Crypto Market in Recovery Mode After ‘Fake’ News Volatility Amidst Increased Regulatory Scrutiny

The mainstream media outlets decry crypto after jumping fast on the fake Walmart press release announcing support for Litecoin payments while CT started dissecting the news right from the moment it got published and declared it “fake.”

The crypto market had a rough Monday as rumors of crypto derivatives exchange FTX being hacked floated on Twitter which turned out to be fake.

FTX CEO and founder Sam Bankman-Fried then took to Twitter to clarify that,

“For those who don’t know, Bitcoin withdrawal processing involves combining together UTXOs from deposit addresses etc; a few days ago we consolidated some UTXOs into an address to make processing quicker.”

Before this, Litecoin (LTC) pump and dump news shook the market as crypto asset prices experienced a bout of volatility. Today, we are back on track, i.e., upwards with Bitcoin (BTC) trading above $46k, Ether (ETH) $3,300, and the total market nearly at $2.2 trillion.

However, the mainstream media outlets picked up on the fake Walmart press release announcing support for Litecoin payments pretty quickly.

This news sent the price of Litecoin up by more than 30%, only to tumble back on the ground after it became clear that the press release sent out by GlobeNewswire was fake. Walmart spokesman also confirmed the inauthenticity of the PR.

GlobeNewswire then issued a “notice to disregard” the original release and said that a fraudulent user account was used to issue the release. A spokesperson said,

“This has never happened before, and we have already put in place enhanced authentication steps to prevent this isolated incident from occurring in the future.”

“We will work with the appropriate authorities to request – and facilitate – a full investigation, including into any criminal activity associated with this matter.”

Even the Litecoin Foundation tweeted out the fake news, which was then quickly deleted. In a statement, the Litecoin Foundation said one of their social media team members “was a little too eager” and shared the story and that they have taken steps to correct the future issues.

Charlie Lee, the creator of Litecoin and managing director of the Litecoin Foundation, also described the incident as an “unfortunate situation.”

The Crypto community started dissecting the news right from the moment it became public and already declared it “fake” with Neeraj Agrawal of CoinCenter noting how it was not in Walmart’s newsroom, the wire account for “Walmart Inc” didn’t post anything, and Walmart’s contact email in the PR was owned by a squatter. Not to mention, ​​the retail giant’s email domain used in the PR was registered just last month and didn’t link back to any official website.

In the aftermath, mainstream media is now talking about the industry needing regulatory oversight.

“It’s hard to know what’s legitimate in the anything-goes world of cryptocurrencies,” reads an opinion piece on Reuters.

Bloomberg also wrote that the incident “will only add to the perception that cryptocurrency is at best a play thing for investors and at worst a hotbed of corruption.”

Meanwhile, the article on Reuters talked about US regulators routinely cracking down on such scandals in the stock market and expects similar enforcement here.

“This happens with the regular stock market also. It happens a lot more with the regular stock market than with crypto,” said Litecoin creator Lee.

The Securities and Exchange Commission, meanwhile, has said it does not comment on such matters.

SEC Chair Gary Gensler has recently called crypto the “Wild West,” adding,

“This asset class is rife with fraud, scams, and abuse in certain applications. We can do better.”

Regulators around the world have already increased their scrutiny of the cryptocurrency industry and are working on trying to strike a balance in regulating the market to protect investors and punish the wrongdoers while ensuring that innovation continues to flourish.

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Author: AnTy

Sushi Patches A Vulnerability that Put Over $350 Million at Risk

DeFi bluechip Sushi team worked fast and patched a vulnerability that, if exploited, could have easily resulted in the loss of 109 ETH, worth about $350 million.

The vulnerability was found and disclosed by @Samczsun, a research partner at Paradigm, the VC firm co-founded by the Coinbase co-founder, Fred Ehrsam.

In his disclosure, Sam shared that he first discovered the vulnerability on Tuesday at 9:47 am while going through SushiSwap’s MISO platform, which operates two types of auctions Dutch auctions and batch auctions.

While the commit functions seemed to be implemented correctly and auction management functions had proper access controls, the initMarket function had no access controls, and the initAuction function it called also contained no access control checks.

