Myanmar’s Central Bank Wary of Volatile Cryptocurrencies; Cautions Investors to Not Trade

Myanmar’s Central Bank Wary of Volatile Cryptocurrencies; Cautions Investors to Not Trade

According to a report by The Myanmar Times, published May 20, 2019, the Central Bank of Myanmar (CBM) has warned investors against trading in cryptocurrencies due to their volatile nature.

The Burmese Apex Bank Issues an Anti-Crypto Warning

Aiming to safeguard novice investors from the volatile nature of digital currencies, the CBM earlier has issued a warning stating that it does not recognize cryptocurrencies as legal tender and that financial institutions in the country are not allowed to facilitate transactions involving the same.

The country’s financial experts opine that retail investment in cryptocurrencies has been on a steady rise ever since they broke into mainstream news during their historic bull run towards the end of 2017.

At its peak, bitcoin touched an astronomical value of approximately $19,500 which was soon followed by similar bullish traction in altcoins. However, exit scams and fraudulent crypto projects were quick to capitalize on the hysteria, which resulted in oblivious investors doing away with their money.

The report adds that the absence of large exchange platforms and crypto research firms in the country has made it even more challenging for regulatory bodies to keep track of digital currency transactions data daily.

The Future Looks Uncertain

The latest announcement by the CBM has added to the ambiguity surrounding the fate of cryptocurrencies. It’s worth noting that the apex bank has not yet put a blanket ban on cryptocurrency trading. It has, however, barred the country’s banks and financial institutions from entertaining transactions related to digital currencies which could, in the long run, be reason enough to stifle the growth of Myanmar’s crypto ecosystem.

At present, a total of 17 countries, including the likes of the U.S., Singapore, Japan, Germany, and Switzerland, officially permit transactions in cryptocurrencies. Further, countries like Hong Kong and Thailand are taking proactive measures to assess the risks and advantages of crypto assets and accordingly, draft regulations to govern their respective crypto industries.

U Nyein Chan Soe Win, a fintech expert and CEO of Get Myanmar, told the Myanmar Times that as no existing law prohibits the exchange of digital currencies, it can’t be said for sure that trading cryptocurrencies is illegal. He added:

Before making crypto illegal, its impact on the local currency and compatibility with existing policies should first be analyzed and discussed.

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Calastone Launches Blockchain-Based Decentralized Market Infrastructure

Calastone Launches Blockchain-Based Decentralized Market Infrastructure

Calastone, a leading global transaction network for the mutual fund industry, has launched its blockchain-powered Distributed Market Infrastructure (DMI) in a bid to enable digitalization and frictionless trading at a global scale, according to a blog post on May 20, 2019.  

Calastone Integrate DLT

As stated in its blog post, Calastone, a firm that operates a transaction network for fund managers, custodians, and fund administrators in the United Kingdom and other jurisdictions, has announced the successful launch of its blockchain-based Distributed Market Infrastructure after more than a year of testing the technology.

With the successful integration of distributed ledger technology (DLT), Calastone firmly believes that revolutionary technology will enable the entire mutual funds’ markets to save more than $4 billion annually.

Trade Execution in Real-Time

Though nascent, blockchain technology has proven in recent times that it’s capable of allowing financial institutions to boost their productivity through its essential properties which include the elimination of unnecessary intermediaries and faster payments processing, to mention a few.

Calastone has hinted that its new DMI will make it possible for both large and small financial services organizations across the globe to have access to a “fully mutualised global funds marketplace” that supports the real-time trading, settlement, and servicing of funds.

This way, the DMI will help financial institutions to cut costs, mitigate risk and operational burdens present in the current traditional model.

A Game Changer?

Commenting on the launch of the DMI, Julien Hammerson, CEO of Calastone reiterated that since the firm began operations in 2008, it has been exploring ways to use innovative technology to significantly slash the cost of trading, foster transparency and increased returns for market participants.

