Connect with us

News

Paypal Announces Users Will Soon Be Able To Buy, Sell And Accept Crypto

Published

on

Paypal has announced that it is entering the cryptocurrency market and will soon allow its users to purchase and sell Bitcoin, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Ethereum. The payments giant, with 346 million active accounts around the world, pledged to make cryptocurrency “a funding source for purchases at its 26 million merchants worldwide,” CoinDesk reported.

Bitcoin is rocketing in value on confirmation of Paypal plans to let users buy, sell, and enabling merchants to accept cryptocurrency, with the price sitting at $12,813.58 +7.3% at the time of this report.

Market Watch reports, Paypal plans to allow customers to buy cryptocurrency through their accounts and use cryptocurrency for merchant payments. The feature will roll-out in the next couple of weeks in the U.S. and will follow internationally next year.

Initially, PayPal users which total up to an estimated 350 million people will be able to buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin starting out. PayPal also said it will bring this function to its Venmo platform.

Early next year, PayPal users will be able to use cryptocurrency to pay for goods or services from merchants who accept PayPal. “Consumers will be able to instantly convert their selected cryptocurrency balance to fiat currency, with the certainty of value and no incremental fees,” the company said in a release. PayPal argued that this move will “significantly increase cryptocurrency’s utility.”

PayPal also revealed in its release that it has obtained the coveted Bitlicense by the New York State Department of Financial Services. The Bitlicense helps “encourage, promote, and assist interested institutions to have a well-regulated way to access the New York virtual currency marketplace,” NYDFS superintendent Linda Lacewell said in PayPal’s release.

PayPal Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in the release that PayPal is “eager to work with central banks and regulators around the world to offer our support, and to meaningfully contribute to shaping the role that digital currencies will play in the future of global finance and commerce.”

For months it has been rumored that Paypal was about to jump into the cryptocurrency space.

The New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), also said it had granted the first “conditional BitLicense” to PayPal for a partnership with Paxos Trust Company, enabling customers to buy and sell cryptocurrencies.

“DFS said it was making good on a promise last year from Superintendent of Financial Services Linda A. Lacewell to take a fresh look at its regulatory framework for virtual currencies, with a view to fostering innovation in New York State.

“DFS’s approval today follows our June 2020 announcement for a new framework for a conditional Bitlicense to encourage, promote and assist interested institutions to have a well-regulated way to access the New York virtual currency marketplace in a way that is both timely and protective of New York consumers, through partnerships with New York authorized virtual currency firms,” said Lacewell in a statement.

“DFS will continue to encourage and support financial service providers to operate, grow, remain and expand in New York and work with innovators to enable them to  germinate and test their ideas, for a dynamic and forward-looking financial services sector, especially as we work to build New York back better in the midst of this pandemic,” she said.

For months it has been rumored that Paypal was about to jump into the cryptocurrency space.

It was further revealed that Paypal responded to the European Commission in a letter earlier this year. Last year the European Commission opened a consultation about regulating digital assets and cryptocurrencies or what it refers to as crypto-assets. In June, responses were published, including a letter from Paypal stating that it has developed capabilities in the sector since withdrawing from Libra. This follows an earlier CoinDesk report stating PayPal and subsidiary Venmo will offer cryptocurrencies.

The company was additionally one of the initial members to commit to Facebook’s Libra, but it subsequently withdrew along with several other major players.

In the letter to the EU, it outlined this as background: “In 2019, PayPal initially signed a non-binding letter of intent to participate in the Libra Association with the intention of learning more about the proposed use of blockchain technologies to provide financial services to unbanked populations across the globe.”

And it continued: “Since the project’s inception, PayPal has taken unilateral and tangible steps to further develop its capabilities in this area, and therefore – without questioning the value of the project – took the decision not to participate in the Libra Association and to continue to focus on advancing our existing mission and business priorities to democratize access to financial services.”

it’s important to mention that PayPal has been active in the crypto space since as early as 2014. At the time, the company partnered with three bitcoin payment processors, including Coinbase, which allowed merchants in its network to accept Bitcoin as payment.

