Never Give Up On Your Internet Business

DSCF9585Does fear of failure keep you from starting exploring new ventures?
Have you ever asked yourself, why online success comes easily to other people, but seems to be eluding you all the time?
Have schemers driven you to the point of giving up?

My advice is short, sweet and to the point: You need to know that, it’s always too soon to quit! Remember quitters never succeed.

Successful people hang in there, they get back up when they fall and try again. You see, your friends who have become Online Success Stories didn’t throw in the towel and quit when the going got tougher, NO, No , No! They knew what they wanted in life and they wanted it badly enough to persevere through the desert, and what happened: They got to the other end. They paid the price and achieved their Online business dream. You CAN too ,only if you don’t quit on yourself and your internet venture.

Remember: It’s always too soon to give up. In other words, Never Give Up until you get the results that you after.
All the best!

Howard Mahere

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A Positive approach is a prerequisite for success

In the course of operating their businessess entrepreneurs meet challenging situations on a daily basis.  However, its how they react that determines their altitude.  It is very important for the business owner to know the value of challenges.  That challenges are meant to make us strong, many of the great achievers we see today turned obstacles into stepping stones and in the end became successful beyond measure.

Today, I have decided to share a story which I am sure will help to make us appreciate the role of obstacles in our different situations .  Lets learn to welcome challenges for our own growth.

Positive Approach

By: Author Unknown

A little girl walked daily to and from school.  Though the weather that morning was questionable and clouds were forming, she made her daily trip to school.  As the afternoon progressed, the winds whipped up, along with thunder and lighting.

The mother of the little girl felt concerned that her daughter would be frightened as she walked home from school, and she herself feared that the electrical storm might harm her child.

Following the roar of thunder, lightning, through the sky and full of concern, the mother quickly got in her car and drove along the route to her child’s school.

As she did so, she saw her little girl walking along, but at each flash of lightning, the child would stop, look up and smile.  Another and another were to follow quickly, each with the little girl stopping, looking up and smiling.

Finally, the mother called over to her child and asked, “What are you doing?”

The child answered, smiling, “God just keeps taking pictures of me”.

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5 ‘Insanely Bullish Charts’ Show Bitcoin Is Beyond Tulip Mania, Says Crypto Insider

Crypto entrepreneur and investor James Todaro says five Bitcoin charts show the leading cryptocurrency is past of the point of being just another Beanie Babies bubble.

Todaro, CEO of MedX, a blockchain powered global healthcare market and managing partner at Blocktown Capital, an investment fund for blockchain-focused ventures, outlines how Bitcoin’s 10-year run has outpaced the Tulip Mania narrative.

According to Todaro, “five insanely bullish charts” show how Bitcoin has exploded onto the global scene, despite an erratic run that caught many investors in its cross hairs.

James Todaro@JamesTodaroMD

Five INSANELY bullish charts for bitcoin. 🚀🚀🚀

1/ Bitcoin looks nothing like the Tulip Mania or South Sea Company bubbles, which only lasted an illiquid and brief 3 years.

Bitcoin has been growing for 10 years with billions of dollars traded daily.

View image on Twitter

In the second chart, Todaro shows an analysis of Bitcoin’s dollar-cost average.

“If you dollar cost averaged into bitcoin weekly, every year would result in positive returns at today’s prices, including 2018 and 2019.”

The third chart shows how well Bitcoin stacks up against big tech stocks such as Google and finance powerhouse Berkshire Hathaway which has a vast portfolio of big brands such as GEICO, Duracell, Fruit of the Loom, Wells Fargo, Coca-Cola, Bank of America and Apple.

James Todaro@JamesTodaroMD

3/ Bitcoin dominates the best performing tech stocks in returns over the past decade, even when giving tech companies a 4 year head start. 🔥🔥🔥

Berkshire Hathaway added for fun.

Embedded video

The fourth chart shows Bitcoin’s market cap trailing behind the Chinese yuan, the US dollar and gold. At $182 billion, Bitcoin ranks third from the bottom, after a long list of fiat currencies.

Todaro calls it an upside.

“On the scale of a global currency, bitcoin is still small, just passing the Colombian peso and New Zealand dollar in market cap, and is still far from the market cap of gold. There is tremendous room for bitcoin to grow into a global store of value.”

In the fifth chart, Todaro compares Bitcoin’s return on investment to hot tech companies and their pre-ICO valuations, such as Uber and Lyft, Facebook and Twitter.

