Interlay to Bring Tokenized Bitcoin to Polkadot Via PolkaBTC in 2021

A tokenized BTC coming to Polkadot as it is integrated with blockchain through a cross-chain bridge to Bitcoin that will go live in the Q1 of 2021. It would enable users to transact BTC as PolkaBTC on various platforms falling under the umbrella of decentralized finance (DeFi).

Interlay is behind the development of PolkaBTC, backed by Parity Technologies, and funded by the Web3 Foundation. Integration aims to accelerate Polkadot’s young DeFi ecosystem.

In the case of transferring a tokenized BTC (as like BitGo’s WBTC) out of its native blockchain, a copy of the underlying token is declared, where real BTC gets locked. And these copies of BTC are burned whenever a user shifts back to the Bitcoin blockchain.

On the contrary, PolkaBTC would get labeled in a 1:1 ratio and supported in many decentralized exchanges, lending protocols, and stablecoins.

Moreover, Interlay revealed that the permissionless and trustless nature of the ecosystem makes users have more control over their money as its working infrastructure doesn’t include any central or monitoring sector.

BTC-Parachain, since its initiation, is run by multiple nodes around the world, including community members and various companies, as a decentralized platform.

To use PolkaBTC at decentralized apps, you need to have some DOTs (Polkadot’s native token) used as collateral to mint the PolkaBTC. Three things you must have to mint are BTC wallet, Polkadot’s Wallet, and some DOTs. Interlay stated:

“In the case that a vault misbehaves, you will be reimbursed from the Vault’s collateral and will make a very profitable trade between BTC and DOT. At launch, collateral will be put down in DOT. In the mid/long run, this may be extended to stablecoins or token-sets to improve stability.”

If one wants to redeem the PolkaBTCs equivalent to a whole bitcoin, he needs to burn the tokens on the BTC-Parachain first. Interlay added,

“PolkaBTC can remain on Polkadot indefinitely (no expiry date) and can be redeemed for BTC at any point in time.”

The first Alpha testnet will be held next month for PolkaBTC, and Beta tesnet is expected in January 2021, and the mainnet launch is scheduled in the first quarter of 2021.

Also, the projects based on Polkadot would be integrated with PolkaBTC. Some of them include Moonbeam, Equilibrium, and Polkaswap.

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Author: Hank Klinger

bitFlyer Europe Integrates PayPal To Bridge the Fiat-Crypto Gap For European Traders

bitFlyer Europe, the subsidiary of one of Japan’s largest crypto exchanges, has integrated PaPal, which will allow its European clients to deposit and purchase tokens directly from their PayPal accounts.

According to the official announcement, the integration between the giant online payment platform and bitFlyer will play a major part in bridging the gap between the crypto space and fiat for European crypto enthusiasts.

Although bitFlyer Europe currently allows wire card transfers, one to three days is required for clearance. PayPal integration will allow customers to make near-instant deposits.

The announcement states that bitFlyer Europe customers can henceforth deposit euros from PayPal directly to their wallets and trade different cryptos. The statement also said that no extra charges would be passed onto the customer. Jacek Bastin, bitFlyer Europe manager in charge of business strategy, clarified:

“bitFlyer charges no handling or processing costs on top of the fees charged by PayPal.”

Since PayPal has about 340 million users globally and handles approximately 35% of the total eCommerce dealings within Europe. It is expected that the integration will help in exposing a wide array of European netizens to the bitFlyer platform, as well as to the crypto world in general.

Without going into details, Bastin revealed that bitFlyer Europe is working on several projects to ensure crypto trading becomes more accessible and secure to everyone.

bitFlyer has embarked on several activities to expand its reach globally with the firm opening branches in Europe and the United States in the recent past. Integration with PayPal is an effort by the firm to attract more crypto enthusiasts and worshippers to its platform.

PayPal has also been gearing up to enhance its innovation by using cryptos as well as blockchain technology. In June this year, PayPal announced it was hiring crypto and blockchain engineers, and it is alleged that the platform is looking on ways it can enable crypto buying for its worldwide users.

In a letter to the European Commission, PayPal stated that it was carefully assessing the worldwide developments in the crypto and blockchain spheres.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

ESPN to Launch Blockchain-based Gaming Platform With Bitcoin & Crypto Payments

E-Sports Programming Network (ESPN Global) has integrated online gaming with blockchain technology.

Currently, the platform — a “blockchain-based gaming revolution,” is under the pre-launch phase, which will allow users to win cash by winning battles and tournaments. It will further allow players to make “deposits and withdrawals using bitcoin and other variety of crypto-currencies.”

In the press statement, ESPN Global will be using crypto payment specialist “Cryptopay” to speed up the integration process.

