Where there’s a long line for beer today, there could one day be a Civic vending machine.
At its booth at SXSW Wednesday, the decentralized identity startup Civic was on hand to showcase three vending machines selling local staples – Shiner Bock and Austin Amber beer. The demo is a test for a product that Civic plans to roll out officially later this year: a $15,000 machine that can verify a user’s age and accept payment via crypto. The units are currently available for pre-order.
“We’re merging identity and payment into one transaction,” Civic’s Titus Capilnean told CoinDesk.
Since opening for business last Sunday, Capilnean estimated that the machines sold about 150 beers per day for a total of roughly 100,000 CVC – or $7,600 – in sales.
Tokens from the sales were airdropped to SXSW attendees by the company itself.
Beers cost 200 CVC each, or about $12 at the start of the event, Capilnean said. iPhone users who downloaded the Civic Pay app and verified their identity received enough CVC to buy one round. Then after making a couple taps on the machine and selecting the desired cold one, the unit shows a QR code that the user scans with their app, and payment is made.
“Basically, we built these and tested them here,” Capilnean said of the SXSW demo. It was the first time Civic ran sales and identity verification at once with the general public.
Though all transactions made through the app are settled in crypto, the idea is that users can interact with it fairly easily, just as they would in fiat. Civic first demoed its ability to verify ages with Anheuser-Busch at Consensus 2018, but this year the startup has upped that functionality by enabling sales via a mobile app.
Technical issues weren’t the only hurdle the company had to overcome.
“We got the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission to be on board with this happening,” Capilnean said. Once state regulators were convinced, SXSW organizers felt comfortable with the product, too.
The priority, Capilnean said, was somehow making sure that people under 21 weren’t drinking. From the Beverage Commission’s perspective, it didn’t matter if humans or machines did the proper verification.
While not disclosing potential partners, Capilnean said Civic is already in talks with companies that might contract with Civic in places where alcohol distribution could be improved. To take pressure off servers, sporting events and bars, for example, might be places that could use vending machines to verify age.
Still, Capilnean said Civic believes music festivals are the most immediate opportunity.
Telx Technologies Launches First Crypto-Facilitating SIM Card 1461
Cryptocurrency and telecommunications company Telx Technologies announced the launch of the first crypto SIM card wallet that enables transactions via SMS.
According to the company’s Medium post published on Aug. 22, the card allows its users to send cryptocurrencies via SMS with their dedicated crypto phone number. Notably, these transactions do not require a smartphone or an active Internet connection. On the other hand, the system also offers no control over a user’s crypto wallet.
Crypto transactions on “dumbphones”
As the crypto community tried to teach those new to the space during the “Proof of Keys” event in January, there are significant disadvantages in not having direct control over a wallet. More precisely, placing one’s assets in a wallet managed by a third party forgoes the trustless, decentralized and disintermediated nature of the technology involved, according to many crypto enthusiasts.
That being said, having your private keys managed by a third party often enables a higher degree of user-friendliness. Telx also mentioned this in its announcement:
“At Telx our goal is to make transacting digital currency as easy and accessible as possible. This means creating solutions that technical and non technical people alike can adopt. We believe there is tremendous synergy between payments and messaging.”
Everything new is well-forgotten old
Per the Medium post, the crypto SIM card is available in over 180 countries, allows unlimited SMS messaging and supports Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), DASH, Zcash (ZEC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). To execute a crypto transaction via this service, its user can send an SMS to any phone number.
Lastly, the company promises to prevent SIM swapping and phone number porting, to accept transactions originating only from the proper SIM card, to protect the wallet with a dedicated PIN number and to provide backup keys in case of a theft or loss.
As Cointelegraph reported in May, Sean Coonce, engineering manager at cryptocurrency custodian BitGo, announced that he became a victim of a SIM swapping hack.
Crypto Wallet Offers the Purchase Bitcoin and Ether for USD or EUR
A crypto wallet has enhanced its functionality, enabling users to buy cryptocurrency with a credit card using dollars or euros.
Lumi Wallet, which comes in the form of iOS and Android apps as well as a web wallet, says its motivation is to provide its users worldwide with safe and convenient tools for purchasing cryptocurrency. The company says it gives its clients the opportunity to buy Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) in a fast, simple and secure way. The safety of fiat-to-crypto transactions is ensured by Simplex — technology that allows the processing online payments with “complete fraud protection and chargeback coverage.”
By expanding multicurrency features, Lumi seeks to become more appealing to consumers not only in the United States but also internationally. The team says this increases mass adoption and the promotion of cryptocurrencies. Lumi adds that it also gradually localizes all its products in order to make the wallet accessible for users no matter where they live and no matter which language they speak.
Users’ data protection
Lumi boasts its adoption of Simplex, which prevents users’ credit card data from fraud via a Know Your Customer protocol and sends all the money back if something abnormal is suspected. Being considered the new crypto industry standard, Simplex processes billions in dollars and Bitcoin every year, and it collaborates with the largest crypto platforms, as Lumi reports.
