Ripple-Based Remittance Firm Send-Friend received a huge investment from Ripple, MasterCard and Barclays.

On Feb. 11, according to a press release, Ripple (XRP), the MasterCard Foundation, MIT Media Lab and Barclays in a funding round, invested in Remittance company Send-Friend.


The firm raised $1.7 million from investors such as Tech stars, Mahindra Finance, 2020 Ventures and 8 Decimal Capital in the round, to enhance its remittance service, which allows users to send money to the Philippines using blockchain.


To Overcome the lengthy process of traditional banking systems, Send-Friend uses Ripple’s xRapid product for cross-border payments, converting between USD, XRP and Philippine pesos.


Send-Friend co-founder and CEO, David Lighton, announced ‘This investment will allow us to build out our team, focus on community engagement, and marketing efforts.’ Send-Friend will feature “fees that are 65% lower than the industry average.” as per the press release.


The total number of customers to go over 200 is just because of Send-Friend, which was among the 13 new financial institutions that recently joined Ripple’s payment network, RippleNet.


Cross-border payments and remittance services at scale continue to be a struggle for many Crypto firms, stated by Bill Barhydt, CEO of crypto wallet provider and payment startup Abra, last month.

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By Summer 2019 Moscow Gov’t to Launch Blockchain-Enabled IT Innovation Cluster.

On Feb. 11, Russian news agency TASS reported, by summer 2019, A blockchain-based city innovation cluster will be launched by The Moscow municipal government.


According to Alexey Fursin, Head of the Department of Business and Innovation of Moscow, This platform for the city’s IT innovation cluster will help participants to get effective partners and information about their products and equipment.


Platform’s entrants will be able to receive financial support through grants from the Moscow government, as per Alexey Fursin.


This platform is based on the state-supported city navigation hub dubbed Moscow, and is currently improving and it’s in final stages of development, According to the official.


Recently announced by the Russian Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Education and Science, they will deploy blockchain technology in the country’s main graduation examination, the Unified State Exam (USE).


A blockchain-enabled platform for tracking natural diamonds was introduced by Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science last month, in order to guarantee the authenticity of diamond products across the supply chain.

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In Latest Research, BitMEX Safeguards Insurance War Chest

BitMEX describes its increasing insurance fund – currently worth over $75 million – as a “needed” reservoir for holding its unlimited upside model of leveraged trading, citing the “unique challenges” related to operating outside the institutional financial system and its safeguards.


CryptoCompare’s most recent exchange review states, the Seychelles-registered exchange hosts the vast majority of the world’s bitcoin perpetual derivatives/futures trading, consistently in the orbit of 90-95% – more than the US-regulated CBOE and CME markets altogether.


Unlimited Upside
BitMEX Research compare their operations to those of their institutional competitors, such as the CBOE and CME also they enumerate several layers of protection available to those institutions, BitMEX must cope to not have.


Emphasizing that solvency is especially important for institutional actors, whose market positions can be so large that failure to support trades could result in a risk to financial/social stability.


Hence BitMEX’s mechanic of reclaiming the entirety of a losing trader’s position after it reaches its margin limit, also know, as “liquidating,” which occurs in lieu of the equivalent “margin call.” BitMEX utilize liquidation to pay winning traders, adding to the insurance fund – if and only if market flow is “tighter than the maintenance margin.”


BitMEX make the case that this 21 thousand bitcoin fund is needed to cover gains owed to traders, pointing out that the fund has been entirely liquidated before and could happen again.


Criticisms
Others perceive this giant fund as excessive, and even as perverse incentive for BitMEX to trade against their own customers – allegations which the exchange denied.


Independent crypto researcher Hasu has in no uncertain terms called the fund “larger than it needs to be” and speculated that BitMEX may use the fund as a “second additional income stream other than commissions.” By way of evidence, he observed that money goes missing from the fund periodically.


While taking issue with the fund’s size, Hasu ultimately considers it a secondary concern. His “main concern” is with the status of the fund’s ownership; namely, the insurance fund is squarely controlled by BitMEX rather than “an external insurer or industry consortium.”


CryptoGlobe reported last month on the possibility that US authorities could shut down the offshore exchange, due to failure of adequate measures in keeping North American users off its platform.

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Testnet Decentralized Exchange launch date out by Binance CEO

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance, CEO Changpeng Zhao tweeted the date of release testnet version of its new decentralized exchange as Feb. 20.
Binance DEX, aims to provide a decentralized basis for Cryptocurrency holders to trade tokens, removing liability and security hurdles related to traditional, centralized platforms.


