Alibaba Offers Bitcoin Shopping Cashback Rewards Via Lolli App With New Partnership

The affiliate retail startup Lolli has started a new partnership with the Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. Now, Alibaba will offer Bitcoin (BTC) rewards for clients who use Lolli to make purchases. Lolli is an in-browser app that is focused on allowing the users to get cashback in crypto and earn small rewards.

This new partnership was announced on Singles Day, a Chinese shopping holiday which is similar to Black Friday. As this is a major day for retail in the country, there are many people shopping, so it was the ideal day to launch the new project.

Aubrey Strobel, the head of communications at Lolli, has recently affirmed that China residents will, unfortunately, not be able to participate. Only Chinese-Americans, foreign students or travelers who are currently in the U. S. will be able to participate as Lolli cannot operate legally in China. Another reason is that all products need to be sent from China to the United States.

Lolli’s CEO Alex Adelman said that this partnership could be considered a milestone for the company and that Lolli had plans for an international expansion next year. He also noted that this was an important step to connect two important economies via Bitcoin and e-commerce.

Adelman acknowledged that the opportunity was only available for U. S. residents right now and claimed that the goal was to actually let anyone participate as soon as possible.

The industry of BTC cashback is growing. Companies such as Fold and SPEDN have also invested in this niche, so Lolli has a fierce competition to beat.

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Author: Silvia A

Binance CEO: New Open-Source Wallet Solution Will “Reshape the Landscape” of Custodial Services

  • The open-source coding is available through GitHub with more elaborate information available on the Binance Library.
  • Changpeng Zhao claims that the TSS technology is “far superior” to the present multi-signature security that most other custodians offer.

Changpeng Zhao, the CEO of Binance, is known for making big strides in the cryptocurrency industry, and he seems to have a lot of faith in their new solution available to wallet providers and custodians. In fact, CZ states that the open-sourced option is “far superior” to the multi-sig security presently offered by many custodians, and he believes that its introduction will reshape the entire industry.

The Threshold Signature Scheme (TSS) library for Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA), which was just released today, is openly-sourced. Basically, this cryptographic protocol is used for distributed key generation and signing, providing a way to avoid single points of failure in private keys for wallet providers and custodians.

The exchange explained the process a little more clearly, stating, “TSS allows users to define a flexible threshold policy. TSS technology allows us to replace all signing commands with distributed computations so that the private key is no longer a single point of failure. For example, each of three users could receive a share of the private signing key, and in order to sign a transaction, at least two of the three users will need to join to construct the signature.”

To use less resources and reduce the possible attack opportunities, TSS is used off-chain. Multi-signature protection is the opposite. With the threshold signatures, Binance states that a user’s assets won’t be at risk, even with a compromised device. The protocol helps with access control policies for business operators, protecting their corporate funds from being stolen by either insiders or outsiders. The Binance Academy has more information about TSS technology, and the open-source code can be found at GitHub.

To ensure that the coding is secure, Binance procured Kudelski Security for a third-party audit.  The cybersecurity solutions provider discovered “none of the issues found in the frame of this audit could be exploited” to “completely break the security of the scheme or recover secret data.”

Earlier this year, Kudelski partnered with Hosho, a smart contract auditing firm, allowing the two companies to combine their own skill sets to meet the needs of the blockchain industry.

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Author: Krystle M

eToro Social Crypto Trading Platform Buys Delta Crypto Portfolio Tracker App for $5 Million

The popular social trading platform eToro has recently decided to acquire Delta, a cryptocurrency portfolio management application. According to the reports from TechCrunch, the company was bought for $5 million USD, but the terms of the deal remain undisclosed.

Delta is focused on helping investors who want to make more informed decisions about the crypto market. So far, Delta has been used to track more than 6,000 cryptocurrencies from a total of 180 different exchanges. The company claims that over 1.5 people have downloaded the app until today and that a good share of these users can be considered active on a monthly basis.

According to the CEO of Delta, Nicolas Van Hoorde, the acquisition makes sense because there is a very strong synergy between the two companies. They are both very focused on their communities and always innovating. Also, the two firms have been successful in creating a community that has a high level of engagement by using cutting edge technology.

