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March 2018

LINE’s Crypto Platform Rolls Out for 80 Million Users in Japan



As far as the creation of a crypto platform is concerned, many of the world’s consumer-facing tech companies are looking at ways to create one. Hence, it is not a surprise that Japan’s messaging app behemoth LINE has now officially launched its own cryptocurrency exchange, Bitmax, and is all set to open up a new chapter in the country’s crypto history.

Key Details

Japan is a nation that has been highly encouraging towards crypto, and the regulators have helped build a strong ecosystem over the past few years. The establishment of this new exchange is definitely a significant development for the crypto sphere in Japan.

LINE, which is majority-owned by the South Korean company Naver, has christened its crypto exchange as Bitmax. Bitmax has already gone live and is going to offer five major cryptocurrencies to its users. The cryptocurrencies being offered at this point in time include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin, and XRP.

The service went live in stages, first going live at around three in the afternoon on Tuesday in Japan. The crypto platform was first made available on Android phones today. More importantly, the app is integrated with LINE’s payment app, LINE Pay, and it will allow customers to fund their wallets with fiat money faster.

>> Libra Should Not Scare Central Banks, Says Facebook

As is well known, it takes some time for a cryptocurrency exchange to become a big fish and the biggest reason behind that is the fact that it takes time to attract a sufficient number of users. However, there should not be any such problem for LINE, since it has the distinct advantage of having 80 million users on its messaging app in Japan. Hence, if the company can manage to attract even a small percentage of that user base into Bitmax, then the crypto platform could manage to grow into a major one pretty quickly.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © monsit

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Ripple is All Set to Boost Financial Inclusion Globally



The year started off impressively for many cryptocurrencies but none of that seemed to affect the price of XRP, and Ripple, the company which owns the biggest number of XRP, has been blamed by many in the crypto community for this state of affairs. In a new development, the Chief Technology Officer at the fintech company, David Schwartz, stated that it is trying to bring about more financial equality in the United States and in the rest of the world.  One of the biggest selling points for XRP is the fact that it has a use case and could be used for cross border payments by institutions.

Key Details

Schwartz was speaking at the UBRI Connect 2019 event, hosted by Ripple. He delivered the keynote address at the event and went on to state that the company is well-positioned to work towards financial inclusion.

He said, “We tend to think we’re overbanked in the United States because you could just go anywhere and open a bank account.” Then he went on to reveal that as many as 24 million people in America are underbanked and as many as 2 billion across the world.

However, that is not all. The company has had some interesting developments in recent days and must be the source of optimism among XRP fans. Forte, a company based out of San Francisco, has expressed its desire to change the gaming industry with the use of XRP.

>> Ripple Makes Last-Ditch Attempt to Dismiss Securities Lawsuit

Forte is a Ripple partner and owns a fund worth $100 million with Xpring, and this could eventually prove to be a major boost for XRP. Forte wants to make life easier for game developers and bring about a system that is highly transparent. One of the executives stated that it wants to “offer a potent solution to the challenge of the complexity plaguing game developers that result in stagnant economy design.”

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Why the uBUCK Pay App Offers So Much More Than Any Other Digital Wallet



The digital wallet industry has grown exponentially in recent years, reaching $100 billion USD in 2017. Analysts expect growth to continue, reaching a whopping $250 billion by 2024, propelled by attractive discounts and enticing cashback offers.

One company that has created an impressive mobile wallet that offers a ton of great features is LiteLink Technologies Inc. (CSE:LLT) (OTC:LLNKF). LiteLink just announced the closed beta launch of its uBUCK Pay App, a digital wallet and payment solution that serves as a payment alternative for consumers and merchants.

But uBUCK Pay offers much more than any other digital payments platform.

The uBUCK platform will allow customers to make online purchases at supported bars, stores, and restaurants, and customers will also be able to withdraw cash at ATMs and send transfers around the world within seconds without having to pay any transfer fees. And now, following a strategic partnership with Datable Technology Corp. (TSXV:DAC) (OTC:TTMZF), the service gives customers the ability to earn rewards for payments and purchases made within the uBUCK Pay digital wallet or with their uBUCK Mastercard.

uBUCK Pay and Datable Integrated Loyalty Program

uBUCK will be integrating Datable’s loyalty and rewards program PLATFORM³ into its digital platform to reward customers for purchasing, viewing content, referring friends, sharing content via social media, and completing surveys.

