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Japan’s Top Credit Card Issuer JCB to Apply DLT in Its $10T B2B Market


Japan’s top credit card issuer JCB plans to adopt a new business-to-business (B2B) payment solution based on blockchain technology.

JCB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with blockchain-based commercial payments platform Paystand to develop a digital payment platform for enterprises and customers in Japan, Cointelegraph Japan reports Dec. 20.

Initiative to cut costs and delays associated with “pre-internet technology” in Japan’s $10 trillion B2B market

The new joint development aims to cut costs and delays associated with “pre-internet technology” that is still practiced in Japan’s $10 trillion B2B market that is still dominated by cash transactions, Paystand CEO Jeremy Almond said in an official announcement. According to the exec, only 1% of commercial payments in Japan are now made via credit cards.

Paystand’s partnership with JCB demonstrates that growing demand for digital technology-powered business payments by enterprises, Almond noted.

The new tool will purportedly be implemented to also address some complications in the B2B payment market associated with Japan’s consumption tax hike adopted in early October 2019, the original announcement notes.

Paystand expands its blockchain-based project to Asia

Paystand’s blockchain-based payment platform is now adopted by more than 150,000 companies in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. By partnering with JCB, the company apparently expects a strong push into Asian market as Paystand estimated JCB’s 130 million customers to account for an 80% market share, a Paystand spokesperson said in an email to Cointelegraph.

Meanwhile, JCB has made some steps towards blockchain technology. In 2018, the credit card firm was reported on developing a technology that connects separate blockchain networks in order to share their excess capacity, resolving issues that arise from heavy traffic on a single ledger.





Source Cointelegraph

Bitfinex Now Enables Users to Purchase Crypto With Credit and Debit Card


Hong Kong-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Bitfinex now enables its users to purchase cryptocurrencies with both credit and debit cards.

The exchange made the announcement on Dec. 20, saying:

“Buy cryptocurrencies with your debit or credit cards on Bitfinex. Whether it’s Bitcoin, USDt, Ethereum, or any other ERC20 tokens, pick your favorite and purchase with your credit or debit cards directly.”

Bitfinex’s recent developments

December has witnessed a number of Bitfinex’s developments, with the exchange and crypto store Bitrefill partnered to allow the trading platform’s clients to shop with Bitcoin (BTC) over the Lightning Network. The collaboration will allow customers to buy over 2,000 different prepaid vouchers with BTC. The vouchers can cover the costs of services and products relevant to gaming, dining, entertainment, travel and more.

New York-based blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis is set to provide Bitfinex with it Anti-Money Laundering compliance solution to use the real-time monitoring capabilities of Chainalysis’ technology to identify high-risk outliers amid a high volume of transactions

Bitfinex also revealed the first of two major upgrades it says will completely change user payments and spending habits, confirming that it would support BTC transactions on the Lightning Network.

Crypto with credit/debit cards

Also this month, Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange bitFlyer announced the launch of “Instant Buy” on its European exchange platform. The exchange will thus provide its European users with the ability to buy cryptocurrency using a credit card, debit card and local instant transfer methods like Sofort, iDeal and GiroPay.

Coinbase Card, a crypto-powered Visa debit card from major crypto exchange Coinbase, began supporting Dai (DAI), a stablecoin pegged to the United States dollar, alongside major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Litecoin (LTC).





Source Cointelegraph

Japanese Gaming Firm’s New Take on Blockchain-Based Trading Card Games


A Japanese gaming company says its goal is to deliver blockchain-enabled titles that are enjoyable for players — harnessing nonfungible tokens to allow gamers to uncover skills and characters that no one else has.

Axel Mark says its flagship game, Contract Servant, delivers an experience that’s entirely different to rivals. Other trading formats focus on offering rare “strong” cards that command exceedingly high prices on secondary markets, but developers say such a scenario is “unlikely to occur” in their specially built ecosystem.

The team says it has aimed to ensure that cards that may not be valuable to one player are valuable to someone else — meaning that every card has a strong feature that will be useful in some setting. Players can focus on adding value to the cards that they own, safe in the knowledge that every card in their possession is unlike any other circulating in the Contract Servant universe.

Axel Mark

A growing market

Junji Oshita, the president and CEO of Axel Mark, says he was inspired to explore blockchain gaming about two years ago, when he realized the great amount of business potential surrounding the sector.

