Bitmain Acquires Bitcoin Cash Wallet Telescope 1846

Bitmain announced Monday it has acquired the startup behind an open-source bitcoin cash wallet called Telescope. The browser-based wallet was launched earlier this year in an effort to enable instant bitcoin cash transactions. At present, Telescope can operate on Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, according to a press release, though the team it plans to expand to other platforms following the acquisition.

Supported by BitPay and moneybutton.com, the wallet stores cryptographic keys within a browser extension, meaning transactions are signed by the user’s browser directly. The project says that storing funds in this way offers users similar security to standalone wallets.

Nishant Sharma, head of international press relations and communications at Bitmain, said in the release that Telescope brings a “simple but key innovation” to the bitcoin cash ecosystem.

He added:

“Browser-embedded cryptocurrency wallets are a promising technology. The Telescope development team is doing some very interesting work and we look forward to working together with them on the Telescope project and future bitcoin cash projects.”

Bitmain holds nearly 6 percent of the total bitcoin cash in existence, as previously reported. The company has faced some controversy for this decision, given that its holdings have devalued through the 2018 bear market and that it’s planning a Hong Kong IPO.

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Bitcoin SV support introduced at Beaxy Exchange in partnership with Fabriik Markets 17519

Beaxy Exchange, the popular Chicago-based digital asset exchange, today announces that it has introduced trading support for Bitcoin SV [BSV] on its platform. With immediate effect, BSV/USD and BSV/BTC trading pairs are listed and available for use. The introduction of Bitcoin SV comes as a result of a partnership between Beaxy Exchange and Fabriik Markets, a leading digital asset market-maker and liquidity provider. Fabriik Markets will provide market-making services to Beaxy Exchange for BSV-based trading pairs.

The move to launch BSV-based trading on Beaxy Exchange comes as demand for the digital asset continues to grow globally, with the utility of its massively scaling blockchain driving expansion of data use cases across many industry sectors. BSV also functions as a powerful payments network for both businesses and consumers, with its fast transaction times, low fees (sending a BSV payment costs less than 1/100 of a U.S. cent), and regulation-friendly approach providing an ideal payments platform.

As a U.S. Money Services Business [MSB] registered with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network [FinCEN], Beaxy Exchange offers a safe, compliant, and protected service for its customers. All digital assets on Beaxy Exchange are secured by Curv Institutional Custody, with USD deposits insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation [FDIC] up to $250,000.

Beaxy Exchange services customers in 42 U.S. states, in addition to serving an active global customer base in many international markets. Fiat currency on-ramps are offered by wire transfer in USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, CAD and AUD, as well as credit/debit card on-ramps offered through Simplex in USD, EUR, GBP, ILS, TRY, CAD, CHF, KRW, JPY, RUB, AUD, CZK, NOK, DKK, NZD, SEK, ZAR, HUF, and PLN.

Speaking on today’s announcement, Bay Abbott, Director and Co-President of Beaxy Exchange, said:

“There have been very limited options for those in the United States to buy or sell BSV safely and with convenience. For that reason, along with all of the interest we’ve seen from our community, Beaxy Exchange is thrilled to offer new markets for BSV that were otherwise inaccessible to a large portion of the total crypto market. This is a great opportunity for the global audience as well, as Beaxy will provide fiat on and off-ramps for traders using the USD, EUR, GBP, JPT, CAD, and AUD.”

Also commenting, Steven Walt, General Manager of Fabriik Markets, said:

“We are excited to partner with Beaxy to support their customers’ needs around BSV liquidity. Beaxy is an established and well-respected brand within the digital asset space, and we look forward to leveraging our technology and liquidity to support their growth.”

