Daily Archives: November 3, 2021

Australia’s Commonwealth Bank Lets Customers Trade Crypto Directly Through Its App

Australia's Commonwealth Bank Lets Customers Trade Crypto Directly Through Its App

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), the country’s biggest bank, is providing customers with the ability to buy, sell, and hold crypto assets directly through its app. The bank has partnered with crypto exchange Gemini and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis to provide crypto services.

Commonwealth Bank Begins Offering Crypto Services

Commonwealth Bank (CBA), also known as Commbank, announced Wednesday that “it will become Australia’s first bank to offer customers the ability to buy, sell and hold crypto assets,” which will be directly through its Commbank app.

Australia’s biggest lender explained that it has partnered with New York-based crypto exchange Gemini and blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis to provide crypto services. “Both partnerships have allowed the bank to design a crypto exchange and custody service that will be offered to customers through a new feature in the app,” Commbank detailed. The bank’s mobile banking app is used by about 6.4 million customers.

Noting that “The pilot will start in the coming weeks and CBA intends to progressively roll out more features to more customers in 2022,” Commonwealth Bank elaborated:

CBA will provide customers with access to up to ten selected crypto assets including bitcoin, ethereum, bitcoin cash, and litecoin.

Commonwealth Bank noted that according to its research, “a large number of its customers want to access crypto assets as an investment class and are already buying, selling, and holding crypto assets through a variety of crypto exchanges.”

Commbank CEO Matt Comyn opined: “We believe we can play an important role in crypto to address what’s clearly a growing customer need and provide capability, security and confidence in a crypto trading platform … CBA will leverage Gemini’s crypto exchange and custody service and integrate it into the Commbank app through APIs.”

The partnership with Chainalysis will help the bank’s compliance teams to “monitor and mitigate the threat of crime through crypto asset exchanges,” Australia’s largest bank explained.

What do you think about Australia’s Commonwealth Bank offering crypto services in partnership with Gemini and Chainalysis? Let us know in the comments section below.

Silk Road 2 Admin Forfeits $667,000 in Bitcoin to British Law Enforcement

Silk Road 2 Admin Forfeits $667,000 in Bitcoin to British Law Enforcement

According to reports, the founder of the now-defunct Silk Road 2 marketplace has forfeited more than half-million dollars worth of bitcoin to British authorities. White’s Silk Road 2 admin handle was called “Cthulhu,” and he also dubbed himself as “DPR2.”

Silk Road 2 Admin Thomas White Forfeits $667K in Bitcoin

In April 2019, Bitcoin.com News reported on Thomas White, the lead administrator of the now-defunct Silk Road 2 darknet marketplace (DNM), getting sentenced to five years in prison. The Silk Road 2 (SR2) DNM was the original Silk Road’s successor, after the first Silk Road administrator was taken into custody. The 26-year-old White ran the DNM under the names “Cthulhu” and “DPR2,” and was eventually tracked when he ordered a package from the SR2 marketplace itself.

Sky News reports that White has been forced to hand over £490,000 ($667,000) worth of bitcoin from his net proceeds. The prosecutors continued to monitor White’s finances after he was jailed and the National Crime Agency (NCA) believes he made roughly £1.5 million ($2,048,100) from his SR2 operations. Law enforcement estimates that the SR2 pulled in roughly $8 million in bitcoin every month after it launched.

National Crime Agency Claims White Was a ‘Well-Regarded Member of the Original Silk Road Hierarchy’

Reportedly, SR2 did not have any official affiliations with the original Silk Road market, but appeared online approximately 30 days after the site was seized in October 2013. At the court hearing last week, White was described as being affiliated with members of the original Silk Road, and the NCA says he used his reputation to his advantage.

“Thomas White was a well-regarded member of the original Silk Road hierarchy,” Tyrone Surgeon, an NCA spokesperson said. “He used this to his advantage when the original site was closed down and profited significantly from his criminal activity. This case proves that crime doesn’t pay – not only has he spent the last two years in prison, he now has to hand over nearly £500,000,” Surgeon added.

So far White has served two years of his five-year and four-month prison sentence alongside forfeiting the $667,000 worth of bitcoin. The SR2 administrator was charged with money laundering, drug trafficking, and possession of illegal images. “This has been a complex, international investigation and highlights that we will use every tool at our disposal to disrupt organised criminals from profiting from their crime,” Surgeon added in his statement.

**Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article contained a typo that said “half-billion” and was replaced with “half-million,” in terms of the size of White’s bitcoin forfeiture.

