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Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand Announce Grant to Oakland Black Business Fund

“We received hundreds of applications for Community Grants, and every single one of them was a reminder of the unique impact and powerful personal connections local community efforts can make happen. Making a decision on the first cycle of 18 organizations selected was certainly not easy.” said Craig Williams, President, Jordan Brand, “We are thrilled […]

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EQT Announces Pricing Of Offering Of Common Stock By Selling Shareholders

PITTSBURGH, Sept. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT) (the Company or EQT) today announced the pricing of an underwritten public offering of 25,930,000 shares of its common stock by certain shareholders at a price to the public of $20.00 per share (the Offering). Such selling shareholders, who had received the shares as a part […]

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Biocytogen anuncia colaboración con Envigo

-Biocytogen anuncia colaboración con Envigo para distribuir el modelo de ratón triplemente inmunodeficiente y humanizable B-NDG BEIJING y BOSTON, 29 de septiembre de 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Biocytogen anuncia una colaboración con Envigo, una organización mundial que ofrece la más amplia gama de modelos de investigación y servicios relacionados. Las dos empresas se comprometen a apoyar las […]

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Concord Acquisition Corp II Announces Partial Exercise of Underwriters' Over-Allotment Option in Connection with its Initial Public Offering

NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Concord Acquisition Corp II (the “Company”) announced today that the underwriters of its previously announced initial public offering of units have partially exercised their over-allotment option, resulting in the issuance of an additional 3,009,750 units at a public offering price of $10.00 per unit. After giving effect to the […]

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DLA Piper advises GigCapital5 in US$230 million IPO

NEW YORK, Sept. 28, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — DLA Piper represented GigCapital5, Inc. (NYSE: GIA.U) in its initial public offering of 23,000,000 units at a price of $10 per unit, including 3,000,000 units issued upon the exercise of the over–allotment option granted to the underwriters. Each unit consists of one share of common stock and one redeemable […]

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Former J.P. Morgan Broker Ordered to Pay Ex-Wife $2.5 Million in Unsuitable Trading Case

September 28, 2021 Share This A former broker in South Florida with almost a quarter century in the industry has been ordered to pay his ex-wife more than $2.5 million over claims of unsuitable trading in her accounts, according to a decision issued on Monday by a panel of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority arbitrators. The […]

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Bears apply the pressure as Bitcoin price revisits the $41K ‘falling knife’ zone

“Don’t fight the trend” is an old saying in the markets, and there are other variants of the phrase like “never catch a falling knife.” The bottom line is that traders should not try to anticipate trend reversals, or even worse, try to improve their average price while losing money.It really doesn’t matter whether one is trading soy futures, silver, stocks or cryptocurrencies. Markets generally move in cycles, which can last from a few days to a couple of years. In Bitcoin’s (BTC) case, it’s hard for anyone to justify a bullish case by looking at the chart below.Bitcoin price in USD at Coinbase. Source: TradingViewOver the past 25 days, every attempt to break the descending channel has been abruptly interrupted. Curiously, the trend points to sub-$40,000 by mid-October, which happens to be the deadline for the United States Securities and Exchange Commission decision on the ProShares Bitcoin ETF (Oct. 18) and Invesco Bitcoin ETF (Oct. 19).According to the CoinShares weekly report, the recent price action triggered institutional investors to enter the sixth consecutive week of inflows. There has been nearly $100 million worth of inflows between Sept. 20 and 24.Experienced traders claim that Bitcoin needs to reclaim the $43,600 support for the bullish trend to resume. Meanwhile, on-chain data points to heavy accumulation, as the falling exchange supply has been dominant.Perpetual futures show traders neutral to bearishTo gauge investor sentiment, one should analyze the funding rate on perpetual contracts because these are retail traders’ preferred instruments. Unlike monthly contracts, perpetual futures (inverse swaps) trade at a very similar price to regular spot exchanges.The funding rate is automatically charged every eight hours from longs (buyers) when demanding more leverage. However, when the situation is reversed, and shorts (sellers) are over-leveraged, the funding rate turns negative, and they become the ones paying the fee.Bitcoin perpetual futures 8-hour funding rate. Source: Bybt.comA ‘neutral’ situation involves leverage longs paying a small fee, oscillating from 0% to 0.03% per eight-hour period, which is equivalent to 0.6% per week. Yet, the above chart shows a slightly bearish trend since Sept. 13, when the funding rate was last seen above the 0.03% threshold. The put-to-call ratio favors bulls, but the trend has changedUnlike futures contracts, options are divided into two segments. Call (buy) options allow the buyer to acquire Bitcoin at a fixed price on the expiry date. Generally speaking, these are used on either neutral arbitrage trades or bullish strategies.Meanwhile, the put (sell) options are commonly used as protection from negative price swings.To understand how these competing forces are balanced, one should compare the calls and put options open interest.Bitcoin options open interest put-to-call ratio. Source: Laevitas.chThe indicator reached a 0.47 bottom on Aug. 29, reflecting the 50,000 BTC protective puts stacked against the 104k BTC call (buy) options. Still, the gap has been decreasing as the use of neutral-to-bearish put contracts started to get traction after the Sept. 24 monthly expiry.According to Bitcoin futures and options markets, it might seem premature to call a ‘bearish’ period, but the last two weeks show absolutely no signs of bullishness from derivatives indicators. It appears that bulls’ hope clings on to the ETF deadline acting as a trigger to break the current market structure.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.

