Popular Smartphone Apps Are Adding Crypto Capabilities

Popular Smartphone Apps Are Adding Crypto Capabilities

News of Japan messaging giant Line’s September 17 launch of an app-connected crypto exchange is captivating lots of attention in the crypto and tech industries this week. Other initially non-crypto apps are also entering the market, adding native tokens, tipping functions and cryptocurrency wallets, illustrating a growing trend toward mainstream crypto and awareness.

Also Read: Taxation Isn’t Just Theft – It’s Bad for Crypto Adoption

Naver’s Line Launches Built-In Crypto Exchange

For almost anyone living in Japan, or Asia in general, popular messaging app Line is a household name. Line was launched in Japan in 2011 by Korean search engine company Naver Corporation, in the wake of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. The tech was a byproduct of improvised communications during telecommunications infrastructure damage resulting from the disaster.

Popular Smartphone Apps Are Adding Crypto Capabilities
The Bitmap exchange can be accessed directly through the Line app.

Line’s freeware app began as a rather simple service, but exploded in popularity soon after, evolving from a simple SMS for sending cute stickers and chatting, to a digital wallet, video on-demand, digital comics and games juggernaut in the Asian market and beyond. Just this month, the expansive trend has taken new ground with the launch of Bitmax, an app-connected cryptocurrency exchange featuring five digital assets: BCH, BTC, ETH, XRP, and LTC. Line is also in development of its own native crypto token, called Link (LN), currently exchangeable for Line points. According to the Link website:

LINE Token Economy is centered around a single token, our general-purpose coin LINK … A single-token economy can make the overall ecosystem more dynamic and stable, and because dApps contribute to the economy, they can grow with it.

Telegram Is Getting Tokenized

Though still cloaked in relative mystery, chat app Telegram’s upcoming Ton network (Telegram Open Network) and native token gram are nevertheless causing a buzz in the cryptosphere. The source code has already been released and testing of the network began in April. Slated for an October 31 launch, the 200 million+ monthly active users of the platform are looking forward to seeing the company put the $1.7 billion it raised via a 2018 token sale to full use. The network is set to operate utilizing a proof of stake (PoS) system, and with the rising popularity of the app in private communications and business applications / team-building functions as well, big waves will likely be made should Telegram deliver.

Tipping bots for BCH and SLP tokens have been added to Telegram as well, making the platform that much more compatible with crypto culture.

Popular Smartphone Apps Are Adding Crypto Capabilities

Rakuten Wallet

As news.Bitcoin.com reported last month, the “Amazon of Japan,” Rakuten, has now launched its own crypto wallet, featuring BTC, ETH and BCH. Like Line, the company is providing a fiat on-ramp with promise of exposing legions of neophytes to the world of cryptocurrency and crypto spot trading. Though Rakuten has many apps, the addition of Rakuten Wallet is indeed unprecedented thanks to its connection to the popular Rakuten Bank app. In an August 19 press release, the company describes how it works: “In order to provide customers with safe and secure crypto asset transaction services, Rakuten Wallet separates money deposited by customers (customer assets) from the company’s own funds, managing the assets (trust maintenance) in trust accounts provided by Rakuten Trust Co., Ltd., the trust company of Rakuten Group. Rakuten Trust manages those trust assets through Rakuten Bank, Ltd. savings accounts.”

Popular Smartphone Apps Are Adding Crypto Capabilities

Cash App

A popular U.S. app to “go crypto” in recent years is Cash App. The mobile payments service originally launched as Square Cash in 2015, and added bitcoin functionality in January 2018. July was a record-breaking month for the app, with a reported 2.4 million downloads. Talk was rampant of the Square service eclipsing competitors like Paypal’s Venmo, and many speculate that the addition of BTC functionalities and growing crypto-interested user base had something to do with this.

Square was founded in part by CEO of Twitter and BTC maximalist Jack Dorsey, so it’s not surprising the app doesn’t support other tokens. With the current atmosphere of increasing adoption, however, the calloused maximalism may come back to bite, should Square turn a blind eye to increasing user adoption of coins like bitcoin cash, and major players in the crypto altcoin world.

