Crypto ATM Chain Coinme Collects $1.5M from Ripple Xpring and Blockchain Finance Fund

One of the global leaders in cryptocurrency ATM manufacturer, Coinme, … secured $1.5 million from Ripple’s Xpring and Blockchain Finance Fund.
Coinme crypto ATM

One of the global leaders in cryptocurrency ATM manufacturer, Coinme, has recently kick-started its new A-1 funding round to accelerate global expansion. The interesting thing is that the company has successfully secured $1.5 million from Ripple’s Xpring and Blockchain Finance Fund.

Founded in 2014, Coinme is a leading blockchain financial services provider which aims to make cryptocurrencies prevalent across the globe with crypto ATMs. It became the first state-licensed Bitcoin ATM company in the U.S. and now operates the largest Bitcoin kiosk network in the world through the partnership with Coinstar.

The company is building a vertically-integrated network of cryptocurrency ATMs, crypto wallet, and other payment services using crypto to facilitate the client with an easy, secure and efficient medium-of-exchange and store-of-value.

After its inception, the company has been growing continuously and today operates one of the largest crypto ATM networks in the United States. To expand the services and accomplish its goal the firm has recently announced a new funding round and got fresh investment worth $1.5 million from Ripple’s Xpring and the newly established Blockchain Finance Fund.

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Xpring is Ripple’s investment and development arm which focuses on investments in companies deeply associated with blockchain technology. It will be Xpring’s first investment in the digital currency kiosk industry.

Neil Bergquist, co-founder, and CEO of Coinme said:

“We are bolstered by this vote of confidence by Ripple and Blockchain Finance Fund in our vision and the exciting opportunity to provide access to digital currencies for millions of people around the world.”

Coinme has been developing a platform that accelerates the growth of digital currency economy. “We can now bring that infrastructure to a global audience,” Bergquist added.

Coinme is planning to utilize the capital from the funding round to expand its services across the United States. The company may also acquire additional licenses to take its business in the key international market. The capital might also be used in the development of other key features in its integrated online wallet to facilitate seamless crypto transactions.

Appreciating Coinme’s initiative to bring the crypto forth for everyone to access its mainstream applications and use them for payments and cash-based remittances, Ripple’s vice president Ethan Beard said that the firm is excited to partner with Coinme. He stated:

“At Xpring, we support mission-driven companies that have the potential to transform money. The Coinme team brings a perfect blend of experience to tackle this mission, and we’re excited to partner with them.”

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How LV, Gucci, And Prada Are Leveraging Blockchain Technology

Blockchain seems to be the best solution for getting rid of counterfeit products. The distributed ledger technology, when applied in the fashion industry, …
How LV, Gucci, And Prada Are Leveraging Blockchain TechnologyHow LV, Gucci, And Prada Are Leveraging Blockchain Technology

In a market full of fakes, it’s difficult to identify an original. The line correctly represents the current situation of today’s fashion markets. Many people from the middle or lower class families can’t afford to buy large fashion brands such as Gucci and LV and a lot of them are unaware that such brands even exist.

However, largely considering the Indian context, the streets today are filled with people carrying Michael Kors bags, wearing Gucci apparel or Adidas shoes not knowing that those are just counterfeits. Some of those fake products are perfect replicas of the actual brand or designers that it’s hard to tell the difference.

On one hand, the affordability of these replicas has made them so likeable for some groups, that they prefer to purchase them knowing that they aren’t the real brands. On the other hand, there’s a class of people in some countries like India, that are unaware of big brand names and designer wear or can’t care more to understand the difference, that they end up wearing Abibas t-shirts or shoes with two brand names written on them.

Many people experience fraud when they order a brand but receive a copy or a low-quality material. But the question is, how does this impact the brands as well as the consumers?

The Impact of Counterfeits

Counterfeits are causing problems for authentic brands as well as consumers. Not only do they steal sales of brands by offering products at significantly low prices, but they also damage the brand’s reputation by offering low-quality products that consumers believe are authentic.