“Returns over 10,000% were previously only available to accredited investors and VCs in the form of private equity deals. Bitcoin levels the playing field, allowing anyone to invest with the opportunity for tremendous gains.”

Despite the bullish charts, Bitcoin is a risky investment with a number of factors threatening price, adoption and widespread use – from regulatory clarity to government bans to stories about exchange hacks and lost bitcoins to competing blockchains, scalability issues and the ongoing challenge of educating the masses about crypto wallets, custody and everyday usage.

Timing is also another critical factor for investors, according to Fundstrat managing partner Tom Lee.

Lee’s analysis of Bitcoin’s past price history shows that the world’s leading cryptocurrency makes most of its gains in just 10 disparate days of a given year.

But if you don’t own Bitcoin for those 10 best days out of the year, Lee says the annual return is -25%.

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81 Million People Can Now Buy BTC, XRP, ETH, BCH and LTC Through Japanese Messaging Giant

Line, Japan’s dominant messaging app, has rolled out its new Japanese-facing cryptocurrency exchange.

The social networking giant, which reports 81 million monthly active users in Japan alone, now offers trading for Bitcoin, XRP, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. Tokyo-headquartered Line previously rolled out an international-facing exchange called Bitbox in July 2018, which offered services worldwide – excluding the United States and Japan.

Now, with their new domestic exchange, Bitmax, the company says it’s ready to tap into their largest market.

“While numerous existing exchanges already have a large customer base, LINE sees cryptocurrency exchanges as still in their infancy, and believes the industry has potential for even greater growth.”

The exchange is offered through Line’s digital wallet and links with the Line Pay service, “allowing for fast deposits and withdrawals in yen.”

The company says it plans to emphasize security.

“The experienced team behind the design, building, and operation of the LINE platform has also been responsible for building BITMAX’s security environment.

As part of cryptocurrency security measures, BITMAX uses the high-security wallet from BitGo Inc., a US-based provider of world-class technologies. BITMAX also clearly separates and manages customer assets from the company’s own, as well as stores cryptocurrencies in a cold wallet.

A dedicated team has been especially created to manage the cold wallet itself, as part of LINE’s commitment to providing the most reliable and secure service possible.”

Line reports a total of 164 million users worldwide.

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Bitcoin Whales Move 11,407 BTC Worth $116 Million As Ripple Appears to Sell More XRP

After a brief drought, Bitcoin whales are suddenly surfacing en masse.

In the last 24 hours, whales have moved 11,407 BTC worth $116 million. The largest single transaction sent 7,800 BTC worth $79.6 million between two wallets of unknown origin.

Whale Alert@whale_alert

🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 🚨 7,800 (79,622,090 USD) transferred from unknown wallet to unknown wallet


The movement may have been an over-the-counter (OTC) sale or a shift from one wallet to another for security purposes.

Here’s a look at the biggest Bitcoin transactions in the last 24 hours. Only one involved BTC moving from an unknown wallet to a crypto exchange. That user sent 606 BTC worth $6.2 million from an unknown wallet to the leading US crypto exchange Coinbase.

Meanwhile, Ripple appears to have sold more XRP to a third party.

The company sent 11,000,000 XRP worth $3.2 million from its over-the-counter (OTC) distribution wallet – which it uses to sell portions of its holdings – to an unknown wallet.

Whale Alert@whale_alert

11,000,000 (3,273,770 USD) transferred from Ripple OTC Distribution wallet to unknown wallet


The transfer comes a day after Ripple sent 10,000,000 XRP worth $2.8 million from the OTC wallet to a wallet of unknown origin. 

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Binance Venus, the Fourth Industrial Revolution and empowering the bottom billion


 Andrew Munro


Picture not described

If all goes well, Binance Venus could be a historically significant development.

“I’ve known CZ, the founder of Binance, as a friend for 10 years,” said Helen Hai, head of Binance Charity.

“He was being featured by Forbes on the front page, you know, last February [2018]. And then in March, we were having a conversation about that… we were discussing purpose. The purpose of being a person, and also the purpose of being a company.

“So one of the things I discussed with CZ, he asked my advice in terms of Binance. I said, ‘I think Binance needs to think of moving from success to significance.’ What I mean by significance is not just a gigantic change, you know, in the crypto world. We need to think how we can actually make contributions to the global community. This is to enable the huge penetration, adoption of crypto. And CZ totally agreed with me.

“So during that lunch, CZ said to me, ‘Helen, I totally agree with your idea. Why don’t we set up a Binance Charity blockchain charity foundation to use blockchain technology to support the bottom billion?‘ And he invited me to head up the charity foundation.

