eBay CEO says Company Is Looking at Crypto as Payment Option & Selling NFT on the Platform

eBay CEO says Company Is Looking at Crypto as Payment Option & Selling NFT on the Platform

eBay is keeping an eye out after reporting a weak second-quarter profit forecast as it faces stiff competition from Amazon while the total crypto market cap aims for $2.4 trillion.

eBay Inc. is looking at new payment options for its customers, and that includes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, said chief executive officer Jamie Lannone in an interview with CNBC on Monday.

“We are always looking at the most relevant forms of payment and will continue to assess that going forward. We have no immediate plans, but it (cryptocurrency) is something we are keeping an eye on,” eBay said in a statement.

Last week, eBay reported a weak second-quarter profit forecast as it faces stiff competition from Amazon. The shares of eBay (EBAY) recorded a 2.4% increase today, which has been down 14% from mid-April.

The eCommerce firm further explores a “number of ways” to get involved in non-fungible tokens (NFTs), Lannone said.

“We’re exploring opportunities on how we can enable it (NFTs) on eBay in an easy way,” Lannone said on Reuters. “Everything that’s collectible has been on eBay for decades and will continue to be for the next few decades.”

NFTs exploded in popularity this year, and last month they were starting to lose traction with prices of digital art and volume dropping, but they seem to be making their comeback now.

“The bubble isn’t crypto, the bubble is everyone else realizing holy shit crypto is here to stay wtf can we do to get in on it,” noted popular trader Loomdart, who is also an advisor to eGirl Capital. It is also a “great” way to onboard new people, he added.

Already many companies are accepting Bitcoin as a payment option, such as Tesla. Both Visa and Mastercard have also taken steps towards integrating crypto in their payment systems.

Payments giant PayPal has already integrated crypto into its system by allowing its users to buy, sell, and hold crypto along with a crypto checkout service. PayPal-owned Venmo also introduced a crypto feature on its app last month.

“Demand on the crypto side has been multiple-fold to what we initially expected,” stated PayPal CEO Dan Schulman.

Amidst this, Digital Currency Group (DCG), the parent company of Grayscale, announced that they are going to purchase up to $750 million worth of GBTC, 3x the original $250 million they were planning to buy.

As of April 30, 2021, DCG has purchased $193.5 million worth of shares of GBTC, it said in a statement.

The market is currently euphoric, with Bitcoin near $58,000, Ether constantly making new highs hitting $3,300 today, and the total crypto market cap set to hit $2.4 trillion.

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Author: AnTy

Retail Investing Behemoth Is ‘Closely’ Looking at Crypto Market; Awaiting ‘More Regulatory Clarity’

Retail Investing Behemoth Is ‘Closely’ Looking at Crypto Market; Awaiting ‘More Regulatory Clarity’

Operating nearly 32 million brokerage accounts with over $7 trillion in client assets, Charles Schwab says they will be highly competitive and disruptive when that comes.

Charles Schwab is looking “closely” and “cautiously” at the cryptocurrency market, said the head of the brokerage on Thursday, adding that they are awaiting more guidance from regulators before offering crypto capabilities on its platform.

It has been exploring the launch of crypto brokerage since last month, and as we reported, it has been seeking a compliance director for its futures and forex team that involves crypto aspects.

“We would like to see more regulatory clarity,” Schwab Chief Executive Officer Walt Bettinger said on a call with analysts.

“And if and when that comes, you should expect Schwab to be a player in that space in the same way it has been a player in other investment opportunities across the spectrum.”

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has yet to provide any clear rules and regulations regarding digital assets, but with crypto-friendly Gary Gensler being the new chairman, “guidance and clarity” is expected soon.

One of the largest retail brokerages and retirement account providers in the industry, Charles Schwab added a record 3.2 million new clients in the first quarter of 2021, more new accounts than the entire 2020.

The company said it now operates nearly 32 million brokerage accounts and has more than $7 trillion in client assets.

The retail investing behemoth also said it is closely watching for any new developments on the regulator front regarding whether they allow a crypto-based investment-oriented product like an exchange-traded fund (ETF). “We recognize a bit, I’d say, well, what’s going on,” Bettinger said.

“If Charles Schwab, the company, decides to participate in the crypto market, we will be highly competitive, we will be disruptive, and we will be client-oriented.”

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Author: AnTy

Miami-Dade County Task Force Is Looking at Ways for Residence to Pay Taxes Using Crypto

Miami-Dade County Task Force Is Looking at Ways for Residence to Pay Taxes Using Crypto

Florida-based county launches crypto task force to explore the possibility of paying state taxes using Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

In a letter first made public by Miami New Times, Miami-Dade County commissioner Cohen Higgins brought up a resolution to set up a crypto task force that will investigate the possibility of paying state taxes and service fees using cryptocurrencies. The resolution was presented to the Miami-Dade’s Infrastructure, Operations, and Innovations Committee to establish a 13-member team.