What do you think about the SR2 administrator Thomas White being forced to hand over more than a half-million dollars worth of bitcoin? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

ADALend Ignites the Defi Space

ADALend is a scalable and decentralized lending protocol governed by a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO).

ADALend will offer various features that will provide its users with decentralized financial instruments accessible to everyone with access to the internet, without the complicated KYC requirements of the mainstream banking system.

The protocol will improve digital assets’ capital efficiency by enabling assets accumulated to fund multiple loan pools. The protocol will utilize the Cardano blockchain to flesh out DeFi potential as a viable replacement to the traditional financial sector.

Green Blockchain

Blockchains of the future will be required to have a lower impact on the environment, working efficiently without consuming enormous amounts of energy to remain operational. Cardano has been one of the most energy-efficient blockchains in the industry. 1.6 million times lower than bitcoin and well below the average level of high market capitalization coins.

Cardano has also announced its partnership with Veritree creating “The First Global Cardano Impact Challenge,” an initiative that aims to reinvest donations into replanting trees worldwide.

Platform Security

The Cardano codebase was developed in Haskell, a widely popular programming language explicitly chosen for its ease of auditing. The Cardano blockchain will offer a protective layer of security for the ADALend protocol to function without breakdown, unlike many DeFi protocols that suffer from issues due to its blockchain complexity. ADALend is considered one of the most efficient and stable DeFi platforms on the market.

ADALend will also enjoy the further developments in the Cardano blockchain performed by Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) which has a very strong team that is always working on further improving the blockchain.

Summary

In reality, these are the two major factors that will be considered when looking for future providers of financial instruments. Efficiency and security will come as a top concern for users in 2022 and beyond. The replacement of the mainstream banking system will not happen overnight, but it is the constant enforcement of stable alternatives that will be considered the end of traditional financial services.

Adalend had an oversubscribed seed round earlier last month; with the private sale round running out quickly, many investors are rushing in to guarantee their spot in the private sale.

To find out more about ADALend, visit their website and read their whitepaper.


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$1.75 Trillion for Climate Change, Social Services — Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Plan Advances While Inflation Grips US

This week, U.S. lawmakers are preparing to debate the advance of Joe Biden’s Build Back Better proposal, which is now estimated at $1.75 trillion. The new proposal follows the expansive monetary policy the Federal Reserve engaged in during the last two years expanding the money supply like never before. Meanwhile, U.S. inflation is at a 30 year high and the central bank’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) plans to assess new strategies today.

Biden Slims Down ‘Build Back Better’ Plan

Last week, U.S. president Joe Biden offered a slimmed-down “Build Back Better” proposal from its original $3.5 trillion to the current estimate of $1.75 trillion. The proposal follows the massive monetary expansion that stemmed from the U.S. Federal Reserve adding credit to its member banks’ deposits.

In order to deal with the economic disaster caused by the government’s Covid-19 mandates, the Fed’s monetary expansion eclipsed two centuries of USD creation. The latest 1,600-page proposal from the Biden administration wants to leverage $1.75 trillion to tackle social service programs and climate change.

Reports note that $550 billion will be dedicated to combating climate change. The funding will be dedicated to the so-called climate crisis and the funds will be distributed to firms that address climate change and transition to clean energy. Biden’s plan is also aimed at childcare and the bill includes free preschool programs for all 3-4-year-old American children.

Moreover, the White House proposal also extends the Child Tax Credit for another 12 months. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi conceded that a number of items were cut from the bill but she highlighted that “universal pre-K, child care, child tax credit, home health care and the rest” made it into the package.

Additionally, Biden’s “Build Back Better” proposal will fund broadband services to help American families connect to the internet, but also provide an allocation of funds for free “desktops, laptops, and tablets to poor Americans,” according to The Verge’s contributor Makena Kelly.

Federal Reserve to Discuss Tapering Bond Purchases in the Face of Rising Inflation

At the same time, rising inflation is gripping the U.S. economy as fresh data published last week shows inflation is the highest it’s been in 30 years. In order to address the problem, the U.S. central bank plans to meet on Wednesday afternoon. It is assumed that the Fed will not raise the benchmark interest rate above zero but will likely discuss tapering back the $120 billion worth of bonds it purchases each month.

