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Saudi British Bank Launches Ripple-Powered international Transfer Service

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Ripple continues to grow as the blockchain technology most used in the international banking system. After revealing that more than 200 financial institutions had adopted its technology solutions, the company adds a fresh partner thanks to the decision of Saudi British Bank (SABB) to use Ripple for a new Instant Cross-Border Transfer Service.

SABB Logo

In an announcement on its official website, the bank revealed that the new service is part of a business strategy focused on “digital transformation and enriching customer experience”.

The revelation was made during an event held in April 24th & 25th, 2019 in Riyadh. They did not explain which of Ripple’s solutions they would be implementing, however; they emphasized that the introduction of this new platform was possible thanks to the patronage of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA)

SAMA Logo

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) is quite familiar with blockchain technologies. As reported by Ethereum World News, the bank has been testing Ripple technologies for more than a year and at the beginning of 2019, an agreement was reached between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to develop a crypto currency to facilitate interbank transactions between these two countries.

Majed Najm, Deputy Managing Director Corporate and Institutional Banking at SABB explained that thanks to the use of Ripple, the speed and efficiency of cross-border payments will improve the quality of the bank’s services and offer the possibility of interconnecting more financial institutions as time goes by.

SABB provides its customers with faster, safer and more transparent cross-border payment services by the launch of “Blockchain” technology through “Ripple”. The Indian Rupee (INR) is a positive start to an upcoming roadmap being the first currency to be activated in SABB. This plan aims to provide customers with a valuable service and link more countries and currencies in the near future.

Already in September 2018, SABB became the first Saudi Arabian bank to use the R3 blockhain ecosystem as a tool to process financial transactions. R3 currently also uses Ripple technology to power its technological solutions.

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Brian Kelly Talks Bitcoin (BTC) ‘Halvening,’ Gives Portfolio Recommendation

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Brian Kelly, CEO of digital currency investment firm BKCM LLC and regular pundit on cryptocurrency, appeared on CNBC to explain Bitcoin’s current run to $8000 and how he imagines the price could rise even further.

Speaking with CNBC’s Fast Money program on May 21, the fund manager highlighted Bitcoin’s upcoming ‘halvening’ as a potential multiplier for the price of the currency. While the next reduction in mining rewards–when the payout falls from 12.5 to 6.25 BTC per block mined–is still a year away, Kelly believes the market ramifications will be felt even earlier.

In exactly 365 days we will experience the third bitcoin halving in history. This event marks a 50% decrease of block rewards, lowering the total supply of bitcoins mined from one block to only 6.25 BTC. How will you celebrate this event?

At present, Kelly claims that miners are hoarding BTC in anticipation of increased demand and a higher valuation in the future. While the 12.5 BTC reward payout gives them the luxury to retain some Bitcoin, as opposed to immediately selling it on the market to recoup operating and electricity costs, Kelly predicts that will be less convenient following the halvening. In addition, miners are looking to the growth of institutional investment and adoption to take the price of Bitcoin well beyond its current $8000 range.

In conjunction with a 50% reduction in new Bitcoin creation, the growth of cryptocurrency into institutional and retail use-cases will further drive demand. Increased demand and dwindling supply is what makes Kelly think that Bitcoin is in for a bullish cycle ahead, both in the lead up to the halvening and its in aftermath.

Kelly commented on the four year market cycle that characterizes each halvening, concluding that the current period has historically been good for the price of Bitcoin,  

“You generally have a rally a year into it, and a year out of it. And so we’re just at the beginning of that stage […] a supply cut is generally bullish.”

In addition to sharing his insight on the halving and what it means for upcoming Bitcoin prices, Kelly also gave a recommendation for asset allocation. He advised investors to dedicate between 1 and 5 percent of their overall portfolio to Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, while the price of BTC is still hovering at the $8000 mark.

Analysts have been split between bullish and bearish for Bitcoin following the massive rally that kicked off in early April. While the price of BTC is up over 100 percent since the start of 2019, some analysts see the bullish rally as short-lived and could see BTC retesting $6000 before generating continued price momentum.

Others have begun to point to geopolitical factors and economic policy as being the key drivers for Bitcoin price growth. With a trade war brewing between the U.S. and China, economic uncertainty over the USD/Yuan exchange rate has certain investors turning to Bitcoin as an alternative investment.

The rise of mainstream adoption for cryptocurrency also continues to be a major talking point for digital assets. Facebook has relaxed its policy on cryptocurrency advertisement in anticipation of launching its own stablecoin. Jack Dorsey’s payment platform Square also announced cryptocurrency adoption to be “inevitable,” giving an indication of the shifting sentiment towards Bitcoin compared to a year ago.

Disclaimer: Investing in cryptocurrency is inherently risky.

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Cobinhood Crypto Exchange Announces Bankruptcy, Community Spots Exit Scam

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A famous Taiwan-based crypto exchange Cobinhood has filed for bankruptcy and afterwards allegedly pulled an exit scam.

In April 2019, the associated company of Cobinhood, Dexon Foundation, raised over $3 mln on its DXN token ICO. Just the other day, the exchange unlocked DNX and immediately dumped it on the market, without giving investors their purchased coins.

