South Korea to Crack Down on Phishing Websites Attacking Crypto Users

South Korea to Crack Down on Phishing Websites Attacking Crypto Users

South Korean authorities are intensifying their monitoring of phishing activity related to cryptocurrencies. The government has identified a record number of websites trying to obtain login details from crypto exchange users. Over 30 sites have been taken down in just three months this year.

Seoul Strengthens Monitoring of Crypto Phishing Scams

Rising market prices have led to an increased number of phishing attempts targeting investors and users of cryptocurrency in South Korea. The government in Seoul announced it’s strengthening its monitoring system to quickly detect such threats. It will also work closely with the Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) to prevent fraud.

South Korea to Crack Down on Phishing Websites Attacking Crypto Users

The Korean Ministry of Science and Information and Communications Technology said it’s receiving an increasing number of reports of phishing attempts. Attacks are often conducted via text messages convincing crypto traders to enter their exchange usernames and passwords on fake websites. The perpetrators can then access their accounts and steal their holdings.

The department has found and blocked 32 phishing websites only in the past three months, Yonhap News Agency reported. That compares to a total of 41 sites identified during the whole 2020. Fake web pages often have domain names that look similar to those of real platforms. One of them is called Bithnub, a misspelled version of the name of one of the largest Korean exchanges, Bithumb. The monitoring system operated by the ICT ministry works around the clock to block such websites as soon as possible.

Police Agency Investigates 21 Cases of Breached Crypto Accounts

Meanwhile, the National Police Agency has opened its own front against crypto fraud since early March this year, the Korean Herald revealed in an article. KNPA is now investigating 21 cases in which accounts of cryptocurrency users have been breached and emptied of assets. The agency recently prohibited its own investigators from acquiring cryptocurrencies and obliged them to disclose any coins purchased before the ban.

South Korea to Crack Down on Phishing Websites Attacking Crypto Users

A recent report revealed that South Koreans have access to more trading platforms and types of digital currencies than other nations such as Japan and the U.S. In April, the price of the leading cryptocurrency by market capitalization, BTC, reached 80 million won per coin in Korea (around $72,000). The high market prices have led to a spike in other illegal activities involving digital assets.

This week, the Korean police raided the offices of a Seoul-based cryptocurrency exchange suspected of defrauding customers through a multi-level marketing scheme. Korean financial regulators have announced an offensive against crypto-related money laundering and fraud which will continue until June.

What do you think about the announced crackdown on phishing attacks against crypto users in South Korea? Let us know in the comments section below.

Bank of Russia Tests Services Related to Cryptocurrencies

Bank of Russia Tests Services Related to Cryptocurrencies

Russia’s central bank has examined three platforms offering crypto-related services. The projects have been tested in its regulatory sandbox in the course of 2020. Bank of Russia has received dozens of requests to pilot various financial services since it created the closed regulatory environment around three years ago.

CBR Pilots 3 Crypto Projects in 2020

The Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR), also known as Bank of Russia, launched the sandbox back in 2018, when developments in financial technology and decentralized digital assets presented regulators with a new set of challenges. Since the start of the initiative, over 70 entities, including financial institutions and fintech companies, have asked the regulator to test their new products, services, technologies, and business models.

Bank of Russia Tests Services Related to Cryptocurrencies

CBR’s 2020 annual report published recently reveals that the bank admitted three crypto platforms to the sandbox last year. Centrobank reviewed the operation of a cryptocurrency mining pool, a crypto payment system and a digital assets investment platform, RBC reported. No details have been provided regarding the current results from the testing but in case of a positive outcome, the Bank of Russia is expected to present a road map for their integration within the legal framework governing Russia’s financial sector.

Bank of Russia Provides ‘Safe Space’ for Crypto Projects

In July, the Russian parliament adopted a federal law providing for the establishment of special legal regimes for the testing of digital innovations, including in the financial industry. The central bank uses its regulatory “safe space” to examine the potential effects of such projects in an isolated environment and identify risks associated with innovative financial services and technologies. The CBR can also define the steps that need to be taken in order to create conditions for their implementation in the market.

Bank of Russia Tests Services Related to Cryptocurrencies

Bank of Russia has in the past opposed the legalization of cryptocurrencies in the country but offered to permit crypto mining, as long as miners sell their coins outside Russian borders. With the Law on Digital Financial Assets coming into force in January, digital coins are now recognized and regulated as property.

However, Russians cannot use cryptocurrencies for payments, government officials are not allowed to own crypto, and investments are capped for ordinary citizens. Earlier this year, an annual limit of 600,000 rubles (around $8,000) was introduced for crypto investments by “non-qualified” participants in the market.

The central bank is currently working on a digital ruble project and is expected to present the first prototype of the CBDC platform by the end of this year. If everything goes according to its initial plan, the testing phase should begin in 2022. Last summer, CBR presented an updated concept of the digital ruble, following consultations with Russian financial institutions aimed at creating a digital currency that’s more convenient for the banking sector.

What’s your opinion on the testing of crypto-related products and services in regulatory sandboxes? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Ukraine’s Public Radio Launches Podcast With an Episode on Bitcoin

Ukraine’s Public Radio Launches Podcast With an Episode on Bitcoin

In an attempt to expand and diversify its audience, the public radio of Ukraine has recently entered the world of podcasts. Listeners have been invited to choose among a variety of topics and genres. A podcast devoted to personal finance management and financial literacy kicks off with an episode about Bitcoin.

New Radio Programs to Attract Listeners by Discussing Anything, From Crimea to Crypto

The National Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine (NSTU) has launched several podcasts to better promote the programs of its radio stations, Ukrainian Radio, Radio Kultura, and Radio Promin. It also hopes to offer its audience exclusive content in a convenient format, including new projects such as documentaries and conversations with interesting guests. Dmytro Khorkin, Board Member at the NSTU responsible for radio programs, elaborated:

For NSTU radio stations, podcasts are an additional opportunity to reach out to an audience that consumes audio content through digital platforms. They are created and launched in cooperation with the Digital Platforms Department.

The podcasts are available online on Soundcloud, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, and Anchor. The programs deal with various social, economic, and political topics, producing anything from historic audio documentaries about the Chernobyl disaster and the 90s crisis, to in-studio discussions on contemporary challenges such as the rampant corruption in modern Ukraine and the political struggles of rights activists in Russia-annexed Crimea.

‘100 Thousand’ Podcast Answers Questions About Cryptocurrency

How to earn, spend and earn again even more money is the key question a podcast called “100 Thousand” aims to answer. The authors of the program, led by Ukrainian Radio host Roman Kolyada, want to help you learn how to plan your budget, save intelligently and increase your funds through smart investments. The main purpose of the project is to improve financial literacy among Ukrainians and that’s probably the reason why the podcast launched with an episode devoted to decentralized digital money:

In the first episode we talk about cryptocurrencies. Why are they rising so fast? What’s the difference between cryptocurrency and traditional money? And most importantly, is it worth investing your savings in crypto?

Cryptocurrencies have seen strong growth in the past months and many Ukrainians would like to know if bitcoin and other digital currencies have a place in their savings and investment portfolios. The first guest of the podcast, Yevhen Nevmerzhytskyi, who holds a Ph.D. in economics, tries his best to answer all these questions for the audience.

Ukraine’s Public Radio Launches Podcast With an Episode on Bitcoin

Ukrainians have a generally positive attitude towards cryptocurrencies and their country is among the world’s leaders in terms of adoption. A report by the blockchain forensics firm Chainalysis ranked Ukraine first among 154 nations in last year’s edition of its Global Crypto Adoption Index. The government in Kiev is also open toward the digital assets space and works on a project to launch its own CBDC in close cooperation with members of the crypto industry.

What do you think about the podcasts launched by Ukraine’s public radio? Let us know in the comments section below.

Iran Warns Crypto Investors Amid Ban on Bitcoin Mined Outside Its Borders

Iran Warns Crypto Investors Amid Ban on Bitcoin Mined Outside Its Borders

The Central Bank of Iran has issued a warning against unrestrained crypto trading and reminded investors that only cryptocurrencies minted by licensed miners in the Islamic Republic can be used under limited circumstances. Traders will bear full responsibility for the risks, the bank cautioned, although spending crypto on imports through approved banks and exchanges remains legal.

Central Bank of Iran Speaks Against Crypto Investments Despite Plunging Stock Market

The popularity of cryptocurrencies among Iranians has grown significantly with the rising prices of the decentralized assets in recent months, Fars News Agency noted in a report. Crypto trading platforms have taken advantage of the volatile state of the Iranian stock market, where deals have seen a remarkable decline since last summer. Quoted by ILNA, a member of the High Council of Securities and Exchange which governs the stock market, Mohsen Alizadeh, noted:

The capital outflow is traceable. Liquidity has flown into parallel markets, including digital currency.

According to his figures, 1,500 trillion rials of capital, or $7 billion, has left the Iranian stock market through major shareholders and institutional traders. The Financial Tribune reported that the main index of the Tehran Stock Exchange, TEDPIX, has dropped 50% in the past few months. On this backdrop, the Central Bank of Iran has now recommended that Iranians avoid dealing in cryptocurrency, warning them that crypto investments would be at their own risk.

The CBI has effectively banned the use of foreign-mined cryptocurrencies. In the statement released this week, the financial authority reminded the Iranian public of an earlier government decision, according to which only cryptocurrencies mined in Iran, and in accordance with the law, can be transferred. “Authorized money exchangers and banks can settle forex payments intended for imports through the cryptocurrencies mined inside the country,” detailed the announcement, quoted by Fars.

In April, the CBI permitted the use of decentralized money in cross-border payments to foreign suppliers in accordance with its guidelines. The cryptocurrency spent on imports has to be provided by crypto miners operating in Iran. The mining entities must be licensed by the Ministry of Industry, Mines, and Trade, the institution emphasized.

New Rules and Regulations Apply to Crypto Trading

A report quoted by Bitcoin.com News in April revealed that lenders and licensed currency exchange offices have been notified about the crypto payment regulations. The Central Bank of Iran has adopted the new policy in an attempt to circumvent, or at least minimize the impact of sanctions imposed by the U.S. on Iranian financial transactions with the rest of the world.

Iran Warns Crypto Investors Amid Ban on Bitcoin Mined Outside Its Borders

The latest CBI announcement suggests that the same rules apply to cryptocurrency trading. “The Central Bank announced that according to the decision of the Cabinet, trading of digital currencies extracted abroad is prohibited and only currencies extracted inside the country can be traded,” reads the unedited English translation of a Farsi tweet by the Iran International news channel.

The CBI is also mulling the launch of its own central bank digital currency (CBDC). Earlier this year, it revealed it’s reviewing different options to issue a digital rial and studying similar projects in countries such as China and the Russian Federation. At the same time, the bank reaffirmed its commitment to implementing laws aimed at curbing money laundering. In January, Governor Abdolnaser Hemmati vowed that the CBI will continue to implement regulations limiting financial transactions through anonymous accounts.

What do you think about Iran’s warning against crypto investments and the ban on the use of cryptocurrency mined abroad? Tell us in the comments section below.

South Korean Police Officers Banned From Buying Cryptocurrency

South Korean Police Officers Banned From Buying Cryptocurrency

A recent ban imposed by the South Korean National Police Agency will bar particular officers from purchasing additional cryptocurrencies. The announcement coincides with a report revealing a heightened domestic availability of digital coins, in comparison to the global marketplace.

South Korea to Penalize National Police Agency Officers Who Fail to Disclose Crypto Holdings

Officers with certain investigative and inspective responsibilities have been prohibited from buying additional cryptocurrency. Reporting on the Friday announcement suggests that Korean National Police Agency (KNPA) officers will be obliged to make additional disclosures on any held digital assets.

South Korean Police Officers Banned From Buying Cryptocurrency

The country’s main law enforcement agency stressed penalties for non-compliance, without any indication to their severity. Domestic sources suggest the move aims to introduce additional transparency to sensitive KNPA departments, after a last-month announcement from the South Korean government that it would crackdown on illicit crypto transactions.

The government claims that market price increases have inflated risks of money laundering and fraud. Between April and June, additional efforts will be made to curb illegal activity. Countermeasures were recently discussed at a meeting between various ministries, law enforcement agencies, and financial regulators. It remains uncertain what other policies may be implemented in the coming summer months.

South Koreans Have Access to More Cryptocurrencies Than Americans, Report Suggests

While the KNPA has moved against its own officers holding digital assets, a media report has turned attention to the wide availability of cryptocurrencies in the South Korean market.

According to the Chosun Ilbo daily, the country has more cryptocurrency exchanges than Japan and the United States. The Financial Services Commission warned that all of the country’s crypto exchanges, around 200 platforms, could be shut down for failing to register with the regulator. Among these exchanges include controversial smaller trading platforms, which often deal in a variety of more volatile currencies.

South Korean Police Officers Banned From Buying Cryptocurrency

Currency variety is not unique to the younger and smaller domestic exchanges. Upbit, South Korea’s largest crypto trading platform, supports 178 different cryptocurrencies. Another major exchange, Bithumb, offers 170. In comparison, Coinbase, the leading U.S. crypto exchange, trades 58 currencies, and every listed exchange in Japan combined only 29.

