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Coinbase Card Available for Use on Apple Pay and Google Pay

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The largest U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, stated that it has integrated Apple Pay and Google Pay, enabling online shoppers to pay with their Coinbase Card on both online payment platforms, while also earning crypto rewards. 

Shop With Coinbase Card on Apple Pay and Google Pay 

In a blog post on Tuesday (June 1, 2021), Coinbase announced that customers who shop on Apple Pay and Google Pay get crypto rebates up to four percent on all their purchases. 

Coinbase also stated that selected customers on the waitlist will start enjoying the crypto rewards beginning this June. Furthermore, the company said that it will convert crypto to fiat, and transfer the funds to the user’s Coinbase account to enable them make ATM withdrawals and purchases. 

An excerpt from the blog post reads:

“Now, you can earn up to 4% back in crypto rewards on this shopping when you use your Coinbase Card with Apple Pay or Google Pay. Splurging for guacamole with your Coinbase Card is a no-brainer when you can earn 1% back in Bitcoin or 4% back in Stellar Lumens.”

The U.S. crypto exchange first launched its Visa debit card back in April 2019 in the UK to enable seamless payment with bitcoin and other crypto for goods and services. Since its unveiling in the UK, Coinbase has launched its cards in different parts of Europe

Back in October 2020, Coinbase introduced its Visa debit card in the U.S., allowing customers to join the waitlist. The Coinbase card is now available in almost 30 countries. However, the Coinbase Card reward program will initially be accessible to only U.S. customers. Also, the company stated that it has plans to expand the scope of its debit card reward program.

Coinbase’s latest announcement comes amid the steady growth of mobile phone payments in the U.S. While countries like China are ahead with over 80 percent, the United States witnessed a 20% increase in 2020. 

Apart from Coinbase, another crypto exchange Gemini, in collaboration with payments giant Mastercard announced back in April plans to launch a Gemini credit card that enables users earn three percent in bitcoin rewards when they shop. Also, a Mastercard survey back in May revealed that 40% of respondents are open to using crypto payment option in 2022. 

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Blockchain

‘It might get ugly with’ Bitcoin…BUT

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Prices are a reflection of investor sentiment, they say. In a span of a little over two months, Bitcoin’s price has promptly halved, and now, after China’s recent crackdown on mining, a section of the market participants believe that BCT is a less attractive prospect. 

Talking on similar lines in a recent Kitco News interview, Saifedean Ammous, the author of ‘The Bitcoin Standard’ said that the current hiccup would not have a long-term impact on crypto’s price. He said,  

“You can’t really ban Bitcoin, you can ban yourself from Bitcoin, but Bitcoin continues to operate and I think even if it’s going to be a 50%, 60%, 70%, 80% crash, ultimately, the ability to bounce back is what’s going to win the day for Bitcoin.”

Nevertheless, he concurred that the Chinese crackdown was a serious issue because a major proportion of the mining operations have been halted. Ammous further stated that BTC’s price would most likely drop further as and when more machines go offline. Miners, indeed, are facing one of their worst nightmares at this stage. What’s more, the author also expects a panic sell by the Chinese hodlers in the coming days. 

As a matter of fact, miners are large hodlers themselves, and now, according to Ammous, “you’re forcing them to sell large quantities.” Nevertheless, at the time of writing, Glassnode’s data underlined that miners’ outflow volume had touched its lowest point in 6 months, which ultimately implies that miners are still hodling their BTC. However, the sell-off that Ammous pointed out might likely take place in the foreseeable future.

Source: Glassnode

The author further opined that the clampdown would only impact traditional assets like gold. He stated that, unlike gold, BTC’s prospects aren’t influenced by political and banking systems. After witnessing a minor 0.32% price drop in the past 24-hours, Bitcoin was trading at $34,000.69 at press time.

Additionally, it should be noted that BTC’s hash rate has been falling over the past few days. Nevertheless, Ammous was positive that it would soon recover. With respective to Bitcoin’s inevitable comeback, the author concluded, 

“It might get ugly with BTC, but it thrives on adversity. If you do try and knock it down, if you do try and hurt it, you’re just setting up a great comeback story for BTC. This has been the case for over the many years.”


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Source: https://ambcrypto.com/it-might-get-ugly-with-bitcoin-but

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50,000 electric vehicle charging stations in Europe to offer crypto payments

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Two payments firms have partnered to roll out crypto payments across 50,000 electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Europe.

The partnership is between Irish e-commerce and mobile payment solutions firm HIPS Payment Group Ltd and Vourity, a Swedish firm that specializes in unattended payment facilities such as EV charging stations.

The integration of crypto payments with charging stations will occur over the next three years starting from November 2021.

The firms haven’t revealed which cryptocurrencies will be supported yet, but Vourity has dropped a pretty strong hint that Ethereum is likely to be among the first after it released an image of a payment terminal with an ETH logo on it. Ethereum is moving to the much more energy efficient Proof-of Stake consensus mechanism in the next year, which could mitigate any backlash among environmentally conscious EV drivers.

