Traditional Auction House Now Accepts Bitcoin and Ether on ‘Demand from Consumers’

Traditional Auction House Now Accepts Bitcoin and Ether on ‘Demand from Consumers’

Goldin Auctions partnered with crypto exchange Gemini to facilitate crypto payments.

Goldin Auctions, the trading card, and sports memorabilia auction house announced this week that it would now accept cryptocurrency. The traditional auction house hopped on the crypto bandwagon following the success of auction house Christie’s.

“We now accept Bitcoin as payment,” tweeted Goldin Auctions which is known for high-value items.

In a separate tweet, the auction house said, in addition to standard payment and payout methods, they allow the same in both BTC and Ether. This decision is made on “demand from consumers,” said Ross Hoffman, Goldin’s chief executive officer.

“Look, we think a big macro theme that we’re seeing is folks that are hedging,” he told Bloomberg. “One, against inflation, and two, there’s interest in alternative investing.”

Cryptocurrency and sports collectibles, according to him, have “a pretty large overlap.”

They have already accepted two payments in crypto a couple of weeks back, the most notable one for a Jay-Z card that was sold for $103,200.

“It’s pretty amazing how easy the tech is to integrate,” Hoffman says. “We had the idea [to accept crypto] two weeks ago, did the integration, and accepted our first payment in Bitcoin last week.”

This isn’t the first time Goldin has forayed into the blockchain industry. Earlier this year, the auction house partnered with YouTuber Logan Paul to auction a box of Pokemon cards.

Goldin also announced a partnership with crypto exchange Gemini on Tuesday following a $40 million investment in the auction house from The Chernin Group (TCG) and several prominent individuals and firms, including Dwyane Wade, Mark Cuban, Kevin Durant, Mark Wahlberg, and many more.

“We are excited to team up with Goldin Auctions and help them facilitate crypto payments for collectors and sellers on their platform,” said Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini.

Commenting on “some volatility” involved with crypto assets, Hoffman said, “whatever risk there is [will] be offset by the benefit of bringing in more members.”

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Author: AnTy

Visa to Settle Payments in USDC on Ethereum; ‘Major Turning Point in Mainstream Crypto Adoption’

Visa to Settle Payments in USDC over Ethereum; A ‘Major Turning Point in Mainstream Crypto Adoption’

The second-largest stablecoin has added 7 billion to its total supply of almost 11 billion in just the three months of 2021.

Digital payments service provider Visa has announced support for stablecoin USDC as a native currency and settlement system on its network.

The USDC will now be used to settle the transaction with Visa over Ethereum ETH 7.83% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,821.24
Volume 22.76 b Change $142.60 Open $1,821.24 Circulating 115.25 m Market Cap 209.91 b
10 h Decentralized Exchange, Uniswap, Accounts for 80% of The Daily Active DeFi Users 10 h Visa to Settle Payments in USDC over Ethereum; A ‘Major Turning Point in Mainstream Crypto Adoption’ 2 d “We are Believers in Bitcoin,” says Oakland A’s President on Accepting BTC & HODLing it
instead of the legacy banking system.

“We see increasing demand from consumers across the world to be able to access, hold and use digital currencies and we’re seeing demand from our clients to be able to build products that provide that access for consumers.”

Cuy Sheffield Head of Crypto at Visa

This bridge between digital and traditional fiat currencies is made possible with Visa’s pilot program with payment and crypto platform The exchange reported “record-breaking growth” over the last year.

Visa is also working with Anchorage, the first federally chartered digital asset bank, which is its exclusive digital currency settlement partner.

Throughout last year, Visa was working on establishing a pathway for digital currency settlement within its existing treasury infrastructure, a platform that the company says moves billions of dollars each day across thousands of institutions in more than 200 markets and 160 currencies.

All of this will also allow Visa to support central bank digital currencies (CBDC) directly.

The settlement layer for the world

USD Coin (USDC) is a fast-growing stablecoin whose supply has increased 7 billion in just the three months of 2021 to a total supply of almost 11 billion, the second-largest stablecoin after Tether (USDT). Last year, USDC supply went from a mere $521 million to nearly $4 billion.

