Cash App Blocks a Bitcoin User’s Access to Account with No Explanation

Bitcoin proponent Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Cash App seized the funds of a user who was using it to buy Bitcoin.

The crypto user took to Twitter to share their grievance that they have been a user of the app for years to buy “thousands of dollars worth of Bitcoin” and convert it into fiat.

This happened while Bitcoin is enjoying a rally; today, it surged $15,000, up more than 100% YTD.

According to the app user, he wasn’t “engaged in any shady activity,” but Square’s Cash App reversed his withdrawals and took all his money, over $1,000.

“After a recent review of your transfer of funds, we detected the use at Cash App for activity in violation of Cash App, Terms of Service. As a result, you will no longer be able to use Cash App to send or receive payments,” said the message from Cash App’s email support. It further read:

“We are also exercising our discretion under Sections 4 and 5 of the Cash App Terms of service in the decision to block or reverse your transfer of funds.

For security reasons. Unfortunately, we cannot provide more details regarding our decision.”

As per the company policy, in peer-to-peer money transmission service, fraudulent transactions may result in the loss of funds with no recourse at all.

The crypto community voiced against this move, with Samson Mow, CSO of Blockstream, pointing how “This can and will happen with every custodial service; it doesn’t matter if their CEO is nice or supportive of Bitcoin.”

Miles Suter, Square’s cryptocurrency expert, then responded that it was all a mistake, and the issue has been resolved.

“There was a mistake made here. Your account should be in good standing, and your withdrawal is not going to be reversed,” said Suter.

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Author: AnTy

Alibaba Founder Jack Ma: Digital Currencies are the Future of Financial System

Alibaba Group founder Jack Ma talked about digital currencies, potentially playing an important role in building the financial system of the future. Ma at the Bund Summit in Shanghai said,

“Digital currency could create value, and we should think about how to establish a new type of financial system through digital currency.”

He said the future vision of a financial system in the next 30 years might have digital currencies at its “very important core.”

“Digital currency may redefine currency.”

Ma criticized global financial regulation during the event. According to him, they stifle innovation and, as such, urged for a system that focuses on development.

“After the Asian financial crisis, the risk control highlighted in the Basel Accords has been” regulators’ priority, he said adding that now the world “only focuses on risk control, not on development, and rarely do they consider opportunities for young people and developing countries.”

Comparing the Basel Accords to a club for the elderly, Ma said they are used to solving financial systems operating for decades. But China is still a “youth” and needs more innovation, he said.

Ma’s speech came just hours after Ant Group set the price of its Shanghai listing. The IPO, which is also planned to be in Hong Kong, is one of the most anticipated and on course to become the “biggest in history,” surpassing Saudi Aramco’s record $29 billion share sale last year by raising $34.1 Billion at aa valuation of $310 Billion.

Ant Group Biggest IPO Record - CNN
Source: CNN

Retired from all his corporate roles, Ma, who is still the face of Alibaba and Ant, said the IPO’s share price had been decided on Friday but didn’t disclose the figure.

At the event, which hundreds of bankers and regulators attended, Ma said the Ant Group offering was a “miracle” because, for the first time, a big tech company set prices outside New York.

“We didn’t dare to think about it five years ago, or even three years ago. But the miracle just happened.”

Ma said China’s financial system is dominated by big state banks and needs an inclusive, sustainable, and green system that uses new technologies like big data, cloud computing, and blockchain.

“Innovation always comes with a risk, there will be no risk-free innovation … the biggest risk is that you try to minimize the risk to zero.”

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Author: AnTy

Square’s Cash App Seeks Bitcoin Operations Manager to Forge ‘New Revenue Lines’

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s Square continues to delve deeper into Bitcoin. After a $50 million investment in the leading digital asset, creating an entire crypto division, and forming COPA, Square’s Cash App, which has over 24 monthly active users, is now hiring for a Bitcoin operations manager.

The person will be responsible for managing certain aspects of its bitcoin business, including liquidity management, trading, and custody/cold storage while mitigating security and financial risks.

Additionally, the individual will be responsible for optimizing strategic Bitcoin partnerships and collaborating with internal and external partners.

“Drive financial performance of our rapidly scaling bitcoin business, which includes forging new revenue lines,” further mentions the job responsibility of the person who is required to have over 10 years of experience in the payments field and 2-5 years of Bitcoin knowledge.