Reports indicate that the team will continue to be primarily based in Belgium and that most of the team members will continue in their positions. What will change is that now the team will work together with eToro to provide solutions that will cater to the needs of the social trading platform as well.

eToro’s CEO Yoni Assia has recently affirmed that most fintech companies right now are not even targetting profitability yet, so he is happy that the firm has been profitable for a long time and that they have several good products.

This is the second time that eToro has bought another company in 2019. Back in March, eToro was able to acquire Firmo Network for an undisclosed amount of money.

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Author: Gabriel Machado

Crypto Fund Managers in Hong Kong Have Been Stifled Due to Licensing Obstacles by the SFC

The securities regulators of Hong Kong started to let companies apply for a crypto fund license about a year ago, but not many licenses were issued so far. According to a recent report made by Reuters, the Securities and Futures Commission of the region is denying most of the applications, which is getting in the way of making cryptos mainstream in Hong Kong.

Initially, the regulators decided to start emitting licenses at the end of 2018. They would work as way for the markets to be protected from scams, as people would be able to check if a company was really licensed to operate in the country.

These licenses were among the first ones in the global scenario. They would allow managers to sell virtual assets for investors. Unfortunately, most companies are struggling to be approved, as the requirements are steep and the regulators do not seem to be satisfiable.

One of the main reasons why companies are having so much trouble to comply with the requirements is because they are mostly very small in both size and ambitions. It seems that the regulators predicted that only large funds would try to get the license, so they tailored the requirements for them.

In its report, Reuters identified a single company that was approved for a license: Diginex. The company operates a kind of “fund of funds”. The reason for that is because the approved companies are not publicly listed.

The CEO of Diginex, Richard Byworth, affirmed that the company believes that regulation is important in order to build a trustworthy relationship with the clients, which is why they did it as soon as possible.

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Author: John Isige

Private Corporations Should Develop a USD-Cryptocurrency, Not the Govt: Coinbase Legal Officer

The chief legal officer for Coinbase is urging the private sector players to join forces and come up with a tokenized version of the US dollar.

According to Brian Brooks, the time has come for the development of a digital US dollar but the major issue should be the one to lead the initiative, the private sector or the government.

Brooks in an article published in Fortune, opined that private firms should come together to develop a virtual US dollar. He explained that the government should only come in with favorable regulations rather than be the one to lead the initiative. Brooks explained that the best way to go about it is to allow the private actors within the crypto and financial industry to develop the digital currency while government agencies offer regulation guidelines.

Brooks suggests an unofficial public-private agreement where the private sector will allow the government to control the fiscal aspects while the government allows the private sector to control the technological aspects of the digital currency.

Brooks’ suggestions are different from the Libra project. The Facebook’s led stablecoin project has elicited concerns from policy makers around the world with various Congress and Senate members saying that the stablecoin will hard to control or regulate. The idea of pegging the Libra crypto with various worldwide currencies will inevitably dispose the US dollar as the global reserve currency. Several central banks heads like Lael Brainard of US have stated that Libra has the capacity to destabilize the global financial market.

Brooks explained that just like stablecoins pegged on the US dollar do not compete with the dollar, so will a digital dollar. He stated that the Federal Reserve will still maintain the control of the digital dollar.

Brooks explained that more stablecoins will continue to be minted if the government does not come up a guideline to guide the private sector to develop a digital dollar. For now, Brooks calls on the government to ensure that the stablecoins have the requisite dollar reserves they claim to have.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

As Digital ID Systems Expand, FATF Releases Guidance for Financial Institutions

  • The FATF organization released a 77-page guidance in digital identity for financial institutions, specifically regarding cryptocurrency and the use of DLT.
  • The guidance focuses on certain “areas of focus” like the way that digital identity impacts policies for AML/CFT.

Cryptocurrency is in a constant state of innovation lately, and the whole of the financial world needs to be prepared. The Financial Action Task Force (The Financial Action Task Force is preparing financial institutions and governments on the expansion of digital identification systems by sharing its latest AML and CFT guidelines.) has already prepared for the way that digital identification systems are evolving, and they’ve recently published draft guidance on this exact topic to help financial institutions be ready as well.

