ZebPay Launches BTC Lightning Network Payments

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ZebPay, initially an Indian-based cryptocurrency exchange which was forced to shut-down their services in India, now has come out with an announcement that they now accept Bitcoin Lightning Network payments. Zebpay customers now will be able to use their Bitcoin to make instant transactions. Primarily this is meant for all the Bitcoin enthusiasts who want to spend their Bitcoin like regular cash. 

Regulatory issues

Earlier we reported that during the September of 2018, Zebpay needed to shut down their Indian services because of regulatory issues. This was the outcome of the all-out Indian ban on cryptocurrencies by the Reserve Bank of India. But now the company has successfully found a new place to reside – Malta. Within Malta, they can continue operating with their services. However, the company took a heavy hit because of this particular issue and went from $5 million in trading volume to around $17,000 at the moment, judging by coinmarketcap.com. Additionally, they only have two active trading pairs – BTC/EUR and XRP/EUR.

Paying with Lightning Network on ZebPay

ZebPay claims that by using their services Bitcoin Lightning Network users will be able to “buy virtually anything”. 
“Just identify the store, copy or scan the invoice of the product or service you would like to avail from within your Zebpay account and hit send! Watch your Bitcoin payment shoot across the mainnet in milliseconds,” says on their website.

Also, as a very nice gesture, they are willing to show their users how exactly this works by making an actual test transaction. “..actual because you get to keep what you buy, and test because we will pay on your behalf,” says on their website.

Limits

Currently the maximum amount you can send using the Lightning Network is 0.001 BTC. However, this limit will be revised as they continue working on this.

Needless to say that by using LN on ZebPay you don’t have to pay any fees to the services associated.

Another company which had launched LN payments already some time ago is BitMEX. Earlier we reported that they not only set up their own Lightning Network node but they also published a very detailed article about LightningNetwork and LN payments in general. Have a read, it will be worth it! And start thinking about running your own Bitcoin Lightning Network node. 

We’re happy to see more and more companies accepting Bitcoin Lightning Network. The more we are, the more recognition Bitcoin will get.

Photo by Andre Furtado from Pexels

Send Bitcoin Using WhatsApp?

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Just recently Wuabit announced that soon WhatsApp users will be able to send Bitcoin via chatting. Wuabit is a cryptocurrency wallet and they have developed a new “software agent” which is powered by a specialized AI. 

Bringing Bitcoin to millions of users

It is a well-known fact that WhatsApp is one of the biggest messaging applications in the world. With the help of Wuabit’s claim to integrate their services within the messaging app, millions of users will have the ability to transact Bitcoin, just by using WhatsApp. That would be a huge push towards mainstream adoption for Bitcoin. The simple reason being that a lot of people really lack the technical side of cryptocurrencies. They would love to participate but are doubting their ability to understand the technology. With the help of this new feature, they won’t have to do a thing. Wuabit also says that other cryptocurrencies will be available for transacting, for example, Dash, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, and Litecoin.

“We are near completing the wallet core service starting with BTC. By using WhatsApp/SMS/Telegram you can access that wallet easily. Crypto payments via WhatsApp can introduce greater numbers of new users who only know how to chat to this complicated space. Usability is key in user adoption and a great enabler.”

Send Bitcoin just by typing!

Wuabit claims that sending Bitcoin via WhatsApp will be as easy as chatting. All users will have to do is to type in a few command lines like “balance” and within the chat, it will show up your balance in the wallet in the form of a regular message. If you would want to send BTC to somebody, you would type in “Send 0.01 BTC to Kate”. Of course, that is if you actually have a contact named Kate in your application. Then a response message will pop up saying “Ready to send 0.01 BTC to Kate, ok?” to which you reply “Ok!” and the transaction!