“I didn’t say yes, immediately.

“I said to CZ, during that lunch in March last year, I said to him, ‘Let’s go to Africa together. Now you and me, you know, we think this technology will help the bottom billion. But we should hear from the bottom billion how they feel.’ ”

During the meeting, the president of Uganda… he asked the very basic question itself: What is money?”

“So I took CZ to Togo and Uganda.

“In Uganda, we met the president of Uganda. What is so impressive, during the meeting with the president of Uganda, even the president – he’s a 74-year-old, old man, not really technologically advanced – but he asked the very basic question itself: What is money?

“And then what is this note? You know, currency, what is it? And after 15 minutes, he just said, ‘CZ and Helen, you know what I think? I think Africa should not be followers anymore. We want you coming here to work with us. In this Fourth Industrial Revolution, we also want to become leaders working with you, to drive this change.’

“So, after the meeting with the president of Uganda, I accepted CZ’s invitation to head up the foundation. And then finally, we decided to set up the first Africa exchange in Uganda. Because one of the things the president told us is, ‘Today we have a choice… today, based on the free transfer of information, we have a choice to work with the people we trust, to go in the direction we want to go.’

“He actually wants Uganda becoming a leader to drive the whole of Africa in the front line of this Fourth Industrial Revolution. So for me, for CZ and me, it’s really very much mission-driven. And we felt, today a lot of people are talking about development, but very few people can roll up their sleeves, you know, [and] actually be in the front line to really work out the solution.

“So that was me last year.”

I was really glad the president of Malta agreed to be on our senior advisory board.”

“We decided to set up the first Binance Uganda exchange, which provided the basic infrastructure for us, and most importantly, the training for local use. So we sponsored the first African blockchain conference in Uganda… and are sending a lot of messages to young people, you know. They need to be thinking about how to use technology, helping their countries on economic transformation.

“And then, what I did then, in the following three months, we’ve formally registered independently in Malta as the BlockChain Charity Foundation… I was really glad the president of Malta agreed to be on our senior advisory board.

“I’ve been putting a senior advisory board including the President of Malta, the ex-president of Mauritius, and also the finance minister of Djibouti, then the former chief economist of the UN, and also the chairman of the Africa acting bank. That kind of calibre of people, you know? Our senior advisory board is really putting up our agenda… our central mandate is using blockchain to empower the bottom billion.”

The foundations of Venus

On 19 August 2019, Binance announced Venus. It’s a localised stablecoin project that aims to run on Binance Chain. Although exact details are still scant, it’s safe to assume that the initiative is broadly focused on banking the unbanked, changing the world, ushering in a blockchain utopia, etc.

Based on the information currently available, the foundations of Binance Venus appear to include the following:

A strong roster of governments, non-government organisations (NGO) and business partners.

A high degree of blockchain awareness at the highest levels possible as well as for end users.

The Binance Chain blockchain infrastructure itself.

Widespread cryptocurrency education for end users.

Localised stablecoins.

At this point in Hai’s recounting, we’re coming up to the second half of late 2018. Now Binance is active on the ground in Uganda, Malta and elsewhere, and Binance Charity’s high-powered advisory board is helping tick off the first point of Venus’s foundation.

Feel free to actually tick off the first point in the list above if you want to make this a bit more interactive.

A multi-pronged approach

The other boxes would get ticked as Binance Charity started pursuing a multi-prong, necessity-driven approach.

One prong is ongoing advocacy, driven by cryptocurrency’s relatively steep learning curve, dubious reputation and immature state.

“Because right now, this is still an early stage of the industry,” Hai explained. “So we think advocacy from the top down is very important.”

This included two major events for Binance in 2018. First, a roundtable with heads of states and industry leaders in the UN general assembly last year, Hai said. And second, Binance’s hosting of the first United Nations Blockchain for Sustainable Development conference in October 2018. There’s undoubtedly more to come too.

This helps tick off that second point.

The second prong is Binance Chain itself, driven by the necessity of solving the leaky bucket/basket problem that is endemic to all charitable organisations. This refers to the money that leaks out of every donation into overhead such as administration, marketing, outright corruption and other factors.

“There’s no infrastructure currently between the third party NGO to the end beneficiary,” Hai explained. “So we found this is exactly where blockchain technology could help. So we decided to use our finance to build up this infrastructure.”

Binance Chain would be the blockchain for the job. It was first announced in March 2018, the same month Hai and CZ discussed the purpose of Binance and life in general over lunch.

