Binance-backed Travala Collabs With Agoda; Can Now Use Crypto Payments at 2.2M Properties

  • Binance-backed Travala.com announces a strategic partnership with an online travel platform, Agoda, in an aim to onboard an extra 600,000 hotels despite the heavy travel bans currently in place across the globe.
  • Travelers utilizing Travala will now have access to a vast catalog of some 2.2 Million listings in 90,124 destinations globally.

Online Travel Company, Travala.com will onboard over 600,000 extra hotels to its crypto enabled platform, the company announced on their official twitter after securing the partnership with Agoda, a leading online booking firm.

Speaking on the latest partnership with Agoda, Travala.com’s CEO, Juan Otero, showed enthusiasm to start working on the journey of bringing crypto to the traveling industry. Over the past few months, the global pandemic has caused a global stigma and travel restrictions but Juan believes the partnership will connect even more people across the globe. He spoke saying,

“This strategic partnership with Agoda puts Travala.com in a league of its own. We can safely say we are the world’s largest blockchain-based online travel agency by number of accommodation options available with over 2,200,000 options to book covering 90,124 destinations.”

The Binance backed travel company extends its users with the option to remit payments for their trips via some 30 cryptocurrencies such as Binance Coin (BNB), Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), EOS, Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), Tether (USDT), Tron (TRX), and AVA.

Notably, AVA is a native token by Travala drawing a lot of similarities to the airline miles and loyalty points incentive programs by legacy booking platforms. In the month of June 2020, almost 13% of all bookings on the Travala platform were paid for via the incentive program.

Damien Pfirsch, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Agoda, the Singapore-based travel site, shares a similar growth trajectory of the partnership with Juan. Speaking on it, Damien said the new platform, Travala, will guarantee users an improved travel experience regardless of the geographical position of their trip.

Agoda brings to Travala.com several benefits including competitive rates and the wide listings of hotels to customers. He further said,

“Agoda’s technological expertise and private cloud ensure that partners enjoy best-in-class uptime connection to our supply for a smoother customer booking journey.”

Founded in 2017, Travala has placed itself strategically, forging unique alliances with leading travel firms ensuring their users a smooth travel experience all while leveraging crypto. They recently announced similar cooperation with mega travel booking platform, Expedia as well as Booking.com.

The deal with Expedia brought 700,000 hotels to Travala.com’s platform, marking its first major partnership with traditional search sites. Despite being rivals in the travel industry, the two giants collaborated in a bid to boost their market shares.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Binance Making Ripples in Crypto with New Partnerships; Acquiring Swipe & Etana Fiat Onramp

  • Binance announces a strategic partnership with Digital Asset Custodian Etana to extend its fiat onramp services to 15 fiat currencies.
  • This, together with their most recent crypto credit card, Swipe aligns with their objective of availing crypto to the masses as they look to onboard over 180 currencies to their onramp and off-ramp services.

News has now emerged that leading crypto exchange, Binance will be extending its support for 15 extra fiat currencies to its vast platform. This was after the 7th June announcement revealing a unique partnership with Etana Custodian.

The 15 currencies are UAE dirham, Australian dollar, Canadian dollar, Swiss franc, Czech koruna, euro, British pound, Hong Kong dollar, Danish krone, Hungarian forint, Mexican peso, Norwegian krone, New Zealand dollar, Polish zloty, and Swedish krona. This will consolidate the exchange’s presence in the North American, European, Oceanian, and Asian markets.

Wei Zhou, CFO at Binance, revealed that the users could sync their accounts to channel funds from their bank accounts to the digital asset custodian via utilizing swift. They could then credit the funds available in the Etana account without incurring extra transactional charges.

This will be in line with their goal of finally onboarding 180 fiats to their fold. According to Etana top brass, they share a common objective with Binance of providing smooth and uninterrupted fiat onramps for their users. Notably, major US-based crypto exchange Kraken, a rival of Binance, also leverages Etana fiat onramp services.

