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South Korea’s Biggest Credit Card Patents Blockchain Payments System

South Korea’s leading credit card firm Shinhan Card has been granted a patent for a blockchain payments system.

South Korea’s leading credit card firm Shinhan Card has been granted a patent for a blockchain payments system, English-language local media The Korea Times reports on July 15.

Per the report, with the newly patented technology the company has established a blockchain-powered credit transaction process allowing for setting spending limits, paying in monthly installments and carrying out payments. The outlet quotes an anonymous Shinhan Card official commenting on the development:

“Services using those key functions of credit cards will be extended to the blockchain-based system, a notable advancement from the status quo whereby most blockchain-based services available are limited to cash wiring or user identification for online transactions.”

The official also reportedly explained that the company has been awarded the patent about a year and a half after conducting a feasibility study, and that the firm is currently working to also obtain patents in European countries, the U.S., Japan, China, Vietnam and Indonesia. According to the article, the system could also soon allow for cardless transactions via a mobile app.

Per the report, the initiatives could result in a phase-out of the network of three intermediaries, namely credit card firms, a value-added network service provider and a Payment Gate. Value-added networks are service providers connecting credit card companies and member stores to verify and approve transactions, while the payment gate is tasked with carrying out the payment.

Company information website Crunchbase claims that Shinhan Card is South Korea’s leading credit card provider and corporate analytics service Owler estimates the firm’s annual revenue to be $841.6 million.

As Cointelegraph reported yesterday, a consortium of major South Korean firms partnered to launch a blockchain-based mobile identification system in 2020.

At the end of June, Crypterium, a crypto payment firm led by former Visa exec, revealed it shipped about 4,000 crypto debit cards in a week since the launch of the card.

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Poloniex Crypto Exchange Users Can Now Use Cards and Bank Accounts

Major cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex announced that it now allows its users to use credit cards and bank accounts on the platform.

Major cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex announced that it now allows its customers to use credit cards and bank accounts on the platform in a Medium post published on July 9.

Per the release, exchange users from 80 countries can now directly move funds to and from their bank accounts, which will be automatically converted into stablecoin USD Coin (USDC) on Poloniex. 

Initially, the weekly limits are $50,000 for deposits and $25,000 for withdrawals, but the exchange admits that those limits can be increased to fit the needs of specific customers. 

Customers in more than 60 jurisdictions will be able to purchase cryptocurrencies using their debit or credit cards. Poloniex enabled card payments through a partnership with payment processor Simplex, which will charge a 3.5% fee (or $10, whichever is greater) and allow to buy a minimum of $50 of Bitcoin (BTC). The company states:

“Because Simplex charges the greater of $10 or 3.5%, buying any amount of bitcoin under $300 will result in you paying more than 3.5% in fees. If you don’t want to incur more than 3.5% in fees, buying more than $300 of bitcoin will ensure this.”

Crypto payments firm Circle purchased Poloniex in February 2018 for $400 million. At press time, Poloniex is the 58th largest cryptocurrency exchange by adjusted 24-hour trade volume according to data from CoinMarketCap.

As Cointelegraph reported in June, major fiat-crypto trading platform OKCoin partnered with Simplex to enable global users to make U.S. dollar deposits via debit or credit card. 

In February, crypto exchange trade.io also offered clients the option to purchase a range of popular cryptocurrencies by credit or debit card via a partnership with Simplex.

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Crypto Platform Will Allow Workers to Receive Salary They Are Owed on Demand

A crypto startup is planning to enable workers to receive payment for work they have already completed in advance, helping them to achieve financial stability.

A crypto-focused payment platform says it is aiming to reduce financial pressures on everyday consumers by enabling them to receive their salaries early — whenever they demand it.

JobCoin says a startling number of hard-working individuals are falling victim to loan sharks and high-interest loans, or racking up unsustainable credit card bills as they try to grapple with sudden expenses. The startup’s concept means workers can request to be compensated for the hours they have already completed, even if their normal payday is a few days or weeks in the future.

Explaining its objectives in its white paper, the company added: “The predominant mission of the JobCoin is to reduce poverty and inequality in the world, in particular, but not limited to, through the enhancement of working conditions for lower to middle-income workers, industrious immigrants and overseas workers.”

The team behind JobCoin believe their technology has the potential to elevate more of the world’s poor to the middle classes, deliver stability to those who are struggling to make ends meet, and help foreign workers avoid exorbitant fees when they are sending remittances back to their home countries.