Facebook’s Libra as Mainstream Coup de Gras

For those that can remember the antiquated days when Facebook was only available to college students, and there were no moms, dads, or aunt Sallys on there sharing pictures of birthday cakes, the thought of a mobile app (not even a common concept at that time) dominating the world and featuring a cryptocurrency (bitcoin didn’t even exist yet) would have been somewhat mind-boggling. Fast forward to 2019, and the world’s most downloaded app and most popular social media network is now pushing to bring a new crypto payments system to fruition, called Libra.

Popular Smartphone Apps Are Adding Crypto Capabilities

With significant opposition from governments like the U.S., France and Germany, the Switzerland-based initiative to enable a “more inclusive global financial system” is struggling to gain regulatory approval. Normally such potential legal embattlement would signal the end of a project before it begins, but with Facebook’s roughly 2.4 billion monthly active users, and a mega battery of state-entrenched corporate power in the Libra Association, regulators and lawmakers are being careful not to shoot themselves in the foot too fast. As the Libra currency would not be a true crypto in the sense of bitcoin, being completely centralized, and thanks to the fact that project leaders have already expressed interest bending over backwards for regulators, some speculate the current “battles” are little more than show for the media. Whatever the case, the apple cart of global finance could definitely be upset.

Crypto adoption has extended now even to the world of the mainstream app, so it’s not reckless to wager the trend will grow like wildfire in today’s attention economy. After all, folks are with their smartphones 24/7, and electronic payment systems have become an everyday reality. For those looking to maintain the original vision of peer-to-peer, permissionless and private cash, however, these apps will likely be utilized in combination with more private platforms, which afford users financial autonomy in transaction. The Twitters, Facebooks and Rakutens of the world are by nature more interested in collecting user data than they are in privacy, so this stands to reason. Still, the convenience is alluring, and the apps-gone-crypto narrative seems charged and set to expand into the future of crypto adoption.

What are your thoughts on established apps adding crypto functionality? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, fair use.

Did you know you can buy and sell BCH privately using our noncustodial, peer-to-peer Local Bitcoin Cash trading platform? The Local.Bitcoin.com marketplace has thousands of participants from all around the world trading BCH right now. And if you need a bitcoin wallet to securely store your coins, you can download one from us here.

The post Popular Smartphone Apps Are Adding Crypto Capabilities appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: bitcoin.com
Popular Smartphone Apps Are Adding Crypto Capabilities

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Crypto exchange Huobi is expanding to Argentina as cryptocurrencies gain in the region as a hedge against the infamous inflationary peso.
Source: coindesk
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Five Countries With Most Number of Crypto Exchanges

5 countries cryptocurrency exchange

The UK is the world’s leader for registered crypto exchanges, with 43 market operators, shows research by CrystalBlockchain. A mix of favorable regulations and a concentration of wealth builds the rest of the list, forming several curious hotspots of cryptocurrency activity.

Liberal Crypto Regulations and Capital

UK: The United Kingdom hosts 43 market operators, offering a favorable regime and proximity to a still booming financial sector. This market, however, is uniquely threatened, as a no-deal Brexit looms, with unforeseen effects on the rules for the link between crypto coins and traditional finance. The UK market is also ousting anonymous coins, with recent delistings of ZCash (ZEC) from Coinbase UK and CEX_io. British exchanges still receive favorable from local banks, with direct purchasing channels for the British pound.

US: The US market was one of the engines of growth for the entire crypto sector, especially as retail investors joined in during the biggest bull market for Bitcoin (BTC) in 2017. The US hosted some of the first crypto exchanges and was one of the regions to draft clear regulations. The US hosts 27 exchanges, despite restrictions for some states. Recently, Binance opened a new branch for US traders, to comply with local regulations.

Hong Kong: With 22 exchanges, the small country with an independent streak is supplying trading services for Asia’s growing appetite for crypto. Hong Kong is an offshore destination for crypto markets, hosting giants like the Huobi exchange. The recent protests against new deportation laws have only increased the demand for Bitcoin (BTC) in the country.