The task force aims to find feasible ways residents could pay for their taxes and other county fees using cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC). The letter further lined out the membership, organization, procedures, establishment, and task force functions.

BTC -2.76% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 61,606.31
-$1,700.33-2.76%
Volume 83.8 b Change -$1,700.33 Open $61,606.31 Circulating 18.68 m Market Cap 1.15 t
4 h Miami-Dade County Task Force Is Looking at Ways for Residence to Pay Taxes Using Crypto 4 h UK Hedge Fund Brevan Howard Plans to Invest 1.6% of $5.6B Capital in Cryptocurrencies 5 h Canada Launches First Inverse Bitcoin ETF to Short BTC Futures Without A Margin Account
ETH -3.62% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 2,440.76
-$88.36-3.62%
Volume 36.12 b Change -$88.36 Open $2,440.76 Circulating 115.5 m Market Cap 281.9 b
4 h Miami-Dade County Task Force Is Looking at Ways for Residence to Pay Taxes Using Crypto 4 h UK Hedge Fund Brevan Howard Plans to Invest 1.6% of $5.6B Capital in Cryptocurrencies 8 h Crypto Lender Celsius Suffers Data Breach Through Third-Party Mailing List
LTC 7.78% Litecoin / USD LTCUSD $ 312.13
$24.287.78%
Volume 11.86 b Change $24.28 Open $312.13 Circulating 66.75 m Market Cap 20.84 b
4 h Miami-Dade County Task Force Is Looking at Ways for Residence to Pay Taxes Using Crypto 1 d Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC) Is Fast Approaching World’s Largest Commodity ETF, GLD with $57B AUM 3 d CoinShares is Launching an XRP ETP (XRPL) as the Digital Asset Nears $2

The commissioner called on the committee to embrace cryptocurrencies, and they “have reached a point that merits evaluation” in order not to miss “potential opportunities such as efficiency and cost-saving.”

The committee passed the letter on Thursday noon but still awaits the final committee decision by the full county commission.

The Miami-Dade County has recently caught several eyes in the crypto circles with a multi-million deal being struck with FTX crypto exchange. The exchange became the first crypto entity to sponsor a major professional sports venue as Miami Heat grounds switched from AmericanAirlines Arena to FTX Arena.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has also been at the forefront to enact Bitcoin-friendly laws in the city and has urged other administrators to follow suit. He announced a new CTO role in his management, a position that will overlook the city’s growth as a fintech hub and boost “Big Tech” companies relocating to Miami. He also previously stated Miami’s plans to add Bitcoin to its balance sheet.

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Author: Lujan Odera

The Times Is Looking to Hire A CFO Who Has “Comfort with Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency”

The Times Is Looking to Hire A CFO Who Has “Comfort with Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency”

Media company Times is hiring for a crypto-friendly Chief Finance Officer, per its LinkedIn post.

With a focus on building a “better future” in the current environment where the media industry is undergoing rapid evolution, one of the requirements for the CFO is to have a “Comfort with Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies” to guide Times’ transformation.

As we have been seeing, ever since MicroStrategy put Bitcoin on its balance sheet in the second half of last year, corporations like Tesla and Square, among many other smaller ones, have jumped on this trend to protect their funds against fiat debasement.

It is possible that The Times will release a similar announcement of adding the leading cryptocurrency to its Treasury.

Recently, Times interviewed MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, who explained that his mission is “to fix the balance sheets of the world.”

In December 2018, Times featured Bitcoin proponent and Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation, Alex Gladstein’s “Why Bitcoin Matters for Freedom.”

Responsible for the company’s investments, budgeting, and financial reporting to drive their financial strategy and growth trajectory, proactively research economic trends, monitor performance and compliance with global, federal, state, and local financial requirements, the candidate is further required to have 7+ years experience besides being crypto-friendly.

The candidate also needs to have a proven record of success managing a central finance function, skills to drive disciplined planning and forecasting, understanding of advanced accounting, regulatory issues, tax planning, and working knowledge of dynamic ways to build a business.

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Author: AnTy

Pantera Capital Is Looking to Launch A New Institutional-Driven Fund Next Month

Pantera Capital Is Looking to Launch A New Institutional-Driven Fund Next Month

  • Pantera Capital CEO Dan Morehead says the billion-dollar crypto fund is working towards launching a new fund aimed at big institutional investors.

In an episode of The Scoop, Dan Morehead, CEO at Pantera Capital, confirmed the company is in the works to launch a new fund. The company currently runs over $1 billion of assets for its customers and is focusing on adding new institutional investment through the new fund, Morehead further said.