San then found that inside a delegatecall, performed by mixin library BoringBatchable to easily introduce batch calls to any contract which imports it, msg.sender and msg.value persisted which meant “I should be able to batch multiple calls to commitEth and reuse my msg.value across every commitment, allowing me to bid in the auction for free,” he noted.

But on more inspection, the researcher found that vulnerability was much bigger than first expected.

“I wasn’t dealing with a bug that would let you outbid other participants. I was looking at a 350 million dollar bug.”

Sam then reached out to the Sushi team, and together they decided to rescue the funds by purchasing the remaining allocation and immediately finalizing the auction.

The vulnerability was patched within five hours of first discovering the bug after much discussion and maneuvering.

This week, crypto exchange Bybit’s BitDAO raised $360 million on Sushi’s launchpad MISO.

The popular decentralized finance project currently has $4.52 billion of total value locked in it (TVL), down from a $5.52 billion all-time high in May. SushiSwap accounts for the second-largest DEX market share at 12.8% recording $2 billion in weekly volume.

Its token SUSHI is currently trading at $12.73, down 45.3% from its March peak of $23.38, up 55% in the past two weeks, and 283% YTD.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Miner Crusoe Energy Eyes Expansion Play, Seeks Outside Investment

The mining space is fast becoming the most vibrant part of the crypto industry. With difficulty dropping and the landscape undergoing a fundamental change, several companies are looking to capitalize.

Crusoe Energy Systems Inc, a data center operator, based out of Colorado, is seeking a loan facility to expand the company’s Bitcoin mining business, Bloomberg reports.

Earlier this week, reports confirmed that Crusoe Energy Systems Inc – a data center operator based out of Colorado – is seeking investors to help expand the firm’s Bitcoin mining business.

Upscaling on the Clock

Citing people with knowledge on the matter, Bloomberg reported that Crusoe had set a target of $10 million to $125 million. The loan facility will be backed by the company’s mining and generation equipment, although new details could change the deal’s terms.

Crusoe leverages excess natural gas from oil and gas companies to power crypto mining operations.

Per the Bloomberg report, Crusoe is also working with New York-based investment management firm Ducera Partners LLC.

If successful, the capital raise will make it two financing deals signed in a year.

Crusoe closed $128 million in equity financing back in April, with Chicago-based investment firm Valor Equity Partners leading the round. Other participants included Coinbase Capital, Bain Capital Ventures, and Winklevoss Capital.

Off to the Races for Mining Companies

Mining has been especially vibrant so far, following a sweeping bank from China on all operations.

The country, which held as much as 65 percent of the global mining hashrate, essentially outlawed Bitcoin mining in the first half of the year.

The decision led to a massive exodus of miners from the country and an opportunity for other countries and mining companies to pick up the slack.

Official data shows that the Bitcoin mining difficulty has dropped for four successive weeks. Mining difficulty is now the lowest it’s been in months, and companies understand that scaling up their operations will help them capitalize on the situation.

Crusoe Energy isn’t the only company looking to make moves. Several mining companies have expanded their operations as they look to grow quickly.

Last week, British mining firm Argo Blockchain announced that it had begun filing for an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in the United States. In a tweet, the company explained that it had filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), proposing a dual listing with the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Argo has been listed on the LSE since 2018. Depending on the SEC’s timing and approval process, the Argo IPO could happen in the third quarter of this year.

On the same day, Core Scientific, one of North America’s largest Bitcoin mining operators, announced that it would be listed on the NASDAQ exchange. CNBC reported that Core had inked a merger with Power & Digital Infrastructure Acquisition Group – a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). The deal, which is valued at $4.3 billion, will pave the way for an easier listing for Core.

For now, details like a trading ticker and the start of trading are still unknown. Core is now set to join the ranks of publicly traded mining companies like Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Binance Smart Chain (BSC) TVL Reaches $45 Billion, Catching Up Fast to Ethereum

Binance Smart Chain (BSC) TVL Reaches $45 Billion, Catching Up Fast to Ethereum

Decentralized Finance (DeFi) has now reached past the mark of $100 billion in total market cap to climb to $130 billion, as per CoinGecko.

