Stablecoin Archives -
Featured in today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief are a service that allows inheritance of crypto assets and a new stablecoin launched in Taiwan. Also in our daily roundup, crypto terminals have been installed by a restaurant chain in Hong Kong, and a company now offers bitcoin gift cards for easier access to the crypto space.
Startup Offers Crypto-Inheritance Service
A new platform supporting a crypto-inheritance service has been launched by a Latvian startup. The idea was born when cofounder Normunds Kvilis experienced health issues while on a business trip. “It occurred to me then that there was no provision for my own crypto assets, should something serious happen to me,” Kvilis said, quoted by the ICO examiner. “That was essentially where Digipulse came from – I realized there was simply no service on the market for this kind of thing,” he explained.
Digipulse uses a blockchain-based vault allowing its users to upload data that is then stored securely for as long as the platform observes online activity from the account holder. In case no activity is observed over a period of time, the platform sends an automated message to a specified recipient with details on how to access the vault’s contents.
According to Kvilis, the business model extends beyond inheritance, incorporating any situation which requires the automated transmission of assets or other information, like documents, passwords and cryptocurrency wallet keys, in accordance with certain pre-set criteria. The platform, which conducted its ICO in October last year, is currently available both as an app and a web-based solution.
Quoted by LSM, Digipulse Head of Business Development, Jānis Zaltāns, added: “We see an increasing trend amongst tech giants like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter towards developing tools for managing their inactive accounts. However, each service can only operate within their own platforms. Digipulse’s B2B ‘Pulse Network’ aims to provide a unified service for enterprises and user bases of all sizes.”
New Stablecoin Pegged to the Taiwanese Dollar
A new digital currency, another so-called stablecoin, has been introduced by a company that operates one of the major payment processors in Taiwan. Green World Fintech Services says the crypto is pegged to the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD). The coin has been created using the Ethereum network and is called Taiwan Digital Token (TWDT).
Local media reported that the value of the ERC20 token will be calculated according to the NTD market. Green World claims to have patented a dollar-to-token process that is supposed to protect the TWDT from fraud and money laundering risks.
The project will be realized in cooperation with some established Taiwanese banks. The crypto accounts of TWDT users will be tied to “trusted bank accounts” in order to verify personal data before transactions are permitted.
After the launch, the Green World plans to offer the tokens online and through terminals located in some retail stores. The company hopes that the NTD peg will increase confidence in TWDT among Taiwanese users who seem to be the main target group of the stablecoin.
Hong Kong Restaurants Install Crypto Payment Terminals
A chain of organic food restaurants and other associated businesses in Hong Kong now accepts cryptocurrency. The service has been introduced through a partnership between the conglomeration, FAMA Group, and Pundi X, a company that produces and installs point-of-sale devices supporting crypto payments.
The Pundi X terminals accept a number of cryptocurrencies including bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), and the company’s own token, NPXS. They are also capable of processing transactions from other cryptocurrency wallets through a QR code scan. Once a payment is accepted, customers are also issued a paper receipt.
According to Pundi X CEO, Zac Cheah, 25,000 crypto terminals have been ordered already by businesses in Japan, Singapore, South Korea, and Switzerland in the last six months. The company hopes to supply at least 100,000 Pundi XPOS units globally within the next three years.
Bitcoin Gift Cards to Improve Access to the Crypto Space
Used by individuals who don’t have direct access to the banking system for various reasons, including legal status or age, traditional gift cards have been offering their holders the opportunity to purchase products and services without a bank account or a credit card. Applied in the crypto space, gift cards can significantly improve access to cryptocurrencies and crypto payments.
A startup is now working to do exactly that. Kaiusb offers a hardware-software USB wallet which holds an amount of bitcoin (BTC) or ethereum (ETH) determined at the time of order. The product, KUSB, is currently available online, but the team plans to start selling it at a number of physical stores and through other online retailers by the end of this year.
What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell is in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Pundi X, Kaiusb.
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With all the controversy and mistrust surrounding Tether (USDT) it’s no surprise that a multitude of new alternatives have popped up recently. The latest example is from Malta where a company seeking a local crypto license has launched a Euro-backed stablecoin, EURS.
Stasis Launches EURS
Stasis, a financial tokenization platform, has launched EURS, a new stablecoin built on Ethereum’s EIP-20 standard and claimed to be backed 1-for-1 by the Euro. The EURS has begun trading on one exchange already, London-based DSX, and the company says that the order volume is projected to reach $ 500 million by year’s end.
