Spend your crypto balance on e-gift cards

Spend your crypto balance on e-gift cards

We often hear from customers that they want to be able to do more with their cryptocurrency. We’ve spent 2018 focused on behind-the-scenes utility work to help them do just that. This work has culminated in 12 big updates that we’re excited to share with the community — one announcement every day for our very own 12 Days of Coinbase. These are our holiday season thank you to the community as we head into a big 2019. What better way to start the 12 Days of Coinbase than with a new way to use crypto on physical goods and experiences for friends and family? Today that becomes easier with the expansion of our e-gift card program (previously available in the UK and EU only) to Coinbase customers in the U.S. Starting today, e-gift cards are available through our program with WeGift (previously in the UK and EU only) and can be purchased at dozens of great vendors, including Uber, Nike, and many more. Getting started is easy — visit WeGift to link your Coinbase wallet and you can immediately spend crypto on e-gift cards. Even better, customers purchasing e-gift cards enjoy no withdrawal fees and bonuses of up to 10% on select vendors, making it smoother than ever to use crypto. Now, you’re just a few clicks away from spending your balance on e-gifts cards for Adidas shoes or your next vacation. Better yet, use some on the holidays — you’re just in time. To get started, visit wegift.io/coinbase. This website may contain links to third-party websites or other content for information purposes only (“Third-Party Sites”). The Third-Party Sites are not under the control of Coinbase, Inc., and its affiliates (“Coinbase”), and Coinbase is not responsible for the content of any Third-Party Site, including without limitation any link contained in a Third-Party Site, or any changes or updates to a Third-Party Site. Coinbase is not responsible for webcasting or any other form of transmission received from any Third-Party Site. Coinbase is providing these links to you only as a convenience, and the inclusion of any link does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by Coinbase of the site or any association with its operators.

Bitcoin Dips Below $3,400 as Market Volatility Continues

Bitcoin Dips Below $3,400 as Market Volatility Continues

Tuesday, Dec. 11: crypto markets have continued moving in a downward trend after challenging a recovery attempt on Sunday, Dec. 9. Almost all of the top 20 coins have seen losses over the 24-hour period, with Bitcoin SV (BSV) down the most, seeing just over 6 percent losses. Market visualization from Coin360 Having failed to hold $3,500 support yesterday, Bitcoin (BTC) has briefly dropped below the $3,400 threshold earlier today. However, the intraday low $3,397 is still not the lowest point over the week, with the coin’s intraweek low around $3,280 on Dec. 7. As of press time, Bitcoin is trading just above $3,400, down around 2 percent over the past 24 hours. Recently, Cointelegraph reported on Bitcoin’s increased volatility, which has risen threefold on the month. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Bitcoin’s share of the crypto market, or dominance, currently amounts to 55.1 percent, seeing a considerably steady increase over the past six months. Bitcoin Market Dominance 1-year chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ripple (XRP), the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap, is down about 1 percent today, and trading at $0.29, having dropped below $0.30 for the first time since Sept. 17. Ripple three-month price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap The third largest crypto Ethereum (ETH) is down just over 3 percent over the 24-hour period, its price dipping below the $90 threshold for the first time since May 2017. At press time, the altcoin is trading around $88. Ethereum all-time price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Bitcoin SV, recently formed after a hard fork of Bitcoin Cash (BCH), is seeing the most losses among the top 20 crypto markets, with its price having declined over 6 percent as of press time. The coin is trading at $89.91 and ranks eighth in terms of market cap, while Bitcoin Cash is ranked sixth and trading at around $101. Total market capitalization has dipped below $110 billion again, currently at $107.8 billion at press time. Daily trade volume accounts for $12.7 billion, with 2,068 cryptocurrencies listed on CoinMarketCap. Total market capitalization 7-day chart. Source: CoinMarketCap While crypto markets have continued seeing a decline since Sunday, Dec. 9, the former chief economist of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recently argued that Bitcoin should be considered a “lottery ticket.” Kenneth Rogoff,…

