Webjet Debuts New Hotel Booking Verification Blockchain based on Microsoft Azure

Webjet, a leading digital travel agent is excited to launch its blockchain platform with an objective of eliminating the existing disparities in hostel booking processes and data. The new project, Rezchain, is an application that will help address overcharges and reservation snafus in hotel booking by tracing data mismatches between booking agents, hostels and customers.

According to the company, such errors occur in about 5% of all hotel bookings. The application will send alerts to the interested parties if any are found. Such errors cause many firms to suffer financial resource losses. Besides the financial exposures, the reconciliation process is painful and time-consuming.

Webjet was launched two decades ago in 1998 as an online travel agent company operating in North America, Southeast Asia and Australia. The company has a project called WebBeds that offers a Business-to-business accommodation online platform.

“Mistakes should be expected from multiple IT systems that speak different languages. Writing off debts remains as the last resort whenever the situation is not clear. That has been a cost of doing business for decades, but the industry does not have to suffer from that anymore,”

said John Guscic, the managing director at Webjet.

Webjet believes it will leverage blockchain technology distributed nature by employing early warning systems via Email and a “virtual handshake”. Rezchain will store information in a shared ledger which will give all parties interested in online booking access to timely information. The application has been built on what we can refer to as a private version of Ethereum.

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Author: Denis Miriti

Institutional Investors Buying the Dip? Bakkt Volume Shoots up to Hit ATH As BTC Price Crashes

Bitcoin is bleeding today, having lost about $700 in a few hours.

The leading cryptocurrency went down hard today, going as low as below $7,300 on Bitstamp. But soon after it recovered $200 back.

Currently, Bitcoin is trading at $7,500 with 24 hours loss of 8.38%, as per Coincodex. Reported trading Volume, meanwhile is over $20 billion on all spot exchanges and $653.5 million, up from $200 million last weekend, on top ten exchanges with real volume.

As Bitcoin takes a fall, institutions seem to have taken to buy this dip as evident from the huge spike in the trading volume of Bakkt.

Today, Bakkt has been breaking into a new record one after another.

At the time of writing, Bakkt’s monthly bitcoin contracts recorded a volume of 558 BTC (last updated) equivalent of over $4.185 million (at $7,500 per BTC rate). We still have a few hours left in the day, so it’s to be seen what will be the new record that Bakkt will make.

Given the fact that the day BTC price crashed, Bakkt volume took flight, it can be said that Bakkt’s institutional investors are buying the dip and filling their bags.

The current figure is a significant increase from just 72 BTC the physically-settled bitcoin contracts platform got in just 24 hours of its launch.

Up until now actually, Bakkt has been a “Flopkkt,” a moniker given by economist and trader Alex Kruger in the light of disappointing volume registered by the ICE-backed platform in the past month.

Could this mean, Bakkt is finally starting to see the growth it was meant and expected to? Well, this time this surge in volume seems to be coinciding with the drop in BTC price, so, it’s hard to tell if it’s the sign that institutional interest in BTC has come knocking in full force. But they sure seem to be all-in in this dip.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Exchange OKEx’s CEO Questions Binance’s Q3 BNB Buyback

On Oct. 17, leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced the 9th quarterly BNB burn of 2,061,888 BNB, equivalent of $36.7 million.

The removal of over 2 million BNB has only 187,536,713 left in the total supply, as per Coinmarketcap. Binance will continue to burn its supply until 100 million BNB are left.

This number, the exchange said represents “significant growth,” which was driven by the new services like increased number of fiat on-ramps, margin trading, low fees, futures trading, and other services.

In comparison to last quarter when just over 800,000 BNB was burned, this time the burned BNB saw an increment of 154%. This increase came despite the quarter registering a slump in BNB price and the low trading volume recorded on the platform.

This drove competing crypto exchange OKEx CEO Jay Hao to question, “How come Binance bnb Q3 buy back could be more?” when Binance Q3 has a lower trading volume than Q2 and trading discounts offered by the exchange.

In Q2, the trading volume on Binance’s spot exchange was $159.62 million while in Q3 the combined volume of its spot and futures platform totaled $113.94 million.

