Led 11

Who Needs ATMs? This iOS App Cashes Out Your Bits at Retail Stores

· January 11, 2017 · 3:00 am

Spare app has added Bitcoin payment support, allowing users to cash out in national currencies in select U.S. regions using any iOS device.


Spare: Cash Out Bits at Your Local Store

Spare, an alternative finance app that allows users to withdrawal cash on-the-go through various merchant locations, now supports Bitcoin.

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Using the Spare app, users can now cash out their bitcoin at certain local stores. The services is currently available in certain parts of the U.S, including New York, Colorado, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington DC.

While there are currently a few alternatives to cash out bitcoins such as exchanges and Bitcoin ‘ATMs’, Spare bypasses these legacy methods using a secure QR code that is shown to a pre-designated merchant, who will then give you cash in exchange once approved.

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Spare founder and CEO D’ontra Hughes told Bitcoinist,

SPARE is mainly solving the issue of liquidity with your own bitcoin balance. So, when you don’t have a bitcoin ATM nearby – you would use our merchant network. The merchant does not have to accept bitcoin, as the technology converts and issues a market value that can be redeemed in cash.

The Santa Monica-based service also claims to benefit small businesses by “increasing foot traffic” and reducing the liability of having extra cash on hand while reducing the operating and security costs of housing a Bitcoin ATM.

“I get people asking if I have an ATM all the time. Now I can finally help them with SPARE and do it all from my iPad,” reads one review from a merchant called Rose Market. U.S. residents can download the app right now to see how many participating merchants are nearby.

Bitcoin ATMs: Few and Far Between

The Bitcoin infrastructure has growing immensely throughout the years, with a growing number of merchants and services accepting Bitcoin, alongside online exchanges enabling users to convert into almost any currency.

Bitcoin ATMs have also evolved and grown in popularity since the first one was placed in Canada in 2013. There are currently 945 ATMs throughout 55 countries according to Coin ATM Radar with the highest density in North America and Europe. Additionally, not all machines are “two-way,” i.e. you can only buy bitcoins but not receive cash for your bitcoin deposit.

bitcoinist_atm_map_usaDespite the growing numbers however, their availability is still just a drop in the ocean when compared to regular ATM networks and legacy banking infrastructure. Even if there is one in your hometown, they can be hard to find and more often than not, you’ll have to travel to reach it.

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“No more you have to waste time searching for Bitcoin ATMs, as everything can be done directly from your iOS device,” adds Hughes.

The Underbanked & Unbanked

Bitcoin enables peoples to transact directly without involvement of governments and middlemen with limited infrastructure — only an internet connection is needed.

Thus, it can also help the unbanked and underbanked population who do not have access to financial services. Currently, there are an estimated 2-3 billion people in the planet with little or no access to financial services. Moreover, more than half of adults in the poorest 40% of households in developing countries lack a bank account.

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But while Bitcoin can be used to transfer money internationally for much lower fees than traditional payment methods, converting them into cash can be a problem. This is commonly known as the “last mile” problem in remittances.

Spare’s approach of ‘crowdsourcing’ merchants to replace ATMs could prove to be a helpful tool in getting cash into peoples’ hands from their received bitcoins.

Meanwhile, the company has also announced it will be extending its services internationally to Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, Italy, Spain, and Nicaragua. Therefore, such a solution has the potential to close the loop, and deliver on the promise of much cheaper blockchain-based remittances compared to legacy services like Western Union.

Can merchants be a better solution for cashing out than Bitcoin ATMs? Share your thoughts below! 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Coinatmradar, Spare

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Kvě 24

Blockchain-based Remittance App AirPocket Comes To Latin America

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Remittance

Blockchain technology has a lot of potential to disrupt the financial sector, and DigitalX is one of the companies wielding the blockchain for remittance purpose. Now that the company has inked a deal with Telefonica in Latin America, AirPocket will be coming to that region very soon.

Also read: Lisk Expands Team Heading Into May 24 Launch

People active in the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain will have heard of DigitalX before, as the company wields distributed ledger technology for financial purposes. Through its AirPocket mobile app, anyone in the world can become a remittance provider, which established a peer-to-peer network of money transfer agents.

