Binance Officially Started Delivering Swipe Powered Binance Card

 

In April 2020, Binance, the leading crypto exchange in the crypto space, had revealed a new product, the Binance Card. The Binance introduces its own Debit Card in order to keep up with the several existing Crypto Card services. 

After completing the testing phase, The crypto exchange has started delivering its debit visa cards to users. Recently Binance has officially announced to launch the Binance card in Europe and the United Kingdom.

While communicating with interested community members, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, tweeted on July 25, “This started shipping in limited quantities as of yesterday, I heard.” 

Binance Card will be utilizing Swipe technology as Binance acquired Swipe on July 6. John Khenneth, COO of Swipe, said that the two firms “will be working closely together to launch crypto debit cards throughout various regions in the world.”

Binance Debit Card Will Launch Globally

Binance Card will empower users to make payments in a variety of cryptos, including Binance Coin, Bitcoin, Swipe’s native token, and Binance USD, for services and shopping across 200 regions worldwide.

On July 10. Changpeng Zhao mentioned in a tweet that he participated in the Binance Card pilot test. “All real transactions” were conducted during the beta test, including Lazada, a leading e-commerce platform, Amazon’s audio store Audible, and Uber alternative Grab, as noted by CZ. 

Disclosing additional plans for the binance card, CZ announces that the crypto debit card will be pegged with the bench of new features in upcoming days.

Grayscale Bought Every Mined Bitcoin Since Halving

Market indicators and data records from industry insiders show that institutional investors’ interest in bitcoin has surged since the third BTC halving. The major institutional firms have become more aggressive in acquiring bitcoin. 

Grayscale, a major trust fund, drives the market in terms of BTC acquisitions. The Grayscale Bitcoin Trust continues to obtain an enormous amount of Bitcoin and its volume has started to grow even more in the last couple of months despite the decline and stagnation of Bitcoin’s price.

Grayscale Investment Holds Almost 33% of New Mined Bitcoin

According to the recent report, Grayscale now holds a total of $3.8 billion worth of cryptos under management in BTC, ETH, and numerous other cryptocurrencies, which makes about 1.4% of the complete crypto market cap.

The data also unveiled that the firm’s Ethereum Trust has appeared as Grayscale second-largest, representing nearly $290 million.

Moreover, The firm has acquired over 33% of all newly mined bitcoin. Crypto investor Kevin Rooke has published an analysis, in the past few weeks, Grayscale has acquired almost 18,910 bitcoins. However, after its halving, only 12,337 BTC have been mined. 

Kevin noted,

“Wall Street wants Bitcoin, and they don’t care what Goldman Sachs has to say.”

Although, the firm officials don’t disclose plans regarding further asset acquisitions, but it seems that Grayscale could still be interested in purchasing and accumulating Bitcoin. As a simple ‘shhhh’ reply on a tweet from Barry Silbert, CEO of Grayscale, leave an open-end discussion.

Major Silicon Valley Investor Increases Stake in Crypto

The typical traditional media portrays digital assets as a gambler’s paradise, pointing out the market is prone to volatility unseen in any traditional market. This has been a key deterrent to new retail adoption, as those unfamiliar with market take for word the claims of major media titles. 

However, a new report contradicts the claim that cryptocurrencies are unusually volatile for anything classified as a viable investment vehicle. 

Andreessen Horowitz, a leading venture capital company, has published a major market analysis that demonstrates that cryptocurrencies may not be as volatile as mass media tends to portray them.

The firm published a report on May 15 that analyzed three cycles of crypto, accounting for regional peaks in 2010, 2013, and 2017. The report has revealed that starting from 2010, the compound annual growth rates to the present exhibit ”choppy yet consistent growth in key metrics” that would be associated with a viable investment vehicle. 

“The 2017 cycle spawned dozens of exciting projects in a wide range of areas including payments, finance, games, infrastructure, and web apps,” states the report. 

