Fintech Unicorn, Revolut, Reveals 150% Increase In Its Crypto Holdings In 2019

  • London based fintech, Revolut, reports $140 million in losses in 2019 despite its cryptocurrency holdings growing to $123 million, a 200% increase from 2018’s holdings. The company also recorded a 2.5x boom in customer growth rate in 2019.

Revolut published its 2019 financial year report on August 10, showing a sustained growth in its cryptocurrency holdings at £93.3 million (~$122.27 million), representing a sharp 151% increase from 2018’s crypto holdings – £37.1 million (~$48.62 million).

Despite the rapid growth in customer acquisition and crypto holdings, Revolut registered over a 200% increase in losses. As of December 31, the company posted a total loss of £106.5 million (~$139.57 million) through 2019, tripling the £32.9 million (~$43.11million) published in 2018.

“We still have some way to go, but we are pleased with our performance in 2019,” Nik Storonsky, founder and CEO at Revolut, said speaking to CNBC. “We increased daily active customers by 231%, and the number of paying customers grew by 139%.”

The report states the company’s losses are mainly due to expansion and market acquisition costs incurred in 2019. As reported by BEG, the British fintech unicorn recently received a green light to operate in Australia by the ASIC, extending its reach to 24 territories, including the U.S., Russia, Canada, Japan, and New Zealand.

The company did not release the breakdown of its crypto holdings to the public with six main digital assets available on the platform – Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and recently added Stellar Lumens.

They offer its users a direct platform to purchase cryptocurrencies and store them securely. However, the firm also owns its stash of cryptocurrencies, which are accounted for as “intangible assets.” The report states:

“Cryptocurrencies are recognized at fair value using the revaluation model. Accordingly, an impairment loss on an asset that was not previously re-measured is recognized in profit or loss.”

The losses recorded are further strained by the fact that revenues were up 180% to £162.7 million ($221.6 million) in 2019 as compared to £58.2 ($75.7 million) in 2018. The company also announced an increase in its cash holdings, which doubled to £2.281 billion, up from £903 million in 2018.

Revolut also states its currency exchange business is facing a blip in 2020 following the COVID-19 pandemic as traders are not as interested. However, the pandemic has had an unusual positive effect on its crypto businesses in the short term, the report further states.

The U.K. fintech firm recently partnered with Paxos in a bid to expand its crypto purchase and custody services across 49 of the 50 states in the country.

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Author: Lujan Odera

A $6.6 Million Seed Round Startup Launches “Easy” Crypto Purchasing Services

  • Ziglu, a cryptocurrency startup based in London, launches allowing an easy, safe and reliable crypto purchase gateway.

An official report released by Ziglu on June 15, 2020 confirms the launch of crypto marketplace and exchange, Ziglu after a $6.6 million seed round funding from friends and other angel investors. According to CEO of Ziglu, Mark Hipperson, the exchange is aiming to bring to its customers the best, cheapest and fastest ways to purchase multiple cryptocurrencies from one place.

Over the past few years, cryptocurrency has taken a hold growing to a massive ~$200 billion market capitalization in a decade. The growth of the market enticed more banks to take up the role of providing a gateway for crypto purchases and withdrawals. Hipperson however believes the market has changed a lot since the early days and hence has a strategy to do things different.

As the competition to offer avenues to purchase crypto heats up, Hipperson believes the current buyers of crypto are looking for a safe and easy way to get their crypto. Speaking on the launch of Ziglu, Hipperson said,

“This launch marks the beginning of an exciting journey for Ziglu to deliver transformational financial services for our customers. By offering immediate and safe access to best-price crypto, customers can spend, exchange and send their money, regardless of the currency, where, when and how they want.”

Ziglu will allow users to buy and sell multiple cryptocurrencies on the platform including BTC, ETH, LTC and BCH with about “15 cryptocurrencies expected to be added this year” according to demand, Hipperson said.

The statement also confirms a possible debit card launch in the coming quarter to allow users to spend their crypto easily. Ziglu is currently available on the iOS Apple Store for mobile devices.

Hipperson also spoke on the effects of the current COVID-19 global pandemic on the launch of Ziglu. The application will partner with two exchanges (instead of the planned five) at launch with more exchanges expected at a later date.

Ziglu enters an arena full of competitors including Twitter CEO, Jack Dorsey’s Square app, which together with Grayscale Trust combine for a total of 50% of Bitcoin daily purchases from miners. The app recently rolled out new features that allows users to stack satoshis on a daily, weekly or monthly automatically.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Coincover’s New Policy Protects Cryptocurrency Held in Hot Wallets Backed by Lloyd’s

Lloyd’s of London, the insurance behemoth, is backing a brand-new policy on protecting from hacks cryptocurrency that’s being held in wallets.

The insurance is provided by the crypto lifestyle service provider Coinbase and underwritten by the Atrium insurance syndicate of Lloyd’s, said Coincover on Sunday. When it comes to the liability policy, this is said to be a type of insurance that’s new and has a dynamic limit increasing or decreasing, according to prices of the crypto assets it covers.

Coverage Limit Starts at $1,280

The limits of the coverage start from 1,000 pounds ($1,280). With the policy, traders and investors will be protected against theft of crypto held in their hot or online wallets. The Lloyd’s head of innovation, Trevor Maynard, said the company he’s working for is a “natural home for insurance innovation because of the unique ability of syndicates to collaborate to insure new things” and that cryptocurrency firms have found ways to protect from theft the digital assets of their clients.