Chris Parker, one of the directors of ESPN Global, noted that e-sports and online gaming is a “$140 billion global industry driven predominantly by digital micro-transaction economies,” as such can benefit immensely from the integrity and resilience of blockchain technology.

The UK-based mobile e-Sports platform is also integrating its recently launched blockchain-based game, Satoshi’s Treasure.

“With this $1 million puzzle game Satoshi’s Treasure, we are promising a bounty-laden bitcoin wallet whose keys will be divided into 1,000 fragments, spawning a global hunt for the prize pieces,” said Parker.

The company is also planning to launch an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) for its own ERC-20 based token, Smart Gaming Token (SGT). The tokens will be airdropped to all registered players as a gift, which currently has a value of $0.001.

According to Parker, any player who loses money by participating in any of the games or tournaments, their losses will be covered by the corporation. Also, their crypto wallets will be credited with our SGT airdrops equivalent to their losses.

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Author: AnTy

Cryptocurrency Payment Processor BitPay Finally Announces Support for SegWit

Bitpay, the crypto payment processing giant, has finally integrated the segregated witness (SegWit) protocol, a second layer scalable solution to make bitcoin processing cheaper. The Segwit integration is currently optional for bitcoin wallet users on BitPay. However, the firm plans to make it a default feature by the year-end.

SegWit was first proposed by Pieter Wuille, a bitcoin core developer in 2015. The SegWit protocol aimed to free up block space on Bitcoin blockchain without increasing the block size.

SegWit also eliminated a transaction signature vulnerability, which allowed miscreants to manipulate transaction signatures. On the other hand, BitPay is one of the largest crypto processors and currently processes around $1 billion worth of crypto transactions every year.

BitPay had earlier passed on an opportunity to integrate SegWit on its platform almost three years back and instead opted for another protocol called SegWit2x. SegWit2x implemented segWit itself, but at the same time, it also increased the block size from 1MB to 2 MB.

The Bitcoin community was divided over the use of the two protocols, creating conflict in the community over the size of the Bitcoin block, and many believe this also led to the creation of Bitcoin Cash Network.

However, SegWit2x failed to capture on the industry support, and as of today, 63% of all bitcoin transactions are processed using SegWit.

BitPay’s Decision Surprises Many

BitPay’s staunch support for an alternative second-layer protocol over SegWit has made many wonder what changed the minds of its decision-makers.

Sean Rolland, BitPay director of the product, claimed that now is the perfect time to introduce SegWit to its users as it decreases the cost of transactions by up to 30%, and the firm believes it would reduce the fee by 5%-10% with a new update.

Bitcoin was created to provide an alternate easy to use financial tool which offered lightning-fast transaction speeds at minimal transaction cost.

However, as bitcoin’s popularity grew, the network started to show signs of fatigue as it was unable to handle the transaction volume, making it slow, complicated, and costly to use. This was when developers came up with an off-chain second layer solution in the form of the Lightning Network and SegWit.

The lightning network showed a lot of promise. Still, even after years into development, the LN protocol seems to have more complexities than it was invented to resolve. Thus, SegWit became a popular choice.

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Author: Lillian Peter

Pundi X Integrates PayPal Into PoS Device, XPOS; Users Can Buy and Sell Crypto Seamlessly

Pundi X, a blockchain firm based in Singapore, has integrated its point-of-solution (PoS) device, XPOS, with PayPal, according to a medium post on June 30.

The move will allow PayPal users to access crypto assets such as BTC, NPXS, ETH, USDT, and DAI seamlessly through XPOS merchants that have activated the ‘Crypto Sale Feature’ on their devices. Notably, this development comes after the International payments’ giant softened its stance towards crypto operations.

According to Pundi X, the PayPal integration was motivated by a twitter poll, in which over 67% of the participants voted for the California based firm. Other options included WeChat/Alipay, PayTM, and GoPay.

It is not surprising that most of the votes were in favor of PayPal, given it enjoys a global presence compared to its peers. The announcement post further notes that PayPal’s integration will be in sync with XPOS underlying infrastructure,

“PayPal’s basic features will be functional on XPOS® devices, including, of course, accepting payments. Accepting payment, for instance, includes the payments via email or mobile phone number.”

Two-Stage Deployment

To integrate PayPal with XPOS devices, users will have to initiate two steps for full crypto services in the ecosystem. First, they will be required to send their IMEI numbers to [email protected] and activate credit card payments via PayPal. However, the service will only support keyed card transactions as of now.

