Daily Archives: January 12, 2022

US Federal Trade Commission Warns Consumers About Falling for Crypto ATM Scam

US Federal Trade Commission Warns Consumers About Falling for Cryptocurrency ATM Scam

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned consumers about scams involving cryptocurrency ATMs. “There’s a new spin on scammers asking people to pay with cryptocurrency,” the FTC described.

FTC’s Warning About Scams Involving Cryptocurrency ATMs

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a scam alert involving cryptocurrency ATMs Monday. The consumer notice, posted by Cristina Miranda from the FTC’s division of consumer and business education, states:

There’s a new spin on scammers asking people to pay with cryptocurrency.

“It involves an impersonator, a QR code, and a trip to a store (directed by a scammer on the phone) to send your money to them through a cryptocurrency ATM,” the notice details.

The scammers might call the victims pretending to be from the government, law enforcement, or a local utility company, the FTC noted. They could also pretend to be a romantic interest you met online or someone calling to inform you that you’ve won a lottery. They will stay on the phone with you until they’ve got your money.

The FTC explained that the scammer will “direct you to withdraw money from your bank, investment, or retirement accounts.”

Next, they will direct you to go to a store with a cryptocurrency ATM and buy cryptocurrency. Then they will send you a QR code with their address embedded in it.

“Once you buy the cryptocurrency, they have you scan the code so the money gets transferred to them. But then your money is gone,” the FTC stressed.

The agency emphasized:

Nobody from the government, law enforcement, utility company, or prize promoter will ever tell you to pay them with cryptocurrency.

“If someone does, it’s a scam, every time. Any unexpected tweet, text, email, call, or social media message — particularly from someone you don’t know — asking you to pay them in advance for something, including with cryptocurrency, is a scam,” the FTC warned.

What do you think about scams involving cryptocurrency ATMs? Let us know in the comments section below.

Panther Partners With ShapeShift to Add Interoperable Privacy to DeFi and Web3

PRESS RELEASE. As Panther pushes towards the decentralization of our protocol from Day 1 with LaunchDAO, the first-ever private and decentralized project launch, the team has unveiled a new, exciting partnership.

Panther Protocol is partnering with ShapeShift, a household name of the crypto industry. ShapeShift has taken brave steps in the recent past, moving from an exchange aggregator to a complete crypto management platform, as well as announcing its full decentralization.

The integration between ShapeShift and Panther will enable the advancement of privacy and data protection for users of DeFi. ShapeShift, through its APIs, digital assets and platforms, is a valuable pillar of the Decentralized Finance ecosystem, and will leverage Panther to achieve the maximum level of consumer protection, efficiency and privacy. Both teams will collaborate on research, deployment of privacy tools, and for ShapeShift users to participate in Panther’s staking program and governance.

The technical collaboration between both teams will also enable liquidity provisioning to Pather’s Multi-Asset Shielded Pools.

Commenting on the partnership. Willy Ogorzaly, former Principal Product Manager at ShapeShift (now Head of Decentralization at the Fox Foundation as ShapeShift moves into a DAO model) stated: “Panther’s mission to bring privacy and interoperability to DeFi protocols across chains aligns closely with the mission of ShapeShift DAO. We look forward to partnering with Panther to give ShapeShift users access to unprecedented levels of privacy in their DeFi journeys.”

To this, Panther Protocol’s CEO and co-Founder, Oliver Gale, added: “ShapeShift has been a pioneering platform in the march towards self-sovereign DEX infrastructure. The ShapeShift DAO is a major step towards the fulfilment of the vision of decentralized exchange services and Panther looks forward to offering zAsset swaps with compliance optionality to the ShapeShift community.”

About Shapeshift:

Since 2014, ShapeShift has been pioneering self-custody for digital asset trading. The company’s web and mobile platforms allow users around the world to safely buy, hold, trade and interact with digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. Learn more at ShapeShift.com.

Stay connected: Website I Twitter I Medium I Telegram I Discord I Youtube

About Panther Protocol

Panther is an end-to-end privacy protocol connecting blockchains to restore privacy in Web3 and DeFi while providing financial institutions a clear path to compliantly participate in digital asset markets.

Panther provides DeFi users with fully collateralized privacy-enhancing digital assets, leveraging crypto-economic incentives and zkSNARKs technology. Users can mint zero-knowledge zAssets by depositing digital assets from any blockchain into Panther vaults. zAssets flow across blockchains via a privacy-first interchain DEX and a private metastrate. Panther envisions that zAssets will become an ever-expanding asset class for users who want their transactions and strategies the way they should always have been: private.

