PayPal’s Ever Increasing Fees Will Push Users to Cryptocurrency

PayPal was an innovator in digital payment services but as they introduce a new, costlier fee structure more people may find using Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies an easier, cheaper alternative.

PayPal Increases Base Fees

PayPal is a name recognized worldwide as a merchant payment system that has been allowing people to transfer money digitally at a lower rate than banks or Western Union style companies for twenty years. But, as they implement new base fees, using cryptocurrency becomes the obvious better choice.

The company has announced a new fee structure which includes $4.99 for sending any amount out of the United States. Add to this an additional 2.9% if the transaction is even partially made with a credit or debit card, and another 2.5% margin to the wholesale foreign exchange rate PayPal gets from banks and users may end up wondering where their money is actually going.

One Paypal user posted a statement on Reddit showing 17 Euros in fees deducted from 60 Euros worth of sales using Ebay, which of course owns PayPal.

Fees at that rate won’t be tolerated by many and with the options that using cryptocurrency provides, users may soon start abandoning their PayPal accounts for digital wallets as a way to save money and speed up transfer times.

Sending money with PayPal internationally takes 3-5 business days, add to that bank processing time and it can take 5-7 business days. It doesn’t actually take that much time to make the digital transfer but both PayPal and the banks that handle the transactions make interest on money as they process it, so holding on to it is in their interest. Because of it’s decentralized structure and that nobody profits from slowing the transaction down, Bitcoin and it’s ilk can be transferred around the world in minutes or even seconds in some cases.

John Donahoe, CEO of Ebay (PayPal) has recognized that PayPal is outdated and even said publicly that they will have to integrate digital currencies sometime in the near future.

Bitcoin is Decentralized, Inclusive and Egalitarian

Why bother though? Why use an outdated and expensive platform like PayPal that relies on the even more outdated structure of the international banking system in order to facilitate new technology that was created to bypass those systems.

One of the greatest advantages of using cryptocurrency is the freedom and privacy options available with blockchain technology. This is the tech that allows the over 2 billion people in the world who don’t have bank accounts to complete transactions even without internet access via SMS.

In order to become a verified user on PayPal a bank account and credit card details must be provided. This leaves both senders and receivers of funds open to scrutiny from banks and governmental agencies. Although using Bitcoin may not be 100% anonymous, it is as close as possible, which allows users to transfer as much of their own money anywhere to anyone.

For most, the benefits of using the egalitarian technology of cryptocurrency to transfer funds becomes overwhelmingly obvious when the basic facts are weighed. For those who don’t, the banks and the likes of PayPal will continue thank them and fill their coffers.

 

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Central Bank of Iran Enforces Crackdown on Cryptocurrencies

Various countries are contemplating how to regulate Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. The Iranian government has decided to take a harsh stance in this regard. As of last week, the local banks are banned from partaking in cryptocurrency transactions. The new rules are enforced by the central bank of Iran. Given the region’s currency crisis, this decision is not unexpected.

Central Bank of Iran Refutes Bitcoin

A lot of things are changing in Iran as of right now. Earlier this month, the central bank formally unified its open market exchange rates. At the same time, the central bank made it illegal to change money outside of banks themselves. This development is only a sign of what is yet to come, by the look of things.

The rial, Iran’s national currency, has hit rock bottom in recent days. Speculators and investors grow concerned over impending sanctions. That decision rests with US President Donald Trump, who will render his verdict on May 12th. Despite both countries signing a pact in 2015, the sanctions may be imposed regardless.

Assuming that is the outcome, the financial situation in Iran will only worsen. Such a development will only push the rial’s value even lower. In turn, that would warrant even tighter regulation by the central bank and a further crackdown on “unofficial” financial activity. For now, the institution has set its sight on cryptocurrency trading.

Banning Bitcoin Activity in Iran

As was to be expected, the central bank of Iran doesn’t take kindly to Bitcoin. It is an unregulated industry which may cause even more financial instability. There are also concerns over potential money laundering activity involving cryptocurrency. It is s statement similar to how most other regions perceive Bitcoin and other similar currencies these days.