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Wire Wars: Morgan Stanley Lifer with $2-Billion Book Jumps to UBS in CA

September 28, 2021 Share This A 24-year Morgan Stanley broker in Newport Beach, California has moved along with two sons to UBS Wealth Management USA, according to an announcement on Tuesday. The trio, who managed $2 billion in client assets, includes Steven J. Weber, along with his sons, Christopher, an eight-year veteran, and Brian, a […]

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Wells Fargo Advisors Rolls Out eMoney Planning Tool for Brokers

September 28, 2021 Share This Wells Fargo Advisors is continuing to expand access to the popular eMoney Advisor financial planning software across its 13,000-broker sales force, according to an announcement on Tuesday.  The rollout, which began earlier this year with several hundred private bankers, will continue through 2022, according to the announcement from eMoney. A […]

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Ransomware Attackers Look For Unpatched Systems To Exploit

Not long ago Microsoft patched a critical MSHTML remote code execution security flaw being tracked as CVE-2021-40444. Beginning on August 18th of this year (2021) the company spotted hackers exploiting this flaw in the wild. So far there have been fewer than ten attacks made that exploit this flaw but it’s inevitable that the number […]

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IMVU to integrate Immutable X for NFT gaming

Immutable X, the scaling solution for layer-2 NFT protocol Immutable, has penned an agreement with Together Labs to integrate into the platform’s native social metaverse IMVU. The partnership will foster the creation and distribution of NFTs within the game’s virtual ecosystem.IMVU, pronounced “imm-view,” is a blockchain simulation game akin to The Sims or Second Life in which players can design, inhabit and interact with virtual worlds. Parented by Silicon valley-based firm Together Labs — a technological architecture working on the social media experience with the implementation of the crypto and all its ecosystem facets — IMVU has 200,000 active creators and 1 million daily active players.Immutable X is an NFT-centric blockchain protocol built upon the Ethereum blockchain, which reportedly enables up to 9,000 near-instant transactions per second in the case of ERC-20 and ERC-721 tokens, zero gas fees and scaling capabilities that exceed the market average through the use of StarkWare’s zk-Rollup.Immutable X Co-founder Robbie Ferguson outlined the newfound capabilities that IMVU players could experience by interacting with the introduction of NFTs.“We are thrilled at the partnership with IMVU. With Immutable X’s technology, we are offering scalability to every user in IMVU metaverse and allowing them to trade their NFTs seamlessly on Ethereum without compromising on the security of their assets.”Two weeks ago, Immutable announced a $60 million Series B funding from venture capital firms such as Alameda Research and VaynerFund. The protocol is endeavoring to expand its NFT gaming operation following the success of the blockchain trading card game Gods Unchained.They have also pledged to adhere to pro-environmental practices by implementing zero-knowledge proofs, and the purchase of offsetting carbon credits.As promised, the partnership with IMVU will enable players to participate in regular in-game activities — building the universe, creating 3D avatars, socializing with other players, purchasing collectible items and transacting the games fiat-convertible stablecoin VCOIN — all with the assured knowledge that carbon neutrality is being sustained.

