Switzerland’s Falcon Bank Introduces Direct Transfers of Cryptocurrencies And Conversion to Fiat

From now on, private and institutional clients can directly transfer cryptocurrencies to and from segregated Falcon wallets, as well as convert them into …

Falcon Bank has become the first one to allow blockchain assets to become fully bankable. From now on, private and institutional clients can directly transfer cryptocurrencies to and from segregated Falcon wallets, as well as convert them into fiat money.

The bank has also taken care of the most go-to turn down of the critics: Taking care of regulations. According to the document released by the bank, they have developed a process that complies with AML (anti-money laundering) and KYC (know your client) laws and regulations.

The bank also announced in their document that their custody solution has been audited and reviewed by independent providers.

The CEO of Falcon Private Bank expressed his opinion on this development:

“Falcon has once more seized the opportunity to demonstrate its expertise as a market leader in the digital assets space by merging traditional private banking services with innovative financial solutions.”

Customers can place their trading order through e-banking or a dedicated relationship manager. For direct transfer, Falcon is currently open for only four cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Ether(ETH) and Litecoin (LTC).

Although banks like Liechtenstein’s Frick, Vontobel, and Hypothekar Lenzburg have already begun offering cryptocurrency services, Falcon was Switzerland’s earliest adopter.

Even if this is a part of a restoration of name effort by the bank from the defamatory 1MDB scandal, this development is surely going to change things.

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Coingate To Integrate Lightning Network In Litecoin Transactions

Popular crypto payments portal Coingate has initiated a trial of the Lightning Network (LN), currently applicable on just Litecoin payments. Coingate is …

Jan 21, 2019 15:30&nbspUTC

| Updated:

Jan 21, 2019 at 16:05&nbspUTC

By&nbspRushali Shome

Popular crypto payments portal Coingate has initiated a trial of the Lightning Network (LN), currently applicable on just Litecoin payments. Coingate is a service that lets regular users as well as online merchants to buy, sell and accept payments in terms of Bitcoin and more than fifty altcoins.

As Veronika Mishura, the manager of the Coingate platform explained that even though the crypto payments firm usually processes a large number of Bitcoin payments, Litecoin transactions also make up roughly ten per cent of their total volume of transactions in a month.

The use of Lightning Network the facilitate Litecoin (LTC) payments is expected to introduce quite a few benefits and points of convenience for merchants who mostly make these transactions. Since the Lightning Network has more than one hundred nodes, it means that integrating it with the system of transactions will not only boost the speed of them, but also bring down the costs. This is expected to get more merchants interested in availing of Litecoin transactions over the network owing to the decrease in the amount of fees that are to be paid.

As Mishura reportedly commented, it may not always be practical for merchants to use cryptocurrencies for payments. However, that problem is taken care of if the cost of transactions can be dropped substantially.

Moreover, if you have read our beginner’s guide to Litecoin, you would know that this coin is meant for lightweight transactions, which is also expected to be a major factor in heightened adoption.

Mishura commented:

“VPNs are to be honest one of the most frequently used services by crypto-enthusiasts (what we see by our data). However, due to quite low price, it is usually a no-win to pay for it with Bitcoin or Litecoin; and that’s exactly what Lightning should solve. That’s what we are trying to showcase – paying even for low-priced products should be possible, convenient, and cheap using cryptocurrency.”

As of now, Coingate has a user base of 4,500 merchants who use the platform. The first company that will be able to take advantage of Lightning Network’s integration with Litecoin transactions will be Surfshark, a VPN provider.

Rushali Shome

Rushali Shome is a history undergraduate with a keen interest in puns, politics and beyond. When not typing away furiously in the “Notes” section of her phone, she can be found trying to catch the eye of servers at restaurants or weddings for a second helping.

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Coingate Implements Lightning Network for Litecoin (LTC) Payments

While the crypto payments company primarily processes Bitcoin payments, Litecoin is also popular accounting for over 10% of Coingate’s monthly …

Coingate, the popular cryptocurrency payments platform that allows merchants and consumers to buy, sell, and accept Bitcoin (BTC) and over 50 alternative cryptocurrencies has begun its lightning network trial using Litecoin (LTC).

While the crypto payments company primarily processes Bitcoin payments, Litecoin is also popular accounting for over 10% of Coingate’s monthly volume, according to marketing manager Veronika Mishura.

