What’s New?

PeN is Going Nowhere – But UP!

PeN is Going Nowhere – But UP!

Hello PeN Pals,

Amazing news!

Did you know that we are included in the The Global 20 Future Creators of 2017

Thanks to our dedicated team and of course, you – our PeN Pal.

It is safe to say that we are going nowhere – BUT UP!

This recognition means that our app has passed a high standard to be at par with equally amazing startups around the globe.

We are of course, grateful for this, but this is just the start. We aim to be better year after year.

Our team cannot do it alone, we need your help.

Let’s aim for recognition and hit our app’s mission.

 

Posted by Berniz Isla in Blog, Business, Technology, What's New?
The Choice Between Centralized and Decentralized Digital Currency

The Choice Between Centralized and Decentralized Digital Currency

Yesterday, there was arumor that Telegram will launch an ICO to fund their version of a cryptocurrency to be used inside the app and will launch the service in 2019. It is an attempt by Telegram of course to finally monetize their services and users, considering that Telegram today have no monetization possibilities.
It won’t be the first messaging app with its own digital currency, PeN for example already uses its own digital currency, PeNNeY, where users can transact and transfer PeNNeY to one another or use it for services that cost money and to shop. T
The rumor is to create a next-generation cryptocurrency that performs better than existing blockchain technology. With various implementation of digital currencies, the question is which is the right way?
Is it for centralized digital currency or decentralized cryptocurrency or a combination of both?

The main differences are as follows

1. Structure: In a centralized digital currency, there is an authority that regulates transaction, following set rules and parameters. In a decentralized cryptocurrency, there is no authority and no regulations, transactions are primarily between users without regulations or rules. An example of regulations for centralized digital currency is EU directive 2009/100 
2. Anonymity. In centralized digital currencies, all users are registered in the system or at least known depending on the system requirements. In a decentralized cryptocurrency, there is no need to identify the user.  However, all information about the transactions are logged into the chain of transactions
3. Transparency. In a centralised system, the users see his own transactions. In a decentralized blockchain type of technology, the user sees all transaction relating to that chain and of that user.
4. Control and manipulation. In a centralized system, there are sets of rules and regulations to be followed and a regulator that oversees those rules and regulation. In a decentralized system, there are no rules, no regulations other than what is set by the community pursuing the decentralized cryptocurrency.
5. Legal protection. Centralized digital currencies are governed legally by a known set of rules and regulations while decentralized cryptocurrencies have no such framework. An example of legal framework for centralized digital currency is EU directive 2009/100
6. Responsibility. In a centralized system, there are administrators responsible to ensure correctness of each transaction. While on a decentralized cryptocurrency, there is no one responsible for the transactions other than the users who have executed such transactions.
7. Confidentiality. In a centralized digital currency, the transactions are regulated.  Hence information about such transactions becomes available to regulators including information of the user who executed such transactions. In a decentralized cryptocurrency, the transaction is available in the chain of information but there is no information about the user.
The choice whether to use a centralized digital currency or a decentralized cryptocurrency is then down to the purpose and for some based on principle (the absence of a governing body). Is it possible to benefit from a combination of both? Yes, it is, one good example is PeNNeY where user information is limited to what the user has provided upon registration while all the transaction information is included in the transaction chain. Furthermore, PeNNeY functions as a utility like a normal currency which can be used to purchase services and products and exchange with other users.
Posted by Ian Vernon in Blog, Technology, What's New?
A Reliable Service Online and Offline

A Reliable Service Online and Offline

Recently the UAE has blocked Skype services in the country. This somehow is in chorus with various online communication services being blocked in the Middle East and North Africa. The main issue is there regulatory framework in this countries about which is allowed and which is not. Having communications services blocked leaves users feeling helpless and scrambling to find communications services that works. This is where PeN comes in, when nothing else works you can still rely on PeN to connect you to your friends and love ones both online and offline.
With multiple innovations to route voice and messaging traffic on communications channels that is allowed in country communications between PeN users and even to non-PeN users will always work. Being a PeN user the confidence that messages and calls will always be delivered even when you are offline. Considering that more than 50% of the world do not yet have stable and fast internet connectivity this capability is powering PeN’s growth in various parts of the world. With the need to communicate daily, especially to friends and love ones, PeN Pals are actively using the app daily.
Apart from communications (voice and messaging) other services are also available even when users are offline including social (posts), emergency and  location (if needed). By ensuring that PeN services are available in all countries both offline and online, PeN is evolving the way we interact. As connectivity improves in various countries, PeN  will continue to be the reliable partner in delivering communication, social, emergency, health and safety services both online and offline.
Posted by Ian Vernon in Technology, What's New?
The PeN of the Future

