60% Of German Banks’ Charge Negative Interest Rates, ECB Says It Could Give Rise To ‘Bigger Risks’

Nearly 60% of German banks are charging negative interest rates from corporate clients on deposits while 23% are doing the same for retail customers, revealed a survey by the German central bank.

Two weeks after the European Central Bank cut interest rates deeper into negative territory, from minus 0.4% to minus 0.5% in mid-September, the Bundesbank surveyed 220 lenders.

These practices are proving to be controversial in Germany where ECB has been attacked for penalizing savers. ECB President Mario Draghi is being depicted as the “Count Dracula” a vampire sucking the savings dry in Germany’s tabloids.

Everyone Boarding the Negative Interest Rate Train

Last month, James von Moltke, Deutsche Bank’s CFO said Germany’s largest lender will start changing its client’s deposits.

Germany’s second-largest listed lender Commerzbank has also started approaching wealthy retail customers holdings deposits of more than €1m. Last month, Berliner Volksbank, the country’s biggest co-operative lender said it would start applying minus 0.5% on any deposits over €100,000.

State-owned German development bank KfW is also preparing to pass on negative interest rates to its borrowers.

According to a german price comparison website, Biallo.de, 140 lenders are already charging negative interest rates.

Now to give banks some relief from the negative rates, the ECB is introducing a “tiering” system that will exempt their part of the deposits with the central bank from charges.

ECB Warning About their Own Policy Measure

The eurozone economy has been struggling in the aftermath of the debt crisis in 2011.

To boost the flagging economy, negative interest rates were first introduced in the eurozone in 2014. But its knock-on effects have put a dent in the weakening earnings of Europe’s banks.

ECB vice-president, Luis de Guindos in a speech on Monday said the profitability of European banks had been “persistently low” and their aggregate return has dropped below 6%.

“This low interest rate environment also affects the investment strategy of the asset managers and in this respect, this part of the financial system could give rise to bigger risks,” Guindos told CNBC on Wednesday.

So, the ECB is warning that their own policy measures could cause systemic risk. This Mati Greenspan, a senior analyst at eToro says is “great” because,

“The ECB is finally admitting that they’re policy of excessive stimulus and artificially low interest is actually incentivising investors to take way too much risk.”

As we reported, this challenging time for the financial industry is good for Bitcoin. Negative interest rates give an investor less incentive to save but with Bitcoin, a cryptocurrency that has established itself as an “institutional store-of-value asset class” and has registered more than 100% gains in 2019 alone, they have the incentive to hodl.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Coinbase Custody Now Supports Maker (MKR) and MakerDAO’s Governance

Coinbase Custody keeps adding new options for its clients. Around six months after letting the clients use a crypto staking service for the assets that were being held by the company, Coinbase Custody has recently announced staking support for MKR tokens as well.

MRK the native token of the MakerDAO network, famous for its DAI stablecoin. Now, the clients of the company will be able to participate in the governance of the system directly by using the custodial solution.

Before now, if they stored their assets in custody, they would obviously not be able to vote on the decisions of the network, which basically defeats the whole idea of custody, so knowing that this could turn into a problem, Coinbase Custody decided to add this new options so that no funds would need to be withdrawn to participate in the voting system of the network.

This, the custody company affirmed, would help in the protection of the clients, as they could participate without suffering any risk of theft.

Before now, the only asset that could be staked on Coinbase Custody was XTZ (Tezos). The staking, however, was not a really big source of income for the clients. In the two first months of the operation, around $8,000 USD was gained from staking, which was about only 0.5% of the total staking in the ecosystem.

The next governance decision in the network is set for November 15. Then, it will be decided whether the network will adopt a new multi-collateral DAI system or not. The decision is expected to pass.

Read Original/a>
Author: Hank Klinger

Stellar Foundation to Airdrop $121 Million Worth Of XLM Crypto Tokens to Keybase Messenger Users

Stellar Foundation is collaborating with messaging platform Keybase to reward Keybase clients for chatting with friends. On monday the two companies inked a deal of a 2 billion XLM airdrop worth about $121 million.

According to the announcement, this is the biggest XLM airdrop of Stellar’s five year existence. According to the agreement within the next 20 months, Keybase clients will be offered airdrops of about 100 XLM.

According to Keybase, it has 300,000 clients who are active in its different services and platform.

According to a blog post shared with CoinDesk, the clients will only need to have a valid Keybase account and the amount of XLM will automatically appear in their wallet. The XLM will appear on a monthly basis so long as the airdrop are in existence.

The company confirmed that the airdrops will be available for the next three months. However, the continuation of the program will depend on meeting various basic success metrics. According to Stellar Foundation CEO, Denelle Dixon, stated that Keybase is a crucial partner as the company pursues its adoption strategy He explained:

“The foundation’s mandate is to deliver lumens [XLM] into the world. This is part of that plan. The up to 2 billion is a really great way. And we will have checks along the way.”

