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Billions of dollars in allegedly misappropriated funds. Millions spent on luxury handbags and jewelry. One hit movie, two mediocre comedies, a swanky New York condo, a $ 250 million yacht and a Picasso. Leonardo DiCaprio, Paris Hilton, Miranda Kerr and Lindsay Lohan.
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The days when people are ok with China taking over the world are coming to an end. Fast.
A puzzling moon. A risky mission. A hunt for extra-terrestrial life. NASA knows it has a sexy mission on its hands with the Europa Clipper: “People care about it, people want to know about this mysterious world that might harbor life,” NASA scientist Robert Pappalardo tells Space.com . But NASA…
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Friday that the US is pulling out of a treaty with Russia that’s been a centerpiece of arms control since the Cold War. The American withdrawal, expected for months, follows years of unresolved dispute over Russian compliance with the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces, or INF,…
As a child, Fred Lincoln “Link” Wray Jr. hid under a bed when the Ku Klux Klan came to his parents’ home in rural North Carolina. Racist groups often targeted the poor family of Shawnee Native American ancestry as the Wrays endured segregation in the American South just like African-Americans….
Cryptocurrencies are gradually becoming a viable payment option across a range of markets and jurisdictions. If there is a tool that significantly expands the usability of digital coins in a world still dominated by traditional payment systems, it’s the crypto debit card. A growing number of reliable platforms offer the fintech product to bitcoin enthusiasts.
Established Crypto Card Providers in the U.S.
Bitpay, which processed over $ 1 billion in payments during a bearish 2018, offers users in all U.S. states a convenient way to spend their cryptocurrencies online and in store. Its prepaid Visa card is tied to a cryptocurrency wallet that supports instant conversion from bitcoin core (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) to U.S. dollars and local fiat currencies outside the country.
Bitpay’s crypto card is available to U.S. residents only. To apply, it is necessary to provide a home address, a valid government-issued ID and social security number. There’s a fee of $ 9.95 that covers the cost of issuing and a dormancy fee of $ 5 a month following a 90-day period of inactivity. A currency conversion fee of 3 percent is applied each time the card is used outside the U.S. Withdrawing cash at an ATM costs $ 2 in the United States and $ 3 abroad.
Shift, another card available in the U.S., allows users to connect to their Coinbase accounts. The Visa card has no maintenance fee but a 3 percent commission is charged on international transactions. ATM withdrawals cost $ 2.50 in the United States and $ 3.50 in other jurisdictions. The card itself is $ 20. Shift supports BTC only and offers fee-free conversion from bitcoin core to U.S. dollars.
Major Crypto Debit Cards Available in Europe
Wirex is the first choice for many Europeans. The U.K.-based startup offers both virtual and physical Visa debit cards, and the plastic version comes with chip and PIN. They are currently available to residents of the European Economic Area (EEA), where Iban support was introduced for all EUR accounts. However, the company plans to offer its services in North American and Asian markets as well.
Users can load the card with bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), ripple (XRP), litecoin (LTC), and waves, the latter having been added recently. Card holders can spend three leading fiat currencies – euros, U.S. dollars and British pounds. Wirex users pay a $ 1.50 card management fee each month. ATM withdrawals within Europe cost $ 2.50, and $ 3.50 elsewhere. In-store purchases are rewarded with 0.5 percent crypto cashback in BTC.
Revolut, another British company, offers up to 1 percent cashback in cryptocurrency for payments made with its Revolut Metal card. For less than $ 16 a month, the digital bank’s premium service provides clients with access to five major coins – BTC, BCH, ETH, XRP, and LTC – and the ability to pay in over 150 fiat currencies. The contactless card, which can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted, comes with fee-free ATM withdrawals up to €600 per month (~$ 680).
Cryptopay issues another card in both virtual and physical form. The latter has a chip and costs $ 15. The contactless card is currently issued only in Russia, where it has a 1 percent loading fee and a monthly service fee of 65 Russian rubles, less than a dollar. Cryptopay is planning to bring its cards to Singapore. The payment provider supports BTC, ETH, LTC, and XRP. A fee of $ 2.50 is applied to withdrawals from teller machines and each exchange transaction is charged a 3 percent commission.
Some Newcomers in the Market
A number of payment providers and fintech startups have launched new cryptocurrency debits cards in the past few months. These platforms are trying to attract the attention of crypto users around the world and prove themselves as alternatives to the well-established products on the market.
