E-Commerce Giant Rakuten to Move Crypto Exchange to New Payments Subsidiary

Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten has announced a revision to its corporate restructure, setting up a new payments subsidiary that includes its cryptocurrency business, Cointelegraph Japan reported Jan. 21. Rakuten, known informally as ‘Japan’s Amazon,’ originally revealed in August last year it would seek to reorganize its various offshoots in order to improve accountability and decision-making processes. Now, the company says it will rebrand its loyalty subsidiary, Spotlight Inc., to a new entity, Rakuten Payment, which will also run its cryptocurrency exchange. Rakuten Payment, along with other details of the restructure,…

Tangem Crypto Wallet | Japan’s SBI Group Invests $15 Million

Announced today, Japanese banking giant SBI Group has invested in Swiss crypto startup Tangem. The company is the creator of a slimline hardware cryptocurrency wallet. SBI Group Invests in Tangem SBI is offering its support to Tangem with a $15 million USD investment. It will use the capital to expand into areas such as stablecoins, ICOs, tokenized asset offerings, and digital identity. Tangem Crypto Wallet Described by the company as a “smart banknote for digital assets,” Tangem’s cryptocurrency wallet mimics a bank card in that it allows a user to make off-chain physical transactions.…

Bitcoin News Summary – January 21, 2019

Here’s what happened this week in Bitcoin in 99 seconds.  Mining giant, Bitmain, is closing another office in Amsterdam and they are also halting its mining operation in Texas. While bad for Bitmain, these developments are actually improving decentralization in the Bitcoin mining space. Currently, only the BTC.com mining pool controls more than 11% of the total hashrate. South Korea’s government will offer tax breaks to its blockchain companies. Blockchain companies in the country will receive between 20 to 40% tax relief on their R&D expenditure, encouraging innovation. Speaking…

Huobi Resumes Operations in Japan as a Fully Regulated Exchange

Huobi is back in Japan, this time as a fully regulated exchange under Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA). Following its merger with BitTrade, Huobi Japan Holding Ltd. is now among the first batch of 17 to receive registration under the FSA and is able to relaunch Huobi Japan. Leon Li, Huobi Group founder and CEO, called the launch an “important milestone” in a statement, adding that the Japanese market remains important to the group and that working with its “regulators is a longstanding priority for Huobi Group.” Japan’s financial regulator…

This Bitcoin Startup Is Working on Free Speech Alternatives to Patreon

Patreon has been making the case for censorship-resistant money increasingly apparent. The platform allows members to contribute to artists or creators that they support. These contributions are made via standard payment methods like credit cards. Over the past few months, there has been an increase in public outcry over multiple separate instances where Patreon has removed creators from its platform. BitPatron, a Bitcoin-friendly version of the website, has recently come to the surface as a possible alternative. A Series of Bans One of the first well-known bans dates back to…

Living on Bitcoin Day 4: The Uphill Climb

This is the fourth instalment of reporter Colin Harper’s “Living on Bitcoin” experience in San Francisco. Find out what happened to him earlier on Day 1 , on Day 2 and on Day 3. I woke up in a state of amazement: In my three days of living on bitcoin, I had managed to survive on a handful of services and the generosity of friends. Hungry for any place that would let me spend it, I was more determined than ever to call up every single store in the Bay…

Binance Expands Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange Into Europe Via Jersey

Binance’s cryptocurrency exchange platform has expanded into the European market with its entry into the Island of Jersey, a self-governing dependency of Great Britain. Binance Jersey will allow trading of popular cryptocurrencies bitcoin (BTC) and ether (ETH) against the euro (EUR) and the British pound (GBP). The exchange will launch with four trading pairs, including BTC/GBP, ETH/GBP, BTC/EUR and ETH/EUR. In a statement, Wei Zhou, Binance’s chief financial officer, called the island “an undisputed pioneer in blockchain development leveraged by this strong framework and talent pool.” He added: “Binance Jersey…

Haven, a New App From OB1, Lets Users Chat, Shop and Send Crypto Privately

Blockchain startup OB1, the developers of decentralized shopping platform OpenBazaar, have announced Haven, a privacy-focused app for socializing with friends and making purchases with cryptocurrencies. The project was announced by Brian Hoffman, founder and CEO of OB1, at the North American Bitcoin Conference in Miami. The developers claim that Haven will “enable users to shop, chat, and send cryptocurrencies privately from their mobile device.” The ability to chat with friends and family on social networks has been tainted with data breaches and reports of the networks tracking user activity and…

BitPay Sets New Company Records, in Spite of Crypto Bear Markets

Blockchain payment platform BitPay has announced that 2018 has been their most profitable year, having “processed over a $1 Billion again in payments and set a new record for transaction fee revenue.” In a statement, BitPay CEO Stephen Pair said, “To process over a $1 Billion for a second year in a row despite Bitcoin’s large price drop shows that Bitcoin is being used to solve real pain points around the world.” 2018 was a particularly fraught year for the crypto space, as prices saw a steady decline. Nevertheless, BitPay…

BRD Wallet Expands Crypto User Access Across Europe With Coinify Partnership

Coinify, a European-based financial platform that provides a wallet, trading and payment processing solution, has announced that they are integrating BRD Wallet into their platform to deliver BRD wallet access to users across the European region. Specifically, the partnership provides access to virtual currencies, like bitcoin, to 34 countries across the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA). The SEPA region is a collection of member states in Europe who are part of a payment system that simplifies bank transfers denominated in EUR. The launch is also enabled largely in part by…