Swift Acquisition

Impressively, Binance recently completed a major acquisition deal. They purchased a major stake in UK based Visa crypto card issuer, Swipe. According to Binance Chief executive, Changpeng “CZ” Zhao off-ramps also have a significant role to play in their objectives of increasing accessibility of crypto to the masses.

As part of the deal, Binance will list Swipe’s token the SXP and is set to open trading pairs against BTC, the Binance coin, and their Binance USD stablecoin. They also purchased a considerable amount of the SXP which they have highlighted is locked in a multi-year contract. Though they will now rebrand to the Binance card, they have been availed to over 31 jurisdictions stretching across Europe with sights now set on the lucrative American and Asian markets that have a voracious crypto appetite.

This will now increase their incredible string of acquisitions they have made in the past, including the mega $400 Million Coinmarketcap deal. They also boast of having Indian crypto exchange WazirX and derivatives platform JEX.

Read Original/a>
Author: Lujan Odera

Institutional Client Three Arrows Capital Turns Investor in Crypto Lending Platform BlockFi

Three Arrows Capital has become a strategic investor for the New York-based provider of crypto lending products BlockFi, via a secondary transaction, after already being its institutional client.

Three Arrows Capital is a crypto and hedge fund manager founded by Kyle Davies and Su Zhu. It’s focused on markets currently emerging and has been for almost 10 years a provider of risk-adjusted returns.

BlockFi Raised Another $30 Million in a Series B Funding

The deal with Three Arrows Capital comes 2 months after BlockFi has collected $30 million in a Series B funding that was led by Valar Ventures. BlockFi is supported by Galaxy Capital’s billionaire Mike Novogratz. In 2018, Galaxy Capital raised almost $58 million from multiple funding rounds. More than this, the Gemini exchange of the Winklevoss twins is a custodian for the BlockFi accounts covered by digital asset insurance.

According to a BlockFi statement, the crypto lending platform obtained by now more than $650 million in deposits from institutional, corporate and retail crypto investors. It began its loaning services in March last year, offering loans between $2,000 and $100 million against Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and stablecoins.

BlockFi Interest Rates Are Rising

Recently, BlockFi announced a 6% raise in interest rates for its Interest Account (BIA). At the moment, its Tier 1 customers who loan up to 6 BTC have an interest yield of 3.6%. The rate for ETH lenders is 4.5% for up to 500 ETH, which is more than the 2 – 3.6% previous APY. The rates for the USD Coin (USDC) and the Gemini dollar (GUSD) remains the same at 8.6% APY. Making a comment about the latest Three Arrows Capital news, CEO and co-founder of Three Arrows Capital, Su Zhu, said:

“In being an institutional client of BlockFi, we quickly recognized that the company’s mission of helping to expand the cryptocurrency ecosystem aligned with our own philosophy for the space. We have had a great relationship with BlockFi and when presented an opportunity to become more involved on the investor level, the answer was evident.”

BlockFi CEO Announces an Extension of Credit to Miners

In the meantime, BlockFi’s CEO, Zac Prince, said its company is extending miners’ credit, seeing BlockFi’s competition is at ease ever since the coronavirus crisis has started. He also mentioned that until now, it didn’t do it because the lending platform’s competitors were up to taking large risks which BlockFi wasn’t in any way comfortable with.

Read Original/a>
Author: Oana Ularu

Ripple SVP: $11.3M MoneyGram Payout Is No Different Than A Visa Or PayPal “Incentive Program”

  • In a business move “MoneyGram continued to expand its strategic partnership with Ripple as the first money transfer company to scale the use of blockchain capabilities”
  • Ripple’s “financial benefit” of $8.9 million in the Q4 and $2.4 million in Q3 will be accounted for as contra expenses
  • We are building new infrastructure together and it costs money – Ripple SVP, Asheesh Birla

Ripple partner, MoneyGram, which uses Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL), using the digital asset for cross-border remittances, received over $11 million over 2019 from the firm, according to a legal filing with the US’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

MoneyGram has stated that it’s currently looking to expand its existing partnership with Ripple.

