UAE’s Lulu International Exchange Integrates RippleNet Cloud to Enhance Indian Remittances

UAE’s Lulu International Exchange Integrates RippleNet Cloud to Enhance Indian Remittances

Abu-Dhabi based international money transfer service, Lulu Money, announced a partnership with Federal Bank, an Indian international financial service, to enhance remittances to India. The partnership will integrate RippleNET Cloud to reduce the transfer fees and introduce instant remittance payments from the UAE.

The case against Ripple by the SEC is not slowing the demand for its products as UAE’s leading remittance firm, LuLu Money, and India’s Federal Bank integrates RippleNET Cloud, a global network that allows instant connectivity and transfers across financial institutions. As the home to the largest Indian migrants worldwide, the partnership targets to “enhance the cross-border payments experience” to over 3.5 million Indians.

Nilufer Mullanfiroze, Senior VP, Deposits, Cards & Unsecured Lending at Federal Bank said in a press release,

“We believe such innovations will benefit the larger Indian diaspora who can enjoy a modern, low cost, fast, easy, and more reliable way of transferring money to India.”

According to a Ripple blog post, Indians in the UAE can now send remittances from over 76 LuLu exchange branches or directly from their mobile app.

RippleNET is becoming a sensation across banks and institutions globally, with the network transacting a record-beating $2.4 billion in transactions across 2020. Ripple and LuLu exchange entered a partnership that has helped the latter form avenues of transfers and “solidifies their presence in existing and new corridors,” Adeeb Ahamed, LuLu Financial Group Managing Director, said in a statement.

“The partnership signals a major step towards strengthening our Indian corridor, all the while advancing our overall mission to design the world’s most reliable, seamless, and accessible financial journeys through collaborative partnerships and application of technology.”

The RippleNET Cloud will allow LuLu exchange to directly connect to Federal Bank and other global financial institutions in the network. Users will instantly, reliably, and cost-effectively send or receive payments on the platform in one easy integration process.

The RippleNET cloud recently acquired its System and Organization Controls 2 (SOC 2) certification from the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), allowing it to function as an institutional-grade cloud-based payment system.

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Author: Lujan Odera

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

CoinDCX Becomes The First Indian Crypto Exchange To Launch Token Staking Services

Indian cryptocurrency exchange, CoinDCX, becomes the first in the country to launch simple staking services for its users. First reported on Coindesk, the staking service will launch with three tokens Tron (TRX), Harmony (ONE), and Qtum (QTUM).

Speaking on the latest developments, CoinDCX CEO, Sumit Gupta, confirmed the staking service would not carry fees or hidden charges. The Mumbai based digital asset exchange is built to promote retail staking with low minimum balances required to stake. A minimum of 100 ONE (~$1), one QTUM (~$3), and five TRX tokens (~$0.1) is required with an annual return of 8-10%, 6-10%, and 5-10% respectively.

Gupta further said the exchange would pool the staking deposits from customers in a bid to increase their staking rewards while simplifying the staking process. Additionally, CoinDCX will also measure the optimal reward system by offering staking rewards through their partner exchange, Binance, or directly on the blockchain.

The exchange has raised over $5 million in 2020 in a bid to expand its products and market base. In March, following the landmark Indian Supreme Court ruling against the crypto ban, CoinDCX raised a $3 million Series A funding round from BitMEX and Bain Capital. The exchange further extended its raise by $2.5 million, led by Coinbase Ventures and Polychain Capital, to increase the company’s market share and encourage crypto adoption in India.

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Author: Lujan Odera

OKEx Rolls Out A P2P Crypto Exchange in India With Zero Transaction Fees

The popular Malta-based spot and derivatives exchange – OKEx – has been eyeing the Indian crypto market for some time, and has now announced its plans to launch a peer-to-peer crypto exchange in India with zero trading fees. The firm is set to launch the platform by August 5.

Jay Hao, the chief executive of OKEx, commented on their recent endeavor into India and promised to improve the ecological layout and overall trading experience for Indian users. He said:

“We’re committed to connecting Indian traders to the international crypto-trading marketplace by providing a one-stop service for Indian traders, including spot and many kinds of derivatives. What’s more, OKEx will also further improve the ecological layout in India and enhance the trading experience of Indian users.”

The platform would offer Bitcoin and USDT trading pairs against the national fiat – INR. The firm has promised to add other coins later as the demand picks up. The platform would also allow INR deposits via popular online payment portals like UPI, IMPS, and NEFT.

OKEx Launches 30,000 USDT Giveaway Campaign to Promote Their Launch

OKEx launched a giveaway program to promote its new platform with 30,000 USDT being up for grabs. Users can benefit by participating in the giveaway contest comprising of quizzes, social media postings, and referring friends.

