Checkout.Com Starts Accepting Stablecoins Payment, Providing 24/7 Settlement

UK-based payments solution provider Checkout.com announced on Tuesday the launch of its stablecoin settlement solution by using Fireblocks’ new crypto payment technology.

With this access, Checkout.com is set to provide its merchants with flexible instant fiat-to-stablecoin conversion for customer payments.

Checkout.com, which competes with Fintech firms like PayPal and Stripe, mentioned that it launched the service to enable merchants (businesses) to accept and make payments in USD Coin, a popular stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar.

Issued by Circle Inc., USD Coin (USDC) is the second stablecoin by market. Currently, there is about $53 billion worth of USD Coin (USDC) in circulation. Tether remains the biggest stablecoin issuer with $78.6 billion in total supply.

Stablecoins have become a popular way of settlement, helping investors trade digital currencies rapidly without needing to go through banks.

Jess Houlgrave, Checkout.com’s head of crypto strategy, said that the new feature would provide merchants with 24/7 settlements, including weekends and public holidays, which is not currently possible with fiat currencies. Crypto users can get their payments straight away. Still, banks and card schemes like Visa and Mastercard operate in a way that merchant payouts are limited to 9-5 on weekdays through batch processing over several business days.

Checkout.com disclosed that it has tested the feature privately with a select number of clients, facilitating $300 million in transaction volumes in the past few months.

At the start, Checkout.com said that its stablecoin settlement supports USDC, but it plans to expand the service to a broader range of assets. The startup plans to roll out the service worldwide, with FTX, a Bahamas-based crypto exchange, among the first to use it.

Bridging the Gap Between Crypto and Fiat Money

In January, Checkout.com raised $1 billion in a Series D funding round from investors such as Altimeter, Dragoneer, Franklin Templeton, GIC, Insight Partners, the Qatar Investment Authority, Tiger Global, the Oxford Endowment Fund, and many others.

The fundraising round gave Checkout.com a valuation of $40 billion. The valuation gave Checkout.com the status of the most valuable private fintech in the U.K. and the third most valuable private fintech globally.

The latest move by Checkout.com is the latest example of the rising acceptance of digital assets by major financial institutions throughout the globe.

Currently, various financial institutions are seeking to bridge the gap between fiat and crypto payment options.

In April, Stripe started using Polygon to enable customers to pay freelancers, sellers, content creators, and service providers in cryptocurrency.

Last month, Stripe started allowing Twitter users to get paid in USDC stablecoins and announced plans to roll out the service to other firms to pay their customers using the cryptocurrency.

 

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Checkout.Com Starts Accepting Stablecoins with Major Crypto Push Ahead

UK-based payments solution provider Checkout.com announced on Tuesday the launch of its stablecoin settlement solution by using Fireblocks’ new crypto payment technology.

With this access, Checkout.com is set to provide its merchants with flexible instant fiat-to-stablecoin conversion for customer payments.

Checkout.com, which competes with Fintech firms like PayPal and Stripe, mentioned that it launched the service to enable merchants (businesses) to accept and make payments in USD Coin, a popular stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar.

Issued by Circle Inc., USD Coin (USDC) is the second stablecoin by market. Currently, there is about $53 billion worth of USD Coin (USDC) in circulation. Tether remains the biggest stablecoin issuer with $78.6 billion in total supply.

Stablecoins have become a popular way of settlement, helping investors trade digital currencies rapidly without needing to go through banks.

Jess Houlgrave, Checkout.com’s head of crypto strategy, said that the new feature would provide merchants with 24/7 settlements, including weekends and public holidays, which is not currently possible with fiat currencies. Crypto users can get their payments straight away. Still, banks and card schemes like Visa and Mastercard operate in a way that merchant payouts are limited to 9-5 on weekdays through batch processing over several business days.

Checkout.com disclosed that it has tested the feature privately with a select number of clients, facilitating $300 million in transaction volumes in the past few months.

At the start, Checkout.com said that its stablecoin settlement supports USDC, but it plans to expand the service to a broader range of assets. The startup plans to roll out the service worldwide, with FTX, a Bahamas-based crypto exchange, among the first to use it.