According to the company, employers also stand to benefit from the proposition because of how this perk would boost retention rates — enabling businesses with tight margins to reduce their training costs and keep their employees happy. To protect firms that are keeping an eye on their margins, JobCoin says its customized technology can be connected to company attendance records to ensure that its salary advance feature is not abused.

Helping the unbanked

JobCoin says its technology is also designed to help the many millions of adults around the world who do not have a bank account — enabling them to make payments for everyday goods and services using its cryptocurrency.

Upon receiving their salary in advance, the startup says users will be able to complete purchases in shops, restaurants and hotels via jobcoin, with the platform receiving a settlement fee from the merchant once the transaction is completed. The startup believes that this approach also has the potential to benefit the businesses that accept jobcoin as a payment method, because they will also be able to advertise their wares directly to registered employees in the form of promotions.

JobCoin is available here

JobCoin’s team have chosen Ethereum as the blockchain to launch its product, and its cryptocurrency is going to be ERC-20-compliant. Freely transferable on wallets and exchanges — enabling consumers to convert their crypto into fiat, if they wish — the company says the blockchain’s active ecosystem, advanced functions and sophisticated smart contract capabilities are a “great match” for its ambitions. JobCoin also plans to move to its own blockchain once it is built.

A promising start

JobCoin claims that an initial exchange offering held through Coinbene saw the platform enter the top 10 in volume rankings — and, despite a tough market, it sold out within a day. The startup is going to be listed on the exchange as of May 17.

The company’s next step will see an IEO take place on Bitking on May 15 and 16. As a result, users will be able to purchase jobcoin on the platform using six cryptocurrencies — including bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and XRP.

JobCoin says it has been “rigorously working to expand its business on a global scale” by encouraging countries around the world to embrace its advance payments concept, and partnering with Visa so its technology can be adopted en masse. Work is also under way to launch jobcoin exchanges in developing countries so the tokens earned through the platform can effortlessly be converted into local currencies.

In other recent developments, Liam Park, the CEO of Coinbene Japan, recently joined JobCoin as an adviser.

Learn more about JobCoin

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Exchange KuCoin Enables Credit Card Purchases of Crypto

Singapore-based exchange KuCoin partners with payment processor Simplex to allow users to purchase crypto with credit cards.

Singapore-based crypto exchange KuCoin has partnered with Israel-based payment processing company Simplex to let its users purchase crypto via credit card, an official announcement revealed on March 27.

The exchange has already added the service to its assets page, the announcement reports. Now users can purchase Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ripple (XRP), Bitcoin Cash ABC (BCHABC) and Litecoin (LTC) for both dollars and euros. The service is reportedly available in more than 100 countries.

As the release notes, Simplex — which also has offices in the United Kingdom, U.S. and Lithuania — has already provided its “fraud-free” payment processing services to other companies, such as Shapeshift, the Litecoin Foundation, Xapo and Changelly.

As Cointelegraph previously wrote, KuCoin closed a Series A funding round worth $20 million in late November 2018. The round was led by IDG Capital, Matrix Partners and Neo Global Capital. The exchange reported that the funds would be used to release KuCoin’s 2.0 platform.

Earlier this year, Malta-based top cryptocurrency exchange Binance also added support for credit card purchases. Later the firm introduced credit card purchases in its official wallet, Trust. In both cases, the company also partnered with Simplex to provide credit and debit card purchases of XRP, BTC, BCH, LTC and ETH.

In March, major United States retailer Kroger started negotiating with the Morgan Creek Digital team, considering the deployment of the Lightning Network in its stores. The decision came shortly after the brand had stopped accepting Visa at some locations due to excessive fees.

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Binance’s Official Crypto Wallet Adds Support for XRP and Credit Card Purchases

Trust Wallet, the official wallet of leading crypto exchange Binance, has added support for credit card purchases and crypto asset Ripple.

The official wallet of leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Trust Wallet, has added support for credit card purchases and Ripple’s XRP token. The company announced the new features in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on March 12.

Trust Wallet was acquired by Binance in July of last year in the exchange’s first public acquisition.

According to the press release, users can now send, receive, store and exchange XRP via Trust Wallet. According to the wallet’s official website, Trust Wallet also supports Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH), among others, and as well as any ERC20, ERC223 and ERC721 tokens.

Following a partnership with payment processing firm Simplex, the wallet also now supports credit and debit card purchases of XRP, BTC, BCH, LTC and ETH.

