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With Market Size Valued at $38 Billion by 2026, it`s a Healthy Outlook for the Global Payment Security Market

FACTS AT A GLANCEEdition: 9; Released: April 2021Executive Pool: 447Companies: 10 – Players covered include Bluefin Payment Systems; Braintree; CyberSource Corporation; Elavon, Inc.; Geobridge Corp.; Index; Ingenico Epayments; Intelligent Payments Group Ltd.; Shift4 Payments, LLC; Signifyd, Inc.; SISA Information Security Inc.; TNS Inc.; Tokenex and Others.Coverage: All major geographies and key segmentsSegments: Application (Retail & Ecommerce, Travel & Hospitality, Healthcare, Telecom & […]

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A $80 Billion Global Opportunity for Payment Gateways by 2026 – New Research from StrategyR

FACTS AT A GLANCEEdition: 6; Released: April 2021Executive Pool: 1364Companies: 48 – Players covered include 99Bill Corporation; Alipay; Amazon Payments, Inc.; Authorize.Net LLC; Avangate Inc.; Barclaycard; Beanstream; BluePay Processing, LLC; Cardstream Ltd.; CashU; CCBill, LLC; Certitrade AB; Checkout Ltd; DIBS Payment Services AB; e-Path Pty Ltd.; ePay Payment solutions; ePay.bg; eWAY; eWAY New Zealand Ltd.; First Data Corporation; Gestpay; GMO […]

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Astec, empresa voltada para a indústria de construção, utiliza serviços profissionais da Avalara para otimizara gestão fiscal

SÃO PAULO, 22 de outubro de 2021 /PRNewswire/ — A tradução da sigla BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) significa “terceirização de processos e negócios”. Assim, o recurso visa a contratação de serviços estratégicos para o bom funcionamento das empresas. A Astec, companhia voltada para a indústria de construção, fez a escolha dessa solução, fornecida pela Avalara Brasil, […]

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Fintainium And Aspire Fund Management Announce Intent To Launch Joint Venture

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Oct. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Fintainium Inc. (“Fintainium” or the “Company”) announced today the intent to launch a Joint Venture with Aspire Fund Management, a Trinidad & Tobago based Private Equity and Financial Advisory company that bridges the gap between investors and next-generation innovative, transformative businesses. The joint venture will redefine Fintech in a large […]

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Bank of America Makes Vaccine Status Reporting Mandatory

October 22, 2021 Share This JHVEPhoto – stock.adobe.com Bank of America, the parent of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, set November 1 as a deadline for all employees to report their Covid-19 vaccine status in a memo dispatched this week.  The memo noted that President Joe Biden had issued an Executive Order requiring vaccinations for employees […]

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New proposal aims to raise Binance Coin value by burning BSC fees

Amid the ongoing rally of Binance’s native token, Binance Coin (BNB), the developers of Binance Smart Chain (BSC) have proposed more measures to maintain the token’s deflationary model and improve its intrinsic value.According to a new Binance Evolution Protocol, BEP-95, BSC developers are considering introducing a real-time burning mechanism for a portion of gas fees to reduce BNB supply and drive BNB value higher by increasing the demand. According to the BEP, BNB holders will decide how to dispatch the BSC gas reward.Releasing the proposal on Friday, BSC developers noted that the new BEP might decrease the total amount of BNB that validators and delegators obtain from staking. The burning mechanism will be enabled by introducing governable parameters for two system smart contracts for collecting gas fees.Created by Binance in 2017, BNB is a deflationary token by design, meaning that Binance burns a percentage of the BNB supply every three months to maintain the token’s value. Binance will stop burning BNB once 50% of the initial supply has been burnt and only 100,000,000 BNB remain.The latest BNB token burn took place last Monday, with Binance burning 1,335,888 BNB ($640 million) in its 17th quarterly burn.The proposal comes amid BNB seeing a major rally recently, with the token breaking above $500 on Wednesday. At the time of writing, BNB is the third-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization after Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH). The token is trading at $495, up around 44% over the past 30 days. BNB’s all-time high was recorded in May 2021, with the token surging to as high as $686, according to CoinGecko.Related: Ethereum miners are hoarding a record $70B in ETH following EIP-1559 activationThe latest BIP, which occurred in August, is similar to a new transaction fee mechanism implemented for Ethereum’s London upgrade. According to Etherchain, the current average ETH burn rate amounts to 3.76 ETH or $15,448 per minute.

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Crypto as a “public good” in the 22nd century