“We know how hard it is to create a business, however, creating history is even harder,” CZ said at the announcement of Binance Chain.

Binance Chain hit testnet in February 2019 and went live in April 2019, ticking off the third box in the process.

On an interesting side note, Binance Chain uses Tendermint BFT consensus, built with Cosmos SDK, while Tendermint co-creator and Cosmos’s Interchain Foundation technical director Ethan Buchman is reputedly a long-time fan of the idea of localised cryptocurrency systems of the kind that Binance Venus aims to build out.

Blockchain for the bottom billion

Ticking off the third and fourth boxes will be an ongoing process, but the world’s bottom billion is a good place to start.

“We launched our first pilot early this year in Uganda, which is exactly making charity transparent,” Hai said. “So today, if you go to our website, what we did basically, we empowered the end beneficiaries with a crypto wallet.”

Picture not described

As pictured above, SHI***ASI and WAN***AEL are the names of households in Uganda (of six and three people respectively) who received donations through Binance Charity, specifically as part of Binance’s Empower Bududa landslide relief effort. Both are also registered Binance users with their own crypto wallets, who have passed AML/KYC.

“The most important thing is we need to empower the end beneficiary with a crypto wallet,” Hai said. “This is also giving them a crypto ID because the bottom billion people are currently being excluded in the existing financial infrastructure. So we’re really using crypto to empower them.

“In this whole process – we find this very important – we’re building up the fundamental blockchain infrastructure for the bottom billion.

“And in terms of the industry, we also think it’s very important because – thinking about the seven billion people globally – currently, the big players, including the Binance exchange, we are only creating liquidity for the middle class proportion of it. So what we’re doing is we’re actually building new highways, creating liquidity between middle class globally to the bottom billion.

“And once we empower the bottom billion with crypto wallets [and] mass adoption of crypto, there is more crypto liquidity among them. So this is really what we really want to see.

“We want to see the industry grow from 1% of people up to 10% because that is very healthy growth for the industry. So we found with the bottom billion that’s being excluded in the financial infrastructure, blockchain is the best solution for them.”

This is not a controversial take. On the contrary, one of the few things everyone in cryptocurrency agrees on is that emerging economies can benefit the most from cryptocurrencies.

  • Populations in emerging economies are often disproportionately dependent on remittances, and so can get commensurately larger savings from cheaper international transfers. For perspective, Uganda’s incoming remittances annually are equivalent to about 5% of its GDP, while the USA’s incoming remittances annually are equivalent to about 0.034%, according to the Pew Research Center.
  • Emerging economies are more prone to fiat currency volatility.
  • The relative lack of bank infrastructure in emerging economies drives strong demand for alternatives. Mobile payments took off faster in sub-Saharan Africa than anywhere else for this reason.

Anyone who’s remotely serious about cryptocurrency adoption should be looking at how to best serve the bottom billion.

Binance Charity is also partnered with a range of nonprofit organisations, including Mercy Corps (which is also a founding member of Facebook Libra) to help foster the use of blockchain in more situations.

“Now we’re building up the technology,” Hai said. “It’s not just for Binance use. We actually want it for the whole industry, and for the big players in the industry. Because that’s the beauty of the technology. We want to make the world a better place. We want to see more beneficiaries. The bottom billion people, they can be empowered with the technology of blockchain to help them lift up on economic transformation.”

Tick off that fourth box.

Enter the stablecoin

One of the first stablecoins on Binance Chain was the pad-backed Pink Care Token (PCAT), whose value is pegged to a year’s supply of sanitary pads.

It works almost exactly like any other collateralised stablecoin. Funds enter a custodian wallet where they are frozen, and a new stable value token is issued based on the funds locked away.

Picture not described

The PCAT stablecoin is an extremely effective way of ensuring beneficiaries get what they need. It avoids the high costs of trying to directly distribute sanitary pads and generally offers many of the same benefits of direct cash donations while going a long way towards preventing misappropriation of funds.

This system is also a clear example of how the different elements of the Binance machine are working together. Note how this system requires suppliers and beneficiaries to both have their own crypto wallets and how, in the end, the supplier gets their money by selling PCAT tokens on the Binance Uganda cryptocurrency exchange.

“If you buy one coin, you can support one girl’s whole year… so this is actually a stablecoin backed with tampons. When you purchase that coin, you know exactly what the end cost is,” Hai said.

This kind of stablecoin system can be replicated across a wide range of situations, and with the right technical and logistics infrastructure, you can back a stablecoin with all kinds of things.

