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

Webjet Debuts New Hotel Booking Verification Blockchain based on Microsoft Azure

Webjet, a leading digital travel agent is excited to launch its blockchain platform with an objective of eliminating the existing disparities in hostel booking processes and data. The new project, Rezchain, is an application that will help address overcharges and reservation snafus in hotel booking by tracing data mismatches between booking agents, hostels and customers.

According to the company, such errors occur in about 5% of all hotel bookings. The application will send alerts to the interested parties if any are found. Such errors cause many firms to suffer financial resource losses. Besides the financial exposures, the reconciliation process is painful and time-consuming.

Webjet was launched two decades ago in 1998 as an online travel agent company operating in North America, Southeast Asia and Australia. The company has a project called WebBeds that offers a Business-to-business accommodation online platform.

“Mistakes should be expected from multiple IT systems that speak different languages. Writing off debts remains as the last resort whenever the situation is not clear. That has been a cost of doing business for decades, but the industry does not have to suffer from that anymore,”

said John Guscic, the managing director at Webjet.

Webjet believes it will leverage blockchain technology distributed nature by employing early warning systems via Email and a “virtual handshake”. Rezchain will store information in a shared ledger which will give all parties interested in online booking access to timely information. The application has been built on what we can refer to as a private version of Ethereum.

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Author: Denis Miriti

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

IOSCO: Existing Securities Rules Could Apply to Facebook’s Libra and Other Stablecoins

  • Stablecoins are directly tied with a “stable” asset or a group of assets, including fiat currencies or commodities.
  • Facebook’s Libra stablecoin is set to launch in 2020.

The launch of the Libra stablecoin by Facebook is still months away but reports from Reuters indicate that there are already securities rules in place that could apply. Rather than restricting stablecoin, these rules could help reveal the full benefits, according to IOSCO. IOSCO is a global securities watchdog, which made comments as policymakers investigate if additional regulations will be required in this sector.

IOSCO’s contributors come from around the world, including regulators in Japan, Europe, and the United States. The organization believes that, by assessing the stablecoins, it discovered that there are benefits that could be offered, in addition to the risks they presently have.

By definition, a stablecoin is directly connected with a “stable” asset or group of assets, like the dollar or the Euro. It can be tied with a fiat currency or even a commodity, and Libra aims to be linked with bank deposits and government securities that include multiple fiat currencies.

Still, the plan to launch at all has created a wealth of concerns from many countries, including worries over consumer protection and money laundering.

Ashley Alder, chair of IOSCO, stated,

“Our analysis has shown that so-called ‘stablecoins’ can include features that are typical or regulated securities.”

Essentially, that means that the rules that presently exist on disclosures, reporting, and registration would still be applicable.

Last month, CEO Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook admitted that the launch of Libra is a “risky project” while in discussions with US lawmakers. However, he added that electronic payments could ultimately be cheaper to perform, and that more people would have access to the global financial system. While Libra should be launching in 2020, there are lawmakers in Germany, France, and other countries in Europe that want to impose a ban on the stablecoin.

Alder remarked,

“It is important that those seeking to launch stablecoins, particularly proposals with potential global scale, engage openly and constructively with all relevant regulatory bodies where they may be seeking to operate.”

Still, better understanding regarding the applicable rights and obligations is crucial.

Alder added,

“We therefore encourage international collaboration, so the risks relating to stablecoins can be identified and mitigated, and the potential benefits realized.”

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Author: Krystle M

Privacy Browser Brave, Partners With World’s Largest Blockchain-Based Encyclopedia, Everipedia

  • Brave browser partners with Everipedia, the largest blockchain based encyclopedia.
  • The browser surpassed 8 million monthly users in mid-October, an all-time high.
  • The iOS app is set to integrate BAT rewards this month.

Brave browser partners with Everipedia

Brave released its partnership announcement with Everipedia, the world’s largest blockchain based encyclopedia, in a bid to enhance their marketing campaigns across their communities and boost both brands. Brave is a free, privacy centric and open source digital advertising platform that allows users to earn rewards paid in Basic Attention Tokens (BAT) when they interact with ads. Everipedia on the other hand offers users with a transparent, verified and immutable blockchain based encyclopedia.

According to the official post, the partnership will promote co-marketing between the two companies.

It read,

“Everipedia will promote featured articles about Brave and Brave-related content, while Brave will feature Everipedia ads for users who opt into privacy-preserving Brave Ads.”

Speaking on the partnership with Everipedia, the CEO and co-founder of Brave highlighted the importance of the partnership stating users who write, edit and vote on the credibility of articles on Everipedia and participate on Brave will be rewarded with BAT.

He further said,

“Brave offers privacy and an integrated wallet that rewards users and supports content creators. By working with Everipedia, we are using the power of blockchain to put users in control of their experience.”

Everipedia became a verified publisher on Brave in August and the two companies have since been working on better products to “enable users to contribute to the knowledge layer online, drive utility token adoption and protect their privacy.”

