Luno Crypto Exchange Launches Bitcoin Savings Wallet With a 4% Annual Interest Rate

Luno cryptocurrency exchange app is now offering a ‘savings wallet’ that will allow its users to earn up to 4% in annual interest on BTC held. The exchange, which was recently acquired by popular blockchain investment firm, Digital Currency Group, is looking to tap into its 5 million user base by offering better rates than most traditional banks worldwide.

According to research conducted by Luno, 54% of its clientele earn zero percent interest on their cash deposits with local banks. The analysis also revealed, and it’s no surprise, that 95% of Luno users would like to earn interest on their crypto deposits.

The firm has since embarked on offering its new Bitcoin Savings wallet, which will pay out interest every month. Notably, this service carries no fees or fixed terms; users can withdraw their funds at any time. Luno Co-founder and CEO Marcus Swanepoel said that,

“In a time of economic uncertainty, the Bitcoin Savings Wallet is a safe alternative for anyone looking to make meaningful savings on their money.”

He highlighted that this milestone comes when the global community could benefit from investing in a ‘currency’ that is not correlated to an unhealthy economy. Luno, a U.K domiciled company, is currently available in Europe but does not serve the U.S market despite its burgeoning prospects.

The new Bitcoin savings feature by Luno coincides with the recent developments in Decentralized Finance (DeFi), where traditional financial products are now integrated with decentralized protocols. These innovations have been on the rise as speculators and fundamentalists invest in building this ecosystem. Nonetheless, it has presented some challenges, especially with scammers taking advantage of unsuspecting investors.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Decentralized Storage Network Filecoin to Launch Mainnet on Oct 15th; Raised $200M In 2017

Three years following its successful initial coin offering (ICO) approximated at $205M, Filecoin has finally confirmed that its long awaited mainnet launch is set for mid next month.

In a blog post from the team, the decentralized storage platform stated that the mainnet will be rolled out on Oct.15. The firm also revealed that the network will go live at block 148,888.

The platform is designed as a blockchain rival to Amazon Web Service as well as Cloudflare. The platform conducted one of the most successful ICO’s in history raising $205 million.

Dubbed decentralized dropbox, Filecoin is seeking to end the overreliance on the third-party hosting services used by companies such as Microsoft or Amazon. This will be advantageous to users as their content will not be monitored, like is the case with Dropbox, all information within the Filecoin platform will be encrypted making monitoring impossible.

The upcoming launch will end speculation in regards to years of delay. The firm had forecasted that its testnet would be launched by the end of 2018 while the mainnet was set to go live by 2019. The team then revised its estimation saying that the testnet was to be launched in the spring of last year while the mainnet would be launched by end of last year.

Filecoin was finally able to release its testnet in December last year. At that moment, the firm explained that the mainnet was set to be launched in March this year. Now, almost an year after the launching of the testnet, the firm has announced the mainnet will be launched mid next month.

All signs show that Filecoin is set to meet the expectations. On Aug. 24, the team released an incentivized testnet which is a sign that the platform is at the final stages of its design and development.

However, the team is facing challenges as an infuriated group of miners as well as venture capitalists in China are threatening to fork the platform before it can be officially launched. The group are of the view that they might be underpaid if the mainnet goes live. Protocol Labs, the firm behind Filecoin, had earlier released a paper stating that about 80% of miners could be rendered unprofitable.

Read Original/a>
Author: Joseph Kibe

Crypto Community Bashes First-Ever STO IPO Advisors for Shilling INX

The first-ever Security Token Offering (STO) held its IPO for 130 million INX tokens on Tuesday following approval from the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Ethereum-based token was for sale at a price of $0.9 per token.

The IPO came about a year after the project issued its preliminary prospectus, which could become the largest IPO to date in the crypto industry if it manages to raise its targeted $117 million (originally targeted $130M).

A startup with 14 employees has Israeli consulting firm A-Labs Finance and Advisory as its underwriting for public offering. A-Labs’ owner Doron Cohen is the founding partner of INX.

They were founded in 2017 by Shy Datika, the controlling shareholder (31%) and president of INX and Cohen, who, along with Triple-V, owns a 10% share of the company.

