Abra Announces New Credit Card Payment Options for Bitcoin Purchases

13.07.2018 bitcoinbabeau 0

Abra Announces New Payment Options for Faster Bitcoin Purchases

Bitcoin payment startup Abra has announced the addition of Visa and Mastercard payment options for buying bitcoin on its platform. The new payment option is in partnership with fintech company Simplex, per the company’s blog post.

Up until today, users who wanted to purchase cryptocurrencies were limited to a few options that included bank deposits and wire transfers. In addition to these, the company also offers a means of buying altcoins using either bitcoin or litecoin for countries where bank wires and deposit options are unavailable.

The addition of Visa and Mastercard debit/credit card options makes it cheaper and faster to purchase cryptocurrencies on the platform. The new payment options are accessible via the website and the app.

Speaking with Bitcoin Magazine, Abra CEO Bill Barhydt stated, “Today we have users from over 70 countries, but the majority of these users who are outside the U.S. could only fund their Abra wallet using bitcoin. With this launch, we can now offer a simple way for customers globally to use Abra to buy their first bitcoin using any Visa or Mastercard and then start investing in any of the other 24 cryptocurrencies we support today.”

The new payment options come with increased buy limits, faster processing times and more accessibility. Users who purchase bitcoin with their Visa or Mastercard will now be allowed to buy up to $20,000 worth of bitcoin at a time — which is a step above the $2,000 limit placed on bank deposits.

Users will also be able to store purchased bitcoin into any supported wallet. The company says processing time would be shorter, as new bitcoins should be available in digital wallets 30 minutes after purchase.

Abra is one of the few cryptocurrency platforms that hasn’t embraced KYC/AML regulations in their entirety. In an email sent to its customers last month, the company said users were not mandated to provide “any form of identification” to use its platform. Barhydt has said that Abra is able to avoid “all these complexities” because it doesn’t hold customers’ funds.

The company, however, requires American customers to submit their ID to increase funding limits via bank transfer options.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

TaTaTu Hosts the World’s Third-Largest ICO, Earns Over $500 Million

28.06.2018 bitcoinbabeau 0

TaTaTu Hosts the World’s Third-Largest ICO, Earns Over $500 Million

TaTaTu Token has sold over $575 million worth of its currency through an initial coin offering (ICO), making it the third-largest coin offering, behind Telegram and EOS, respectively. Known as TTU tokens, the currency is the blockchain entertainment platform’s central unit of exchange, and all private sale proceeds will go toward funding technical development and growing the company’s customer base.

TaTaTu is a decentralized system that financially rewards users for viewing content and referring their friends and family to the platform. Users can earn TTU tokens by streaming films and related projects at no cost and by voting to choose which types of content TaTaTu should host in the future.

All projects are monetized based on the number of views they receive, and creators earn funds depending on their projects’ popularity. In addition, views and finance reporting are recorded in real-time on the TaTaTu blockchain, thereby limiting the threats of piracy.

“The industry’s response for TaTaTu has been overwhelming as the TaTaTu Token has secured one of the largest private sales of digital token,” said CEO Andrea Iervolino. “The response is further validation that our model of acquiring and producing our own content mixed with rewarding users with TTU tokens to watch that content on the platform will benefit everyone — including content holders, users, brands and advertisers.”

Among the project’s many supporters are Prince Félix of Luxembourg, cryptocurrency investment firms Lyna Capital and BlockTower Capital, and film producer Lady Monika Bacardi.

“I’ve worked and invested with Andrea for many years — dating back to his first movies over [a] decade ago, and it has been rewarding every step of the way,” Bacardi said of the company’s chief executive officer. “TaTaTu is [a] sophisticated and intuitively brilliant modeled platform that reinforces my bullish stance on the promise of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency.”

The platform has been in alpha testing since late May, but it has already attracted over 200,000 registrants. Among the company’s early projects is a film entitled The Sound of Freedom, starring Oscar winner Mira Sorvino and Jim Caviezel, who starred in 2004’s The Passion of the Christ.

Films will serve as the company’s primary staple of entertainment, though TaTaTu is looking to add sports, games and music for its users to enjoy in the future. Executives are also looking to build deals with production companies to increase TTU token usage and make it the primary digital asset for both media and entertainment ventures.

Ari Paul, managing partner at BlockTower Capital, stated, “I’m excited for projects that will spread cryptocurrency beyond the current <0.5 percent of the world that holds it. TaTaTu is a crypto driven content platform that’s likely to get major mainstream traction.”

At press time, TaTaTu had not replied to Bitcoin Magazine’s request for comment.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

New Blockchain-Based Renewable Energy Pilot to Power 500,000 Homes

13.06.2018 bitcoinbabeau 0

New Blockchain Renewable Energy Pilot to Power 500,000 Homes

As the effects of climate change make their mark across the globe, people are more wary of their carbon footprints and are gradually switching to renewable energy.