The top five contributors to this are Uniswap (UNI), Chainlink (LINK), PancakeSwap (CAKE), Terra (LUNA), and AAVE.

According to CoinGecko, a similar picture is seen in the total worth of assets locked up in DeFi, at $120 billion.

While Ethereum is a big part of it, the original blockchain where it all started, other blockchains are gaining traction as well.

Just as BSC-based PancakeSwap made it among the top DeFi projects, similarly, the TVL on BSC is fast approaching the levels of Ethereum, one of the metrics that BSC has been lagging in.

TVL on Ethereum had reached past $67 billion as of writing this, increasing 2.5x this year alone when it was just about $15 billion, as per DeFi Pulse. Lending protocol Maker (MKR) is leading this with $10.42 billion in TVL.

Meanwhile, as we reported, DeFi on Binance Smart Chain (BSC) has really taken off, currently at nearly $44 billion, as per Defistation. Much like every other BSC metric, TVL had also risen much faster than Ethereum, as it was just $1 billion at the beginning of February.

AMM protocol PancakeSwap zone accounts for $10 billion of this, followed by lending protocol Venus (XVS) at $9.57 billion.

Both are competing for market dominance, “whereas Ethereum has been the only widely used smart contract blockchain since inception, Binance Smart Chain can now be seen as a serious competitor,” wrote analyst Mati Greenspan in his daily newsletter.

BSC and Ethereum both have their own benefits. The original decentralized Ethereum is the most widely used blockchain whose high fees priced out small users. But ever since the Berlin hard fork, the fees have been keeping down while the developers are focused on permanently scaling the network. BSC, meanwhile, is a more centralized version that is catering to smaller users.

But “luckily, there’s no need to take sides. We can profit from the growth of the market by investing in many different areas and thus drastically reduce our risk as well as maintain neutrality,” wrote Greenspan.

According to many market experts, BSC could help further the DeFi adoption and bring more users to the entire ecosystem.

More than 2 million wallets have already interacted with DeFi protocols, up from just over 170k a year back, as per Dune Analytics.

According to Crypto Fees, these DeFi protocols are earning millions of dollars in fees every single day, but they have yet to see the involvement and usage that the market has been envisioning.

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Author: AnTy

Mega Chop is Expected in Bitcoin Market Amidst “Continued Appetite” from Big Investors

What’s notable is Bitcoin recovers fast. It actually went from $10k to nearly $60k in just five months. And a similar rally can take us to $250,000 per BTC in July.

The cryptocurrency market continues its up and down movements entering into the weekend following the deep losses in the stock market, which bounced back on Friday.

However, the digital asset still continues to outperform every other traditional asset class by a wide margin. And “if Bitcoin can demonstrate continued resilience, while tech unwinds, it will demonstrate that it has become the lifeboat from a sinking ship,” said Charlie Morris, founder of ByteTree.

For now, BTC/USD is trading around $48k and Ethereum around $1,550. However, the market is still expecting more losses ahead. Trader SmartContracter is pondering a scenario where Bitcoin chops not only bears but also bulls to find its bottom between $38k and $42k. Another trader NebraskanGooner is also expecting very much the same scenario as he says,

“Mega freaking chop. Going to be a while until this correction fully resolves, and then once everyone lets their guard down it’s going to moon faster than ever before.”

On-chain activity shows ”very strong” support at the $47,000 price level as it was around here that 500,000 BTC moved. And this level is important to be held in order to avoid a trip down under $40k. The Spent Output Profit Ratio (SOPR) indicator is actually pointing to high HODLing conviction from new investors as coins that were bought this year did not move at a loss during the recent dip, per Glassnode. On-chain analyst Willy Woo said,

“BTC bouncing off super strong support in this region. If it breaks below, ~$40k is the floor price which would be a gift to buyers.”

However, it is worth noting that it doesn’t take long for Bitcoin to recover and start to rally back again. The price of BTC actually went from $10k to nearly $60k in just five months. And a similar rally can take us to $250,000 per BTC in July, points out analyst PlanB. ParabolicTrav added,

“Knowing parabolas, the next phase of the parabola should be of a faster pace than the base.”