The testnet release will be public, with Zhao requesting feedback from users in the same tweet.


The date follows previous announcements with more details about Binance DEX, which will include support for Cryptocurrency hardware wallets. This feature will allow users to trade while retaining control of their private keys, says Zhao.


Promises of a testnet had circulated since December, with Binance since launching an over-the-counter desk for large volume traders and other expansion features.


At the time DEX was announced, Zhao added that he anticipated it running either in tandem with the original Binance platform or even replacing it altogether, depending on market reactions.
A company spokesperson confirmed in January, Binance is planning to expand into two new markets as in 2019.

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NEO is a Beneficial Blockchain for Smart Economy Vision

14th January 2019 – Open-source blockchain project NEO is promising an exciting mix of tech, business, and regulatory speakers at its 2019 DevCon event.


Hundreds are estimated to gather at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Seattle between February 16th – 17th to listen to more than 40 speakers and sight more than 30 projects across 20 separate exhibits.


NEO will be hosting a one-day workshop that will introduce developers to the fundamentals of NEO blockchain development. With support for multiple programming languages such as C#, Python, and JavaScript, NEO aims to be the most developer friendly smart contract platform.


NEO founders Da Hongfei and Erik Zhang will open the event giving visitors insight into NEO’s promise of a Smart Economy and plans for platform growth over the next 12 months.


The rest of the opening day will focus on topics such as platform architecture, innovation, the regulatory landscape, and the transition to a Smart Economy.


Scheduled speakers include Miha Kralj, managing director of the world’s largest consulting company Accenture, who will speak about the big trends in blockchain, and Dr. Chris Berg of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT), who will discuss crypto-economics and its part in the future of the global economy.


Joseph Williams, Governor Jay Inslee’s ICT industry sector lead & State of Washington ICT economic development director will give visitors an insight into how regulators view the development of blockchain.


Day two of NEO DevCon will shift gears and take a deep dive into technical blockchain topics such as consensus mechanisms and decentralized storage, as well as explore a range of decentralized application (dApp) use cases, patterns and practices.


Co-founders of the NEO Saint Petersburg Competency Center, Sergei Liubich and Anatoly Bogatryrev, will present research progress on their NEO based distributed decentralized storage platform.

 

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Upheaval of Crypto’s After Market rise, Bitcoin hold over $3,600

Saturday, Feb. 9 —Bitcoin (BTC) is holding steady above the $3,600 price point as Coin 360 data shows, major Cryptocurrencies are facing a mix of mild gains and losses, following a major market surge since yesterday.


On Friday, Feb 8. BTC gained over $200 reaching a multi-week high of $3,691 throughout the day. The top currency continued to trade consistent today, before a balance to press time around $3,660.


BTC daily transaction volume is gradually growing. As Cointelegraph reported earlier this week, the past highs are to be seen as of January 2018, when world’s top currency valued to $20,000.


Ripple (XRP), currently the second largest Cryptocurrency, has shed about 1 percent in price on the day and is now trading near $0.31. Its market capitalization is over $12.7 billion — about $260 million bigger than the next largest crypto, Ethereum (ETH).

 

ETH price is increasing around $119. Week wise the currency mostly traded sideways near $110, falling to an intra-week low of $103 on Feb. 6. Yesterday’s market returned back ETH value as of late January.
Back this day, total market capitalization of all Cryptocurrencies spiked over $122 billion, before taking a fall back down to $121 million later, according to CoinMarketCap. The daily trading volume for the last 24 hours is around $20.2 billion.


Binance Coin (BNB), Maker (MKR) and Litecoin (LTC) are the major gainers on the day. BNB, currently the 10th largest coin by market cap, has gained nearly up to 3 percent, seeing fairly steady growth since Feb. 6. MKR is up 3.2 percent, while LTC is up 3.5 percent on the day. since yesterday litecoin is on a double digit rise, claimed to be 4th largest Cryptocurrency.


Among the top twenty coins, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Tron (TRX) is on a loss for the day, with about 2 percent as of press time.


In industry news, Bakkt, the much-certain digital assets platform operated by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), has closed its first acquisition. The move marks the finalization of an acquisition of assets in futures commission merchant Rosenthal Collins Group.


In a win for adoption, Argentina’s state public transport card SUBE (Sistema Único de Boleto Electrónico) can now be topped up by using Bitcoin.

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