Former Apple Card & Pay Lead Joins Santander To Head Global Digital Payments

An Apple payments products executive, Trish Burgess, has joined the Spain-based bank Santander’s peer-to-peer (P2P) global payments team.

As an announcement from Thursday says, Santander is looking to expand it digital payments services in order to make them global. Burgess’ LinkedIn profile indicates she worked at Apple for 4 and a half years, where she helped to lead the launches of Apple Pay and Apple Card.

Burgess Has Worked for Santander Before

Burgess isn’t a stranger to Santander, as she previously held the position of being responsible with the securities offered by the bank. Burgess was employed between 2007 and 2010. After 2010, she was a senior executive for BNP Paribas and Visa. When it comes to education, she studied marketing and finance with electronics, focusing more on telecoms.

Back at Santander, she will report to the Santander Digital Payments’ global head Chirag Patel. The bank says its Digital Payments team is in charge with improving the users’ experience and the adoption of an international payment network as far as P2P payments goes.

Santander is Committed to Deliver the Best Payments Solutions

Patel said Santander wants to provide customers the best payments solutions. This is what he mentioned about Burgess’s role at the bank:

“Trish’s appointment as head of P2P highlights our commitment to delivering best-in-class payments solutions for our customers. We know that innovation is powered by the most talented people, and we welcome Trish’s wealth of payment experience.”

Last year, Santander dedicated about 20 billion Euros for investments in digital payments technology. Back in 2018, it introduced a blockchain-based mobile app that uses Ripple’s xCurrent technology. The app is called One Pay FX and was first rolled out for the bank’s customers from Spain, the UK and the US. Later, One Pay FX was made available for customers residing in Latin America.

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Author: Oana Ularu

We Left Facebook Led Libra Association Due Lack Of Transparency: MasterCard CEO

MasterCard’s Chief Executive Officer has said the payment processor abandoned the Libra project, which was led by Facebook after realizing that there were some issues regarding its business model as well as some revolving regulatory compliance.

Ajay Banga, the president and CEO of MasterCard since 2009 recently sat down with the Financial Times and had a candid conversation pertaining to the Libra project. According to Ajay, his attitude towards this project began to weaken when some of the members in this project advanced proposals that would have seen it get linked to Calibra, a proprietary digital wallet.

His problem with this proposal stemmed from the fact that when the idea to develop Libra was first muted, the currency was supposed to be all-inclusive. It was to be accessible to all people across the globe. Banga told the Times that:

“It went from this altruistic idea into their own wallet. I’m like: ‘this doesn’t sound right.’”

Global Financial Inclusion

Banga noted that financial inclusion would imply that governments and other authorities would be in a position to pay its people using a given currency. Once paid, the recipients would be in a position to understand how that currency is used, and would thus be able to use it in their day-to-day lives, e.g., paying for their daily food supplies. He went on to note that:

“If you get paid in Libra [coin]…. which go into Calibras, which go back into pounds to buy rice, I don’t understand how that works”

According to the CEO, the lack of a viable business model also raised some concerns for MasterCard. Based on the proposals being put forward, the proponents of the project had not identified a way in which the Libra Association would start making money after launch, which would then make it profitable.

He noted that when an investor is unable to understand how money is being made, it may end up being made in ways that he or she will not be proud of. Other issues that concerned him was the lack of commitment by the project members to abide by data management, AML, and KYC rules.

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Author: Daniel W

Facebook’s Libra Stablecoin Put Central Banks On Notice, Causing Bankers To Look Into CBDC’s

A former Executive of the Bank of Japan (BOJ) has said that Facebook’s Libra prompted Central Banks to invest more resources in Digital Currency research sooner than expected. According to a report by Reuters on Jan 22, Hiromi Yamaoka, a former head of settlements and payments at the BOJ, noted that regulators might have done so to keep Libra in check besides tapping into opportunities in blockchain.

The regulation of digital currencies is still a grey area in FinTech; central banks across the world are yet to figure a proper regulatory ecosystem. However, efforts are underway by a number of regulators in developed economies to address the underlying challenges in token economies. So far, countries like Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, Japan, Britain and the Euro Zone have already agreed to work collaboratively on the use case of digital currency. Yamaoka implied:

“The latest decision is not just about sharing information. It’s also an effort to keep something like Libra in check […] Major central banks need to appeal that they, too, are making efforts to make settlement more efficient with better use of digital technology.”

Hiromi told Reuters, Central Bankers have to keep up with the incentives that come with digital payments and settlements;

“Something like Libra would make transactions costs much cheaper. Major central banks need to appeal that they, too, are making efforts to make settlement more efficient with better use of digital technology.”

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) in Monetary Policy

Hiromi currently a board member with IT consultancy giant, Future Corp, is still in touch with policy implications having worked at the BOJ. He countered the narrative by some academics who recently argued that CBDC’s could be used to driven interest rates further down to negative values. Hiromi said,

“There are increasing doubts about the effect of negative interest rates as a policy tool.”

