Posted on

Cryptocurrency Startup To Take On ‘Outdated’ Credit Cards Through Blockchain Payment Protocol

PumaPay is building a Blockchain-based protocol to reform how everyday financial transactions are completed – with a warning that credit and debit cards are unfit for purpose in today’s “fast-paced, global economy.”

PumaPay claims its system has what it takes to propel cryptocurrencies into mainstream use and rethink how payments are processed. It is developing an open-source “PullPayment Protocol” which enables merchants to pull funds out of a customer’s account with their consent. This would replace old-fashioned methods where a shopper pushes money to a retailer, with the cash going through a long line of intermediaries in a costly process that can take days to complete.

According to PumaPay, its invention is “far more credible, efficient, cost-effective and scalable” than current solutions – and offers much-needed flexibility to make cryptocurrencies viable as a source of payment both online and offline.

Serving merchants, not exploiting them

According to PumaPay, it is merchants who lose out most through the economy’s “anachronistic” reliance on card payments which dominate online shopping sites.

The project says retailers and small businesses face multiple fees, ranging anywhere from 2 percent to 8 percent in some cases. Not only do these charges take a serious toll on a merchant’s profit margins, but PumaPay says long transaction reconciliation times have a detrimental impact on cash flow. Chargebacks are also becoming more common because of fraud and buyer’s remorse, resulting in fines and insecurity – with merchants continually uncertain over whether the money from a sale will reach their bank account.

Despite cryptocurrency and Blockchain representing an exciting development over the past decade, PumaPay argues that none of the currently available crypto-payment solutions are functional enough to compete with big players such as Visa and Mastercard.

PumaPay says it plans to “serve merchants, not exploit them” and make its platform “the de facto standard for modern payments.” It is already promoting the protocol and attracting early adopters who will begin using the system upon release – including brands such as Fashion TV, Rent24, Backpack.io, CCBill, SegPay and other online merchants and payment processors across multiple industries.

Several adult entertainment companies have also embraced the protocol – with the industry suffering from high credit card transaction costs because their sector is deemed “high risk.” PumaPay believes its protocol is well suited to pay-per-view scenarios, providing flexibility for entertainment platforms and protecting their clients’ privacy. IMLive, Vivid Entertainment and LoadedCash are among the high-traffic, high-volume brands who have joined the project as early adopters so far.

PumaPay CEO Yoav Dror told Cointelegraph: “Many online platforms are now releasing their own tokens which are by default limited by a platform’s user base. The PumaPay token transcends merchants, platforms and industries as more and more merchants express the interest in joining the ecosystem. As a result, the product offering will increase along with the PMA [token]’s spending potential and the demand for the token will grow.” The ultimate vision of the PumaPay economy is the self-feeding loop that keeps growing with new merchants and customers.

Merchants who become part of the protocol will also benefit from a hub called PumaPay Pride – an app which alerts shoppers to nearby businesses which accept the platform’s token.

“As flexible as payment cards”

According to PumaPay, the flexible nature of PullContracts means merchants can mold them in ways to best suit their business – allowing them to conduct offline transactions and receive recurring payments.

Examples of potential uses for PullContracts given in its white paper include purchasing a magazine subscription, monthly payments of electricity bills and paying for dinner at a restaurant. PumaPay also believes its system could become an ideal way to make children financially independent, with young people given their own wallets and their parents allowed to veto purchases if the item they want falls outside the parameters of what the pocket money is for. The same scenario of ‘restricted payments’ can be applied to corporate expenses with employees’ wallets provided by an employer.

PumaPay plans to initially launch an Android app for consumers, with a version for iOS and a Chrome-based application soon afterwards. It is hoped shoppers using PumaPay will see costs tumble as merchants cut prices in response to greatly reduced transaction fees.

PumaPay is holding a token generation event for seven days, beginning at midnight on April 26 2018. Depending on contribution levels, it hopes to integrate its first early adopter in the second quarter of this year – and release a simple version of its PMA token. Tests of the next-generation Blockchain, a more advanced version of its token and cryptocurrency wallets would follow towards the end of this year and into 2019.

