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Coinbase Crypto Services Expand to 11 New Countries

On April 17th, word went around that Coinbase crypto services will be expanding to 11 new countries. And the information is true. According to the crypto exchange, Coinbase will expand its crypto-to-crypto conversions and trading services to Colombia and Mexico, among other countries.

Here’s what we know.

Coinbase Expanding Crypto Services

Based in San Francisco, USA, Coinbase said in a blog post on Wednesday that customers in 11 new countries now have access to its crypto-to-crypto exchanging services. These services, according to the crypto exchange, will be on Coinbase, and Coinbase Pro as well. For those who don’t know, Coinbase Pro is the firm’s professional trading platform.

The countries receiving the Coinbase crypto services include Peru, Colombia, Mexico, and Chile. Argentina, South Korea, and Hong Kong also have access, as does Indonesia, India, New Zealand, and the Phillippines.

What Does This Mean for Coinbase?

Of course, this is good news for those interested in crypto trading in the recipient countries. However, it’s also good for Coinbase itself. With the addition of these 11 countries, Coinbase now has a presence in 53 countries across four continents, according to CoinDesk. Further, Coinbase believes crypto-to-crypto is a gamechanger. According to the firm, “the ability to convert from one crypto to another will form the backbone” of a “new decentralized economy.”

So, with the potential of crypto-to-crypto and the fact that now 11 countries have access to it that didn’t before, good things may very well be heading toward Coinbase. Not to mention Coinbase’s mission is to make it “as easy as possible to access crypto;” this announcement is an “important step in that direction.”

>> SIRIN Labs Loses One Quarter of Its Staff to Poor Finney Sales

Thoughts?

What do you think about Coinbase crypto services expanding to new countries? Does it signify that crypto-to-crypto services are going to be the next big thing?

Let us know what you think in the comments below! 

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Rakuten

Rakuten Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange for Customers

Rakuten has begun accepting applications for accounts for its anticipated cryptocurrency exchange called “Rakuten Wallet.” The company announced that pre-registration is available for customers with Rakuten Bank, but further details as to whether the service will be available for everyone has not yet been revealed.

The company previously stated that the crypto exchange will commence business in June 2019 and it will come with a mobile app that allows trading of crypto assets.

New Crypto Exchange for Customers

Rakuten had a revenue of $9 billion in 2018, and the decision to support cryptocurrency is seen as a way of accelerating adoption at the consumer level.

Although the company has operations worldwide, its base in Japan is a significant force in the crypto industry, with trading in Yen contributing to over half of the total Bitcoin purchases. Japan is the home of the first ever cryptocurrency exchange, Mt. Gox, and the creator of Bitcoin adopted a Japanese alias, Satoshi Nakamoto. The country is credited for its advanced cryptocurrency regulations, and the Rakuten Wallet will receive clearance from the Japanese Financial Services Authority.

Although Rakuten is a diverse company, its focus on e-commerce will be vital in supporting cryptocurrency. Since 2015, some of Rakuten’s branches have been experimenting with Bitcoin payments. According to Rakuten, the role of crypto payments in offline retail, e-commerce, and in p2p payments is expected to grow in the future.

Benefits to Customers

The use of crypto payments is expected to eliminate the risk of chargebacks that customers have to encounter when they use credit cards, the conventional payment method in e-commerce.

>> Proof of Capital: A New Blockchain Venture Fund Worth $50 Million

With crypto payments, customers will not have to worry about asking for refunds from credit card providers or banks. Equally cryptocurrency payments are cheaper because there are no fees incurred, which may impact on profit margins of the merchant.

Rakuten indicated that in order for the company to efficiently offer crypto payment, there is a need to have a cryptocurrency exchange function.

Are you excited by the news?

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SIRIN Labs

SIRIN Labs Loses One Quarter of Its Staff to Poor Finney Sales

According to media site Globes, the team behind blockchain smartphone Finney has laid off a quarter of its workforce. Sirin Labs has let go of 15 team members after overestimating sales of its innovative device.

The company said it had received 160,000 Finney pre-orders in late 2018, so what’s happened?

Sirin Labs Loses Workforce

The company has said in late 2018 that it only needed to sell 80,000 devices in order to make a profit. Now it seems, not only have those pre-orders not translated to actual sales, it hasn’t managed to hit the median target either.

According to the report, the company admitted that it overshot sales estimations and had to subsequently lay off 15 of its 60 employees. The company denied that it failed to pay its staff in recent months and said that it is focusing on software development and distribution.

Controversy

Apart from the poor sales of Finney, Sirin Labs has been in the midst of controversy recently. In a completely separate issue, a $50 million lawsuit has been filed in California against company founder Moshe Hogeg.