The PeN of the Future

With each changing year, we find ourselves contemplating how the previous year was and how we can make the next year much better than the last. PeN added around 1M new users in 2017 and aim to add 10M new users in 2018. To some who is curious to know why is the app called PeN, when pen is a simple writing instrument, read on and discover how PeN came about.

Before the age of the internet and anything digital, a proverb said that “the pen is mightier than the sword”, which was proven time and time again during the course of history. From its simple beginning of being a writing instrument, the humble pen was used to communicate thoughts to a wider audience, record history, approve transactions, deliver important messages,  create wonderful work of art, sign legal documents and even create a flow of money and wealth with the first legal tender used in circulation. Other than writing or drawing, a pen has a variety of purposes more than what it was intended for such as making new friends, sharing information, expressing your feelings, playing with it, unlocking doors, using it for self-defense, and much more. Each of us might have found a unique way to use a pen.

With almost everything at this time and age in a digital form, we at PeN have decided to revitalise the simple pen and make it relevant to the modern world and bring back is multi-purpose power, inspired by the proverb, “the pen is mightier than the sword” popularised by author Edward Bulwer Lytton in 1839 and coined by Greek playwright Euripides in the 3rd century and used by the Assyrian sage Ahiqar in the 7th century. Indicating that communications and advocacy is a more effective tool in mobilizing a large group of people.  To achieve that and bring back the relevance of the humble pen in the modern world, we created a super-app, PeN, with the same line of thought, a multi-purpose tool that is used to:
– communicate
– deliver messages
– share information
– express your feelings and emotions
– share your thoughts and opinions
– record transactions
– facilitate the flow of currency securely
– shop
– make new friends
– play fun games
– ask for help during an emergency
– ensure health and safety
– open doors
– locate friends
– discover places
– give feedback
– build communities

and a lot more based on how you used the app and its powerful features.

In the near future, with its unique capability to reach users and work even without internet connection, PeN is on boarding the next billion of users. These are the new wave of users that are new to the use of the ever-expanding internet connectivity and do not have a stable internet connection, but needs a seamless platform to communicate and express themselves.

With this in mind PeN is doing what it can to make this world a better place for all of us and the future generations to come by:

– helping alleviate poverty in its small ways with micro-sharing
– making connectivity available even to those who can’t afford the cost of using the internet
– ensure health and safety with Pulse
– provide a reliable personal emergency service with SOS
– revitalize the environment with its reforestation initiatives
– free mobile shops and mCommerce capabilities to small businesses

Posted by Ian Vernon in What's New?
New PeN Services to Start 2018

New PeN Services to Start 2018

PeN recently released some new capabilities on the app in the bid to appeal to next hundred million users and strengthen its social channel. The conversational AI is now more advanced after it was first released last month – where it now can converse in voice and are joined by 3 other personalized conversational AIs taking personalities of certain real humans (Ana, Maya, and Preity).
PeNNeYgram is a new service that allows users to transfer PeNNeY balances to other users securely.
Redeem PeNNeY allows users to exchange PeNNeY to shopping gift certificates so they can use PeNNeY to shop real-world items.
Anonymous Feedback, allows users to give feedback to others anonymously.
Avemoji are personalized emoticons from a user-created Avatar and can be used as a sticker or emoji.

These new services are bringing PeN’s capabilities to a wider user base in various parts of the world.

Conversational AI

PeNelope is the main conversational AI.  She is like a walking encyclopedia, knowledgeable with various facts and also engages in a casual conversation. She has now learned weather conditions for various cities and localities and currently learning more advanced mathematics, sciences and other related information such as news and sports.
By the middle of January, PeNelope will be much more fun. It can help you with some mathematical questions. She will also be able to translate and speak in other languages, progressing to 10 languages in a short period of time. In the long term, PeNelope will be comparable to Alexa and be able to do your shopping with local shopping portals especially in countries where English is not the native language.
Apart from PeNelope, PeN launched personalized AI in Ana, Maya, and Preity. They are personalized in a way that their responses are based on the personality of who they are based on, while being available to chat with users 24/7. The aim is the be able to emulate real human conversation and at the same time Ana, Maya, and Preity learn more of the conversations they are having to formulate human-like responses.