“MoneyGram continued to expand its strategic partnership with Ripple as the first money transfer company to scale the use of blockchain capabilities,” the announcement continues. “As the first money transfer company to scale the use of blockchain capabilities.”

MoneyGram’s end of year financial results of the company for 2018 revealed their income at a little over three hundred million. This income coincided with a decline of 6% from 4Q18 and excluded “$8.9 million of benefit from Ripple.”

Overall, in 2019, MoneyGram’s reported a revenue decline of 11%.

According to MoneyGram, this amount will be accounted for as “contra expenses” rather than revenue after consulting with the SEC.

In the prior quarter, the company had treated “Ripple market development fees” as revenue. But now, this Ripple “financial benefit” of $8.9 million in the fourth quarter, and $2.4 million in the third quarter are considered as amounts to offset existing operating expenses in its Transaction and Operations Support.

Ripple Paying MoneyGram to use their Software & XRP

In June 2019, Ripple announced a $50m strategic partnership deal with the money transfer giant. However, there was no mention of the $11.3 million MoneyGram received from Ripple until now.

In Jan. 2018, the first reports came in that MoneyGram would test Ripple’s xRapid solution. In Nov. last year, it was revealed that XRP has been powering 10% of MoneyGram’s Mexico-US corridor transactions through ODL.

A few months ago, it was disclosed by MoneyGram’s Q3 filing that the company “allows MoneyGram to utilize Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity blockchain product (formerly known as xRapid)” and XRP to facilitate cross-border settlements.

The reimbursements by Ripple to MoneyGram aimed to develop and bring liquidity to foreign exchange markets.

While the new filing doesn’t specify what the $11.3 million was for but it looks like the $2.4 million in Q3 and $8.9 million are given to the MoneyGram to use XRP.

Market Development Costs Money

On this investment, Ripple SVP, Asheesh Birla said:

“Ripple and MGI are strategic partners – we are building new infrastructure together. This market development requires a ton of work, effort, and resources. Surprise, that costs money!”

He further pointed out that Visa (which “allocated a casual $4.1B on incentives in 2019”) and PayPal had also employed “incentive programs” to boost their network adoption. Birla finished saying,

“MGI said today that they are actively expanding to new corridors, and even working to integrate RippleNet for account-to-account transfers in 2020. ODL reduces their capital costs because of the product’s efficiencies, not because they are receiving any fee on the other side.”

Related News:

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy

Tron Foundation Invests into Biscuit Game Maker with Plans to Relaunch EOS Knights

The Tron Foundation has recently become a new strategic investor and partner of Biscuit.io, a popular game studio that became famous after releasing the game EOS Knights. The announcement was made by Justin Sun on Twitter. The game is currently the 9th most popular decentralized application (dapp) on Dapp Radar, which over 6,000 players use each day.

Now, the company has agreed to launch an upgraded version of the game on the Tron ecosystem. According to reports, the game will be released by December and called Knight Story after the remaster.

According to the game studio, the reason to move the game from the EOS network to Tron is that the performance would be considerably better there. The head of the company, Jay Lee, affirmed that the developers are pretty excited to work together with Tron on Knight Story and that this collaboration will be hugely important for the company to innovate more.

Obviously, it is impossible to ignore that Tron has invested a lot of money in the company, meaning that there is a clear financial motivation for the company to change platforms, as well. Now, the company is set to change its clients to Tron users and possibly move some of them away from the EOS network, which would certainly please the Tron community.

Recently, the Tron Foundation has also invested in other studios. They include EtherGoo (which was turned into TronGoo) and oxGames, which will launch a new game called oxWarriors.

