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Next Insurance Raises $250M Bringing Its Valuation to $4B

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Next Insurance has so far raised a total of $875 million from private investors who have participated in various funding rounds. 

Online insurance company Next Insurance has raised approximately $250 million in a funding round that has brought its valuation to approximately $4 billion. Next Insurance focuses on small businesses and entrepreneurs through its online platform.

The company has been involved with prior funding in the recent past in a bid to scale its market and remain competitive in the insurance sector. According to news outlet TechCrunch, the company raised a similar amount back in September 2020 at a valuation of $2 billion.

The recent fundings have significantly helped the company reposition itself to fully take as aid emerging opportunities brought forth by the coronavirus crisis. Notably, the firm acquired Juniper Labs, a firm that helps insurtechs and brokers effectively underwrite small businesses. Further, the company recently acquired AP Intego, a deal that brings $185.1 million of active premium to the company’s portfolio.

Next Insurance and Its Market Perspectives amid Growing Valuation

Next Insurance has so far raised a total of $875 million from private investors who have participated in various funding. The company is led by a team of professionals who anticipates scaling the premium coverage, particularly in small businesses. Led by Guy Goldstein co-founder and CEO, Next seeks to compete with established traditional insurance companies in the same market.

Founded back in 2016, the company has attracted different investors including Redpoint Ventures, Battery Ventures, Ribbit Capital, Global Founders Capital, American Express Ventures, TLV Partners, Founders Circle, CapitalG, Munich Re / HSB Ventures, Nationwide Building Society, Markel Corporation, Zeev Ventures, Nationwide Insurance, G Squared, Munich Re Ventures, Group 11, and FinTLV Ventures.

Series A and B funding round managed to raise $29 and $83 million respectively, whereby the seed funding raised $13 million. Besides the established traditional stock insurance companies, Next is ruthlessly in competition with the likes of Embroker, and Insureon in the small businesses insurance sector. The firm has grown to be trusted by over 100,000 business owners in the online insurance sector.

Being a fully online business, customers’ rating is very important to ensure the sustainability of new customers. Having been rated by four different independent companies, the company received an average of 4.8/5 stars. Hereby giving confidence not only to new customers but also to its private investors.

The company has significantly invested in artificial intelligence technologies to help its platform offer the best services. With the help of data scientists and insurance advisors, Next Insurance has emerged as the best alternative for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

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A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies.
Mythology is my mystery!
“You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself.”



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Chainlink Releases New Whitepaper Introducing Hybrid Smart Contracts for DeFi and NFTs

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The new Chainlink architecture proposed decentralized oracle networks that can off-chain computations and reduce the on-chain logic load. Besides, it also talks about the use of hybrid smart contracts.

On Thursday, April 15, oracle service provider Chainlink (LINK) released a new whitepaper with a plan of expanding into new horizons and creating next-generation decentralized oracle networks. This proposal would mean Chainlink generalizing its oracle network into a “meta-layer” of Decentralized Oracle Networks.

Over the last years, Chainlink has established itself as the Gold standard for sourcing data to the DeFi industry. Some of the top tech companies like Google have also used Chainlink oracles solutions to source data from their off-chain cloud networks to on-chain blockchain platforms.

New Chainlink Whitepaper

The Chainlink 2.0 architecture comes with a larger selection of use cases. It also aims to expand its suite of services to other off-chain computation of data. The Chainlink 2.0 whitepaper suggests that these computational oracles will create a class of “hybrid smart contracts” wherein part of the logic is offloaded to them. It also notes that Chainlink would generalize and extend its computation abilities:

“The extension here is really in the fact that you can put an arbitrary executable in an oracle network for it to run that. And this greatly expands what an Oracle network can do.”

Chainlink co-founder Sergey Nazarov explained that the new oracles will specifically focus on functions that even the layer-two solutions are unable to perform. Nazarov said that this is a “big leap forward because it redefines what people can build”. He further added:

“Oracle networks go far beyond delivering highly validated data, they provide the various decentralized services that are combined with smart contracts to create real world outcomes. These hybrid smart contracts are already redefining our industry as DeFi”.

Hybrid Smart Contracts Already Existing in Blockchain Space

The Chainlink co-founder clarified that the platform is not trying to re-invent the wheel. Neither is it attempting to replace existing blockchains and other layer-two solutions. It just aims to flexible and a customizable solution that can compute data.

The Chainlink 2.0 architecture aims to scale existing decentralized applications and even roll-up schemes and other layer-two solutions. Besides, each individual user also gets the choice of node and consensus mechanism. The whitepaper notes:

“The Chainlink network is a configurable set of validators that can be configured to do whatever the hell you want them to. […] It’s not a blockchain. They [the validators] don’t give you the state and all the guarantees of a blockchain, but they can give you every other type of computation that you want to configure them into doing.”

Also, as said, Chainlink is not the first to implement hybrid smart contracts. In the past, the Paxos stablecoin operator has already implemented these smart contracts. However, the hybrid smart contracts from Chainlink will lead to the concept of Decentralized Oracle Networks (DON).

DON will operate off-chain wherein data within the smart contracts are stored and computed off-chain. “We’re evolving from simpler oracle networks into more advanced Oracle networks called DONs, and then a large collection of DONs will form a MetaLayer,” said Nazarov.

The MetaLayer brings plenty amount of off-chain resources. This includes high-frequency updates for price feeds as well as security for NFTs.

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Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.



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PYPL Stock Up 2.54%, PayPal CEO Schulman Predicts $200M Crypto Volume in Months

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Having adopted the largest digital asset, Bitcoin, PayPal can expect PYPL stock to rally alongside the ongoing crypto bull market.