In an official notice, the central bank comments how the “sale or purchase of cryptocurrencies should be avoided”. Additionally, these institutions are not allowed to “take any action to promote these currencies” either. A similar warning has been issued in the country in late 2017. It now seems the central bank aims to enforce that unofficial guideline in a stricter manner.

Whether or not this decision will have a big impact, remains unclear. Other countries are cracking down on Bitcoin activity as well. Every time something like that happens, cryptocurrency enthusiasts flock to OTC trading. It is possible the LocalBitcoins volume in Iran will spike in the coming weeks and months as well.

 

Image from Shutterstock

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Major UAE Bank Implements Blockchain Tech To Prevent Check Fraud

The National Bank of Dubai is rolling out its ‘Cheque Chain’ system after successful testing, to prevent check-related fraud.

The National Bank of Dubai (NBD), one of the largest banking groups in the Middle East by assets volume, has reportedly become the first bank in the region to successfully implement Blockchain technology in a check-issuance system to prevent fraud, local news outlet Arabian Business reported Saturday, April 21.

According to Arabian Business, the system works by means of printing a unique Quick Response (QR) code on each check and putting the records on Blockchain. The so-called “Cheque Chain” technology is designed to provide higher authenticity of the issued checks, as well as to the security standards across the UAE banking sector.

According to the NBD official statement, the bank has registered around one million checks on Cheque Chain in the first month of the pilot deployment. Following the successful test, NBD is looking for opportunities to roll out the Blockchain-powered banking technology across other UAE financial institutions.

Abdulla Qassem, NBD’s group chief operating officer noted the importance of the innovative technology deployment and highlighted that NBD bank is the first bank that offered such a service in the region.

“Emirates NBD is committed to exploring commercial uses for this innovative technology. After a successful pilot phase, we are pleased to roll out Cheque Chain to our customers nationwide, becoming the first bank in the region to offer this service.”

The UAE, along with major city Dubai, have taken a very positive stance on adopting Blockchain technology. Last week,  the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai launched the ‘UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021’, with the goal of becoming a world leader in deployment of the technology.

Meanwhile, Blockchain technology is becoming increasingly popular in the banking sector worldwide April 12 saw the announcement of Bank of America’s patent on a Blockchain-based storage system with automated data authentication, and on March 30, PKO Bank Polski’s partnership with a Blockchain company to provide DLT-based storage and verification system for bank documents.

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Blockchain Platform Signs Deals To Boost Profitability Of Social Media Influencers

A company that says anyone can become a social media influencer has signed deals to increase the profitability and prominence of its users.

A Blockchain-based platform which aims to boost the earnings of social media influencers by eliminating their reliance on middlemen has forged several new partnerships ahead of its launch.

“Influencers” are defined as contributors who have large followings – sometimes extending into the millions – on social networks such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and Facebook.

Patron hopes to become a “sharing economy” where fans and followers can co-star and collaborate with their favorite vloggers.

In addition, companies who want to forge sponsorship deals with influencers would find it easier to get in touch. A business model built on Airbnb means sponsors can hire an influencer for a single post or a video, or establish a recurring “exclusive ambassador contract” which lasts for several weeks or months. In some cases, it would also be possible to acquire influencers in a permanent deal.

At present, Patron claims as much as 40 percent of an influencer’s earnings is paid to intermediaries, but the Japanese company believes stars and their sponsors could realize considerable savings on its platform.

The company has placed an emphasis on “micro influencers” – content creators who often focus on niche topics. Although Patron says such talent often attracts smaller audiences than the megastars seen on video-sharing websites such as YouTube, its team believes they hold exceptional value because of their higher engagement rates.

An “extremely important” partnership

Patron recently announced that it has struck a deal with BANKEX, a fintech company, to become the “first international partner” for one of its services.

MediaToken enables bloggers to promote their accounts and boost their advertising revenue, while investors have an opportunity to invest in an influencer’s account early and enjoy larger dividends later. Overall, BANKEX hopes this Blockchain-based technology will help achieve transparency when it comes to blog advertising – as everyone stands to benefit from “clearer pricing.”