Across 2020, institutional funding has spiked in the crypto market, adding an unprecedented $4 billion into Bitcoin hedge funds, during the year. Pantera aims to continue riding on this customer demand wave by targeting heavyweight institutional investors for its new “crypto-focused fund,” which is expected to launch next month.

According to Dan, there has been an influx of institutional investors getting on the crypto act in the past year as Bitcoin spiked to an all-time high price of $42,000. The new fund will offer institutional investors a diversified class of assets rather than a single-asset fund such as Grayscale’s Bitcoin Trust.

“We’re really seeing an inflection point with more coming into the market over the last couple of months,” Morehead said. “We’ve had a ton of inbound calls from endowments and others that are trying to get exposure to the space.”

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Author: Lujan Odera

Is Digital Asset Powerhouse Grayscale Looking to Add LINK, XTZ, FIL, BAT, & MANA Trusts?

Is Digital Asset Powerhouse Grayscale Looking to Add LINK, XTZ, FIL, BAT, & MANA Trusts?

Is Grayscale setting up to create a series of new digital asset trusts? The question arises after new filings were discovered via the State of Delaware’s Division of Corporations where someone set up a Grayscale ChainLink Trust dated to Dec 18th, 2020.

Adding more credence to a new push for digital asset trusts came on the same day when a further four trusts were created for Basic Attention Token (BAT), Decentraland (MANA), LivePeer (LPT), and Tezos (XTZ).

What lends more validity to speculation that this is the start of an official move by Grayscale is its working relationship with the Delaware Trust Company. In the past, Grayscale filed its Bitcoin Trust through the same entity in 2013 and is currently listed on their website as a service provider.

On the other hand, Grayscale is not the one listed as the agent on these trusts; instead, ‘Delaware Trust Company’ is the one listed. Those looking on with enthusiasm should also be aware that the attrition rate associated with trusts make them far from a sure thing. In October 2020, for example, a Filecoin Trust (FIL) was introduced, with very little in the way of developments from it since. Grayscale also filed a trust for Stellar Lumen (XLM) back in October 2018 but was made public within six weeks.

Trust Uncertainty – Shake-ups at Grayscale

A change in leadership at Grayscale may also throw all 5 of these trusts into uncertainty. A few weeks after these trusts were put forward, Founder & CEO of Grayscale, Barry Silbert, announced that he would be stepping down and was later replaced with Michael Sonnenshein. It’s uncertain whether his successor will stay the course with Silbert’s exit or take the company down his path.

Regardless of the speculation surrounding these five trusts, advocates for ChainLink (LINK) didn’t hesitate in taking to social media to express their support of Grayscale. Over the last few months, Chainlink has managed to surpass the likes of altcoins like Bitcoin Cash (BCH), making the former the eighth largest cryptocurrency valued at over $9bn.

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Author: James Fox

IGT Gets Regulatory Approval to Use Bitcoin & Crypto’s at Slot Machines

The world’s largest slot machines’ maker, International Game Technology Plc, is looking at offering cryptocurrency as a payment option on its casino games like Wheel of Fortune and Megabucks.

It has been only last year that the Nevada Gaming Commission made it easier for casinos to introduce cashless systems and now IGT has gained regulatory approval for using cashless wallets on slot machines.

The company received a patent this week for the means to transfer crypto between a player’s account on the gaming-establishment and an external crypto account, reported Bloomberg.

This would allow players to move BTC and other crypto assets into their digital wallets on a slot machine through their phones. Company spokesman Phil O’Shaughnessy said,

“IGT secured this patent to bolster its industry-leading patent portfolio in anticipation of any possible future direction in regulated gaming involving cryptocurrency.”

Going the crypto route certainly makes sense especially to attract the younger gamblers. According to IGT, a third of guests at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas are between the ages of 21 and 40.

Now that Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other altcoins prices have started rallying like crazy, everyone wants a taste of cryptocurrencies.

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Author: AnTy

New Report Traces Origin of Extensive Celebrity Bitcoin Scams to Eastern Europe

Bitcoin scam ads appear to be growing as hackers are looking to capitalize on the asset’s rally.

In a recent investigation, authorities appear to have traced a Bitcoin ad-based scam operation to addresses in Russia.

Russia or Ukraine

Last weekend, The Guardian Australia reported on a significant Bitcoin ad scheme operating for about two years. The scammers use images of several famous people without their consent in articles promoting fraudulent crypto investment schemes. Many of these schemes promise vast returns on activities ranging from crypto investment to mining, hoping to catch unsuspecting victims.

The Guardian had traced five people who reportedly registered hundreds of fake websites related to the scam. All five have addresses in central Moscow, and the news source added that it had submitted the Email addresses for two of the suspects to Google.

The Guardian also reported that the scam could have also originated from Ukraine. It referenced a March 2020 report from the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), which discovered a call center in Kyiv that ran ads for similar Bitcoins scams.

