Revolut Crypto Investing App Valuated at $5.5 Billion After New $500M Funding Round

The UK-based digital bank Revolut is now valued at $5.5 billion, after raising $500 million in its latest series D funding round. Raising a total of $836 million across the 4 funding rounds. This makes it one of the EU’s most valuable fintech apps that is crypto-friendly.

The Revolut app has been used to buy, sell, and hold Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC) since 2017 while adding Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and XRP in 2018. In December last year, it received in Lithuania a banking license and started offering its customers prepaid cards together with banking services.

Funding Round Led by TCV

Revolut’s new funding round was led by TCV, the Silicon Valley-based venture capital group that invests in the top tech players on the market, like Spotify, LinkedIn, Facebook, TripAdvisor, and Airbnb.

The digital bank’s new $5.5 billion evaluation ties to the record set by a private Swedish fintech firm Klarna, back in 2019. Revolut has more than 10 million users. Aside from offering stock trading and cryptocurrency features, it’s now looking to obtain a UK banking license and to provide lending services.

The UK Offers the Most Lucrative Market for Neobanks

The market in the UK has proven to be very lucrative for disrupter banks, also known as “neobanks“. Customers of neobanks have increased in numbers from 7.7 million to 19.6 million in 2019, says an Accenture report from Monday.

If Revolut manages to clear its path with regulators, it will also launch in the US during the first half of this year, while also trying to expand into the Asian and Latin markets.

More Traction for Crypto and Neobanks

The co-founder of another UK-based neobank, Sterling’s Mark Hipperson, has plans to launch another banking venture called Ziglu, in 2020’s Q1. Ziglu will offer multiple fiat and cryptocurrencies balances under one account and will have a Mastercard debit card linked to it. Hybrid banks that combine banking with cryptocurrency transactions are becoming more popular with the latest developments in fintech.

For example, Coinbase announced just last week that it have become an official Visa Principal Member and collaborations with crypto-based banks such as Syngum and Switzerland’s SEBA.

Read Original/a>
Author: Oana Ularu

Bitcoin Becoming A “Currency of Choice” Will Push BTC Price Up 2,500% – Tim Draper

  • Bitcoin correction may end up being more than that but we’re in for an interesting ride
  • Tim Draper still holding to his prediction of BTC at $250,000 in 2023 beginning
  • When the time to make the switch comes, “Bitcoin is going to be the big winner”
  • Warren Buffett is a critic because Bitcoin is a “huge threat” to his holdings

Bitcoin has been extremely volatile for the past two weeks, trying to stay above the important psychological level $10,000 but unable to as yesterday we went down below $9,500.

Bitcoin might be in correction but according to venture capitalist Tim Draper, we are in for an “interesting ride.” Draper, the founder of Draper Associates, in an interview with CNBC said,

“I have been out of the market for about six months, it felt pretty lofty for me and I kind of moved most of my stuff to crypto and Bitcoin. It’s kind of a safe haven now and I think this correction may end up being more than that… we’re in for a kind of an interesting ride.”

Bitcoin – A “Currency of Choice”

Draper reiterated his Bitcoin price prediction for Bitcoin that sees the digital asset hitting $250,000 in the next three years.

“I’m still holding to my prediction I think Bitcoin in 2022, Or at the beginning of 2023, will hit $250,000 and that is a big move from where it is here.”

The reason behind such a bold prediction is Bitcoin becoming a “currency of choice.” Draper explains that currently bitcoin isn’t as easy to move around but eventually it will be and then people will have a choice.

And then, they won’t choose to pay the banks two and a half to four percent every time one swipes their credit card. The choice will be the currency that’s “frictionless, open, transparent, global, and not tied to any political force,” he said.

At some point, Draper feels people are going to make that switch and at that time, “bitcoin is going to be the big winner.”

Enormous Risk

Although he didn’t reveal how much of his net worth is in bitcoin and crypto, he did say, “a lot of it.”

“It’s a lot, it is a lot a lot and it is just better in the long term,” said Draper.

But what kind of risk endemic to other holdings if we see an increment of over 2,500 percent in Bitcoin by 2023.

“Enormous risk, I wouldn’t hold a bank if you paid me to own the bag. I wouldn’t hold an insurance company right now. I mean that they are not in good shape going for the next 10 years, things are going to change. very big.”

He also points out how the millennials prefer bitcoin over dollars as it’s a better currency to hold.