Also speaking on today’s announcement, Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President of Bitcoin Association, the Switzerland-based global industry organisation that supports Bitcoin SV, commented:

“Bitcoin Association welcomes the addition of BSV support by digital asset businesses that comply with applicable regulations and prioritise operating in a transparent manner, demonstrable qualities of both Beaxy Exchange and Fabriik Markets. With a U.S. base of operations and a strong international reach, Beaxy Exchange are an ideal partner to work with Fabriik Markets to expand the fiat on-ramps for and accessibility of BSV in the U.S. and around the world. I wish both businesses well for the future of their partnership and look forward to their contributions to the ongoing Bitcoin SV growth story and to advancing a more lawful digital currency industry.”

PrimeXBT: A bitcoin-based margin trading platform with a lot to offer (2020 review) 16781

PrimeXBT

PrimeXBT is a Bitcoin-based multi-asset margin trading platform that, while built on the foundations of the traditional market, is geared towards diversifying advanced trading tools, instruments and products. The platform allows its users to operate with more than 50 trading pairs, with leverages that can reach 100x in Cryptocurrencies and up to 1000x in other trading instruments, 24 hours a day.

This large number of trading instruments, as well as its high leverage, makes it stand out from many similar platforms with more time in the market such as Binance or Bitmex. It is important to note that, when choosing a trading platform like this, there are many variables that we must take into account, since not only the variety or quantity of products and instruments guarantee their quality and effectiveness.

Next, we will review this platform and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of trading with it.

PrimeXBT Overview

PrimeXBT is a margin trading and trading platform, founded in 2018 in the Seychelles Islands, which also has offices in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Switzerland. It enables its users to trade with leverage in Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies, and a wide variety of traditional financial instruments ranging from currency markets to precious metals.

In addition, it offers its users other elements including its friendly interface, a simple registration process (not KYC) that only requires an email, multiple languages ​​(including Spanish), high levels of security, very low commissions and a great liquidity.

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Recently PrimeXBT was voted the best Bitcoin margin trading platform in the ADVFN International Financial Awards 2020, it was also awarded as the best cryptocurrency trading application and the best Forex and Cryptocurrency broker.

Trading tools

PrimeXBT has a set of trading tools and features that make it a high-level and competitive option, supported by elements such as high leverage, risk management tools, and much more.

The platform offers 100X leverage on Cryptocurrency trading pairs such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and EOS, as well as up to 1000X leverage for the currency markets (Forex), stock indices, and commodities.

Additionally, the platform allows you to place advanced Stop Loss, Take Profit and OCO orders, to adjust our trading strategies and at the same time manage risks without neglecting profits.

It also features charting tools such as trend lines, support, and resistance, multiple technical analysis indicators such as the Relative Strength Index, Ichimoku Cloud, MACD, and Williams Alligator, and integrated charting software.

The fact that the platform allows the opening of both long and short positions makes it possible for its users to obtain profits regardless of whether the market is high or low.

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Instruments

While the central focus of the platform is Cryptocurrency trading, it also offers its users the ability to trade a varied list of traditional assets such as currencies, commodities, and stock indices.

These are the instruments and trading pairs that can be traded on PrimeXBT:

Cryptocurrencies
Bitcoin, Ethereum, Waves, Litecoin, EOS, and Ripple.

Pairs: BTC / USD, ETH / USD, ETH / BTC, LTC / USD, LTC / BTC, XRP / USD, XRP / BTC, EOS / USD, EOS / BTC

Currency markets
US Dollar, Euro, Gold, Silver, Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, British Pound, Japanese Yen, Turkish Lira, New Zealand Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Russian Ruble.

Pairs: AUD / CAD, AUD / CHF, AUD / JPY, AUD / NZD, AUD / USD, CAD / CHF, CAD / JPY, CHF / JPY, EUR / AUD, EUR / CAD, EUR / CHF, EUR / GBP, EUR / JPY, EUR / NZD, EUR / SGD, EUR / USD, GBP / AUD, GBP / CAD, GBP / CHF, GBP / JPY, GBP / NZD, GBP / SGD, GBP / USD, NZD / CAD, NZD / CHF, NZD / JPY, NZD / SGD, NZD / USD, USD / CAD, USD / CHF, USD / JPY, USD / RUB, USD / SGD, USD / TRY, XAG / USD, XAU / USD

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Commodities
WTI Crude Oil, Brent Oil and Natural Gas.

