Crypto.com to Debut in Australia Following the Acquisition of a Locally Licensed Entity

Crypto.com is set to roll out its services for the Australian market following the acquisition of a licensed entity dubbed ‘The Card Group Pty Ltd’; this automatically grants the crypto exchange and debit card provider an Australian Financial Service License (ASFL).

The acquisition of an ASFL license means that Crypto.com will offer its blockchain services, including a DeFi wallet and derivative products. Australia’s AML and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 requires particular financial services to acquire an ASFL license before kick-starting operations.

The Card Group Pty Ltd, which is the company that was acquired by Crypto.com, specializes in providing solutions to organizations that seek to grow engagement with cardholders. According to the background information on Crunchbase, some of its services include ‘prepaid cards, mobile, and wearable solutions.’

Crypto.com Expansion into Australia

This milestone by Crypto.com has given them the green light to debut their crypto services in Australia within the legalities provided. Consequently, the firm will expand its market share and stakeholder network within Australia’s financial services ecosystem. The firm had already started preparations, having recently enabled the transfer of Aussi dollars from bank accounts via BPAY; users can also opt for deposits via NPP (PayID).

Notably, Australia has been touted as one of the most legal certain jurisdictions by crypto stakeholders looking to debut their innovations or idea. The country began formulating its crypto oversight as early as 2014 before crypto got all the hype followed three years later. Crypto.com, which is domiciled in Hong Kong, also recently acquired a provisional license to operate in Malta, popularly referred to as the ‘blockchain island.’

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Kadena to Launch DEX to Rival Uniswap; Touts Higher Speeds and Multiple Protocol Support

Kadena announced on Tuesday that it would roll out a Decentralized Exchange (DEX) dubbed ‘Kadenaswap’ towards the end of 2020 in a bid to rival Ethereum, which is currently struggling with high gas fees and congestion. This JP Morgan blockchain initiative noted that its pipeline multi-chain DEX will provide DeFi traders with an option capable of handling high volumes as part of its contribution to the burgeoning space.

For starters, Kadenaswap is set to facilitate around 480,000 transactions per second compared to a mere 13 Tps on Ethereum. This has been a significant issue for Ethereum recently, as markets rallied in favor of DeFi ecosystems. Gas fees hit all-time highs, with traders paying as much as $15 per transaction at the beginning of September.

Kadenaswap has since been touted as the game-changer by its stakeholders, including Kadena president, Stuart Popejoy. Speaking to Coindesk, he confirmed that the DEX would have no issues in handling 480,000 Tps based on the fundamentals of Kadena blockchain, a platform that debuted at the beginning of the year.

Furthermore, Kadenaswap, unlike Uniswap, will support various protocols to build within its DEX ecosystem. Kadena’s native bridge infrastructure, coupled with the pact smart contract language, will allow its prospectus clients to integrate a couple of protocols not limited to Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cosmos, and Polkadot. Popejoy commented that,

“We already have production code with fully decentralized bridges, and so that creates an interesting opportunity to think of a multi-protocol, multi-venue DEX.”

Like most decentralized projects, Kadena is also considering launching its governance token ‘KDAX,’ used as the fuel to its DEX. This means that KDAX holders will get to vote on proposals intended to improve or keep Kadenaswap sustainable in the DeFi space.

While Kadenaswap stakeholders may be bullish, the DEX will face a tall order in trying to disrupt Uniswap, which currently enjoys $2.3 billion in liquidity and $271 million volume within the past 24 hours. Ethereum 2.0 will launch in the near future, according to the latest updates from the team. If successful, DeFi activity is more likely to continue thriving in this ecosystem.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

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

RippleNet Member, Coins.ph, to Leverage UnionBank’s New Philippine Remittance Network

  • UnionBank located in the Philippines to roll out an extensive cash-out network to facilitate remittance in the region.
  • This will now extend their reach to service the Filipinos in remote areas with almost zero access to financial amenities.

News has emerged that Philippines-based UnionBank will soon roll out an extensive remittance Network across the jurisdiction. The announcement on Tuesday reveals that the network will host over 11,000 remittance counters spread all over the Philippine Islands.

This will extend their reach as they are set to service unbanked rural-based residents that may not necessarily be in the proximity to financial services. The counters will be an endpoint for their banking services offering mobile support to a full cash-out hub.

