Ripple Partner Banco Santander to Run its Blockchain-based Payment System on 6 More Corridors

  • Santander using blockchain-based payment system already in Brazil, Mexico, the UK, and Spain
  • Soon, this international payment system will run on all of its 10 corridors, said John Whelan, Managing Director of Digital Investment Banking at Banco Santander

In April 2018, Santander launched a foreign exchange service that uses the blockchain technology via Ripple to make same-day international money transfers. At the time, it said the service called Santander One Pay FX has been the first cross-border payments service using blockchain made by a bank.

It went live in the UK, Span, Brazil, and Poland and was expected to be rolled out in other countries in subsequent months.

Now, on Nov. 14, John Whelan, the Managing Director of Digital Investment Banking at Banco Santander revealed that their blockchain-based payment system is running on four corridors including Mexico.

“We actually have a blockchain-based international payment system that is running on 4 of our corridors, Brazil, Mexico, the UK, and Spain. It will be on all 10 soon,”

said Whelan in his keynote address to The Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), an Ireland-based Irish policy think tank and EU advocacy group.

Bitcoin is “inefficient” so Santander went with Ripple

Whelan joined Banco Santander’s Blockchain lab in 2016 and has been leading a team responsible for using blockchain in the financial industry.

It all started with Bitcoin as he said,

“I got inspired by Bitcoin in 2012 and started asking questions — how does it actually work? and went down the rabbit hole.”

But Bitcoin he says is “inefficient” as it validates transactions every 10 minutes. As such they are leveraging the tech developed by Ripple that settles payments across the XRP Ledger in 4 seconds. Whelan added,

“Instant transfers at a very very tight spread, 30 basis points, nice user experience. I used it myself, money to the United States, it’s available on the same day. Fantastic. At a guaranteed rate, even better.”

Apart from Santander, MoneyGram is also planning to expand its partnership with Ripple by utilizing its On-demand Liquidity, formerly known as xRapid that leverages digital asset XRP to settle transactions, in new corridors before 2019 is over.

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Author: AnTy

Crypto Community Warns Of A Fake Charlie Lee YouTube Interview Scam, Promising To 10x Your Litecoin

A new crypto scam has appeared and this time it does not involve Elon Musk nor any Nigerian Prince. Jon Moore, known as the CEO of Tech Support, and the Litecoin Foundation’s John Kim have recently found a scam in which the criminals try to impersonate the founder of Litecoin, Charlie Lee.

According to them, the scammers are asking people to deposit LTC in his account as an “entry ticket” which costs 300 USD. The idea is that there is a giveaway of 50,000 LTC happening. People can send 5 LTC and they will receive 50 LTC back. The more money you send, the more “bonuses” you’ll get.

Fortunately, there are several obvious signs that the scammers are not really to be trusted. They used bots to fake the number of subscribers and have terrible English spelling, but some people, especially from non-English speaking countries, can possibly be fooled by them. They also liked several cartoon videos in Portuguese and have a very low number of views in their videos.

Giveaways are generally ways to promote new coins, not something people do with old-school tokens such as Litecoin. Also, they generally never ask you to invest anything before you can get your money.

If a giveaway is asking you to donate money before you can get a prize, you should be aware chances are that a scam may be happening are high. Scammers are everywhere these days, so it is a good idea to avoid any kind of suspicious project.

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Author: Silvia A

Binance Is Surpassing Huobi Exchange Volume in China: New TokenAnalyst Report

  • Token Analyst recently reported on BTC transactions between exchanges this year.
  • The data revealed that more transactions exist from Binance to Huobi than vice versa.

One of the most popular and well-known cryptocurrency exchanges is Binance, and they’ve remained highly active this year with their volume and work on the expansion. The exchange, based in Malta, has been looking into potentially trading on other trading markets, coinciding with the efforts of the exchange to create a solid place in the industry.