Gemini Launches New Mobile App for Crypto Traders

Gemini Launches New Mobile App for Crypto Traders

Crypto exchange Gemini has just launched a mobile wallet for its users. Gemini CEO and co-founder Tyler Winklevoss wrote in a Medium post on Tuesday that the new app allows customers to buy or sell cryptocurrencies, view market prices, see their own portfolio values and set price alerts, among other features geared toward traders. The exchange is working to “build the future of money” through its licensed exchange and regulated custodian, Winklevoss wrote, ensuring that customers can entrust their holdings to a compliant platform. “A trusted and regulated platform, however, is just the beginning. The future of money is both digital and mobile, and now Gemini is too with the launch of the Gemini Mobile App,” he added. As such, the app features Gemini’s institutional-grade security, while remaining easy to use, he claimed. Among the offerings is Gemini’s basket, dubbed the Cryptoverse, which allows customers to simultaneously purchase all of the coins currently offered by the exchange – bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash, zcash and litecoin – at once. The coins are weighted by market capitalization, according to the post. Gemini added bitcoin cash just days ago, after securing approval from the New York Department of Financial Services. “We spent the last three years building the world’s most trusted cryptocurrency platform and today we are excited to extend it into your hands and allow you to engage with cryptocurrency wherever you are and whenever you want,” Winklevoss wrote Tuesday. Image Credit: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock.com

New Platforms Track Major Stablecoin Markets

New Platforms Track Major Stablecoin Markets

Altcoins The birth of more stablecoins, which has coincided with significant market losses for traditional cryptocurrencies, has drawn attention to these fiat-pegged digital assets. Dedicated platforms are now aggregating statistical data about stablecoin markets for the benefit of traders. Also read: Chat Bot Advises Crypto Startups and Investors The Stablecoin War Is Heating Up The last couple of months has seen the arrival of new coins poised to challenge the dominance of the leading stablecoin tether (USDT). Two new “regulated” cryptocurrencies, also pegged to the U.S. dollar, were announced after receiving approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services in September. The Gemini dollar (GUSD) and paxos standard (PAX) are both backed one-to-one with fiat currency. Another notable token in the same category is USD coin (USDC), but coins pegged to different fiat currencies or other traditional assets, such as precious metals, have also been announced. Exchanges and other trading platforms have already listed many of these stablecoins, granting them recognition in a bearish market for the majority of the free-floating cryptocurrencies. A crypto loans service has recently begun offering interest payments on stablecoin holdings. Competition among stablecoins has given rise to dedicated tracking services. A new website, Stablecoinswar.com, provides data about their price, market capitalization, daily trading volume, and share of total volume. It also has a “velocity of money” indicator that reflects the rate at which each coin is exchanged – in other words, the speed of circulation. The platform currently lists eight stablecoins: tether, paxos, trueusd (TUSD), USD coin (USDC), dai, gemini dollar (GUSD), susd, and bitusd. According to Stablecoinswar, all but one of these assets is currently trading at a cent or two above the $1 dollar mark, at the time of this writing. The only exception is bitusd which is currently trading at $0.71. Tether remains the stablecoin with the largest market cap, at almost $1.88 billion. That’s over 72 percent of the total stablecoin capitalization, which sits at around $2.6 billion. Trueusd is second with 8.15 percent of the market cap, followed by USD coin. Paxos, with almost 33 percent, is the second-fastest stablecoin after tether (with over 166 percent) for velocity of circulation. Stablecoin Index Stablecoinswar constantly updates its market data but doesn’t offer much more than…

Report: BTC Gets a Health Check in ‘The State of Bitcoin’

Report: BTC Gets a Health Check in ‘The State of Bitcoin’

