Category Archives: Litecoin

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Coinbase Looks to Acquire Banking Licenses

Coinbase is currently looking into the processes involved in acquiring banking licenses. The Wall Street Journal reports that an undisclosed source revealed that the exchange engaged in conversations with members of the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in earlier this year:

“Coinbase Inc and another cryptocurrency firm talked to US regulators about the possibility of obtaining banking licenses, a move that would allow the startups to broaden the types of products they offer.”

Additional Coinbase services

Coinbase has been expanding its services this year to become more than just an exchange. Its commerce API or its “PayPal-like service”, was released in February. Merchants could quickly implement cryptocurrencies as a payment method supporting BitcoinBitcoin CashEthereum, and Litecoin. The platform adds a “PayPal-like” button to e-commerce sites allowing streamlined payments straight to the vendor’s wallet.

Coinbase isn’t the only company to offer these types of services, with BitPay also letting customers pay in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. With the volatility within the cryptocurrency market this year it may take more to encourage merchants to adopt this additional payment method.

Coinbase announced this month that it would be releasing its Coinbase Custody platform. The new product could entice institutional investors, it went on to explain: “The cryptocurrency market is maturing rapidly as more sophisticated institutional participants enter the space. In fact, in the past few months over 100 hedge funds were created that exclusively invest in and trade cryptocurrency. Some of the world’s largest financial institutions have also recently announced their plans to begin trading cryptocurrency.”

Coinbase Custody is a storage service for a minimum of USD 10 million in crypto. Financial institutions will be expected to pay USD 100,000 as a set-up fee and an additional monthly premium dependant on holdings. Coinbase claimed: “We have leveraged our experience safely storing more than $20 billion of cryptocurrency to create Coinbase Custody, the most secure crypto storage solution available.”

Industry issues

Coinbase believes its recent progress will accelerate the world’s adoption of cryptocurrency by bringing new capital and greater awareness to the industry.

The volatility of Bitcoin still stands to be an issue and has led to merchants withdrawing the payment option. This was one of the main reasons for Steam halting Bitcoin payments at the end of 2017. The rise of crypto-related crime is enough to deter investors in the interim.

As much as 30,000 people who have fallen victim to Ethereum-related theft, suffering an average loss of USD 7,500 each, according to Chainalysis. Exchanges have been targeted in large-scale hacks with Coincheck losing USD 550 million worth of NEM cryptocurrency (XEM) in January and Coinsecure losing USD 3.5 million in Bitcoin (BTC). With legislation and regulation becoming a hot topic among unions and governments, 2018 is set to be an interesting year for cryptocurrencies.

Coinbases profitability values the company at around USD 8 billion. The growth and reinvestment into new ventures such as the banking industry shows Coinbase’s faith in the future of cryptocurrencies.

However, not everyone believes that the company is heading in the right direction. Reddit user Bitcoin Yoda explains how Coinbase Commerce is moving in a different direction to Satoshi’s vision: “A purely peer-to-peer version of electronic cash would allow online payments to be sent directly from one party to another without going through a financial institution. Any intermediary between your BTC payment and the merchant is violating the definition of Bitcoin and your privacy.”

Is Coinbase’s pursuit of becoming a bank turning its back on the ideologies behind crypto?


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Reddit to Resume Crypto Payments via Coinbase Commerce

Reddit, one of the biggest social media communities, is looking to re-establish cryptocurrency payments through Coinbase’s commerce platform. Users will be able to pay for the gold membership using Bitcoin and a variety of altcoins such as Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin.

Reddit had previously accepted Bitcoin payments and was an early adopter of the payment method, working with Coinbase from as far back as 2013. However, Bitcoin had recently been met with mixed interest with companies withdrawing these services.

Reddit administrator emoney04 said, “The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option.”

The implementation of a more streamlined crypto payment system and with cryptocurrencies on what appears to be a steady bull run may see an adoption of digital payments again.

Reddit is not the only company to drop out of crypto payments

Stripe was another early adopter of Bitcoin payments, processing payments for businesses using crypto since 2014. Slow transaction speeds and high transaction fees led to virtual currencies being dropped as a payment method earlier this year.

Dell, which was once one of the largest companies to take Bitcoin payments, and Valve, stopped due to the cost of transaction fees and price volatility. The payment method hasn’t been as popular due to a lack of user interest with PayPal calling cryptocurrency “an experiment”.

Statistics show that Coinbase received around 14 million registrations in 2017 and with the announcement of their new payment platform we could see a wider adoption of crypto payments, as well as companies revisiting the idea of accepting Bitcoin.

With companies such as Santander and Mastercard investing heavily in blockchain as well as a larger public awareness of cryptocurrencies, companies may begin to feel confident in supporting alternative payment methods.