Andreessen Horowitz asserts that market sentiments were the main fuel for prior three crypto bull runs. However, Andreessen Horowitz marked that innovative startup projects are rising to form a “fourth crypto cycle,” and that this trend could see a further surge given Bitcoin’s recent rally. 

The VC pointed: 

“Even though crypto cycles look chaotic, over the long term they’ve generated steady growth of new ideas, code, projects, and startups — the fundamental drivers of software innovation. Technologists and entrepreneurs will continue to push crypto forward in the coming years. We are excited to see what they build.”

Initial Crypto Investment of a16z

Ana.vc, a venture capital researcher, has published a report, recording a near 57% month-on-month fall in crypto funding from VCs in April,  

DeFi platforms were successful in attracting most VC interest. This is understandable given the rapid surge in interest in DeFi from retail users. This has turned DeFi applications into the few cashflow positive products in the blockchain space. Investors hungry for innovative solutions in new technological frontiers are turning to DeFi developments for diversification and new opportunities. 

Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) leads the market in terms of investment. The firm has funded several crypto and blockchain projects, including an extremely lucrative investment in Coinbase. The firm has also turned its eyes on DeFi, with major stakes in Maker (MKR), Synthetix, and various other developments that offer decentralized lending and trading solutions. 

Andreessen Horowitz is one of the most successful VCs from the traditional tech sector. It’s growing presence as a lead investor in seed and early stage token and equity rounds of token sales has drawn interest from other funds. 

With the recent surge in Bitcoin price, the market could be poised for a new rally in investments allotted to decentralized projects.

Stellar Invests $5 Million in Abra, Which Already Raised Over $30 Million

Crypto investors are usually only supporting major cryptocurrencies like BTC, ETH, USDT as they are the most established assets. Traders looking to diversify their investment portfolios are now looking at Stellar as a good investment opportunity.

Stellar is an open-source payment platform that intends to connect with the financial sector to support cross border payments by immensely reducing the transactional fees and processing time.

Since its launch, Stellar (XLM) has grown exponentially, various firms, including Deloitte and IBM have joined the network. To further expand its network with an intention to develop an “inclusive” financial ecosystem, the Stellar Development Foundation, a nonprofit organization that assists the development of the Stellar blockchain, has invested almost $5 million into Abra, a blockchain-based investment application. 

According to the May 6 announcement, SDF stated that Abra received around $5 million to expand its services and product on the Stellar Network. 

“Our goal is to democratize access to financial services… As we integrate with Stellar, we’re going to be able to build the next generation of banking [infrastructure],” said Abra CEO Bill Baryhdt.

Funds Aimed At The Development of The Network

Abra is a blockchain platform that helps clients get introduced to the crypto and stock ventures. The network employs Crypto Collateralized Contracts, saddling smart contracts, and BTH as a passage into price presentation for additional financial assets. 

About the collaboration, SDF Denelle Dixon said:

This investment marks the beginning of our partnership to work together towards creating equitable access to financial services that also create new, innovative business opportunities for the Stellar network.

However, firms haven’t disclosed further information regarding future services and products. Based on the press briefing, it seems that the collaboration will provide Abra consumers with a new tunnel to the conventional financial market via the Stellar platform. 

Stellar is silently chipping away at its rival market share. The network has recently expanded its services into the South East Asia market by joining the Lightnet network. The collaborations intend to build an effective tool that will prompt the development of “new business models” in the Stellar network.

China’s State Bank Settles Plan for Digital Yuan Domination

Countries across the world are pushing forward plans for Central Bank Digital Currencies. Most government agencies are still examining benefits and risks, but this highlights a widespread motivation to consider the launch of federal digital currencies. 

Some analysts believe that CBDCs have become an augmentation of existing worldwide competitions, with some observing digital currencies at the focal point of the money battle to supplant the dominance of the dollar. China, the emerging global powerhouse, has made its digital yuan a top priority, with China’s central bank already conducting pilot tests on the CBDC in some major cities, as reported earlier.

