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South Korea Central Bank: Issued Digital Currency May Undermine Financial Stability

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South Korea

Digital currency authorized by the central bank may have a negative impact on the South Korean financial system, causing a liquidity shortage and pushing up interest rates, a report said Thursday.

Recently, central banks around the world initiated a global discussion on the prospects for the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC), referring to a form of fiat money that is issued by central banks and governments.

The CBDC is designed to have the same functions as hard currency in terms of being a medium of exchange and a store of value.

According to the report published by the Bank of Korea (BOK), the introduction of a CBDC will replace demand deposits held by local commercial banks as people think the BOK-backed CBDC is far safer.

As people withdraw money from their demand deposits, commercial banks fall into a liquidity shortage and the money supply drops. Consequently, market interest rates go up.

“The CBDC is a kind of a BOK-issued bank account. People trust it more than one in a commercial bank,” Kwon Oh-ik, one of the co-authors of the report, said. “Demand deposits are one of the biggest sources of loans by banks. When people pull out their money, banks raise rates, or lower the reserve ratio, to secure more funds.”

He said the BOK has to be more prudent and check such side effects when it decides to issue a CBDC.

Last month, the BOK said it has no plans to issue authorized digital currency in the near future, closing its long-term study on the issue that started last summer.

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Altcoins

Why Merging Cryptocurrency With Today’s Payment Platforms Should Generate Rising Revenue Streams

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Bitcoin Severely

A report by McKinsey & Company on global banking, projected that global payment market revenues are poised to approach $3 Trillion by 2023. As cryptocurrency payment platforms become more common… that number should rise… but the purveyors of traditional payment methods may have to get over their initial reluctance to this new disruptive technology… or they could miss the boat! A recent article in the Bitcoin Exchange Guide addressed this subject:

“One of the longtime fears that the traditional financial world seems to have about cryptocurrency is its potential for overtaking payment systems. People who are comfortable with the archaic system do not want to see a broader market… However, as the technology behind cryptocurrency and blockchain finds more use cases, the disruption of the current payment system may not be far behind. Active Companies in the industry include NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE:NC) (OTC:NTTCF), Xunlei Limited (NASDAQ: XNET), PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: PYPL), Pareteum Corporation (NASDAQ: TEUM), Riot Blockchain, Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT).

The report continued: “Lisa Ellis is an analyst with MoffettNathanson… (recently) stated that she believes that cryptocurrency’s global acceptance could change payment systems. To be clear, she does not believe that the big names like Visa, Mastercard and PayPal will be pushed aside anytime soon, but the… idea of crypto replacing (the traditional standards) is worth exploring. Cryptocurrency has this unique quality of remaining independent of any specific country, and the way that it has jumped in as a saving grace to many countries suffering from hyperinflation is a reprieve.

NetCents Technology Inc. (CSE:NC) (OTCPK:NTTCF) (Frankfurt:26N) BREAKING NEWS: NetCents Technology is pleased to announce that it has begun processing cryptocurrency transactions for its first charity partner, HS Aware.

NetCents is a strong believer about being able to invoke change. Change not only on its business side but more importantly throughout our communities with initiatives that positively impact people’s lives. On March 7th, the Company launched its Charity Impact Initiative and we are proud to announce our first charity partnership with HS Aware.

NetCents is providing all registered charities and non-profits free cryptocurrency processing. Any charity that signs up through this initiative is able to accept donations and sell their merchandise and tickets with zero processing fees. Interested charities can visit https://net-cents.com/partners#partners-form to learn more and sign up.

“HS Aware is excited to remain an innovator in the non-profit space by now accepting cryptocurrency donations to fund our future initiatives and events,” stated Maria Goguen, President of HS Aware. “We’ve had a lot of interest to begin accepting donations in crypto to further support the HS community and now through this partnership, we are able to. We are thankful for any and all support members of the community want to give.”

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Blockchain

Crypto.com Lists BAT, Powering Brave Browser’s 6m Active Users

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Bitcoin Core

Crypto.com, the pioneering payments and cryptocurrency platform, announced today it has listed the Basic Attention Token (BAT) to the Crypto.com app, joining bitcoin (BTC), ether (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Binance Coin (BNB), XRP, Enjin Coin (ENJ), and its own MCO and CRO tokens.

The Basic Attention Token (BAT) aims to improve the efficiency of digital advertising. BAT is a utility token that can be exchanged between publishers, advertisers, and users on the Brave platform, which leverages blockchain to provide digital advertising and services. The token also powers the Brave web browser, a free and open-source web browser developed by Brave Software Inc. Built by a team of privacy-focused, performance-oriented pioneers of the web, Brave has over 5.5 million monthly active users and features over 28,000 Verified Publishers. Users can choose to replace ads with Brave’s ad network, and receive BAT from advertisers from viewing their ads.