Stock indices
Dow Jones, Germany 30, Europe 30, NASDAQ, France 40, Spain 35, S & p 500, Nikkei 225 and Australia 200.

This great diversity of instruments reflects a point in favor of PrimeXBT over its closest competitors such as ByBit or Binance, which despite managing multiple instruments do not have a variety of options to trade as diverse as this, despite the fact that in the section cryptocurrency exchange Binance has more pairs to trade.

Deposits and Withdrawals

The PrimeXBT platform is based on Bitcoin, so all deposits are made with this currency and can be from 0.001 BTC. This makes the deposit process much easier by only requiring you to send the funds to the platform’s wallet, where with two confirmations you will already credit the amount.

Likewise, the withdrawal process is quite simple due to the use of BTC and only the address of the wallet that will receive the funds must be entered. The platform allows you to make a withdrawal per day, which is processed from 12 to 01 pm GMT and its commission is 0.0005 BTC.

Any withdrawal requested before 12 pm GMT is processed that same day. Likewise, any withdrawal request made after 12pm GMT will be processed the next day.

Since PrimeXBT uses hot wallets for immediate withdrawals, withdrawals for large amounts may take some time, as they may not have the amount in them and must withdraw from their cold wallets to complete the operation.

Commissions, Fees and Limits

The platform handles only two types of commission, per operation and overnight financing. The latter is applicable to leveraged operations that are kept open at night. Thus, if a user opens and closes a position with leverage during the day, he would only have to pay the commission per operation.

The fees for operations with Cryptocurrencies are 0.05%. Those of other instruments such as stock indices, raw materials or metals are 0.01% and those of currency markets or FOREX are 0.001%. The daily financing interest rates for Long or Short position are shown in the following table.

Regarding the limit of operations, PrimeXBT establishes a restriction on the size of the positions that a user can open, depending on elements such as the liquidity of the instrument, its volatility and other market conditions. The platform will not allow users to place orders that exceed the limit if they are executed.

In margin trading, PrimeXBT will lower the leverage limits for those traders who have more exposure to the market. Leverage limits based on position size. As you can see, larger positions will require more margin and thus reduce your exposure and consequently risk.

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Privacy & Security

PrimeXBT has banking-level security protocols that guarantee the security of its users’ funds. It uses Cloudflare to protect against DDoS attacks, SSL encryption that encrypts all information sent to the platform, two-factor authentication, and address whitelisting.

To store user passwords, Prime XBT claims it uses the “Bcrypt” algorithm, which prevents reading them even if a hacker had access to the exchange’s servers.

The vast majority of the platform’s funds are stored in cold wallets, which because they are offline represent an additional security measure. The hot wallets used by PrimeXBT are used for withdrawal operations and immediate payments, so the funds in them are limited.

On the other hand, in case of moving funds from a cold portfolio to a hot one, the authorization of several people will be needed, since they have a multi-signature access system.

Because the platform is non-KYC and does not require detailed personal information in its registration process, there is no risk of exposing the identity of users of the platform.

PrimeXBT Turbo

Recently PrimeXBT launched a new trading option called PrimeXBT Turbo, a Bitcoin contract that offers a binary options-like experience with greater speed and simplicity.

This product allows users to choose between upload or download contracts, with durations of 30 seconds, one minute and five minutes. While this option allows the profits of its users to multiply quickly, it also offers a high potential risk of loss.

Users can try PrimeXBT Turbo through the use of a demo account with 1 BTC, to trade without any risk and put this new product to the test.

Covesting Module

Another of the most recent PrimeXBT innovations is its new Covesting module, a product that is the result of the partnership between the financial software company Covesting and PrimeXBT that allows copy trading.

Copy trading allows inexperienced users to connect with experienced traders as followers. Then, they can copy the strategies and operations carried out by the expert traders, creating a kind of beneficial synergy for both, since the expert trader will get a percentage of the profits from his followers.