Low-quality products damage the trust of consumers in the product and also the business partners of the brand. Irate customers, unhappy with the quality of the product they receive ask for refunds or exchanges of counterfeited products from authentic brands, ending up in a chaotic situation. Ultimately, brands have to spend more to fight against fakes.

This whole situation not only wastes time and money of the brands and consumers but also leaves no inspiration for designers and brands to focus on their project’s growth. It causes long-lasting damage to the brand.

The Blockchain Solution for Brands

Blockchain seems to be the best solution for getting rid of counterfeit products. The distributed ledger technology, when applied in the fashion industry, can save authentic brands and designers from the prying eyes of fake producers. Many projects are now considering implementing the technology into the fashion industry to provide transparency, security, and authenticity to both the designers as well as the end consumers.

One such project that is utilizing the potential of blockchain technology is Curate. Curate was found with the intention of providing users easy access to exclusive and unique fashion pieces produced by small and large retailers and designers. It is a style discovery decentralized app based on blockchain technology that rewards all users with cryptocurrencies such as ETH, BTC and its native token CUR8, for contributing to the platform.

Brands and retailers like LV, Zara, Gucci, Prada, and Amazon have partnered with Curate to leverage blockchain technology used on the platform. The technology protects brands against their customers being exposed to fraud and the risk of buying counterfeit products through a remote frequency identification protocol integrated into the system.

The RFID smart tags attached to materials can be scanned by the users to confirm the genuineness and authenticity of the product they have purchased. Uses can use the camera on their mobile devices to scan the code and pull out the history of the material.

This unique feature not only helps the customers in buying authentic brands but also protects the reputation of brands from being damaged due to counterfeits. The history of the fabric also helps consumers who don’t prefer buying clothing that’s manufactured at the cost of the environment. The platform further helps designers, irrespective of large or small, to gain recognition and awareness by trending on the basis of ratings and upvotes received by the users.

Conclusion

Blockchain has come as a savior for small designers as well as large brands. It has the potential to solve the flaws in the fashion industry and protect consumers against fraud. Projects integrating blockchain with the fashion industry will be of great use in countries like India, where counterfeit products cover a major proportion of the market.

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Crypto News From the Spanish-Speaking World: Sept. 8–14 in Review

The Spanish-speaking world sees major cryptocurrency and blockchain developments with Uruguay approving a new bill that could be applied …

The Spanish-speaking world sees major cryptocurrency and blockchain developments with Uruguay approving a new bill that could be applied positively to ICOs, Cuba using crypto to access the global economy and Venezuela finally installing its first Bitcoin (BTC) ATM.

Here is the past week of crypto and blockchain news in review, as originally reported by Cointelegraph en Español.

Argentinian Bitex stops accepting balance charges in US dollars

Cointelegraph en Español reported on Sept. 12, that the economic crisis in Argentina is now taking its toll on the country’s cryptocurrency operations. The Bitex firm, a blockchain financial services provider, informed its customers that it will stop accepting balance charges in US dollars. It explained:

“We communicate with you to inform you that for reasons beyond Bitex, as of this date, balance charges in US dollars will not be accepted at Bitex Argentina. All transfers in dollars received in Argentina made after this release will be returned to origin with the corresponding charges and taxes discounted. Those users who currently have US Dollars on the platform may request to download the balance and receive them by bank transfer to accounts of their ownership .”

Uruguay approves crowdfunding law that could be applied to ICOs

On Sept. 12, Cointelegraph en Español reported that the government of Uruguay approved a bill to promote entrepreneurship, which will regulate collective financing or crowdfunding platforms, and that could be applied to some ICOs. Lawyer Paula Rodríguez Medalla added:

“Without a doubt, this rule supposes a new legal framework for some ICOs dedicated to collective financing, so it will be essential to be attentive to the regulation that the Central Bank of Uruguay issues on the subject.”