Atsushi Hisatsumi, Patron’s CEO, has called the deal “extremely important” for the company – as BANKEX’s cutting-edge technology will help in its quest “to bring the most robust Blockchain-based influencer marketing products to market.” He told Cointelegraph: “We are excited for this partnership and for what the future holds for us.”

As previously reported by Cointelegraph, Patron’s parent company Extravaganza International recently teamed up with Switchboard Live, an Orlando-based tech firm. As part of that deal, Patron’s users will be able to simultaneously publish live streams on a plethora of platforms including YouTube, Periscope and Facebook Live – dramatically increasing their reach.

The company is also being listed on HitBTC, a European-based cryptocurrency exchange – increasing the visibility of PAT coins.

“Anyone can become an influencer”

Mr Hisatsumi has experience of being in the influencer realm. In the past five years, he worked as a singer and even created a team for electronic dance music.

He believes Patron is democratic because anyone around the world has the opportunity to connect – with local influencers given the freedom to work internationally and overcome language barriers.

Patron’s web app was released in February, and a version for smartphones is scheduled to be released in June.

At the start of April, Patron was the lead sponsor at the Global Blockchain Forum in California – with the start-up achieving critical acclaim from judges. A total of 18 pitches were made to a panel including tech entrepreneur Vince Kohli, with Patron being ranked in the top three.

Patron’s ICO has been running since March 27, and it is scheduled to end on April 26. The company has a cap of $40 mln in place.

Right now, the company’s team of executives are touring the world to spread the word about their project – making appearances at conferences in Dubai, Hong Kong, the US and their native Japan.

 

Disclaimer. Cointelegraph does not endorse any content or product on this page. While we aim at providing you all important information that we could obtain, readers should do their own research before taking any actions related to the company and carry full responsibility for their decisions, nor this article can be considered as an investment advice.

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Bitcoin Price Technical Analysis for 04/23/2018 – Bulls Back in Action!

Bitcoin Price Key Highlights

  • Bitcoin price has gained some traction since breaking past its inverse head and shoulders neckline.
  • Price is now trading inside an ascending channel and testing the resistance.
  • A return in bearish pressure could take it back down to support around the Fib levels.

Bitcoin price is trending higher but might be due for a pullback to its channel support.

Technical Indicators Signals

The 100 SMA is above the longer-term 200 SMA to signal that the path of least resistance is to the upside. This indicates that the uptrend is more likely to resume than to reverse.

Applying the Fib tool to the latest swing low and high shows that the 61.8% retracement level lines up with the bottom of the channel at $8338.30. The 38.2% retracement level is close to the mid-channel area of interest at $8600.

The 100 SMA is above the longer-term 200 SMA to confirm that the path of least resistance is to the upside. In other words, the uptrend is more likely to continue than to reverse. The gap between the two is also widening to reflect stronger bullish momentum.

Stochastic looks ready to turn up from the overbought zone to signal a return in buying pressure. In that case, bitcoin could even attempt to break past the channel resistance or swing high at $9000 to establish a steeper climb.

Market Factors

Exchanges are reporting that buy orders are nearing 92% of activity, drawing even more investors in so as to not get left behind in the rally. Some predict that bitcoin could surge past the $20,000 highs within the quarter.

Risk appetite has also been mostly supported in the markets, which means that traders are willing to place bets outside of traditional assets like stocks and commodities. Sentiment in the cryptocurrency industry itself has also improved significantly over the past couple of weeks, spurred by news about big hedge funds and acquisitions in the space.

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Ethereum Price Technical Analysis – ETH/USD To Rise Further

Key Highlights

  • ETH price is trading nicely above the $620 support level with positive signs against the US Dollar.
  • There is a key bullish trend line forming with support at $610 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD (data feed via Kraken).
  • The pair remains in a decent uptrend and it could soon break $648 for more gains.

Ethereum price is trading with bullish signs against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ETH/USD is positioned nicely to move above the recent high of $648.