Hammerson said:

“The launch of the DMI today marks a significant step for the entire funds industry, creating a friction-free global marketplace for funds. By leveraging the latest technology we are able to provide the investment management community with the necessary tools they need to control risk and cost while meeting the evolving needs of investors.”

According to the team, the DMI will enable market participants to connect to an automated infrastructure and it also comes with the Sub-Register feature, which provides users with a shared, real-time view and history of all activities between trading partners in the entire distribution chain.

With more than 780 customers in different regions across the globe, including Hong Kong, Australia, Taiwan and more, Calastone has joined the growing list of firms adopting DLT, demonstrating once again that the technology has real use cases in the financial ecosystem, as well as several sectors of the economy.   

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Dutch Bank ABM AMRO Dumps Plans for Custodial Bitcoin Wallet “Wallie”

Dutch Bank ABM AMRO Dumps Plans for Custodial Bitcoin Wallet “Wallie”

On May 20, 2019, The Next Web reported that major Dutch bank ABM AMRO had shelved its plans to launch a custodial cryptocurrency wallet called “Wallie” stating that digital assets are “just too risky.”

ABM AMRO Is No Longer Interested in Cryptocurrencies

One of the Netherlands’ premier banks, ABM AMRO has decided against entering the crypto space on account of the volatile nature of the emerging class of assets. A representative from the bank told The Next Web that it would not go ahead with the development of the Wallie cryptocurrency wallet.

Jarco de Swart, senior press officer at ABM AMRO, said:

We have approached all the people who have shown interest.

Adding:

We have concluded that cryptocurrencies because of their unregulated nature are at the moment too risky [sic] for our clients to invest in.

Reports surrounding the bank’s foray into the crypto business surfaced in January 2019 when its twitter handle confirmed that it was trialing a Bitcoin custodial wallet. Later, it was discovered that the banking giant was indeed contemplating launching its own custodial digital assets wallet and had even asked 500 of its customers about the same to gauge the market demand for such a product.

Interestingly, by dropping the idea of launching its crypto-based offering, ABM AMRO has joined similar financial institutions who initially tried to test their luck in the crypto industry only to back-pedal shortly after.

For instance, in August 2018 financial services firm Goldman Sachs was rumored to begin offering bitcoin custodial services. However, the firm later abandoned its plans fearing regulatory crackdown from the likes of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC).

However, not all banks and financial institutions are afraid to take the crypto bull by the horns. As reported by BTCManager on May 6, 2019, Wall Street behemoth Fidelity Investments could begin offering its institutional-grade Bitcoin trading service “within a few weeks.”

ABM AMRO Still Believes in Blockchain Technology

ABM AMRO might have pulled themselves out from the competition in the crypto market, but that doesn’t imply that it is not interested in pursuing business ventures regarding the technology that undergirds digital currencies.

As previously reported by BTCManager, the Dutch bank had developed a blockchain-powered service that allowed non-bank organizations to manage clients’ funds without using escrow accounts.

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CryptoKitties Founders Launch Blockhchain-based Game Cheeze Wizards

CryptoKitties Founders Launch Blockhchain-based Game Cheeze Wizards

Dapper Labs, the company behind the famous blockchain game CryptoKitties, has announced the launch of its new blockchain game Cheeze Wizards on May 17, 2019. It’s a battle royale where players can summon Wizards to fight in a duel for the “Big Cheeze.”

Where Ether Meets Magic and Cheese

Currently valued more than $135 billion, the gaming industry is estimated to sit atop a $300 billion valuation by 2025. Blockchain stakeholders have been trying to peg blockchain and cryptocurrencies to this huge industry and bring as much entertainment and benefit to the gamers as possible.

Igniting more innovation into the blockchain gaming industry, Dapper Labs, widely known for its successful game CryptoKitties, has announced its new blockchain game Cheeze Wizards. Citing the novelty of the game and the fact that it is built over new technology, Dapper Labs’ Medium blog stated:

“Right now, Cheeze Wizards is as much an experiment as it is a game. [A lot] of lessons from CryptoKitties informed our approach.”

