KW 13: PayPal launches crypto checkout service, New York vaccine passport secured on blockchain, Visa supports transaction settlement with USDC stablecoin

NEWS

PayPal launches crypto checkout service: PayPal has announced that it has started allowing US consumers to use their cryptocurrency holdings to pay at millions of its online merchants globally, a move that could significantly boost use of digital assets in everyday commerce. After rolling out the ability for US users to buy and sell cryptocurrency directly from their accounts last November, PayPal’s new “Checkout with Crypto” allows users to instantly convert their Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, or Bitcoin Cash to US dollars (with no additional transaction fees) that PayPal then uses to complete the transaction. If a merchant doesn’t take US dollars, PayPal also converts those dollars into local currency at standard conversion rates set by PayPal.
reuters.com, theverge.com

New York vaccine passport secured on blockchain: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that the state will expand its vaccine passport program beyond a pilot phase, enabling all state residents to display proof on their phones that they’ve been vaccinated against Covid-19. The “Excelsior Pass” was developed by New York State and IBM, which used its blockchain-based health pass framework to create a system that, like a digital wallet, can hold verified vaccination records that are easily accessible for people trying to get into a sporting event or business requiring proof of vaccination.
statescoop.com

Visa supports transaction settlement with USDC stablecoin: Payment card network Visa has announced that transactions can be settled using USD Coin (USDC), a stablecoin powered by the Ethereum blockchain. Crypto.com is the first company to test the new capability with its own Visa-branded cards. USDC is a stablecoin co-founded by Circle and Coinbase and by managed the Centre consortium. As the name suggests, USDC is a cryptocurrency that follows the value of USD. One USDC is always worth one USD — hence the name stablecoin.
techcrunch.com

Man who made off with $147 million in Bitcoin goes missing: The United States Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said earlier this week that it can’t find the man allegedly responsible for a $147 million crypto scam, so it’s asking a court to resolve the case without him. Benjamin Reynolds, the missing man, was the director of Control-Finance, a UK-based cryptocurrency investment company that the CFTC alleges raked in 22,859 Bitcoin from more than 1,000 customers when it operated between May and September, 2017. Control-Finance lured investors with promises of guaranteed monthly trading profits of 45%, according to the CFTC’s complaint. It kept investors happy by fabricating weekly trade reports, “when in reality Defendants made no trades on customers’ behalf and earned no trading profits for them,” alleged the CFTC in its original complaint in June 2019.
decrypt.co

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Forecast: Deutsche Bank analysts assume that Bitcoin will establish itself finanzen.ch
Digital securities: Tokenization platform 8pitch starts blockchain-insider.de
Press release: Microsoft builds ION network on Bitcoin blockchain kryptoszene.de
Salary: British crypto company pays CEO in Bitcoin finanzen.net
Performance measurement: Optimizing smart contracts with Hyperledger Caliper blockchain-insider.de

NUMBER OF THE WEEK

According to an evaluation of the enterprise database Crunchbase by the Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft (IW), 241 German companies are currently focusing on blockchain technology – in 2015 it was 71 companies.
iwd.de

BACKGROUND

First NFT auction of a luxury watch: Where auctions are already soaring for works of art and intangibles, never before has a luxury watch been the subject of an NFT (Non Fungible Token) sale. To make history, Jean-Claude Biver and the Swiss company WISeKey have symbolically chosen the famous Bigger Bang All Black Tourbillon Chronograph „Special piece“, a historic timepiece because of the major role it played in paving the way for today’s new trends, a watch that has made watchmaking history. This watch will be the first luxury watch to have a digital life with certified ownership and authenticity. This digital twin will be the „authentic“ double of the physical watch in the digital space.
marketwatch.com

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Should cryptocurrencies be banned because of their environmental pollution? In addition to the fact that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are ideally suited for conducting illegal business, their extremely resource-intensive generation in particular is causing persistent criticism. According to estimates, the production of the cryptocurrency uses as much electricity as all of Norway consumes in a year. It seems ironic that a company like the electric car manufacturer Tesla, whose business model is essentially based on the promise of climate friendliness, enables payment with Bitcoin and thus increases the acceptance and the energy-intensive mining of the currency. And so the question arises as to whether states should ban the digital currency before its popularity continues to grow.
zeit.de

QUOTE

„I am absolutely convinced that NFT are here to stay.“
Crypto expert Sven Wagenknecht sees NFT as more than a short hype on the internet.
wuv.de

BLOCKBUG

Youtuber builds Bitcoin miner out of a Nintendo Game Boy: A Youtuber named Stacksmashing has published a video that shows him hacking a 1989 Nintendo Game Boy in order to mine bitcoin. Stacksmashing repurposed an old Game Boy using a Raspberry Pi Pico, an old link cable, and some basic software. The Pico board controls basic input/output from the Game Boy to a PC. It all runs through a link cable modified with a USB and uses a logic shifter to modulate the voltage between the Game Boy and Pico. Despite the creativity and the fact that the miner only leverages four double-A batteries, Stacksmashing noted that the 8-bit handheld game console was not nearly as powerful as today’s modern mining rig.
news.bitcoin.com, vice.com

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