The team emphasizes that fiat-to-crypto exchange will take place directly in the wallet by means of a built-in browser so that users don’t have to leave the wallet in order to carry out a transaction. The company says that its ambition was not only to make the purchase of cryptocurrency convenient for its clients but also to provide a sufficiently high level of user security.
From its inception, the client-side Lumi Wallet has placed an emphasis on the protection of privacy. This has been done by ensuring the anonymity of transactions and providing users with complete control over their private keys, which are saved exclusively on their own devices.
Easier than ever
According to Lumi, buying cryptocurrency today is no harder than shopping online. This attracts both newcomers who have never bought it before as well as crypto enthusiasts. What’s more, Lumi strives to create a pleasant user experience by providing an “intuitive interface and smooth design in its applications.”
As for other features of Lumi Wallet, it allows clients to organize their digital asset portfolio as they wish by exposing, hiding and shifting token wallets. In addition, both the mobile app and the web version of Lumi are equipped with crypto price graphs and the entire histories of users’ transactions.
The company is looking forward to move to an open-source model this year. According to its founders, it will be a major step in Lumi’s development. The team hopes that this milestone will help to attract more loyal followers and supporters, as well as put more trust in Lumi Wallet.
Lumi notes that its intention is to make not only the original wallet open source, but also the web wallet and Lumi Collect. The latter is an Ethereum wallet for ERC-721 tokens such as Blockchain Cuties, Cryptokitties, CryptantCrabs and more. Through Lumi Collect, a user can store and manage all of the crypto collectibles and in-game assets in one place. For some games, it is also possible to perform in-game actions (like gifting, selling or breeding) without leaving the app.
In the future, the company is planning to expand its functionality by offering more convenient tools, such as physical and virtual credit cards that will allow for hassle-free purchases of Bitcoin and thereby stimulate mass crypto adoption.
Exchange Makes It Easier to Purchase Crypto Using Fiat for First Time
A crypto exchange says it is providing a much-needed bridge between fiat and digital currencies — offering an easy, accessible, intuitive platform to consumers, especially when purchasing crypto for the very first time.
BitMart says too many exchanges rely on crypto-to-crypto transactions or depend on stablecoin trading pairs. Although this may be perfectly practical for enthusiasts who already own coins and tokens, the company says this can alienate large swaths of the public — many of whom have been taking a wait-and-see approach to cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC).
The exchange, which has offices around the world — including in New York, Seoul, Hong Kong and Nigeria — has the ambition of becoming the go-to channel for those who are looking for a way into the crypto world. To this end, the likes of Bitcoin and Ether (ETH) can be acquired through more than 300 payment methods.
BitMart has launched its fiat channel through a partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust. It supports same-day electronic payments via bank transfers, debit cards and credit cards with more than 2,500 banking institutions across the United States. The exchange currently offers zero fees for deposits and withdrawals, and once a fast verification process is completed, transactions can be initiated within a single click, enabling buying and selling to be done within seconds.
Customers get their own beneficiary accounts with the Evolve Bank and Trust for their assets, and transactional activities are only implemented with their express instructions. Email notifications and identity verification tools are also used to guarantee high levels of security.
A partnership with Simplex, an European Union-authorized financial institution, has enabled BitMart to accept fiat deposits via MasterCard and Visa cards. Meanwhile, a collaboration with Paxful enables crypto to be purchased using gift cards and PayPal. BitMart says it has chosen its third-party partners carefully to ensure that the process of purchasing crypto is easy, convenient and trustworthy — thereby removing barriers to entry.
Streamlined and reliable
Coins can be deposited directly into a user’s BitMart account, cutting down on the number of steps they need to take in order to keep their assets safe. From here, the consumer’s crypto options widen substantially, as they can trade their BTC or ETH for more than 110 cryptocurrencies offered through in excess of 235 trading pairs.
The company has the goal of being a “world-class digital asset trading platform.” To this end, a multi-layer and multi-cluster trading architecture is used to achieve stability and scalability, and eight major languages — English, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean, Russian and Turkish — are supported. BitMart plans to offer additional languages in the not-too-distant future as it continues its quest to appeal to an international audience.
The exchange claims that it has amassed more than 850,000 registered users, with a daily trading volume of $768 million, since its launch back in March 2018.
Features in the pipeline
Along with making it easier for everyday consumers to purchase cryptocurrency with various payment methods, BitMart says it has been seeking to bridge the gap between traditional finance and cryptocurrency world by offering spot trading and over-the-counter trading. Upcoming features include decentralized trading and future contract trading — delivering a greater range of products to its expanding user base.
BitMart is currently available online, through specially created apps for Android and iOS devices, and via the H5 mobile browser. Maker and taker fees are calculated based on each user’s trading volume over the past 30 days, along with the number of BMX — the company’s native token — that they currently hold in their account.
BitMart currently ranks in the top-10 crypto exchanges on CoinMarketCap and has the goal of reaching the top 10,000 of Alexa’s global website ranking, opening USD trading pairs and gaining 1.5 million registered users by the fourth quarter of 2019.