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Kentucky Derby Is Open for Crypto on the Big Day

It has been widely reported that this year’s Kentucky Derby held on Saturday, 5 May will be attracting more cryptocurrency wagers that at any previous running of the famous race.

The Kentucky Derby is a horse race that is held annually in Louisville, Kentucky, United States, on the first Saturday in May, capping the two-week-long Kentucky Derby Festival. It is become an institution in the US, similar to the Grand National in the UK and the Melbourne Cup in Australia.

US Racing notes reports that Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin will feature in wagers far more prominently this year as punters rush to get a bet on the derby. This despite digital currency still needing further acceptance by betting companies. US Racing’s operations director Tim Maxwell notes:

“…both the legality and associated risk management of accepting cryptocurrency needs further clarification before we see widespread adoption in the gaming and racing industry as a whole.”

Maxwell suggests that the reluctance by companies to fully endorse the use of Bitcoin in the gaming and racing industry as a whole is its volatility, adding an unwanted layer of risk management. He does suggest, however, that companies based in the UK, Malta, and Canada are expected to accept Bitcoin payments on a trial basis by early to mid-2019, followed by land-based racebooks and casinos in late 2019 and early 2020.

A blockchain startup chain, Ethorse, allows punters to use ETH to back their favorite coin in the same way they would back a horse on the Kentucky Derby. Maxwell comments: “Punters will be game for a flutter on whether BTC will beat XRP in a match up or if ETH will win by a nose. Just because it is blockchain doesn’t preclude people from making a bet.”

The Crypto Currency Investors Club in US southern state Georgia enjoys it very first gathering of friends for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday. It promises “…an artsy, derby themed Bitcoin, blockchain and cryptocurrency community event”. Attendees can enjoy a glass of mint julep, watch a live stream of the race and place a wager (Bitcoin of course) on one of the renamed “CryptoDerby” horses.


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Crypto Payments Set to Return to Reddit

The CTO of Reddit, Christopher Slowe, has announced that Bitcoin is set to return as a payment option on the platform.

Slowe was interviewed by the business and technology news outlet Cheddar, when he revealed that Reddit was currently working towards the reintroduction of the Bitcoin payment option. Users were previously able to purchase Reddit Gold with Bitcoin on the platform but this option was disabled recently.

During the interview, Slowe noted that Reddit was also investigating the feasibility of providing alternative cryptocurrency payment methods, saying, ”We are looking at Ethereum and Litecoin that are provided by Coinbase as well.”

While Slowe did not provide a timeframe for when he expected the payment methods to be live, he did say that he anticipates them to come back in the near future. In the meantime, Reddit users are still able to purchase Reddit Gold via PayPal or Credit Card.

.@Reddit, which hosts communities for every single cryptocurrency in the world, is hoping to bring back crypto payments to the platform, this time with Ethereum and Litecoin in addition to Bitcoin, according to CTO @KeyserSosa.

— Cheddar (@cheddar) May 2, 2018

Bitcoin was disabled as a payment option in March this year, according to a Reddit admin due to changes made to the payment gateway provider Coinbase Commerce. The admin user claimed that an issue with the Coinbase service had led to its removal.

“Yup that’s right. The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option,” the admin wrote.

Coinbase Commerce had indeed changed the terms of their service, requiring merchants to make a significant upgrade to continue facilitating transactions. During the interview with Slowe, he said that rather than Reddit focus on this upgrade, they were instead fixing efforts on upgrading the design of the platform.

Reddit hosts the largest online cryptocurrency community for discussions and debate. Currently, the Bitcoin subreddit has 816,000 subscribers, with the cryptocurrency subreddit holds over 663,000 subscribers. Reddit first enabled Bitcoin as a payment option in February 2013.


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How the Lightning Network Will Appreciate Bitcoin’s Value

As the Lightning Network matures into an accessible format for all cryptocurrency traders, it has the potential to propel the adoption and valuation of Bitcoin to previously unmatched levels.

The Lightning Network

The Lightning technology works by essentially adding a layer onto existing blockchains, creating a multitude of private payment channels outside of the chain. For Bitcoin, this has the potential to solve the issue of scaling that has been problematic in terms of expanding adoption.

Developers and founders of the Lightning Network have said that they expect the technology to process thousands of Bitcoin transactions per second, instead of about seven. They also suggest that it could reduce fees to less than a penny while reducing confirmation times from 10 minutes to potentially almost instant.

Lightning Labs is one of three startups involved in the bulk of research and development into Lightning, working alongside Blockchain and ACINQ. They have agreed to cooperate in developing the network to a single, open standard with no centralized ownership. This may well encourage other developers to also contribute to the project, or build on top of it.

Justifying Bitcoin price predictions

The Lightning Network still has a long development journey ahead, but the numerous applications that it holds may well be valued in the billions of dollars. It has the potential to be a catalyst for a significant number of cryptocurrency innovations.

