Lolli Partners with Kroger to Allow Users to Earn Bitcoin Back on Groceries

  • Just before the festivities begin, Lolli has announced its newest partner, Kroger.

Lolli users can now earn Bitcoin back on groceries at America’s largest grocery chain and the second-largest general retailer after Walmart. It allows its users to earn up to 1.5% BTC back on grocery orders for pickup or delivery.

“This is what bitcoin adoption looks like,” tweeted the rewards application that gives back Bitcoin whenever a user shop at the stores supported by Lolli. The Sats-Stacking rewards program has been working hard in the last year and a half to help users earn BTC back on their everyday purchases. They raised $3 million from investors like Ashton Kutcher and Michelle Phan earlier this year.

Already, it supports over 1,000 stores such as Udemy, Groupon, Adidas, GoDaddy, Lululemon, Macy’s, Gap, Nike, and Samsung.

“Our team is continuously looking for more ways to put more bitcoin in your wallet, and today we are furthering that goal by launching our newest partner, Kroger. Kroger serves over 11 million customers daily. These shoppers now have access to earning free bitcoin back on their everyday shopping when using Lolli,” said CEO and Co-founder of Lolli, Alex Adelman.

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Author: AnTy

Lido to Allow ETH to be Staked on Ethereum 2.0 and Still Participate in DeFi

Ethereum 2.0 is getting ready for first big steps; in the next few weeks, it will begin its transition to proof of stake (PoS) by launching Phase 0 to allow people to stake their ETH.

But it comes with the caveat that the staked ETH will remain unlocked for months or years until transactions are enabled on ETH 2.0. It further means, these stakes ETH, which can only be in the multiple of 32 (worth about $11,850 at the time of writing), can’t be moved, traded, or used as collateral.

To allow people to secure the network through staking and participate in DeFi simultaneously, Lido is launched. Currently, in development, this project is headed by CEO Jordan Fish and CTO Vasiliy Shapovalov, with more details to come over the next few weeks.

This staking solution for Eth 2.0 is built to solve the issue of staked ETH being non-transferable and illiquid.

When using Lido to stake ETH on the Ethereum beacon chain, users will receive a token called bETH, representing ETH on the Ethereum beacon chain on a 1:1 basis.

Staking rewards earned from staked ETH will reflect the user’s ETH balance on the beacon chain, and so will the bETH balances.

“We believe that bETH will be an important base primitive in DeFi, and a foundational building block for the Ethereum money-lego stack,” reads the official announcement.

In this manner, ETH users can earn incentives through staking and simultaneously getting access to additional yield by participating in DeFi protocols.

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Author: AnTy

Indian Think Tank Founder Says Bitcoin Should Not Be Legalized As A Private Currency

Indian entrepreneur and founder of BEGIN Think Tank, Deepak Kapoor, calls on the countries’ financial authorities and government to implement regulations on the cryptocurrency space in a bid to prevent the illicit use of the “innovative technology.”

Speaking to BusinessWorld on Monday, in a panel shared by Ratan Sharda, noted Author, Editor, and TV Panelist, Kapoor further said cryptocurrencies should be treated in a similar bracket to company securities or stocks.

India’s total ban on cryptocurrency, stipulated by the Reserve Bank of India, was quashed earlier this year as the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. Ratan echoed the Supreme Court decision as final, stating the current bill in parliament looking to affect the total ban “will not work” in its current state.

“Just like you cannot ban porn, you cannot ban cryptocurrency.”

A better view would be to place controls on the market and ecosystem, the author stated.

Nonetheless, the privatization of Bitcoin (and similar cryptocurrencies) will not be accepted by governments any time soon, Kapoor shared. Controls will only effect a smooth transition into digital payments, but acceptance of private cryptocurrencies could generally collapse economies, he explained.

“Globally, everyone wants to make bitcoin into a private currency, which will not be allowed because it will lead to the collapse of the economies.”