Theodor Forselius, CEO and co-founder of Everipedia, said,

“Brave and Everipedia are both early examples of how blockchain technology is changing our lives. We provide an un-censorable knowledge layer for the world and Brave protects our information while browsing.”

A growing Brave ecosystem

In mid-October, Brave announced the browser welcomed over 8 million monthly users, an all-time high in the platforms usage. Notwithstanding, the browser has seen an influx of verified publishers during 2019 with the number in mid-October standing at 290,000 verified publishers on the platform.

Apple mobile phone users are finally set to receive the Brave iOS app in the coming days as announced by the development team in October. The application allows users to receive BAT rewards for their attention and participation on the content and privatized ads.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Blockstack To Hire GSR Markets To Trade Its STX Token and Provide Liquidity

Blockstack enters into agreement with GSR Markets, a company registered in Hong Kong, to offer international liquidity for its Stacks token (STX), CoinDesk reports.

The details of the agreement were filed on Oct. 24 with the SEC. According to the agreement GSR will offer all services linked with management of liquidity of STK.

Blockstack will pay a one off fee of $100k as well as monthly fee of $20k for half a year. On its part, GSR will offer all services that come with enhancing STX liquidity and evaluate the market aspects. As part of the agreement, Blockstack will also loan GSR Bitcoins and Ether worth $1 million to finance the trading. The loan will attract zero interest.

In a situation where the deal is vacated in future, GSR is set to return the Bitcoin and Ether. However, 50% of the loan will be calculated in accordance to the price of STX at that time.

In the previous week STX started trading on the globe’s largest crypto exchange, Binance as well as Hashkey Pro which is based in Hong Kong and targets institutional investors. Blockstack paid about $250k to Binance in order for the exchange to list STX. in this regard, GSR will offer liquidity management services of STX in the two aforementioned exchanges. GSR will also offer OTC services in markets that serve non-US citizens.

Muneeb Ali, Blockstack CEO, hailed GSR as one of the best professional market enablers and allayed any fears of conflict of interests between the two firms. He explained that the market maker will operate independently and that Blockstack had no agreement on how to share profits.

On his part Cristian Gil, Co-Founder of GSR, said it was an exciting chance to work with the first utility token which is fully compliant with the necessary legal requirements.

Ali said,

“We want the market maker to be an independent player. GSR has full discretion on how they operate and Blockstack PBC has no profit-sharing with them. We decided to work with GSR because their focus on compliance and ensuring high quality aligns well with us.”

However, for US citizens they will have to wait for a while before they can trade STX tokens. Currently, no exchange is yet to be granted permission to list the STX token. However, there is hope if STX is listed in the country, Blockstack will end the contract with GSR.

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Author: Joseph Kibe

With a 42% Surge Bitcoin Prints the 3rd Highest Percentage of Gains in History, No Alt Season?

  • Volatility is back with a bang.
  • On Wednesday, Bitcoin saw a drop of 12% then on Friday BTC recorded the 3rd highest percentage of gains at 42% in its history.

The last two times Bitcoin saw more than 42% of the daily gain, the flagship cryptocurrency was trading at $0.40 and $0.65.

With 42% gains, BTC recorded 3rd highest percentage of gain in its history. The largest 24-hour price fluctuation was 52% in January, while the second highest one was just a month prior in December 2017 of 43%. In September 2017, it was 40%.

As seen in this tweet,

This upsurge economist and trader Alex Kruger says wasn’t driven by moving averages, trend lines, Fibonacci, or the CME expiry. Such 42% outliers are the result of news like China President Xi Jinping embracing blockchain technology.

“President Xi is the true Crypto Dad,” stated Kruger. No matter the driving force behind this rise, the market is enjoying the greens.

Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also took to Twitter to make a ‘buy bitcoin’ call,

No Alt-season This Time?

While the leading cryptocurrency is making historical gains, altcoins, though registering gains, they aren’t of that proportion. As such, BTC dominance has climbed back above 70%, from 67% on Oct. 25.

Source: Coin360

While sharing this update, prominent analyst PlanB, who is famous for his stock to flow approach to BTC price, took to Twitter to state,

PlanB further explained his reason for no alt season hashtag,

“IMO we are at war with the fiat money printers, and in that context I believe in concentration of assets. Only if we concentrate people & resources on btc, and don’t fall for divide & conquer tactics of our enemies, we have a chance to deploy btc sound money protocol.”

Bitcoin is currently trading at $9,208, as per Coincodex while managing the daily trading volume of $2.36 billion, up from $300 million earlier this week and $500 million from early in the day yesterday, on top ten exchanges with real volume.

Bakkt also made a new record of 1183 BTC on Oct. 25, up from 331 BTC changing hands the day before and the previous all-time high of 640.

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Author: AnTy

Binance to Work with Chainlink (LINK) to Supply Crypto Data for Decentralized Finance Apps

The giant exchange platform Binance, announced that it would join hands with Chainlink. This partnership will enable Binance to spread its crypto information and data to other blockchain technologies. The bold move was commissioned in a bid to expand the Decentralized Finance.