Li Lihui, former President of the State Bank of China, affirms that the digital yuan can replace physical cash, but the asset needs to address four key conditions.

While speaking to People’s News on May 5, Lihui emphasized that unlike payments services like Alipay and WeChat Pay, the CBDC is developed to be autonomous from any system or bank. However, Lihui stressed that digital yuan is obliged to meet four prime conditions to supplant physical cash or existing payment solutions: 

“Whether the digital Yuan can become the dominant form of currency and mainstream payment means, depends on whether it has greater efficiency, lower transaction costs, enough economic scale with commercial value, and people’s acceptance.”

Chinese Crypto Community is Excitement about Digital Yuan

The digital yuan is currently in the pilot phase and is creating excitement among the Chinese crypto community. As of late, searches on the effect of the digital yuan and cryptos have soared in domestic search engines. 

China leads the way in terms of employing blockchain technology, a means to prepare themselves for China’s national digital currency debut. 

Several analysts speculate that Digital Yuan will have a positive impact on the crypto space. Increased employment in the sector pulls more people and their social networks into the digital asset ecosystem and the launch of sovereign digital currency adds legitimacy to decentralized options. 

What remains to be seen is whether or not payments software like Alipay is already so dominant that China’s citizens see no need in adopting a sovereign digital currency. 

Blockstream Blames China-Based BITMAIN for Creating Failing Machines

BITMAIN is the leading ASIC manufacturer, giving it incredible sway in the cryptocurrency space. However, another major industry player has made public accusations against BITMAIN.

Blockstream has warned the crypto mining community about high failure rates of BITMAIN rigs. Blockstream is a blockchain infrastructure firm. Its CSO, Samson Mow, posted a tweet on April 21 that highlights the failure rates. 

Blockstream’s leadership claims that Bitmain has technical problems with its mining rigs. According to Samson Mow, the miners that utilize the Bitmain S17 and T17 Antminer have been facing massive failure rates, ranging between 20-30%, while in normal circumstances, failure rates are approximately 5%.

Samson Mow’s tweet mentioned that miners utilizing Bitmain rigs have been listing various technical problems. Miners faced heat sink issues and problems with power supply fans on the Antminer S17 and T17 rigs. 

Both models are built to control the heat generated by the mining apparatus. Samson also highlighted in his tweet that Jihan Wu, CEO of Bitmain, is blaming co-founder Micree Zhan for the technical faults. 

Bitcoin Halving is Almost Here: Critical Time for BITMAIN Sales

The recent technical issues will develop tense competition between major mining companies Bitmain and MicroBT. The rig fall off comes few days before the most anticipated event, Bitcoin halving. 

Both firms are pushing all corners to develop the most advanced and sophisticated mining rigs. MicroBT has announced that its upcoming flagship model (MS30S++) would have a hash rate of 112 TH/s, and its delivery would be in June.

On the other side, Bitmain has developed the new S19 Antminer Pro with a hash rate of 110 TH/s. The company declares the new mining rig is better than its previous generations. It seems to be true, as the firm has observed a surge in its demand and sold the updated S19 model successfully. The new model would be shipped on March 23, a day before Bitcoin Halving. 

Despite Blockstream’s accusations, BITMAIN has not seen any notable drop in sales.

Chinese Telecom Giant Launches E-Commerce on Blockchain

Chinese organizations are actively employing blockchain technology in order to prepare themselves for upcoming China’s national digital currency (DCEP) debut. Even during the pandemic outbreak, several Chinese banks and corporate enterprises had been extensively using blockchain technology to explore more opportunities.

According to the April 13 news report, Jinwowo, a network technology firm, and China Mobile Blockchain Association Committee have teamed up to build the initial “blockchain and e-commerce ecology” laboratory in the state of Yuzhong’s report further states that Jinwowo is playing an essential role in the development of a new blockchain termed ‘gold chain’ to assist e-commerce industries. It will resolve trust problems and supplier liabilities problems. The Project’s ambition is to develop a more trustworthy ecosystem for the e-commerce industry.