Bitcoin a “Huge Threat” to Crypto Critic Warren Buffett’s Holdings

Draper also commented on long term crypto critic Warren Buffett reinstating his dislike for crypto by saying that they don’t have any value and he doesn’t own any crypto and neither will he ever.

“That is hilarious, he owns 50% of his holdings are banks and insurance companies, they are not going to do well in this new decentralized economy, of course, he’s not going to like it.”

Draper said Buffett sees bitcoin and cryptos as a “huge threat to his holdings.” Draper said,

“Clearly he’s not gonna want this new currency that is completely, everyone knows, is so much better than what we have out there and these currencies that are tied to fiat government. I think they’re just gonna be a relic of the past, it’ll be like holding drachmas and Frank’s.”

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Cryptokitties Developer Dapper Labs Brings UFC Collectibles To Ethereum Blockchain

Quick Read:

  • CryptoKitties founder, Dapper Labs, partners with UFC to register fighters on the blockchain.
  • The partnership allows users to buy, sell and trade collectibles on UFC fighters.

Blockchain is taking its place in the octagon after a partnership announcement between highly rated Ethereum based game, CryptoKitties’ creator, Dapper Labs and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The partnership will see the blockchain-based firm create tradable collectibles of UFC fighters such as Conor McGregor and Khabib.

Dapper Labs is widely known for its CryptoKitties game, a dApp on Ethereum blockchain that was so prominent in 2018 that it crashed the blockchain for a number of hours.

The agreement states the two firms will develop a new digital experience that will offer the fans across the globe a platform to trade, buy, sell and own their own UFC-branded collectible cards on the blockchain. Dapper Labs platform, The Flow, which launched at the end of 2019 will host the users’ collectibles.

Speaking on the partnership with UFC, CEO of Dapper Labs, Roham Gharegozlou, said,

“Working with the UFC, we are showing what’s possible when you give an engaged fan base a real ownership stake in the game they love and the communities they’re a part of.”

UFC is widely known for embracing digital solutions for the future having previously advertised Litecoin (LTC), a cryptocurrency, in the Octagon. Notwithstanding, Ben Askren, a prominent UFC fighter has also shown his love of cryptocurrency promoting the industry in the past few months.

Tracey Bleczinski, UFC Senior Vice President, Global Consumer Products, hopes the latest partnership with Dapper Labs will promote digital solutions in the field even further. Bleczinski further said,

“UFC is thrilled to partner with Dapper Labs to offer a new form of digital collectibles to our global fan base. UFC prides itself on being innovators in sports technology, and Flow is another way to provide our fans with the best entertainment experience.”

[Also Read: CryptoKitties’ Dapper Labs also partnered with the NBA last year]

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

XRP Prints Bullish Golden Cross Pattern But Analyst More Concerned About Weekly Death Cross

  • XRP going for a retest is a buy the dip opportunity
  • XRP active addresses hit all-time high several times this month
  • In cross-border payment, it’s becoming increasingly hard to dislodge XRP just like Ethereum in DeFi – Ripple SVP Asheesh Birla

On Feb. 15, XRP went above $0.340, a level that was last seen in early July 2019. But as Bitcoin takes a drop, XRP went down to $0.262 again, to early February levels.

Currently, the third-largest cryptocurrency by market cap is trading at $0.264, down 4.61% in the past 24 hours. But things might turn out okay for the digital asset, yet again.

Today, XRP printed a bullish crossover, a golden cross. A golden cross technical pattern is a bullish signal where the short-term moving average crosses above a long-term moving average, which indicates that a bull market is on the horizon.

“Still going for that retest. Buy the dip opportunities rather than short entries. As long as we hold,” said trader Crypto Michael.

A Massive Breakout

However, XRP bull Magic Poop Cannon who likened the recent rise in XRP price to 2017 bull rally, now says “XRP Remains in A Downtrend.”

The digital asset is currently struggling with a rising trend line that was generated off of the peak of 2014. Present at $0.265, the analyst says a fall below this level could mean a “more dramatic selloff than expected.”

Currently, XRP has been in a falling wedge which is a bullish pattern that depends on a breakout. This breakout he said doesn’t exist yet and the fact that the crypto asset has had four clear rejections at the top of that formation, it doesn’t bode well for XRP in the short term.

Although the golden cross has been printed, Magic notes there is also a death cross on the weekly chart which is “telling a more important story.”

“Ultimately, I expect that the volatility will continue, until price is able to break out of this formation to the upside or to the downside. Either way, it will be massive.”