Other countries are facing the same decisions, as the Bank of England is meeting the day after the Fed’s FOMC meeting in order to discuss re-configuring interest rates. Reuters noted today that during the September 21-22 minutes FOMC members signaled that a “taper” of bond purchasing may be approved. The plan was described as an “illustrative tapering path,” and Reuters’ contributor Howard Schneider highlights that Fed officials still believe the current issues will be transitory.

“Fed officials still largely hold that view — By some time in 2022 they anticipate that global supply bottlenecks will have eased, pandemic-fueled demand for goods among U.S. consumers will cool,” Schneider’s report on Wednesday explains.

What do you think about Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ plan to leverage $1.75 trillion? What do you think about the Fed assessing tapering back bond purchases? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Gets Paid in Bitcoin, Gives Away $1 Million in BTC

Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers Gets Paid in Bitcoin, Gives Away $1 Million in BTC

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers is taking a portion of his salary in bitcoin. He also gave away $1 million in the cryptocurrency to his fans in collaboration with Square’s Cash App. “I believe in bitcoin,” he said, adding that “the future is bright.”

Green Bay Packers’ Aaron Rodgers Takes Part of His NFL Salary in Bitcoin

American football quarterback for the Green Bay Packers of the National Football League (NFL), Aaron Rodgers, explained in a video he posted on Twitter Monday that he is taking a portion of his salary in bitcoin. In addition, he gave away $1 million in the cryptocurrency in partnership with Square’s Cash App.

Rodgers said:

Bitcoin to the moon … That’s why I’m pumped that I recently teamed with Cash App. They have enabled me to take part of my NFL salary in bitcoin for the very first time.

He also wrote: “I believe in bitcoin & the future is bright.”

The Green Bay Packers and Rodgers signed a four-year, $134 million deal before the start of the 2018 season. According to reports, he’s due to earn over $1.1 million in salary, with more than $22 million earned in signing and roster bonuses.

Rodgers Gives Away $1 Million in Bitcoin

Rodgers also announced Monday on Twitter that he was giving away $1 million in bitcoin to his fans. To receive free BTC, fans had to reply to his tweet with their $cashtag and #Paidinbitcoin, and follow @Cashapp on Twitter.

The quarterback explained:

To make bitcoin more accessible to my fans I’m giving out a total of $1M in BTC now too.

Rodgers’ tweet was flooded with people wanting free BTC. At the time of writing, the tweet has been liked 65.2K times and received 111.7K replies. Soon after the announcement, fans claimed to have received bitcoin from the quarterback, posting screenshots of what they received. The amounts varied. For example, some people received about $10 while others received about $100.

A growing number of professional athletes and sports teams are asking to be paid in bitcoin, including Russell Okung, Tom Brady, Saquon Barkley, and Sean Culkin. On Tuesday, the mayor of the U.S. city of Miami, Florida, also said that he is going to take 100% of his next paycheck in bitcoin.

What do you think about Aaron Rodgers getting paid in bitcoin and giving away BTC? Let us know in the comments section below.

Coinbase Lets Customers Borrow up to $1 Million Using Bitcoin as Collateral

The Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange Coinbase is now letting customers borrow up to $1 million using bitcoin as collateral. The company charges 8% APR but there is no credit check. The exchange said that the bitcoin used as collateral “remains safely held by Coinbase,” emphasizing, “It’s not lent out or used for any other purpose.”

Customers Can Borrow up to $1M With Bitcoin as Collateral From Coinbase

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase announced Tuesday:

We’re excited to announce that eligible customers can now borrow up to $1 million USD from Coinbase.

On its website, the Nasdaq-listed crypto exchange explained that eligible customers can “Borrow cash using bitcoin as collateral,” noting that borrowers will “Pay just 8% APR with no credit check.”

The company explained that customers can borrow as much as 40% of the value of the bitcoin in their account, up to $1 million. “Each month you only need to pay the interest due ($10 min),” Coinbase said, adding that there is no prepayment or late fees.

“This line of credit has a demand feature and is repayable within 2 years of opening,” Coinbase continued, elaborating:

The bitcoin you use as collateral remains safely held by Coinbase. It’s not lent out or used for any other purpose.

The line of credit offered by Coinbase is currently available to residents of the following U.S. states: AK, AR, AZ, CA, FL, ID, IL, NC, NE, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, and WY.

Coinbase recently abandoned its plan to launch a lending program after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) threatened to sue the company if it proceeded with the launch. The exchange then published a proposal for cryptocurrency regulation with four core recommendations.

What do you think about Coinbase letting customers borrow up to $1 million with bitcoin as collateral? Let us know in the comments section below.