Followers will be able to trade with any experienced trader and strategy of their choice, based on the statistics supplied daily by PrimeXBT and even get a percentage of the profits generated by the creator of the strategy.

It should be noted that even an expert trader can generate losses, so it is important to be careful and attentive to the use of risk management tools when trading.

Aplicación Móvil

For users who want to review and carry out their operations from anywhere without depending on their computer, PrimeXBT developed its mobile application for Android and IOS.

This application offers functionality very similar to that offered in its traditional version of a web browser. It allows a comfortable management of the accounts and an easy execution of the operations. However, the first and most comfortable option to operate is the web version of the platform.

Support and Customer Service

PrimeXBT has a customer service and support system that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Here, users can access multiple options such as live chat, email, and help desk.

It also has an extensive library of tutorials, video tutorials and trading guides, an innovative Telegram Bot that allows its users to get up-to-date information without having to log into their accounts.

Referral program

PrimeXBT has a four-level referral system that allows its users to obtain additional income from the commissions generated by the trading of their referrals. In addition, it has created a CPA referral program where people with high influence and followers, youtubers, influencers or webmasters can obtain even greater benefits.

Interested users have an easy-to-share reference link and allusive material to promote the process.

Advantages and Disadvantages
Among the main advantages of using PrimeXBT are:

  • Wide range of financial instruments. Being able to trade both crypto and traditional markets with a wide variety of instruments is definitely PrimeXBT’s main distinction.
  • Anonymous accounts. The simple registration process without KYC protects the privacy of users.
  • Security of funds. The platform provides strong banking-level security procedures to its users.
  • 100x leverage in crypto. While leverage enhances profits, it also does so with losses, so caution in its use is highly recommended.
  • Tools for trading. A robust offering of graphical and risk management tools makes trading easy for newbies and professionals.The main disadvantages of the platform are:
  • Recent creation. Despite its good reputation in the market, it has only been in operation for two years.
  • No client for PC. This prevents your users from operating without using the web browser.
  • No API functionality. Prevents users from programming their own bots or algorithms for automated trading.
  • Restrictions on use. It cannot operate in some countries such as the United States, Canada, Israel, Japan, Algeria, Ecuador, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, and Syria.

Conclusion

PrimeXBT is a solid and very complete platform that offers a wide variety of instruments to trade. It allows its users to diversify their operations, hand in hand with an easy-to-use interface, offering advanced and even professional tools.

Its high leverage and competitive rates, added to its advantages outlined above, make it an excellent option for any user, whether novice or professional, and these in turn make it stand out from its closest competitors.

GridPlus Sets a New Standard for Blockchain Security with the Release of the Enterprise-Grade Lattice1 Wireless Hardware Wallet 18515

GridPlus, a manufacturer of secure hardware for cryptocurrency and blockchain applications, today launched retail sales for the Lattice1, a wireless hardware wallet that sets the new standard for security, utility, and ease of use. Combining a hardware security module and a Linux mini-computer, the Lattice1 is an all-purpose blockchain security hub that lets users accomplish complicated tasks with ease, free from the prying eyes of hackers. The Lattice1 introduces features that advance the state of the art for hardware wallets: physical anti-tamper protections, card-based backups, and permissioned signing which will make automatic cryptocurrency payments possible.

With the Lattice1, security and versatility go hand in hand. Its 5″ TFT touchscreen clearly displays transactions for users’ approval via an intuitive interface. The secure and general computing environments are segregated at the hardware level so the user’s private keys are isolated and safe, even when the paired phone or computer might not be.

As Dr. Karl Kreder, GridPlus Chief Security Officer and lead designer of the Lattice1, notes, “Blockchain technology is advancing at an increasing rate, but the security tools available simply have not kept pace. The difficulties associated with storage and use have prevented widespread adoption. The Lattice1 was designed for daily active use of cryptocurrencies and digital assets instead of just storing them until sold.”