PayPal has a longstanding relationship with Coinbase, going back as early as 2014. Then two years later in 2016, Coinbase integrated, Paypal and credit cards. In 2018, Coinbase made instant fiat withdrawals to PayPal available for U.S. customers. Last year, European Coinbase users could withdraw to their PayPal accounts, followed by users in Canada, then support was added for the U.S.

It’s worth noting that PayPal was the first company to pull out of the coalition of companies involved in a Facebook-led cryptocurrency initiative, Libra Association.

Many are reporting that Paypal is now being forced into the space with its rival Square including digital assets which the latter was one of its early adopters. Square Inc., a payments company founded and run by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, was awarded last year with a coveted license to deal in cryptocurrencies in New York.

However, while it may seem that this is a forced move its important to note for viewers that this action has been one that has been in the works for a long time. While its true that Paypal’s CFO last year said it was too early for Bitcoin and cryptocurrency integration, the former COO stated differently years before in 2017.

In 2018, Paypal was found to have filed a mysterious patent for fast cryptocurrency transactions similar to the lightning network.

Paypal seems determined on exposure into cryptocurrency with a new system for speedy transactions that was patented in 2016 which mirrors much of the ideas behind the second layer solution the Lightning Network.

In other words, the system allows a user, in theory, to pay a third party through a second party so making it possible for Alex to pay Chris through Bill by allocating, through encryption and hashes, part of the private key to the secondary wallet.

This allows for instant payments according to PayPal, addressing latency problems due to Bitcoin requiring around 10 minutes for one confirmation. Extremely similar to what the Lightning Network claims.

However, that’s not the full story the patent actually dates back to 2016, yes you read that right. The patent was filed in August 30th, 2016, right before the major bull run. Although, its unknown if Paypal received the patent or not, it shows the companies early interest into cryptocurrency.

If that’s not enough last year Paypal joined in a $4.2 million funding round for cryptocurrency compliance and risk management platform TRM Labs.

The startup aims to help financial institutions embrace the opportunities associated with cryptocurrencies by mitigating the risks.

Cointelegraph also reports that Paypal is hiring blockchain and cryptocurrency engineers. The news outlet reported there are currently two public-facing job listings for crypto pros to go to work for PayPal.

The first listing of note is for a job titled “Technical Lead – Crypto Engineer.” The listing describes that this person will be responsible for “new initiatives for PayPal global with a focus on agility, time-to-market and innovation. The role includes designing, developing and maintaining key crypto products/features targeted towards availability, performance and scalability of PayPal services.”

The second listing worth mentioning is for a blockchain research engineer to work within the company’s research group, “a newly formed group within the Strategic Technology Enablement team chartered with establishing expertise and opinions on emerging blockchain technologies and their potential uses within PayPal.”

The clues were all there, but now its been officially confirmed by Paypal themselves. This comes as Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell recently announced the Fed was willing to work with private companies on a potential digital U.S. dollar, Yahoo News reported.

Alex Baldridge is an activist and freelance journalist from the midwestern United States who was inspired to become a writer after watching the development of the Wikileaks story and the persecution of Julian Assange. Alex is especially interested in topics like surveillance, the rise of automation, foreign policy, prison reform, and the legal system.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News

Colombian Govt Wants To Legalize Cocaine And Then Sell It

Published

on

This article was originally published On Dec 3, 2020

Colombia is one of the most notorious producers of cocaine in the world, despite the fact that the country has gone to great lengths in hopes of diminishing the trade of the drug trade within its borders.

Now, some members of the Columbian government are proposing a new approach. They are calling for the drug to be legalized and for the government to take control of the industry for themselves.

In a new bill first proposed earlier this year, senators Iván Marulanda and Feliciano Valencia call for the Colombian government to take total control of the cocaine industry to bolster public funds and cut violent cartels out of the trade.

