bitFlyer Europe Introduces “Instant Buy” Feature to Create a Simpler, Convenient and Transparent Crypto Experience

On Thursday, December 5, crypto exchange, bitFlyer announced the launch of their Instant Buy feature, the latest of their updates, on its Buy/Sell exchange platform. This feature enables users to make crypto investments using their credit or debit cards or by simply using local transfer methods.

According to the Co-Head and COO of bitFlyer Europe, Andy Bryant, this feature sets well with the organization’s goal of promoting convenience when it comes to investing in cryptocurrencies while promoting simplicity and a sense of secureness.

That said, the feature is said to resemble what users are already accustomed to in today’s society. He said:

“By making it similar to that of a traditional e-commerce experience, we are helping [to bring] cryptocurrency to a mainstream audience, while also giving experienced users a faster and simpler way to get their currency.”

Accessible on both desktops and smartphones, the feature is deemed beneficial to those looking for an all-in-one solution to purchase, store and secure their investments, getting hold of assets at predefined prices from the bitFlyer platform, and fees are said to be as transparent as they could get.

Speaking of fees, Bryant spoke with news outlet, The Block, disclosing that the transaction fees for processing credit card payments are 1.95% + €0.25/ transaction and for else methods, 1.95% + €0.30.

Besides Europe getting access to the Instant Buy feature, bitFlyer Japan recently added trading support for the XRP token because it stands as the second-largest cryptocurrency in Japan.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Bank of France Announces Testing of Central Bank-Issued Digital Currency in Q1 Next Year

  • The Bank of France announced its intention to launch a digital asset during a conference held by the ACPR.
  • The People’s Bank of China has been researching and testing a digital yuan since 2014.

Cryptocurrency is still a risky product for many banks and countries around the world, but the use of central bank-issued digital currency allows a safer exploration for traditional financial institutions.

As France explores this industry, the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (ACPR) recently held a conference to announce their own CBDC, according to reports from The Block.

François Villeroy de Galhau, the central bank’s governor, explained that they would be testing out this type of asset soon, adding that they “will launch a call for projects before the end of the first quarter of 2020.”

Based on the comments of Villeroy de Galhau, it appears that France is committed to contributing to the innovation of the digital currency world. However, this new digital asset will allow the country to experiment with the technology with their own “serious and methodical” method, contained within their central bank.

At the recent European Union meeting, the Minister of the Economic and Finance Bruno Le Maire just announced that they were developing a “public digital currency,” not long before France discussed their asset. Previously, Le Maire had been adamantly against the Libra crypto asset from Facebook, even saying that France planned to completely block its operation in the country, unless it deals with the issues regarding Libra and monetary sovereignty.

Along with France’s efforts, the People’s Bank of China also stated that it is working on its own digital currency – DC/EP – though their efforts are in the experimental stage. The bank stated that it was “almost ready” for launch, though they’ve been researching it for about five years now.

A subsequent announcement stated that the digital yuan is still being researched and tested, though there’s yet to be any launch date

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Author: Krystle M

British Virgin Islands (BVI) and LifeLabs Share BVI~LIFE Digital Currency Stablecoin Backed by USD

  • LifeLabs, the blockchain-based startup has announced that it’s developing a new digital currency together with the British Virgin Islands.

A press release from December 3rd says the new currency comes as a start of a wider initiative to help the fintech sector develop. It will be introduced at the symposium held by the DVI Digital Economy, and function as a stablecoin 1:1 pegged to the US dollar. The BVI have been using the US dollar ever since 1959. The new digital coin is expected to reduce fees for transactions and to increase the speed at which payments take place. It will be accessible to tourist and people from outside the BVI too.

What Other Plans LifeLabs Has?