Kapoor praised cryptocurrencies as a technology that cannot be hacked but warned legalizing Bitcoin and private currencies “might put the entire economy of the country at risk.”

How should the government control and regulate these new innovative digital assets?

According to the think tank CEO, Bitcoin should be treated similarly as stocks or company securities. He further stated,

“That is the only legal status that it can get, and it should get this status. This could be the most secure technology cryptographically that we have ever seen in our lifetimes.”

India’s monumental Supreme Court decision to destroy the blanket ban on crypto opened up the country to a new wave of interest in these digital assets. However, Kapoor believes the country should be doing more on the regulation side of things to curb cybercrime using Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.

“We do not even have cryptocurrency crimes as a category of crimes registered in the country. Let us start acknowledging that first,” he said. “I would want senior people from investigative and law enforcement agencies to first at least know about it and to know what the world is moving towards.”

He called on the government to introduce a body specifically looking into virtual assets or give the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) the mandate over these assets.

India’s regulation on cryptocurrencies is still miles off peer countries. Since February’s ruling on the lift on the total crypto ban, the RBI has given contradictory statements on what is legal and what isn’t. In May, the central bank announced it had not prohibited any banking services from conducting business with crypto service providers despite reports it had done so.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Crypto Exchange Bitfinex Now Offers Staking on EOS, VSYS, and ATOM; XTZ Coming Soon

One of the largest crypto exchanges, Bitfinex, is ready to begin offering staking services to their customers as a result of high consumer demand for it.

The announcement was made on April 3 and says the staking rewards offered by Bitfinex will be up to 10% per year on crypto assets that use the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm. Here’s what Paolo Ardoino, the exchange’s CTO, had to comment about the news:

“We’re committed to engaging our existing users and the wider community with new products and innovations. The Bitfinex Staking Rewards Program provides our users with another avenue to increase their holdings on our platform.”

Customer Demand for Staking Has Been High

Ardoino also mentioned that the exchange’s customers asked in very high numbers for staking, the service that allows traders to make passive income on the crypto assets they hold with Bitfinex. Staking here will support 3 cryptocurrencies: Cosmos (ATOM), V-Systems (VSYS) and EOS. It was specified that more stackable tokens are going to be added in the following months and that Tezos (XTZ) will launch in May.

Furthermore, Ardoino talked about the launch of P2P margin trading or lending-related products and derivatives sometimes soon. The promotion of the new staking service includes a competition in which Bitfinex branded apparel can be won.

Passive Income Options Are Now Everywhere

Crypto exchanges are in a fierce competition when it comes to offering their customers opportunities to generate passive income on the crypto assets they’re holding. Back in March, OKEx consolidated its Earn interface for staking, lending and term-deposit services, offering passive income streams for up to 32 crypto assets. OKEx’s director of financial markets, Lennix Lai, said that traditional banking could never offer the opportunity of staking when it comes to generating passive income.

Crypto.com launched on March 23 the Crypto Earn service that offers returns of as much as 12% per year on its platform’s deposited TrustToken stablecoins. Crypto.com’s CMO Sean Rach said the more products that help customers generate passive income with crypto are created, the more the crypto industry gets a chance to compete fairly with banks and traditional banking models.

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Author: Oana Ularu

With Record Lowest Interest Rates Coming, Market Bullish on Gold & Stocks, Cryptocurrencies will “Gain in Favor” too

  • “Japanification scenario,” the Fed has to cut rates below zero,
  • The 2020s will begin with the lowest interest rates in 5000 years
  • In the long run, negative rates ruin the financial system – UBS CEO
  • Falling interest rates would lead to irrational capital allocation and an eventual crash

The Federal Reserve is cutting interest rates to stimulate activity as the trade war between the US and China casts a pall over the economy.

However, there isn’t much room with the current rate set in the range of 2% to 2.25%. And it won’t be long before the mark hits zero and then turn negative.

According to the report from analysts at Bank of America, the second-largest US lender, the Fed has to cut rates below zero, a path many countries like Denmark, Japan, and others have already taken.