In a world where we no longer need to rely on traditional banks, the Lattice1 is your personal financial center. Blockchains eliminate the need for costly intermediaries, but this requires individual custodianship which is a huge challenge for the average person. The Lattice1 gives less technical users access to powerful blockchain tools with the peace of mind that their assets are safe.

The Lattice1’s always-on wireless connectivity allows users to pair and sign with multiple devices via secure channels. This means there’s no need to reach for a USB cable every time you want to sign a transaction. Pairing simplifies key management by allowing you to use the same wallets across multiple devices.

The complicated task of securely backing up accounts with a seed phrase is also made simple using PIN-protected GridPlus SafeCards which employ the same physically unclonable chips found on credit and debit cards. SafeCards let users create backups, create additional offline storage, and easily switch between accounts on the fly. SafeCards allow anyone that can use a debit card to safely and securely use cryptocurrency.

Users can manage multiple accounts and easily interact with decentralized finance (DeFi) applications as they earn interest on their holdings, open cryptocurrency collateralized loans, and trade assets.

Preventing physical attacks on the device was a key design consideration. The Lattice1 was designed to withstand tampering and reverse engineering attempts from sophisticated attackers with direct access to a user’s hardware. This is achieved through a feature not found on other hardware wallets: a laser direct structured (LDS) mesh which encases all secure components.

The LDS mesh is a three-dimensional maze of electrical traces with a unique waveform travelling through it constantly. This circuit is monitored for continuity from the moment of provisioning to end of service. If the circuit is ever broken, the Lattice1 securely destroys all sensitive information – essentially a tripwire set off by intrusion attempts. The user could then recover their funds using GridPlus SafeCard backups.

The Lattice1 meets stringent security industry standards including FIPS, PCI, and EAL 6+ and is the only hardware wallet designed to safeguard against edge case risks such as attackers remotely accessing a user’s secrets via RF emissions.

The Lattice1 is designed, engineered, and manufactured in Texas and is available for purchase in North America, Europe, and Singapore.

About GridPlus, Inc.
Founded in 2017, GridPlus manufactures blockchain hardware infrastructure with uncompromising security. Its team of hardware, software, and cryptocurrency experts is headquartered in Austin, Texas. Visit gridplus.io for more information.

World’s first tradable carbon token is set to democratize access to the most important new asset class for generations 17801

The Universal Protocol Alliance (UPA), a coalition of leading blockchain companies including Bittrex Global, Ledger, CertiK, InfiniGold and Uphold, today launches Universal Carbon [UPCO2], the world’s first tradable carbon token on a public blockchain that can be bought and held as an investment, or burnt to offset an individual’s carbon footprint. With demand for carbon credits outstripping supply by a factor of 4 to 1 in 2020, according to the World Bank, the UPCO2 Token is set to democratize an important new asset class, which could lead to the establishment of a global clearing price for carbon (as today exists for such commodities as oil and gold) and more resources going directly into environmental projects.

Each UPCO2 Token represents one year-ton of CO2 pollution averted by a certified REDD+ project preventing rainforest loss or degradation. Every Token is backed by a Voluntary Carbon Unit [VCU], a digital certificate issued by Verra and other international standards agencies, which allows certified projects to turn their greenhouse gas (GHG) reductions into tradable carbon credits.

“The projects we support through carbon credit purchases prevent deforestation in the Amazon, Congo Basin and Indonesia as well as other threatened rainforests”‘ explained UP Alliance Chairman, Matthew Le Merle. “For a new generation of investors looking for more than mere financial return, UPCO2 offers attractive social, economic and environmental benefits. At a key moment for climate change, UPCO2 allows people worldwide to do good for the planet and potentially do well for themselves.”

Powerful macroeconomic forces underpin the Voluntary Carbon Credit market and, according to some commentators, could drive up prices significantly as more countries introduce regulated CO2 markets, forcing companies to compensate for their pollution. Additionally, a growing number of firms and individuals are choosing to offset their carbon footprints voluntarily.