On Crypto.com’s Wallet & Card App, customers may securely buy, sell, and send BAT, as well as other cryptocurrencies with no fees and no markups, as Crypto.com’s proprietary Vortex Trading Engine is able to offer the true cost and best execution prices possible. At the same time, BAT holders may enjoy the option to spend their digital assets in the real world at over 40m merchants through the MCO Visa Card.

Kris Marszalek, Co-Founder and CEO of Crypto.com said: “Crypto.com shares the same goal as the Brave team – to eliminate the middleman with the power of blockchain. We are keen to support their goals in the advertising sector, and by bringing onboard BAT users we are yet another step closer to accelerating the world’s transition to cryptocurrency.”

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Business

LedgerX looks to Join Bitcoin Futures Party as it Makes a Big Push Towards Retail

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Hyperledger

In an interview with The Block, LedgerX co-founder Juthica Chou said the firm, which is better known for supporting the trading of options tied to bitcoin, submitted a request for a designated contract market license from regulators, which would allow it to offer the new bitcoin futures product. The announcement comes after a slew of other trading firms have announced similar products, such as Bakkt, ErisX, Seed CX, and CoinFLEX.

In the trading of physically-delivered futures, customers are paid out in bitcoin at the expiration of a contract, whereas cash settled futures pay out in USD. CME Group offers a cash-settled product. In November, LedgerX filed for the necessary license to offer the product to retail clients and it is currently speaking to regulators.

The new futures product is part of a broader retail push for the firm via a new platform, dubbed Omni. The new platform will support trading of futures, swaps, and options for retail users. In recent months, LedgerX has shifted its strategy away from large investors and bulge bracket banks.

“I think at this current time we don’t see the demand growing among really large institutions and banks. We are still a $85 billion market cap for bitcoin — really just the size of a large stock,” Chou said. “Right now we see the opportunity towards the other end of the spectrum.”

The firm counts over 200 institutions as clients for its physically-delivered swaps product. As for the future product it plans to support, Chou said the firm has an advantage over its rivals inasmuch as its been trading similar products longer than anyone else.

“We’ve been doing LedgerX since 2014 … tons of people have announced plans to do this but ultimately we are the only ones that have done it,” she said.

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Altcoins

New French Law Allowing Life Insurers to Offer Investments in Cryptocurrencies

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France

In France a law was recently passed known as the Pacte law (Plan d’action pour la croissance et la transformation des entreprises, Action plan for the growth and transformation of enterprises). It will allow life insurance providers to invest in crypto-currencies and tokens without any limitation on the amount that can be allocated.

Les Echos report that a dual provision of the announced act will allow insurers to invest, this will be done through specialized professional funds, in crypto-assets. FPCIs (Fonds Professionnel de Capital Investissement, Professional Capital Investment Funds) which will also be impacted by the measure.

The Pacte law was passed by the French government this week in the National Assembly allowing the insurers to offer life insurance policies exposed to crypto-monies. They note this is the first type of such a product and will be popular in the country.

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Bitcoin

Huobi DM To Launch Bitcoin Cash Contracts

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Huobi Group

Users will soon have even more flexibility and choices on Huobi Derivative Market (Huobi DM). Bitcoin Cash (BCH) service will go live tomorrow on the crypto asset contract platform and two more coins are scheduled to be launched before the end of May.

Inclusion on Huobi DM means traders will be able to take both long and short positions on BCH, allowing for arbitrage, speculation, and hedging. Since 2017, Bitcoin Cash’s value has fluctuated between $75.08 and $4,355.62.

In addition to BCH, Huobi DM offers weekly, bi-weekly, and quarterly cryptocurrency contracts for Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), EOS (EOS), Litecoin (LTC), and, as of last month, Ripple (XRP). Since its launch in late 2018, Huobi DM has grown rapidly, recently exceeding USD$92 billion in cumulative trading volume.

Features of Huobi DM:

  • Competitive fee structure for BCH: 0.02% to open or close for makers and 0.03% to open or close for takers.
  • Superior risk management: including Price Limit, Order Limit, and Position Limit.
  • Superior risk control: with the sophisticated price limit mechanism, no claw back has occurred since its launch.
  • Real-time risk supervision: Huobi constantly monitor contract prices, index prices, abnormal transactions, and positions.
  • Newly raised open position limits for all crypto contracts to up to twice their previous level and order limits to more than double their previous level.
  • User protections: To cover the societal losses attributed to unfilled liquidated orders/settle incidents in contract trading, Huobi also has a dedicated Risk Management Insurance Fund for each trading pair.
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Blockchain

Flexa Raises $14.1 Million to Catapult Retail Blockchain Adoption

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Cryptocurrency

Flexa, the pioneering payment network uniting retail and blockchain technologies, announces today that it has raised $14.1 million in funding, led by Pantera Capital, 1kx, Nima Capital, Access Ventures, and other strategic partners. The funding announcement precedes the company’s public launch in May 2019.