Cuba: The use of crypto is gaining traction and Cubans are turning to BTC to access the global economy

Cointelegraph en Español reported on Sept. 13, that despite the silence of the Cuban government in regards to crypto’s such as Bitcoin, Cubans are increasingly using cryptocurrencies to take advantage of online work, make online purchases, as well as to invest and trade.

Cointelegraph further reported that Bitcoin trading is opening new avenues for citizens in communist-run Cuba, which has been financially isolated for years under a United States trade embargo. Without access to debit or credit cards for international use, cryptocurrency-enabled purchases are a welcome opportunity for consumers. In an interview with U.S. News, local resident Jason Sanchez said cryptocurrencies were “opening new doors” for Cubans.

Venezuela finally installs first Bitcoin ATM

Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 13, that Venezuela had installed its first crypto ATM in the city of San Antonio del Táchira. After multiple false starts, the citizens of Venezuela can now find the country’s first Bitcoin ATM in a small convenience store called Viajes e Inversiones HC. The machine supports cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and DASH, as well as the official currency of Venezuela and Colombian pesos.

Venezuela’s largest bank adds support for Petro

In the meanwhile, Venezuela’s largest bank, the Bank of Venezuela (BDV), reportedly added support for the country’s controversial Petro digital currency. BDV clients recently woke up to a new section in their online banking account dedicated to cryptocurrencies. At present, the crypto wallet only caters to Petro, but as the section appears to be still under development, speculation suggests more tokens could follow.

As always, Cointelegraph advises readers to approach news related to the Petro with skepticism, as the Venezuelan government has a history of deception when it comes to the state-run, oil-pegged crypto.

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Tethers Cause Traffic Jam on Ethereum

Tether, associated exchange Bitfinex and their parent company iFinex are all being investigated for fraud now by the Attorney General of New York.

The unexplained recent migration of almost a billion USD-pegged tether cryptocoins to the Ethereum network has caused 100 000 transactions to get “stuck” in processing there, Trustnodes reports.

(Graphic courtesy of Trustnodes)

The controversial tether coins have been moving from their native OMNI network and other crypto networks to Ethereum, and no one but the parties responsible can say for sure why.

“The Ethereum network has become congested with users complaining transactions are taking hours or in some rare instances, even days,” Trustnodes writes:

“The culprit appears to be Tether. They’re now taking about 50% of the entire network capacity, with USDT handling $18 billion in unfiltered trading volumes, far more than eth’s $6 billion.”

According to the outlet, tethers (USDTs), “…(are) used for arbitrage between global and local exchanges as well as to bypass national or international restrictions…on crypto trading, capital controls, and so on.”

Tethers are generated by a company called Tether.

Critics have long questioned Tether’s claims that each tether token it produces is 100% backed by equivalent real-world US dollars held by the company in reserve.

Tether, meanwhile, has attempted to pass off declarations from lawyers as legitimate audits.

Tether coins have also been linked by finance professor John Griffin and others to market manipulation of bitcoin and smaller cap cryptos.

According to the abstract of an oft-cited June 2018 paper by Griffin and grad student Amin Shams:

“Using algorithms to analyze the blockchain data, we find that purchases with Tether are timed following market downturns and result in sizable increases in Bitcoin prices. Less than 1% of hours with such heavy Tether transactions are associated with 50% of the meteoric rise in Bitcoin and 64% of other top cryptocurrencies. The flow clusters below round prices, induces asymmetric auto-correlations in Bitcoin, and suggests incomplete Tether backing before month-ends. These patterns cannot be explained by investor demand proxies but are most consistent with the supply-based hypothesis where Tether is used to provide price support and manipulate cryptocurrency prices.”

Tether, associated exchange Bitfinex and their parent company iFinex are all being investigated for fraud now by the Attorney General of New York.

Despite all this, tethers have remained popular in cryptomarkets, and the coins have reportedly supplanted bitcoins as the remittance currency of choice used by Chinese merchants selling wares to retail outlets in Moscow.