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.

Posted on

Wall Street Buzz: Merrill Lynch Bans Bitcoin For Its Clients

In a move that sounds similar to that taken by JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon, Wall Street bank Merrill Lynch has banned its financial advisors from buying Bitcoin-related investments for their clients.

The decision comes as the major bank has concerns “pertaining to suitability and eligibility standards of this product,” according to an Internal memo reviewed by the Wall Street Journal.

Going against the grain

The decision taken by Merrill Lynch prevents roughly 17,000 advisors pitching anything to do with Bitcoin or even executing clients’ request to trade Grayscale Bitcoin Investment Trust (GBTC).

The GBTC is one of the major avenues in which Bitcoin can be traded on Wall Street. It is traded over the counter, rather than through a formal venue like the New York Stock Exchange. The Bitcoin trust is the top holding of two of Ark Invest’s exchange-traded funds, which unsurprisingly were among the top performing ETFs last year.

The recent opening of futures on CME and CBOE have also given rise to new ways in which institutionalized investors can get involved in this new asset without the fear of venturing into unregulated waters.

However, Merrill Lynch has already acted upon these avenues as it previously banned access to these futures.

Steadfast

Merrill Lynch clearly sits on the one half of the divide over Bitcoin that is denying its possibilities and thus denying its clients a shot at the growing asset. However, that side of the battle seems to be softening.

A look at the way in which JPMorgan has distanced itself from their CEO’s comments shows how it is becoming harder and harder to keep avoiding Bitcoin.

Bitcoin’s success on Wall Street is yet to be seen as its price rally towards $20,000 was catalyzed by the impending futures announcement, but since they have launched there has been a decline in Bitcoin’s performance.

According to John D’Agostino, a former Nymex executive and current exchange board member, many are trying to get into the game, but wondering if they can do it within regulations.

“Every research department of every regulated exchange is saying, ‘Can we do this?’ The majority of costs associated with that are marketing. If people want to trade this thing, why wouldn’t you? This is a gift from the heavens.”

Learn and understand

These bans, from the ICO ban in China to the banning being done by banks, is also being attributed to misunderstanding and lack of knowledge.

Many Bitcoin believers slammed Jamie Dimon for his lack of knowledge, and the same seems to hold true for Merrill Lynch.

Tech investment company Wamda Capital CEO, Fadi Ghandour said of Dimon:

“It is here to stay. Jamie Dimon needs to recognize that before he talks about it from a fraudulent point of view. Talk to them, understand them, find a way to regulate them. Let’s not make big statements about something we don’t understand. Be humble, calm down, come down to earth and learn.”

Posted on

Cameron Winklevoss Predicts That Bitcoin Will Reach Multi-Trillion Value

Cameron of the famous Winklevoss twins has claimed that the phenomenal rise in the price of leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin is primed to increase further in the long term. He claimed that if Bitcoin has the capability to disrupt gold, then it can appreciate by 10-20 times further because there’s still a significant delta for the number one virtual currency.

In his interview with CNBC in early December 2017, Cameron Winklevoss said that Bitcoin is gold 2.0 as it has the capability to disrupt gold.

Despite already reaching a market capitalization of $300 bln, the digital currency has lots of room to grow.

“We’ve always felt that Bitcoin, given its properties, is gold 2.0 — it disrupts gold. Gold is scarce, Bitcoin is actually fixed. Bitcoin is way more portable and way more divisible. At a $300 bln market cap, it’s certainly seen a lot of price appreciation, but gold is at $6 tln and if Bitcoin disrupting gold is true and it plays out … then you can see 10 to 20 times appreciation because there is a significant delta still.”

Other major developments for Bitcoin

Bitcoin advocates are expected to support the scheduled launching of Bitcoin futures trading by the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). The trading transactions will be done at the Gemini digital currency exchange, which was co-founded by the Winklevoss twins. The CME Group is also scheduled to launch its own futures trading in the next two weeks.

