Weekly Wrap-Up: Visa Now Settles Payments in USDC (April 5, 2021)

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Good morning. Welcome to Monday Markets Wrap-up, part of our new series: BitPinas Daily. We will look back at all the major news and updates that happened this week. Crypto is global, but sometimes news that matters happens while we sleep. So we bring to you what’s happening in our space here and abroad. We highlight three to four important news of the past week and list down the rest.        

Market Price as of April 5, 2021:

Bitcoin$58,229+2.05%
Ethereum$2,077.76+3.06%
BNB$349.05+9.08%
DOT$44.24+6.09
ADA$1.18+0.85%
SLP$0.05+5.7%


Bitcoin closed April 4, 2021, at $58,229 per BTC. We’re up 2.9% in the last 7 days and up 97% since the year began. This is also 5.649% below the all-time high of $61,711, which was hit on March 13, 2021.

Bitcoin’s market capitalization stands today at $1,071,456,902,564 which is 54% of the entire cryptocurrency market. The entire crypto market, by the way, now has a market cap of $1,961,680,237,441  (+1.4%).

On the table above, there’s the cryptocurrency SLP. If you wonder what that is, check out this article: Playing Axie Infinity vs Minimum Basic Salary in the Philippines.

VISA

Visa Settles Payments in USDC

Visa says it is now settling payments in the USDC stablecoin on the Ethereum blockchain. This makes Visa the first payment network to use a stablecoin as a settlement currency. Most of the “pay in crypto” options today are actually still settled in fiat currency.

Visa’s initial partner for this program is Crypto.com, which also has a card business. In the past, crypto.com was required by Visa to settle in fiat first but now they do not need to go through that complexity and settle directly in crypto.

“The announcement today marks a major milestone in our ability to address the needs of fintechs managing their business in a stablecoin or cryptocurrency. It’s really an extension of what we do every day, securely facilitating payments in all different currencies all across the world,” said Jack Forestell, Visa’s chief product officer.

PayPal

PayPal Launches Checkout With Crypto

JP Morgan

JP Morgan: Less Volatile Bitcoin Attractive to Institutions

According to a research from JP Morgan, one of the biggest impediment to institutional adoption of Bitcoin is its extreme volatility.

The research did say that this volatility is now subsiding. “Over the past weeks, we started seeing the first signs of bitcoin volatility peaking and subsiding from its end-February highs,” the research noted.

“In our opinion, a potential normalization of bitcoin volatility from here would likely help reinvigorate the institutional interest going forward which, as we had highlighted in our previous publications, slowed in Q1 vs the previous quarter.”

Finally JPMorgan said Bitcoin “will become over time a more important component of investors’ universe and given their preference for ‘digital gold’ over traditional gold.”

Bank of International Settlements

BIS: CBDCs Could Resolve Long Standing Payment Issues

For context, BIS stands for the Bank of International Settlements, the central bank of all central banks. According to its general manager Agustín Carstens, “payments between users in separate countries depend on transfers between their respective central banks, which, in turn, have to collateralize their own transactions heavily with their respective currencies and central bank money. The underlying settlement process is not that much faster than it was 40 years ago, despite various faster payments solutions (FPS) emerging.”

“From the user perspective, these solutions may look very similar. What distinguishes a retail FPS from a retail CBDC is that the latter is a central bank liability offering the unique features of central bank money, and this could be a key difference.”

“In contrast (to inter-bank payments), the same transaction in a CBDC-based payment system would be much simpler, as a payment only involves transferring direct claims on the central bank from one user to another. There is no credit risk: funds are not on the balance sheet of an intermediary, and transactions are settled directly in central bank money, on the central bank’s balance sheet, in real time.”

Read more from The Block.

Fake Apps

Fake Trezor iPhone App Scams User Out of $600,000 in Bitcoin

The user lost 17.1 Bitcoin, worth around $600,000 at the time, and worth more than $1 million today, to a fake Trezor app on the App Store. 

Philipe Christodoulou had stored his Bitcoin on a Trezor wallet. At some point he wanted to check his balance and found a “Trezor App” on the App Store. After installing and putting in his credentials, his wallet address was swept off his BTC.

Apple said all apps went to a rigorous review process but acknowledged that some were able to get through. This particular fake Trezor app was on the App Store from jan. 22 to Feb.3 and was downloaded 1,000 times, Decrypt reported. Apple said it had removed 6,500 apps with “hidden and undocumented features” last year.

Early this year, Trezor also warned users of another fake app, this time, on the Google Play Store.

We have written this article sometime in 2018 and although slightly outdated, the advice still rings true today: List of Bitcoin Scams, Cryptocurrency Scams, and How to Avoid Them

The Stats for the Month

Crypto Exchange Volume Surpasses $1 Trillion for the Second Month in a Row

Monthly Bitcoin Mining Revenue Reached All-Time High

What else is happening

  • Crypto Hype Cycles and You
  • Andreessen Horowitz Leads $4.4M Round in DeFi’s Element Finance
  • Ethereum Improvement Proposal 1559: Is the squeeze worth the juice?
  • This is how to make — and lose — a fortune with NFTs
  • Michael Jordan Joins $305M Investment in Firm Behind NBA Top Shot
  • Galaxy Digital Prepares for US Listing in 2021, Names New CFO
  • NFT Art Market SuperRare Raises $9M From Mark Cuban, Samsung, Others
  • BNY Mellon Weighs Controversial Bitcoin Valuation Model
  • Bitcoin is outshining gold in the battle of the safe havens

This article is published on BitPinas: Weekly Wrap-Up: Visa Now Settles Payments in USDC (April 5, 2021)

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Michael Mislos

A business ad graduate from the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila, Mike is the website manager of Bitpinas.com. He is responsible for almost every content you see on the site, from topic/news selection to editing of articles. Mike believes correct information about blockchain and cryptocurrency can empower people to make accurate decisions about the industry, which, in turn, should deter bad actors from taking advantage of crypto & blockchain. [Telegram @mikemislos]