The Flexa network enables retailers to take control of their own payments by reducing costs, overhead, and fraud through frictionless, instantaneous, and reliable blockchain-based settlement. Flexa’s upcoming mobile app also helps customers make practical use of the cryptocurrencies they already own, unlocking the hundreds of billions of dollars stored in the global crypto ecosystem.

“The anti-fraud and cost benefits of global cryptocurrency payments are enormous, but there are many barriers to mainstream adoption for merchants and consumers alike. Flexa’s going to change that, and very quickly,” said Tyler Spalding, Co-Founder and CEO of Flexa. “With this funding, we’ll continue to develop our network infrastructure to support our retail network and strategic partners.”

“Flexa is one of those extremely rare applications in the cryptocurrency space that actually touches consumers in an impactful way while also solving a major problem of high fees in payments today,” said Joey Krug, Chief Investment Officer at Pantera Capital. “I’m excited to see people actually be able to spend their crypto!”

Flexa will announce a major product rollout in May, at the Consensus conference in New York City.

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Blockchain

Provenance.io Blockchain Raises $20 Million in Security Token Offering

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French ICO

Provenance Blockchain, Inc., the administrator for the Provenance.io blockchain, announced it has completed a $20 million security token offering to support the continued development and expansion of the Provenance.io ecosystem. The Reg D private placement included broad participation from both blockchain and traditional technology investors.

Provenance.io was built by Figure Technologies, a leading fintech company founded by former SoFi CEO Mike Cagney. Figure has been an early adopter of Provenance.io, originating, financing and selling its HELOC loans entirely on the blockchain. Jefferies is providing a warehouse facility for Figure loans, using Provenance.io.

The token sale coincides with Figure spinning out Provenance.io and its administrator, PBI, as independent entities. Proceeds will go to staff the administrator and finance operations including compliance, technology and business development, as adoption of Provenance.io grows. Figure continues to be a Hash™ holder and is assisting in the establishment of the PBI board and providing certain services to PBI.

The security token on Provenance.io, Hash, is the underlying equity of the blockchain. Hash serves two purposes: it provides a means to distribute fees paid into Provenance, and it provides a governance voting structure for PBI. There are 100 billion Hash tokens, and Hash can neither be created or destroyed. The price of Hash floats, and its value should be driven by the use of – and fees paid – on Provenance.

“This is a seminal moment for the blockchain industry in financial services,” said Sheila Bair, former Chairwoman of the FDIC. “Provenance.io has the potential to bring massive improvements to the industry, across asset originators, the buy and sell side, as well as regulatory benefits and better consumer protections. In particular, it will provide loan-level transparency around the quality of securitized assets and a clear, unalterable record of ownership—two things that were sorely missing during the financial crisis.”

Figure built and deployed Provenance.io, a distributed stakeholder blockchain, in 2018. The company leverages the security, efficiencies and cost advantage of blockchain for loan origination, financing and sales. A diverse set of funds, banks and dealers are active on Provenance.io today.

“Blockchain technology will disrupt financial services in ways that unlock tremendous value through improving current processes but also introducing new ways to do business,” predicts Jenny Johnson, President and COO of Franklin Templeton, a founding node manager for Provenance. “We are excited to facilitate and support blockchain adoption because change will happen when the technology is embraced by the market. The technology platform combined with the ecosystem makes Provenance stand out.”

Concurrently to the token sale, PBI released a white paper (available at provenance.io for download) on how blockchain can impact credit ratings. The paper, with comments from leading rating agencies, argues that blockchain should ultimately reduce the cost of ratings and drive ratings improvement.

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ICO

COSS Sweetens the Pot with COSS Fee Token (CFT)

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9th April 2019, Singapore, Singapore – Since launching its new and improved engine and platform, Singapore’s COSS Exchange has seen its daily trading volume increase by almost threefold. With its overhaul out of the way, COSS has now shifted its focus to the COSS Fee Token, CFT for short.

Not unlike the BNB (Binance Coin), the CFT is a trading token exclusive to the COSS.IO platform, arguably a more tangible use case than most cryptocurrencies in the current markets. Traders can get a 25% discount off trading fees when using CFT as an alternative to paying in the native tokens of the trading pairs. This will come as good news to market makers, institutional accounts and frequent traders of the platform. Other use cases of CFT such as ICO participation, community voting and others will be added on in the future.