The second stage will be characterized by an App that will facilitate PayPal transactions on XPOS directly. Zac Cheah, the co-founder, and CEO of Pundi X is optimistic that their partnership with PayPal will foster financial inclusion and crypto adoption as well,

“Combine PayPal’s massive user base with the fact that our XPOS® devices are now operating in 30+ markets globally and you could start seeing situations were dealing in crypto is as trouble-free as buying a bottle of water.”

PayPal’s Sudden Crypto Interest

Is the crypto trend finally catching up in payment ecosystems? Both private and public entities that had previously shunned digital assets are now consolidating on their possibility.

PayPal, which was a strong advocate against crypto assets, is the latest payments’ giant to join the bandwagon fulfilling ‘if you can’t beat them, join them.’ Last week, the payment service provider was added to Kucoin’s P2P market place, expanding its crypto presence, which was initially defined by Paxful and Localbitcoins marketplaces.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Privacy-Focused Browser Brave Adds Binance Exchange Widget to All Versions

Privacy-focused browser Brave has made an April 30 announcement that it has integrated the Binance widget into all their desktop offerings.

Brave users can now exchange Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Litecoin (LTC) and all the other cryptocurrencies supported on Binance through their browser. More than this, they get to enjoy many other functions such as buying, trading, depositing and checking summaries, all without having to use other apps.

The Widget Enabled by Default

The same announcement from April 30 says the Binance widget is already enabled by default. This means the millions desktop users of Brave are going to hear about the crypto exchange Binance if they haven’t until now. In the past, the same widget was available in Brave Beta and Brave Nightly, also only for testing.

Now, all Brave users who open a new window or tab in the browser are going to be introduced to Binance and the Brave crypto rewards widget that’s on the page’s right side. After, they will be prompted to connect their Binance account with the widget. After authentication, they will be able to view the assets they’re holding and to trade straight from the browser.

Security and Mobile Versions

Since the widget is built straight into the browser, it preserves the users’ privacy by communicating with the Binance API via authenticated interaction only. Obviously, the widget can be disconnected, which means the browser would no longer interact with the users’ Binance account until the authentication process would get to happen again. Even if enabled by default, the widget can still be manually hidden.

At the moment, Brave has more than 13.5 million users who are active every month across all platforms. The Binance widget is for now integrated into the desktop Mac, Windows and Linux desktop versions of the browser, but it has been announced to have its iOS and Android mobile apps later this year.

Binance said the integration with Brave is another step in encouraging the adoption of cryptocurrency. Neither of the two companies revealed anything about the business the partnership between them will bring. You can try using the Brave Privacy Browser here.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Coinbase Wallet Users Can Now Earn Interest From DeFi DApps Directly In The App

The Coinbase Wallet has just integrated with decentralized finance (DeFi) apps in order to allow its users to lend crypto assets and track the growth of their interest straight from the wallet app.

As an announcement made by Coinbase on Wednesday says, Coinbase Wallet users are already putting millions into DeFi platforms through the wallet’s Dapp browser and WalletLink. Still, Coinbase wants to make their experience even more enjoyable. Until now, they didn’t have the option to compare rates from different providers, nor were they able to see the total of their balance with these providers with out leaving the app itself.

What Does the New Feature Bring?

According to the Coinbase announcement, the new wallet feature allows users who own a Coinbase wallet account to interact with lenders such as dYdX and Compound, which are both DeFi platforms. They can choose their coin and a smart contract provider in order to invest as much crypto as they want into one of the DeFi products.

As said before, they can view how much interest they’re earning and their total balance without having to exit the wallet. iOS users will have the new feature this week, while Android users will still have to wait a few more weeks.

DeFi Products Are Risky

Coinbase wanted to warn investors about the fact that DeFi products are quite new and present a risk. Caution was advised when using them. Here’s what the announcement reads exactly:

“Before you get started, please be aware that DeFi lending apps are relatively nascent and come with risks.

DeFi apps are programs running on the blockchain, and like any computer code they can potentially have bugs that cause you to lose money. Returns are not guaranteed and your deposits are not insured.”

Basic information and the definitions of minimum collateral or contract’s assets under custody are being provided for the wallet’s users to know better what contracts to choose. However, they’re still advised to do their own research in order to understand how the apps work and the risks they’re about to take.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Chiliz and Decentralized Oracle Powerhouse Chainlink Partner on Real-Time Sports NFTs

The leading sports and blockchain-based fan engagement digital currency Chiliz (CHZ) has integrated Chainlink, the secure decentralized network from Oracle that enables the auto-execution of smart contracts based on real-world events and data.

With this integration, Chiliz will get to mint Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) in real time for partners on Socios.com, after using data provided by Chainlink. Furthermore, Chiliz will introduce and support a CHZ/USD Chainlink Price Reference Contract to provide the most accurate on-chain prices for conversions between $CHZ and USD.