“Entrepreneurial drive is key.”

Besides driving operational efficiency, the person would have to collaborate across cross-functional constituents, including the Cash App engineering, design, product, finance, legal, compliance, customer support, data science, and risk operations.

Identifying and remediating operational issues together with managing key external partners, participating in cross-functional projects, and supporting product development, and analyzing and leveraging multiple sources of data to make informed business decisions are also required from this full-time position.

This makes sense given that Cash App users consume more than 8% of Bitcoin’s daily issuance, and every quarter the Bitcoin sales record a significant increase. With the BTC price on the move amidst monetary stimulus, Cash App may even see more growth.

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Author: AnTy

Coinbase’s Anti-Politics in Workplace Stance Goes Against Bitcoin’s Core Principle: Twitter CEO

Twitter CEO and Bitcoin proponent Jack Dorsey criticized Coinbase Inc.’s newly announced policy for keeping politics out of the workplace, saying it is exactly the opposite of what bitcoin and cryptocurrency are all about.

“Bitcoin (aka “crypto”) is direct activism against an unverifiable and exclusionary financial system which negatively affects so much of our society. Important to at *least* acknowledge and connect the related societal issues your customers face daily. This leaves people behind,” said the Twitter chief.

The tweet from Dorsey, who’s Twitter profile bio only reads “#bitcoin,” has been in reaction to Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s blog post arguing that the company must be mission-focused and not “advocate for any particular causes or candidates internally that are unrelated to our mission, because it is a distraction.”

Social activism, according to Armstrong, has the potential to “destroy a lot of value” at a company by being a distraction and creating internal division.

“Jack making an appeal to all the (ex) Coinbase employees that are about to get paid to leave, well played,” tweeted one crypto community member, “Brian driving his talent away… Jack sniping it.”

Amidst this, former Twitter CEO Dick Costolo pushed things further by suggesting those who disagree with having political activism in the workplace will be “lined up against the wall and shot.”

The world is divided on Coinbase’s mission, with some completely against it and others hailing it as “leading the way” and interpreting it as “let’s stop shitposting about politics in slack and get back to work.”

The San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange with more than 35 million users says, “We are an intense culture, and we are an apolitical culture.”

The company took one step further and doubled down on its stance this week. In an internal email to employees, Armstrong offered any employee who “doesn’t feel comfortable with this new direction” four to six months of severance to leave the company.

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Author: AnTy

Jack Dorsey’s Square Launches COPA to Ensure Bitcoin & Crypto Remain ‘Free and Open’

Bitcoin proponent Jack Dorsey’s payment company Square, which first ventured into crypto in 2018, is now inviting cryptocurrency firms to join its Cryptocurrency Open Patent Alliance (COPA) to ensure the industry remains open-source. Dorsey wrote,

“Square is putting all of our crypto patents into a new non-profit org we’re calling the Crypto Open Patent Alliance, which will maintain a shared patent library to help the crypto community defend against patent aggressors and trolls. Join us!”

On Thursday, the announcement was made, and COPA was launched. In its “fight to keep bitcoin and crypto free and open,” the new initiative is introduced, which ensures new ideas don’t get tied up by patent litigation.

Free to Pursue Crypto’s Future

To tackle the concern of “patent lockup” stifling innovation and adoption, Square asked the crypto community to do “what it is so famous for and come together for the greater good.” The official website reads,

“We believe there needs to be a global native currency for the internet,” and everyone should be able to “participate in cryptocurrencies and have access to its underlying innovation.”

A separate entity from Square, COPA, has a two-prong approach, including a pledge that no member asserts their patents on foundational crypto technology ever except defensively, and creating a shared patent library where members pool their crypto patents and allow each other to use them. Square Crypto said,

“As more companies join and the shared patent library grows, the freer we’ll all be to pursue crypto’s future.”

In the US, the number of blockchain and crypto-related patents already doubled between 2016 to 2017. Even Microsoft filed a patent last year for a mining system powered by human activity.

The Native Currency of Internet but “Intuitive”

Dorsey is known for his bitcoin support, who believes it could be the “native currency of the Internet.”