“We are currently evaluating what cryptos/coins we will support. It will be converted to fiat,” stated Hans Nottehed, the CEO of Vourity.

Vourity payment terminal, with an ETH logo

Crypto payments will be integrated with Vourity’s EV charging stations by connecting to the blockchain via Hips Merchant Protocol’s native protocol token Merchant Token.

Back in May, HIPS Payment Group launched the HIPS Merchant Protocol, the HIPS Merchant Protocol Gateway, and its governing Merchant Token.

The protocol was built on Ethereum and Solana in May 2021 and plans to expand support to Cardano in the future.

“With near real-time transaction speeds, in addition, the Hips Merchant Blockchain is designed for merchant transactions regardless if they are mobile, instore or e-commerce and utilizes the interchange concept from the payment card industry,” HIPS noted in May.

Related: Blockchain-based EV charging trial gets $1M from Canadian government

EV crypto innovation

Tesla famously did a U-turn on accepting Bitcoin (BTC) payments for vehicles, with Elon Musk noting the firm won’t change course until the mining sector is at least 50% powered by clean energy. Other EV-focused firms have sought ways to innovate using  “clean” crypto mining and adoption.

At the beginning of this month, Canadian light EV manufacturer Daymak announced an upcoming EV set for 2023, that is fitted with a crypto mining rig that can mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies while it’s charging or parked.

In March, Stellantis, the parent company of European car manufacturer Fiat, partnered with Kiri Technologies, to promote an “eco-driving style,” by rewarding Fiat EV drivers in cryptocurrency via Kiri Technologies’ KiriCoin.

In that same month, Volkswagen Group Innovation, the research department of German car Volkswagen, announced a partnership with Energy Web, a non-profit organization focused on open source energy transition.

The duo teamed up to research methods of using EV’s and charging stations as part of the power grid using blockchain.

Jesse Morris, the chief commercial officer of Energy Web, spoke with Cointelegraph and emphasized the benefits of tracking the integration between EVs, charging stations, and power grids using blockchain.

Morris mentioned that during times of local grid congestion, Volkswagen drivers could be incentivized not to charge by being paid out in crypto or fiat. Additionally, utility providers could pay EV drivers to store energy during times of excess generation on the power grid.

50,000 electric vehicle charging stations in Europe to offer crypto payments

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Why this ‘Biggest Bitcoin challenge’ is a bonus

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Bitcoin‘s rising popularity with institutions and investment professionals such as BlackRock CEO Larry Fink and hedge fund legend Stanley Druckenmiller has helped Bitcoin stand its ground against Gold. Considering the former’s prospects as a scarce store-of-value over the latter, a war of words often emerges between gold bugs and the bitcoin community.

While many Bitcoin proponents saw Bitcoin as Digital Gold or Gold 2.0, Peter Schiff, (of Euro Pacific Capital) one of the loudest proponents of gold, maintained his skepticism towards bitcoin.

The latest war (of words) on Twitter resurrected the age-old debate of Bitcoin vs gold. Billionaire investor and entrepreneur Mark Cuban and Oliver Renick, Gold bug (from TD Ameritrade), exchanged their thoughts on both assets.

In a tweet, Renick slammed Bitcoin’s comparison to digital gold because “Bitcoin is making no discernable progress towards digital gold. Why are we still assuming it will at some point in the future?”

The Shark Tank star responded, by stating a few reasons why bitcoin was indeed better than gold.

“Its BETTER than gold. No worries about storing it. Easy to transfer. Easy to trade. Easy to convert. Doesn’t require an intermediary. Can be fractionalized. Biggest BTC challenge? No William Devane type commercials and all the people who believe gold is an inflation hedge.”

TD Ameritrade’s Oliver Renick, in response to Cuban, stated that he doubted Bitcoin’s progress by adding that bitcoin’s ‘relationship with real interest rates was as random as it was on day 1 ten years ago’.

Source: Oliver Renick| Twitter

In a report published by Renick recently, he opined:

“See any trends? Me neither. It looks completely random with no trend over the past nine years of data; sometimes positive, sometimes negative. But what’s most important here is that it’s not getting more negative over time. “

Cuban responded:

“Gold is useless, pretty much across the board, but particularly as a hedge. BTC is a digital asset that is similar to gold because they both are driven exclusively by supply and demand. BTC does a better job with both,”

Gold, according to, Renick was remarkably consistent in its negative correlation with real interest rates i.e., its utility. He added ‘Until BTC does something resembling this, not sure why we call it gold. At least from a financial sense,’

Source: Oliver Renick| Twitter

Following this argument, Cuban acknowledged one aspect: even though Gold at the press time had more demand than Bitcoin, the narrative will flip; he stated:

“So are a lot of assets including stocks. That isn’t a utility. That’s supply and demand. Gold has more demand. IMO, that will change going forward. Why? Because BTC is easier to transact. In the time it will be better understood and marketed and the gold market will shrink.”

Reality Check: BTC vs Gold

Philipp Sandner from Frankfurt School Blockchain Center made a comparison between three assets: Gold, Bitcoin and Fiat (euro),

Source: Medium


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