Economics Delphi Digital has taken a deep dive into bitcoin core in its first “The State of Bitcoin” report. The 59-page document from the digital asset investment company leaves no stone unturned, covering everything from BTC payments to coin distribution and rolling returns compared to stocks and gold. The report brings together a plethora of interesting statistics that attest to bitcoin’s growing evolution and adoption. Also read: Fundraiser Aims to Raise $1M in Cryptocurrencies for Venezuelans Better Understanding Bitcoin Few people, save for a handful of terminal haters and discredited economists, dispute that Bitcoin is valuable. But quite where that value lies, and what the primary purpose of Satoshi’s creation should be, is a matter of some dispute. “In its current state, BTC is easier to dismiss than understand,” acknowledge the authors of The State of Bitcoin. “We believe the primary long-term value drivers for BTC revolve around its ability to serve as 1) a censorship-resistant store of value and 2) a ‘check’ on governments as an alternative, country-agnostic digital reserve currency.” The report itself offers something for everyone, addressing BTC’s current deployment as both a medium of exchange and a store of value. Delphi Digital devotes particular attention to charting BTC’s progress in the countries that need it most – inflation-hit Argentina and Venezuela. Here, as well as in regions where many of the world’s unbanked can be found – primarily Africa – cryptocurrencies have huge potential. The report identifies three primary drivers behind BTC adoption in these countries: As an alternative to local currencies suffering from high or hyperinflation Allowing citizens to hold their wealth directly, rather than trust a local bank To improve the speed and reduce transaction fees of sending remittances The average cost of remittance for sending $200 is as high as $36 between South Africa and Botswana, for example, showing significant scope for cryptocurrencies to provide a low-cost alternative. But BTC’s use cases don’t end there. “In the past, when high inflation took hold in a person’s country, there was little that they could do except watch as their purchasing power evaporated,” continues the report. Now, “any person with internet access has the option to insulate themselves from local currency risk by switching to [BTC]. Essentially, bitcoin can offer a…

The CFTC Wants to Learn More About Ethereum

The CFTC Wants to Learn More About Ethereum

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) wants to learn more about ethereum, its technology, and the markets that have built up around it. In a “Request for Input” (RFI) published Tuesday, the regulator explains that it is looking for public feedback on different questions about ethereum, ranging from its technology to how it’s used. Respondents have 60 days from the RFI’s publication in the Federal Register to submit answers, either via email, mail or hand delivery. “The CFTC expects the comments and information received will benefit LabCFTC, the CFTC’s FinTech initiative, and help to inform the Commission’s understanding of these emerging technologies,” a press release explains. The RFI itself goes into further detail, explaining that its RFI will inform the agency’s oversight of the ethereum market, as well as any derivatives markets related to the cryptocurrency. It goes on to say: “The input from this request will advance the CFTC’s mission of ensuring the integrity of the derivatives markets as well as monitoring and reducing systemic risk by enhancing legal certainty in the markets. The RFI seeks to understand similarities and distinctions between certain virtual currencies, including here ether and bitcoin, as well as ether-specific opportunities, challenges, and risks.” The document lists 25 different questions about ether and the network, divided into the network’s purpose, the technology behind it, its governance, markets and oversight and cybersecurity and custody. The questions themselves touch on various issues and concerns discussed in the space, including ethereum’s upcoming move to proof-of-stake, scalability issues, how the network is being used specifically at present and how ether deposits may be audited, among others. Notably, one question asks: “How would the introduction of derivative contracts on ether potentially change or modify the incentive structures that underlie a proof-of-stake model?” A number of questions following this go further into detail about how the ether market might impact a derivatives market built on top of it – or vice versa. The RFI was published through the regulator’s LabCFTC fintech initiative, which focuses on both educating the public about crypto assets, as well as acts as a way for participants in the space to interact with the regulator. CFTC image via Mark Van Scyoc / Shutterstock

