revealed that Indian company Info Edge could also be joining this round of funding. If it does then it will be another star addition of sorts for DotPe. In addition to that, it has also been revealed in some reports that high profile angel investors are also interested in investing in the company. It appears that the whole thing is moving very quickly and announcements regarding the investments could be coming up sooner rather than later. One source stated,

Both Fosun Property and Ahuja Constructions have already initiated the discussion regarding the proposed deal and are expected to finalize the structure soon.

As everyone knows, the Fosun Group is one of the biggest investment vehicles in Chinamakeand over the years, as it has bankrolled plenty of businesses all over the world. Hence, vote confidence from such a well-known investment vehicle is definitely positive for DotPe. On the other hand, PayU remains one of the biggest names in the world of payments, and its decision to invest in DotPe is also a huge boost for the company. The addition of high profile investors is such a big thing since it introduces that company into networks that could help it to grow quickly. Over the years, it has been seen that such investments usually led to more prosperity for a company.

A trader feels a lot of difficulties when it comes to joining any trading platform.  Some traders offer limited tradable assets to their clients while others charge heavily when it comes to withdrawal. Among all these difficulties, there is one online broker, GigaFX, which has gained immense popularity in very little duration by offering many of its exceptional features. A broker is a bridge between the trader and the financial market. So any issues with the broker can break down the seamless connection between the trader and the market.

The first thing that a trader should check when picking up the online broker is its reliability. Luckily, GigaFX is one of the most trusted online brokerage firms offering a huge number of tradable assets to its clients. GigaFX is providing its services in more than 60 countries which show how good the services of the firm are.

Safety and security is another thing that a trader should consider when it comes to selecting the online broker. GigaFX is a firm that focuses on making the trading platform safe by discouraging illegal entities from signing up. The strict AML and KYC policies are successful in keeping the money laundering at bay. The firm needs its clients to go through a safe identification procedure. At the same time, the firm needs you to use your name and the country while depositing any funds in your account. This especially prevents the money launderers from using fake identification information.

Every trader needs a trading platform which is capable of meeting his needs. GigaFX is a trading platform available on all the devices, offering the traders the freedom of trading from anywhere anytime. GigaFX offers its trading platform in all kind of formats possible. A web trader offers you a good experience, no matter what kind of devices you are using it on. There is also a mobile platform that is packed with all the features of desktop software like analytic charts, technical graphs, and market trends.

The firm offers four types of account to its trader on the basis of their needs and background. Even the basic account offers the amazing features of the platform. A trader can get access to the educational material regardless of the account type that he picks. The firm also provides an account manager even with their basic account. The firm has, therefore, made it’s the trading platform the most convenient one for its clients to offer them a seamless experience of trading.

Trade99 is today counted among the leading cryptocurrency trading platforms around the globe. It offers investors a large range of investing instruments, user-friendly interface, unmatched service quality, and superior customer support services. To start trading at Trade99, you need to create an account which is further classified into the following categories: Standard Account, Silver Account, Gold Account, and Premium Service Account. Depending upon the initial investments you make, your account will fall into one of these categories. For starters and novices, the Standard Account is the choice to go with as it has a minimum requirement in terms of funding, i.e., BTC equivalent to USD 250. This is not a very big amount, and the account provides opportunities for beginners to start learning the basics of trading. You get around 190 tradable assets with this account which are more than enough for a newcomer to start experiencing the world of trading.

One step above in the list of trading accounts is the Silver Account, which is, in fact, the most popular accounts on Trade99. The investment you require here is BTC equivalent to USD 2500, and the services of this account are usually popular among the traders who invest on a daily basis. In addition to getting excess of 190 tradable assets, you will receive market research and daily trading analysis with this account. Moreover, you will also have access to two webinars in a month with this Silver Account.

One level up in this hierarchy is the Gold Account, which can be opened with a BTC funding equivalent to USD 5000. This account is specifically made for the traders who trade in high volumes. You can also avail the facility of a private session with an experienced analyst who will handle all your queries not only about the trading related topics but also about expediting your withdrawals. The accelerated withdrawals from your account is really an attractive feature and help investors to plan and implement their trading strategy in a more effective and efficient manner. In addition to the features of Standard and Silver Accounts, you will also have access to a specifically designed analyst educational program held twice a month.

