Kiffmeister’s FinTech Daily Digest (06/03/2020)

Coinbase Repeats Pattern of Shutting Down When Bitcoin Gets Volatile
Coinbase has gone offline four times in the last three months during major Bitcoin (BTC) price moves and furious users unable to access their portfolios are demanding answers. On June 1, when Bitcoin rallied from the $9,600s to $10,380 in less than an hour, Coinbase users trying to access their portfolio were met with a message that the site is “temporarily available.” @CryptoWhale posted a chart on Twitter shortly after the recent outage, speculating that Coinbase had a built-in algorithm to automatically shut it down anytime there was a BTC price movement over $500.

Volatility: $230M in BitMEX Liquidations Hit Bulls and Bears Alike
Bitcoin volatility during the first week of June has left both bulls and bears facing significant liquidations, with almost $223 million in 24-hour margin calls on leading derivatives exchange BitMEX being evenly spread between BTC shorts and longs, according to Cryptometer. It caused a sudden price crash to as low as $8,600 on BitMEX.

Capitulation by Unknown Miner ‘Caused the Dip,’ Says CryptoQuant CEO
According to CryptoQuant’s Ki Young Ju, capitulation by an unknown mining pool was responsible for the June 2 dip to $8,600. The miner who had produced 51 blocks over the previous four days appeared to be capitulating, reports Ki Young Ju. The 51 blocks produced by the mining pool came with a reward of 637.5 BTC, 9% of the total over that time period.

DeCurret to Hold a Study Group on Digital Currency Settlement Infrastructure in Japan
Mizuho Bank, MUFG Bank and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp. are looking to link their digital currencies to East Japan Railway’s Suica smart transit card. The Suica card is increasingly being accepted for purchases at stores and kiosks, especially within train stations, but it cannot be used for bank account transfers. Last year Mizuho rolled out its J-Coin Pay platform which can be used to transfer money or for QR-code payments. Meanwhile, MUFJ is reworking plans for its MUFG Coin digital currency.

Connecting Digital Economies: Policy Recommendations for Cross-Border Payments
This World Economic Forum report examines the key challenges facing cross-border retail payments and provides recommendations for policy-makers to overcome them. It finds that to efficiently facilitate cross-border retail payments between businesses and consumers around the world, policy-makers need to address four key areas: market barriers, interoperability, security and oversight.

Australia central bank mulls lowering e-payments charge
The Reserve Bank of Australia is conducting a review of retail payments regulation and will consider reducing the cost of electronic payments for both merchants and consumers given the current COVID-19 related reluctance to use cash. ATM withdrawals were down by 30% from March to April and down by more than 40% from a year earlier. However merchants have been hit by higher charges when debut card payments are automatically routed through certain international payment schemes.

Caitlin Long’s Crypto Bank Avanti Raises $5 Million
Avanti Financial Group, the crypto-focused bank backed by Caitlin Long, has announced the closure of a $5 million angel round. Avanti will focus its services only to an institutional client base and will provide payment, custody, securities, and commodities activities. The bank was registered in January and is in the process of applying for a bank charter.

Grab Launches its Numberless GrabPay Card in Philippines
Grab announced the launch of the GrabPay Card in the Philippines, a digital-first prepaid card powered by Mastercard. Regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), GrabPay is a mobile wallet that can be used to transact within and outside the Grab app. A 24/7 fraud detection engine encrypts and protects user personal information and payment transactions. In a survey conducted by Mastercard in the Philippines in April 2020, 40% of Filipino consumers are now using contactless payments more often in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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