Amid Risk of Power Deficit, Ukraine Shuts Down Another Crypto Farm

Amid Risk of Power Deficit, Ukraine Shuts Down Another Crypto Farm

With а growing threat of electricity shortages in the winter months, Ukraine has busted another large coin minting facility illegally drawing power from the grid. The country’s security agency announced it’s stepping up efforts to ensure the nation’s energy system is well-protected from such consumers.

Large-Scale Illegal Mining Operation Uncovered in Central Ukraine

The Security Service of Ukraine (SBU), the country’s top law enforcement agency, is intensifying “systematic work to ensure the protection of critical infrastructure of the United Energy System of Ukraine,” a press release revealed this week. The announcement provides details about its latest operation against illegal crypto mining in the country:

An underground cryptocurrency farm has been exposed in Cherkasy region. The operators stole industrial volumes of electricity from the regional power grid for bitcoin mining.

Preliminary estimates shared by the SBU suggest that the Ukrainian state has suffered financial damages amounting to more than 6 million hryvnia (close to $330,000). The stolen electricity, officials claim, is sufficient to power more than a dozen homes for several years.

The security service said the mining undertaking had been organized by local businessmen in leased warehouses. They illegally connected their hardware to the grid operated by Cherkasyoblenergo, the region’s power distribution company. The daily operation of the equipment has allegedly inflicted “large-scale energy losses” to the state-owned enterprise.

During a search at the premises, agents found other evidence of illegal activities, the SBU added without elaborating. “Investigative actions are underway to prosecute the organizers of the illegal business” within proceedings under the Criminal Code of Ukraine, the organization emphasized. Involved in the case are also representatives of the National Police and the Prosecutor General’s Office.

The growing popularity of cryptocurrencies has turned Ukraine into a leader in adoption in recent years. The government in Kyiv has taken steps to legalize “virtual assets.” While the mining of digital coins is not banned, it isn’t regulated either. This year, the Security Service of Ukraine has been going after miners illegally exploiting the country’s electricity supply network, shutting down a number of crypto farms in various regions.

Other crypto-related activities have been targeted as well. In August, the SBU blocked a number of online crypto exchangers allegedly sending money to Russian wallets. Last week, law enforcement officers exposed a criminal group specializing in the theft of cryptocurrency through malware and the laundering of illicit funds for hackers.

Do you think Ukrainian authorities will continue to crack down on crypto mining in the country? Tell us in the comments section below.

FortKnoxster Launches Its Crypto Suite With Built-in Security and Beyond

FortKnoxster Launches Its Crypto Suite With Built-in Security and Beyond

PRESS RELEASE. Cybersecurity company FortKnoxster launches its one-stop crypto app, Crypto Suite™, with a range of features aimed at the crypto-and-security lovers. Among the features, which all are protected by strong end-to-end encryption, are:

  • Fiat to crypto and reverse
  • Crypto to crypto exchange
  • Store and transfer NFTs
  • Send/request crypto direct in the secure chat
  • Video calling, group chats, storage, voice messaging
  • PIN/Biometric security protection
  • Upgrades using the FortKnoxster coin, FKX

With security breaches in the world of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency becoming more frequent, FortKnoxster has made use of what is known as a Hierarchically Derived (HD) wallet model, allowing enhanced security and strong protection. Combined with default and seamless end-to-end encryption, the security level is very strong.

Crypto Suite, which initially is in beta, is free of charge to use all features in the Crypto Suite. A PRO upgrade gives, among other benefits, access to unlimited encrypted storage and calling.

Crypto Suite has a variety of use cases, and besides the above, it can also be used as a remittance app, as sending crypto in the built-in messenger is both super easy and fast.

The FortKnoxster platform is a multi-device app that can be used both on mobile and web and can also be white-labeled to businesses.

FortKnoxster CEO & co-founder Niels Klitsgaard comments:

“We are happy and excited to finally launch our one-stop crypto app, which solves a range of challenges most people in the crypto space are facing. With Crypto Suite, we help people store and manage their crypto assets – but at the same time, we also safeguard their communications, data and privacy. Crypto Suite is an easy-to-use solution and addresses most crypto needs in one single app.”

About FortKnoxster

FortKnoxster is founded by Danish cybersecurity experts and headquartered in Gibraltar, with offices in London and Dubai. FortKnoxster has users in almost 200 countries and their utility coin, FKX, can be traded at KuCoin and Uniswap.