It’s been said that “Blockchain technology is not as decentralized as we think” and that critical decisions are made, not democratically, but by a small group of “agents of influence” often including founders, software developers, miners and other parties with a monetary interest in the matter. This notion is open to debate, of course, but accepting that this is the case today, would it necessarily hold in the future too? Especially when Bitcoin or Ethereum, or any other blockchain network, has billions of users and, for the sake of argument, plays a critical role in the world economy?Say Bitcoin’s network becomes the platform upon which most global payments are made. At that point (if not before) would the network be deemed a “public good” that is subject to some sort of government or a super government oversight? That is, key decisions would now be made not just by developers and node operators, but also by an international consortium of economists, scientists, engineers and public administrators. Perhaps even headed by a political appointee? In the event of a global cataclysm, could this governing consortium even change some of Bitcoin’s foundational principles, like its issuance limit of 21 billion BTC?A utility working for the common good?This notion of a public good or utility that operates in the public interest goes back to English common law “when key economic players such as ferry operators had to fulfill certain obligations to the public,” writes Dave Yost. In the 1890s, the United States began codifying common-carrier and public-utility law after predations by railroad barons like Cornelius Vanderbilt, who once shut down a bridge he owned to rival railroads trying to enter New York City, causing market havoc. While “public goods” have a technical definition, they are usually recognized as commodities or services available to all members of society — local, national or global — like highways or public education, or clean air. They are often regulated by governments.“In some ways, blockchain networks like Bitcoin already meet the economic definition of a public good,” Garrick Hileman, head of research at Blockchain.com, tells Magazine. After all, anyone can use the Bitcoin network, even users or builders of rival networks. As for governance, blockchains also possess “a very effective means of settling governance disputes,” adds Hileman. “Participants that aren’t happy with a change — or the lack of change — can simply fork a blockchain to implement their idea. The marketplace then serves as an arbiter over competing blockchain design choices.”That sounds fine in principle, but in the real world things don’t always work out so neatly, others counter. “You may have heard that in cryptosystems, you don’t have to trust humans and their fallible corrupt natures — you just have to trust math. […] this statement is just inaccurate,” said Angela Walch, a professor at St. Mary’s University School of Law, while testifying before the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in July: Walch added:“Crypto economic systems remain subject to human flaws and corruption, whether in how the software is coded, whether the game theory designed to operate the system is robust, or whether miners collude to exploit their power to order transactions in the blockchain record to their benefit.”The Economist, too, recently questioned the governance bona fides of decentralized finance projects built upon blockchain networks: “Despite the claims of decentralization, some programmers and app owners hold disproportionate sway over the DeFi system,” adding for good measure that “governance and accountability in DeFi-land are rudimentary.” “For a long time, crypto people tried to avoid this [governance] question by simply saying that ‘the community’ or ‘the market’ should decide,” Vili Lehdonvirta, professor of economic sociology and digital social research at University of Oxford, tells Magazine. “There’s this romantic idea of a hive mind that everyone can feel part of. But, in practice, this answer is so vague that it tends to allow powerful people and companies to pull the strings in the background.”Decentralised finance is one of three tech trends disrupting finance—and it has the potential to rewire how the industry works. In our cover this week, we go down the “DeFi” rabbit hole https://t.co/j7G04qDCJ3 pic.twitter.com/UO2mp6ejVG— The Economist (@TheEconomist) September 16, 2021Projecting “billions of users”In a recent interview with Cointelegraph, Dan Held imagined Bitcoin ten years hence following a period of “hyperbitcoinization,” starting with retail users then institutional investors, “and finally, governments getting involved,” at which point Bitcoin has been adopted by billions of users and is the world’s reserve currency. Is it too much to envision that some government(s) might, at this point, want to have a say in how the network — this global “public good” — is run? “For now, Bitcoin and Ethereum probably remain a ‘public bad’ insofar as their environmental cost is gargantuan compared to their day-to-day usefulness,” Lehdonvirta says, adding: “But, if someone got proof-of-stake to work and the network got widely adopted in an infrastructural role, then it’s not inconceivable that governments could get interested in how and to whose benefit it was being governed, in the same way as governments are interested in the governance of other essential infrastructures such as water and energy.” Are devs getting a bad rap?Maybe this is all just so much alarmism. The networks are working fine, and will continue to operate well when scaled up, and software developers are just convenient scapegoats for critics who never liked crypto much to begin with.“It is a misnomer that developers ‘run’ or control any relatively decentralized network,” Joe Carlasare, partner and co-chair of the cryptocurrency, blockchain and fintech practice group at SmithAmundsen LLC, tells Magazine. “It is true that many chains have a centralized structure where individual actors and entities have outsized influence.” Carlasare further adds: “In highly decentralized chains such as Bitcoin, the distributed network of thousands of nodes determines whether to accept any suggested revisions to the core protocol.”Moreover, the network is designed so that as Bitcoin gains in adoption, those node operators become more — not less — responsible, Carlasare suggests. “As adoption increases to billions of users, individuals will be incentivized to run a node and protect the assets they hold on-chain.”Anatoly Yakovenko, founder and CEO of Solana, one of the fastest growing layer-one blockchain networks, agrees. At the recent SALT Conference, when asked about his network’s volunteer coders, he told Cointelegraph: “Hardware changes. You need to rewrite some of the code. But, the expectation is you build the best implementation. The work is often obvious. It’s not like it’s governed by some decision makers who say that Bitcoin is going to do this or Bitcoin is going to do that.” For Yakovenko, “It’s more like: ‘There’s a technological change that needs to happen.’ People will discuss and argue about the engineering merits of one solution or another,” but at the end of the day “they pick one that will win because of the engineering reasons behind it.” More government intervention?Many in the crypto/blockchain community are confident that no government or governments will ever succeed in co-opting Bitcoin or other truly decentralized crypto networks. Others aren’t so sure. Professor Ehud Shapiro of the Weizmann Institute, notes: “If we had a reasonable global government, it would outlaw proof-of-work currencies,” presumably because of their profligate energy consumption. “This is an aspect of cryptocurrencies that must be stopped, and every minute that it continues simply constitutes global irresponsibility.”“My expectation on future government oversight is we’ll see more of what we have already seen: no direct regulation over open-source software protocols, but regulation around the use of cryptocurrency and the various entities that provide services to the cryptocurrency ecosystem,” says Hileman.“The governance of the Bitcoin blockchain is more decentralized than other blockchains, such as Ethereum,” Michele Benedetto Neitz, professor of law at Golden Gate University School of Law, tells Magazine, but she believes that ‘some aspects of Bitcoin are moving toward centralization.’ “Bitcoin’s mining architecture has become centralized in mining pools focused in particular areas, which raises both privacy and security concerns. Countries hosting this increasingly centralized infrastructure such as China until recently certainly have the power to affect Bitcoin mining. Also, most Bitcoin transactions happen on centralized exchanges.” Will the networks’ self-righting mechanisms be sufficient for the longer term? “It’s not inevitable at all that the governance arrangements will just somehow improve by themselves,” says Lehdonvirta, adding: “People will have to put lots of effort into making that happen. If they don’t, and cryptocurrencies become increasingly influential, then some kind of government intervention seems more likely.”How are coders funded?As crypto’s market value continues to grow — its global market capitalization reached $2.5 trillion in mid-October — people in the academic community have been raising more questions about the governance of these decentralized projects. “The current point of most concern is in the funding of code development for various projects,” Gina Pieters, assistant instructional professor in the department of economics at the University of Chicago, tells Magazine. “Creating or maintaining code for these projects is obviously paramount, and yet, there is limited discussion at the regulatory level on how coders are funded for their efforts, and even less in considering how those funding decisions can distort the code of a project as it evolves.”If a group of coders can secure the funding that allows them to work on a project full time — not just coding but also the social advertising required for code adoption — “then that can clearly give that group an advantage over coders who are juggling full time jobs,” explains Pieters.“‘Accountable leadership’ is clearly something you need if your project is not decentralized,” adds Pieters, but even if it’s “mostly decentralized, the parts that are in the grey area need accountable leadership.”Pieters participates in the Wharton School’s Cryptogovernance Workshop, which is working to develop a common governance framework for blockchain networks, applications and consortia. The group recently devised a questionnaire for decentralized projects that asks questions like:Who has the power to introduce governance proposals, and how does that process operate?Who has policy-setting, or “legislative,” power to decide on proposals?Who has implementation, or “executive,” power to execute proposals once decided upon?Who has interpretive, or “judicial,” power to resolve disputes over-application of a policy to a specific instance?There may be no right answer to these questions — at least for every use case. The best governance solution may depend upon a project’s goals. “There is a good debate around how much blockchain decentralization is needed or desired,” Hileman tells Magazine, adding that the use case in question will play a big role in determining that: “Certain use cases, such as Bitcoin’s role as global store of value, arguably warrant greater decentralization than something like a blockchain seeking to offer a relatively less centralized platform for social media DApps.” In any event, continues Hileman, “smart government oversight will happen around the use and services surrounding blockchain networks, and not around how they evolve technologically.” Where to begin?If governance does indeed need to be more explicit with regard to these networks and projects, where does one start? “The first challenge in improving the governance of any community project is that stakeholders would need to define explicitly what constitutes a ‘good’ governance to them,” Lehdonvirta says. Who should ultimately have power? And it’s better that this key question is dealt with right at the beginning, Lehdonvirta adds, because “setting up desired governance arrangements is much easier while a network is still relatively small and the stakes are low. Any changes to governance arrangements once the stakes are big are going to be contentious and difficult.”Carlasare believes any changes to these decentralized networks like Bitcoin must be considered very carefully — and in accordance with principles of fairness, and only if the majority agrees to it: “This should be increasingly difficult to do because changing the rules in the middle of the game is contrary to fundamental notions of fairness. However, agents of influence will always have the soft power of persuasion to effect change when it is in the best interest of the majority of actors.”Will BTC ever abandon its issuance limit?As for really fundamental changes like raising BTC’s issuance limit, Carlasare is more skeptical. “If the supply issuance limit was raised, I think it would be catastrophic for the price of Bitcoin,” says Carlasare. “It could also have negative economic effects depending on how intertwined Bitcoin has become in the global economy.”“Bitcoin’s hard cap of 21 million provides scarcity, which is a critical part of the currency structure,” adds Neitz. “Without scarcity, Bitcoin’s store of value proposition becomes less valuable.” “I don’t know what the particular scenario might be, but it’s certainly not impossible,” comments Lehdonvirta. Moreover, if and when Bitcoin were to be recognized as a global public good, Neitz, among others, is doubtful that some sort of super-government oversight would follow — a global version of the U.S. Federal Reserve Board, say. “Part of Bitcoin’s allure is that it is a ‘global’ currency. Although there are promising international consortiums exploring governance for blockchain generally such as BGIN (the Blockchain Governance Initiative Network) an international coalition for Bitcoin governance would not work for several reasons.“First, many Bitcoiners joined this industry/movement because they do not trust domestic or international institutions. In addition, many jurisdictions are racing to be the next Estonia (or Wyoming) by implementing crypto-friendly regulations. El Salvador took it one step further by declaring Bitcoin a legal tender under the Bitcoin Law. These jurisdictions could endanger their crypto-friendly reputations by volunteering to be part of a group forced to make tough decisions governing Bitcoin.” 2 new Chivo Facts:1. People are inserting way more USD (to buy #BTC) than what they are withdrawing from the Chivo ATMs (any media outlet can independently confirm this by visiting the ATMs).2. Today, we received 24,076 remittances, adding up to $3,069,761.05 (in one day).— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) October 16, 2021Yakovenko sees nothing wrong with the governance in place today with regard to many decentralized blockchain networks. “Look at the history of the internet,” he says. The World Wide Web was devised in 1989 by a British scientist working at CERN, the European research organization, but from the start, it was determined that the web should remain an open standard for all to use and should never be absorbed into a proprietary system. There were competing versions of the WWW at the time too. Yakovenko added:“The one that came out of CERN is the one that exists because they said, ‘Well, we think this is the best engineering solution to this problem,’ and then people worked around that. And it was all volunteer built. The people who proposed changes said, ‘This is the best way to solve this technical problem.’”And that’s still how it’s done.Still, success creates its own imperatives. If Bitcoin or any other blockchain network were to become a critical part of global infrastructure, i.e., a “public good,” whether as a store of value, a payments platform, or something else, then the manner in which that network is “governed” will inevitably attract more attention. Some sort of international governmental-type oversight might be anticipated. And this shall not be nefarious. When governments reach an agreement on broad principles regarding how Antarctica is to be managed (e.g., Antarctic Treaty System), or international rules for space exploration, say, it doesn’t mean all innovation and progress ends. It just signals that it will be done in a more orderly, transparent and fairer way that minimizes conflict. As Lehdonvirta tells Magazine: “Once you define what you actually want from your governance system — e.g., popular participation, leaders accountable to a defined citizenry, etc. — then it’s possible to design something that tries to approach that ideal. That’s what much of political science is about — there’s no need to reinvent the wheel.”

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Blockstream raises $16M for its Bitcoin mining STO in a matter of hours

Major blockchain technology company Blockstream has completed six tranches of its Bitcoin (BTC) mining security token offering (STO), securing a total of 30.9 million euros ($36 million).Blockstream officially announced Thursday that the company raised 13.9 million euros ($16.1 million) in the sixth tranche of its Bitcoin mining-focused security token known as Blockstream Mining Note (BMN).According to the announcement, the latest raise was the largest tranche that Blockstream has ever issued, marking increasing interest from individual and institutional investors. The raise brings the total BMN supply to more than 122, with the total number of investors amounting to 70.Blockstream officially introduced its BMN security token in March 2021, offering non-US qualified investors an alternative to mining Bitcoin or investing in Bitcoin mining stocks by mining BTC using the associated hashrate of BMN. Issued on the Liquid sidechain of Bitcoin, each BMN1 entitles investors to up to 2,000 terahashes per second of Bitcoin mined at Blockstream’s enterprise-grade mining facilities.The BMN token can be traded with other qualified investors, delivering associated BTC to the BMN holder upon maturity of a three-year term from July 2021 to July 2024.Related: Bitcoin-based security token offering approved in GermanyThe news comes amid Blockstream preparing to list its BMN security token on Bitfinex Securities, a new STO platform by Bitfinex cryptocurrency exchange and regulated in Kazakhstan’s national financial hub, the Astana International Financial Center. As Bitfinex Securities progresses with its launch, BMN is set to become one of the first assets listed on the new platform.

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Web Summit returns in-person event to delve into crypto, DeFi and NFTs

Major global technology conference Web Summit is returning to Portugal with an in-person event to delve into the world of fintech and cryptocurrency.On Nov. 1, Web Summit 2021 will kick off in Lisbon, Web Summit’s first physical conference since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event covers topics from cryptocurrencies to geopolitics and is anticipated to bring together 40,000 attendees, running until Nov. 4.Crypto an integral part of Web SummitWeb Summit’s fintech expert, Shauna Kiely, told Cointelegraph that the crypto industry has emerged as one of the conference’s most-discussed topics in recent years, largely covered at Web Summit’s fintech stage MoneyConf:“Our events change year on year, but the one area that has remained topical is crypto. We have seen a huge shift in the fintech world from the various different digital currencies and decentralized finance to the launch of nonfungible tokens and the question of how sustainable crypto actually is for the environment.”Web Summit has hosted a wide number of panels, talks and activities related to crypto and blockchain in recent years, featuring major industry speakers such as Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, Revolut co-founder Nikolay Storonsky, crypto advocate Akon, and others.In an online Web Summit interview last year, PayPal CEO Dan Schulman predicted that digital currencies will become mainstream one day. Major blockchain data provider and wallet Blockchain.com ran a $100,000 giveaway on the Stellar blockchain at Web Summit 2018.Web Summit 2021 crypto and blockchain agendaThe upcoming Web Summit conference will bring together executives from major companies and platforms in the crypto industry, including speakers from hardware crypto wallet supplier Ledger, smart contract platform Tezos and decentralized web browser Brave.On Nov. 2, veteran crypto investor Tim Draper will discuss crypto investment issues with Tezos co-founder Kathleen Breitman and Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier. Breitman will also address crypto mining in the context of global environmental concerns with BitGreen CEO Adam Carver. On Nov. 4, Brave CEO Brendan Eich will talk about the decentralized web and blockchain’s capabilities to protect user data.The upcoming Web Summit event will also feature issues related to nonfungible tokens (NFT) and decentralized finance (DeFi).On Nov. 4, award-winning rap star and musician Tinie Tempah will discuss the impact of NFTs on the modern music business. Nicolas Julia, co-founder and CEO of blockchain-based fantasy soccer game Sorare, will also talk about NFTs in the entertainment industry. Illia Polosukhin, co-founder of the DeFi platform Near Protocol, will speak about the decentralization of the internet enabled by blockchain technology.Some of the top speakers of the Web Summit 2021, such as World Wide Web inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee, could have something to say about the crypto industry. In July 2021, he sold an NFT of the web’s source code for $5.4 million at fine art auction house Sotheby’s. Berners-Lee will discuss the next era of the web during a panel discussion on Nov. 4.Cointelegraph editor-in-chief Kristina Lucrezia Cornèr is participating as well. She will discuss matters related to online commerce with Drift co-founder David Cancel and Red Points CEO Laura Urquizu on Nov. 3.COVID-19 compliantOriginally held in Dublin, Ireland, Web Summit moved to Lisbon back in 2016 amid a big jump in tech companies and remote workers choosing to move to Portugal. The country is now also one of the world’s most vaccinated jurisdictions, boasting the second-highest vaccination rate in the world after the United Arab Emirates, according to Our World In Data.Web Summit 2021 organizers are working closely with Portuguese health authorities to ensure they provide a safe event and comply with local COVID-19 restrictions, including mandatory masks for events. Official vaccine certificates or a negative COVID-19 test will be required to attend Web Summit. Where official certificates cannot be provided, organizers will require a negative PCR or antigen test, which will only remain valid for 72 hours.Related: Crypto traders fight in WBS Dubai for Amir Khan’s charity boxing match“We couldn’t be more excited to return in person. Seeing people safely connecting in person again and experiencing the magic of face-to-face interactions will be incredible. Live events are bouncing back across the world. We’re seeing thousands of speakers, startups, investors and world-class media eager as ever to meet people in person again,” Web Summit CEO Paddy Cosgrave said.The Web Summit 2021 conference follows another major industry event, the World Blockchain Summit in Dubai hosted in mid-October. The conference brought together some of the industry’s most prominent executives and investors, including Celsius Network founder Alex Mashinsky, Blockstream chief strategy officer Samson Mow, Iota Foundation founder Serguei Popov and others.

