Čvn 11

Healthheart / Keyqo Announces New Security Product

· June 10, 2018 · 8:00 pm

On top of a successful rebranding from HealthHeart, Keyqo has announced significant progress towards the release of their new healthcare IT security product.


In a recent update, CEO Mark Rudnitsky, described the product as follows:

For this first phase, we are developing a security monitoring tool, which tracks the transfer of sensitive data within and out of a given clinic’s network. We have a small ‘agent’ that gets installed on each machine on the network. It monitors all traffic coming in and out of that machine. It interfaces with an intrusion-detection system (IDS), which tells it certain ‘patterns’ to look for, which indicate patient data is being compromised. If those patterns are detected by the agent, it will report to a central server with what it found. The server will take those logs, encrypt them, and store the information on a private blockchain (this is a requirement so we’re HIPAA-compliant). So no matter if the machine is compromised by an attacker, the logs can never be modified. There’s a dashboard/admin console that the end user utilizes to see any alerts or indicators of compromise, as well as separate tools for storing customer data, reporting, and billing.

Velvetech, Keyqo’s software development partner, has provided an estimate of Phase One completion in about three months. First to be completed are the IDS and blockchain components, with the agents and dashboard following later.

Blockchain technology

While the original blockchain EHR concept has been temporarily placed on hold, Rudnitsky seems optimistic on the pivot to HCIT security software:

The cost of healthcare data breaches is higher than it’s ever been. Every single record breached can cost an organization $380. The security solutions offered by others clearly aren’t working. So not only do healthcare organizations of all sizes need the blockchain security solutions we’re building, we are also able to benefit them with minimum disruption to their operations. We can integrate with any IT system that a hospital could use. No need for a full EHR migration, no need for system downtime – providers can secure their patient data without even thinking of compromising the quality of care.

The pivot to security seems to be paying off. Several hospital chains reportedly have reached out to Keyqo and the company’s leadership has been developing awareness among Illinois podiatry clinics.

Rudnitsky seems optimistic about the future:

What we’re doing right now in the HCIT space is nothing short of revolutionary. The recent increase in healthcare blockchain companies shows exactly how forward-thinking we were when we started back in September. We’re the vanguard, bringing healthcare IT into the 21st century. The future looks bright for Keyqo.

What are your thoughts on Healthheart / Keyqo’s new direction? How can blockchain help secure healthcare providers’ patient records? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of AdobeStock, iStockPhoto

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Čvn 04

Disrupting Video-On-Demand Streaming with Blockchain

· June 3, 2018 · 8:00 pm

The entertainment industry has been greatly impacted by mobile technologies such as 3G, 4G, and video streaming on demand. Companies like Netflix, Twitch, HBO, and Amazon Prime leverage the power of the Internet to provide better viewing experiences to average consumers at the global scale. As people’s interest in video entertainment switches to smartphones and tablets, cable TV is losing ground.


A new technology has risen above the rest to disrupt on-demand video streaming as well. With its ability to implement “smart contract” systems to ease transactions, provide better transparency, and improve processes, blockchain technology enters the stage with sharing and content storage capabilities that go beyond what Netflix currently provides.

Video-On-Demand Powered by Blockchain

Video-On-Demand Powered by Blockchain

Slate Entertainment Group (SEG) is set up by Binge Media to develop decentralized platform SLATE powered by the SLX utility token. The blockchain-based VOD (video on demand) service will be an entertainment utility protocol that adheres to a multi-layer network: BVOD (blockchain video-on-demand), the electronic ticketing app Slatix, and the SLX utility token to enable access to premium entertainment. At the core of SLATE lies an immutable, distributed ledger meant to ensure trustworthy payment systems, seamless transactions, and structured incentives.

Slate’s SLX token aims to disrupt the entertainment economy and become a universal digital currency used by all platform users.  With blockchain at its core, the decentralized ecosystem will deliver high-definition, fast, and affordable media access to consumers worldwide. For service providers and content creators, the token can be used to provide access to exclusive entertainment services on the Slate platform.

Binge aims to leverage distributed ledger technology to become the first commercial platform for conveniently-priced, scalable video-on-demand streaming services. Slate token holders will be exclusive users of the platform with full access to a tokenized ticketing system, industry-leading open analytics, unrestricted global access, and more.