PayPal Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: PYPL) stock continued with its meteoric rise on Thursday after closing the day trading at $274, up 2.54%. PayPal stock added over 144.97% last year, thanks to the increased adoption of digital payments around the world. Besides, the payment giant announced plans to incorporate the crypto industry led by Bitcoin in its platform.

PayPal currently supports cryptocurrency payment and also account funding with Bitcoin. The company’s CEO Dan Schulman has predicted the platform’s volume will reach $200 million in months, much faster than Coinbase achieved. According to Schulman, the financial system will undergo more changes over the next five years compared to the progress that has been made in the previous 30 years.

“We are moving into the era of digital currencies, and those digital currencies hold tremendous promise, whether these are cryptocurrencies or central bank digital currencies. I believe digital currencies can increase the utility of payments and make the financial system more inclusive and less expensive,” said he.

PayPal (PYPL) Stock and the Cryptocurrency Industry

With the company’s adoption of the largest digital asset, Bitcoin, PayPal stock is poised to rally alongside the ongoing crypto bull market. Moreover, 49 Wall Street analysts have given PayPal stock an average of a Buy rating. According to market data provided by MarketWatch, PYPL stocks are now up approximately 14.27%, 13.56%, and 2.71% in the past three months, one month, and five days respectively through Thursday.

With a market capitalization of approximately $313.77 billion, the company is merely a quarter of Bitcoin’s market capitalization despite the latter being around a decade old. As more institutional investors proliferate the crypto market, Bitcoin market price remains undervalued at current prices. Furthermore, JPMorgan has a price target on Bitcoin of more than $130k in the long term.

Although PayPal will not hold Bitcoin on its balance sheet, the company will be exposed to crypto volatility and exponential growth. Through using Bitcoin and other digital assets as account funding, the company’s future remains pegged to cryptocurrency growth. “PayPal really wants to use cryptocurrency as a funding source for everyday transactions. The endgame, though, is a more noble vision of this inclusive economy, and things will be done much differently than today,” he noted during a recent interview with Forbes.

In order to protect millions of customers and merchants from cryptocurrency’s volatility, the company anticipates incorporating stablecoins to counter digital assets’ unpredictable volatility.

As of 2021, the company operates in over 202 markets and has over 377 million active, registered accounts. With over 30 million merchants poised to accept crypto payments, the company anticipates the volume to further spike in the coming months.

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A financial analyst who sees positive income in both directions of the market (bulls & bears). Bitcoin is my crypto safe haven, free from government conspiracies.
Mythology is my mystery!
“You cannot enslave a mind that knows itself. That values itself. That understands itself.”



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Daimler Unveils Flagship EQS Electric Vehicle to Fight Tesla’s Dominance

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While a lot of automakers are making their debut in the green electric vehicle space, the aim of Daimler is to snatch a sizeable market share from Tesla that is a market leader.

German multinational automotive company Daimler AG (ETR: DAI) has unveiled its new 2022 Mercedes-Benz EQS electric vehicle, marking its foray into the growing EV industry. As reported by CNBC, the EQS will be a part of the automaker’s large S-Class car family when it arrives in U.S. showrooms in the fall.

The product comes with a futuristic interior design that looks more like a spacecraft than a vehicle. The car has 3 screens across the entire dashboard all below a single 56-inch curved glass surface, as well as a passenger screen not be visible to the driver. Per the report, the model that is set to be introduced into American markets later this year will offer up to 516 horsepower and 611 pound-foot of torque. When fully charged, the car is expected to offer a range of about 478 miles (770 kilometers).

“The EQS is designed to exceed the expectations of even our most discerning customers,” said Mercedes-Benz and Daimler CEO Ola Kaellenius in a 63-page press release for the car. “That’s exactly what a Mercedes has to do to earn the letter ‘S’ in its name. Because we don’t award that letter lightly.”

Daimler was circumspect in keeping the pricing out as it unveiled the new product, but analysts expect the car to start out at $100,000 going by the $94,000 to $160,000 price range of the Benz S-Class models it is built to emulate.

“They started at the top,” Jessica Caldwell, executive director of insights at Edmunds.com. “This is similar to what we’ve seen with some of the other automakers. It’s their most expensive vehicle that is going to come out first.”

Daimler EQS Electric Vehicle to Compete with Tesla, Apple, Others

While a host of automakers are making their debut into the green electric vehicle space, the aim ultimately remains to snatch a sizeable market share from industry leader, Tesla Inc (NASDAQ: TSLA), while creating a new market for their innovative products. Daimler’s entry into the space will see the firm fight a lot of competition not just from the Elon Musk-led Tesla, but also tech giants such as Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ: GOOGL), and others reportedly making their foray into the industry.

“There will be intense competition,” Kallenius told CNBC’s Annette Weisbach on Thursday when asked if he was concerned about digital companies entering the electric vehicles market. “When an industry goes through transformation, I think it’s natural that new players look at the industry.”

Investors, in general, will be looking to see how Daimler pushes up its valuation as it lags a few hundred billion when compared to Tesla. Despite its impressive performance in vehicle delivery with a number well ahead of Tesla’s, Daimler’s market capitalization has shrunk from 185 billion euros in 1998 to 82.43 billion Euros it is worth today. In comparison, Tesla has seen a growth of over $709 billion per its 0.90% close on Thursday to $738.85 per share.

However, irrespective of the challenges ahead, the Daimler boss noted the company is bound to thrive as it will “look at what the brand stands for and take that into the next technological era.”

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Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.



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