Ripple Partner MoneyGram Expands its Cross Border Service with Visa to Spain and the Philippines

  • MoneyGram is extending its debit card deposit service internationally in collaboration with Visa via Visa Direct
  • The service allows MoneyGram customers to send money in real-time
  • This adds 50% new users to MoneyGram and retention rates that are “outperforming expectations”

The global provider of money transfer services MoneyGram is now extending its debit card deposit service internationally to Spain and the Philippines, the company announced on Dec. 4. The company launched this service in collaboration with Visa through its real-time push payments platforms Visa Direct.

MoneyGram is the first company to allow cross-border transfers from the US using Visa Direct and will be offering the service in more areas of the world very soon.

“Cross-border digital growth is a key strategic priority, and we will continue to lead the industry with innovative products and services,” said Alex Holmes, MoneyGram Chairman, and CEO.

Rapid Expansion to new Markets Worldwide

Visa Direct that enables payments to more than a billion cards worldwide allows its customers to send money in real-time. MoneyGram users can either go the actual website or use the App to send to eligible Visa-branded debit cards.

“The initial launch phase with MoneyGram has been a success. Based on customer feedback to date and seamless integration of Visa Direct into MoneyGram’s digital network, we look forward to continuing the rapid expansion of this service to new markets worldwide,” said Bill Sheley, SVP and Global Head of Visa Direct, Visa.

This expansion was launched soon after the Visa Direct’s successful launch in the United States where about half of the customers were new to the platform. Also, early signs show they were able to retain their customers rates and are “outperforming expectations.”

Ripple & MoneyGram

MoneyGram is also opening new corridors for Ripple’s XRP using On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) before 2019 ends.

In June this year, Ripple became a key partner of MoneyGram for cross border settlements using the digital asset by making an initial investment of $30 million in the company. Most recently, Ripple made yet another $20 million investment in MoneyGram —purchasing the firm’s newly issued equity at $4.10 per share which was much higher than its market valuation — completing its $50 million investment commitment to MoneyGram.

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Author: AnTy

Monex Ventures into the US Crypto Market Through Its TradeStation Crypto Subsidiary

A subsidiary of Monex Group, a financial service company based in Japan, TradeStation Group will be launching in the United States as a crypto brokerage company. TradeStation Crypto enters the U.S market to address the current weaknesses and concerns in the crypto ecosystem.

Monex Group has gathered brokerage expertise over the last 18 years since its launch in 2001. The company has been registered in each state to operate a money service enterprise, Money Transmittal License, a platform that will support fiat/crypto and crypto/crypto trading pairs.

Initially, TradeStation Crypto will only support five digital currencies, among them being Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). However, the brokerage company will soon add other crypto digital assets for their customers to trade-in.

TradeStation Crypto exchange platform is based on global integrations that create a large pool of liquidity. With a large liquidity source, the company will be in a position to discover better prices and at the same time, enhance transparency. The company also goes the extra mile to help its clients avoid the long transaction processes associated with the traditional exchanges.

With TradeStation Crypto, investors will not have to pay fees for large volume trades like is the case with other platforms.

“TradeStation Crypto is not just an ordinary crypto exchange like any other. The company focuses on integrating an order-routing system with multiple liquidity pools to offer its clients a better trade execution and visibility.”

The Crypto exchange is an ideal platform for cryptocurrency trading by institutional investors. The platform facilitates secure market data aggregation, execution algos, back-testing, and execution strategies.

Monex has developed a diversified worldwide crypto brokerage portfolio in the cryptocurrency industry. At the beginning of the year, the company launched a crypto unit with the purpose of studying available opportunities in the industry.

Monex targets Institutional investors in the U.S market. The company is planning to develop a firm grip of the cryptocurrency market by building on the over2,000,000 accounts trading in the exchange.

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Author: Denis Miriti

IRS Source: Cryptocurrency Holders and Traders to be Audited by US Tax Collection Agency

A trusted source has confirmed that the Internal Revenue Service is going to conduct audits on cryptocurrency activities. The source said that the tax collection agency is planning to unleash a batch of audit notices. These new notices will be follow-ups to 10,000 letters that were initially sent in August.

The IRS has been focusing their attention on the cryptocurrency industry, and soon, audits will be done in the industry. Not many Americans were sure of what was entailed in the 10,000 letters sent in August.