Hard to Dislodge XRP from cross-border remittances – Ripple SVP

Keeping aside the price, Asheesh Birla, Ripple’s senior vice president of the product said at the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco that it would be difficult for crypto assets and companies to outperform XRP in the cross border remittances sector. Similarly, it is hard to beat Ethereum in decentralized finance (DeFi) space, said Birla.

XRP, the digital asset powers the Ripple network in any destination where its products are live making it the “most” liquid crypto asset. And as Ripple has repeatedly emphasized, it has found its niche in cross-border payments and remittance sector and built an ecosystem.

“So in cross-border payment, I think it’s going to be increasingly hard to dislodge XRP. And with DeFi, as the ecosystem expands it will be increasingly hard to dislodge Ethereum because it’s so liquid for those use cases.”

Also, last week a leaked document revealed that the second-largest US banking institution in the US, Bank of America has joined RippleNet.

Active Addresses Hitting New Highs

While the Ripple network keeps on growing, the active addresses have also been seeing several spikes. As a matter of fact, the active addresses hit an all-time high this month.

XRP Active Addresses, Source; Coin Metrics

In early February, the record was broken for the first time when XRP active addresses hit 99.9k and then the same week, after a couple of days, it again surged to 153.3k. On Feb. 15, we jumped to 156.5k only to be outdone by 232k on Feb. 19. Currently, however, we are at 3.8k.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

STEEM Community Launches Soft Fork To Limit Justin Sun’s Potential Voting Power

STEEM blockchain prepares for a soft fork in light of the recent acquisition of Steemit, the most prominent platform on the blockchain, to prevent a concentration of power on the chain. According to the statement released by the STEEM witnesses (similar to Bitcoin miners), the fork will effectively stop the top holders of the STEEM token from voting in key decisions.

The STEEM community has mumbled on the future of the blockchain following the acquisition of Steemit by Justin Sun, TRON’s founder, earlier in the year. The Steemit platform reportedly owns over a fifth of the total STEEM tokens, which creates an issue on the delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS) consensus system.

Sun’s Steemit.com acquisition raises fear

The system is quite similar to EOS, whereby a smaller number of decision-makers are able to influence the development and management of the blockchain accordingly. With Justin Sun making a purchase of the dying Steemit platform and incorporating it with Tron, questions and fears across the community raise on the influence Sun will have on the blockchain given the reported fund (approx.. 20% of total token supply) Steemit holds.

While the STEEM community, witnesses and developers praised the entrance of a well-resourced and marketed figure (Justin) to its platform, security and decentralization issues crept in, hence the soft fork. The statement reads,

“To this end, we have updated to a temporary protective protocol to maintain the status quo currently established in regards to Steemit Inc.’s stake and its intended usage. This update is reversible, and is simply to be used to ensure that the security and decentralization of the Steem blockchain remains intact.”

Steemit Inc ninja-mined stake

STEEM holds a particular amount of tokens minted at the genesis of the chain to ensure the development of the blockchain holds longevity – Steemit Inc. ninja mined stake. So far, the fund has been used for its intended development purposes and to be non-voting in governance issues. However, all this has been done under good faith by the community, but with the addition of a new owner, the chance presented itself for STEEM to turn the fund into a trustless platform.

While the community is yet to give a way forward on the ninja mined stake, a proposal has been brought forward to place all stakeholders at the decision-making table. The statement reads,

“For now, because there has not been a clear declaration from Steemit Inc on the use of this ninja-mined stake, Soft Fork 0.22.2 has been deployed to allow for the entire community to discuss how best to achieve the original goals that this ninja-mined stake exists to support.”

Sun responds to the Steemit community

With the qualms of the soft fork on the blockchain raising, Sun released an open letter to the Steemit community asking the community to be patient as the TRON Foundation starts development on Steemit 2.0. He said,

“We have so much to work to do to make Steemit.com the power that it really can be.”

Sun further invited the top 50 witnesses to STEEMit 2.0 Town Hall meeting, which will be held tentatively on March 6th.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

CULedger Rolls Out Blockchain Identity Platform, MemberPass For Commercial Use

On Feb. 21, CULedger, a fintech company that is backed by the American trade association, announced that it has commercially rolled on its blockchain identity platform dubbed MemberPass following successful testing of the platform late last last year.

CULedger which operates as a credit union service organization (CUSO), focuses on offering a peer-to-peer services platform for verifiable and authentic exchange financial cooperatives. The not-for-profit organizations, credit unions serve their registered members by offering such services like deposits, provision of loans as well as various related financial services.