FC Barcelona and Juventus Among Partners

The platform already has FC Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus, A.S. Roma, Atlético de Madrid, Galatasaray, CA Independiente and the back-to-back OG champions of Dota 2 esports as partners. Chiliz is thinking to partner up with 50 IPs in the sports, entertainment and esports industries till the end of this year. The latest integration makes it possible for Chiliz to create dynamic and real-world sporting events responsive NFTs while minting collectible tokens with limited availability. For example, it can mint a certain number of tokens when Lionel Messi breaks another goal-scoring record.

Chiliz, a New Player for Branded Collectibles

At the beginning of last month, Chiliz made its entrance into the branded collectibles world, after announcing its partnership with Enjin, in order to mint Ethereum (ETH) -based collectibles for Socios.com. About the latest Chainlink integration, Chiliz and Socios.com’s co-founder and CEO, Alexandre Dreyfus, had this to say:

“NFTs will be key to expanding the utility of $CHZ in 2020 and beyond. The Chainlink integration enables us to be responsive to real world sporting events in real time, allowing us to mint limited availability NFTs to commemorate moments that can’t be predicted or recreated, giving these tokens real collectors value.”

Chainlink Makes a Move into Sporting

It’s the first time Chainlink integrates with a sporting platform. Until now, it has been busy with all sort of blockchain projects that provide accurate and secure feeds, not to mention that it has most recently become a standard protocol for decentralized finance (DeFi) apps. What it surprised with is its integration with other sectors, such as the ones of gaming, sporting and insurance.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Crypto Wallet And Exchange Blockchain.com Now Supports Turkish Lira (TRY)

One of the most appreciated providers of crypto products, Blockchain.com, has announced that it integrated the Turkish Lira (TRY) on its exchange.

This means Turkish users will be able to buy crypto in only 5 minutes from now on, without using a third-party payment processor. On the Blockchain.com Exchange, they are now able to deposit, use and withdraw TRY if they want to purchase BTC, ETH and USDT or to convert cryptocurrency into fiat currency at a very good rate.

Turkey is Accustomed with Crypto

According to a 2019 Statistica Global Consumer Survey, a fifth of the people residing in Turkey know about crypto and have somehow been exposed to it. Another ING survey from 2015 discovered that 45% of all Turkish people think cryptocurrencies are the future when it comes to online spending, this percentage being the largest in Europe.

Blockchain.com Exchange Is the Most Trusted of Its Kind

Ever since it has launched in August, the Blockchain.com Exchange has earned a great prominence for being especially trustworthy when it comes to buying and trading crypto. More than this, it still continuing to launch new assets and futures, not to mention that it supports withdrawals and deposits in the British pound, the US dollar, in EURO and now, in TRY. It’s available for residents from 190 countries. This is what the company’s CEO and co-founder, Peter Smith, had to say about the TRY integration:

“Turkey is one of the countries leading the charge to embrace cryptocurrencies, but its traders have only been met with high fees and poor service. Blockchain.com is dedicated to providing a fair, global market for Turkey’s crypto traders, and setting a new standard for the service they should not only expect, but demand from exchanges.”

Trading Fees for Depositing TRY Reduced

As a celebration for the launch, Blockchain.com offers reduced trading fees for an entire year to those who make TRY deposits onto its Exchange. There are Tier 3 fees of .08% maker and .18% taker for the first 1,000 TRY deposited, whereas the next 1,000 deposited TRY get Tier 2 fees of .10% maker and .20% taker.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Bitcoin Payment Processor BTCPay Launches New ‘Vault’ App With Multi-Wallet Interoperability

BTCPay, a Bitcoin (BTC) payments processor integrated its new Vault app to its platform according to an official report by the company. The app will allow users to directly connect their desktop wallets and hardware wallets on the platform without giving up the private key. It enables communication with BTCpay using its node to increase user experience and satisfaction while still keeping users security and privacy as its top priority.

The official BTCpay blog stated that the vault wouldn’t store the users’ private keys but rather directly connect the user to multiple wallets on their desktop to allow transaction without giving up their private keys, which the users will have total control over.

The vaults main objective would be providing a cross platform that enables compatibility with more external wallets while improving the hardware wallet user experience. With all funds being verified against users Bitcoin full nodes, users can transact on the platform without having to give up their private keys.

BTCPay extends Compatibility

The initial internal wallet that was launched by BTCPay was only compatible with external wallet options such as Ledger Nano S and ColdCard. However their newly launched product extends compatibility with other external wallets such as Digital BitBox, KeepKey, Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano X, Trezor Model T and Trezor One cited the blog.

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Author: Lujan Odera