Wall Street Veteran Blythe Masters Appointed to Phunware Board of Directors

Former CEO of Digital Asset, CFO of J.P. Morgan’s Investment Bank and Chair Emeritus of Linux Hyperledger Project Appointed as Certified Financial Expert

Phunware, Inc. (NASDAQ: PHUN) (the “Company”), a fully-integrated enterprise cloud platform for mobile that provides products, solutions, data and services for brands worldwide, today announced the appointment of Blythe Masters to its Board of Directors.

Blythe Masters is an experienced financial services and technology executive and currently an Industry Partner at the private equity and venture capital firm Motive Partners. She is the former CEO of Digital Asset – provider of the world’s leading smart contract language DAML – which she led from a startup in 2015 until 2018, serving customers including the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). She is Chair Emeritus of the Governing Board of the Linux Foundation’s open source Hyperledger Project, International Advisory Board Member of Santander Group, Board Member of OpenBank and Advisory Board Member of the United States Chamber of Digital Commerce, Figure Technologies – the blockchain-powered consumer financial products company – and the residential mortgage exchange, Maxex.

Blythe was previously a senior executive at J.P. Morgan, which she left after 27 years in 2014, following the successful sale of the physical commodities business which she built. Blythe was a member of the Corporate & Investment Bank Operating Committee and the firm’s Executive Committee. Positions at J.P. Morgan included Head of Global Commodities, Head of Corporate & Investment Bank Regulatory Affairs, CFO of the Investment Bank, Head of Global Credit Portfolio and Credit Policy & Strategy, Head of North American Structured Credit Products, Co-Head of Asset Backed Securitization and Head of Global Credit Derivatives Marketing.

Blythe is a past Chair of the Global Financial Markets Association (GFMA), the Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) and the public consumer finance company Santander Consumer Holdings Inc. (NYSE: SC).

Blythe is currently Co-Chair of the Global Fund for Women, Vice Chair of ID2020, Advisory Board Member and past Board Member of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, Board Member of the Feminist Institute, and former Chair of the Greater New York City Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Blythe holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of Cambridge.

“We are incredibly excited and honored to have appointed Blythe to our Board of Directors,” said Alan S. Knitowski, President, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Phunware. “Her background on Wall Street and her operational credentials and pedigree speak for themselves.”

The Phunware Board of Directors unanimously approved the appointment of Blythe Masters as the Company’s Certified Financial Expert, including her appointment as Chair of the Audit Committee and Member of the Compensation Committee.

“I am looking forward to helping Phunware become a household name on both Wall Street and Main Street,” said Blythe Masters. “The Company sits at the intersection of mobile, cloud, big data and blockchain and I look forward to contributing to its efforts in becoming the global enterprise platform standard for Fortune 1000 digital transformation initiatives.”

Safe Harbor Clause and Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release, including statements regarding our future results of operations and financial position, business strategy and plans, and our objectives for future operations, are forward-looking statements. The words “anticipate,” “believe,” “continue,” “could,” “estimate,” “expect,” “expose,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “opportunity,” “plan,” “possible,” “potential,” “predict,” “project,” “should,” “will,” “would” and similar expressions that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes are intended to identify forward-looking statements, but the absence of these words does not mean that a statement is not forward-looking.

The forward-looking statements contained in this press release are based on our current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effects on us. Future developments affecting us may not be those that we have anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve a number of risks, uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control) and other assumptions that may cause actual results or performance to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those factors described under the heading “Risk Factors” in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q, 8-K and other filings that we make with the SEC from time to time. Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or should any of our assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary in material respects from those projected in these forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as may be required under applicable securities laws. These risks and others described under “Risk Factors” in our SEC filings may not be exhaustive.

By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties because they relate to events and depend on circumstances that may or may not occur in the future. We caution you that forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and that our actual results of operations, financial condition and liquidity, and developments in the industry in which we operate may differ materially from those made in or suggested by the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. In addition, even if our results or operations, financial condition and liquidity, and developments in the industry in which we operate are consistent with the forward-looking statements contained in this press release, those results or developments may not be indicative of results or developments in subsequent periods.

