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Western Union Ready to Support Customers’ Crypto Adoption

  By David Drake   For over a hundred years, the global money transfer landscape has radically evolved from localized payments, that were the preserve of banks, to the emergence of numerous money transfer companies. One of the world’s leading money transfer company, Western Union, has managed to keep up with the changing financial landscape. It has established itself as a trusted global leader, operating in more than 200 countries with over 500,000 agents worldwide. Recently, Western Union announced it is ready to add cryptos to the list of currencies on its list of operations. Months prior to this announcement, the company was against plans to include cryptocurrencies in its transfer business citing low adoption of cryptos by its customers. But this has since changed. Speaking to Reuters Plus, Odilon Almeida, President, Western Union Global Money Transfer said the company is ready to include any currencies in its service. He ... Read More »

Western Union Ready for Cryptos: How will this Impact Uptake of Digital Assets?

  By David Drake   Western Union, the global money transfer leader says it is ready for digital currencies. The company is not entirely new to cryptocurrencies as it has been testing Ripple, an international technology payment for months. In a recent announcement, the company indicated that it is equipped to incorporate digital currencies, as it views them like any other currencies. The Potential In view of the potential that blockchain and cryptocurrencies have in business, Western Union sees their eventual use as possible alternatives. Existing resources that the company has, like billions of client accounts, a global network of retail outlets and its existing digital transfer of fiat are likely to make it successful. At the same time, Western Union’s decision to incorporate digital currencies in its services is likely to have a positive impact on the cryptocurrency industry. Transactions are currently considered slow and expensive but integration of ... Read More »

Why Western Union is All Set to Include Cryptos in its Services

  By David Drake   Western Union,  the global funds remittance giant is considering going paperless this year. In an interview with Reuters Plus, Odilon Almeida, Western Union President, said the company has been exploring ways to include cryptocurrencies in its services. The global funds transfer giant has also considered employing blockchain technology in its operations as a way of adding value to its services. Consumers do not have to own cryptocurrencies or digital wallets to access this service as the company plans to offer conversions to fiat currencies. According to Almeida, Western Union is set to work with any currency. He said the company is already operation with 130 currencies and if at any point it finds introduction of cryptocurrencies strategic, it will just view it as another currency. Crypto Integration But the plan to add cryptos in its services  will only take off if the company secures global ... Read More »

Will Investments by Ripple and Binance Accelerate Future Adoption of Blockchain?

by David Drake   The need to encourage responsible innovation in the cryptocurrency space has received a huge boost. Ripple, a cryptocurrency and payments start-up has committed $50 million to a research program called the University Blockchain Research Initiative. The program has already partnered with 17 universities across the world to facilitate research and development in cryptocurrency, blockchain and digital payments. Additionally, Binance, the world largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of daily trade volumes, has committed $1 billion to fund start-ups in the cryptocurrency space. The funds will be available to start-ups that will be focusing on stable digital currency, security token platforms, decentralised exchanges and custodial solutions. For many players in the cryptocurrency space, these investments are strategic and will impact the future of blockchain positively. Bank52 CEO and co-founder, Thomas Labenbacher says, “Any investment in blockchain technology or cryptocurrency projects is an investment in the future. We can ... Read More »

Top 5 Ways Blockchain is Going Mainstream in the Business World

    by David Drake   Global spending on research and development has reached $1.7 trillion. 80% of this amount was spent by only 10 countries, the highest being the United States, followed by China and Japan in terms of percentage GDP. To a large extent, research and development spending reflects the importance a country places on innovation, which is the foundation of many technological breakthroughs in the business sector. Once a country stops prioritizing, or including R&D in its annual budget, that becomes the beginning of business stagnation. But research findings are of no use unless test cases are done in the field. The step taken by cryptocurrency and payments startup, Ripple in launching the $50 million “University Blockchain Research Initiative” is a milestone towards mainstreaming blockchain technology within the business sector. A leading crypto trading exchange, Binance, also announced plans to create a $1 billion venture capital fund ... Read More »