Ethereum Price Bullish Bias

There were further gains in ETH price above the $600 level against the US Dollar. The price was able to move above the $620 and $640 resistance levels and traded as high as $648. Later, there was a slight downside reaction and the price corrected below $640. There was a break below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the last upside leg from the $593 low to $648 high.

However, the downside move was protected by the $620 support zone. Moreover, the 50% Fib retracement level of the last upside leg from the $593 low to $648 high also acted as a support. It seems like a minor downside correction from the $648 high is complete. ETH price is resuming its upside move and is approaching the $642-648 resistance zone. There is also a key bullish trend line forming with support at $610 on the hourly chart of ETH/USD. As long as the price is above $610-620, it could continue to move higher and it may soon break $648.

Ethereum Price Technical Analysis ETH USD

Looking at the chart, the price forming a decent uptrend above $600. A successful break above the $648 swing high will most likely push the price above $650. The overall bias is bullish with supports on the downside at $620 and $610.

Hourly MACD – The MACD is about to move back in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI – The RSI is currently well above the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $610

Major Resistance Level – $648

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NEO, EOS, Litecoin, IOTA and Stellar: Technical Analysis April 23, 2018

Undoubtedly, besides IOTA which is gaining due to Hannover Messe events, most coins like NEO, Litecoin, Stellar Lumens and EOS are stagnant and trading within narrow ranges. They are actually retesting the middle BB and should bears overcome support, we anticipate corrections especially in NEO and Litecoin trading pairs.

Let’s have a look at these charts:

XLM/USD (Stellar Lumens)

Recent development is that you can now manage your XLM wallet from Stellar’s DEX. This means you can keep control of your wallet all courtesy of the distribution that DEX rides on. Besides this, prices are tepid and in the past 24 hours, Stellar Lumens is up 2.37 percent.

Technically and from our Stellar Lumens technical analysis, prices are moving horizontally. Following the double bar bear reversal pattern in the daily chart, there is a likelihood of bears pushing prices lower according to our previous price forecast. So, unless prices breach 40 cents in the coming session, I recommend short term selling with immediate targets at 30 cents or whenever a stochastic buy signal prints.

IOT/USD (IOTA)

More and more companies are joining the IOTA band wagon and for good reasons. In the future where everything is denominated by interconnection, IOTA shall be king. That’s not because of the strong foundation they are laying but because the Tangle has demonstrated that it solves scalability. So, whenever we see two presidents in an industrial fair where IOTA team members and affiliates are making presentations, then there are positives to be taken out of it.

From the chart, buyers are in the driving seat and fading our previous recommendation. Now that prices are at $2, I urge patience until after there is a stochastic buy signal in the 4HR chart or when prices are trending above yesterday’s highs of $2.15. Before then, early buyers can move their stops to break even and wait for their initial bull targets at $3 to be hit.

EOS/USD (EOS)

It’s no doubt that EOS was a top performer last week and despite everything else-development, shills and FUD, odds are this coin shall correct in the coming days. Well, I mean, prices remain pretty much stuck within a two dollar range within the last 24 hours as EOS buyers find resistance at $12.

I will still hold on to my previous suggestion and wait for a stochastic buy signal to print before loading. In my view, buying on dips shall be a good strategy if you plan on ramping up before EOSIO launch in June 2018. Ideal buying zones lies at $8 on the lower side and $9.5 or the recent support as visible in the 4HR chart.

LTC/USD (Litecoin)

Of all the coins under our focus, Litecoin gains are modest to say the least. In the last 24 hours, it is up two percent helping push its weekly gains to 15 percent and in the process amassing $8.45 Billion in market cap. As we have seen in recent weeks, the Litecoin Foundation and Charlie Lee have been on the forefront pitching Litecoin as a suitable coin for merchants and the response has been good. Several merchants and payment providers are now using the coin and this is good for investors as it draws demand and improves liquidity.

When it comes to prices though, price action is trending within a bullish break out and $140. That was our buy trigger. However,  at the moment, prices might slow down and even retest that previous resistance now support if prices break below $145 or the middle BB in the 4HR chart. If that happens buyers should load up on these dips especially if there is a stochastic buy signal printing in our entry chart.

