Santander to Connect Latin America to Ripple-Powered Remittance Service

Santander to Connect Latin America to Ripple-Powered Remittance Service

Spanish megabank Santander Group is expanding its use of Ripple’s technology. The bank is building a “payment corridor” that would let customers in Latin America send money to the U.S. instantly for free via One Pay FX, a mobile app that uses Ripple’s xCurrent software, officials told CoinDesk. Currently, only customers in the U.K. and Spain can send money to the U.S. over One Pay FX. While the bank would not reveal how many Latin American countries it plans to connect to the corridor, Santander serves Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Mexico. Like Santander’s DLT efforts to date, the new payment capability will not involve XRP, the cryptocurrency that Ripple periodically sells to fund operations and that powers its separate xRapid product. Last year, Santander introduced One Pay FX in four countries that account for more than half the bank’s profits: Spain, the U.K., Brazil and Poland. This offering is getting traction, the bank says. “Customers who were not doing international transfers are now using the service, customers who were using international transfer are now doing it more, and customers who had gone to use fintech competition have come back because of the One Pay offering,” Cedric Menager, CEO of One Pay FX, told CoinDesk. Unlike the SWIFT messaging system that banks traditionally have used to make international transfers, xCurrent is instant, has no fees and gives users a view into currency exchange rates before they send money, Menager said. Volume growth While Santander would not reveal its transaction volumes for One Pay FX, it said those volumes tripled from January 2019 to June and volumes for Spain increased by 120 percent year-over-year in April. Expanding One Pay FX will mean a bigger change for some Latin American customers, who will go from making international transfers in branches to instant online payments, than for European customers, said Menager. “The international payment experience in the Latin American markets is even less evolved than in the European markets,” he said. “There are even parts of the Latin American market where it’s almost impossible to do an online international payment.” The corridor will be launched country-by-country, and the bank would not say when the first country would launch. The bank also plans to bring One Pay FX to U.S. Santander customers for them…

Fidelity’s Charity Arm Has Received Over $100 Million in Crypto Donations

Fidelity’s Charity Arm Has Received Over $100 Million in Crypto Donations

Fidelity’s charity arm, Fidelity Charitable, said late last month that it has received more than $100 million in cryptocurrency donations since 2015. In total, more than $106 million worth of cryptocurrencies has been granted to Fidelity Charitable since it first began accepting this form of donation, according to the firm’s annual report published late last month. Year over year, however, the number of crypto donations has dropped. In 2017, cryptocurrencies represented the fastest-growing asset type accepted by the firm, with more than $69 million in donations. The pace has slowed in 2018 to $30 million in donations, according to the annual report. “We see cryptocurrency donations rise along with increases in the value of cryptocurrencies in the marketplace,” said a company representative. Likewise, Fidelity Charitable marketing head Amy Pirozzolo, said now that cryptos are facing a downturn people are less likely to offload them as charitable assets. This is related to the diminishing value of tax deductions charitable donors would be able to claim. Tax advantage In opening the charity to crypto assets four years ago, Fidelity was attempting to capitalize not only on humanity’s philanthropic impulses but also real market incentives. According to Pirozzolo, investors who donate their proceeds do not have to pay capital gains on them and can write donations off against their income tax. She said the firm even “encourages” clients to “give their most depreciated assets first… because it provides the best tax advantages for the donor and charity.” It’s in this sense, that when looking for assets to add, Pirozzolo said the company often considers top performing cryptocurrencies. “One thing we’re committed to is helping donors choose the most tax efficient asset to give to charity,” said Pirozzolo. The firm is “trying to keep its finger on the pulse” of the crypto market. In the release, Fidelity Charitable also formally announced its acceptance of the digital asset XRP. The firm stated on Twitter back in May that it would take donations in XRP. “The majority of our contributions to date have been bitcoin, however we have also seen growing numbers of donations in ethereum,” a company representative said. Fidelity Charitable also accepts bitcoin cash and litecoin. While crypto donations have fallen in recent months, Pirozzolo said most of the…

