Earlier today, US telecom giant AT&T proudly announced that it had become the first major American mobile carrier to accept crypto assets for the payment of bills. Customers will be able to settle their accounts using Bitcoin thanks to a deal with BitPay.
Although such developments are great for those earning in Bitcoin, for most people interested in the number one digital currency, the appeal will likely be limited. They therefore do not quite represent the holy grail’s of crypto adoption many portray them to be.
AT&T to Accept Bitcoin Payments Through BitPay
It’s getting easier than ever to live your life exclusively using digital currency. More and more online merchants are opening up to crypto assets in one way or another.
Many with a vested interest in digital currency were excited recently by the news that several large companies would be accepting Bitcoin payments – albeit in a round about way. Bitcoin users can now kit out their wardrobes at Nordstrom, shop for gaming supplies at GameStop, and even pay directly for their groceries at Whole Foods using their favourite digital currency.
This latter point got people particularly excited given that internet retail behemoth Amazon owns WholeFoods. Speculation is rife that Amazon itself could be next to accept Bitcoin via this convoluted method of using a payment processor to pay with a peer-to-peer currency.
You see, part of the recent wave of increased acceptance has been made possible by a deal between crypto exchange Gemini and a payments start-up called Flexa. Users actually pay using an application called Spedn. The merchants themselves don’t receive Bitcoin but they for very little investment they can look supportive of uber-trendy things like cryptocurrency.
The latest company to join the pseudo acceptance bandwagon is US mobile giant AT&T. It announcedvia a blog post earlier today that it would be using crypto payments processing company BitPay to receive payments from its customers online.
In the AT&T press release, Kevin McDorman, the vice president of the company’s business operations, stated of the move:
“We’re always looking for ways to improve and expand our services… We have customers who use cryptocurrency, and we are happy we can offer them a way to pay their bills with the method they prefer.”
Sure, It’s Great for Crypto USERS, Not so Much for Speculators
Just like the other recent announcements of so-called merchant acceptance, this is not really the bullish news that many have made it out to be. Since AT&T will be using BitPay to process payments, they will simply receive dollars as they always would have done. To get those dollars, the Bitcoin is immediately sold creating additional downside pressure on the price of Bitcoin. For those purely speculating, it should be realised that by using such services you are increasing the likelihood of dropping the price of Bitcoin. It will be truly exciting when a major retailers takes payment directly in Bitcoin themselves and goes on to finance the business itself using the crypto asset.
Of course, these stories of increased acceptance are great for those who get paid in Bitcoin and don’t want to have to deal with an exchange just to go about their daily routines. Having more options than ever to spend crypto directly at is certainly advantageous for those trying to live without fiat.
Coinsource Adds Dai Stablecoin to Bitcoin ATM in Preparation of Remittance Roll-Out
Coinsource, a Texas-based bitcoin ATM operator, announced a partnership with the Maker Foundation to make the Dai stablecoin available on its machines this summer in preparation for the launch of a full remittance service.
Coinsource will be updating all of its 230 machines in 29 US states and the District of Columbia to allow customers to buy, sell, and store Dai stablecoins.
Phase two of the rollout will launch a remittance service allowing crypto ATM and Dai users to send cash from wallet to wallet, enabling recipients to instantly redeem funds at any Coinsource machine or supported location.
Like Facebook’s Libra, Coinsource is hoping to extend financial services to an underserved and unbanked population.
“By offering support for Dai, we can provide the benefits of crypto to customers who are without access to bank accounts, while at the same time allowing them to avoid the price volatility typically associated with today’s often fluctuating crypto markets,” said Sheffield Clark, CEO of Coinsource, in a statement.
MakerDAO limits the effects of market volatility through a 1:1 soft peg to the U.S. dollar, maintained with an underlying basket of crypto assets, Collateralized Debt Positions, and automated stability mechanisms.
Additionally, MakerDAO lets users lock up ethereum as collateral via a smart contract in exchange for Dai. Roughly 2 percent – equivalent to over $340 million – of all ethereum is locked in DAO’s decentralized finance application.
Steven Becker, COO of the Maker Foundation said this partnership will remove some of the barriers to enter the decentralized, permissionless economy.
The remittance service is currently only available in the U.S.