Singapore: With 19 exchanges, the zone with relatively liberal crypto regulations is catching up with Hong Kong in its drive to host market operators targeting Asia. Previously also an ICO hot spot, Singapore also has one of the most liberal regimes for exchanges. The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) still holds a stance of observation.

Australia: One of the most crypto-friendly countries, hosting nine exchanges. Australia hosts a grass-roots crypto movement and multiple Bitcoin enthusiasts, hence the demand for exchange services. Unfortunately, nearby New Zealand failed the market, with this year’s dramatic hack and bankruptcy of the Cryptopia exchange, one of the local leaders.

The Surprise: The second-biggest region for crypto exchanges, at least based on statistics, is “Worldwide Unknown”. Currently, 33 exchanges operate with no clear regional affiliation. Decentralized exchanges and smaller operations are still attracting interest.

Strategic Regions

The number of exchanges also does not take into account the size, activity, and interconnection between exchanges. In the world of crypto trading, there are several strategic regions and hotspot countries, including the EU, Canada, Brazil, and several other countries. Those regions and markets see the bulk of crypto exchanges and inflows of BTC and fiat.

The crypto space is rapidly evolving, and the research data span until 2018. Since then, crypto exchanges added multiple stablecoins and the flow of funds may be changed based on new balances of Bitcoin and altcoins.

What do you think the hottest crypto regions? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!

Image via Shutterstock

The post Five Countries With Most Number of Crypto Exchanges appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: bitcoinist
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Developer Reveals Token Reward Platform Fueled by Bitcoin Cash

Developer Reveals a Token Reward Platform Fueled by Bitcoin Cash

There’s a new crypto platform called Honeypoints that just released for beta testing on Apple’s Testflight. The digital currency application created by two former Bitcoin.com employees aims to fuel merchant adoption with loyalty rewards. The Honeypoints app is meant to stimulate retail by rewarding customers with unique crypto tokens when they make a purchase or show loyalty.

Also Read: SLP Developers Publish Specs for a Unique Type of Non-Fungible Tokens

Honeypoints: An SLP Token Reward Platform Built on the Bitcoin Cash Network

Last week at the Try Swift conference in New York, former Bitcoin.com software engineer Jean-Baptiste Dominguez unveiled a new crypto-based rewards application powered by the Bitcoin Cash (BCH) chain called Honeypoints. The latest SLP project was also designed by Bitcoin.com’s former developer Alfonso Rocha, and both cofounders aim to “make cryptocurrencies available to everyone.” The new application is currently in beta for iOS devices and the Honeypoints team plans to launch worldwide on Sep. 30. Basically, the Honeypoints platform acts as a crypto wallet that allows users to store BCH and Simple Ledger Protocol (SLP) tokens. But the application’s main feature allows anyone to construct a loyalty program that rewards patronage with SLP token rewards. At the Try Swift conference, attendees got their first glimpse of the powerful SLP protocol combined with BCH and Dominguez told the audience how retailers and brands can create Honeypoint reward programs.

“We empower businesses and individuals to retain their customers through a crypto-currency reward token — Coming soon,” the honeypoints.cash website reads.

Developer Reveals Token Reward Platform Fueled by Bitcoin Cash

After creating a custom Honeypoints card system merchants can reward crypto tokens to customers who make purchases in-store or online. Retailers and brands could also reward patrons who share social media posts on Twitter, handle a specified task, and even be rewarded for simply visiting a website. Dominguez and the Honeypoints team hopes to see the SLP token system mature greatly with tokenization bringing the same value to the table as it did with Ethereum. While demonstrating the new platform, Dominguez told the Try Swift attendees that “you don’t need a development team to have your enterprise-grade system for your most loyal customers.” The software engineer added:

We don’t want anybody to be confused or scared by the concept of cryptocurrencies. We just want them to enjoy the benefits of the technology. Everything that we’ve done, from the concept to the app itself, is designed to be useable for everyone instantly.

Developer Reveals Token Reward Platform Fueled by Bitcoin Cash
Software engineer Jean-Baptiste Dominguez at the Try Swift event in New York.

