Mobile Gifting Platform Swych Announces Cryptocurrency Support

Mobile Gifting Platform Swych Announces Cryptocurrency Support

On Feb. 15, the Dallas-based mobile gifting company Swych announced it will be accepting cryptocurrencies for payments. Starting next week, instead of using traditional payment processors, Swych users will be able to pay using decentralized digital assets such as BCH, LTC, ETH, BTC, and ETC.

Also Read: Bitcoin’s Social Contract Must Be Resilient to the Whims of Future Generations

Swych Mobile Gifting App to Add Support for 5 Cryptocurrencies

The popular mobile application Swych allows people to give virtual gift cards from over 600 well known retailers and if the person receiving the gift doesn’t like the store they can easily swap the virtual funds for another retailer. Swych was founded in 2015 by Deepak Jain and is backed by capital investment from UAE Exchange Group, a global money transfer exchange, and payment solutions provider. The gift cards available stem from retailers such as Toysrus, Old Navy, Macy’s, Nike, Target, Best Buy, Gap, Banana Republic, Sephora, Nordstrom, Amazon, and more. Essentially Swych allows users to purchase and send gift cards similarly to platforms like Egifter and Gyft. However, the mobile application allows people to effortlessly switch gift cards if they don’t appreciate the particular brand originally gifted.

Mobile Gifting Platform Swych Announces Cryptocurrency Support

Swych uses payment providers like Apple Pay, Paypal, Amazon Pay, and Google Pay. But according to an announcement on Friday, the company will be accepting five cryptocurrencies next week. Swych users will be able to pay with bitcoin cash (BCH), litecoin (LTC), ethereum (ETH), bitcoin core (BTC), and ethereum classic ETC. Deepak Jain, CEO of Swych, explained during the announcement that gift cards are a de facto choice among consumers and some of the same consumers also want to spend digital currencies.

“We feel we are ahead of the game considering most retailers have not yet chosen to accept crypto payments,” Jain stated. “In keeping with Swych’s mission of providing our consumers with choice and flexibility, we’d like to provide new options based on our customers’ needs — crypto integration is one of the many requests we’ve received.

Mobile Gifting Platform Swych Announces Cryptocurrency Support

‘Cryptocurrencies: The Go-to Choice for Consumers’

Jain says Swych is the only application that allows consumers to send gift cards by simply using a mobile phone number. Swych also got into blockchain technology last year and has rolled out a cross border gifting platform that’s built on top of the Stellar network. Jain believes blockchain technology and cryptocurrency solutions will make the digital gifting platforms’ operations become far more efficient. “While digital gifting is undoubtedly an amazing use case for blockchain, so is payments and I think cryptocurrencies are gradually going to become the go-to choice for consumers to make purchases on the internet,” Jain emphasized.

“For crypto holders, this means they can essentially use their crypto holdings for gift cards that are spendable at hundreds of different retail outlets,” Jain conceded. “There’s no doubt that this will be attractive to a large portion of the community, irrespective of whether the market is up or down.”

What do you think about the digital gifting platform Swych accepting cryptocurrencies? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comments section below.

Image credits: Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Swych. 

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Nvidia Mining Chip Sales Drop 30% in Q4 Amid ‘Post-Crypto Excess’

nvidia chip

Nvidia managed to survive declining cryptocurrency mining chip demand to post total full-year revenue of $11.72 billion. The company forecasts an aggressive rebound for the 2020 fiscal year, but Wall Street analysts say such forecasts are overly optimistic given the lack of significant change in the market.

Sale of Cryptocurrency Mining Chips Plummet

The U.S. gaming hardware maker released its full-year earnings report for the 2019 fiscal year (which ended on January 27, 2019) on Thursday. According to the report, the company’s total revenue for the year stood at $11.72 billion, a 21 percent increase from the previous year.

Despite the overall earnings growth, Nvidia reports an underwhelming Q4, with earnings down by more than 30 percent from Q3 figures. This decrease is largely due to a drop in demand for computer chips by cryptocurrency miners.

For half of 2018, miners seemed relatively untouched by the prolonged bear market that gripped the rest of the cryptocurrency arena. However, by Q3 2018, it began to become apparent that miners were starting to fill the pinch.

Back in May, Bitcoinist reported that they expected a 67 percent drop in the sale of graphics card used by cryptocurrency miners. The mid-November 2018 bitcoin price crash, which almost took BTC to nearly $3,000, also exacerbated the situation with many miners forced to turn off their rigs.

Commenting on the Q4 performance, Nvidia CEO, Jensen Huang, said:

This was a turbulent close to what had been a great year. The combination of post-crypto excess channel inventory and recent deteriorating end-market conditions drove a disappointing quarter.

Wall Street Says Future Rebound Remains Unlikely

To reassure investors, Nvidia issued a forecast based on an aggressive rebound in demand, but Wall Street analysts don’t share the same view. According to analysts like Gene Munster of Loup Ventures, the projections from Nvidia do not seem realistic.

