eBay Not Accepting Cryptocurrency Payments

eBay

Earlier this week, there were rumors that eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY) is going to start accepting cryptocurrency as a form of payment. While the e-retailing giant did not confirm these rumours at the time, many thought it was true: the company’s banners at the Consensus conference indicated so. But it’s not true. And the company has now confirmed that.

Here’s everything we know.

eBay Accepting Crypto? Nope

It’s no secret that the list of companies that have started to accept cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, as payment is growing. And at a rapid pace, might we add. But not everyone is jumping on this train, despite rumours saying so. One company is eBay, which said yesterday, according to Bloomberg, that it is not accepting, nor is it planning to accept cryptocurrencies as a method of payment.

“Cryptocurrency is not accepted as a form of payment on the eBay platform, nor is it part of our payments strategy,” explained a spokesperson for the San Jose, California company.

Of course, this might come as a disappointment to some. When you combine this week’s increase in crypto prices with the company’s reach, in addition to its “Virtual Currency. It’s happening on eBay” billboards, one might have been convinced the rumors were true.

Then again, not everyone seems disappointed. After all, EBAY stock didn’t plunge on the market today. In fact, EBAY stock closed the day up 0.65%.

Never Say Never

Some companies don’t like to announce things too fast. Just because crypto payments are not part of eBay’s payments strategy right now doesn’t mean it won’t ever be. The company is clearly aware of the potentials of the industry, so we have to think it is not ousting the idea entirely.

What do you think? Do you think eBay should start accepting cryptocurrencies as a method of payment? Let us know in the comments below!

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Facebook’s GlobalCoin Could be Launching as Soon as Next Year

GlobalCoin

There’s been a lot of information circulating that Facebook is moving into the crypto market. And while some of this information is outright false, other bits are true — at least, that’s what the sources say. Take today, for example. On Friday, BBC said Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is going to roll out GlobalCoin next year in several countries.

Here’s everything we know.

Facebook’s GlobalCoin Hitting the Market Soon?

According to BBC, a London, UK-based broadcasting company, Facebook is planning to roll out its cryptocurrency “GlobalCoin” in 2020. The online media giant, according to the BBC report, will launch the crypto-based payments system in roughly 12 countries by Q1 2020. And while that might seem far away, BBC also said Facebook plans to commence trials by the end of 2019. That and Mark Zuckerberg’s company has also already gone to the U.S. Treasury for advice.

More details about GlobalCoin are expected to be announced in the coming months. And while the world does need these additional details — the influence Facebook has on the world is huge, so the possibility of the company moving into crypto is extremely significant — Facebook seems to already be benefiting from the BBC report. Well, maybe not benefitting, but at least FB stock didn’t plunge after the report on GlobalCoin came out.

According to Yahoo Finance, as of 3:44 PM EDT, FB stock is trading at $181.19; this puts FB stock up 0.18%.

Takeaway

As mentioned, Facebook launching its own cryptocurrency is massive. Companies like Facebook and Amazon are constantly moving into different sectors of the market successfully, and the launch of GlobalCoin in a dozen countries would be yet another example of this.

What do you think, though? Should Facebook launch GlobalCoin? If so, which countries should gain access to the cryptocurrency?

Let us know what you think in the comments below, and don’t forget to follow along with this story in the coming months!

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The Abyss Platform Partners With Epic Games

The Abyss Platform

Epic Games—the developer behind the global success Fortnite—is partnering with blockchain game distribution platform, The Abyss. The company made the announcement earlier today.

Epic Games and The Abyss Blockchain

The Abyss blockchain is a new digital gaming platform that offers MMO’s (Massively Multiplayer Online games) and other video games. Offering a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) business model, it gives indie-studios the ability to develop, run, market and manage their games. There is no interference from a third party.

Further, users can generate income via “the unique multilevel referral program which serves as an additional revenue stream for gamers and developers.

Epic Games Involvement – UE4

Now, The Abyss is partnering with Epic Games. The platform is offering its partner developers licensing, maintenance and support for Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 (UE4).

Released by Epic in March 2014, UE4 has become one of the most widely used engines for commercial game development. In essence, it is a tool used by game developers to create real-time, high-fidelity experiences as it offers the most advanced graphics out there.

In return for use of UE4, developers on The Abyss platform will be required to make quarterly payments, the equivalent to 5% of their returns, once they earned over $3,000.

Developers will also receive marketing support from The Abyss if they do use UE4 to develop their game. For example, the platform will help to attract early players for new games, and offer extra traffic for already released ones.

Unreal Engine Developers

On the partnership, Mike Gamble, Head of Games Licensing EMEA, for Epic Games, said:

“We’re delighted that The Abyss has chosen to provide additional resources to Unreal Engine developers and publishers on its platform. UE4 scales to hundreds of millions of players, and access to premier support and connections with the global community can be critical to success of large-scale games with live operations.”