Slate’s exclusive ticketing system, SLATIX, is the decentralized solution designed to prevent fraudulent ticket sales, slash end-user fees, and become a reliable payment conduit of Slate for sporting events, movies, theater performances, and concert venues. Considering that blockchain technology promises to track, store, share, and verify user information, purchased tickets with SLX tokens are instantly transferable but impossible to fake. The usage of Slate’s SLX utility token is better highlighted in the video below:

Slate Announces New Partnerships and Exchange Listing

To speed up the mass adoption of the SLX token and raise awareness about its potential to disrupt the entertainment industry, Slate attended this year’s Cannes Film Festival, where it acquired full rights to video stream the upcoming crypto documentary “Beyond Bitcoin” via its BVOD platform, Binge. Watch the short teaser trailer below:

During Cannes, SEG formed a solid partnership with Spanish film festival SIFF. For the first time, a centralized organization in the film industry will provide cryptocurrency as an alternative payment method for acquiring tickets.

Hong Kong-based HitBTC, one of the top 10 cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, will be listing SLATE (SLX) currency.  HitBTC will host SLX with trading pairs against Bitcoin (BTC) and Tether (USDT). SEG is especially pleased to announce the agreement during the presale as it assures buyers that they will be able to trade SLX on the open market.

HitBTC to list Slate (SLX)

The team behind Slate managed to raise $20 million in just one day following the pre-sale date. For a limited amount of time, those interested in contributing and purchasing SLX tokens will benefit from a significant discount of up to 45 percent off the public sale price. An additional 4 percent bonus was available for those that choose to participate before May 31. The pre-sale ends June 9 !

What are your thoughts on Slate’s VOD platform? How can blockchain benefit video-on-demand streaming? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Slate Entertainment Group, DepositPhotos

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Kvě 26

Bitcoin as a Store of Value Could be Worth $40K Within the Next Decade, Says Matt Hougan

· May 25, 2018 · 9:00 pm

Matt Hougan of Bitwise Asset Management believes that the price of Bitcoin could increase by 500 percent in the next ten years. Hougan hinges his prediction on the cryptocurrency becoming an actual store of value and the blockchain permeating several facets of human life.


Is Bitcoin a Store of Value?

Finding a consensus on any argument related to Bitcoin is almost a futile effort at this point. There’s the bubble argument, the economic definition argument, and of course, the store of value argument. Matt Hougan, in a recent op-ed for Forbes, examines the store of value debate for Bitcoin, drawing some interesting parallels with gold.

Right from inception, the virtual currency has been compared with gold. Some proponents are even in the habit of calling the crypto “digital gold.” Critics, however, dispute this idea, saying that the cryptocurrency cannot be compared to gold because it is highly volatile and, as such, cannot be a store of value.

Matt Hougan

One of the most basic definitions of a store of value is an asset that is both tradable and can be stored for future use. By this definition, a store of value must maintain some stability over a reasonable period. Bitcoin is a volatile asset, no arguments there. However, is the volatility exhibited by the number one crypto a misnomer in the finance world? It turns out the answer is no, and Hougan provides hard evidence.

A Little Bit of History Featuring the Post-1971 Gold Market

Today, gold is not only solid based on its physical form, but as an asset, it maintains some level of price rigidity. However, it wasn’t always so. In 1971, U.S. President Richard Nixon dropped the gold standard for the USD. The price of gold and the value of the dollar was no longer tethered together. What happened next? Well, the table below gives an idea of the wild volatility in prices of gold in the decade following 1971.

Gold pricesToday’s crypto critics would be bellowing that gold isn’t a store of value if they examined these figures. However, today, it is universally accepted that the precious metal is indeed a store of value. So, what has changed? The answer isn’t utility as some might point out. Gold has some industrial application use cases but that it is not enough to justify its current price. According to Hougan:

[Gold] is worth $1,300 per ounce because people are willing to pay $1300 per ounce for it as a store of wealth.

Bitcoin price chart

Bitcoin Mirrors Post-1971 Gold

Bitcoin is less than a decade old, which means it isn’t yet a fully formed asset. Hougan believes that expecting the cryptocurrency to behave like a fully matured asset is an argument that lacks economic merit. According to the cryptoanalyst, Bitcoin is passing through the two-stage process of rapid appreciation and declining volatility over time.