The guidance came out on Thursday regarding digital identity, which is meant to support regulated entities, governments, and other stakeholders. The guidance elaborates on the enforcement of regulations concerning anti-money laundering and counter financing terrorism. This organization, which functions across multiple governments, hopes to focus on the issues that continue to arise for security and transparency, especially as financial transactions start becoming more digital.

According to the website, FATF has offered several questions that are meant to be “areas of focus.” By November 29th, 2019, private stakeholders are meant to offer feedback via email. The areas specifically include risks that may be threatening to the ability to enforce AML and CFT regulations, as well as the way to improve transaction monitoring and the possibility of impacting requirements for keeping records for FATF.

One of the tools named as a way to improve digital ID network growth is blockchain technology, or distributed ledger technology.

Authorities have been urged by FATF to:

“develop clear guidelines or regulations allowing the appropriate, risk-based use of reliable, independent digital ID systems by entities regulated for AML/CFT purposes.”

Crypto exchanges and other regulated institutions need to:

“take an informed risk-based approach to relying on digital ID systems for Customer Due Diligence.”

The guidance, which takes up 77 pages, discusses many issues that digital ID systems may face, like the way to use them for due diligence regarding customers. Along with helping financial institutions, the guidance is also supposed to be part of the efforts to reduce the risks of money laundering and terrorist financing, correlating with additional stablecoins being launched in the market. FATF highlighted the necessity for digital identity involving payment systems, helping to identify the stakeholders involved in stablecoin-related transactions.

The blockchain industry has seen a lot of activity from FATF this year, as the organization published new guidance over the summer involving cryptocurrency exchanges and other VASPs. This guidance pushed for countries to implement strict KYC protocols, managing the risks involved with digital asset transfers.

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Author: Krystle M

China: “Innovation in Blockchain Doesn’t Mean We Should Speculate in Virtual Currencies”

  • “Blockchain “the future is here.” — China’s state-owned media
  • Use of blockchain technology for illegal information and activities “should also be severely punished”
  • Some of the largest Internet companies have already established the layout

China’s state-owned media, People’s Daily endorsed the “orderly” blockchain innovation but at the same time cautioned to “keep it rational.”

As per the translated version shared by Dovey Wan, the founding partner of Primitive Partners, the article starts with a bullish tone as it writes, “blockchain “the future is here.”

Blockchain technology is accompanied by cryptocurrency, it goes on to say, only to make it clear, that innovation in blockchain technology “is not equal to” the speculation in the digital assets.

“It should be prevented from using blockchain to hype up aircoins and other activities,” adds the newspaper.

China Already Has a ‘Good Foundation’

Though the “future is here,” blockchain technology is still in the early stage of development.

The technology needs to be further developed and improved in terms of safety, standards, and supervision. The use of blockchain to store and spread illegal information and for illegal transactions, money laundering and other activities “should also be severely punished.”

To better promote the innovative development of technology, it advises the adoption of inclusive and prudent regulation that includes prohibiting transgression.

Though they believed “there is no wrong direction for the development of blockchain” that is only by avoiding the rush and repeated construction.

China, the People’s Daily says already has a “good foundation” in the field of blockchain technology.

More than 20 provinces have introduced policies to promote the nascent technology and some of the largest Internet companies have established the layout as well.

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Author: AnTy

Binance.US Opens Up Buying Cryptocurrency Options by Allowing Debit Card Purchases

  • The daily volume on Binance.US jumps to $15 million
  • Apart from ACH and bank wire, users can now buy Bitcoin and 23 other cryptos with debit cards

In its opening month, Binance.US made new records, with the volume surging past $10 million, when the leading cryptocurrency recorded a 42% increase in price.

San Francisco-based exchange has gained momentum in the first month, as such the daily trading volume of the Binance’s American digital asset marketplace has jumped to $15 million, shared the leading cryptocurrency exchange on Nov. 1.