To sweeten the deal, CFT used as fees will also be included in the FSA (Fee Split Allocation), a popular feature of the COSS platform, where 50% of total trading fees on the platform is distributed via smart contract to all COSS token holders, allowing them to passively accumulate value by simply holding COSS tokens. COSS also offers both dust conversion and FSA conversion (coming soon) to CFT. 

From a total supply of 240 million tokens, half of that number, 120 million, will be available for sale. The rest will be set aside for the COSS Affiliate Program, promos, airdrops, cross platform partnerships and a reserve pool for bonuses and burning. 

With Zeppelin’s burn function built into the token smart contract to schedule periodic coin burns, the total CFT supply will be adjusted automatically. The burn is fixed at 1M CFT tokens every month until the maximum supply is halved. This transparent burn model ensures an increase in the value of CFT held by its users.

To kick off the CFT token, COSS.IO is currently running a huge trading promo. Unlike previous promotions where trading was specified to a certain pair, this promo includes trading of all pairs listed on the platform. The prize pool is an attractive 1.1M CFT tokens.

For those who missed out on BNB, a winning strategy since its introduction to the market more than a year-and-a-half ago, CFT offers an opportunity to reap similar benefits. Interested individuals/parties can contact [email protected] for more enquiries.

About COSS.IO

COSS stands for Crypto-One-Stop-Solution and represents a platform which encompasses all features of a digital economical system based on cryptocurrency. The COSS system consists of an exchange, an e-wallet, a platform for ICO launches and promotional trading campaigns, a fiat gateway, a market cap widget, a marketplace and more. The COSS platform unifies all transactional aspects that are usually managed by means of FIAT money, and offers multiple cryptocurrency-related services in one place. The list of potential features of the platform can be infinitely extended, and will continue growing as the platform evolves. Visit COSS.IO

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Bitcoin

Mybitcards.com Announces a New Distribution Partner CardCash.com to Sell its Bitcoin Gift Cards in the USA

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Bitcoin core

Mybitcards.com, the company that makes purchasing Bitcoin as simple as buying a gift card, has today announced a new distribution partner for their Bitcoin Gift Cards: www.CardCash.com.

Mybitcards.com has been successful in helping newcomers and seasoned crypto-investors alike purchase Bitcoin by simply purchasing a gift card and then transferring the purchased Bitcoin into a wallet.

Its leadership in the Bitcoin gift card space is not accidental. Various team members have been creating payments solutions for the crypto industry since 2012, while other team members have been in the gift card and payment processing industry for over 28 years.

This partnership has opened an easy Bitcoin purchasing option to millions of new users without the need to deal with exchanges.

“Partnering with CardCash.com allows more people to buy Bitcoin just like they buy any other gift card — quickly and hassle-free,” says Ed Gieske, CEO of Mybitcards.com™ “It’s a much simpler and quicker way to purchase Bitcoin.”

The addition of Bitcoin Gift Cards™ is a lucrative move for gift card retailers, and even more so for their customers. People already go to CardCash.com looking to buy a gift card at a discount. Since Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have already demonstrated that their price can grow, purchasing a Bitcoin gift card provides an interesting opportunity for investment.

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Altcoins

Analytics: LTC, BCH, DASH, NEO and XEM

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Crypto Exchange

The surge in Bitcoin on April 2 pulled most altcoins northwards. A number of altcoins soared, bringing back memories of the 2017 bull phase. Many altcoins outperformed Bitcoin, which shows that the market participants are accumulating the select beaten down cryptocurrencies at low prices.

Does this mark the end of the bear phase and the start of a new uptrend in cryptocurrencies?  Fundstrat Global Advisors co-founder Thomas Lee certainly believes so. According to him, Bitcoin is now in a bull market. He said that the whales, some of whom had sold in 2018, have started to buy again.

In a tweet, the CME group revealed that Bitcoin futures hit a record volume of 22,500 contracts on April 4. The previous record volume was 18,300 contracts, which occurred on Feb. 19. This shows that shorts were forced to throw in the towel and aggressive bulls entered long positions.

The sharp rally from the bottom is a positive sign that indicates demand at lower levels. However, to confirm a bottom, most digital currencies will have to successfully retest the breakout levels and then resume their recovery. Until then, the risk of a double dip remains. We shall get a confirmation within the next few weeks.

