After Shutting Down Ahead of EU’s 5AMLD, BottlePay’s Set to Relaunch New Lightning Payment App

BottlePay, a social payment app that choose to shut down its operation in December of 2019 amid regulatory concerns, is ready for a relaunch with a new Lightning Payment App. The firm has restructured its products and services to comply with Europe’s 5th anti-money laundering directive (AMLD5). The new payment app also offers an exchange wallet with social features on Reddit, Twitter, and Discord and set for a beta launch in August.

Some of the features of the new payment app include scheduled payments to buy more bitcoin, which is quite similar to Square’s Cash App. However, this feature would be first rolled out in Europe. Users would also have the option to opt for a custodial or non-custodial wallet.

Pete Cheyne, a co-founder of BottlePay, said, “Lightning works in the background, without users having to manage channels.” Adding,

“There will be a small fee for exchanging between fiat and bitcoin, and vice versa. … There will also be tiers because people are interested in our app for different use cases.”

Mark Webster, CEO of BottlePay, revealed that his team of 11 employees was funded continuously by their angel investors, who were responsible for trading equity worth $2 million in 2019. He explained that the firm has no immediate plans to support any token. Webster also revealed his plans for expanding his workforce up to 35 people by 2021.

Webster went on to reveal that most of the recent hiring has been in the legal and marketing department, which helped them in restructuring their product. He said,

“I think Lightning is at the core of the strategy. As consumer demand increases, we can open more channels. You can store a fiat balance, Scan a Lightning code, and pay that from your pound or euro balance.”

The scheduled beta launch in August will be limited to the European citizens. Still, Webster said that he hopes to expand the reach of his application in the United States and hopes to launch a Telegram integration by 2021.

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Author: Hank Klinger

XRP Falls to a New Low against BTC, Could Further Fall to Find New Support

Yesterday, XRP dropped to a new low against BTC, since December 2017. The fourth-largest cryptocurrency dropped to 0.0000205 yesterday in the BTC market after the world’s leading digital currency jumped on the back of the Fed’s dovish tone.

This has been while last week, the digital asset entered the top spot on emerging trends with a massive spike in its social volume. There have also been potential indicators of an upcoming decoupling from bitcoin but nothing has happened yet.

After EOS, XRP is the one that has lost the most over 22% against BTC in 2020 so far.

According to the veteran trader, Peter Brandt, if XRP/BTC doesn’t find its way back to the support line, it could fall further to find new support at 0.0000194.

Back in March, Brandt broke its promise to never again post a chart of XRP only to share that the digital currency has all the “white space” to fall in. This time, he “just cannot stand not taking a shot at XRP when it deserves to be shot at.”

Many XRP enthusiasts argue that instead of comparing XRP with BTC, it should be measured in the USD market. However, even against the US dollar, XRP isn’t doing any good. As we reported, XRP recorded the second least amount of gains in the top 25 cryptos.

As a matter of fact, while bitcoin has been holding steady for the past few weeks, altcoins have been rallying. Although small-cap altcoins are really the winners of this rally, large-cap altcoins are also surging, if not as much as small-cap coins.

In 2020, so far, Ethereum has seen an increase of 87%, BSV 99%, Cardano 144%, Tezos 114%, and Chainlink 133% to name a few.

Even Ripple’s competitor Stellar Lumens (XLM) registered a jump of 68% YTD in comparison to XRP’s 3.75%. Currently, XRP/USD is trading at $0.20, with 0.35% losses.

All of this while Ripple continues to grapple with lawsuits, however, CEO Brad Garlinghouse says these legal cases fail to show how the company and Garlinghouse committed fraud in selling XRP in 2017.

Ripple’s lawyers are arguing that plaintiff Bradley Sostack’s amended complaint, filed in March, must show how the fraud was committed and that it was done knowingly. They are now asking the court to dismiss the case with prejudice and without leave to amend.

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Author: AnTy

Qatar’s QFC Regulatory Authority Shuts Down All Cryptocurrency Trading and Services

Qatar’s Financial Center Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) has announced on December 26 that the Qatar Financial Center (QFC) can no longer conduct in and out virtual asset services. The announcement was made through a tweet saying,

The QFC Has $20 Billion In Total Assets in Management

The QFC is a financial center that operates as a business in Qatar. It was created to help with the economic development of the country. As the QFC official website says, it manages $20 billion in total assets from more than 500 firms.

Qatar is Taking a Hard Stand on Crypto

The QFCRA calls virtual asset services any exchange between cryptocurrencies and fiat, also any transfer of crypto assets, administration and safekeeping of virtual assets or management tools. Included in this category are also the provision or participation of virtual assets-based financial services.

According to an Al-Watan report, Qatar has adopted all the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing regulations. This is what Qatar’s central bank’s governor, Sheikh Abdullah bin Saud Al Thani commented about the adoption of these new rules:

“The State of Qatar affirms that fighting money laundering and terrorist financing requires a strict and effective regulatory and legislative framework, whereby the powers and responsibilities of both government agencies and relevant ministries are defined in relation to combating money laundering and terrorist financing.”

