Poloniex Rolls Back Trading History After Software Bug Causes a Bunch of Problems

It’s like shooting yourself in the foot with computer code, then magically going back in time to before it happened.

Crypto exchange Poloniex confirmed in a series of tweets today that it rescinded 12 minutes of trading history in response to a software problem that saw a bunch of trades execute “erroneously.” The Twitter announcement did not elaborate on the specific nature of these errors, but the exchange’s perceived technical problems are not the interesting bit here.

It’s how Poloniex handled the situation: wiping every trade made between 17:53 UTC and 18:05 UTC today after its automated audits detected the problem. The company also canceled any pending withdrawals, and every affected customer was informed of this via email.

A Poloniex spokesperson was not immediately available for comment — we don’t know how many users were actually affected or what kind of trading volume was nullified by this decision.

Source Cointelegraph

Twitter Co-Founder-Backed Fintech Startup Rolls Out Bitcoin Banking App

Mode, a financial services firm backed by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, has rolled out its Bitcoin (BTC) banking app on iOS devices.

The British company made its app available globally, with the exception of the United States, fintech-focused media outlet Finextra reported on Feb. 4. Customers can start using the app with as much as £50 ($65) and buy Bitcoin with bank cards or through a bank transfer. The funds are further processed through digital assets custodian BitGo.

Mode addresses speed and security issues

The app ostensibly allows users to credit funds almost instantly by means of a Faster Payments process. Ariane Murphy, head of communications and marketing at Mode, said that “the Mode app addresses transaction restrictions issues, low speed/high cost, lack of security and most importantly, tackles the poor user experience typically associated with Bitcoin apps.”

Prior to using the app, Mode requires that users undergo a Know Your Customer procedure, which is carried out by AI-enabled identity verification technology.

Founded in 2018, Mode — whose parent company is UK-based fintech firm R8 Group — opened a waiting list for the app last October, initially making it available via invitation only. 

Speed issues still plague the Bitcoin blockchain 

Industry players have long been in search of ways to speed up slow Bitcoin transactions. The Bitcoin Lightning Network adds an additional layer to Bitcoin’s blockchain, enabling users to create payment channels between any two parties on that extra layer. This ensures almost instant transactions, with extremely low or even non-existent fees

Recently, a group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology revealed a new solution, which is able to notably reduce Bitcoin blockchain-based transaction times and even boost profits.

Cointelegraph News

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

Walmart Canada Rolls Out Blockchain-Based Freight and Payment System

Walmart Canada — the retail giant’s Canadian branch — has rolled out an automated blockchain-based network for freight tracking and payments management, according to a Nov. 14 press release.

The new system, which was developed in collaboration with blockchain company DLT Labs,  is designed to improve freight and payment processing, enabling users to automatically trace deliveries, verify transactions and handle payments and reconciliation.

Integration with each company’s legacy systems

The release further states that the network can be integrated with a business’s legacy system and “manages, integrates and synchronizes all the supply chain and logistics data in real time, aggregating the data between Walmart Canada and its fleet of third-party trucks on a shared ledger.”

John Bayliss, senior vice-president of logistics and supply chain at Walmart Canada, noted the efficiency of blockchain technology when handling massive loads of inventory:

“This new dynamic and interactive blockchain technology platform is creating complete transparency between Walmart Canada and all of our carrier partners. Blockchain is enabling a material advance in our smart transportation network, with expedited payments, extensive cost savings and other benefits among our supply chain. Moreover, this degree of improved efficiency represents a powerful platform for us to continue to reduce our environmental footprint and continue our leadership in environmental sustainability.”

While some retail giants adopt blockchain, others have doubts

Walmart has demonstrated a proactive approach to the implementation of blockchain in its internal processes. Recently, it announced that it would use blockchain technology to track its Indian-sourced shrimp to select locations of Sam’s Club retail stores in the U.S.

In August, Walmart submitted a patent application for a drone communication system that is based on blockchain technology. In essence, the vehicle-to-vehicle communication system between unmanned drones would relay messages, mesh communications networks and allow machines to be aware of each others’ location and bearing.

However, there are some that claim that the biggest hurdle facing the blockchain systems being adopted by food retail giants such as Walmart and Nestlé has nothing to do with the technology itself. Craig Heraghty, agribusiness leader at  PwC, argued that blockchain gives an “illusion of traceability” to supermarket chains and consumers, given that while the data record itself may be tamper-proof, physical points of entry are not necessarily foolproof.