The Most Important Aspect of Bitcoin Is the Separation of Money and State

The Most Important Aspect of Bitcoin Is the Separation of Money and State

Many cryptocurrency supporters believe the technology allows for the separation of money and state in a manner that’s never been seen before. Governments inflict two forms of robbery against nonviolent citizens by forcing them to pay taxes while also stealing from them silently through inflation. Now there’s a wide array of digital currencies competing in different ways to help remove the parasitic behavior perpetrated by the oligarchy. Also read: Bitcoin History Part 15: Silk Road Is Born The Monetary System Designed by Oligarchs Penalizes the People Most everyone lives under government rule and they are compelled to pay taxes and use the legal tender by order of their rulers. In most countries, everyone who has a job must contribute a portion of their earnings to the government. For instance, a portion of payroll taxes in the U.S. goes toward safety net concepts like Medicare and Social Security. 70% of an American’s income tax goes toward national defense, health care security programs, interest on the national debt, education, energy, and agriculture. A quarter of the funds go directly to the military and the average American family paid $12,000 in income tax in 2018. There are roughly 80 million households which means the U.S. government pulls in close to a trillion dollars annually from income taxes alone. That’s not counting state-funded lottery, road tolls, sales tax, capital gains, building taxes, business tariffs, property levies, and more. The state has been pillaging and stealing from the general public for centuries.Despite the fact that most of the safety nets and health care systems are in shambles, roads are filled with potholes, bridges are failing, and the education system is failing, the only thing that continues to grow is the U.S. is the military. Oddly enough, people still believe these fools know what they are doing. Not only has the national defense budget grown absurd in America, but the evolution of for-profit-prisons and the expansion of the police state has amplified significantly. Since 1776 the U.S. has been at war 226 out of 243 years or 93% of the country’s lifetime and American citizens have paid for every last minute. Governments have also created a monetary system meant to enrich the representatives and their close friends. Meanwhile, the money system…

Coinbase and Barclays Part Ways, Will UK Users Be Affected?

Coinbase and Barclays Part Ways, Will UK Users Be Affected?

It is being reported that Barclays, the London-based global bank, recently stopped banking for Coinbase, the United States-based crypto exchange. Coinbase reportedly found a quick replacement in the form of another United Kingdom-based establishment, ClearBank.  While Barclays connected San Francisco-based Coinbase to the U.K. Faster Payments Scheme (FPS), enabling instant withdrawals and deposits of British pounds at the exchange, ClearBank won’t offer the exchange the same service until at least the end of Q3 2019. Deposits and withdrawals in pounds for Coinbase’s U.K. customers, which once took seconds, will for now take days to process.  In the wake of Barclay’s decision regarding Coinbase, reports contended that major Spanish bank Santander had blocked U.K. customers from depositing fiat funds to the exchange. Santander spokesperson told Cointelegraph that the reports are untrue: “We do not block payments to any legitimate company, however, in certain circumstances we will refer payments for additional security checks, where we believe there may be a higher risk of fraud.” Business as usual? Not quite… Before it had access to FPS, the exchange, which has offices in Dublin and London, transferred pounds into euros through the Estonia-based LHV Pank, which still banks Coinbase. Having experimented with colored coins for Bitcoin-based certificates of deposit, LHV — the largest locally owned bank and asset management in Estonia — seems to take a more open approach toward blockchain than Barclays. “The Bitcoin blockchain is the oldest, most tested and secure [public-key cryptography], and hence suitable for our current applications,” Rain Lõhmus, chairman of the supervisory board of LHV, told Cointelegraph in 2015. But LHV couldn’t offer Coinbase the same luxuries as Barclays. “Having domestic GBP payments with Barclays reduces the cost, improves the customer experience… and makes the transaction faster,” Zeeshan Feroz, CEO of Coinbase U.K., said shortly after Barclays first banked Coinbase. Feroz told Reuters that it took a lot of effort and time to get Barclays to bank Coinbase, as the former sought to ensure the exchange had implemented appropriate Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures. The exchange was one of the first blockchain firms to have access to FPS with Barclays decision. “There’s a lot of understanding and risk management that’s needed,” Feroz said, noting at the time that the European Union grew “twice as…

Silvergate Bank Plans to Offer Cryptocurrency-Collateralized Loans

Silvergate Bank Plans to Offer Cryptocurrency-Collateralized Loans

The holding company of cryptocurrency-friendly Silvergate Bank, Silvergate Capital Corporation, announced that the firm plans to offer cryptocurrency-collateralized loans. In an S1/A form filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on Aug. 15 the bank notes: “We believe there may be attractive opportunities to provide digital currency borrowing facilities to deepen our high quality customer relationships and further enhance our interest income.” In the document, the firm states that it found significant demand for cryptocurrency-related borrowing. The service would consist of the client providing crypto assets or U.S. dollars as collateral in exchange for significantly greater credit. The bank would then “set a conservative aggregate lending amount to refine the product, and will develop a risk framework to minimize risk and further develop lending models over time.” The company stated that it anticipates to offer the crypto-related credit product to institutional clients later this year. Silvergate also notes that it found significant desire from its clients for the bank “to be involved in the custody and transfer of digital assets between customers.” Owler estimates Silvergate Bank’s annual revenue to be $30 million. As Cointelegraph reported in March, Silvergate Bank signed on a slew of new cryptocurrency customers including cryptocurrency exchanges and miners, custodians and global investors, among others in the fourth quarter of 2018. In 2018, Silvergate’s deposits derived from cryptocurrency customers reportedly increased by $150.4 million, or around 11.4%.