NEO/USD (NEO)

Judging from recent announcement, NEO is relentless on their effort to create a smart economy. On April 22, NEX said that their next Smart Economy Expo will be held at the EU parliament where Dang Hong Fei and other high ranking officials from NEO familiar shall deliver their key notes in a closed session to parliamentarians only. According to reports, the main purpose of this session is to help educate regulators n the benefits of blockchain technology and why they should develop support policy by 2022.

From price action, NEO is still oscillating within April 21 bear candlestick. As it is, chances are prices might break below the 20 period MA as the 4HR shows now that stochastics are bearish and we have a bearish diverging pattern. Unless prices break past April 20 highs of $80, I’m net bearish and project prices to reverse anywhere between $65 and $70.

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Crypto Ads Ban Is Temporary, According To LinkedIn’s Co-Founder

LinkedIn’s co-founder Eric Ly on his new project, reputation system in everyday communications, social media, and crypto ads bans.

Cointelegraph had a chance to talk to Eric Ly, Chinese-American investor and businessman and co-founder of LinkedIn, where for years he also served as founding CTO.

In the beginning of his career Eric held technical positions at prominent companies such as Steve Job’s NeXT, IBM or General Magic, before co-founding LinkedIn with his Stanford classmate and other colleagues in 2002. There, among other things, Eric was responsible for developing software integrations with software such as web browsers and Microsoft Outlook. Eric left LinkedIn in 2006 to develop his own projects.

Now Eric is launching a reputation system around the initial coin offering (ICO) ecosystem that aims to help people make trustful decisions while buying and selling something.

We talked about Eric’s new project, the role of reputation for everyday communications, social media, and cryptocurrency development.

On the recent crypto ads bans by social networks and Internet giants like Facebook, Google, Twitter

I believe that these kind of platforms are conservative protective approach for themselves. Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has been asking a lot of questions and subpoenas for information from people and companies. I believe that is a protective measure from a lot of these companies to not engage in new form of not advertising, but activities by ICOs, they probably want to avoid potentially uncertain interactions with SEC.

But I do believe that this is a temporary period because like many domains, advertising has an incentive to support as many domains as possible. So when regulatory clears itself up, I believe there will come a time again when advertising of this nature around token sales will be re-permitted on these platforms.

On protective measures against scams and other motivations behind these bans

This is the only one that I can think of because back in the early 2000s there was this Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which allowed all of the online platforms to disassociate themselves from the responsibility of the content that their users would put onto their platforms. So that is very key act made it possible for web 2.0 to really flourish. Advertising really should be covered under that regardless of whatever domain is advertising.

But I do believe that the ban is fundamentally around just kind of a conservative protective measure that these platforms have to not have to be entangled with the answering the SEC’s potentially interesting questions, which they don’t have to deal with.

On cryptocurrency related ads on LinkedIn

I don’t believe LinkedIn has yet made a decision, you know, like the other social platforms, and it remains to be seen whether they will go in that direction. I wouldn’t be surprised if they made a similar decision based on similar reasons. But at this point we’re just conjecturing what the reason might be.

Eric Ly left LinkedIn in 2006, founded an event app platform in 2007, and now is developing a sophisticated project for the crypto community. He is CEO and founder of a Blockchain based trust protocol Hub.

Hub protocol in a glance

I have many simplified versions – I am trying to pick the best one. Hub is trying to put reputation on the Blockchain. What we believe is that trust and reputation are really valuable to people and right now they’re all locked up in centralized databases. What we’re trying to do is basically put that information onto a Blockchain so that people can control that information, so they can bring it from one marketplace or a community to another and really derive the economic benefits from it. We believe that in the coming years, billions of people around the world are going to be creating trustworthy relationships with each other using a Blockchain.

It’s sort of like a meta social network if you will. Our project is building a protocol. It’s underlying many different kinds of applications, both new and existing. So we’re not necessarily building one social network. We’re trying to enable a trust layer that can work across many different social networks and many different marketplaces, so that people can use their reputation across multiple of these networks or communities.