2017 saw a parabolic rise in prices that seem to have plateaued in 2018. The Bitcoin volatility, while still considerably high, is declining over time. This pattern exhibited by the number one crypto bears striking similarities to gold after 1971.

Bitcoin volatility chart

Speculative Investment Will Give Way to Real World Use

If Bitcoin follows the pattern set by gold, then it is well on its way to establishing itself as a store of value. Right now, the crypto is held as a speculative investment, but within the next decade, as blockchain utility increases, Bitcoin will become an even more significant part of global finance. The current market capitalization for the virtual currency is $130 billion, which is approximately two percent of the $7.5 trillion gold market cap.

In ten years, Bitcoin could comfortably hold 10 percent of the value of gold, which would mean a conservative price estimate of $40,000. A lot of this depends on how quickly real-world utility applications can be implemented for the cryptocurrency and the assumption that it continues on a similar trajectory to gold.

Do you agree with the argument that Bitcoin is like gold, and as such, a store of value? Will an increase in real-world utility drive the price of Bitcoin higher? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


Images courtesy of MarketsMuse, Forbes, Macrotrends, Shutterstock, and Buy Bitcoin Worldwide.

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Kvě 21

Wall Street Cryptocurrency Trading is Imminent, Former J.P. Morgan Exec Says

· May 20, 2018 · 7:00 pm

The cryptocurrency market continues to be a trending topic in the world of finance. However, the question remains; when will Wall Street banks begin crypto trading? The day is closer than we think, according to a former J.P. Morgan executive.


Big Banks to Start Trading Cryptocurrency Soon

Amber Baldet, formerly of J.P Morgan believes that the big banks will soon start trading cryptocurrency. She made this declaration during an interview with CNBC. According to her, such a move is even closer than many people think. This revelation holds a fair bit of weight given that it is coming from someone with insider knowledge of Wall Street.

Baldet used to head J.P Morgan’s blockchain division before leaving the bank in April. Goldman Sachs, another prominent Wall Street has already announced plans to establish a bitcoin trading service. When launched, it will be the first ever Wall Street crypto trading platform.

Amber Baldet

Baldet, however, identified some critical issues standing in the way of broader crypto adoption by big banks. Lack of regulatory clarity and problems concerning custodial services are among the main challenges preventing a greater institutional presence in the market. The major banks have no secure crypto custody framework at the moment. This lack of trusted safeguards for cryptocurrencies might soon be a thing of the past, however. Both Nomura and Coinbase announced last week that they were launching crypto custodial solutions.

Search Engine for the Blockchain Ecosystem

Baldet also spoke about her new venture since leaving Wall Street. The former J.P. Morgan executive unveiled Clovyr at the recently concluded Consensus conference in New York. Clovyr is designed to be an app store for blockchain DApps. Commenting on the project, Baldet said:

There’s no way to discover what’s out there right now; there’s no Google for finding applications. The ability to discover apps is helpful, but the ability to build them is also encompassed in there.

Thus, Clovyr is more than a blockchain search engine; it is also a platform that allows developers to create useful DApps. Baldet has a lot of experience with developing blockchain solutions. She was an essential member of the team that created J.P. Morgan’s legacy blockchain project, Quorum.

Will the entry of the likes of J.P Morgan and Goldman Sachs be a good thing for the crypto market? Please share your views in the comment section below.


Image courtesy of Twitter @AmberBaldet., Shutterstock

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Kvě 15

Blockchain Technology Will Usher in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

· May 14, 2018 · 7:00 pm

Steve Chiavarone is a blockchain believer. The portfolio manager at Federated Investors believes the technology behind bitcoin will help usher in the fourth industrial age. Many commentators have previously identified blockchain as having the potential to disrupt the global business process.


Blockchain: An Exciting Emerging Technology

Chiavarone is certain that the distributed ledger technology (DLT) framework is an essential cog in the wheel of emerging technologies that will transform the world. The Wall Street bull predicts that blockchain, along with robotics, automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and the Internet of things (IoT) will be the foundation of the fourth industrial age. Indeed, several experts believe blockchain can contribute to the technologies mentioned above.

Such is his conviction that the Wall Street expert is incorporating DLT into his stock market forecast. Speaking to CNBC, he reiterated the viability of the technology despite the struggles in the crypto market since the start of 2018. According to Chiavarone, the current price slump doesn’t diminish the importance of DLT implementation. Earlier in May, Wall Street analyst Nick Colas described bitcoin as the “FANG” stock of the crypto world. FANG refers to the most popular tech stocks; Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Google. Chiavarone is optimistic that blockchain technology could improve the business operations of the FANG stock companies.