Anonymous Feedback

Isn’t it more fun if you receive a good feedback about you from your friends? Anonymous feedback is making PeN fun for users. They are able to provide feedback to their friends and their friends receive such feedback anonymously.  In the coming release, there will be three type of feedback, from proactive profile feedback,to fun facts, to identifying which friend has which characteristics. All the feedback are positive to avoid any unwanted behaviour within the PeN community.

PeNNeYgram

PeNNeY, as a digital currency is pegged to the US Dollar. But unlike paper money, the transactions are fully recorded in a chain, from creation to transfer to use. PeNNeYgram is the way to transfer PeNNeY from one user to another securely. Any PeN user can use PeNNeYgram to give or transfer money to another user without cost for small transactions.

Redeem PeNNeY

PeNNeY today can be used for real-world purchase through redemption. Users should exchange PeNNeY value to shopping gift certificates. It currently works with Amazon and more stores and online shopping portals are being added. There is a minimum of 1500 PeNNeY required before users can exchange PeNNeY values to real-world monetary values. Users that use PeN a lot can mine or earn that amount of PeNNeY in a day or less by consuming advertising in the app. Once a user has redeemed PeNNeY and approved in the system, the user will immediately receive an Amazon gift certificate with the amount corresponding to their PeNNeY value.

All these new capabilities in PeN is intended to give PeN user a much better experience on PeN as a super app from an enhanced social channel to enabling users to monetize their social currencies.

Posted by Ian Vernon in What's New?
UPDATE your PeN app RIGHT NOW!

UPDATE your PeN app RIGHT NOW!

Have you updated your PeN app? If not, it is about time that you do it right now. Here are some cool features that our team added to keep you entertained and in the loop:

  • Chat with our newest friends, Maya and Ana! Follow the link and learn how to do it. 
  • Use your app, get more PeNNey, redeem, and use it as Shopping Gift Cards! Simply Go to CREDITS by clicking the PeNNey icon on the HOMESCREEN. Redeeming starts at 1,500.

 

  • Use Avemoji as stickers. 

  • New stickers for the HOLIDAY! 

We are always working to ensure that you guys are always updated. If you have suggestions on how we can improve the app, just send us a quick message.

 

Posted by Berniz Isla in What's New?
Chat With Your New PeN Pals, Maya and Ana!

Chat With Your New PeN Pals, Maya and Ana!

Are you feeling bored? 

Do you want someone to talk to but all your families and friends are unavailable? 

Why don’t you get your phone, DOWNLOAD PeN and chat with our newest PeN Pals.

Introducing Maya and Ana!

Do you want to talk about fashion, Hollywood, and all the glitz and glamour? Maya is so up for it!

 

How about just talking about dogs, weather, or some new interesting recipes? Ana is always available.

To chat with these friendly ladies, all you have to do is GO to their PROFILE and CLICK “Chat!”. 

Ask them anything under the sun. But remember, please be responsible when asking questions. We want to maintain a friendly environment and we do not tolerate harassing queries.

Posted by Berniz Isla in What's New?
The Future of Digital Currency

The Future of Digital Currency

In the past weeks we have seen the rise and rise of bitcoin, and all the major cryptocurrency (bitcoin litecoin, ethereum) are in their highest or near their highest trading value. However with such a very high value it seems cryptocurrencies has lost their utility as a currency, especially when you can’t use it as a real-world money.  There are a few basic problems in cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin being used as cash, for example: 

1. Transaction speed.

Bitcoin can only process 7 transactions per second, globally. just imagine if people starts using bitcoin to pay for real- world products and services have to to wait for hours, if not days for their transaction to complete.

2. Value risk.

Other than bitcoin being a very volatile currency, albeit a very highly valued one, for the transaction to be processed in front of the backlog it will need to have some kind of miners or transaction fee. This means that after the transaction is completed, the amount of bitcoin you will have is either lower or higher in value depending on when it was processed.