In an interview with Reuters this week, Dorsey re-emphasized on it, saying, like the internet, bitcoin is consensus-driven. He said,

“I think the internet warrants a […] native currency and […] Bitcoin is probably the best manifestation of that thus far. I can’t see that changing given all the people who want the same thing and build it for that potential.”

But for the leading digital asset to interact with money and change the way most people think of it, it must be “intuitive.”

The main main point here is that bitcoin is expensive to use and that people must understand why they use it and access it in a way that is similar to dealing with cash. Dorsey said,

“We have to build the coin in such a way that it is as intuitive as fast and as efficient as what exists today and obviously goes beyond that.”

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Author: AnTy

Popular Bitcoin Payment App, Square CashApp, Considers Launching Short-Term Loans

Jack Dorsey’s Square might soon be offering loans of up to $200 through its P2P service platform, CashApp. This revelation follows a recent report by TechCrunch, which highlighted that the firm is testing the new feature with about 1000 users as of press date.

Notably, Square attributed this strategic move to some factors, including the uncertainty of a second U.S stimulus. According to the firm, the market demand for loans between $20 and $200 might expand significantly as a result.

Users who qualify for these loans will be given a one-month payback period with a 5% flat fee charged on leveraged funds. Calculated annually, the interest translates to around 60%. However, it may seem quite high; it is more favorable compared to average payday loans in the U.S, which in some cases are charged as much as 700%.

Should the borrowing parties default, Square intends to put a one-week grace period, after which a non-compounding interest of 1.25% will be added to the cost every week. With the testing still in play, a CashAPP spokesperson mentioned that they are looking forward to feedback from the 1,000 clients featured:

“We look forward to hearing their feedback and learning from this experiment.”

Square’s BTC Streak Continues

Other than its prospectus loan product, Square has been making headlines in the crypto scene and is now positioning itself as the go-to platform for Bitcoin purchases. The company’s Q2 revenue from Bitcoin totaled $875 million, with $17 million as the gross profit from BTC related transactions.

These stats are up by 600% and 711% YoY, respectively. Going by these stats, a move towards loan issuance might even expose a more significant population who initially couldn’t afford a stake in the crypto market.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Bitcoin-based Startup Zap Opens Strike for Public Beta And Plans to Release Visa Rewards Card

Jack Mallers, Zap founder, revealed on Thursday that Zap’s Strike product, which enables individuals to receive Bitcoin in US dollar form through direct bank deposits, opens up for the public beta.

Mallers, who is also a lightning network developer, announced that Zap has finally entered Visa’s Fast Track program. In an email with CoinDesk discussing the firm’s 2020 plans, Maller elaborated that joining the program will position the firm to enter the market quickly. He said:

“Visa works with members of the Fast Track program to help them go to market in the most efficient way possible, providing them support and resources every step of the way.”

Mallers also explained that his main focus for 2020 is introducing a Strike card for use by consumers using the app as well as integrating it with Visa Direct, the program which makes Venmo payments so fast. However, he did not give a date when the Strike card will be launched.

Mallers also explained that Visa will be Zap’s partner for consumer issuance offering but will not take part in merchant offering.

Visa has been very aggressive in inking deals with crypto-based firms this year. For instance, with Coinbase, as well as Fold, the shopping reward app, provides corresponding Visa cards. The cards are mostly used by cryptocurrency users who prefer to get crypto rewards as opposed to other forms of kickbacks. Also, there are crypto debit cards that enable individuals to use dollars. Currently, it is not clear the options that Zap will avail to its cardholders this year.

Although Visa confirmed the partnership deal, it declined to offer additional information by the time of publication.

While Cash App by Jack Dorsey, as well as a renowned exchange platform, Coinbase are highly referred to as the mainstream apps when it comes to selling and purchasing Bitcoin, Mallers is set to provide an app with the same capabilities but at low costs.

Currently, the Strike platform is mostly common among small businesses as well as with their customers.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Zap Lightning Network Wallet Founder Launches Strike, The ‘Best Shot’ of Achieving Mass Adoption

The Lightning Network wallet Zap founder Jack Mallers has announced a new application called Strike that will allow you to make Lightning payments with your debit card or bank account. This means, there will be no wallet, no channels, nodes, swaps or liquidity management anymore.

Built on Olympus, it is “designed to usher in an era of Bitcoin that we believe has the best shot of achieving our mainstream hopes and desires.”

