Wells Fargo’s Blockchain-based Stablecoin Will Be Faster, Cost Less Than SWIFT

The world’s fourth-largest bank said cryptocurrency will allow near real-time money movement and cut out settlement middlemen, thus reducing costs from fees.

Regarding the technical aspects of this new product, Wells Fargo has built their own blockchain using Corda Enterprise, the enterprise version of R3’s blockchain technology. While we will not see this product in 2019, the bank hopes to launch Wells Fargo Digital Cash within the next year. The transfers are expected to feature only U.S. dollars at first but the institution also plans on making other currencies available as they expand their operations globally.

Lisa Frazier, head of the Innovation Group at Wells Fargo said:

“When we move money across the world and we need to exchange currencies, we have to go through third parties such as SWIFT and other banks. That’s a long process and every time there’s a connection with external parties, it takes time and energy and effort.”

Obvious parallels can be drawn between what Wells Fargo is testing out and JPMorgan’s JPM Coin and its Interbank Information Network (IIN) which this week added Deutsche Bank to the 300-plus other banks on that network.

Lisa adds:

“I think the surprise is, we have found a really solid internal application for DLT on our book transfers. By doing this we are streamlining the book transfer process and are reducing the use of intermediaries that can cause a delay in settlement. Therefore we are widening the operating window for clearing of FX wires cross-border.”

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

Breez Enables Credit Card Use When Buying Lightning-Powered Bitcoin Now

Breez, a new payment startup, has recently unveiled the latest feature of its project, which is set to allow lightning-based BTC purchases directly from its app. These purchases are only possible because of a recent partnership that the company started with MoonPay.

The services will initially be available in a total of 35 different countries and have the goal of simplifying lightning payments.

In case you do not know, the Lightning Network is a layer 2 scaling solution for the BTC network. It was launched at the beginning of 2018 and it has gone quite a long way so far in fixing these problems despite a rocky launch. The technology is still experimental, but it is starting to shape up as a great solution.

According to the CEO of Breez, Roy Sheinfeld, this may even look like a somewhat simple achievement, but nobody has done it before.

Since the start, Breez was always about being more than a simple wallet, the service was meant to be a “holistic experience”, Sheinfeld affirmed. It needs to be UX focused and to provide solutions that no one has been able to provide before in order to make its clients happy.

Before now, the users needed to buy BTC before they could enter the Lightning Network and then move the BTC from its normal wallet to an LN wallet. This new option cuts time and allows the users to enjoy a more streamlined experience.

According to Sheinfeld, users will not need to verify any information if they want to buy less than 150 EUR worth of BTC. To buy more than that, they would need to pass a Know Your Customer (KYC) verification first.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Philippines Central Bank Approves Two New Cryptocurrency Exchanges; Atomtrans and Telcoin

The Central Bank of the Philippines has recently decided to allow two new companies to operate as cryptocurrency exchanges within its boundaries. Now, Telcoin Corpl and Atomtrans Tech Corp will both be able to offer its services in the country.

Telcoin is a technology company based in Japan while Atomtrans is a Phillipino one. The Japanese company uses and Ethereum-based platform and has a strong mobile market in Japan. The other one is focused on remittance and payment systems and has important partnerships with Chinese companies.

With these two new companies, the country will have 13 of them. While the Philippines can still be considered somewhat of a small market, the truth is that it has been growing a lot lately. In 2017, the country transacted around $189 million using crypto while in 2018 the numbers were over $390 million USD, basically the double of what it was a year before.

Because of the high usage of these tokens, the crypto industry needs to be regulated in the country and that is where the central bank comes in. For instance, the government has issued the guidelines for ICOs this year, in order to show companies how they can offer the assets in a fully compliant way.

Other crypto-related initiatives in the country include the recent plans to launch a central bank-backed crypto. It looks like the plans did not bear fruit, however, as they were recently abandoned by the central bank of the country.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Brave Web Browser to Release Native Reddit and Vimeo Tipping With Virtual Currencies

Brave Web Browser to Release Native Reddit and Vimeo Tipping With Virtual Currencies
  • Brave is working on new features to allow users tip creators on Reddit and Vimeo
  • There are other services that offer similar solutions on Twitter, Reddit and Discord

Brave decided to introduce a new feature that would allow users to tip other content creators on Reddit and Vimeo. Individuals will have the possibility to send these tips using Basic Attention Token (BAT).

Although these features are currently being tested in Brave’s Developer on desktop, they may be released to the market in the near future. This is according to what a company representative said on Reddit.

Tipping Using BAT Tokens

Brave is currently working in order to allow its users to tip other content creators using the Basic Attention Token currency that was developed by Brave to use on its web browser. The web browser was found by Brendan Eich, which is the current CEO of the company, and Brian Bondy, Brave’s CTO.

The firm is now working on this new feature that has not been officially announced but it has been added to Reddit and Vimeo feeds. As reported by a moderator for the Brave Reddit community, the company is testing these features for both platforms.

About it, the company representative commented:

“The features in our developer preview build make their way into our BETA and then MAIN on a 3-week development cycle, so they’ll be in MAIN soon!”