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Crypto-to-fiat liquidity startup Xanpool raises $27M

Cryptocurrency-to-fiat infrastructure provider Xanpool continues expanding operations in the Asia Pacific (APAC) by securing fresh funding.The Hong Kong-based startup raised $27 million in a Series A funding round led by Valar Ventures, the venture capital firm co-founded by PayPal co-creator Peter Thiel.Other participating investors included crypto-focused venture capital firm CMT Digital as well as angel investors like TransferWise co-founder Taavet Hinrikus, Xanpool announced Friday.Running operations in 13 countries across APAC, Xanpool is looking to further consolidate its presence in the region with new funding. Xanpool CEO Jeffery Liu told Cointelegraph that the startup operates in countries like India, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan.“In the coming quarter or two, we are primarily expanding our services into a few more APAC countries. As well as consolidating our hold in existing markets,” Liu noted.Since its launch in March 2019, the platform has so far amassed over 500,000 users and 400 business partners, according to the announcement. “By the end of 2022, we aim to have grown our user base by 20x to 10 million users across the APAC,” the CEO said.XanPool is a peer-to-peer crypto-to-fiat platform and a liquidity network relying on the liquidity of its participants. The platform deploys unused money by individuals and businesses to settle cross-currency and cryptocurrency transactions, reducing the counterparty risk and costs and also allowing liquidity providers (LPs) to earn up to 2% on their idle capital.Xanpool CEO told Cointelegraph that the startup is running software similar to that of decentralized finance platform Uniswap. “Except that instead of crypto-to-crypto, our automated market maker automates between crypto and fiat,” Liu noted.Related: Crypto fintech MoonPay reportedly aims for $3.4B valuation in first VC funding“Instead of crypto native LPs, our LPs range from traditional import-export businesses to money service operators, to crypto funds. This liquidity is essentially used to settle local currency and cryptocurrency transactions immediately from the individual’s or business’s wallet,” the CEO said. Liu stressed that Xanpool never touches money on individuals’ or businesses’ wallets.“We simply make software which allows the individual or business to automate their buying and selling, and in return earn a fee,” the executive said.The latest funding brings XanPool’s total raised to around $32 million, including previous funding by individual investors. The company raised $4.3 million in a pre-A financing round last November in conjunction with its official launch.

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Bitcoin extends correction as Ethereum sees 'picture perfect' rejection at all-time highs

Bitcoin (BTC) stayed closer to $60,000 on Oct. 22 after the largest altcoin Ether (ETH) failed to cement new all-time highs.BTC/USD 1-hour candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingViewETH all-time high? Blink and you’ll miss itData from Cointelegraph Markets Pro and TradingView ETH/USD just match its record $4,380 on Bitstamp before seeing a harsh rejection.Traders watched in anticipation as Ethereum appeared to follow Bitcoin to historic new levels, only to face immediate resistance and fall sharply back into a lower range.We couldn’t even celebrate $ETH ATH for longer than 30 seconds Lmfao ruthless market makers— Johnny (@CryptoGodJohn) October 21, 2021Trader and analyst Rekt Capital called the event a “picture perfect rejection.”At the time of writing, ETH/USD circled $4,150, preserving $4,000 as support with the exception of a flash dip which immediately followed the all-time high rematch.ETH/USD 1-day candle chart (Bitstamp). Source: TradingViewAgainst Bitcoin, Ethereum fared better, with the ETH/BTC pair having bounced near lows last seen in late July. Bitcoin could see “additional topside euphoria”Having similarly failed to hold significantly higher levels, Bitcoin itself took an extended break as overheated markets cooled their excitement.Related: Too popular: Bitcoin futures ETF in danger of hitting upper limit for contractsFunding rates were returning to normal on Friday, having reached a state reminiscient of the blow-off top from April. Bitcoin funding rates chart. Source: BybtAs with open interest, however, these were not as frenzied as the Q2 rush, which produced the $64,900 all-time high in place until this week.”This means there is possibly still room for additional topside euphoria but we are at levels that are starting to stretch the market,” crypto trading firm QCP Capital commented in its latest market update.

