Blockchain 

Alfa-Bank, Commerzbank Pilot Cross-Border Payments on R3’s Marco Polo

Alfa-Bank and Novolipetsk Steel Company (NLMK), in cooperation with Commerzbank and Vesuvius GmbH, are piloting Russia-Germany cross-border payments on R3’s Marco Polo network. Powered by R3’s Marco Polo Blockchain Global Trade Network On Oct. 11, Alfa-Bank announced that it is launching a foreign trade finance pilot transaction, with the cooperation of NLMK, Commerzbank and Vesuvius GmbH using R3’s Corda-powered Marco Polo Network. In the announcement, Alfa-Bank described itself as Russia’s largest financial institution measured by total assets, total equity, deposit and loan portfolios. The cross-border payment pilot aims to build…

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Blockchain 

Blockchain to Lead in Payments and Asset Tokenization

Almost 23% of Digital Currency Group (DCG)’s portfolio firms believe that asset tokenization will be the next major use case for blockchain. To prepare the survey, DCG received responses from more than 60 of its portfolio companies.  According to DCG’s 2019 annual survey, 22.73% of its portfolio companies suggest that blockchain will be mainly deployed in asset tokenization, while 30% of respondents see the technology’s future use cases in payments. Other use cases and “public enemies” The aforementioned industry sectors are followed by digital identity and ownership, decentralized marketplaces and…

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Blockchain 

Finastra Joins RippleNet to Support Cheaper Cross-Border Payments

United Kingdom-based financial software firm Finastra has partnered with Ripple to join RippleNet, a global blockchain payments network with over 200 members. Faster integration with partners As officially announced by Ripple on Oct. 9, the new partnership will allow hundreds of Finastra’s customers to connect and transact with RippleNet to provide faster and cheaper cross-border payments. In turn, over 200 financial institutions on RippleNet will have access to Finastra’s network of banks, allowing mutual customers to access and partner with each other, the firm stated. Users will be able to…

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Blockchain 

Major South Korean Store Chain Supports Blockchain Payments App

Mobile payments app CHAI is launching mobile blockchain-based payments at 13,500 CU convenience stores in South Korea. According to an Oct. 7 press release shared with Cointelegraph by blockchain startup Terra, CHAI — which operates on the Terra blockchain — will now be accepted as a means of payment at the major convenience store chain. App support will be added at CU by the end of 2019 following a partnership between CHAI and convenience store operator BGF Retail, which owns the stores in question. Per the release, CHAI will also…

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Blockchain 

ECB Exec Says Libra Could Address Failings of Global Payments System

Facebook’s Libra has pushed central banks to consider two major issues in global payment systems, an exec at the European Central Bank (ECB) said. Benoit Coeure provided his remarks at a hearing at the Committee on the Digital Agenda of the German parliament on Sept. 25. According Coeure, an ECB board member and chair of the Committee on Payments and Market Infrastructure, global payment systems still lack access and efficiency of cross-border retail payments. As such, 1.7 billion adults globally have no access to basic payment services despite 1.1 billion of…

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Bitcoin 

Fold App Raises $2.5M to Bring Bitcoin Lightning Payments to Starbucks

The Fold app, a mobile shopping app that supports Bitcoin’s Lightning Network enabling users to withdraw funds to an external Bitcoin (BTC) wallet, has raised $2.5 million and added a fiat currency payment option.  In a Sept. 25 blog post, Fold’s editor, Will Reeves, informed the public that the app’s users can now spend both fiat currency and Bitcoin at online and in-store retailers by synchronizing their credit card or Lightning wallet.  Fold has also enabled its users to stack sats when making purchases with fiat and Bitcoin at major…

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Blockchain 

Payments Firm Circle Pauses Circle Research in Most Recent Cutback

Crypto finance startup Circle announced that it is hitting the pause button on its Circle Research activities. Deciding on a future direction for the program On Sept. 24, the Circle team announced in a blog post that it had decided to pause its Circle Research branch, despite having made “significant progress” with its content offerings. The team of the Goldman Sachs-backed crypto startup Circle explained: “It’s time to evaluate our contribution and overall strategy. With that in mind, we’ve decided to pause Circle Research activity for the time being as we decide…

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Bitcoin 

Chinese Always Saw Bitcoin as Investment, Not for Payments

Bobby Lee — co-founder and former CEO of China’s first crypto exchange BTCC — says the Chinese have always thought of Bitcoin as an investment rather than a payment system.  Lee made his remarks during an interview for Charlie Shrem’s Untold Stories podcast on Sept. 18. Designed for non-geek users Beyond sharing his reflections on the Chinese cryptocurrency landscape — covering interactions with regulators and observations about local investor tendencies — Lee used the airtime to discuss his latest crypto venture, a hardware wallet dubbed Ballet: “Ballet is the culmination…

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Ethereum 

Cryptocurrency Payments Processor BitPay Adds Support for Ether

Major cryptocurrency payment services provider BitPay has added support for the second-largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization, Ether (ETH). Per a press release published on Sept. 16, companies that use BitPay for payment processing are now able to accept Ether for purchases without having to set up any enhancements. BitPay has also made it possible for users to store and use Ether in a BitPay wallet, and for BitPay Prepaid Visa Card holders to top up their debit cards. Ether joins Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash Launched in 2011, BitPay processes payments…

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Blockchain 

Mastercard Partners With Blockchain Firm R3 for Payments Solution

Mastercard partnered with blockchain firm R3 to develop a cross-border payment solution. According to a Mastercard press release published on Sept. 1, the two firms plan to pilot a new blockchain-enabled cross-border payment solution. The system will reportedly focus on connecting global faster payments infrastructures, schemes and banks. Multiple ways to move money Per the release, the announcement is part of Mastercard’s plans to strengthen its cross border payments network, building on its acquisition of global payments company Transfast earlier this year.  The partnership with R3 is part of the…

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