Stay connected: Telegram | Twitter | LinkedIn | Website | Medium

 

 


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.

Strike Arrives in Argentina With USDT Support, No Bitcoin Integration Yet

Strike

Strike, a bitcoin-based wallet and exchange service, has landed in Argentina, bringing USDT integration to users in the country. Jack Mallers, CEO of Strike, explained that his objective for bringing the app to the country has to do with providing a platform for Argentinians to hold a stable value in cash. This value will be held in the form of USDT, with no option for storing bitcoin, at least at launch.

Strike Brings Stablecoin Integration to Argentinians

Strike, a popular bitcoin-based wallet, has launched in Argentina, bringing a new way for Argentinians to store their savings via stablecoins. The announcement of this development was made by Strike CEO Jack Mallers, who explained that due to the financial woes the citizens of the country are experiencing, there is a migration to foreign currencies such as the dollar.

Mallers stated:

There is now unprecedented demand for an open monetary system that lives within a distributed network, has a known monetary policy, a fixed supply, and is resistant to censorship.

Mallers further explained that Strike, in its Argentinian installment, will offer “a stable cash balance that can be spent both instantly and with no fees.”

Powered by USDT

While Strike is known for its Bitcoin and Lightning Network capabilities, it launched in Argentina with USDT as its backbone. This was considered strange by some local media outlets, considering that Mallers has publicly been a big supporter of the Bitcoin ecosystem, and that Strike has implemented these services in other locations already, including El Salvador.

The current version of the application for Argentina uses USDT, the popular stablecoin issued by Tether, as a backbone to store value for users. USDT has a market cap of more than $78 billion dollars, being the most valuable stablecoin project in the whole cryptocurrency market. The USDT version that Strike uses is an ERC20 token, which uses the Ethereum blockchain.

However, as Strike is a custodial wallet, users won’t have to deal with the high fees that are plaguing some ethereum users currently, as transactions using Strike are free of charge. In its terms of service the wallet explains that Bittrex is used for the custody of the assets, and that the company is not responsible for the custody of the cryptocurrency in its wallet.

What do you think about the launch of Strike in Argentina? Tell us in the comments section below.

Jack Dorsey Introduces Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund to Protect Open Source Developers

Jack Dorsey Introduces Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund to Protect Open Source Developers

A recent letter published to the Bitcoin developers mailing list written by Square founder Jack Dorsey indicates that a legal defense fund has been created for open source developers in order to protect them “from lawsuits regarding their activities in the Bitcoin ecosystem.” Dorsey’s letter is also signed by Alex Morcos of Chaincode Labs and Martin White, the co-founder of Hudson River Trading.

Jack Dorsey’s Open Letter to the Bitcoin Developers Mailing List Reveals Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund


According to an open letter from Jack Dorsey, Alex Morcos, and Martin White, “the Bitcoin community is currently the subject of multi-front litigation.” While the letter does not specifically detail any of the legal cases developers are dealing with, it mentions that “individual defendants have chosen to capitulate in the absence of legal support.”

However, the letter does hint at the Tulip Trading lawsuit, which involves Craig Wright, the Australian who claims he is Satoshi Nakamoto and the inventor of Bitcoin. “The Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund is a nonprofit entity that aims to minimize legal headaches that discourage software developers from actively developing Bitcoin and related projects such as the Lightning Network, Bitcoin privacy protocols, and the like,” the letter from Dorsey, White, and Morcos states. The open letter continues:

The fund’s first activities will be to take over coordination of the existing defense of the Tulip Trading lawsuit against certain developers alleging breach of fiduciary duty and provide the source of funding for outside counsel. At this time, the fund is not seeking to raise additional money for its operations but will do so at the direction of the board if needed for further legal action or to pay for staff.

Bitcoin Community Appreciates Legal Defense Fund Effort


The letter explains that interested people with questions or concerns can email the fund’s team and the email domain “bitcoindefensefund.org” is mentioned. The website seems to be under construction at the moment, as a message from the domain host Namebright notes the site is “coming soon.” Of course, the Bitcoin Legal Defense Fund became a trending topic on social media after the open letter was published.

Open source developer Bryan Bishop tweeted that he was “very grateful to see Jack’s support on the Bitcoin Developer Legal Defense Fund.” Bitcoiner Marty Bent wrote: “Shoutout to Jack, Alex Morcos, and Martin White for stepping up to protect Bitcoin developers from getting bogged down by lawsuits so they can focus on what they do best. Really cool to see come through the bitcoin-dev mailing list this evening,” Bent added.