In a recent interview with VICE, Marulanda explained that the government would purchase coca at market price from the 200,000 farming families that are believed to be involved in the trade.

The senators argued that it would actually be cheaper for authorities to buy the crop from the farmers than it would for them to destroy their crops. It costs the government roughly $1 billion every year to destroy coca crops, while it would only cost about $680 million to buy it.

The thing is, we have to recover control over the state. We’re losing control of the state to corruption, narcos in politics. They’re in municipalities, in departments and in congress. All the way to the highest echelons of government,” Marulanda explained.

From here, the state would supply cocaine to users and research groups looking to study its use for painkillers, but it would not be sold recreationally. However, cocaine use is already legal in Columbia, after a court ruled that personal consumption was a human right.

Marulanda is not sure if his bill will make an impact, or how long it will take to gain traction, but he is hoping to make it a major election issue in 2022.

‘The first big obstacle is to open up the conversation among public opinion. This has been a giant taboo. Colombians are born and raised under this assumption that drug-trafficking is a war. There’s no information about coca and cocaine. So, with this bill we hope to open the conversation,” he explained.

In recent years, the government has stepped up their military-police-style enforcement of the industry, and yet cocaine production continues to grow in the country.

Coca cultivation reached 212,000 hectares last year, a rise of nearly 2% from 208,000 hectares the year before, according to figures released by the White House in March. Potential pure cocaine production, meanwhile, rose to 951 metric tons, an 8% increase, according to the Associated Press.

“It’s pretty remarkable that they manually eradicated 100,000 hectares last year and didn’t move the needle,” Adam Isacson of the Washington Office on Latin America think tank said earlier this year. “I guess it means replanting has at least kept pace.”

It seems that no matter what the government does, the cocaine keeps on coming, so politicians are willing to try things that may drastic. However, as Marulanda pointed out in his interview with Vice, cutting out the criminal middlemen will reduce the violence seen in the country’s drug war, and also make the drug safer for the people who use it.

UPDATE: Historic win for coca/cocaine regulation Bill in Colombian Senate – 22nd April 2021

Continue Reading

News

Another Little Black Book That Once Belonged To Epstein With New Names Is Found

Published

on

It is well-known that the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein kept detailed records of all the powerful people that he stayed in contact with. There is a notorious “little black book” that was published by Gawker in 2015, which exposed many of the powerful people in his circle. This book is believed to contain the contacts that he most frequently called around 2004 and 2005. However, a new list of contacts, recently published by The Insider, reveals new names that were friends with Epstein in the 1990s.

The new black book has the names of 349 people, many of whom did not appear in the list that was previously released to the public.

Among the names on the list are Suzanne Ircha, who’s married to Woody Johnson, owner of the New York Jets, famous wall street investor Carl Icahn, supermarket owner John A. Catsimatidis, actress Morgan Fairchild, former New Republic owner Marty Peretz; and Cristina Greeven, the wife of CNN anchor Chris Cuomo.

The new black book was made public through a strange twist of fate. A woman initially found the book in the late 1990s and saved it for many years until she finally sold it on eBay.

Denise Ondayko, the woman who found the book, said she was walking down Fifth Avenue in the mid-’90s when she spotted a black address book on the ground. She said that she didn’t realize it was Epstein’s book at the time, because he was pretty much unknown to the public, but she did realize that it had a lot of famous names and figured that it might be worth something, so she held onto it.

Last year, Ondayko was cleaning out an old storage unit where she was keeping some of her things and she stumbled upon the book. Now that Epstein was all over the news, the information contained in the book was much more obvious to identify.

Ondayko said she reached out to everyone in the media that she could, including John Oliver, Rachel Maddow, and The New York Times, but none of them ever got back to her, so she eventually just put it up for sale on eBay.

The buyer was Chris Helali, an aspiring politician from Vermont. He purchased the book for $425.