Continued Appetite

While the price is chopping, there is no lack of bullish news for Bitcoin with institutions, family offices, and banks jumping on this train. As we reported, JPMorgan is recommending Bitcoin as a “portfolio diversifier” to its clients.

Goldman Sachs also revealed in its recent interview that they have “fielded well over 300 conversations” with corporate treasurers, asset managers, hedge funds, macro funds, banks, insurance, and pension funds. Matthew McDermott, the firm’s head of digital assets, told TheBlock,

“You know, we see continued appetite both internally and externally through the private banks.”

“So, yes, we see a huge amount of demand institutionally, but we’re also seeing that reflected in the private wealth management space as well.”

The baking giant is also rebooting its Bitcoin trading desk to focus on CME features and non-deliverable forwards.

Crypto firms are also taking advantage of the bigger picture, which is the “super cycle,” and declaring their plans to go public. Bitcoin mining firm Cipher Mining Inc joined in as it plans to go public through a merger with blank-check firm Good Works Acquisition Corp. “to get to market the quickest,” with a valuation of just $2 billion.

Bakkt, a cryptocurrency platform, also agreed earlier this year to go public through a SPAC firm.

Other crypto firms are also pushing ahead with similar plans despite the regulatory uncertainty. The biggest US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has moved closer to the listing of its shares on the Nasdaq, with a valuation of $100 billion.

Another crypto exchange Kraken is on track to go public but not this year. However, the company doesn’t want to go the SPAC route or with a mere $10 billion valuation, said its CEO, Jesse Powell.

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Author: AnTy

Holiday Crypto Dip & Reversal; Strong Week Ahead After Leveraged Longs Rinsed Out

The cryptocurrency market is already recovering fast after the weekend dip.

Late Sunday or early Monday, the price of Bitcoin went down to about $45,700 level not long after hitting a new all-time high at nearly $50,000.

Already, BTC/USD has traded above $48k and is now back to targeting the ATH.

However, this time this buying power didn’t come from Coinbase, the biggest exchange in the US, as there has been no premium on the exchange compared to Binance, Huobi, and OKEx.

Bitcoin’s losses came despite the dollar keeping near two-week lows on disappointing employment data and looking for evidence that the US rebound would outpace the economies of other major countries.

However, many financial markets are out in the United States for Presidents’ Day, and in Asia, the markets remain closed for Lunar New Year.

The prominent reason for the dips has been simple, according to trader and economist Alex Kruger, which is also the only bearish thing, “degen longs abusing leverage.”

This can be seen in the almost $1.9 billion liquidated in the last 24 hours, as per Bybt. Among the 303,349 traders liquidated, the largest single liquidation order happened on Huobi-BTC, valued at $21.25 million, and the highest liquidated amount on Binance at nearly $1 billion.

Interestingly, only $582 million of it belongs to Bitcoin liquidations, the majority of them long.

Most of the liquidations belong to altcoins that include not only Ethereum but DeFi coins, including the likes of AAVE, CRV, UNI, 1INCH, BAL, and COMP.

And this is why Kruger is bullish on the risky assets this week noting,

“I expect a strong week across risk asset and crypto assets. Crypto needed leveraged longs to get rinsed out. We just got that.”

The funding rates across exchanges on both Bitcoin and Ethereum perpetual contracts have calmed down to 0.01% to 0.04%, as per Viewbase.

image1

In tandem with Bitcoin, the rest of the cryptocurrency market took a fall, with Ether dropping to $1,655 level ETH -0.10% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,813.21
-$1.81-0.10%
Volume 37.76 b Change -$1.81 Open $1,813.21 Circulating 114.69 m Market Cap 207.95 b
5 h Canadian Singer, Grimes, Entering the NFT Scene; Volume Jumps 2.6x This Month 7 h Contentious EIP-1559 Seeking Community Consensus as Ethereum Miner Revenue Hits an ATH 8 h Holiday Crypto Dip & Reversal; Strong Week Ahead After Leveraged Longs Rinsed Out
. While Ether is aiming for $1,800 yet again, the overall market capitalization has recovered half of its $110 billion losses and yet again is on the way to the $1.5 trillion mark.

1% to 4% gains are recorded across the crypto assets, which for some cryptocurrencies goes up to 7%.