Swytch, a blockchain-based energy platform will work with Energy2market GmbH (e2m), a leader in aggregated energy trading, on a pilot program which will allow it to power homes in Germany with renewable energy while rewarding users with tokens.

The large-scale pilot program aims to distribute roughly 3.5Gw of solar, wind, hydro and bio-gas energy capacity, which is enough to power over 500,000 homes.

Based in Austin, Texas, Swytch combines smart meter and blockchain technology to reward those who generate low carbon emissions. It does this through an open-source Oracle platform which acts as a distributed authority in determining how much carbon is being displaced and how many tokens should be awarded.

Co-founder and Managing Director of Swytch Evan Caron told Bitcoin Magazine his company has already started leveraging the first version of the Oracle to evaluate the assets being managed by e2m.

“We intend to move toward full-scale adoption of the Swytch protocols for full transparency and traceability of energy and environmental attributes and to reward the assets with swytch tokens,” he states.

e2m is a European leader in aggregate energy trading and provider of market access services. It specializes in managing and optimizing diverse portfolios of generators, consumers, suppliers and grid operators. With a Virtual Power Plant and its 24/7 trading team, e2m has the ability to aggregate power from decentralized generation and consumption systems and market them in real time.

e2m believes the partnership will be beneficial to both parties as it sees Swytch’s approach to tokenized incentives to be quite attractive to the energy producers and traders it serves.

Andreas Keil, CEO of Energy2market GmbH said, “Government-based incentive programs can only do so much, and a more dynamic option is needed. Additionally, some countries, like Germany, will begin phasing out their incentive programs in the next few years. We need to prepare for the future and identify new subsidy instruments and trading mechanism.”

The partnership will allow e2m to gain more insight and leverage blockchain technology while empowering businesses and individuals to be more active in their adoption of renewable energy.

Energy companies have been testing blockchain technology and how it can benefit them. Ethereum-based platform ImpactPPA is seeking to disrupt renewable energy to finance and accelerate global clean energy production. Scanergy was also launched as an energy blockchain for European prosumers. Scanergy makes smart energy trade between prosumers possible while coping with the dynamism in the demand and supply of electricity.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Crypto Exchange Huobi Quietly Opens Office in Brazil and Starts Hiring

31.05.2018 bitcoinbabeau 0

Crypto Exchange Huobi Quietly Opens Office in Brazil and Starts Hiring

Huobi, the third largest crypto exchange by 24-hour trading volume, is reportedly setting up an office in Brazil. According to reports in Portal du Bitcoin, representatives of Huobi were seen distributing business cards during Bitconf, a major cryptocurrency conference held in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 5-6, 2018.

The Singapore-based exchange has yet to make an an official statement on the matter, but according to Portal du Bitcoin, which broke the news on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, Huobi has already opened an office in the coworking space WeWork in São Paulo. The company also has ads on LinkedIn looking for a Digital Marketing Manager and a Chief Compliance Officer to work out of São Paulo.

Originally founded in Beijing in 2013, Huobi was, at one time, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in China before the country placed an all-out ban on cryptocurrency trading in September 2017. Rather than shutter its business completely, Huobi began a major expansion effort, setting up offices in Singapore, South Korea and elsewhere.

Only weeks ago, Huobi announced plans to open its first Canadian office in Toronto, and earlier this year, despite regulatory uncertainty in the U.S., Huobi also revealed that it was opening a branch in San Francisco to offer crypto-to-crypto trading in the U.S. market.

The firm also attempted to make inroads into Japan. In December 2017, Huobi revealed it intended to launch a trading platform in Japan with Japan-based investment group SBI Holdings. But the deal was scrapped in March 2018 at a time when Japan’s regulators were stepping up oversight on cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

Now the exchange is headed to Brazil, as Huobi confirmed with CoinDesk. With a population of 210 million, Brazil is home to half the population of South America, representing a huge potential market for Huobi. Meanwhile, competition in the country is sparse. Currently, the biggest crypto exchanges in Brazil include Foxbit, BitcoinTrade and Mercado Bitcoin, which all trade in relatively small volumes compared to Huobi.

And, as far as cryptocurrency regulation goes, Brazil is still a “Wild West.” In December 2017, the country’s central bank and securities regulator went so far as to issue a joint warning to investors that virtual currencies had no official oversight in the country.

Cryptocurrency trading is a lucrative market, and Huobi is not the only major exchange on the move after the Chinese crackdown. In the past few months, Binance and OKEx separately announced plans to expand to the crypto-friendly island nation of Malta. Early this year, Bitfinex said it was planning to set up operations in Switzerland.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

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