“If so, do you want to issue CBDCs for the sake of deploying a policy with questionable effects?”

As it stands, China is the most advanced in terms of research and a CBDC development for its ecosystem. The project is expected to launch in 2020 although not much has been revealed about its specifics. Peer economies like the Euro Zone and Japan have instead focused on blockchain implementation noting that they have no short-term plans to issue a digital currency.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Gemini’s GUSD Stablecoin Director Leaves the Company as Gemini Dollar Market Share Drops

Several sources have confirmed that Sarah Olsen, who was Gemini’s executive for corporate development, has left the organization. She was involved mainly in the stablecoin business for this excellent exchange platform.

The market share for Gemini’s stablecoin has gone down by almost 95%. That is even after attempts to boost the GUSD quantity in the market by the company. Sarah Olsen, who was a managing director at Gemini, who played a crucial role in the stablecoin for the company, was confirmed to have left the exchange according to sources that are familiar with this issue just recently.

Olsen has been in Gemini since 2017, and she first served in the department of business development as the head. She later became the managing director of the department of corporate development according to her LinkedIn profile. It is not known what she is planning to do next in her life or which company she will be joining. Block had requested Gemini for comments on the same issue, but Gemini has not yet given any response.

While at this exchange platform, Olsen took part in and performed a lot in pushing the company’s stablecoin, which is the Gemini dollar. She even published a paper in Oct. 2018 on stablecoins, where she showered the compliance status of the Gemini stablecoin with praises. Olsen said that the compliance status was crucial in curbing counterparty risk. The company was involved in this compliance with the state department for New York that deals with financial services.

During her reign as the managing director, Gemini made numerous efforts to raise their stablecoin’s market share. That included joining hands with SPEDN, which is a crypto wallet to enable the users to be able to utilize GUSD at local retail stores. Gemini also listed its stablecoin on BlockFi, which is a crypto lending platform.

Despite having done all these, GUSD’s market share continues to plunge. It has gone down to around $4,683,637, as reported to CoinMarketCap.

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Author: Daniel W

FCA Will Make Final Decision On Whether To Ban Crypto Derivatives (CFDs and ETNs) in the UK

The government of the United Kingdom has recently affirmed that its regulators and the executive should decide whether crypto derivatives should be banned for retail investors or not. According to the reports, the economy secretary John Glen affirmed that the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) was the only entity that would determine if the ban should be done.

Glen affirmed that the FCA is an independent entity that does not need the authorization of the government to act, so there is no need to get involved.

The trouble started after the report from the Cryptoasset Taskforce of the country. It was proposed that the FCA should consult the public on whether to ban contracts for difference (CFDs) and exchange-traded products in the country if they were related to Bitcoin or some other crypto asset.

So far, the FCA has received several complaints about the sale of crypto derivatives in the country. It was after these complaints that the entity launched the consultation. One of the initial ideas was that non-professional traders were not properly equipped to correctly assess the risks of these products.

It is difficult to determine the underlying value of the assets as they are very volatile and not properly regulated, so the FCA believes that retail investors would save money by not investing in them.

There are many critics to the idea of the ban, however. Coinshares, for instance, has claimed that the FCA is lacking evidence to affirm that trading crypto derivatives is a dangerous activity.

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Author: Silvia A

Blockchain Wallet Provider is Experiencing Top Executive Personnel Departures

It looks like Blockchain, the famous crypto wallet and service provider, is experiencing an executive exodus right now. According to recent reports made by The Information, two of the main execs of the firm are about to leave.

Liana Douillet Guzmán (COO) and Chris Lavery (executive VP of Finance) are both expected to leave the company soon. The two are among the executives who served in the company for the longest time as Guzmán entered the company in 2016 and Lavery joined early in 2017.

They are not the only ones leaving, though. Earlier this year, the company fired around 15% of its staff. Not a very good sign.

The exodus might be a new event at the company, but executives leaving are nothing new. According to The Information, five important execs left Blockchain in a period of 12 months after they were hired. Most of them left between the end of last year and the beginning of this one.

Among the executives who left earlier, held important roles such as the head of institutional sales, a general manager and a global head of security.

Why are all these people leaving? Maybe because the company was going through various struggles. The hardware wallet, that was launched last year was considered a commercial failure and the Stellar airdrop program was unsuccessful as well.

Blockchain was created in 2011, just a couple of years after Bitcoin. The company is one of the giants of the market and has received backing from investors such as Digital Currency Group, Google Ventures and Roger Ver.

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Author: Silvia A

Coinbase Crypto Exchange Fills VP Role With A Former NerdWallet COO And Likedin VP; Dan Yoo

Coinbase has recently hired another new executive. This time, the person hired was Dan Yoo, who will act as the new vice president of business in the company. He is set to replace Emilie Choi, who will continue in the company, but in another area now.

Yoo worked as Chief Operating Officer (COO) at NerdWallet before now and at LinkedIn before that, so he has a pretty big resume. Now, he will be in charge of overseeing business operations, corporate development and the data team of the company.