We have the initial protocol implemented and nearly ready for release – and we’re working on finishing the first proof-of-concept on the protocol, which will be a reputation system around the ICO ecosystem. We figured that was a great place to start and, you know, it provides a really great opportunity for us to kind of showcase the value of the protocol itself.

On sharing information in everyday interactions

We definitely see a lot of use cases around buying and selling and that exists across many different industries and different domains. We believe that transactions actually start with just interactions: people interacting with each other and basically sharing information and engaging with each other in conversations. There also needs to be an element of trust and reputation as well.

How do you know that the information that you are reading or somebody that you’re interacting with is a trustworthy source? We want to solve that problem as well. Because that is really the basis on which people make sometimes very important decisions about what they’re going to buy, what they’re going to sell.

So the whole process starts much sooner than just a transaction itself. So that’s what we want to cover the interaction part of it.

On tokens in a trust establishment

Tokens are really designed to incentivize trustworthy interactions and the building of reputation data on the Blockchain, which hopefully further creates trustworthy interactions. One of the design goals that we had for our token was that it is impossible to buy trust. We really wanted to design that in – you cannot buy the tokens and have more trust.

So what the tokens allow you to do is staking mechanism for various kinds of interactions that people might have – we define interactions very broadly. But you can imagine a buyer-seller scenario or a people sharing information with each other. Across all of this – the idea is that people can stake tokens on the interaction. It’s almost like a bond that says I’m going to act in a trustworthy way in this interaction. If I do that and the other parties agree, I’m going to get those tokens back, I’m going to get my bond back and I’m going to get rewarded with some additional tokens that I can take for some future interactions. But if things don’t go well, then the tokens that I have staked, might be at risk and might be given to somebody else who sort of lost out on a certain transaction, for example. So, that’s how the token works.

How to measure reputation

The important point is that you cannot buy your reputation. Otherwise, the whole purpose of the reputation system is defeated. So the way that we measure reputation is really on all of those granular interactions that are happening with the staking going on. So we remember, on the Blockchain, all the different interactions and transaction builds up a reputation history. That could be scored by different kinds of scoring systems.

So imagine a FICO score in the US that is designed for credit worthiness. Now we can have scores across multiple domains, even beyond credits and worthiness, where reputation and trustworthiness make a difference.

How this whole idea should work

One of our favorite scenarios is a kind of a service marketplace, where maybe somebody is a designer and they’re offering website design services, and then there’s a client who wants to find the right designer to build up their website. So, we can capture this transaction in a smart contract that records the participants and most importantly – it records the outcome. At the beginning of this transaction, both sides stake their tokens and say: we’re going to act in a trustworthy way. For the consultant, this means: “I’m going to do a good job, I’m going to successfully deliver the design”. For the client, this means: “I’m going to pay for that once I believe that this is a good outcome”.

So the participants will go through the process and the project, and they’ll come up with the results of the design. If everything goes well – both participants act in a trustworthy way. Somebody delivered, somebody paid – and they both get their tokens back, and a little bit more from the reward function that’s built into the protocol. When things do not go well – there’s a dispute and in this case it’s maybe not clear which side was correct: maybe the design was delivered correctly but the client just wasn’t happy for some reason. 

On disputes

So we have a mechanism where disputes can be handled by an arbitrator which can basically decide and is a trusted source for both parties to figure out who was right. In the arbitrator might, actually, have reputation himself or herself in the protocol. So however it gets decided: whether it’s the vendor, the consultant or the client – they get the tokens that have been staked on this transaction. There’s one party that basically loses out on that token.

There is basically an incentive that’s built into the overall process to incentivize people to act in a trustworthy way. Again, the reputation comes out of the history of that interaction and the outcome, and that it actually goes on to both the consultant and the client in terms of how they interacted. So, in the case of the consultant, if they do a lot of great projects then they build up a really great reputation for themselves – that maybe can reflect very effectively for them and get them new projects in a marketplace.