The company adds that EURS was specifically developed to satisfy growing demand for cryptocurrencies from European institutional investors. “EURS bridges the gap between traditional finance and the cryptoeconomy,” commented Gregory Klumov, Stasis CEO. “While cryptocurrency trading is currently dominated by individual and retail investors, STASIS and EURS will pave the way for institutional investors to enter the game and begin allocating capital – that’s what’s needed to take the industry to surpass the trillion dollar mark.”
Working Towards a Maltese License
Stasis is also revealed to be working towards obtaining a license under Malta’s recently approved regulatory framework. Last week, the EU member country enacted three bills into law that are meant to encourage the establishment of cryptocurrency businesses on the island. These include a prohibition on insider trading, market manipulation and misleading ads or ICO whitepapers.
“The Government of Malta has been working diligently and progressively to provide legal certainty to an industry that is currently unregulated”, said Silvio Schembri, the Maltese minister responsible for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation. “We therefore welcome any blockchain initiatives such as STASIS that while being innovative, will still respect and encourage compliance and we look forward to the company applying for a licence under our DLT regulatory framework. The Government of Malta wants to create an environment conducive to the development of the blockchain ecosystem that will make Malta the natural destination for businesses operating in this field.”
Should crypto traders welcome the new alternatives for Tether such as EURS? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Following the announcement that Circle, a fintech startup backed by Goldman Sachs, plans to launch a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar, the blockchain-based ecosystem MoneyToken has confirmed the listing of the stablecoin, Circle USDC, on its lending platform and decentralized exchange.
“USD-C is compliant and easy-to-cash-in alternative to Tether, and we expect a lot of requests from traditional and crypto business to add it as an option to our platform, I think that need was just in the air”
Alex Rass, co-founder of MoneyToken
MoneyToken is a worldwide blockchain-based financial services ecosystem, which provides opportunities for leveraging, borrowing and lending cryptocurrency assets. In early 2018 MoneyToken has announced strategic partnerships with several TOP-10 cryptocurrencies and was supported by founder of Bitcoin.com, Roger Ver, who has joined the MoneyToken’s advisory board.
USD-C is ERC-20 token based on the Ethereum network. Circle plans to offer USDC through Poloniex. It will also incorporate USDC in its social payments app and over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk.
Circle is a peer-to-peer payments technology company, which was founded in 2013 by internet entrepreneurs Jeremy Allaire and Sean Neville.
Circle has bought Poloniex exchange and was backed by $ 250,000,000 from Goldman Sachs, Bitmain, IDG Capital, Breyer Capital, General Catalyst, Accel, Digital Currency Group and Pantera, along with new investors Blockchain Capital and Tusk Ventures.
There is no direct connection between MoneyToken’s founder Alex Rass and Circle’s CEO Jeremy Allaire, but so quick reaction probably means some connections in between or with Goldman Sachs, that is interested to integrate their USDC coin into existing crypto ecosystem.
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On Wednesday Trueusd, a stablecoin designed to be pegged to the US dollar, experienced a sudden bump in price after Binance announced support. The news caused Trueusd (TUSD) to rise by an unprecedented 40% before eventually subsiding. Trust Token, the coin’s developers, have now explained to news.Bitcoin.com how this sequence of events came to be.
Trueusd and the Moon Mission That Wasn’t Meant to Be
As reported on Thursday, TUSD pumped to $ 1.39 off the back of news that Binance would be listing the supposed stablecoin. Binance has since postponed its listing of the token, pushing the event back by a few days “to prepare for sufficient liquidity”. Trust Token, for its part, has responded to the incident in a blogpost, writing:
TrueUSD saw a large, sudden increase in demand after Binance first announced that they are listing TUSD. We believe that bots (and some misinformed traders) purchased TrueUSD as soon as the announcement was made.
The post continues: “Generally, our policy is that “redeemability leads to stability.” The value of a TrueUSD token is that it can be redeemed for one US dollar. There will only be as many tokens in circulation as there are dollars in the escrow account to collateralize the tokens. In the long run, this feature precedes price stability, since the price will return to $ 1.00 (as it did today) as long as the token continues to be redeemable.”
Trust Is Earned
As a piece of parting advice, Trust Token advises traders not to pay any more than $ 1.05 per token, otherwise “you may lose money.” Trust Token’s co-founder and CTO Rafael Cosman spoke to news.Bitcoin.com to clarify some of the issues raised in the blog post, and pointed out that when TUSD was listed on Bittrex in March, traders were issued with the same advice – not to pay more than $ 1.05 per token.