There remains an interest in international exchanges in the Indian crypto ecosystem, despite the uncertainty of over-regulation. OKEx also invested in the Indian derivative exchange CoinDCX during its seed funding round. Apart from OKEx, Binance, the world’s leading exchange, has also shown great interest in the Indian market and has already availed INR on-boarding for Indian customers. Apart from that, Binance also acquired WazirX exchange.

Research from OKEx also revealed the growing interest of Indian customers in the crypto space, and there are currently 5 million Indians with crypto holdings. While another analysis from CoinDCX revealed a 1031.4% month-on-month increase in BTC/INR trading volume.

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Author: Hank Klinger

This Crisis Will Recognize Bitcoin as Simply a Better Way to Hold Value: Tim Draper

Venture capitalist Tim Draper, who criticized the Indian government for considering the ban on cryptocurrencies, has now become hopeful after the Supreme Court’s decision in crypto’s favor earlier this month.

“The Supreme Court of India and the Indian government have shown that the best ideas ultimately prevail, and just in time, because the benefits of Bitcoin and crypto over current systems will become apparent during this crisis.”

When the reports of a former DEA secretary recommending a complete ban via “Banning of Cryptocurrency & Regulation of Official Digital Currency Bill 2019” came, Draper said it will set the country back 40 years.

Now that the apex bank’s potential ban on cryptos by preventing banks and financial institutions from dealing with crypots has been curbed, businesses are re-entering the market.

Crypto exchange Zebpay has already made a comeback to India. Popular crypto exchange Binance and OKEx have also entered the market in partnership with WazirX and CoinDCX respectively.

In his recent trip to India, Draper interacted with some key crypto ecosystem stakeholders and shared with the local media,

“Absolutely! I met several Bitcoin and crypto startups while I was in India last week. I hope to be able to fund a number of them.”

Recently, Binance also announced a fund of $50 million to invest in crypto and blockchain startups.

Institutional Panic Triggering the Market

In the past few weeks, the crypto market took a deep fall, with bitcoin falling over 60% from its February high to $3,850. However, last week, the leading digital currency recovered only to fall back below $6,000 over the weekend.

According to Draper, the institutional panic was what triggered the fall as investors have been selling everything to get into cash. Some of the overleveraged miners also had their loans called and were forced to sell. However, long term holders saw this as a buy the dip opportunity.

“Long term, I think this crisis will allow people to recognize that bitcoin is simply a better way to hold value and spend money than through our current banking system.”

The Venture capitalist and bitcoin investor is known for his prediction of $250,000 for Bitcoin price by 2023.

While a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is yet to make it to the market, bitcoin futures have been seeing a lot of activity in the market. Draper said,

“I think companies like Opennode and Lightning Network will make it a lot easier to spend bitcoin, and new companies will take advantage of the blockchain and smart contracts to create a more frictionless and honest system of commerce.”

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Author: AnTy

After the Supreme Court Lifts RBI Ban, Kraken Renews Plans To Enter Indian Market

The US-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken kas plans to expand its Indian market operations on digital asset trading services.

The announcement was made public on Monday, right after the Supreme Court of India has ruled against the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) ban on banking services involving crypto businesses. Here’s what Sunny Ray, the head of global business development at Kraken, had to say about the events that happened in India as of late:

“This is an incredibly emotional moment for India. Satoshi created Bitcoin because he felt that central banks were inefficient. The fact that the crypto industry just battled, and won, against the central bank located in the second-most populous country in the world is a massive achievement. We fought for 1.5 billion people to have the right to access crypto.”

A Huge Market Opening Up for Kraken

Kraken was already operating in India by offering services such as digital assets spot, futures and derivatives trading. However, the authorities in the country being hostile towards the crypto market has limited the exchange’s development. Now that banking services have been reinstated, Kraken is ready to expand its offerings to traders all over India. Here’s what the exchange’s latest announcement reads exactly:

“Armed with the ability to expand our offering, Kraken is excited to recommit resources to grow its service in the region through new features and offerings.”

Plans Not Yet Disclosed

Kraken didn’t reveal yet its exact plans for the Indian market, which now has immense potential. Even if the Indian crypto trading has slowed down, Binance still decided to enter the country’s market by buying WazirX, one of the most popular local exchanges that used to offer peer-to-peer (P2P) services to fiat-based trading. With the RBI’s bank lifted, exchanges like WazirX have resumed their centralized spot trading fiat deposit services.

In the meantime, the RBI has plans to appeal the Supreme Court’s ruling on crypto, invoking the reason that the banking sector may be damaged if exposed to the crypto space.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Dubai-based National Bank of Fujairah To Use RippleNet For Cross Border Payments

  • National Bank of Fujairah announce partnership with Ripple in a bid to service the Indian Population in UAE that remits money back home.
  • In 2017 the remittances funneled back to India hit a staggering $65 billion.

Through an announcement on their website , the National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) has struck a partnership with Ripple a leading enterprise Blockchain company. The Blockchain alternative will secure the clients real time payments whilst allowing clear end to end transaction tracking.

