Kvě 12

‘Facebook Coin’ Will Be More Like Bitcoin Than Starbucks Rewards, Says Analyst

Speculations about the purpose of Facebook’s planned digital coin are getting wilder. Ignoring key features like independence and decentralization, one analyst predicts that ‘Facebook Coin’ would look more like Bitcoin or Ethereum than your Starbucks reward points.

Facebook Coin Might Encourage Viewing Ads

With growing interest, many are trying to envision Facebook’s planned ‘FaceCoin.’ Lacking specifics from Facebook, speculations abound about everything from the coin’s name to what it will be used for.

Under the code name “Project Libra,” tech journalists say, Facebook, Telegram, and Signal are devising their own digital token, which would allow their billions of users to exchange money across the Internet, through their payment systems.

Others argue that Facebook’s coin will be more like one of the major cryptocurrencies. In effect, one analyst, Lisa Ellis, a MoffettNathanson partner, predicts:

The Facebook (FB) coin (Facecoin, perhaps?) would actually look more like one of the large public cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin or Ethereum and less like the internal-payment or loyalty systems that companies like Starbucks(SBUX) use.

She adds that FBCoin will likely be a more-public coin that’s governed by an independent board such as Ethereum and its foundation.

Except That It Won’t…

But regardless of the type and number of predictions put forward, one thing is sure. Facebook’s digital coin won’t be anything like Bitcoin.

It will be issued, developed and controlled by a centralized authority. Its ledger will not be immutable, and access will likely require your Facebook account.

The social media giant has not explicitly denied or acknowledged any of these speculations too. The latest statement on the subject from the company was issued to Barron’s on May 10, 2019,

[Facebook is] exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology. This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.

Visa, Mastercard Would Welcome a ‘FaceCoin’

But while Ellis didn’t mention any specifics, Ellis believes Facebook’s coin probably will end up being a tool to encourage users to watch ads.

This is something Brave has been attempting with its browser and native BAT token though some haven’t been impressed and are working on a more bitcoin-friendly version.

Meanwhile, Ellis had also earlier warned clients that cryptocurrencies could pose an existential threat to Visa, Mastercard, and Paypal. In contrast, she argues that Facebook’s coin would actually benefit these payment giants. Ellis wrote,

If Facebook(FB) launches an open digital wallet and checkout button, the company will need to collaborate with Visa and Mastercard(MA) to enable a variety of card-based funding methods in its wallet (similar to Apple Pay, PayPal(PYPL), or Google Pay).

So how will it be like Bitcoin again?

Will Facebook’s digital currency be anything like Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!

Images via Shutterstock

The Rundown

Úno 17

Apple Pay Set to Launch in China on February 18

Source: bitcoin

Apple Pay

Apple is about to launch it’s move into China, with its Apple Pay mobile payments platform set to go live on Thursday, February 18. Apple’s new digital payments application will be available to customers of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. 

Also read: Apple Responds to Backdoor Order in Effort to Save PR 

Apple Pay Enters a Unique Market

This announcement comes after previous news that Apple planned to expand Apple Pay into China sometime during 2016 without giving a specific date. With this expansion set to be executed on February 18, China will become Apple Pay’s fifth country included in its service area.

Apple has a unique opportunity in China, whose consumers have been used to using mobile payment options for goods and services for some time. This precedence may give Apple Pay a leg up in comparison to its reception in other countries, where retailers have met the new payments platform with skepticism. However, the existing Chinese mobile payment services may also create a challenge to Apple Pay, since it will have to figure out how to compete in an already-populated market.

Apple Pay’s expansion into China will bring stiff competition to Bitcoin, which receives most of its trading volume and mining power from China. As companies like Coinbase and Bitpay work to make bitcoin mobile payments easy for  the average customer, Apple Pay will offer them a method of mobile payments using a currency they are familiar with. Apple Pay allows users to connect their credit cards and checking accounts, so consumers can switch to mobile payments without much of a learning curve.

However, Bitcoin has advantages of its own, which have proven themselves in recent months. Chinese investors seem to look at Bitcoin as a place to preserve wealth in uncertain markets, with an explosion in Chinese trading volume sending the bitcoin price skyward at the onset of the most recent stock market crash. Bitcoin also offers a level of anonymity to a privacy-starved Chinese population, allowing them to conduct their online financial business away from the prying eyes of the government. Bitcoin’s strongest advantage, praised by the currency’s advocates, is its ability to connect the unbanked population to the global economy. This feature makes bitcoin a big contender in the payments market for developing countries, which have large populations of poverty-stricken citizens without access to traditional banking services.