Extend Collaboration with RippleNet’s Member

In a bid to align themselves to their new objective, they have elongated their collaboration efforts with Coins.Ph, a mobile remittance company, doubling as a crypto exchange, also operating within the Philippines jurisdiction.

Coins.Ph, which onboarded RippleNet in August 2018, leverages Blockchain technology and XRP to streamline Filipino cross-border money transfer systems offering instant settlements being received in the local currency. Coins.ph recently joined the Open Payments Coalition along with Ripple to help create PayID.

Meanwhile, XRP is currently ranked 4th by Coin360 and is trading at $0.189613, enjoying a trading volume of $186,147,156 in the last 24 hours. With a market cap of $8,386,285,985 there are currently 44,257,803,618 XRP in circulation as per this article.

Similarly, other local-based remittance platforms: Dragonpay, Cebuana, Lhuillier, LBC, PeraHub, and Palawan Express have onboarded UnionBank’s Network. They all fall under the regulatory purview of Philippines’ central bank – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

UnionBank’s President and CEO, Edwin Bautista, has highlighted how the Covid-19 pandemic has made it essential to transition to the new digital era seamlessly. He has cited that the cash-out initiative is one of the ways the bank has displayed its willingness to embrace financial inclusion in the region.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Bitcoin to Roar Higher on PayPal Selling BTC? Time to Buy the Rumor

Yesterday, the news of fintech giant PayPal planning to roll out cryptocurrency buying and selling for Paypal and Venmo got the crypto market excited, and bitcoin went up to $9,800.

Reportedly, the company plans to build in wallet functionality for users to store their crypto in the app as well. The service could be rolled out as soon as in the next quarter.

To source liquidity, Coinbase, which has a relationship with PayPal going back to 2016 and Bitstamp, are the likely contenders.

The 300 million users base of PayPal is the reason behind this excitement as the online payments company would immediately broaden the potential investor base of cryptos. Also, Venmo comes with 50 million users, the largest consumer finance application in the US.

PayPal is also the company that froze WikiLeaks accounts, which then went the Bitcoin route. So, “It only took a decade for this to come full circle,” said developer Jimmy Song.

PayPal supporting Bitcoin no doubt will be “amazing for adoption,” but Jesse Powell, CEO of crypto exchange Kraken, warned, “don’t expect PP to change their policies on account closures. They’re still a centralized choke point, and the government will continue to commandeer the financial system for extrajudicial sanctions. Not your keys.”

On being countered by crypto exchanges being the same thing, Powell advised, “don’t leave more coins on Kraken than you need for your activity,” either.

“If we get a legit government order to close your account and hand over the coins, you can say goodbye to your precious savings. Great thing about crypto is you can self custody,” Powell said.

“Buy the Rumor, Buy the News, Sell the Implementation”

For now, the news of PayPal and Venmo looking into selling crypto-assets directly to their customers is based on some industry sources, and there is no knowing if it will be true.

“Still, the headline itself is more than enough to add fuel to this massive risk-on rally. So in the words of Louis Jordan. … Let the Good Times Roll,” wrote analyst Mati Greenspan in his daily newsletter.

Though a rumor currently, speculation around Facebook launching Libra started similarly in February 2019. And when the social media giant announced the launch in June, “the market roared higher,” said economist and trader Alex Kruger.

He also pointed out how several pieces of news paid handsomely in the past two years in the crypto space. In 2017, ETF rejection, China banning bitcoin, CME futures launch, the likes of CFTC sending subpoena Bitfinex and Tether, and fake news of ETF confirmation was such news. Then in 2019, we saw the market reacting to Libra and Chinese President Xi Jinping supporting blockchain technology.

Instead of ‘Buy the Rumor, Sell the News,” the right thing to do is ‘Buy the News’ as well, and ‘Selling the implementation’ is best, he said.

“Crypto going mainstream! This would be massive and should help prices run over those pesky call sellers,” Kruger said.

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Author: AnTy

Bank of Thailand (BoT) to Develop A Prototype Payments System For Business Using CBDC

Thailand’s Central Bank (BoT) has announced that it will roll out a prototype for digital currency payments within the country’s business ecosystems.

