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

NBA’s Sacramento Kings to Pay Players and Staff Salary in Bitcoin

The Sacramento Kings is planning to offer a Bitcoin payment option to all of its players and staff. This move will make it the first major sports franchise to do so.

Just late last year, Russell Okung became the first NFL player to receive half of his salary into Bitcoin.

Last month, as we reported, American professional baseball team Oakland A’s President Dave Kaval announced that they are also adopting Bitcoin. Instead of paying its staff and players, they will accept BTC as payment on fans’ demand.

“We are believers in it,” said Kaval at the time, adding that they will be HODLing any BTC they receive.

Now, the basketball team has entered the arena as shared by team chairman Vivek Ranadivé on Clubhouse on Monday.

“I’m going to announce in the next few days that I’m going to offer everyone in the Kings organization, they can get paid as much of their salary in bitcoin as they want, including the players,” reads a tweet about the same.

This, however, isn’t Kings’ first foray into crypto, as they have been involved with cryptocurrencies since 2014 when they started selling their tickets for BTC through its partnership with BitPay. In 2019, they also launched reward tokens for their fans.

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Author: AnTy

Ray Dalio: Bitcoin Is A ‘Long-Duration Option On A Highly Unknown Future’

Ray Dalio: Bitcoin Is A ‘Long-Duration Option On A Highly Unknown Future,’ But Ticks Regulation & Lack Of Privacy Risks

Bridgewater Associates founder called Bitcoin “one hell of an invention,” which the firm considers an investment for new funds in line with “cash is trash.”

Bridgewater Associates founder Ray Dalio has finally completed his journey from being negative on Bitcoin to neutral and now turning positive.

In his note to clients this week, which was later posted on Bridgewaters’ website, Dalio called Bitcoin “one hell of an invention.” He is also considering cryptocurrencies as investments for new funds that will offer protection against the debasement of fiat money in line with his “cash is trash.” Dalio wrote,

“To have invented a new type of money via a system that is programmed into a computer and that has worked for around 10 years and is rapidly gaining popularity as both a type of money and a storehold of wealth is an amazing accomplishment,”

“There aren’t many alternative gold-like assets at this time of rising need for them.”

Basically, there is a growing need for money or storehold of wealth assets that are limited in supply… that can be privately held, he further said.

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While Bitcoin can “disrupt the existing monetary system” and make investors “very rich,” it has its risks in terms of being vulnerable to being hacked and restricted by governments wanting to control the money supply, he noted. And “the more successful it is the more likely” that the “government would invade the privacy and/or prevent the use of Bitcoin,” which would mean a “plunge” in demand.

In simple words, Bitcoin is a “long-duration option on a highly unknown future,” but keep in mind it can still potentially lose about 80% of its value, he said.

In his Thursday’s note, Ray Dalio said he felt compelled to “clarify what I think of Bitcoin” and cautioned that he is no expert in this.

While he doesn’t explicitly go bullish on Bitcoin, this is a big positive endorsement from Dalio. He says Bitcoin has succeeded in “crossing the line” from a speculative idea to something that is likely to have value.

“Because there aren’t many of these gold-like storehold of wealth assets that can be held in privacy and because the sizes of their markets are relatively small, there exists the possibility that Bitcoin and its competitors can fill that growing need.”

However, besides the risk of supply, as there can always be something better that comes along and displaces Bitcoin, privacy is another issue to Dalio, who says, “it appears that Bitcoin will unlikely be as private as some people surmise.”

Overall, Bridgewater has Bitcoin in its sight as they “intently” focus on finding an “alternative storehold of wealth assets.”

Bridgewater is also looking to “soon offer an alt-cash fund and a storehold of wealth fund in order to better deal with the devaluation of money and credit that we consider to be a major risk and opportunity, and Bitcoin won’t escape our scrutiny,” he wrote.

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Author: AnTy

Sequoia Offers Employees an Option to Receive a Portion of Salary in BTC, ETH, & BCH

Sequoia Offers Employees an Option to Receive a Portion of Salary in BTC, ETH, & BCH

Sequoia Holdings is offering its employees the option to receive a part of their salary in cryptocurrencies.

Under the new program, employees can elect to defer a portion of their salary into Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), or Ethereum (ETH), said the software development services provider.

To provide this service, Sequoia is partnering with a third-party payroll processing firm. The mechanism is similar to the way employees defer a portion of their salary toward a 401(k) retirement savings plan, but in this case, the deferral is after tax.

“We’re excited to offer the members of our team this new benefit,” said T. Richard Stroupe, Jr., co-founder, and CEO of Sequoia. “Many of our employees are enthusiastic supporters of cryptocurrency, and we’re happy to help them gain exposure to this trillion-dollar asset class.”

Earlier this month, the leading cryptocurrency hit a record high of $42,000, rallying more than 1,000% from March’s low. This surge has been powered by renewed interest from retail investors and increased demand from institutions and corporate.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Options Exchange, Deribit, Mandates ID Verification for All Users Before the Years End

The largest cryptocurrency option exchange in trading volumes, Deribit, will start mandatory government ID verification to maintain KYC/AML compliance rules.