“Many transactions are being made solely based on agreements between issuers and exchanges,” said Choi Gong-pil, an associate of the Korea Institute of Finance. He suggested a lack of transparent standards and current industry rules contribute to speculation, and a risky environment for investors.

What’s your opinion on the ban imposed by the Korean National Police Agency? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Lega Serie A to Commemorate Historic Coppa Italia Final With NFTs

Lega Serie A to Commemorate Historic Coppa Italia Final With NFTs

The governing body of the major professional soccer league in Italy, Lega Serie A, will release a special collection of NFTs in commemoration of Cup of Italy’s last match this year. The 2021 Coppa Italia Final is viewed as a historic event as Juventus and Atalanta prepare to clash for the trophy for the first time.

Italian Soccer League to Offer Collectibles for Cup of Italy Final

The winner will be determined in a game on May 19, when the two teams meet at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia. After a successful year in the Italian soccer championship, Bergamo-based Atalanta will now challenge the Italian grand Juventus for the Cup of Italy. With 13 title wins so far, Turin’s Juve is the tournament’s most successful club.

Lega Serie A to Commemorate Historic Coppa Italia Final With NFTs

Lega Serie A wants to commemorate the game with a special NFT collection, including the official trophy and match highlights. The non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will be launched in partnership with the payment and cryptocurrency platform Crypto.com after the two sides reached an agreement expected to extend into the future.

According to a joint announcement, Lega Serie A becomes the first major professional football league to partner with a crypto company and come up with such an initiative. It’s also the second sport organization to release tokens with the help of Crypto.com, after the Aston Martin Cognizant team commemorated their return to Formula 1 with NFTs.

Lega Serie A Partners With Crypto Company to Expand Global Audience

Based in Milan, Lega Serie A is among the leading European football leagues and one of the most famous around the world. 20 clubs compete in Italy’s premier league, the top four of which qualify directly to the group phase of Europe’s most prestigious professional soccer tournament, the Champions League. Commenting on the agreement with Crypto.com, Lega Serie A SEO Luigi De Siervo stated:

We are the first football league in the world to sign an agreement in this new market which is extremely innovative and relevant not only for sports fans.

De Siervo emphasized that through the NFT release, Lega Serie A aims to further promote its brand internationally and expand its global audience, which exceeded 1 billion viewers during last season. The Coppa Italia Final “will offer millions of fans around the world an exciting experience not only on the pitch, but also before and after the game, thanks to the many commercial and marketing initiatives that we will organize with our partners.”

Lega Serie A to Commemorate Historic Coppa Italia Final With NFTs

“We are proud to collaborate with an exceptional partner such as Lega Serie A,” said Kris Marszalek, co-founder and CEO of Crypto.com. “Through our partnership, we will bring together the best of blockchain technology and football by co-creating NFTs sure to become instant classics and highly coveted collectibles,” the chief executive added.

Crypto.com provides payment and exchange services to crypto users, allowing them to buy, sell and spend cryptocurrency. The company operates globally offering an exchange platform, a mobile app supporting over 100 coins, including BTC and BCH, a noncustodial wallet, and a prepaid Visa card that can be loaded with cryptocurrency.

What do you think about Lega Serie A’s initiative to launch NFTs for the 2021 Coppa Italia Final? Let us know in the comments section below.

Electronic Transactions Association Proposes 7 Guiding Principles for a Digital Dollar

Electronic Transactions Association Proposes 7 Guiding Principles for a Digital Dollar

The Electronic Transactions Association (ETA) has put forward a set of guiding principles to be considered in the creation of a U.S. central bank digital currency (CBDC), also referred to as digital dollar. The organization, which unites hundreds of companies in the payments industry, confirms its commitment to ensuring access to financial services for all Americans.

Payments Industry Association ETA Issues Guiding Principles for CBDC

ETA is the world’s leading trade association representing the interests of companies involved in providing products and services pertaining to electronic transaction processing. Among its more than 500 members are Visa, Mastercard, Paypal, Bank of America, Google, Apple, and many other established players in the sector.

Electronic Transactions Association Proposes 7 Guiding Principles for a Digital Dollar

In a document put out by its official publication, Transaction Trends, ETA lists “7 Guiding Principles,” against which any CBDC should be measured. The trade association is convinced that the U.S. government should carefully consider these principles to ensure that a CBDC proposal serves the needs of consumers and furthers financial inclusion. The release comes at a time when the Federal Reserve is working on a digital version of the dollar. Some prototypes are set to be unveiled in July, as news.Bitcoin.com reported recently.

ETA insists that consumers must be guaranteed continued “access to a robust and innovative array of secure banking and payment options.” It also warns that although the adoption of a CBDC is associated with certain benefits, Washington should also take into consideration “the inherent costs and risks.” These could be different depending on how the CBDC is designed.

“Innovation” is the first principle listed by the association. The introduction of a CBDC should catalyze innovation in multiple areas such as strengthening cybersecurity and consumer protection as well as expanding access to financial services. Regulators have to also find “the right tool for the job” by comparing CBDC designs with existing payments systems, taking into account their ongoing improvements.

Private Sector Participation Deemed Essential for the Digital Dollar

The trade association believes that competition in the payments industry is important for maintaining the efficiency of national and international payment flows. “Private sector participation” in the design and distribution of a CBDC is essential. And as any central bank digital currency would be introduced into an established ecosystem, ensuring “interoperability” with other payments systems is also necessary.

Electronic Transactions Association Proposes 7 Guiding Principles for a Digital Dollar

“Open acceptance” is another important principle as according to ETA, consumers will be more likely to adopt a CBDC that can be used on existing networks and supported by known payment methods. A merchant accepting cards should be able to take CBDC as well.

“Consumer protection” is a key area too, with ETA pointing out that the framework for the digital currency should ensure the privacy and security of every in-person and online transaction. The organization also advocates for the adoption of “regulation tailored to the risk profile of the participant,” which takes into account the activities of the various entities and the risks associated with them.

ETA CEO Jodie Kelley vowed that the organization and its members will work with the U.S. government to ensure that all American citizens continue to have access to critical financial services. “These ‘7 Guiding Principles for CBDC’ are designed to evaluate whether the benefits of any proposal outweigh the negatives and significantly enhance the innovative, ubiquitous, and secure payments ecosystem that currently makes access to financial services a reality,” Kelley noted, quoted in a press release.

What’s your opinion about the guiding principles for CBDC released by the Electronic Transactions Association? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Fintechs Invited to Work on Georgia’s Central Bank Digital Currency

Fintechs Invited to Work on Georgia’s Central Bank Digital Currency

National Bank of Georgia (NBG) has issued a call for companies in the fintech sector, financial institutions and technology firms to support its efforts to create a digital currency. Georgia’s central bank wants to employ new technologies to raise the efficiency of the country’s payment system and promote financial inclusion.

Georgia’s Central Bank Mulling Digital GEL

NBG is now inviting companies from innovative industries as well as interested financial institutions to join a public-private partnership tasked to facilitate the adoption of a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The bank is considering launching the digital version of the national fiat, Georgian lari (GEL), as a publicly available coin that will have legal tender status.

The digital GEL can be used to settle payments or as a store of value, the National Bank of Georgia explained in an announcement published on its website. But what its management really hopes to achieve with the currency is to “unlock the tremendous value of innovative business models for the benefit of society” and “reach previously unbanked populations.” The bank further elaborates:

The rise of digital technologies underscores the necessity to update central bank money… to better serve the digital economy and increase public policy efficiency.

NBG also notes that it supports a regulatory sandbox approach to the development of the digital GEL. The bank plans to use its Regulatory Laboratory, a framework allowing financial sector entities under its supervision to test innovative services and products in real-time and controlled environments. The financial authority believes this will help it to develop its new regulations and update the legal framework to govern the CBDC.

In its project announcement, the National Bank of Georgia recognizes the potentially disruptive nature of the technology involved in CBDCs and the need for “sound risk management during the development process.” The bank also says that it shares the principles regarding the development of such currencies outlined in a report on the matter published by the Bank for International Settlements and prepared by a group of major central banks.

Key Features to Include Offline P2P Transactions

NBG will aim to develop the digital GEL with several important features. The project must be a low-cost endeavor, given the small size of Georgia’s financial market. The technology behind it has to be easy to use and offer convenience for retail consumers, small and medium enterprises.

Settlements should be near-instant and the system will be required to support “limited P2P offline transactions.” The platform must be easy to integrate by commercial financial institutions and fintech companies and should support the implementation of smart contracts and automatic payments.

Fintechs Invited to Work on Georgia’s Central Bank Digital Currency

The bank also insists that the technology must ensure personal data integrity and compliance with GDPR standards. At the same time it has to enable the collection of statistical information without de-anonymizing personal information.

“The solution should seek an optimal balance between ensuring privacy and AML/CFT risks,” NBG notes, emphasizing that it should also ensure transaction traceability in compliance with the FATF standards. The supervisory authority wants the system to be resistant to cyberattacks, allow to impose limits on transactions and provide the option for multi-signature approvals for certain operations. Another requirement for the Georgian CBDC is to support interest payments.

What do you think about Georgia’s plan to develop a CBDC allowing offline P2P transactions? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

It’s Time: UFC to Launch Fan Token for Millions Around the World

It’s Time: UFC to Launch Token for Millions of Fans Around the World

UFC, the world’s largest MMA promotion, is preparing to mint its own token. The company, which has played a key role in the rise of the combat sport’s popularity, now wants to provide a growing fan base with access to exclusive content, rights, and rewards using blockchain technology.

UFC Fan Token to Have a Maximum Supply of 20 Million

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) announced this week it’s going to launch the $UFC Fan Token next month. The coin will be minted in partnership with Chiliz, a blockchain company that provides services to the sports and entertainment industries. The move is expected to increase fan engagement among millions of fans around the world. UFC detailed on its website:

The $UFC Fan Token is scheduled for launch on Socios.com in June and will have a maximum lifetime supply of 20 million.

European soccer giants such as FC Barcelona, AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain, and Manchester City are already working with Chiliz. The company has also held talks with Formula One and e-sports teams, according to a Reuters report, and its tokens are listed on Binance. The branded fan tokens, which can be purchased on its Socios.com platform and mobile app, allow holders to receive various engagement-based rewards and even influence their favorite teams through voting.

The network now has 26 partners, including the Professional Fighters League which issued its own token in April. The Socios.com platform is built and runs on top of the Chiliz blockchain infrastructure and fueled by its $CHZ currency. Fan tokens are minted using the Chiliz blockchain and smart contracts facilitate popular voting.

UFC Token for Over 600 Million Fans

UFC has more than 625 million fans around the world, according to an estimate quoted by Tracey Bleczinski, Senior Vice President, UFC Global Consumer Products. “We are continually looking for ways to increase engagement with our fans… and Fan Tokens are a unique way to connect with them through a compelling, authentic product that brings them closer to UFC and gives them influence, while also rewarding their passion for the sport,” Bleczinski noted.

It’s Time: UFC to Launch Fan Token for Millions Around the World

Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Chiliz and Socios.com, added that the fan tokens will empower UFC to connect with its global following like never before. “We’re delighted to welcome UFC to our growing roster of Fan Token partners,” said Dreyfus, quoted in a press release by Chiliz. The Malta-based company continues its global expansion with plans to open new offices in Madrid, New York and Sao Paulo this year.

UFC has been the major promotion in mixed martial arts for decades, attracting most of the best fighters in the sport. The Las Vegas-based company organizes MMA events around the world. Under its long-term president Dana White, UFC has grown to a multi-billion dollar business and its brand name enjoys global recognition.

What do you think about UFC getting into fan tokens? Share your thoughts on the announcement in the comments section below.

Swiss SEBA Bank Dives Into Defi Expanding Its Offering With 3 Tokens

Swiss SEBA Bank Dives Into Defi Expanding Its Offering With 3 Tokens

Switzerland-based crypto bank SEBA is adding support for three defi tokens, bringing the number of cryptocurrencies available on its platform to a total of nine. SEBA clients are able to buy, store and trade with fiat any of these cryptos.

SEBA Bank Supports the Coins of 3 Defi Protocols

With the new tokens, SEBA Bank is not only expanding its offering but entering into the decentralized finance (defi) world, the fintech noted in an official announcement published this week. The financial company believes it’s now supporting “the tokens of the most important defi protocols available on the market.”

Swiss SEBA Bank Dives Into Defi Expanding Its Offering With 3 Tokens

According to the press release, the three newly introduced coins belong to Synthetix (SNX), a decentralized finance protocol providing on-chain exposure to a wide variety of assets, Uniswap (UNI), a popular decentralized trading protocol facilitating the swap of crypto assets, and Yearn.finance (YFI) which is a decentralized financial aggregator optimizing yield farming returns. The innovative bank emphasized that clients will be able to benefit from these new tokens in all provided services such as investment solutions, custody and trading.