For example, the Australian government has previously tested “smart money” tokens for disability services, with each token functionally being a stablecoin redeemable for specific disability services. Localisation adds another dimension. For example, Universal Basic Income initiatives could be adjusted (in an academically interesting if not necessarily practical way) with stablecoins pegged to the average cost of living in the beneficiary’s location.

PCAT and other initiatives served as a good proof of concept, and it looks like Binance Venus itself will be ticking that fifth box if all goes well.

Binance Venus and the Fourth Industrial Revolution

“My passion has always been finding a model to support the bottom billion by looking at the world’s 7.6 billion population globally,” Hai said. “My passion is always trying to help the bottom billion jump start the economic transformation for poverty reduction.”

This objective was complicated, Hai said, when she looked at the economic transformations following the arrival of each Industrial Revolution around the world.

“For the Second Industrial Revolution, the Asian countries leapfrogged on the economic transformation,” Hai said. “And then look at the last 30 years. Where’s the Third Industrial Revolution, dominated by the Internet? What happened?”

Some explanation may be necessary here.

Industrial revolutions have historically created enormous wealth and raised millions of people out of poverty by giving people a standard of living that would have been impossible only a few years before.

  • What was the First Industrial Revolution?
  • What was the Second Industrial Revolution?
  • What was the Third Industrial Revolution?

But there are two big problems with all these industrial revolutions.

The first is that these revolutions didn’t hit every country at the same time.

In 1800, almost everyone everywhere was poor.

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Fast forward 175 years and those industrial revolutions created a distinct surge of wealth, primarily in Europe, while Asia-Pacific and Africa were largely left behind.

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Jump forward 40 more years and it’s a very different picture. Asia-Pacific is largely over that hump, thanks largely to the statistical impact of China’s sweeping economic reforms from 1976 onwards. But for reasons too complicated to be flippantly addressed here, Africa is largely left behind.

Picture not described


The second problem is that the nature of the information technologies that came with the Third Industrial Revolution also helped cement inequality.

An increasingly automated world required higher levels of education, which helped create and reinforce the have and have-not divide. Meanwhile, the sheer pace of technological advancement, coupled with the nature of investment, means profits from new developments tend to be siphoned towards the best-capitalised income brackets. Certain political and economic decisions certainly don’t help either.

Hai characterised this kind of problem as the inherent friction between liberty and equality, where liberty means having the freedom to pursue maximum efficiency and profitability, but equality giving a reason not to.

Liberty and equality, which are often held up as inseparable twin ideals, are also kind of mutually exclusive at their extremes.

“In this part of the world, we’re celebrating technological advancement,” Hai said. “But if we’re looking at the world, 1% of the population actually is holding 90% of the global wealth. The world didn’t become a better place, in a way, with the Third Industrial Revolution.

“So what I really felt was, in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, entrepreneurs also need to do something even better, which is not only just celebrate the technological advancement for the upper class, it also needs to think globally. We need to empower the bottom billion.”

This Fourth Industrial Revolution is currently underway. It includes blockchain, cryptocurrency, quantum computing, nanotechnology, biotechnology and many more. One of the ideas behind Binance Charity is to attempt to deliberately and directly empower the bottom billion with some of the fruits of this technological revolution.

“This is something I found that I was so passionate about after attending World Economic Forum last year,” Hai said.

The World Economic Forum last year was in January 2018. The month after that, Forbes would put CZ on the cover of its magazine, and the month after that, Hai and CZ would talk about how to make Binance significant rather than just eye-wateringly profitable.

This was followed closely by the announcement of Binance Chain, the move to Malta, the meeting with the president of Uganda and the establishment of Binance Uganda, the creation of Binance Charity’s influential advisory board, the spread of blockchain and cryptocurrency education around Africa, the Binance Chain testnet, the Binance Chain mainnet, the development of sanitary pad stablecoins and now the announcement of Binance Venus – a project for issuing local stablecoins around the world with the apparent goal of stepping in to bank the unbanked. And this is all occurring while Facebook’s Libra is faltering under a regulatory glare.

“This is definitely something Binance is doing,” Hai said. “We see ourselves using innovation to lead the industry. Blockchain is not just to make individual wealth… blockchain crypto should be a very powerful tool to human beings, to find the fine balance between equality and liberty. Because those two things, you know… it’s difficult because on one side you want liberty. You are pushing efficiency, but then you forgot equality.