The token listings on the exchange have also increased from just starting with seven to now 24 viz. Bitcoin (BTC), BNB, Ethereum (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC) and Tether (USDT), Algorand (ALGO), Basic Attention Token (BAT), BUSD (BUSD), Cardano (ADA), Chainlink (LINK), Cosmos (ATOM), Dash (DASH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Ethereum Classic (ETC), IOTA (IOTA), NEO (NEO), Ravencoin (RVN), Stellar (XLM), Waves (WAVES) Zcash (ZEC), and 0x (ZRX).

This brings the total tally of trading pairs to 40 for US users.

Also, now Binance.US users can buy cryptocurrencies on the exchange using debit cards. This is another addition to the existing payment systems that include ACH and bank wire for USD on-ramps and off-ramps.

Launched in late September, Binance.US currently serves 37 states and Puerto Rico and further seeking license to service the remaining of the states in the US.

“This is just the beginning. We want our marketplace to stand out as an easily accessible, educational platform for anyone looking to participate in this global movement,”

said Catherine Coley, CEO of Binance.US.

Earlier this month, the exchange also increased its ACH (Automated Clearing House) limits for USD deposits and withdrawals to $30,000.

The USD deposits on the platform are also made eligible for FDIC insurance coverage to a limit of $250,000. This coverage protects depositors against the risk of loss in the event of an FDIC-insured bank fails.

“Beyond a means of asset exchange, Binance.US aims to help users access, evolve, and be in control of their own personal wealth,”

Coley said.

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Author: AnTy

The Ethereum foundation has posted an Ethereum 2.0 Update

The Ethereum foundation has posted an update for Ethereum 2.0, or the Serenity update. Serenity aims to switch ethereum to a full proof of stake model while also addressing scalability problems of its network. For developers, they’ll receive access to a new virtual machine for additional coding languages and execution.

The latest update announced the spec release of v0.9.0 Tonkatsu, which will help accelerate the network’s sharding model, is presently a work in progress.

The sharding model, called crosslinks, is claimed to simplify the communication model between shards and will drive an overall better experience for both users and developers. Crosslinks builds on top of the original sharding concept, which is a network partitioning technique designed to scale ethereum’s infrastructure while enabling more transactions per second.

Due to the network design of cross-links the number of total shards of the network must be reduced from 1024 down to 24, with the intention of scaling the network up over the next decade.

The shard block sizes are also being increased from 16KB to 128 KB, which comes as a result of recent experimental research conducted by the Ethereum Foundation.

Other work conducted towards Ethereum 2.0 include user clients optimizations and network monitoring tooling.

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Author: Matthew North

China’s “Over-Obsessive Control” is the Main Motivation for Its DCEP Digital Currency Initiative

  • The launch of DCEP “is more about politics than technology”

After five to six years of research, China’s central bank revealed few specifics of its Digital Currency Electronic Payment (DCEP) project while a Chinese official finally stated that the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) is likely to be the world’s first central bank to launch a digital currency.

Digital Currency Electronic Payment will be powered by blockchain tech and sent to user digital wallets just like Facebook’s Libra, but would also have features allowing the central bank to use analytics to track just how the currency moves from wallet to wallet. Essentially giving them the power to supervise transactions.

Motivation: Control of Money and Money Supply

According to experts, this is not just financial innovation but also a way to have fail-safe control over its cash economy.

Recently, Huang Qifan, Vice President of China Center for International Economic Exchanges stated that the significance of DCEP is in the replacement of money.

Market observers say the main motivation behind the project is to protect its capital borders in the face of fears.

“There’s a consensus around the world among central bank governors and governments at large that they want to have control of money and money supply and the seigniorage that comes along with it,”

said Keyu Jin, professor of economics at the London School of Economics on the sidelines of a forum in Singapore.

“But over-obsessive control and governance is probably more unique to China than anything else.”

DCEP launch is “More about Politics than Technology”

However, there is no fixed timeline for when the digital currency will be launched.

In the country, there have been few public reactions on the central backed digital currency and a few public discussions on Chinese social media platforms like Weibo have mixed views.

While some say it could prevent corruption others are concerned about their safety and freedom to build wealth.

“Theoretically, with digital currency, you could do away with bank accounts,” a Union pay official told Reuters. “The launch is more about politics than technology.”

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Author: AnTy