According to several experts, the launching of Bitcoin futures trading will help pave the way for the introduction of Bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF). The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is claimed to be already assessing the feasibility of Bitcoin ETFs.

According to Winklevoss, the launching of the Bitcoin futures sets the stage for other products.

“We think derivatives set the stage for other products and is the next logical evolution of this market.”

Posted on

Bitcoin Finally Cools After Monster Rally

As Bitcoin smashed through the $11,000, $12,000 and so on all the way to $19,000 on some exchanges, people were wondering if, when, and how this monster bull run would all come to an end.

It finally has ended for the digital currency as the price corrected from just under the $19,000 mark to sit at 14,470 at time of publishing. This represents a fall of around 14 percent, which in Bitcoin terms is relatively minor.

Hardly a crash, nor a bubble pop, as some pessimists might suggest, it is presumed that investors may simply be taking stock and cashing out a little after gains of over $5,000 per coin.

Reasons for the rise?

Most of the recent run-up came about because of the news out of CME that they would be operating Bitcoin futures come December. That news helped push Bitcoin past $7,000 in a little price boost.

However, as the Dec. 10 and 18 deadlines for CME and CBOE to launch their futures approach, there has been fresh vigor and frenzy. Essentially, it allows for traditional investors to add a new asset class to their portfolios and helps with the adoption of such a sector.

Price correction

Of course, those who felt the full brunt of the rise will be sad that it is over, having profited incredibly well in little under a week. However, the price correction that this should be viewed as is probably a good thing ahead of the futures launch.

Many have seen Bitcoin rise to dizzying heights and then drop off steeply, citing bubbles and collapses and other such pessimism, however, it is natural for correction to take place – especially in such a speculative market.

Adam Sharp, the co-founder of Early Investing, said back in September when Bitcoin faced another big drop off after a great Bull run:

“It’s just natural and normal for a market to have a correction after a run like that. Historically, Bitcoin corrects anywhere from 30 percent to 50 percent. But the long-term trend is still strongly bullish. We’re up from $0.0033 in 2009 in the very early days to close to $4,000 today.”

Overcoming gravity

With this latest bout of adoption and mainstream acceptance, many are feeling that even with a dramatic price drop, Bitcoin still won’t be heading to zero – a concern that was still a potential not too long ago.

Analysts from FxPro said of this latest correction:

“Bitcoin has proven to all that it’s able to overcome gravity. Its exponential rise in value, however, isn’t simply due to the impending arrival of institutional investors. Cryptocurrencies, and Bitcoin, in particular, have become extremely popular with the general public, and as prices move ever higher, the desire to invest continues to grow.”

Posted on

It’s Not Bitcoin Classic, Or Bitcoin Cash. It’s Bitcoin Clashic!

Apparently a malicious hard fork occurred on the Bitcoin Cash hard fork, leading to the sudden appearance of Bitcoin Clashic. The vast number of various forks appearing on the original Bitcoin chain has now culminated in one on the Bitcoin Cash chain. A quick perusal of the new coin’s website shows the general feeling of Clashic – a swaggering picture of James Bond – pure individualism – the ‘true vision of Satoshi.’ 

The ‘malicious’ fork has made some fairly spectacular promises – transactions will take just seconds, the coin is incredibly reliable, there is no congestion with transactions, the technology is robust, etc. All of these promises are expected to make the fork the ‘Best Money in the World,’ according to their own press.

Big pump, Little practice

Usability may be a concern, however. As owners continue searching for real-life use cases, they will find that the coin has no current wallets, no services, no actual projects and apparently no exchanges. Nevertheless, it appears that Bitcoin Clashic is the ‘future of money.’

The new coin also appears to be completely safe from any loss of mining power because of an ‘emergency difficulty adjustment’ (EDA). According to the website:

“This genius inventions makes Bitcoin Clashic’s Blockchain invulnerable from dying from loss of hashpower (although it’s totally vulnerable to manipulation that destroys the inflation schedule, as well as defeats the purpose of having a long difficulty adjustment period to have a secure network, but don’t mind that, people say it’s fine).”