LifeLabs is also working to develop a fund called Rapid Cash Response and to provide aid if a national emergency takes place. BVI’s Premier Andrew Fahie has said this about the new digital currency:

“The importance of blockchain technology and the significant benefits it offers the BVI, are paramount to the Territory. We welcome this innovation with open arms. Our partner, LIFElabs, has demonstrated with their proven track record that their ideology is not just mere words, and we look forward to continuing our partnership with them on the rollout of BVI~LIFE, our digital currency.”

Marshall Islands Are Trying to Move Away from the US Fiat Currency

According to Coin360, the price for a Life token has increased by almost 31% in the last 24 hours and reached $0.000083. BVI is seriously considering a dollar-pegged digital currency while the Marshall Islands are trying to develop a token so that they no longer use the US’s fiat currency. Earlier in 2019, official announcements were made, saying the Pacific island is trying to develop the digital Sovereign, which will be transmittable in the islands making up the country.

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Author: Oana Ularu

SEBA Launches New Crypto Index After Receiving FINMA License

A Switzerland-based cryptocurrency bank known as SEBA Crypto AG has recently announced the launch of a new index that will be used for digital assets. The index, which will be called SEBA Crypto Asset Select Index (SEBAX), will be optimized for risk and will offer exposure to the broad crypto market to institutional investors.

In order to launch the new index, SEBA cooperated with MX Index Solutions, a prominent European index administrator who helped it to devise the product.

SEBA was recently able to receive a license from FINMA, an important market regulator in Switzerland. With this new license, the company can legally offer investments based on digital assets to its clients now.

The crypto bank also launched its banking services recently, which cater to other banks, pension funds, large firms, and professional private investors, as well as asset managers. Blockchain companies can also use the services provided by SEBA, but they will have to face some restrictions, which were not revealed at the time.

Daniel Kuehne, the head of asset management at SEBA Bank, affirmed that the goal of the bank is to offer solutions that will help their clients to strengthen the confidence that they have in the crypto market and to achieve profit. With the firm’s help, the clients will be able to thrive in the industry and help it to grow more.

“With our investment solutions we want to offer investors the highest possible security and strengthen their confidence in the new, complex market environment of crypto currencies. With our product and investment expertise, we enable our clients to tap the new potential of digital asset classes with familiar rules from the existing financial world”

In related news, Sygnum, a company based in Singapore, has recently received a license to act in Switzerland as well. The firm is set to provide solutions for digital investments in Switzerland soon.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Orchid to Debut A Privacy VPN Network Based on Token Technology in December

Orchid, a Virtual Private Network provider, has announced its plan to roll out a token-powered (OXT) network and an application during the first week of December. The company majors in offering decentralized VPN and is also a platform where node providers can trade in tokens for advertisements using the Ethereum blockchain tech.

“We will be launching one of a kind App that will operate based on the use of native tokens,” said Steven Waterhouse, the CEO at Orchid. Users will use the OXT token to pay for Bandwidth offered by node providers. These tokens will be generated at the launch, and the system operates based on a staking model.

According to Waterhouse, the company will have between five to ten node providers during the launch. The node providers will include both the new crypto technology and the traditional VPN space. Waterhouse adds that the initial offer was meant to boost the early stages of the system.

Virtual Private Networks have in use by millions of people globally for internet browsing. However, the VPN space is faced with the challenges of a centralized authority.

The company has managed to raise about $48 million through a number of investments since 2017. The major investors with Orchid include Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, and Blockchain Capital. Brad Stephens, Blockchain Capital’s managing partner said,

“To secure communication and privacy from state surveillance, VPN spaces should be decentralized. Orchid has illustrated the importance of VPN decentralization. We have worked with the company as an investor and advisor since 2017.”

The only problem facing the company has been to secure token-powered platforms by wholesale adoption. One of the investors, without any stake in Orchid, though, told CoinDesk that priority-payment tokens such as OXT and utility tokens are not a strong incentive to attract investors and without the investors, it is hard to have a significant value.

Waterhouse, however, defends the company’s token project saying that it has been developed with the investors’ best interests in mind. “We have been focusing on building the platform in the Web3 world,” says Waterhouse. The major objective is to develop a user experience based on privacy and one that is easy to understand and appealing to its users.

