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Binance Jersey Lists Exchange’s Own GBP-Backed Stablecoin

Fiat-crypto exchange Binance Jersey has listed a proprietary GBP-backed stablecoin, dubbed Binance GBP Stablecoin (BGBP).

Fiat-crypto exchange Binance Jersey has listed a proprietary GBP-backed stablecoin, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph on July 19.

‘Overwhelming demand’ for stablecoin diversification

Listing of the Binance GBP Stablecoin (BGBP) confirms earlier indications that the major industry player had its sights on imminently issuing its own fiat-pegged assets, starting with a cryptocurrency 100% backed by the British pound.

Binance Chief Financial Officer Wei Zhou has given an official statement, in which he noted that:

“There has been an overwhelming demand in the market and Binance community for more stablecoin diversification, including a GBP-pegged stablecoin.”

Zhou added that increasing awareness of the utility of stablecoins and proliferating use cases for the specialized asset have all contributed to Binance’s decision to list the coin, and to press ahead with other fiat-pegged cryptocurrencies.

As previously reported, Binance first launched its Jersey-based platform in January of this year, designing the exchange to support fiat-to-crypto trading of the euro and British pound with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) across Europe and the United Kingdom.

More stablecoin fever

Ahead of revealing plans to issue its own assets of the same type, the exchange had embraced — like other major platforms such as OKEx and Huobi —  the proliferating issuance of fiat-backed stablecoins

In fall 2018, it rebranded its Tether (USDT) Market as the combined USDⓈ market to allow for the support of more trading pairs with different stablecoins offered as a base pair in fall 2018.

Earlier this month, Binance completed an upgrade to its Binance Chain mainnet — featuring a revised matching engine and enabling validators to vote on delisting trading pairs on Bianance’s decentralized trading platform, Binance DEX.

Also this month, Binance released a margin trading platform, which it similarly stated had been “one of the most requested services from our community.”

Just yesterday, stalwart if controversial stablecoin issuer Tether  revealed plans to release its stablecoin on a fifth blockchain, one based on a permissionless proof-of-stake (PoS) and open-source protocol.

A study published in June meanwhile indicated that only 66 stablecoins — 30% of total announced tokens — are actually live and operational.

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Buy Bitcoin? Trump Says US ‘Should Match’ China’s Money Printing Game

Donald Trump’s latest currency manipulation tweet bolsters the argument for crypto as a safe haven asset.

United States President Donald Trump has proposed the U.S. should ‘MATCH’ Chinese and Euoropean currency manipulation, sparking a dip in the greenback’s value. 

The president shared his thoughts in a tweet published on July 3:

“China and Europe playing big currency manipulation game and pumping money into their system in order to compete with USA. We should MATCH, or continue being the dummies who sit back and politely watch as other countries continue to play their games – as they have for many years!”

The renewed attack comes despite the fact that the Trump administration formally stopped short of accusing China of devaluing its currency to gain unfair trade advantages just two months ago.

On crypto twitter and Reddit alike, commentators were quick to note that in light of this “race to the bottom” monetary policy, Trump’s tweet is just about tantamount to a “direct order […] to buy bitcoin.”

Trump Fed board nominee Judy Shelton had tweeted just the preceding day that she would “strive to support the U.S. pro-growth economic agenda with the appropriate monetary policy.”

In a tweet published July 3, eToro analyst Mati Greenspan affirmed his belief that the influence of macro-economic trends on bitcoin is already a reality, stating:

“My understanding is that central bank policy is the biggest driver of all markets, including crypto.”

The president’s provocation sent new waves through Europe, with one foreign exchange strategy expert telling CNBC that he fears the administration could slap on ‘countervailing tariffs’ on the E.U. auto sector, justifying it as a response to what the Commerce Department deems to be certain countries’ artificial currency depreciation. 

Other currency strategists have remarked on the unexpected timing of the renewed attack on China’s currency policy, arguing that the yuan has not apparently been manipulated for the past couple of years. 

With politicians weaponizing national fiat currencies to gain the upperhand in trade, the argument for crypto as a safe haven asset appears more robust than ever.

In remarks earlier this week, Morgan Creek Digital Assets co-founder Anthony “Pomp” Pompliano predicted bitcoin (BTC) would hit $100,000 by the end of 2021, citing the current climate of global instability as a major driving factor.

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Binance and Paxos Just Made It Easier to Exchange Stablecoins for Fiat

Binance and digital asset Trust company Paxos have partnered to integrate a new fiat deposit gateway on Binance’s flagship trading platform.

