The world’s first cash-in cash-out remittance platform built on the revolutionary blockchain technology, Bitspark is truly disrupting the US$700 billion remittance industry. For too long, the industry is being played and manipulated by banks and other money transfer platforms like Western Union and MoneyGram. Then came Bitspark, that showed the world how banks and other money transfer platforms are charging so much and practically ripping off people in the name of cross-border transaction fees. Bitspark is the world’s first bank-less money transfer platform that uses cryptocurrency for international money transfers and only charges a fraction for the transaction fee, much less than other remittance platforms.
A blockchain and crypto enthusiast, Maxine Ryan, the co-founder and COO of Bitspark is challenging the status quo, along with George Harrap, her business partner and other co-founder of Bitspark. I talked to Maxine and she discussed the challenges Bitspark is currently facing, vision of her startup and current circumstances Bitspark is going through.
- What difference do you see in conditions when you first started Bitspark in 2014 and now?
Maxine: Specifically in Hong Kong there hasn’t been too much of a difference just because there hasn’t been a huge legal change or regulation change, pertaining to cryptocurrencies. I personally think it is a good thing as I do understand the need for a minimized risk but I actually like the way that Hong Kong is approaching this landscape, which is more of a wait-and-see approach. I would say that because of the landscape, regulators have a hard task on their hands to try to understand how to regulate this space without trying to tap off the potential as we have seen in the U.S. where businesses are failing because they sought to spend so much time and money on the regulations.
- Since 2017-18 bull run, have Bitspark witnessed an increase number of users?
Maxine: We are in the game of moving money using cryptocurrencies so we have seen a very steady adoption of Bitspark over time. I would say that we have seen pretty healthy adoption, although our customers don’t know that they are using cryptocurrency, they just see that they have got a really good rate and sometimes it is 15% better than the market rate and a lot better than Western Union or any other service. But I would say that adoption has definitely become much easier in terms of selling practice standpoint because they already know of bitcoin and there isn’t such a vagueness around it that people could not understand before.
- Great! Currently, in how many countries people can actually use Bitspark?
Maxine: We have 4 cashing locations in Hong Kong and one vault. The vault is for business customers and the shops are for retail customers, so people can cash in meaning, they can get a balance on their account, now that does not mean that people can’t deposit cryptocurrency. Currently, people can actually deposit Ethereum and bitcoin as well and as soon as they have a balance, they can cash out from Philippines, Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria and Vietnam as well. There are 5 countries and over half a million locations that people can currently cash out from.
People in the country that are sending and the countries of which they can send to, is not really the cash out locations, they are recipients and the cash in locations. It is dependent on who is sending, like Hong Kong has a huge Indonesian and Filipino population because most of them are here for work and we have seen a really big adoption between our Hong Kong-Indonesia and Honk Kong-Philippines corridor.
- How stable is Bitspark and currently, how big is the team?
Maxine: Bitspark is built on the BitShares blockchain, which is stable and actually faster than MasterCard, I believe. We are definitely built for scalability and that is the reason Bitspark is built on BitShares blockchain.
Our team is about 20 people and we have 2 offices in 2 different countries. One is in Hong Kong, which is our operations office, consisting of our marketing, sales management and design department and then our Ukraine office has all our technical team of mobile-web platforms and DevOps.
- What are the challenges Bitspark is facing currently?
Maxine: I think the biggest challenge right now is trying to find great talent which means that we need some special people to help us execute what we visioned. We want people who would bring value to Bitspark to expand and we are looking for special individuals to join the team.
- Are you also planing to expand operations in other countries?
Maxine: We are focusing on 5 corridors that people can send to currently but definitely, we are thinking about expansion. Currently we are focused on building a second component to the platform, that allows anybody in the world to become an inclusion point. Definitely, we have a global vision of what the company should become.
People can expect the new version of Bitspark by end of Q1 2019, as the second roll out will include a feature where people will be able to apply and become an inclusion point.
- Do you think bitcoin ETF approval will help massive adoption?
Maxine: It depends on the jurisdiction. I think that because of the nature of cryptocurrency in general, it is very hard to provide regulation on something that essentially is technology but I think that there will be more regulation coming out to deal with the services. Singapore just recently came out with a new payment regulation that also includes cryptocurrency under its umbrella but I think that we shouldn’t be looking cryptocurrency as something to regulate, we should be looking at the services of which it can basically touch and then look at the regulations on them and then consider it within existing regulation.
- Right! Do you see any regulation coming from the U.S. any time soon?
Maxine: Yes U.S. will probably come out with regulation but it just makes it very hard market to enter and also to foster innovation, one of the reasons why we don’t actually service the U.S. citizens, which is a real shame but essentially, it is just too regulated to operate in this space. I think in terms of the technology development, we will definitely see more from the US and they are definitely at the forefront but I think we are going to see the application of it in Asia and Africa.