Hogeg’s venture capital fund, called Singulariteam, is being sued by entrepreneur Adam Perzow. The complainant states that he sold the domain invest.com to Hogeg for $5 million in late 2014. An agreement was made for a joint venture between the pair using that domain. Perzow alleges that he was to be made a partner and manager of this venture. However, Hogeg violated the agreement made.

Perzow has gone on to claim that the Singulariteam fund has defrauded many investors of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Further, this isn’t the only lawsuit against Hogeg. According to reports, he is facing two other lawsuits filed against him in Tel Aviv by investors in firms that he manages. While the issue is ongoing and unresolved at present, there’s no way of telling where this will go for Hogeg.

>> Rakuten Launches Cryptocurrency Exchange for Customers

Sirin Labs

Sirin evolved from a $158 million ICO. Its intention was to make cryptocurrency-friendly phones; however, some are now wondering if its attention will move away from that and focus on the Sirin operating system (SIRIN OS) instead.

Sirin Labs launched the Finney blockchain smartphone at the end of 2018. Its price tag is a hefty $999 per device.

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Proof of Capital

Proof of Capital | A New Blockchain Venture Fund Worth $50 Million

A new blockchain-focused venture capital fund called Proof of Capital has been established by a group of investors. The aim of the $50 million USD fund is to encourage further adoption of blockchain technology.

Blockchain Venture Fund: Proof of Capital

The new fund has been founded by three partners: Phil Chen, Chris McCann, and Edith Yeung.

It will invest in early-stage startups that are involved in blockchain technology. The group has highlighted various areas of the blockchain ecosystem that it is looking to back, including remittances, custody, wallets, security, and identity.

All three founders are seasoned professionals coming from other venture funds. Chen was formerly with Horizons Ventures, McCann with Greylock Partners, and Yeung an adviser to venture capital firm 500 Startups.

Data Protection

A major impetus for this venture comes from the greater need for blockchain technology with regards to data protection. The public is aware, now more than ever, that their private data is being used and sold by major tech companies. In response to this, Chen said the following:

“We want to help proliferate blockchain technology by funding global founders who are building the hardware and software of Web 3.0 – the decentralized web, which will protect users and allow them take back control of their data.”

>> India’s Unocoin Left with 14 Employees, Struggling to Stay Afloat

Proof of Capital

Proof of Capital is already busy with its first investment, Argentina-based blockchain startup Ubanx. This startup provides a platform that connects customers to the blockchain ecosystem of products and services.

Further, the fund is partnering with major tech giant HTC on its EXODUS blockchain phone. According to Chen, Proof of Capital will “work closely with HTC to define the standards and interactions for this new internet and bring mobile and hardware know-how for our portfolio companies.”

Do you think blockchain technology can help to stop the misuse of private data? Let us know your thoughts on Proof of Capital!

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Unocoin

India’s Unocoin Left with 14 Employees, Struggling to Stay Afloat

Unocoin, a leading crypto exchange in India, is struggling to stay afloat. Why? Because India has promulgated a law banning cryptocurrency-related trading in the country. So why is Unocoin sticking around?

There are 14 employees left at Unocoin, after the exchange shaved off 86% of its workforce. The exchange is trying to recover its huge losses and compete in the commercial market again.

Legal Action

The famous Unocoin suffered this setback due to legal action taken against one of its daring moves. In the year 2018, the founder members of the firm, Harsh B, Abhinand Kaseto, Sathvik Viswanath, and Sunny Ray, decided to install a Bitcoin ATM at a public mall in Bengaluru. But the plea for this cause was declined. It led to their legal arrest by a central crime branch team of India. The company had until this point accumulated a huge investment of $1.5 million from its investors, including Blume Ventures and Bitcoin Capital, to name a few.

The failure to install the Bitcoin ATM, along with the legal proceedings that followed, caused the firm to go into a tailspin. On being questioned, founder Sathvik Viswanath defended the use of Bitcoin in the country by trying to put the earlier quoted statement of India’s Finance Minister, Arun Jaitley, in context. He defended their stance on the fact that the minister had not called it “illegal tender” but had said that “it was not legal.” It surmounted to the fact that investments could still happen.

>> France’s Crypto Regulations: Finance Minister Wants Whole EU Adoption

Unfavorable Crypto Laws

The story of banning cryptocurrency trade in India did not end with Unocoin, nor did it start. Another popular firm engaged in trading, Coindelta, has also been flushed down. Its failure was due to the unfavorable crypto laws in the country and its staunch implementation in the country.

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