“Something CZ and I have always believed is something Nelson Mandela once said. He said ‘It’s always impossible until it’s done.’ …that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

Note: Finder interviewed Helen Hai prior to the announcement of Binance Venus. Hai’s comments in this interview do not refer directly to Venus, and any connections implied in this piece were extrapolated rather than confirmed. Also, the president of Uganda wants to kill gay people and has a shocking human rights record.

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Disclosure: The author holds BNB and BTC at the time of writing.

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade. Cryptocurrencies are speculative, complex and involve significant risks – they are highly volatile and sensitive to secondary activity. Performance is unpredictable and past performance is no guarantee of future performance. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before relying on this information. You should also verify the nature of any product or service (including its legal status and relevant regulatory requirements) and consult the relevant Regulators’ websites before making any decision. Finder, or the author, may have holdings in the cryptocurrencies discussed.

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Cubans Are Turning to Bitcoin to Access Global Economy: Report

Cubans Are Turning to Bitcoin to Access Global Economy: Report

Bitcoin (BTC) trading is opening new avenues for citizens in communist-run Cuba, which has been financially isolated for years under a United States trade embargo.

A Sept. 12 report from U.S. News claims that, with the recent advent of mobile internet in the country, Cubans are increasingly using cryptocurrencies to make online purchases, as well as to invest and trade.

“Opening new doors” in retail

Without access to debit or credit cards for international use, cryptocurrency-enabled purchases are a welcome opportunity for consumers. In an interview with U.S. News, local resident Jason Sanchez said cryptocurrencies were “opening new doors” for Cubans.

The 35-year-old said that he was now able to purchase spare parts for his cellphone repair shop in Havana from an online Chinese store because of BTC.

Alex Sobrino — the founder of Telegram channel CubaCripto — estimated that roughly 1,000 Cubans were using cryptocurrencies, adding:

“We are using cryptocurrencies to top up our cellphones, to make purchases online, and there are even people reserving hotel rooms.”

With credit cards uncommon, many local crypto users reportedly need to ask relatives abroad to help them to enter the cryptocurrency markets or turn to social media channels such as CubaCripto.

Exchanges where cash is swapped for Bitcoin in person — using a mobile or laptop to carry out the transaction — are another option, the report notes.

A solution to financial exclusion

About 1,300 users are currently using Fusyona, which claims to be Cuba’s first cryptocurrency exchange. The platform allows people abroad to send remittances to the country, or to invest in nine different cryptocurrencies via a larger exchange — with services charged at a fee of up to 10%. Fusyona founder Adrian C. Leon told U.S. News:

“For foreigners, cryptocurrencies is just another option. But for Cubans, it is a necessity and can be a solution to their exclusion from the global financial community.”

Sobrino noted that uncertainty and fear remain over how the government might react to the fledgling cryptocurrency trend. Fusyona is registered in Brazil but has started talks with central bank officials to investigate whether the platform could seal formal approval.

“We worry the government will restrict us, prohibit things, start to say this is illicit enrichment,” he said.

The central bank reportedly revealed earlier this week that it was exploring the benefits and risks of digital currencies.

In July, Cuba’s economy minister Alejandro Gil Fernandez said the government was consulting with academics to study the potential use of cryptocurrency for its national and international commercial transactions.

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Winklevoss’ Gemini Crypto Exchange Launches Custody Service

Winklevoss’ Gemini Crypto Exchange Launches Custody Service

The New York-based cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, founded in 2014 by twin brothers Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, has launched its own custody service, Gemini Custody.

In a news release shared with Cointelegraph on Sept. 10, Gemini said the newly launched custody solution will allow its customers to check balances, download account statements, initiate withdrawals, and grant auditors view-only access to confirm balances, transactions and activity.

Customers will also be able to trade their assets in custody on the Gemini exchange without waiting for them to be transferred from cold storage.

Eighteen supported assets

Gemini Custody reportedly supports 18 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC), as well as the following ERC-20 tokens: 0x (ZRX), Augur (REP), Basic Attention Token (BAT), Bread (BRD), Dai (DAI), Decentraland (MANA), Enjin (ENJ), Flexacoin (FXC), Gemini dollar (GUSD), Kyber Network (KNC), Loom Network (LOOM), Maker (MKR) and OmiseGo (OMG).

Gemini CEO Tyler Winklevoss said that the much-needed maturation of crypto as an asset class depends on custodial security. He added:

“From day one, Gemini recognized the need for a world-class custody solution that is secure, compliant, and easy to use for individuals and institutions around the world.”

Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, managing director of operations at Gemini, explained that institutional investors have demonstrated a clear and growing demand for crypto, but that some struggle to find a solution that fully meets complex regulatory and security requirements.

Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss recently said they are open to partnering with Mark Zuckerberg on Facebook’s Libra stablecoin project. Cameron argued that Libra represents a step forward in the mass adoption of cryptocurrency.

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Mysterious ‘Game Changing’ XRP Project Underway, Says Crypto Exchange CoinField

CoinField is teasing a mysterious XRP ledger project.

Babak Bob Ras, the CEO of the Vancouver BC-based exchange, says the upcoming venture will be well-staffed.

“We have a great team of advisors in our upcoming XRPL project. All well-known figures in cryptocurrency space. I’ll be thrilled to announce the names & the details of the project very soon. This will be a game-changer! Ƨ + XRPL = ?”

Ras initially triggered speculation when he tweeted the following image on September 5th.


Building on Ras’s cryptic announcement, CoinField followed up on September 9th with a question for XRP devotees.

“What do you think the best use case for XRPL will be?
Ƨ + XRPL = ? 

Retweet & comment below for a chance to win between 1-5 XRP for the 30 best answers via @xrptipbot 

Deadline: Wednesday 12:00 PM PST”

Coinfield is a dedicated supporter of XRP and uses the world’s third-largest digital asset as a base pair on its exchange, with 30 coins and numerous fiat currencies now paired directly with XRP. CoinMarketCap reports the exchange does over $5.6 million in daily trading volume.

Ras has referred to the mysterious new project as an “ecosystem.”

“We’ve never wanted to be only another crypto exchange on the block! Indeed our goal from the day first was to create a new financial ecosystem that people can easily trade different assets and spend them in real-time. We’re getting there.

Blockchain is changing our world. XRPL”

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Bitcoin Deposited in Bakkt Warehouse Protected by $125M Insurance

Bitcoin Deposited in Bakkt Warehouse Protected by $125M Insurance

Bitcoin (BTC) deposited at the Bakkt Warehouse is protected by a $125 million insurance policy, according to an announcement on Sept. 9.

The company started accepting deposits and withdrawals on Sept. 6, ahead of the planned launch of its futures products on Sept. 23.

Deposits launch as planned

It took Bakkt a lot of time and effort to gain regulatory certification for its upcoming daily and monthly physically delivered Bitcoin futures products.

Since approval was given, things has been full speed ahead — with deposits in its freshly certified custodial warehousing solution happening as planned.

News of the insurance policy covering client deposits removes yet another concern for the institutional investors that Bakkt hopes to attract.

All systems prepared for launch

If the launch is successful on Sept. 23, it will be the first Bitcoin futures platform offering a physically delivered product, which means institutional investors will be trading with actual BTC.

Existing futures products from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange are settled in cash, whereas Bakkt clients will receive payment in Bitcoin once the futures contract expires.

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Why We Settle: Global Payments Should Be Fast and Cheap

Good, Cheap, Fast

In the retail and service industries, customers face inherent trade-offs: good, cheap, fast. It is commonly thought that a company, product or service can achieve two of the three, but it is nearly impossible to find an offering that incorporates all.

McDonald’s is fast and cheap, but far from a Michelin star dining experience. BMW delivers the Ultimate Driving Experience, but you’ll have to pay for it. You can fly to Denver rather inexpensively on Spirit, but the experience will never live up to Singapore Airlines. Healthcare poses myriad examples: access to care, disease treatments or even receiving diagnoses.

However, with the advent of digital business models, we have seen an increasing number of companies achieving the trifecta of all three elements across industries such as insurance (Lemon), entertainment (Netflix), communications (Skype) and healthcare (Teladoc). Amazon is a particularly relatable example.  The lack of a costly physical retail footprint, state-of-the-art logistics, and an ever-increasing inventory has allowed Amazon to achieve high standards of good, cheap and fast.

That said, in urban areas it is still faster to cross the street to Walgreens and purchase items“on demand.” Perhaps that is why Amazon sees value in building some form of physical footprint–retail stores with frictionless, fast checkout.

The Payments Parallel

In cross-border payments, particularly for individual payments (a.k.a., remittances), there is a parallel to the good, cheap, fast adage. In ethnographic and survey-based research across thousands of individuals, we are constantly reminded that remitters care about four things more than anything else:

  • Reliability: Often defined as certainty of payment, reliability is knowing that a payment will, indeed, arrive (and with a confirmation when it does).
  • Speed: The faster the payment arrives, the greater peace of mind for everyone.
  • Convenience: While this could be defined differently for everyone, it is best expressed as, “Can I make this payment with as little effort as possible?”
  • Cost: This is self-explanatory, and the least surprising requirement.

