Israeli Startup Helping Marshall Islands Create Legal Tender Cryptocurrency

TechNation: Israeli Arab girls prefer science in high school, but drop it when they go to college ■ German ad-tech firm Fyber plans major Israeli R&D expansion

FILE PHOTO: A coin representing the bitcoin cryptocurrency is seen on computer circuit boards in this illustration picture, October 26, 2017.
Dado Ruvic / Reuters

Israeli startup helping Marshall Islands to create legal tender cryptocurrency

The Marshall Islands, a tiny Pacific Ocean nation, is partnering with the Israeli startup Neema to issue the first cryptocurrency that is also a country’s legal tender. The currency, called SOV, had its status as legal tender approved by parliament, the minister in assistance to the country’s president, David Paul, told Reuters last week. It will be used together with the U.S. dollar. Paul said SOV would be issued through an initial coin offering, a financing strategy that has become popular with startups looking to raise funds. The country has capped the supply at 24 million tokens to prevent inflation, Paul added. Barak Ben-Ezer, Neema’s CEO, said SOV could be a boon to investors around the world who want to avoid the capital gains tax. “Until now, all cryptos were in regulatory limbo,” he told Bitcoin Magazine. “None of them was considered ‘real’ money by the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, etc.” (TheMarker Staff)

Israeli Arab girls prefer science in high school, but drop it when they go to college

Unlike their Jewish peers, girls comprise the great majority of Israeli Arab high school students majoring in science and engineering subjects, found a study by the Taub Center for Social Policy Studies, which was released on Sunday. But they don’t pursue those subjects if they go on to get a college degree, said the report, which pointed to an untapped pool of talent as Israeli tech companies cope with a shortage of engineers and researchers. “In contrast to Jewish women, who if they studied science/engineering majors in high school are more likely to continue studying these subjects in college, Arab Israeli women are more likely to change course in college,” it said. Among Israeli female students in the third year of college or university, 8% of Jews are studying engineering, versus just 3 to 5% of Israeli Arabs; the rate of Jewish women in math, science or computers is 3% while it ranges from 1 to 6% for Arab women, the study found. (Tali Heruti-Sover)

German ad-tech firm Fyber plans major Israeli R&D expansion

Two years after it bought the Israeli startup Inneractive, the German advertising-tech firm Fyber is expanding its Israeli research and development operations. The company leased four floors covering 3,500 square meters in the Intergreen Building in Petah Tikva’s Kiryat Arye business zone for five years and plans to hire dozens of new staff members in the coming year, the company reported on Monday. “The new offices in Israel are first the step in an expansion that includes offices in Berlin and San Francisco,” said Ziv Elul, an Israeli who cofounded Inneractive and was appointed Fyber’s CEO last July. Fyber’s monetization SDK is directly integrated into over 10,000 mobile apps and the Fyber group reaches over 1.2 billion unique monthly users. The company bought Inneractive, an Israel-based real-time bidding and mobile ad exchange, for $46 million in cash, plus up to $26 million in earn-outs and retention payments in March 2016. (Yael Darel)