The two companies are not strangers to each other as they have worked closely since March 2018 after Stellar invested heavily in Keybase’s Series B fund raising.

Dixon explained that Keybase is an example of what projects his foundation intends to invest in since Keybase have a lot in common with cryptocurrencies. He explained that the deal will allow Keybase users to know XML in details for the next 20 months.

The current airdrop comes days after Keybase upgraded various features after adopting Stellar in early May 2019. Using the Keybase platform, the users are able to transfer Stellar to various users or even phone numbers even those with no Keybase accounts. A spokesperson explained that Keybase is expected to include additional features in the near future that will comprise XLM payments.

The airdrop deal comes amid other rival messaging apps come up with their own crypto efforts. For instance, Telegram is expected to roll on its TON in the coming days while Facebook is set launch Libra.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

Burger King Now Accepts Bitcoin Payments In Germany for Delivery and Online

The prominence of Bitcoin is rising all around the world. Now, the German clients of Burguer King will finally be able to accept Bitcoin (BTC) payments. Initially, the payments will only be accepted on the mobile app and on deliveries, though, so don’t expect to be able to personally buy a burger and pay using Bitcoin just yet.

This is mostly because the BTC payment was only spotted on a specific site, which means that it may not really be a whole chain-wide decision. Burger King has over 600 restaurants in Germany, so it would be a huge improvement to finally accept it, but it does not seem that this is happening right now.

In the near future, however, it can definitely happen if this little experiment is successful and people actually go forward and use BTC to buy food.

This Is Not The First Time That Burger King and Bitcoin Are Together

Back in 2017, Burger King Russia started to accept BTC payments and created its own Whoppercoin token. The Netherlands also had some restaurants of the chain accepting the token.

These are all small steps, however. Burger King currently has over 13,000 restaurants around the whole world and it serves around 11 million people every day. These may be small improvements, but as soon as one of these countries get really successful in accepting these payments, it will only be a matter of time before all these restaurants also start. Then, Bitcoin will be really mainstream.

Read Original/a>
Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Swiss Private Bank Affirms It Has 400 Clients Are Inquiring About Crypto Offerings

Maerki Baumann, a Swiss private bank, has recently affirmed that 400 new clients are currently interested in crypto and blockchain offerings. According to the bank, which is based in Zurich and has around $8.2 billion USD under its management, the blockchain is the way to “rejuvenate” the business.

The CEO of the company, Stephen Zwahlen, affirmed that the bank is used to looking for clients, so they were surprised when around 400 clients knocked on their doors wanting to invest in crypto.

Most of them were between 30 and 40 years and struggled to access the financial world. Now, they wanted a shot at it and believed that Bitcoin could be their investment.

According to Zwahlen, the bank is now looking to become the go-to private bank when it comes to crypto investments. Most banks do not support the technology but he believes that the nascent industry can bring a lot of benefits for the institution and its clients.

Now that the company has been properly approved to offer crypto services, it is looking to establish the right partnerships that could help it to offer the best products for its clients.

The CEO affirms that the third part of the plan will be to advise the clients and manage their resources in the blockchain market. According to him, big demand is expected, as crypto assets will be significantly more important in the future and are maybe even surpassing the more traditional ones.

However, the company will not be dealing directly with Bitcoin. Instead, it will outsource crypto trading, clearing, and settlement and only manage it via third-parties.

Read Original/a>
Author: Gabriel Machado

60 Latin American Banks To Start Using Bitcoin For Cross-Border Payments via Bitex Crypto Exchange

Bantotal, a banking service based in Uruguay with over 60 banking clients, has recently started a partnership with Bitex, a crypto exchange. With this partnership, the bank will help banking institutions to make cross-border payments using the Bitcoin network.

According to Bitex’s CMO Manuel Beaudroit, the integration will be a major step for banking in the region and will help to connect these institutions in a way that is more efficient than traditional methods such as SWIFT.

With this new tech, the banks will be able to access Bitex’s API and transmit money quickly to banks in the region. According to the company, these payments are five times cheaper and much faster than other methods. Before now, payments can take up to 96 hours, Bitex cuts that time in more than half.

Bitex is basically the middleman of the transactions. The banks route the payments via the company and do not have to worry about most of the specifics. This can also be interesting for banking companies because they no longer need to acquire foreign fiat currency. They can just use Bitcoin instead.

This initiative is seen by local investors as a great way to expose the market to the benefits of the blockchain. While Europe, the U. S. and Asia are already using the technology extensively, some countries are still behind the times and this solution can help to modernize their business model.

According to Santiago Siri, an expert in digital governance who works as an advisor to Bitex, using Bitcoin to be connected internationally is still not something common in Latin America, but with initiatives such as this one, it may well be in the future.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lorraine Mburu

Personal Crypto Finance App Aximetria Gets License From Swiss Regulator VQF

Crypto-Finance-App-Aximetria-Gets-License-From-Swiss-Regulator

Aximetria is offering a new app for its clients, a personal finance application that is focused on crypto as well as fiat. Now, the company has just received a license from the Swiss Financial Services Standards Association.