Contract Servant has been developed by game producer Kazuyuki Tanaka, who has about seven years’ experience in gaming. He began focusing on blockchain-enabled entertainment about 18 months ago, and both and Oshita say that their goal is to deliver “decent and playable” titles to people who may not have encountered this technology before.

Axel Mark is available here

The team at Axel Mark believes that blockchain gaming is going to be the next frontier — just like smartphones completely upended the market over the last 10 years. While competition in this industry has been intense of late — especially because of China — Axel Mark claims that the potential of blockchain is beginning to get considerably more attention, especially because it can resolve some of the biggest issues that the gaming industry is facing right now.

To explain this in further detail, Oshita looks at the status quo for gamers who are playing titles on their PCs, game consoles or smartphones. He notes that many online games are offered on a free-to-play basis, meaning that any additional assets required to gain an upper hand are purchased separately within the game.

Although this may seem to have the makings of a strong ecosystem, the problem arises if a game is suddenly discontinued — or if players divert their attention somewhere else. Oshita argues that losing paid-for, in-game assets for good makes users “feel that the items, time and passion they give are taken away,” potentially discouraging them from playing other titles in the future.

For Axel Mark, blockchain provides a way to preserve in-game items indefinitely, even if the title they were designed for is terminated. It also opens up the opportunity for these assets to be used across multiple games. Although Oshita acknowledges that most games won’t be around forever, the entrepreneur says the Ethereum blockchain protects purchases properly.

The challenges that lie ahead

The company acknowledges that there is plenty of work to be done before blockchain gaming goes mainstream. The first step involves acquainting users with things like crypto wallets — making them easy to install and log in to. Axel Mark believes that partnerships with mainstream platforms such as Line could help blockchain games gain traction, giving everyday players an alternative to crypto wallets, and reducing the steps and technological-knowhow associated with playing a game.

A presale for legendary, epic and rare cards that can be used in Contract Servant is due to begin on Dec. 18 and will run until Dec. 27. No resales are planned, with Axel Mark claiming this will be the one and only opportunity that players will have to get their hands on these assets.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.





Source Cointelegraph

Binance’s Partner Allows Users to Buy Crypto with Credit Card in JPY and CAD


Israeli-based fintech and cryptocurrency firm Simplex now supports two new fiat currencies — the Japanese yen (JPY) and the Canadian dollar (CAD).

Following the addition, users at some of Simplex’s partner exchanges such as Binance will be able to buy crypto via credit cards using JPY and CAD, industry publication The Block reports Dec. 9.

Not all Simplex’s partner exchanges will be supporting JPY and CAD by default

Cointelegraph contacted both Simplex and Binance in order to confirm the news. Simplex’s spokesperson confirmed the report, noting that the company’s partners are now able to allow their users to buy crypto using CAD or JPY on their credit card. The representative hasn’t specified what companies would be first to enable the feature.

Binance hasn’t responded to Cointelegraph’s request for comment at the time of publication. This article will be updated upon receipt of those comments.

Simplex announced a new partnership with OKEx

In conjunction with new currencies’ addition, Simplex has also announced a new partnership with major cryptocurrency exchange OKEx. According to a tweet from Dec. 9, Simplex has partnered with OKEx to allow its users to buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) via debit and credit cards.

The new feature is available on OKEx’s official website.

Simplex plans to add Russian ruble and Turkish lira soon

Additionally, Simplex CEO and founder Nimrod Lehavi reportedly revealed the company’s plans to add Russian rubles and Turkish lira support “very soon.” Lehavi claimed that Japan and Canada are not only two of the top markets for crypto but also “among the top 10 territories for credit card usage globally,” the report notes.

As previously reported, Simplex is a European Union-licensed financial institution and payments processing provider. With offices in Israel, the United Kingdom, the United States and Lithuania, the company provides “fraud-free” payment processing services to companies including Shapeshift, the Litecoin Foundation, Xapo and Changelly.

According to the report, Simplex supported three fiat currencies before adding CAD and JPY: the U.S. dollar, euro and the British pound. Alongside Binance, other partner exchanges include OKCoin, KuCoin, Huobi, and Poloniex, among others.