Other corporations are also making forays into developing protocols that implement the technology. Companies like IBM and Maersk are leading the way in developing blockchain-based solutions for supply chain management (SCM) and general logistics. According to Chiavarone, big banks are also investing in DLT. Bank of America (BoFA) recently declared that it was contributing the most resources into blockchain research than anyone else.

Fourth Industrial Revolution

Blockchain Will Replace Reconciliation

Chiavarone is particularly confident that blockchain will disrupt business reconciliation process. He believes the technology is uniquely suited to improve the verification of account balances in the corporate world. According to him, blockchain will replace the expensive, inefficient and tedious reconciliation process. Thus, businesses will be able to reduce back and middle office costs while having more efficient supply chains.

Many in the mainstream finance arena aren’t sold on cryptocurrency. In fact, some of the staunchest crypto critics are from the organized business sector. However, only a handful of people in finance have dismissed the viability of the technology. It is even common to see notable figures declaring their interest in DLT while paying little or no attention to bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

Does blockchain technology have a pivotal role in the establishment of the fourth industrial age? Let us know in the comment section below.


Images courtesy of Twitter/@federatednews, Christoph Roser/AllAboutLean.com, Shutterstock

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Dub 26

GoldMint Opens Up Sale of Crypto Assets, Secured by Gold

· April 26, 2018 · 6:30 pm

GoldMint.io, a pioneering company which hedges a stable cryptocurrency with real gold, has opened up sales of GOLD coins.


What is GoldMint?

GoldMint is a blockchain-based platform powered by the digital asset GOLD, which is 100% backed by physical gold or delivery futures. Therefore, one digital GOLD asset costs the same as one ounce of gold on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME).

GoldMint’s physical gold is stored in the US Federal Reserve System’s banks, as well as in Singapore’s SGPMX custodians. For the sake of assurance, GoldMint fully intends on always making sure that its gold reserves are constantly even to or exceed the number of GOLD assets currently in circulation at any given time.

The project runs on the GoldMint blockchain, is 100% backed by physical gold or delivery futures, can be used as a trust management investment tool for peer-to-peer loans and operations with gold, and is a transparent, fast and secure payment tool.

GoldMint PTE LTD itself is a Singapore blockchain company specializing in gold tokenization. The company successfully completed its initial coin offering (ICO) in 2017 and raised $7 million.

The company operates with two assets: gold-secured GOLD and MNTP tokens, which is used in the GoldMint locker to confirm transactions. Additionally, MNTP token holders get access to preferential commissions for operations with GOLD assets. The company’s tokens are currently traded on Bancor, Yobit, SIMEX, IDEX, Etherdelta.

The Sale is Open

As of April 12, GoldMint users may buy and sell GOLD coins on Bancor using one or more of the 50 supported cryptocurrencies. GOLD is also available on Simex (Singapore International Monetary Exchange and IDEX (Decentralized Ethereum Asset Exchange).

For the first time in history, users can take advantage of the opportunity to buy a stable coin, completely backed by the price of gold, in exchange for cryptocurrency. With the help of the GOLD stablecoin, crypto investors can hedge against the risk of cryptocurrencies falling in an extremely volatile market — which happens all too frequently.

GOLD will also bring a new class of investors into the cryptocurrency market, as precious metals investors previously uninterested in cryptocurrency now have a reason to get involved.

A Difference that Matters

Not all cryptocurrencies and digital assets are created equal.

The key difference between GOLD and other digital assets is that all GOLD coins are actually backed by a physical product — in this case, the most successful store of value in history, gold.

Said gold is purchased under delivery futures on the Chicago CME exchange and then placed in a bank of the U.S. Federal Reserve system. When extreme volatility arises in the cryptocurrency market, GOLD affords cryptocurrency investors the ability to mitigate their risk by investing in a stable coin, as opposed to converting to fiat currencies.

Additionally, GOLD smart contracts ensure that the amount of crypto assets sold is equal to the amount of gold held in GoldMint company.

GOLD coins may be purchased with cryptocurrency at the Bancor exchange and can be stored in your compatible Ethereum wallet. Because GoldMint works on the Ethereum network, it is also compatible with ethereal wallets.