Panama-based cryptocurrency options exchange, Deribit, requires all users on the platform to be ID verified by the end of the year. As per the official Deribit Twitter, it was confirmed that the tier verification model on the platform would be abolished for a blanket ID verification process for all users on the platform.

This follows a recent announcement by rival and troubled exchange, BitMEX, who will start ID verification on their platform. Both derivative exchanges will require new users and current ones to submit a copy of government ID verification, including passports, driver’s licenses, or legitimate and valid identification documents.

As the world of cryptocurrencies embraces the FATF “Travel Rule,” more entities are expected to join the bandwagon – tougher KYC/AML compliance being implemented. The official Twitter account said,

“New clients will be required to adhere to these market standard conditions in order to be able to open an account.”

“Existing clients will get one month from that date to become verified and upload both required documents (if not already). A formal announcement will follow soon including final timing.”

The new changes replace the old tiered system that allowed users to deposit and withdraw up to 1 BTC (~$13,000) from Deribit exchange without any KYC verification or ID requirements. All users on the derivatives exchange will be forced to verify their ID before trading or withdrawing any amount.

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Author: Lujan Odera

eToro to Offer Crypto Cards in the UK After Acquiring Visa Principal Member, Marq Millions

eToro, a popular commodity trading app with the option to trade traditional stocks as well as digital assets, is all set to launch its debit card for U.K. customers. Etoro’s decision to launch its debit card might be influenced by its recent acquisition of principal VISA member Marq Millions Ltd, which also posses an e-money business holding license.

The news broke on July 29, but the fiscal details of the acquisition were not revealed. The firm would now offer its debit card as eToro Money. However, the Marq Millions Ltd management team would work with the eToro Money.

The date for the launch of the debit card has not been revealed yet, however, the debit cards would be first made available to the club members in the United Kingdom.

After the launch of a debit card for U.K. club members, the services would be expanded to Europe and later to even non-eToro members. Apart from acquiring the prime Visa membership, eToro would also inherit EMI License permission from the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority as well.

How would eToro’s Debit Card Works?

eToro’s debit card would facilitate instant cash-in and cash-out services, which could be a big hit among crypto traders to cash out their profits in cash.

Yoni Assia, CEO of eToro, commented on the company’s plan to launch the debit card and also believe that there will be many takers given the firm boasts of 14 million registered users.

There has been a massive surge among crypto service providers to launch crypto debit cards as it makes crypto transactions easier. Many traditional financial firms have shown interest in launching crypto debit cards, and many crypto service providers are also looking to launch a crypto debit card in the near future, which is a clear sign of rising popularity and adoption of cryptocurrencies.

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Author: James W

Kyber Network to Offer Delegated Staking After Katalyst Upgrade through StakeWith.Us

Kyber Network, the decentralized exchange and trading platform, is all set to add a new staking option on its platform in association with Singapore based blockchain infrastructure firm StakeWith.US.

The staking option is slated for inclusion after the scheduled Katalyst network protocol upgrades by the end of June. The new staking services are expected to offer more flexibility and control to the community members in the decision-making process.

Kyber Network Crystal (KNC), is an ERC-20 token which can be staked by its holders along with the voting powers With.US’s staking pool, ATLAS after the scheduled upgrade within 2 months.

Gerrit van Wingerden, CTO and co-founder of crypto asset management firm Caspian. lauded the partnership between the two firms and called it a step in the right direction. He explained:

“This seems like a logical tie-up and would allow KNC token holders who are either too busy or don’t feel comfortable enough to vote on KyberDAO initiatives to delegate their votes to an informed third party and still receive voting rewards.”

How the Upcoming Network Upgrade Helps Traders

The upcoming Katalyst network protocol upgrade would allow traders and KNC token holders to vote on important protocol upgrades and they would be awarded in Ether from the network fees.

This will also make it the only protocol with deflationary staking token where the traders would be paid out in ETH based on the number of KNC tokens they have staked. Kyber also noted that token burns and rewards would be determined by the growth of the DeFi ecosystem.

David Freuden, a DAO enthusiast commented on the proposed upgrade and added staking option saying:

“It’s interesting to see staking providers, such as StakeWithUs, working closer with DAOs. The collaboration will lead to a healthy debate around governance and proxy smart contracts. Staking providers can also access a broader and potentially larger network of staking participants which will increase the size of deployable pooled funds.”

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Author: Silvia A

ICE-backed Bakkt Rolls Out ‘Limited Beta’ As a Starbucks Payment Option To Mobile Users

Some of the Starbucks mobile app will now have the option of using Bakkt Cash as payment, seeing the limited beta period for this method has started.