Assuaging concerns that TUSD could dip discernibly below $ 1, Rafael Cosman said:
Price stability is maintained by market-making incentives. Today, market-makers buy TrueUSD for $ 1.00 directly from the bank, anticipating that if the price hits even $ 1.01 they can arbitrage some profit. The opportunity for redemption incentivizes market-makers to keep at $ 1.00 and not below: if the price was to dip to $ 0.99, then market-makers could buy it and redeem it for $ 1.00. Market-makers would quickly scoop in and buy all the “sell” orders for below $ 1.00 until none were left and the price returned to $ 1.00.
Bot or Not?
Following up on claims that bots were to blame for TUSD’s sudden price spike this week, Rafael Cosman added: “It’s fairly common knowledge in the crypto industry that there are bots that “listen” for announcements of coins listing on exchanges and buy any coin as soon as it is listed on a new exchange. This is usually profitable, since more buyers for a token can mean a higher price. However, in the case of Trueusd, any person who knows that the token is redeemable for $ 1.00 knows they will lose money if they buy it for more, and so market-makers holding Trueusd happily sold it to bots for above $ 1.00 until there was no more demand.”
Stablecoins are still highly experimental at this stage, and while some “stable bears” believe perfect dollar parity will never be reached, others are confident that anomalies such as that which befell TUSD will be ironed out in time. As Trust Token acknowledged, even “the most stable of stablecoins will occasionally experience variance.”
Do you think occasional volatility is inevitable with stablecoins? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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It’s customary for cryptocurrencies to pump after securing a Binance listing. Every week a handful of tokens enjoy the “Binance bounce”, gaining as much as 50% in a matter of hours. Trueusd (TUSD) was meant to be different though. It’s a stablecoin whose job is to stay as close to the US dollar as possible. And yet, when Binance announced that it was adding TUSD, the unthinkable happened.
How Trueusd Became a False Stablecoin
Stablecoins are a burgeoning industry, with scores of projects seeking to create tether alternatives that provide stability, each pegged against the US dollar. Circle has just announced plans to launch its own stablecoin, and news.Bitcoin.com recently profiled several other new contenders, including Trueusd, which was described as:
A collateralized stablecoin backed by USD held in escrow accounts. It’s basically a more transparent tether and is available on Upbit and Bittrex – where it’s even tradable against tether.
On May 16, Binance became the latest and largest exchange to announce its intention to list TUSD. Up until this date, the coin had performed as expected, with scarcely a wobble from its dollar peg. But then Binance released its news and TUSD went on a run to rival even the pumpiest of altcoins. At 3:36am ET, Trueusd was trading at $ 0.997. In the space of 22 minutes, it jumped to $ 1.18 and by 5am was at $ 1.39, a 39% rise for a coin whose defining characteristic is that isn’t meant to rise.
Stability? What Stability?
In a short blog post, Binance declared that it would “open trading for TUSD/BNB, TUSD/BTC and TUSD/ETH trading pairs at 2018/05/18 04:00 AM (UTC). Users can now start depositing TUSD in preparation for trading.” It added: “Note: TUSD is a stablecoin. The value is designed to be 1 TUSD = 1 USD.” That design clearly doesn’t account for the power of a Binance listing. This is despite Trust Token, the team behind TUSD, claiming “Our open source smart contracts ensure a 1:1 parity between TrueUSD and USD in the accounts.”
Ironically, in pumping by 39%, TUSD may have just proven its unsuitability as a stablecoin, and strengthened the case for tether. Tether may be opaque, but at least it works, staying resolutely close to its dollar peg at all times. Trueusd seems to have spiked due to traders FOMO-ing into the coin. It is unclear whether all of these buyers were aware that they were purchasing a supposed stablecoin. The price will settle down eventually, and return to its designated price. Traders may be left wondering, however, whether a stablecoin that can appreciate by almost 40% might also be capable of diminishing in value.
Do you trust Trueusd to hold its value in future? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Saroshi Pulse.
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Today’s Bitcoin in Brief provides some leisurely Sunday reading for anyone who has a life to live outside of crypto. We curate the best stories from the past 24 hours and condense them into a daily digest so you can stay in the loop in less time than it takes to boil a kettle. In today’s episode: Twitter scams are back, monero goes fork crazy, and stablecoins go head-to-head.