Bitcoin Circles $10,400 as Altcoins Rally, XRP Posts 10% Gains

Bitcoin Circles $10,400 as Altcoins Rally, XRP Posts 10% Gains

Sunday, Aug. 18 — Crypto markets are seeing a strong surge of green, with altcoins posting the strongest gains and Bitcoin (BTC) circling the $10,400 mark. Market visualization. Source: Coin360 After yesterday’s correction, BTC is today up nearly 2%, bringing it to $10,393 by press time.  While still roughly $1,000 short of its price point at the start of its 7-day chart,  (Aug. 11), today’s recovery has kept the top coin comfortably above the $10,000 psychological price point. During a brief downturn mid-week on Aug. 15, Bitcoin had dropped as low as $9,700. On the week, Bitcoin remains 9% in the red. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360 Top altcoin Ether (ETH) has posted a strong gain of over 7% and is trading around $197 by press time. Having dropped below the $200 mark on Aug. 14, Ether’s fresh gains are now edging it back above this threshold. Losses on the week remain at a stark 7.86%. Ether 7-day price chart. Source: Coin360 XRP is seeing an even more bullish 10% gain on the day, and is posting a milder 5% loss on its seven-day chart. Among the remaining top ten coins several alts are seeing solid upward momentum: Litecoin (LTC) is up 6.5% on the day, EOS (EOS) is up 6% and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) is up 5.7%.  Widening out to the top twenty, alts are performing strongly across the board. Cardano (ADA), Unus Sed Leo (LEO) and Tron (TRX) are all up between 7-9% over the past 24 hours.  Chainlink (LINK) is seeing a close to 7% gain on the day, with Stellar (XLM) up close to 5.6%.  Dash (DASH), Tezos (XTZ), NEO (NEO) and IOTA (MIOTA) are all posting gains of 3.5-5%.  Total market capitalization for all cryptocurrencies is at $267,390,988,350 at press time, according to Coin360 data. In alt development news, the team at NEO revealed they were considering integrating Celer Network’s (CELR) layer-two scaling protocol to improve scalability. If finalized, the prospective integration would see the NEO blockchain benefit from Celer’s solution for faster off-chain transactions for payments as well as generalized off-chain smart contracts.  As the alts spearhead today’s market recovery, the community continues to scrutinize the flows of ill-gotten proceeds from the $2.9 billion crypto investment heist PlusToken.…

Top-5 Crypto Performers: LINK, LEO, BCH, ETC, BSV, OKB*

Top-5 Crypto Performers: LINK, LEO, BCH, ETC, BSV, OKB*

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision. The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. Only a handful of hedge funds have invested large sums of money in the crypto universe. Digital Currency Group, likely the largest, has invested in over 130 crypto-related projects with an average seed round size of $3.24 million. Its subsidiary, Grayscale Investments, which invests directly in cryptocurrencies and digital assets, had $2.7 billion in assets under management according to its Q2 2019 financial report.  According to the 2018 Preqin Global Hedge Fund Report, the size of the hedge fund industry was more than $3.2 trillion. This shows that hedge fund interest in cryptocurrencies is very low compared to other asset classes. Even if a fraction of this money starts to flow into cryptocurrencies, prices can surge. The physically delivered futures platform Bakkt is scheduled to launch on Sept. 23. Its arrival  is expected to increase institutional flow into the asset class. It will be interesting to see whether the launch improves sentiment and provides a much-needed boost to start the next leg of the up-move.   LINK/USD Though Chain Link (Link) only closed marginally in the green, it turned out to be the best performer among major cryptocurrencies in the past seven days. Can it build on its gains if the market recovers or will it also succumb to selling pressure? Let’s analyze the chart. The LINK/USD pair has been consolidating between $2.0531 and $2.8498 for the past four weeks. This shows that buyers step in to defend $2.0531 and sellers stall the up-move at $2.8498. Trading inside such a tight range can build up energy, which will be released either on a breakout or a breakdown from the range. However, it is difficult to predict which way prices will escape. If bulls push the price above $2.8498, the pair can retest the lifetime highs. Traders can ride this rally by initiating long positions on a breakout and close (UTC time) above $2.8498. The stop loss for this trade can be kept at $1.95. Conversely, if the tight range…

