- Nexo Partners With Mastercard and DiPocket For Bitcoin-Backed Credit Card
- Bitrefill Partners With NBA Star For Bitcoin Smart Sneakers
- Australia’s First Bitcoin ETF To List Next Week
- Silvergate Bank Saw Over $14 Billion in Bitcoin Deposited In Q1 2022
- IMF Publishes Global Financial Stability Report Discussing Bitcoin
- Maryland Porsche Dealer Now Accepts Bitcoin Payments
- Brazilian Wine Club Now Accepts Bitcoin As Payment
Nexo Partners With Mastercard and DiPocket For Bitcoin-Backed Credit Card
Nexo, a leading provider of lending services in the digital finance industry, has launched the Nexo Card
for select European markets. Backed by Mastercard, customers of Nexo will be able to collateralize their cards with bitcoin or another cryptocurrency without needing to spend their assets, per a press release
. Nexo has partnered with Mastercard and DiPocket to launch the product at scale. DiPocket will be the card issuer for Europe, and Mastercard will serve as the infrastructure and payment processor for the venture. The Nexo Card offers zero fees, 2% rewards, and seamless accessibility. “Launching the Nexo Card in Europe in partnership with Mastercard and DiPocket is a big milestone for us and the latest proof of the immense synergy between the existing financial network and digital assets,” said Antoni Trenchev, Co-founder and Managing Partner at Nexo. “This unique product will allow millions of people, first in Europe and then worldwide, to spend instantly without having to give up the potential of their cryptocurrencies, thus offering unprecedented everyday utility for the emerging asset class,” Trenchev continued. The network and infrastructure provided through Nexo’s partners allow access to 92 merchants worldwide, where Mastercard is accepted, allowing users to spend up to 90% of their fiat value instantly without needing to spend a single sat. “Mastercard believes that digital assets are revolutionizing the financial landscape and we are leading in innovation with programs like our partnership with Nexo to deliver people new and one-of-a-kind choices in how they pay and activate their crypto holdings,” said Raj Dhamodharan, Mastercard’s Head of Crypto and Blockchain Products and Partnerships.
Bitrefill Partners With NBA Star For Bitcoin Smart Sneakers
Bitrefill is stepping onto the basketball court with NBA star Spencer Dinwiddie, in a partnership
where they are launching Bitsneaks, the world’s most high-tech sneaker that is capable of streaming the live price of bitcoin. “In the same way we believe our services at Bitrefill.com must be 10 times better than our competitors, when we made a sneaker, we wanted it with 10x the coolness of anything else,” said Sergej Kotliar, founder of Bitrefill, in a press release sent to Bitcoin Magazine
. “We’ll let you decide whether we were successful.” The team at Bitrefill, in collaboration with TNSID and Spencer Dinwiddie, designed what they are calling a “quantum leap” in sneaker technology. Each sneaker has cellular internet built into a sleek and flexible LED-matrix screen which is controllable through a mobile application. The absurdity of this creation is not missed by Bitrefill. “For us to beat giants like Nike and build what everyone said was impossible is yet another proof of what a small dedicated team like ours can do when trying to achieve something truly foolish,” said Kotliar. The sneakers are the first of many launches that will be coming from the Bitrefill team in the coming months and can only be purchased with bitcoin. The Bitsneaks come with a price tag of 1 BTC, meaning that the pair will always display the value of the bitcoin used to purchase them.
Australia’s First Bitcoin ETF To List Next Week
The first Australian bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) is set to list on the Cboe next week as the country’s major equity markets clearinghouse gives participants the green light, reported the Australian Financial Review
. Cosmos Asset Management could launch its bitcoin ETF as early as April 27, according to the report. However, contrary to what has become the norm in similar offerings around the world, Australia’s first bitcoin ETF would not invest in BTC directly, but rather in shares of Purpose Investment’s bitcoin ETF – North America’s first bitcoin spot ETF that began trading in early 2021. Cosmos partnered with Purpose Investments
in February. “ASX Clear, the powerful clearinghouse at the center of Australia’s equity capital markets, now has four market participants willing to stump up the tough margin requirements needed to cover the settlement risks for this highly volatile asset,” per the report. ASX Clear had demanded a 42% margin to allow a bitcoin ETF to start trading under its umbrella. There are now three institutional-grade clearing participants and one retail clearing participant reportedly willing to provide the necessary margin to trade a bitcoin product. “We are now at our minimum number of clearing participants and that means we are good to go,” said Hamish Treleaven, chief risk officer at ASX, per the report. Cosmos, which is owned by Nasdaq-listed bitcoin miner Mawson Infrastructure Group, tip-toed into the cryptocurrency fund management industry last year with an offering that invested in bitcoin mining firms, the Global Digital Miners Access ETF.