Image taken from: https://wuabit.com

Similar projects

LiteIM provides a similar service. Zulu Republic, a Swiss Based crypto company, is the company behind LiteIM. Both companies share plans on delivering this service to all social media platforms, instead of creating their own. LiteIM has no control over users private keys. The user has full control over his assets. Currently, they support Telegram and Facebook Messenger apps and have announced that WhatsApp will be coming soon. With LiteIM, initially, you could send only Litecoin. But now after a few months, they have integrated Bitcoin, Ethereum and Zulu Republic Token ZTX.

Screenshot from Facebook Messenger

While LiteIM is already up and running, Wuabit claims that their services “are near completion” to present it for the public. That means that after a month or so, we will be able to try out the new service.

Mass-adoption incoming?

Will it trigger mass-adoption? That’s a tricky question as, first of all, not many people know about cryptocurrencies. And eventually, this job “to spread the word” would be up for the crypto supporters. We would have to send crypto to people who don’t know or don’t have any. And this is the problem with which we encountered. Respectively, if the other person, who you want to send crypto hasn’t registered on LiteIM, then before you can successfully transact between each other, he needs to register first. We believe that this puts a huge stop sign for the mass-adoption as many people stop using the app at that point. Especially, if you want to send crypto to a person who doesn’t know anything about this. The send function should come with an invitation link, where the receiver could easily sign up and claim the crypto that has been sent to his account! 

However, looking from the accessibility aspect of this issue – of course, this brings massive advantages. People who lack the technical side of crypto will be able to engage with crypto with ease. However, LiteIM also predicted a faster mass-adoption, Let’s see how this escalates. 

Source:

https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/1104940/bitcoin-news-whatsapp-wallet-Wuabit-cryptocurrency-crv
https://wuabit.com

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Banks Rush to Issue Stablecoins With the Help of IBM and Stellar!

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On Monday, March 18, 2019, six international banks signed up for the new Stellar – IBM’s blockchain-powered payments network “World Wire” to issue their own stablecoins. At the moment, World Wire has over 44 banks on their service. Their primary aim is to enable near real-time international settlements between banks.

Blockchain World Wire

It is a distributed ledger technology payment system which just went live. It will provide an infrastructure for clearing and settling cross-border payments in almost real-time. Also, at the same, time will reduce transaction costs. This will be done by removing third-party intermediaries from the process. IBM claim that they are handling around 60% of the world’s transactional systems. This provides World Wire with a advantageous head start. Moreover, BWW currently supports more than 47 currencies across 72 countries.

Six Banks Already Applied

It looks like JPM Coin started a new trend – banks issuing their own coins. At the moment, thanks to Stellar and IBM, Banks can easily apply to their own stablecoins that would be pegged to their native currencies. So far Brazil’s Banco Bradesco, South Korea’s Bank Busan, Philippines’ Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation and three other banks have filed an application.

“We let the market drive the expansion and selection of the network incrementally. We are really feeling excited that we are on a roll to build something new and revolutionary that’s really going to change the landscape of cross-border payments,”

says Jesse Lund, the head of blockchain solutions at IBM.

Stellar to Issue its Own Stablecoin

Also, IBM partners with Stronghold, a Stellar-based, USD backed asset. They are also in the talks of developing their own Stellar network’s first stablecoin. It would disintermediate legacy bank settlement systems by introducing the XLM token as an efficient, immutably-tracked settlement instrument for fiat currencies between institutional parties.

“Our view for stablecoins is really that they should be more broadly accessible and what World Wire seeks to do is to provide fungibility of digital assets across financial institutions,” says Lund. 

Source:

https://cointelegraph.com/news/six-global-banks-sign-up-to-issue-stablecoins-on-ibms-now-live-blockchain-network
https://cointelegraph.com/news/fast-seamless-the-race-for-the-cross-border-payments-market

Photo by Floriane Vita on Unsplash

UK c​onsiders paying council tax with Bitcoin?

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The United Kingdom (U.K.) might soon be accepting Bitcoin for council tax, reports Express. A member of Parliament (MP) Eddie Hughes said that cryptocurrencies could and should be approved for making payments to local authorities and utility providers. 

