MasterCard Warms Up to Crypto Credit and Debit Cards

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The world of crypto is inching closer and closer to mainstream adoption as more of the world’s largest institutions continue to ramp up efforts to be part of the revolution. Mastercard, one of the world’s leading payment services providers, is the most recent organization that is making a big play for crypto.

Recently, the company has revealed its plans to make it easier for its users to use digital currencies. Both customers and merchants with Mastercards will have the opportunity to use debit and credit cards with crypto capabilities. In addition to that, the customers will also have the chance to buy, sell and hold some of the digital currencies. For this group of users, Mastercard is also preparing to launch branded crypto cards.

Partnership With Bakkt

Crypto markets around the globe have grown immensely over the years. While it is certainly not too later for new players to enter the market, success usually depends on having the right partners. Mastercard’s venture into the crypto market is happening via a recently-announced partnership with Bakkt, a digital asset platform popular among crypto users.

As per the terms of the agreement, Bakkt will be working behind the scenes as a provider of custodial service for those who sign for Mastercard’s crypto offering. The crypto firm’s custodial wallets are what will make it possible for users to trade and hold crypto.

“Together with Bakkt and grounded by our principled approach to innovation, we’ll not only empower our partners to offer a dynamic mix of digital assets options but also deliver differentiated and relevant consumer experiences.”

Sherri Haymond, executive vice president of digital partnerships at Mastercard.

In a sense, this is a major extension of a previous announcement Mastercard made regarding allowing crypto transactions via its network. That promise is shaping up quite nicely.

The Implications

Mastercard’s announcement represents a unique opportunity for cryptocurrency expansion in the United States as well as other parts of the world. To begin with, sectors such as online casinos and gaming that rely on crypto will likely have more ways of using digital currencies. Increased interest in crypto is also impacting the interested companies in rather unexpected ways.

For instance, MasterCard stock went up just 0.4% following the announcement. That is modest but it proves that there is interest in the crypto sector. Shares of Bakkt, on the other hand, skyrocketed more than 86% after the announcement. That lifted the company’s market capitalization to about a whopping $850 million.

There Are Now Over 221 Million Crypto Users

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According to a recent report published by Crypto.com, a renowned crypto and bitcoin publisher, the number of cryptocurrency users rose to a whopping 221 million in June 2021. In the ‘Measuring global crypto users: A study to measure market size using on-chain metrics, July 2021’ report, 2021 has been a very good year for the sector. January, February, and April particularly proved to be monumental to the growth. Bitcoin’s bear run had something to do with this but that is just a small piece of the puzzle.

“Bitcoin led growth from January to April, as heavyweight institutions like PayPal, Microstrategy, Visa, and Mastercard announced plans to support crypto. Similarly, Ethereum saw significant growth in May and June as institutional investors continued to favor the token,” reads a section of the report.

Crypto.com leveraged data from some of the world’s top crypto platforms for this study. These include popular names like Binance, Kraken, Bitfinex, BitMEX, Deribit, Liquid, BitFlyer, and even Crypto.com itself. Of the 221 million crypto users, about half were Bitcoin owners. Ethereum, another popular digital currency, also showed its might with about 10 percent of that market share.

While the number of crypto users is certainly very impressive now, even more growth is on the way. 2021 has been quite the year for crypto. The accelerated growth is set to be catalyzed by other developments such as some governments accepting crypto as legal tender.

Is It Time to Invest?

Lots of people have still held out on buying into crypto. The volatility of the space is still a big problem. 2021 has been kinder to cryptocurrencies than other years. There were of course a few low moments for the sector. For many of the hold-outs who missed out on the previous crypto investing frenzies, this might be a very tempting opportunity to go all in.

However, as good as things seem to be, there is no guarantee that we’ll see any more record-breaking highs. This is especially true for 2021. That said, if you are interested in crypto you might need to evaluate why exactly you are buying into it. Crypto is still a very risky investment and this should guide your decisions.

It is possible to find ways to minimize or limit your risk. Still, you need to understand what it is that you are getting yourself into. Ideally, investing in crypto should be more like a long-term investment. With that, it is possible to reap the full benefits of the sector once crypto succeeds.