China has seen a lot of activity in the cryptocurrency industry recently, and it seemingly has increased demand for cryptocurrency, based on reports from Token Analyst. In the report, the researchers found that a major portion of the cryptocurrency volumes had moved from Huobi wallets to Binance. Of those exchanges, 259,000 BTC was moved through 48,000 transactions. On average, a transaction was worth approximately 5.4 BTC.

The Huobi exchange was founded in China, and it predominantly serves the Asian market. With the massive outflow to Binance, it is possible that the exchange is losing a lot of their outflow in the Chinese market, which is instead moving to Binance.

Despite this movement, the second-largest “interflow” involved transactions from Binance to Huobi. With over 44,000 transactions, 137,000 BTC was transferred. Since there is an apparent reverse movement of Bitcoin, the report implies that Huobi is still maintaining some kind of hold on the Asian market. Huobi has announced recently that their exchange has major expansion plans to involve smartphones, hoping to secure some of the OTC markets.

Binance has a clear advantage over the Singapore-based exchange, based on the data shown in the report. With more BTC leaving Binance and reaching OTC exchanges and institutional platforms, there could be more movement to come, and Binance’s stronghold in the global cryptocurrency market isn’t likely to loosen anytime soon. Still, domestic exchanges have been banned in China for quite some time, and investors have been limited in their global exchange options for trading.

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Author: Krystle M

Bitcoin and Gold Feeling the Pressure while Stock Market Makes a Fresh Record

Today, the market has hit yet new highs.

The benchmark S&P 500 Index, up 22.7% so far this year, is on track to rise for a fifth week in a row while Nasdaq is eyeing its sixth straight week of gains. The Dow Jones Average that spiked 150 points yearly has its 2019 gains climbing to 18%.

These gains came on the back of the comments from senior officials in Beijing, suggesting that the US and China will cancel planned tariffs on each other’s billions worth of goods in stages, as part of the first trade pact between the world’s two biggest economies that is due to be signed in the next few weeks.

“In the past two weeks, the lead negotiators from both sides have had serious and constructive discussions on resolving various core concerns appropriately,”

Ministry of Commerce spokesman Gao Feng told reporters in Beijing.

“Both sides have agreed to cancel additional tariffs in different phases, as both sides make progress in their negotiations,”

added Gao.

However, strategists are concerned that the market is placing too much emphasis on the “Phase One’ of the trade deal coming to fruition.

Meanwhile, as global stocks extended multi-year and multi-month highs, US equity spiked on the comments as well.

The European market also rallied, with Stoxx 600 benchmark is hitting a four-year high. Global oil prices went up amidst the broad market rally.

While the stock market is surging gold is in the red hitting new daily lows.

Bitcoin has been outperforming gold for the past nine years but today the digital gold is falling the same as gold.

The leading cryptocurrency is trading at $9,199 with 24 hours loss of 1.13%, as per Coincodex while managing the daily trading volume of just about $200 million.

Bitcoin might not be seeing the greens currently but as we reported the market is giving the signs that we are getting ready for an “explosive” move. The low volume, tight range, CME gap being filled and BTC entering the overbought levels are pointing towards this move.

Another positive factor for BTC is the open interest on Bakkt that has doubled to $2 million, as reported by Skew Markets. As Bitcoin Exchange Guide shared, these increasing numbers suggest that new money might be coming into the market.

This current phase, according to prominent analyst Willy Woo is just a “prolonged consolidation inside a macro bull market.”

Many have already called out the bottom of the market and being in the “blow-off” phase, the question remains whether we are taking a detour around $8k first or going straight to a new 2019 high.

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Still in a “Local Bear Structure, Inside a Macro Bull Market” – Prominent Analyst

  • What does this mean for BTC price? Are we are still in a bear market?
  • Despite Bitcoin recording the 3rd highest one-day gains in history, Will Woo says we are in the first “accumulation” phase.