On losing tokens in a dispute

Maybe people might not always be able to perform perfectly, and that’s fine. The scoring algorithms and so forth will consider those situations and make sure that people have a fair chance to improve the reputation over time if in some cases they did not do it perfectly. So, we believe in designing a fair system that works in a fair and maybe even slightly generous way for people.

It is a professional network but it is falls into the broad category of a social network.

This interview was conducted at the Global Blockchain Forum, in Santa Clara, US, by Cointelegraph news editor, Olivia Capozzalo, in collaboration with Cointelegraph managing editor Lucrezia Cornèr.

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Bitcoin Brushes $9,000 As Crypto Markets Continue Making Steady Gains

Crypto markets experience more growth as BTC hovers near $9,000, having broken the psychological price point already once today

Bitcoin (BTC) is on the cusp of $9,000, and Ethereum (ETH) is over $630, as the crypto markets continue to climb upwards today, April 22, according to data from Coin360.

coin360

BTC is currently trading at around $8,977, having broken $9,000 earlier today, up almost 2 percent over a 24 hour period to press time. According to CoinMarketCap, BTC dominance is around 38.4 percent, down from a monthly high around 44 percent.

Bitcoin Charts

ETH is up over 5 percent over a 24 hour period, trading at around $637 at press time, a level it last hit on March 14.

Ethereum Charts

Of the top ten coins on CoinMarketCap – which are all in the green today – Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and IOTA are up the most, up 9 and 10 percent on the day, respectively. BCH is trading for around $1,240, and IOTA around $2.08 at press time.

The total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is nearing $400 bln, currently around $397 bln as of press time. The last time total market cap reached this price point was in early March.

Total Market Capitalization

This weekend has seen some potentially good news for crypto regulation. In India, a crypto company has filed a claim against the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for their earlier decision to end dealings with crypto-related entities, claiming the ban is unconstitutional. RBI has until May 24 to respond to a notice, then reportedly issued by the High Court of Delhi.

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Crypto-Friendly CheapAir Asks Customers For Feedback On Switch Away From Coinbase

CEO of CheapAir, which has accepted BTC since 2013 for flight and hotel bookings, asks customers for advice on a considered switch from Coinbase to BitPay.

The CEO of US-based flight aggregator CheapAir has published an open letter to customers on April 20, asking for opinions on a merchant solution switch to BitPay over crypto wallet and exchange service Coinbase.

CEO Jeff Klee wrote in the letter that CheapAir.com has accepted Bitcoin (BTC) for flight and hotel bookings since 2013. According to the CEO, Coinbase’s recent notification that they will suspend “custodial” solutions for merchants will make accepting BTC more difficult.

In response to the upcoming Coinbase changes, Klee suggests that the company implement a “reliable processing partner” to begin accepting Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dash, and Litecoin (LTC), in addition to Bitcoin.

Klee brings up BitPay – whose merchant solution currently accepts only Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash – as an alternative to Coinbase in his letter, citing that they have “had a great experience with them so far and our integration is largely complete.” However, Klee adds that since BitPay requires particular protocol-compliant wallets, he doesn’t want to inconvenience customers that have a different type:

“We understand what Bitpay is trying to accomplish. The issues they are trying to address – delayed or incorrect payments – are real and were especially rampant back in December and January when transaction volumes spiked. On the other hand, I am not keen on the idea of asking our customers to, in many cases, do more work or change wallets just to be able to transact with us.”

In his letter, Klee asks CheapAir’s crypto customers for feedback on the issue, suggesting they reach out on Twitter, leave comments below the letter, or email his personally with their suggestions and reactions to a possible BitPay switch.

Litecoin founder Charlie Lee commented on CheapAir’s tweet of the letter, suggesting merchant services company AliantPayment, which accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin.

Coinbase’s decision to retire its Coinbase Merchant Tools in favor of Coinbase Commerce also led Reddit to reportedly remove Bitcoin as a payment option for its Reddit Gold premium membership program. May 31, 2018 is the final date for merchants to make the switch to Coinbase Commerce.

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