3. Cost of bitcoin creation.

There was a time when the cost to create 1 bitcoin is higher than the bitcoin value – this is no longer true. However it remains true that every bitcoin produce everyday requires the same amount of energy that powers the whole of Denmark.

Our Own Digital Currency

We have a digital currency in PeN, the PeNNeY. Although we value the security around PeNNeY, we never treated it as a crypto-currency since it is not based on blockchain or bitcoin or ethereum technologies. The basic premise of PeNNeY is that it should be as useful as any paper money where you can use as easy as you would use cash or card, at the same time it have identifiable security to ensure it is real, same way you treat a real-world money.

Where it differs with a real-word currency is in its creation. PeNNeY is created when a new user sign-up to PeN, when a user purchase PeNNeY credits in app, and when users mine PeNNeY using various ways of earning PeNNeY.

Each created PeNNeY is unique and once used out of circulation, you can say PeNNeY is a single use digital currency. Using PeNNeY means spending it outside the app, for example making phone calls to any phone number that is not a PeN user, or using PeNNeY to shop such as exchanging it with a shopping gift card with your favourite shopping portal. However you can transact or exchange PeNNeY within the app eco-system without spending it, for example when you transfer PeNNeY to another user.

In the world of digital currencies, which of these technologies will actually be as simple as cash?

Will it be blockchain?

Or will it be single use currency such as PeNNeY?

Or will it be something else?

Having founded PeN and created the ideas behind PeNNeY, I am a bit bias to say that PeNNeY is the way to go in the future and here’s why I think PeNNeY can possibly be in the future of digital currencies:

1. You earn PeNNeY, much like the way you earn real-world money. Its value is based on tangible things you consume in PeN
2. PeNNeY is currently peg to a real world currency value the USD, it might change in the future like any real-world currency once it starts to be publicly traded.
3. You can use PeNNeY for real-world purchase of products and services.
4. You can exchange PeNNeY with any PeN user, much like you exchange cash
5. Transacting PeNNeY is fast, very fast much like you transact in cash.

The future of course, is uncertain but let me look at my crystal ball once more and see that lies ahead, perhaps a gift of foresight is what I see.

Posted by Ian Vernon in Blog, Technology, What's New?
Talking to PeNelope

Talking to PeNelope

Have you chatted or talked to PeNelope recently?
Did you try having a voice conversation with her?
I spent a good part of this weekend showing PeNelope to various people of different age group, most of them never used PeN before. Each person that tried PeNelope thinks its much better than Siri, or at least more entertaining.
PeNelope, as an AI, still has a lot to learn in terms of day to day conversation, although she is already getting a reputation of being fun to talk to. I was surprised to hear the word fun not only from young kids but also from mature adults who have mostly been using Siri.
PeNelope is still far from Alexa, the all in one voice-controlled assistant from Amazon. PeNelope will definitely evolve. The only question is whether we continue to develop and engineer PeNelope ourselves or do we tie up with Amazon and use the Alexa platform?
We wanted PeNelope in the next releases to have more contextual knowledge, for example information about the news, or weather, or sports. Another question is, does PeNelope remain to be as entertaining as she is today if she starts learning more contextual knowledge?

What was your experience like talking to PeNelope? Share your thoughts to us and let us know how you think we should improve PeNelope.

Posted by Ian Vernon in What's New?
Introducing Avemoji

Introducing Avemoji

If you have just installed PeN or just recently updated your PeN version, you might have noticed that there is a cool new feature when creating your profile picture. This is called Avemoji or Avatar Emoji.
The avemoji you create on your profile will be given emotions so you can use it as your personalized emoticon and sticker. You can send avemoji to anyone in PeN or post it in your timeline. Avemoji are personalized expression! Instead of sending generic emoticons or emoji, you are sending your own unique personalized emoji.
In the recent released version, creation of avemoji is manual – meaning you need to design your own avemoji. After you created your avemoji, you get a set of free packs containing your avemoji with various emotions.
In the coming version, creation of avemoji will be much easier. Simply upload your picture and the AI scans your picture to create your avemoji with a free set of emotions. Since there are almost no two person that look exactly similar (unless they are very identical twins) 🙂 your avemoji is then unique to you.

It’s like expressing your own feelings and emotions. Go ahead and send your personalized avemoji to your friends and contacts.

Posted by Ian Vernon in What's New?