However, multiple reports emerging show the IRS is increasing its review and investigations on substantial crypto investors. A statement by BeInCrypto stated that there was a new checkbox on 1040 form that asked individuals to avail information on whether they had exchanged, sent, or received any digital currency since 2013.

It was also well noted that failure to answer that question with utmost honesty would be a criminal offense. Many people were amazed because not only did this kind of study target the traders, but the holders also seemed to be a target here.

Audit Notices to Crytpo Users

Crypto Tax Girl reported that Judith McNamara who works with the IRS confirmed that the tax collection agency is going to send more audit notices. It is, however, uncertain whether everyone who received the August letter will secure an audit notice for the second time.

Letters sent out in August differed in what they required the recipients to do. Some were a kind of notification that the IRS was aware they were holding the cryptocurrency. Other letters demanded a proper response from the recipients and immediate action. This time around, however, it is expected that audit letters will dictate that there must be a response to the letter.

The IRS has been heavily criticized for using the old laws on new concepts and technologies such as cryptocurrencies. Clearly, the IRS is not welcome in the digital currencies space.

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Author: Daniel W

Coin Wallet Interview: Team Reveals Largest Growth in Users are from India, Thailand, Vietnam

There are now more than 2,000 cryptocurrencies and hundreds of digital wallet service providers.

While most online wallets work in similar ways, we recently asked the developer of Coin Wallet about the different features that their wallet offers and how it is able to support a large number of digital tokens.

Bitcoin Exchange Guide: You’ve mentioned on your official website that more than 20 million Coin Bitcoin Wallets have been created and $120 billion in cryptocurrency transactions have been processed through your company’s wallet. Please tell us which particular features in your wallet app are the most popular and other possible reasons why your wallet is being used so frequently

Coin Wallet Team: “We see the largest growth in underdeveloped countries like India, Vietnam and Thailand. We believe the popularity of Coin Bitcoin Wallet in these parts of the world are due to the large number of unbanked people and the availability of fast mobile networks.

We expect the uses to be a mix of peer-to-peer (P2P) payments and money transmittance between family members working in countries like Dubai. We also see many new users in countries where bitcoin usage is already more established like the US and Germany.”

BitcoinExchangeGuide: You’ve noted on your website that Coin Wallet works with ERC20 and ERC223 compliant tokens. It also supports major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Ripple, Stellar and Ethereum. Over 20,000 digital tokens are accessible through the Coin Wallet app.

Is it safe and secure for users to hold and transact in such a large number of cryptocurrencies through your wallet? Please explain what makes your wallet reliable.

Coin Wallet Team: “This comes down to a question of trust, we have been in the Crypto wallet space since 2015. We have never had a breach or any type of loss of user funds. We take the security of our systems very seriously and use state of the art security tools. We also designed Coin Wallet to be used on a day to day basis just like you use a traditional fiat wallet.

Transacting quickly and simply with vendors or stores who take Bitcoin or crypto as payments. That being said, our users do not have large amounts stored in wallets like you would in a cold wallet. These are smaller amounts used to transact day to day.”

BitcoinExchangeGuide: What measures has your company taken to ensure the security of your company wallet and user funds?

Coin Wallet Team: “For obvious reasons we do not discuss the particular software products we have deployed but we use the industry’s leading web application protection software on all of our web apps and APIs. We also do quarterly security reviews and audits across all systems. Our DevOps teams work closely with our Security team to ensure what gets put into production is always focused on securing users’ funds.”

BitcoinExchangeGuide: Hardware wallets are quite technical for many users that may not be very tech-savvy. Is it safe to store crypto assets in hot wallets? What are some basic things we can do to ensure that our funds stay safe?

Coin Wallet Team: “There are basically two very different use cases for these two types of wallets. Hardware wallets are harder to use but not accessed on a frequent basis. Hot wallets and CoinSpace specifically are very safe to use every day from your mobile device or web browser.

Also, we do not hold any user funds and our users are interacting directly with the blockchain. In this architecture, the only possible compromise is losing your private keys. Users only get this private key pair or passphrase at signup and it’s never shown or stored by CoinSpace. This makes for a system that’s non-custodial. Even CoinSpace employees do not have access to customers’ private keys.”