Binance partnered with Simplex to unlock credit card crypto purchases in January 2019.





Source Cointelegraph

Coinbase Card Rolls out DAI as First Supported Stablecoin: Official


Coinbase Card, a crypto-powered Visa debit card from major crypto exchange Coinbase, now supports Dai (DAI), a stablecoin pegged to the United States dollar.

According to a blog post on Dec. 6, Dai is the first stablecoin that is available on Coinbase Card, alongside major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Litecoin (LTC).

As 1 DAI is equivalent to $1, the addition of the stablecoin to the Coinbase Card aims to allow customers to spend crypto with less volatility, the announcement says.

Cointelegraph has requested comment from Coinbase’s team on why the company has decided to choose DAI rather than one of multitudes of U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins. Coinbase has not responded as of press time. This article will be updated upon receipt of their commentary.

More than one new asset to spend

However, the addition of DAI is not just one more asset to spend but a tool intent on boosting global adoption of alternative payment methods, according to Coinbase’s head of growth marketing, JD Millwood. He wrote:

“It represents a small step on our big journey to make crypto accessible to all, through alternative payment options that suit our diverse customer base.”

Coinbase Card now supports a total of 10 cryptocurrencies

Launched in April 2019, Coinbase Card is a Visa debit card that allows users to spend cryptocurrencies to pay for goods as well as to withdraw cash from ATMs. Instantly converting customers’ crypto into fiat currency, the card was first rolled out in the United Kingdom. In June, the card was launched in six European countries including Spain, Germany, France, Italy, Ireland and the Netherlands.

According to the Coinbase’s official website, Coinbase Card now supports a total of 10 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash (BCH), XRP, Basic Attention Token (BAT), Augur (REP), 0x (ZRX), Stellar Lumens (XLM), and Dai.

Dai is different from major U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoins

Meanwhile, DAI is one of many stablecoin projects pegged to the U.S. dollar alongside controversial project Tether (USDT), Gemini Dollar (GUSD) and USD Coin (USDC).

However, DAI is different from a typical currency-backed stablecoin because it is not supported by bank accounts of reserve currencies but rather is generated by putting Ether into a CDP smart contract, as previously reported.





Source Cointelegraph

Microsoft to Turn 1980s Gamebook Series Into Blockchain Card Game


Microsoft, major game developer Eidos and gamebook firm Fabled Lands are jointly developing a blockchain card game based on a 1980s best-selling gamebook.

According to a press release published on Dec. 1, the new card game will be based on the 1980s best-selling book called “The Way of the Tiger,” written by Jamie Thomson and Mark Smith.

The game’s title will be “Arena of Death” and its players will fight in fantasy-themed card battles with features from the original gamebook series.

Ensuring card ownership

Thomson is also Fabled Lands’ chief executive officer and decided to use blockchain technology because he believes it suits what he is trying to achieve better than a traditional videogame. He said:

“We were going to relaunch the series into a computer game format but this new technology (blockchain), just made more sense. Imagine playing Magic the Gathering but knowing if you owned a card, it really does belong to you. Or if we say there are only 100 editions of an item or skill, you know there really are only 100 editions.”

The company plans to use non-fungible tokens (NFT) on the Vechain blockchain — which has been associated with enterprises and supply-chain management — to ensure ownership of in-game assets.

Vechain will allow creating cards and in-game items “without having to deal with all the crypto stuff,” says Thomson.

In-game blockchain tokens gaining popularity

The tokenization of in-game assets appears to be a growing trend. As Cointelegraph reported in late November, Blockchain game F1 Delta Time — licensed by the world-renowned racing series Formula 1 — held an auction of F1 car-branded NFTs.

Elsewhere, the Ethereum (ETH) based trading card game Gods Unchained has far outstripped CryptoKitties by volume after a censorship scandal involving game-developer Blizzard, reaching almost half of a million NFT transfers per day.





Source Cointelegraph

Binance to Launch Crypto Travel Rewards Card with Startup TravelByBit


Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced in a blog post on Nov. 28 that it partnered with crypto travel startup TravelByBit to launch a rewards card that facilitates crypto payments on major travel websites.

Per the announcement, the card will function like a traditional prepaid card with access to additional discounts and rewards that users will be able to load with Bitcoin (BTC), Binance USD (BUSD), Binance Coin (BNB) and Ontology (ONT).