As for those, who might see this as the top of the market, the total market cap is only up 1,150% from the March 2020 lows, which are nowhere near the 2017-2018 bull market that resulted in the total market cap increasing by 4,500%.

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Author: AnTy

$50,000 Per BTC ‘Is A Reasonable Price Target Even For Q1 To Q2 Of Next Year’

The appetite for Bitcoin among institutional investors continues to grow at a fast pace.

Every week, a new company or public figure announces its investment in Bitcoin or the digital assets’ potential as a store of value, much like gold.

This appetite can be seen with the Bitwise’s Crypto Index Fund — with 75% BTC, 13% Ethereum, and 12% other crypto assets weightage — which surged more than 70% in a couple of days of its launch, that too while the digital assets slipped by a few percentages.

But over the weekend, the crypto market took over as BTC went from $17,600 earlier in the week to $19,500 on Sunday.

Today, BTC/USD is trading around $19,150, down 0.09% with $2.24 billion in volume.

Ultimately Bullish

Still, the largest cryptocurrency is up 166% YTD, and this Bitcoin rally is “fundamentally sound,” according to Antoni Trenchev, co-founder of Nexo.

According to him, any dips are just Christmas coming early — “a great entry point for you to purchase some Bitcoin just before liftoff,” said Trenchev in a recent interview with Bloomberg.

These price drops, according to him, are profit-taking and the rumor about last-minute legislation from the Trump administration, which according to him are just going to be more anti-money laundering and know-your-customer policies “just like in the banking sector.”

However, the new legislation will ultimately be a “very valid bridge bullish sign for Bitcoin, and that will set the stage for the next leg up,” he said.

The regulatory threat has been taking the edge off the market, and Trenchev is extremely bullish on BTC price.

Nowhere Near the Top

According to Trenchev, his predicted a $50,000 BTC target price by the end of the year “is a reasonable price target even for Q1 to Q2 of next year.”

The reason for his bullishness is simple, since the summer, the market has seen retail, institutional investors, high net worth individuals, and family offices positioning themselves and purchasing Bitcoin and other cryptos. And this is

“very different from what we had 2017 and 2018 where this was a really retail-driven frenzy where everybody was maxing out on leverage and credits to buy bitcoin.

This has not yet happened.”

Although retail has come, it is nowhere near what we saw in 2017, which makes this rally “fundamentally much more sound,” he added.

In the macro scheme of things, all the stimulus unleashed by the central banks and government in 2020 will continue moving into next year. As we reported last week, the ECB has already announced its big numbers, and the US might reach a compromise on the relief package soon.

Morgan Stanley chief rates strategist also noted that G10 central banks would inject another US$2.8 trillion of liquidity next year – just in their government bond purchases.

This is to be seen if and when all this liquidity will find its way into the financial and Bitcoin market. We are already seeing some rotation out of gold and into Bitcoin this year, thanks to the latter’s digital gold narrative.

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Author: AnTy

Nearly 1% of Bitcoin’s Circulating Supply Now Tokenized on Ethereum

Bitcoin on Ethereum continues to grow at a fast speed. Over the last weekend, a record 175.4k BTC has been locked on the Ethereum network through DeFi protocols.

This figure is currently around 170k, representing nearly 1% of Bitcoin’s circulating supply being tokenized and locked in the decentralized finance (DeFi) space.

Here, Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC) leads the way with over 124k BTC worth about $2.2 billion. WBTC represents 20.23% of the total market cap of DeFi tokens in Ethereum, and 73% of all the BTC locked on Ethereum.

Following WBTC, Compound has 24.8k BTC locked in it then Curve Finance (24k BTC), Harvest Finance (22k BTC), RenBTC (just over 17k BTC), Maker (15k BTC), Aave (12.6k BTC), and Uniswap (6.7k BTC), as per DeFi Pulse.

Compared to just over 170k BTC locked in DeFi, the sector has a total of 7.7 million ETH deposited, which has declined 13.5% this week and still nearly 20% away from its 9.2 million high in late October.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto App, ZenGo, Joins Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program; Debit Card Launching in 2021

  • ZenGo, a crypto wallet app, joins Visa Fast Track program.
  • Allow users to spend crypto at any VISA merchant and withdraw from supported ATMs.