Bitcoin has been on a tear, going from about $7,350 yesterday to well above $10,000. On some exchanges, it went as high as $10,600.

This has been the 3rd largest one-day gain in Bitcoin’s 10-year long history. According to analyst Willy Woo, the leading cryptocurrency in this cycle is trading like it did in the 2011-2013 cycle.

“The liquidity of the pro funds are the new oversized whales we had in the 2011 days. Expect volatility and chart shapes like a low liquidity shitcoin or early BTC,”

he said.

But What Does This Mean For BTC price?

Woo explains in a tweet,

A similar move has been seen yesterday.

When the big move started, Skew Markets reported in a tweet,

The short liquidated on BitMEX has been approaching $300 million, which is a significant part of $700 million open interest on the BitMEX contract.

As such this sudden and strong price movement to the upside, Woo says was dictated by,

“on-exchange trader games without sufficient organic investment volume to justify a long term climb.”

So now, for at least the next three months, and well into next year, he is expecting Bitcoin to range-bound sideways before the organic investment volume, that has been missing this time, flips Bitcoin into a bullish structure.

But economist and trader Alex Kruger argues that this organic investment is taken as to be reflected on-chain which is “incorrect” as most investors don’t care about “not your keys, not your coins”.

Woo counters that on-exchange supply has increased 4x since last bull run in 2017 and still the majority of HODL is still on-chain. So, these movements provide “a lot of behavioral information that can be extrapolated to on-exchange HODL.”

Does This mean, We Are Still in a Bear Market?

Woo explains, “it’s in a local bear structure, inside a macro bull market.”

But it’s not a bad thing, in any way, in fact, the analyst states,

“the longer this consolidation lasts, the higher the price target for the bull market top.”

Woo breaks it all down by detailing his view of Bitcoin bull markets, which is in three phases.

The first phase is a “pop out of accumulation,” which we are still playing out. The second phase is a long, steady climb with low volatility. The last phase is the “mania” when the volatility simply goes out of control.

Currently, we are in the accumulation phase and will enter the second phase a few months before the reward halving in May 2020, he said. Towards the end of Q1 of 2020 is that time when “a bullish on-chain structure should coincide with halvening front running.” That, Woo says will be the “best time to deploy capital and go long with high certainty.”

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Author: AnTy

Bitcoin Continues to Set New Performance Records for Its Network Hash Rate Power

Bitcoin dominance has continued to soar in the cryptocurrency ecosystem. BTC has set new records this month for its network hash rate, which indicates that miners jiggled off delicate price accomplishment.

Bitcoin Records All-Time Hash Rate High in October

Blockchain, which is the authoritative resource that keeps track of data established, the hash rate reached 114 quintillion hashes per second on the 23rd of this month.

This, by far, is the enormous recording ever shared by others, including BitInforCharts, which at the same time also recorded an all-time high of over 110 quintillions. On 10th October, Coin Dance recorded an all-time high of 134 quintillions.

Hash rate is the all-inclusive computing power required to intricate agreements on the Bitcoin infrastructure. More potential advocates perfect network security as well as potential profits in Bitcoin mining. Meaning, miners are expecting an increase in Bitcoin’s value soon.

The Latest Price Drop Is Testing Miners Profitability

The network hash rate seemed to undergo rapid change last month. At the same time, Bitcoin dropped by 40% in a day.  Experts elaborated the data did not imply miners were giving up on Bitcoin as reported by Cointelegraph.

Be it as it may, the continuing hash rate before the fall in the price of Bitcoin drew a line showing their laxity in investing in the industry- so is its profitability. This week, the mining giant Bitmain started the world’s largest mining farm in Rockdale, Texas.

The profitability measurement is nearing its cheapest in 12-months. Cointelegraph reported that one miner said that $6,500 is the bottom line to keep gains for miners. Bitcoin could experience lower hash rates if it scales over it. This may lead to miners to down their tools until when the prices return to normal.