US Lawmakers to Visit Switzerland to Discuss Crypto, Facebook’s Libra

US Lawmakers to Visit Switzerland to Discuss Crypto, Facebook’s Libra

A delegation of the United States House of Representatives will visit Switzerland on cryptocurrency concerns, with Facebook’s not-yet-released stablecoin Libra being in the focus. As local weekly news outlet NZZ am Sonntag reported on Aug. 17, a six-member delegation from the House Financial Services Committee is going to meet with Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC) Adrian Lobsiger to exchange views about digital currencies. A spokesperson told NZZ am Sonntag that Libra will be the focal point of the dialogue between the regulator and U.S. lawmakers. The delegation is led by the chairwoman of the House Financial Services Committee, Maxine Waters, who previously requested that Facebook halt Libra’s development until the purported risks it poses could be properly understood. Swiss regulation The visit from U.S. legislators aims to clarify regulatory issues surrounding Libra. In hearings before the House Financial Services Committee in July, some representatives expressed their discomfort with the coin being regulated from Switzerland.  In the hearings, Facebook’s David Marcus assured Representative Bill Huizenga that Facebook had been in touch with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The head of communications at the FDPIC, Hugo Wyler, subsequently said that Facebook had not contacted the regulator regarding the registration of its cryptocurrency project. The FDPIC then sent a letter to the Libra Association — the stablecoin’s proposed governing body — asking for details about Libra: “The FDPIC stated in his letter that as he had not received any indication on what personal data may be processed, the Libra Association should inform him of the current status of the project so that he could assess the extent to which his advisory competences and supervisory powers would apply.” During a hearing before U.S. House of Representatives in mid-July, Marcus fielded questions as to why the company had chosen to register its Libra Association in Switzerland rather than the U.S. “The choice of Switzerland,” Marcus claimed, had “nothing to do with evading regulations or oversight.” Marcus argued that the jurisdiction is an international place conducive to doing business.

Hodler’s Digest, Aug. 12–18: BTC Premiums, Coinbase Blow, Binance Revival

Hodler’s Digest, Aug. 12–18: BTC Premiums, Coinbase Blow, Binance Revival

Coming every Sunday, Hodler’s Digest will help you track every single important news story that happened this week. The best (and worst) quotes, adoption and regulation highlights, leading coins, predictions and much more — a week on Cointelegraph in one link. Top Stories This Week Premiums for Bitcoin in Hong Kong and Argentina despite price slump Bitcoin (BTC) briefly veered back into four figures this week — reversing recent gains. It comes amid cooling tensions between the United States and China in their long-running trade war, with Washington deciding to delay the introduction of new tariffs that would have affected laptops and smartphones. Interestingly, crypto consumers in some parts of the world have ended up paying a premium for their Bitcoins in recent days. A report on Wednesday revealed that investors in Hong Kong were paying about $300 extra for BTC at the time — with pro-democracy protests and violent clashes with police creating political uncertainty. Over in Argentina, where the peso collapsed following the sitting president’s shocking defeat in primary elections, consumers on local exchanges were at one point paying out $420 more for their crypto than they would on major platforms. Crypto exchange Poloniex to delist 23 trading pairs due to low volume More than 20 trading pairs vanished from Poloniex this week, with the California-based crypto exchange blaming their removal on low trading volumes. LTC/XMR, DASH/XMR, STEEM/ETH, GAS/ETH, LOOM/USDT and FOAM/USDC were among the pairings affected. Poloniex has stressed that each of these assets will remain independently tradable. This isn’t the first time that the American platform has streamlined its offering in recent months. Back in May, nine coins were delisted for its U.S. customers — Bytecoin (BCN), GameCredits (GAME) and Gas (GAS) among them — due to uncertain regulations.  Binance to resume U.S. operations within two months, predicts CEO CZ Changpeng Zhao — or good ol’ CZ, for short — has predicted that Binance will be back in the business of operating crypto-to-fiat operations in the U.S. within two months. In an interview, the exchange’s CEO said: “I don’t want to promise any fixed dates, but there’s a lot of work being done and there’s a lot of things going on in flux, but I would say in a month or…

LTC Founder Charlie Lee Discloses Investment in BTC Development Firm Casa

LTC Founder Charlie Lee Discloses Investment in BTC Development Firm Casa

On Aug. 16, Litecoin (LTC) founder Charlie Lee disclosed in a tweet that he is “an investor in Casa,” a Bitcoin (BTC) personal key security firm. He also noted that he has high hopes for the company: “I have the same feeling about Casa today as I had about Coinbase when I joined in 2013 as the 3rd hire. Casa is making Bitcoin easy to use and that is extremely important for this space. Looking forward to great things!” A notable hire The tweet was posted in response to Casa announcing the hire of a former engineer and product developer at Microsoft and software firm Tableau, as well as a Seattle Bitcoin Meetup organizer Brian Lockhart. The tweet states: “We are thrilled that we were finally able to convince him to come out of retirement and play in the big leagues at Casa.” According to Crunchbase, Casa received $2.1 million in funding so far during its seed round in March 2018. As Cointelegraph reported in June, Casa Node, one of the industry’s popular pre-synced node products, relied on an inbuilt Raspberry Pi, though earlier iteration of the model caused frustration for some users due to its reported slowness. In July, Facebook reportedly hired Standard Chartered Bank’s head of public affairs Ed Bowles for its cryptocurrency project.