Right on the same day, the exchange declared bankruptcy and appointed liquidators, while the price of DXN plummeted around 80 percent on the news. The crypto community saw this as a clear exit scam.

What preceded the exit scam

Niche crypto trading platforms, such as Cobinhood, have often been controversial for investors. The Taiwanese exchange is famous for a large choice of coins that investors can trade. Analysts believe that a great number of listed assets may be the sign of poor regulation.

As reported, the exchange filed for bankruptcy and got a liquidator to deal with firing the staff. Initially, Cobinhood had mentioned future redundancies earlier, saying that they want to improve their efficiency. This, most likely, means that the exit scam was planned well in advance.

Even though crypto startups often go broke and announce bankruptcy, the case with Cobinhood made the community think this was a scam. The news came as a shock to those who had been investing in crypto on it and had participated in the Dexon ICO in April.

The token dump

As was mentioned above, Cobinhood unlocked DNX tokens on May 20 but instead of giving the investors their purchased coins, dumped them on the market. Then after the company announced its bankruptcy, DNX price dived more than 85 percent. The coin price took just a few hours to go down.

The negative market response also hit Cobinhood’s native token’s price – COB. Later on, DNX managed to recover a little, but still the loss in value from the initial price totalled 60 percent.

Cobinhood still has not given the public an exact date when it will cease work. At the time of writing, the site of the exchange is still functional with trades being conducted in the standard mode.

Other recent exit scams

Among other crypto exchanges that have stopped operating and where the community suspected exit scams are QuadrigaCX and – the most recent one – New-Zealand-based Cryptopia.

Quadriga was unable to continue work due to the sudden death of its founder and CEO in December 2018. All the private keys to hot wallets were locked in his personal laptop. Later on, the investigation found out that the majority of assets had been kept on other exchanges for security reasons. However, some assumed that the situation looked like a crypto scam. The CEO of Binance was among them.

As for Cryptopia, it was accused of pulling an exit scam by investors themselves who were shocked at the company shutting down after recent attempts to recover the hacker-stolen assets and assuring everyone that all is well.

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How to Buy BTC for Just 10% of its Value on YouHodler

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As FinTech platform YouHodler expands it’s services to clients, users are unlocking new, creative ways to take advantage of the crypto market. Take the platform’s “buy crypto with fiat” for example. With this method, combined with YouHodler’s 90% LTV, a user can buy BTC for just 10% of its value. Here’s how it works in three simple steps.

HOW TO BUY BTC FOR 10% OF IT’S VALUE ON YOUHODLER

With YouHolder’s recently introduced feature, user’s can buy BTC, ETH, XRP, XLM, LTC, BCH, BSV, DASH, EOS, BAT, REP and more directly on the platform with fiat (USD and EUR with a credit card or bank wire). Users can get large discounts on crypto purchases. For this specific example, let’s see how someone can buy 1 BTC for just 10% of its value using the following three-step method on YouHodler:

For this example, let’s say 1 BTC = $8000

Step 1: Use $8000 in cash to buy 1 BTC on YouHodler (Note: This is temporary capital that will be repaid in about 15 minutes). Alternatively, you could borrow the $8,000 from your traditional business funds to use in this scenario.

Step 2: Use this 1 BTC as collateral on YouHodler. With 90% LTV, you get 90% of $8,000 sent to you in cash or USDT. Use this to pay back the $8000 to wherever you borrowed the original capital from.

Step 3. You now have 1 BTC sitting in collateral that you only paid 10% for ($800). Now, simply wait for the market to rise again before repaying the loan and getting your 1 BTC. You are only responsible for paying back the 1 BTC at its value at the time of the loan. So if it rises to $9,000, $10,000 or beyond, you keep all additional profits.

Note: This can be a risky strategy if the market takes a rapid price drop.

CUSTOMIZE YOUR USER EXPERIENCE WITH MORE TARIFF OPTIONS

While the previous example focused on YouHodler’s 90% LTV tariff option, users should know there are a variety of channels one can access depending on their individual needs. Whether you want quick cash, 8-day loan term with 80% LTV for a long term 120-day loan with more flexibility, there is plenty to choose from to suit your strategy. Customizable tariffs are also available upon request. Considering all available options is an important part of your risk management strategy. Hence, YouHodler always recommends a thorough due diligence process before pursuing any financial activities.

To see the full selection of tariff options and to take advantage of YouHodler’s crypto banking tools, visiting them at YouHodler.com today.

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Report: Bitcoin (BTC) Futures Trading Approaching All-Time High in May

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According to a new report published by The Block, the month of May is on pace to set a new all-time high in Bitcoin futures trading for the CME Group.

In a note sent to clients on May 21, the Chicago-based firm and backer to one of the largest Bitcoin futures trading exchanges, claims that May is “shaping up to be the strongest month ever for CME Bitcoin Futures.” The firm also reports a record day of trading on May 13, with 33,677 contracts being traded for the equivalent of $1.3 billion in BTC. Daily volume for Bitcoin future trading has also spiked during the month of May to 14000, up from 9900 in April.

