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A UK Challenger Bank Goes Peer-to-Peer with Crypto, With a Catch

Ziglu only lets you send crypto to other Ziglu customers—you can’t send it to external wallets.

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In brief

  • Challenger bank Ziglu has announced that you can use its app to send cryptocurrency to other people, as well as buy and sell crypto. B
  • But you can’t send your crypto to regular cryptocurrency wallets, only to other Ziglu customers.
  • Revolut and Ziglu are attempting to out-maneuver traditional banks with their crypto offerings.

Ziglu, a new British crypto-first challenger bank, today announced that you can send cryptocurrency to other people, as well as buy and sell crypto from its app. In this, Ziglu joins Revolut, another challenger bank that also supports peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions. 

But there’s a catch—you can’t send your crypto to regular cryptocurrency wallets. Instead, you can only send it to other Ziglu customers. The same is true for Revolut’s offering.

This seems strange: Isn’t the whole point of cryptocurrency to release oneself from the shackles of traditional finance and do whatever you please? And isn’t sending Bitcoin between wallets incredibly easy to set up? Indeed, there are dozens of wallet apps on the market. 

It’s complicated, Nick Turner-Samuels, Ziglu’s Chief Product Officer, told Decrypt.

Sending crypto to external wallets “is something that we will be looking into,” said Turner-Samuels. A Revolut spokesperson told Mashable in July that such functionality is “a focus for the product team going forward.”

Ziglu’s compromise was, in part, “to get to the market fast,” Turner-Samuels said. Ziglu, which only launched on June 15, wants to “prove that we can find a relative product-market fit sooner, [and to] test the app, and to integrate [crypto] as quickly as possible,” said Turner-Samuels.

Ziglu’s CEO, Mark Hipperson, told Decrypt earlier this year that the bank is playing a kind of “regulatory arbitrage.” 

Challenger banks—small, retail banks in the UK—like Revolut, Ziglu, Starling and Monzo, aim to undercut traditional retail banks by out-maneuvering them. So far, this means lower currency conversion fees, easy-to-use apps, robo-advisers, and so on. 

Ziglu and Revolut hold a special money transmitter license, issued by the UK’s chief regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority, that lets them process cryptocurrency transactions alongside regular banking activities. They’re the only two challenger banks to hold such a license, meaning that they are leading on the crypto-front in what could be a winner-takes-all market. Ziglu only received its license in the past couple of weeks and Revolut received its license in May 2016.

Ziglu thinks that crypto is the next milestone, and it wants to be the first to corner the market. “We’re focused on an ambitious roadmap to get crypto out there to move into the challenger banking space,” said Turner-Samuels. Ziglu’s pitch is to undercut other cryptocurrency brokers by acting as a kind of power-user on cryptocurrency exchanges, allowing it to get the best price for Bitcoin. 

“Now that we’ve got our FCA license, we’re launching additional features, such as peer to peer payments. And we’re going to be rolling out cards fairly soon as well. We’re starting to build out the entire package for customers,” he said. But Revolut, five years old, is still miles ahead—it extended its crypto offering to the US this summer. 

There’s another reason why Ziglu isn’t rushing things: It doesn’t want to upset regulators. There are “darker sides of the crypto world,” said Turner-Samuels, full of fraudsters, hackers and money-launderers. 

“What we want to do is to make sure that we are really on top of our game when it comes to following the money, making sure that everything is above board—from where the money comes from, to the source of funds, to where the money goes to,” he said. Turner-Samuels added that Ziglu is working with anti-money laundering technology companies, though he did not disclose which ones. 

And mistakes are expensive, both in pecuniary terms and in reputation: “You can look into the world of crypto and see that there have been issues with various companies or various cryptos. [They] have been tainted by the fact that they have been hacked,” he said.

Another thing: Ziglu is, like Revolut, targeting its services at newcomers to crypto. Blockchains are notoriously unforgiving when it comes to sending funds to the wrong addresses or losing private keys, and Ziglu’s initial control over its users’ funds could help resolve issues for newbies. “It’s very easy to make the wrong wallet address inputs if you’re not careful,” said Turner-Samuels. And it’s “also very difficult for everyday customers to find out where their money has gone if they have made a mistake.” 

Hence Ziglu’s decision to rush to the market with its neutered crypto offering. “Ultimately, it’s going to be customers voting with their wallets about who they want to trust,” he said. 

Source: https://decrypt.co/41023/ziglu-goes-peer-to-peer

Blockchain

PayPal in Talks To Buy Crypto Storage Startup Curv for Around $500 Million, Reports

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PayPal could be in talks to buy a cryptocurrency startup focused on providing security solutions for cryptocurrency custody.

According to diferent reports, PayPal is interested in acquiring Curv, and the talks between the two companies’ teams are an open secret in the global tech scene – though perhaps no longer a secret considering how quickly it is spreading despite the cautious stance taken by both companies.

Local sources argue that the cost of the deal would be in the range of $500 million. This amount would exceed the expectations of Curv’s development team, which hoped to rake in between $200 million and $300 million from the company’s sale.

What is Curv and Why Does it Matter?

Curv has developed an encryption technology based on multi-party computation that secures digital assets and enables the secure transfer Store and any digital asset management on any blockchain. Its platform makes it possible for a Wallet to generate private keys at different points simultaneously, distributing them between the cloud and the client, eliminating possibilities of single points of failure.

Considering the services Curv provides, it stands to reason that an acquisition would be beneficial to PayPal. It would allow it to evolve and likely increase security and user confidence in its crypto services.

It could even allow PayPal to have a native cryptocurrency custody solution, reducing costs in the long run.

So far, no company has given public statements acknowledging or rejecting the news.