Cheeze Wizards, only accessible to those with cryptocurrencies, is a player vs. player magical duel. Gamers in the game will own crypto collectibles called the Wizards which they will use to fights against other Wizards during the tournaments.

The game allows multiple Wizards to be invited for a series of duels by using ether. The value of the prize, Big Cheeze, gets bigger with more Wizards joining the battle royale. The winner of each tournament earns a title and the ether that is collected in the tournament.

Cheeze Wizards is currently heading through the pre-sale stage of Wizards, where people can buy from the four categories of Wizards, each described with a different set of abilities and special powers.

Designed for Extensibility

People were able to build on top of CryptoKitties their own products as part of The KittyVerse. As such, Dapper Labs will also allow independent creators and third-party developers to make their own “cheezy tools, projects, and features” on Cheeze Wizards, too.

The blog read:

“We may be the creators, but we want this game to belong to the community. [Every] Cheeze Wizard is an NFT (non-fungible asset) designed for extensibility.”

Though on a 2D level, the game brings more action into blockchain games and is sure to attract at least a few curious gamers. It might not be the blockchain version of Fortnite, as the blog clearly mentioned, but it’s a mark of a good start towards that point.

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OmiseGo Launches Newest Release Version

OmiseGo Launches Newest Release Version

OmiseGo, a leading cryptocurrency payment processor and exchange, has launched their second version of the OMG network, Samrong. In a blog post, May 19, 2019, OmiseGo offers some insight on the updates to the Ari platform and what’s to come for Samrong.

Upgrade for OMG Network

Since the launch of Ari in February 2019, OmiseGo has been in the headlines for its minimal implementation of Plasma, designed by Joseph Poon and Vitalik Buterin, who are both advisors to OmiseGo as well.

The new launch has made significant modifications to Plasma smart contracts. It builds on Ari’s Minimum Viable Plasma (MVP) and runs a More Viable Plasma, increasing the functionality of the network.

Samrong will allow users to sign transactions using the EIP-712 standard, meaning the signature can be carried out through integrations like Metamask. EIP-712also  allows Ethereum signatures to be displayed in a structured and readable format.

Additionally, meta-data fields in the upgrade now allow users or dApps to store any information in their transactions.

Ari is currently up and running, but will be shutting down in the near future to increase application development and block explorer capabilities for Samrong. Having upgraded their network with a better implementation of Plasma, there is no reason for Ari to continue.

Users will need to migrate their Rinkeby ETH and ERC20 tokens from Ari to Samrong to make sure they aren’t left behind.

Plasma and Smart Contract Viability

Plasma is a protocol designed to drastically scale smart contract usage to include fraud detection, minimal trust, and offer a single ledger.

It is regarded as one of the most ambitious efforts to scale smart contract on the Ethereum network and ever since the whitepaper, Ethereum has been trying to find a way to integrate Plasma but to no avail. The current Ethereum roadmap lists Plasma as an upcoming upgrade but with no implementation date given.

Plasma smart contracts on Ethereum will be autonomous and enabled by Nakamoto consensus; it has the potential to change the entire landscape of blockchains for the better.

With OmiseGo running a basic version of the design by Buterin and Poon, it shows that Plasma need not be a distant reality. Integrating it into Ethereum may prove challenging, but coupled with Sharding, it may be the biggest scalability development in the pipeline.

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MakerDAO Proposes 17.5 Percent Stability Fee Decrease

MakerDAO Proposes 17.5 Percent Stability Fee Decrease

In another twist, MakerDAO‘s Interim Risk Team has decided to initiate a proposal to reduce the stability fee from 19.5 percent to 17.5 percent, as per a blog post from May 17, 2019. This is the eighth fee change in three months and the second in May 2019. 

