One of Pakistan’s Largest Commercial Banks Reveals Partnership With Ripple

Pakistan’s Faysal Bank Limited (FBL) is partnering with San Francisco-based fintech Ripple to launch a digital payments solution.

FBL is reportedly one of Pakistan’s largest private sector banks and has more than 220 branches with business assets totaling $1.5 billion.

Announced on September 6, the partnership was commemorated by a meeting held in Karachi, Pakistan’s largest city, and was attended by Faysal Bank’s president and CEO Yousaf Hussain.

Faysal Bank Limited@faysalbankltd

Faysal Bank introduces a digitally enabled solution for its customers through partnering with Ripple. With this partnership, fast, secure and convenient cross border payments can be made. The ceremony was held in Karachi, under the leadership of Mr. Yousaf Hussain, P&CEO- FBL.

View image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on TwitterView image on Twitter

Faysal Bank Limited, an Islamic commercial bank, joins over 200 financial institutions worldwide that are using RippleNet, a decentralized payments network that enables quick and cost-effective cross-border payments.

The bank has been active in the development of support for digital money. In 2017, FBL became the first commercial bank in Pakistan to launch a digital card powering the rise of online payments and e-commerce purchases.

Last month it sponsored a one-day summit on electronic money in Karachi to create “mass awareness about digital money.”

Pakistani lawmakers have not developed regulatory guidelines for cryptocurrency transactions. Last year, the nation’s central bank, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), instructed all local financial institutions to halt services to individuals and companies dealing in crypto assets.

Details regarding Faysal Bank and Ripple’s partnership have not been released at time of writing.

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IMF Chief Christine Lagarde: We Should Be Open to Cryptocurrencies

IMF Chief Christine Lagarde: We Should Be Open to Cryptocurrencies

The nominee to be the next president of the European Central Bank (ECB), Christine Lagarde, has said central banks and financial bodies should protect consumers but be open to innovations such as cryptocurrencies.

Changes are opportunities

Lagarde, who is currently head of the International Monetary Fund, told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee of the European Parliament that central banks and financial regulators should embrace the opportunities presented by change.

In her opening statement, shared with Cointelegraph via an IMF news release, Lagarde said:

”In the case of new technologies – including digital currencies – that means being alert to risks in terms of financial stability, privacy or criminal activities, and ensuring appropriate regulation is in place to steer technology towards the public good. But it also means recognising the wider social benefits from innovation and allowing them space to develop.”

Lagarde’s promises

Lagarde promised that, if she were to become ECB president, she would focus on making sure that institutions promptly adapt to the rapidly changing financial environment.

As Cointelegraph reported, Lagarde claimed in February that regulation of cryptocurrencies is “inevitable” and necessary on an international level.

In April, she said that blockchain innovators are “shaking the traditional financial world” and having a clear impact on incumbent players.

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Great quote!

“If we command our wealth, we shall be rich and free. If our wealth commands us, we are poor indeed.” – Edmund Burke

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Peter Brandt: Bitcoin Targeting $100,000, May Have Entered Fourth Parabolic Phase

One of the most popular crypto analysts around says Bitcoin may have officially begun its fourth parabolic market cycle.

Peter Brandt, who accurately called the beginning of the last BTC bear market, posted a tweet showing Bitcoin’s previous parabolic cycles. The chart outlines a new potential parabolic path that shows BTC climbing above $100,000.

Peter Brandt

@PeterLBrandt

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Raoul Pal

@RaoulGMI

If you don’t have any bitcoin $BTC #bitcoin then this looks like the last time to board the rocket ship…

I LOVE wedge patterns like this. They have a high probability of success.

Good luck. There is a “shit ton” going on in macro land.

In May, Brandt first began describing BTC’s 2019 price movements as the potential start of a new long-term bull market cycle.

“Bitcoin takes aim at $100,000 target. BTC/USD is experiencing its fourth parabolic phase dating back to 2010. No other market in my 45 years of trading has gone parabolic on a log chart in this manner. Bitcoin is a market like no other.”

He told CNBC’s Ran NeuNer that BTC is now in the “same situation” as it was at the start of previous bull runs.

“You have to look really at the long-term chart that goes back to 2011, 2012. And what you’ll see there is a magnificent thing that happened going into the 2013 high. And that was a parabolic move, and it was a parabolic move on a log scale. A parabolic move on a log scale is a magnificent thing. It may only happen once in a decade.