The card will be released early next year and will initially target travelers in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, Australia and Europe, with plans to gradually expand.

Traveling with crypto

The service will reportedly allow its customers to book flights and hotels through major booking sites including Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda, and Ctrip, as well as TravelByBit’s own platform. 

TravelByBit is not the first service enabling its users to travel with cryptocurrencies. As Cointelegraph recently reported, crypto booking firm Travala announced that it will now let its customers reserve any hotel that is bookable through Booking.com with cryptocurrency.

Earlier this summer, the co-founders of Scandinavian air carrier Norwegian Air announced plans to launch their own cryptocurrency exchange, which will subsequently facilitate the airline’s acceptance of cryptocurrency payments.





Cointelegraph News

A Berlin Odyssey — 7 Days of Crypto-Living on Monolith’s ETH Debit Card


“YOU’VE TRANSCENDED. You are here because you’ve opened your eyes to a new type of society; one powered by a decentralised economy and full of shimmering new possibilities.” 

This is not the calling card for a new religion. This is what new Monolith customers are met with when opening up the box for the first time. Narrative is a central part of cryptocurrency, whether people like it or not. Monolith has taken that narrative and made it central to its branding. 

When I fished the Monolith crypto debit card out of my letterbox in South Berlin one morning, I was no longer an ordinary man. I became a man on a mission. A mission to live on crypto in Germany’s capital city.  

Although the wall separating East from West in Berlin may have come down 40 years ago, I would take a virtual sledgehammer to financial divisions within this city of sin and ambition. For 7 days, I became a one-man disruption machine. 

Out of this world

After opening up the sleek black package, a smaller box slides out. It depicts a post-apocalyptic landscape, somewhere halfway between the Earth and the other side of the Oort cloud. It’s equal parts Planet of the Apes and Interstellar. 

Picture 1

From the matte black of the outer-space background, the card glows green like an alien lifeform. The unboxing may expose customers of a weaker disposition to lethal levels of nerdiness. The dramatic branding and transformative message is labored, but it doesn’t make me like it any less. 

Picture 2

The app setup is quick and relatively painless. Loading screens are punctuated with painfully sappy messages about “kitties clogging the network,” but thankfully I am not met with much waiting time. The total time to set up the wallet was around 10 minutes, several of which were taken up as the wallet is “deployed.”

The sci-fi branding is consistent throughout Monolith. It’s the gamification of finance — you’re not just buying a pint with crypto, you’re also a space invader and Neil Armstrong all at the same time. 

The whole user experience is geared toward convincing you that you are on a journey. They even use it to disguise when you need to cough up the cash for fees. Since the Ethereum network has branded these charges as “gas,” the Monolith card has a “gas tank” that you need to top up in order to pay for your transactions.

Berlin: A cardholder’s nemesis

If I truly had to live for a week with this card — from the moment I ordered it to the moment my money ran out — I would have died. I’d have starved to death in the time it takes for the card to arrive. “10 business days” is a sweet nothing that Monolith whispers into the consumer’s ear. Morning, noon and night I checked my postbox for that card like a forlorn child in small-town America looking for his ticket to the big city. But when it did arrive, boy did I forget about the life-threatening hunger. 

I checked my account balance. The figures shimmered back at me from the slick mobile application. “Spend it all in the pub. All of it,” a voice whispered in my brain. It appealed to my deepest primal urge as a British man. 

My liver whimpered in anticipation. I could bathe in Rioja like the Elizabeth Bathory of the crypto world. I put the thought to the back of my mind. Monolith had placed its faith in me to eke out a livable existence powered by the Ethereum blockchain. I would not let the technology down.

Picture 3

Withdrawing money from an ATM

Germans love cash. Newcomers to Berlin are usually astounded that you can rarely pay for anything with credit or debit cards. In any restaurant or bar, it is only a matter of time before you hear a disillusioned tourist loudly wail, “What do you mean you don’t take card?” Visitors will soon find themselves pounding the streets in search of somewhere to withdraw some cash. 

Luckily, Berlin is well served by a number of banks and card machine providers. It’s said in life that there are two unavoidable things: death and taxes. But that quick-witted soul has clearly never been to Germany. 