Jinwowo’s project manager states:

“The laboratory will accelerate the application of blockchain in the field of e-commerce, including cross-border e-commerce, and establish a new business ecology on the chain with deep integration of technology and industry.”

The Lab will Explore New Keys for E-commerce

The laboratory will conduct an in-depth study of how blockchain technology can be employed in e-commerce enterprises. It will also research blockchain technology related to industrialization, ecological construction, and academic exchanges.

Recently, Alibaba, a major Chinese e-commerce firm, has imported Koala to enhance logistic transparency utilizing blockchain technology.

China National Cryptocurrency (DCEP) Now Issued to Local Government Employees

Chinese officials finally decided to uncover the new digital yuan. Recent news appeared about open-ended trials of China’s national digital currency (DCEP). 

As part of a trial, Suzhou municipal government employees and industry employees would get 50% of their transportation allowances in the digital currency. According to an official report, the Bank of China, the Agricultural Bank of China, the China Construction Bank, and the Commercial Bank of China, will all distribute DCEP to employees.

Moreover, official news also confirmed that Alipay, Alibaba’s affiliate mobile payments application, offered its assistance in the development of the digital currency, distribution, and arranging mechanisms related to payment channel.

China Continues DCEP’s Development Amid The Pandemic

Since the pandemic outbreak, the Chinese officials mentioned numerous times that the development of the digital Yuan was “progressing smoothly.” In December 2019, the Public Bank of China planned to introduce the digital currency pilot in major cities of China, including Chengdu, Xiongan, Shenzhen, and Suzhou. 

Earlier this week, the Agricultural Bank of China has launched a piloted initiative to test its digital crypto wallet. However, only a limited amount of users are permitted to register accounts on the crypto wallet application.

Chinese officials haven’t given any work plan for the DCEP like how the digital currency can be transferred to the municipal government employees.

Catching Up to China, Another Asian Economic Power Looks to CBDC

The Bank of Korea (BoK) has declared that it has initiated a pilot program to evaluate the technical concerns of releasing a digital Won, which would act as a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). 

Initially, the BoK had stated that it had no immediate plans to launch a digital currency. However, as per new revelations, a pilot program will ensure whether a digital Won is qualified to replace traditional paper currency. This may be an aftermath event of the COVID-19 crisis, as paper money has played a major role in the spread of the virus.

Sharing the news on April 6, the Central Bank notified that the CBDC initiative had been initiated in March and is intended to last for 22 months, till the end of December 2021. The initial phase is aimed at analyzing conventional technological and legal acquisitions required to create and issue a digital currency. It is also stated that during the test phase, technical experts will consider operational needs of the CBDC while regulators and legal experts will focus on an amendment policy for the Bank of Korea Act.

BoK officials told The Korea Times:

“The BoK also decided to remain proactive in the rapid shift in payment environments here and abroad, so we are going to set up the CBDC pilot system and check technical and legal issues surrounding its introduction here.” 

Central Banks are Considering Sovereign Digital Currencies

The Bank of International Settlements (BIS), recently announced that it began examining both cryptocurrencies and sovereign digital currencies. 

The pandemic has driven central banks to give consideration to the benefits of digital currencies. As paper money has been a source for the spread of COVID-19, the evolutionary advanced status of digital currencies has become more prominent.

An official from BIS explained, “Resilient and accessible central bank operated payment infrastructures could quickly become more prominent, including retail central bank digital currencies (CBDCs).” Central banks around the globe have extended research efforts for national digital currency projects. China has stressed for months that it considers the construction of its CBDC a national priority. Meanwhile, Bank of France is also looking to lead the curve. The Bank of France is moving to examine the abilities of CBDCs into interbank transaction operations, alongside major interest from central banks of economic powers like Japan.