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Too popular: Bitcoin futures ETF in danger of hitting upper limit for contracts

The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF is on track to reach a limit on the number of futures contracts it’s allowed after quickly becoming a little too popular.After just a couple of days of trading, the ProShares ETF has reached 1,900 contracts sold for October and there is 2,000 front-month limit imposed by the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.There are already 1,400 contracts for November and there is an overall maximum limit of 5,000 open contracts according to Bloomberg. One solution could be to offer longer contracts, but that would carry the danger of too much distancing from BTC prices.President of the advisory firm the ETF Store, Nate Geraci, commented that the fund could start to diverge from market prices, adding:“The ETF is forced to obtain Bitcoin price exposure at higher and higher prices as it goes further out on the futures curve.”The launch of competing products such as the Valkyrie Bitcoin Strategy ETF which will commence trading today, and the VanEck ETF which is expected to trade on Monday, Oct. 25, may dilute the demand for the ProShares fund.As reported by Cointelegraph, the ProShares ETF became the first-ever fund to hit $1 billion in assets under management in just two days. It beat an 18-year-old record previously held by a gold-based fund that did it in three.Bloomberg senior ETF analyst, Eric Balchunas, said that the momentum will still be hard to stop at this point.“The unprecedented early volume in BITO makes it like a snowball rolling downhill, as liquidity and assets begets more liquidity and assets.”Related: VanEck Bitcoin Strategy ETF will likely launch next week as crypto prices reach ATHsBalchunas also thinks that the success of Bitcoin futures products may speed up the approval of a spot-based Bitcoin ETF.“Both the success, general functioning of ETFs and the clear issue of potential capacity of futures may get the SEC to reconsider or work out a path for spot.”As reported by Cointelegraph on Oct. 18, Grayscale has already anticipated this and is preparing to convert its popular Bitcoin Trust into a physically-backed product based on spot markets.

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Major DeFi founders back play-to-earn game that hopes to be next Flappy Bird

A new play-to-earn (P2E) blockchain game that hopes to emulate the addictive success of 2013 mobile phenomenon Flappy Bird has drawn backing from some of DeFi’s biggest names.Kain Warwick from Synthetix, Stani Kulechov from Aave, Tyler Ward from Barnbridge, angel investor Santiago Santos (ex-ParaFi Capital) and 0xmaki from Sushi joined a pre seed round this week for the forthcoming Fancy Birds which is due to launch in around a month.Fancy Birds is a single player mobile game with 8,888 randomly generated NFT characters minted initially with custom features, that fight through levels to earn their spot as “the fanciest bird in the nest”.Successful players earn 40% of the Fancy (FNC) token supply and upgrades will see the game launch multiplayer mode, with breeding, staking and tournaments planned. The team is in discussions to launch it on Ethereum NFT scaling layer 2 project Immutable X. As with a number of other potentially big meme projects, Fancy Birds seemed to spring out of nowhere on Twitter a couple of weeks ago after Illuvium founder Kieran Warwick wondered on Twitter: “How has someone not created a play to earn Flappy Bird?” He told Cointelegraph:“It’s not complex, just super addictive and a lot of fun and at its peak it had 100 million users daily. Turns out someone is actually building it and it’s in beta now.”Right here. Launching soon @KieranWarwick pic.twitter.com/N1mH10VMq7— Fancy Birds | Play2Earn (@Fancybirdsio) September 27, 2021Warwick came on board as an advisor and helped organize the pre seed, and the team is now reaching out to Framework Ventures, Delphi Digital and a16z for the next round.The snowballing project is reminiscent of Barnbridge founder and Flappy Bird investor Tyler Ward’s Non Fungible Pepe project, which was memed into existence by a number of the same people earlier this year, making millions in a few weeks before transforming into Universe.xyz for copyright reasons.Related: Crypto Pepes: What Does The Frog Meme?Warwick’s own project Illuvium is another forthcoming blockchain P2E game that’s growing exponentially. The price of the ILV token has risen from $33 in June to the $800 mark now, it’s amassed a half a billion dollar market cap and 200,000 Discord members.Warwick also advised them on setting up community governance based on the models of Illuvium and Synthetix.”The team has been really receptive, they’re going fully decentralized with a DAO first, and a governance council, with 100% of profits (collected platform fees) going back to stakers,” he said.”We reworked the tokenomics so it makes a lot more sense so I think they are poised to be really big players.”Illuvium is an official partner, and fans will be able to use an 8-bit version of that game’s main character Rhamphyre to play in Fancy Birds.Fancy Birds hopes to appeal to the huge P2E community in countries like the Philippines. “It’s tapping into the same thing as Axie Infinity and it’s on mobile so anyone can play so I’m expecting a tonne of players to pile in,” Warwick said.There’s just a few weeks left of production for the gameplay trailer. We could not be more proud of the amazing work all our Core Contributors are putting in to bring the trailer to life. Thank you all for your patience! You won’t be disappointed. pic.twitter.com/Ek8Btl0Nn3— Illuvium (@illuviumio) October 11, 2021

Meanwhile Warwick said the Illuvium team was gearing up for the launch of its first trailer showing the world exactly how the game works. “We’ve obviously built up a ton of hype, we have nearly 200,000 people in Discord now and things are going really well. But the one thing that we haven’t shown is our gameplay trailer,” he says. “There’s going to be a lot of people that are waiting on the sideline, and it should help us to get them over the line to say, ‘This is real. This is actually happening. It is a triple A game’.”