China is shaping up to be a battleground for the future of FinTech, as Apple Pay and Bitcoin go head-to-head with well-established mobile payment services in China. The outcome of this competition may give evidence to the fate of Bitcoin in other markets, especially developing economies similar to China.

Do you think Apple Pay poses a threat to Bitcoin? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Reuters

Images courtesy of Cult of Mac, Forbes

The post Apple Pay Set to Launch in China on February 18 appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Apple Pay Set to Launch in China on February 18

Úno 10

Australian Banks Indirectly Help Bitcoin By Boycotting Apple Pay

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Mobile Payment

The mobile payment sector is heating up, as every company and financial institution are scrambling to launch their platform in the near future. Over in Australia, it will not be smooth sailing for Apple Pay by any means, as the country’s major banks continue to boycott the popular mobile payment solution. NAB was among the first to launch their own mobile app, and now ANZ Mobile Pay is here as well. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is creating a far less fractured payment ecosystem around the world.

Also read: Diamond Market Meets Bitcoin Through Bitcoin.de

Apple Pay Battle in Australia Becomes A Lot Harder

Even when consumers might be preferring to use Apple Pay for their mobile purchases, they will be unable to do so unless their bank participates in the project. In Australia, the likelihood of being able to pay with Apple Pay is becoming is becoming much smaller on a monthly basis, as the country’s major banks keep boycotting this solution.

Similar to the struggles Apple is facing in Canada; bank participating remains a key issue in Australia. There is a lot of friction between all parties, only because the technology giant is looking to take a slice of interchange revenues in these countries. Needless to say, in this day and age of financial turmoil, banks are even less keen on sharing their revenue with other players.

Now that ANZ, one of Australia’s four major banks, has released their mobile payment application for Android users, things are looking even more bleak for Apple Pay. Making payments through ANZ Mobile Pay requires the user to tap their card against the phone, enter the date of birth and mobile number, and then choose their preferred payment option.

This process will have to be repeated for every individual card ANZ customers want to link to the mobile solution. However, with the wide variety of credit and debit cards that are supported, some customization is possible. Furthermore, ANZ Mobile Pay users can withdraw money using their phone at several ATMs supporting contactless withdrawals.

Although it is a positive sign to see major banks focusing some of their attention on the mobile ecosystem, this plethora of different apps is creating a fractured world of payment solutions. In the end, the consumer will not benefit from all of these solutions, as they prefer a streamlined system without too much hassle.

Bitcoin is Streamlined And Globally Available

Unlike these mobile payment solutions requiring bank participation, the Bitcoin ecosystem is very much streamlined. In fact, it would be difficult not to streamline it, as there is no unnecessary mingling by third parties, banks, or governments. This is one of Bitcoin’s major strengths, as it carries on unencumbered by these woes.

Getting one’s hands on Bitcoin has become easier over time as well. Most countries have one or more Bitcoin exchange, there are Bitcoin ATMs, and even peer-to-peer trades are a possibility. Plus, with the limited amount of coins in circulation, there is a chance for a value increase down the line.

What are your thoughts on banks releasing their own mobile payment solution? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: ANZ

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, ANZ

The post Australian Banks Indirectly Help Bitcoin By Boycotting Apple Pay appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Australian Banks Indirectly Help Bitcoin By Boycotting Apple Pay

Led 01

Apple Is Betting On The Peer-to-Peer Payment Demographic

Source: bitcoin

Apple Is Betting On The Peer-to-Peer Payment Demographic

Apple has been filing patents lately and is seemingly planning to add payments to its messaging service IMessage. Last month it was reported by Quartz that the tech giant was exploring new methods of payment processing to its messaging features. Now a new patent filed in December has shown a stronger interest in the subject, and Apple may proceed forward with its payment plan soon.

Also read: Solving The Bitcoin Block Size Debate With A Two-Pronged Proposal

Apple must notice that Bitcoin and alternative methods of payments are quite popular. In fact, it’s said that people using non-banking methods are increasing exponentially and should double by the end of 2016. Digital currencies like Bitcoin and payment concepts coming from companies like Facebook, WeChat and others are steadily growing more popular as each day passes. All of these businesses are trying to consolidate its user base into a network of people using their payment processor. And why wouldn’t they as they encompass millions of people signed up already for their service?  