Testing Honeypoints Beta Version

Using the Honeypoints application is intuitive for anyone who has used a crypto wallet before, but it’s also simple enough for crypto newcomers as well. The wallet side of the app can store send and receive BCH, alongside the to store SLP tokens in a noncustodial fashion. Honeypoints uses a four-digit PIN to secure the wallet and a mnemonic seed phrase for backup and restoration purposes. The PIN is needed if you want to access the mnemonic’s 12-words and initiate a wallet restoration process as well. Right now, the beta wallet shows you balances in BCH and SLP tokens and also lets you purchase BCH for gas. If someone randomly sends you a token to your Honeypoints wallet, you can choose if you want to add it to the wallet’s balance or not. On the bottom right there’s a compass icon that says Discovery which shows how people can earn reward tokens by tweeting something from their Twitter account or handling another task. For instance, on the Honeypoints beta version, there’s a “Spice Must Flow” task available and if you share a meme from the Spicefeed on Twitter you get 200 spice.

Developer Reveals Token Reward Platform Fueled by Bitcoin Cash
A look at the beta version of Honeypoints.

The beta version also gives you the ability to forge a new SLP token from the wallet interface by pressing the “Create token” tab. You can customize the SLP token’s name, ticker, quantity, number of decimals, tether a document URL, and choose if the minting baton will be active or not. Just like the rest of the SLP applications out in the wild today, a small fraction of BCH (gas) is needed to create tokens and send them as well. The Honeypoints beta release from Apple’s Testflight also allows users to toggle between the BCH livenet and testnet.

‘Bitcoin Cash Development and Awareness Is at an All-Time High’

The SLP ecosystem has become very popular since the summer of 2018 and there’s a whole universe of ideas and token projects in the making. There have been thousands of SLP tokens created onchain and developers have even figured out how to create nonfungible SLP tokens and pay BCH dividend payments to token holders. At the Try Swift event in New York, Dominguez exposed the benefits of SLP tokens fueled by the BCH chain to a global audience.

The Honeypoints founders believe the demonstration has shown attendees a real-world use case that leverages cryptocurrency solutions. The Honeypoints engineers explained in a press release on Sep. 12 that the team chose BCH because it’s “20X cheaper” than using token systems that stem from Ethereum. “Recent tests of the Bitcoin Cash blockchain also proved that it can handle more transactions than Ethereum while keeping its costs low,” the press release highlights. Moreover, the startup emphasized that a Honeypoints token rewards system is friendlier to the environment than creating paper rewards programs.

Seeing the SLP system mature significantly, and after the Bitcoin Cash City conference in North Queensland, Australia, the Honeypoints creators Dominguez and Rocha believe “Bitcoin Cash development and awareness is at an all time high.” To them, it’s the perfect time to launch the crypto rewards platform and the team is currently onboarding their first retailers and brands via the Honeypoints beta Telegram group. You can follow the Tokyo-based startup’s Twitter page for upcoming announcements on when the application launches at the end of the month. SLP platforms are appearing left and right these days, and the rewards system is another token project built using the BCH chain in a unique manner.

What do you think the Honeypoints application? Let us know what you think this application in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Honeypoints, Pixabay, and Twitter.

Did you know you can verify any unconfirmed Bitcoin transaction with our Bitcoin Cash Block Explorer tool? Our block explorer can also search the SLP universe of tokens too. Simply complete a Bitcoin Cash or SLP token address to view it on the blockchain. Plus, visit our Bitcoin Charts to see what’s happening in the industry.

The post Developer Reveals Token Reward Platform Fueled by Bitcoin Cash appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Source: bitcoin.com
Developer Reveals Token Reward Platform Fueled by Bitcoin Cash

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SEC Overstock Investigation ‘Almost Dormant’ Says CEO After Byrne Exit

bitcoin etf sec bitcoin exchange volume bitwise

Overstock is still in the dark the investigation US regulators launched into tZERO back in 2018, says the company’s new interim CEO.

Johnson: No SEC Info Since 2018

Speaking to FOX Business in an interview reported on September 3, Jonathan Johnson said he was still waiting for information from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

We haven’t had requests for information for almost a year,

Johnson took over the reigns of Bitcoin-friendly Overstock in August after the abrupt departure of founder Patrick Byrne. 