But the company recorded a revenue of $186 million in Q3 vs $119 million in Q2.

The company uses 20% of its profits to buy back BNB. Although Binance changed its whitepaper to remove “plans to use 20% of its profits each quarter buy back and burn BNB,” section, the spokesperson of the company at that time confirmed that they are still using 20% of the profit to buyback BNB.

Hao further pointed out that if BNB supply is capped 200 million and Binance has burned the claimed 14,525135 BNB, then there should be 185,475,865 BNB remaining in the market. But “185,474,825 BNB remaining” is what’s written in their announcement.

“Does this look weird to me only??,” questioned Hao.

Moreover, the burned address shows the balance in the wallet at 48,461,324 BNB. This puts the total BNB ever created at 233,936,149, “which is more than the so-claimed 200 million BNB shown on the white paper.”

At press time, Binance or CEO Changpeng Zhao either didn’t respond or share any explanation for the questions raised by Hao.

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Author: AnTy

Death By Abandonment’ Is Reason Most Crypto Projects Die Before Their 2nd Birthday: Longhash

In efforts to understand the major causes leading to the demise of many crypto projects, blockchain education platform Longhash dug into Coinopsy’s data to come up with conclusions on what kills crypto projects.

The analysts examined 700 crowd sourced projects in a span of 8 years and came up with a conclusion that majority of crypto projects had died due to abandonment which accounted for 63.1% of the dead crypto projects.

According to an article released by Longhash, crypto projects dying as a result of abandonment were mostly due to the investors halting trading an asset which led to volumes dropping to zero. These projects, on average, had a lifespan of about 1.6 years.

The research also identified that scams accounted for about 29.9% of the dead crypto projects making it the second most prevalent cause. The researchers found that 2017 recorded the highest number of scams in the crypto industry. The number of projects dying due to scam increased five-fold as per the researchers as indicated below.

The report by Longhash also identified three people who were severely implicated in three distinct dead scam projects mentioning Bitcointalk user Crunck as well as another person going by the name Daniel Mendoza.

The other category of dead crypto projects identified by Longhash was joke projects like AnalCoin, BieberCoin as well as BagCoin. This category accounted for 3.2% of dead crypto projects and had an average lifespan of about 1.4 years.

Longhash’s report indicates that its difficult to quantify the exact number of dead crypto project since most of the data is crowdsourced. The report also notes that there is little consensus on what constitutes a dead crypto project.

Cointopsy has listed 705 projects as dead, DeadCoins has listed 1779 as dead while CoinMarketCap has more than 1000 projects that record less than $1000 every day in terms of trading volume as near their death or lifeless.

Cointelegraph reports that in its recent research, it was found that the most common causes of crypto projects deaths were low liquidity, fraud, lack of utility as well as poor management.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Fintech Investment Platform BnkToTheFuture To Roll Out Security Token Offering (STO) For Startups

Demand for security token offerings (STOs) is growing in the crypto industry, and many leading platforms are taking steps to provide this form of the token sale to their clients. STOs have been created to enable crypto platforms to become compliant with regulations in many countries.

BnkToTheFuture, a fundraising platform for crypto and blockchain based firms, is reportedly working on providing its clients with STOs. The platform is entering into a partnership with Diacle, a crypto consulting firm. The partnership will see the two companies build a shared security token investment and advisory firm. It is reported that BnkToTheFuture’s executives anticipate that there will be an increase in the demand for cryptocurrencies, and an STO platform will be vital in the fundraising process for many blockchain startups.

According to Simon Dixon, BnkToTheFuture’s CEO, the firm receives an average of 45 applications every week from startups in fintech and crypto spaces which are seeking funding. About 18% of these startups are interested in security tokens, and this is a reflection of the growing demand for such a platform as the one being developed by BnkToTheFuture. Crypto and blockchain startups are increasingly moving from initial coin offerings (ICOs) due to the regulatory challenges that come with this method of token offering.

BnkToTheFuture Creating Bridge Between the Crypto Industry and Traditional Investors

The platform provided by the Cayman Islands based firm allows traditional institutional investors to place their funds in crypto startups. This group of investors is not familiar with cryptocurrencies, but they would be familiar with securities. Dixon said that traditional investors want to invest in security tokens because they offer additional liquidity. The liquidity is not readily available because cryptocurrencies are a fairly new asset class on the market.

