Coinbase Commerce Attempts at ‘Be Your Own Bank’ & Launches a Self-Custody Crypto Wallet

Coinbase has released Coinbase Commerce to allow businesses and merchants to accept cryptocurrencies.

“With Coinbase Commerce, we’re building the most trusted and secure way for merchants anywhere in the world to accept cryptocurrency payments, and in turn, enabling more ways for customers to spend their crypto,” said John Zettler, Senior Product Manager at Coinbase.

The latest service by the San Francisco-based exchange is advertised as fast and free, where it gives full control of the crypto ownership to the merchant itself.

With no middleman, the idea is to allow everyone to “be your own bank.”

An Open Finance System

Coinbase’s latest step is towards the company’s mission to create an “open financial system” where it wants to help connect an increasing number of participants in the crypto-economy, reads the official announcement.

Commerce merchants were needed to transfer their crypto to an exchange before selling their crypt for cash or fiat-backed stablecoins, but with Coinbase Commerce, they can convert their crypto payments into USD, EUR, GBP, or USD Coin right from its platform for a 1% fee.

For now, the service is available for merchants with Coinbase.com accounts; connection for Coinbase Prime or Coinbase Pro accounts will be coming soon.

According to Coinbase, decentralized finance is an important part of growing the crypto-economy; thus, they now support new Dapps on its Coinbase Wallet – the “self-custody crypto wallet app.”

Wallet users can now also sign-up and purchase cryptos right from the app — a feature available on Android devices in the US that will soon expand to iOS and more countries.

The exchange is cutting down the extra step of buying the crypto from an exchange and then transferring it manually to Wallet apps.

Most of the assets supported by the exchange are available within the Wallet, which supports debit card purchases. Wallet users can now store their crypto, send them or start using dapps like Uniswap and Compound from one place.

“With the addition of a simple and secure fiat onramp service, developers can build dapps with just one easy app install for their users,” said Sid Coelho-Prabhu, Group Product Manager at Coinbase.

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Author: AnTy

G20 Set to Accept Digital Currencies; Green Lights Policy Changes for Regulatory Framework

The G20 members are set to accept digital payments as soon as November 2020, according to the Japanese media outlet, Kyodo News. This shift in attitude towards crypto assets coincides with increasing interest by oversight bodies.

Last year, the G20 was skeptical on digital assets’ ability to impact current financial ecosystems, this now seems to have changed as the members prepare for the annual summit to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Kyodo News detailed that the change in tact towards crypto ecosystems has been influenced by Facebook’s Libra proposal and China’s digital yuan. These two projects hit the crypto scene with a bang, fueling discussions across the board.

While China’s digital yuan is at its sunrise phase, Libra is still facing regulatory challenges. Nonetheless, the G20, which comprises 20 members, including the EU, has seen it fit to lay a framework for digital assets as well.

The changes in policy are scheduled to take effect as of October, just before the G20 annual summit. Discussions will revolve around digital currency use, money-laundering risks, and the challenges of using crypto as a form of payment. With such groundwork in place, G20 is optimistic about spreading the risk attributed to stablecoins as per an October 2019 report.

Global Progress in Digital Asset Frameworks

China continues to lead the way in CBDC progress, having recently piloted a digital yuan. The Asian superpower is now looking to integrate this PBoC backed digital currency with its existing financial ecosystem. Going by China’s active use of mobile payments via Alipay and WeChat, stakeholders are optimistic about a seamless integration in a move that will enhance the CCP oversight in digital payment networks.

The EU has made some fundamental progress in this field, especially in regulation. Currently, crypto-oriented businesses operating within its jurisdiction have to comply with the 5AMLD, which came into play earlier this year.

However, this framework has not been very friendly to all crypto-based entities as some had to relocate shops in search of more accommodating digital asset laws. Finally, the U.S, which has long been skeptical, are also looking into digital assets. CFTC Chairman, Heath Tarbert, recently said that they are waiting on the SEC guidance to go ahead with listing more crypto derivatives in the U.S market.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Bitmain’s Ousted Co-Founder Proposes Share Buyback at $4B Valuation; Wu Acted ‘Illegally’

Bitmain’s power struggle may be at an end, should the Jihan Wu team accept a buyback offer by Micree Zhan. According to a recent letter by the recently ousted Bitmain Co-CEO, he is willing to buy Wu’s shares at a company valuation of $4 billion. This comes as the control battle for Bitmain intensifies after Zhan regained the Beijing office earlier this month.