The biggest crypto exchange by volume Binance and digital asset Trust company Paxos have integrated a new fiat deposit gateway on Binance’s flagship trading platform. 

According to a press release published on June 26, the gateway will enable traders to exchange fiat currency for the PAX Standard (PAX) stablecoin on the Paxos platform via wire transfer. The amount will then be reflected directly as a PAX-denominated balance in their Binance accounts.

The press release claims that the new fiat on-ramp will foster increased PAX liquidity on the exchange and thus optimize price discovery for traders. 

All PAX redemptions on Binance will reportedly be zero-fee, and not be subject to minimum or maximum thresholds for withdrawals and deposits.

In a statement, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao — commonly known as “CZ” —  underscored the importance of easing fiat-crypto exchange and providing support for liquid and fully-backed stablecoins such as PAX in order to grow the platform’s trading ecosystem.

As reported, Paxos has recently enabled users to instantly redeem unlimited amounts of its tokens for United States dollars. In parallel, the firm shifted to showing user accounts for PAX and USD as a single balance on its platform to follow through with its vision of the token as a bonafide digital dollar. 

Earlier this month, Binance’s Chief Financial Officer confirmed rumors that the exchange would start issuing proprietary stablecoins within two months, starting with a British pound-pegged coin, Binance GBP. 

The move to issue native stablecoins will purportedly reduce the market share of stalwart — albeit controversial — stablecoin tether (USDT) on the platform, which currently represents over 50% of its stablecoin volume.

Also this month, Binance listed its first two stablecoin trading pairs on its non-custodial trading platform Binance DEX.

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Australia Central Bank Argues Bitcoin ‘Unlikely’ To Become Mainstream

Australia’s central bank says that despite “some recognition,” drawbacks mean consumers will prefer the country’s dollar.

Australia’s central bank said bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies would remain outside mainstream payments in a dedicated article issued on June 20.

Titled ‘Cryptocurrency: Ten Years On,’ the document from the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) appears to commemorate the past decade of bitcoin’s existence while admitting zero faith in its future beyond a niche asset.

“Despite achieving some name recognition, cryptocurrencies are not widely used for payments,” its abstract summarizes.

“This article examines why Bitcoin is unlikely to become a ubiquitous payment method in Australia, and summarises how subsequent cryptocurrencies have sought to address some of the shortcomings of Bitcoin – such as its volatility and scalability problems.”

Australia’s government remains highly risk-averse on cryptocurrency in general, choosing to warn consumers about perceived risks while adopting an aggressive taxation and data collection policy.

As Cointelegraph reported, in April, the country’s tax agency, the Australian Tax Office (ATO), said it would seek to gain records from exchanges in order to conduct individual audits on users as and when necessary.

Earlier this month, it emerged investigators were conducting 12 cross-border operations focusing on tax avoidance related to cryptocurrencies.

“At the Australian level, there is definitely legitimate use for investment in cryptocurrencies, but we’re also seeing the use of them to facilitate tax crimes,” ATO deputy commissioner, Will Day, commented at the time.

The RBA article nonetheless appears to paint a less optimistic picture, championing the Australian dollar as a preferable alternative to cryptocurrency.

The researchers concluded:

“As long as the Australian dollar continues to provide a reliable, low-inflation store of value, and the payments industry continues to work on the efficiency, functionality and resilience of the Australian payments system, it is difficult to envisage cryptocurrencies presenting a compelling proposition that would lead to their widespread use in Australia.”

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Binance Reveals Liechtenstein-Based Fiat-To-Crypto Exchange

In a recent move, Binance has partnered with Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange (LCX) to launch a partnership fittingly named Binance LCX. As per a press release posted on August 16th, the collaboration between the two entities will be launching a fiat-to-crypto portal in Liechtenstein. 

Binance’s “experienced team” will take a key role in providing and maintaining the exchange infrastructure, while Binance LCX will take the reins for customer support, legal compliance and due diligence, KYC, AML and communication with local governmental figures/regulatory bodies. The entity spawned as a result of the partnership intends to build a team of 10 to 15 individuals to support the exchange and will be situated at its Liechtenstein office.

The fiat-to-crypto exchange will offer support for Swiss Francs (CHF) and Euros (EUR), coupled with “major cryptocurrency pairs.” While the two firms have not released an extensive list of pairs, it is widely speculated that the new exchange will support BTC, ETH, and XRP at the bare minimum. The latter cryptocurrency noted may be a surprise to some, as the regulatory state of this asset is still up in the air. However, recent tweets from Michael Arrington, an XRP proponent and the co-founder of TechCrunch, and Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao have led some to believe that XRP/EUR and XRP/CHF support is likely.