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Author: Denis Miriti

Crypto Data And Metrics Provider Messari Raises $4M In Funding And Adds New Board Member

Crypto data analysis firm, Messari Crypto, announced they had raised $4 million USD in a capital funding round led by Uncork Capital and joined by top crypto industry firms such as Coinbase Ventures, Blockchain Capital, CoinFund, Danhua Capital, Fenbushi Capital, and individual investor, Balaji Srinivasan. The valuation of the company remains undisclosed.

Messari Raises $4 Million USD in Capital Funding Round

In an official statement by the crypto metrics and news firm, Messari closed a $4 million dollar funding round that will “accelerate the expansion of the company’s Transparency Registry, and evolve Messari Pro research and data analytics beyond beta.” In a highly participated funding round, Uncork Capital will have their CEO and founder, Jeff Clavier join the board at Messari.

Jeff was optimistic at the investment solving a key problem in the company’s operational space adding key capital and infrastructure that currently is lacking in the industry. Speaking on the investment in Messari, Jeff said,

“If crypto is going to become a mainstream asset class, it needs quality data that is open and transparent. The Messari team are pioneers in the industry, and have built a strong picks and shovels business in an otherwise volatile and unpredictable market.”

Other existing investors who did not participate in this round of funding include Anthemis, Semantic Ventures, Fabric Ventures, Underscore VC, and DHVC.

The company raised $1 million in a seed funding round in May last year and has witnessed exponential growth in the projects supported. In August the company added eleven new projects to its disclosures registry including Cardano (ADA), Lisk (LSK) and Beam (BEAM).

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Author: Lujan Odera

AlphaPoint’s Digital Asset Exchange Software To Roll Out Crypto Margin Trading

AlphaPoint, a crypto software and technology provider, announced at the CoinDesk’s Investment NYC conference that it would be launching margin trading for its clients. By utilizing its software, the technology provider will be supporting margin trading with a range of trading options and control over crypto exchanges and brokerages.

Margin trading is when an investor buys a security, in this case, a cryptocurrency, using borrowed money. Margin trading is becoming prevalent and popular in the crypto industry. Most of the popular leading exchanges are implementing the feature. Bakkt, Kraken, and Coinbase’s trading platform have the feature. Binance also launched margin trading in July 2019.

According to Patrick Shield, the spokesman, AlphaPoint’s platform can be customized to serve the clients trading in different regulatory regimes and markets better.

“We have created a highly configurable platform, and there will be no need to create a one-size-fits-all model. The platform has configurable leverages, minimum deposit, liquidation levels, sizes, and fees. It will also require approval workflow for the end users,” said Shield.

During the launch, the company said that clients are yet to implement AlphaPoint’s margin trading. However, according to a recent press release, a number of firms, including Canadian cryptocurrency trader National Digital Asset Exchange (NDAX), are already beta testing the new platform.

The founder and CEO at NDAX, Bilal Hammoud, said in a statement that he is excited and longing to partner with AlphaPoint. “The partnership will introduce BTC to CAD margin trading to the crypto industry, allowing investors to enjoy a technologically advanced, compliant, and secure platform,” said Hammoud.

Margin trading, however, comes packed with its pushbacks. Some countries across the world are discouraging crypto margin trading and have even placed strict control policies around the policies like it is the case in Japan.

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Author: Denis Miriti

Chainalysis Releases Kryptos; Institutional Compliance & Risk Assessment Software

On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, blockchain analysis firm, Chainalysis announced the launch of new software that aims to aid financial institutions in better understanding crypto-related risks. This software is called Chainalysis Kryptos.

As previously reported by Bitcoin Exchange Guide, a poll done by the blockchain analysis firm concluded that half of its respondents expect Bitcoin to take over equities, fixed income, and the housing price index. At the same time, said financial institutions expressed concern over the lack of regulations and the possibility of being exposed to risk.