Formula 1 Enlists Crypto.com as Sprint Series Sponsor

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On Tuesday, June 29, Formula made a grand announcement that it has enlisted Crypto.com to be its inaugural partner for the new Sprint series for 2021. This is not the first partnership between crypto businesses and non-crypto entities. However, it is a very big deal especially considering all the things that it promises with regards to the growth of digital currencies in the mainstream.

Already Crypto.com has amassed a customer base consisting of over 10 million users across the globe. This makes it a valuable partner for Formula 1 and the two can certainly learn and gain a lot from each other.

Fostering Performance and Innovation

As per the terms of the five-year partnership agreement which is projected to be worth over $100 million, Crypto.com will now enjoy brand presence across all F1 events. As mentioned earlier, this will begin with the Sprint qualifying format where Crypto.com will have trackside slots. The first of these will be the British Grand Prix that will go down at Silverstone on July 17.

Speaking on the new development, Formula 1 President and CEO Stefano Domenicali said that the partnership deal was part of the wider plans to “attract progressive global brands anchored in performance and innovation.” Fans can therefore not only look forward to an exciting new format but also new products. Crypto.com’s commitment to becoming carbon negative also aligns quite well with Formula 1’s sustainability goals which makes the partnership even more promising.

Bringing Cryptos and NFTs to Formula 1

It would be hard to talk about this partnership without mentioning what it means for the crypto industry. Formula 1 is already one of the most prestigious and most popular sporting series on the planet. This makes it a great way to push crypto to the mainstream even further.

In addition to being Formula 1’s Cryptocurrency Sponsor, Crypto.com will also be its official NFT partner. The goal is to democratize the world of crypto for Formula 1 fans through unmatched experiences and education.

“We look forward to many years of innovating together and will begin at the Belgian Grand Prix, where we will present a brand-new award. We are also excited to partner with F1 in the development of exclusive NFTs, connecting fans to the sport in new and innovative ways,” Kris Marszalek, co-founder, and CEO of Crypto.com commented.

It is an exciting time for the world of crypto thanks to all these developments. With more and more businesses beginning to take crypto seriously, we should expect to see even more partnerships and sponsorships in the future.

Renowned Crypto Casino Rollbit Launches Trading Features

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The evolution of the crypto ecosystem continues and now we are not just witnessing the entry of new players but also significant transitions and shifts made by existing members. Rollbit, a renowned crypto casino is one of the latest companies to extend its footprint in the world of crypto.

This move was long overdue as the company’s decisions were already hinting at the possibility of such a shift. It all began on May 10th, 2021 when the operator began to offer its users the opportunity to bet on the price of Bitcoin and Ethereum which are arguably two of the most important digital currencies right now. The platform later went on to add Litecoin and Dogecoin to the mix thus bringing together the most popular digital currencies in a manner that has barely been done before especially by a company of its kind.

By so doing, the operator has been able to establish itself as a leading platform in the crypto space. It is not stopping there though. Now, its next venture involved offering its users a way of enjoying trading digital currencies without having to deal with all of the complexities that are often associated with other crypto trading platforms.

“We’re very excited to offer crypto trading on Rollbit. Our goal was to eliminate the complex nature of trading on traditional crypto exchanges, and the team has certainly done an excellent job. With crypto being extremely popular right now, we couldn’t think of a better time to launch this. Not only are we the first crypto casino to offer crypto trading, but users can also be rewarded for trading on Rollbit as all profit and loss contributes to our lucrative rewards program,” Razer, Rollbit’s co-founder commented on the decision.

It seems this is just the beginning of a totally new segment in the world of crypto casinos.

Market-Leading Features

Rollbit came to the limelight with the launch of X-Roulette, an innovative and provably fair game that has been making waves since February 2020. Just like it did with the game, the platform has entered the crypto-trading space with just as many great and innovative features including:

  • Zero-Fee trading
  • Automatic cashout
  • Up to x1000 leverage
  • A focus on community
  • Additional benefits like cashbacks, bonuses, and rakebacks carried over from the casino

As if that is not enough, the platform’s management has promised that they have no intention to stop delivering innovative products and experiences to their growing customer bases. It only gets better from here and we cannot wait to see the direction that the entire crypto sector will take going forward.