Currently, there are over 87,000 institutional investors registered with BnkToTheFuture. The STOs platform will help these investors and the blockchain startups seeking investment stay on the right side of regulations that pertain to securities. Diacle’s experience with crypto securities will be of importance in ensuring that this compliance is achieved and maintained throughout the STO process.

STO Market Growing as Demand Increases

The STO market has been experiencing steady growth over the years as players in the crypto industry pay more attention to this form of token offering. In 2017, only two STOs were executed and this number grew to 25 in 2018. By the end of 2019, it is expected that 87 STOs would have been conducted, and these numbers reflect steady growth. According to Chain Partners research group, the STO market is likely to reach $2 trillion in value by 2030.

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Author: Ali Raza

Altcoins Surge As Bitcoin Price And Dominance Takes A Drop; BTC Rally Coming Soon

  • EOS, Tezos, and Maker leading the pack
  • BTC dominance takes a hit as well as price did of $200
  • However, A monster rally could be on the way

Bitcoin price took a hit before the weekend, going from $10,950 to about $10,200 level. However, soon after BTC price recovered.

Today, Bitcoin has been trading around $10,542 when it took another dump of over $200 in less than half an hour, going to $10,320.

Currently, BTC/USD is trading around $10,375 with 24 hours loss of 0.03%, as per Messari.

This year, while Bitcoin price soared over 200%, altcoins failed to show any signs of life.

However, this time, altcoins are taking over Bitcoin.

Majority of the digital currencies have been enjoying greens with EOS in the lead with 12.36% gains followed by Tezos, (9.11%), Tron (9.08%), and Maker (8.17%), at the time of writing.

Top altcoins like Cardano (6.34) Ethereum (5.97%), Bitcoin Cash (5.54%), XRP (4.53%), Bitcoin SV (3.71%), IOTA (3.56%) among others are also registering a fresh wave of greens after much time.

The total market cap in response rose to $269 billion, up from yesterday’s $260 billion but still need to catch up to $274 billion on Sept. 6.

BTC dominance meanwhile has gone down to 72.6 percent from the high of 73.4% on Sept. 6.

A Monster Rally on the Way?

There is no knowing yet if and when altcoins will start their bull run, as a good number of these digital currencies are still down between 85 to 95 percent. Some like Cardao are down even more than 95% from their all-time highs.

However, Bitcoin’s journey to a new high seems to have started.

For starters, the three consecutive negative weeks that we saw recently was last seen during the bull run of 2017.

Moreover, Bitcoin traders are increasing their exposure to the digital asset on futures trading platform BitMEX. As we recently reported the open interest on XBT (that represents Bitcoin) against USD has crossed $1 billion, reaching $1.06 billion mark.

It is fast approaching its all-time high of $1.22 billion, set on July 10.

This willingness of traders to risk more of their money on the future outcome of the leading cryptocurrency, however, fails to provide clarity on which direction BTC price will move as it is split between “shorts” and “longs” by 51.02% and 49.08% respectively.

However, recently trader Jonny Moe took to Twitter to advise investors to place their positions cautiously as chart suggests a potential drop to around $6,000 level.

“Update: Still anticipating a return to the parabolic trend. Previously had ~$5,500 on this chart, assuming a quicker return to mean. Since we’ve consolidated sideways for about 2 months, the downside is more like $6,000 now,” he said.

A good thing is, popular analyst PlanB emphasizing that BTC price, as it has been, will likely be below and above stock to flow model value every year, “cointegration, not correlation, is key.”

“Proof is in: bitcoin price is mainly driven by stock to flow, not by any other factor.”

As per this model, the Bitcoin price will go beyond $1 million.

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Author: AnTy

Cardano’s Shelley Update to be Released in Mid-September, First Stage Successful: IOHK’s Hoskinson

Charles Hoskinson, the CEO of IOHK – the leading development team of Cardano blockchain – confirmed the first stage of Shelley testing was successfully completed in an Ask Me Anything (AMA) session on YouTube on Aug 31. The team of over 50 developers working on the Shelley update will launch the second and final testing phases in the coming months.