The alleged Zhan letter – which was first shared on Chinese media – highlights that Wu acted illegally during the ousting process. Zhan owns 36% of Bitmain’s shares, making him the largest shareholder.

Consequently, he enjoys majority voting rights of up to 60%; hence any decisions without Zhan’s consent are considered ‘illegal.’ While this is the case, Zhan was still ousted after Wu claimed to have held a shareholder meeting in the Cayman Islands. Zhan has since condemned the move as illegal based on Bitmain’s shareholder structure and voting rights:

“WITHOUT MICREE’S CONSENT, NO ONE CAN CHANGE THAT LEGALLY. BUT JIHAN FORGED A SHAREHOLDER’S MEETING RESOLUTION SAID HIS 10X VOTING RIGHT NO LONGER COUNTS, AND FIRED MICREE AS THE COMPANY DIRECTOR. BUT MICREE SAID IN THE ANNOUNCEMENT, THAT SHAREHOLDER’S MEETING NEVER HAPPENED.”

A Response to Bitmain Hong Kong

Zhan’s response has coincided with Bitmain Hong Kong’s move to cut Beijing from its chips supply chain. The Hong Kong headquarters, and also in charge of Bitmain Beijing, reports to the Cayman Islands holding entity but is currently controlled by Wu’s team. The subsidiary posted on its website that it is suspending chip supplies to Bitmain Beijing following Zhan’s takeover:

“Bitmain Hong Kong has suspended the chip supplier for the time being to Century Cloud Core, which is now controlled by Zhan’s relatives, until we are assured, through negotiation with Zhan’s relatives, that they are committed to protecting the interest of Bitmain’s customers and the company as a whole.”

This supply chain war, however, seems to have started earlier when Zhan took the helm of the Beijing office. The ousted CEO interfered with the supply of mining equipment from Bitmain’s Shenzen factory to clients, an issue that forced Wu’s team to clear the air noting that all is well.

Since then, tensions have been high given the events that unfolded during the Beijing office takeover, coupled with pending legal battles in Hong Kong and the Cayman Islands.

Bitmain’s Value Sliced Significantly

As one would expect, uncertainty caused by Bitmain’s control brawls has affected the company’s value.

Just two years ago, its valuation could have gone as high as $14 billion as it prepared to launch an IPO. Today, the value was reduced by over half and might be heading towards the $1 billion recorded during Bitmain’s Series A funding back in 2017. However, if Zhan and Wu agree, Bitmain could regain its glory days.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Hacker Returns Stolen Ethereum Domains Names; Offered 25% Of Auction As Bug Bounty Reward

It’s easy to fall into a lull of new technology. To accept that everything new that comes your way, and is already tested for every possible mishap.

A hacker broke this illusion when they first stole, then returned the 17 Ethereum Name Server (ENS) domain name’s to OpenSea. They managed to exploit a bug that allowed them to buy the ENS domains for a lower bid than everyone else. Whoever it was tried to capitalize on their discovery, but was already within Opensea’s radar before they could get a large number of domains.

Among the short names of their acquisitions, apple.eth, love.eth, and wallet.eth stand at the forefront. Highly lucrative domains to own and then sell back to major groups. The way blockchain works is a beautiful thing, but it’s sheer immutability made it impossible for OpenSea to get it back after the hacker had captured them. Their only option was to blacklist the names and ask the hacker very nicely to give it back.

And the hacker did, but not out of love and charity. OpenSea promised the hacker a hefty 25% commission on every auction of the domain names they gave back. Whether or not the hacker’s intents were genuine or not, it’s honestly impossible to say.

The mystery with hackers, mainly unidentified ones like this one, is the intent. There are white hats, those out to better the Internet as a whole with their hacks. There are black hats, those out just for their own personal gain. There are even red hats, a weird mix of both.

OpenSea Owns Up, Plugs the Leak, Returns to Business

OpenSea had released an official statement apologizing for the exploit even existing. It’s sometimes easy to forget that massive bodies like these can also only be human. This hacker that captured those 17 domain names is the only one that managed to exploit an existing bug and get noticed. OpenSea is asking all individuals who gained ENS domains unfairly to return it, promising the same 25% commission for each.

They stated they’re going to extend invalidated auctions and plug the leak that made it happen to begin with. They’re going out of their way to notify users who suffered from the bug so they will have a clean, fair chance at winning the bids they were aiming for.