About Phunware, Inc.

Everything You Need to Succeed on Mobile — Transforming Digital Human Experience

Phunware, Inc. (NASDAQ: PHUN), is the pioneer of Multiscreen-as-a-Service (MaaS), an award-winning, fully integrated enterprise cloud platform for mobile that provides companies the products, solutions, data and services necessary to engage, manage and monetize their mobile application portfolios and audiences globally at scale. Phunware’s Software Development Kits (SDKs) include location-based services, mobile engagement, content management, messaging, advertising, loyalty (PhunCoin & Phun) and analytics, as well as a mobile application framework of pre-integrated iOS and Android software modules for building in-house or channel-based mobile application and vertical solutions. Phunware helps the world’s most respected brands create category-defining mobile experiences, with more than one billion active devices touching its platform each month. For more information about how Phunware is transforming the way consumers and brands interact with mobile in the virtual and physical worlds, visit https://www.phunware.com, https://www.phuncoin.com, https://www.phuntoken.com, and follow @phunware, @phuncoin and @phuntoken on all social media platforms.

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$107 Million Startup Digital Asset Incorporates Smart Contracts Into HyperLedger Framework

Digital Asset, a New York-based firm that has received over $100 million in total funding in order to develop a platform for “reducing settlement latency and counterparty risk,” announced a couple weeks ago that it had open-sourced DAML “under the Apache 2.0 license.”

According to its official website, the Digital Asset Modeling Language (DAML) is a software development stack created specifically for writing secure smart contracts. The DAML software development kit (SDK) is now available for download.

An “Exclusive Smart Contract Language” For “Common Domain Model”

Additionally, the management at Digital Asset noted in its blog post, published on April 16, that ISDA, which is the “standards body for the derivatives market,” revealed recently that DAML is “the exclusive smart contract language” for their “Common Domain Model” (CDM).

The CDM is “an industry data standard for booking and representing over-the-counter (OTC) derivative products and the events that occur on these products throughout their lifecycle.”

As mentioned in Digital Asset’s announcement, they’ve recently open-sourced a “reference library and [supporting] application.” The Digital Asset management team also announced this month that it has been working with developers and researchers at VMware, in order to “integrate DAML” with their enterprise-grade blockchain platform, called VMware Blockchain.

In addition to launching these initiatives, the team at Digital Asset has revealed it has also been collaborating with “fellow Hyperledger members” through a Blockchain Technology Partners (BTP) program. This will reportedly involve “integrating” the DAML runtime environment with Hyperledger Sawtooth.

Developing Software On Modular Platforms

According to Digital Asset, the Hyperledger Sawtooth is a complete modular platform for creating, deploying and managing distributed ledger technology (DLT)-based networks. The New York-based tech firm also noted that Hyperledger Sawtooth complies with standards and requirements specified in the DAML framework.

As detailed in the post, Hyperledger Sawtooth’s “Transaction Processor has a very flexible approach towards roles and permissions, for example, and is based on a very natural DLT network topology of fully distributed peers. DAML is based on a permissioned architecture and Hyperledger Sawtooth can be configured to be permissioned without requiring special nodes.”

Abstracting Implementation Details

DAML is used to define and write smart contracts in a manner that creates an abstraction. This is done so that certain blockchain-specific implementation details are hidden from end-users, such as the type of cryptography scheme used and the technical methods of data distribution.

One of the main reasons for using abstraction is to allow developers to program through a user-friendly API. Moreover, code written using DAML support allows software architects to easily migrate applications from one platform to another without having to rewrite a lot of code.


DTCC shines spotlight on OTC derivatives standards, data collection

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation’s latest report highlights the current challenges that remain for creating a globally recognized framework for reporting for over-the-counter derivatives trades. Effective monitoring, data consistency and aggregation are key hurdles.

A Progress Report on OTC Derivatives Trade Repositories: Many Miles Travelled, More Yet to Go recommends the use of the latest technologies and the creation of global data standards.