CME Group continued,

“Since launch in December 2017 we have traded over 1.6MM contracts (+8MM equivalent bitcoin) representing over $50BN in notional value ($4.2BN per month).”

Beyond daily volume for futures trading, new account creation is also on the rise for the group. CME reports that the number of accounts for Bitcoin futures trading has climbed to an all-time high 2500, which the group interprets as a booming desire for traders to hedge on the risk of BTC,

“The number of unique accounts continues to grow showing that the marketplace is increasingly using BTC futures to hedge bitcoin risk and/or access exposure.”

Despite the seemingly bullish market for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, with the price of BTC up close to 100 percent since the start of April, traders remain divided over the future valuation for the coin. BTC Futures, such as those offered by the CME Group’s exchange, have become a popular alternative for traders looking to speculate on the market movement for Bitcoin. Futures contracts have long been one of the more dominant products for the traditional financial markets.

Users can open long or short positions on BTC futures, depending upon where they see the price of the currency moving. With Bitcoin hovering near the $8000 mark for its second day in a row, both the bears and bulls are holding their breath over the next price movement for BTC. Some analysts are now calling for the currency to fall back to $6K before making another run at the all-time high. Considering the massive gains and bullish rally Bitcoin went on since the start of April, after more than 12 months of declining price and ‘crypto winter,’ some investors are anticipating a correction.

However, others see Bitcoin entering a perfect storm of market conditions for renewed investment. Given the economic uncertainty being generated over deteriorating negotiations between President Trump and President Xi, a looming U.S.-China trade war has bullish indicators for the price of cryptocurrency.

In addition, the mounting adoption of cryptocurrency by major industry players such social media giant Facebook and investment bank JP Morgan Chase have given a vote of confidence for BTC that was not present during 2017’s bull run. While FOMO will continue to drive the price of crypto, in both directions, the growing futures market provides another avenue for would-be speculators.

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Pay me in Bitcoin (BTC), the Wave is Unstoppable

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Why pay us in fiat which only has no chance of appreciation? We want to be paid in Bitcoin. Even if it has chances of decreasing in value, it also has the opportunity of increasing in price. From a distance, this is the angle two football players are taking.

Matt Barkley, an NFL quarterback, requested the Cincinnati Bengals and the San Francisco 49ers – which are his former teams- to settle his contract using Bitcoin.

We Will Not!

This was first reported by Anthony Pompliano, the co-founder of Morgan Creek Digital. In a tweet, Pompliano said:

“NFL Quarterback Matt Barkley tried to get the San Francisco 49ers and Cincinnati Bengals to each pay his contract in Bitcoin. Neither would it.”

The Buffalo Bills, Barkley’s current team, has not denied nor accepted the request to pay the player in Bitcoin. But the NFL quarterback is not alone in the quest to get his contract settled using Bitcoin. Russel Okung, another NFL player, tweeted, “pay me in Bitcoin.” The tweet was possibly directed towards his current team, the Los Angeles Chargers.

Barkley and Okung are just two of the many football players and athletes who see Bitcoin as a better method of payment compared to fiat.

It’s A Matter of Perception

But unlike Barkly’s former teams that have made it clear that Bitcoin payments are not an option, others have been lucky. For example, Ted-Jan Bloemen, a speed skater based in Canada, entered into a sponsorship deal that involved both cryptocurrency and fiat. Bloeman was the first athlete to sign a crypto involving deal.

Even though not necessarily paid in Bitcoin, other footballers are crypto bulls and have invested and or accepted crypto in one way or the other. Two such players are Richard Sherman, a cornerback for the San Francisco 49ers, and James Rodriguez, a midfielder for Bayern Munich, a German football club.

Sherman has an online store where he accepts Bitcoin among other cryptocurrencies. Then again, he doubles up as the spokesperson for Cobinhood, a virtual currency exchange that is unfortunately filing for bankruptcy.

Rodriguez, on the other hand, has his own crypto coin, JR10, which attracted $500K during its pre-launch an event which lasted for approximately 12 seconds.

Beitar Jerusalem Joins the Wave, But from A Different Position

Apart from individual players, some teams are full into Bitcoin and its brothers. For instance, Beitar Jerusalem, an Israeli football club, played its recent friendly match with Atlético Madrid donned with a crypto branded uniform. On the front, the t-shirt had names like CoinMarketCap, the largest cryptocurrency prices aggregation platform; Bitcoin; Ethereum; and EOS symbols.

While some on social media platforms bashed Atletico’s move as being a marketing stunt, others saw the positive side.

For example, on Reddit, kbzk256 said:

“Stop being haters… it helps adoption. Beitar Jerusalem is a famous Israeli team also won yesterday’s Atletico Madrid in a friendly match (wearing those uniforms).”

 “It’s called being critical, sensible, not hating. Maybe I don’t know that team, but even if the logos are on the jerseys of Real Madrid FC, it still won’t mean adoption. It’s a marketing effort, but adoption or not is the end result,” another Redditor noted.

Klaudiaschulz, waded, adding:

“True, I work at a freelancing agency, and I’m getting paid in ETH. We were asked options whether we want PayPal, bank transfer, or crypto. And yes sir, crypto all the way.”

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