As with all commodities, prices for carbon credits are likely to fluctuate, but human emissions have grown from 25 billion tons to 55 billion tons between 2008 and 2018, while the supply of voluntary credits has remained broadly flat.

According to the World Bank, in 2020, humanity compensates for just 22% of global emissions through the purchase and retirement of carbon credits, and yet the proportion of countries operating regulated carbon markets has risen from 40 percent of global GDP in 2016 to 70 percent in 2020. The result is a wall of demand that may far outstrip the production of new carbon credits, which is constrained by the slow and expensive process of Voluntary Carbon Project certification.

“This year may go down as the key inflection point for climate change,” said JP Thieriot, Co-Founder of the UP Alliance and CEO of Uphold. “The year it went from far-off issue enshrined in distant accords like Kyoto and Paris, to a palpable threat affecting the lives of tens of millions of people. In recent months, we’ve seen Australia and California on fire, ever more powerful hurricanes, the U.S. president-elect Joe Biden announcing a Climate Administration, and companies such as Apple, Microsoft, and Nike voluntarily committing to carbon neutrality.

“Combating climate cancer is likely to become the dominant economic issue of the next 20 years. The UPCO2 Token allows people everywhere to participate in this hugely important – and potentially lucrative – new market, as well as do the right thing for the planet.”

Voluntary carbon credits, which back all UPCO2 Tokens, offer major economic advantages compared with regulated credits. As dollar-denominated, globally-recognized, fungible and perennial assets, voluntary credits last forever, maintaining option value, until consumed or retired by a company or an individual seeking to compensate for carbon footprint.

“It’s astonishing that there is no single global clearing price for carbon emissions,” said Le Merle. “A non-deliverable, digitally-tradable commodity that’s essential for human activity shouldn’t be traded bilaterally on OTC markets, as carbon credits are today.

“One year-ton of carbon means the same everywhere. As a globally-recognized asset, defined by international standards, a Voluntary Carbon Credit should eventually fetch the same price anywhere.” Mr. Le Merle said, “We believe that the UPCO2 token has an important role to play in democratizing access to carbon credits, which could eliminate price arbitrage and produce a single global price. This was a light bulb going on for me. Combine a digital asset with a rainforest carbon offset and give everyone in the world access. How could that not be a great idea?”

Bitcoin SV now is available for trading against euros at a regulated crypto exchange, NovaDAX 19437

NovaDAX, the popular global digital asset exchange that originated in Brazil, today announces that it has introduced support for buying and trading Bitcoin SV [BSV] for its European customers. With immediate effect, a BSV/EUR trading pair is available for use on NovaDAX, part of a range of new offerings following the launch of its European operations earlier this month. The move by NovaDAX to launch Bitcoin SV trading for its European customers follows the introduction of BSV/BRL and BSV/USDT trading pairs earlier this year. It comes as demand for Bitcoin SV continues to climb globally, as the utility of its massively scaling blockchain drives growth across its ecosystem of applications and services. Bitcoin SV also functions as a fast and cost-effective payments rail (sending a BSV payment currently costs less than 1/100 of a U.S. cent).

Launched in 2018, NovaDAX quickly grew to become one of the top exchanges in both Brazil and Latin America. In October 2020, NovaDAX officially launched its European operations via its UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised entity, introducing several EUR fiat trading pairs, as well as the ability to deposit and withdraw via SEPA for all customers in European Economic Area (EEA) countries. NovaDAX in Europe offers all of its services in full compliance with all relevant EU laws and regulations. The entity of NovaDAX in Europe, is authorised as an Authorised Payment Institution (API) and an Electronic Money Services Directive (EMD) agent by the FCA.

Speaking on today’s announcement, Beibei Liu, CEO of NovaDAX, said:

“We’re developing NovaDAX in the European market to achieve outstanding results, just as we did in Brazil. We aim to provide the best liquidity in BSV/EUR trading pairs amongst all the major competitors in Europe while being regulated and authorised. We see huge potential in the adoption of Bitcoin SV and are aiming to provide the best experience in BSV trading which will bring us a lot of long term growth.”