And so we saw that parabolic advance be broken, and then we saw the market from 2013 into 2015 correction. And then it entered another parabolic move. So we have two parabolic moves in the same market. That’s just unheard of. And of course that topped in December of 2017 and we spent 2018 correcting…

The moving average that I look at, which is a weekly chart moving average, turned up here about four weeks ago. The last time that moving average turned up was in early 2015 when Bitcoin went from $350 to $19,900, depending on what exchange you’re trading. That is a quantum move, and so we have the same situation as we have seen an upturn in the long-term trend.”

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6000 Bitcoins [BTC] Lost Forever? Indian Police Unfolds Story on Crypto Scammers

India crypto ban

In a shocking revelation yesterday, the Indian police unfolded the horrid story that befell on a group of crypto scammers. Mastermind’s behind a $62 million Bitcoinscam was dumped by five men in a hospital in Dehradun, India, who was found dead.

Abdul Shakoor, 35, a resident of Kerala had duped investors in Manjeri, Pandikkad and Malappuram city in Kerala off of an amount totaling more than $62 million. After deceiving the people, Shakoor fled the scene with one of his partners and was on the run.

The five men from the hospital have been arrested and identified as his associates. According to the police, his associates had beaten Shakoor to death. The five men who have been identified as Faris Mamnoon, Arvind C, Asif Ali, Sufail Mukhtar, and Aftab have been charged with the murder.

After interrogating the accused, police found that the Shakoor had made the team to sell Bitcoins in the three Indian cities mentioned. Many close associates of the investors also became a part of the scam. In total, they scammed the investors of 425 crores.

After the duping the customers, Shakoor fled the scene with one of his associates, Aashiq. They arrived in Dehradun on 12th August looking for a house. On 20th, they moved to the outskirts, where later they were joined by other associates.

Apparently, Shakoor told his associate that he had lost the password to all the Bitcoins. He said that he would pay them back by releasing his cryptocurrency. However, they did not believe him and started torturing him to attain the password. The SSP of police, Arun Mohan Joshi told the media,

“Crypto-currency worth hundreds of crores led to the murder of Abdul Shakoor. The accused, who are all members of Shakoor’s business team, tortured him brutally at a house in Prem Nagar (on the outskirts of Dehradun) that led to his death.”

On the day of his death, August 26, Shakoor became unconscious from their physical abuse. When they took him to the hospital, he declared dead by the doctors. Then they brought him to another hospital and fled the scene. SSP Joshi noted,

All of them escaped from the hospital leaving their vehicle in front of the emergency ward

Five other members of the team are on the run, they have been identified as Aashiq, Arshad, Yasin, Rehaab, and Muneef.

6000 Bitcoins Lost?

Numerous reports have cited that millions of Bitcoins (up to 3.75 million) are lost due to multiple accidents over the years. They involved fire, deaths, or just due to a careless mistake of the owners.

If the story is true, then it seems that the attackers were not able to extract the password from Shakoor. Hence, if he was the sole owner of the password, we can assume that more than 6000 BTC have been lost forever as well.

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Novogratz: Bitcoin in a ‘Bit of Consolidation’ as Institutions Line Up

Novogratz: Bitcoin in a ‘Bit of Consolidation’ as Institutions Line Up

Bitcoin (BTC) price may have fallen below $10,000 again but that is no reason to doubt the 2019 bull market, industry investor Mike Novogratz has said.

Novogratz: Bitcoin “has had a huge run”

Speaking on Bloomberg TV on Aug. 29, the founder of merchant bank Galaxy Digital noted that regardless of this week’s sideways trading, Bitcoin was still up over 200% this year.

Unlike altcoin markets, the largest cryptocurrency was in separate league, and had broadly delivered for investors.

“Bitcoin started the year at $3,800, traded at $3,500 and now it’s at $10,200 and so it’s up 200% odd percent already,” he told the network. He added:

“It has had a huge run, and so I think this is a bit of consolidation.”

Institutions “getting their ducks lined up”

Novogratz was speaking just hours before Bitcoin markets experienced a sudden dip which took them $500 lower in a matter of minutes.

While no single factor appeared to trigger a change in sentiment, the move was in line with behavior seen often in recent months. As Cointelegraph reported, margin trading is increasingly considered as a major factor behind sudden changes in BTC/USD.