Crypto enthusiast with amateur knowledge

Eddie Hughes. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

Eddie Hughes is an existing conservative MP of the U.K. He justifies his opinion with recent news about Ohio state allowing to accept Bitcoin for tax payments. Initially it applies only to businesses willing to pay their taxes with Bitcoin, but eventually, this will be introduced to the broader society like individual taxpayers as well.

Also, he has urged other MPs to start learning about cryptocurrencies and blockchain in general.

“Only recently I met with the RNLI which is now accepting charitable donations through cryptocurrency – if we can do that, what’s to stop us being able to pay council tax and other bills with bitcoin,” he said.

Wants to see local authorities to “plant a flag” in the U.K.

Based on the Ohio news, Mr. Hughes would like to see a local authority to take charge and lead this development in the U.K., saying that “you’re either ahead of the curve or you’re behind the curve, and our country is in an interesting position right now – we need to be seen as a progressive country. We are at a crossroads and we’re about to determine our future – one in which taking the lead in this field could prove very beneficial.”

Lack of knowledge

Eddie Hughes believes that the general public until now has a very little understanding on what cryptocurrencies and blockchain is. He thinks that the lack of information on how the transactions work is holding the industry back concerning mass adoption. He also stressed the availability of this new industry: “Also, how accessible it can be – it needs to appear like an app that people will use so they can become familiar with it in a safe and secure way.”

Are the dominoes falling?

First comes the Ohio news, now U.K. Walsall North. What’s next to come? These are great news as we see countries are feeling like they could be left behind. Russian state-owned Swiss banks are thinking about crypto products. So we believe that Russia is next on the path of allowing payments with cryptocurrencies. We are slowly experiencing the mass adoption we have been talking about all these last years. We knew that this year crypto is going to be regulated massively, but we never could’ve imagined that countries would start accepting crypto for taxes so fast.

On the other hand, it seems quite evident for governments to consider this option. as they are in on everything that brings them money. So why not allow people to pay with cryptocurrencies if they want to. No one ever said that the government has to hold the asset. They can exchange it for their fiat of choice.

However, for the taxpayer, this is a huge step forward mass crypto adoption. The next step would be government-related companies or huge tax paying companies allowing employees to choose between multiple ways on how to receive their wage. Whether its crypto, fiat, cash or any other means of payment.

These are huge news, as U.K. is one of the biggest economies in the world with a population of 66 million and $2.6 trillion GDP (Gross Domestic Product). 

Source:

https://goo.gl/izJgri

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Bitcoin is a legitimate form of currency – Ohio accepts crypto as a tax payment.

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November 25, the state of Ohio starts accepting Bitcoin as a tax payment. Originally it applies only to businesses willing to pay their taxes with Bitcoin, but eventually, this will be introduced to the broader society like individual taxpayers as well. 

Starts already this week

As of now, businesses based in Ohio can start the registration to begin paying taxes with Bitcoin, the leading asset of cryptocurrencies. Crypto payments service provider BitPay will process these payments. BitPay has been operating in the Bitcoin payment area since 2011, and they already are cooperating with major players like Microsoft, Virgin, Shopify and possibly BMW.

Initiated by a pro-crypto state treasurer

The regulation initially came from Josh Mandel, who is a pro-crypto American Republican politician. He is a former city councilman and a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. He is confident that this move will continue to develop among other states, leading to a wider cryptocurrency adoption. Mandel stands optimistic on the issue of a national cryptocurrency.

Other states also apply for cryptocurrency adoption

Additionally, other states in the U.S. also have proposed on accepting cryptocurrencies for tax payments, but state legislators have delayed their final passing. Maybe the state of Georgia – the home of BitPay, will be the next one? 

Source:

https://goo.gl/yd8BH9
https://bitpay.com
https://goo.gl/Ti8tzD
https://goo.gl/iya4ch

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