Binance invests $2.5M in Australian startup TravelbyBit
Binance has announced a $2.5 million investment in Australian travel startup TravelbyBit in a move to introduce a blockchain-based, point-of-sale (POS) payment system across major airports around the world. Travelers will be able to visit local merchants at select international airports and use mobile wallets like Coinomi for POS payments. “There is no better fit than being able to use your crypto when traveling, just after you land in a foreign country, where you may not have the local currency,” Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, stated in the announcement.
TravelbyBit’s partnership with Binance will allow the startup to introduce its blockchain-based POS system, currently being used at the Brisbane airport, into other international airports worldwide, so travelers can pay with Bitcoin across the world’s airports, without the need to exchange to fiat currencies at expensive rates.
Over 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs to be deployed in Argentina in response to rampant inflation
According to representatives from Athena Bitcoin and Odyssey Group, by the end of 2018 Argentina will be host to 30 Bitcoin ATMs. That number will jump to about 150 in Q1 2019, and to more than 1,500 by the end of 2019. This crypto expansion into the South American country comes amid an economic crisis that has seen the value of it’s national currency, the peso, sink dramatically.
US based Athena Bitcoin, a company that specializes in the development and operation of cryptocurrency ATMs, launched Argentina’s first just a month ago in Buenos Aires. Argentina is an ideal location for Bitcoin ATMs because inflation of it’s national currency — which has lost more than 50% of its value against the dollar so far in 2018 — is expected to exceed 40% by year’s end. Athena Bitcoin’s operations manager for Argentina, Dante Galeazzi, said from their perspective, this unfortunate economic situation presents a massive growth opportunity for the cryptocurrency industry.
Bithumb to launch a decentralized exchange
Perhaps inspired by the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance & its plans to launch a decentralized exchange (DEX) by 2019, Bithumb, a major digital asset trading platform in South Korea, has announced its plans to operate a DEX in the months to come. Bithumb DEX, which is expected to target the global cryptocurrency market, will be launched under an overseas subsidiary of the exchange outside of South Korea.
A source close to Bithumb DEX told local publications that to expand its user base internationally, the exchange established a mid-term plan to fully deploy a decentralized exchange in the upcoming months. “Bithumb is one of the leading global exchanges in terms of transactions but it is true that most of its users are Korean. The latest decision seems to be the company’s strategy to compete with other leading exchanges in the global market by opening a decentralized exchange that receives attention in the global market,” said the source. Previously, in a CNBC interview, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao stated that he firmly believes decentralized exchange is the future of the crypto market.
SegWit breaks 50% for first time
SegWit has been growing steadily over the past 12 months, and today SegWit adoption has passed the 50% mark. Over half of all Bitcoin transactions use SegWit.
In order to get cheaper transactions, that is, to receive the SegWit discount, user’s can receive Bitcoin to a SegWit wallet address(they begin with 3), and then spend those same bitcoins get the discount. Also, sending to a SegWit address is cheaper as well.
Bank of America thinks blockchain could be a $7B market
Bank of America research analysts have predicted that blockchain technology could represent a multi-billion dollar industry down the road, and be of particular benefit for leading companies like Amazon and Microsoft. The analysts predicted the total addressable blockchain market would eventually hit $7 billion, but there was not a particular timeline for the market growth since the technology is not yet widely used.
CNBC reported that the market estimate was predicated on the assumption that 2% of servers would one day be used to run blockchain. In a note to clients on Tuesday, Bank of America research analyst Kash Rangan wrote that companies like Amazon could integrate blockchain to streamline retail operation and enhance cloud computing operations. Bank of America said companies like Oracle, IBM, Salesforce, VMware, Redfin, Zillow, and LendingTree all stand to reap benefits from incorporating distributed ledger technology.
Bitcoin startup Acinq raises $1.7M to double down on Lightning
Lightning isn’t just a big hit with developers, the promising Bitcoin technology is now attracting a little attention from investors. Acinq, one of the leading startups working on the lightning network, a top-level layer aiming to boost the number of transactions Bitcoin can support, has closed a $1.7 million funding round led by Serena Capital, with participation from Talend co-founder Bertrand Diard, Sebastien Lucas, Alistair Milne and Snapcar founder Yves Weisselberger.
As a result of the funding, Lightning Labs is no longer the only startup solely dedicated to lightning that’s been able to rake in money for its efforts. Since it launched a few years back, the Paris-based company has become one of the most pivotal in a broader push to build and design lightning. It has built Eclair, one of three lightning software implementations alongside those by Lightning Labs and Blockstream, as well as Eclair Wallet, the most popular lightning wallet to date. Acinq co-founder and CEO Pierre-Marie Padiou said. “With this raise, we’re very excited to be able to do a lot more with more resources. We’ll be able to make even more cool services for lightning. This is not only good for us but for lightning in general and for pushing adoption forward.”
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