Speaking to Reuters, Munster opined that the predicted 35 percent growth in year-over-year revenue for the fiscal year 2020 assumes a boom akin to that of 2017 cryptocurrency market.

With the U.S./China trade face-off still unresolved and no significant upward movement in the virtual currency market, analysts say demand from miners isn’t expected to rise any time soon.

Do you envisage any scenario where there will be a trend reversal in demand for cryptocurrency mining chips in 2019? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Image courtesy of Nvidia, Shutterstock

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Source: Bitcoininst

Intel Launches Commercial Blockchain for Businesses

Intel Select Black Jacket Blockchain

Commercial blockchain services has a new player as Intel announced on February 12, 2019, the launch of the Intel Select solution for blockchain which allows businesses to build their own blockchain based on the Hyperledger fabric. Intel Joins the Blockchain Businesses that wish to launch their own blockchains now have a faster and more reliable

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Indonesia’s New Futures Trading Law Cause Controversy

Law Bill $70 Million Hands Red Indonesia

Traders in Indonesia have criticized a new regulation that requires $70 million in capital to trade in crypto futures, as per reports from The Jakarta Post, February 14, 2019. Unexpected Hurdles While the growth of the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry has been impressive, it certainly has not been evenly spread around the world. Some nations in

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Baidu Launches Blockchain Engine for dApp Developers

Baidu Laptop Internet Search Blockchain

China’s search engine giant, Baidu, has launched the Baidu Blockchain Engine (BBE), an operating system based on Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, and Cloud Computing, which will enable developers to design decentralized mobile applications in an easier and faster way, according to a press release published February 14, 2019. Developer-Friendly Per the report, Baidu has launched Baidu

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CFTC Releases Examination Priorities for Cryptocurrency Control

CFTC Man Podium Speech Cryptocurrencies Examination Priorities

On February 12, 2019, the US Commodity Features Trading Commission (CFTC) released a new set of examination priorities for several departments. One such arm, the Division of Market Oversight (DMO), will be monitoring as well as analysing cryptocurrencies and block trading via surveillance practices. Other divisions will be extremely focused on these aspects as well.

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Phishing Scammers: Trezor Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet Action

Trezor Phishing Crypto Wallet Flies Swatted

Trezor, a hardware wallet for storing a vast array of digital assets including bitcoin (BTC) and litecoin (LTC) has released an official statement concerning the recent phishing attacks on its electronic shops, products, as well as websites of its affiliated partners,  according to a Medium blog post on February 13, 2019. Google Crypto Ban gave

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Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

The government-owned post office in Liechtenstein has begun offering a cryptocurrency exchange service. Initially, the post office in the capital city of Vaduz will sell BTC, with four more cryptocurrencies planned. The service is in partnership with Zug-based Värdex Suisse, the operator of “the largest crypto ATM network in Switzerland.”

Also read: Indian Supreme Court Moves Crypto Hearing, Community Calls for Positive Regulations

Post Office Selling BTC

Liechtensteinische Post AG announced on Feb. 15 that it has begun selling BTC at the counter of the post office in the capital city of Vaduz. “In search of new business opportunities, Liechtensteinische Post AG has decided to offer a new exchange [service] of cryptocurrencies in its post offices,” Friday’s announcement reads. The Post elaborated:

After an introductory phase, the offer will be extended to other post offices and the exchange of additional cryptocurrencies … It will then be possible to change bitcoin (BTC), ethereum (ETH), litecoin (LTC), bitcoin cash (BCH) and ripple (XRP).

The announcement further notes that, after making a BTC purchase, customers will receive “a physical crypto wallet” which includes both the public and private keys.

Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

Founded in 1999, Liechtensteinische Post AG comprises nine post offices and three postal partners, according to its website. Prior to Dec. 31, 1999, the postal service of Liechtenstein, a country with approximately 38,000 people, was managed by Swiss Post, the national postal service of Switzerland which is a public company owned by the Swiss Confederation. Now Swiss Post owns 25 percent of Liechtensteinische Post and the government of Liechtenstein owns the remaining 75 percent.

Partnership With Värdex Suisse

Liechtensteinische Post explained that Swiss Post had always been in “the conventional money exchange business,” therefore “nothing is different” by adding cryptocurrencies to the existing service.

This new service is enabled through a partnership with Zug-based Värdex Suisse AG, a subsidiary spun off from Bitcoin Suisse AG at the end of 2017 in order to meet the growing demand for POS solutions, Liechtensteinische Post detailed.

Post Office in Liechtenstein Now Sells BTC

“Värdex is Switzerland’s largest, financially regulated blockchain and POS network operator,” the company describes itself. It is a member of the Financial Services Standards Association (VQF) and part of the Crypto Valley Zug community.

Its website also states that “Värdex Suisse is operating the largest crypto ATM network in Switzerland,” listing a total of 26 locations, all of which support BTC, ETH, and LTC. According to Coinatmradar, there are 48 cryptocurrency ATMs in Switzerland. Zurich has 13 machines, the most in the country, followed by Basel with six machines and Geneva with five. Other major ATM operators in the country are Bity with six locations and Bitc with 14 locations.