Bringing AirPocket to the masses has been a challenge for DigitalX, though, but the company recently partnered with Telefonica in Latin America. Telefonica is the leading Latin American telco, and this new partnership will ensure the DigitalX mobile app will make its way across the entire continent over the next few months.

Blockchain Remittance Through AirPocket and DigitalX

According to DigitalX founder and executive chairman Zhenya Tsvetnenko, the deal with Telefonica is the first of many global partnership announcements. Keeping in mind how DigitalX takes an 11% commission for every AirPocket transaction, bringing this solution to the rest of the world is of the utmost importance.

AirPocket is often touted as being the “Uber of remittance”, as it leverages the sharing economy principle. Additionally, by using a blockchain to complete these transactions, DigitalX has a working example of how this technology can disrupt the financial sector on a large scale while making the process more convenient for its users.

Zhenya Tsvetnenko continued by stating:

“The Telefónica partnership is transformational for our company, and I am not only talking from a revenue opportunity perspective. The fact is, this deal puts our emerging technology company on the global stage and cements our position as a first mover in providing a blockchain application of commercial scale.”

This is a significant partnership between DigitalX and Telefonica, which goes to show AirPocket and its underlying blockchain technology hold a lot of merit for the future. Transferring cash and digital funds between users in a secure and timely fashion is something a lot of consumers have been looking for, and the solution will be coming to Latin America soon.

What are your thoughts on this partnership? Will AirPocket help put blockchain technology on the map in the financial sector? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: The Australian

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, AirPocket

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Blockchain-based Remittance App AirPocket Comes To Latin America

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Úno 17

OKCoin Adds New Security Features To Mobile Bitcoin App

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Mobile App

OKCoin is one of the leading Bitcoin exchanges in the world, and they have recently updated their mobile application with additional security and other features. More and more traders are looking to access their preferred Bitcoin platforms from the comfort of mobile devices, and companies have to cater to those needs. The recent features added to OKCoin make their application one of the more versatile mobile offerings available today.

Also read: Virtual Currency Issued By PBOC Will Not Use Blockchain Technology

OKCoin Mobile App Gets Major Update

There is nothing more annoying than accessing an online Bitcoin trading platform through a web browser. While several of these platforms offer mobile-friendly versions of their website, the overall experience can feel clunky and annoying rather quickly. Navigating through charts and accessing account menus through a browser on mobile is not a fun experience in most cases.

Mobile applications seem to hold the answer to these problems, and OKCoin is one of the first companies to offer a feature-rich app. The first hurdle to overcome for new platform users is signing up for an account. Luckily, the OKCoin mobile application makes this process rather straightforward, and users can even complete Level 1 verification from within the app itself. Doing so will give them instant access to Bitcoin trading features.

Up until now, withdrawals could not be made from within the mobile OKCoin application. This may seem rather strange for a platform priding itself on their trading features, but it was one of the things that had to be improved in the future. With the updated mobile app, OKCoin users can now withdraw funds in both Bitcoin and Litecoin by accessing the “Withdrawals” menu.

Most mobile applications lack proper security, and the OKCoin developers have addressed those concerns as well. After all, users are storing their trading portfolio wealth on a device that is not always in their eyesight, and proper precautions need to be taken to avoid unauthorized use of the application.

Among the new security features is Touch-ID, which lets users authenticate access through gesture rather than using a password. While gestures may not be a perfect solution either, it is a notable step forwards from letting users stick to [weak] passwords. On the other hand, users who prefer to stick with passwords will have the option to reset it through the mobile app as well, by entering a code sent to them via SMS.

Other Bitcoin Platform’s Apps To Follow?

OKCoin is one of the first major Bitcoin companies to take steps in the right direction for tackling the mobile ecosystem. For some reason, most exchange platforms have no mobile application available, even though global numbers of users owning a mobile device is growing every year.

If and when more mobile apps become available to Bitcoin users, we can only hope to see the same – or an even higher – level of focus on account security. Mobile apps are very convenient, but security is often rather lackluster. In the end, this is real money people are dealing with, on devices that are regularly used by other people.

What are your thoughts on the OKCoin update? Will you be using any of their new features in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: OKcoin

Images courtesy of OKCoin, Shutterstock

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OKCoin Adds New Security Features To Mobile Bitcoin App

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