The startup’s offering is supported by its research arm, SEBA Research. The unit provides analytics, insights, and access to the new asset class in compliance with the Swiss Bankers Association guidelines. “Digital assets are selected according to a rigorous process combining quantitative metrics and in-depth qualitative analysis,” SEBA detailed. “The value accrual mechanism, tokenomics, and the underlying protocol play a central role in this process.”

Crypto Bank Committed to Adding New Currencies

According to its website, the bank maintains a commitment to continuously add new currencies. BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, XLM, and USDC are already in the list, along with a number of fiat currencies – CHF, USD, GBP, EUR, HKD, SGD, PLN, and JPY. The platform provides rates and supports trading pairs between these crypto and fiat currencies.

SEBA Bank, headquartered in the canton of Zug, was founded in 2018 when it raised 100 million Swiss francs (around $110 million) in a funding round in September. It launched in late 2019 with an array of services aimed at building a “seamless, secure and easy-to-use bridge between digital and traditional assets.”

Swiss SEBA Bank Dives Into Defi Expanding Its Offering With 3 Tokens

The fintech startup was granted regulatory approval by the country’s Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in August of that year. It became one of the first licensed “bitcoin banks” operating out of the Swiss Crypto Valley, together with another banking solution provider for the crypto sector, Sygnum AG.

The banking and securities dealer license allows SEBA to offer its clients – professional individuals, companies, and financial institutions – opportunities to invest, keep, trade, and borrow against traditional as well as digital assets in a regulated environment. The bank also serves the growing blockchain industry of Switzerland by providing accounts and custody for fiat and crypto-assets.

What do you think about SEBA Bank’s decision to add support for three defi tokens? Tell us in the comments section below.

Bitcoin Depot Deploys Over 350 ATMs in the US, Global Number Exceeds 19,000

Bitcoin Depot Deploys Over 350 ATMs in the US, Global Number Exceeds 19,000

Cryptocurrency ATM operator Bitcoin Depot has launched 355 new teller machines across the United States. The announcement comes as the number of ATM locations supporting crypto-fiat exchange now exceeds 19,000 globally.

US Company Bitcoin Depot Expands ATM Coverage in 40 States

Bitcoin Depot, which runs a growing network of crypto teller machines in the U.S., has added 355 new kiosks only in the past month. In March, it announced the launch of 115. Its ATMs allow registered users with a wallet to acquire cryptocurrency. For amounts of less than $250, providing a phone number will be enough for identity verification.

The Atlanta-based company says it has installed over 2,500 crypto ATMs worldwide, most of which are in the U.S. The latest batch of 355 machines have been deployed in 40 U.S. states, 20 of which are in its home state of Georgia, 40 in Florida, 32 across North Carolina, 24 in Texas, and 23 new kiosks across California. Most locations are open 24/7.

Bitcoin Depot Deploys Over 350 ATMs in the US, Global Number Exceeds 19,000
Source: Bitcoin Depot

In just six months, Bitcoin Depot has doubled its footprint and now expects growth to reach 200% this year, a press release details. Its kiosks support purchases and sales of three different cryptocurrencies with fiat: BTC, LTC and ETH.

Bitcoin Depot President and CEO Brandon Mintz believes that cryptocurrency provides new opportunities for people who don’t have access to traditional financial services: “Our kiosks allow them to essentially self-bank through the digital wallet on their phone, by turning their cash into cryptocurrency which can be used to transfer money, pay bills or invest.”

19,000 ATMs Around the World Offer Access to Cryptocurrencies

Many other companies work in the same direction globally and BATMs have increased exponentially over the past year. According to data compiled by the tracking website Coinatmradar, there are now over 19,300 ATMs and tellers providing crypto-fiat exchange services in 73 countries, almost double the number registered in September 2020.

Bitcoin Depot Deploys Over 350 ATMs in the US, Global Number Exceeds 19,000
Source: Coinatmradar

The teller machines are installed and operated by close to 600 companies and manufactured by at least 40 producers. BTC, BCH, ETH, and LTC are among the most widely supported cryptocurrencies. Coinatmradar’s bitcoin ATM market dynamics report published in April reveals that the speed of installations maintained a stable rise, between 8% and 10%, during the previous monthly period.

Have you used a bitcoin ATM to buy or sell cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.

ECB Deepens Analysis of Digital Euro, Decision Expected by Mid-Year, VP Confirms

ECB Deepens Analysis of Digital Euro, Decision Expected by Mid-Year, VP Confirms

Faced with challenges on many fronts, the European Central Bank is now deepening the analysis of how to digitalize its currency. A decision on whether to issue a digital euro, which has the potential to become a major CBDC, is expected around mid-2021, a high-ranking official of the central bank has confirmed.

Eurozone’s Central Bank to Decide on the Digital Euro Project Within Months

Occupied with planning a “cautious exit” from the social, economic and health emergency forced upon the European Union by the Covid-19 crisis, the ECB is also compelled to think about a digital version of the euro, the fiat currency of Europe’s monetary union. The U.S. Federal Reserve is preparing to present prototypes of a digital dollar in July, Facebook-backed, dollar-pegged diem is set to launch this year, and China has already offered its citizens to apply for a digital yuan wallet.

ECB Deepens Analysis of Digital Euro, Decision Expected by Mid-Year, VP Confirms
Luis de Guindos, Vice President of the ECB

On this backdrop, the central bank of the Eurozone is now increasing efforts to thoroughly examine the option to issue its own digital currency, ECB Vice President Luis de Guindos revealed to the press. He also confirmed that the bank’s Governing Council will decide around mid-2021 whether to initiate a project for the launch of a digital euro. Speaking to the Italian daily La Repubblica, the official stated:

Our current focus is to deepen the analysis of how a digital euro should work and what it should look like to benefit European citizens and our economy.

According to the English translation of the recent interview published by the ECB this week, de Guindos also noted that central banks have played a key role worldwide in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, “and we must make sure we are also well equipped to deal with any future challenge, on all fronts.”

‘It’s Not an Option, We Have to Do It’

In an earlier interview with Público, the former economy minister of Spain insisted that the digital euro is not a reaction to cryptocurrencies. In his words, the main reason behind it is that digitalization has become increasingly relevant and the pandemic has accelerated its pace. “For us, the digital euro is not an option, it’s something we just have to do. It’s not trivial in terms of the potential implications for financial stability and for monetary policy, so we will have to calibrate this project to minimize any potential negative consequences it could have,” emphasized Luis de Guindos.

Other problems, the solving of which is also a must for the ECB, stem from Europe’s slower recovery from the pandemic. The EU lags behind the United Kingdom, Israel, and the U.S. where vaccination accelerates and the socio-economic conditions have started to improve. The bank’s vice president describes the current situation on the Old Continent as “bittersweet.”

ECB Deepens Analysis of Digital Euro, Decision Expected by Mid-Year, VP Confirms

“The first quarter was weaker than we expected three months ago. On the other hand, the pace of vaccination is gaining momentum across Europe. This is good news, because it will have a major impact on the economy… I hope that we will be in a much better situation by early summer,” de Guindos predicted. He added that estimates now point to a growth of around 4%, based on positive expectations for the second half of the year.

The negative effects of the Covid crisis have been quite different in the individual member-states. The decline in GDP last year varied significantly, from 4 to 5% in the Nordic countries to 11% in Spain. Others, like Italy, are seeing a spike in public debt. An increase in non-performing loans is expected later this year and inflation could exceed 2%. Luis de Guindos indicated that the ECB may “start to think about phasing out the emergency mode on the monetary policy side” but he also rejected the idea of cutting public debt and the possibility of raising interest rates.

What are your thoughts on the digital euro project? Let us know in the comments section below.

Young Koreans Less Keen on Crypto Taxation Than Older Generations, Poll Finds

Young Koreans Less Keen on Crypto Taxation Than Older Generations, Poll Finds

Opponents of the government’s plan to tax gains from cryptocurrency trading outnumber supporters among South Koreans in their 20s, a new survey shows. Representatives of other age groups are more open to the proposed taxation of investments in virtual assets.

Nearly Half of Young Koreans Reject Tax on Crypto Profits

According to the poll, a little more than half of South Koreans support the taxing of profits from cryptocurrency trading, local media reported on Monday. In numbers, 53.7 percent of the respondents back the authorities’ initiative to levy taxes on capital gains from deals with digital money, while 38.3 percent oppose it.

Young Koreans Less Keen on Crypto Taxation Than Older Generations, Poll Finds

However, young people in the country, or the most active cryptocurrency users, are more likely to disagree. 47.8 percent of the respondents aged between 20 and 29 stated that they were against the planned tax, outnumbering those that are in favor, 47.5 percent.

The largest share of supporters is among citizens in their 40s (62.1 percent), followed by those in their 50s (57.2 percent), and 30s (55.4 percent). Slightly more than half of people aged 70 and older (52.6 percent) agreed with the proposed taxation, indicates the poll conducted by Realmeter among 500 Korean residents aged 18 and older.

Majority of Korean Women Support Seoul’s Tax Plan

The survey, ordered by the YTN news channel, also shows that Korean women are more predisposed to accept crypto taxation than men. According to the data quoted by Yonhap, 60 percent of the female respondents agreed with the government’s move to impose tax on gains from crypto investments next year, while only around a third voiced their objection. The distribution among male participants is split almost in half – 47.3 percent support the measure and 45.7 percent oppose it.

Young Koreans Less Keen on Crypto Taxation Than Older Generations, Poll Finds

A report by The Korea Herald notes that young people are the most active participants in the crypto space. Quoting numbers provided by lawmaker Kwon Eun-hee, the newspaper reveals that 2.35 million Koreans in their 20s and 30s have traded coins at least once on any of the country’s four largest cryptocurrency exchanges. Starting from January 2022, the government in Seoul plans to tax profits from such trades at a 20% rate for amounts exceeding 2.5 million Korean won (around $2,200).

What’s your opinion about the planned tax for cryptocurrency investments in South Korea? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Here’s How to Order Food From Your Home Using Cryptocurrency

Here’s How to Order Food From Your Home Using Cryptocurrency

Staying home during the coronavirus epidemic reduces the risk of getting infected with the deadly covid-19. The disease, which has already claimed the lives of over 20,000 people globally, spreads through human contact. Food is one of the few basic necessities that can regularly get you out of your house. That’s why food delivery companies have been among the few businesses that hire right now. Luckily some of them will accept your crypto.

Also read: While You’re Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs

Takeaway.com Websites Accept Bitcoin

Ordering food and drinks online can save you a lot of trouble these days by limiting your exposure to other people in public spaces. Using electronic payments will help you to avoid touching paper cash too. If you are a cryptocurrency proponent, you would certainly appreciate the option to pay with the digital coins you have and some food delivery services offer you that opportunity.

Here’s How to Order Food From Your Home Using Cryptocurrency
Takeaway.com’s subsidiaries in five European countries take crypto.

Takeaway.com is a food ordering website, first launched in the Netherlands under the Dutch name Thuisbezorgd.nl. The platform now operates in around a dozen markets, mostly European (the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Austria, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Portugal, Bulgaria, and Romania) but also in Israel and Vietnam, letting you choose dishes from the menus of numerous partner restaurants.

The company’s subsidiaries in these countries accept a variety of locally popular payment methods and fiat cash. A few of its websites also support transactions through crypto payment processor Bitpay, which means you can pay for your delivery with either bitcoin core (BTC) or bitcoin cash (BCH). These currently include the original Dutch site, Takeaway.com’s German brand, Lieferando.de, as well as its websites in Belgium, Austria, and crypto-friendly Switzerland.

Other Options to Pay With Crypto for Your Food Delivery

Shuttle Delivery is a similar service in South Korea that delivers to addresses in the capital city of Seoul and its suburbs. You can order food from some of the country’s best restaurants choosing between Asian, American and European cuisine. Orders can be placed in either Korean or English and you also have a variety of payment options at your disposal such as major credit cards, Kakaopay, Paypal, and cash in Korean won or U.S. dollars. What makes the platform special is that it accepts BTC and BCH as well.

Here’s How to Order Food From Your Home Using Cryptocurrency
South Korean platform Shuttle Delivery allows you to order food in Seoul and pay with bitcoin.

But even if a food ordering website does not directly support crypto payments, there are still ways to pay for a delivery with bitcoin. For example, you can purchase a gift code for UK’s Just Eat platform from Bitrefil using several major cryptocurrencies. Just Eat’s gift codes come in different denominations, from £10 to £100. To find restaurants in your area that deliver right now you have to enter your postal code. You can filter the results by rating, hygiene, type of cuisine, free delivery, and other features.

Websites like Bitrefil which sell gift cards for coins provide crypto enthusiasts with many opportunities to spend digital money at merchants and service providers. Bitcoin.com Store’s Gift Cards section offers a wide variety of cards you can purchase with BTC and BCH. They are sorted in multiple categories, including Delivery & Subscriptions and Food & Restaurants, where you can buy the Uber Eats gift card, for instance. With the Uber Eats app you can order food online and get it delivered to your door, saving you from going out.