The newly-established firm also noted that it will add more trading pairs as time moves on, with planned pairs being subject to regulatory approval/disapproval. Changpeng Zhao, or CZ as he is better known by the cryptocurrency community expressed his excitement for this venture, stating:

I believe Binance LCX will create a sustainable and reliable fiat-crypto gateway for professional and regular investors alike. I hope Binance LCX will drive new standards for usability and compliance for the blockchain industry, and we are very excited to bring the relevant experience and best practices to grow our team in Liechtenstein

In a similar comment, LCX CEO Monty Metzger, the primary executive at the other end of the partnership, also added that his firm is thrilled to join hands with Binance in this move. While many governments are hesitant to openly endorse cryptocurrency-related companies, individuals or ventures, Liechtenstein’s Prime Minister issued a welcoming statement and even made an appearance at the grand unveiling of the Binance LCX office.

Liechtenstein has quickly proven itself to be a “crypto haven,” with the regulatory environment surrounding this nascent asset class being rather lax. The small European country has begun to see a large influx of crypto-related companies, as some projects seek crypto-friendly banking relationships. Taking this into account, it is clear to see why LCX wrote that “Liechtenstein is the ideal location” for this new exchange.

As reported by Ethereum World News previously, Binance made a similar announcement in June, launching its first fiat-to-crypto exchange in Uganda. So although the global roll-out may be slow, it has become apparent that Binance is ready to tackle the lack of fiat support in exchanges worldwide with its own platforms.

Photo by Henrique Ferreira on Unsplash

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Mastercard Secures Patent To Close The Gap Between Credit Card Payments And Crypto

On Tuesday, it was announced that Mastercard had just secured a patent that will allow for the financial services firm to link crypto assets and fiat bank accounts.

Mastercard Wins Crypto-Related Patent

CNBC recently reported that Mastercard now has a patent that will protect its proprietary method of building a bridge between “blockchain-based assets and fiat currency accounts.”

Firstly, Mastercard brought attention to the fact that there has been an increase in cases where consumers, who “value anonymity and security,” use cryptocurrencies instead of government-issued fiat.

However, the patent expressed worries about how blockchain systems can be relatively inefficient and questionable, with companies/processors accepting crypto payments not knowing who is at the other end of the transaction.

Additionally, the patent called out the inefficiency of the Bitcoin blockchain, pointing out that Bitcoin transactions take ten plus minutes for a block confirmation, while centralized digital payments are nearly instantaneous.

Drawing attention to the Bitcoin block time, the patent document noted:

It often takes a significant amount of time, around ten minutes, for a blockchain-based transaction to be processed, due to the computer processing time and resources required to verify and update the blockchain. Conversely, traditional fiat payment transactions that are processed using payment networks often have processing times that are measured in nanoseconds.

Details on the solution to this problem were rather scant, with the patent not outlining the exact method in which Mastercard could address the aforementioned issues.

However, the patent did mention the management of “fractional reserves of blockchain currency,” indicating that the financial service firm is looking to allow Mastercard consumers to pay for items with their credit card backed by a fraction of a consumer’s crypto holdings.

CNBC also pointed out that this new system would help to secure crypto payments, and would “use evaluating risk algorithms (used in credit cards) to evaluate the potential for fraud.”

Writing to CNBC, Seth Eisen, Mastercard’s senior vice president of communications, noted:

We’re consistently looking at ways to bring new thinking and new innovations to market to create value for us and our customers and cardholders.

Eisen later added that just because a patent was filed and subsequently accepted, doesn’t guarantee that Mastercard will be bringing a fiat-crypto product to market any time soon.

Tom Lee Sees Mastercard News As A Bullish Signal

Nonetheless, Tom Lee, the co-founder and head of research at Fundstrat Global Advisors, has called this patent a bullish sign.

This should come to no surprise, as Lee has long been held as one of the most prominent Bitcoin bulls, calling for Bitcoin to hit $25,000 by the end of the year at least once every few months.

Speaking on the CNBC ‘Fast Money’ segment, the Fundstrat analyst stated:

Something like the Mastercard news is postive becuase it’s really validating the idea that digital money, or blockchain-based money, is a valid form of transaction.