BitcoinExchangeGuide: Please share some tips on how to avoid phishing attacks and tell us how we can prevent malware programs from affecting our computer systems.

Coin Wallet Team: “Phishing is the simplest of the two issues to address as we do not require any registration, you will never get any emails from CoinSpace. We do not even collect customer emails. Privacy is one of the most important things to us after security.

It’s still very important to always check that you are using the Coin.Space URL at all times. Since we are a Web Wallet on PCs and native Android or iOS App on Apple devices, these ecosystems provide adequate protection for malware. But it can’t hurt to also run additional endpoint protection your computer systems.”

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Author: Omar Faridi

IRS Adds Taxpayer Questions Regarding if They Own or Transact in Cryptoassets

The U. S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has finally decided to acknowledge cryptocurrency   in its reports. Now, U. S. taxpayer’s will be asked whether they hold cryptocurrencies or not when they are reporting their taxes.

This new update follows the long-awaited guidance released by the institution, which was published recently. In the update, several aspects of crypto taxes were made clear. Some of the issues that were answered included whether people had to pay taxes for airdrops and hard forks.

However, some people complained that the IRS still did not understand crypto’s very well and that some of the clarification was actually too vague. Other’s complained that it took five years for the tax agency to publish the guidelines and they still managed to leave some questions unanswered.

Now, a new draft of the Additional Income and Adjustments to Income section of the 1040 forms was released. The new section asks if the person, during any time of the year, received, sold, bought or exchanged any virtual currency. The question is pretty straightforward and people are only expected to answer with either yes or no.

The IRS will be expecting constructive comments on the changes, which can be sent by email during the timeframe of 30 days.

Crypto taxes are so complicated that H&R Block, an accounting firm, will be the acting intermediary for several crypto investors and provide services related to crypto gains and losses for people who don’t know what to file. It seems that companies like this will continue to prosper while the legislation is still so complex.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

IRS Issues New Cryptos Tax Guidance For Hard Forks, Calculating Cost Basis, Buying And Selling

The U. S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has finally decided to publish its first guidance about how to pay crypto taxes in five years. After years and years of people asking the IRS how to pay their taxes, it seems that the entity decided to comply.

Charles Rettig, an IRS commissioner, affirmed that the agency was working on the guidance a few months ago, but most crypto investors were simply disheartened after waiting for so long.

One of the main updates on the legislation is that now people will finally know how to pay taxes over hard forks. Hard forks happen when there is no consensus in a network and one token is split in two. So far, investors often didn’t how to proceed in these cases.

It was stated that if the token went through a hard fork but you did not “receive” any new token via the fork, airdrop or something similar, the income is not taxable. If you got any new token, however, it is.

However, some people, such as the director of Coin Center, Jerry Brito, affirmed that the IRS was not clear enough. According to him, the new guidance offers some clarity but it doesn’t seem to acknowledge what hard forks and airdrops are very well, which can cause problems. The main issue is that it does not clarify what “receive” means.

More rules for determining how to pay taxes when you bought crypto on several occasions some time ago are also stated in the new report, as well as some other minor updates.

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Author: Hank Klinger

TipJar Micropayments Platform to Close Service Due to Low Interest from Crypto Users

A crypto micropayments platform called TipJar is due to be shut down soon. The service, which is built on top of the Ethereum (ETH) blockchain, will cease its activities due to low activity. The platform’s goal was to support ETH-based micropayments on Reddit using a bot.

The announcement was made on Reddit. The developer that created the service affirmed that it was great to see the community using it, but that the low activity made it harder for the service to continue to pay for itself. The developer had to pay for server fees in order to maintain it, so if nobody uses the service, there is no point in continuing to support it.

He also affirmed that, after the service is no longer running, he intends to make the code open source so that other people can continue his work if they intend to. Some people asked for this before, but he never did it because he was afraid of how secure the code was.

The developer affirmed that the service is no longer usable as of the moment of the announcement. People could still visit the site until April 10, 2010, when it will no longer be available.

All users should withdraw their funds as soon as possible so that they do not forget to and because they will not be able to get them back after the main site is shut down. He also affirmed that any person who is interested in reaching out should contact him on Reddit.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Coinbase Looks To Boost Engineering Staff At Earn By Acquiring Rippled Backed Omni Rentals

Major crypto exchange Coinbase is presently in talks with the rental service company Omni that had raised $25M from San-Francisco primarily based – Ripple last year.