Mallers explains in his Medium post that volatility is the prime issue they had because while it is an opportunity in the market, in a consumer-merchant setting it is a non-starter, making it “extremely” difficult for them to accept bitcoin.

Another big issue is taxes. In the US, bitcoin is taxed as property and spending it a taxable event which even extends to the Lightning Network.

“As a merchant, this was arguably a bigger issue. (…) The tax headache was not worth it, and nearly all merchants opted out of accepting bitcoin.”

Creating a wallet, custody and owning Bitcoin was another as people didn’t want to. With Strike, Mallers says,

“We aren’t just changing how Bitcoin looks, but also how it feels. We’re changing a consumer’s relationship with Bitcoin and Lightning, how it is used, and how it is viewed. We’re opening up new ambitions, new ideas, new possibilities, and a new, mainstream audience.”

This product can be used to buy Bitcoin and sell it and by simply scanning the QR code and clicking pay, used for remittance payments and for internet tipping as well.

But it isn’t a custodial wallet so if you are hacked and your BTC stolen, then no one can do anything about it and you have completely lost them.

The second layer on the Bitcoin network, Lightning Network offers real-time cheap settlements, where Strike aims to make the barrier of entry low but high flexibility and ease of use.

Strike is expected to be live on App Stores in the coming months meanwhile to join the beat list of the project, you can go to strike.zaphq.io.

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Author: AnTy

Is Africa The Perfect Playground For Bitcoin? Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey Believes It Is

Jack Dorsey, the CEO of two well-known companies – Square and Twitter – reportedly sees a future for Bitcoin, and it is in a country with a developing economy and that boasts 1.2 billion people: Africa.

Dorsey shared on Twitter that he has been in Africa and is sad to leave the continent – for now. More significantly though, he also tweeted that the country will “define the future (especially the bitcoin one!).”

In addition, he tweeted that he will be living there for 3 to 6 months in the middle of 2020 and that he is grateful that he was able to experience a small part.

CNN reported that Dorsey’s trip began on November 8 when he visited Ethiopia. The tour included stops in South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana.

The report also indicated that Dorsey met artists and entrepreneurs, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, a Twitter board member, economist, and former managing director of the World Bank. During Dorsey’s visit to Ghana, he reportedly met with bitcoin entrepreneurs.

These developments are perhaps part of the process of turning bitcoin into a more functional currency by increasing its accessibility. According to a report by CNBC in September, Dorsey shared with the Australian Finance Review that bitcoin is “not functional as a currency.”

And what needs to be done is to make the currency more usable and accessible. Nonetheless, the report also indicated that Dorsey supports bitcoin and the broader idea of an internet-based currency.

For instance, according to the report, Dorsey shared with the Australian Financial Review that his company Square is hiring five engineers who will solely work on making the crypto ecosystem better, and that he believes that the internet will have a “native currency” and anything that the company can do to make that happen, it’ll do.

Dorsey also tweeted in February 2019 that he only has Bitcoin, and in response to another tweet in that thread, he called Bitcoin “resilient,” “principled,” and “native to internet ideals.”

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

China’s Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC) Will Launch In Next 60-90 Days Per HCM Capital Exec

Jack Lee, the founding partner of HCM Capital, has recently affirmed that the central bank digital currency (CBDC) of China is being created and is expected to be launched in the next few months.

According to a recent interview with CNBC, Lee said that the central bank of China will use the new digital currency to have more strength over its capital flows. He also noted that the Chinese government uses serial numbers on banknotes to track cash flows, so this would basically be a more efficient system.

He claims that we’ll see this system, which is being called the Digital Currency Electronic Payment system, pretty soon. The official narrative created by China is that the launch is “near” but no official date has been stated, which means that he may be right about this.

Daniela Stoffel, the state secretary of international finances in Switzerland, was also interviewed by CNBC.

She said,

“The pressure has been on for a while. […] Other governments now realize this is now actually really happening and that the questions and challenges that are implied in an e-currency are now real. I hope this will lend further momentum to decisions on a global basis.”

While there are some concerns about money laundering and other related topics, she claims that the regulators have already understood that they have no choice but to take these systems seriously and that we are about to see a whole new age of digital currencies backed by central banks very soon.

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Author: Gabriel Machado