What do you think about the Bitcoin Developer Legal Defense Fund information Jack Dorsey published on the developers’ mailing list on Wednesday? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather Sued for Inappropriately Promoting Cryptocurrency Token

Kim Kardashian, Floyd Mayweather Jr. Sued for Inappropriately Promoting Cryptocurrency Token

Reality TV star Kim Kardashian and boxing legend Floyd Mayweather Jr. are facing a class-action lawsuit over their promotion of Ethereummax and the EMAX cryptocurrency token. The celebrities’ “improper promotional activities generated the trading volume needed for all the defendants to offload their EMAX tokens onto unsuspecting investors,” the lawsuit alleges.

Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather Jr. Sued Over Crypto Promotion


Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather Jr. have been sued over their promotion of a cryptocurrency token. The class action lawsuit, filed by New York resident Ryan Huegerich on Jan. 7, alleges that Kardashian and Mayweather misled investors in their promotion of Ethereummax and the EMAX crypto token.

Other defendants include Ethereummax, its co-founders and creators Steve Gentile and Giovanni Perone, the project’s consultant and developer Justin French, and promoter Paul Pierce.

Huegerich bought EMAX tokens and lost money. The class action covers anyone who bought EMAX tokens from May 14, 2021, to June 27, 2021. According to the lawsuit:

The promoter defendants’ improper promotional activities generated the trading volume needed for all the defendants to offload their EMAX tokens onto unsuspecting investors.


In addition, the lawsuit claims that while the plaintiff and class members “were buying the

inappropriately promoted EMAX Tokens, [the] defendants were able to, and did, sell their EMAX tokens … for substantial profits.”

Kardashian promoted Ethereummax in a June 2021 post on Instagram to her 250 million followers. The lawsuit noted that the reality TV star’s Instagram post contains the #AD hashtag “tucked in the far bottom right of the post” to show that it was a paid advertisement, adding that Kardashian “routinely gets paid between $300,000 and $1 million for most promotional posts.”

Mayweather promoted Ethereummax in several ways, including on his boxing trunks during a widely viewed fight with Youtube star Logan Paul in June, and providing incentives for fans to purchase online tickets with EMAX tokens.

In November 2018, Mayweather settled charges with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for failing to disclose payments he received for fraudulent crypto investments. “The settlement was dated November 29, 2018, meaning that this agreement was blatantly violated in connection with defendant Mayweather’s Ethereummax promotion,” the lawsuit claims.

The price of EMAX quickly surged 1,370% after its launch in May. However, on July 15, it hit an all-time low, “a 98% drop from which it has not been able to recover,” the lawsuit describes. The case seeks restitution and disgorgement of profits by the defendants.

The Ethereummax team issued a statement following the news of the lawsuit. “The deceptive narrative associated with the recent allegations is riddled with misinformation about the Ethereummax project,” they said, adding:

We dispute the allegations and look forward to the truth coming out.


In September last year, the chairman of the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Payment Systems Regulator (PSR), Charles Randell, singled out Kim Kardashian in a warning about crypto scams.

What do you think about the lawsuit against Kim Kardashian and Floyd Mayweather Jr.? Let us know in the comments section below.

NFT Market Looksrare Surpasses Opensea’s 24-Hour Sales With $385 Million in Volume

NFT Market Looksrare Surpasses Opensea's 24-Hour Sales With $385 Million in Volume

A new non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace called Looksrare has surpassed Opensea in terms of daily volume on Wednesday. Statistics show 3,264 Looksrare traders have executed $385.39 million in sales during the last day, as the marketplace has seen a 1,461% increase in daily volume.

Looksrare NFT Market Captures Number 1 Position in Terms of Daily NFT Volume


There’s a new Ethereum-based NFT marketplace called Looksrare and during the last day, it has surpassed Opensea in 24-hour volume. Of course, Opensea is the largest NFT marketplace in terms of all-time volume with $14.68 billion in total sales. The NFT marketplace Looksrare is new and hasn’t processed billions of dollars in sales.

24-hour statistics show, however, Looksrare’s daily volume and hourly volume has surpassed Opensea’s sales on January 12, 2022. Looksrare has seen $385.39 million in sales among 3,241 traders, which is lower than Opensea’s 59,500 traders on Wednesday. Opensea’s 24-hour volume was $109.78 million in sales as of Wednesday morning at 7:00 a.m. (EST).