As of press time Thursday, the pair was nonetheless lower still, averaging just over $9,500 on the back of 6.3% daily losses.

For Novogratz, however, increased entry of institutions into the arena will spark the next phase of Bitcoin’s bull cycle.

“The institutions that are making longer-term decisions are making sure they’ve got custody, making sure their ducks are lined up — and they’re slowly and steadily moving in,” he continued.

Novogratz is well known as a Bitcoin permabull. In August, he said global macroeconomic turbulence would fuel favorable price movements going forward, while a month previously, he pledged not to sell any more of his holdings below $14,000.

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US Banking Giant PNC Starts Using RippleNet for Cross-Border Payments

US Banking Giant PNC Starts Using RippleNet for Cross-Border Payments

PNC — the United States’ eighth-largest bank, with almost $400 billion in assets — has become the country’s first to start using the RippleNet blockchain network for cross-border payments.

Fintech Futures reported on Aug. 29 that PNC Treasury Management is now offering RippleNet-based cross-border payments solutions to its commercial clients, claiming that the blockchain solution will give them:

“The ability to receive a payment from an overseas buyer against their invoices instantly, transforming the way they manage their global account receivables and allowing them to better manage their working capital.”

Ripple: MoneyGram partnership bearing fruit

As reported, PNC had first revealed its plans to use RippleNet — and specifically, Ripple’sliquidity product xCurrent — back in September 2018.

At the time, the announcement caused the value of Ripple’s digital token XRP to soar.

At the time of writing, XRP is not seeing a price boost: in keeping with the wider crypto market, the asset is firmly in the red, trading down by around 6% on the day.

Yet as Ripple’s head of Global Institutional Markets, Breanne M. Madigan this week indicated — price is not the only parameter company insiders are eyeing.

Madigan shared fresh data on Aug. 23 that revealed that while overall XRP trading volume was down nearly 65%, XRP/MXN volumes on Mexican crypto exchange Bitcoin surged by over 25% during the same period of time that MoneyGram payments into Mexico using XRP went live.

Madigan said the data is a sign of a real use case driving real volume.

In June, Ripple had announced its purchase a 10% stake in MoneyGram — the second-largest remittances firm worldwide —as part of a $30 million partnership with the entity. A central stipulation in the deal was that MoneyGram would begin using xRapid.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse later claimed that a year from now, the MoneyGram deal “will have a more consequential impact on the crypto markets than the Libra white paper.”

Backlash from XRP holders

This week, Garlinghouse has been prompted to comment on several controversiessurrounding the Ripple project. Among them is some token holders’ continuing frustration about what they perceive to be the negative market consequences of Ripple selling XRP to its clients.

In parallel, an ongoing class action suit against Ripple has been recently amended, in which a disgruntled investor has alleged that the firm sold XRP as an unregistered security in violation of federal law.

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Billionaire Alan Howard Eyes $1 Billion Crypto Fund Management Venture

Billionaire Alan Howard Eyes $1 Billion Crypto Fund Management Venture

Elwood Asset Management — owned by British billionaire and Brevan Howard founder Alan Howard — is planning a $1 billion venture into the crypto hedge fund space.

The Financial Times (FT) reported on Aug. 30 that the asset manager is developing a platform that would tailor portfolios of cryptocurrency funds for institutional investors.

Weeding out the crypto hedge fund space

Elwood Asset Management CEO Bin Ren told the FT that the venture will aim to steer investors towards a selection of vetted crypto funds that have passed robust due diligence so that market participants can avoid the risks associated with the emerging sector.

Ren — who formerly served as chief investment officer at Brevan Howard’s Systematic Investment Group — said that screening of the sector had resulted in Elwood identifying up to 50 crypto hedge funds as “probably satisfy our due diligence.”

While details of the product remain to be finalized, the new fund could enable investors to determine input factors such as the level of risk they are willing to court, their expectations of returns, as well as liquidity terms. It will also measure the potential correlation of the tailored crypto hedge fund portfolio with the rest of their existing assets.

As the FT notes, Elwood’s bid to navigate institutional clients through the new investment landscape is informed by a recognition that many crypto investment vehicles still lack the traditional features of the traditional hedge fund industry.