Crypto wallet management firm, ZenGo, announced that it had joined the VISA Fast Track Program on Tuesday. Following the partnership, ZenGo will start offering users in the U.S. VISA debit cards, allowing them to spend cryptocurrencies at millions of VISA merchants and withdraw at supported ATMs.

The crypto wallet provider is joining a stream of payment companies, including PayPal, Square, Coinbase, and Paxful, aiming to push for cryptocurrencies in everyday payments. The company enters the debit card space – joining Coinbase, who recently announced their rewards card, and Binance – in a race to push for crypto adoption.

Unlike the rest, ZenGo offers its users a non-custodial wallet, which leaves the user’s security. Expounding on the benefits of ZenGo’s non-custodial wallets, ZenGo CEO Ouriel Ohayon said,

“Those other offerings are only a half-vanilla taste of what crypto is because they only let you own an IOU over a cryptocurrency.

This is the only one that is tied to a user-controlled wallet where the users have control of their funds, and the funds are on-chain.”

However, the enhanced self-custodial measures make it difficult and complicated to send and spend cryptocurrencies from your wallet, hence the VISA wallet’s launch. ZenGo users will need to convert crypto from their wallet and deposit to their debit card before using it for payment. Regular users can also set a fixed amount to be converted every week and deposited to their debit card.

“The issue if you do it automatically like Coinbase is that you can’t pick which crypto you want to use for spending,” Ohayon said.

“They decide for you, or they force you to make a choice once for all your transactions.”

ZenGo uses Multi-party computation (MPC) techniques to secure its user’s accounts, passwords, and private keys by breaking down the long alphanumeric cryptographic code. This also helps in transactions – saving senders from writing down the long wallet address or remember passwords.

The VISA debit card by ZenGo is expected to launch early next year in the U.S. with plans to launch to other countries also in place. ZenGo aims to offer users a convenient, secure, and scalable way to spend cryptocurrencies seamlessly. Ouriel added,

“We have real estate agents who get paid in cryptocurrency; we have photographers, DJs, independent workers of all sorts. Those guys want to be able to spend it.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Crypto Lender, Cred, Joins VISA’s Fintech Fast Track Program To Leverage Its Payment Network

U.S. based crypto-financial borrowing and lending platform joins Visa’s Fintech Fast Track Program to leverage the multinational payment gateway resources, expertise, and security systems. The crypto lending platform will improve its payment system to give users a fast and efficient platform to borrow and pay using cryptocurrencies.

In a press release, Visa Fintech Fast Track Program confirmed Cred would join its ranks, leveraging Visa’s capabilities in its payment system and lending and borrowing of digital assets. As a part of Visa’s Fat Track Program, Cred will build its platform to “accept direct interest payments to the customers’ bank accounts and allow Crypto Lines of Credit (C-LOC).” These lines of credit allow users to stake their crypto assets and take out a loan without liquidating their assets.

Cred is a San Francisco based company that provides borrowing and payment services to both retail and institutional customers. The CEO and co-founder of Cred, Dan Schatt, said joining Visa’s Fintech Fast Track program will allow it to develop into a more efficient platform helping the platform “provide users with fair financial services and expand its lending and borrowing services.”

He further stated,

“Cred has always served as a bridge between traditional banking and blockchain based financial services and having a direct relationship with Visa will enable the company to scale much more rapidly to support the significant growth occurring with digital asset lending.”

Fold, the Bitcoin rewards app [and soon to launch Visa Debit Card], joined the Fast Track Program in 2019, shortly after Visa launched it in a bid to increase payment gateways and develop a crypto debit card. The latter was launched in April this year, enabling users to earn BTC from purchases. Ripple’s partner firm, InstaReM, a Singapore fintech firm, also joined the Fast Track Program in early 2019 to leverage Visa’s fast and scalable payments system.

Cred will also access Visa’s vast resources, experts, and technology through the Fast Track Program, Cuy Sheffield, Head of Crypto, at Visa said.

“As the preferred network for digital currency wallets, we are excited to help innovative fintechs like Cred harness the value of Visa’s network,” Cuy further stated.

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Author: Lujan Odera