The Goldmint team plans to launch a personal account with a multi-currency wallet, which will afford users the ability to purchase tokens via fiat money, bank transfer, or credit card, in 2018.

If you’d like to learn more about the gold-backed stablecoin, check out GoldMint’s official website, or follow the project on Twitter, GitHub, Facebook, and Reddit.

Are you interested in investing in a stable cryptocurrency backed 100% by real gold? Do you think GOLD is a safe way to protect yourself against the cryptocurrency market’s volatility? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of GoldMint, Pexels

Bitcoinist does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company.

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Dub 21

Blockchain Meets Movie Industry as White Rabbit Teams Up with Production Company K5

· April 21, 2018 · 5:00 pm

Blockchain start-up White Rabbit, developers of a browser plugin that allows users to legally stream movies and television series from any open streaming service, has announced a strategic partnership with K5 International, a subdivision of K5 Media Group, a renowned media production company that has produced Oscar-nominated films.


Financial details of the partnership, which was announced in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter, where not disclosed, however, the deal conditions suggest that K5 will grant White Rabbit users access to its library of 50-plus movies while the company’s co-founder Daniel Baur will join White Rabbit’s advisory board. Further details of the details, however, remain undisclosed.

White Rabbit is developing a browser plugin that will recognize any type of streaming content and offer the viewer a chance to directly pay to the copyright holders of said content via secure blockchain infrastructure using the platform’s native WRT tokens. All purchased content will remain available to the user in the Rabbit Hole – the content library – regardless of the viewer’s geographic location.

The tokens themselves will be available for sale during a whitelisting event later this year.

Commenting on the deal, co-founder and CEO of White Rabbit Alan R. Milligan stated:

Such deals show that the conservative cinema industry is becoming interested in innovative technological solutions and that our WRT token will have a very decent real-life application.

Milligan is a renowned filmmaker whose filmography includes award-winning motion picture Letter to the King.

Baur also noted:

I have been actively searching the blockchain space for over a year, looking for companies that can have a massive impact on the film industry. With White Rabbit, I saw a product that properly integrates blockchain and embraces the existing entertainment industry and fans in a unique way.

K5’s portfolio includes films directed by such renowned filmmakers as Andrew Niccol and Tom McCarthy.

Aside from that, White Rabbit has also announced that three specialists from one of Europe’s biggest blockchain companies Blockchangers will join the team. Jonas Therkelson will step in as CTO, Jon Ramvi as lead blockchain developer, and Robin Pedersen as full stack developer.

Milligan remarked:

We are incredibly excited to have K5, Daniel Baur and the Blockchangers team support our mission to ensure a legal, innovative P2P streaming market, offering fans the choice and access they deserve and the industry a transparent and instant monetization model for rights holders, film investors and talent.

White Rabbit was first announced in October 2017. The project is currently being developed with the MVP (minimum viable product) expected to be released in the second quarter of 2018.

Currently, the project holds a $1 million budget partnership program which offers up to $100,000 to any video service that joins White Rabbit.

What do you think of White Rabbit’s new partnership with K5? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of White Rabbit

Bitcoinist does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company.

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Dub 09

Bitcoin’s Richest Could Own a Significant Part of Global Wealth

· April 9, 2018 · 3:00 pm

Credit Suisse’s latest estimates indicate that for the first time the richest 1% own 50.1% of all global wealth, a proportion that’s likely to move to the richest 1% owning two-thirds of global wealth by 2030.


World’s Rich Getting Richer

Global wealth inequality had improved between 2000 and the financial crisis of 2007-2008 but the trend since has seen global wealth statistics shifting. The top 1% of individuals have gained a greater proportion of the world’s total wealth.

Projections in a report by the UK Parliament suggest that the world’s wealthiest individuals, the top 1%, will own 64% of global wealth by 2030.

Since 2008, the wealth of the richest 1% has been growing at an average of 6% a year – much faster than the 3% growth in wealth of the remaining 99% of the world’s population. Should that continue, the top 1% would hold wealth equating to $305tn (£216.5tn) – up from $140tn today.

The Wealthy are Investing

The House of Commons report goes on to suggest:

Wealth has become concentrated at the top because of recent income inequality, higher rates of saving among the wealthy, and the accumulation of assets. The wealthy also invested a large amount of equity in businesses, stocks and other financial assets, which have handed them disproportionate benefits.