Any visitor to the city will know there is a third constant with exorbitant cost: ATM fees. In the United Kingdom, you can pop to a cash point and idly withdraw a 5 pound note, free of charge. In Berlin, you can routinely expect to pay between 4 euros and 7.5 euros for every withdrawal. 

And that’s before your local bank charges you for using its card abroad. For this reason, Berliners visit cash machines as rarely as possible — and when they do, they take out enough to last them weeks at a time. 

Related: Crypto Hold’Em 2019 – What are cryptocurrency debit cards?

Not all cash machines are made equal in Berlin. But, having been stung by a 6 euro charge when in desperate need of a kebab one time too many, I’ve learned there are ways to avoid having your credit card savaged with each all-important withdrawal. 

Sparkasse, a semi-state-owned bank, does not charge fees for withdrawing cash. It is high time for the creaking titans of state finance to meet a new financial force. I thrust the Monolith card into the glowing ATM slot. The machine swallows up the alien technology. At this stage, crypto has infiltrated the mainstream financial network. I am inside. 

The Monolith card is a crypto-Agent Smith, hell-bent on transforming the financial matrix from the inside out. The process is as smooth as a silken slide. The machine whirrs and clanks as it gives up guardianship of the euro notes. I check my balance in the app. No charges. It was as easy as that. 

Ease of use: 5/5

Charges/fees: 0 euros

Picture 4

Paying for food

Even for the most hardened crypto enthusiasts, hunched over a screen, pale from months of furious hodling, hunger comes at least once a day. Bearing my luminous green Monolith card, I venture out onto the mean streets of Berlin to sate my growling stomach. Of all the things people like to buy with money, food is almost universally acknowledged as the most important. But Berlin’s cash culture also spits on card users. It is almost impossible to find a decent bar or restaurant that will accept card payments. I try several places that have people with beards typing on laptops outside them. I witness a sprawling morass of avocado, but no one willing to take a card payment. Tired of staggering from one artisan cafe to the next, I turn a corner and see the golden arches of McDonald’s glimmer through the November gloom. 

Has anyone eaten in a McDonald’s in the last 10 years? I don’t think they have. Certainly, no one has done it without a head injury or imminent threat of violence. I was about to buck that trend. It starts badly. I can’t remember the German word for chips. I just say potato and mime lacerating it into small strips. 

Monolith’s contactless chip fails, as it is worryingly prone to do. The woman behind the counter looks at me the way a naive child would look at a wounded puppy. She gives me a sad, pitying smile and asks me to pop the card in, if I can remember the pin. She gently coaxes me through the rest of the process. 

Monolith might have stumbled at the first hurdle, but when it comes to the crunch, it did not let me down. It was a seamless, instant transaction. In only a matter of seconds, I am the proud owner of a succulent McDonald’s meal. I look down at the tray full of salty, disgusting food. All mine. I eat it all, knowing that I am doing this for the purpose of meaningful journalism. 

In paying for this food, surrounded by builders and railway workers in uniforms, many of whom have clearly not washed their hands, I am furthering the adoption of cryptocurrency. I am a one-man force of fintech power; the titans of finance quiver before me. I think about Jamie Dimon as I force down mouthful after mouthful of horrible chips. I’d show him. 

Monolith’s card service bursts with ambition, but Berlin’s cash culture means the ATM should be the first point of call for hungry hodlers.

Contactless: 0/5

Pin payment: 5/5

Transaction speed: 5/5

Charge/Fees: 0 euros

Paying for transport 

From the labyrinthine tunnels of London’s underground to Moscow’s palatial metro system, capital cities of the world are shifting to contactless payments. Despite having great public transport, Berlin is trailing behind the rest of Europe (surprise). 

After a weekend of traveling on public transport in London, my bank account looks like a squirrel after an unfortunate encounter with a 10-ton truck. Fortunately for many of Berlin’s employees, companies here often provide year-long public transport tickets. But for those that don’t, the office beckons, and it’s down to you to foot the bill. With that, Monolith’s crypto card just found its next use case. 

Picture 5

It is painfully early in the morning. I stand on the platform of Hermanstrasse station in South Berlin, channeling my inner office worker. If ever there should be a time for the card to fail me, I pray for it to be now. But the Monolith card steadfastly refuses to buckle under pressure. 