Coinbase Pro Lists Ethereum-Based Chainlink (LINK) After Google ‘Name Drop’
Despite the fact that crypto assets are bleeding out against Bitcoin, the Ethereum-based LINK (Chainlink) has recently received the support of Coinbase. This comes amid BTC’s move to $13,400, marking a 333% rally from the cycle bottom of $3,150.
LINK Down 1.2% Despite Coinbase Listing
Announced Wednesday via a blog post, Coinbase Pro, the startup’s cryptocurrency exchange for professional traders, will soon be listing LINK.
Per the announcement, starting around an hour ago, the platform will be accepting inbound deposits for the Ethereum token. Once “sufficient supply” of LINK is established on Coinbase-owned wallets and 12 hours of depositing has elapsed, Coinbase will commence trading for the asset.
Trading will take place against U.S. dollars and Ethereum. And the asset on Coinbase Pro will be supported in all jurisdictions the exchange is available in, sans New York State due to regulatory concerns.
As normal, the launch of trading will take place in four steps: deposits, posting limit orders, matching limit orders, and then full trading.
Despite this listing, however, LINK is down in the past 24 hours. In fact, according to Coin Market Cap, the cryptocurrency is down 1.2%, and down nearly 20% against the market leader, Bitcoin. This confirms this outlet’s previous reports, which revealed that by and large, the so-called “Coinbase (Listing) Effect” is dead.
Google Lauds Chainlink
This news comes hot on the heels of a statement of support for the project from Google. Per previous reports from NewsBTC, Google Cloud, the firm’s cloud computing services platform, released an article titled “Building hybrid blockchain/cloud applications with Ethereum and Google Cloud”.
While this was big news in and of itself, the crypto community focused on the article’s mention of Chainlink, which is focused on facilitating data from the Internet to be translated to and verified for blockchain.
The Ethereum project’s claim to fame is its so-called “oracle” system, which is a recently-launched product meant to improve processes made via blockchain. For instance, if someone is betting on a real-world financial scenario with the Ethereum-centric Augur, an oracle can be used to make the outcome verification process much easier. In the recent post, Google’s Allen Day adds:
“Possible applications are innumerable, but we’ve focused this post on a few that we think are of high and immediate utility: prediction marketplaces, futures contracts, and transaction privacy.”
This recent integration will allow for Chainlink, and Ethereum smart contracts by extension, to interact with BigQuery, Google’s data analyzer and portal. What this does is allows for developers to build decentralized applications that can harness Google, theoretically improving the efficiency and viability of smart contracts.
Bitcoin’s surge past $12,000 unrelated to Facebook’s Libra, claims Susquehanna executive
The cryptocurrency industry shot back into the mainstream media’s spotlight on the back of Bitcoin’s phenomenal surge and Facebook introducing its cryptocurrency, Libra. The timing of the current bull run was attributed to Libra’s launch by some members of the community, while others vehemently disputed this fact.
One such critic is Bart Smith, Susquehanna’s Head of Digital Assets, who stated that Libra had nothing to do with the BTC’s price increase and credit had to be solely given to the world’s largest cryptocurrency.
Smith pointed out that Facebook had not yet confirmed whether Facebook’s connecting cryptocurrency wallet will actually support Bitcoin and unless that was proven, there was no way to congratulate Libra for BTC’s growth over the past week. Smith added,
“Unless details come out that Facebook will support BTC transfer, there is no reason to give Facebook credit. This is also a clear indication that the price rise is not driven by Libra but rather because of Bitcoin’s own attributes.”
According to Smith, once Bitcoin broke the $9000 barrier, it pushed through a psychological resistance point which allowed more investors to jump into the Bitcoin ecosystem. Another positive note is the fact that Bitcoin’s previous psychological resistance was in the $5000-$6000 range. However, the same was beaten by the king coin’s stellar rise over the past three months.
Bart Smith further pointed out that the Bitcoin futures market was trading at more than 100 dollars, when compared to the preceding day, with miners raking in profits. There was a general divide among BTC enthusiasts, with some claiming that miners were getting the short end of the stick when it came to profits. However, that has changed a bit right now. Smith said,
“The above-mentioned factors together contributed to Bitcoin’s growth and Libra’s association with it can only be seen as connecting nonexistent dots.”