But the real event hasn’t been about the INX being the first STO, but the advisors of the project and in the middle of it is Casa’s Jameson Lopp, who received backlash from the crypto community for shilling a “shitcoin.”

“It enables non-accredited investors to get exposure to crypto exchange cash flows. It’s kind of like BNB except regulatory compliant,” is how Lopp explained the project.

Lopp is actually eligible to purchase 25,000 tokens at $0.01 per piece, which is 98.8% lower than the price it is currently available for the public.

“Don’t conflate permissionless altcoins that try to compete with bitcoin to this, a regulated security token for a specific company,” said Lopp who finds it “interesting because historically the most profitable businesses in the crypto ecosystem are exchanges,” and “this is a very different beast.”

200 million INX tokens have already been minted, out of which 35 million are reserved for the management, employees, early investors, and advisors. Another 35 million have been put into a reserve fund for acquisitions and other operational expenses.

Token holders are entitled to 40% of the adjusted operating cash flow, which is so far negative $4 million and advisors are set to make $225,000.

Bitcoin core developer and founder of Bloq argued that maximalists had made a U-turn as they advertise their Ethereum token sale after calling everything on Ethereum a scam.

Blockstream CSO, Samson Mow, who is also one of the advisors and eligible to buy up to 100k of INX’s at $0.01 per token said he first invested in 2018 and that “the plan is for the INX security token to be issued on Liquid via Liquid Securities, however that will take time and approval from regulators.”

The exchange is estimated to launch in Q1 2021 with listings and the token trading in Q2 of next year.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

INX To Launch A $117M Security Token IPO; Will Use Funds to Develop Its Crypto Exchange

INX, a Gibraltar-based crypto exchange, would finally conduct the Initial Public Offering (IPO) on August 24 for its SEC-registered hybrid token.

The exchange aims to sell its hybrid token at $0.90 apiece ad raise nearly $111 million from the sale of 133 million tokens. The IPO would also be a first of its kind, given it is the first security offering registered with the US Security and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Before the current offering, almost all STOs only filed notices to the regulators and were mostly unregistered, which kept away institutional investors for fear of scams. The INX exchange’s upcoming IPO took almost two years.

The INX token is being called a hybrid because it would act like a utility and security token, where INX holders can utilize it for different operations on the exchange like paying the transaction fee, and the token would also double down as a form of the company share.

The firm revealed that the proceeds from the IPO would be utilized for INX’s regulated exchange INX Trading Solutions, a $62 million cash fund would also be kept separate for maintaining the platform in case of data breaches, trading execution errors or counterparty defaults.

The court filings submitted by INX exchange also revealed that President Shy Datika currently holds 7.25 of the total supply, which is around 9.4 million INX tokens.

Apart from the president, Doren Cohen, a CEO of the brokerage firm who is assisting the exchange conducting the IPO, i.e., A-Labs also holds around 4.55 million INX tokens and 9 of the ten companies on the advisory board would receive approximately 2 million tokens at a discounted price of $0.01 apiece.

Read Original/a>
Author: James W

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.

Read Original/a>
Author: Edwin Munyui

Increased Demand Leads Swiss State-backed Bank to Offer Bitcoin & Crypto Trading and Custody

A Switzerland-based state-owned bank, Basler Kantonalbank (BKB), will now be offering bitcoin and cryptocurrencies through its subsidiary Bank Cler, reported the local news. The bank spokeswoman, Natalie Waltmann, said,

“We will launch an offer for the trading and custody of digital assets over the next year.”

The bank has already hired crypto expert Alain Kunz, former CEO of Tokensuisse, as its head of digital assets who said:

“Bank Cler is Switzerland’s most digitally savvy bank. Cryptocurrencies are a natural extension of their offer.”

The bank decided to offer crypto trading and custody services because of demand among its younger clientele.

This would make Bank Cler the first government-backed, cantonal bank in Switzerland to enter the cryptocurrency space. Several banks in Switzerland do offer crypto exposure but particularly in the form of certificates, and this bank will further broaden its offerings with both trading and custody.