The SEC had signalled it would be eyeing Overstock in February 2018, after tZERO came into existence with the aim of creating a Blockchain stock exchange. 

The company chose to make details of the investigation public, but nothing has come from the SEC since last December, says Johnson. 

“[Johnson] described it as ‘dormant’,” a FOX interviewer recalled.

The acting chief said he then met with lawmakers in June, requesting an update on progress and more concrete demands which have not yet surfaced.

In the meantime, no formal legal action currently involves either Byrne or Johnson, with the latter adding to FOX that no one had received an official summons from the SEC relating to criminal charges – the so-called Wells Notice. 

Bullish Overstock Unfazed

As Bitcoinist reported, Byrne’s exit came as a surprise for cryptocurrency users, as he had transformed Overstock into one of the world’s pioneers in crypto

“Patrick Byrne has been an advocate for tZERO since our inception and we are sorry to see him step down from his roles at Overstock & affiliated companies,” tZERO wrote on its Twitter page two weeks ago. 

“Patrick’s departure will have no impact on tZERO’s operations as we continue to focus on our planned roadmap.”

Johnson, as CEO of umbrella entity Medici Ventures, will continue in that capacity at the same time as taking on his new duties.

Overstock meanwhile is far from the only major corporation to come under fire from US regulators over crypto-related activities.

As Bitcoinist noted, Canada’s Kik is also embroiled in a debacle with authorities over the border due to its 2017 initial coin offering (ICO). 

As court documents confirm, the SEC believes Kik sold unregistered securities by offering the tokens in the US, something its lawyers deny in an ever more tense legal battle.

In October, the regulator is set to decide whether or not to allow a new form of financial instrument to hit the market. A Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) has seen multiple rejections under various sponsors since March 2017. 

What do you think about Overstock’s SEC investigation? Let us know in the comments below!

Images via Shutterstock

The post SEC Overstock Investigation ‘Almost Dormant’ Says CEO After Byrne Exit appeared first on Bitcoinist.com.

Source: bitcoinist
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Research Paper: Bitcoin Disrupts International Monetary Policy

Can cryptocurrencies like bitcoin wreck central banking? “The short answer is yes,” wrote Pierpaolo Benigno, a professor of economics at Rome’s Libera Università Internazionale degli Studi Sociali (LUISS), in an article published on April 26, 2019. 

On August 19, 2019, Benigno and two other economists, Linda M. Schilling and Harald Uhlig, published a paper expanding on this short answer, “Cryptocurrencies, Currency Competition and the Impossible Trinity,” attempting to mathematically prove it to be true.

Citing a range of economic thought — from the authors’ previous work; to Fredrick Hayek, the renowned thinker of the Austiran School of Economics; and Nobel prize winning crypto skeptic Paul Krugman — the paper applies Bitcoin research to economic standards of international monetary policy with the end goal of examining how monies issued outside of governments (including truly decentralized cryptocurrency like bitcoin and centrally-issued digital currencies like Facebook’s libra) would impact traditional currencies.

Through a series of string theory-like calculations, the paper highlights a general question that Bitcoiners, media wonks and economists have speculated on for years: What does the introduction of cryptocurrency mean for the world’s central bank economies? This paper’s approach is in line with a similar paper recently covered by Bitcoin Magazine, with more of a predictive lens of what characteristics a truly “global (crypto)currency” would require.

In essence, the researchers argue that the presence of global cryptocurrencies make the “impossible trinity” — an international economic concept that argues it is impossible to maintain a 1) fixed foreign exchange rate, 2) free capital movement free of capital controls and 3) an independent monetary policy — even less possible.

Motivation and Method

Although the authors argue that global currencies are not a new phenomenon (for example, “Spanish Dollar in the 17th and 18th century, gold during the gold standard period, and the U.S. Dollar since then”), cryptocurrencies are a new phenomenon because they seek to become a means of payment. At even levels of liquidity — i.e., usability and — this will put them in direct competition with national currencies for transactional purposes.