Source Cointelegraph

As Regulators Stonewall Libra, Facebook Rolls Out New Payment System

As the Libra stablecoin project continues to face a hostile audience of regulators, Facebook launches a new fiat payment system called Facebook Pay.

Empower people everywhere to buy and sell things online

On Nov. 12, the social media giant announced that it is introducing Facebook Pay, a payment system that is designed to facilitate payments across Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp. Deborah Liu, VP, marketplace & commerce at Facebook said:

“People already use payments across our apps to shop, donate to causes and send money to each other. Facebook Pay will make these transactions easier while continuing to ensure your payment information is secure and protected.”

In an apparent bid to avoid further regulatory scrutiny, the company clearly states that Facebook Pay is “built on existing financial infrastructure and partnerships.” The firm is similarly clear that the payment service will be kept separate from Facebook’s new Calibra wallet and the Libra network.

Facebook Pay will start rolling out this week on Messenger and Facebook in the United States for “fundraisers, in-game purchases, event tickets, person-to-person payments on Messenger and purchases from select Pages and businesses on Facebook Marketplace.”

Facebook concludes the announcement with the belief that the firm can “help businesses grow and empower people everywhere to buy and sell things online.”

Every major U.S. payment processor has left the Libra Association

At the beginning of October, the Libra Association lost seven partners out of the original 28. Namely PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, Stripe, eBay, Mercado Pago and Booking decided to leave the consortium.

However, not long after, Alfred F. Kelly, CEO of major payment processor Visa, said that the company is still in discussions with Facebook on the Libra project, adding that it believes that digital currencies provide safer payments to more people and places.

Source Cointelegraph

Bakkt Rolls Out ‘Critical’ Bitcoin Custody After NY Gives Green Light

Institutional Bitcoin (BTC) trading platform Bakkt has announced it has launched its custody feature for its entire client base following regulatory approval.

Bakkt: custody is “critical link” in BTC adoption

In a blog post on Nov. 11, Bakkt said it had received the go-ahead from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to offer custody services to any institution. Previously, the option was only available for those trading its Bitcoin futures.

Commenting on the release, Bakkt described the custody tool as “the critical link in the institutional adoption of Bitcoin.”

“Safely storing digital assets demands a comprehensive approach to custody. Institutions and sophisticated investors need more than cutting-edge technology. They require proven infrastructure, robust operational controls, and independent oversight,” the blog post added.

Investors eye price reaction

As Cointelegraph reported, the wider cryptocurrency sphere has keenly eyed the appearance of custody solutions following initial futures rollouts beginning in 2017.

Among them is Mike Novogratz, the serial investor who recently identified Bakkt’s offering as forming part of the essential metamorphosis of Bitcoin’s institutional appeal. 

“But more importantly they’ve got a custody solution that’s just coming online… world-class custody which allows more and more people to feel comfortable with it,” he said in an interview late last month. 

Bakkt’s Bitcoin futures contracts have set new records of their own in recent days, with $15 million traded daily.

Source Cointelegraph

Fidelity Investments Fully Rolls Out Crypto Custody Service, Exec Says

American financial services company Fidelity Investments has fully launched its cryptocurrency custody service.

Abigail Johnson, CEO of Fidelity Investments, revealed the development in an interview with the Financial Times published on Oct. 18. Johnson said that the company is ready to roll out its crypto custody business following a year-long preparation and accumulation of clients.

A nascent, but promising business

Last fall, Fidelity specifically indicated that it would provide an enterprise-grade crypto custody service to hedge funds, family offices and financial advisors. Johnson called that kind of service nascent and not developed, but noted its potential, saying:

“There are people out there with significant amounts of wealth in cryptocurrencies, probably Bitcoin, and they’re looking for somebody to hold those coins for them because in the event of their passing — which is going to happen at some point or another — you’ve got to have a plan to be able to get those coins to somebody else.”

Speaking about Coinbase’s custody offering, Johnson argued that Coinbase “is still a company that most people had never heard of, and they don’t have the existing relationships with the independent advisers.”

As previously reported, Coinbase Custody was initially announced in November 2017 and launched in July 2018, with an objective to provide robust security of crypto assets, which according to Coinbase has been institutional investors’ “‘number one’ concern.” As of August, Coinbase Custody claimed to store assets on behalf of more than 120 clients in 14 different countries.

