R3 Announces Global Payment App With XRP as Base Currency

R3 Announces Global Payment App With XRP as Base Currency

R3 has unveiled a new app on their international blockchain, a global payment platform that uses Ripple’s XRP as its initial base currency. The app, dubbed Corda Settler, continues R3’s track record for pursuing  ambitious blockchain projects, and it is allegedly “purpose-built to allow for payment obligations raised on the Corda blockchain platform to be made through any of the world’s payment systems, both traditional and blockchain-based.
Bitfury Is Implementing Lightning Into Crypto Payment Platform Paytomat

Bitfury Is Implementing Lightning Into Crypto Payment Platform Paytomat

The Bitfury Group has recently announced a partnership with crypto payment processing system Paytomat, working to bring the Lightning Network to Paytomat’s participating merchants. According to a recent Medium post made by LightningPeach, “Bitfury’s in-house specialized Lightning Network engineering team,” the Bitfury Group is pouring its resources into Paytomat’s wallet and vendor system, enabling “users and merchants on the Paytomat system to send and receive bitcoin payments over the Lightning Network almost instantly.
EU Workers Now Have the Option to Take Their Pay in a Euro Stablecoin

EU Workers Now Have the Option to Take Their Pay in a Euro Stablecoin

Blockchain Payroll Platform WorkChain.io has partnered with tokenization platform STASIS to enable euro-backed crypto paychecks for its European Union (EU) users with the EURS stablecoin.  EURS becomes the second stablecoin selected for use on the WorkChain.
Ohio Gives Green Light to Paying Taxes With Bitcoin

Ohio Gives Green Light to Paying Taxes With Bitcoin

Ohio is now setting up an official website to allow businesses to pay taxes with bitcoin. According to a recent article published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the state of Ohio seems to have given tacit acceptance to bitcoin by allowing businesses, although not individuals, to pay all manner of taxes with the cryptocurrency.
BitPay Integrates PAX Stablecoin Into Cryptocurrency Payment Platform

BitPay Integrates PAX Stablecoin Into Cryptocurrency Payment Platform

Bitcoin payment platform BitPay is now going to allow payments with the Paxos Standard token (PAX), which it calls “the fastest growing stablecoin and the highest trading volume of any U.S. dollar-backed stablecoin.” Although BitPay has previously integrated a number of different cryptocurrencies in its platform, such a widely trafficked stablecoin (the first of its kind to see support from the payment platform) holds certain distinct advantages, namely regulatory compliance and a stable value.
Price Dip Aside, Paxful Anticipates Big Week of Gift Card-to-Bitcoin Trades

Price Dip Aside, Paxful Anticipates Big Week of Gift Card-to-Bitcoin Trades

That special time of year is coming up — the time when individuals trade in their unwanted or unusable gift cards for bitcoin. And with the price of bitcoin dropping, peer-to-peer (P2P) bitcoin marketplace Paxful is making it possible to use these gift cards to “buy the dip.” Ray Youssef, Paxful’s CEO and co-founder, explained that, over the past few years, the busiest week for Paxful is the one right after Black Friday; in fact, as time has gone by, the rate of exchange between gift cards and bitcoin has gotten higher and higher.
Bakkt Delays Platform Launch; Announces January as Tentative Roll Out Date

Bakkt Delays Platform Launch; Announces January as Tentative Roll Out Date

Bakkt, an upcoming crypto retail payment system and futures platform, is delaying its launch to better ensure the platform’s success at release. On November 20, 2018, the CEO of Bakkt released an update on Medium, outlining the future business plans for the company, describing some of the progress in implementing new features and declaring that the company’s initial launch is being postponed until January 24, 2019.
A Year After Launch, BTCPay Has Grown Larger Than Its Creator Expected

A Year After Launch, BTCPay Has Grown Larger Than Its Creator Expected

First hinting at his project in a reply to a BitPay tweet on August 2017, Nicolas Dorier boldly claimed that BTCPay would make one of crypto’s most popular payment processors obsolete.   In an r/Bitcoin post two months later, he clarified that his brainchild isn’t meant to “take the place of BitPay.

Study Suggests 25 Percent of Bitcoin Users Are Associated With Illegal Activity

In a newly published paper on the use of bitcoin for illegal activity, researchers from the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney and the Stockholm School of Economics in Riga indicate that a quarter of all bitcoin users are associated with illegal activity.

Blockstream Releases Lightning Charge, Launches Test E-Commerce Store

Following the release of the first Bitcoin Lightning Network white paper, published in February 2015, developers have been working on Lightning Network implementations to enhance the throughput and usability of the Bitcoin network.

Out of Steam: PC Gaming Platform Ends Bitcoin Payment Option

The utility aspect of Bitcoin faced a setback yesterday as PC gamers heard from Valve Corporation’s Steam Team in a blog post that Bitcoin would no longer be accepted as payment on its digital distribution platform, Steam.

