Crypto is the Only Way to Pay for Pornhub After Mastercard & Visa Drops Adult Platform

Last week, Mastercard and Visa announced that they would no longer allow their cards to be used on the popular adult website Pornhub.com. The decision came after the payment processors’ review of the website found unlawful content. Mastercard said in a statement,

“Our investigation over the past several days has confirmed violations of our standards prohibiting unlawful content on their site.”

“We instructed the financial institutions that connect the site to our network to terminate acceptance.”

Both the companies started the investigation after a New York Times column accused Pornhub of videos depicting child abuse and non-consensual violence, which the company said to be untrue.

In response, this week, Pornhub enacted safeguards including banning unverified uploaders from posting new content and eliminated downloads and partnered with non-profit organizations to combat illegal content. The company’s latest update reads,

“It is clear that Pornhub is being targeted not because of our policies and how we compare to our peers, but because we are an adult content platform.”

Regarding Mastercard and Visa severing its ties with the company, Pornhub said the move was “exceptionally disappointing,” adding that it affects hundreds of thousands of models who rely on the platform for their livelihoods.

Now, the website exclusively supports cryptocurrency as it has become the default payment method.

Currently, the supported digital currencies include Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC), Litecoin (LTC), Dash, Monero (XMR), Ripple (XRP), NEM (XEM), Tron (TRX), Tether (USDT), Verge (XVG), Waves, and Zcash (ZEC).

This development is expected to help digital currencies gain further adoption as Nic Carter of Coin Metrics states, “financial infrastructure is already thoroughly politicized, from top to bottom.”

Pornhub attracts 3.5 billion visits a month, which is more than Amazon, Netflix, or Yahoo. Venture capitalist Paul Graham, co-founder of startup accelerator Y Combinator tweeted,

“Possible future scenario: Credit card companies become increasingly picky about who they’ll process transactions for, and this becomes the thing that tips the general public into using cryptocurrency in transactions, ultimately killing credit cards.”

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Author: AnTy

Mastercard And GrainChain Launch Blockchain Food Traceability Platform

Mastercard announced yesterday that it has partnered with agricultural-based blockchain outfit GrainChain to create digital records of commodities. The two firms will harness their resources to create digital records throughout supply chains in the U.S., Mexico, and Central America.

The GrainChain, best known for its blockchain solution that targets the Honduras coffee industry, is backed by Overstock’s Medici Ventures. The service offered by GrainChain enables traceability and settlements in the country where its coffee industry employs 20% of the population.

According to the announcement, the new partnership will use a platform known as Provenance, where users can forensically track the commodities using blockchain technology to authenticate the produce. The idea is to help farmers and brands protect their reputation as well as consumers.

The platform will offer end-to-end visibility for customers

GrainChain marketing director, Tom DeRosa, voiced his satisfaction about the partnership. According to him, “Our partnership with Mastercard is for provenance and traceability.”

He further said the main purpose of the partnership with the card payment giant is to offer reliable end-to-end visibility for customers and the capability to authenticate its origin. GrainChain has chosen Mastercard as an industry-agnostic platform because it has the best technology in the market to scale globally, he reiterated.

Founder and chief executive officer of GrainChain, Luis Macias, also commented on the development, claiming that the collaboration will improve the country’s supply chain and the continent at large.

He further stated no reliable real-time accountability, transparency, and profitability with streamlined global trade. As a result, the country’s retail suppliers are hindered from taking their operations to the next level.

While commenting on the partnership, Vice President of Mastercard’s Innovation and Startup Engagement, Deborah Barta, said the partnership is essential for the digital identity of goods. She said,

“The traceability market is a global industry, and the digital identity of products and goods is even more critical today.”

At first, GrainChain began with Hyperledger Fabric for its blockchain technology. Earlier this year, it switched to Symbionts Assembly to provide a better and more efficient service. GrainChain revealed that the new technology had improved services, and the collaboration with Mastercard will be beneficial for mission-critical use cases in the financial service sector.

GrainChain also revealed its satisfaction and joy with Symbiont’s Assembly and the massive role in the financial services.

Mastercard gets deeply involved in blockchain

On a similar note, with the current level of partnerships between Mastercard and some blockchain-based firms, it seems the card payment giant has finally embraced blockchain and distributed ledger technology. Mastercard has also collaborated with other firms like this in the past. The most recent is its collaboration with Envisible to incorporate Wholechain, Envisible’s food traceability system, into its Provenance platform.

Mastercard has also announced it will soon roll out a central bank digital currency (CBDC) testing platform. With the launch of the platform, it will enable central banks to test roll-out strategies. The card payment giant is also involved in other digital identity solutions projects, which shows its strong support for blockchain technology.

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Author: Ali Raza

Coinbase Now Allows Instant WIthdrawals via Mastercard & Visa Debit Card

San Francisco-based Coinbase is now allowing instant cash withdrawal through Mastercard and Visa debit cards.