Through 2019, the Cardano community has remained in suspense on the official launch of Shelley main net network. Finally, the update is set to be released in mid-September – subject to confirmation.

As BEG reported earlier the release of the Shelley update will be completed in three phases – the implementation and hosting of ‘selfnodes’, networking test and the incentivizing stage.

On to the Networking Test Net Stage

Hoskinson stated that the first stage of the Shelley update, implementation and hosting of personal nodes, was “very successful”. The development team found and fixed a number of bugs in the system during the testing phase and are now focusing on releasing the networking test net this month.

The IOHK co-founder switched to the networking phase of the Shelley update confirming the release will be in the second week of this month. He further explains that the networking phase will allow users to stake their ADA tokens and connect to the main network.

Hoskinson said,

“In the networking test, where we actually have people connect to a unified test net and do some form of staking. So everything that you’d want to do with Shelley, was done now for instead on your PC, on a distributed system.”

Once the networking phase is complete, Cardano holders will be able to stake their tokens in pools to gain additional revenue in the network. The launch of the third and final stage of the Shelley update – incentivizing stage – is set to launch immediately after the completion of the networking phase. The launch is set to coincide with the second anniversary of Byron update.

After the announcement of the upcoming developments by Hoskinson during the AMA, some community members turned to mock the overall announcement. Charles on Twitter responded to these ‘trolls’,

“It’s amazing to me how some people are incapable of even understanding a simple statement. I didn’t make an announcement of an announcement in my AMA. I announced the next phase of the test net in September and an event in Bulgaria on the 28th. How is this no announcement!?!?”

Earlier in August, Hoskinson released the 1.6 Cardano blockchain update that featured an updated version of the Daedalus platform.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin Futures Become More Popular Among Institutional Investors as CME Numbers Rise

The trading of Bitcoin futures has surged over this year as the leading cryptocurrency found its way back to the heights associated with it. Cryptocurrency trading has become more popular, and more investors are beginning to consider the asset class for the portfolios.

Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) has reported high record trading volumes for Bitcoin futures. The exchange is experiencing an average trade volume of 7,237 contracts daily as more traders are moving into Bitcoin futures.

This trading volume represents a growth of 132% from the same period in 2018. It is impossible to ignore the amount of growth that Bitcoin futures have gone through this year, and this is only driving more investors towards the asset class.

Growth of Bitcoin Futures

Starting late December 2018, Bitcoin entered a rally that saw the leading cryptocurrency’s price rise by over 300%. Bitcoin was trading at a low of around $3,000 before it went on a bull run that saw the crypto asset trade at almost $14,000 in June.

When Bitcoin broke the $6,000 resistance in May, it was quite clear that it was well on its way to reach record high prices.

For CME, August reflected continuous growth of the popularity of Bitcoin futures among institutional investors. Tim McCourt, CME’s managing director, said that the group had its most successful month with regards to Bitcoin futures.

McCourt went on to say that there is growing investor interest in digital assets and a growing interest in the various blockchain and cryptocurrency applications that are being developed across multiple industries. He added that it will be interesting to see how the technologies continue to develop and how the markets will respond to this development.

CME’s managing director reaffirmed the fact that the Group remains focused on its provision of crypto products. CME also provides its clients with educational tools about cryptocurrency in a bid to help these customers become more acquainted with digital assets and make better decisions when they are trading these assets.

CME’s Impact on Bitcoin Prices

It has long been assumed that the settlement of CME Bitcoin futures has a direct impact on the price of Bitcoin. Many crypto analysts share this belief, and Josh Olszewisz says that the bear market which commenced in December 2017 was a direct result of the settlement of Bitcoin futures on CME.

If this theory is anything to go by, Bitcoin traders can expect a period of high volatility by the end of the coming week. CME Bitcoin futures are expected to be settled within this week, and this may affect the cryptocurrency’s price.

The expiry of CME’s Bitcoin futures has met with the launch of Bakkt’s physically settled Bitcoin futures. These two occurrences may be enough to push Bitcoin out of the consolidation phase that it has been in for the last two months or so.