Per the release, the recent launch of the company’s open-source, cross-platform software library Trust Wallet Core also enables developers to build further native decentralized apps and wallets.

Furthermore, Viktor Radchenko, the founder of Trust Wallet, pointed out that the library enables independent developers to integrate new blockchains with the wallet.

At the end of January, Binance itself — currently the world’s largest crypto exchange by adjusted daily trade volume — added support for credit and debit card purchases via Simplex.

As Cointelegraph reported in February, Binance’s Trust Wallet will also be integrated with Binance DEX, along with the Ledger Nano S. Binance DEX is a peer-to-peer decentralized exchange powered by the Binance Chain, the test network of which Binance launched last month.

At the end of November last year, news broke that another decentralized exchange, Bhex, had concluded a $15 million funding round with support from major exchanges such as Huobi and OKCoin.

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Binance Backs $32 Million Funding for Unicorn Founder's Crypto Stablecoin

Yet another stablecoin is attracting big investors.

Announced Tuesday, the founder behind a $1.4 billion startup unicorn called TMON is revealing he has raised a $32 million seed round to build a stablecoin called Terra. But while a number of startups have deployed stablecoins – cryptocurrencies engineered to track the price of another asset, usually fiat currency – Terra comes with a notable addition: an existing user base.

Created by Korean entrepreneurs Danial Shin, who founded and chairs TMON, one of the top e-commerce websites in South Korea, the Terra project is launching with a significant number of partners that already reach 40 million customers. Those partners, who will together form the Terra Alliance, a group of e-commerce sites that are interested in incorporating the stablecoin into their business, include Woowa Brothers, Qoo10, Carousell, Pomelo and TIKI.

According to a spokesperson for the project, those companies, combined, take in $25 billion in sales.

“We’ve banded together all the e-commerce platforms in Asia that are not called Alibaba or Amazon to push Terra into the hands of many many people,” Shin told CoinDesk.

It’s no wonder that the round includes quite a few notable crypto investors, including Polychain Capital, FBG Capital, Hashed, 1kx, Kenetic Capital, Arrington XRP, Binance and others who were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to support Terra, which sets itself apart from most other blockchain projects with its established and immediate go-to-market strategy,” said Polychain’s Karthik Raju in a statement.

Echoing that, Ella Zhang, head of Binance Labs, said in a statement:

“While we see many stablecoins coming out, Terra’s journey is especially meaningful as they are designing one of the few price-stable protocols with existing, working and strong go-to-market strategy and usage.”

That use, according to Shin, is in acting as an economical digital payment system, compared to credit cards.

He told CoinDesk, that a significant portion of TMON’s annual losses take the form of credit card fees. And he’s sure other retailers experience the same.

That said, if companies like his can lower transaction fees dramatically, he believes they stand a better chance against the industry giants.

For the new alliance of companies, “the commitment really is that they will work together on a more efficient form of payment, obviously using blockchain technology,” he continued.

A two-token system

To do that, the Terra protocol uses two tokens: terra and luna.

Investors in the seed round bought tokens from a pool of 400 million luna tokens (a fixed supply of one billion luna tokens will be created) set aside for them.

These luna tokens function as collateral on the network. Their sale will supply an initial reserve that will help stabilize the price versus fiat, much as Tether does now. The other token, terra, will act as the day-to-day payment method that consumers will use when the protocol goes live. It will be emitted as needed based on demand.

Then every time a transaction happens on the network, a tiny transaction fee will be paid to holders of Luna.

Shin told CoinDesk:

“Luna is essentially a decentralized equity akin to Visa and Mastercard.”

He continued: “What we’ve learned watching Visa and Mastercard stock prices every year, it’s very smooth.”

Much like other stablecoin projects, oracles on the network will monitor supply and demand. As terra’s use grows, it will algorithmically issue new tokens.

The advantage to e-commerce consumers and merchants will be that these new issuances will be used to provide discounts to people who use the crypto token. So, for example, if the protocol has issued a new lot of terra, merchants might be able consumers a 10 percent discount on purchases made with the token – that is until the new supply runs out.

“As we integrate with more e-commerce partners, we are able to distribute that money back to e-commerce companies and their consumers in the form of kickbacks and discounts,” Shin said.

In this way, the project seems focused on one of bitcoin’s early touted use cases, as a cheaper digital payments rail as compared to the incumbents.