More Institutional Support Coming to Bitcoin

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Bitcoin continues to be the headliner of the crypto industry something that is not too surprising if its recent price surges are anything to go by. The resilience of the sector is perhaps one of its most notable features and it seems more people are finally taking note. That said, it would seem that the dream of mainstream adoption is about to get a major boost going forward.

For a long time, institutional support for crypto seemed to be nothing more than a far-fetched idea. The digital currency’s proponents, however, did not lose hope in that idea.

Governments Soften Their Stance

For the most part, several governments and dozens of central banks have not been very friendly to Bitcoin and other digital currencies. This is no longer the case in some places, especially in the United States. For instance, dozens of local municipalities across the country are already mulling over putting their city treasury into bitcoin.

Admittedly, this can be attributed to the younger generation of leaders who are way more crypto-friendly compared to their older counterparts. Their stance when it comes to Bitcoin and crypto, in general, is a great launchpad for wider adoption and serves as a pretty neat policy experimentation. It all boils down to time – all is needed is for more crypto-friendly and forward-thinking politicians and regulators to climb up the leadership ranks.

The idea of decentralization which is part of bitcoin’s identity has long been debated but experimentation has shown the potential of such a move. More localities could soon start adopting Bitcoin and legislators could also start accepting bitcoin contributions.

More Corporate Backing

Publicly traded companies have also joined the bandwagon. Several corporate treasuries are buying lots of bitcoin and this is expected to nudge even more publicly traded companies to do the same even if their lines of business do not directly relate to bitcoin.

Back in 2017, the retail investors were at the helm of the bitcoin revolution and now that they have done their part, it is time to pass on the baton. The current surge in bitcoin’s growth is now likely to be driven by family offices as well as high net-worth individuals many of whom have had to sideline their ideological convictions of bitcoin.

All things considered, the inevitability of the rise of crypto is becoming clearer by the day. Even central banks are likely not to have much of a say when it comes to the direction that the industry heads to – it will grow bigger with or without their approval.

Crypto Market Booms as World Ushers in A New Year

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2020 was, without a doubt, one of the worst years of the past decade. The coronavirus pandemic dealt a huge blow to societies, businesses, and industries all around the world – most of these are, in fact, yet to recover.

Even so, thanks to all of the efforts that were meant to help the world return to normal, things began to get better as the end of 2020 drew nearer. The stock market, for instance, was slowly approaching record highs and the same applied to crypto which is considered to be an alternative to the existing financial system.

Bitcoin Breaks Records

This digital currency is widely considered to be the mother of all crypto and has been known to break several records throughout the time that it has existed. As of December 31, Bitcoin was trading for a little over $29,000 per coin. The previous record for the digital currency was $20,000 and experts believe that the cryptocurrency will probably hit the $30,000 mark pretty soon.

Over the last six months, interest in Bitcoin and crypto, in general, has increased significantly. So, while Bitcoin might be well ahead of the pack, it is not the only one that has been breaking records. Alt-coins like Litecoin and Ether have also seen their prices go up significantly, something that has boosted the overall crypto markets. Several other digital currencies have also been on the rise.

What Does 2021 Hold?

Needless to say, the latest price surges for digital currencies have continued to fuel discussions about the readiness of crypto to go to even greater heights in terms of mainstream adoption. In the case of Bitcoin which is now being likened to gold, there are lots of people who already see it as a great hedge against dollar weakness and inflation risk. At that same time, some people are still questioning its validity as an asset class especially considering its rather volatile nature.

Still, if the past few months are anything to go by, 2021 could turn out to be an even more memorable year for crypto and related technologies as well as their applications. Most notably, the rapidly growing acceptance of these alternative currencies will pave way for even more developments such as a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund.

This will not only open the doors for new investors but also create new opportunities or uncover untapped spaces that disruptive companies can exploit. As always, we will be keeping you updated every step of the way. Happy New Year!