Product could eventually have $1bn AUM

The report cites research jointly conducted by Elwood and Big Four auditor PwC this year that revealed that crypto hedge funds charge an average management fee of 1.72% plus a performance fee of 23.5% — well above the 1.41% 16.6% respective averages for the traditional hedge fund industry.

For its services, Elwood will apply its own fee on top of the fees that investors pay to access the underlying funds.

“I see this as a very big growth opportunity,” he told the FT, noting he expects the product could eventually manage over $1 billion in assets.

This March, Elwood had indicated it was planning to increase its cryptocurrency offerings as it announced the launch of a blockchain exchange-traded fund in partnership with Invesco.

Howard himself has a host of crypto investments under his belt, including in EOS developerBlock.one and the ICE-owned digital assets platform Bakkt.

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Court Order Proves He’s Satoshi Nakamoto: Craig Wright Spokesperson

Monday’s court order against Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist and crypto entrepreneur who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, struck a blow to Wright’s claims that he created Bitcoin, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency.

While U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart ruled against Wright in West Palm Beach, Florida on Monday, ordering him to forfeit half of his Bitcoin fortune, currently worth an estimated $7.8 billion, to the estate of Wright’s former business partner, David Kleiman, the defeated Wright says the ruling proves he’s Satoshi.

Through his spokesperson Ed Pownall, Wright told Bloomberg that only Satoshi could cough up the 410,000 Bitcoin he’s been ordered to surrender – half of the total BTC he had mined as an early supporter of the new technology.

According to Pownall,

“Otherwise, [Craig] couldn’t have them in the first place.”

Judge Reinhart, however, cast a shadow of doubt over Wright’s integrity and testimony.

He writes,

“Dr. Wright’s demeanor did not impress me as someone who was telling the truth. There is a strong and unrebutted circumstantial inference that Dr. Wright willfully created fraudulent documents.”

He also noted that it was “not his job” to determine if Wright is Satoshi or if he actually has the Bitcoin he’s been ordered to turn over to the estate.

Two preliminary points. First, the Court is not required to decide, and does not decide,whether Defendant Dr. Craig Wright is Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of the Bitcoincybercurrency. The Court also is not required to decide, and does not decide, how much bitcoin,if any, Dr. Wright controls today.”

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Bitcoin Realized Market Cap Hits $100 Billion for the First Time

Bitcoin Realized Market Cap Hits $100 Billion for the First Time

The Bitcoin (BTC) network passed a new milestone this week, as new data revealed the extent of altcoins’ losses.

According to data aggregator Coinmetrics.io on Aug. 25, so-called realized market cap has become the latest indicator flashing bullish for Bitcoin.

Realized Bitcoin market cap surpasses $100 billion record

Realized market cap, an alternative calculation of Bitcoin’s market capitalization, is now at record highs.

Calculated from multiplying the price each bitcoin last traded by the size of each trade, the figure for Bitcoin passed $100 billion on Sunday.

The achievement is just one more in a string of near-constant records for Bitcoin, which recently posted all-time highs in areas such as hash rate and daily trading volumes.

As cryptography pioneer Nick Szabo added, the realized market cap progress comes in tandem with some of the lowest volatility seen on the Bitcoin network since 2012.

“The long-term chart reflects the superior deep safety, global seamlessness, and monetary soundness of Bitcoin,” he commented on Monday.

As Cointelegraph reported, if taken using realized cap focusing on liquidity and trading volume, some claim Bitcoin’s total market dominance in fact lies above 90% — far more than the 70% predicted by crypto data aggregators.

Only Binance Coin brings home the bacon for traders

At the same time, however, pressure on altcoins is continuing to mount. As data from Coinmetrics confirmed, most major tokens lost significantly against Bitcoin this year — despite the fact they had previously beaten its performance.

Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Zcash (ZEC), Stellar (XLM) and Ether (ETH) posted the worst declines, while Binance Coin (BNB) was easily the investment of choice. The in-house token of crypto exchange Binance is up 44% against Bitcoin since August 2018.

Altcoins’ decline against Bitcoin has long formed a topic of debate among commentators. Recently, veteran trader Peter Brandt claimed non-Bitcoin tokens were experiencing their version of the dot-com boom and may never recover.

“Following 2001-02 tech collapse, dotcoms with real value exploded. The ‘alt’ .coms went bankrupt,” he wrote in June.

Figures such as well-known Bitcoin bull Max Keiser subsequently repeated the claims.

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