Helali also tried reaching out to the media, including journalists that were already reporting on Epstein, but none of them seemed interested. Finally, Nick Bryant, the reporter who wrote the original Gawker black book story forwarded the book to the Insider who decided to publish.

Insider hired Dennis Ryan, a former forensic document examiner and laboratory supervisor for the Nassau County Police Department, to verify the authenticity of the book. Ryan says that the book is definitely from the late 90s, and many of the dates and addresses match up perfectly with Epstein’s properties and known contacts at the time.

The Insider also reached out to dozens of contacts listed in the book who had never previously been publicly associated with Epstein. Fourteen acknowledged on the record that they knew or had met Epstein in the ’90s.

There are over 120 names that appear in both books, including Donald Trump and Bill Clinton. Some of the other names included, Steve Rattner, Beth Anne Bovino, Dominique Bluhdorn, Jill Harth, Ted Field, Robert Nunnery, Stanley Shopkorn, Steve Ruchevsky, Ellen Susman, William and Ann Nitze, Les Gelb, Ron Daniel, Sandy Warner, Cyril Fung, Marius Fortelni, Michael Cutlip. Many of these names aren’t necessarily famous, but they are very powerful people in business and finance.

The address book is now available in a searchable database on the Insider, but it is unfortunately hidden behind a paywall.

 

Continue Reading

News

Ghislaine Maxwell’s Lawyers Cite Cosby Case As Precedent To Have Her Released From Prison

Published

on

Last week, former actor Bill Cosby was released from prison on a technicality, despite the fact that he admitted to drugging and assaulting multiple women, and was accused by many others. After his release, legal experts warned that the ruling could set a dangerous precedent that attorneys in similar cases would use to get their clients released as well.

Now, just a week later, Ghislaine Maxwell’s lawyers are arguing that she should have her case thrown out on the same grounds, according to The Guardian.

Cosby was released because the prosecutor involved initially didn’t press any charges, and claimed that Cosby would not be facing any legal trouble, so when Cosby later confessed, his confession was called into question and no longer admissible in court. The judge also ruled that Cosby had no chance of a fair trial because evidence that was not admissible was so freely available in the media that the jury was unable to make a judgment without considering those facts.

Photo: AP

Maxwell’s case is similar because the first time that Epstein was arrested for human trafficking, he was given a sweetheart deal by Alex Acosta, a friendly prosecutor. The deal helped Epstein avoid any serious jail time, but it also gave him and his associates legal protection from being held accountable for any future crimes.

Obviously, it is not possible to shield a criminal from the consequences of actions that they will take in the future, so Epstein was arrested again many years later after it was discovered that he continued his crimes long after his initial arrest. If Epstein and his friends did have any kind of immunity from that deal, it ended when they continued to commit crimes after the deal was made.

Still, Maxwell’s lawyers are optimistic after Cosby’s recent release.

“The government is trying to renege on its agreement and prosecute Ms Maxwell over 25 years later for the exact same offenses for which she was granted immunity,” Maxwell’s lawyers wrote in a statement to Judge Alison Nathan.

However, the judge has previously ruled that the deal did not apply to the current case.

In an opinion piece for the New York Daily News, Maxwell’s attorney David Oscar Markus wrote that releasing Bill Cosby from prison was the right decision, and that Ghislaine Maxwell should be released as well. Markus argued that prosecutors should have to keep the promises that they make to suspects, because people will sometimes incriminate themselves if they think they have immunity.

However, many times prosecutors are corrupt and make promises that are against the best interests of the public, as we saw in Jeffrey Epstein’s first “sweetheart deal” with Alex Acosta while he was district attorney in Southern, Florida. Prosecutors are lawyers, they aren’t the judge and jury, and they shouldn’t hold this much power in a case this serious.

Judge Alison Nathan has not yet responded to the recent request, but she did condemn the recent opinion piece that was published by her lawyers in the New York Daily News earlier this week.

Continue Reading

Trending

Total
811
Share