>>Bitcoin Price Is On The Rise According To Brian Kelly On Fast Money

By offering UE4, The Abyss is hoping to attract more gaming studios and games to its blockchain. And further, as Abyss users are able to accept the native ABYSS token for payment and purchases, the platform is aiming to help Unreal Engine developers to adopt cryptocurrency.

What do you think? Have you heard of The Abyss platform? Sounds pretty cool!

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Bestmixer.io Seized by Europol | Money Laundering

bestmixer.io

Europol indicated that on Wednesday the Dutch Fiscal Information and Investigation Service had seized Bestmixer.io which is a bitcoin transaction mixer. A statement from Europol referred to the action as the “first law enforcement action of its kind against such a cryptocurrency mixer service.”

Europol, FIOD and Luxembourg Authorities Seize Bestmixer.io

The operation that was carried out jointly by Europol, FIOD and Authorities in Luxembourg was started in June last year after Bestmixer services were flagged by Internet security firm McAfee. Following the crackdown, six servers were seized in Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

Bitcoin transaction mixer websites such as Bestmixer.io operate by pooling together funds and then creating a new web of transactions with the aim of obfuscating their source. In essence, what the coin mixer users do is to send funds plus an extra fee and then they will receive all their money from a different source. This makes it difficult to trace the original source of the funds. Bestmixer is a leading cryptocurrency mixer that offers cryptocurrency mixing services for Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin Core.

Bestmixer has transacted 27,000 bitcoins since its launch

According to Europol, the funds going through Bestmixer.io are said to have had a criminal origin or a criminal destination and the mixer was being used to launder and conceal criminal transaction of funds. Since its launch in May 2018 Bestmixer.io had mixed an estimated 27,000 bitcoins achieving a turnover of approximately $200 million.

Bestmixer.io blatantly advertises their money laundering services on the site where they have described the anti-money laundering policies but go ahead to explain how mixing could help avoid the regulations by making money untraceable and anonymous. Offering this service is illegal in most countries.

CipherTrace CEO, Dave Jevans stated that the crackdown indicates that increase in regulation on crypto-to-crypto services. This comes at the back of European AMLD5 regulations and US FinCEN views that indicate that cryptocurrency services are money business services and as such should be subject to regulations.

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Bitcoin Price | Brian Kelly Tells CNBC Watch for Rising Price

Bitcoin enthusiast and crypto fund manager Brian Kelly has told CNBC that Bitcoin price could rise further in the coming months.

His prediction isn’t unfounded; there is an impending supply cut on the horizon and this should help to push prices higher.

Brian Kelly Predicts Bitcoin Price will Rise

In an interview on CNBC’s Fast Money program yesterday, May 21st, Kelly explained that “the halvening,” which is due to take place in 2020, will cut mining rewards in half.

As such, he expects miners to begin hoarding BTC if they aren’t already doing so. This increased demand should see Bitcoin price rise as the supply becomes lessened.

Further, the coin is being spurred on by increased industrial adoption and use in retail.

Kelly described the four-year cycle that leads up to “the halvening,” saying:

“You generally have a rally a year into it, and a year out of it. And so we’re just at the beginning of that stage […] a supply cut is generally bullish.”

The fund manager goes on to say that investors should dedicate between 1% to 5% of their portfolio to cryptocurrency while prices remain stagnated around the current levels of $7,900.

Brian Kelly Predictions

Kelly has been a guest on Fast Money several times where he has made predictions for the future of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Recently, the crypto-analyst stated that an approval for a Bitcoin Exchange-traded fund (ETF) was most likely to come in February 2019. We are still waiting on that one, however.

Other analysts believe there are several reasons for BTC’s recent surge. One idea suggests the United States and China trade war could be a reason. Another impetus could be the increased adoption of the mainstream. For example, Ebay recently caused a stir when photos of its banners at the Consensus conference in New York, leaked onto the web.

Saying: “Virtual Currency. it’s happening on Ebay”, the banners made many believe that the e-retailing giant is about to enter the cryptocurrency space. Ebay has yet to confirm anything, however.

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Bitcoin SV Soars 80% | Wright Files “Proof” That He’s Nakamoto

Bitcoin SV

The top ten cryptocurrencies are all in green boasting moderate gains. For example, Ethereum is up 2% and Bitcoin Cash up 4.38%. Leading coin by market value, Bitcoin, is 1.75% in the green, nearing $8,000 USD per coin—much to the excitement of the bulls. However, its hard to ignore the not-so-moderate gains that Bitcoin SV is sporting just outside the top ten.

In eleventh place in terms of market cap, the hard-fork of a hard-fork is up a whopping 79.57%.