Read Original/a>
Author: Gabriel Machado

New Balance to Use Cardano Blockchain to Verify the Origins of a Range of Its Products

IOHK has announced a strategic partnership with the global athletic brand New Balance to use the Cardano (ADA) blockchain to authenticate a premium line of training shoes for the company. New Balance is one of the world’s leading brands in athletic footwear. primarily based in Boston Massachusetts, the company underwent a drastic expansion over the past 5 years, doubling its employees to over 8,000 worldwide, with revenue increasing from $2.7bn in 2013 to $4.1bn last year.

The Announcement

Several parasite brands were copying their image and branding. “It provides a lot of things to New Balance that they’re struggling with,” IOHK CEO Charles Hoskinson told Decrypt. “Last year New Balance confiscated around 25 million pairs of fake shoes. Authentication is a very expensive proposition for a bunch of brands’’. What he wanted was to bring to the table only a very better way for them to accommodate but also potentially create a marketplace.

Hoskinson envisages that Cardano will solely not just facilitate and establish provenance; it will also help the companies or manufacturers to spot those who are producing fake products, and are manufacturing merchandise on the side; also produce an efficient secondary marketplace for luxury goods, by authenticating produce, and even produce royalties or fees that return to the original manufacturer.

Blockchain, International Provide Chain, and Medical Insurance

Throughout the last few years, a variety of high-profile firms — like Anheuser Busch InBev and Alibaba — have begun to adapt to make use of blockchain-based systems to contour their everyday operations. As Cointelegraph recently reported, Walmart is using blockchain called VeChain. In respect to VeChain’s blockchain technology allows Walmart to seamlessly deploy its traceability strategy and permit for the large-scale use of this decentralized technology.

Cointelegraph reported that back in March the retail Carrefour has step by step rolled out its new blockchain-powered product, Carrefour Quality Line (CQL) micro-filtered full-fat milk. CQL is touted to ensure customers complete product traceability across the whole supply chain — from farmers to the shop shelves.

Read Original/a>
Author: Sritanshu Sinha

Euro Exim Awarded the Best Global Trade Services Bank 2019 for its “Bold & Savvy Partnership Move” with Ripple

  • Ripple, a strong reason behind Euro Exim’s win
  • The strategic partnership “strengthens” its compliance process and ramps-up speed and efficiency

Euro Exim Bank, a global financial solution that focuses on facilitating international trade has been announced — the second year running — the winner of the Best Global Trade Services Bank award.

“This year the judges praise the bank’s bold and savvy partnership move, enabling swift transactions, reduced liquidity and credit risks, and minimized fund transactions,”

wrote Lucy Taylor, Awards Liaison Officer.

As per the document, unearthed by an XRP enthusiast XRP Research Center, the title was awarded in late June.

Earlier this year, Euro Exim Bank announced that it is using the XRP cryptocurrency for cross-border payments.

The director of the bank, Kaushik Punjani said, at that time, that the customers’ have been traditionally restricted from settling transactions in less time and cost.

Working collaboratively, they designed, tested, and implemented both xRapid and xCurrent “in record time” and have been looking for the benefits that their customers will enjoy.

The London-based company holds a “Class A” international banking license and has earned an ‘enviable” reputation for its compliance policies, with about 40% of staff specializes in Anti-Money Laundering and Know Your Customer processes.

Its clients include both small and medium enterprises along with larger corporations and private individuals.

The latest addition to the bank’s “financial arsenal,” it says is its strategic partnership with Ripple the XRP cryptocurrency

“developer.”

This has been apparently the first regulated bank to join the Ripple network.

This partnership “strengthens” the bank’s strong compliance process with enhanced authentication capabilities while ramping-up speed and efficiency. A strong reason behind Euro Exim’s win.

While the panel recognized the bank for its trade-tailored solutions and strong due diligence in the past, this partnership move with Ripple that enabled fast transactions got them impressed.

Read Original/a>
Author: AnTy