Do you know of other ways to order food and pay for the delivery with cryptocurrency? Tells us in the comments section below.

The post Here’s How to Order Food From Your Home Using Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

World’s Largest Banks Losing Stock Value During Weeks Marked by Pandemic

World’s Largest Banks Losing Stock Value During Weeks Marked by Pandemic

The spreading coronavirus infection is taking a toll on the global economy and traditional financial institutions are already hurting. The world’s largest banks have seen their stocks losing value over the past weeks and months while facing cash withdrawal pressure and preparing to deal with a shrinking asset base.

Also read: US Cash Crisis: Withdrawal Limits Spark Bank Run Fear

China’s ‘Big Four’ See Their Stocks Tumble

No one has a clear idea where this is going or what comes next for the planet’s financial system. What’s obvious, however, is that some of its elements are already under stress. Reports of banks imposing withdrawal limits in parts of the U.S. indicate a cash crisis is brewing. New interest rate cuts, more money printing and the flight of capital towards assets they don’t manage, such as cryptocurrencies, are going to limit the value banks have under their control.

China, where the covid-19 outbreak started, is home to the world’s largest banking sector in terms of assets. In mid-2019, the official figure stood at over $40 trillion, despite liquidity problems with some small regional banks and a credit crunch on the interbank market that required intervention from the People’s Bank of China. The big four state-owned commercial banks, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China, and Bank of China, are topping the 100 largest banks list, according to the latest edition of the S&P Global Market Intelligence report.

World’s Largest Banks Losing Stock Value During Weeks Marked by Pandemic
With over $4 trillion in assets, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is one of the world’s largest banks.

These financial behemoths have been watching the prices of their stocks drop over the last few months. From this year’s high of 6.01 yuan (approx. $0.85) in early January, ICBC shares are now trading at a little over 5.10 yuan ($0.72), and CCB stocks dropped from 7.49 yuan ($1.06) on Nov. 7 to a low of 6.17 yuan ($0.87) this past Monday, before bouncing back to 6.37 yuan ($0.90) on March 25.

The shares of the other two major Chinese banks also lost value, especially during the last month as authorities were struggling to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus and deal with the economic fallout of the epidemic. Japan’s Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, another Asian banking giant, saw a steep decline in the value of its shares, from 566 yen ($5.08) on Feb. 21 to 384 yen ($3.45) on March 19. Its shares are currently trading for around 450 yen ($4.04).

Western Banks Affected by the Spreading Virus

The last several weeks brought similar results for the leading banking institutions in the United States, which now has over 50,000 confirmed covid-19 cases. JP Morgan’s stock fell to $79.03 from $137.49 per share on Feb. 20. Bank of America shares dropped from a monthly high of close to $33 to around $18 on the first day of the week before rising back to around $20 on Tuesday, when stock markets reacted to the Federal Reserve’s latest announcement. The Fed pledged to an open-ended quantitative easing in response to the economic challenges posed by the epidemic.

World’s Largest Banks Losing Stock Value During Weeks Marked by Pandemic
BNP Paribas stocks lost almost half of their value in a month. Source: Google.

Other banks that have been hurt by the crisis which led to a slowdown in economic activity around the world include the European HSBC and BNP Paribas. The shares of the London-based investment bank and financial services holding company, which were selling for over $35 about a month ago, started this week at a little over $28. Paris-headquartered BNP Paribas saw its stocks plunge by almost 50% to €25.43 ($27.40), from €48.70 ($52.69) on Feb. 25. Deutsche Bank’s shares registered similar losses, dropping from close to €9 ($9.74) in late February to a monthly low of under €5 ($5.39) in mid-March.

What do you think of the world’s leading banks losing stock value? Tell us in the comments section below.

The post World’s Largest Banks Losing Stock Value During Weeks Marked by Pandemic appeared first on Bitcoin News.

While You’re Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs

With Coronavirus Spreading, Check These Sites for Remote Jobs in the Crypto Industry

If you are on the lookout for a job in these pressing times, when the coronavirus pandemic has limited public movement and shut down businesses, it’s worth exploring opportunities to work from the relative safety of your home. The number of people doing so globally has been steadily growing, including in the crypto industry which is more decentralized than other sectors.

Also read: 10 Loan Providers Taking Crypto as Collateral, If You Think the Time Is Right for Hodling

Working From Home Is Healthier and More Productive

Remote jobs have been on the rise over the past few years. Stats gathered by Virtual Vocations, for example, show a 197% increase in such roles in the company’s database between 2015 and 2019. New openings registered by the telecommuting jobs platform grew by 25% last year, according to its latest annual report. Another source, an analysis conducted by Flexjobs and Global Workplace Analytics, points to a 44% increase of Americans working remotely in the last five years. The study also suggests that remote workers are more productive, better paid and healthier.

While You're Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs
Source: Virtual Vocations

Although it’s difficult to precisely estimate the share of remote employees, all jobs in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry, where this type of employment arrangement is popular, were generally growing last year and in early 2020, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. With restrictions due to the global covid-19 epidemic hitting other sectors hard, the crypto space may be affected too. The decentralized nature of the business, however, is likely to limit the damage to a certain extent. Working from home definitely has certain advantages in that respect.

While You're Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs
Remote work attracts and retains talent, concludes a study carried out by Flexjobs and Global Workplace Analytics.

Platforms Listing Remote Jobs in the Crypto Space

If you are looking for a remote job in the crypto sector, a number of job posting sites will help you find the right vacancy. You can try established platforms such as Indeed.com, a global leader among employment-related search engines with over 250 million monthly visitors. Entering keywords like “cryptocurrency” and “blockchain” in the ‘What’ box and then specifying “remote” under ‘Where’ will return dozens of ads with detailed descriptions. Multiple filtering options are also available for you to select the positions you may be interested in.

While You're Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs

Cryptocurrencyjobs.co is a specialized platform for job seekers in the crypto space that allows companies to post job ads and seekers to find their next occupation. When searching for an opening, select “Remote” under Location and you’ll be offered over 100 current blockchain jobs you can work from distance, including from well-known companies in the industry such as Binance, Xapo, and Bitrefill. Crypto.jobs is a similar website, with almost 1,800 ads at the time of writing, and a dedicated Remote Jobs section. Cryptojobslist.com has published over 1,000 postings and you can filter the remote positions too. Cryptojobslist.com is another popular option for cryptocurrency careers.

Another website that can help you to start or continue a blockchain career is Blockew.com. You can pull a decent list of remote jobs in the Job Opportunities menu where you’ll find ads from Kraken, Brave, and other familiar crypto brands. And if you are looking for a source that’s entirely devoted to remote working options, you should go to Remoteok.io which claims to have the largest collection of remote jobs for digital nomads. You’ll find many offers from blockchain companies among over 39,000 listed vacancies. Freelancers with interest and background in the cryptosphere can also check out platforms such as Freelance for Coins and Blocklancer.net for jobs that pay with cryptocurrencies.

What other websites posting remote jobs would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

The post While You’re Under Quarantine, Check These Sites for Remote Crypto Jobs appeared first on Bitcoin News.

10 Loan Providers Taking Crypto as Collateral, If You Think the Time Is Right for Hodling

10 Loan Providers Taking Crypto as Collateral, If You Think the Time is Right for Hodling

If you are not ready to part with decentralized money, at a time when prices are relatively low, but need some fiat cash to cover costs in times of crisis, crypto-backed loans are a working solution. A number of platforms offer this type of service and their popularity is growing among cryptocurrency enthusiasts who are intent on hodling.

Also read: If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

Borrow Fiat Money With Crypto-Backed Loans

Various providers allow you to borrow against your crypto. Blockfi, a wealth management platform for crypto investors, extends loans in U.S. dollars backed by three cryptocurrencies, BTC, ETH and LTC. Use its calculator to enter an amount you’d like to get, minimum $5,000, and calculate the required collateral. To receive $10,000, for instance, you’ll have to deposit 3.53 BTC at the time of writing, based on a 50% loan to value ratio (LTV). To receive an individual offer, you must create a Blockfi account.

10 Loan Providers Taking Crypto as Collateral, If You Think the Time Is Right for Hodling

On the backdrop of the troubles facing the traditional financial sector, the nascent crypto banking industry has seen more positive development. Unlike banks in many countries, crypto lending platforms have been able to offer high interest rates and new services too. Blockfi recently announced that its balance sheet is “stronger than ever” and its margin has expanded. As a result, it’s going to raise interest rates on BTC and ETH deposits starting from April 1.

Another leading provider of loans backed by cryptocurrency is Salt Lending which operates in multiple markets. Salt takes a dozen coins as collateral including BTC, BCH, XRP, ETH, and LTC. The website lets you determine the conditions of your loan including the LTV ratio between 30 and 70% and the repayment period, three to 12 months. Interest rates start from 5.95% APR. In December, the trading platform Uphold announced a deal with Salt Lending to provide its users with fiat and stablecoin loans using crypto as collateral.

Partnerships Extend New Banking Services to Crypto Community

Cooperation within the blockchain space helps to expand the coverage of crypto credit and banking services. Crypto-friendly Silvergate Bank, a U.S.-based financial institution, announced in January a new product allowing customers to obtain loans collateralized by bitcoin. SEN Leverage was launched with the participation of cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. A partnership with Cred provides Bitcoin.com Wallet users with the opportunity to earn up to 10% interest on their BTC and BCH held with the platform that also permits the borrowing of funds, offering sub-10% APR on crypto-backed loans.

10 Loan Providers Taking Crypto as Collateral, If You Think the Time Is Right for Hodling

Nexo is a crypto lender targeting cryptocurrency holders in over 200 jurisdictions who can borrow in more than 40 fiat currencies against their digital assets. In December, the company introduced loans backed with bitcoin cash (BCH) and users can borrow in local currency when they need liquidity without selling their BCH. Nexo’s loan rates start from 5.9% APR. Its instant credit lines are available after you deposit cryptocurrency to your account. You can also earn 8% interest on euro and stablecoin deposits with Nexo. Bitcoin cash users can benefit from saving with crypto exchange Binance’s lending facility. It recently added BCH, ETH and EOS to its flexible deposit options which already supported BTC, BNB and two stablecoins, BUSD and USDT.

Youhodler is an established player in the sector which lends funds in euro, U.S. dollar and tether against the top 12 cryptocurrencies and it also pays out up to 12% APR on deposits in six cryptocurrencies including BTC, BNB and all major stablecoins. The company claims to have the highest loan-to-value ratio, up to 90%, with a minimum amount starting at just $100. Other competitors offering crypto-backed loans include Unchained Capital (accepts BTC with 35-50% LTV), Hodl Finance (uses BTC, ETH and XRP as collateral at 50% LTV) and Coin Loan (takes six cryptocurrencies with loan to value ratio of up to 70%). Lendabit facilitates peer-to-peer lending and borrowing against crypto collateral in BTC and ETH.

What other crypto-backed loan services would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Blockfi, Cred.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

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3 Debit Cards Nigerians Can Use to Spend Cryptocurrencies in Stores and Online

3 Debit Cards Nigerians Can Use to Spend Cryptocurrencies in Stores and Online

Options to acquire cryptocurrencies in Nigeria have been growing in number, along with increasing interest in bitcoin. Nigerians are also starting to see more opportunities to spend their coins in brick and mortar stores and at online merchants. Three crypto debit cards are now available to the residents of the African nation which is also the continent’s largest economy.

Also read: Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira

Crypto Exchange App First Kudi Issues Debit Card in Partnership With Stanbic IBTC Bank

Nigerian company First Kudi offers users a currency exchange and payments app. The mobile software facilitates purchases and sales of cryptocurrencies with Nigeria’s national fiat, the naira, and U.S. dollars. Users can link their bank account or credit card to the application which allows them to transact between Kudi wallets free of charge, deposit and withdraw funds from other crypto wallets and fiat accounts, and make payments at POS terminals.

3 Debit Cards Nigerians Can Use to Spend Cryptocurrencies in Stores and Online

Formerly known as Kudi Exchange, the fintech platform is owned by TLG Ventures in partnership with Ferrum Network and operates from Lagos. Besides the fiat options, which also include Ghanaian cedi and Kenyan shilling, its app supports bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), the stablecoin Gemini dollar (GUSD), and the native Ferrum Network Token (FRM).

First Kudi now issues a debit Kudi Card in partnership with Nigeria’s Stanbic IBTC bank, member of Stanbic IBTC Holdings and Standard Bank Group, a South African financial services provider and Africa’s largest banking group. Holders can use the card to turn crypto into traditional money or buy goods and services with bitcoin and naira. Its balance can be topped up directly from the Kudi Wallet.

A Kudi account is needed to order and use the wallet and the Verve enabled card, and users need to pass KYC. The procedure involves providing full name, email address, and phone number, the Nigeria Bitcoin Community portal details. Certain fees apply to some transactions with First Kudi. Bitcoin withdrawals to another wallet are charged 0.0005 BTC per transfer. Withdrawing fiat to a bank account will cost you 100 NGN ($0.27) for naira and $10 for U.S. dollars. The POS transaction fee for bitcoin, naira, and dollars is 0.50%.