While the marketplace is new, the name has been buzzing on social media after the market beat Opensea’s daily trade volume. “The tragedy of complacency. Just like Mex during its heyday, Opensea probably succumbed to their inertia, comfortable in their established dominance,” the Twitter account dubbed “Hsakatweeted.

People also have created charts on Dune Analytics highlighting the volumes between both NFT platforms. For instance, one user created a “Looksrare VS Opensea” set of charts that analyzes daily and hourly volume between both NFT markets. Other Dune Analytics users have created visual graphs in order to analyze Looksrare’s sales.

One reason Looksrare is seeing a surge in popularity is because the project is airdropping LOOK tokens to anyone who has spent up to three ether on Opensea. While there are a couple of airdropped tokens unofficially associated with Opensea users, the leading NFT marketplace does not have an official native token.

Dappradar.com’s NFT marketplace data indicates that the average sale on Looksrare at the time of writing is $108K per unit. Meanwhile, other top NFT markets today include Solana’s Magic Eden with $9.48 million in sales, and Mobox, with $1.29 million in sales. While Looksrare’s volume saw the biggest 24-hour percentage gains, Mobox saw an 87.08% increase.

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

Soldex, Solana-built Decentralized Exchange Partners with Larix Protocol

The growth of the cryptocurrency industry has raised many concerns. They range from security and scalability, on-boarding newbies, trust-less custody and order matching on exchanges to overall user experience, and to achieve mass adoption of cryptocurrency, there’s a need for third generational exchanges to resolve these issues.

Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology keeps evolving and changing to suit users’ needs.

Decentralized exchanges are revolutionary and essential parts of this evolution, offering users privacy, security, and sovereignty over their crypto assets.

However, any active DeFi user must have experienced the following drawbacks while using a DEX:

  • Slow transaction speed;
  • Insufficient volumes;
  • Expensive gas fees;
  • Low liquidity;
  • Poor user experience;
  • Manually executing your trades.


Although these drawbacks are felt both by experienced traders and newbies alike, newbies are mostly affected as they are forced to educate themselves on market conditions and make risky financial decisions all on their own.

Soldex, a third generational DeFi protocol built on Solana, aims to solve these issues.

Soldex, a next generational DEX

Soldex is the fastest, easiest, and most user-friendly third-generation DEX built on Solana.

It is the next step in DeFi evolution as it aims to work on all market conditions, 24/7, with emotionless machine-learning and neural network algorithms.

Soldex aims to resolve the issues faced by order-matching centralized exchanges and trustless custody within current decentralized exchanges as a third-generational exchange.

With Soldex, users would enjoy both decentralization and AI trading.

The Soldex protocol is being built to offer users the significant advantages of increased transaction speed, automated trading, and a user-friendly interface.

Increased transaction speed

One of the major pain points of DeFi users is slow transaction time.

Nobody wants to spend long minutes waiting for a simple transaction to be completed.

Slow transaction time coupled with high gas fees discourages retail traders from using DEXs.

This is one of the reasons the Soldex protocol is being built on Solana.

On Solana, the average cost of trading tokens is about $0.00001 per transaction and at a speed of about 65,000 TPS (transactions per second). Compared to Ethereum’s meagre 15 TPS, the scalability of Solana is enormous.

Leveraging on the flexibility and efficiency of the Solana ecosystem, Soldex would be able to solve the problems of slow transaction time and high gas fees.

Users on Soldex can perform quick, cheap, and efficient transactions.

Automated trading

With Soldex’s automated trading feature, users would be able to trade 24/7, in all market conditions, without the danger of human error.

Trading crypto assets is an often risky and emotional business for many crypto users, especially newbies.

The Soldex protocol aims to eliminate this risk by offering users AI-powered algorithms (created by other experienced traders).

With this machine learning leverage, traders would design or choose their trading bots according to their criteria like volatility, risk tolerance, time frame, budget, crypto pairs, margin, etc.

The protocol’s neural network algorithm will evaluate market data, make intelligent predictions on market risks and trade assets on traders’ behalf. Also, it will continue developing its capabilities based on data collected and trading experience.

Soldex trading bots will have the following features;

  • market data analysis
  • market risk prediction
  • trading assets


Additionally, Soldex would level the playing ground between experienced traders and newbies by offering educational tools to users.