A Panel of Lloyd’s Underwriters Backing the Policy

TMK and Markel, both Lloyd’s underwriters, are backing the new policy among others. They’re also Lloyd’s Product Innovation Facility (PIF) members. PIF is an initiative that aims to speed up the development of insurance products for non-standard and complex risk policies.

Coincover was created in 2018. It offers insurance for assets held in the BitGo wallets. The claims with Coincover need to be made after providing details about the incident and filling out a report with the police. After this, the company investigates the claim and pays damages in only 48 hours. Crypto assets that have been willingly sent to a wrong address are not covered by the new policy.

Coincover’s CEO, David Janczewski, said the beginning of 2020 has heated up the crypto market and many industry players have started to be more and more interested in having their assets protected. He also mentioned that:

“With this innovative new policy, we can remove these barriers and broaden the appeal of crypto. It represents another step forward in enabling cryptocurrency adoption.”

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Author: Oana Ularu

Malaysia’s Biggest Crypto Exchange Luno Set to List Ripple’s XRP

London based crypto exchange Luno is expected to list XRP token onto its platform. The exchange aims to make the XRP tokens available to Malaysians either in December 2019 or early 2020. Luno was recently relaunched in Malaysia at the end of October this year.

Ripple (XRP), which is a real-time gross settlement system and currency exchange network known for its use in cross-border payments, has been looking to build a larger scheme around the coin and over the last few years the idea has seemed to crystallize. Luno has since noticed XRP’s potential and wants to bring the token to Malaysia. The firm’s head of Asia Vijay Ayyar cited,

“What we can say at this time is that we are planning to increase our cryptocurrency offerings as we grow, while keeping customer’s safety and compliance with regulations as our highest priority.”

He continued to say that while Luno would be widely expanding its crypto offerings, it would also be sure to maintain all ethical standards to customers. The ethical standards include ensuring customer’s data safety and complying with rules and regulations. Luno’s South-East General Manager, David Low believes that the ever-growing demand for Ripple’s XRP would be partially met by the Luno listing. Mr. Low explained,

“Ripple also has a remittance use case which we are excited about. That’s why we want to introduce it to Malaysians, as it allows people on the platform to access and learn about it, and figure out new ways to use this technology for their benefits.”

An exclusive interview with the Malaysian Reserve (TMR) revealed that the Securities Commission has already approved Ripple and that Luno will be bringing the cryptocurrency onboard the exchange sometime this December or early next year. This has allowed the company to once again step on the country’s turf. Due to forward looking regulations and high banking rates, Luno is expected to be one of the largest markets in Malaysia.

XRP was created by Ripple Labs Inc., a U.S based currency exchange founded back in 2012. After Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC), XRP has the third largest market capitalization of US$9.2billion.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Fidelity International Is Reported To Have Created a Crypto Brokers Game For Internal Use

Fidelity-International-Is-Reported-To-Have-Created-a-Crypto-Brokers-Game-For-Internal-Use

Fidelity International, a subsidiary of the Boston-based Fidelity Investments that is set in London, has been reported by Forbes to have created an in-house crypto brokerage game. The game is only being used informally by employees and it does not represent an upcoming product.

According to Forbes, the name of the game is The Fidelity Cryptoleague and its goal is the simulation of a trading game in which employees of the company can trade cryptos to see who fares better.

While not an actual product, this initiative certainly seems to be an indicator that there is interest in the crypto market stemming from the company. Because of this, some people could take this game as an indication that the possibility of the company creating crypto products soon is not null.

Obviously, it is not hard to find companies interested in the blockchain now. Most financial companies are, in one way or the other, interested in the blockchain technology and what it is able to do.

This new Cryptoleague game seems like a fun way for the employees to actually sort of participate in the market without having to actually commit to it. It is basically dipping their toes in the crypto ocean, it seems. 1,200 people from the staff of over 8,000 are currently playing the game.

Each player is said to start with $10,000 GBP of virtual money. They have to create their portfolios then and to decide the best way to create a killer portfolio.

A corporate communications associate director at the company called Craig Terrington was interviewed by Forbes. He affirmed that Fidelity International also sees a lot of importance in the blockchain world just as most people are doing now. To him, there are no solid plans for launching crypto products, but the personal interest in the crypto world is undeniable.

He affirmed that the Fidelity Cryptoleague is a simulation game in which people can have fun and learn more about trading crypto tokens. The major winners may even get real-life prizes, so they have an extra incentive to play as well as they can.

Anne Richards, the CEO of Fidelity, has also talked about the game. She affirmed that it was being used to teach people about the technology internally, which is something that is important because the blockchain technology has clearly become an important part of the financial system.

However, she also affirmed that no tangible product is being created using the technology or focusing on crypto trading at the moment. Taken that there is interest enough for this game to exist, we will probably not take a lot of time in order to see something involving this industry from Fidelity International.

Fidelity Investments Is Already Interested In Crypto

Fidelity Investments, the main branch of Fidelity, is considerably more interested in crypto. The company has plans to open up a product that will involve the technology and it has worked to create Fidelity Digital Assets, which is focused on this kind of asset.

It is also reported that Fidelity will be a part of the Libra Association. Libra is the stablecoin that is being created by Facebook and it is set to be one of the largest crypto offerings launched until today.

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Author: Gabriel Machado