CULedger has been exploring on how blockchain technology can be used in enhancing cybersecurity for members, lower the operation costs as well as come up with ways to reduce fraud risks for credit union members. The new product, MemberPass platform is developed to verify transactions among the credit unions via distributed ledger technology (DLT).

The new platform is regarded as the inaugural KYC platform to be built on blockchain and will enable the network members to have control of their identity. This will give the members a chance of having a standardized platform that will help them verify themselves within their respective credit unions.

Apart from commercially launching the MemberPass platform, three extra credit unions were also added in the pilot program. The press statement revealed that Eagle Express, Achieva and HawaiiUSA credit unions became the latest members of the platform. This means that the pilot program now boasts of 11 credit unions which are deploying the platform.

According to CULedger CEO John Ainsworth, stated that MemberPass was developed with an effort to deal with various privacy issues within the industry. He explained,

“Our previous pilots have showcased the need in the industry and how members can benefit from heightened security. Allowing members to have control of their information provides a sense of security that has slowly disappeared from financial services and is becoming increasingly important in this new digital age.”

CULedger fruitfully finished the MemberPass pilot projects in mid-December last year which involved three credit unions namely; TruWest, Unify Financial and Desert Financial credit unions, Cointelegraph reports.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

If Bernie Sanders Becomes The 2020 US President; How Would That Affect Bitcoin?

The Nevada Democratic caucus just showed senator Bernie Sanders as the winner. While voting was coming to a close, it was revealed that Sanders was leading Joe Biden by far.

If he’s elected, the impact on cryptocurrencies such as the Bitcoin (BTC) would be major. The results of the Nevada caucus indicate he has a good chance at defeating President Donald Trump. Sanders is the most likely nominee, but Biden will stake his flagging campaign at the South Carolina event from next week too.

How Will the Economy Be Affected?

Whereas the President doesn’t have too much influence over the economy, Sanders came up with some policies that made economists doubt him. For example, he offered forgiveness for student loans, advocated medical care for single payers and promised to fight “corporate greed”. His policies can be called anti-Trump and socialistic, but he still gained a lot of sympathy from the Democrats.

However, these policies may greatly impact the Federal debt, causing the US dollar to become crippled. The more debts increase and consume from the GDP, the more the dollar is devaluing, which can lead to a spiral inflation and the destruction of the US economy.

The BTC Would Bounce

On the other hand, Sanders’ policies could have a positive impact on the BTC’s value. The more this digital currency decouples from the dollar and the US national currency devalues, the more BTC’s value increases. Such an example was given by Venezuela, where while the Bolivar was being tanked, digital currencies were being used more often for transactions. The use of BTC and DASH went through the roof because merchants looked for transfer methods that are stable when compared to the country’s currency.

In case this would happen in the US, new users would enter the market and cause cryptocurrency prices to go up as a result of increased usage. In other words, Sanders may bring only good for the BTC.

Read Original/a>
Author: Oana Ularu

Ripple (XRP) Price Analysis (February 24)

Key Highlights

  • XRP/USD market now trades sideways around a $0.28 mark.
  • Trading indicators signal that the XRP/USD market still somewhat under declining moves.
  • A strong rebound expected, while sudden dip occurs around the $0.24 major support level.

Ripple (XRP) Price Analysis

  • Major resistance levels: $0.30, $0.32, $0.34
  • Major support levels: $0.24, $0.22, $0.20

The XRP’s market has remained dominated by differential lower lows since it couldn’t move past $0.30 price level over time. The crypto market, majorly resisted by the US dollar to now fluctuates around $0.28 price point.

From the view of point, the downward pressures in the market also have less-active strength hence the reason for averaging a low value at $0.26. Being as it is, a downward break of the $0.26 price point remains the vital line that could allow the crypto’s value drop to locate support between the levels of $0.24 and $0.20 marks.

Ripple (XRP) Technical Indicators Reading

There have several attempts being made by the XRP/USD bears to push southward beyond the $0.26 line. The 50-day SMA trend-line is tightly over the current trading level of the pair. The 14-day SMA trading indicator is underneath the bigger SMA at a close point. A market point at $0.28 appears as the current upper range line. And, it indicates that it will be instrumental in determining the XRP/USD price upsurge.

Conclusion

The XRP market will continue with the current oscillating mode provided that a $0.26 mark remains unbroken downward, and the 50-day SMA trend-line stays over the trading level of the market. However, there are underlining indications to suggest a strong rebound in this crypto trade, especially while sudden dips occur around the $0.24 major support level.