The rise is attributed to Bitcoin SV’s founder, Craig Wright, and a poignant move he just made to “prove” he is Satoshi Nakamoto—the original Bitcoin creator.

Bitcoin SV Is Up 80%

Earlier today the controversial figure filed copyright registrations for the Bitcoin whitepaper and the early Bitcoin code with the US Copyright Office.

But his move has already been lambasted, with many in the community considering another fraudulent claim.

For example, Jerry Brito of CoinCenter, pointed out on Twitter, that anyone can register a copyright claim. Doing so still isn’t proof of ownership and neither is recognition by the US Copyright Office itself.

He goes on to say:

The Copyright Office does not investigate the validity of the claim; they just register it. Unfortunately there is no official way to challenge a registration. If there are competing claims, the Office will just register all of them.

Wright has been claiming since 2015 that he is the creator of the world’s largest cryptocurrency. He has, however, been continuously unable to provide hard evidence that confirms it.

As such, he has been slammed across the industry with names such as “fraud” and “Faketoshi”. In response, he has launched a series of lawsuits against those who have doubted him or publicly denied his claims.

However, this caused further industry backlash and led Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao to delist Bitcoin SV from his exchange platform.

Industry Speculation

The debacle will continue and all the while, we still remain unsure who is the real person or persons behind the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto.

>>Bitcoin Price Jumps Again, Now Above $8K Mark

Is he telling the truth? Who could possibly know?

What do you think about Wright’s filing? Do you believe him? Are you shocked to see Bitcoin SV up 80% in response?

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Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork | Segwit Recovery & Schnorr Signatures

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork

A Bitcoin Cash hard fork was implemented earlier today as of block 58268. Although the network-split initially met with a hiccup, the upgrade has now successfully completed.

Bitcoin Cash Hard Fork

The hard fork sees the Bitcoin Cash network implement two new features. They are Segwit recovery and Schnorr signatures.

The Segwit recovery means network participants can now recover funds that were sent accidentally to Segwit addresses.

Before today, this was impossible due to the “enforcement of the new CLEANSTACK rule” which was implemented in the last upgrade in November.

The second new feature is the Schnorr Signatures. This is a digital signature scheme that allows for complex signing abilities.

According to news.Bitcoin.com:

“the basics of Schnorr signatures can slash roughly 4% off current transaction storage. In the future, after another Schnorr related upgrade, the scheme could provide for public signature aggregation and more complex sign-to-contract concepts”.

Segwit Recovery & Schnorr Signatures

Invented by Claus Schnorr, the signature scheme was patented for years and that patent has only recently expired. Now Bitcoin Cash developers have added the preliminary basics of it to the main chain.

The Schnorr scheme means multiple parties can transact with simple multi-party “aggregation schemes”. At 64 bytes, Schnorr signatures are smaller than the traditional ECDSA signatures which run at 70 bytes in size. The overall scalability of the network will be enhanced when further upgrades and the
“implementation of public signature aggregation” are enabled. Predictions suggest the network’s scaling abilites could be improved by reducing blockchain storage and bandwidth by 20-25%.

NewsBitcoin.com explains further:

“When Schnorr is combined with concepts like pay-to-public-key-hash (P2PKH) addresses and the recently added opcode OP_CHECKSIG, other benefits can be added to transactions like privacy and decision-based smart contracts”.

>HTC’s Blockchain Phone Exodus | Adds In-Wallet Crypto Swaps

Bitcoin Cash

With a market capitalization of over $6 billion USD, Bitcoin Cash is the fourth largest cryptocurrency in the world.

Are you a Bitcoin Cash holder? Are you excited by the upgrade to the network?

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Cryptocurrency Mainstream Adoption | Is Ebay the Answer?

Mainstream adoption

Are we on the verge of mainstream adoption for digital currencies? The list of companies accepting payment in Bitcoin is steadily growing and now one of the biggest e-commerce sites is hinting at joining that list. Global e-retailing giant, Ebay, has stirred rumors via its latest promotional adverts.

Let’s check this out.

Mainstream Adoption – Ebay to Support Digital Assets?

At the Consensus conference in New York, Ebay’s banners suggested the company is about to enter the cryptocurrency space.

In a photo leaked on Telegram channel @PatronsOfTheMoon, the two banners read the following:

“Virtual Currency. it’s happening on Ebay”.

And:

“Reach 179 million active buyers in the world’s largest marketplace”

The photos have caused a stir, because if eBay is readying support for virtual currencies then it would be a major breakthrough for mainstream adoption. Bitcoin would be opened up to a network of potentially 180 million buyers.

Captured by @PatronsOfTheMoon

But don’t get too excited just yet. The company has yet to confirm that the posters are legitimate and hasn’t made any official statement regarding its cryptocurrency plans.