“Don’t wait days for your cash when you need it now,” it says.

In a move towards the defining characteristics of crypto, transacting instantly, and anywhere, anytime that is curbed by the traditional banking system, Coinbase is offering instant withdrawals in about 40 countries.

These instant withdrawals will cost US customers a 1.5% fee (minimum $0.55), while for the UK and European customers, it is up to 2%.

Coinbase product manager Eddie Lo shared that customers in the US, UK, and Europe can withdraw funds with a linked Visa debit card with US customers allowed through Mastercard as well.

“The ability to easily spend, send, and receive crypto is critical to growing the cryptoeconomy, so we’ll continue building even more ways for our customers to access and use their crypto on Coinbase,” said Lo.

Using Visa to convert crypto balances into fiat means it can be spent at more than 60 million merchant locations while providing “faster, simpler and more connected experience” for Coinbase users, said Terry Angelos, SVP and global head of fintech, Visa.

Customers have the option to select between standard or instant withdrawal methods.

According to Sherri Haymond, executive vice president, Digital Partnerships at Mastercard, today’s digitally driven consumers want real-time payment options, and Mastercard will help them achieve “greater flexibility and convenience” in converting their cryptocurrency into fiat currency.

Also Read: Coinbase Pro to Pass the Rising Network Fees Onto The Customer

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Author: AnTy

FinTech Firm, Wirex, to Launch A Multi-Currency Mastercard Card With 2% Crypto-Back in Europe

Wirex, the inaugural crypto firm to become a Mastercard principal member, is set to roll on its new multi-currency card days after gaining principal membership.

The crypto payment platform is based in London and is licensed by Uk’s Financial Conduct Authority to offer crypto cards across Europe.

The new multi-currency Wirex Card will be backed by Mastercard and will be connected to 19 crypto as well as fiat currency accounts found in the Wirex app. The firm is however yet to issue the release date.

In efforts to boost the utilization of crypto in everyday payments, the firm is also enhancing its existing cryptoback rewards program that has so far been rewarding crypto users with upto 1.5% back in Bitcoin for every in-store transaction.

Going forward, crypto users will enjoy a 2% cryptoback for both in-store and online transactions. In addition, users will get up to 6% rewards on their native Wirex Token balance per year.

Before releasing the Mastercard backed crypto card, Wirex is also set to release various new features taking advantage of the recent partnership with LHV, a payments solution firm.

Within the European Economic Area, the new features which are now live come with support for five fresh currencies consisting of Hungarian forint, Czech Koruna, Romanian leu, Croatian kuna and Polish złoty.

Wirex has in the recent past enjoyed an increase in support with the platform revealing that it has more than three million users in the start of the year. According to the firm’s CEO, the firm has seen adoption especially among mainstream users that are not usually hardcore crypto worshippers or enthusiasts.

Wirex platform allows users from about 130 nations to use their crypto as well as fiat money via an existing dedicated Visa card as well as mobile app.

Recently, there have been positive signs of integration between plastic money and crypto as both Visa and Mastercard have enhanced their efforts to form working relationships with various established crypt-based companies.

Coinbase card was the inaugural crypto card to be issued in the United States and is backed by both Mastercard and Visa.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Mastercard Launches a Virtual Testing Platform for CBDCs

  • Global payments company Mastercard launched a virtual testing platform for central banks to test out their CBDCs.
  • The technology company invited central banks, commercial banks, techs, and advisory firms to evaluate the suitability of CDBDs through its custom testing platform.

As the Bank for International Settlements survey revealed, a whopping 80% of central banks are engaged in some form of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs). In the race to embrace digital payments, central banks clearly don’t want to lose its control of the monetary policy in issuing and distributing currency while supporting innovation.

Supporting central banks modernizing payments, Mastercard announced this “proprietary virtual testing environment” today where the use cases for the digital fiat currencies could be evaluated.

“Central banks have accelerated their exploration of digital currencies with a variety of objectives, from fostering financial inclusion to modernizing the payments ecosystem,” said Raj Dhamodharan, Executive Vice President, Digital Asset, and Blockchain Products and Partnerships at Mastercard. And with this new platform, the company wants to support that decision.

On this virtual platform, the interested parties can simulate the issuance and distribution of the CBDC along with the exchange ecosystem with banks and customers.

It can be used to demonstrate how CBDC can be used to pay for goods and services anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

The development efforts of the CBDC that includes the technical, design, and security aspect, can also be evaluated while to determine its value and feasibility in the market, use cases and tech designs can be examined as well.

“Mastercard wants to harness its expertise to enable the practical, safe and secure development of digital currencies.”