The news comes as the Bitcoin (BTCP) derivatives provider is pivoting towards consumer-facing services and after it made the announcement of a $300 million funding round. Here’s what a Starbucks spokesperson said about the partnership with Bakkt:

“We are currently conducting a limited test for our customers, using the Bakkt payment method. Customers can see Bakkt as an option but the test is only available at this time.”

Starbucks, a Strategic Launch Partner for the Bakkt Digital Wallet

In a statement released earlier, Starbucks said it happens to be a strategic launch partner for the dollar denominated Bakkt digital wallet. Here’s what the coffee giant had to add on the matter:

“We anticipate that a range of cryptocurrencies will gain traction with customers and, through our work with Bakkt, we will be uniquely positioned to constantly consider and offer customers new and unique ways to pay seamlessly, at Starbucks.”

Adam White, the President of Bakkt said this on Twitter about the integration:

Bakkt Didn’t Make Any Official Statement about the Partnership

While an official statement about the partnership with Starbucks wasn’t made by Bakkt, on Monday, the company published a blog post in which it describes how it wants to put Bitcoin (BTC) and loyalty points into the same place. Discussions about an offer of crypto payments and loyalty point programs have been happening since February to say the least, when Bakkt made a move to buy Bridge2, the loyalty solutions provider. Here’s what the company’s blog post reads exactly:

“At Bakkt, we take a broad view of digital assets. Whether it’s miles from your favorite airline, loyalty points from the local grocery store, or bitcoin you’ve purchased, the Bakkt app enables you to aggregate all of these assets into a single digital wallet.”

Since the coronavirus threat is continuing to grow in the US, the coffee behemoth Starbucks is applying the take-out only business model.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Japanese Financial Services Giant SBI Holdings To Give XRP As Shareholders Benefit

SBI Holdings, the crypto-friendly financial institution, is set to provide its shareholders with an option of receiving their benefits in form of XRP.

On Friday, SBI Holding announced that shareholders will have the option of receiving their benefits in XRP as well as any other product provided by its SBI Alapromo, a subsidiary of the company that deals with cosmetics and health food.

According to the new scheme, fresh shareholders who are not one year old in the firm’s registry will have the option of receiving XRP worth 2,000 yen (about $18). Additionally, shareholders who have held the company’s stock for more than one year can receive XRP worth 8,000 yen or $73.50.

Alapromo also provides alternatives to the shareholders where they can receive health supplements, cosmetics as well as brown rice powder. All the shareholders will have the advantage of a 50% discount on all the cosmetics and supplements produced by the subsidiary.

SBI also gave out conditions on those who would prefer to get their benefits as XRP. the shareholders must be Japanese residents and own an account with VC Trade, SBI owned crypto exchange. VC Trade was started in 2018 boasting as the maiden crypto exchange supported by a major global bank.

SBI Holdings has been a key supporter for the mainstream adoption of crypto as well as usage of blockchain to offer business solutions. Apart from the crypto exchange platform, SBI also has a crypto mining firm which is reportedly developing arguably the global’s largest Bitcoin mining farm in Texas.

SBI Holdings has also teamed up with Ripple to form a joint blockchain venture that is actively developing XRP. the two firms have also come up with Money Tap which allows people to easily transfer money. The project has seen endorsement from various Japanese banks.

SBI Holdings has previously offered its shareholders an option to receive their benefits in XRM. last year in August, MorningStar Japan, an SBI subsidiary, gave out its dividends using XRP.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Bakkt Bitcoin Options Trading Slumps In Last 10 Days With Zero Activity

Trading activity in the Bakkt BTC option market seems to have been at a standstill in the past 10 days as no transactions have been recorded. The exchange’s option trading based on Bitcoin future prices dropped significantly despite a strong start in the first two weeks of 2020.

Bakkt’s business model was quite promising given the cutting edge as physical trade of Bitcoin for settlements within its ecosystem. This has however, yet to yield the speculated level of activity especially in trading Bitcoin futures and options. As it stands, around 63% of the transactions within this network are BTC backed.

Earlier in Jan. 2020, Bakkt’s trading volumes in futures and options were on an uptrend with the former hitting a high of $40.8 million during the first week. The BTC futures were more actively traded than the options and are currently at $20 million as of yesterday; Bitcoin Options traded on the other hand have been at the zero-mark for the past 10 days;

Bakkt’s 1,500% Spike in Physical Bitcoins Delivered

This BTC oriented exchange saw the number of physical coins delivered to them increase by over 1500% over the course of January. Some analysts attributed the spike in volume to Bitcoin’s speculative nature which in turn correlates with the amount of activity in crypto exchanges. The leading digital currency has been on an uptrend to hit the $9,000 mark; this may have contributed to Bakkt’s physical BTC spike.

In addition, interest on unsettled future contracts grew by 14% to stand at $6.17 million. The exchange plans to roll out an alternative to settle BTC transactions through cash; they hope to edge out peers like CME who already have this convenience within their ecosystem. Stakeholders are also optimistic that the Bakkt BTC derivative volumes will pick up as we approach the May 2020 halving.

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Author: Lujan Odera