C-Suite Departure: Coinbase’s Chief Product Officer Has Left the Startup

C-Suite Departure: Coinbase’s Chief Product Officer Has Left the Startup

A C-suite executive has left Coinbase, the cryptocurrency exchange turned tech unicorn. CoinDesk confirmed Tuesday that Jeremy Henrickson is no longer with the company, having departed on November 2. Henrickson started with Coinbase in July 2016 and served as VP of product and engineering before becoming chief product officer in 2017, according to his LinkedIn. “Jeremy’s contributions to Coinbase over the past two years were invaluable,” a Coinbase spokeswoman told CoinDesk. “He helped to build our scrappy startup team into a high-functioning product and engineering organization—overseeing a 5x+ growth of the team.” She continued: “In guiding that part of the company’s journey, Jeremy scaled up our ability to execute, set the vision for our product and engineering teams, and was an inspirational leader within the organization. Jeremy joins a prestigious group of Coinbase alumni who are all working to build a more open financial system.” The Stanford grad began his career at Apple in the 1990s. Henrickson spoke at an event at the Palo Alto school as recently as last month. A source characterized Henrickson’s exit as one that lets him get some hard-earned rest after scaling the team through a tumultuous period in the wider crypto industry. According to the source, Henrickson culturally represented “the softer side of Coinbase.” Henrickson’s exit comes amid a period of growth at the startup, which in recent months has seen it open a new office in New York City as part of a bid to expand its employee base. At the same time, Coinbase has had some higher-level exits, including long-time executive Adam White (who left to join Bakkt) and Hunter Merghart, its now-former head of trading. Personnel changes aside, Coinbase is pushing ahead with its stated plan to continue listing new cryptocurrencies and digital assets on its exchange. To this end, the startup released a list last week of 30 assets and later four of those tokens were listed on its professional trading platform. Coinbase image via CoinDesk archives

Crypto-Focused VCs Invest $30 Million in Digital Banking App

Crypto-Focused VCs Invest $30 Million in Digital Banking App

Services Good Money, a digital banking startup, has announced it’s raised $30 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Galaxy Digital with investments from Breyer Capital, Blocktower Capital, Boost VC, Ken Howery, Blockchange Ventures, Cross Culture Ventures, Troy Carter, Mitch Kapor, Peter Diamandis, Blake Mycoskie, Justin Rosenstein and others. Also Read: Law Professor: Confusing Crypto Regulations Will Hamper Innovation Banking With a Social Focus Besides peer-to-peer banking services, Good Money will offer FDIC-insured savings accounts bearing a 2 percent yield, free usage of fiat ATMs across the U.S., no-overdraft fees and low consumer loan rates. However, it seems that the people behind the venture believe a strong social focus is what will attract the most interest in the app. They promise that Good Money users will be able to direct 50 percent of the platform’s profits to projects focused on fixing environmental, social and economic inequality issues. The company’s founding team has also pledged half of their own equity to philanthropy. “The combination of an activist brand with deep direct-to-consumer experience at scale, positions Good Money to be a leader in the historic disruption of the banking industry … Good Money is led by world-class founders who have built billion dollar companies, with marketing experience and relationships that can bring tens-of-millions of users into the ecosystem quickly,” said Sam Englebardt of Galaxy Digital. Putting Equity in Clients’ hands Good Money plans to launch a waiting list in January 2019 and reward users with equity for securing their place in line for the full platform which will be released later in the year. Every customer will receive equity when they open an account and thus become an owner of the banking platform and users may earn additional equity by installing the app, setting up a direct deposit or referring friends. The startup is headed by Gunnar Lovelace, the founder of Thrive Market, an online grocery that previously raised $180 million in funding. “Modern banking is a primary driver of so many issues we face as a society — from economic inequality, institutional racism, environmental destruction to political corruption,” said Lovelace. “We founded Good Money to help consumers take their money out of a system that’s both destroying the planet and extracting wealth from…