I can both link the card to the city’s BVG travel app to buy a variety of tickets on the move and use the machine at the station. The show must go on. And I must get on that train. It was not long ago that I forced myself from the comfort of my bed, and, what seems only seconds later, I am pressed into the sweaty embrace of a full commuter train. 

Nose to armpit contact before 9 a.m., facilitated by crypto. Like lambs to the slaughter, we make our way into the center of Berlin, backs bent before the cracking whip of the corporate world. The smell persists, but our journey continues unimpeded. Nonetheless, my breakfast is in serious danger of making a reappearance. Cautious consumers can take comfort in the knowledge that, out of the many factors that could make you late for work, paying with the Monolith card will sadly not be one of them.

As you might imagine in a city like Berlin, people who live here are often conscious of the environment. So, if using gas-guzzling public transport turns your stomach, plait your hair into pigtails, do your best Greta Thunberg impression and hop on one of the city’s myriad bike-sharing services. These are all done on mobile-based applications, and after linking the card up, you’re good to go. 

I wondered if Monolith’s card would help me answer the oldest question in crypto. A question that hovers on the tongue of any investor worth their salt: When Lambo? 

I looked into it. Rental prices in Berlin start from $850 per day. The answer to that timeless question? Not today.

Ease of use: 5/5

Speed: 5/5

Charges/fees: 0 euros

Ordering online

For many dedicated crypto customers, time is money. Glued to charts, stacking sats and checking stats, cryptocurrency can be a lonely road. For when you can’t leave the computer, or the luxurious charm of your apartment proves all too alluring on a cold winter’s night, ordering online is never far from your mind. 

Lieferando, Germany’s largest delivery service, accepts Bitcoin. Unfortunately, ETH is not yet an option. Nonetheless, Monolith’s crypto card will not stand in the way of an empty stomach and a generous helping of pizza. My mind scarred by the frightening proliferation of currywurst in this peculiar country, I navigate the site, content only with the best. 

I choose Nini e Pettirosso, purveyors of apparently the best pizza in Berlin. Only a short while later, my spent crypto manifested itself to me in the form of a delicious mound of mozzarella, salami and garlic.

Picture 6

The card worked seamlessly for other online payments. I bought tickets to a show in Berlin’s iconic Comedy Club, nestled away on one of Neukolln’s backstreets. The payment was as efficient as any using a fiat-backed card. 

But it was crypto that had bought me entrance to a bar with some top-drawer comedy. To my enormous surprise, the comedy club bar accepted card payments. From then on, the only thing that the Monolith card would further contribute to decentralizing that night would be my balance. 

Ease of use: 5/5

Speed: 5/5

Charges/fees: 0 euros

5/5

My seven days in the skin of an invincible crypto cyberpunk left me feeling empowered and mysterious. I have cultivated the air of a ‘60s Bond villain, short of a volcano lair. The Monolith card allowed me to skip around the city like a kid in a candy shop. If anything, I am saddened that my personal rampage has come to a close. The card holds up pretty well. 

For a company that flirts with the notion of alien contact in its branding, it might want to sort out the contactless issues. Nonetheless, charges are mostly nonexistent, and when they do surface, they are low. For now, the Monolith service is not tied to an actual bank account, which means wire transfers are currently out of the question. For those looking for an all-in-one account, this might be a dealbreaker. 

There are other card providers out there that do this. Wirex and Revolut both offer a seriously competitive service that both come with British pound or euro accounts for a seamless banking experience. For hardened crypto users, or people based in Europe that want an instant and reliable way to spend their crypto, this could be exactly what you need. 

I’ll probably still use the card. I have had a taste of the cypherpunk philosophy, and one hit is not enough. The card might not replace the others in my wallet, but it will lie dormant, ready for the next time I feel Big Banking gets too big for its boots. One day soon, the banks will once again quiver before my wrath. The Monolith card might not turn water into wine, but it does turn ETH into Pinot Noir. That’s good enough for me.





Source Cointelegraph

Card Accepts Crypto Top-Ups, Can Be Used in ATMs and Stores Worldwide


A payment platform is offering a new prepaid card that can be used at ATMs, stores and websites worldwide — and topped up via bank transfers or cryptocurrency.