Fuzex is cryptocurrency payment card project that last summer chose bitcoin cash (BCH) as its base cryptocurrency. It also supports ETH and the platform’s own token, FXT. Fuzex cards are currently issued to residents of Europe and the APAC region. The physical card is NFC payment enabled. It comes with an EMV chip and a barcode display.
Crypto.com, a Hong Kong-headquartered company formerly known as Monaco, announced in October it’s starting to ship its MCO Visa cards to customers in Singapore. The prepaid cards are linked to a mobile wallet that allows holders to buy, sell, store, send, and track digital coins such as BTC, ETH, Binance’s BNB token, the platform’s own MCO tokens as well as major fiat currencies.
Aximetria offers a debit card linked to a cryptocurrency wallet which became available to Russian citizens since last year. In November, the Switzerland-based startup told news.Bitcoin.com its platform supports BTC and ETH which can be used for online and offline payments via instant conversion to fiat. The company is partnering with the cryptocurrency exchange Cex.io. The card can be ordered from its iOS app.
Are you using a crypto debit card? Tell us what you like about it in the comments section below.
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As the maxim goes, bear markets are good for building out cryptocurrency infrastructure – or “buidling” as the meme of the meme goes. Thursday’s installment of The Daily is rich in examples of the sort of development work being undertaken across the industry. From dapp trackers to virtual worlds, there’s a little bit of everything in today’s news roundup.
Blockchain VR World Beachhead Enters the Fray
The blockchain-based virtual reality realm is getting crowded. Decentraland, which resides in the virtual metropolis of Genesis City, has got itself a competitor in the form of Beachhead City. BH2020VR, as it’s also known, aims to blur the line between gaming and roaming a virtual world of commerce and adventure. Income can be earned in-game through protecting the city or supplying defense weapons and other resources.
Just as video games like Grand Theft Auto have a main storyline complemented by side missions and mini-games, Beachhead has a primary narrative running through it, but participants are at liberty to interact with the world in a multitude of ways. This includes participating in the cryptoconomy within BH2020VR, purchasing real estate, and upgrading virtual turf by incorporating theaters, shops, and cars including user-generated content. Virtual assets will be tradable within Beachhead as non-fungible tokens, with a tokenized rewards system making BH2020VR feel like the crypto world’s equivalent to The Sims.
Dappradar Adds Crosschain Metrics
Virtual worlds such as Decentraland and the forthcoming Beachhead are the sort of decentralized applications (dapps) that can be monitored at Dappradar.com. The popular Ethereum dapp tracker has just had an upgrade, allowing it to track onchain activity on the Tron and EOS protocols too. The site now boasts of having stats on 1,700 dapps including decentralized exchanges, crypto collectible marketplaces, and gambling dapps.
According to Dappradar’s statistics, the top Tron and EOS dapps are seeing significantly more usage than their Ethereum counterparts in terms of the number of reported daily users. Predictably, betting dapps seem to be faring the best across all blockchains featured on Dappradar.
Cryptohound Follows the Money Trail
ORS Cryptohound, a blockchain analytics firm, has been sniffing around in the Ethereum network in a bid to identify the source of six “highly unusual transactions” that were spotted in December, comprising approximately 5 percent of the ETH supply. “We discovered that over 5.5m ETH were sent to 39 wallets after 313 transactions,” they explain. “All six wallets have the same portfolio which consists of more than 92% share of OMG tokens” plus 150,000 ETH each. Cryptohound’s investigative report then goes on to speculate over the identity of the entity behind the $ 500 million move.
Demonstrating a practical application for blockchain forensics, a number of leading cryptocurrency exchanges have vowed to freeze funds stolen from Cryptopia. The hackers who infiltrated the New Zealand-based exchange earlier this week, before making off with several million dollars’ worth of ETH and tokens, have attempted to send their ill-gotten gains to Binance and Kucoin, prompting both platforms to freeze the accounts of the suspects.
For anyone who cares about the Cryptopia hack, KuCoin will freeze any funds from Cryptopia. Please rest assured.
— Michael Gan (@gan_chun) January 17, 2019
What are your thoughts on the stories in today’s news roundup? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Dappradar.
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The post The Daily: Crypto’s Latest VR World, New Blockchain Analytics Tools appeared first on Bitcoin News.