Although low, investors are now assigning increasing odds that the Fed will need to take rates potentially negative, describing the setup as a “Japanification scenario.”

“We believe negative rates in the U.S. are a possibility,” the analysts wrote.

“The 2020s will begin with the lowest interest rates in 5000 years.”

BofA’s periodic report stated that there has been a total of 731 global interest rate cuts since the Lehman in an attempt to renormalize the monetary policy.

“The 2020s will begin with the lowest interest rates in 5000 years.”

The value of negatively-yielding bonds has reached $17 trillion, equivalent to 30% of the total outstanding debt securities market value. $1 trillion is the value of negatively-yielding corporate bonds.

Global debt is also near an all-time high level of global GDP at 310%.

Moreover, S&P 500 is not only in its longest bull market but the biggest of all-time, while $5.4 trillion are being spent on stock buyback since 2009 by US corporate.

BofA is bullish on stocks and commodities and bearish on bonds, cash, and the US dollar.

“Negative rates ruin the financial system”

The top banking executives of Europe meanwhile have ramped up their criticism of negative rates, warning of severe consequences to asset prices and the broader economy.

UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti said negative rates are hurting savings rates and social systems while Deutsche Bank AG Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing warned that more monetary easing by the ECB will have “grave side effects” on Europe, a region that is already living with them for half a decade.

“In the long run, negative rates ruin the financial system,” Sewing said.

The ECB will decide on Sept. 12, if it would cut its interest rate even further as economic indicators showed a decelerating economy.

These negative rates are also hurting the bank’s interest margins by putting pressure on them.

Gold is the Best Safe Haven Asset But Cryptos will Gain as well

The falling interest rates, Mark Mobius, the founder of Mobius Capital Partners recently said would lead to “irrational capital allocation and an eventual crash.”

As such, Mobius advises investors to allocate 10% of their assets in physical gold and believes cryptocurrencies would gain as well.

Due to the fact that gold maintains its status as a currency — that stood the test of time — it is the best safe haven option, according to him.

As for cryptocurrencies,

“Given the increasing credibility and faith in cryptocurrencies, they will gain in favor as a currency,” he said.

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Author: AnTy

Korea’s Biggest Crypto Exchange, Bithumb, Sets Up a Listing Committee, Drops Failing Coins

South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb will begin reviewing its crypto listings monthly, intending to drop failing coins. The exchange’s newly formed Eligibility Deliberation Committee will determine which coins will be dropped based on criteria including low trading volume, low market capitalization, and lack of support from developers.

According to CoinDesk the committee came into motion on Aug. 22. This committee will keep a check on the listings of the exchange every month.

The factors that the committee will consider doing will include daily trading volume, the change in base market and project support and many others. The currencies that will fail to meet the set standards will be given a time of 60 days to get their performances a notch higher. After this period, the currencies will be delisted.

According to a report from Yonhap, Bithump’s aim is to strengthen the check on technology development efforts and utility of crypto projects. The statement read:

“We will take the lead in protecting investors by creating a transparent and safe trading environment.”

This step was taken after some unauthentic coins were put in the trading lists that later fell in their performance. Also, there will be stringent measures taken into form with new coins that are being added to the market.

The committee is reported to consist of lawyers and professors who will bring expertise in the legal, technology and finance into the exchange’s review of the listing process.

The move by the giant crypto exchange comes after a general upgrade of standards at exchanges after the South Korean government agencies enhanced their crackdown on crypto businesses in the country. Banks in South Korea have also upped their anti-money laundering standards when it comes to crypto exchanges.

At the start of August, Coinone sought the services of Certik to carry out a security validation of the exchange. The exchange then published a procedure to be followed by coins seeking to be listed on the exchange. Although Coinone’s move is different from Bithumb, the two initiatives are meant to enhance the security as well as the credibility of the trading platforms.

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Author: Joseph Kibe