Keeping the Lawyers Happy

The investigation into the case appears to have been self-preservatory. The company fell into troubled waters with Australian millionaire Dick Smith after his identity was used in an ad campaign to promote fraudulent crypto schemes on The Guardian.

As The Australian reported in October, Smith, who runs an electronics retail store named after himself, threatened to sue The Guardian Australia for defamation. While the ads themselves didn’t feature cryptocurrencies, they linked to fake interviews featuring successful individuals like Smith.

In these interviews, Smith reportedly boasts about making significant gains in his crypto investments. Many of the interviews also reportedly featured attractive headlines like “Get rich in a few days” and “How to make money easy.”

Smith’s lawyer, Mark O’Brien, said at the time that the business mogul was focused on ensuring that the scams come to a permanent end.

“While we acknowledge that The Guardian Australia does take the fraudulent advertisements down once notified, that does not prevent [its] Australian readers from falling victim to this prolific cryptocurrency scam.”

Hoping to avoid any legal case, the news medium appeared to have gone on an investigation spree of its own. Investigations from Google should help bring more clarity to the issue, and the news source will hope to bring the scammers to justice sooner rather than later.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Thailand Excise Dept to Adopt Blockchain In 2021; Boosting Collection Efficiency

Blockchain technology sees significant increases in adoption, particularly from companies looking to leverage it and streamline their operations. Beyond companies, there has also been an increase in government blockchain applications. In Thailand, the official tax agency is hopping on the trend.

Streamlined Operations to Benefit the Bottom Line

The Thai Excise Department plans to use the blockchain to improve its revenue collection capabilities, the Bangkok Post reports.

Per the report, the move became necessary following the agency’s resolve to work on its tax collection modalities rather than increase taxes in a downturn.

Lavaron Sangsnit, the agency’s Director-General, says the agency could use the technology to assess tax liability for imported products and assess other government agencies’ revenue collection. Like other countries in Asia, Thailand is expecting a drop in income due to the impact of COVID-19.

The government projects a drop in tax revenues for 2020, with 530billion baht ($17.5 billion) expected to come in for the fiscal year. This marks a 3.3 percent reduction from the 548 billion baht ($18 billion) that it got last year. Looking to streamline operations and improve collection efficiency, the Department will now move into blockchain.

This isn’t the agency’s first foray into blockchain. Last year, the department developed a new, blockchain-based tax refund method for oil exporters. At the time, former Director-General Patchara Anuntasilpa said the system was one of the three changes that the agency planned to incorporate in the near future.

Patchara highlighted that the future tax refund system would require oil exporters to pay excise taxes and only claim refunds after they had shipped their products. With blockchain, the Excise Department would be better suited to inspect tax payments and shipping processes.

The Director-General added at the time that the Department was also working on using blockchain for the distribution of playing card licenses and annual fee payments for liquor and tobacco.

Collaborating With Other Departments

Now, with countries looking to get back on their feet following the coronavirus, Thailand is also making changes to its entire tax system. Going into the 2021 fiscal year, the Revenue and Customs departments are also expected to incorporate blockchain for their operations. The Director-General added that the technology could help thoroughly assess each government department’s revenue collection, integrating all that data into a single database.

Thailand is one of the most blockchain-friendly countries globally, with the technology seeing rapid adoption in both the private and public sectors. With banks focusing on improving cross-border payments and the government using the technology to streamline revenue collection, the Southeast Asian country is taking payment efficiency more seriously.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

Fidelity On A Hiring Spree to ‘Capitalize On Increased Market Demand’ For Digital Assets

Amidst the ongoing market frenzy, Fidelity Digital Assets is looking to hire more than twenty engineers to help them expand its capabilities and “capitalize on increased market demand,” basically to build the “future of finance.”

One of the largest asset managers in the world with $3.3 trillion in assets under management, Fidelity investments first started researching digital assets and blockchain in 2014, and then in 2018, they launched Fidelity Digital Assets. FDA was the companies,

“First step towards a long‐term vision to create a full‐service platform for storing, trading, and supporting digital assets.”

In the past two years, the digital assets market has grown “exponentially,” with more institutions adopting them as part of their portfolios.

So, in this changing landscape, Fidelity wants to improve its bitcoin custody and build new products to support the growing ecosystem. Peter Farland, Chief Technology Officer at Fidelity Digital Assets, said,

“Ultimately, we imagine a future where all types of assets are issued natively on blockchains or represented in a tokenized format.”

The company is hiring engineers with development experience with Bitcoin, Ethereum, and other digital assets for Merrimack, NH, and Boston, MA locations in the US.

The idea is to create secure, interoperable, and scalable products to offer safe and simple investment in Bitcoin and increase digital assets’ overall adoption.

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Author: AnTy