Disclaimer: The presented information is subjected to market condition and may include the very own opinion of the author. Please do your ‘very own’ market research before making any investment in cryptocurrencies. Neither the writer nor the publication (bitcoinexchangeguide.com) holds any responsibility for your financial loss.

Read Original/a>
Author: Ben Jordan

Wilshire Phoenix’s Is Confident The SEC Will Approve Its Bitcoin ETF; What Are The Chances?

The United States SEC is set to make another ruling on a proposed Bitcoin ETF this Wednesday. Wilshire Phoenix, the company behind this Bitcoin dependent asset, will finally know the outcome of a filing process that started in mid-2019. It might as well shape the regulatory scene of Bitcoin ETF’s if blessed by the powers that be to launch this product.

To date, the SEC has not yet approved any bitcoin ETF application as all have failed to meet minimum requirements to trade in regulated markets. It is therefore very difficult to predict the ruling that will be made on Wednesday. However, Wilshire Phoenix is optimistic of a favorable decision by the SEC especially after its continuous effort in filing additional information on their proposal as late as last week. More so, William Herrmann, the Managing Partner of Wilshire was confident in a phone conversation with CoinDesk that the approval will take place.

In previous cases, Bitcoin ETFs were rejected by the SEC due to worries regarding market manipulation and the need for surveillance-sharing agreements came up. For a better outcome Wilshire has attempted to address those concerns in the latest proposal through rebalancing itself among U.S. Treasury bonds and Bitcoin due to cryptocurrency’s volatility.

With the latest amendments filed on 14th February on underwriters’ section, Wilshire Phoenix highlighted its intended number of shares and the maximum price for one. The firm settled for an initial ,8040 shares subject to review at the price of $2,500.

Does Wilshire Phoenix’s Bitcoin ETF Stand a Chance?

Representatives from Wilshire Phoenix, NYSE Arca and their law firms had a meeting with Commissioners Hester Peirce and Allison Herren Lee as documented in the public documents. It was observed that the SEC is paying attention to the filing. However, SEC’s opinion on the proposal was still opaque after the meeting of the companies’ representatives and the Division of Trading and Markets.

Herrmann emphasized on how beneficial the Bitcoin ETF would be by allowing more investors to safely access the crypto market. He said,

“We want to provide easy access to strategies that are often only limited to institutions or accredited investors,” Herrmann said. “Restraining who is able to invest in any product or strategy on the basis of socioeconomic status or for any reason is simply wrong. This leaves many exposed to sudden market volatility followed by likely losses due to lack of diversification.”

Wilshire Phoenix believes that creating multiple investment options is a goal of its overall strategy and is confident on acquiring the Bitcoin ETF soon. If all goes well, they plan on launching the gold ETF thereafter.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

R3 To Provide Blockchain Identity Solutions To Help Recover $48B In Unclaimed Pensions

Blockchain technology provider, R3 has revealed that it is working on offering pension companies with the requisite technology to develop fresh identity solutions built on blockchain which could enable savers to recoup part or all of $48 billion worth of lost pension pots in the UK, CoinDesk reports.

The head of R3’s digital identity unit, Abbas Ali, pension services providers are set to debut their solo solutions that will use R3 tech within this year.

According to a study by Profile Pensions, there are about 33 million people who have a pension in the UK. The study also shows that 24% of pension owners cannot trace at least one of their pension plans. As per the study, there are currently about 1.6 million pension pots which have been lost in the UK where averagely each is valued at £23,000. This means that there are about £37 billion or approximately US$48 billion pension which is unclaimed in the UK.

According to R3, the main challenge comes down to identity. Ali explained that the most costly and challenging aspect for pension services providers is user identification. The firm has to verify whether the user remains alive and if they are entitled to these funds every year.

Majority of pension services providers are left with no option other than mailing documents to the holder’s last known address as a way of verification. This leaves lots of loopholes as a verification process.

Ali explained that blockchain will provide the users with an opportunity to have control of the identification process. Rather than having identity profiles for every pension scheme that one has signed up to, users will only have a solitary identity profile that will contain verifiable details such as driving licenses or passports.

Ali also revealed that the new technology is being used by GROW Super, an Aussie pension startup that aids Australians to recoup unclaimed workplace pensions. Blockchain-based virtual identity is gaining traction in the world and its use in the insurance sector will no doubt lead to positive results.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe