Deutsche Bank Report Claims Demand for Crypto to Accelerate in the Next Decade

Banking giant Deutsche Bank has recently published its outlook for the decade ahead – the ‘Imagine 2030’ report – highlighting the dangers of the forces holding the fiat money system unravelling in the next decade, thus fostering the demand for crypto.

According the recent research report from Deutsche Bank, by 2030, the demand for alternative currencies will rise, with digital currencies eventually replacing fiat money.

Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid raised awareness, in the recent report, of the challenges the existing fiat system has encountered in recent years, specifically with the emergence of cryptocurrencies. He further claimed that people’s heightened demand for dematerialized means of payment and anonymity could lead to more individuals switching to digital currencies.

According to data provided by the banking giant, nearly two thirds of consumers prefer dematerialized to cash payments and a third are concerned about anonymity, two things unique to digital currencies.

Whilst digital currencies may not have gained as much traction as a means of payment despite their well-known benefits, such as security, speed, minimal transaction fees, ease of storage and relevance in the digital era, this may change in the next decade.

In the meantime, the researcher report noted that cryptocurrencies need to overcome three main hurdles in order to gain wider acceptance. Firstly, digital currencies must become legitimate in the eyes of governments and regulators, which requires bringing stability to the price as well as advantages to both consumers and merchants.

Secondly, cryptocurrencies must allow for global reach in the payment market. According to the report, this could be achieved by forging alliances with key stakeholders. For instance, mobile apps such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, card providers such as Visa and Mastercard, and retailers, such as Amazon and Walmart.

Last but not least, to realize a smooth transition to a fully digitalized platform, the financial system needs to be ready to overcome any kind of electricity shutdown or cyberattack. These are challenges that may arise with mainstream adoption and Reid pointed out that “as that occurs, the line between cryptocurrencies, financial institutions, and public and private sectors may become blurred.”

Deutsche Bank further noted in its research report how prone to inflation and unstable fiat money could be, further suggesting the possibility that inflation could become more embedded in our system and doubts will rise about the sustainability of fiat money.

“Politically it is always too tempting to create money when nothing is backing it. That this current fiat system has survived so long has required a fortuitous set of global forces across multiple decades that have created sizeable natural offsetting disinflationary forces,” they said.

Researchers estimate that by 2030 there could be 200m blockchain wallet users and digital currencies might eventually replace cash , granted that governments back cryptocurrencies, and consumers want them, and if current trends continue.

However, currently, political support remains far from clear. Buying and selling cryptocurrency in countries like China and India is still banned, with the former adopting a singularly hard stance of late.

Ripple Completes $50 Million Investment in MoneyGram

Money transfer company MoneyGram has announced that it has received another $20 million from blockchain service provider Ripple, thus completing a $50 million investment commitment. The funds will go to supporting the use of On-Demand Liquidity, a global payments product that uses XRP.

According to a press release on November 25th, San Francisco-based Ripple Labs has made a final $20 million equity investment in MoneyGram as part of Ripple’s original $50 million equity investment commitment.

In June, Ripple pledged $50 million total and made an initial payment of $30 million. The two companies then entered into a 2 year strategic partnership with the goal to invest in cross-border payments as well as foreign exchange settlements with digital assets.

The funds will be used to support MoneyGram’s continuing use of Ripple’s On-Demand Liquidity service. By using the Ripple-linked digital asset XRP, the global payments product – XRapid – eliminates delays in global payments while also dramatically lowering their cost, thus making cross-border payments instant and inexpensive.

The most recent investment acquired shares at a price of $4.10 each, which is 30% higher than the current market price of just over $3. At the moment, Ripple now owns almost 10% of the company’s outstanding common stock and around 15% on a fully-diluted basis including non-voting warrants held by Ripple.

Following the news, Alex Holmes – MoneyGram Chairman and CEO – has stated:

“Our partnership with Ripple is transformative for both the traditional money transfer and digital asset industry – for the first time ever, we’re settling currencies in seconds.”

He further noted that partnerships with companies such as Ripple support and encourage innovation, and allowing them to invest in creating better customer experiences. Following this partnership, Holmes fully anticipates exploring new products and services.

Holmes also commented on initial successes using the On-Demand Liquidity product —Ripple’s XRP-powered payments platform. Since Moneygram’s partnership with Ripple in June, the company has used the service to move around 10% of its Mexican Peso foreign exchange volume. In addition to that, it has expanded its cross-border transactions to Europe, Australia, and the Philippines.

According to the press release, the new funding will also allow the firm to continue using On-Demand Liquidity to increase its trading volume.

Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, also commented on its partnership with Moneygram, noting that he was encouraged by how much progress had been made since Ripple made its first investment in June. He further added:

“Digital assets and blockchain technology have the potential to make a tremendous impact on cross-border payments – MoneyGram and Ripple is an example of that.”

Bitcoin Suisse Partners European Payment Provider Wordline to Bring Crypto Payments

The largest Swiss-regulated financial intermediary and pioneer in crypto-financial services – Bitcoin Suisse – has just announced its partnership with European leader in payments and transactional services provider Wordline.

Recently announced, Bitcoin Suisse and Wordline have signed a letter of intent for a partnership that will provide cryptocurrency payment services to Swiss merchants and consumers both in-store and online.

As one of the oldest and largest crypto financial services provider, Bitcoin Suisse has developed extensive in-house technical and crypto-financial expertise through its more than 6 years of experience in trading, brokerage and storage for cryptocurrencies.

According to the reports, the main goal of this partnership is to augment the existing payment service network of Worldline with cryptocurrency payment capabilities as well as promote and encourage the adoption of cryptocurrency on a larger scale across a wide range of businesses and industries. Further details about the partnership will be revealed at the upcoming Swiss Payments Forum in Zurich.

Upon the announcement, Dr. Arthur Vayloyan – CEO of Bitcoin Suisse – commented:

“Our partnership with Worldline is an incredible step forward on the journey to bring crypto payments into broader adoption. Bitcoin Suisse is proud to serve as the processor of cryptocurrencies in Worldline’s payment service system. We applaud them for their pioneering spirit in taking this monumental step and pointing the way forward for others.”

As noted in the press release, the new system will be available for all users on SIX Payment – Worldline’s nationwide payments infrastructure. Currently, there are 65,000 Swiss merchants who are using the SIX Payment Services. Equipped with cryptocurrency payment capabilities, the traditional network will be expanded to promote the use of the new asset class at a mass scale, in-store and online.

In addition to that, it is noted that the service will be intuitive and easy to use for both staff and consumers. Payouts to merchants will be made in Swiss francs or Euros and the transaction figures will be fully integrated into the merchant reports like any other card or wallet.

Marc Schluep, CEO of Worldline in Switzerland, added that as a market leader, the company had a reputation to introduce latest payment functionalities that boost the customer journey as well as increase efficiency and profitability for its merchants. He further stated that due to the new partnership with Bitcoin Suisse, their client base could benefit from an entirely new offering without taking any conversion risk.

In the event of a successful launch in Switzerland, Worldline will roll out its new cryptocurrency payment service across Europe.

Meanwhile, this partnership aims at strengthening the leading position of Switzerland and as a result establishing the country as a strong center in the crypto-financial services industry. Nonetheless, there are currently over 800 companies developing blockchain solutions or providing services to crypto and companies in Switzerland.

Singapore Central Bank Develops Cross-Border Payment Rail with JPMorgan

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the country’s central bank, in collaboration with investment bank JPMorgan has developed a blockchain-based prototype for multi-currency payments.

According to an official release on Monday, MAS stated that the latest development for its Project Ubin allows for payments to be executed in different currencies on the same network, enabling cross-border payments. This is the fifth phase of the project, which was developed in collaboration with JP Morgan and Temasek – a government-owned investment company.

Started as a collaborative project to test the viability of blockchain and distributed ledger technology, MAS states that the novel implementation is bringing cost and speed benefits.

“There is growing evidence now that blockchain-based payments networks are able to enhance cost efficiencies and create new opportunities for businesses,” said Sopnendu Mohanty, chief fintech officer of MAS.

In its fifth phase, the prototype developed allows for payments settlement and clearing with different currencies. The payments network will also provide an interface for other blockchains to connect and will support delivery-versus-payment (DvP) settlement with private exchanes, conditional payments, escrow as well as payments commitments for trade finance.

Beyond technical experimentation, the fifth phase of Project Ubin sought to determine the commercial viability and value of the blockchain-based payments network. Until now, MAS and its partners have engaged more than 40 financial and commercial companies to explore the potential benefits of the blockchain-based network.

“The inclusion of non-financial services companies has demonstrated applicability of blockchain technology beyond capital markets and trade finance. We look forward to deeper collaboration and support for Singapore’s pioneering efforts in the blockchain space,” stated Chia Song Hwee, Chief Operating Officer at Temasek.

Investment bank JP Morgan, part of project Ubin, acts as the infrastructure provider for the prototype’s development. The banking giant has tipped its toes in the blockchain industry with various initiatives, including the inter-bank settlement network with its own stablecoin JPM Coin.

“J.P. Morgan is excited to be an infrastructure partner of MAS and Temasek for Phase 5 of Project Ubin. By leveraging our key learnings from building the Interbank Information Network® (IIN) and the JPM Coin, J.P. Morgan is well-positioned to support the development of a blockchain-based payments network and operate at scale.” John Hunter, Global Head of Clearing and Interbank Information Network.

Consultancy firm Accenture is set to publish a detailed report with the results of the prototype by early 2020, which will also indicate additional features that could be provided by the network.

Singapore officials hope that the success of their trial will motivate other central banks to explore blockchain-based settlement networks as well. Recently, People’s Bank of China (PBoC) revealed the development of its own digital currency, while the European Union is considering the issuance of a digital Euro.

Opera Introduces Bitcoin Payments to Its Browser

Web browser Opera has announced its latest update where users can transact and make payments in Bitcoin directly through its Android browser.

Bitcoin Payments with Opera

The new features have been successfully integrated following a beta phase announced in July 2019, which first allowed users to send and receive Bitcoin from its Crypto Wallet product, a wallet built into the Android version of Opera.

In addition to that, the browser supports TRON (TRX) transactions. Before the beta release, the Crypto Wallet only provided support for Ether (ETH) and other ERC-20 tokens. The addition of Bitcoin is a vital change as it better positions the browser to gain traction in the expanding Web 3.0 market.

Charles Hamel, head of crypto at Opera, commented on the new feature launch:

“We believe that opening our browser to more blockchains, including Bitcoin, is the logical next step to making our solution more relevant to anyone who has a Bitcoin crypto wallet and would like to do things with their cryptocurrencies beyond just keeping them in an account.”

Opera’s Android wallet not only supports Bitcoin transactions – it also allows users to make payment for goods and services. Opera users who have a Bitcoin credit/debit card associated with their funds can also connect it with the wallet and use it for making online purchases.

Opera Focusing on Web 3.0

Opera is in the race to gain a foothold in the web 3.0 market. The company has a wide portfolio with products that accommodate crypto-natives including the android browser, crypto-friendly iOS app as well as a desktop browser with native digital asset support.

Opera has also actively participated in the evolution of the web, with the creation of high-quality content around blockchain, decentralized computing and digital assets.

Opera’s market share has fallen behind in the past decade, with only 3% as of September 2019. The browser hopes to gain a competitive advantage with its web 3.0 efforts and contribute to the adoption of cryptocurrencies.

As Hamel previously claimed, the company aims to remove the friction involved in using cryptocurrencies online.

“The browser is the ideal candidate for integrating cryptocurrencies as it is the gateway to so many things in the user’s life,” said Hamel.