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Here's why Bitcoin mining stocks have been outperforming BTC price in 2021

Bitcoin (BTC) might have outperformed traditional financial markets regarding investment returns, but the cryptocurrency still fell behind Bitcoin-related companies.The price of BTC climbed by about 290% year-over-year, wherein it surged from $10,695 to a little over $42,000. In comparison, shares of Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA), one of the largest North American crypto mining companies, rose by 1,641% in the same period.MARA stock weekly price chart. Source: TradingView.comInstitutions-led pumpMore crypto mining firms outran spot BTC prices in terms of YoY returns. For instance, Canada-based Bitfarms (BITF) surged 1,736%, while Hut 8 Mining (HUT) and Riot Blockchain (RIOT) rallied by 1,010% and 913% in a year.The performance of spot Bitcoin versus crypto-focused stocks in a year. Source: EcoinometricsNick, the founder of Ecoinometrics, a crypto-focused newsletter service, called mining stocks an “obvious pick,” noting that they gave institutional investors indirect exposure to Bitcoin markets. “I bet a lot of institutional investors haven’t yet dipped their toes in trading spot BTC, mostly for compliance reasons,” the analyst explained in an article published Sept. 27, adding:”It is a bit like the gold miners when back in the days it was complicated to get your hands on physical gold. So the play for these guys has probably been, stay away from spot but trade the stocks.”The statements surfaced as Morgan Stanley reported in its securities filings that it had more than doubled its exposure in Grayscale Bitcoin Trust (GBTC), a traditional investment vehicle for digital asset investors. In detail, the Morgan Stanley Europe Opportunity Fund owned 58,116 shares of the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust, or GBTC, as of July 31.In July, Cathie Wood’s Ark Invest also purchased more than 450,000 GBTC shares worth about $1.4 million. In line with mining stock performances, these investments showed an increase in institutional appetite for crypto-focused yet traditional investment products.Nick added that investors would keep adding their capital into crypto mining stocks as long as they don’t see a viable alternative, such as an exchange-traded fund in the U.S.Scaling and hodlingDemand for mining stocks grows higher as a majority of firms focus on two important prospects: scaling and holding.For instance, Marathon reported in its non-audited August report that it had received 21,584 top-tier Bitcoin mining ASIC machines from Bitmain in 2021, adding that it is due to get 5,916 more currently in transit. As a result, the company expects to run at least 133,000 Bitcoin mining machines by the middle of next year.Meanwhile, Marathon noted that it now holds 6,695 BTC, including the 4,812.66 BTC it purchased in Jan 2021. As a result, the fair market value of Marathon’s current bitcoin holdings is now around $333.4 million, giving the firm adequate capital to scale up its productions in the future. Similarly, Riot Blockchain’s August report showed a 451% increase in its Bitcoin mining capacity on a year-over-year basis, helped by its fleet of 22,050 miners, with a hash rate capacity of 2.2 exahash per second (EH/s). The firm mined 441 BTC in Aug 2021.Related: Miners have accumulated $600M worth of Bitcoin since FebRiot noted that it plans to have 25,650 Bitmain machines in operation by early September. It is currently building a new mining facility in Texas.The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

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Cardano’s Alonzo hard fork was a success but real utility could be a while