Typically it’s hard to make a profit with methods like this due to low margins. Despite this Apple and other tech magnates can attempt to conquer their demographics which are the same as users of this technology. Peer-to-Peer currencies like Bitcoin are often used by people 18-24 and 25-34-year-olds. This is the exact demographic that Apple and others already have within their user base. Quartz assumes when they reported the patent filing that the company will try and get people to spend at Apple locations whether physical or online. This is where the business gets a large chunk of its monetary supply and may be betting on peer-to-peer transactions for more revenue.

The patent filed is not only looking to integrate with messenger but also with email and calendar as well. The file gives a description to how two iPhone users can use the payment service. A pop-up in the top right corner appears with a payment option during a message and also can pay more than one recipient. The system is not related to Apple Pay and notes that it is differentiated by “phone call, text messaging conversations, an email thread, calendar events,” the memo reads.

It’s hard to say if Apple will succeed in getting its paws into the peer-to-peer payment world. Unfortunately most know that these services like the current Apple Pay are completely centralized and tied to your current banking institutions. Account freezes, rules and regulations, and limits may also apply as the company is 100% in charge of the system. This is the major difference between a true P2P protocol like cryptocurrencies that cannot be frozen or limited in contrast to Apple services. Bitcoin is a network that is decentralized and owned by no person or organization and continues to prosper because of these factors. Filing for this patent justifies how centralized Apple really is and shows it’s only looking out for one fruit in the orchard.

What do you think about Apple’s attempts to enter the  P2P payment world? Let us know in the comments below. 

Images courtesy of Quartz, and Shutterstock


The post Apple Is Betting On The Peer-to-Peer Payment Demographic appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Apple Is Betting On The Peer-to-Peer Payment Demographic

Pro 29

Samsung Pay Bringing More Competition to Bitcoin by Enabling Online Shopping in 2016

Source: bitcoin

Samsung Pay

Samsung is planning to expand its mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, into the US online shopping market. Additionally, Samsung will allow more smartphones to support the payment wallet, offering it to cheaper Samsung devices “within the next year,” according to Samsung Pay global co-general manager Thomas Ko.

Also read: Apple Pay Statistics Are Far From Promising — Bitcoin a Global Alternative

Samsung Pay has grown much faster than rival Apple Pay and Android Pay since the service was implemented on payment technology that is already available in most stores. Thus, by expanding into the online market, Samsung will have yet another advantage over these two competitors, as well as coming into competition with popular online payment service PayPal.

Samsung’s electronic wallet will also pose fiercer competition to Bitcoin, whose main user base is found in the online shopping industry. However, it is unclear if Samsung Pay will actually win over any Bitcoiners who use the digital currency as their main online shopping payment method. Bitcoin offers several advantages over Samsung Pay in terms of online shopping. Bitcoin does not require any personal information, which makes it safer than using credit-card based online payment options. The digital currency also does not have any service fees associated with its use, unlike credit card payment methods, which makes using bitcoin cheaper than its more mainstream competition. Additionally, Bitcoin is global; anyone can use Bitcoin anywhere in the world, whereas Samsung Pay and similar services are only available to smartphone owners in certain areas of the globe. These restrictions tied to payment methods like Samsung Pay leave out the large majority of the world’s population, who either lack access to banking services, or do not live within the companies’ service areas.

Both Samsung Pay and Bitcoin have a common difficulty in trying to get people to use their services, however. Samsung has had a hard time convincing people that using its mobile wallet in place of a normal credit card would be more convenient, with many people believing that using a card is a simpler procedure. Similarly, Bitcoin has a hard time drawing in mainstream users due to its perceived learning curve. Most people do not understand the concept of digital money, and prefer traditional currencies that have been in use for many decades. Thus, although both payment methods are in competition with each other, they both must find a solution to getting new users on board.

What do you think about Samsung Pay’s move into the online shopping industry? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: Reuters

Images courtesy of Samsung

The post Samsung Pay Bringing More Competition to Bitcoin by Enabling Online Shopping in 2016 appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Samsung Pay Bringing More Competition to Bitcoin by Enabling Online Shopping in 2016