Embily is the brainchild of Singaporean company Blockchain International Group. Co-branded with Mastercard and UnionPay, card owners can top up using a plethora of digital currencies, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Litecoin. Crypto is automatically converted into cash, giving the user freedom to make withdrawals at cash machines and make purchases at any point of sale terminal. The company adds it is focused on supplying business-to-business solutions to customers worldwide.

The team says extensive tests have been performed to ensure that its infrastructure is working correctly. One recent experiment saw 1 BTC (worth about $8,500 at the time of writing) loaded onto the card. Footage posted on YouTube appeared to show that the funds had successfully arrived and were available to spend in Singapore dollars. Other videos have shown the card working successfully in fast-food restaurants, and being used to purchase mobile phone data online.

Why Embily?

Embily’s founder, Alexander Bychkov, has said that one of his main motivations is ensuring that digital currencies such as Bitcoin can be used easily in everyday life. Some payment processing providers do allow merchants to accept crypto at the checkout, but this can be inconvenient for consumers who have to do plenty of research to track down these places. By offering instantaneous conversions and integrating into existing payment infrastructure, Bychkov hopes to remove this friction.

The company also argues that far fewer people are using Bitcoin to buy goods and services than most crypto enthusiasts believe. Despite the fact that there are more than 7.7 billion people living on Earth according to the most current estimates, a recent study by the analytics firm Chainalysis found that just 1.3% of transactions came from merchants between January and April 2019.

Embily hopes to help build these circulation figures higher — emboldening crypto enthusiasts to buy dinner, pay for their parking and purchase in-game extras with ease. Its infrastructure is being offered on a white-label basis, meaning that the underlying technology can be used by crypto businesses that want to expand their reach and make life more convenient for their user base. Wallets and exchanges are listed among the types of platforms who could benefit.

Over time, this could help cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin make the transition from being regarded as a store of value to a means of exchange. It could also help demystify coins and tokens in the eyes of the public, who often regard digital currencies as complicated and high-risk. If the process of topping up and spending crypto is as simple as making a deposit in a bank, it could remove a barrier to entry that has been holding millions of people back — and even help regulators, including those who believe that BTC and ETH aren’t real currencies, begin to appreciate their value and place in society.

Available for everyone, worldwide

Embily began life in Dubai back in June 2017, and another office in Bangkok was opened three months later. From late 2018 the company open its headquarters in Singapore and now operates there. The team includes finance professionals, experienced digital marketers and veteran developers. With staff from around the world and a diverse range of backgrounds, the company says it is international in outlook and determined to give clients the best service possible.

Bychkov has recently shared his insights into Embily at a number of conferences, including Crypto Expo Singapore back in October and BlockShow Asia in November.

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.





Source Cointelegraph

The aBey Foundation Introduces new Crypto-Enabled Credit Card Technology


Speaking at BlockShow Asia 2019, aBey Foundation co-founder Dr. Ciprian Pungila announced aPay, a payment system that lets the cryptocurrency community use its assets for daily payments via credit card integrations.

aPay users can send their cryptocurrencies to the platform and gain access to three different credit cards that operate with UnionPay, Mastercard, and Visa. They can therefore use their cryptocurrencies for daily payments.

Based on new blockchain technology developed by the aBey Foundation, aPay promises to be a speedy blockchain that introduces new architecture and high-performance computing that would enable faster transactions. “aBey is designed and built to be among the fastest and most flexible open source chains in the world, providing a practical solution for common e-commerce use cases,” Punglia said.

The co-founder revealed that aPay supports Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Dash, EOS, Ripple, ZCash, and a native cryptocurrency built by aBey. He clarified that aPay does not require the merchant to accept cryptocurrencies. They only need to accept conventional credit card payments, and aPay’s solution automatically converts the payment from crypto to fiat.

Dr. Pungila added that it is still not clear how blockchain technology will impact the financial sector, but it is certain that distributed ledger applications will change the technological and financial landscape:

“The financial technology industry has been impacted by the development of blockchain technology, but there is still not much clarity on how it will change our lives. It is certain that there is no turning back, and therefore we must build applications and solutions to accept and develop this change.”

Dr. Pungila also stated that aBey’s blockchain supports high-speed transactions in order to support e-commerce needs, enabling repayable transactions, home loans, commission payments, and more.





Source Cointelegraph