“This is massive news, and marks a major turning point in mainstream adoption of crypto,” said Jeremy Allaire, co-founder & CEO of Circle, which along with Coinbase, created USD Coin.

The Ether community is excited, calling it “another step on Ethereum’s journey to becoming the settlement layer for the world.”

With this connection to existing global networks, it will “accelerate (USDC’s) adoption as both a store of value and medium of exchange,” said Allaire.

Now any customer who has a USDC in a wallet and a card attached to their wallet can spend their USD-backed crypto at any Visa accepting merchant.

“This is “Over-the-Top” (OTT) money, and a major step in our mission to build a new global economic system on a more open, global, safe and inclusive foundation built on crypto and blockchain tech.”

Jeremy Allaire Co-Founder & CEO of Circle

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Author: AnTy

“We are Believers in Bitcoin,” says Oakland A’s President on Accepting BTC & HODLing it

“We are Believers in Bitcoin,” says Oakland A’s President on Accepting BTC & HODLing it

The MLB team is currently focused on Bitcoin only, but open to other cryptos like Ether and DOGE as well, “if it catches on.”

American professional baseball team Oakland Athletics is now accepting Bitcoin as payment for the tickets.

Talking about this development, Dave Kaval, president of the Oakland A’s, revealed that it has been on the back of the fans’ demand.

“We had heard from our fans that they are interested in paying with crypto, and we have heard it for six or eight months.”

And they decided to put one of their products or suits on sale for Bitcoin, but Kaval said so far, “we have not had a transaction yet.” However, they have had more than 100 inbound inquiries.

“We have until next Thursday to get people on board. I am hopeful we get two or three. There are 10 suites we set aside for this. Hopefully, we get two or three by opening days. We are right at that moment where hopefully it comes through.”

What’s more interesting is that Oakland A’s plans to hold any BTC that they receive; as Kaval said, “we are believers in it.”

This week, Elon Musk also announced that Tesla now accepts Bitcoin, and any BTC received will be held instead of converting into fiat currency.

“Hopefully continues to go up. Maybe we can sign some big free agents with some of the proceeds. Who knows.”

Trading around $54,800, BTC/USD is up 86.5% YTD and has rallied 13.5x from March lows.

So far, the focus is on accepting only Bitcoin BTC 2.47% Bitcoin / USD BTCUSD $ 55,974.94
Volume 47.26 b Change $1,382.58 Open $55,974.94 Circulating 18.67 m Market Cap 1.04 t
11 h “We are Believers in Bitcoin,” says Oakland A’s President on Accepting BTC & HODLing it 1 d ‘Too Much’ Bitcoin Supply Is In Search of Yield Reveals True Inherent Yield on Crypto Assets 1 d ‘Nothing has Really Changed’ in the Crypto Market, Despite the Weak Price Action
and no other crypto like Ethereum ETH 1.68% Ethereum / USD ETHUSD $ 1,716.41
Volume 18.1 b Change $28.84 Open $1,716.41 Circulating 115.23 m Market Cap 197.78 b
11 h “We are Believers in Bitcoin,” says Oakland A’s President on Accepting BTC & HODLing it 1 d Alonzo Hard Fork to Bring Smart Contract Compatibility to Cardano (ADA) In April 1 d SushiSwap Launches A ‘Game-Changer;’ BentoBox’s 1st DApp Is Kashi Lending & Margin Trading
and Dogecoin DOGE 1.44% Dogecoin / USD DOGEUSD $ 0.05
Volume 753.84 m Change $0.00 Open $0.05 Circulating 128.93 b Market Cap 7.01 b
11 h “We are Believers in Bitcoin,” says Oakland A’s President on Accepting BTC & HODLing it 2 d Tesla CEO Now Sets His Eyes on DeFi, But The Elon Effect on Price Is Absent 3 d Free Crypto Trading App Robinhood Files S-1 Paperwork With SEC to Go Public
. “But if it catches on, we are open,” he added.

For the processing, they are using BitPay, a bitcoin payment service provider, which also supports Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), and four USD-pegged stablecoins viz. GUSD, USDC, PAX, and BUSD.

As BitPay supports other cryptos too, Oakland A’s is open to accepting altcoins as well.

Besides Bitcoin, Oakland A’s also like blockchain and are looking into non-fungible tokens (NFTs). They are also ready to start housing fans going into the full season, starting with a 20% capacity.