Assuming that cryptocurrency investments could be among the financial assets providing “disproportionate benefits” how does this compare to the Bitcoin Rich List?

BitInfoCharts gave an estimation in January of how many millionaires had been created by the Bitcoin boom:

“It is impossible to know,” a spokesperson for BitInfoCharts told Penta. “My guess is somewhere between 20,000 and 200,000.”

What’s more is that the ultra-rich are starting to get into Bitcoin investment themselves. Yesterday, Bitcoinist reported how the Rockefeller family is placing a multi-million dollar bet on the bright future of cryptocurrency following the footsteps of billionaire George Soros and the Lichenstein crown prince just to name a few.

Bitcoin Wallets in the Top 1%

This could mean 200,000 of the world’s wealthiest 1% made at least part of their wealth from Bitcoin. Given that the price of Bitcoin could rise significantly by 2030, creating more wealth and more Bitcoin millionaires, Bitcoin owners could be a significant statistic in the volume of individuals controlling two-thirds of the planet’s wealth.

The three biggest Bitcoin wallets contain over 99974 Bitcoins, even at today’s low Bitcoin price of $6772 the three wallets are worth between $677 billion and $1.26 billion USD each. In comparison, the world’s richest individual, Jeff Bezos, is currently valued at $112 billion USD.

Twins

It is rumored that some of the biggest Bitcoin wallets and addresses are actually held by the FBI and that at least one of the top 10 wallets belongs to the as yet unidentified Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. The Winklevoss twins also hold at least one of the top 10 wallets.

Though some of the richest people in the world have undoubtedly got richer after investing in Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies the sector has also created a healthy number of new millionaires. These new millionaires may at least, in part, diversify the pool of wealthy who control the majority of the world’s total wealth.

What are your thoughts on the unequal distribution of global wealth? Is it good, or bad, that Bitcoin might be contributing to this inequality?


Images Courtesy of ZeroHedge, Credit Suisse, Shutterstock.

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Bře 18

Gift Cards and Paxful Offer Economic Options to the Global Unbanked

· March 18, 2018 · 1:00 pm

The global unbanked have been frozen out of most economic ecosystems, but Paxful is changing this through the selling of gift cards on their cryptocurrency exchange.


The rich and elite have a lot of options when it comes to economic decisions. They can invest in gold, stocks, bonds, precious gems, artwork, real estate, automobiles, and cryptocurrency. The only snag they face is the wait to convert the value of one asset into another, but such a problem is a minor one indeed. By contrast, the unbanked are essentially locked out of most economic ecosystems due to having to physically hand over fiat for goods and services. Even getting involved in cryptocurrency is an issue for the unbanked, but Paxful is offering an unexpected gateway: gift cards.

Even Cryptocurrency Has Obstacles for the Unbanked

The number of individuals with a bank account has increased over the last few years, but the problems facing the unbanked and underbanked still exist. In the United States alone, there are 10 million households that are either underbanked or unbanked. Worldwide, the total number of the unbanked is two billion souls. As such, they do not have access to a financial institution in any manner.

As one can imagine, this puts severe limitations on an individual’s economic freedom. All transactions have to be made face-to-face and in cash. This situation puts the unbanked at the mercy of those who would economically exploit them as they have no other options. What good is it to know that an item costs 60% less online if you’re unable to purchase anything online?

Cryptocurrency is viewed as an outlet of economic freedom for people, but even this has some obstacles for the unbanked to face. Almost every cryptocurrency exchange requires the use of a financial account (checking account, debit card, credit card, etc.) as well as identifying documents in order to use it. The unbanked do not have access to these items, which means they would normally be locked out of engaging in the cryptocurrency sphere. Fortunately, Paxful is working hard to make a difference by offering the unbanked hundreds of options to engage in the virtual currency sphere without the need of a bank account.

iTunes gift cards

Gift Cards Offer Economic Access

The humble gift card that a person can buy at any small shop or gas station offers access to the global economy via cryptocurrency. Paxful hosts the fourth busiest Bitcoin wallet by volume, but their status is often ignored due to the low amount of their transactions. People aren’t normally sending hundreds or thousands of dollars per transaction on Paxful, but the p2p network embraces this reality as their goal is to offer an economic lifeline to the developing world.