It isn’t currently clear what will result of this patent, but many cryptocurrency proponents are hopeful that a gargantuan firm like Mastercard will finally release a product related to cryptocurrencies or blockchain-related technologies.

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Binance To List Euros for Crypto-Fiat Operations

Binance, the most important Exchange in the world according to trading volume, would be close to offering its users the possibility to trade cryptos with a Euro pair

The use of crypto-fiat trading pairs is something that many exchanges try to avoid due to fear of regulations; however, many users repeatedly requested this option to freeze their funds or carry out other financial strategies.

It should be noted that Binance recently announced that it would move its headquarters to Malta, a country with a crypto-friendly policy, making easier the legal use and adoption of Euros for crypto-fiat trading.

It is also important to note that the Binance team has posted some recruiting advertisements on Twitter to open offices around the world. Another reason for the Binance move was the harsh Asian regulations, especially in Japan, a country with which it had several strategic talks that proved unsuccessful.

“CZ”: CEO of Binance

In telephone conversations with Bloomberg, Zhao Changpeng or “CZ,” CEO of Binance, announced that they are making all the necessary arrangements to enable ASAP the first crypto-fiat pair of the famous Exchange.

Until now, the closest thing to this type of operation was the “freezing” of cryptos using the USDT pair, a stable coin that has recently been the subject of controversy due to its alleged lack of FIAT support.

According to Bloomberg, CZ’s statements suggest that Binance’s expansionist plans are giving very positive results:

“Founded in July, Binance made at $150 million profit in the first quarter, with daily trading averaging between $1.4 billion and $1.5 billion, Zhao said. The company has 9 million users, he said, compared with more than 2 million at the start of the year.”

This data is in sharp contrast to the behavior of the cryptocurrency market, which has been declining, especially during 2018, with a significant fall in the general market cap. Bitcoin alone has lost more than half its value.

Euros Are Just The First Crypto-Fiat Pairs

However, despite the problems, Binance seems to have hit the nail on the head with a series of policies and strategies that have made it extremely popular with enthusiasts and prestigious traders.

Binance plans to open offices in other parts of the world, focusing mainly on the European and Asian markets, according to statements by its CEO:

“Zhao said that Binance will soon receive an exchange license from Jersey in the Channel Islands, and plans to open an office there with as many as 100 staff. The company is also in talks with authorities and banks in Taiwan, he said.”

So far there is no definite date; however, it is expected that the pair will be enabled soon since once all legal requirements are met, the technical aspect is easier and less bureaucratic to work on.

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There is No Future Competition from Central Banks for the Current Digital Currencies: Vitalik Buterin

Ethereum co-founder: Central Banks Are a Long Way From Digital Currency

The creator of Ethereum – the second largest blockchain network by market capitalization, Vitalik Buterin added that there is no need for worrying when it comes to competition from any central bank issuing a digital currency in the world.

In his eyes, the possibility of a rivalry for Bitcoin or Ethereum by fiat currencies that are presented in their digital versions by central banks and countries is of very low levels:

“If there is [such a launch] it will be a server and a bunch of marketing buzzwords to make it look like a blockchain,” Buterin said, suggesting central banks lack the ability to create a proper blockchain.

His outspoken comments are in keeping with Buterin’s reputation as an iconoclast—a reputation he reinforced by turning up to speak at the suit-and-tie Toronto event in a unicorn sweatshirt.

Buterin’s remarks come at a time when the popular of digital currency has exploded as an asset class: the value of Bitcoin and Ethereum have respectively increased about five-fold and thirty-fold in 2017, while the overall market for such currencies is worth well over $100 billion.

The gold-rush has coincided with the rally of interest in blockchain Tech, which right now is finding adaptation and being used by various industries – banks, retailers, diamond merchants as a method to record transactions.

Banks, in a global scale, like the Bank of Japan, or Canada – have started to experiment around the blockchain technology to create the digital form of their fiat traditional currencies which could represent a better way to transfer funds or manage their money supplies.

In the case of the United States, some predict the Federal Reserve will create a so-called “Fedcoin” as a digital asset, though a Fed official recently said there currently no plans to do so. Meanwhile, former Fed Chair Ben Bernanke on Monday lashed out at bitcoin, though he also praised blockchain technology.

If a surge of blockchain-based national currencies do arrive on the scene, it raises the question of whether digital assets like bitcoin or XRP (another popular crypto-currency) will still be used as a means for transferring funds across borders.

However, as the Ethereum founder explained – its all just theoretical discussion, concluding that bitcoin and ethereum will be dominant in the crypto-world for the foreseeable future.

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