What do you think of Liechtensteinische Post selling cryptocurrencies at post office counters? Let us know in the comments section below.

Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Liechtensteinische Post.

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SEC Obtains Preliminary Injunction Against Blockvest For Fraudulent Securities Offer

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced a preliminary injunction granted against Blockvest LLC for unlicensed security offer. This overturns a previous court order, claiming that the SEC failed to prove that the token was a security.

Another Day, Another Court Case

In June last year, the SEC decreed pretty much every cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin and Ethereum to be a security. Since then, it has ramped up its ICO litigation, in what, at times, seemed like some kind of personal vendetta.

Blockvest LLC and founder, Reginald Buddy Ringgold III (aka Rasool Abdul Rahim El), initially seem like any other unfortunate target. The SEC filed an emergency court order in October 2018, suspending the ICO, and halting all pre-ICO activities.

The allegation was that Blockvest were raising funds for financial products promising passive income and double-digit returns. However, in November, a court ruled that the SEC had failed to prove that the BLV token was a security.

Cue the popping of champagne corks by Reginald Bloody Whatever-he-wants-to-call-himself III.

Hold Onto Your Horses Though

There was a little bit more to this story though, as Blockvest had (falsely) claimed that the fund was ‘licensed and regulated.’ It proudly boasted approval from major financial regulators, including the SEC, whose seal it illegally appropriated.

Not content with this, Ringgold had also promoted the ICO with his own fake regulatory agency, the Blockchain Exchange Commission. The ‘BEC’ had a strangely similar seal to the SEC and shared the same address as the SEC headquarters.

Whether the BLV token is a security or not, it is hard to argue that the ICO offer was not fraudulent in several respects. Also, the securities regulator has promised the aggressive pursuit of all unaccredited securities sold on the US market. Using its seal without permission is hardly going to inspire lenience.

So, of course, the securities watchdog continued its pursuit, and as of February 14, had managed to convince the court that promotion of the BLV token was after all a security, according to the Howey test.

Back at you, Reggie.

What do you think of the regulator’s actions? Share your thoughts below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock

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Source: Bitcoininst

Samsung Moving Aggressively into The Blockchain Space

It is no secret that many of the world’s largest corporations are exploring the potential of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency. Secure, distributed ledgers promise to substantially improve efficiency across many business sectors as well as create entire new markets for goods and services. Among the leaders in this space is Samsung, which has initiated a wide range of projects that are clearly designed to push it to the forefront of the blockchain revolution.

The South Korean tech giant has long been known as an innovator, and is presently developing Nextledger as part of Samsung SDS, the companies IT division. Nextledger is a permissioned blockchain platform similar to Hyperledger. It has a very broad roadmap, with the ultimate goal of offering a range of enterprise blockchain solutions to global clients. One of these services will be to create a secure digital identity protocol, which could be used for a wide range of authentication and security applications. Nextledger will also be used for a wide range of financial transfers for both corporate and personal customers. These transfers could include remissions, purchases, or institutional crypto or fiat funds.

A key component of Samsung’s move into the blockchain space involves a recent partnership with Dutch banking giant ABN AMRO to develop a shipping logistics system based on the Nextledger platform. Pilot trials are currently underway at the port of Rotterdam. Employing blockchain technology into global marine transport (as previously discussed by Crypto-News) has the potential to reduce costs by as much as fifty-percent, and a number of platforms are making inroads into the space. However, Samsung may be at a significant advantage given its extensive experience in moving its own products around the world.

Samsung is also moving into crypto mining. Last year its chips began appearing in ASIC miners made by Innosilicon, and in September the company confirmed that it would be developing next generation 10 nm chips for Squire Mining, a Canadian manufacturer. Samsung’s scale and established expertise in processor manufacturing should no-doubt give it a tremendous competitive advantage in this sector, and could likely bring in other players.

Most recently, leaked images have now surfaced of Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S10 that show the smartphone with an integrated cryptocurrency wallet. Named “Samsung Blockchain Keystore,” it is rumored to be a cold wallet capable of storing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and ERC20 tokens. Although Samsung has not officially confirmed the wallet, in December it filed a trademark with the European Union for the name “Blockchain KeyStore.” It also filed trademarks for the names “Blockchain Core,” and “Blockchain key box.”

The inclusion of a crypto wallet in the S10 would be one of the most progressive steps yet taken by a company into the blockchain space. Such a move could be a catalyst for mass adoption, and would almost certainly be followed by other smartphone manufacturers. Also, it is possible that the wallet would work in concert with Samsung Pay, thus enabling users to use cryptocurrency for fiat purchases.

Given the range of projects that Samsung is working on, there is little doubt that the company is seeking to position itself as a global leader within the blockchain services industry. These actions could prove extremely profitable moving forward as distributed ledger technology goes mainstream. There is also little risk, as these projects do not represent a significant investment relative to Samsung’s size. Most importantly, by becoming an active player in the blockchain revolution, Samsung is pushing the technology forward, and creating an incentive for more major companies to become players in the space.

Source: Crypto News