PayPal Finally Allows Users to Buy, Sell and Hold Crypto

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The gradual mainstream acceptance of digital currencies has recently made a huge leap forward after PayPal, one of the world’s most popular payment services, entered the digital currency market. Its customers will now be able to buy, sell, hold and spend digital or virtual currencies including Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin among others.

Thankfully, the rollout of this new measure is already underway in the United States. A global rollout will follow but the earliest this will happen is next year. PayPal users from non-US customers will therefore have to wait a little longer before they can be able to transact using these virtual currencies. The stated timeline is, however, very encouraging.

How Will It Work?

As mentioned above, PayPal has already laid out a roadmap for the new development. In case you are wondering how the new system works, here is a brief explanation of what to expect. Whenever you use any of the accepted digital currencies to pay someone on PayPal, the payment service provider will convert the amount to the equivalent national currency. Sent amounts will not be received in the virtual currencies themselves. This can be rather disappointing but perhaps some changes will be made soon.

For now, the plan seems to revolve around getting as many people on board as possible. Their goal is “to increase consumer understanding and adoption of cryptocurrency. As part of this offering, PayPal will provide account holders with educational content to help them understand the cryptocurrency ecosystem.”

Naturally, the move has been met with some criticism. For instance, renowned economist Nouriel Roubini believes that the decision to bring digital currencies to the service is the same as “crypto gambling”. This kind of criticism is, of course, expected but there is a pretty huge possibility that more people will come around in the not so distant future.

Why This Is A Big Deal

It goes without saying that this is a pretty big milestone for the crypto community. Businesses such as online casinos that have been paying out winning in crypto will, for instance, have an extra option. It really helps that PayPal is already an established brand with a very robust customer base.

For PayPal, this move represents a unique opportunity for customer engagement. More digital currency users are definitely going to be giving the payment service provider way more attention now.

BitBoss Launches Dragon BSV Casino on Android

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Since its launch, BitBoss has been working very hard to ensure that its users are treated to nothing short of the best Bitcoin SV (BSV) experiences. The company is one of the man operators that are looking to tap into the concept of provably fair gaming which has been around for years but has only recently begun to gain the traction that it deserves. The launch of BitBoss’s new Android gambling app is one of the ways that the concept is being implemented.

Refereed to as Dragon BSV Casino, the new Android exclusive online gambling platform primarily uses bitcoin which is the most popular digital currency. It will, however, be available to iOS users very soon. The users can, therefore, look forward to being able to enjoy the convenience of playing on-the-go without having to worry about such things as security, exorbitant costs, or slow transaction processing speeds.

The Game Collection

Obviously, other than all of the crypto and blockchain-related perks that the app will be offering, many gamers will be primarily interested in the games that it has to offer. To begin with, it will launch with Lottery, Roulette, and Baccarat games which are already very popular. It will not stop there though as the operator also has plans to add other amazing game titles including Blackjack and Sic Bo.

“We are always expanding this library so you can add, remove, or trade out games anytime to make your own personal casino more enjoyable.”

The BitBoss website.

Thankfully, BitBoss already supports external gaming content providers to offer their games through the BitBoss ecosystem. This is a pretty strategic move as it implies that the library of games could grow very big as more partner companies come on board.

Why Bitcoin SV?

The Bitcoin SV (BSC) blockchain has evolved and matured so immensely that it is now arguably the best network to host provably fair games. This has been made possible by the fact that it has shifted its focus from the electronic cash itself and put a lot more emphasis on expanding the network so as to allow unlimited scalability. Security, stability, and efficiency have also remained a major priority.

Moreover, there are several other benefits of using the BSV with one of the most notable ones being cost reduction since only lightweight servers are needed. Only lightweight servers are needed since instead of hosting all of the results on private databases, everything is written on the blockchain. For many gamblers, this is a very enticing feature especially considering the fact that everything is verifiable and auditable.

The recent push for cashless payment ecosystems put BitBoss at a very unique position where it will be able to offer its robust system and technology to the rapidly growing online gaming and sports betting industries.

