Satoshi Nakamoto years ago envisioned an ecosystem that would be independent of the centralized financial system that dominates the global economy today. His creation sparked a global community of enthusiasts and an entire industry surrounding blockchain — the solution enabling individuals to turn their money away from centralized legacy institutions and toward transacting on a decentralized, distributed ledger. The ultimate goal was a world in which people could pay for goods and services with these novel financial instruments.
Many payment companies and exchanges already claim to offer services that enable crypto users to buy goods and services with cryptocurrency. Upon further analysis, however — like with Binance’s new debit card offer — it’s clear their crypto payment solutions don’t deliver on the blockchain, adding more intermediaries and opening users to the same harm that could befall them digitally using traditional payment methods.
How the crypto payment process works
Currently, there are two mainstream methods of processing a cryptocurrency-fiat transaction. One method involves the intermediary accepting cryptocurrency and converting it into fiat at a locked-in, instantaneous exchange rate and then delivering fiat to the merchant or vice versa. The second method involves first liquidating the user’s crypto into fiat in the user’s account before it reaches the intermediary and then sending the fiat payment to the intermediary to complete the transaction. The first method takes place on the blockchain, while the second does not.
Numerous payment platforms offer one of the two aforementioned types of transactions. Even the giants are mulling over jumping into the game. PayPal has weighed the idea lately of offering crypto payments to consumers, which could lead the way to increased stabilization of the volatility often associated with Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies. But it remains to be seen exactly how these payment providers plan to process the transactions — whether they would technically allow consumers to pay in crypto or in fiat on or off the blockchain. That’s an important difference to crypto users.
What crypto users want, and what Binance’s card offers
Crypto enthusiasts, as well as regular consumers who like to pay in crypto, value the secure nature of blockchain, which, on top of the clear security benefits, doesn’t include the hidden administrative feeds that credit cards do, such as chargebacks or non-purchase credit card fees.
There are also personal reasons consumers choose to purchase with crypto: the advantage of having full control of their money on a blockchain, an element that is arguably missing from non-blockchain means of storing or transferring financial assets where banks have control. This is the foundation and spirit of cryptocurrency ownership for many crypto users. Some crypto payment solutions available to crypto users, however, have diminished this foundation by the way in which they execute transactions.
Most recently, Binance announced a partnership with Swipe, in essence acquiring the company. Through the acquisition, Binance account holders can now be issued a Binance-branded Visa card. Binance’s Changpeng Zhao, also known as CZ, explained:
“To achieve our mission of making crypto more accessible to the masses, off-ramps are a key component as well. By giving users the ability to convert and spend crypto directly, and have merchants still seamlessly accept fiat, this will make the crypto experience much better for everyone.”
According to the company’s marketing, the card can then be used to purchase goods or services from merchants that accept Visa, giving the impression that the consumer is paying the merchant with cryptocurrency — but there’s a catch. Upon deeper analysis, it’s clear the account holders are not really buying anything with cryptocurrency nor are they making the purchase on the blockchain. This payment method only makes it appear as though the consumer is paying using cryptocurrency. In actuality, the charge is to the customer’s fiat account.
A source close to Binance explained that if the fiat account is empty, Binance’s system converts cryptocurrency from the user’s crypto account into fiat currency. The converted fiat currency is then deposited into the fiat account and used to make the purchase with the Binance debit card. In the transaction, Binance sends the converted fiat currency to the card company to complete the payment process. So, technically, the payment never truly involves paying with crypto or on the blockchain.
Why Binance’s card offer causes crypto contradiction
There are two conceptual problems here. First, the crypto liquidation process into fiat currency through Binance, which is similar to banking mechanisms, is out of the control of the user, negating the foundational spirit of owning cryptocurrency instead of holding cash at a bank — not to mention the unnecessary redundancy it creates by adding Binance, Swipe and Visa as additional intermediaries in the transaction process.
Second, by sending the payment through traditional credit card rails that are not on the blockchain, the user loses the security benefits of paying on the blockchain. Essentially, the whole process places Binance in a sort of bank-like position rather than a facilitator of payment between the user and the merchant, which is what Visa or Mastercard serve in this example.
To satisfy the crypto community’s hunger for a truly decentralized digital currency, users need to know they are paying in crypto, and not be deluded by the promise of it. This means crypto payment platforms need to ensure they are accepting the payment as crypto and not converting the crypto to fiat before sending payment to merchants — an act that undermines the element of transaction transparency to the user.