Bridging the Gap Between Crypto and Fiat Money

In January, Checkout.com raised $1 billion in a Series D funding round from investors such as Altimeter, Dragoneer, Franklin Templeton, GIC, Insight Partners, the Qatar Investment Authority, Tiger Global, the Oxford Endowment Fund, and many others.

The fundraising round gave Checkout.com a valuation of $40 billion. The valuation gave Checkout.com the status of the most valuable private fintech in the U.K. and the third most valuable private fintech globally.

The latest move by Checkout.com is the latest example of the rising acceptance of digital assets by major financial institutions throughout the globe.

Currently, various financial institutions are seeking to bridge the gap between fiat and crypto payment options.

In April, Stripe started using Polygon to enable customers to pay freelancers, sellers, content creators, and service providers in cryptocurrency.

Last month, Stripe started allowing Twitter users to get paid in USDC stablecoins and announced plans to roll out the service to other firms to pay their customers using the cryptocurrency.

 

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Bermuda’s Jewel Bank Receives Regulatory Approval to Run as Digital Asset Bank

Jewel Bank announced on Tuesday that it has obtained a full bank license and a digital asset business license from the Bermuda Monetary Authority (BMA). The license acquisition has enabled Jewel Bank to become the first digital asset bank in the island nation.

The approval from an integrated regulator of the financial services sector in Bermuda allows Jewel Bank to provide service to digital asset firms in non-sanctioned countries worldwide around, as well as in the US. The Bermuda-based bank will mainly serve the needs of non-US licensed firms, providing them with the essential digital asset banking, fiat on/off ramps, payments, custody, crypto-collateralized lending, stablecoin issuance, and real-time settlement services.

Jewel Bank’s banking infrastructure aims to fill a critical gap in the rising global digital asset market by providing globally accessible digital asset banking.

Jewel Bank has innovated by itself as a direct issuer of fully reserved fiat-backed stablecoins issued against fiat deposits. The digital bank plans to offer USD stablecoin and other single fiat currencies. The bank intends to provide stablecoins “as-a-Service” to other banks and non-bank financial institutions that do not have the same regulatory, technology, and compliance capabilities.

Jewel Bank intends to provide domestic retail banking services in Bermuda and assist in accelerating Bermuda’s digital transformation.

Stablecoins’ Impact on Banking

Stablecoins have witnessed significant growth in the few previous years, serving as a potential breakthrough innovation in the future of payments. The market is proliferating, with new stablecoin issuers putting pressure on banks to dive in.

In January, PayPal announced plans to launch its own stablecoin under the name ‘PayPal Coin.’ PayPal’s move came as Facebook confirmed that it still intends to release its own stablecoin, Diem cryptocurrency.

Government and technology initiatives have driven the value of the stablecoin market up to about $140 billion — seven times higher than two years ago.

In January last year, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), led by former Acting Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, allowed US federal banks to participate as nodes on a blockchain or conduct payments using stablecoins.

While tech companies have taken the lead in stablecoin participation, many banks are also becoming active developers. The move hints that the stablecoin industry could follow the same path as the mobile-wallet market.

In January, Russia’s largest retail bank, Sberbank, sent an application to Russia’s Central Bank to register its blockchain platform to issue its own stablecoin.

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SL Benfica to Launch Fan Tokens through Partnership with Socios.com

SL Benfica is on track to launch its fan tokens as it has inked a promising partnership with blockchain startup Socios.com.

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As announced by Socios, Benfica will now be exposed to its growing community, numbering up to 1.5 million people, a figure representing the total number of users who have downloaded its app.

With the proposed Benfica fan token, the Portuguese club will become the first from the country to extend new opportunities whereby fans can become more knitted with the club. The fan tokens based on Socios’ model will enable fans to participate in their club’s governance irrespective of their geographical location. They can vote on Jersey choices, victory songs, and a host of other things that define fan engagement.

“Benfica is constantly focused on searching for and delivering a positive experience to our huge global fanbase, which includes both Members and Supporters. We have been paying very close attention to Digital Assets, a market which has been influential in our industry of late. We are delighted to be partnering with Socios.com, the ideal partner for developing our tokens and for bringing the worldwide Benfica family closer together,” said Domingos Soares de Oliveira, CEO of SL Benfica.