Paypal’s Interest in Crypto Grows Every day

PayPal’s interest in cryptocurrencies has only grown as institutional investment, regulatory clarity, and, of course, the price of digital assets increase.

Months after the March 2020 crash, PayPal announced a partnership with Paxos to provide its customers with exposure to the price of Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

The idea was to enable some cryptocurrency operations in a secure, easy, and legal way. The initiative was a massive success for PayPal, and the price of Bitcoin rose to new all-time highs. A study conducted by Mizuho Securities found that by the en of 2020, one fifth of all PayPal users had some exposure to Bitcoin and 65% of PayPal users were interested in crypto.

Dan Schulman, CEO of Paypal said on an official press release, that the use of digital currencies was inevitable, and governments need to hit the gas pedal and adapt their policies to the innovations of the modern era:

“The shift to digital forms of currencies is inevitable, bringing with it clear advantages in terms of financial inclusion and access; efficiency, speed and resilience of the payments system; and the ability for governments to disburse funds to citizens quickly”

Subsequently, reports leaked that PayPal was attempting to acquire BitGo; however, the talks never came to fruition.

If PayPal buys Curv, the quality of cryptocurrency-related services could increase considerably, not only helping to appreciate the value of the company’s stock but proving the validity of PayPal’s strategy of investing in cryptocurrency goods and services rather than buying cryptocurrencies for speculation or storing value.

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Source: https://cryptopotato.com/paypal-to-buy-crypto-storage-startup-curv/

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Polygon-based QuickSwap’s TVL grows by $75M in two weeks

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Polygon-based DEX QuickSwap hasattracted more than $105 million in worth of liquidity since the start of 2021.

The Uniswap clone began the year with only $300,000 worth of assets locked in its protocol, with more than three quarters of the exchange’s total value locked being added in the past fortnight.

QuickSwap is currently the leading second-layer decentralized exchange by daily volume with $38.5 million worth of trades over the past 24 hours. The second-largest L2 DEX by volume is Loopring with $8.4 million, followed by ZKSwap with $2.5 million.

QuickSwap’s governance token, QUICK, surged from under $1 per token to $557 in three months, and currently represents nearly 20% of the protocol’s total liquidity. Other popular tokens on the exchange include Wrapped Ether, USD Coin, maUSDC, and Wrapped Matic.

Speaking to Cointelegraph, QuickSwap founder Nick Mudge attributed the exchange’s recent success to the user’s that Aavegotchi brought to Polygon after launching its NFT staking game on Jan. 21.

With more than 80 tokens driving more than $23 million in daily trade volume, Mudge believes QuickSwap is a cornerstone of Polygon’s nascent DeFi ecosystem, predicting the two will grow symbiotically:

“QuickSwap is the center of the Polygon DeFi ecosystem and will grow as the ecosystem grows. QuickSwap and its liquidity mining incentives were a solution to move the users to Polygon and give them a Uniswap experience with very low gas fees.”

Polygon, a scaling solution allowing projects to create Ethereum-compatible blockchains, has benefited from the crippling gas fees that have recently made many Ethereum-powered DeFi protocols too expensive for casual users.

MATIC, the native crypto of Polygon, has posted meteoric gains this year, rising 1,135% from $0.0182 to $0.2249 over 2021 so far.

Source: https://cointelegraph.com/news/polygon-based-quickswap-s-tvl-grows-by-75m-in-two-weeks

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Blockchain

TA: Bitcoin Turns Attractive Above $50K, Why BTC Could Rally To $55K

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Bitcoin price extended its rise and cleared the $50,000 resistance against the US Dollar. BTC is now consolidating gains and it is likely to climb further above $52,000.

  • Bitcoin is trading in a positive zone above the $50,000 and $50,500 support levels.
  • The price is now trading well above $51,000 and the 100 hourly simple moving average.
  • There is a major bullish trend line forming with support near $49,800 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair (data feed from Kraken).
  • The pair could extend its rally once it clears $52,000 and $52,500 in the near term.

Bitcoin Price is Gaining Momentum

After a close above the $48,000 resistance, bitcoin was able to gain strength above the main $50,000 resistance. BTC even cleared the $51,500 level and spiked above the $52,000 level.

It traded to a new monthly high near $52,650 and settled well above the 100 hourly simple moving average. It is now trading in a positive zone above the $50,000 and $50,500 support levels. There was a minor correction recently below the $51,000 level.

The price traded below the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the upward move from the $47,102 swing low to $52,648 high. However, the bulls were active near the $50,000 and $49,500 levels.

Bitcoin Price

Source: BTCUSD on TradingView.com

There is also a major bullish trend line forming with support near $49,800 on the hourly chart of the BTC/USD pair. Bitcoin also remained well above the 50% Fib retracement level of the upward move from the $47,102 swing low to $52,648 high.

It is now trading above $51,000 and testing a connecting bearish trend line at $51,500. A clear break above the trend line resistance could open the doors for a move towards the $52,500 and $53,200 levels. The next key resistance sits near the $55,000 level.

Fresh Dip in BTC?

If bitcoin fails to continue higher above the $52,000 and $52,500 resistance levels, there could be a minor decline. The first key support on the downside is near the $50,500 level.

The next major support is near the $50,000 level and the trend line. If there is a downside break below the trend line support, the price could test the $48,000 support and the 100 hourly SMA.

Technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD is now gaining momentum in the bullish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for BTC/USD is now well above the 50 level.

Major Support Levels – $50,500, followed by $50,000.

Major Resistance Levels – $51,500, $52,000 and $53,200.

Source: https://www.newsbtc.com/analysis/btc/bitcoin-btc-could-rally-55k/

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