The NBF based in the UAE was founded in 1982 with main shareholders list including Government of Fujairah, Investment Corporation of Dubai and the Easa Saleh Al Gurg LLC. They have mainly offer Corporate and commercial banking and are well versed with treasury and trade finance.

Ripple to offer seamless cross border transactions

According to the bank’s CEO Vince Cook, the integration of Ripple’s Blockchain solution was prompted by the need to adjust with the dynamism of the banking sector. They also understand the potential of Blockchain technology that is set to align with their key objective of ensuring their clients have a smooth running experience.

“In a fast-moving environment, banks have to act with agility and constantly look for new and improved ways to service their clients. We understand the importance of leveraging Blockchain technology to deliver seamless and frictionless experiences to our clients.”

Notably NBF has been at the forefront in embracing the Blockchain Technology. Last year they became members of the Marco Polo Blockchain network that has been dubbed the largest and fastest growing trade finance network. Supported by Corda Blockchain Technology from R3 and the distributed platform from TradeIX, the network provides a platform that allows for the seamless and secure exchange of data and assets amongst the participants.

Partnership to Capitalize on big Indian population in UAE

NBF’s strategic move will see them capitalize on the large Indian population that is working in the country and make remittances back home to India through the IndusInd bank. The Mumbai based bank partnered up with Ripple in 2018 to focus on cross border remittances. This was after India saw a staggering $65 billion flow into the country in 2017.

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Author: Lujan Odera

RBI Crypto Ban Hearing in India Postponed by the Supreme Court, Is This Good or Bad?

The Indian Supreme Court has postponed the hearing on Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) case related to crypto businesses.

Ever since the RBI implemented its ban on crypto dealings at banks in April 2018, crypto firms and exchanges in India have had a very tough time. Many petitions, both public and industry-related, have been signed. More than this, the decision has been taken to courts and called unconstitutional. The Internet & Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) is the non-profit body that appeals to the government when it comes to such matters, and the one that brought the case to court.

The Court’s Action Regarded as Positive

Kashif Raza, the co-founder of India-based analysis and regulatory news platform Crypto Kanoon, says the case’s principal contention is to appeal the ban on the grounds of being unconstitutional. He also commented that the latest action taken by the court is very positive, these being his own words:

“Today RBI was supposed to reply to the representation filed by IAMAI […] It seems that the Supreme Court of India today passed over the matter primarily because the court expects there to be longer arguments in this case, which could take their entire week. They gave it a pass so as to allow in future for a full-fledged hearing of the arguments, to listen to both parties. So interesting times ahead.”

The Indian Crypto Climate is Adverse

The ban had brought quite the extensive toll for the Indian crypto industry, with exchanges like WazirX being forced to go P2P so that in-house crypto to fiat conversions are avoided, and Coindelta terminating is services altogether. Uncertainty seems to be the word of the moment, as in the fall of 2019, the Indian government had delayed introducing a contentious draft bill on crypto banning. The bill dubbed “Banning of Cryptocurrency and Regulation of Official Digital Currencies” doesn’t only intend to ban using crypto in India, but also to make things easier for RBI to launch the Digital Rupee.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Power Ledger Partners With India’s Largest State To Introduce P2P Solar Energy Trading

Uttar Pradesh is poised to become the inaugural Indian state to introduce blockchain-based solar energy trading. This is after Australian startup, Power Ledger inked a deal with two major government-owned companies for a pilot project that will involve blockchain-based solar energy trading, Cointelegraph reports.

In a press release, the two firms Renewable Energy Development Agency, as well as Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation, have entered into an agreement with Power Ledger to roll on a pilot a blockchain-backed solar power trading to analyze whether such a project is viable in the state. As per the statement, the first batch of the project will end before the end of March 2020.

As per the agreement, during the piloting stage, Power Ledger is expected to connect its blockchain-backed system to smarter meter systems which will enable citizens owning rooftop solar equipment to decide on the prices, monitor the power trading as well as clear out excess solar power dealings through the use of smart contracts.

An essential challenge facing renewable power sources is storage of extra energy due to unpredictability of sources such as the sun or wind that generate extra or less energy than is required. Keeping this in mind, the current project is primed to empower small producers to get clients who can utilize the extra power as well as make the generation of renewable energy more viable.

After the completion of the trial stage, Power Ledger is expected to analyze the results and work closely with the government to come up with regulations which will enhance P2P power trading in the state.

This is not the first project to be undertaken by Power Ledger in India as it previously implemented a P2P power trading in Dwarka area located in Delhi. Just like the trial in UP, the company’s pilot project in Dwarka was premised on offering the residents cheaper, safe renewable power and allow solar equipment owners earn from the extra power they produced.

With a population of more than 1b people, India has recognized the power of blockchain technology in various sectors and just recently, the country ministry in charge of IT said it will soon release a countrywide blockchain framework.

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Author: Joseph Kibe