This New Scaling Layer Could Make Payment Channels Ten Times More Effective

There is no disputing the fact that the Bitcoin network has scalability problems. Micropayment channels are a solution to increase the transaction rate and speed. Yet, this is not the golden solution … This micropayments solution needs a fixed amount of funds to be locked into each channel’s multisignature wallet and requires a transaction for each channel creation and closure.
R3 Unveils Cross-Border Payments Platform Built on Corda DLT Tech

R3 Unveils Cross-Border Payments Platform Built on Corda DLT Tech

Distributed ledger consortium R3 and 22 of its member banks have announced a cross-border payments platform built on top of the company's Corda technology. Centered around the concept of creating digitized versions of fiat currencies that can be exchanged and transferred between different parties, the effort has seen involvement from banks including Barclays, BBVA, CIBC and Commerzbank. The unveiling comes just a month after the startup announced version 1.
Foxconn Backs $16 Million Series B for Bitcoin Startup Abra

Foxconn Backs $16 Million Series B for Bitcoin Startup Abra

Bitcoin startup Abra has completed a $16 million Series B led by manufacturing giant Foxconn. Announced today at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas, the new capital brings Abra's total funding to more than $30 million. Other participants in the round include new investors Silver8 Capital and Ignia, as well as previous Abra backers Arbor Ventures, American Express, Jungle Ventures, Lehrer Hippeau and RRE.
Foxconn Backs $16 Million Series B for Bitcoin Startup Abra

Foxconn Backs $16 Million Series B for Bitcoin Startup Abra

Bitcoin startup Abra has completed a $16 million Series B led by manufacturing giant Foxconn. Announced today at the Money2020 conference in Las Vegas, the new capital brings Abra's total funding to more than $30 million. Other participants in the round include new investors Silver8 Capital and Ignia, as well as previous Abra backers Arbor Ventures, American Express, Jungle Ventures, Lehrer Hippeau and RRE.
IT Giant Fujitsu Joins Major Banks for Blockchain Money Transfer Pilot

IT Giant Fujitsu Joins Major Banks for Blockchain Money Transfer Pilot

Japanese IT giant Fujitsu and three major banks have announced plans to pilot a peer-to-peer money transfer system built with blockchain technology. In partnership with Mizuho Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Fujitsu will field trial a cloud-based blockchain platform for sending funds between individuals, as well as a smartphone app to increase the usability of the system. In theory, the platform would link customers' fiat accounts at the three banks to the blockchain system.
Swiss Public University Begins Accepting Bitcoin

Swiss Public University Begins Accepting Bitcoin

Switzerland's Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts is now accepting bitcoin. The public institution is taking the cryptocurrency as payment for student-related bills through a partnership with Bitcoin Suisse AG. As might be expected, the university itself won't handle the bitcoin – rather, the brokerage firm will exchange incoming payments into Swiss francs on a weekly basis, according to an announcement.
Circle Is Building a Master Mobile Payments Network on Ethereum

Circle Is Building a Master Mobile Payments Network on Ethereum

Blockchain startup Circle has unveiled new software aimed at connecting the world's digital wallets. Known as 'CENTRE', the project seeks to create a way for digital wallets (like Venmo, Alipay or the startup's own Circle Pay) to communicate with one another. Put more simply, CENTRE as envisioned would let the companies behind those apps to transmit and settle funds between them. At its heart, the project targets the so-called "walled garden" issue, wherein different platforms – whether they be a social media site like Facebook or a payments app like Venmo – exist largely within their own ecosystems.
When Not If? Banks Strike Optimistic Tone on Blockchain Impact

When Not If? Banks Strike Optimistic Tone on Blockchain Impact

"We are in the process of developing a new operating system for the planet." The remark, issued by Barclays' vice chairman of corporate banking, Jeremy Wilson, perhaps summed up the scope and tenor of discussion at the Blockchain for Finance conference yesterday. Held in Dublin, the event played host to participants more at home in suits than hoodies, though the mood was no less enthusiastic than if it was packed with developers.
Mastercard Hints at Plans for Blockchain Settlement System

Mastercard Hints at Plans for Blockchain Settlement System

A new patent application from global card issuer Mastercard indicates that the company may be looking to integrate blockchain into its payments infrastructure. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published a new application from the financial giant this week that outlines a solution for a "uniform settlement system" – one that would help ease some of the friction involved with business-to-business payments.
Germanys Central Bank: Consumers Wont Use Blockchain for Payments

Germanys Central Bank: Consumers Wont Use Blockchain for Payments

Germany's central bank has published a new research paper centered on distributed ledger tech (DLT), exploring its use for payments, securities settlement and more. Researchers from the Deutsche Bundesbank wrote in the paper that the tech "offers a number of benefits on account of the distributed storage of data" – highlighting both the potential opportunities as well as some of the practical challenges any application might create. In an English-language explainer published alongside the paper (the original version is in German only), the German central bank noted that it doesn't see much of a role for the tech in consumer payments, arguing: "The Bundesbank’s experts see little prospect of DLT being put to widespread use in the field of individual and retail payments given the current state of the art.