 

Contact

For further media information or further comment from FortKnoxster please contact:

[email protected]

https://fortknoxster.com/

https://t.me/FortKnoxster

 


This is a press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

Major Thai Bank SCB Acquires 51% Stake in Cryptocurrency Exchange

Major Thai Bank SCB Acquires 51% Stake in Cryptocurrency Exchange

Siam Commercial Bank, one of the largest banks in Thailand, is acquiring a 51% stake in a cryptocurrency exchange. The acquisition will help the bank “create new growth value in the long term amid a new financial world,” said the CEO of the bank.

Major Thai Bank Becoming Majority Shareholder of Cryptocurrency Exchange

Thailand’s oldest lender, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), announced Tuesday that its subsidiary, Siam Commercial Securities Company Ltd. (SCBS), is acquiring a 51% stake in local crypto exchange Bitkub for 17.85 billion baht ($536 million). SCB is the country’s fourth-largest lender by assets.

The acquisition will help the SCB Group “create new growth value in the long term amid a new financial world,” CEO Arthid Nanthawithaya said, adding:

In the past 1-2 years, the digital asset industry, one of the financial industries of the future world, has grown rapidly, and it could grow further in the long term.

The deal is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2022, pending regulatory approval from relevant agencies, such as the Bank of Thailand (BOT) and the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Bitkub founder and CEO Jirayut Srupsrisopa commented:

We needed to elevate Bitkub to the global level, so we turned to a strong partner like SCB to help us achieve our target faster and more sustainably.

Several other Thai banks and financial institutions have made inroads into crypto assets.

In August, the Bank of Ayudhya participated in a $41 million investment round in Thai-based crypto exchange Zipmex. One of the exchange’s investors is Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin’s venture capital firm, B Capital Group.

Another major bank in Thailand, Kasikornbank, rolled out a service for digital token offerings earlier this year. Some companies, such as financial consultancy firm Brooker Group, have made cryptocurrencies, like bitcoin, a part of their investment strategies.

What do you think about a major Thai bank acquiring a 51% stake in a cryptocurrency exchange? Let us know in the comments section below.

Fiat-to-Crypto Payment Firm Wyre Reveals All-in-One NFT Marketplace Service

Fiat-to-Crypto Payment Firm Wyre Reveals All-in-One NFT Marketplace Service

On Tuesday, the San Francisco-based fiat-to-crypto and payment infrastructure company, Wyre, announced the launch of a non-fungible token (NFT) market tool that gives developers the ability to create NFT marketplaces in less than 24 hours.

Wyre Claims Devs Can Build an NFT Marketplace in 24 Hours

Non-fungible token (NFT) assets have been a hot topic all year long and the trend has continued strong toward the end of 2021. This year well known firms and exchanges like Crypto.com, FTX, and Coinbase have launched NFT marketplaces. Creators have also leveraged markets like Makersplace, Mintable, Rarible, and the leading NFT marketplace Opensea.

On November 2, Wyre announced the launch of an all-in-one NFT market solution that provides developers with the tools needed to build an NFT market in less than a day. Wyre is a San Francisco-based payment platform co-founded by Michael Dunworth and Ioannis Giannaros. The firm is backed by businesses like Draper Associates, Digital Currency Group, Amphora Capital, Baofoo.com, and 9fbank.

Wyre’s new NFT product utilizes the firm’s current API solutions which are leveraged by Flow, Avalanche, Stellar, Nifty’s and Rarible. “From out-of-the-box solutions including an NFT checkout widget that gives end-users to make purchases using the world’s most popular payment methods to powerful rest API’s that take care of custody and minting,” Wyre’s announcement explains. “Wyre is positioning themselves to be the one-stop-shop for developers and brands looking to make inroads into the rapidly growing collectibles space.”

Wyre’s CEO, Ioannis Giannaros, detailed that the company works with a number of brands in the space and says the firm is “committed” to helping the NFT sector blossom. “Our NFT solution changes the game for developers or brands looking to build an NFT Marketplace, providing them with end-to-end infrastructure which is powerful, easy to implement, and fully compliant,” Giannaros said in a statement on Tuesday.

According to the details of Wyre’s latest NFT product announcement, the company’s NFT service fees will “mirror Wyre’s traditional fee structure.” Wyre notes that its solution will support major blockchain networks and traditional payment networks as well like Apple Pay, Google Pay, MasterCard, and Visa. Essentially, the NFT marketplace tool supports all the fiat currencies Wyre currently supports.

What do you think about the NFT marketplace tool Wyre has introduced? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.