Finding Solid Ground 

MakerDAO has backtracked on their increase from 16.5 percent to 19.5 percent carried out on May 3, 2019, after their plan to convince Collateralised Debt Position (CDP) holders to close out their contracts backfired.

With the fees rising from two percent to nearly 20 percent in the span of a few months, the MakerDAO Foundation was expecting CDP holders to close out their contracts. But as users were willing to bear the rising interest costs, the foundation was stuck in a scenario for which they hadn’t adequately prepared.

The point of stability mechanisms like that offered by MakerDAO and Basis Protocol (now defunct) was to create a central banking governance solution to implement monetary policy in a decentralized and community-driven manner.

But in raising fees from two percent to 19.5 percent has earned several different critiques from members in the crypto community. In the first, some have pointed out that it would be cheaper to get a loan from a traditional financial institution in a third world country.

While one dimension of the fee increases – raising and reducing fees to match the volatility of ETH – makes a fair amount of sense, the practical viability of using MakerDAO’s stablecoin, DAI, declines.

In any case, one aspect that should be appreciated is their commitment to maintaining their peg; centralized stablecoins like Tether are far less bothered to halt supply in times when their peg goes below one dollar. In making decentralized governance, their focal point has enabled MakerDAO to better facilitate community discussion and account for the opinions of those with a vested interest in the project.

Decentralized governance has found a competitor in algorithmic monetary policy as stablecoins like Reserve may prove to have an edge over DAI in terms of maintaining a stable peg. Nevertheless, MakerDAO is and will continue to be one of the most effective decentralized lending platforms – so long as they find a long term solution to keeping DAI’s peg intact without rapid fee changes.

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Payments Platform BitPay Hints at Adding a Top Five Cryptocurrency

Payments Platform BitPay Hints at Adding a Top Five Cryptocurrency

The blockchain payments platform BitPay has added a new member to help continue growing its business. In a May 7, 2019, press release, the company announced that Glen Braganza, formerly of WorldPay, would join BitPay’s operations as their Chief Financial Officer. Beyond that, Rolf Haag, head of BitPay’s business solutions, said in an interview during Consensus 2019 that the platform would be adding “one of the top five cryptocurrencies” before the end of the year.

Boosting a Fast-Growing Business

Glen Braganza’s experience at Worldpay U.S. along with managing the Mergers & Acquisitions sector for several different financial organizations underline BitPay’s ambitions for continued growth. In 2018, the platform processed over $1 billion in payments and boasted a total of two million wallet users. And although the service only offers exposure to bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) at current, the business world has taken a keen interest in adopting payments in digital currencies.

Commenting on this interest, CEO of BitPay, Stephen Pair, pointed out that his company’s record growth was due mostly to businesses experiencing the advantages of blockchain payments. In 2018, the firm’s business to business service pushed past 200 percent with companies like Avnet using the pioneer cryptocurrency for settlements and international payments.

In hiring Braganza, it’s clear that BitPay is intent on continuing this growth. While at Worldpay U.S., Braganza led the firm to a $1.3 billion valuation and grew the company from 2,500 employees to over 5,000.

Regarding his interest in crypto, he said that:

“BitPay is at the cutting-edge of blockchain-payment technology and has proven itself as a valuable partner to numerous companies and consumers globally. I believe that BitPay has the opportunity to be a game-changer in the financial technology and payment space as the use cases for blockchain payments grow around the world.”

Integrating Wallets and Coins

When founded in 2011, the platform needed only to integrate the Bitcoin blockchain. Since then, BitPay has only added Bitcoin Cash despite the over 2,000 altcoins currently available. Naturally, this has been a point of contention for many in the crypto community, but Rolf Haag told BTCManager in an interview that the reason for this is relatively simple.

“It’s difficult work integrating new blockchains to a service,” Haag said. “But since we already had Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash was relatively easy due to their extreme similarities.”