Patricia and Crypterium Provide Nigerians With More Crypto Card Options

Demand for this type of service in Nigeria, where around half of the population remains unbanked, is creating conditions inviting other offerings in the market. Patricia, a Nigerian e-commerce platform that started with gift cards trading, has set out to make it easy for customers to buy and sell bitcoin, as its website notes. The company behind it, Patricia Technologies, recently announced the launch of a new crypto debit card.

The Patricia Bitcoin ATM Card will allow users to withdraw cash directly from their BTC and Nigerian naira wallets, make POS payments and online transactions, transfer funds through teller machines like with any other debit card issued by a traditional bank, PM News Nigeria reported in late February. Registration is required to obtain the card.

3 Debit Cards Nigerians Can Use to Spend Cryptocurrencies in Stores and Online

Affirming the startup’s commitment to financial inclusion, Patricia founder Fejiro Hanu Agbodje acknowledged that payments won’t change overnight and predicted a long transitional period before the world starts to transact in digital currencies. That’s why his team focuses on combining digital infrastructure with existing card processing and banking infrastructure as a step towards mass adoption of cryptocurrencies. The Nigerian entrepreneur pointed out that Patricia card users will have access to cash and be able to pay bills, make over-the-counter transactions, and buy subscriptions. Agbodje further stated:

We will allow you to spend your bitcoin anytime, everywhere and anywhere.

Nigerians have another option to use cryptocurrencies through a debit card. Crypterium, an Estonia-based crypto payment and wallet provider, issues the Global Bitcoin Card, which allows holders to spend cryptocurrencies at merchants and withdraw fiat cash from ATMs in almost 180 countries around the world, as news.Bitcoin.com recently reported. The card, which is powered by the payment processor Unionpay, currently supports several major cryptocurrencies: BTC, ETH, LTC, as well as Crypterium’s own CRPT token.

To get the card you need to download the Crypterium wallet first and install it on your phone. To receive a download link, you have to provide your phone number. The app comes with a virtual card and the plastic one can be ordered separately. The platform delivers worldwide, including many countries not supported by other crypto card issuers. Nigeria is on the list along with other nations with potential to become important crypto markets such as India and Brazil. In November, Coinsutra reported that users of its portal from these countries have been able to obtain the debit card.

Do you know of other cryptocurrency debit cards available in Nigeria? Let us know in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

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12 Platforms Allowing You to Trade Gift Cards With Cryptocurrencies

12 Platforms Allowing You to Trade Gift Cards With Cryptocurrencies

In an emergency situation like the current coronavirus pandemic, anything can turn into currency as the fiat system may experience cash shortages and devaluation. Cryptocurrency users have options to trade bitcoin beyond traditional money. A number of platforms will let you exchange retailers’ gift cards with digital coins or sell you just about any gift card for crypto.

Also read: If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

How to Sell Gift Cards on P2P Exchanges

One of the exchanges that facilitate gift card-crypto trades is Paxful, a leading peer-to-peer (P2P) marketplace with global presence. It supports purchases and sales of BTC using a wide variety of payment methods. You can trade over a hundred gift cards for crypto through its website. Popular options include cards issued by well-known retailers such as Amazon, Ebay, Google Play, and Walmart. Domino’s, Uber, and T-Mobile refill cards as well as any Visa, Mastercard or Amex gift cards are also accepted.

If you have an Amazon gift card you don’t need but are looking to acquire cryptocurrency, Purse is an online platform that will help you get rid of the card and buy coins quite easily. It offers you to pay for someone’s orders on Amazon and earn BTC or BCH in exchange, while allowing the other side to spend some bitcoin. Once a shopper confirms the merchandise has arrived, you’ll receive the crypto from escrow. Purse can also convert points and credits earned from Mechanical Turk, Amazon Associates, Ebates, Swagbucks, and others.

12 Platforms Allowing You to Trade Amazon, Ebay and Other Gift Cards With Cryptocurrencies
Purse helps you to sell gift cards for BCH and BTC.

Redeeem presents itself as a crypto exchange for discount gift cards. The platform operates on a P2P basis and you can buy and sell gift cards from 34 retail brands like Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, Home Depot, and Best Buy, using 32 cryptocurrencies including BTC, BCH, XRP, and ETH. Supporting the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, Redeeem recently introduced a 0% trading fee for all grocery store gift cards. The website claims the average discount that gift card buyers get is over 20%. In early March, the exchange launched a Telegram bot, @RedeeemBot, and now traders can sell gift cards in the popular messenger.

Another cryptocurrency exchange supporting peer-to-peer trading, Hong Kong-based Coincola, maintains a gift card trading section, where users can buy and sell BTC with cards and e-codes for numerous retailers and other platforms including Apple Store, Netflix, and Spotify. The page lets you choose the gift card you want to sell for bitcoin and filter the offers by fiat options. That latter feature allows cryptocurrency buyers to meet card sellers in their region and obtain the coins using gift cards denominated in local currency.

Getting a Crypto Offer for Your Gift Card

Some platforms are focusing on specific markets. Pamcoins, for instance, operates in Nigeria which has demonstrated heightened interest towards Bitcoin in the past year. The service helps users trade Amazon, Ebay, Steam, Google Play, and Apple gift cards for either Nigerian naira or BTC and ETH.

To do this, Nigerians have to contact Pamcoins on Whatsapp and specify the gift card they want to sell with its amount to get the current rate from an agent. After they upload the card, Pamcoins promises payment within minutes. Crypto Voucher works in a similar way, providing a global exchange platform for gift cards and cryptocurrencies. First you get an offer depending on the card and its balance. Once you provide the card and your personal details, the platform will email you a cryptocurrency voucher you can redeem for a choice of coins including BCH, BTC, ETH, and DASH.

12 Platforms Allowing You to Trade Amazon, Ebay and Other Gift Cards With Cryptocurrencies
Crypto Voucher maintains a global exchange platform for gift cards and cryptocurrencies.

Gift cards also provide an opportunity to spend your bitcoins with businesses that don’t accept cryptocurrencies directly. If you are looking to purchase cards for major retailers with BCH and BTC, you can check out Bitcoin.com Store’s Gift Cards section. The cards are sorted in multiple categories from Food, Clothing and Health, to Fuel & Auto and Sports & Outdoors. You can also send a gift card to a friend with a few clicks and a fast crypto transaction. The service is powered by Egifter, itself a platform providing cryptocurrency holders with access to hundreds of gift cards.

Bidali is another alternative for gift card buyers offering a rich selection of cards and dozens of supported cryptocurrencies, stablecoins and tokens. Gyft lets you choose between over 200 retailers and pay for gift cards with crypto. Wegift has more than 500 retailers’ gift cards for sale, while Bitrefill claims you can purchase gift cards or mobile refills for more than 1,650 businesses in 170 countries from its website using major cryptocurrencies.

What other options to trade gift cards with cryptocurrencies would you recommend? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Purse, Crypto Voucher.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post 12 Platforms Allowing You to Trade Gift Cards With Cryptocurrencies appeared first on Bitcoin News.

If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

Hodling in difficult times has historically proven to be a long-term winning strategy. Keeping your cryptocurrency in your own cold storage is by default a good idea as far as security is concerned. But if you don’t trust yourself to not lose a small hardware device or a piece of paper, then there are alternatives that involve trusting others, for good or bad.

Also read: An In-Depth Look at the Multi-Currency Cold Storage Card Ballet

Bunker in the Alps Sounds Like a Good Option

Companies providing vault storage services for crypto assets gained prominence a couple of years ago, following the Bitcoin boom that brought many new investors into the space. A few of them have already established themselves as reliable platforms for crypto storage. Hong Kong-headquartered bitcoin wallet and cold storage provider Xapo is a good example. In the spring of 2018, it was revealed that the company held an estimated 6.25% of BTC’s almost $160 billion market capitalization at the time, or more than 1,000,000 BTC.

Xapo, founded by Argentine entrepreneur Wences Casares, attracted media attention with its focus on building ultra-secure facilities for cryptocurrency storage. The company had reportedly built a network of underground vaults on five continents, most notably one in a decommissioned military bunker in Switzerland, where clients’ private keys are kept on encrypted drives behind steel doors designed to withstand a nuclear blast and guarded by security personnel and systems. Even owners would need a couple of days to get access to their money.

If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

In August 2019, U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase bought Xapo’s institutional businesses. Announcing the acquisition, the trading platform revealed that its Coinbase Custody subsidiary had grown to over $7 billion in assets under custody in just over a year since its launch in July 2018. The funds are stored on behalf of more than 120 clients in 14 countries, the company detailed. Coinbase acknowledged Xapo’s expertise in security techniques. Its custody arm now serves hedge funds, family offices, endowments, and proprietary trading desks, supporting major cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH and XRP. The assets are insured by global leaders such as Lloyd’s of London.

Switzerland a Magnet for Crypto Riches

With its crypto-friendly regulations, Switzerland is very attractive for companies operating with cryptocurrencies and over 800 of them are based or represented in the country, including providers and developers of crypto custody solutions. Another company working in the niche, California-based Bitgo, announced in February the establishment of new custodial entities in Switzerland and Germany, which introduced a licensing regime for crypto custodians. The Swiss subsidiary is based in Zug, epicenter of the Alpine nation’s Crypto Valley. Both firms are regulated in their respective jurisdictions and will address increased European demand.

Bitgo is a major player with global presence in the market for institutional grade security solutions for blockchain-based currencies. Its Bitgo Custody platform employs a multi-signature system to secure your digital assets including security tokens. It supports a total of more than 100 coins and tokens that can be held with the Bitgo Trust Company, a qualified custodian and liquidity provider, in a cold storage bank-grade vault.

If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

The service implements various controls including multiple approvals, spending limits, and whitelists, Bitgo’s website explains. The company’s $100 million insurance policy covers crypto assets when the private keys are held exclusively by Bitgo Trust Company or Bitgo Inc., in the event of third-party hacks, copying, theft or loss of private keys, insider theft or dishonest acts by Bitgo employees or executives.

Bitcoin Suisse is a Zug-based company specializing in crypto-financial services offering cold storage for digital assets. The Bitcoin Suisse Vault has been built to provide institutional-grade and fully audited crypto asset custody. The platform caters to the specific needs of its clients allowing them to customize the multi-signing process and define who can view and withdraw the stored assets. Besides corporate users such as financial service providers and institutional investors, private investors can also use it to store a list of cryptocurrencies including BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, LTC as well as ERC20/223 tokens.

Bitcoin Suisse Vault is based on a solution developed by Swiss Crypto Vault AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bitcoin Suisse AG. Clients can deposit funds into the Swiss Crypto Vault by sending the coins to a unique public address, and their holdings are never mixed with assets belonging to others. Withdrawals are initiated by filing a request through the online portal which has to be verified independently by the user, Swiss Crypto Vault and Bitcoin Suisse before its execution, which can still be canceled by controllers appointed by the client. Before a transaction can be broadcasted to the blockchain, it must also get the green light from approvers, again chosen by the account holder.

More Providers Working on Storage Solutions

Other companies are developing their own safe storage solutions for cryptocurrencies. Metaco’s institutional custody platform, Silo, implements a hot-to-cold digital asset management technology. It’s a solution that integrates both software and hardware elements. It’s designed for banks which need a self-custody infrastructure that gives them control over their custodial activities. Silo was announced in January 2018 and has been developed together with data security agency Guardtime. It’s used by platforms such as Swiss Crypto Exchange (SCX). Metaco is now preparing to launch Cargo, a regulated service for smaller institutions looking for external digital asset storage.

If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely

Traditional financial institutions venturing into the crypto space are also working to offer custodial services. Last year, Arab Bank (Switzerland) joined forces with the blockchain company Taurus to provide its customers with custody and brokerage for their crypto holdings. Taurus is also helping Bank Vontobel to operate a digital asset vault allowing institutional investors to store and trade cryptocurrencies outside their balance sheets. Falcon Private Bank and digital trading platform Swissquote provide custodial solutions to investors interested in token sales through partnerships in the crypto industry. In January, Swiss bank Julius Baer teamed up with licensed crypto bank SEBA to offer storage for digital assets, and Liechtenstein’s blockchain banking provider Bank Frick introduced support for bitcoin cash (BCH) to its storage solutions.

Would you use crypto custody services to store the coins you want to hodl? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post If You Don’t Trust Yourself, These Crypto Vaults Will Help You Hodl Safely appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Sending Cash to Friends and Family Through Bitcoin ATMs Is Safer Than Crowding Bank Offices During Pandemic

Sending Cash to Friends and Family Through Bitcoin ATMs Is Safer Than Crowding Bank Offices During Pandemic

Transferring money over traditional channels may involve a lot of queuing in lines these days. Authorities around the world are trying to prevent large groups of people gathering in confined spaces to reduce the risk of transmitting the coronavirus infection. Remittances are a lifeline for people in many countries and cryptocurrency ATMs provide a way to send cash to loved ones without visiting a crowded bank office.