The Daily: Coinbase Expands Gift Card Program, Facebook Seeks Blockchain Talent

The Daily: Coinbase Expands Gift Card Program, Facebook Seeks Blockchain Talent

The Daily In Tuesday’s edition of The Daily we cover stories about an electronic gift card program that Coinbase is extending to the U.S. market, new job offerings from Facebook that hint at the company’s blockchain plans, and an investment in the field from Unicef. Also Read: US Law Professor: Confusing Cryptocurrency Regulations Will Hamper Innovation Coinbase Extends Wegift Partnership to the US Coinbase has announced that its trading platform now offers e-gift cards for its customers in the U.S. This means that American users will be able to instantly spend their cryptocurrency balances from the exchange with dozens of new retailers. The development has been achieved by expanding its partnership with the London-based startup Wegift, which supports many well-known brands such as Nike, Tesco, Uber, Google Play, Ticketmaster and Zalando. Coinbase informed its users that purchasing e-gift cards incurs no withdrawal fees and that bonuses of up to 10 percent make it “smoother than ever to use crypto. Now, you’re just a few clicks away from spending your balance on e-gifts cards for Adidas shoes or your next vacation. Better yet, use some on the holidays — you’re just in time.” Facebook to Develop Equitable Financial Services? At the start of 2018, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg set a goal for himself to take back power from centralized systems using “encryption and cryptocurrency.” While the year is nearly over and this resolution remains unfulfilled, his company appears to still be focused on the subject. Recently surfaced ads show that Facebook is looking for data scientists and software engineers to help develop new blockchain solutions, possibly including financial services. The company explains to potential candidates that: “At Facebook, we have established a new team building blockchain technologies. It’s a small, fast-growing, but talented group of people who are passionate about changing the world. Our leadership is experienced and are some of the best people working today in their respective fields.” “The blockchain team is a startup within Facebook, with a vision to make blockchain technology work at Facebook scale. We’re exploring areas of interest across all facets of blockchain technology. Our ultimate goal is to help billions of people with access to things they don’t have now – that could be things like equitable financial services, new ways to…

Fundraiser Aims to Raise $1M in Cryptocurrencies for Venezuelans

Fundraiser Aims to Raise $1M in Cryptocurrencies for Venezuelans

A cryptocurrency “airdrop” fundraiser has been launched to help Venezuelans. People are donating funds via a number of different coins to the citizens of the crisis-stricken South American nation — many of whom are refugees. Launched by Airtm, a digital wallet connected to banks and blockchains, the fundraiser plans to send $1 million in digital currency to 100,000 ID-authenticated Venezuelans. Donations can be made in bitcoin, bitcoin cash, zcash, dash, ethereum, litecoin, ripple, and others. They can be quickly used or converted to dollars by Venezuelans. So far, Airdrop Venezuela has proven to be popular. Launched on Nov. 27, close to $50,000 has been raised at the time of this writing. Ten dollars worth of donations can help a family purchase food, medicine, and scarce imported goods. Suffering from the world’s highest inflation, the country’s currency, the bolivar, has been rendered virtually worthless. Digital money is proving to be useful to many Venezuelans who are eager to get rid of bolivars. 61% of Venezuelans have had trouble putting food on the table in 2017. The situation has continued to worsen this year, and is expected to deteriorate throughout 2019. Help us spread the word, and share the message. #AirdropVenezuela — Airtm Inc (@AirtmInc) December 10, 2018 Venezuelans have actually been selling wads of cash or even using it to make items they can sell, such as bags or handicrafts, to make money. Airtm has been helpful to Venezuelans looking to efficiently convert their bolivars into U.S. dollars. Its service allows users to quickly convert whatever currency they are holding into cash via banks, gift cards, Western Union or cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin.com CEO to Match BCH Donations for the Next 24 Hours A hot topic on Twitter, the charity’s effort is quickly gaining traction by helping spread the word about the dire help Venezuelans need. Bitcoin.com CEO Roger Ver stated on Monday that he would match all BCH donations made in the next 24 hours. He said: The bigger the network effect a currency has, the more useful that currency becomes. This is a great way to grow the network for Bitcoin Cash and help people in need at the same time. Crisis-stricken Venezuela is seeing tens of thousands of its citizens flee the country each day due to…