Another pain point for many when using BitPay is its limited wallet integration. When making travel arrangements on sites like CheapOAir, which accepts bitcoin as a form of payment, users are limited to creating a Coinbase or Blockstream wallet to complete the transaction. With the recent Neutrino scandal at Coinbase still fresh in many minds, as well as the uncertainty behind anything other than a hardware wallet, some have commented that BitPay corners users into using specific services.

Haag, however, explained that the BitPay platform is all open source and thus if a firm is interested in being a part of the collection applications that the firm supports, they merely need to work with BitPay’s code. “We would be happy to have Ledger or Trezor become compatible with our protocol. They just need to adopt the source code,” Haag said.

Another major point of interest for BitPay fans is the integration of new coins. Similar to a new listing on Coinbase, a project that earns a spot with BitPay will surely see a boost in price. But when pressed for clues, Haag remained tight-lipped on the subject outside of an announcement in 2019. “Just keep an eye on the top five coins,” he said.

If the reasoning behind integrating Bitcoin Cash stands true, then there are few other coins in the top five category that make the cut. Litecoin’s source code, like Bitcoin Cash’s, is a near identical replica of Bitcoin outside of the specifications made for speed. All that remains after that is ether (ETH) and XRP and high hopes.

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Does Blockstream Hold Backdoor Keys to Bitcoin on Liquid?

Does Blockstream Hold Backdoor Keys to Bitcoin on Liquid?

This week, Blockstream launched the Liquid Network, a sidechain built on Strong Federation technology to facilitate quick and seamless transfer of bitcoin (BTC) between exchanges. Their website indicates they hold “emergency keys” to bitcoin held on Liquid, but there’s more to it. A Reddit thread offered both sides of the story; the anti Liquid and clarification from the top of Blockstream’s pecking order.

On Blockstream’s published FAQ for the Liquid Network, they state that there are emergency keys that can access bitcoin held on the network if the network is down for a prolonged period. The keys do not give them direct control over the holdings, but it does allow them to resend the locked coins to the last known owner on the Liquid chain.

This could potentially open Blockstream up to specific regulations as depending on how these keys work, and it may fall under the purview of a money transmission license, which has recently become a huge issue in the crypto community for companies operating in the USA. Holding emergency keys ultimately gives them access to the gross value on the network, and it wouldn’t be naive to think regulators will see this as a semi-custodial solution.

Adding to this, the network is a “federation,” and the Strong Federations whitepaper states it helps solve the speed and privacy issues on Bitcoin. Liquid is currently only allowing members to run a node and view the ledger, but they say in the future they will allow anyone to run a Liquid node.

Lightning Network Regulation and Clarification of Emergency Keys

Blockstream’s ex- CTO, Gregory Maxwell, offered some clarity on the situation in a Reddit thread.

A tweet from Adam Back, the CEO of Blockstream, shows him explaining the emergency keys are only active once the network has been inactive for 28 days. Furthermore, the funds are held in multisig wallets that require three different parties to sign off on to validate the emergency key function – for security reasons, Back did not name the three participants. Maxwell also cast doubt over whether the design is built the way Adam Back described it.

The Lighting Network is currently plagued by rumors that regulators are keeping a close eye on it due to its custodial nature. While funds are not directly held in custody, but instead locked in Hash Time Lock Contracts (HTLC), the use of an intermediary to transmit funds from one to another is the key feature bringing it to the attention of financial regulators.

While Liquid doesn’t seem to be in too much of a tussle, regulatory action has been wildly inconsistent with decision making, so grabbing regulatory attention definitely cannot be ruled out.

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Scaling Bitcoin: Is the Lightning Network a Viable Solution?

Scaling Bitcoin: Is the Lightning Network a Viable Solution?

In laymen’s terms, the Lightning Network (LN) is a protocol built on top of the Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Monero blockchains; these protocols are called “layer two protocols” because they run on top of an existing network.