Datable provides consumers with access to over 300 digital gift cards from leading retailers like Starbucks, Target, and Walmart. The partnership will also see uBUCK prepaid credit cards added as a prepaid cash card reward that consumers can purchase with their points on Datable’s client’s portals.

Serving Unbanked and Underbanked Communities

Another feature that sets uBUCK Pay apart from the competition is accessibility. Unlike other payment solutions, uBUCK Pay offers a distribution method that isn’t found elsewhere in the digital payment space, allowing uBUCK to serve the underbanked community in North America, which accounts for nearly six million Canadians and 32.6 million Americans.

To better serve this group, uBUCK has partnered with US prepaid platform PreWay, which gives customers the option to purchase uBUCK vouchers at roughly 7,000 convenience stores across the United States using cash.

Having the option to buy uBUCK vouchers in-store with cash will mean consumers don’t have to wait in long lineups to purchase items or pay bills. What’s more, loading up a prepaid Mastercard will allow customers to make online purchases, which otherwise wouldn’t be possible.

Moving forward, uBUCK will be rolling out its service to the Philippines, where 77% of the population is unbanked, and in Southeast Asia, where only 47% of the population have a bank account.

Bringing Payment Solutions to the eSports Industry

uBUCK is also catering to the burgeoning eSports gaming industry with its newly launched second brand, Streambucks, a secure, easy-to-use payment solution that is catered specifically to eGamers.

Streambucks will give uBUCK Tech the opportunity to sponsor eGaming tournaments and offer prize pools in the form of Streambucks. Streambucks can then be used to purchase products in the Streambucks marketplace, convert into US dollars to load a prepaid debit card, and send payments around the world for free.

Official Payment Sponsor of EGLX 2019

Days after revealing the launch of Streambucks, uBUCK announced that it has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with Enthusiast Gaming Holdings (TSXV:EGLX) (OTCQB:EGHIF) to make Streambucks the official payment sponsor at the Enthusiast Gaming Live Expo (EGLX).

This is a very strategic move for uBUCK to gain access to its new target demographic, as EGLX is the largest video game expo in Canada, attracting roughly 55,000 attendees in 2018.

uBUCK will be engaging Enthusiast Gaming to create strategic advertising programs across its digital publisher network, which reaches over 75 million visitors across 85 gaming related websites monthly and 50 million monthly visitors from 900 gaming YouTube channels.

The partnership will give uBUCK access to a targeted eSports demographic through Enthusiast Gaming’s engaged network of gaming enthusiasts in order to help promote its platform of payment solutions and build brand awareness.

Offering Record-Breaking Transaction Speed

As mentioned, uBUCK Pay will allow users to send transfers instantaneously. This is because uBUCK Pay is the world’s first US dollar-backed stable token built on Waves, the world’s fastest blockchain platform.

The Waves network has set a blockchain speed record for maximum transactions per day. What’s more, Waves processed more transactions in a 24-hour period than any other open blockchain in existence. This means uBUCK customers are able to send and receive funds much faster than any competing digital wallets and payment transfer services.

Offering a Highly Secure Payment Solution

In this day and age, privacy is basically non-existent, meaning security is essential when it comes to protecting our funds. Decentralized apps like uBUCK Pay can enhance security, as well as speed up money management, transfer, and lending by eliminating middlemen.

This is because uBUCK runs on a P2P network of computers rather than a single server or a centralized cluster of servers. To ensure optimal security, uBUCK Pay offers multi-factor authentication, biometric and device verification, SSL encryption, and Mastercard SecureCode.

No Transfer Fees

Perhaps the most attractive feature for consumers is that uBUCK Pay has zero transfer fees, meaning anyone can send funds to family and friends around the globe without the regular hefty fee.

Anyone who has tried services like Western Union or PayPal know that these services often charge high fees for sending money out of the country. What’s more, these services can take three to five business days to send your funds.

With uBUCK Pay, customers can send transfers instantly all around the world without paying any transfer fees. All the recipient needs to do is sign up for the app, and the funds will be sent to them directly.

This is huge if you consider that an estimated $625 billion was sent in 2017 by migrants to their home countries, $148 billion of which came from the US alone.