Omni is an online rental service firm founded by Thomas McLeod. It aims to provide access to the items that people may need through its rentals platform. Omni introduces a rental service wherein people in the same neighborhood and find items and rent it among themselves, from air mattresses to camping equipment, from bikes to air purifiers, various electronic devices and more. All the customers need to do is search with an appropriate keyword or explore the different categories according to their needs. Later, in exchange for the items that were rented, users may also earn cash whenever somebody rents out the item they offered.

Omni collaborated with XRP, due to which all earnings are often paid out to XRP wallet. This has made Omni the primary platform in the world that enables individuals to get XRP coins while not having to buy them via exchange.

Consultants believe that there are more potential investors and traders out there who are already acquainted with crypto, but they are unwilling to take the risks that come with it. But because Omni and XRP are operating along with each other, it eliminates the factor of risk for them and can easily invest. McLeod believes that will be a great way for curious people who wish to enter the crypto world, while not having to really invest in it.

However, Omni’s business didn’t perform well. To scale up the platform, Omni relied on local storefronts for pick up and drop off their items, however eventually, the firm caught with numerous complaints from its existing and new customers that have led the corporate to place Omni on an acquire-hire deal to Coinbase… Omni sold his storage business to Clutter, which bought users list a series of complaints like changes in the prices, items being misplaced, etc.

The company is in talks with Coinbase to hire a number of Omni’s engineering employees, who would have them work on Coinbase Earn, which rewards users with cryptocurrency for finishing online educational programs.

Omni had raised a total of $35M from investors such as Flybridge, Highland, Allen & Company, Founders Fund, Precursor, etc. As per TechCrunch, few employees who were interviewing at Coinbase said that there is no such deal on the table yet.

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Author: Sritanshu Sinha

Blockchain Wallet Provider is Experiencing Top Executive Personnel Departures

It looks like Blockchain, the famous crypto wallet and service provider, is experiencing an executive exodus right now. According to recent reports made by The Information, two of the main execs of the firm are about to leave.

Liana Douillet Guzmán (COO) and Chris Lavery (executive VP of Finance) are both expected to leave the company soon. The two are among the executives who served in the company for the longest time as Guzmán entered the company in 2016 and Lavery joined early in 2017.

They are not the only ones leaving, though. Earlier this year, the company fired around 15% of its staff. Not a very good sign.

The exodus might be a new event at the company, but executives leaving are nothing new. According to The Information, five important execs left Blockchain in a period of 12 months after they were hired. Most of them left between the end of last year and the beginning of this one.

Among the executives who left earlier, held important roles such as the head of institutional sales, a general manager and a global head of security.

Why are all these people leaving? Maybe because the company was going through various struggles. The hardware wallet, that was launched last year was considered a commercial failure and the Stellar airdrop program was unsuccessful as well.

Blockchain was created in 2011, just a couple of years after Bitcoin. The company is one of the giants of the market and has received backing from investors such as Digital Currency Group, Google Ventures and Roger Ver.

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Author: Silvia A

Binance to Debut Crypto Lending Options with ZEC, DASH and XMR

Binance is ready to take its Binance Lending Service to the next level. The company, which  launched its program back on August 28, is set to make a huge upgrade this week.

Users will be able to start profiting from lending three major altcoins: Dash (DASH), and the two top privacy coins Zcash (ZEC) and Monero (XMR).

In a similar way to how it was done in the first phase of the program, all products will have a 14-day lending period and an annualized interest rate of 3.5%.

The total subscription cap and individual cap of each investment are as follows:

  • Monero (XMR): total cap of 30,000 XMR tokens and individual cap of 300 XMR.
  • Zcash (ZEC): total cap of 60,000 ZEC tokens and individual cap of 600 ZEC.
  • DASH: total cap of 30,000 DASH and individual cap of 300 DASH.

The annualized rates are significantly lower than the ones that Binance Coin (BNB) had during the launch of the services. At the time, the numbers ranged from 15% to 6%. Bitcoin, however, was launched with a 3% interest rate.

In related news, CEO Changpeng Zhao recently stated that no hacker had attacked the futures platform of the company, and rumors of a potential hack on the platform needed to be put to rest once and for all.

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Author: Gabriel Machado