“The industry has made significant strides in launching a global derivatives trade reporting framework following the global financial crisis, providing derivatives market transparency neverbefore seen. However, we still have work to do to fully deliver upon G20 objectives,” said Val Wotton, managing director, DTCC Deriv/SERV. “For fifteen years, DTCC has operated its Deriv/SERV business, interacting closely with market participants, industry associations, standard-setting bodies and regulators. We look forward to further collaboration with the industry to continue to enhance the service to meet evolving industry and regulatory needs.”

The report acknowledges progress toward G20 goals, especially in the areas of standards development and data sharing, but more needs to be done. “The industry must implement consistent standards globally or, alternatively, normalize data in accordance with prescribed standards. Then the industry will be able to further reduce operational risks, costs and improve the value of the data for all that need to use it,” said Chris Childs, DTCC president and CEO.

The report highlights the potential of distributed ledger technology to transform reporting, including recommendations for how the industry can best integrate a reporting framework covering OTC derivatives transactions worldwide. The creation of standards is a key step toward leveraging distributed ledger technology and the creation of a global, searchable databases for regulators.

The study cites the credit default swaps market as a proven model for creating a global record warehouse for the collection of CDS transactions as a “golden source” of record. The Hyperledger Project and the International Swaps and Derivatives Association’s Common Data Model are also noted in the report as positive steps toward the standardization within the industry. DTCC is a founding member of the Hyperledger Project.


Second Derivative: The Accelerating Rate of Change

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In calculus, the second derivative is the measure of instantaneous acceleration or velocity of a function of a function f. For example, the second derivative of the position of a vehicle with respect to time is the instantaneous acceleration of the vehicle, or the rate at which the velocity of the vehicle is changing with respect to time.

The second derivative is a measure of how fast things are changing and in Leibniz notation, it looks like this:



Where the last term is the second derivative expression[1].

On a graph, the second derivative corresponds to the curvature or concavity of the graph. The graph of a function with a positive second derivative bows downward (that is, is concave when viewed from above), while the graph of a function with a negative second derivative curves in the opposite way (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: The Second Derivative or Rate of Instantaneous Acceleration

Figure 1: The Second Derivative or Rate of Instantaneous Acceleration

The reason why I’m taking everyone back to their high school calculus days isn’t because I’m masochist (which I am) but is to highlight something that is fundamentally transforming our society – which is the instantaneous acceleration of how new technologies are transforming how we do business and how we live.

Big Data and IOT and Blockchain, Oh My!

Many organizations that have spent the past several years trying to understand and ultimately monetize their big data are now being over-whelmed by the potential and hype of the Internet of Things; that is, the explosion of additional data sources from wearables, devices, beacons, onboard sensors, and more, which are now available for our consumption. While not an exact measure, one can see in Figure 2 how the interest in IOT is accelerating upwards and has usurped the interest in Big Data, whose slope of line is slightly below zero.

Figure 2:  Interest in Big Data versus IOT measured by Google Trends[2].

Figure 2:  Interest in Big Data versus IOT measured by Google Trends[2]

Maybe it’s time for me to change my nickname to the “Dean of IOT,” but then I’d need to buy a new license plate for me car, so forget that.

But just as we are trying to get our hands around the potential of IOT, now comes Blockchain. And trust me when I say that Blockchain is no flash in the pan. The interest in Blockchain is growing at an even faster pace than IOT did and has already matched the interest in Big Data (see Figure 3)!

Figure 3:  Comparing Interest in Big Data, IOT and Blockchain

Figure 3:  Comparing Interest in Big Data, IOT and Blockchain

And the rate of acceleration in the interest in Blockchain is exploding (see Figure 4).

Figure 4:  Rate of Acceleration in Blockchain

Figure 4:  Rate of Acceleration in Blockchain

Why is interest in blockchain accelerating so rapidly? The reason lies less in the technology, and more in the focus on identifying and implementing business use cases.

Real-world Blockchain Use Cases

Blockchain is rapidly – frantically – moving beyond the “science experiment” phase into the “business monetization” phase. Leading companies are already embracing the unique capabilities afforded by blockchain to either improve existing business processes or to create new business opportunities. Below is just a very small sample of some Blockchain use cases.

