- Two Israeli Credit Card Companies Now Offering Bitcoin Purchases
- Bitcoin Education Is Launching For 40 High Schools In Argentina
- Japan’s Second Largest Bank To Launch Institutional Bitcoin
- One Of The Largest Real Estate Developers In Brazil Now Accepts Bitcoin
- Central African Republic To Launch Bitcoin Hub
- Stripe To Enable Millions of Merchants To Convert Payments Into Bitcoin
- Turkey Crafts Legislation For Bitcoin
Two Israeli Credit Card Companies Now Offering Bitcoin Purchases
MAX and Isracard, two Israeli-based credit card companies, are collaborating to release a bitcoin cashback credit card solution, according to a report from local news agency Calcalist.
Each company will offer a separate card that will, for the first time, introduce their customers to bitcoin. MAX announced its partnership with crypto-broker Bits of Gold which will launch the MaxBack Crypto
card. This function is similar to cashback offers currently supported by MAX giving customers a 0.625% cashback in the form of bitcoin on eligible transactions. In order to take advantage of the program, customers will need to be issued a new card. MAX has also inked a clearing agreement with Bits of Gold which will allow customers to use their credit cards to buy bitcoin with any Israeli card as long as the transaction is cleared in Israel. Isracard will be working with crypto-focused subsidiary Horizon, under the banner of Altshuler Shaham which is an investment house, allowing users of Isracard to purchase bitcoin through Altshuler Shaham
. Isracard clears services through American Express, MasterCard, Visa, and Isracard, making it one of the leading processors in Israel.
Bitcoin Education Is Launching For 40 High Schools In Argentina
Bitcoin education is launching for high school students in Argentina, according to a press release from Paxful
. A non-governmental organization by the name of Bitcoin Argentina has partnered with Paxful and the Built With Bitcoin Foundation to educate students about Bitcoin. The program named Schools and Bitcoin will include students from 40 different schools. “Education at every level is crucial to the next wave of global Bitcoin adoption,” said Ray Youssef, Founder, and CEO of Paxful. “We’re thrilled to work with NGO Bitcoin Argentina and the Built With Bitcoin Foundation to support a movement that focuses on youth and shares the power of Bitcoin as a peer-to-peer financial tool for masses.” Jimena Valone, the institutional development coordinator for Bitcoin Argentina and lead of the Schools and Bitcoin Project, said “There is a desire to innovate, to know what is happening with Bitcoin and blockchain, to train and learn.” Valone continued to explain “All this was the starting point to start thinking about the project, which begins with 40 schools, but we hope to have a great number. It is designed to serve more and more educational institutions, of various characteristics and regions.” A report
from Chainalysis shows that Argentina is ranked second in Latin America for the adoption of Bitcoin, following Venezuela. Argentina also ranks tenth globally. The diverse regions of Argentina will be represented by the 4,000 students expected to take part in the program.
Japan’s Second Largest Bank To Launch Institutional Bitcoin
Sumitomo Mitsui Trust, Japan’s second-largest bank, is creating a new company called Japan Digital Asset Trust to offer custodial services for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for institutional clients, according to a report by Nikkei Asia
. The new company will hold assets like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for large investors and corporations because the company reportedly believes investors will feel more comfortable if the custody of those assets can be held by trusted financial institutions. Japan Digital Asset Trust will be a joint venture with majority ownership belonging to Bitbank, a Tokyo-based cryptocurrency exchange, which will control 85% of the venture. The remaining 15% ownership will be owned by Mitsui. The new venture is reportedly expected to have $2.3 million in capital for launch and is expecting to raise enough capital from investors to reach a goal of $78 million. This announcement follows the news that Japanese competitor bank Nomura Holdings Inc. also recently announced
they would be creating a subsidiary to offer custodial services to institutional clients looking to acquire bitcoin.
