Cryptocurrency payment processor BitPay faces another publicity nightmare amid claims it blocked donations to Hong Kong for several weeks.
According to a complaint on social media by Tom Grundy on Sept. 11, founder of crowdfunded media outlet Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP), BitPay suddenly began failing to pass on funds from donors.
Press CEO: “Never use BitPay”
HKFP has accepted Bitcoin (BTC) support since 2015. Since that time, BitPay has processed payments worth just under 15,000 HKD ($1,900).
For the past three weeks, however, the company has blocked access, Grundy explaining that delays in the fiat banking system were to blame. BitPay, he adds, has kept silent in the face of support requests and complaints.
“Funds held for weeks simply b/c HK banks use SWIFT not IBANs,” he wrote on Twitter, continuing:
“Never use @BitPay, folks. Truly the worst experience you can imagine — poor reputation, abysmal communication, horrible customer service, *very* high fees. Almost any alternative will be better.”
As of press time, no official response to Grundy has appeared.
BitPay’s unenviable reputation
As Cointelegraph reported, BitPay has seen multiple scandals involving various aspects of its operations, including freezing payments, failure to support major wallets and allegedly attempting to make customers actually use Bitcoin less often.
Last month, a Bitcoin donation to the Amazon rainforest fires worth $100,000 suffered a similar fate.
The practices have long irked crypto proponents, who argue the company is an unnecessary complication for Bitcoin, which functions without intermediaries and payment permissions.
As with previous angry customers, HKFP soon fielded offers of alternatives processors such as the open-source BTCPay
Santander Bond on Ethereum Accrues Its First Quarterly Interest
In September, Spanish banking giant Santander became the first financial entity to manage all aspects of a bond on a public blockchain. The $20M bond on the Ethereum blockchain has now accrued its first quarterly interest.
The bond, first settled in September, was big news for the world’s largest smart contract platform when it was first traded.
Now, we have an update on Santander’s bond — it has accrued $99,000 in interest for the first quarterly period, as reported by Whale Alert (@whale_alert).
Ethereum and the Decentralized Finance Movement
The interest was distributed through a series of transactions, documented in the above Tweet.
Many are pointing to this as evidence that banks prefer Ethereum to Bitcoin. Ethereum’s latest focus has been on decentralized finance (DeFi), a hot topic in the cryptocurrency space. The goal is to move as many traditional assets onto decentralized platforms as possible, with the hopes of it reaching critical mass. Cross-communication between traditional and decentralized finance is crucial to the long-term viability of Ethereum and cryptocurrencies in general.
Banks Playing Catch Up
In May, BeInCrypto reported that banks were trying to ‘catch up’ to fintech by investing in blockchain technology. Santander, the bank responsible for this $20M bond, has committed to investing 20B euros in digitizing its information technology over the coming years.
Other banks have pledged similar amounts to make this transition possible. Altogether, it further boosts the case for decentralized finance with Ethereum coming out as a prime platform to make this a reality. Now that the Santander $20M bond has accrued interest for the first time, we can safely say that ‘decentralized finance’ has taken on real meaning.
In August, BeInCrypto also reported that the World Bank raised $34M after selling an Ethereum-backed bond. The sale was facilitated by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA), RBC Capital Markets (RBC), and TD Securities (TD). Many offshore investors were participants of this important milestone in the history of cryptocurrencies.
Bitcoin Longs are Rising Rapidly Today, But Why is its Price Not Moving?
Bitcoin has been caught within an unrelenting bout of sideways trading within the $7,000 region in the time since it bounced from lows of $6,500 in late-November. This consolidation period has made it increasingly unclear as to where BTC will go next.
One potential factor that could provide some insight into what type of movement is coming next is the fact that Bitcoin’s long positions have been skyrocketing, which may actually spell trouble for BTC’s bulls in the near-term.
Bitcoin Continues Inching Lower as Bears Build Strength
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading down over 3% at its current price of $7,285, which marks a notable decline from its daily highs of over $7,600 that were set in sharp and fleeting movement yesterday.
BTC’s rejection at this level signals that sellers currently have firm control of the upper-$7,000 region, and it currently remains unclear as to whether or not buyers will be able to defend the support levels that have been established around $7,000.
One factor that should be closely watched in the near-term is the massive increase in BTC long positions, which could be a bearish sign, as these longs could help fuel a “long squeeze” that perpetuates a massive downwards movement.
Zack Voell, a popular figure within the cryptocurrency markets, pointed out the sudden rise in long positions in a recent tweet, saying:
“Someone is longing the hell out of bitcoin.”
While looking at the chart that Voell referenced above, it is clear that there is an inverse correlation between long/short positions and price movements, as long positions dived to multi-year lows in March of 2019 when BTC was trading at yearly lows in the $3,000 region, just before it began a massive rally up to $13,800.
Why is BTC Stuck in a Bout of Sideways Trading?
Although extended periods of sideways trading can come about as a result of accumulation, Cantering Clark, a popular cryptocurrency analyst on Twitter, explained in a recent tweet that this current consolidation period is simple a “weak attempt to reclaim an important level.”
“No major break, nothing changed. Narrative starts when direction is less certain. This isn’t accumulation, it’s a weak attempt to reclaim an important level. Further down we go,” he bearishly explained.
This extended period of Bitcoin trading within the $7,000 region may soon come to an end, as the unprecedented rise in long positions may provide significant fuel to sellers.
Bitcoin Could Benefit from $68 Trillion Generational Wealth Transfer: Grayscale Exec
Bitcoin could be an attractive investment option for wealthy millennials, according to Grayscale’s managing director Michael Sonnenshein.
Grayscale’s managing director Michael Sonnenshein recently made an appearance on Yahoo! Finance where he weighed in on the upcoming generational transfer of wealth that could do wonders for Bitcoin.
“The $68 trln of wealth are going to be passed down to millenials over the next 25 years. That’s a lot of capital,” Sonnenschein said.
The Grayscale exec doesn’t expect all this money to flow into Bitcoin but he states that the top coin is “certainly” going to resonate with the millennial audience (aged 18 to 37). 👉MUST READ
A Bitcoin-friendly generation
Back in July, Grayscale released its report, which showed that 21 million US investors considered putting their money into Bitcoin. Sonnenschein thinks millennials could be the generation that will drive the adoption of cryptocurrencies.
He points to the recent report released by brokerage firm Charles Schwab, which shows that the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust was more popular with millennials than Netflix and Disney.
A Bankrate survey found that millennials were five times more likely to put their money into crypto compared to the generation of baby boomers (55-75 years old).
The least Bitcoin-friendly demo might not be a completely lost cause. As reported by U.Today, Galaxy Digital CEO Mike Novogratz wants to tap into the immense wealth of elderly Americans with his two new Bitcoin funds. 👉MUST READ
Shattering gender stereotypes
The cryptocurrency industry is generally considered to be dominated by men. They represent 79 percent of all crypto-related event speakers. However, Grayscale findings show a different picture — 43 percent of all interested investors are female.
Still, there is an educational gap, which appears to be the biggest hindrance for those women who want to dip their toes into crypto.