How Impact Seeding and Research will Impact the Future of Blockchain

  by David Drake    Startups in the cryptocurrency space are not just after disrupting the status quo, they are aiming at providing venture capital, competing with traditional early stage investors. Early this month, Binance, the leading cryptocurrency exchange in terms of trade volumes declared that it was setting aside $1 billion in a Social Impact Fund to finance cryptocurrency and blockchain startups. According to Binance Labs Division Head, Ella Zhang, the company will utilize a flexible approach to help form new funds. To achieve this, Binance plans to engage fund managers who have experience in managing assets valued at more than $100 million. At the same, Ripple has announced the setting up of a $50 million fund conducting academic research on cryptocurrencies, blockchain and digital payments. Through this fund, Ripple will target 17 universities including MIT and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Important Step The decision by ... Read More »

Will Funds from Ripple and Binance Catalyze the Adoption of Blockchain Technology?

  by David Drake   Smooth-functioning, transparent and resilient financial systems are important for the economic development of countries. This is the reason why blockchain technology has the potential to transform the financial sector and, by extension, the entire global economy. Although this technology has made significant headway in the mainstream financial sector, its potential is far from being fully realized. This has necessitated more research and development in digital payment systems to enable more technological advancements in mainstream financial sector use. Funding Research To facilitate growth in technology, blockchain-based startups have started investing in research. Last week, Ripple announced that it had committed over $50 million to facilitate the research and development of digital payment systems, blockchain and cryptocurrencies through a program dubbed University Blockchain Research Initiative. Once rolled out, the program will involve 17 universities across Asia, the United States, South America and Europe in academic research, technical development ... Read More »

Can Blockchain Funds Ensure Lasting Results for the Cryptocurrency Industry?

  by David Drake     Research and development are critical components of driving innovation because they allow for the development of new technologies, knowledge and techniques. With changes in technology, people are able to generate more outputs with the same amount of resources, and sometimes even fewer resources – an aspect that increases productivity. At the same time, startups that seek to advance innovative ideas need to access knowledge and capital to accelerate the scaling up of these innovations. The emerging cryptocurrency market needs both, which highlights the importance of funding initiatives that are beginning to come into play. Earlier this month, two big names in the cryptocurrency space, Ripple and Binance announced plans to set up funds to support research and development in the cryptocurrency space as well as support blockchain startups. Carl Kirchhoff, CEO and co-founder of Sportsfix, predicts the stratification of digital currencies for application in specific areas. ... Read More »

How Research and Social Impact Initiatives will Accelerate Blockchain Application

  by David Drake   Impact investing is trending globally, attracting both individual and institutional investors.  At the beginning of 2016, the global ‘impact’ market stood at just below $23 trillion. On May 31, 2018, a leading cryptocurrency trading exchange, Binance, joined impact investing when it announced plans to launch a $1 billion venture capital fund dubbed the “Social Impact Fund”. Through this fund, Binance is looking to finance projects that apply blockchain on specific areas, including custodial solutions, decentralized exchanges, stablecoins, and security token platforms. A few days after the Binance announcement, cryptocurrency and payment startup, Ripple, broadcasted its $50 million “University Blockchain Research Initiative” program. Ripples’  fund is aimed at facilitating research and development in digital payments, blockchain and cryptocurrency across the globe, with 17 universities in the list. Based on each fund’s focus, the impact initiative targets the people playing field, while the research initiative targets the ... Read More »

Recent Hacks on Crypto Exchanges Fuel Increased Government Intervention

Recent Hacks on Crypto Exchanges Fuel Increased Government Intervention

by David Drake Japan has cracked down on two crypto exchanges and issued a warning to five others, after Coincheck lost over $500 million to hackers in late January. During the heist,hackers accessed hot wallets and made a series of transfers before they were eventually stopped. Japan was the first country to institute regulatory measures to govern cryptocurrencies in October of 2017 and has now threatened punitive measures in an attempt to bolster consumer security. Should exchanges fail to comply with the requirement to improve security by the March 22, 2018 deadline, the regulator could force them to suspend business. Japanese crypto exchanges, BitStation and FSHO were ordered to halt business for the next 30 days, starting March 8, 2018. This is because the authorities discovered that a business executive from BitStation used consumer funds for personal benefits while FSHO failed, in general, to offer consumer protection. Coincheck, already ordered ... Read More »

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