One Of The Largest Real Estate Developers In Brazil Now Accepts Bitcoin
Gafisa, one of the largest Brazilian real estate developers, is now accepting bitcoin as payment for the purchase of the real estate, according to a press release
from Foxbit, a cryptocurrency payment gateway provider. Foxbit stated that one of the reasons for Gafisa’s bitcoin integration was the removal of intermediaries. In the real estate market, plenty of entities get a piece of the pie, be it banks, real estate companies, agents, payment processors, or other involved parties; there’s no shortage of intermediaries in a real estate transaction. Bitcoin helps lessen the costs of transactions with quick and final settlements while eliminating the risk of fraud. The press release stated that Gafisa’s decision to accept bitcoin was also largely based on the disruptive nature of the technology which can open opportunities for further innovation in the growing sector. This growth has seen Brazil become one of the leading countries in the adoption of bitcoin. Not only does Brazil rank number six in on-chain value transacted in a report by Chainalysis
, but Gafisa houses 1 out of every 130 Brazilians, according to Gafisa data, making this a natural path of progression.
Central African Republic To Launch Bitcoin Hub
The Central African Republic (CAR), the second country in the world to adopt bitcoin as a legal currency after El Salvador, plans to develop a hub to attract cryptocurrency businesses and enthusiasts to the nation. The initiative coined Sango was started by the CAR National Assembly with support from President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, per a 24-page document
detailing the project’s goals. Sango seeks to “pave the way to a digital future of endless possibilities,” per its webpage
. Touadéra tweeted in support of Sango. In addition to building a legal Bitcoin and cryptocurrency hub recognized by its parliament, Sango aims to take “the Bitcoin legacy to the next level” and institute a “cryptocurrency economic zone” on the Sango Island – where users will be able to propose, view and contribute to its future developments. According to the document, CAR’s plans include “facilitating land acquisition in bitcoin for investors worldwide” and creating a Digital National Bank. The government said in the document that it will also “fully support” access to the country’s natural resources such as gold, diamonds, uranium, lithium, and oil. Sango’s legal framework will include an e-residency program, citizenship by investment, online business registration, and no income or corporate tax, per the document. CAR plans to devise this dedicated legal framework before the end of 2022.
Stripe To Enable Millions of Merchants To Convert Payments Into Bitcoin
Stripe, one of the leading payment processors in the world, just announced
they are working with bitcoin payments infrastructure company OpenNode, to allow businesses to convert fiat payments into bitcoin. Through the OpenNode app located in Stripe’s app marketplace
, users will be able to convert fiat payments into bitcoin in real-time. Businesses can set an automatic amount of their payments to be converted into bitcoin, or they will be able to manually convert any amount into bitcoin they wish. Businesses will be able to view their bitcoin wallets and conversion rates at a glance within the app. The application will also allow businesses to connect directly with their bank accounts enabling accessible bitcoin conversions from fiat at any time. The automatic conversion from fiat to bitcoin is accomplished through a split-payment feature located in the app, which businesses will be prompted through when going through the initial setup process. Should businesses choose not to set up split conversion initially, they can simply return to the app’s setting and enable the feature at any time. Stripe’s app marketplace was also announced
, which will allow companies like OpenNode to create custom user interfaces that will streamline workflows and allow data syncing compatibility between Stripe and its participating partners.
Turkey Crafts Legislation For Bitcoin
Turkey is close to presenting draft legislation to regulate the Bitcoin market, especially businesses involved in the sector that operate in the country, Bloomberg
reported. Two Turkish officials familiar with the matter told the news outlet that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s governing AK Party is set to submit bills to parliament containing the new rules in the coming weeks. The bill is set to include measures for businesses providing cryptocurrency businesses to the public, such as exchanges. “Among the proposals is a requirement that companies have a minimum of 100 million liras ($6 million) in the capital, they said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss plans that aren’t public,” Bloomberg
reported. “Another rule would mandate global cryptocurrency platforms to open branch offices that can be taxed in Turkey, according to the officials.” The news comes after scandals involving cryptocurrency businesses plagued the country last year.
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