Under these assumptions, the research analyzes a “two-country economy featuring a home, a foreign and a global (crypto)currency.” The paper also assumes that the aforementioned global cryptocurrency is used in both countries, that the markets for each currency is complete and each currency’s “liquidity services are rendered immediately.”

Based on standard approaches to economic policy, the model shows that, eventually, the global cryptocurrency would equalize interest rates and the exchange rate between the home and the foreign currency would become “a risk-adjusted martingale,” meaning predictable. 

Because it is used in both countries, this economic phenomenon would come from the global cryptocurrency creating a kind of tether between all domestic and foreign currencies, what the authors’ call a “Crypto-Enforced Monetary Policy Synchronization (CEMPS).”

According to the paper, once this synchronization occurs, central banks would have an extremely difficult time regaining an independent monetary policy — this is where, the researchers argue, the impossible trinity becomes more impossible.

The impossible trinity argues that, if you’re managing a central bank, you have three options:

  1. Setting a fixed currency exchange rate (for instance, the pound and dollar were pegged several times throughout the 20th century; and in 2018, Iran reportedly set a fixed exchange rate of 42,000 rials to the USD.
  2. Allowing capital to flow freely without an exchange rate.
  3. Creating an independent monetary policy.

The trick behind the impossible trinity is that only one side of the triangle can be achieved at any given time. Once a global cryptocurrency comes into play, bitcoin or something else, each individual country’s currency must compete with the global cryptocurrency within its own financial market. As the paper states, “this shows that nominal interest rates must be equal and the exchange rate would have to be risk-adjusted.”

The only way for a central bank to make its domestic currency more attractive than the global cryptocurrency, what the paper calls the “escape hatch,” ends in a race to the bottom. Theoretically, one country lowers the interest rate of its own currency in order to lower the opportunity cost for holding that currency and make it more attractive than the global cryptocurrency as a means of payment. 

“This escape hatch is not particularly attractive, however,” states the authors. “Nominal interest rates can only be lowered to zero. Furthermore, a rat race between the two central banks may then eventually force both to stick at the zero lower bound forever or at quite low interest rates.” 

This outcome would risk deflationary spirals, macroeconomic damages or a potential abandonment of the domestic currency in favor of the global cryptocurrency. The concern being that these perceived dangers would further limit a central bank’s to maneuver in order to stabilize its economy.

Bitcoin and Gresham’s Law

For this scenario to play out, the global cryptocurrency would need to provide liquidity services that could be rendered immediately. If we decide that bitcoin is this global cryptocurrency, then it would have to become a satisfactory alternative method of payment that can compete with each country’s domestic currency. Though it has the greatest market capitalization of any cryptocurrency, bitcoin’s level of scale and adoption by users and merchants is nowhere close to where it needs to be. 

However, bitcoin does share similarities to possibly the closest thing to a global currency that exists today: gold. Gold is not considered legal tender in the U.S., yet people have hoarded it for centuries. The effect of investors holding onto one asset while using another as a medium of exchange is known as Gersham’s Law. In short, Gersham’s Law states that bad money drives better money out of circulation. But Gresham’s Law only applies when two forms of money in circulation are accepted by law as having similar face value. Despite the fact that Gersham’s Law doesn’t apply to bitcoin because its value isn’t dictated by any state, the paper argues that something akin to it would play out within a country where both a global cryptocurrency and domestic currency are used. Here, it might be assumed that the state would impose some law. On the macro level, this law confirms the research paper’s conclusion that, where the global cryptocurrency would represent “good” money, a domestic currency would become the “bad” money. Added to that, Gersham’s Law would also certainly reinforce and increase hodling as the same kind of hoarding behavior for good money, but in that scenario, with bitcoin.

While most economists would argue that it’s far too early to truly compare bitcoin and gold, in its first decade of existence, the cryptocurrency has performed far better than gold. The paper accounts for this by assuming that the global cryptocurrency would require much higher levels of liquidity than gold. And bitcoin does offer much higher levels of liquidity for cross-border transactions.

Not Orange Coin?

Of course, other cryptocurrencies could become the “global cryptocurrency” defined in this paper. 