Their educational tools will enable experienced traders to create their unique trading bot and even offer it to newbies for a commission.

Newbies will also have enough educational tools to guide them using their chosen AI-powered bot.

User-friendly interface

The Soldex team intends to create a DEX optimized for quick navigation and user-friendliness; this ensures users enjoy incentivized liquidity, increased swaps, real-time transactions, and convenient deposits.

One can say that the Soldex team has a wide range of experiences; and, having noted the challenges faced by other DEXs, aims to solve them all.

Why Solana? What’s so interesting about the Solana ecosystem?

The Soldex team understands one crucial factor: for crypto to become widely adopted, it needs to scale at a tremendous rate while remaining credibly neutral. Building on a blockchain where transactions cost over $30 and last several minutes before completion wouldn’t achieve this needed scalability.

However, Solana is the perfect blockchain for next-generation DEXs looking to scale.

With its novel proof of history mechanism and other technologies responsible for its impressive speed and scalability, Solana has proved that it is more than capable of carrying out its mass adoption mission.

Solana boasts 65,000 transactions per second (TPS); these numbers make Ethereum’s meagre 15 TPS look non-existent.

Also, Solana’s average rate of $0.00001 per transaction is negligible compared to the high gas fees of the Ethereum blockchain.

Solana also possesses an excellent infrastructure built on several smart contracts and blockchain oracles. Leveraging this infrastructure, protocols built on Solana would enable a cheap, fast, and intuitive trading experience for their users while still keeping their platform fully decentralized.

Soldex Recent Partnerships

Larix – the first metaverse based finance protocol on the Solana ecosystem. The Soldex team recently partnered with Larix.

Larix is the first and only protocol to support LP mortgage lending with auto-compounding. The one and only on Solana!

This partnership allows the two protocols to sync and work together.

Larix is the leading borrowing and lending protocol on the Solana blockchain.

It has created more capital-efficient risk management pools ensuring that a broad selection of collateral types, stablecoins, NFTs, crypto tokens, and synthetic assets can be utilized in a safe and secure way.

Laris makes use of a dynamic interest rate model.

Larix is the first lending project on Solana that has been audited and reviewed by SlowMist – the well-known and reputable smart contract auditor.

It is the first lending protocol with live mining functionality. It’s also the first lending protocol Open-Sourced on Solana.

With this cooperation between Soldex and Larix, Soldex will gain an increase in attention and a wilder recognition in the market.

What to look out for:

There will be an AMA in the Soldex community on 11th January, 12pm CET. During this AMA, more details of this partnership will be revealed.

For more information on Soldex please visit:

https://soldex.ai/ (Website)

https://t.me/Soldexai (Telegram)

https://twitter.com/soldexai (Twitter)

https://www.facebook.com/Soldex-102189735463890/ (Facebook)

https://medium.com/@soldex (Medium)

 

To learn more about the project visit the website, and follow the team on social media.


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EverRise Director Jenn Duong on Developing Secure dApps and the Issues Facing the DeFi Space

EverRise is a blockchain technology company that offers bridging and security solutions across blockchains through an ecosystem of decentralized applications. Through their innovative security focused ecosystem, EverRise provides investors and developers the tools to access the widest possible market with the maximum level of security. They are working towards the mass adoption of safety protocols across Binance Smart Chain, Ethereum, and Polygon networks and currently offer EverBridge, EverOwn, EverMigrate, and EverStake with more on the way.

Jenn Duong is the Director of Marketing at EverRise. She recently joined the Bitcoin.com News Podcast to talk about the project:

EverRise Director Jenn Duong on Developing Secure dApps and the Issues Facing the DeFi Space

Jenn Duong is the Director of Marketing at EverRise. Her experience and background is rooted in brand development and creative content. As a creative bridging the gap between millennial and Gen Z storytelling, she has an extensive background in brand development, digital content creation, and go-to-market strategies. Some of her client work includes Samsung, VICE, Google, YouTube, YETI, and UN Women.


The Bitcoin.com News podcast features interviews with the most interesting leaders, founders and investors in the world of Cryptocurrency, Decentralized Finance (DeFi), NFTs and the Metaverse. Follow us on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play.


This is a sponsored podcast. Learn how to reach our audience here. Read disclaimer below.

 

Report: Morocco Now North Africa’s Leading P2P Crypto Trading Nation

In the year 2021, Morocco, which previously announced measures restricting crypto trading, became North Africa’s leading crypto-trading nation after its peer-to-peer (P2P) trade volumes surged to $6 million.