Cardano (ADA) reached a major milestone in its roadmap on Sep. 13 as its blockchain successfully launched Plutus-powered smart contracts as a part of the Alonzo hard fork. The Alonzo hard fork has been highly anticipated in the Cardano community as well as the cryptocurrency sphere at large.The smart contract functionality is meant to allow Cardano to become a platform on which developers can build decentralized applications (DApps) and even mint nonfungible tokens (NFTs). This milestone has been hailed as the point in the development of the network where the “mission truly begins.”However, the news of the successful execution of this milestone didn’t prevent the network’s native token, Cardano (ADA), from falling into the wider slump that has gripped the crypto market since Bitcoin (BTC) flashed crashed below $43,000 on Sep. 7. In the aftermath of the Alonzo hard fork on Sep. 10, ADA dropped 10% to hit an intraday low of $2.3 while BTC and Ether (ETH) only fell 4% and 6.97%, respectively.Marie Tatibouet, the chief marketing officer of crypto exchange Gate.io, told Cointelegraph:“This changes everything for Cardano! For the longest time, Cardano was known as the smart contract platform without the smart contracts, but now the critics will have to change that narrative. With the advent of actual contracts, Cardano’s utility and usability goes through the roof.”Cardano developer activity amongst the highestAccording to a report by Outlier Ventures titled, “Blockchain Development Trends Q2 2020/21,” Cardano is one of the most actively developed blockchains out there, with the highest average monthly commits per month on Github code repositories at 701 commits per month (CPM). The average CPM for all protocols considered in the report is 107 CPM. These “commits” essentially represent any additions or amendments made to the network’s source code on Github.In terms of these commits, Ethereum comes in second with 447 CPM, IOTA stands third with 394 CPM with Filecoin and Flow rounding up the top five with 368 CPM and 306 CPM, respectively. This shows that Cardano is 555% more active than Ethereum and 317% than the average of all the blockchain networks connected.In terms of the total number of developers building a particular blockchain network, Ethereum is still ranked at the top with 168 monthly active developers (MAD). Cardano follows closely in second place with 165 MAD, showing a higher year-over-year increase of 31.8%. The network already has the functionality that allows the creation of NFTs. According to data provided by Cardano to Cointelegraph, there have been 780,436 NFTs minted on the network.Such an active developer community is a testament to how fast the network is developing and adapting to the changing needs of the ecosystem. Cardano has a high developer count with the highest development activities amongst similar blockchain protocols thus improving the security and transparency of the network. The Alonzo hard fork bringing in the smart contract functionality will only push these trends to greater heights.Cardano DApps are still on the distant horizonEven though the Alonzo upgrade, a part of the Goguen phase of Cardano’s roadmap, allows developers to deploy Plutus-powered smart contracts on the network, the network hasn’t quite reached that stage. Despite the belief in the market that over 2,000 smart contracts have been deployed on the network, according to data from Vercel app, a third-party data provider that uses data from adapools.org, there are only 26 Plutus-powered smart contracts that have been deployed at the time of writing.There is also a market-wide perception that these smart contracts are in timelock. But, a spokesperson from Cardano clarified to Cointelegraph that the network has had timelock scripts since the Allegra era of the project’s roadmap. These time-locked scripts are used for activities like aiding NFT minting by making NFTs run unique for-instance and multisig schemes. Smart contracts highly differ from these scripts and cannot be placed “in timelock.”Hunain Nasser, senior analyst at OKEx Insights — the research team at cryptocurrency exchange OKEx — told Cointelegraph:“Timelocks are used to protect users from changes made to contracts after they are created. Not all 2,300 or so scripts seen on the Cardano network are actual apps, most of them are minting policies for tokens and NFTs on the Cardano network, and they are time locked to prevent changes.”However, timelocks can be used once DApps are created and widely used. They can also be used to provide users alerts once any changes to a smart contract are triggered. This feature prevents the implementation of these changes instantly, giving users time to review them and act on them if necessary before they get implemented.It remains to be seen how fast real utility could come to the Cardano network in terms of DApps and other decentralized finance features. But it also could be a case of managing expectations. Johnny Lyu, CEO of crypto exchange KuCoin, told Cointelegraph that even though the Alonzo upgrade is a landmark event for Cardano, one shouldn’t expect lightning-fast achievements in a short period of time.“Users need to be patient, and developers need to move on and do a lot of work to prevent mistakes that can lead to hacks and loss of funds on smart contracts.” An instance of smart contracts being fast-tracked into a network can be witnessed in the case of the Binance Smart Chain, the most recent one being the $12.7 million BTC hack from the pNetwork.Related: DeFi hacks on Binance Smart Chain rise as TVL and volumes increase“At the same time, I believe that after launch, it will take more than two years for DApps to be deployed and operate at full scale on Cardano, as it was with the Ethereum network, “ Lyu said, adding “I think everyone is ready to start now and offer some new products and applications to users, but it is necessary to make sure that they are safe.”Since Cardano is a blockchain project that has always focused on the fundamentals, one might assume that they will allow funds to flow through smart contracts only once they are deemed safe and secure. The Founder of Five Binaries, Marek Mahut, who ran the first smart contract on Cardano said that “Safety and scalability are major features for any developer. Cardano’s accounting technology, eUTXO, provides a novel approach, which makes writing secure smart contracts easier.”The Cardano Foundation is held the Cardano Summit 2021 on Sept. 25–26. IOHK, the blockchain research and development company that backs Cardano’s infrastructure, discussed the planned upgrades and improvements to the smart contract functionality at this summit. It remains to be seen when the deployment of actual DApps can be done on the network, but it’s not an instantaneous process. 