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200 Bitcoin ATMs installed at Walmart… with plans for 8000 in total

Walmart has partnered with coin-cashing machine company Coinstar and crypto-cash exchange CoinMe to install 200 Bitcoin ATMs in its stores across the U.S. Although the pilot includes only 200 kiosks, the broader launch plans to eventually see the installation of 8,000 bitcoin ATMs across the country, according to Bloomberg. There has been no further details on timelines as of yet. According to Coin ATM Radar, there are currently over 25,000 bitcoin ATMs at select grocery stores and service stations in the U.S. Coinstar operates 4,400 kiosks enabled for Bitcoin purchases, across 33 states. Chief strategy officer and head of research at BitOoda Sam Doctor told Bloomberg that while Bitcoin ATMs aren’t a new development, and can already be found at many supermarkets: “Walmart expands Bitcoin access to more people, though, and gives it further legitimacy among skeptics, should they roll it out beyond an initial pilot.”Customers can use the Bitcoin ATM by inserting a banknote and receiving a paper voucher with a redemption code. To redeem the code, customers need to then set up a Coinme account and complete a background check. Users cannot withdraw Bitcoin from their account, with no indication of plans to offer this functionality in the near future. The Bitcoin ATMs have an 11% surcharge, comprised of a 4% fee for the Bitcoin option, plus an additional 7% cash exchange fee. As a point of comparison, popular crypto trading platforms Binance and Coinbase charge 3% to 4.5%, and 3.99% for debit and credit card purchases respectively. It is free to make a direct deposit from a bank account to a Binance or Coinbase wallet. The news was welcomed as a sign of mainstream adoption by some, including influencer Lark Davis who said “Wal Mart selling Bitcoin now… cool!” However other users complained about the high fees.“BTC ATM fees are notoriously high plus the ‘current’ BTC price is always way higher when buying and lower when selling,” tweeted datcyberguy in response to the news. “It’s a ripoff, but at least it’s a sign of adoption — they think some people might want BTC enough to pay huge fees,” commented Reddit user Axatar. Related: Bitcoin Depot’s crypto ATMs surpass 5,000 as adoption growsThis isn’t the first sign of interest that Walmart has shown in the crypto world. In August, the retail giant announced that it was seeking a crypto product lead to drive the company’s digital currency strategy. The job listing has since been removed from Walmart’s website, but an advertisement for the role remains on Linkedin.Walmart China has also teamed up with blockchain-based supply chain management platform VeChain to track products. There was some skepticism over the Bitcoin ATM news however, which comes hot on the heels of a fake Walmart press release in September, which announced a partnership with Litecoin (LTC). The hoax briefly sent prices of the altcoin surging more than 20%.

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Shanghai Man: Blockchain Week with Vitalik still happening, ‘Bitcoin’ searches on WeChat hit 26M in a day