However, a government-backed cryptocurrency would not really work within this model because 1) the authors of the paper assume this global cryptocurrency would be accepted throughout the world and this would seem impossible unless the political world changed drastically; and 2) a government-backed cryptocurrency would not demonstrate the same store-of-value properties as gold and bitcoin, meaning that government-backed cryptocurrencies would presumably have much lower levels of liquidity in cross-border transactions than bitcoin, particularly when dealing with other central banks. 

The only other cryptocurrencies that could fit the requirements would have to be privately issued. Although bitcoin’s market capitalization dwarfs all other cryptocurrencies in existence, Facebook’s libra is named as part of the motivation for the paper. Because Facebook is not a nation, libra is no less of a private money than bitcoin is, in this context.

“10 years after the introduction of Bitcoin, Facebook is seeking to launch Libra designed to appeal to its more than 2 billion world-wide members,” according to the paper. “Other companies are not far behind. While other means of payments have been in worldwide use before, the ease of use and the scope of these new cryptocurrencies are to create global currencies of an altogether different quality.”

Furthermore, libra’s backing as a basket of other cryptocurrencies indicates that it might present more pressure than bitcoin does on government-backed currencies because it can compete as in its asset-backed design. 

The paper accounts for this by indicating that the same currency competition would intensify if the global cryptocurrency is asset-backed. This would mean that the global cryptocurrency could create bonds within its liquidity services, “thus combining both the advantages of the liquidity services of money with the interest payments of bonds.” 

It has been stated that libra will have both of these features. Although bitcoin is not backed by any other assets, the “world’s first genuine Bitcoin Bond” has already been launched.

If there is to be a global cryptocurrency that truly disrupts the world’s central bank economies, perhaps the largest question left unanswered in the paper is whether or not the global cryptocurrency would be backed by assets. Either way, the paper is certain that international policy will be changed and central banks will lose control.

The post Research Paper: Bitcoin Disrupts International Monetary Policy appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: bitcoinmagazine
Research Paper: Bitcoin Disrupts International Monetary Policy

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Shopify Merchants Can Now Accept Lightning Network Payments With OpenNode

You can now use the Lightning Network to shop on stores powered by Shopify.

The e-commerce platform now features a Bitcoin mainnet and Lightning Network plug-in for its more than 500,000 merchants, courtesy of OpenNode. On-chain payments on Shopify have been possible for sometime through BitPay, but this recently struck partnership is the first to bring the promise of cheap, split-second Lightning payments to the platform.

“Other payment processors have failed to provide a smooth experience for both the customers and the businesses using them and we intend to improve the overall experience,” OpenNode CEO Afnan Rahman told Bitcoin Magazine.

One of the newest entrants to the Bitcoin payment processing arena, OpenNode has focused intently on the Lightning Network. With $1 million and some change in funding from Draper Associates, the company has sought to accelerate Lightning adoption and, as a recent partnership with the Blockchain Education Network indicates, to foster education and development on Bitcoin’s growing payment layer.

“It is important to note that we are and always will be a Bitcoin-only platform and we intend to remain on the cutting edge of the Lightning protocol,” Rahman said.

It has also integrated with other e-commerce gateways OpenCart, PrestaShop and WordPress’ WooCommerce. In addition to being in step with the Lightning Network’s growth, these integrations fit into the growing trend of bitcoin by merchants and buyers as a payment option. According to Chainalysis, this figure has increased from $10 million in monthly payments to $150 million in six years.

For each of its e-commerce partners, OpenNode provides documentation and APIs to integrate its payment portal as an extension. The service is compatible with all Bitcoin wallets, whether they are based on Lightning or on-chain. Merchants can also mediate bitcoin’s volatility by converting to fiat instantly at point of sale; this feature is available for USD, GBP, EUR, AUD, MXN and BRL. 

For merchants interested in using OpenNode for bitcoin payments, the platform offers feeless transactions for up to the first $10,000 in sales.

The post Shopify Merchants Can Now Accept Lightning Network Payments With OpenNode appeared first on Bitcoin Magazine.

Source: bitcoinmagazine
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