Dovey Wan, one of the investors, said that Bitmain’s Antminer S9 mining supply model is one he famous miners around the globe. At the moment, the miner is in the negatives at the present prices, excluding other costs such as electricity.

It is, therefore, a matter of time to see if the fall in Bitcoin price will have a contradiction on the hash rate.

All Eyes On Block Prize Method

Miners will now keep up with at least half of the new Bitcoins per block starting May 2020. Instead of 12.5 BTC, they will now compete for 6.25 BTC.

Reporters are anticipating the block halving to increase Bitcoin price with a comparison of up to $63 million not able to be used each week.

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Author: Ali Qamar

Litecoin One Step Closer to MimbleWimble, MW LIP Published on LTC Git Repository

Earlier this year, Litecoin creator Charlie Lee announced that soon confidential transactions and MimbleWimble implementation would be introduced to the 6th largest cryptocurrency.

Last month, it has been announced that the Litecoin Project is working with David Burkett, a Grin ++ developer to add MimbleWimble support to the Litecoin network.

Now, a draft of two Litecoin Improvement Proposals to implement MimbleWimble through Extension Blocks has been proposed on GitHub.

The LIP introduces opt-in MimbleWimble (MW) as a new transaction format through extension blocks. These blocks run alongside the main chain blocks at the same interval of 2.5 minutes. Inside the EB is where MW transactions occur.

Initially, it would be opt-in, meaning it’s up to users to use MW by using coins in and out of the EB through an integrating transaction.

MW with EB, the proposal states can be soft forked in via version bits. Old clients won’t be aware of the EB side but will only see the coins ending up in the anyone-can-spend address.

What are the Options?

Due to the fact that transaction history can be publicly traced, it hinders Litecoin’s fungibility. The private transaction is one solution to the problem that provides financial privacy and allows for plausible deniability. But such transactions can be selectively disclosed and validating them requires processing the entire history of transactions.

The team looked at other options like Confidential Transactions and Zk-Stark as well but decided to not go with them because while the former one would have been very expensive with large transaction sizes, the latter came with an estimated 20kb transaction size.

So, they decided to go with MW, which not only hides the amount being sent but also deletes the transaction history from the ledger.

However, it has its own disadvantages in the way that transactions must be built interactively, impossible to implement as a typical soft fork and makes private Litecoin attractions BOLT incompatible. Also, it’s currently unsuitable for the Lightning Network.

But it can be implemented without a hard fork through extension blocks.

As such, Litecoin will be using MimbleWimble protocol whose two components, Transaction Kernels and Transaction Cut-Through the team will be leveraging.

This new privacy protocol will be activated with BIP8. One year from the day the implementation is released, the soft fork will be activated, reads the proposal. The miners will be able to activate it “early with a 75% signaling threshold.”

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Author: AnTy

MediaLab Buys Kik Messaging App, Shares Plans to Expand KIN Project

The messaging app Kik was sold to MediaLab this week. Now, the holding company, which also operates another product called Whisper, is set to manage Kik as well. This happened because Kik Interactive, the company behind the messaging app, decided to shut down last month.

Kik’s CEO Ted Livingston announced just last week that the company would be sold and the sale was made soon after that. According to him, MediaLab believes that Kik is still to see its “best days” and it is willing to bet on this. Now that the product was acquired, Kik will change in several aspects. One of them is the integration of ads to acquire more revenue.

Crypto Ecosystem To Continue

Kik Interactive is currently in a legal battle with the U. S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which accuses it of violating the securities law with its Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The whole fight, which has been expensive for the company, is one of the reasons why Kik had to shut down.

This does not mean that the crypto plans of the company are dead, though. The Kin ecosystem will continue to exist if it depends on Livingston. He affirmed that he would continue to build on the ecosystem and that the messaging app would also continue its plans to provide crypto transactions.