This weekly roundup of news from Mainland China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong attempts to curate the industry’s most important news, including influential projects, changes in the regulatory landscape, and enterprise blockchain integrations.  In this 30th edition of the Shanghai Man column, we preview the Wanxiang Shanghai Blockchain Week, an offline event that normally is the biggest blockchain conference on the Chinese calendar. Next week, despite all the regulatory crackdowns, the event is still planning to go ahead, albeit with a one-month delay from its usual place in mid-September. The flagship eventHistorically, Wanxiang Blockchain Week has attracted huge crowds of industry participants including traders, investors, developers, financial institutions, and traditional companies. The three-day event is usually supplemented with a busy schedule of side events, focusing on areas like DeFi or network-specific meetups. Last year, following the COVID-19 lockdowns, the event was much more subdued, notably with a lack of overseas speakers such as Vitalik Buterin and Gavin Wood physically attending. These two thought-leaders both have strong ties to Shanghai and always helped to raise the profile of the event from a technical perspective. An advertisement for the Wanxiang Blockchain Summit focuses on digital transformation this year. Source: Wanxiang Blockchain LabsWanxiang Blockchain is a large investment outfit that supports some of the strongest projects in the space. It has invested over 100 billion RMB in over 200 projects, operating somewhat like the Consensys of the East. Its ties to China Wanxiang Group give it an elevated position in the business world, including a closer relationship to enterprises and government resources. This year’s event is set to take place on October 26 and 27, with keynote speeches planned from Vitalik Buterin of Ethereum, Sergey Nazarov of Chainlink, Yat Siu of Animoca Brands and Anatoly Yakovenko of Solana. It’s not clear whether any of these will physically attend the event, but given China’s strict quarantine restrictions and cryptocurrency policies, it is more likely that they will give the speech via video. In the past, most of the speeches have focused on the infrastructure and applications, rather than cryptocurrencies and trading-related activities. This has allowed the event to keep attracting government representatives regardless of increasingly negative policies.The Metaverse and NFT art are two topics that have managed to avoid the wrath of regulators. As such, a number of related events have been grouped into what is being called Shanghai Metaverse Week, which may be just a subtle way for “Blockchain Week” events to avoid scrutiny from the government. This Metaverse Week is being hosted by partners including Litentry, Polygon, Harmony, Flow, Tezos and Mask Network. The event is planning to have exclusive live streams in Decentraland.  Changes in the ranksSearches containing the keyword ‘Bitcoin’ on WeChat spiked to nearly 26 million on October 15, fueled by the news of an ETF approval in the US. These levels of attention hadn’t been seen since mid-summer when the regulatory crackdown drew a lot of attention to the asset. Exchange volumes tell an interesting story as OKEx has picked up steam recently, emerging as a clear second to Binance with about 11% of the total market share according to FTX’s global volume monitor. Huobi, which announced it would be restricting Chinese users from using the platform at the end of 2021, has struggled to keep pace with OKEx and has now slipped behind FTX, into the fourth position and only a few billion dollars per day ahead of ByBit. Huobi dominated the CeFi scene between 2014 and 2016, where it enjoyed extended spells as the highest volume exchange. Now a new wave of CeFi exchanges led by FTX and ByBit are starting to eat away at the dominance of the traditional CeFi leaders Huobi, Binance, and OKEx, collectively known as HBO. Catching the NFT trendA number of major corporations have been dropping their own NFTs these days, including eCommerce giant JD.com. The retailer, which has its own blockchain, is releasing a set of seven NFT models through its WeChat mini-program later this year. Last week, logistics company DHL also announced an NFT launching on the VeChain mainnet. These NFTs are emerging as a way to reward customers, but with the strict policies, it’s unlikely these NFTs will end up on open marketplaces and expose many users to the greater cryptocurrency ecosystem. DHL used VeChain’s ToolChain to create these NFTs for their retail users. Source: DHLLosing out to the USAn announcement on the website for the National Development Reform Commission proclaimed that the US has now overtaken China as the top Bitcoin mining country in the world. The brief article boasts that this transformation has come just two months after Beijing ruled cryptocurrency mining to be illegal. It’s unclear whether or not this article is intended to be taken literally,or as a very subtle but sarcastic reminder that recent political decisions may not be in the best interest of the country.

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Associated Press plans to launch Chainlink node to publish data

The Associated Press news agency announced it would be launching its own Chainlink oracle node to ensure any data from its U.S. newspaper and broadcaster members would be cryptographically verified.In an Oct. 21 announcement, the Associated Press, or AP, said smart contract developers would have access to the agency’s “economic, sports, and race call data” once the node was operational. According to the AP, it will be publishing data on-chain for developers to access and reference in any relevant applications, in addition to providing information on upcoming elections and serving artists working with nonfungible tokens.“Chainlink technology is the ideal way to provide smart contract developers anywhere in the world with direct, on-demand access to AP’s trusted economic, sports, and race call data” said AP director of blockchain and data licensing Dwayne Desaulniers. “Working with Chainlink allows this information to be compatible with any blockchain.”The AP said its primary reason for the shift to blockchain was “trust,” in that the on-chain data it provided would be “a publicly accessible, safe and secure record of verified information.” The news agency added it would be open to shifting its approach based on the response from developers as it kept “a finger on the pulse of the blockchain economy.”Related: Blockchain in journalism: Winds of change carry media to new frontiersThis is not the news agency’s first foray into blockchain technology. The AP was reportedly interested in exploring ways to secure intellectual property rights, support ethical journalism, and track content usage when it partnered with blockchain-based journalism startup Civil in 2018. In addition, the AP published the results of contentious 2020 U.S. presidential election onto the Ethereum and EOS blockchains.

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Early meeting of E-Gold founders may hold clue to Satoshi Nakamoto’s identity — Peter Thiel

PayPal co-founder and billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel believes he may hold a clue on how to find Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin’s (BTC) pseudonymous creator who disappeared two years after mining the cryptocurrency’s genesis block in January 2009. His theory stems from an early meeting of E-Gold founders in February 2000, where roughly 200 people coalesced around a beach in Anguilla to devise a strategy for promoting a new currency system that could challenge central banks. E-Gold was a digital gold currency that folded in 2007 after its founders were indicted by the United States Justice Department.“I met them on the beach in Anguilla in February of 2000,” Thiel told a cryptocurrency conference in Miami on Wednesday, referring to the E-Gold founders. “My sort of theory on Satoshi’s identity was that Satoshi was on that beach in Anguilla.” He further explained:“We were beginning the revolution against the central banks on the beach in Anguilla. We were going to make PayPal interoperable with E-Gold and blow up all the central banks.”E-Gold’s failure may have given Satoshi the foresight to remain anonymous when building its successor. “Bitcoin was the answer to E-Gold, and Satoshi learned that you had to be anonymous and you had to not have a company,” Thiel said. Related: Satoshi Nakamoto statue goes up in BudapestNot everyone is convinced that Nakamoto was behind earlier e-cash protocols. Dustin D. Trammell, one of the first cypherpunks to mine Bitcoin, told Cointelegraph Brasil in March that Nakamoto lacked bias in implementing new technology, which implies they were approaching the project with a fresh perspective. Nakamoto’s 2008 white paper has spawned a multi-trillion-dollar crypto industry, with tens of thousands of digital assets vying for a piece of the pie. Bitcoin is in the midst of a historic week, having shattered new all-time highs above $67,000 on Wednesday.

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