The initiative will be based on an ongoing CBDC project dubbed ‘Inthanon, ‘ which kicked off two years ago in collaboration with Thai’s leading financial institutions. This development comes amid a CBDC frenzy that has seen markets like China roll out a pilot for its digital yuan.

Thai’s Proposed CBDC Prototype

The announcement by BoT noted that works on the CBDC prototype are set to commence in July with possible completion dates in early 2021.

According to the Thai financial watchdog, this step marks a significant milestone towards the adoption of CBDC’s hence expected to boost financial innovation significantly. The press release highlights:

“The prototype is expected to serve as a financial innovation that enables higher payment efficiency for businesses such as increasing flexibility for fund transfers, or delivering faster and more agile payments between suppliers,”

Notably, Thai’s CBDC prototype will first be integrated with the country’s oldest cement firm, Siam Limited. This will also include Siam’s suppliers to create a complete ecosystem to test run CBDC payments in Thailand.

While this will be the initial pilot of a Thai CBDC, the country had already begun exploring the niche in a partnership with Hong Kong’s Central Bank. The two have already completed the creation of a cross-border prototype meant to boost trade between them.

The CBDC Frenzy

CBDC’s had become a hot topic in crypto within the past months and peaked when China rolled out a digital yuan. This pilot was launched in 4 cities and is expected to be scaled to other regions with a possible massive use once proven successful.

France is also running a test of a digital Euro in a bid to keep up with developments. Interestingly, the U.S appears quite laid back and is yet to signal the possibility of a digital dollar despite suggestions by some stakeholders in the markets and administration to create one.

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Author: Edwin Munyui

Binance Backed FTX To Launch A Spot Crypto Exchange For The US Market In May

Crypto derivatives exchange which mainly serves the Asian market, FTX, is set to roll out a spot exchange to serve the US market, the Block reports.

Sam Bankman-Fried, FTX CEO, explained that currently, the US exchange is in beta testing and is expected to officially launch early next month.

As per the FTX.US website, the newly established exchange has so far obtained a licence with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to operate as a money services business (MSB). The firm is currently working to obtain a money transmitter license (MTL) in various states across the country.

It’s important to note that financial services companies must acquire MSB and MTLs to operate in the US. Additionally, FTX will have to obtain Bitlicense to operate in New York.

The firm will operate with two separate order books: one for the FTX US and the other one for the main FTX derivatives exchange.

At the moment, FTX platform provides USD trading pairs for various crypto assets consisting of Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin, USDT and PAXG.

According to Bankman-Fried, the firm seeks to add extra assets, as well as onramp options prior to the official launch. The firm is also set to add margin trading features for only qualified users.

FTX was started in May 2019 and has picked traction since then and currently boasts a volume of about $728 million per 24 hours of trading, its website states. Since it was started, FTX has primarily focused on the Asian market and the majority of its team works from Hong Kong.

FTX has attracted reputable investors from within the crypto industry. In February this year, the firm launched an exercise to raise about $15 million having valued the firm at $1 billion and an equity token was kicked off the same month.

Binance crypto exchange, the largest exchange firm in the world, invested in FTX but the investment amount remains anonymous.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

Banking Giant Santander to Bring One Pay FX Payment System to Mexico Utilizing RippleNet

In 2020, the major Spain-based bank Santander is planning to roll out the One Pay FX program, its Ripple powered system for international payments, in Mexico.

Santander filed a Form 20-F with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on March 6. It hopes to offer its Ripple-powered services in Mexico as soon as possible. One Pay FX is based on the RippleNet technology from Ripple. It’s independent from XRP, so it doesn’t require any digital currency in order to function, mentioned a spokesperson from Santander.

A Multi-Corridor International Blockchain Solution

The Form 20-F filing is a report that has to be annually submitted to the SEC. Foreign private issuers that have equity shares listed on US exchanges have to send it to the regulator every year. Santander describes One Pay FX program as being a:

“Multi-corridor international blockchain solution […] for individuals and SMEs [small-to-medium enterprises].”

The payments solution launched for the first time in the UK, Poland, Spain and Brazil banks 2 years ago, in 2018, being followed in 2019 by Santander Chile and Portugal.