While he worked for LinkedIn, Yoo helped to found a number of startups. One of them was RealiaQuote, which was one of the first companies ever to offer life insurance brokerage services online.

According to him, Coinbase is a company that is driven by data, so a big part of his job will be to ensure that everybody gets the right data to make the right decisions. He also told the media that he has been interested in the crypto industry as far as 2013 and that he had a Coinbase account before he decided to join the company’s team.

Now, Yoo is focused on helping his new team. He will tie together the operations at Coinbase, which is something that he already did for some other companies before now. Yoo affirmed that he hopes to use his experience to scale the team and get them to work in a more efficient manner, therefore using the resources of the company better.

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Author: Hank Klinger

United Nations (UN) Chief: Cybercrime Is Harder to Fight Because of Crypto

A high executive of an international organization has recently attacked cryptos. According to Neil Walsh, an official of the United Nations (UN), cryptos can make it harder to fight cybercrime. He affirms that their anonymous nature can often get in the way of tracking criminals and that this can become an issue.

Walsh, who is the chief of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime’s cyber unit, has been recently interviewed by an Australian media outlet. He believes that the extra layer of anonymity that can be provided by privacy coins or even Bitcoin (which can be used together with coin mixers) definitely makes the work harder and slower to complete.

He affirmed that there are more child pornography networks around the world than people believe and that most of them use cryptocurrencies due to the illegal nature of the content that is sold in them. Nobody wants to be tracked and cryptos are often the tool to make it happen in dark web transactions.

In related news, the UN has recently affirmed that hackers from North Korea hacked at least $2 billion USD from exchanges. There are suspicions that the money was used to fund the country’s nuclear program.

Most of the attacks were targeted at South Korea, which is the closest country. At the moment, the UN is said to be investigating 35 cyberattacks in South Korea made from their northern neighbors.

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Author: Bitcoin Exchange Guide News Team

Mike Novogratz’s Galaxy Digital Puts Wall Street Veteran David Gross To Head Global Sales


David Gross, an important executive who already worked in companies such as Credit Suisse, Cumberland and Lehman Brothers, was hired by Galaxy Digital. The cryptocurrency merchant bank has decided to hire the executive to be the new head of global sales of the company. This information was originally unveiled during an internal memo sent out to investors.

Cumberland was one of the major rivals of Galaxy Digital in the over the counter (OTC) trading market. Because of this, in hiring Gross, the company is probably also hiring some expertise from its main rival.

Now, the exec will use his 15 years of experience in order to make Galaxy Digital have a better 2019 than in 2018. The company was reported to face severe losses during the bear market last year, so it is in a dire need of getting some profit.

Gross is set to coordinate sales across all the business units of the company. He will report only to the president of the crypto merchant bank in his new position. The company also hired Tim Plakas recently, who worked as Coinbase over the counter department’s head before leaving the company.

Galaxy Digital is far from the only company hiring. Cumberland is also on a hiring spree in order to improve the quality of its ranks. The company has recently decided to hire James Radecki, Jason Leung and Bobby Cho, all for executive positions.

[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: Lujan Odera

Global Macro Investor: Even 1% Chance of 100x Upside Makes Bitcoin “Crazy Attractive” to “Macro Guys”

  • Former Goldman Sachs executive Raoul Pal says Bitcoin at current value ‘ludicrously’ underpriced
  • Macro guys find it “super interesting” and “they’re all in it”

Former Goldman Sachs executive Raoul Pal, the founder of Real Vision Group told Stephen Livera on his podcast this week that Bitcoin at its current price may be ‘ludicrously’ underpriced and has the potential to hit $8 trillion.

“If you try and get your head around the digitization of everything… around an alternative financial system.”

Explaining how Bitcoin can hit trillion-dollar market capitalization, he points to analyst PlanB’s stock to flow model that puts BTC value at $1 million and beyond in the future. Bitcoin derives this value from its scarcity just like gold and silver.

Gold currently has the higher SF of 62 while BTC is currently at 25, after the fourth reward halving, its SF will double and come very close to that of gold at 50.

“Even if it has a low probability. If you recreate a low probability of let’s say, what’s the global money supply and global debt? It’s something like $80 trillion. So if it’s worth $80 trillion dollars, let’s say you have a 10% probability. That’s $8 trillion. [Bitcoin] is currently worth $200 billion. So even if it has a 1% chance of working – that’s how probabilistic frameworks work.”

This is the reason Pal says Bitcoin is “ludicrously underpriced,” and that makes it

“crazy attractive..sucking in so many of these macro guys, because they’re like, ‘Damn, nothing else has this payoff’.”

Even as low as a 1 percent chance of bitcoin going 100x, that’s enough for the macro investors to put their skin in and finding it “super interesting.’”

“I know all these macro guys, they’re all in it. They get it. They get the optionality. They may be complete believers, part believers, partial believers. But even then, if it’s a 1% chance of being right and the upside is 100x from here, you’d do this all day.”

You can check out the full podcast here.

[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: AnTy