After that, it’s back to business, probably older and wiser from experience. Blockchain is the future, but the future is untested. It’s something many people forget in their over-eagerness to go to the new, profitable ideas of the future. OpenSea was not the first, nor will it be the last entity to make a mistake. It’s only their crack team that stopped the hacker from gaining more names as they slowly mapped out the exploit to its fullest extent.

In other news, Opensea promises to make a more enticing UI as well, and are going forward, stronger than they were before this.

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Author: Ali Raza

Russian Bill Divides Crypto Into 3 Types; Technical Tokens, Virtual Assets, and Digital Financial

The world as a whole is slowly starting to accept Cryptocurrencies and, to a further extent, blockchains into their day-to-day functionality.

While countries like Uganda warns against the use of things like Bitcoin, Russia has set out to divide cryptocurrencies into three legal categories. They are thus legitimizing it within the country’s borders.

While not the first to do something like this, the country’s decision is still something of significant note. 

The Three Categories

Alexei Moiseev explained that the three proposed categories for cryptocurrencies are as follows:

  • Technical Tokens: Utility tokens used for the critical functioning of a network. Ethereum would most likely fall into this category.
  • Virtual Assets: Assets used to transact value. Things like Bitcoin and Litecoin could very likely be classified as this, considering their prolific use as a payment medium. Russia’s Western counterparts, the US, has classified these things as commodities.
  • Digital Financial Assets: These could easily be considered securities. Usually, tokens sold during an ICO, these assets have dividends and openly market themselves as a way to make money.

Official Legislation Possibly in November

More than likely, this new way to categorize cryptocurrencies will be officially proposed during the State Duma. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has requested that the bill, dubbed Federal Law No. 419059-7, be adopted at the start of November.

Taking steps, Albeit Slowly

Russia, like many other countries, has concerns that fully legalizing cryptocurrencies within their country would make their own currency, the Russian ruble, obsolete. Russia’s Central Bank and its Ministry of Finance have said they don’t want these cryptocurrencies “unfairly” competing with the ruble.

Even so, Medvedev has taken to the press to say that cryptocurrency-related debit cars are wholly legal within the country. The significant factor of what is legal and what isn’t in terms of cryptocurrencies is the fact of whether or not it can first be linked to the ruble. This is in a bid to keep the ruble relevant as the world goes forward.

Regardless, this new bill will establish rights to cryptocurrency holders, making them able to rely on the government’s support if and when something unexpected (and legal) happens. Digital rights are classified as assets within Russian law and fall under the remit of civil law.

These laws group smart contracts with other, more conventional automatic systems banks use to get their payments for bills. However, there is no precedence within Russia’s legal system. For all of these laws to be enacted, it must first be written down within the country’s civil code. Then, and only then, will these laws be applicable?

The Possible Future of Currencies

Many countries have expressed their lack of tolerance for cryptocurrencies, usually for fear of what it will do to their own if it’s legalised within their borders. France and Germany have taken a stance against Libra, Facebook’s upcoming stablecoin. On the other side, Switzerland is supporting it, albeit if it remains within the country’s financial law.

It’s an exciting thing to speculate what will happen fifty years from now. Will we still use a country’s currency, or will cryptocurrencies have taken over the world. It’s impossible to tell at this point, and we will have to wait and see

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Author: Ali Raza

Bitwise Tells the SEC, “The World Is Ready For Bitcoin ETF,” Praising Market Efficiency

One of the biggest crypto exchanges, Bitwise, believes the market is ready to accept the Bitcoin ETF.

Matt Hougan, global head of research at Bitwise said:

“A lot of people have a view of the crypto market that is anchored somewhere in the past … maybe in Silk Road, maybe in the 2018 bear market. The reality is that the market has become truly institutional in nature, with very tight arbitrage between real exchanges, major advances in custody, and the growth of a large, regulated futures market.”

Page seven of the Bitwise presentation shared with the SEC shows that the average deviation of bitcoin price on cryptocurrency exchanges has decreased since December 2017. As hackers have proved adept at stealing bitcoin from exchanges, other companies and individuals, Bitwise presents the fact that cryptocurrencies are increasingly custodied by large institutions as a sign of maturity.

They identify three key factors:

  1. The Bitcoin spot market has become efficient.
  2. Bitcoin custody has become fully institutional.
  3. The regulated futures market has become significant.