Also read: Bitcoin in Brief Saturday: Forks and Fights
51 Flavors of Monero
Monero forked this week to move away from the Cryptonight algorithm that Bitmain’s ASIC Antminers can now pummel. Not everyone in the monero community was in favor of the hard fork though, and some miners have elected to stick with the original algorithm. As a result, no less than four monero forks were created in a single day: monero original, monero 0, and, just to confuse matters, two named monero classic. Throw in monero V and monero C and there’s now a flavor of monero for everyone.
Crypto Scammers Just Won’t Stop
Fake accounts perpetrating crypto scams have plagued Twitter this year. It looked like the platform had finally gotten to grips with the worst of them, but scammers are an enterprising bunch. A loophole means that verified accounts can change their name to mimic others, with the fraud exacerbated by the fact that the blue checkmark adds authenticity. One verified account has been posing as Bitfinex to con the gullible out of their ether.
A Stablecoin to DAI For
Stablecoin pairing is becoming a thing. Last month, Bittrex paired tether with trueusd, giving users a choice of dollar-pegged tokens. Surprisingly, Ethfinex has now done the same with tether and DAI, an ethereum-based stablecoin. The surprising part is the fact that Ethfinex’ parent exchange, Bitfinex, is the de facto owner of tether, and yet, in the Ethfinex blog, we read:
The requirements for a stablecoin…is today mainly being met by USD Tether — a centrally issued alternative collateralised by USD held in a bank account. DAI instead removes this centralised risk point, and is slowly becoming popular in the Ethereum community with decentralised exchanges as a primary trading pair.
Did Ethfinex just refer to its parent’s stablecoin as a “centralised risk point?” On Saturday, the exchange also listed 12 new ethereum tokens.
Biostar Launches the Mother of All Motherboards
The hardest part of GPU mining is finding a means of connecting all those high performance cards. Biostar’s new dedicated motherboard will enable miners to connect upto eight GPUs. It’s believed to retail for around $ 150 – around the same price as those GPUs will fetch after they’ve been overclocked and mined 24/7 for six months.
Circle Cleans Up Poloniex’ Mess
Circle has published an update on its “journey” six weeks into is Poloniex takeover. It’s a vague and wordy missive, but reading between the lines the tl;dr goes as follows: “We’ve inherited a total mess. Please bear with us while we clear the backlog of support tickets.” It will be interesting to see how the exchange evolves under Circle’s stewardship, but before the fun can begin in earnest, there’s spadework still to be done.
What other crypto stories caught your attention this weekend? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, and Twitter.
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Recently launched cryptocurrency service platform, Cobinhood, has announced that it has suffered a termination of services from its banking partners. In order to continue operating, the exchange announced on its homepage that it will replace USD trading pairs with USDT pairs during the coming week.
Cobinhood to Adopt Tether in Response to Banking Woes
Taiwanese-based cryptocurrency service platform, Cobinhood, recently announced that its banking partners had suspended their services to the company.
The exchange claims that it “had confirmed cooperation with banks in several areas and successfully operated for a while; however, the banks had internal debates about cryptocurrencies, which they consider might create unclear effects with traditional banking operations. Despite our efforts to keep the dialogue open with our partner banks, they decided to cease the service for Cobinhood, unfortunately.”
In order to continue its operations, the company has announced that it “will start replacing USD trading pairs with USDT” and introduce “crypto-to-crypto trading.” Cobinhood states that it will “keep approaching different cooperation opportunities with various financial institutions” in the meantime, adding that the company “welcome[s] discussions with banks to open up better willingness to embrace the future crypto-economy.” The company also expressed its intention to “support multiple fiat [currencies] as soon as possible.”
Cobinood to “Buy Back” Customers’ USD
The company states that in order to “protect users’ right[s],” it will “buy back all the U.S. dollars in the exchange.” In order to do such, Cobinhood stated that it will first “manually cancel all the USD buying orders,” before opening “an amount of ETH/USD orders, the rate [of which] will be 10% lower than the price shown on Coinmarketcap” – indicating that company seeks to use ETH to buy back users’ fiat balances.
Cobinhood states that its USDT pairings are scheduled to launch on the 17th of February, and any customers that choose to retain their USD holdings after the introduction of Tether will have their fiat balances automatically converted into USDT starting from February 23rd.
Announcement Removed From Homepage
Since publishing the announcement just a couple of days ago, documentation explaining Cobinhood’s banking turmoil appears to have been removed from the company’s homepage – likely making it difficult for prospective customers to ascertain the quality of the company’s banking relationships.
What is your reaction to Cobinhood’s plan to continue its operations despite losing banking services? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Cobinhood
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