Benfica follows the step just like other major European clubs to get aboard the fan token ship, such as FC Barcelona, Juventus, and Manchester City, amongst others, notably amongst those who have opened their arms to the Socios model to bolster fan engagements.

Besides the revenue that will be generated for the club through the sales of the fan token, Benfica fans will also be gain exposure to exclusive benefits that are being introduced by Socios which includes its plans to grant as many as 17,000 fans tickets to watch live matches this year, as well as access to sponsor offers, and merchandise.

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Binance Debunks Claims Exchange Aided Money Laundering

Binance trading platform denied all allegations of facilitating around $2.4 billion in illicit funds from world-acclaimed criminal organizations like Lazarus Group and Hydra.

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Previously, Reuters reported indicating the crypto exchange that involves illicit activities. However, the exchange has denied any wrongdoing from the report, criticizing the coverage was based on cherry-picked facts and that the journalists from Reuters failed to conduct comprehensive interviews with the relevant personnel to come to their conclusions.

Binance has often been ranked as the biggest trading platform in terms of trading volume, generally known as a hub for retail and corporate investors. The exchange has also claimed it has a very proactive Anti-Money Laundering policy many times. This provision detects illicit transactions it is being accused of facilitating by Reuters.

Binance reiterated it has continued to work with regulators to fish out illicit activities. The exchange said illicit transactions in the crypto ecosystem pale when compared to the broader financial ecosystem, but journalists hardly pick up these salient facts.

“Of all transactions made with cryptocurrencies in 2021, 0.15% were associated with some type of illicit activity,” the exchange wrote, “The UN estimates that between 2% to 5% of traditional fiat (cash), about $800 billion to $2 trillion in current US dollars, was associated with some illicit activity. Crypto is incredibly transparent, infinitely more so than the traditional cash economy, and this is well-documented.”

In bolstering the claims of Binance, CEO, Changpeng Zhao announced earlier in April that it was able to recoup as much as $5.8 million in funds linked to Lazarus Group and the Axie Infinity’s Ronin Bridge attack that saw about $620 million pulled from the protocol. Binance is often a subject of controversial media reports, making this Reuter’s buzz not surprising.

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Paypal Crypto Owners Can Now Transfer Tokens to Wallets

Fintech giant Paypal Holdings has upgraded its crypto wallet capabilities. Users of the app can now send supported digital assets to other wallets.

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With this upgrade, users can now send Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) to other Paypal users as well as external wallets, which may also include those from trading platforms.

The move has now effectively opened Paypal’s crypto-economy, which at best was closed up before. The move is also being seen as a way to integrate users’ interests and demands while eliminating the monopoly tag from Paypal as a platform.

“Adding the ability to transfer, send, and receive cryptocurrencies is another step in our journey to building a more inclusive and effective financial system,” said Jose Fernandez da Ponte, SVP and GM of blockchain, crypto, and digital currencies at PayPal, in a statement. “We’re excited to connect PayPal’s customers to other wallets, exchanges, and applications, and we will continue to roll out additional crypto features, products, and services in the months ahead.”

The newly added functionality, in accordance with Fernandez da Ponte, will permit crypto holders within the Paypal app to do more with their digital assets. The move was made at a time when the digital currency ecosystem was experiencing a massive correction. Despite the current outlook, Paypal remains committed to the ecosystem in which it has started expanding beyond the shore of the United States.

“This move shows we’re in this for the long term,” Fernandez da Ponte added. “I think it’s important to stay the course and continue to invest in the space.”

Besides Paypal, other Fintech companies are also taking the initiative to support crypto transfer from one wallet to the other. Revolut is one of the platforms that has also made this move, as it looks to diversify its options to foster a broader financial inclusion.

Besides the new wallet functionality, Paypal also announced it has received a full BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS).

 

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Bitcoin (BTC) $ 39,505.58 1.96%
Ethereum (ETH) $ 2,162.72 2.99%
Litecoin (LTC) $ 72.15 0.67%
Bitcoin Cash (BCH) $ 228.03 0.67%