- How is the crpto community shaping up in Hong Kong?
Maxine: The community in Hong Kong is definitely thriving as more blockchain companies are opening up along with some of the largest exchanges in the world. The things are pretty positive because we do see a migration of companies that are setting up here. We talk to a lot of partners as well that want to partner with us because we are based in Hong Kong. The landscape of Hong Kong to start a company is very good especially, if it is in the crypt.
TRON (TRX) Long-Term Price Forecast- February 17
TRX/USD Long-term Trend: Ranging
Supply zone: $0.0400, $0.05000, $0.0600
Demand zone: $0.01000, $0.00800, $0.00600
Tron long-term outlook remains in a range-bond market. The bears return predicted in last week analysis remained strong within the range. The two EMAs were broken as the bears continue the downward journey.
TRXUSD dropped initially to $0.02448 and later to $0.02360 in the demand area. This was the low of the week on 14th February.
With price below the two EMAs crossover and the stochastic oscillator signal in the oversold region pointing up at 8%. It suggests a minor push to the upside before downtrend continuation within the range.
TRXUSD is in consolidation and trading between $0.02881 in the upper supply area and at $0.02142 in the lower demand area of the range. A breakout at the upper supply area or breakdown at the lower area followed by a retest may occur hence patience is required to allow this to happen before a position is taken.
New Ripple Insights Post Shows New Generation Of Blockchain Workers Getting Support From Fundação Getúlio Vargas In Brazil
New Generation Of Blockchain Workers Receives Necessary Support And Education From Fundação Getúlio Vargas In Brazil
Blockchain technology is growing every day, and the only way to keep up the pace is to have new developers learn the technology and seek out ways to improve it. However, before that innovation can happen, the industry needs more people that understand blockchain technology, which is what Sao Paulo’s Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV) is working towards.
FGV is one of the leading universities in Brazil, and they offer the University Blockchain Research Initiative, which was recently developed by Ripple. Professor Riccardo Rochman of the university spoke with Ripple on a recent issue of their Insights blog to discuss the way that their Crypto Master’s Program is readying blockchain entrepreneurs and leaders for the future.
The topics of blockchain and cryptocurrency are necessary research topics in Brazil, considering the role they play in the evolving economy. In Rochman’s opinion, blockchainhas the potential to overthrow the current protocols that exist in business and economics, ultimately empowering the people of Brazil.
Presently, the Brazilian Development Bank (BNDES) uses blockchain and a proprietary cryptocurrency as a way to fund local businesses. Considering this use case, Rochman pointed out that the new paths being made for blockchain technology will make the environmentally friendlier and needier of the new workers and entrepreneurs with a fresh take of the fintech.
A major part of this future vision is UBRI, which Rochman says is helpful in bringing in more students to the program. In fact, he has noted that there has been an increase in the number of research proposals on blockchain, along with new dissertations.
With the funding, FGV has been able to work with private firms as well. They have also been responsible for the networking that has been set up with other UBRI-funded universities. The cooperation of these networking relationships is now is what will pivot the blockchain community forward. Last year, Rochman even was part of the launch of the Master’s Degree in Crypto Finance, which had never been done before now.
When the program originally began, there were about 20 that enrolled in the first course that they made available, while 250 joined the Master’s Program. The numbers have grown exponentially since then, and there have been many new students immediately enlisting in the program. Rochman views the work that the university is doing as a way to change Brazil and eventually the rest of the world.
Glitch Goons Is The Newest And Hottest Blockchain Powered Game In Town
One of the first multi-blockchain technology supporting mobile games of its kind, Glitch Goons is a definite win when it comes to blockchain technology progressing. It features very futuristic elements such as a “vaporwave saturated atmosphere” and insane cyborg slash animal slash human characters engage in glorious battle to survive on a dying world.
The game which was released in late 2018, supports a wide variety of crypto technology. supporting a whole range of cryptocurrencies.
The premise of the game is simple. It is set on Earth in the year 2690 where nuclear war has resulted in most species being wiped off Earth. Now the survivors live underground where life is hard due to a lack of oxygen and water. In order to survive, they must battle other survivors in order to make it to a newer colony on a distant planet called Garthorix.
To make their way to the transport system called the ‘Transposition Channel that transfers human minds to a selected ‘carrier’s’ body on Garthorix.
This 80’s inspired trailer is giving us major Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter feels, very reminiscent of the popular retro gaming vibe.
The official Glitch Goons website also features a brief look into the backstory and history of the entire realm and also has comics.
This fighting game also allows players to upgrade and customize their characters through cyrpto coins and 1 GC equals around 0.005ETH. Although the game play isn’t the best, the story and the applications of blockchain inspired technology makes this game worth playing.
Other than different characters, players can also buy chests that contain 5 items each, ranging from rare and legendary gear which includes armor, boots, weapons, helmets, pants, jewelry and even modification chips.