Binance Believes in Defi

Currently, Defi is the talk in town despite being in its developing stage. Its protocols depend on smart contracts that are blockchain-backed to initiate decentralized infrastructures that can anchor financial applications.

Such financial services characterized by traditional finance may include derivatives trading, lending, and decentralized exchanges. Defi does not need any central authority to take control of the market all courtesy of the DLT (Distributed Ledger Technology). It also takes the role of a guardian.

Binance has always shown interest in Defi and believes it is the next big thing. The Malta-based organization inaugurated Binance DEX, which is a decentralized exchange just recently. The new exchange functions separately on its own and not from their central platform.

Binance CEO CZ commented:

“We support the development of Decentralized Finance as an important part of the ecosystem. Binance works with many blockchain projects, including Chainlink, to bring freedom of money everywhere, and through the help of Binance data and Chainlink’s network, we can help accelerate the growth of DeFi.”

Core Objectives of the Collaboration

The duo joined hands to achieve some of the following crucial functions:

Transaction automation:

The incorporation will allow developers from Defi to create applications that will automate Binance’s transactions. The exchange said that this would bring about more flexibility in application creation and will also open up strategies for assets that are limited to market cap coins which are at the top.

Putting Binance Data On-chain:

The oracle system for Chainlink will enable Binance data to be available on blockchain technologies like Ethereum. That will include the data on insurance, trade finance, Defi, gaming etc.

Defi projects will have unlimited access to Binance data off-chain very securely. Chainlink has come up with an external adapter that smart contracts will use to merge Binance API’s data. That will ensure there is efficient connectivity and that all the node operators can submit data.

Applications created by Defi applying data from Binance can manufacture numerous new products and derivatives like options/futures that would depend on groups of cryptocurrencies.

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Author: Daniel W

Accenture Teams Up With R3, SAP To Develop ‘Seamless Financial Services Ecosystem’ Using DLT

The consultancy firm Accenture partners with an enterprise blockchain technology company, R3. The partnership also involves a leading software firm SAP – the three firms are collectively developing a prototype that will lessen the time required to execute high-value transactions.

They aim to unite the distributed ledger technology (DLT) and standard mechanism to perform end-to-end settlements of large sums of money.

As per Accenture’s blockchain lead, John Velissarios, the upcoming platform will;

“Because the current payment settlement infrastructure is highly complex and fragmented, RTGS systems that leverage DLT and cryptographically secure tokenized payments can help central banks improve efficiency and security,”

Namely, these giants are collectively planning to develop a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system to bridge the gap between banks and customers to enable faster, efficient, relatable, and secure payments.

Interestingly, they plan to facilitate integration and interoperability between DLT-based and traditional government-based payment settlement systems by using currency tokens. Accordingly, this digital currency will act as an alternative solution for Govt-backed fiat currency, while utilizing cryptography to enhance security and authenticity.

John Velissarios elaborated,

“The RTGS prototype, designed in collaboration with SAP and R3, demonstrates the next stage of efficiency in payment systems and ultimately paves the way to linking to tokenized-assets, like equities, to create an increasingly integrated and seamless financial services ecosystem.“

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Author: Ali Qamar

Australian Federal Police Take Hold of Artillery Dealer’s Bitcoin, Flip into Major Profits

Drug cartels and other criminal activities are mostly associated with Bitcoin trading. This is to raise funds to enhance their criminal activities. In the event, however, when the police confiscate $BTC from these illegal activities, where do they go? In Australia, for instance, it’s has been disclosed that in one scenario, the police collected a 20-fold gain.

According to the publication shared in the Australian Federal Police Yearly Report, in 2016, officials initiated legal action to capture USD 5,000. The amount is equivalent to AUD 7,300. By the time the authorities were able to net this amount, the value had rocketed AUD 154,000, which equals USD 105,000. The total amount is a 2,000% increase.

The instance began in 2016 when the Australian officials arrested an individual believed to be in charge of three firearms in the country. The individual received payments in Bitcoin according to the AFP report. The Bitcoin was seized the moment the individual was apprehended.

It took up to ten months to access the Bitcoin when the suspect finally agreed to sanction the coins. This came after a tense lawsuit action. During the time, the value had increased 20 times the average value.

The amount was deposited into the Commonwealth’s Seized Assets Account according to AFP reports. The funds are returned to the community for fighting and preventing crime.

This was the first time AFP had prevented Bitcoin as part of Criminal inspection. The move might have triggered their attentiveness in cryptocurrency.

With that in mind, it’s not easy for other confiscated assets to appreciate in value during legal proceedings. Jewelry, vehicles, real estate, and artwork could all be stopped. Few will have their value rise as quickly as Bitcoin, but the rest until the windfall.

Apprehending assets from criminals, especially cryptocurrency, shouldn’t always be about making money, but in this case it is. So,official’s should examine the markets to ensure it has equal representation of what is primarily netted.

In another scenario, the police in the UK sold seized Bitcoin way beyond market rates. It raised $369,000.

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Author: Ali Qamar