The most cryptocurrency-user-friendly approach would involve accepting cryptocurrency and instantly locking in a rate that the user will see before paying. Such a mechanism would restore transparency and grant the user full control of the digital currency, while also ensuring that the transaction stays on-chain, thereby reaping its benefits.
These may seem like negligible details, but to a cryptocurrency owner, it can make a world of difference. The entire reason for which users get into crypto revolves around control of the currency and the multitude of benefits of running transactions on a blockchain for both the consumer and merchant. For exchanges and crypto payment providers, the key is to stick to the crypto and blockchain way, rather than creating an illusion. This is true to Satoshi’s vision.
The views, thoughts and opinions expressed here are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect or represent the views and opinions of Cointelegraph.
Joshua Tate is the CEO of ForumPay. Josh is a seasoned executive officer with more than 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur, practitioner and legal professional. Prior to founding ForumPay, he founded and launched multiple companies in diversified industries such as fintech, media, real estate and energy. Josh concurrently holds positions as director, CEO and general counsel of several companies and provides a wealth of experience in both fintech and traditional finance. He holds a Bachelor of Science from Kansas State University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Kansas.
President Maduro: Venezuela Seeks Opportunities To Use Cryptocurrency For Global Trade
- Venezuela’s cryptocurrency story continues as the country’s President Nicolas Maduro has presented new use cases.
- A recent report informed that the South American nation is studying the possibility of using digital assets in trades alongside the national Petro.
- President Maduro has presented new anti-sanctions law in the Constituent National Assembly. In a recent speech, he asserted:
“The anti-sanctions law is the first response to give new strength to the use of petro and other cryptocurrencies, national and global, in domestic and foreign trade, so that all cryptocurrencies of the world, state and private, could be used. This is an important project that is under development.”
- The news comes after Maduro suggested last year that his country could adopt cryptocurrency payments.
- Additionally, Venezuela signed a new tax agreement this summer that enabled the nation to start collecting taxes and fees in the Petro.
- A study reported by CryptoPotato revealed that digital assets already play an essential role in the country’s struggling economy. Venezuela’s intensifying financial crisis has catalyzed significant interest in cryptocurrencies as people seek opportunities to escape the devaluating national currency.
- The Bitcoin peer-to-peer volume exemplifies the growing interest in the primary cryptocurrency within the country. As per data from coin.dance, the BTC P2P volume on LocalBitcoins has been continuously surging in the past several months.
Leader That Allowed Scams: TRON’s Justin Sun Responds to Claims by Ex-Employees
Yesterday The Verge published an elaborate article portraying a picture of Justin Sun’s leadership at BitTorrent post the peer-to-peer file-sharing site’s acquisition by the TRON foundation.
Sun later responded to the ‘false-claims’ made by TRON/BitTorrent’s ex-employees in the article with ‘An Open Letter to Anyone Who Cares to Read’ on Medium.
Claim: Megalomaniac Leader; Response: True Libertarian
In the supposedly expose piece, author
Refuting the above portrayal of his leadership, Sun, in his response, stated that he has devoted his entire life ‘to being a responsible, global citizen’. Adding to this, Justin said that is a true champion of libertarian principles for a significant portion of his life.
I have devoted myself to being a responsible, global citizen throughout my entire life, spending significant portions of my personal and professional life to activities promoting universal values of respect, liberty, equality, and kindness.
The TRON and BitTorrent chief impressed further on his ‘global’ approach to things. He explained that the TRON Foundation harbors a ‘global team of talented contributors and developers’. And that he takes ‘pride in working’ with this global community to make TRON ‘one of the greatest decentralized blockchain protocols’.
Claim: Freedom Suppressor; Response: Upholder Of Human Rights, Individual Values
Dunaway reportedly engaged in conversations with folks who are/were associated with the TRON brand and the work culture. From what he gathered, Justin enforced a draconian company culture, with employees officially following the ‘9-9-6’ norm.
According to the article, TRON’s HR had Slack replaced with its Chinese counterpart DingTalk. The communication platform had an in-built surveillance mechanism that would use ‘Apple Health to count people’s steps’. Also, DingTalk used to ping employees literally all the time.
To this, Sun responded by saying that he has left no stone turned in, establishing a work culture that respects.
diversity and individuality through a culture that cherishes fundamental human values freedom of speech, user privacy, intellectual property protection, kindness, a diversified working environment, and compliance with legal standards.