The crypto space in the country is currently served by crypto banks, including Sygnum and Seba, along with traditional lenders like Vontobel and Falcon.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Wilshire Phoenix Keen to Launch New Bitcoin Commodity Trust Pending SEC Approval

  • Wilshire Phoenix to start offering BTC via a new Bitcoin Trust according to their latest SEC filing. The Trust will be offered to a select clientele with a max average of $2 million or 80000 shares. They haven’t experienced a smooth sailing with SEC as their proposed BTC ETF’s were rejected by SEC on several occasions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has now revealed that Wilshire Phoenix intends to launch a new BTC Commodity Trust. This was according to a filing they made to the SEC’s pending approval.

The Wilshire Phoenix are in the process of applying for rights to offer Bitcoin to a select group of clients. The trust will accept a max proposed average of 80000 shares equivalent to $2 Million. The trust would enable clients who own Bitcoin a cost-efficient mode by mitigating some policies deemed too harsh in place for digital asset markets.

This will pit them against industry heavy weights, Grayscale Investments armed with a $3.6 billion warchest. Affiliates of the Digital Currency Group, have been in operation since 2013 but have since filed an application to convert the trust into an SEC reporting company.

The application further discloses that the primary custodian of the Bitcoin will be the Fidelity Digital Asset Services with cash deposits being held at the UMB Bank. The cash deposits will be FDIC insured with BTC holdings being insured against theft for up to $100million.

The Administrator of the trust will then be tasked with determining the exact value of the trust on daily basis at 4.00 pm Eastern time. This will be worked out by multiplying the amount of Bitcoin held in the reserve against the current BTC price

Their Latest ETF Bid Rejected by The SEC

Notably, Wilshire Phoenix had their latest Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) bid rejected by the SEC in February. In a 76-page dossier the SEC highlights that the main objection to the ETF bid was that they needed to protect the investors from risky markets and potential market manipulation.

However, Commissioner Hester dubbed crypto mom differed with the ruling. She was especially worried that the SEC was sending the wrong message to potential investors opting for friendlier jurisdictions, as it had rejected Wilshire Phoenix’s ETF bids on multiple occasions. They have rejected over 12 Bitcoin ETF applications over the past 2 years.

Latest Bitcoin Price News and Crypto Market Updates

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Crypto Exchange Bitfinex Now Offers Staking on EOS, VSYS, and ATOM; XTZ Coming Soon

One of the largest crypto exchanges, Bitfinex, is ready to begin offering staking services to their customers as a result of high consumer demand for it.

The announcement was made on April 3 and says the staking rewards offered by Bitfinex will be up to 10% per year on crypto assets that use the Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm. Here’s what Paolo Ardoino, the exchange’s CTO, had to comment about the news:

“We’re committed to engaging our existing users and the wider community with new products and innovations. The Bitfinex Staking Rewards Program provides our users with another avenue to increase their holdings on our platform.”

Customer Demand for Staking Has Been High

Ardoino also mentioned that the exchange’s customers asked in very high numbers for staking, the service that allows traders to make passive income on the crypto assets they hold with Bitfinex. Staking here will support 3 cryptocurrencies: Cosmos (ATOM), V-Systems (VSYS) and EOS. It was specified that more stackable tokens are going to be added in the following months and that Tezos (XTZ) will launch in May.

Furthermore, Ardoino talked about the launch of P2P margin trading or lending-related products and derivatives sometimes soon. The promotion of the new staking service includes a competition in which Bitfinex branded apparel can be won.

Passive Income Options Are Now Everywhere

Crypto exchanges are in a fierce competition when it comes to offering their customers opportunities to generate passive income on the crypto assets they’re holding. Back in March, OKEx consolidated its Earn interface for staking, lending and term-deposit services, offering passive income streams for up to 32 crypto assets. OKEx’s director of financial markets, Lennix Lai, said that traditional banking could never offer the opportunity of staking when it comes to generating passive income.

Crypto.com launched on March 23 the Crypto Earn service that offers returns of as much as 12% per year on its platform’s deposited TrustToken stablecoins. Crypto.com’s CMO Sean Rach said the more products that help customers generate passive income with crypto are created, the more the crypto industry gets a chance to compete fairly with banks and traditional banking models.