Tether’s creators may be migrating tethers off of OMNI, the network controlled by iFinex et al., in order to ensure they remain circulating no matter what happens at iFinex.

As well, for some unknown reason, in July, the world’s 7th largest and most-known crypto exchange, Binance, decided to stop supporting OMNI-based tethers in favour of tethers hosted on Ethereum.

USD tethers have been spreading onto other networks, including Liquid, for some time, but recent moves, particularly onto Ethereum, have been substantial.

According to another article at Trustnodes in July, “The number of Ethereum based USDT tokens has doubled in about a month from $600 million in June to now $1.2 billion ERC20 Tethers.”

As well:

USDT (on Ethereum) has increased by $1 billion to above $3.6 billion from the previous all time high of $2.8 billion in October.”

Tether et al. likely believe that Ethereum is a more “decentralized” network (one with more globally dispersed nodes that cannot be shut down by authorities in a single jurisdiction).

“In light of India potentially outright banning bitcoin and other cryptos,” Trustnodes writes, “code-based exchanges that automatically run on an unstoppable network might be the only somewhat convenient way of accessing crypto in the country.”

Trustnodes describes that process of trading crypto in jurisdictions under a ban as follows:

“The process here would start Over the Counter (OTC) by buying ERC20 USDT that can then easily be exchanged on dexes (decentralized exchanges) for any crypto, including Bitcoin which has been tokenized.”

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Jaguar Reveals Electric Car With Built-In Iota Wallet

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that personal mobility is transitioning to electric vehicles, and distributed ledger technology (DLT) will almost certainly …

The Iota Foundation’s push to move their platform into the mainstream is clearly making progress, as partnerships with major institutions continue to grow. Perhaps the most notable is with Jaguar Land Rover. Earlier this year the automaker announced that it would be incorporating Iota technology into its future vehicles. Now it has released more details on the venture, and the results are very promising for Iota as well as for the entire blockchain space.

The Jaguar I-Pace will be the first car to have the Iota integration. The all-electric crossover will have a built-in Iota wallet that will enable owners to receive payments for sharing road data such as weather and traffic conditions. What is truly exciting, however, is that the I-Pace will also use the Iota Tangle for charging. In cooperation with Engie Lab Crigen, the development arm of French energy giant Engie Group, the car will have a “Green Charging” mode that gives owners the opportunity to recharge the batteries with renewable energy, tracing the electricity to its source.

The long-term intent is for Iota to become the protocol layer for the smart energy revolution. By using the Tangle for both transactions and communication, cars can become linked to decentralized electric grids that tie consumers and producers across vast areas. For example, solar panels on individual homes could sell electricity, and car batteries could use their stored power to stabilize the grid during peak demands. The I-Pace’s ability to use Iota for tasks such as charging and paying tolls is thus one small part of a vastly more ambitious vision.

Jaguar Land Rover’s embrace of Iota is certainly a major step toward mass adoption, yet obstacles to long-term success remain. Most notably, Iota still has a centralized “coordinator” that must be removed before the platform can reach its true potential. Also, it is safe to assume that few I-Pace owners will use its Iota-based features in the near term, as there is currently no automotive infrastructure, such as toll booths or chargers, that link to the Tangle. There are also many regulatory and tax issues regarding crypto use that have yet to be defined that could cause major headaches for I-Pace owners.

Nevertheless, there is no doubt that personal mobility is transitioning to electric vehicles, and distributed ledger technology (DLT) will almost certainly be used by the cars of the future. If Iota can gain a foothold as the standard network for the automotive industry, many other industrial sectors will certainly follow.

Crypto advocates continue to debate the extent to which Iota’s unique architecture is superior to competing DLT platforms. For Jaguar Land Rover, and a number of other large companies, the matter is settled. It is now reasonable to assume that, barring any significant technical flaws, as the blockchain revolution enters the next phase of adoption Iota will be a major player in the space.

Featured Image via BigStock.

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