Whatever the case, Bitcoin traders will be paying close attention to the markets to see how the crypto asset performs over the next few weeks.

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Author: Ali Raza

Binance US Evaluating 30 Cryptocurrencies for Listing, Not Including TRX, XMR

The leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance has made further progress with its Binance US exchange. Just about two months back on June 14, the exchange announced its partnership up BAM Trading Services Inc. to launch trading services for its users in the United States.

The idea was to launch a US extension of Binance with a focus on the trading of mainstream cryptocurrencies with liquidity. Following this news, Binance announced that it will no longer permit US citizens to sign for its global Binance.com service, effective from September 12.

Now, the exchange is giving a peek into the “exciting developments” coming soon for Binance US.

For this, the exchange is currently evaluating 30 cryptocurrencies for listing including ADA, ATOM, BAT, BCHABC, BNB, BTC, DASH, EOS, ETC, ETH, HOT, IOTA, LINK, LOOM, LTC, MANA, NANO, NEO, PAX, REP, RVN, TUSD, USDC, USDT, VET, WAVES, XLM, XRP, ZIL, and ZRX.

As part of the legal obligation, Binance US is adopting a,

“Digital Asset Risk Assessment Framework to help select bona fide blockchain projects with a real chance of making the world more efficient, to provide transparency in our listing standards, and to ensure Binance US’s compliance with applicable legal requirements.”

Under this framework, it will examine each digital asset for different factors including a clear strategy to solve a real problem, reasonability fair market supply, and demand, and if it is technologically secure to transact.

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Author: AnTy

SWIFT and the International Real-Time Payments Race: The Cross Border Service Battle Wages On

SWIFT and the International Real-Time Payments Race: The Cross Border Service Battle Wages On

Leading payments platform Swift on July 16 announced its plan to dominate the international payment sector, the plan was revealed in a press release , which was readily available on the firm’s website.

The ‘Payment’ Struggle

The new drive and enthusiasm by swift is a direct reaction to the “One Currency To Rule Them All” initiative by Facebook, which according to a Forbes report is causing an uproar among both the traditional financial sector and the cryptocurrency industry, without sparing governments and regulatory agencies.

The introduction of the Libra project by Facebook has taken virtually every major player in the sector back to the drawing board, and Swift is not exempted. According to the Press release:

‘’ Swift’s aim is simple: to make cross-border payments real-time 24/7 and as seamless, convenient, cost-efficient and accessible as domestic payments.

With the projected potential of Libra, and the publicity power it possesses through social media applications like Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, financial institutions and international payment platforms all over the world, may find it hard to keep up, and as such, must find a way to step up their game before Libra gain more prominence.

A Swift Cryptocurrency in View?

Some analysts are thus of the opinion that Swift might also launch its own cryptocurrency, to tackle the Libra coin, but others are of the opinion that a Swift coin will do nothing but add to what the company sees as the real problem of international payments, namely the proliferation of self-contained currency systems such as Bitcoin, JPM Coin and others.

Swift is thus antagonizing those who favour multiple competing tokens for international payments, the payment platform points out that each token ultimately serves its own community, but that there is still a need for an interoperability protocol that enables people to transfer value across different currencies and tokens, and that loophole is what Swift plans to exploit.

The payment platform also has a word or two for the banking industry. Swift advised the banks that if it is still interested in keeping its customer base, it can’t continue to do the same thing and expect it will survive.

It is also of the opinion that most customers are tired of the old way, and that if the banks do not step up and move with the tide, it will not only lose customers but die because it won’t be able to keep up.

The Swift platform is not one that is scared of healthy competition from rivals, Bitcoin Exchange Guide reported that Swift announced the launch of the trial of distributed ledger technology integration with R3.

The established payment platform stated that the new development will allow it to monitor payment flows and support APIs using the SWIFT and ISO standards.

The idea at inception was to link the GPI Link and Corda to authorize payments via the two sides. GPI payment will then be settled by banks and the credit confirmations will be sent.

The struggle to determine the leading payment solution will continue to generate a lot of attention, as virtually everybody is up in arms against Libra.

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Author: Ogwu Emma