Read Original/a>
Author: Oana Ularu

Huobi Wallet to Integrate Crypto Lender Cred Allowing Users To Earn Interest

The crypto exchange offering wallet services Huobi has closed a partnership with the decentralized crypto lending company Cred in order to offer user’s interest on their holdings.

The announcement that Huobi Wallet is going to integrate Cred’s borrowing and lending services was made on April 1. Huobi Wallet supports more than 1,000 crypto assets, out of which 8 are stablecoins, in 200 regions and countries. A list with the supported crypto assets for the program wasn’t provided yet, but it was mentioned that Bitcoin (BTC), Universal Dollar (UPUSD) and Ether (ETH) will be included.

Pledged Assets Will Have a Monthly Interest

Cred is based in California and a licensed lender. It was also a founding member for the Universal Protocol Alliance of crypto and blockchain companies. What should also be mentioned about it is that it’s backed by Binance, FBG Capita, Blocktower and Arrington XRP. Its CEO, Dan Schatt, said Cred is very keen to provide its decentralized financial services during so unstable financial times.

Together with Cred, Huobi will offer its users the ability to lend crypto services while receiving a monthly interest, plus the possibility to roll over pledged assets for certain amounts of time. There are no minimum requirements for participation to the program, whereas the interest will be paid in crypto assets and stablecoins. Holders of $150,000 in their wallets will also be able to join a special program and consult with Cred’s Private Client Associates.

Crypto Borrowing and Lending Gaining More Traction

The partnership between Huobi and Cred comes at a time when crypto borrowing and lending are gaining more traction in the crypto industry. Back in January, one of the fastest-developing crypto lender that has a coin loan origination of $4.25 billion, Celsius Network, made the announcement that it will implement compounding interest in the cryptocurrencies being deposited in its wallet. Some other big names in the crypto lending industry are Nexo, BlockFi, SALT Lending and YouHolder.

Read Original/a>
Author: Oana Ularu

Civic’s Hot Wallet to be Backed by $1M Insurance Policy Through Coincover Partnership

The non-custodial and multi-signature wallet Civic Wallet is now offering a $1 million insurance from Coincover.

Established as one of the biggest decentralized identity providers in the crypto industry, Civic Technologies (CVC), is the first non-custodial wallet company offering $1 million protection. At the moment, the wallet is in beta.

FDIC-Like Protection

The CEO and co-founder of Civic, Vinny Lingham, said the protection provided from the company is similar to the one from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). Here are his exact words on this:

“This is the first time that both technical and non-technical users can feel safe about their holdings. Until now, people had to keep their coins in the cold storage, but now they don’t have to worry about it as their holdings are insured up to $1,000,000 just like a bank account with the FDIC.”

In the meantime, David Janczewski, the CEO of Coincover, said he’s not running an insurance company, but one for crypto security and protection.

Advantages of Multi-Signature Wallets and Civic

With Civic Wallet being multi-signature, the user stores 1 key, the custodian BitGo another one and Civic the third one, which will migrate to Coincover soon. This means that in case something happens with Civic, users coins won’t be lost.

Another great thing about it is that legal heirs can recover funds from the wallet, which only works for US residents at the moment but will expand at a global level and support all BitGo’s coins. The coverage offered by Civic is free for now, but Lingham said they may charge accounts with more than $1 million in cryptocurrency a fee.

Civic Wallet has to abide by strict Know Your Customer (KYC) rules by supplying user identification issued by governments and using facial recognition identification technology. Users won’t have to leave the wallet in order to buy crypto and connect bank accounts. The insurance couldn’t have had a better time to arrive, seeing cryptocurrencies held in wallets are growing day by day in numbers.

Users Will Automatically Qualify for the Insurance

The $1 million insurance will be automatically activated, so users won’t have to do anything in order to get it. The coins covered are Bitcoin (BTC), USDC and Ethereum (ETH), which will be stored and bought straight in the app, only with a bank account.

Read Original/a>
Author: Oana Ularu