As with good, cheap, fast, these key elements are inherently at odds when it comes to cross-border payments. For many, going to their bank for cross-border payments is a reliable venture–“I trust that my bank, even if does take three days, won’t lose my money.” However, most remittance payments happen outside of the formal banking channel.

Companies like Western Union have grown their business to provide highly-convenient and fast means to send payment–but these companies are hardly inexpensive, demanding up to 10% of the transaction value. With the advent of the internet, we have seen the proliferation of digital-only payment providers. Like most online businesses, these payment providers are thriving by undercutting fees of the traditional players. However, as subjects of the same inefficient correspondent banking network, speed is often limited.

Do We Have to Settle?

The greatest trade-off of these four elements is between speed and cost. When it comes to reliability and convenience, these are manageable attributes and become increasingly so as more consumers come online and adopt modern mobile technology. The proliferation of digital wallets for payments services, even amongst the unbanked, has been a wide-spread phenomenon.

So, why would speed and cost be at odds? To answer this, we must look at the difficulties of moving money between currencies and the institutions that are licensed to handle these transactions. Even though most remittances happen outside of traditional banks, banks are the critical layer to any cross-border, fiat payment system today – providing settlement and foreign exchange capabilities for global payments. However, cross-border settlement through this system is far from instantaneous, due to a function of batch processing, limited bank operating hours and fragmented providers and systems.

However, this doesn’t make speed impossible, it just requires a “work around” through something called “pre-funding.” That is, having accounts in the destination countries with enough capital to make the payout to a receiver “instant.” This itself may solve for the speed dilemma, but now we’re back to the issue of cost. A series of respondent and correspondent network participants, utilized by bank and non-bank remittance providers, adds cost to the complexity.

Cost increases significantly (as much as 35% according to McKinsey) when a payment provider opens, maintains and pre-funds accounts around the world.  The risk, cost and hassle creates an immense burden–which is passed along to the end user in the form of fees or disadvantageous exchange rates.

The critical next question, which we will explore in our next post, is simply: do we have to accept that there will always be a trade-off between speed and cost? Stay tuned.

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Apple Pay Executive Reveals Tech Giant’s Stance on Crypto, Says Industry Has Long-Term Potential

Vice President at Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey says that the tech giant is “watching” cryptocurrency.

Bailey’s comments came during a recent interview with CNN’s Chief Business Correspondent Christine Romans. The VP of Internet Services at Apple Inc. notes,

“We think [cryptocurrencies are] interesting. We think it has interesting long-term potential.”

Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, says crypto assets could be a good fit for the tech giant.

“This would be a major shot in the arm for crypto if Apple headed down this path. Given where Apple strategically is focused, a move into crypto could make sense given its sights on further monetizing its consumers over the coming years.”

Bailey also believes Apple Pay and Apple Card will play a leading role in the future of payment technology.

Apple entered the mobile payments industry in 2014 by launching Apple Pay. When the service was introduced, the tech firm said it would “transform” the mobile payment industry by providing an intuitive and secure method of making payments via easy-to-use apps.

Apple’s management hasn’t revealed how many active users Apple Pay has, however the platform handles almost a billion transactions per month. Since its release in 2014, the number of US merchants accepting contactless payments has jumped from only 3% to more than 70%, Bailey notes.

While Apple begins to explore cryptocurrencies, social media giant Facebook is already developing its own stablecoin, Libra, which will be backed by a basket of fiat currencies. Facebook’s crypto project is scheduled to launch in 2020, however it might be postponed due to regulatory challenges.

Meanwhile, Jack Dorsey’s Square, a leading payment processing firm, has been hiring blockchain developers to work on crypto-related projects.

According to a survey conducted by financial analytics firm Cindicator, analysts believe that retail behemoth Amazon is the most likely tech leader to announce the launch of its own cryptocurrency.

However, Amazon’s management has said it’s not currently developing a blockchain-based digital currency.

Last month, Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, revealed that it’s working on a project called Venus, which will create “localized stablecoins and digital assets pegged to fiat currencies across the globe.”

Venus will be competing for market share with Libra and other crypto-related initiatives launched by leading tech companies. The company’s first stablecoin, Binance USD (BUSD), was just approved by regulators in New York.

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