Also read: These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency

Crypto ATM Transfers Safer Than Bank Wires in More Than One Way

The COVID-19 epidemic has already closed many public spaces across the globe. Those that remain open are subject to restrictions regarding the number of people allowed to gather at one time. Banks and money transfer institutions are likely to remain open even when many other businesses are closed. Visiting any office during the coronavirus outbreak, however, is considered a high risk by health officials. Not to mention cash withdrawal limits that can be imposed at any moment during crises like this one.

Sending Cash to Friends and Family Through Bitcoin ATMs Is Safer Than Crowding Bank Offices During Pandemic
Cash is becoming an emergency item in the current coronavirus epidemic.

Cryptocurrencies have proved to be a useful instrument for frictionless cross-border payments, facilitating fast transactions with low fees. They can always be used to transfer value on a peer- to-peer basis when two parties want to fully benefit from their advantages over traditional money. And Bitcoin ATMs – teller machines that support purchases and sales of various coins – can be employed for transactions between two fiat currencies using crypto as a medium.

In this case, a sender can buy the cryptocurrency equivalent of a fiat amount they want to send from an ATM near their location. In many countries that shouldn’t be a problem as over 7,000 teller devices are now operational worldwide. The digital coins can be sent with a crypto transaction to a recipient who can then convert them back into fiat; a local currency for example.

Using Bitcoin ATMs to send money abroad is a safe option, not only because of the high level of security for the transferred funds but also in terms of lower health risks as you can avoid visiting crowded bank branches or standing in lines in front of them. It is a convenient way to transfer financial assets quickly and at low cost although it does require the sender and the receiver to be familiar with bitcoin and comply with national regulations and restrictions in some cases.

How to Send Cash Using Bitcoin to Someone Who Doesn’t Know a Lot About Cryptocurrencies

There is a workaround that allows a crypto savvy person to send remittances to someone who might not know a lot about Bitcoin and doesn’t even have a cryptocurrency wallet. Moreover, it is possible to use only one ATM and still successfully complete a money transfer onchain.

Sending Cash to Friends and Family Through Bitcoin ATMs Is Safer Than Crowding Bank Offices During Pandemic
Money can be sent using only one crypto ATM and one wallet.

The recipient can initiate a transaction through a two-way device, take a picture of the generated QR code and share it with the person who is supposed to send the money, the Coinatmradar tracker explains in a tip for BATM users. Then the sender can scan the QR code and transfer the crypto to that address. Later on, the recipient can withdraw the cash in local fiat directly from the teller machine.

Digital remittances have experienced steady growth over the past few years, with the total value of transactions reaching almost $96 billion in 2020, an annual increase of more than 21%, as news.Bitcoin.com reported in February. According to data compiled by Statista, the number of users in the segment has grown similarly, by over 20%, creating an opportunity for cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin ATMs provide a safe and easy way to send crypto to people in need of cash, which is becoming an emergency item during the coronavirus pandemic.

Have you used a Bitcoin ATM to send cash to someone? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post Sending Cash to Friends and Family Through Bitcoin ATMs Is Safer Than Crowding Bank Offices During Pandemic appeared first on Bitcoin News.

These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency

These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency

Events like the global coronavirus outbreak provide good justification for some prepping. Crises like this often result in shortages and skyrocketing prices of important emergency items, proving that everyone should keep a box of face masks and even a decent survival kit, should things go really bad. The pandemic scare affected crypto holders this week leading to a massive sell-off. But even in these circumstances, there are more rational ways to part with your coins instead of a panic sell.

Also read: Crypto Community Gets Prepping as Coronavirus Spreads

How to Buy Anti-Virus Masks With Bitcoin

Avoiding crowded stores is a good idea right now. Luckily, there are many web-based merchants that will sell you just about everything you could need in a doomsday scenario or a survival situation. You can still procure online most of what the Red Cross thinks you should have in your survival kit in the event of an emergency or disaster, such as a flashlight with extra batteries, a hand-crank radio, a multi-purpose tool, and a first aid box.

These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency
Greenbelt Outdoors sells reusable masks for several cryptocurrencies through Bitpay.

In the midst of a viral epidemic, however, priorities are changing. Since COVID-19 started spreading around the world, items essential for preventing infection such as surgical masks have become harder to find and expensive to buy. Reusable masks are even pricier but they provide an alternative solution. Greenbelt Outdoors is an online marketplace for adventure and outdoor equipment that has set out to help its customers in that regard. Its website states:

Our current focus is sourcing N95 masks and respirators where we can for potential protection against the coronavirus (COVID-19). We are working with suppliers for preparation for ‘SHTF’ potential scenarios.

The company behind Greenbelt Outdoors, a veteran-owned business based in Austin, Texas, accepts BTC, BCH, ETH, and XRP through Bitpay, and supports many fiat options including credit cards and Paypal. They currently ship several makes of non-disposable masks with activated carbon filters and washable masks that provide respiratory protection. They are offered at discounted prices. That’s on top of a selection of survival gear you might want to check out, just in case. “The way we see it, it’s more important to be prepared then not at all,” the store notes.

Getting Ready for a SHTF Scenario

You can also get prepared for a worst-case scenario using the services of other platforms that accept cryptocurrency payments. Survival Camping Store is one such example as its website is a rich source not only for camping and backpacking equipment but also a wide range of items for emergency situations. These include survival tools, shelter, bedding and cooking products as well as some self-defense means and hunting weapons — and even medical and hygiene supplies. Survival Camping Store supports multiple traditional payment methods, including major credit cards and Paypal, but you can also pay with cryptocurrency and the store offers a 5% discount for direct crypto payments.

These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency
Besides outdoor gear, Survival Camping Store ships medical and hygiene products.

Another option is to check platforms such as Spendabit which functions as a search engine for products that can be purchased with bitcoin. You can use filters to specify the region and the merchants you are interested in or enter keywords. Searching for survival kit and medical gloves returns dozens of offerings coming from stores that supposedly accept cryptocurrency. A nice feature allows you to shortlist those that currently offer discounts of 10% or more. You can also search for merchants processing crypto payments using platforms like Spendbitcoins and Acceptbitcoin.cash.

The Bitcoin.com Store can help you to obtain similar products – if you go to the Gift Cards page you’ll find a wide choice of gift cards for major retailers and service providers that you can buy with either bitcoin core (BTC) or bitcoin cash (BCH). They are sorted in multiple categories like Sports & Outdoors where you can order a card for the popular outdoor gear store Cabela’s. And in the Health category, you’ll be able to purchase a gift card for the CVS pharmacy chain.

Do you know of other online merchants that sell emergency items and medical supplies for cryptocurrency? Tell us in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Greenbelt Outdoors, Survival Camping Store.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

The post These Online Stores Will Sell You Masks, Gloves, Emergency Items for Cryptocurrency appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Germany’s Bitcoin Group Welcomes Licensing for Crypto Custodians, Expects Competition From Banks

Germany’s Bitcoin Group Welcomes Licensing for Crypto Custodians, Expects Competition From Banks

Bitcoin Group SE, a prominent member of the European crypto industry, has been preparing to apply for permission to conduct crypto custody activities in its home country, Germany. The providers of such services in the Federal Republic are now recognized as financial institutions. Bitcoin Group, which has been in the business for some time, welcomes the changes that introduced licensing to the sector. Starting from Jan. 1, 2020, banks and other institutions are allowed to store and manage clients’ crypto assets.

Also read: Bitcoin Is Financial Instrument, Clarifies Germany, Crypto Custodians Qualify as Financial Institutions

Bitcoin Group Confirms Plan to Obtain Crypto Custody Permit

As the organization behind one of the largest crypto trading platforms in Europe, Bitcoin Group SE has already established itself as a major custodian of digital assets in Germany. Its fully owned subsidiary, Bitcoin Deutschland AG, operates Germany’s leading regulated marketplace for cryptocurrencies such as BTC, BCH and ETH. The investment group is also owner of Futurum Bank AG and holds 50% of the shares of Sineus Financial Services GmbH, an entity supervised by the German financial watchdog, Bafin.

Germany’s Bitcoin Group Welcomes Licensing for Crypto Custodians, Expects Competition From Banks
The Federal Financial Supervisory Authority of Germany approved the acquisition of Futurum Bank in July 2019.

In December, Bitcoin Group announced it plans to apply for crypto custody permission for its companies from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. It hopes to expand its positions in the market for these types of services and the acquisition of Futurum Bank AG, which was approved by Bafin, creates new opportunities to attract institutional clients. Securing a license became necessary following last year’s adoption of legislation transposing EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive into national law.

The new regulations entered into force on Jan. 1, 2020. The German Banking Act now defines crypto custody business as the safekeeping and managing of crypto assets ​​or private cryptographic keys that serve to hold and store crypto assets that can be transferred to others. In recently published guidance, Bafin clarified that these activities represent financial services. Financial institutions had until the end of March to declare intent to obtain a license and the deadline for filing an application is Nov. 30.

Speaking to news.Bitcoin.com, Bitcoin Group Managing Director Marco Bodewein confirmed that the holding company is going to apply for a crypto custody license and explained:

Due to the current requirements of the authorities, the final application needs to be filed by November 2020 but we will apply officially much earlier. As of now we do not see any challenges for Bitcoin.de at all as we are already in the custody business for several years.

German Banks Are yet to Enter Cryptocurrency Market

Bodewein added that Bitcoin Group welcomes the current development of the regulatory regime in Germany which will open the market for more players including banks entering the crypto space. Competition is usually good for the business, he emphasized, although his crypto company has not yet experienced any stiff competition from traditional financial institutions.

The executive said that Bitcoin Group would also appreciate the adoption of regulations at EU level. “Certainly, the German approach is the first within Europe so it might be possible that Germany created a blue print for the rest of Europe,” Marco Bodewein commented.

Germany’s Bitcoin Group Welcomes Licensing for Crypto Custodians, Expects Competition From Banks
The European Commission is gathering feedback from EU citizens, businesses, and regulators to establish a common regulatory framework for crypto assets and markets.

According to the latest corporate results published in September, Bitcoin Group’s earnings before interest and taxes amounted to €4.228 million in the first half of 2019. During the same period, Bitcoin.de reported an increase in its customer numbers to 808,000 registered users, up from 753,000 at the end of H1, 2018.

Bitcoin Group believes the growth is largely due to the expansion of the range of services provided by the exchange including the launch of a mobile app. The acquisition of Futurum Bank, formerly investment bank Tremmel Wertpapierhandelsbank GmbH, will mow allow the holding to offer new products related to cryptocurrencies, carry out proprietary trading and operate a network of Bitcoin ATMs.

How do you think Germany’s new regulations will affect the crypto industry in Europe? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


You can now purchase bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here.

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Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Australian tax agents have set out to close a gap they say costs the state several billion dollars. Taxpayers who file various work-related claims and investment property deductions or declare income from sharing economy platforms such as Uber and Airbnb may be asked for explanations and receipts. Investors and traders earning income from cryptocurrencies are also among the targeted.

Also read: Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Crypto Investors Advised to Keep Detailed Records of All Transactions

The revenue service has started contacting hundreds of thousands of Australians via mail and email to remind them of the tax obligations that come with cryptocurrency trading. A spokesman for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) told News.com.au that people who sold cryptocurrency during the 2017/18 financial year may be asked to review their tax returns. Those who fail to correct any established discrepancies can be audited and risk penalties. The official stated:

Over the next two months we expect to contact as many as 350,000 individuals who have traded in cryptocurrency in the last few years.

Taxpayers who only held crypto but didn’t trade will be updated about the information they are required to gather. Investors should keep detailed records including receipts of purchase or transfer of cryptocurrency, exchange and digital wallet records, the date and the value of each transaction in Australian dollars at the time it took place. They should also be able to explain the purpose of each transaction and identify other involved parties.

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Financial gains from trading and exchanging crypto as well as from converting it into local or foreign fiat is subject to capital gains tax in Australia, where cryptocurrency is considered a property-like asset for tax purposes. The country has advanced in its efforts to regulate the crypto space further than other nations. It has over 300 registered digital asset exchanges, as news.Bitcoin.com reported last month. A recent court ruling added another layer of legitimacy describing cryptocurrencies as “a recognized form of investment.”

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

ATO Gets Its Information From Cryptocurrency Exchanges

The Australian Taxation Office has a dedicated page on its website that details the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies in the country. Last year, the administration published its Cryptocurrency Data Matching Protocol covering the financial years between 2014/15 and 2019/20. The program was introduced to obtain transaction data from exchanges on taxpayers who have bought and sold cryptocurrency, the ATO representative pointed out and further commented:

Our campaign is designed to help raise awareness and give people the opportunity to fix any mistakes.

The tax service has estimated that up to a million people in Australia have bought and sold cryptocurrency. Many of them might not have realized the tax implications and simply failed to report the profits on their tax returns. Others may have thought that the ATO does not have the means to track these transactions which are conducted online and often involve foreign currency. As the agency now gets its information directly from cryptocurrency exchanges, however, this assumption does not hold up.