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Bitcoin whales move 'record' BTC value as metric sounds alarm over price volatility

Bitcoin (BTC) analysts are eyeing short-term volatility as whales begin unprecedented behavior.Fresh data shows that whales have not only been highly active on the market — they’ve been moving record amounts of BTC.Whale activity beats Bitcoin all-time highsDespite BTC price action staying in a narrow, uninspiring range of around $40,000, large-volume Bitcoin investors are anything but calm.In recent weeks, these whales have shifted more coins around the network than ever before — even more than during all-time BTC/USD highs of $60,000 and above.Transactions involving $10 million and over recently hit more than $10 billion.Whales have been moving record amount of #Bitcoin last two weeks.Total transfer volume of $10M+ transactions keeps staying at ATH lately.It’s even higher than when the price was at $55-60k. pic.twitter.com/FXvcCPPl57— Lex Moskovski (@mskvsk) September 28, 2021Further analysis of their actions shows that different classes of whale have exhibited different reactions to recent price events.“Smaller” whales have been selling, while the largest-volume investors have conversely added to their positions, data from on-chain analytics resource Material Indicators revealed this week.“Whales sold BTC, mega whales bought and purple whales followed with another buy order,” researchers commented alongside a chart of BTC/USD buy and sell levels.“If you are trying to understand these whale games, look to the thin liquidity they are trying to play to the upside.”Bitcoin whale exchange activity vs. BTC/USD chart. Source: Material Indicators/ TwitterThat relative lack of resistance between current spot price levels of $42,000 and $46,500 has played out by BTC/USD repeatedly rejecting above $44,000.Expect “fast and volatile” Bitcoin below $40,000Meanwhile, further whale data warns that price volatility may be inbound. Related: Bearish Bitcoin fractal with 78% success rate flashes as BTC drops below $43.5KThe “exchange whale ratio,” which tracks the size of the top ten exchange inflows relative to the rest, is approaching levels which have sparked unsettled price action in the past.“So normally, we can consider this as a short term selling however since we are in the crucial areas, we need to make sure price stays above 40K,” on-chain analyst CryptoQuant commented as part of an update Tuesday. “Price action below 40K could be fast and volatile.”Bitcoin exchange whale ratio annotated chart. Source: CryptoQuantAs Cointelegraph reported, expectations are that $36,000 should form a definitive floor in the event that BTC/USD loses $40,000 support.

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62% of institutions to start investing in crypto within a year: Survey

Institutional investors are increasingly looking to move into cryptocurrency investment to grow their revenues in the long term, a new survey revealed.As many as 62% of global institutional investors with zero exposure to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) said they expect to invest in these for the first time within the next year in a new survey by European investment manager Nickel Digital Asset Management.Released Sept. 28, the survey interviewed 50 wealth managers and 50 institutional investors across the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the United Arab Emirates. Nickel conducted the survey online in May and June 2021.According to the survey results, the main reason for institutional investors to invest in cryptocurrencies for the first time is the potential capital increase in the long term, with 47% of respondents citing this factor. 44% of respondents cited growing confidence in crypto as an asset class amid corporates and fund managers increasingly investing in cryptocurrencies.41% of respondents also indicated that they were willing to invest in crypto for the first time due to improving the regulatory environment, while 34% considered crypto as a good hedge against inflation.“There is no doubt that the crypto assets market is becoming more mainstream in the institutional and wealth management sectors,” Nickel’s head of business development, Henry Howell, said. According to the exec, the growing institutional adoption is driven by several factors, including solid market performance during the Covid-19 crisis, growing corporate involvement, as well as the industry’s improving infrastructure and regulatory framework.Related: Institutional investors bought the dip as China FUD brokeThe new survey further reconfirms the growing institutional adoption of the crypto industry. According to a report by European digital asset manager CoinShares, institutions have been increasingly accumulating crypto holdings for five consecutive weeks as of mid-September.In July, Nickel released a survey suggesting that the security of crypto custodial services was the biggest reason stopping institutional investors from moving into crypto, followed by the regulatory environment and crypto volatility.