Silvergate Bank Saw Over $14 Billion in Bitcoin Deposited In Q1 2022
Silvergate Capital Corporation (NYSE: SI) saw customers deposit an average of $14.7 billion worth of bitcoin and cryptocurrency to the firm’s platform during the first quarter of this year, up from $13.3 billion during Q4 2021, the company said in its quarterly results report
released Tuesday. “We started 2022 on a strong note, driven by the power of our platform and continued progress on our strategic initiatives,” said Alan Lane, president, and CEO of Silvergate, in a statement. As the company positions itself as a viable banking solution for holders of and service providers for assets like bitcoin, the increasing number of customers utilizing the Silvergate Exchange Network (SEN) continues to showcase the market demand from institutional buyers. SEN had over 1,500 customers by the end of last month, Silvergate said, a 27% increase year-over-year as the platform had a little over 1,100 clients on March 31, 2021. SEN
enables real-time U.S. dollar and euro settlement between counterparties, in addition to faster trading, automated funds distribution, and data analysis. Its clients include FTX, Coinbase, Bitstamp, Kraken, and the company behind the USDC stablecoin, Circle. “I’m particularly pleased with our first-quarter results when you consider that this was one of the most challenging periods for the broader crypto ecosystem since the beginning of the pandemic,” Lane said. A cautious cryptocurrency market resulted in a 35% decrease in U.S. dollar transfers on SEN, bringing Q4 2021 numbers of $219.2 billion down to $142.3 billion during Q1 2022. The platform also saw a year-over-year (YoY) downturn, of 15%, as Q1 2021 witnessed $166.5 billion in transactions. Cumulative U.S. dollar transfers on the SEN have now crossed $1 trillion. “While volume on the Silvergate Exchange Network was impacted by broader industry trends, I remain encouraged by the continued growth we saw in customers, SEN Leverage commitments, and average deposits, which reached a record $14.7 billion,” Lane explained. Net income and customer acquisition both saw an increase, but SEN Leverage positions noted the biggest growth. While the metric sat at $570.5 million during Q4 2021, it teleported to $1.7 billion in commitments at the end of Q1 2022. Over the past year, SEN Leverage commitments denoted an increase of over 400%.
IMF Publishes Global Financial Stability Report Discussing Bitcoin
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently published the “Global Financial Stability Report”
which discussed a myriad of subjects including Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies disrupting the payments system, bitcoin being used to evade sanctions, inflation, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, banking infrastructure, central bank challenges of maintaining credibility, energy security, and many other topics. One clear point of concern for the IMF is the reverberations felt across the world from the invasion of Ukraine. The report states that through poor market liquidity, counterparty risks, funding strains, and the overexposure of financial institutions being strangled throughout the invasion, these conditions led to “cryptoization,” or what many Bitcoiners would refer to as hyperbitcoinization. The result of the invasion led to an influx of bitcoin
and other cryptocurrencies flooding into the hands of those that needed it most. Many companies have taken their own initiative to further the number of bitcoin donations, such as Bitcoin Magazine
. Ukrainian reliance on outside funding has shown the fragility of the current monetary and payments system, as bitcoin was capable of offering instantaneous relief. The report states: “Capital markets might become more fragmented, with possible implications for the role of the US dollar. And the fragmentation of payment systems could be associated with the rise of central bank digital currency blocs.” Not only can payment disruptions happen with bitcoin, but the IMF is also concerned about the quantity of central bank digital currencies (CBDC) being developed. As the system fragments and central banks become even more autonomous, the current banking infrastructure is left in a deluge of exponential technological advancements cascading into a game of keep up.
Maryland Porsche Dealer Now Accepts Bitcoin Payments
Porsche Towson, a Porsche dealer located in Towson, Maryland is now accepting bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as payment, according to a tweet announcement
by BitPay. Payment processing companies such as BitPay provide an easier solution for more widespread usage of bitcoin as a medium of exchange given that technical hurdles often stand in the way of businesses interested in accepting alternative payment methods. Porsche Towson customers, already used to traditional forms of financing, leasing, trade-ins, and other well-established forms of car purchases, now can buy luxury vehicles with bitcoin. Bitpay is an enterprise-grade cryptocurrency payment system that allows businesses to accept cryptocurrencies like BTC by taking the stress away from business owners with a seamless application programming interface (API). With this tool, businesses can utilize cryptocurrencies like bitcoin for recurring billing or one-time payments. BitPay also attempts to shield its users from any volatility that may occur with the pricing of bitcoin. Every dollar a business charges for a product or service is paid out to the merchant based on the time of purchase, minus the 1% transaction fee charged by BitPay. The Bitcoin payments service announced during the Bitcoin 2022 conference that it had added support for the Lightning Network
through its payment processing platform, allowing merchants that leverage BitPay to receive cheaper and faster payments through the Layer 2 protocol.
Brazilian Wine Club Now Accepts Bitcoin As Payment
A Brazilian wine club by the name of Wine
is allowing its customers to make purchases via their mobile app with bitcoin, the Consumidor Moderno reported
. Once customers choose the products they would like to purchase they will be taken to a checkout screen that shows bitcoin as a payment option. Once selected, a QR code will appear allowing customers to use the Bitcoin Lightning Network as an instantaneous payment method. The integration allowing bitcoin to be used as payment was accomplished by Redecoin, a fintech service provider under the parent company SFC Brazil Group. “Our intention is to popularize the use of cryptocurrencies in the daily lives of Brazilians and this partnership puts us on the right track to achieve this goal,” said Armin Altweger, CEO of the SCF Brazil Group. The innovation and adoption of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies SCF Brazil Group were shared by Wine as its Director of Technology, Clayton Freire stated: “We know that consumers are increasingly connected and cryptocurrencies are already part of the daily lives of most of them. We decided to invest in this innovation to bring an even more complete experience to our partners and customers and also because we believe that, in the near future, this form of payment will be frequent.” While the integration currently will be supported only in the mobile application, Wine intends to release the feature to its desktop and mobile sites as well as future Wine services. “We will monitor the adoption of this new payment method and improve our systems. We will work with internal customer service - which helps us collect feedback,” Freire explained.
”It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow.“ - Robert H. Goddard
Stay Safe & Stack Sats!