  • The governor of the Bank of England, the UK’s central bank, has revealed that an upcoming version of the UK’s main interbank payments system will be compatible for settlements in a distributed ledger, commonly known as a blockchain. “Next-Gen UK Payments System Will be Blockchain Compatible: BOE Governor
  • In order to help coffee farmers get properly paid for their work and the quality of their beans, Bext360 employs blockchain technology to create a record of where beans came from, and who paid what for them. “Bext360 is using robots and the blockchain to pay coffee farmers fairly
  • Smart contracts is yet another area where blockchain is being applied. Blockchain supports ability to carry out the terms of any contract, without the time-consuming and expensive bureaucracy. It does this by removing the middlemen such as lawyers, who traditionally have a role in verification. Two anonymous parties can therefore do business with each other over the internet, with heavy duty encryption providing the necessary trust element. As it is not possible for recordings of transactions to be altered, the risk of tampering from third parties or human error is eradicated. “Providing the essential link for blockchain success
  • Microsoft Office will use blockchain to enable users to verify the authentication of emails without having to leave Outlook itself and without having to go to a central clearinghouse to have the emails verified. The solution is compatible with products across the Office suite. “In a more general sense, anyone wanting to certify and verify any digital asset could reuse and build upon this knowledge, too,” Microsoft adds.  “Microsoft Office Can Now Verify Docs On The Bitcoin Blockchain
  • Walmart struggles to identify and remove food that’s been recalled. When a customer becomes ill, it can take days to identify the product, shipment and vendor. With the blockchain, Wal-Mart will be able to obtain crucial data from a single receipt, including suppliers, details on how and where food was grown and who inspected it. The database extends information from the pallet to the individual package. “Wal-Mart Tackles Food Safety With Trial of Blockchain

One just needs to read some of the leading technology publications to see yet another example of an organization using blockchain to implement another business use case (just check out “Italian Wines Will Be Recorded on Blockchain, Authenticity Guaranteed” that came out as I was completing this blog).

Rate of Technology Adoption Accelerating

The rate of technology innovation is accelerating because the rate of business adoption is also accelerating, being driven by real world “Make me more money” use cases. Instead of burying the technologies in the bowels of the organization under the guise of innovation, leading organizations are instead looking for real world use cases that can both validate as well as monetize these new technologies.

We saw it with Big Data, when the rate of Big Data adoption started to accelerate when Big Data moved out of IT and started to get incorporate into the Line of Business monetization strategies.

We are just starting to see it with the Internet of Things (IOT) where the technologies are just starting to move out of IT into operations and being used to drive operational efficiencies and eventually new monetization opportunities.

And it will happen with these new technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, autonomous cars, quantum computing, the bionic man, holodecks, teleportation, and whatever else may pop up tomorrow.

The key to successful technology innovation is to move beyond IT “discovery and experimentation” and instead refocus on business “use cases and monetization”.

Starting with the business use cases is the key to transitioning from a technology science experience to powering business adoption. Identifying, validating and prioritizing the targeted business use cases is the secret sauce for driving technology adoption.

Don’t know where to find these business use cases? Then let’s go old school MBA and start with Michael Porters Value Chain Analysis (see Figure 5).

Figure 5:  Michael Porter's Value Chain Analysis

Figure 5:  Michael Porter’s Value Chain Analysis

For more details on how to leverage Michael Porter’s seminal work, check out:

Start with a single business use case for analytics and then proceed use case-by-use case to build out your data, analytic and application capabilities and assets, define underlying architecture, and implement the foundational hardware, software and cloud technologies

Focusing on business adoption will enable organizations to exploit these new technologies to optimize existing business processes, reduce security risks, uncover new revenue opportunities, and to create a more compelling, more prescriptive customer engagement.


[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_derivative

[2] https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?q=Blockchain,IOT,Big%20Data

The post Second Derivative: The Accelerating Rate of Change appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.

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