Other Mainstream Adoption

Ebay isn’t the only major brand hinting at mainstream adoption. Elsewhere, a new initiative is aiming to make big name retailers such as Crate and Barrel, Nordstrom, and Amazon’s Whole Foods, accept Bitcoin and three other types of digital currency.

The initiative comes from a partnership between payments startup, Flexa, and Gemini crypto-exchange. The pair have created a cryptocurrency payments app called Spedn.

The app is already active and works by “piggy-backing on the digital scanners that many big retailers use to accept phone-based payments from their apps and from digital wallets like Apple Pay”.

>>uBUCK Technologies Announces Strategic Partnership With U.S. Prepaid Platform PreWay

The partnership has asked various major retailers to “configure their scanners to recognize payments” from the Spedn app. Then a customer simply pays with the app and the merchant will receive a real-time payment in the form of the customers choosing—either cryptocurreny of dollars.

The app holds support for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and, the Gemini Dollar stablecoin. Currently, the app is still under experiment by the retailers that are using it. As such, it remains to be seen if it will be a success.

The volatility of Bitcoin and the risk of hacking, has always been a major issue that has culled mainstream involvement. But might Spedn work? What do you think? Is mainstream adoption on the horizon?

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HTC’s Blockchain Phone | Native Crypto Wallet Now Available

Blockchain Phone

According to CoinTelegraph, HTC’s blockchain phone, Exodus 1, now allows users to trade cryptocurrency directly from the phone’s native crypto wallet. The Taiwanese technology giant made the announcement early on Tuesday.

Exodus 1 Blockchain Phone – Native Wallet Trading

HTC’s Zion Vault will now allow swaps between various cryptocurrencies. The new feature is the result of a partnership with Kyber Network—a dedicated platform for cross-token trading solutions. HTC has added Kyber’s liquidity protocol and this allows easy swaps.

The swapping pairs include Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens, including basic attention token (BAT), Kyber network (KNC) and dai (DAI). The platform removes the need to send tokens to intermediaries such as exchanges. Swaps are performed entirely on-chain, according to HTC who added that “fast and secure” crypto trading within mobile apps will enhance the user experience in using crypto.

The phone maker also announced earlier in the week that it has a low-cost version of the Exodus 1 due for release in Q3 2019. This phone called the Exodus 1S will also have the option of running a Bitcoin network full node.

Samsung

HTC is not the only tech giant to release a cryptocurrency phone. Samsung released the Galaxy S10 in February this year. The phone includes storage for private cryptocurrency keys.

Also, Sirin Labs released it’s blockchain phone ‘Finney’ in December of 2018. The Finney was developed off the back of an initial coin offering that raised $157 million in 2018. The phone has its own cold storage wallet built in and is described by Chief Marketing Officer Nimrod May as “a second device in the same housing as the phone.

>>uBUCK Technologies Announces Strategic Partnership With U.S. Prepaid Platform PreWay

To keep a users crypto safe, the Finney has a separate processor and its own LCD screen, in which the user inputs their seed phrase.

What do you think of blockchain phones? Are you a fan and would you trust keeping your crypto on them? Let us know your thoughts!

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Facebook Coin | Catalyst for Crypto Growth, Says Spencer Bogart

Facebook Coin

With the introduction of the Facebook Coin, the cryptocurrency world is facing a revolution. Spencer Bogart of Blockchain Capital, in an interview with Bloomberg, shed some light on the media giant’s venture into the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

The Trickle-Down Effect of Facebook Coin

In the interview, Bogart stated that there are several catalysts on the horizon in the cryptocurrency market despite the speculated “bottom” being reached. One good catalyst will be the anticipated Facebook Coin that will change dynamics in the cryptocurrency industry.

The Facebook Coin project will be an incredible project in electronic payments because it operates differently from current cryptocurrencies.

Bogart used the phrase “gateway drug” to assert that the adoption of the Facebook Coin will spur on the cryptocurrency market by adding billions into it. After establishing initial public confidence using the fiat-backed Facebook Coin, users can then diversify into Bitcoin and other virtual currencies. Bogart added that it is likely a given percentage of users will follow this path, which will significantly impact the industry, adoption tricking down to other cryptocurrencies.

>> Facebook Crypto Ad Ban: Platform Loosens Restriction on Crypto Ads

A Cryptocurrency Catalyst?

Besides the adoption success in the long-term, the Facebook Coin project is likely to initiate something that is more significant. The venture has ignited a fire in numerous FinTech and financial institutions across the US. This is evident in what is witnessed in ETrade, TA Ameritrade, and Fidelity’s digital assets wings, which have introduced crypto-centric services both on the retail and institutional front. The Blockchain Capital Partner indicated that the company sprang into action to introduce the service following the launch of the Facebook Coin Project.

The Facebook Coin project will be headquartered in London with another small office in Dublin. The payments project will first target India because of the popularity of WhatsApp in the country.

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