BCH/USD

Bitcoin Cash (BCH) turned out to be the best performer among the major cryptocurrencies in the past seven days. The digital currency tends to rise vertically when the sentiment of the sector turns bullish. Recently, Crypto Facilities, a subsidiary of the San Francisco-based exchange Kraken, reported a sharp increase in Bitcoin Cash futures. The travel portal Bitcoin.Travel added support for Bitcoin Cash, bringing the total number of cryptocurrencies accepted to seven. Can the rally continue or will the digital currency again plunge towards the lows? Let us find out.

BCH/USD

The BCH/USD pair traded in a tight weekly range for 11 weeks before skyrocketing higher. The sharp up-move has carried the pair above the 20-week EMA for the first time since May of last year. While the sharp up-move is a positive sign, failure to close (UTC time frame) the week with strength shows profit booking at higher levels.

This increases the probability of a minor consolidation or correction for the next couple of weeks as the bears try to reverse direction and sink the price back below $200 levels. However, if the price rebounds from the support zone of $265.14 to $241.97, a rally towards the 50-week SMA at $514 is possible in the medium-term.

LTC/USD

Even before the crypto rally began across the board, Litecoin (LTC) had increased about 101.22 percent in the first quarter, which shows that the traders had been gradually accumulating the cryptocurrency. The halving, expected to occur in early August, has also supported the rise. Swedish exchange Nordic Growth Market has listed exchange-traded products that track the value of Ripple and Litecoin, and these products will be available to European investors. Can the virtual currency continue its stellar run or will it hit a roadblock? Let us find out.

LTC/USD

The LTC/USD pair has formed a rounding bottom pattern that will close on a breakout and weekly close above $91. The price has risen above both the moving averages, which is a bullish sign: it indicates a likely change in trend. The minimum target objective of the rounding bottom is $159. If this level is crossed, the rally can extend to the next critical resistance of $175.

Our bullish view will be invalidated if the bears defend the overhead resistance at $91. In such a case, a few weeks of consolidation cannot be ruled out. The trend will turn in favor of the bears if the prices sink below $62 once again.

Dash/USD

Dash (DASH) has made strong inroads in the crisis that hit Venezuela and is now attempting to increase its presence in Columbia. Latin American cryptocurrency exchange Daexs has added Dash, which will help investors buy the digital currency in the Colombian peso. Dash is slowly expanding its presence in Thailand as well, as about 100 Dash online transactions were recorded in March. The team is also trying to enter countries like Zimbabwe and Turkey where hyperinflation has increased the use case for cryptocurrencies. Let’s see how the market views these events.

Dash/USD

After trading in a tight range of $56.214 to $103.261 for 16 weeks, the DASH/USD pair broke out and closed (UTC time frame) above the range in the previous week. It has followed it up with a sharp up move this week. The pair has broken out of the 20-week EMA and is on target to reach the 50-week SMA at $176. Above this, the recovery can stretch to $224.

Our bullish view will be invalidated if the digital currency turns down from the current levels and plummets below $103.261. In such a case, a few more days of range bound action is possible.

NEO/USD

NEO rallied over 31 percent in the past seven days to emerge as the fourth-best performer among the major coins. There were no major events that caused the rise: every rally need not be preceded by a piece of news. In a bear market, the fundamental developments and the price appreciation happens with a lag. When the sentiment improves, the cryptocurrencies play catch up and price in the positives.

NEO/USD

The NEO/USD pair had been stuck in a tight range of $5.48080-$10.00 for 17 weeks. It managed to close above the range in the previous week, but it could not scale the 20-week EMA. The sharp move up this week has propelled it above the 20-week EMA. It can now rally to $17 and if this level is crossed, it can move up to the 50-week SMA at $23.

The trend remains in favor of the bulls as long as the price sustains above $10. A successful retest of $10 will confirm that the downtrend is over and a bottom is in place. But if the pair breaks down below $10, it can result in a drop to the lows at $5.48080.

XEM/USD

The NEM foundation has launched the roadmap for the upcoming core engine release named Catapult. It promises to improve speed and scalability and bring in a number of new features hitherto unseen in any decentralized system. NEM will be accepted in a major convenience store and select shops in Taiwan through RapidZ payment system.

XEM/USD

The XEM/USD pair is struggling to break out and close above the 20-week EMA. Unlike the other pairs, it is yet to stage a smart recovery from the lows. Even after the rally, it has only risen about 106 percent from the lows, which shows that the bulls have been slow to get into the pair. If the price turns down from the current levels, it can again drop towards the yearly lows.

But if the digital currency can rally and sustain above $0.07790717, it will indicate that the markets have rejected the lower levels and a rise to the top of the range at $0.13125258 is probable. This level is likely to attract selling as the 50-week SMA is also located close by.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

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