Featured Image: LiteLink Technologies

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Understanding the Cybersecurity Risk of Bitcoin



Are you interested in purchasing Bitcoin? If so, it’s essential to understand the potential security risks surrounding it. With cybercriminals ramping up their attacks, cryptocurrency will likely be a target.  Here’s what you need to know.

Wallets Carry Risks

Cryptocurrency enthusiasts use both hot and cold wallets to store their Bitcoin. A hot wallet has an internet connection, which makes it potentially hackable. You might wake up one morning to find your funds depleted by an infiltrator overnight.  A May 2019 cyberattack on a Binance hot wallet led to a theft of $41 million—more than 7,000 Bitcoin.

Storing your Bitcoin in a cold wallet—one without an internet connection—does not make you free and clear, however. Take the example of Gerald Cotten, a cryptocurrency exchange CEO who passed away while being the sole holder of passwords to his accounts. That situation restricted access to approximately $137 million in cryptocurrencies held in cold wallets and owned by about 115,000 customers.

When experts eventually took Cotten’s laptops, they found that someone emptied the wallets about eight months before the CEO died. That revelation caused some people to wonder if he faked his death and ran off with the funds.

Stolen Data May End Up Sold

Most tech-savvy people know that one of the consequences of being an internet breach victim is that their data may end up on the dark web, sold to any party willing to pay the price. That outcome can happen with cryptocurrency details, too.

Reporters said that the hacker allegedly behind the infiltration of took information from customers associated with several leading cryptocurrency wallet brands. The cybercriminal has three databases collectively containing information from 80,000 people, including emails, home addresses, and phone numbers.

Although the hacker did not put cryptocurrency-related data up for sale, this example shows you must always be aware of your information’s value and work hard to protect it. Many people appreciate dealing with Bitcoin because of its decentralized nature, believing it’s safer than doing business with a bank. Regardless of whether that’s your mindset, any data you use to sign up for a cryptocurrency site or service could end up in the wrong hands.

Investment Advisers Must Take Cybersecurity Precautions

A recent report about investment advising and cryptocurrency revealed that clients who want to expand their portfolios are increasingly likely to inquire about the digital currency. For example, 76% of all advisers polled received crypto questions from their customers in 2019. Bitwise also expects 13% of advisers to allocate funds to cryptocurrencies this year—up from 6% in 2019.

>> Prevent Bitcoin Fraud by Securing Your Identity

Maintaining robust cybersecurity is a crucial part of operating as a responsible investment adviser. Statistics say 91% of businesses follow a risk-based cybersecurity framework. That approach only works well for investment advisers if they know which threats exist. Scheduling evaluations such as penetration tests can help them understand the existing weaknesses, but these professionals should also stay abreast of crypto-related cyber threats as they arise.

Customers trust investment experts to manage and grow their wealth. Relationship building is a crucial part of the job, but unaddressed cyber risks could erode any trust accumulated through interactions over months or years.

Social Media Scams Could Fool Bitcoin Owners

Bitcoin is a hot topic these days, and it’s natural to follow social media profiles of thought leaders in the crypto and tech industries. Doing so could give you a head start on knowing about significant developments before others.

However, another cybersecurity threat associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies concerns scams spreading through social media. Criminals trick followers by impersonating famous people, then posting messages about “giveaways.” The premise is that if you send a small amount of cryptocurrency to a provided address, you’ll get double, triple, or more in return.

The parties offering such free money never take action to part with their funds. They merely sit back and watch the crypto transfers arrive. People familiar with this kind of wrongdoing also raise concerns because they assert that social media sites don’t do enough to police this fraudulent activity and ban those responsible for it.

This approach is similar to emails that many people receive claiming they won the lottery or received an inheritance from a long-lost relative, and need to provide their bank account details to get the money. No funds show up, of course. Always exercise critical thinking and ponder the details carefully before taking action you may regret.

Potentially Worthwhile, but Not Without Risks

After reading this coverage and doing your own research, you may conclude that investing in Bitcoin still interests you. An ideal way to protect yourself as a cryptocurrency owner is to thoroughly understand the pros and cons of any move before making it. Then, you’re more likely to be well-educated before making your decision. Bitcoin is not a risk-free investment. Educating yourself about cybersecurity risks is an ideal way to avoid them.

This article was curated through CryptoCurrencyNews’ Contributor Program. If you would like to write for us, send us your submission!

Featured image: DepositPhotos © AlphaBaby

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