Topping the list is the Premium Service Account of Trade99 which is also one of the most popular accounts of this trading platform. The investment requirement for the Premium Service Account is BTC equivalent to $10,000. The account will provide you access to all the premium features of Trade99, and you become eligible to attend various VIP exclusive events in addition to getting the very first access to cryptocurrency leveraged trade contracts. You also receive access to the premium trade room, which helps you strategize better in terms of your trading plans.

6/6/2019: AAATrade, one of the most reputed European Investment Firms, is gaining popularity due to the unique financial services that it offers to its clients. The firm allows trading over 1,000 CFDs on Forex, Commodities, Shares, Indices, Futures, ETF and Cryptocurrencies anytime anywhere, via one online trading platform. Currently, very few firms offer access to such a vast number of instruments. This huge variety of trading instruments leaves clients with a wide range of investment options at their disposal, enabling the formulation of a well-diversified trading portfolio.

To ensure the safety of the cash and custodian accounts of the clients, AAATrade has partnered with Swiss Banks. The firm is fully regulated by Cyprus Securities and Exchange commission operating under MiFID II and is strictly compliant with European regulations, which makes it one of the most trusted investment firms worldwide. AAATrade is also registered with major European regulatory bodies like BaFin, FCA, and CNMV.

The firm provides different accounts for various traders, depending on their experience in trading. Commission based ‘Experienced accounts and spread only ‘Ready to Start’ accounts are suitable for experienced and novice traders, respectively.  Furthermore, AAATrade allows its clients to enjoy positive interest rate and cash back commission rebate depending on their account balance. The firm offers a 5% commission rebate on every trade as a cashback along with 0.25% positive interest rate for account balances of  25,000 dollars/Euros/Pounds. For balances of 100,00 dollars/Euros/Pounds, the firm offers 10% commission.

The AAATrade web trader is a user-friendly trading platform which enhances the trading experience of the user without needing to download any additional software.

AAATrade’s trading environment promises advanced trading experienced owed to the innovative and intuitive features that are embedded within the platform.  Specifically, the platform is equipped with all the vital tools and resources needed to analyze the markets, either on a desktop or even on the go via the fully responsive mobile apps for Android and iOS.

Furthermore, AAATrade provides updates with the latest market news and trends. The firm also has an academy equipped with informative webinars, video tutorials, even e-Books.

Additionally, the firm offers customized advisory services suitable for institutions, individuals, and corporations who intend to keep full control of their investments but still would like to receive advice from the market professionals. AAATrade has a team of experts located in Zurich who are fully dedicated to formulating the right investment strategies for their clients to meet their expectations. The firm also offers Portfolio Management, for those clients who would like to assign the full management of their investment portfolio to the professional team of AAATrade. The portfolio management offered by the firm is truly one of a kind as each mandate is designed according to the clients’ preferences, appetite for risk, and financial aims.

When it comes to trusting an internet brand, it has become increasingly difficult for people to wholeheartedly trust an internet product and the reasons behind that are numerous. Facebook’s problems with user privacy and the entire Cambridge Analytica affair must have been a huge trigger for people who use the social media website, while Google’s practice of working against rivals by manipulating search results was also another red flag against the biggest tech companies. In such a situation, it can be said that the trust level with the biggest internet brands should be at an all-time low, but that is not the case in India, where the largest players in the tech industry still remain among the most trusted internet brands in the country.

In a survey in which as many as 32 internet brands operating in India were surveyed, the respondents stated on average that Amazon, Facebook, and Google are among the most trusted brands in the country. The report was compiled by a market intelligence company, and the report is titled Brand Trust Report 2019. Indian messaging service Hike managed to record the 4th position among trusted brands, while Facebook-owned Whatsapp came in at 10th. In addition to that, there were many other surprises, and the highlight was perhaps the fact that Indian companies beat their bigger overseas competitors comfortably in the trust stakes.

Indian payments company PayTM managed to trump payments behemoth PayPal, while hailing taxi service Ola came in at 6th and left Uber in the dust, which could only secure the 14th position. N. Chandramouli, who is the Chief Executive Officer of TRA, said,

Many Indian Internet start-ups are leaders in their categories, which is no mean feat. The brands that focus on creating trust, along with profits and growth, are the ones that will survive in this business.

While the trust factor with regards to the biggest tech companies in the world is definitely an important development, it is also important to note that the performance of Indian companies in the survey is probably the most important highlight.