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Japanese e-Commerce Giant Rakuten With A New App That Will Probably Support Crypto Payments

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One of the largest e-Commerce firms in Japan, the giant Rakuten, recently announced that a major update of its Rakuten Pay mobile app is coming and will be released on March 18th, as the digital currency news headlines outlined. According to the firm’s 2018 earnings release which was published on February 12th, the app will have a new structure that will probably support Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency payments in addition to fiat.

As the company noted in the presentation material, the new version of the app will feature “all payment solutions embedded into one platform.”

Known as “Japan’s Amazon” – Rakuten has recently restructured in terms of its corporate structure. The new company includes the firm’s cryptocurrency exchange named “Everybody’s Bitcoin” (which Rakuten acquired in August 2018 for $2.4 million) as part of the newly established payments subsidiary, Rakuten Payment.

Moreover, the firm’s earnings release specifies that the app will support QR code payments and will use the corporation’s prepaid card service, Rakuten Edy. Even though the app does not explicitly note anything about crypto support, the specification that “all payment solutions” will be supported on it implies support for crypto payments as part of its subsidiary, Rakuten Payment.

In its earnings release, Rakuten reported a net income for 2019 of about 141.9 billion yen which is $1.3 billion – increasing by 28.4% when compared to 2017.

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Altcoin News

4% Increase: MakerDAO Vote Will Raise DAI Stablecoin Annual Stabiility Fee To 7.5%

In the latest cryptocurrency news, we have the users of the Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO) MakerDAO (MKR) which recently called in and voted to raise the so-called stability fee for Maker's DAI (DAI) altcoin and stablecoin by an astounding 4 percent, according to the results of a recent poll that was completed on March 21st. The "Analysis" part of the post notes:
"In February, the Stability Fee was increased twice, each time by 0.5%. The impact of this combined 1% increase was negligible, indicating that neither the target Stability Fee nor the incremental change was appropriate. Based on last week’s governance call, the MakerDAO community is moving forward with a Governance Poll to gauge sentiment for an additional Stability Fee increase. "
As the firm announced, users had voted 'Yes' on the proposal which asks them to increase the stability fee by 4% - from 3.5% to 7.5%. When it comes to the actual reasons for this increase, the main ones as seen in the post are that the DAI exchange persists under one dollar, that there are high inventory levels among market makers and prop desk, as well as insufficient impact from the previous fee increase. With this, the MKR token holder could choose whether to raise the fee by zero, two or four percent accordingly. Still, what we can see in the vote page is an explanation on “the absence of any significant volume clearing near $1 indicates that there needs to be stronger incentives in place” than just a 2% increase. The post also admits that a 4% increase is "the largest one-time raise" which runs the risk of overshooting the estimate. The correct Stability Fee, hence, could still be 7.5% or higher. The MakerDAO token MKR is currently ranking as the 16th largest cryptocurrency with a solid increase of 1.12% at press time. As the post concludes in the last "Next Steps" section:
"On Friday, March 22nd there will be an Executive Vote asking MKR token holders if they support or reject the change proposed by this Governance Poll. If the results of that Executive Vote is insufficient to manage inventory levels as measured over the following 5 days, another proposal will be put forth for a subsequent increase."
MKR token holders already voted to raise the DAI stability fee to 3.5% this month. In other news, one senior advisor for digital assets at the United States Securities and Exchanges Commission Valerie Szczepanik said that stablecoins could experience a lot of issues under current securities laws.
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General Manager Of BIS Says Banks Should Not Issue Their Own CBDC

Agustin Carstens, the general manager of the Bank for International Settlements expressed his opinions about whether the banks should issue their own digital currencies. According to Agustin, the answer is ‘’no.’’ Why does he believe this is a bad idea we find out in the latest cryptocurrency news. Carstens is known to be on the other side of crypto, having said multiple times that Bitcoin is a bubble and a Ponzi scheme. He also made statements how he believes Bitcoin is an ‘’environmental disaster’’ and at a speech, in Dublin, he explained that cryptocurrencies are extremely dangerous and could possibly undermine the entire global banking system. He is now saying to the banks worldwide that there is a huge danger of issuing their own digital currency. Carstens believes that ‘’virtual coins’’ are everything banks don’t like. They are not financially stable and banks, therefore, choose policies that are designed to protect the customer not to expose him to more danger. During the speech Carstens pointed out:
‘’There are huge operational consequences for central banks in implementing monetary policy and implications for the stability of the financial system. Central banks do not put a brake on innovations just for the sake of it, but neither should they speed ahead disregarding all traffic conditions.’’
Banks and other financial institutions shouldn’t keep up with the technology of this kind because not every trend in the monetary space is good for the financial system and that they should be wary of hurting the functionality of the entire system. He keeps using the term ‘’financial panic’’ claiming that by issuing central bank-issued digital currency or CBDC, people would move out their money to commercial banks and this could lead to taking down the interest rates which could potentially harm the liquidity of the market. The general manager didn’t get much support from other bank executives. Multiple banks have already chosen to issue their own digital currencies or at least have plans to do so. For example, the Bank of England revealed they are considering the issuance of a new digital currency that will work similarly to Bitcoin. Also, IBM joined with Stellar and they introduced the Blockchain World Wire which is a project that guarantees banks the ability to issue their own stablecoins in the near future.
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Altcoin News