India Also Banned Crypto-Related Services

Some countries such as Switzerland are very open to the possibility of digital assets. However, other nations see these assets as threatening to their monetary sovereignty, so they’re very harsh when it comes to them. For example, India’s central bank has banned the country’s financial institutions from providing crypto services, whereas China has a ban on domestic crypto exchanges ever since September 2017.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Justin Sun’s BitTorrent Onboards Largest Decentralized Live Streaming Platform DLive

  • On December 30, BitTorrent made the announcement that the blockchain-based platform DLive is going to join its ecosystem.

This partnership will give BitTorrent’s monthly active users, who are more than 100 million, the opportunity to share peer-to-peer content and to live stream. This is what the CEO of BitTorrent, Justin Sun, had to say about decentralized content platforms:

“It’s unfortunate to see content platforms such as YouTube taking down crypto-related content, this is the issue with centralized agencies. Decentralized content platforms such as TRON’s newest partner DLive are the platforms of the future.”

DLive Hosts PewDiePie and Other Famous YouTubers

Launched almost 2 years back, DLive already has 5 million users that are active every month, plus an interesting live streaming lineup of YouTube celebrities that use it for co-streaming. These celebrities include PewDiePie, James Charles, Ninja, and Jack Black. Sun said DLive is a leader in the blockchain-based live streaming world.

DLive’s Account Systems Will Merge with BitTorrent’s

In order to integrate communities further, the DLive account systems will merge with BitTorrent’s. BLive, which is a BitTorrent live streaming platform launched at the beginning of 2019, is going to migrate and merge with DLive, while DLive will introduce ads for their services and products into the BitTorrent networks.

DLive Is Going to Migrate to the TRON Blockchain

The collaboration will have DLive migrating to the TRON blockchain. TRON was acquired in July 2018 by BitTorrent to create the largest file-sharing decentralized protocol. Currently working on the Lino blockchain, DLive will continue to support Lino until it has completely transitioned to TRON.

However, the LINO cryptocurrency DLive is using to pay content makers is no longer going to be the main unit of value. DLive will offer rewards and benefits to its existing users that make the transition into the BitTorrent ecosystem by using BitTorrent’s BTT cryptocurrency. The BitTorrent Filesharing System (BTFS) will be used by DLive as well.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Coinbase Pro Prepares to Launch Digital Privacy Network Orchid (OXT) As Next Digital Asset

  • OXT will enter transfer-only mode on December 13th at 10:00am PST.
  • Transfer-only mode will last for 12 hours.

Coinbase Pro continually strives to serve customers by bringing them cryptocurrency assets that they want to use. One of the latest to be added to the platform will now be Orchid (OXT), according to a recent blog by Coinbase.

As with all of the newly listed tokens on the platform, customers will be entering four separate stages as the integration is implemented on Friday, December 13th. The first stage is a transfer-only state, allowing customers to send inbound transfers to the OXT/USD order book from “supported regions,” though the orders will be in a pending state for the entire 12 hours of this mode, beginning at 10:00am PST.

The second stage is the post-only mode, allowing customers to post limit orders without completion. Minimum wait time for order books at this stage is one minute, though a maximum time is not listed.

During the third stage, limit-only, Coinbase allows limit orders to match and complete, but customers will not have access to market order submissions. This mode will last at least ten minutes for order books. Once these three initial stages take place, OXT/USD order books will enter the final stage, full trading. Services for limit, market, and stop orders will be available at this point.

Orchid was created in 2017, pushing for a more open and accessible internet for all. With its decentralized VP (virtual private network) service, individuals are linked with a group of bandwidth providers around the world. The providers can share their extra bandwidth by staking Orchid tokens, essentially functioning as network nodes. The nodes are stored as a list in an Ethereum smart contract that anyone in the world can access, and users pay the cost of their bandwidth with OXT, an ERC-20 token.

To use Orchid, consumers will need to download the Orchid app, register for a Web3 crypto wallet, and purchase OXT.

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Author: Krystle M

SpaceChain’s New Milestone: First-Ever Demo of Blockchain Tech on the International Space Station

On Monday, December 5, 2019, community-based space and blockchain-focused platform, SpaceChain sent its blockchain hardware wallet technology to the International Space Station (ISS). As per the press release, this endeavor is the first ever ISS demonstration to date and was achieved as part of the CRS-19 commercial resupply service mission.

This is definitely a milestone for SpaceChain, as the blockchain hardware is said to be installed in Nanoracks’ commercial platform on Station, making it the third blockchain payload containing crucial information about a transaction sent into space by the team.

What happens once everything has been activated? The entirety of this move is said to establish receipts, authorizations, and retransmission of blockchain transactions. Moreover, SpaceChain’s multi-signature satellite wallet requires multiple approvals to complete transactions. This was done to not only secure the transfer of funds but also to make the process faster.