MediaLab’s goal is to improve the app by reducing the number of bugs and glitches and collecting feedback from users in order to discover the features that could be interesting. This way, the service would continue to be useful and to offer what its clients need the most. They added;

“We are fans of Kin and believe in its long term potential. We are excited to further partner with Ted and his team on expanding the Kin integration and have plans to further support the project. We’ll have more to share on that front soon.”

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Author: Hank Klinger

Binance DEX Adds BNB/BUSD Trading Pair, Burns $36.7 million worth of Binance Coin

The decentralized exchange rolled on by crypto exchange giant Binance earlier this year is now offering it’s clients a new service to purchase and sell Binance’s new USD-pegged stablecoin with BNB.

On Oct 17, on its official Twitter platform, Binance DEX announced a new listing on its platform, BNB/BUSD Trading Pair. the pairing means that traders will now have the option to buy and sell BUSD using the Binance Coin (BNB).

BUSD Gets Regulator’s NOD

In the recent past the crypto space has witnessed a significant growth in the number of stablecoins. These are assets which are pegged or backed by physical or touchable assets and, in most cases, the US dollar, the world’s reserve currency. Some of the most popular ones include Tether (USDT), USD Coin (USDC), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), among others. Recently, Binance joined the fray as one of the coin emitters with its Binance USD (BUSD).

Recently BUSD was approved by the New York State Department Of Financial Services (NYDFS). According to Binance, the launching of BNB/BUSD trading pairs will help in adding liquidity in the market to the advantage of the customers. At the moment BUSD is ranked number 287 among the most popular cryptos in the market.

Binance Burns More BNB

Meanwhile, Binance CEO Chaopeng Zhao popularly known as CZ, has announced that the company has burned 2,061,888 BNB worth about $36.7 million. This is the ninth BNB burn and represents about 1.1% of the total BNB supply.

According to U Today, coin burning can be described as the permanent removal of coins from circulation, thereby reducing the amount of coins in circulation. Binance burns BNB coins on the basis of the volume of trades made within its exchange over the last 3 months. Therefore, in every quarter, the crypto exchange giant burns some BNB coins.

According to CZ, the high amount of BNB burn shows significant growth and he credits it to the launching of fresh services like margin trading and futures trading.

Binance plans to keep on burning BNB within its possession until there are only 100 million left.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

French Finance Minister: Libra Will Take Away State’s Power To Control Currency

French Economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire attacks Libra again this time claiming that Facebook’s led stablecoin will intrude on one of the most important national government mandates, issuance of currency.

In an op-ed to Financial Times, Le Maire stated if Libra was allowed to take off it will take away the sovereign power of states to issue and control their own currencies which will have unprecedented repercussions to the world’s economy and financial system.

Le Maire’s opinions are similar to his German counterpart, Olaf Scholz who has maintained that Libra should not be allowed in Europe as it will infringe on the sovereignty of the countries.

Le Maire stated that he can’t imagine one of the most powerful tools of a state, monetary control, and policy, being taken over by private companies that are not subjected to any democratic control.

The finance minister explained that after the creation of the euro in 1999, the EU member states gave up some aspects of their sovereignty to a more powerful European project. He pondered whether states are ready to allow Facebook together with other members of the Libra Association to provide private currency and undermine the effort made by EU member states.

Le Maire reiterated his sentiments in a tweet claiming that sovereignty, both political and monetary, can never be shared with private companies.

France has been one of the harshest critics of Libra which is facing intense pressure from policymakers around the globe. Politicians and regulators have been raising concerns with the Libra project fearing that Facebook will have immense power on money issues around the world.

In the past, Le Maire has categorically stated that France will never allow Libra to operate in the country as it is a threat to the EU’s financial systems among other risks.

According to CoinDesk, Le Maire, the EU needs to move faster and come up with innovative cross border payment systems as well as central bank-issued digital money to counter Libra’s threat. He explained that China should not be left to be the only player in the market on the issue.

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Author: Joseph Kibe