“It will be great to have the energy and excitement. Hopefully, we can build on that and end up with a full stadium by halfway or partially through the year.”

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Author: AnTy

CEO Reveals Visa’s Crypto Strategy to Enable Bitcoin Purchases & Crypto-to-Fiat Conversion

CEO Reveals Visa’s Crypto Strategy to Enable Bitcoin Purchases & Crypto-to-Fiat Conversion

Visa is planning to allow its users to purchase Bitcoin through VISA credentials and even allow some wallets to convert the crypto asset into fiat currency.

“We’re trying to do two things. One is to enable the purchase of bitcoin on Visa credentials. And secondly, working with bitcoin wallets to allow the bitcoin to be translated into a fiat currency and therefore immediately be able to be used at any of the 70 million places around the world where Visa is accepted,” said Alfred Kelly, the CEO of Visa in a podcast with Fortune’s Leadership Next.

Back in 2018, Kelly had described Bitcoin as a speculative commodity that he didn’t view as a “payment system player.” At the time he said Visa “won’t process” crypto-based transactions.

But now as Bitcoin’s market cap grows to be bigger than the combined value of Visa and Mastercard and cryptocurrency goes mainstream, everyone wants to integrate them into their business.

Payments giant PayPal already did in October and has been seeing immense traction. Mastercard also announced last month that it is bringing selective cryptos to its network. Discover Card is also looking to put together a team for integrating crypto. So, it makes sense that Visa has its crypto strategy in line as well.

According to Kelly, there’s a “strong potential” for cryptos to become new payment vehicles, especially in emerging markets.

The financial service company is also planning to allow the translation of digital assets into a fiat currency in a wallet with a Visa card which then can be used to purchase at any one of its 70 million locations.

“We set out to make Visa the bridge between digital currencies and our global network of 70 million merchants and today we are the leading network for crypto wallets with 35 crypto platforms choosing to issue with Visa.”

Jack Forestell Visa CFO

First Boulevard, a digitally native neobank that partnered with Visa in early February will be the first to pilot this new suite of crypto APIs to enable customers to purchase, trade, and custody digital assets held by the federally chartered digital asset bank Anchorage.

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Author: AnTy

Moon Integrates Lightning Payments for All US-based VISA eCommerce Stores

Moon Integrates Lightning Payments for All US-based VISA eCommerce Stores

Moon has launched a new payment option that enables customers to purchase goods and services using virtual VISA cards on select eCommerce stores. This new payment feature is targeted at any VISA-enabled e-commerce site based in the United States.

Lightning Payments for VISA Merchants

This latest feature is in partnership with VISA. Users can make purchases using Moon’s Virtual VISA prepaid cards. Once purchased, the cards can be used as the payment option during checkouts at any VISA-enabled e-commerce site. What makes these cards unique is that they are created at the point of purchase.

They are generated for the exact amount of the purchase by the user at checkout. Once this is done and confirmed, the extension creates a Lightning invoice. Once the invoice is paid for, the card is loaded with the exact amount, no exchange or deductions made. The card can then be used to pay for the items in their cart.

Moon cards are virtual cards loaded with cryptocurrency temporarily for the purpose of making online purchases. The crypto is converted to USD to allow you to spend the funds immediately whenever you want, especially on sites where cryptocurrency is not accepted.

The cards are to be used only once. This way, if your payment information is leaked, there is no risk to the security of your coins. Moon cards have no fees and are only available to United States users.

Although some e-commerce retailers let you pay with cryptocurrencies, Moon’s focus is to enable crypto purchases on popular platforms that are yet to adopt crypto. This includes popular retailers like Amazon and Target. The startup allows customers to link their Coinbase balances to their Moon extension. You can make purchases using Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, and Bitcoin Cash.

Moon extension browser is available on browsers like Chrome, Brave, and Opera.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

FinClusive Partners With Stellar (XLM) to Enhance Stablecoin Payments Across Institutions

FinClusive Partners With Stellar (XLM) to Enhance Stablecoin Payments Across Institutions

New York-headquartered compliance firm, FinClusive announced a strategic partnership with Stellar USDC on Thursday in a bid to “enable businesses to access and leverage stablecoins instantly while staying compliant.” According to the report, the new alliance will enhance crypto-focused payment innovations while creating confidence among market participants due to compliance checks.