Speaking in regard to this venture is the Co-Founder and CEO of SpaceChain, Zee Zhang, who noted that the third payload launch is just the beginning of the possible development of a New Space Economy. It was further emphasized that:

“The integration of space and blockchain technologies has uncovered new possibilities and opportunities and we are very excited about the prospect of working closely with financial service providers, fintech and Bitcoin developers…”

According to Jeff Garzik, Co-Founder and CTO of SpaceChain, “Blockchain is the next major disruptor in space… Through integrating technologies, new paradigms that were once beyond reach can now be created and add exciting elements in the New Space Economy.”

SpaceChain was awarded funding from the ESA Business Applications and Space Solutions just months ago to explore different use cases for its satellite blockchain technology. Before this launch, SpaceChain was able to develop an open-source OS and flight-tested two blockchain nodes into space within a year’s time. To completely achieve the goal behind the third payload, and for the team to check it off their list of tasks, the testing is expected to done by early 2020.

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Author: Nirmala Velupillai

Bitfinex Partners with Bitrefill to Integrate Instant Bitcoin Payments Via the Lightning Network

A press release on December 4th highlighted the services one could leverage from participating within the Bitfinex and Bitrefill ecosystem.

Notably was the number of services available; Bitrefill’s crypto gift cards come with an option of over 2000 catalogs. These are based on consumables like entertainment, dining, travel and the crypto compatible gaming space.

The B2B Bitfinex-Bitrefill Ecosystem

This FinTech innovation will most likely disrupt existing relationships between business owners and their clients.

Basically, once users have done their payments through the Bitfinex and Bitrefill, the two crypto-oriented firms will in turn settle the request via lightning network. Just recently, Bitfinex announced that they had integrated BTC to the lightning network; it is therefore no surprise that the pioneer digital currency for this ecosystem is Bitcoin.

John Carvalho, Bitrefill’s Chief Communications officer, noted that the move will steer Bitcoin and Lightning network to new levels of applicability and adoption;

“This collaboration signals a new era for Bitcoin commerce. We will continue to work closely with Bitfinex and other businesses to develop Lightning solutions and products that make living on crypto a reality, eventually removing dependability on fiat rails,”

Bitrefill Partnerships with Crypto Exchanges

The crypto payment solution provider is still at its early phase of product implementation. So far, the firm has only partnered with Bitfinex exchange although plans are underway for expansion once the BTC gift cards run smoothly via Bitfinex.

Carvalho however said that Bitrefill is looking to work with other stakeholders in blockchain and crypto as well; this will be majorly done in 2020 as they on-ramp more users to their services and lightning network.

Bitfinex is currently working to scale up the portfolio of digital currencies within the lightning network. After the BTC integration, the firm is now looking to include the likes of Tether Gold and Tether (USDT) which are both stablecoins.

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Author: Lujan Odera

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

Bitfinex Becomes First Major Exchange to Add Lightning Network Deposits and Withdrawals

  • A linking page for the implementation will be live tomorrow, December 3rd.
  • Paolo Ardoino and Jameson Loop weighed in on the integration with Bitfinex.

The Lightning Network has promoted itself through the last year or so, as cryptocurrency proponents pushed a Bitcoin train through the social media platform, adding more BTC as it went along. Promoting the expediency of this network, it seems that the Lightning Network has officially gained the attention and the collaboration of its first exchange. This afternoon, Jameson Lopp took to Twitter to announce the implementation of the Lightning Network on Bitfinex.

Paolo Ardoino, the CTO of Bitfinex, as well as the CTO to Tether, was tagged in the post, as he replied that he was hoping that new users would be opening channels, promising a live linking page tomorrow.

The new opportunity has caught the attention of quite a few Crypto Twitter accounts, like that of Charlie Shrem (founder of BitInstant and the Bitcoin Foundation), and has already been retweeted over 50 times.

WhalePanda also announced that the news on Twitter, linking to the Bitfinex website.

Back in June, Crypto Ticket reported that Ardoino confirmed plans for Tether to be launched on the Lightning Network by the end of the year. At the time, Bitfinex’s team was working to mount Tether on Liquid, with the help of Blockstream, for asset delivery on the Lightning Network.

Speaking with The Block in March 2019, Ardoino said,

“We really love [Lightning Network] (I personally do a lot), so we want to make sure we learn and contribute to it with our resources.”

His remarks were made regarding Bitfinex’s involvement with the Tether launch, but it seems that his appreciation for the fast-moving network has not changed.

The Lightning Network a second-layer payment protocol, operating on top of a cryptocurrency based in blockchain, like Bitcoin. The purpose of this protocol is to speed up transactions between participating nodes. It is primarily advertised as a solution for the scalability issues that Bitcoin has faced.

Along with the launch of Lightning Network integration, Bitfinex recently announced their upgrade of Multi-Collateral DAI, which replaces the former “single-collateral” DAI token, which has been renamed SAI. Deposits and withdrawals of DAI is now available on the platform.

Bitfinex teased about “two exceptional integrations” earlier this morning on Twitter, and it might be safe to say that the integration of the Lightning Network is one of those two. However, no information has been confirmed or promoted on the official Twitter account for Bitfinex, so maybe there is more to come.

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Author: Krystle M