The System Has Many Benefits

Santander claims its blockchain system’s benefits are transparency, speed, better costs and predictability in an environment in which customers have a sub-optimal experience that’s prone to stickiness. It was reported that Santander and Ripple have been working on One Pay FX for a few years, performing different trials so that their solutions can improve traditional transfers ever since 2016. Before that, back in 2015, InnoVentures, which is the capital arm of Santander, invested $4 million in a $32 million Ripple series A funding.

RippleNet Is Continuing to Develop

RippleNet was created back in 2012. Ever since then, it’s continuing to go through many technical developments in which core consensus improvements are included. David Schwartz, the chief technology officer at Ripple, said the company is interested in convincing third parties to launch their own XRP ledger cryptocurrencies and stablecoins. In the meantime, Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s CEO, is being sued for violating the US Securities Act with an XRP token initial coin offering from 2013.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Orchid to Debut A Privacy VPN Network Based on Token Technology in December

Orchid, a Virtual Private Network provider, has announced its plan to roll out a token-powered (OXT) network and an application during the first week of December. The company majors in offering decentralized VPN and is also a platform where node providers can trade in tokens for advertisements using the Ethereum blockchain tech.

“We will be launching one of a kind App that will operate based on the use of native tokens,” said Steven Waterhouse, the CEO at Orchid. Users will use the OXT token to pay for Bandwidth offered by node providers. These tokens will be generated at the launch, and the system operates based on a staking model.

According to Waterhouse, the company will have between five to ten node providers during the launch. The node providers will include both the new crypto technology and the traditional VPN space. Waterhouse adds that the initial offer was meant to boost the early stages of the system.

Virtual Private Networks have in use by millions of people globally for internet browsing. However, the VPN space is faced with the challenges of a centralized authority.

The company has managed to raise about $48 million through a number of investments since 2017. The major investors with Orchid include Sequoia, Andreessen Horowitz, Polychain Capital, and Blockchain Capital. Brad Stephens, Blockchain Capital’s managing partner said,

“To secure communication and privacy from state surveillance, VPN spaces should be decentralized. Orchid has illustrated the importance of VPN decentralization. We have worked with the company as an investor and advisor since 2017.”

The only problem facing the company has been to secure token-powered platforms by wholesale adoption. One of the investors, without any stake in Orchid, though, told CoinDesk that priority-payment tokens such as OXT and utility tokens are not a strong incentive to attract investors and without the investors, it is hard to have a significant value.

Waterhouse, however, defends the company’s token project saying that it has been developed with the investors’ best interests in mind. “We have been focusing on building the platform in the Web3 world,” says Waterhouse. The major objective is to develop a user experience based on privacy and one that is easy to understand and appealing to its users.

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Author: Denis Miriti

Bitmain to Debut World Digital Mining Map (WDMM) Platform for Connecting Farms and Miners

Gigantic Chinese-based crypto mining hardware Bitmain has announced that it will roll on a platform that will link crypto miners and farm owners next year. According to the announcement, this will be the first such platform in the globe that aims to link farms and  miners.

The platform will be known as World Digital Mining Map (WDMM) is set to be rolled on at the World Digital Mining Summit (WDMS) that will be held in Frankfurt from Oct.8 to Oct. 10, the company said in a blog post.

As per the blog post, the WDMM the platform will be a worldwide network that will link owners of mining hardware as well as mining farms that will offer their available power resources and accommodate them free of charge. Consequently, members of the network will be allowed to access various individualized services from Bitmain that will comprise of support with the design of the mining farm, linkage to international clients to host, assistance with operations as well as construction.

Cointelegraph states those that wish to be enlisted on the platform, the mining farm owners are required to offer data about their current mining facilities as well as show they have the capacity to accommodate miners. The blog post notes that mining farm owners will have a chance to apply for listing on the platform at the WDMS event.

The director of mining farm at Bitmain, Matthew Wang, said that the WDMM platform is set to enhance crypto mining and make it more sustainable in the long term. Wang explained that the new platform will offer a fresh way for linking mining farms to the hardware owners. Wang explained that Bitmain is set to continue to support miners using their hardware and enhance the overall growth in the industry.

In addition to the launch, Bitmain said it will name the top 10 mining farms in the world at the WDMS event. As per the blog post by the company, the winners will be awarded official certificates as well as VIP tickets for the WDMS event. At the time of publication, voting for the best mining farms is still ongoing.

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Author: Joseph Kibe