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Social token provider Roll raises $10M to tokenize online interaction

Social token infrastructure provider Roll raised $10 million in Series A funding, bringing the company’s total funds raised to $12.7 million to help creators tokenize their interactions with communities. Led by IOSG Ventures, the funding round saw participation from Animoca Brands, Alchemy, Huobi Ventures, Weekend Fund, Mischief Fund, Audacity and existing investors like Galaxy Interactive, Hustle Fund, Gary Vaynerchuk, Trevor McFederies, Ryan Selkis and Balaji Srinivasan.Social tokens are blockchain-based digital currencies that have the potential to be used as the basis of a decentralized creator economy. “Through Roll, decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs) and communities can tokenize, trade and gate-keep content for those that are part of the community,” IOSG Ventures founding partner Jocy Lin explained, adding that a social token enables its holders to join and contribute to a community.Defining the explosive growth and popularity of nonfungible tokens (NFTs) as a “cultural bull market,” Roll co-founder and CEO Bradley Miles said that this bull market became a renaissance for artists, musicians and creators worldwide: “NFTs represent the future of content on blockchains. At some point this decade, it will emerge as a new normal for art, videos, games, music and any other content that creators want to make ownable.” Speaking to Cointelegraph, Miles explained that the launch of a social token is similar to the launch of a YouTube channel or Patreon: “Let your closest supporters know beforehand and broadcast it out on your largest platform when you are ready.”On the technical side, Roll helps to integrate social tokens into web applications such as marketplaces, streaming services and DAOs by providing the infrastructure and application programming interfaces or APIs. Powered by Ethereum smart contracts, Roll’s social tokens can interact with traditional web platforms and DeFi protocols. Related: Sports-themed NFTs spark gold rush as projects raise $930M in a weekThe company said that the service is currently being used by over 350 creators, including Whaleshark and Terry Crews. Listing some of Roll’s social tokens, crypto exchange Huobi is among the investors via its venture arm. Jerry Yip of Huobi Ventures commented on Roll’s expansion, saying: “Roll’s platform for social tokens has stepped on the two relatively clear trends of influence tokenization and a new emerging economy for communities.”The company plans to open up its APIs to more developers as early as next year.

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Verifone to enable crypto payments at major retailers through BitPay