The reality is that the bitcoin market of today bears little resemblance to the crypto market of a few years ago. The crypto market today is one dominated by firms like Jane Street and Fidelity; it’s one where regulated, institutional custodians provide world-class service and are insured by Lloyd’s of London.

On the other hand Grayscale’s Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC) has been trading over the counter since 2013, the SEC denied Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss’ application for a bitcoin ETF in July 2018, and a month later, in a mass announcement, rejected nine other bitcoin ETFs.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

K Merchant: Secure Cryptocurrency Payment Gateway App?

K Merchant

What Is K Merchant?

K-Merchant is the first crypto merchant that enables users to accept crypto payments just with a simple scan. The platform enables users to gain access to a transparent and decentralized exchange system on the blockchain.

Importantly, K-Merchant provides a secure payment gateway. Orchestrated through a powerful API, the system develops friendly and easy to integrate crypto payments. Top crypto coins involved include KBC, BTC, and ETH. Besides, it comes with an insightful dashboard—one place to manage all your merchant data. Users can also utilize the Swift Onboarding feature, which enables a blazing fast merchant enrollment through online forms.

K Merchant Powerful Features

K-Merchant offers everything you need from a payment solution provider.

  • Karat Merchant—the first crypto bank
  • One-Click Payments: users enjoy instant purchases, with no need to reenter card details.
  • Tailored checkout: Your logo, your brand colors, and your unique User Experience
  • Safe and secure: PCI-DSS compliance, with 24/7 fraud monitoring
  • Quality Focused: the platform provides seamless user experience and continuous conversion rate optimization.
  • Payment Link: This makes it easier and simple to accept payments
  • Innovative dashboard: users have access to multiple providers and banks, with a single integration

K-Merchant is involved in more projects

The platform is honored to work with innovators across all industries. It provides an extended array of payment module integrations for top-rated e-commerce platforms. With its easy-to-integrate plugins, users can add cryptocurrency payments to their websites using customizable modules integrated with the most popular ecommerce platforms.

K Merchant driven by crypto payments

Importantly the platform operates 24/7, providing users with services throughout the holidays and on Black Friday. Importantly, K-Merchant is a technology company with a full-status banking license and a seasoned support team that is ready to help users at all times.

K-Merchant app is available for both Apple and Android devices, to provide users with a fast, private, and reliable way to accept payments for their online or real shop.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Coinbase Pro Welcomes Tezos (XTZ) to Platform, Enabling Full Trading with USD and BTC Pairs

Coinbase Pro Welcomes Tezos (XTZ) to Platform, Enabling Full Trading with USD and BTC Pairs
  • Coinbase Pro will accept incoming XTZ transfers on August 5th.
  • In the last 24 hours, the price of the Tezos token has risen by over 20%.

Coinbase Pro has consistently worked to make sure that consumers have a wide variety of options for trading, adding new tokens to their platform relatively frequently. According to a new blog post from Coinbase, the platform has decided to add XTZ, the cryptocurrency asset from Tezos.

However, the inbound transfers of this token are not going to be accepted until August 5th, and the company states that the deposits will be available for a minimum of 12 hours before full trading is enabled.

Whenever Coinbase adds a new token, they offer this period of incoming-only transactions to establish a sufficient supply of the asset for trading. The orderbooks for XTZ/USD and XTZ/BTC will be started in phases, allowing for full trading when the “metrics for a healthy market” are met.

The only state that will not immediately offer support for XTZ is New York, though other jurisdictions may be added later.

Tezos offers proof of stake consensus on its decentralized computing platform. It also allows developers to verify code accuracy with formal verification, and the stakeholders have control over changes to the protocol with voting protocols.

There are four phases that Tezos will go through, just like every other cryptocurrency that is added to Coinbase Pro. Those phases are:

  1. Transfer only, which allows customers to add XTZ to their accounts, but they will not be able to perform any other functions yet.
  2. Post only, which lets customers post orders, but nothing will be completed. However, these orderbooks will only be in this phase for about a minute.
  3. Limit only, which will start matching orders, but market orders cannot be submitted. The minimum time in this phase will be 10 minutes.
  4. Full trading, which includes all orders and all transactions.

Previously, newly added tokens on the Coinbase Pro platform would experience a jump in value around the time of the launch. Presently, the XTZ token is priced at $1.24, rising by 22.28% in the last 24 hours.