The number one gift card used by the unbanked on Paxful is iTunes. Last week, a total of $6,635,517 was converted into cryptocurrency via iTunes gift cards, with an average transaction amount of $97. The second most traded card on the Paxful platform is the Amazon gift card. This card featured an average amount of $84 per transaction, and the total volume for the last week was almost $2.5 million. Rounding out the top five payment methods on Paxful are the eBay gift card, the Walmart gift card, and the Best Buy gift card.

Why does Paxful allow so many different gift cards to be used on their cryptocurrency exchange? The answer is that it fulfills their goal of offering economic choices and freedom to people throughout the world, especially in regions that often lack stable financial structures. An unbanked person can easily venture into the crypto sphere and take full advantage of the global economic system just by wandering into a corner store, buying a popular gift card, and then exchanging it on the Paxful platform.

gift cards

Keeping Opportunity Alive

Gift cards are the doorways to a new economic reality for millions and millions of people across the globe. This is why Paxful works hard to keep them available for conversion on the platform, despite any difficulties they may bring. A particular case is the iTunes gift card. This card chews up a lot of the support staff’s time due to some issues, but Paxful refuses to drop it. As Ray Youssef, the co-founder of Paxful, notes:

We are the only p2p crypto service that deals with iTunes gift cards, why? All the others stopped supporting them because of the absolutely massive headache and near impossibility of proving proper account balances on iTunes gift cards. We have chosen to keep iTunes gift card support because it is still how the unbanked of Africa get their bitcoins. We refuse to abandon these unbanked users as the whole idea of bitcoin and Paxful is to help them.

In the end, it’s often the little things in life that make a big difference. Such is the case with the humble gift card. Paxful allows the selling of such cards on their platform as a means of allowing those with no access to the global financial network a way in. Allowing the unbanked to retain their dignity while allowing them to explore financial opportunities is a tremendous gift.

What do you think about Paxful enabling the unbanked to use gift cards to access the cryptocurrency market? Let us know in the comments below.


Images courtesy of Flickr/@401(K) 2012, YouTube/@Paxful, Pixabay, and Flickr/@arvind grover.

Bitcoinist does not endorse and is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy, quality, advertising, products or other materials on this page. Readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company.

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Bře 13

European Central Bank: Bitcoin ‘Not The Answer To Cashless Society’

· March 13, 2018 · 1:30 pm

The European Central Bank (ECB) claimed Bitcoin is “not the answer to a cashless society” March 13 while also casting doubt on bank-issued digital currencies.


Bitcoin ‘Spotlights System Failures’

In an “opinion piece” co-authored by Benoît Cœuré, ECB board member and chair of the Bank for International Settlements’ (BIS) Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructures, as well as chair of the BIS Markets Committee Jacqueline Loh, the bank argues Bitcoin represents a “challenge” due to banks’ failure to provide suitable international remittance options for consumers.

“Despite its many faults, bitcoin has put the spotlight on an old failing of our current system: cross-border retail payments,” they write.

…These payment channels are generally much slower, less transparent and way more expensive than domestic ones. Improvements here are the best way of rising to the bitcoin challenge.

ECB: ‘Jury’s Out’ On Central Bank Cryptocurrencies

The ECB has signalled a conspicuously hands-off approach to digital currency beyond its control in 2018.

Last month, chair of its Supervisory Board Daniele Nouy told mainstream media regulation of the phenomenon was “not exactly very high on its to-do list” and that EU banks’ involvement with cryptocurrency was “very, very low.”

This came despite the institution presiding over member states in which the ‘War on Cash’ is highly advanced, notably Sweden, where consumers have even voiced concerns over inclusivity.

Cœuré had forecast increasing interaction at an international level, saying during January’s World Economic Forum 2018 that he expected lawmakers to “focus very much on” cryptocurrency going forward.

While Blockchain remains a sphere of major interest for the EU, the financial aspects of cryptocurrency – whether decentralized or so-called central bank digital currencies (CBDC) – appear to hold less promise for the ECB.

“Still, it is not yet clear whether CBDCs for consumers and businesses are necessary or desirable. In other words, the jury is still out, and the answer will clearly differ country by country,” Cœuré and Loh concluded.

Beyond the EU’s borders, other countries are indeed successfully issuing CBDCs, notably Venezuela and the Marshall Islands, with Turkey and Iran showing interest in following suit.

What do you think about the ECB’s opinion on Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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