What Terra still needs, though, is a host blockchain – a big question for many projects today. The protocol will run on top of one of the existing projects; Shin said either ethereum, EOS, Orbs, messaging giant Kakao’s Ground X or the forthcoming project from Upbit, one of Korea’s exchanges.

But Shin doesn’t seem phased by that, telling CoinDesk that even though the focus will first be on the Asian market, that’s just the start of the project’s aspirations.

“We thought deploying the design in the U.S. where crypto adoption is very low, makes very little sense,” Shin said, adding: “I think the ambition is global.”

Image via Tmon Foursquare

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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American Express Thinks Blockchains Could Help Prove Payments

American Express is on the hunt for better ways of proving when transactions occur and a new patent filing suggests the financial services giant may be looking at blockchain as part of a possible solution.

In a patent application released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week, American Express Travel Related Services describes using a “blockchain-based system” in order to receive “payment confirmation including a transaction amount and a merchant identifier.”

The concept is aimed at adding to what AmEx calls the “limited” number of options for generating quality evidence that payments happen between merchants and their customers “beyond a receipt or ticket.

AmEx’s patent highlights the tech’s role in retaining “transaction data, contract data, proof-of-payment data, identification data, and/or other information as desired,” with the idea being that a blockchain network – possibly a public one – would serve as an extra layer of proof for transactions that take place on AmEx’s network.

As a result, the potential applications of such a system are quite varied, the company contends.

American Express says that data can be used to “unlock a hotel, rental or shared economy property door using the card (e.g., that was used for the payment) to look up proof of payment on a blockchain.” Moreover, “the system may be leveraged to provide ticketless access to venues (e.g., movie theater, sports event, concert, etc.) to a customer,” and so forth.

While the decision on whether this blockchain system will be hosted on a private, public or consortium network is up for grabs, the application does highlight how “public networks may leverage the cumulative computing power of the network to improve security.”

This patent application by American Express is the latest in a series that have been launched as early as October of last year when the same branch of the company filed for a different patent related to customer rewards.

Fast forward to today and the company has indeed begun initial trials with a custom Membership Rewards program for cardholders, leveraging Hyperledger’s blockchain technology, which it partnered with last January.

Payment terminal image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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Bitcoin Purchase with Credit/Debit Cards on Abra

Abra, the multicoin cryptocurrency wallet platform has launched a new feature that allows users to purchase Bitcoin using their credit/debit cards. The company announced the move in a blog post on Thursday (July 12, 2018). Abra CEO, Bill Barhydt believes that BTC can reach $50,000.

Seamless Bitcoin Purchase

With the newly launched feature, Abra users now have an additional method of buying BTC. Abra inked a partnership deal with Simplex to provide the service. Before the launch, only users in the United States could use their credit/debit cards to purchase Bitcoin on the platform, via American Express.

By introducing this new feature, the platform aims to simplify the BTC purchase process, ensuring a seamless user experience. According to the company using a VISA or MasterCard to buy Bitcoin offers numerous advantages over other purchase options. The benefits range from faster processing time to enhanced availability.

BTC purchase on Abra via credit/debit card has a minimum and maximum limit of $50 and $20,000 respectively. The coins purchased can be kept on the platform or transferred to another wallet service.

The credit/debit card purchase feature is available to Abra users in more than 75 countries around the world. The coins purchased can be available in less than half an hour depending on the blockchain traffic at the time.

Abra CEO Predicts Bitcoin Price to Reach $50,000

In a related development, Bill Barhydt recently predicted that Bitcoin would one day reach the $50,000 milestone. Barhydt, however, didn’t provide any timeline for when BTC would achieve this high. The Abra chief also downplayed the bull rally of late 2017 saying that crypto enthusiasts “got way ahead of themselves.”

Barhydt didn’t provide any analysis to back his prediction. Macroeconomist, Peter Tchir believes that most BTC price predictions are made with specific motives in mind on behalf of the analyst. Writing recently for Forbes, Tchir encouraged traders to disregard predictions that didn’t have any empirical analysis to back the proclamation.

Presently, Bitcoin is in the midst of a sustained bear dip that has seen prices plummet by more than 60 percent since the start of 2018. BTC permabulls will be hoping for another price surge that can catapult the top-ranked crypto to a new all-time high.

What do you think about the credit/debit card BTC purchase feature on the Abra platform? What are your thoughts concerning the Abra CEO’s BTC prediction of $50,000? Keep the conversation going in the comment section below.

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