The new implementation is expected to be rolled out in some months rather than a few weeks, as many users would expect. However, users can already begin verifying their Reddit and Vimeo accounts to receive tips in beta. In addition to it, Brave is also testing a new feature that would allow users to tip some tweets.

The main goal behind these tips is to help creators reduce their dependency on ads. Moreover, this is only available for Brave Nightly, a testing development version of the web browser.

Furthermore, Brave is competing with Reborn 3, a desktop web browser that was released by Opera Software and that has an integrated crypto wallet, unlimited VPN data and also web 3 support. In addition to it, the wallet that is integrated to Reborn enables users to store collectibles in the browser that can also be synchronized with the Android version of the wallet.

At the moment, there are other tipping options for users on Twitter, Reddit and Discord. Users can send XRP tips to individuals in these platforms by adding a comment. Moreover, Tippin released a new service that allows individuals to send Bitcoin through the Lightning Network (LN) on Twitter and became very popular earlier this year when it was embraced by the CEO of Twitter Jack Dorsey.

Basic Attention Token is currently the 31st largest cryptocurrency in the market with a valuation of $390 million and a price per coin of $0.306.

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Author: Carl T

Facebook’s Libra May Resolve Bad Blood Between Winklevoss Twins and Mark Zuckerberg

Facebooks-Libra-May-Resolve-Bad-Blood-Between-Winklevoss-Twins-and-Mark-Zuckerberg
  • Bitcoin has risen above $9,000, as of Sunday.
  • The new Facebook stablecoin may allow for the Winklevoss brothers and Mark Zuckerberg to be “frenemies.”

The dispute between Mark Zuckerberg and the Winklevoss twins – Cameron and Tyler – has been heavily publicized, even providing the basis for the feature film The Social Network. Years ago, the brothers won a $65 million settlement against Facebook when they accused Zuckerberg of stealing their idea to launch such a social network. Now, with the entry of Facebook into the crypto space with their Libra project, it is possible that the brothers will be making peace.

During an interview with CBS’s “Sunday Morning,” Cameron commented that it would be in their best interest to become “frenemies” with Facebook and Zuckerberg. More specifically, Cameron said,

“There’s so much pie to grow, I mean, at this point, we need to be frenemies.”

Anyone in the crypto industry knows how vocal and prominent the brothers are in the space, as both are co-founders of the Gemini exchange. Joining in on the cryptocurrency space, Facebook announced their own cryptocurrency – Libra – today. However, in reports in May by the Financial Times, the twins were already speaking with Zuckerberg about digital currency.

As the announcement was released, Bitcoin ended up being pushed above the $9,000 price level on Sunday after the episode, which is the first time that it has reached this price level in over a year. Presently, Bitcoin is still enjoying this attention and is presently priced at $9,064.63.

The Winklevoss brothers first learned about Bitcoin in 2012, finding that Bitcoin is essentially “money that works like your email,” as they stated on Sunday Morning, considering how fast the transactions occurred and how simple it was to use. Cameron told the interviewer that he turned to speak with his brother, saying that Bitcoin could either be

“the next big thing or total BS.”

The Harvard and Oxford graduates made such a strong move to get into Bitcoin, becoming well known for their aggressive push into the market. Tyler stated, “Our thesis at the time was, bitcoin’s going to disrupt gold. And gold has a market cap of $7 trillion today. So, if bitcoin’s gonna be worth $7 trillion or more, this seems like a cheap asset.”

When the Winklevoss brothers first got involved, Bitcoin was only priced at around $8 or $9, as stated on Sunday Morning.

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Author: Krystle M

Investors Abandon Western Union as Facebook’s Libra Stablecoin Eyes Money Transfers Globally

Investors Abandon Western Union as Facebook’s Libra Stablecoin Eyes Money Transfers Globally
  • Customers are opting out of Western Union money transfers.
  • Facebook’s Libra will allow customers to send payments with no fees.

The cryptocurrency community does not often impact the traditional financial industry, but the GlobalCoin is causing a bit of a shift. Today, Facebook officially unveiled their Libra project, which will be the new cryptocurrency from the social media platform. With the work of multiple companies, Facebook stated that the cryptocurrency is not meant to launch until the first half of next year, but it appears to already have an impact on a Western Union.

According to reports from CNBC, Western Union’s shares dropped noticeably on Tuesday, which has been credited to the announcement of Libra. Libra will be offering users of the social media platform the chance to transfer money internationally, but without imposing any fee. Western Union provides the same service with cash, but these transactions incur a fee. Unfortunately, these conflicting services caused Western Union to drop by 1.7% on the S&P 500 index.

The cross-border payments, also known as remittances, are performed by Western Union as a bank, which receives the payment from the sender and sends it to the recipient. With Libra, users do not get a fee and they can use their local currency digitally. To make Libra possible, Facebook has already partnered with some prominent payment companies, including Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal.

In Western Union’s most recent quarterly report, the company revealed that approximately 80% of their revenue is made up of “consumer-to-consumer” money exchanges. The report, which was published in May, predicts that their non-adjusted earnings for 2019 would result in a price of $2.66 to $2.76 per share.

[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