It is this multifaceted potential of the Lightning Network that has lead pundits such as Tom Lee to predict Bitcoin’s price to rise to USD 25,000 by the end of the year.

John Pfeffer, a major institutional investor, has predicted that Bitcoin will come to replace gold, while eventually being worth USD 700,000.

While these numbers may seem unattainable at the moment, especially considering the massive crash in the market that began the year, Lightning technology may well be the boost that Bitcoin needs to achieve these numbers.

Further than Bitcoin

While Bitcoin is the most prominent cryptocurrency involved with the network, it is also being tested with Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash, Ripple, and Stellar. All of these digital currencies are sure to get a major price appreciation from Lightning technology.

Not only will the technology be applicable for like-to-like cryptocurrency transaction, the open source nature of the protocol will allow a conversion between different cryptocurrencies across separate blockchains, a process that has been dubbed atomic swaps.


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Darwin’s First Crypto Cafe Joins Aussie Fintech Movers and Shakers

Darwin Cafe ‘Thrive’ is the first crypto cafe to operate in Australia’s Northern Territories State capital offering electronic payment in four cryptocurrencies.

Joint owners Kerry and sister-in-law Natalie decided to offer the service as part of a plan to attract Australian and overseas visitors to the Northern Territories. Kerry commented, “Why not jump on board, it’s quick and easy and we’re learning more every day.”

The owners remarked that customers initially responded with surprise at the new service but later showed interest in how cryptocurrency would work in the cafe scenario. Customers can currently pay in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin or Dash cryptocurrencies, with a cup of coffee priced at AUD 5 selling at BTC 0.00052 when interviewed by ABC Australia.

The cafe’s crypto payment program is facilitated by TravelbBit, a Queensland-based company which offers travel and payment facilities in cryptocurrency to vendors and customers. The company designs tourist routes within Australia and offers selected providers with their own TravebyBit digital currency payment platform. The company allows customers to pay in a digital currency of their choice.

Thrive in Darwin is one of many cafes around Australia to have adopted digital currency. New South Wales-based Pablo and Rusty’s Coffee Roasters also accept digital currency at its Brisbane location. The cafe chain, which is known for its scientific approach to coffee, producing the first disposable cup made entirely from coffee waste, launched Australia’s first cashless cafe in 2016. They commented that they were always on the lookout for ways of incorporating technology into their business.

Now, customers will be able to walk into the Brisbane store, order their items, and pay with a few taps on their phone – “precisely what cryptocurrency was originally intended for”.

Australia, the self-named “Lucky Country”, has adopted digital currencies with more enthusiasm than many around the world and looks to facilitate its use in a diverse range of areas on the continent.

Its attempts to regulate the cryptocurrency industry have so far been successful in its endeavors to protect citizens and the financial sector, while developing and incorporating the technology into the infrastructure of the country.


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Litecoin Payment Merchant LitePay to Cease Operations

After roughly a month of being in business, merchant processing platform LitePay from the Litecoin Foundation has abruptly ceased operations, having officially begun on 1 February 2018.

Internal disputes

With just over a month of operations and little to zero functional integration, the announcement still came as quite of a surprise; Keith Yong, director of operations, wrote a statement on the Litecoin Foundation blog:

“We wanted to inform you that a couple of days ago, the Litecoin Foundation was contacted by Kenneth Asare, CEO of LitePay, informing us that he has ceased all operations and is preparing to sell the company.”

 He continued:

“Prior to that, the foundation had approached Kenneth regarding his less than transparent nature with the company…”

Yong went on to explain that Kenneth Asare had been unable to give the Litecoin Foundation any proof of where the money was being spent and added that there were further complications.

Regret over hype

LitePay planned to offer LitePay Debit Cards which would have been capable of automatically exchanging Litecoin (LTC) into any fiat currency in the world, a simple tool enabling global transactions at the tap of a button. It had also been developed to enable LTC payments for retail, billing, donations and e-commerce.

The announcements of the coming LitePay release provided LTC with a few price boosts on the market, and naturally, the price has been in decline since the bad news.

Despite the setback, the Litecoin team remains optimistic. Yong further wrote in the announcement:

“Litecoin was doing perfectly fine before the promise of LitePay and will continue to do so.  The ecosystem is far bigger than one company and is continually growing with support from many others with market-ready products joining the space and fulfilling their promises to make it easier for the world to use Litecoin.”

Litecoin creator Charlie Lee also chimed in on the matter, apologizing over Twitter for creating too much hype:

“Like everyone else, we got too excited about something that was too good to be true and we optimistically overlooked many of the warning signs. I am sorry for having hyped up this company and vow to do better due diligence in the future.”

But for now, at least, cryptocurrency and Litecoin fans may have to wait a while longer before an LTC payment solution is in place. It’s not to say that LitePay is entirely off the cards as Asare could decide to sell the project to a capable company with a strong development team.



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