Litecoin’s Lightning NetworkReduces Fees

With the integration of Litecoin’s lightning network which has over 100 nodes now, the company believes that merchants will be more incentivized to use Litecoin due to the reduction in fees.

Reported by CCN, Mishura said that oftentimes it just isn’t worth it to pay with cryptocurrencies due to high fees. However, with Litecoin’s lightning network, people can purchase small items without worrying about fees:

“VPNs are to be honest one of the most frequently used services by crypto-enthusiasts (what we see by our data). However, due to quite low price, it is usually a no-win to pay for it with Bitcoin or Litecoin; and that’s exactly what Lightning should solve. That’s what we are trying to showcase – paying even for low-priced products should be possible, convenient, and cheap using cryptocurrency.”

Currently, Coingate has 4,500 merchants using their cryptocurrency payment gateway service and the first company to use the lightning network on Litecoin will be a VPN provider called Surfshark. Mirsha hopes that all of their companies will use the lightning network to reduce fees and friction on both sides.

We won’t postpone the next big launch – #Litecoin#LightningNetwork is ON!!! We began the trial together with our first selected merchant @SurfsharkSecure. More will join soon! For now, dig into our blog post for more info! $LTC@SatoshiLite@LTCFoundationhttps://t.co/rGLrxYD3Fopic.twitter.com/tzbbALS9hF

— CoinGate (@CoinGatecom) January 17, 2019

Lightning Network

The lightning network is a second-layer scaling solution initially created for Bitcoin, but recently adapted and launched on Litecoin. As you may already know, Litecoin is simply a fork of Bitcoin’s code, and therefore can adopt the same features as Bitcoin.

The sister cryptocurrency is often used as testing grounds for new code changes before they are fully implemented on Bitcoin. A previous example of this is Segwit, a minor scaling solution first tested and adopted by Litecoin, though initially created for Bitcoin.

Back to the lightning network, it uses payment channels to settle transactions off-chain as opposed to on-chain. This frees up the blockchain’s workload and allows for substantially greater throughput with low fees because the work is being done off-chain.

Merchant Adoption

Coingate primarily serves the European market with 2 services: they allow people to buy and sell Bitcoin and over 50 altcoins with fiat options, and they also provide a cryptocurrency payment platform for merchants. Coinbase used to provide these services as well, before dropping the merchants and focusing on their exchange.

Therefore, Coingate is more of a competitor with Bitpay, the premier cryptocurrency processor for merchants. However, while Bitpay is the most popular, Coingate enables businesses to accept all major cryptocurrencies and a wide array of altcoins while Bitpay primarily supports Bitcoin, only recently adding more options.

Coingate’s standard processing fee is 1%, and clients can choose Bitcoin, US dollars, or Euros as their designated payout.

Moreover, CCN recently interviewed Edge Wallet founder Paul Puey, who said that merchant adoption will play a critical role in Bitcoin’s global mass adoption. However, he believes we’re missing an easy-to-use crypto payment terminal for merchants.

Adding to this he said:

“The biggest missing piece in merchant adoption is that there are no tools to incorporate cryptocurrency into their entire business model. The point of sale is only the start of it. And even there, there are no great options available.”

For Bitcoin’s mass adoption to happen, paying with crypto will have to be superior to existing payment terminals and easier to use for merchants.

Litecoin users wanting to try out Lightning Network can use it via Surfsharkstarting today.

When do you think the lightning network will really take off? Will it be a success or a major flop? Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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Mimblewimble Coins Falter; Litecoin and Monero Remain Enthusiastic

Mimblewimble, a new privacy coin protocol, has generated plenty of hype over the past few weeks. Two coins based on the protocol, Grin and Beam, …

Mimblewimble, a new privacy coin protocol, has generated plenty of hype over the past few weeks. Two coins based on the protocol, Grin and Beam, went live for the first time this month and have garnered plenty of attention. Although those coins have performed poorly so far, a number of major developers are endorsing Mimblewimble itself. Will the protocol eventually find its place?

Mimblewimble In a Nutshell

Mimblewimble is named after a spell from the Harry Potter series that prevents its target from speaking. This reflects the fact that Mimblewimble is primarily a privacy protocol: that is, Mimblewimble doesn’t “speak about” or reveal its transaction data. This is true of most crypto privacy protocols, but Mimblewimble ensures privacy to a greater extent than most of its competitors.