What’s your opinion about the tax campaign targeting crypto investors in Australia? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need to track down a Bitcoin transaction? With our Bitcoin Explorer tool, you can search by transaction ID, address, or block hash to find specific details, and for a look at the broader crypto space explore our Bitcoin Charts tool.

The post Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Australian tax agents have set out to close a gap they say costs the state several billion dollars. Taxpayers who file various work-related claims and investment property deductions or declare income from sharing economy platforms such as Uber and Airbnb may be asked for explanations and receipts. Investors and traders earning income from cryptocurrencies are also among the targeted.

Also read: Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Crypto Investors Advised to Keep Detailed Records of All Transactions

The revenue service has started contacting hundreds of thousands of Australians via mail and email to remind them of the tax obligations that come with cryptocurrency trading. A spokesman for the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) told News.com.au that people who sold cryptocurrency during the 2017/18 financial year may be asked to review their tax returns. Those who fail to correct any established discrepancies can be audited and risk penalties. The official stated:

Over the next two months we expect to contact as many as 350,000 individuals who have traded in cryptocurrency in the last few years.

Taxpayers who only held crypto but didn’t trade will be updated about the information they are required to gather. Investors should keep detailed records including receipts of purchase or transfer of cryptocurrency, exchange and digital wallet records, the date and the value of each transaction in Australian dollars at the time it took place. They should also be able to explain the purpose of each transaction and identify other involved parties.

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

Financial gains from trading and exchanging crypto as well as from converting it into local or foreign fiat is subject to capital gains tax in Australia, where cryptocurrency is considered a property-like asset for tax purposes. The country has advanced in its efforts to regulate the crypto space further than other nations. It has over 300 registered digital asset exchanges, as news.Bitcoin.com reported last month. A recent court ruling added another layer of legitimacy describing cryptocurrencies as “a recognized form of investment.”

Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits

ATO Gets Its Information From Cryptocurrency Exchanges

The Australian Taxation Office has a dedicated page on its website that details the tax treatment of cryptocurrencies in the country. Last year, the administration published its Cryptocurrency Data Matching Protocol covering the financial years between 2014/15 and 2019/20. The program was introduced to obtain transaction data from exchanges on taxpayers who have bought and sold cryptocurrency, the ATO representative pointed out and further commented:

Our campaign is designed to help raise awareness and give people the opportunity to fix any mistakes.

The tax service has estimated that up to a million people in Australia have bought and sold cryptocurrency. Many of them might not have realized the tax implications and simply failed to report the profits on their tax returns. Others may have thought that the ATO does not have the means to track these transactions which are conducted online and often involve foreign currency. As the agency now gets its information directly from cryptocurrency exchanges, however, this assumption does not hold up.

What’s your opinion about the tax campaign targeting crypto investors in Australia? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need to track down a Bitcoin transaction? With our Bitcoin Explorer tool, you can search by transaction ID, address, or block hash to find specific details, and for a look at the broader crypto space explore our Bitcoin Charts tool.

The post Tax Office to Contact 350,000 Australians and Remind Them to Report All Crypto Profits appeared first on Bitcoin News.

SLP Token Fuels Scooter Rental Business in Taiwan, Investors to Get Their Dividends in BCH

SLP Token Fuels Scooter Rental Business in Taiwan, Investors to Get Their Dividends in BCH

A company running a small scooter rental service in Taipei, Taiwan’s capital city, has minted an SLP token on the Bitcoin Cash network to support its business and to attract investors and customers. The company issues its own cryptocurrency, a Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) token. SLP is a token-based protocol built on top of the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) blockchain. It facilitates the creation of tokens that can serve various purposes depending on the needs of the issuer.

Also read: SLP Token Trading Platform Cryptophyl Adds BTC Pair With Bitcoin Cash at Flat 0.15% Fee

Taipei Scooter Offers Tourists a Fun Way to Get Around

Motor scooters are arguably the most popular means of transportation in Taiwan, a common sight on the roads of the densely populated island where there are almost 600 scooters per 1,000 people. In central Taipei, however, with its narrow streets and pedestrian areas, electric kick scooters have been gaining ground too. Locals and visitors alike often choose this smart and efficient way to move around in the urban jungle at a pretty low cost and without any carbon footprint.

Bitcoin Cash SLP Token Fuels Scooter Rental Business in Taiwan, Investors to Get Their Dividends in BCH
Scooters are a popular transport choice for commuters in Taiwan

Taipei Scooter is one of the scooter rental services in downtown Taipei. It operates in the heart of Ximending, a famous shopping and nightlife district of the Taiwanese capital. The company offers tourists and other customers the popular Segway model Ninebot Kickscooter ES2 at a $100 Taiwan dollars ($3.34) regular hourly rate and a daily rent of $600 (approximately $20). There are discounts too – the price for those who pay with crypto is at least 50% lower.

The company issues its own cryptocurrency, Taiwan Ebike Coin (E-BIKE), which is a Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) token. SLP is a token-based protocol built on top of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain. It facilitates the creation of tokens that can serve various purposes depending on the needs of the issuer. Taipei Scooter is among a growing number of companies that see an opportunity to benefit from the flexibility SLP tokens offer.

Taiwan Ebike Coin Minted for Investors and Customers

E-bike also serves as an instrument to invest in the rental business which, according to its website, operates 15 electric scooters in the Taiwanese metropolis. The shop on 33 Hanzhong Street brings an average rental income of 5,000 Taiwan dollars daily (around US$170). The promise is that all profits will be distributed among Taiwan Ebike Coin holders, along with the rental fees special investors are entitled to. The company plans to pay out the dividends in BCH once every two months.

Bitcoin Cash SLP Token Fuels Scooter Rental Business in Taiwan, Investors to Get Their Dividends in BCH
Ninebot Kickscooter

According to the Bitcoin Cash Block Explorer, Taiwan Ebike Coin was issued in December 2019. It has 104 token addresses now and 723 valid transactions since genesis. The circulating supply is 4,020,809,770. Taipei Scooter’s account on the BCH-based social network memo.cash, Taiwanebike, has been tipping followers with E-BIKE coins in the past several months. The company admits that travel bans related to the coronavirus outbreak have been hurting the tourist industry, although Taiwan is less affected by the epidemic than other countries in the region.

What do you think of Taipei Scooter’s efforts to attract investors and customers using an SLP token? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Taipei Scooter.


Are you a developer looking to build on Bitcoin Cash? Head over to our Bitcoin Developer page where you can get Bitcoin Cash developer guides and start using the Bitbox, SLP, and Badger Wallet SDKs.

The post SLP Token Fuels Scooter Rental Business in Taiwan, Investors to Get Their Dividends in BCH appeared first on Bitcoin News.

6 Crypto Websites Blocked by Russia’s Media Watchdog, Including Major News Outlet

6 Crypto Websites Blocked by Russia’s Media Watchdog, Including Major News Outlet

In what seems to be another episode in a long-running campaign, the Russian telecom regulator has restricted access to at least six websites posting content related to cryptocurrencies. Тhe forum section of Bits.media, a leading crypto news outlet, is among the internet pages that have been blacklisted this month.

Also read: Russians Can Use Qiwi, Sberbank, Yandex Money and Now Binance P2P Exchange to Buy Bitcoin With Rubles

Roskomnadzor Restricts Access to Crypto Forum

The latest offensive was launched on March 5, when the Federal Service for Supervision of Communications, Information Technology and Mass Media (Roskomnadzor) added five crypto websites to its register of banned internet sources. Access to btcphone.ru, alfatop.me, nicechange.org, bitokk.com, and prostocoin.com was restricted following a ruling by the Nyandomsky District Court in Arkhangelsk Oblast issued a day earlier. The sites offer different services, from crypto exchange to mobile top-ups with bitcoin, and one of them is an information portal.

6 Crypto Websites Blocked by Russia’s Media Watchdog, Including Major News Outlet
Roskomnadzor blacklists websites publishing crypto content and offering related services.

Around the time these websites were blocked, readers complained that the Bits.media forum became inaccessible too. Eventually the outlet was able to establish that this section of its website was blacklisted on a 2017 request from the Federal Tax Service (FTS) citing a ban on the dissemination of prohibited information in Russia. At the time, the tax agency was unhappy with a forum thread about an online casino. The thread was re-opened but eventually deleted altogether. Bits.media founder Ivan Tikhonov commented on Facebook:

RKN blocks the site again. Stock up on proxies and VPNs.

Tikhonov’s team is currently negotiating with Roskomnadzor. The problem is that some internet providers have actually blocked the whole domain, not just the website’s forum. Those that are not diligent enough to immediately implement the regulator’s restrictions are threatened by sanctions. A reversal of the ban, however, could take several months and no one will be held accountable for any delays in this case. Tikhonov also posted a screenshot of the official reference to the blocking of Bits.media from Roskomnadzor’s website and said that the agency had acted without prior notice.

6 Crypto Websites Blocked by Russia’s Media Watchdog, Including Major News Outlet
Bits.media blocked on request from the Federal Tax Service dating back to 2017.

Regulator Accused of Targeting Websites Arbitrarily

Roskomnadzor started blocking crypto websites in 2015. Since then, multiple platforms have been affected, including Coinspot and Cointelegraph a few months ago. Authorities find grounds for these decisions and actions in a statement by the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) on “virtual currencies” published in 2014. Besides issuing the usual warnings to the public, the bank stated that the law prohibits the issuance and circulation of “money surrogates” on the territory of the Russian Federation.

6 Crypto Websites Blocked by Russia’s Media Watchdog, Including Major News Outlet
Central Bank of Russia

Bits.media points to many similarities between the different cases. For example, they are often filed by prosecutors in various Russian regions but the restrictive measures are imposed on a national level. The district courts refer to the CBR’s position and the absence of a regulatory framework but fail to recognize that no current Russian law bans decentralized cryptocurrencies or the publication of information about them. Furthermore, blocked websites are often totally unrelated, which leaves the impression that they are being targeted arbitrarily.

As a result, operators of such platforms successfully challenge the rulings in higher courts. In March 2018, the Saint Petersburg City Court struck down a ban on 40 websites with information and services related to cryptocurrencies. In April, the Supreme Court overturned a decision to block the Bitcoininfo.ru portal. In May 2019, Roskomnadzor was forced to remove Bestchange.ru from its blacklist, after prosecutors gave up efforts to block the website citing the lack of regulations. According to recent statements by officials, the Russian parliament may finally adopt the Law on Digital Financial Assets by the end of March.

What’s your opinion about Roskomnadzor’s actions against crypto websites in Russia? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Roskomnadzor.


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Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira

Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira

If there’s a place where cryptocurrencies draw significantly more attention than anywhere else right now, it has to be Nigeria. Africa’s largest economy is driven by its oil exports, expanding manufacturing, financial services, communications and information technology sectors, but also by a tech-savvy generation that asks Google about Bitcoin more than its peers in other countries. Despite the progress, however, cash remains the only option for many Nigerians to buy cryptocurrency. New services are aiming to satisfy that demand.

Also read: Wifi Sharing Platform Wicrypt Gets Government Grant in Nigeria

Half of Nigeria’s Population Remains Financially Excluded

Nigeria accounts for close to a quarter of all internet users in Africa. Over 123 million Nigerians have access to the web according to Internet World Stats latest data, and one would think that using an online platform to acquire cryptocurrencies isn’t an issue for them. Indeed, opportunities to buy bitcoin on the internet have been increasing, and so have the people that take advantage of them. The Nigeria Bitcoin Community portal lists a number of broker and trading platforms available in the country such as Quidax, Luno, Blockvila, Alphabits, and P2P exchanges like Remitano, Localbitcoins, Paxful, Coindirect, Buy Coins, and Coincola. Other options include Cryset, Redimit, Instantgold.

Purchasing cryptocurrency online, however, often requires the buyer to pay electronically, using “traditional” methods such as a bank transfer or credit card. And here is the real issue — having access to the internet doesn’t mean you get to have a bank account too. Around half of Nigeria’s 200 million citizens remain unbanked, and together with the category of the underbanked they form a majority of almost two thirds. According to data released by the World Bank, only around 40% of Nigerian adults have an account with some financial institution or a mobile money provider.

Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira
Around 100 million Nigerians do not have access to a bank account or financial services.

At the same time, the 2018 Global Findex report showed that nearly one in 10 unbanked Nigerians get their wages in cash, including four million who have a mobile phone. Add to that 15 million unbanked Nigerian farmers that sell agricultural goods for cash, some 10 million of whom are mobile phone users, too. That’s a tremendous growth opportunity for cryptocurrencies that need a simple phone to “work,” and not even internet is absolutely necessary thanks to SMS wallets like Cointext, for example.

Millions of financially excluded Nigerians would potentially benefit from the financial freedom that comes with decentralized digital money, if they could only get crypto. Cash is ubiquitous in this part of the world and it is the universal payment method the poor and the underprivileged have access to. New opportunities to buy bitcoin with paper money have been emerging in Nigeria in response to interest and demand.