Crypto payments are becoming increasingly popular as Bitcoin (BTC) and other digital assets continue to go mainstream. This has become the case for both crypto holders and non-crypto owners who are primarily interested in the concept of using cryptocurrencies for payments.Recent data has found that 93% of crypto users surveyed would consider making purchases in crypto. The report further revealed that 59% of consumers who don’t hold crypto would be interested in using it to make purchases in the future. As such, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that major payment providers like Mastercard have been ramping up their efforts to support crypto payments moving forward. In addition, social media giants such as Twitter are also working to enable cryptocurrency payments through mechanisms like tipping.Verifone launches crypto paymentsIt’s important to point out that online merchants and physical retailers must begin accepting crypto payments to ensure mainstream adoption. According to findings from Fundera, only about 2,300 businesses in the United States accepted Bitcoin payments at the end of 2020. In order to advance this, Verifone — one of the largest point-of-sale providers in the world — announced today that the extension of BitPay’s blockchain payment technology will enable cryptocurrency transactions. Mike Pulli, CEO of Verifone, told Cointelegraph that by the end of this year, merchants leveraging Verifone’s in-store and eCommerce Cloud Services platforms in the United States will be able to accept cryptocurrency payments. Pulli added that Verifone has been seeking alternative payment methods recently, and will now support crypto transactions due to the mainstream’s rising interest in cryptocurrency:“We feel that having crypto available on our terminals will open up more options and opportunities for consumers, which is what Verifone aims to do. This opens up a currency that has never before been seen on a terminal and we want to be at the forefront of this trend.”Although Pulli was unable to reveal which online and physical merchants will begin to support crypto payments, the company’s reach is substantial and will therefore likely have an impact on crypto payment adoption. To put this in perspective, Verifone operates 36 million point-of-sale, or POS, devices and has processed over 10 billion transactions, generating over $350 billion in volume per year. Stephen Pair, CEO of BitPay, told Cointelegraph that while BitPay regularly enables merchants to process crypto transactions, Verifone is by far the biggest partnership to date: “Verifone customers are requesting to have crypto payments. This has become the case as there are millions of crypto users today that have blockchain wallets on their phones that they want to leverage.”Source: VerifoneTo Pair’s point, head of alternative payment methods at Verifone Jeremy Belostock told Cointelegraph that the company is witnessing a major shift in consumer behavior due to reasons such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically speaking, Belostock noted that, more than ever before, consumers are trusting mobile wallets, looking at these as quick and easy payment methods:“There has been a shift from having a credit card to having a trusted mobile app that consumers want to leverage for spending. We are tapping into this market to make crypto mainstream.”As easy as using Venmo or PayPal, but for crypto transactionsBelostock explained that Verifone’s advanced payment engine designed to support crypto transactions functions the same as its terminals that accept Venmo or PayPal payments. The only difference is that both physical and online merchants will now be able to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), Dogecoin (DOGE), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Wrapped Bitcoin (WBTC), Litecoin (LTC), and five USD-pegged stablecoins Gemini dollar (GUSD), USD Coin (USDC), Pax Dollar (USDP), Maker DAO (DAI) and Binance USD (BUSD).Moreover, the solution will initially support major wallets including Blockchain.com, BRD, Metamask and BitPay. Belostock further mentioned that when paying with crypto via a Verifone device, consumers will go through an easy process, similar to using a credit card:“When a consumer goes to pay at a physical store, they will see the amount due and the screen will give them the different options for which crypto wallet to use. They will choose a wallet and a QR-code will surface. They will then scan the QR-code directly from their blockchain wallet and choose the cryptocurrency they want to pay with.” From the merchant’s perspective, Pulli explained that accepting crypto payments via Verifone is the same as accepting another form of tender, noting that there is no added risk involved: “All that’s required from our merchants is a software update since they are connected to our cloud platform. Even though consumers are sending crypto from their wallets, merchants will only see their local currency.”This is an important point, as Belostock shared that many of Verifone’s merchants have expressed concern about exposure to crypto’s volatility. “The big question here is if there is any risk involved,” he remarked. Yet, unlike other solutions that allow merchants to decide whether or not to accept crypto after transactions are settled, Verifone’s merchants must accept the U.S. dollar. “This is mainly because of the refund aspect, but it also protects against volatility,” said Belostock. He added that in the case of a refund, consumers will get their crypto back for the amount of their original purchase. Will mainstream adoption follow?While it’s clear that crypto payments are on the rise, some concerns remain that may hamper mainstream adoption in the United States. On Sept. 24, for example, the People’s Bank of China, or PBoC, published guidelines to crack down on crypto activity throughout the country. These measures intend to “cut off payment channels, dispose of relevant websites and mobile applications in accordance with the law.”Although this may impact crypto’s reach, Bill Bielke, BitPay’s chief marketing officer, told Cointelegraph that it’s too early to tell what effect China’s measures may have in the U.S. or globally: “We do see positive growth and huge potential with the Verifone announcement today in the U.S. as another way for merchants to accept Bitcoin and 10 other cryptos, as well as for consumers who have crypto and are looking to spend.”Related: Adapt or die: Payments giants partner with crypto firms to ensure securityIn addition to China’s recent crypto ban, both consumers and merchants could face a number of challenges when it comes to spending cryptocurrency. For example, accounting challenges tend to be a major concern for U.S.-based users. Yet, Pair mentioned that no tax implications will be present if users convert crypto to stable coins that can be spent on Verifone devices. He further pointed out that companies offering crypto conversion software like TaxBit are helping users report gains and losses directly from their wallets. Moreover, accessibility could also create challenges for both merchants and consumers, as some crypto payment solutions require a number of steps in order for purchases to be made. For instance, Belostock mentioned that Verifone has seen competitive solutions where crypto must be transferred from multiple wallets and then converted to a gift card to be used for payments. While this may be, he remarked that the product that Verifone and BitPay have built should turn out to be simple and intuitive.

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