USDT-TRON Stablecoin Is Going To Be Listed On OKEx

The fourth largest exchange for Bitcoin, OKEx, is making headlines today. As we previously mentioned, Tether has been expanding its USDT product to the Tron blockchain. In the recent cryptocurrency news, however, the community has embraced OKEx's decision to list the USDT-Tron pair on the exchange.

OKEx Lists USDT-Tron As 4th Largest Bitcoin Exchange

Standing as fourth largest Bitcoin exchange by adjusted volume, OKEx has recently announced:
In order to meet users’ demand for stablecoin trading, OKEx will support USDT-TRON, the TRC-20 based USDT token co-developed by TRON and Tether, as well as the airdrop for USDT-TRON holders. By then, OKEx will support three protocols of USDT, namely USDT-Omni, USDT-ERC20, and USDT-TRON. Please stay tuned for our further announcements.
What's important is the fact that centralized exchanges are not the real beneficiary of USDT-Tron right now. However, the majority of the Tron tokens trade on decentralized exchanges which run on the Tron blockchain. TRX itself has some stablecoin markets including Binance. As soon as USDT-Tron is live, the liquidity of the Tron economy will reshape and every token will have a price in both TRX and fiat. It will be similar to ERC-20 assets and their price in fiat - in fact fiat and demand have their own way of dictating the actual value of the tokens.

The Real Benefit OF USDT-TRX

USDT-TRON is currently great for TRX tokens. Since Tether (USDT) is the oldest pegged stablecoin, it has some authority on the market. The real question right now, however, is who will be next to cross the blockchain barriers since most of the stablecoins are only available on Ethereum. Among the other blockchains that could use the liquidity boost are EOS, NEO, Cardano, Aelf and Tezos. Any of these could benefit from the ability to quickly trade into a stablecoin without having to go through a centralized exchange, which is the real benefit of the USDT-TRX move. To sum things up, Tron and EOS are not far behind Ethereum in terms of the developer ecosystem. In fact, their userbases outpace Ethereum in terms of growth. However, in terms of liquidity and financial markets, Ethereum is the most dominant smart contract platform. All in all, the move to create a Tether stablecoin on TRX its a major leap forward for Tron.
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Altcoin News

Bitcoin Is Close To $4,100 As Tokens Gain 20%

The valuation of the total cryptocurrency market cap has risen to more than $141 billion and is now reaching a new milestone as the market is improving. We are seeing green everywhere in the latest cryptocurrency news - with a focus on the most dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC). Even though Bitcoin has not recorded the biggest rise on the day, it is coming close to the $4,100 mark which is crucial for the cryptocurrency. The gains of 1% to 2% are repetitive for most of the top 10 cryptocurrencies which made sure to rise in terms of value and contribute to the growing market cap. By rising more than $1.5 billion overnight, the market showed that it is led by the Bitcoin price. Based on the global average, BTC has remained above the $4,000 resistance level for more than a week now - and tokens have followed with new surges of up to 20% on the day. Even though Bitcoin was a hot topic over the past couple of months for its inability to break out of the crucial resistance levels set in the $3,000 zone - it now managed to cross the $4,000 mark and is rising as we speak. The sentiment around the market is positive and is expected to improve, too. Earlier this week, some reports suggested that analysts still foresee the Bitcoin price testing its lows in the $3,122 to $3,500 range before a potential accumulation in the upcoming months. Even though we don't need to be so optimistic, the trend line is positive and since mid last year, Bitcoin has shown a pattern of experiencing several months of stability and then dropping largely afterwards. So, if BTC continues to climb up in the $4,000 and $5,000 range, the resistance levels will climb too. According to Anthony Pompliano who is the co-founder and general partner at Morgan Creek Digital, the institutional investors and asset managers that are likely to buy BTC in the long run are committing to the asset class.
"In my opinion, blockchain and crypto-related investment opportunities will be one of the fastest growing sectors in the alternative asset management space in the next 10 years. This means that every alternative asset manager will have to create a strategy to help their LPs gain exposure to the nascent industry," Pompliano said.
Aside from the greens recorded in the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the best performers on the day include the names of Ontology, Ravencoin, Tezos, Huobi Token, and KuCoin Shares - all recording gains from 12% to 25% on the day.
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