Buying Bitcoin With Vouchers Paid With Cash

Yellow Card is a platform that has the tech and internet savvy Nigerians covered, offering them purchase of cryptocurrencies online using a bank transfer or ATM card to load their accounts with naira and then pay for the digital coins they want. It currently supports bitcoin core and dash and will be adding bitcoin cash (BCH) and tether (USDT) in the near future, a company representative confirmed. However, people that have only cash in their pockets are also welcome to acquire crypto from a Yellow Card shop or any of the platform’s agents. To do that, they need to buy a Yellow Card voucher from a merchant which comes with a 16-digit code and redeem it in the mobile app.

Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira
Yellow Card allows Nigerians to purchase cryptocurrency with vouchers they can buy with cash in stores.

Munachi Ogueke, CBO at Yellow Card Financial, told news.Bitcoin.com that although the major demand still comes from traders with bank accounts who generally move bigger volumes, the cash option is doing well too. Yellow Card is currently working with agents in and around Lagos, the country’s commercial and financial hub, and the federal capital Abuja, but it has some serious plans for expansion in the rest of the country aiming to add thousands of brick and mortar stores to its network. There are many different reasons for the increased demand for crypto in Nigeria, Ogueke commented, pointing to the country’s young population and high interest in technology among other factors. Noting that cryptocurrencies are also gradually becoming a popular remittance tool for Nigerians that live and work abroad, he stated:

We are seeing explosive growth.

Nigeria Gets a Bitcoin ATM and It Won’t Be the Last

Other cash for crypto options are gaining ground too. Nigeria now has at least one operational Bitcoin ATM. For various reasons, including security concerns, there’s only a couple of dozen teller devices supporting cryptocurrencies in the whole of Africa, the Coinatmradar map shows. According to local media reports, Nigeria got its first BATM only this year. The device was deployed in Dazey Lounge & Bar in Lagos in early January by a local company called Blockstale. The ATM has been manufactured in China but has an “Africa-focused design,” which takes into account the safety problem in the country, featuring an alarm system, a remote tracker and bio scanners to make it theft and vandal-proof, as the Weetracker news outlet reported.

Nigerians Can Now Buy Bitcoin With Cash From Stores and ATMs That Take Naira
Nigeria’s commercial capital Lagos now has a Bitcoin ATM. More devices have been imported by Blockstale CEO Daniel Adekunle and will be deployed soon.

Speaking to news.Bitcoin.com, Chief Executive Daniel Adekunle revealed that Blockstale is gearing up to install more cryptocurrency ATMs across Nigeria and in neighboring countries. The company has already delivered five more machines that will be deployed in Lagos by the end of the month and will then move on to Abuja towards the next quarter. These are two-way devices supporting both purchases and sales of BTC for the moment, but more currencies will be added later. Blockstale is also considering the introduction of a mobile top-up feature allowing users to reload their prepaid mobile phones using crypto. “Nigerians have trust issues, meaning we prefer to have direct interactions because we believe that this is safe, secure and best practice to avoid loss of funds,” Adekunle commented, adding:

We operate in a cash-based economy even though our banks want us to go cashless. These BATMs serve as an on-ramp for users looking into cashing out their digital assets or having quick access to purchase digital assets with cash securely.

Being able to buy cryptocurrency with cash directly is undoubtedly a convenience for many Nigerians. But as the option is not widely available yet, there is another interesting alternative to vouchers and teller machines — gift cards. Hong Kong-based digital asset trading platform Coincola offers an OTC marketplace for major cryptocurrencies including BTC and BCH. In 2019, the exchange launched an active campaign to enter the Nigerian market and has been accepted very well, according to Nigeria Bitcoin Community. Besides facilitating peer-to-peer crypto purchases and sales with the national fiat currency, the naira, the exchange maintains a gift card trade section where Nigerians can buy bitcoin with just about any gift card you can imagine.

Do you think these new cash-based services will bring more Nigerians into Bitcoin? Share your expectations in the comments section below.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Yellow Card, Blockstale.


You can now purchase bitcoin without visiting a cryptocurrency exchange. Buy BTC and BCH directly from our trusted seller and, if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store it, you can download one from us here.

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HTC Unveils Privacy Protecting 5G Router, Pundi X Finalizes Blockchain Phone Prototype

HTC Unveils Privacy Protecting 5G Router, Pundi X Finalizes Blockchain Phone Prototype

Product announcements in the mobile and internet communications sector have indicated that cryptocurrency-related features are going to become more common. A 5G router with a Bitcoin node that provides secure connectivity, a new blockchain phone you can customize, and a flagship’s hardware wallet from a smartphone giant now available in more markets are the latest steps in that direction.

Also read: HTC Adds Native Bitcoin Cash Support to Its Flagship Smartphone

HTC Announces ‘World’s Most Private’ Router

HTC, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer that’s fighting for its place in а space dominated by big tech companies such as Samsung and Apple, has placed its bet on integrating alternative technologies in its devices. After much anticipation and delays, it started shipping its blockchain smartphone last January, loaded with features targeting cryptocurrency enthusiasts around the world. HTC Exodus 1 and later the more affordable Exodus 1s devices have a built-in hardware wallet that stores major coins and tokens.

HTC Unveils Privacy Protecting 5G Router, Pundi X Finalizes Blockchain Phone Prototype

HTC is now expanding the Exodus lineup with a new product designed with the needs of the crypto community in mind. This week, the company unveiled its Exodus 5G Hub as “the world’s most private router.” According to the announcement, the router will provide users with ultra-secure 5G connectivity for any of their internet-enabled devices. Besides, the Exodus 5G offers “a complete power shift from the status quo” in a key way. HTC promises to protect smartphone owners from the collection of personal data through smart devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Nest, Facebook Portal, and others, stating:

You are now verifying the cloud servers, rather than them verifying you.

Like the Exodus smartphones, the new router has the Zion privacy suit integrated. It lets you run a full Bitcoin node and allows you to store and send BTC, ETH, BNB, LTC, XLM, ERC20 tokens including BAT, and ERC721 collectibles with the Zion Vault. HTC introduced support for BCH by preinstalling the Bitcoin.com wallet on its phones. Other privacy-oriented apps that will be added to all Exodus devices include Proton Mail, a secure email service developed by CERN and MIT scientists, the Brave browser which allows publishers to earn fair revenues with privacy-respecting ads, and Incognito, a decentralized VPN and ad blocker that protects you even from your internet service provider. HTC’s Decentralized Chief Officer Phil Chen commented:

Exodus is the shield against the onslaught of big tech and its assault on the privacy of your home. By using the Exodus 5G Hub, you have more control and ownership of your data than ever before.

HTC’s new router is equipped with a 5-inch display and 7,660 mAh battery. It is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 octa-core processor, with Snapdragon X50 5G modem. It has 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage which can be extended up to 512GB with a micro SD card. The operating system is Android 9.0 with HTC Sense.

Another Blockchain Phone Coming Out From Pundi X

Concerns about privacy have motivated Pundi X, a startup working to enable cryptocurrency payments across South East Asia where it runs a network of POS terminals, to come up with its own offering in the growing niche of blockchain-based smartphones. Pointing to data scandals with tech companies, its team highlights the need of solutions that work without a centralized service provider, “so that only you as the user have the access and permission to your data.”

Blok on Blok (BOB) is Pundi X’s prototype of a blockchain phone designed to give control over how your data is used and even how your handset looks. The device is powered by the proprietary Function X (FX) blockchain protocol that should allow you to call, text and browse without a provider that can spy on your communications, and keep your data encrypted and secured. Each BOB functions like a node, the creators explain. The FX OS lets you switch between blockchain and traditional Android mode by swiping the home screen.

HTC Unveils Privacy Protecting 5G Router, Pundi X Finalizes Blockchain Phone Prototype

BOB will be shipped as an assembly kit providing buyers with an opportunity to customize the look and feel of their smartphone. Owners are even encouraged to download the design rendering files, modify them to their taste and 3D-print parts for their BOBs, which originally come with retro-futuristic looks inspired by the sci-fi films and comics of the 80s and 90s. Pundi X plans to deliver the first devices to backers of the project on the Indiegogo crowdfunding platform by early Q2, 2020, although the company admits that the coronavirus epidemic may delay production in China.

The future of any blockchain phone project will be determined by the product’s perceived utility and ultimately by the market. It may not be that obvious but major manufacturers are taking note and beginning to address demand from privacy-conscious users including the crypto community. Samsung, for example, which introduced a hardware wallet with its previous generation of flagship phones to a limited number of markets, the U.S. and a few others, decided to keep the feature in its latest Galaxy S20 series and offer it in seven more countries: Austria, Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Norway, and Finland. Samsung Blockchain Keystore currently supports a few cryptocurrencies like bitcoin core, ethereum, klaytn, tron, and stellar, and the app’s Galaxy Store page promises that more coins will be added in the future.

Would you use any of the products mentioned in the article? Do you agree that crypto and blockchain technologies can be utilized to significantly improve data security and privacy in communications?

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only. It is not an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products, services, or companies. Bitcoin.com does not provide investment, tax, legal, or accounting advice. Neither the company nor the author is responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Do you need a reliable bitcoin mobile wallet to send, receive, and store your coins? Download one for free from us and then head to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can quickly buy bitcoin with a credit card.

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Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets Monthly Record at $74K With BCH Capturing 97% of Spending, Report Details

Cryptocurrency payments in Australia, which have been growing in volume in the past few years, have recently scored another record. Crypto-based merchant trade across the country reached almost $74,000 in February according to a new report. Bitcoin cash has by far the largest share in retail crypto spending and transactions among coins accepted by Australian businesses.

Also read: Australian Court Accepts Cryptocurrency Exchange Account as Security for Legal Costs

Bitcoin Cash Accounts for 97% of Retail Cryptocurrency Spending in Australia

Part of a series of regular monthly surveys, the new edition of Bitcoinbch.com’s Cryptocurrency Expenditure at Retail Businesses report highlights the importance of merchant adoption for any cryptocurrency designed to become a global electronic cash system. The study examines how bitcoin cash (BCH) and other leading cryptocurrencies perform in terms of spending at physical merchants in Australia.

According to the latest numbers, total cryptocurrency trade has increased in February 2020, reaching a volume of $73,769.41, up from $44,087.57 in January. Bitcoin cash usage expanded last month to a record proportion of 97.01% of all merchant trade covered in the study, up from 90% in October and 93% in November respectively. BCH accounts for over $71,500 of the quoted monthly spending volume.

Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

The information about BCH spending is gathered from subscribers to the Hula platform. The Hockings Underwriting Logistics App facilitates instant conversion of bitcoin cash to local fiat currency, protecting businesses from price volatility. Hula pairs BCH investors with merchants to enable a simple way to accumulate BCH over the counter. Its service is currently available to Australian retailers who want to accept the cryptocurrency.

Bitcoinbch.com collects data by polling physical merchants across the nation as well. This approach allows the web portal to create a more precise picture of their turnover, which in the case of BCH is often of a peer-to-peer nature. Many of the retail locations also use other products developed to facilitate bitcoin cash storage and payments, such as the Bitcoin.com Wallet and the Bitcoin Cash Register app.

Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Over 81% of Australia’s Retail Crypto Transactions Conducted in BCH

The report also tracks the usage of other major cryptocurrencies sourcing information from Australian crypto payment processor Travelbybit. Author Hayden Otto, CEO of Bitcoinbch.com, concludes that their proportions in the mix have shrunk last month. Bitcoin core and Lightning Network, ethereum, litecoin, and crypto exchange Binance’s BNB token collectively accounted for only $2,205 of the estimated sales total.

Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Bitcoin cash leads in terms of retail crypto transactions too, with 193 or 81.09% of all registered in the month of February, followed by BTC with 17 transactions (7.14%) and Lightning Network’s 14 (5.88%), BNB with 10 (4.20%), ETH and LTC with two each (0.84%), while BSV and DASH have not been spent with the surveyed merchants. BCH transactions have spiked on the 13th and towards the end of the month with a period high on Feb. 27. The volume of bitcoin cash spending topped $12,000 on the 24th.

Australia Crypto Merchant Trade Sets $74K Monthly Record With BCH Capturing 97%

Australia has become an important crypto destination with an increasing number of online merchants and physical stores accepting decentralized money thanks to services such as those described in the report. Cryptocurrencies have also gained recognition through the registration of hundreds of digital asset exchanges and a recent court ruling describing them as a form of investment. Bitcoinbch.com’s regular monthly surveys show that bitcoin cash is a major driver of adoption with a growing list of businesses accepting it as a payment option that works for them and their customers.

What do you think about the numbers in the Bitcoinbch.com’s cryptocurrency expenditure report? Do you expect the positive trend from February to continue into March? Share your thoughts on cryptocurrency adoption in Australia in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitcoinbch.com.


Are you looking for a secure way to buy bitcoin online? Start by downloading your free bitcoin wallet from us and then head over to our Purchase Bitcoin page where you can easily buy BTC and BCH.

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