Jimmy Nguyen, Founding President of Bitcoin Association, the Switzerland-based global industry organisation that supports BSV, commented on today’s news, saying:

“Bitcoin Association welcomes the addition of new fiat on-ramps to buy and sell Bitcoin SV for our European community. As a business that prioritises operating in a transparent and legally-compliant manner – and one that has already seen first-hand the growing wave of demand for Bitcoin SV all over the globe – NovaDAX is an ideal partner to continue that growth story across Europe.”

About NovaDAX

NovaDAX is a leading global crypto trading exchange, providing various crypto trading services to global advanced traders. As an international exchange with world-class team members around the world, NovaDAX receives internal investments from its holding company, Abakus Group, which has raised $300m in Series A to D financing.

Powered by Abakus Tech, the Nova ecosystem has its headquarters in Switzerland and NovaDAX base is located in Sao Paulo, Brazil. With its global headquarters in Beijing, China, Abakus Group has offices in Europe, America, Brazil and Southeast Asia and a world-class team of tech experts from Google, Amazon, Tencent etc, creating a company DNA that is focused around technology, innovation and agility.

PayPal Launches New Service Enabling Users to Buy, Hold and Sell Cryptocurrency 21216

The migration toward digital payments and digital representations of value continues to accelerate, driven by the COVID-19 pandemic and the increased interest in digital currencies from central banks and consumers. PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL) today announced the launch of a new service enabling its customers to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrency directly from their PayPal account, and signaled its plans to significantly increase cryptocurrency’s utility by making it available as a funding source for purchases at its 26 million merchants worldwide.

Mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies has traditionally been hindered by their limited utility as an instrument of exchange due to volatility, cost and speed to transact. However, the promise of advanced technological platforms offers the possibility of mainstreaming digital currencies. According to a survey by the Bank for International Settlements, one in 10 central banks – representing approximately one-fifth of the world’s population – expect to issue their own digital currencies within the next three years.

“The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of financial inclusion and access; efficiency, speed and resilience of the payments system; and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly,” said Dan Schulman, president and CEO, PayPal. “Our global reach, digital payments expertise, two-sided network, and rigorous security and compliance controls provide us with the opportunity, and the responsibility, to help facilitate the understanding, redemption and interoperability of these new instruments of exchange. We are eager to work with central banks and regulators around the world to offer our support, and to meaningfully contribute to shaping the role that digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.”

Building Understanding and Adoption of Cryptocurrency

To increase consumer understanding and adoption of cryptocurrency, the company is introducing the ability to buy, hold and sell select cryptocurrencies, initially featuring Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin, directly within the PayPal digital wallet. The service will be available to PayPal accountholders in the U.S. in the coming weeks. The company plans to expand the features to Venmo and select international markets in the first half of 2021. The service is enabled in the U.S. through a partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of cryptocurrency products and services.

PayPal has also been granted a first-of-its-kind conditional Bitlicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

“NYDFS’ approval today follows our June 2020 announcement for a new framework for a conditional Bitlicense to encourage, promote, and assist interested institutions to have a well-regulated way to access the New York virtual currency marketplace in a way that is both timely and protective of New York consumers, through partnerships with New York authorized virtual currency firms,” said Linda A. Lacewell, superintendent, NYDFS. “NYDFS will continue to encourage and support financial service providers to operate, grow, remain and expand in New York and work with innovators to enable them to germinate and test their ideas, for a dynamic and forward looking financial services sector, especially as we work to build New York back better in the midst of this pandemic.”

As part of this offering, PayPal will provide accountholders with educational content to help them understand the cryptocurrency ecosystem, the risks and opportunities related to investing in cryptocurrency, and information on blockchain technology. There are no service fees when buying or selling cryptocurrency through December 31, 2020, and there are no fees for holding cryptocurrency in a PayPal account.