Morocco in Africa’s Top Four


In 2021, Morocco’s peer-to-peer crypto trade volume of $6 million was enough to see it ranked North Africa’s top cryptocurrency trading nation, according to the latest data from crypto payments company Triplea. The data also shows that only three African countries topped Morocco’s volumes and these include Nigeria, South Africa, and Kenya.

In a breakdown of the global peer-to-peer crypto trade statistics, the Triplea research data shows that 2.4% of Morocco’s population, or 878,168 people, owned cryptocurrencies in 2021. Only four African countries — Kenya (8.52%), South Africa (7.11%), Nigeria (6.31%), and Ghana (3.01%) — have higher proportions of their respective populations that own crypto.

As noted in the research report, interest in cryptocurrency in Morocco has been rising despite the country’s standing regulations against crypto trading, which were first announced in 2017.

“Moroccans are open to cryptocurrency, with peer to peer bitcoin trading volumes increasing steadily over the years and reaching record highs of 2.18 million Moroccan Dirham in 2020,” explains the report.

Furthermore, the report notes that the increase in Morocco’s peer-to-peer traded volumes came during a year when the central bank, Bank-Al-Maghrib (BAM), said it would explore the benefits of launching a digital currency.

Ukraine Leads the Pack


Meanwhile, the research platform’s findings show that Ukraine — which has 5,565,881 of its people holding crypto — is the country with the highest concentration of crypto owners globally at 12.73%. Russia is ranked second with 11.91%, Venezuela is in third place with 10.34%, and Kenya is in fourth place.

With respect to overall crypto ownership demographics, Triplea found that 79% of holders are male and 21% are women. Globally, about 58% of cryptocurrency owners were found to be under the age of 34. About 82% have a bachelor’s degree or higher while 36% have an annual income that exceeds US$100,000.

What are your thoughts on this story? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

Digital Yuan Wallet Ranks Among Most Downloaded Apps in China

Digital Yuan Wallet Ranks Among Most Downloaded Apps in China

The new wallet of China’s state-issued digital currency has quickly become one of the most downloaded applications in the country, within days of its launch. Its use and integration with other apps have contributed to an increase of digital yuan payments, media reports unveil.

Wallet Launch Boosts Digital Yuan Ahead of Lunar New Year and Winter Olympics


In the week after it was offered to the public, the digital yuan (e-CNY) wallet has placed among China’s most downloaded apps. On Wednesday, a day after its premiere, its downloads exceeded those of Tencent’s Wechat, and it became the most popular app on Apple’s iOS, the South China Morning Post reported, quoting market researchers. By Monday, it was also the second most downloaded financial app in Xiaomi’s app store.

The e-CNY app is widely available for download but at the moment it can be used only in select areas. The Digital Currency Research Institute of the People’s Bank of China (PBOC), the developer of the software, is collaborating with authorities in 10 pilot cities including Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xiongan, Chengdu, Suzhou, and Beijing, where it has handed out digital yuan amounts as part of red envelope campaigns.

The launch of the application is part of efforts to promote the Chinese central bank digital currency (CBDC) ahead of the Lunar New Year which begins on Feb. 1, a popular time for gifting red packets, the publication notes. During the week-long holiday, the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics will start on Feb. 4. Visitors at the venues in the capital will be able to use the e-CNY without having to open a local bank account.

The digital yuan can be spent through other payment apps as well such as Alipay and Wechat Pay, which account for 90% of China’s mobile payments market. The CBDC is also available in the applications of seven Chinese banks – Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Agricultural Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of China, Bank of Communications, Postal Savings Bank of China, and China Merchants Bank.

According to a report by China.org.cn, e-CNY payments have seen a “stratospheric rise” in the past week since the currency became available across Chinese mobile apps. The state-run news portal quotes the local services company Meituan which registered an increase of almost 43% in digital yuan-denominated payments, following an integration between its app and the e-CNY wallet. The value of transactions also spiked, by more than 64% over the week before the launch.

China’s digital yuan is arguably the world’s most advanced CBDC, ahead of similar projects in the U.S., EU, and Russia. An official at the PBOC revealed in November that the digital currency had been used in transactions worth nearly $10 billion. As of October, around 140 million Chinese residents had opened a digital yuan account. While promoting the e-CNY, the government in Beijing launched a nationwide crackdown on cryptocurrencies and related activities last year.

Do you expect a further increase in the use of the digital yuan wallet app and currency? Let us know in the comments section below.