Integrating Stellar USDC gives users (corporations, institutions, banks) a fast, low fee, and convenient channel to complete financial transfers across borders.

FinClusive integrates compliance-as-a-solution (CaaS) to enable financial firms to enhance their financial inclusion products across the globe. The partnership with Stellar to incorporate the second largest stablecoin, USDC, will allow corporations to conveniently and instantly make cross-border payments while staying compliant and minimizing the transaction fees.

“Thanks to USDC, businesses using FinClusive can worry less about enduring prolonged settlement times or fluctuations in the value of their transactions.”

FinClusive selected Stellar USDC over Ethereum’s USDC as the former provides a cheaper platform to transact. Providing low fees and convenience will see the strategic partnership enhance stability and security, accelerating financial inclusion across businesses further.

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Author: Lujan Odera

MoneyGram Hit With Class Action Lawsuit over Ripple Partnership

MoneyGram Hit With Class Action Lawsuit over Ripple Partnership

Popular payments firm MoneyGram has been sued with a class action over allegations of misrepresentation in its partnership deal with Ripple Labs as well as the legal standing of XRP token.

The class-action suit comes following the statement that MoneyGram International provided following a partnership deal with fintech startup Ripple Labs which also involved XRP token.

Rosen Law Firm filed the class action suit representing MoneyGram’s shareholders that bought their stock from June 17, 2019, to February 22, 2021. The law firm located in New York states that MoneyGram provided false information to investors regarding their agreement with Ripple Labs, specifically the legal standing of XRP token.

According to the court documents, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has said that XRP is an unregistered security over the last couple of years. Therefore, if the securities regulator decides to take action against Ripple, MoneyGram International will lose a highly lucrative revenue stream in terms of market development fees. This, the lawyers present is vital to the payments firm’s financial results and position.

The court filings also present that Ripple offered $38 million to MoneyGram in 2020 as market development fees which translated to 15% of its earnings. The law firm also claims that its clients suffered damages after the agreement’s real details became public.

MoneyGram International inked a strategic deal with Ripple Labs in June 2019. The deal involved Ripple committing to remit about $50 million to the payments company. After the deal’s signing, MoneyGram became a member of Ripple’s international payment network dubbed xRapid that was later renamed as On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) which utilizes XRP token for international payments.

At the end of last year, and after the SEC accused Ripple of raising $1,3 billion by offering an unregistered security, Ripple held approximately 17% of MoneyGram’s available shares.

MoneyGram released statements stating that the case filed against Ripple was unlikely to affect the partnership deal negatively. However, last month, MoneyGram suspended its partnership deal with Ripple Labs.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Dubai Government-Owned Licensing Firm Starts Accepting BTC, ETH, & USDT as Payments

Dubai Government-Owned Licensing Firm Starts Accepting BTC, ETH, & USDT as Payments

“Cryptocurrencies are the payment method of the future,” said Tasawar Ulhaq, CEO of Kiklabb.

Dubai government-owned licensing solutions, Kiklabb, has started accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment option for the trade licenses and visa fees.

The supported digital currencies include Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and the stablecoin Tether (USDT), reported a local publication.

Besides paying with a digital asset, the firm allows its customers to register for Dubai trade licenses remotely just using their smartphone. Tasawar Ulhaq, CEO of Kiklabb said,

“We’ve seen growing interest in cryptocurrency, with several customers in the blockchain and fintech sectors part of the Kiklabb community. So it really was just a matter of time before we recognised Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Tether. Cryptocurrencies are the payment method of the future.”

Ulhaq further shared that they are the first government-owned licensing entity in the UAE to accept cryptocurrency payments. Still, it expected this trend to only continue as the technology rapidly gains traction across the Middle East.

“I’m eager to see how it changes the way we do business in the near future,” he added. “We’re in talks with high-profile players in the cryptocurrency sector who are exploring entry into Dubai.”

The region has a robust community of local and international companies working in the cryptocurrency sector in the fields of education, healthcare, and food technology.

Cryptocurrency adoption took over the starting 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic made digital payments a necessity. This year, this is continuing even at a faster pace, with big giants also joining in.