Justin went on to comment that TRON and BitTorrent operate with a ‘globally collaborative team’. One that upholds and respects the ethos of cross-culture teams. Sun claimed that the folks at TRON folks have ‘worked hard’ to create a collaborative work culture. One that values freedom of speech and individual privacy.
Claim: Suppressed Criticism, Allowed Scams; Response: No Control Over Protocol Functioning
The Verge piece mentioned that ‘decentralization’ was just a facade for what was happening behind the curtains. Justin Sun and his core officials exercised strict control over content moving about and within the TRON network.
This involved allegedly paying a Redditor to ‘erase negative posts’. Which later drew the ire of the community.
Free speech is part of the ideology of decentralization, where ideas flow without gatekeepers. Tron started deleting any post it wanted.
The article also claimed that TRON’s administration team was silent and allowed the perpetration of scams on the network. While this happened, scammers and the scammed continue to grow in numbers while the management did nothing to interfere.
Justin, in his Medium post, said that he and the entire TRON administration team function sans control. Even though the team at TRON works to upgrade the platform, they do not exercise any censorship/regulation.
…we have no control or discretion over what applications use the protocol, what data is transmitted, or how its community members use it.
Sun went to add that he and his team are proud of TRON and BitTorrent’s achievement over the years. He went to quote that both have collectively ‘served 2 billion users around the world. These include ‘numerous enterprises, universities, and governments’.
Lastly, the TRON and BitTorrent boss struck down all claims made by ex-employees Lucasz Juraszek, Richard Hall, and Cong Li. Justin declared that the TRON foundation’s legal counsel has submitted all the requisite proofs and evidence pieces to the court. “We believe the decision will speak for itself”, he said.
BTT and TRX’s price didn’t seem to undergo any correction following the release of the bitterly scathing Verge piece. On the contrary, BTT is actually up 2.3% in the last 24 hours.
Featured image courtesy of QZ.com
Ethereum Price Analysis: Will ETH Surpass 2019 Highs Towards $400?
ETH/USD – Bulls Struggling To Pass 2019 Highs
Key Support Levels: $350, $336, $325.
Key Resistance Levels: $364, $378, $390.
Ethereum pushed higher last week to reach the 2019 highs at around $364 over the weekend. Unfortunately, it has not been able to overcome this resistance in the past four days of trading as bearish divergence popped up on the short term charts – highlighted in our last analysis.
For now, Ethereum is finding strong support between $350 and $355; however, it is looking increasingly likely to break this support soon as the short-term bearish divergence continues to play out.
ETH-USD Short Term Price Prediction
If ETH does penetrate back beneath $350, the first level of strong support lies at $336 (100-days EMA). Beneath this, additional support lies at $324 (.618 Fib), $320, $310, and $300.
On the other side, the first level of resistance lies at $364 (2019 highs). Above this, resistance is expected at $378 (bearish .382 Fib), $390, and $400.
The Daily RSI did dip beneath the mid-line to suggest that the sellers are battling to gain control of the market momentum.
ETH/BTC – Bears Continue To Face Resistance at Falling Trend Line
Key Support Levels: 0.033BTC, 0.032 BTC, 0.0315 BTC.
Key Resistance Levels: 0.0337 BTC, 0.0347 BTC, 0.0352 BTC.
Against Bitcoin, Ethereum continues to face the resistance at a falling trend line that has dictated price action during September. Each time ETH attempted to break above this falling trend line, the coin was rejected and headed lower.
On Monday, ETH attempted to push beyond the March 2019 support at 0.0337 BTC but could not pass it. As a result, ETH moved sideways this week and has returned to the falling trend line. Here, it can be expected that ETH should be heading lower – especially with the daily RSI flattening out in the bearish territory.
ETH-BTC Short Term Price Prediction
Looking ahead, if the trend line rejects the sellers, the first two levels of support lie at 0.033 BTC and 0.032 BTC. Beneath this, support lies at 0.0315 BTC (100-days EMA & downside 1.414 Fib Extension), 0.0311 BTC (.618 Fib Retracement), and 0.0305 BTC.
On the other side, if the bulls can penetrate the falling trend line, the first level of resistance lies at 0.0337 BTC (March 2019 Support). Above this, resistance lies at 0.0347 BTC, 0.0352 BTC, and 0.0361 BTC (March 2019 High).
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