By moving away from the main chain, layer two protocols help the overall network experience less latency as it utilizes its consensus tools and can delay the need to be verified on the main chain. This improves the speed of transactions and ultimately leads to adding more users who can continue to use the network efficiently.

The consensus tool on Lightning is a smart contract called a Hash Time Lock Contract (HTLC). This is a contract split into two parts; the hash lock and the time lock. The agreements allow users to safely transfer bitcoin to another person on the Lightning Network through a channel provider. Successful execution of these contracts leads to a recipient receiving funds in a trustless manner and the issuance of a Lightning invoice.

Positive Points on the Lightning Network

The layer two protocol has many advantages over the main Bitcoin chain. Because LN is is much faster than on-chain transactions, it is aimed to become a network that facilitates a large number of small value transactions.

While many complain of the high fees on the Bitcoin network, Lightning significantly reduces that despite adding on a small price for the channel provider. This is a result of not requiring immediate block confirmation of a transaction, as this is done only when a channel is closed.

Since transactions over a Lightning channel are confirmed on a block only when the channel is closed, transactions over LN have intrinsic privacy-enhancing features. Despite channel providers acting as middlemen, Lightning transactions are, for the most part, trustless. This does bring up the question of how consensus is possible in such a scenario.

Think of 100 students in a classroom taking lecture notes. Their job is to go home and individually upload their notes on a college-wide database. In this scenario, observers trust most students are honest participants, and only a minority will willingly submit incorrect information to the database. This is a form of Byzantine Fault Tolerance (BFT) where we rely on the accuracy of honest participants by believing that if a minimum 67 percent of all students submit identical notes, it must be accurate.

Coming back to the Lightning Network, this analogy informs that to disrupt the integrity of the network, 67 percent of the system would need to be malicious actors. Ultimately, this means the very channel providers of the Lightning Network would need to be mal-incentivized for such an event to occur.

This is a far-fetched scenario as the parties with “skin in the game” are unlikely to be the ones trying to end the “game.”

Drawbacks of Lightning and Layer Two

While the Bitcoin community is continuously highlighting the bright side of scaling with the Lightning Network, there is an equal number of negative aspects.

The most basic of the negative aspects is the liquidity constraint; when a channel provider facilitates a transaction for 15 BTC, the channel must already have 15 BTC of liquidity. To couple with this, the ROI of running a channel is incredibly low compared to a deposit on BlockFi, MakerDAO, or any other form of staking.

This means a channel must have the liquidity to run, and even when the channel has it, the return on those funds, which could have been deployed in a more profitable avenue, are incredibly low. This is a direct contradiction to the argument that on-chain fees must be higher to incentivize miners to contribute more hash power in securing the network.

Peter Rizun, the Chief Scientist of Bitcoin Unlimited and an advocate of Bitcoin Cash, offered an extremely simplified explanation for the Lightning Network.

Despite his obvious bias, many who side with LN and Bitcoin found his description to be very helpful, barring a few minor technicalities. To summarize the article, the Lightning Network works like beads on a string; for a bead to be sent from one end of the string to the other end, it has to go through all the channels in between. As a result, the efficacy of a channels payments is solely dependent on how well connected they are to other LN nodes. In some cases, a node is unable to establish a connection to the node they wish to pay and are forced to transact on-chain with high Bitcoin fees.

Hash Time Lock Contracts (HTLC) are the method of enforcing trustless transactions over the network. They allow users to transfer value from one another using intermediaries who do not hold direct custody of funds in the process. But these contracts have a huge drawback; any amounts set under the dust limit are exchanged in a trustless manner. The reason for this is because when a transaction amount is lower than the network fee, it cannot be added as a third output on the transaction.

After receiving the hash generated from the password the receiver sends, the sender puts the amount into the channels fee bucket and promises to pull it out and give it to the channel after receiving confirmation that the receiver got their money. The channel provider then puts the same amount in the receivers fee bucket, promising to take it out and give it to the recipient if they provide the hash password.