A separate announcement by Coinbase will be published if XTZ is added to Coinbase.com or the consumer mobile apps. This addition will only include Coinbase Pro.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Krystle M

Minnesota House Bill Looks to Halt Any and All Crypto Donations For Political Campaigns

Minnesota House Bill Looks to Halt Any and All Crypto Donations For Political Campaigns
  • Crypto donations could be banned in Minnesota
  • There are political candidates that accept digital assets to fund their campaigns

There is a group of Democratic Minnesota House Representatives that do not want cryptocurrency donations for political campaigns. The Minnesota House Bill 2884 that was introduced by a group of democratic representatives wants to outlaw donations in cryptocurrencies.

Minnesota House Bill Wants To Ban Crypto Donations

As cryptocurrencies expanded all around the world, they have also been used to donate funds for political campaigns. The new Bill 2884 was introduced by Rep. Rick Hansen, Rep. Jamie Becker-finn, Rep. Raymond Dehn, and Rep. Peter Fischer and it wants to ban donations in digital currencies.

At the moment, there is no current information on whether stablecoins backed by fiat currencies would enter in this category. The Bill reads as follows:

“An individual, political committee, political fund, principal campaign committee, or party unit that knowingly solicits or accepts any digital unit of exchange is subject to a civil penalty imposed by the board of up to $3,000.”

One of the first candidates to accept Bitcoin was Andrew Hemingway, that accepted donations in the most popular cryptocurrency as early as 2014. Now, Andrew Yang is also accepting cryptocurrency donations for his presidential bid for the democratic party. Mr. Yang proposes economic policies such as a basic income.

Bitcoin is the most popular digital asset in the market and the most valuable. According to CoinMarketCap, the virtual currency is currently being traded around $11,380 and it has a market capitalization of $202 billion.

[Author Alert] The author’s opinions above are solely based on their own self-conducted research. Assume any and all authors are using, holding, trading and/or buying cryptoassets mentioned as a portion of his or her financial portfolio. Use information at your own risk, do you own research, never invest more than you are willing to lose.

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Author: Carl T

LocalBitcoins Witnesses Surge in Trading Volumes in RUB Amid Cash-Trade Ban

LocalBitcoins-Witness-Surge-in-Trading-Volumes-in-RUB-amid-Cash-Trade-Ban

LocalBitcoins will no longer accept transactions involving Finnish currency, according to the latest news in the crypto industry. The famous Peer-to-Peer cryptocurrency exchange based in Finland, announced this latest development early in the month, a decision which many local crypto enthusiasts believe will dent the country’s image.

Finland isn’t among the largest countries embracing digital assets in Europe. But with LocalBitcoins discontinuing use of the national fiat, many believe that this will hurt its reputation in the crypto world.

Yet, barely a month is gone, but a particular pattern is starting to form. According to CoinDance, the crypto exchange’s weekly chart has started to show the effect of the ban, with the Russian Ruble (RUB) showing growing volumes. The exodus started in June 1st, though it is still likely that the volume will drop.

Many leading companies are already seeing the pattern describing the fast plummet, although Russia’s capital is the most conspicuous. During the first week of the month alone, trades registered a record high of RUB 1,174 million in volume, before it fell to RUB 1,104 million by the end of the second week.

But the surge resumed soon after, with the volumes going back to the May 2019 highs. The fourth week of June finally recorded an incredible RUB 1,188 million in volume. The graph detailing the change effectively painted Russia as a hot market for LocalBitcoins.

For a while now, LocalBitcoins has been maintaining impressive records in South America. The exchange’s weekly volumes across Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, and Argentina have always remained high. But the announcement also had an impact in the trading volumes.

In Buenos Aries, its weekly volumes from the start of the month to mid-June reduced from $13.71 million to $10.53 million. The cash-removal directive also affected the exchange’s performance in Columbia where the volume traded reduced from May’s $9.98 billion to $7.16 billion recorded, during the first week of June. The amount has, however, stabilized at $9.2 billion.

It should be remembered that the decision to ban fiat trades wasn’t arrived at overnight. It is something which LocalBitcoins had been pondering about ever since the local financial watchdog, the Financial Supervisory Authority [FSA] was introduced.

The body came into existence in March 2019, but even with its existence, the law is expected to fully come into effect later in November 2019. The law will classify cryptos as legal assets, identified by the Finnish law. Other changes to the law include amendments on the Anti-Money Laundering laws as well as the Countering Financial Terrorism Act.

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Author: Lillian Peter