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Author: AnTy

Mastercard Approves Wirex to Directly Issue Crypto Payment Cards To Its Customers

  • One of the world’s major payments processors, Mastercard, has announced it has approved Wirex to become its maiden crypto firm to provide payment cards to its clients directly.
  • In efforts to expand its crypto program, Mastercard is now encouraging the crypto companies to apply to become its partners.

On Monday, July 20, Mastercard announced that it was seeking to make it easy for crypto card issuers to become its partners through the firm’s Accelerate program. Now, it will take just a few weeks before applicants can be approved as partners, the firm stated.

The Accelerate programs offer partners the requisite support for their market entry, continued development as well as international expansion. The approved partners will be helped to integrate into Mastercard’s technology easily and will be allowed to benefit from the firm’s market research and cybersecurity expertise.

Although the firm is focusing on making it easier for partners to access the Accelerate program, firms wishing to be onboarded must adhere to the company’s “core principles.”

The core principles comprise of ensuring the security and privacy of the users, adherence to the requisite laws and regulations like AML rules as well as coming up with a level playing field for all the stakeholders involved like merchants, financial institutions as well as mobile network operators.

The company’s head of digital assets and blockchain, Raj Dhamodharan, explained that the crypto market is fast maturing and the firm wants to be part of this journey. He said:

“The cryptocurrency market continues to mature, and Mastercard is driving it forward, creating safe and secure experiences for consumers and businesses in today’s digital economy.”

Wirex cardholders will have a chance to instantly convert their crypto assets into different fiat currencies that can be used at a point of sale which accepts Mastercard.

Pavel Matveev, Wirex CEO, praised the partnership, saying that it shows that cryptocurrency is slowly gaining recognition and acceptance by several global bodies as well as regulators. He added that the partnership would allow the firm to reach all corners of the world as Mastercard is a global institution.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

US Senate Threatening Libra Association Members to Quit or Face “High Level of Scrutiny”

Recently, Stripe, Mastercard, Visa, and eBay left Facebook’s cryptocurrency project Libra, taking this exodus tally to 5, when just a week back PayPal left the Libra Association too.

In June, the social media giant unveiled its plan for Libra, announcing its intent to roll out the international digital currency next year. The company said the fiat backed cryptocurrency would be controlled by the Libra Association, a non profit made up of international companies. That group of companies initially started with 28 companies, and is now down to 23 as companies start to face regulatory obstacles. This prompted David Marcus, lead head spokesmen to gain respect for Bitcoin and what it went through as a new crypto-project.

Libra has been already facing extreme regulatory scrutiny all over the world, and now the payment firms have announced their departure.

US Govt. Forcing Companies & CEOs to Dump Libra

However, the decision to quit Libra by the companies seems to be forced by the US government. A letter by the US Senate to Patrick Collison, co-founder and CEO of Stripe has surfaced online where the Senate is talking about its “deep concerns” — risks to consumers, regulated financial institutions, and the global financial system — about Libra and Libra Association.

“We urge you to carefully consider how your companies will manage these risks before proceeding, given that Facebook has not yet demonstrated to Congress, financial regulators—and perhaps not to your companies—that it is taking these risks seriously,”

the letter reads.

It further states that Facebook fails to provide a clear plan for how it will prevent Libra from facilitating criminal terrorist financing, destabilizing the global financial system and interfering with the monetary policy and is deflecting addressing on these risks to the members of the Association.

“You should be concerned that any weaknesses in Facebook’s risk management systems will become weaknesses in your systems that you may not be able to effectively mitigate. These risks are not hypothetical.”

Or Get Ready to Face its Wrath

The US Senate further pointed out how Facebook Messenger contributed to Child sexual abuse photos and videos and warned about the implications of combining encrypted messaging with embedded anonymous global payments via Libra.

“Your companies should be extremely cautious about moving ahead with a project that will foreseeably fuel the growth in global criminal activity.”

The government is outrightly threatening these companies to dump Libra or to

“expect a high level of scrutiny from regulators not only on Libra- related payment activities, but on all payment activities.”

In response to this Gabor Gurback, digital asset strategist/director at VanEck shared his disappointment on Twitter saying,

“Many executives may have chosen not to experiment and innovate in order to avoid regulatory pressure! Sad! America can do better!”

He also had this to add a few days back about the departures of Visa and Mastercard:

Every company that is leaving #Libra is likely, in some ways, forced to do that. It’s unfortunate and I am sorry that capital markets aren’t free. > Now you have a first hand understanding why censorship-resistance is important! > Welcome to #Bitcoin!

And finally, Alan Silbert, former Capital One Vice President wrote:

“No matter what your position is on Libra, it is unacceptable for the government to be sending a letter like this to private companies,”

“}” data-sheets-userformat=”{“2″:13057,”3”:{“1″:0},”11″:3,”12″:0,”15″:”Open Sans”,”16″:11}”>Latest Libra Coin News and Facebook Crypto Updates

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Author: AnTy