Besides companies, even cities and municipalities are taking an increased interest. Miami has already voted to start using Bitcoin for city government transactions and even add it to their Treasury to attract tech companies to the area.

While Mayor Francis Suarez is looking to turn Miami into a tech hub as he said, “It’s wonderful to be a very ‘crypto-forward’ city in the city of Miami,” Commissioner Joe Carollo, who voted against the plan, said, “I can’t drink the Kool-Aid on this one.”

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Author: AnTy

SWIFT and China’s Central Bank, PBoC, Partner To Launch A New Digital Payments Venture

SWIFT and China’s Central Bank, PBoC, Partner To Launch A New Digital Payments Venture

  • PBoC partners with the SWIFT payments system to form a new financial payment company.
  • The full details of the partnership are yet to be released.
  • China is hastening the release of its central bank digital currency (CBDC).

In a report first published by The Block, the clearing center and the digital currency research institute at the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) and SWIFT, the global interbank settlement firm, SWIFT, have formed a partnership to launch a new financial payment service, Finance Gateway Information Service Limited, public records show.

According to the reports, the firm was registered on January 16, starting with 10 million EUR (~412 million) as the incorporation capital. No further details on the functions or scope of the funding were offered on the registration document. The PBoC and SWIFT both declined to comment on the matter.

SWIFT’s Hong Kong subsidiary largely owns the firm with 55% of the incorporation contribution and PBoC’s fully-owned domestic subsidiary, China National Clearing Center (CNCC), which will own 34%of the new entity. Other investors in the initial funding include CNCC’s subsidiary Cross-border Interbank Payments and Settlement Limited (CPIS), PBoC’s Digital Currency Research Institute, and Clearing Association of China (PCAC).

According to a person familiar with the matter, there are five board members in the new entity, including SWIFT China’s CEO, Daphne Huang; Cheng Shigang, a vice general secretary of the PCAC; three members from the global settlement firm and Mu Changchun, the head of the PBoC’s digital currency research institute.

SWIFT announced a new platform to ease account payment services and compete with Ripple, VISA, and MasterCard in April last year. Moreover, SWIFT has been at the forefront in boosting the Chinese Yuan’s use through its platform.

China’s CBDC is Around the Corner

The increasing digital payment projects cropping up in China could signal that the digital yuan is closing in on its launch. Earlier this month, the PBoC completed its largest pilot program for the CBDC in Shenzhen province, with over $3 million worth of digital yuan distributed to over 100,000 citizens in the area.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Visa Partners With Digital Bank in Crypto API Pilot Program; Making Buying BTC Easier

Visa Partners With Digital Bank in Crypto API Pilot Program; Making Buying BTC Easier

While it started as an ardent opponent of the use of Bitcoin, the financial service provider Visa has demonstrated its capacity for changing course on first impressions, as it rapidly becomes one of its biggest supporters.

Over the past few years, Visa has been working behind the scenes to partner up with 35 Bitcoin and cryptocurrency-based platforms and set its sights on merging mainstream banking & cryptocurrencies with its new cryptocurrency software program, which will get started later this year.

Visa represents just one of a growing number of multinationals and celebrities that have either taken steps towards or overtly expressed their support for cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. Globally-renowned stars from actress Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Snoop Dogg have made their positions clear on BTC. Just this week, in fact, Tesla CEO, Billionaire, and Twitter sensation, Elon Musk, hit the front-pages when he added ‘Bitcoin’ to his title, adding that it was “on the verge” of breaking into institutional finance.

Visa Chief Executive, Al Kelly, speaking during the company’s Q1 2021 earnings call, laid the company’s aims out in plain terms for attendees, describing Bitcoin as a ‘virtual gold’ which had yet to be harnessed fully as a mode of digital payments.

“Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make a fiat purchase at any of the 70 million merchants where Visa is accepted globally.”

Alongside Visa, PayPal was one of the payment giants that recently made waves in the cryptocurrency space. Its announcement would allow its 346 million users to buy and spend Bitcoin. While this was met with celebration by investors and enthusiasts alike, PayPal was quick to face flak after users complained of being prevented from moving their digital assets off PayPal’s platform.

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Author: James Fox