To achieve a high level of privacy, Mimblewimble makes use of a number of features including elliptic-curve cryptography, coinjoins, and the Dandelion gossip protocol. However, Mimblewimble’s primary innovation is the fact that it does away with public addresses altogether. By contrast, privacy coins like Monero and Zcash simply hide select transaction data.

Mimblewimble’s approach has the benefit of improving not just privacy, but also scalability and node synchronization speeds. The protocol’s various features additionally allow transaction data to be mixed and removed, thereby reducing the resources that the Mimblewimble network needs to operate. All of these factors offer improvements over both Bitcoin and privacy coins.

Trouble In the Market

After a long development process, Mimblewimble has finally produced two coins, Grin and Beam. Unfortunately, these coins have performed poorly so far. Grin, which was launched on January 14th, has seen its price drop from above $30 to less than $5. Beam, which went live on January 4th, has seen its price fall from above $4 to less than $1. Both of these losses occurred over weeks or days―a bad sign for short-term investors and miners.

(Source: Coingecko)

As always, a few optimists are predicting that Grin and Beam will be more successful in the long term. However, most of Mimblewimble’s hype is not actually based on those coins at all. Instead, many proponents are actually interested in the Mimblewimble protocol itself. Notably, Litecoin founder Charlie Lee has recently praised Mimblewimble, stating that it offers better scalability than Bitcoin.

Meanwhile, Riccardo Spagni, the lead developer of Monero, has also had good things to say. In fact, Monero is currently implementing Mimblewimble on its Tari sidechain, meaning that the technology will be part of a top-fifteen privacy coin in the near future. These developments mean that Mimblewimble could prove to be very successful―even if its first two coins are not.

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First Ever Bitcoin ATM to Open in Venezuela within 2 Weeks

Nearly 2,000 support Ethereum’s native token, ether (ETH) and many of the BTMs support bitcoin cash (BCH). Privacy-focused coins such as monero …

Jorge Farias, the CEO of Cryptobuyer, a company that “helps people in countries with high levels of hyperinflation” by providing them with convenient access to crypto ATMs, has revealed that the first ever Bitcoin (BTC) ATM has arrived in Venezuela.

Farias, who is also the co-founder of PanaFintech, a Panama-based firm that offers educational courses on “financial innovation”, said during an interview with Union Radio: 

We are going to install the first cryptocurrency ATM in Venezuela over the course of the next two weeks.

Bitcoin ATM In Its “Final Test Stage”

Farias also mentioned that the Bitcoin ATM (BTM) had already been physically installed in Caracas, Venezuela’s capital city. He added that the installation process was “in its final test stage” and his firm, CryptoBuyer, would be announcing the official launch of the BTM on social media networks.

Cryptobuyer has previously set up five BTMs in Panama city and the company serves as a merchant acceptance platform for bitcoin, litecoin (LTC), and dash (DASH) payments. As CryptoGlobe reported in May 2018, there were 3,028 BTMs worldwide, according to Coin ATM Radar. This number has grown considerably as the BTM tracking website shows there are now 4,195 BTMs throughout the world.

These BTMs are located in 76 different countries and are managed by 526 organizations. Crypto analytics firm, Data Light reported in December 2018 that an average of 6 digital currency ATMs were installed per day in 2018.

Coinme, Coinstar Partner To Make Buying Bitcoin Easier

Data Light also found that nearly all the BTMs supported bitcoin (BTC) and over half of them support litecoin. Nearly 2,000 support Ethereum’s native token, ether (ETH) and many of the BTMs support bitcoin cash (BCH). Privacy-focused coins such as monero (XMR), dash, and zcash (ZEC) are supported by some BTMs as well.

As covered on CryptoGlobe, Coinme, a US-based licensed BTM operator, and Coinstar, a company that manages about 20,000 fully-automated self-service coin-counting kiosks worldwide, announced they would partner to allow users to buy BTC with fiat money (USD).

Bitcoin can be bought “at participating retailers that have Coinstar kiosks enabled for the Coinme product”, Coinme’s website explains. However, only paper money (and not coins) can be used to purchase BTC from these kiosks. Currently, Coinstar operates hundreds of kiosks in eleven US states including Arizona, California, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, and Washington.

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