According to Coindesk, which reported on this story, the company was officially recognized by the local Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). This means that the product offered by Aximetria is fully compliant with the laws from the country. Because of this, the company can now start its own crypto operations without depending on other intermediaries.

The organizations are responsible for dealing with money laundering in the country and terrorism financing. Because of this, they only give the license to companies that have proven that they will not facilitate any kind of illegal activity.

Aximetria’s CEO Alexey Ermakov has affirmed that the Swiss license is one of the most desirable licenses for a fintech company. According to him, this is because Switzerland is a country with several businesses. This gives the company access to a whole world that includes money loans, forex trading, e-money and much more.

The app created by the company will somewhat similar to TransferWise. The main difference is that it will let people use crypto instead of fiat in order to make international payments. There are three fiat currencies supported right now: the dollar (USD), euro (EUR) and the Japanese yen (JPY), as well as many different cryptos (including most of the popular ones).

In order to be a client of the company, someone needs to pass a rigorous Know Your Customer (KYC) procure first. If the person is not whitelisted, it cannot send or receive any token at all.

Now that the company is regulated, the work is just beginning. According to the CEO, now is the time to upgrade several processes in order to boost compliance and continue to offer great services for the clients. This could enable the company to score a fintech license in the future.

Ermakov also affirmed that the company was started with a sandbox model and then they started to find the business model that could perfectly fit the needs of the company. The company believes that being compliant with regulation is the best step to continue growing without problems.

He also talked about how getting the Swiss license was ideal in order to reach more European customers and affirmed that the company is also focusing on other continents such as Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

For instance, the app of the company was recently launched in Portuguese and Spanish in order to cater to countries in Latin America such as Brazil and Argentina.

Read Original/a>
Author: Gabriel Machado

Tesla Reigns Supreme as Abra’s Bitcoin-Based Stock Trading Heats Up

Tesla Reigns Supreme as Abra’s Bitcoin-Based Stock Trading Heats Up

Barely a month after launching a crypto trading app for its global clients, Abra is back with lots of eye-opening information. The investment firm has been busy collecting reviews and responses to its Bitcoin-powered stock and ETF site. And the outcome so far is positive, highlighting a massive demand for timely and affordable investment solutions.

Exclusively Serves Traders Located Outside the US

The whole concept Abra employ for its non-US based clients is simple and super-effective. First, the firm opted for Bitcoin when trading stock and ETF trading. It then embarked on launching the app, ensuring it goes live in more than 150 countries.

Since rolling it out, the investment company has immensely eased the overall stock trading procedure. It has also decentralized how financial services could be accessed while bringing on board active users in more than 82 countries.

Interestingly, the app enables its users to invest in popular traditional stocks, including that of Tesla, Uber, Facebook, and Alibaba, besides going for ETFs such as gold SPDR. They do this conveniently and off their smartphones using Bitcoin.

Abra, excited by the findings, couldn’t remain silent about them. The firm’s Twitter outlet posted a series of tweets on how the app had faired on after a month’s use by traders from across the world. The tweets told the whole journey, from Abra launching Bitcoin-based stock and ETF investing for its non-US based traders.

Everything aside, the whole service now highlights how Bitcoin can help bypass borders while allowing crypto traders to markets that are geographically impossible to reach. According to Abra, 43% of its client base said that BTC had eased the overall process of investing in financial markets. A further 35% said they now invest in all popular stocks without breaking a sweat.

Speaking to BitcoinMagazine, the platform’s founder and CEO, Bill Barhydt, was equally elated by the findings. He spoke of how they launched their wait-list in February, but had to wait till May before rolling out the app for their international clients. Yet, despite the app going live for such a short time had it reached about 14,000 equity wallets.

From the Statistics, Millennials love Tesla

According to the survey, the most sought after stock among investors using the app is Tesla. The Global Investor Insights further reported that the world is crazy over tech and immensely loves Tesla, as evidenced by the firm’s findings. Generally, the statistics revealed that any medium investment in Tesla was comparatively higher, unlike investing the same in a different platform.

The phenomenon, according to Barhydt, is because of the vast millennial investors. He added that the whole scenario was a testament to their vibrancy in investing in whatever they believed on. The project that Elon Musk is creating clearly endears many millennial’s to Tesla’s stocks.

Five countries where Tesla is trending hot, according to the statistics are his birthplace; South Africa, Argentina, France, the Philippines, and Austria. Besides Tesla, top ranking stocks include e-commerce giants Amazon and Alibaba as well as tech behemoths Apple and Google.

Ultimately, the findings highlight what many probably see across the world; preference for tech stocks.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lillian Peter