High Hopes as Third Bitcoin Halving Approaches

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There is currently a lot of chatter in the Bitcoin community and the crypto industry at large as Bitcoin’s third-ever block halving nears. Set to take place this month (May 2020), there has been a lot of speculation regarding what will happen to the digital currency’s price.

What the Halving Means

In essence, the bitcoin halving means that the reward for mining a block of bitcoin will be divided by two. When the network finally hits block number 630,000 the amount will drop from 12.5 BTC to just 6.25 BTC. This will be the third time that a halving will be happening since the Bitcoin network went live over a decade ago.

Halving is one of the things that set bitcoin apart from all other digital currencies including other popular digital currency networks such as Ethereum’s. In many ways, it is one of the things that drive the price and value of Bitcoin.

As for the impacts, some of them are already coming into play.

Mining Machines Become More Valuable

Needless to say, the halving will have a huge impact on the companies that depend on bitcoin mining. While the systems themselves will not be affected much, their value is a totally different thing altogether.

Now even mining rigs that were previously said to be obsolete have become profitable again. For instance, mining rigs such as the AntMiner s9 and the Avalon A851 are now able to generate between 10 percent to 20 percent gross margin at an average electricity cost of $0.05 per kilowatt-hour (kWh). These margins could increase to as much as 30 percent to 40 percent to miners who adopt more efficient methods.

Even so, considering the dynamic nature of bitcoin mining, this might not be sustainable in the long term. As bitcoin’s halving approaches it is likely that many of the people relying on the older equipment will eventually be squeezed out by people using newer and more efficient mining rigs.

The Current State of Bitcoin

Over the past week, Bitcoin’s price has surged towards the $10,000 mark – this impressive rise has seen the cryptocurrency’s market return to its pre-coronavirus bull run. In fact, the crash losses that experienced because of the impacts of the pandemic have almost been completely erased.

“The interest in cryptocurrencies is now building as investors  look to the month-end and forward to May and June.”

-Marcus Swanepoel, chief executive of London-based bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Luno.

In general, members of the bitcoin community are pretty optimistic about the future of bitcoin’s price even after the supply squeeze that will take place this month. However, the actual impacts remain to be seen.

Number of Daily Bitcoin Transactions Drops Significantly

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The month of March has been tough for several industries across the globe and one of the areas that have been affected is the cryptocurrency market. A price drop that occurred earlier within the month was quite significant. Fortunately, the market has been slowly recovering from that drop and it should be back on track sometime this month.

Despite the impressive recovery of the crypto market, there have been some rather unusual reports regarding the decline in Bitcoin network activity. Daily Bitcoin transactions have been on a steady decline leading experts in the field to look into the matter.

As it turns out, there are several changes that have been noted concerning how Bitcoin, which is arguably the most popular and most widely used digital currency, is being used. While it may seem like a temporary anomaly that will blow over after a while, the plunge in network activity may be a reflection of a greater long-term trend. So, what is going on?

How It Started

Well, since the year rolled around, daily transaction activity grew at a pretty impressive pace and this was partly attributed to the increase in the price of Bitcoin. Both trading and mining picked up pace adding to the number of daily transactions.

However, an abrupt turn in the global economy earlier last month as the coronavirus pandemic spread across more countries affected the crypto market. Crypto prices fell and transactions began to dwindle. Daily transactions fell from over 350k to less than 275k and the number Is expected to fall even further going forward.

Bitcoin Holders Are Hodling

People who own or hold Bitcoin have since pulled thousands of their currency from exchanges and are now trading way less than they used to. Many of them are now only interested in keeping their crypto safe in personal wallets.

The decline in trading and network activity is not the only proof of this fact. There has been a recent uptick in the number of Bitcoin wallets and address diversity. As it stands, there are over a hundred thousand additional addresses compared to what was the case at the beginning of March.

A Win for Bitcoin?

While the decline in network activity is definitely something that people need to be concerned about, it might actually be a win for the crypto industry especially Bitcoin, in this case. The fact that people are keeping or holding their currencies is proof that the digital currency has matured enough to be considered as a health and safe store of value.

The global pandemic is wreaking havoc on the world’s economy and this makes Bitcoin a safe haven for lots of people. Its value is also now bound to go up as there will be very little supply.