Once the hash password is given the channel can prove it transferred the BTC to the recipient and the sender takes their money out of the fee bucket and gives it to the channel; the channel promptly does the same for the recipient.

But at the end of the operation, the channel that received their payment is not obligated by the network to pass it on to the recipient. While they cannot benefit from it (as it’s in the miner’s fee bucket) they can deprive the recipient of their funds – the lack of incentives is what keeps this from happening in the current scenario.

The fear of this mechanism comes from a situation far in the future when BTC fees inevitably rise due to excess demand over supply for block space. This means if fees were hypothetically $10, the dust limit is anything under $10, meaning it is not an economically viable transaction as fees are higher than the actual amount. This, of course, is currently not a big issue, so the liquidity constraint and semi-custodial nature of the network are the most significant drawbacks at current.

Technology Expansion and Commitment to Improvement

From a practical standpoint, the benefits of Lightning outweigh the negative aspects of the network. No technology is perfect, but the commitment shown to scaling and improving Lightning Network are worthy of plaudits.

Christian Decker, a researcher at Blockstream, very eloquently, described the problems with LN and the way the development team aims to overcome these hurdles. In a recent episode of Peter McCormack’s podcast, What Bitcoin Did, Decker gave listeners an outlay of what’s to come for LN, and it is nothing short of insightful.

Lightning Network is neither as functional as Blockstream and Bitcoin proponents claim it is, nor is it as flawed as the other factions point out. With few significant obstacles to overcome and a clear path forward, the Lightning Network has turned into one of the most exciting projects on the Bitcoin blockchain.

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Zulu Republic Launch Bot for Bitcoin and Altcoins Transaction on Whatsapp

Zulu Republic Launch Bot for Bitcoin and Altcoins Transaction on Whatsapp

Zulu Republic, an ecosystem of digital platforms powered by Ethereum, has launched its Lite.IM bot, to enable Whatsapp users to seamlessly send and receive bitcoin (BTC), litecoin (LTC) and its native ZTX altcoin on the go, according to a tweet on May 19, 2019.

Zulu Fostering Bitcoin Adoption

In a bid to promote widespread adoption of cryptoassets, Zulu Republic has announced the launch of a solution that enables Whatsapp users to send and receive bitcoin, litecoin, ether, and ZTX in real-time.

Reportedly, the Lite.IM bot currently supports English and Spanish, and interested users can easily integrate the app to their Whatsapp messaging application by simply following the onscreen instructions provided by the platform.

The team says users of the Lite.IM bot will earn referral bonuses in crypto when they refer their friends who also install the app.

It’s worthy of note that this is not the first time that Zulu Republic is creating an innovative solution aimed at making life easier for hodlers.

In October 2018, Zulu Republic announced that the Lite.Im app could facilitate crypto transactions via Facebook Messenger, making it possible for the over two billion users of the social networking platform to send, manage, and invest in litecoin securely.  

Crypto Everywhere

Despite the seemingly unregulated nature of the cryptospace, numerous forward-thinking startups are working round the clock, creating solutions aimed at promoting mainstream crypto adoption.

As reported by BTCManager earlier in January 2019, CoinText.io, a platform that allows cryptocurrency holders to send and receive cryptos in over 33 jurisdictions via SMS, expanded operations to the Philippines, to enable residents to make borderless payments and withdraw pesos at local exchanges with near-zero fees.

“The Philippines has numerous crypto exchanges that make using cryptocurrency for remittances a no-brainer. With CoinText, Filipinos can make borderless payments and withdraw pesos at an exchange for a fraction of the cost of traditional money transfer services,” declared Vin Armani, CoinText founder and CTO.

Earlier in May 2019, BTCManager informed that Flexa, a New York-based fintech startup had launched its SPEDN app to enable cryptocurrency users to pay for everyday items at thousands of retail stores in the United States, including Barnes and Noble, Baskin Robins and Amazon’s Whole Foods Market to mention a few.

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