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CIS Gazette 3/May/2021 A summary of the weeks news & events in the Crypto / Blockchain world



Further steps for crypto partnerships

Visa finally adds cryptocurrencies to its Platform

Couple of years ago Visa has partnered on a crypto-based rewards debit card with, which operates its business in digital currencies. But as Visa settled transactions each day on those cards, it required to convert the digital currencies transacted into fiat currencies, such as the U.S. dollar. However, this process was costly, complex, and time-consuming. So in 2019, Visa proposed to allow settlements in a digital currency over a public blockchain through its partner Anchorage, the first federally chartered digital asset bank.

After two years of upgrading its infrastructure, Visa decided to pilot the new program using USD Coin. Additionally, USD Coin has a clear set of compliance and regulatory protocols in place, providing more confidence than traditional cryptocurrencies, which are decentralized and unregulated.

Visa says it doesn't intend to stop at USD Coin but intends to add more stablecoins to its settlement platform. More specifically, the Company plans to support central bank digital currencies (CBDC) as they become available. CBDCs are digital currencies issued by a country's central bank directly to its citizens.1

Hotbit crypto exchange shuts down for maintenance after attempted hack

Cryptocurrency exchange platform Hotbit has shut down all of its services after an attempted cyberattack. The hackers were reportedly unsuccessful in gaining access to Hotbit’s wallets but did manage to compromise the platform’s user database. Thus, the Hotbit team has advised customers to disregard any communication from entities claiming to be representatives of the exchange.

With all normal operations currently paused during the ongoing maintenance, Hotbit also revealed that pending trading orders are canceled to prevent losses. Also, the exchange promised to bear any losses stemming from exchange-traded funds listed on its platform during the duration of the maintenance. The maintenance will last for at least seven days with reports that the investigation and system upgrade could take as long as two weeks. However, the length of time given for the maintenance is causing significant unrest among Hotbit users.2

Crypto trading platform ICRYPEX announces joint venture

30% of ICRYPEX Cryptocurrency Exchange was acquired by Hedef Girişim Sermayesi Yatırım Ortaklığı A.Ş. and İdealist Danışmanlık A.Ş. ICRYPEX Cryptocurrency Exchange provides services to its customers with its 129 full time employees and offers its investors a cutting-edge, super-fast and low commission multi-asset crypto trading platform while supporting crypto currency wallet services. ICRYPEX also makes a difference in the sector with its 24/7 phone support. ICRYPEX provides its investors with less than 10 milliseconds processing time, matching engines and blockchain investments. ICRYPEX has also become Turkey's first cryptocurrency exchange listing AVAX chains developed by a Turkish computer scientist with Avalanche protocol.3

Coinbase now lets you buy cryptocurrency with your PayPal account

Coinbase has added the option for users to buy cryptocurrency using their PayPal accounts in the US. It says the feature offers a “familiar and trusted” experience for users buying any of the numerous cryptocurrencies that the exchange currently supports, and using PayPal as an intermediary means you don’t have to give your bank account or debit card information directly to the cryptocurrency exchange. The feature will expand to other countries in the coming months.

To use the new option, Coinbase says you can add your PayPal account via the “Add a payment method” option, which links to the PayPal login screen. Purchases made via PayPal are capped at $25,000 a day, or 0.46 Bitcoin as of this writing. Debit cards and bank accounts linked to a PayPal account can be used to buy cryptocurrencies, but a Coinbase FAQ notes the feature doesn’t support payment methods like prepaid cards or credit cards.

The news is part of PayPal’s broader trend towards embracing cryptocurrency. In November last year, the Company started letting US users buy, sell, and hold cryptocurrencies directly from their PayPal accounts, and this year it rolled out the option for users to pay with cryptocurrency held in their PayPal account (though this is converted to local currency before a merchant is paid). PayPal currently only supports four cryptocurrencies natively — Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash — compared to the dozens available on Coinbase.4

Mastercard collaborates with Winklevoss brothers crypto exchange platform

A cryptocurrency exchange platform Gemini has announced its collaboration with Mastercard and WebBank to introduce what they say is the first real-time crypto rewards card.

With the help of Mastercard which will provide the payment network while WebBank will issue the cards, the newly announced partnership will see Gemini release its Gemini credit card with 3% rewards in bitcoin or 30 other cryptos available on Gemini. The Gemini Credit Card will allow cardholders to earn up to 3% back in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies on the dollars they spend.

The Gemini Credit Card provides a seamless way for consumers to acquire Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a reward for their everyday purchases. Cardholders will earn up to 3% back on dining, 2% back on groceries, and 1% back on other purchases. Cardholders also have the option to transfer their crypto rewards into Gemini Earn, a new interest-earning program, to grow their holdings even further.

CEO of Gemini Tyler Winklevoss said as more consumers look to enter the crypto ecosystem, the Gemini Credit Card will give them an easy point of entry and an effortless way to earn crypto as a reward without changing their daily spending habits.

“Mastercard continues to evolve and meet both industry and consumer demands and commit to the crypto space, we're excited to partner with them on our first real-time crypto rewards card, further helping to bring crypto mainstream," said Winklevoss.5

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