Fidelity’s careful approach to trading crypto

Recently, Kathleen Murphy, personal investing president of Fidelity Investments, said that the firm does not offer cryptocurrencies on retail trading platforms to protect its clients. When asked when she expects users to trade crypto “in a meaningful way” on Fidelity’s platform, Murphy replied:

“You know, we’re really careful about that. So while we embrace crypto in terms of trying to understand it and be innovative and thoughtful… We’re also very careful about where we offer those types of things, so they’re not offered broadly on the retail platform. We want to be very careful about making sure that investors who really aren’t institutional investors […] don’t make a mistake with cryptocurrency.”

Cointelegraph News

Venezuelan Exchange Rolls Out Crypto Debit Card with Petro Support

Two Venezuelan companies have partnered to release a cryptocurrency debit card and point-of-sale (PoS) system.

“Crypto transfer device” supports four currencies

According to a social media release by state-sanctioned exchange CriptoLAGO on Oct. 1, the joint offering with so-called “investment cryptobank” Glufco is already taking orders. Translated part of the announcement states: 

“What we were waiting for, our alliance with Glufco, puts us at the forefront.” 

The system will provide support for Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Dash (DASH) and Petro, the Venezuelan government’s state-backed digital currency. 

Neither offering, it appears, will feature support for fiat currency, including the country’s troubled Sovereign Bolivar (VES). 

Glufco refers to its product as a “cryptocurrency transfer device,” and hints that in future, further cryptocurrencies could receive support automatically.

No diminishing of economic misery

Venezuela continues to battle with rampant inflation and capital controls, leaving citizens with little choice but to use Petro and the VES. Bitcoin trading on P2P platform Localbitcoins has set new records in the recent weeks.

At the same time, late last month, Venezuela’s central bank unveiled a sudden plan to stockpile Bitcoin in the face of wide-ranging international sanctions. 

As Cointelegraph reported, the country’s largest bank, Banco de Venezuela, added what appeared to be an experimental cryptocurrency feature to its online banking options last month.

Cointelegraph News

Coinbase Rolls Out Stellar Lumens (XLM) Trading in New York State

Major United States-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase that it made Stellar’s Lumens (XLM) trading available also to those users who reside in New York.

The exchange made the announcement in a tweet sent by its official Twitter account on Sept. 25. New York state residents can now trade, store, send and receive Stellar Lumens using both the service’s official website and mobile app. 

The company announced:

“Stellar Lumens (XLM) is now available to Coinbase users who are New York residents. New Yorkers can now log in to buy, sell, convert, send, receive, or store XLM on Coinbase  or using our iOS and Android apps.”

New York’s stringent crypto regulation

The state of New York is known for stringent cryptocurrency regulation after the introduction of the BitLicense in August 2015. 

The license requirement has driven various crypto companies to leave the state and stop offering services to New York residents, which some referred to as “BitExodus.”

As Cointelegraph recently reported, Coinbase is considering adding support for Telegram’s Gram and 16 additional digital assets. That being said, the exchange admitted that the trading of those assets may not start everywhere at the same time — suggesting that places like New York may once again have to wait. Coinbase stated: 

“We will add new assets on a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis, subject to applicable review and authorizations.”

Source Cointelegraph

Japanese Messaging Giant Line Rolls Out Crypto Trading Platform Bitmax

Japanese messaging giant Line launched its new crypto trading platform Bitmax on Sept. 17, Cointelegraph Japan reports.

FSA approval received

Following regulatory approval to operate a crypto exchange in early September, Line’s blockchain arm LVC Corporation officially introduced its newly launched crypto platform today.

In accordance with previous announcement, Bitmax will initially allow users to trade five major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), XRP, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC).

Small transactions for newcomers

With exposure to 81 million users in Japan, Line now accepts deposits and withdrawals through its mobile payment service, Line Pay, while crypto trading service can be now accessed from Line Wallet, according to the announcement.

The newly launched Japanese exchange welcomes newcomers to crypto trading by allowing users to make small transactions of under 1,000 Japanese yen — worth around $9 at press time.

Bitmax vs Bitbox

As emphasized in the announcement, Bitmax is different from Line’s Singapore-based crypto exchange Bitbox, which operates globally, excluding Japan and the United States. Launched in July 2018, Bitbox is not accessible for Japanese traders due to Japan’s crypto exchange license requirements, as previously reported.

Line has actively embraced crypto and blockchain technology so far. In 2018, Line launched its native cryptocurrency called Link along with the token-based blockchain network Link Chain. In June 2019, Line Pay Corporation, Line’s financial services arm, teamed up with global payment giant Visa to collaborate on new blockchain and electronic payments solutions.

Cointelegraph News