Kryptos was designed with the aforementioned concerns in mind and therefore ensures that users have access to transparency into the crypto markets so that a better comprehension of risk exposure can be attained. Furthermore, the software is expected to increase confidence in banks when deciding to offer services to crypto businesses.

According to the Co-Founder and CEO of Chainalysis, Michael Gronager, the goal is to eliminate any barrier of entry, adding that,

“Financial institutions can access the transparency they need to fulfill their compliance responsibilities, meet customer demand, and seize the market opportunity they already believe in.”

The SVP Managing Principal of Silvergate, Michelle Sabins describes Kryptos as a “powerful tool for institutions to use to evaluate the risk profile […] to measure their counterparty risk.”

Some of the types of information that users will have access to include an exchange’s business operations, country of operation, transaction activity, risk across wire transfers, etc.

As per Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Chainalysis, Jonathan Levin,

“Not only does Kryptos help [financial institutions] mitigate risk and access new high growth markets but it will also help crypto businesses build trust with their banks.”

Currently available in Beta, Kryptos will be available on a broader space in early 2020. All updates will be made by Chainalysis employees on all aspects of digital assets.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Omise To Offer PayNow Payment Options In Singapore; Faster And More Secure Transactions

Asia-focused Payment Gateway, Omise announced that it will be offering PayNow to customers in Singapore reports Finance Magnates. Customers, namely small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses can expect this addition to take place sometime next month.

PayNow was created by DBS, Development Bank of Singapore. Their foundation involves leveraging digital technologies to ensure that customers are offered simple, fast and exceptional banking solutions and experiences. All in all, they believe in being able to live a life that doesn’t require tedious banking, hence their solution, PayNow!

Omise has since offered details as to how the integration can help customers. According to the reportings, the transactions will be completed by either sending money using registered mobile numbers, National Registration Identity Card (NRIC) or Unique Equity Number (UEN). In order for the payment to be accepted, users are required to simply scan the QR code provided by the merchant.

Speaking regarding this endeavor is Omise’s Country Manager in Singapore, Nick Gan who expressed gratitude and pleasure in being able “to launch PayNow Corporate as part of Singapore’s cashless drive towards a Smart Nation.” He further emphasized that such a move was needed given how tech-friendly consumers have become as well as businesses starting to adapt to technology.

Moreover, he said:

“Omise is proud to launch PayNow Corporate as part of Singapore’s cashless drive towards a Smart Nation. Consumers are becoming more digitally savvy and demand fast and seamless payments. As a result, more and more companies are adapting to this shift and recognizing the speed and convenience of PayNow over cash and cheque collections,”

“With PayNow, businesses are simply able to get paid faster and become more efficient. Omise is excited to be able to offer businesses multiple online payment methods across cards, PayNow and e-wallets on one payment platform.”

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

John McAfee Announces Goals of Launching “Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself” Token on McAfeeDEX

On Friday, November 8, John McAfee announced the news that is planning to release an “Epstein Didn’t Kill Himself” token free of charge. The token has been designed to be tradeable on the McAfee DEX.

As per the tweet, in 1 out of every 10 transactions on McAfee DEX, said tokens will be randomly sent to the established burn address, as opposed to sending them to the recipient. When a Twitter user asked how one might be able to get hold of said asset, McAfee simply responded, “Info Soon”.

Why is this token called what it is? Who is Epstein? Jeffrey Epstein was an American teacher turned financier and a convicted sex offender. On August 10, 2019, Epstein was supposedly found unresponsive in his jail cell, and the case was closed as him having committed suicide.

Many find the outcome rather fishy, and after coming across the fact that Epstein had broken bones in his neck, possibly having been strangled to death, it all indicates to a possible big cover up.

As reported by Crypto Politan, McAfee has created the token in Epstein’s honor so that no one forgets. The burn aspect of the coin is what specifically ties to Epstein. For more information regarding this endeavor, we will have to wait at least a week.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai