Značka: P2P Payments

1inch Network adds a P2P feature to facilitate secure crypto swaps

The decentralized exchange aggregator 1inch Network introduced peer-to-peer, or P2P, order functionality within the 1inch decentralized application, or DApp. This feature allows users to specify the person or wallet that will fill the other side of the trade, as opposed to over-the-counter or OTC payments where 1inch matches the order with a taker. 1/ It’s time to broaden the scope of DeFi services available to our users!#1inch is happy to introduce a #P2P feature, which facilitates ️ secure #crypto swaps between individual users.Read more ⤵️https://t.co/CoH2YhvC69— 1inch Network (@1inch) March 3, 2022According to the company website, this “opens the door to a whole new world” of possible use cases, including transactions within NFT marketplaces, auctions or reverse auctions. Although other services like Binance Pay or Bybit support P2P payments, the company said that they have “stepped in to fill the gap” in demand for this kind of service.1inch claimed that their P2P service offers trustless swaps backed by smart contracts and complete decentralization. Users can send orders via email or to any messenger using URLs that bypass 1inch’s backend. Within the Twitter thread, the company specified that participants are able to set the swap amount to the current market rate or to reduce and increase the rate by 5% intervals. Expiration dates can also be set to anytime between 10 minutes and 7 days.The most common use cases for P2P orders include situations when liquidity for a certain token is not sufficient for a large OTC deal or in the case of tokens in the presale stage. The P2P feature is built on top of the 1inch Limit Order Protocol and is available on the following chains: Ethereum, BNB Chain, Polygon, Avalanche, Optimistic Ethereum, Arbitrum and Gnosis Chain.Related: P2P payments spurred crypto adoption across Venezuela in 2021Recently, Cointelegraph interviewed Anton Bukov, the co-founder of 1inch Network, who said that he believes that Ethereum will likely become the main settlement layer for a multi-chain ecosystem.

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How are Afghans using crypto under the Taliban government?

After the Taliban took full control of Afghanistan in August last year, many international non-governmental organizations and services stopped operating in the country. Among them were payment services like Western Union and Swift.Many Afghans subsequently began to learn about cryptocurrencies and the underlying blockchain technology to — at the very least — receive remittances from abroad. As electronic payment services like PayPal and Venmo have never been available in the 5,000-year-old country, Afghans have lost many opportunities in the online business world.“We lost many opportunities like blogging, affiliate marketing and online dropshipping because most of them pay with PayPal,” Heshmat Aswadi, a local crypto trader, told Cointelegraph in an interview. “I learned a lot about blogging but it was of no use since I could not get paid online.”Aswadi is studying business administration at Herat University and wanted to create a fintech blog but as he researched on how to get paid, the 22-year-old lost hope. He later came to know about cryptocurrencies “which was one of the best things to ever happen to him,” he said. Aswadi learned as he went as the crypto industry grew in mid-2021. He now trades small amounts of digital assets that allow him to make some extra money.According to Aswadi, banks and governments, especially developing countries like Afghanistan and Iran, must consider using digital currencies as a legal tender. “They could at least use a central bank digital currency,” he added.“Although there is no need for our government to spend extra money on a central bank digital currency project, if they don’t want decentralized assets, a CBDC could still be an option.”RemittancesWhen the Taliban assumed power, money transfer services like Western Union and Swift stopped their operations in the country, leaving many Afghans who got money from relatives abroad without a source of income. Currently, the only way to receive money from other countries is by using crypto.During the crypto boom in 2021, Afghanistan was ranked 20th among 154 countries in Chainalysis’ 2021 Crypto Adoption Index.Ali Rahnavard, a local crypto dealer and trader in Herat, one of the largest cities of Afghanistan, says he saw immense growth in the number of Afghans using cryptocurrencies. Rahnavard said that he saw his customers increase by “ten times” in the past year.“The main reason behind this growth is that people needed to find a way to receive money from their family and friends who live in other countries,” Rahnavard told Cointelegraph.“It’s much cheaper and faster” than the previous payment systems like Western Union, Rahnavard says. In addition to trading, he has been teaching Afghans how to trade and use cryptocurrencies for the past four years. This knowledge would be useful if the country’s Taliban government decides to start using crypto to open up e-commerce in the country.“Crypto could pave the way for the Taliban to get back to international business as well.” he said, “While the Taliban don’t seem to have the necessary knowledge on how to use blockchain technology at the moment, they could at least help by not banning cryptocurrencies.”Jumah Mosque of Herat, Aghanistan. View from the Eastern roof top. Source: DidierTaisHow is crypto used in Afghanistan?In November 2021, Binance announced that it will not support Swift bank transfers to user accounts in a long list of countries including Afghanistan. Since most people in the country use Binance, it became difficult to deposit or withdraw crypto to or from the crypto exchange.Currently, for the customers to get crypto, they go to a crypto dealer’s shop where they pay the amount in the local fiat currency, afghanis, or U.S. dollars. In order for the dealer to get cryptocurrency, he needs to contact someone abroad to send crypto to his wallet. The dealer usually uses a local Hawala system to deposit the money to the sender’s bank account. The reason dealers don’t use credit or debit cards is that they charge around 11% for international purchases, according to Rahnavard.The dealer then asks for the customer’s wallet address and sends the crypto, mostly Tether (USDT). Did the Taliban ban crypto?The Taliban still haven’t announced any regulations or bans regarding digital currencies. If a top Islamic scholar says that crypto is haram (forbidden), the Taliban would ban it “without thinking twice,” Rahnavard said. If they consider it halal (permissible), “we might use the best tech in the world, forever,” he added.One of the biggest blocks on the way to crypto’s mass adoption in Afghanistan is the low literacy rate: Only 43% of Afghanistan’s population is literate and an even smaller number have regular access to the internet.A crypto trader anonymously told Cointelegraph: “Cryptocurrencies could be our only chance and window to true financial freedom. With all the problems we have in Afghanistan, it’s obviously very hard to teach everyone about crypto but it is not impossible.”“What I love about decentralization is that it takes the power from governments and gives back to the people,” they added.Taliban border guard in Turkham, Afghanistan, 2001.Crypto donationsThe Taliban restricted bank account withdrawals as they took power in an attempt to address the cash shortage caused by the United States sanctions. Consequently, millions of Afghans could not get food. Some even tried to sell their children which led to international media coverage and opening the door to donations.In September of last year, a nonfungible token (NFT) project started by Bookblocks.io and the “Women for Afghan Women” organization. They created digital art to support the education of women in Afghanistan and the ones arriving in the United States as refugees. “This is a generation that grew up hopeful and dreaming about their future through educational opportunities,” said Naheed Samadi Bahram, Women for Afghan Women’s U.S. country director. “We are committed to serving Afghan women and girls in Afghanistan and Afghan refugees arriving in the U.S.”Another social activist and entrepreneur, Fereshteh Forough, has sent cryptocurrencies to Afghan girls in need. Forough is the founder and CEO of a coding academy for girls in Afghanistan called Code to Inspire. The academy was started in 2015 in Herat, Afghanistan.According to Forough, 350 girls graduated Code to Inspire and 65% of them started their careers to put food on their tables. “The girls texted me that all of them had lost their jobs because of the Taliban’s policies,” Forough said. “And, as the sole breadwinners, their families were falling apart.” “We found that actually, there are a bunch of local money exchanges in the financial district of Herat that are accepting crypto and they can cash it out for you in either afghanis or dollars,” Forough said. She then helped 100 girls through Code to Inspire to create Binance and Trust Wallet accounts to receive cryptocurrency as their payments and exchange their digital assets for fiat in a local crypto exchange.Forough is not the only one helping Afghans get paid in crypto. Roya Mahboob is the CEO of Afghan Citadel Software Company and pays her employees in digital currencies. She had previously spoken about her role and was featured for her pact to make a difference:“If young people can learn about computers, they can learn about Bitcoin. And now everybody wants to learn how to access Bitcoin. They need to.”Much more to comeSince August last year, nothing has been the same, not even the country’s name which changed from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. Many NGOs left the country and many lost their jobs, leading to a financial crisis and, nonetheless, starvation.The only way some families could live was to get money from abroad but without cryptocurrencies, it’s almost impossible now. “Other countries learn about crypto because it’s a new technology and want to learn how to use crypto and blockchain to their favor,” Rahnavard said. “But, it’s different in Afghanistan. We must and need to learn about crypto and its underlying technology because if we don’t, I don’t know what bigger disaster should be expected.”

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Upcoming Apple iPhone feature to give merchants a way to accept crypto payments

Apple announced plans to launch Tap to Pay for iPhone, a new feature that effectively turns the smartphone into a point of sale (POS) device for businesses and merchants. So, what’s in it for crypto?The announcement explains that with Tap to Pay, iPhone-owning merchants receive contactless payments by using their mobile devices as a POS machine thanks to the NFC technology.According to Apple, the soon-to-be-launched Tap to Pay feature will extend support to “Apple Pay, contactless credit and debit cards and other digital wallets.” It basically means that, unless Apple places a direct barrier for it, customers who are using Coinbase Card, Crypto.com Visa Card or a similar payment card would be able to use their cryptocurrency holdings to make payments via Tap to Pay.We just introduced Tap to Pay on iPhone, a great way for millions of small businesses to accept contactless payments right from their iPhone. It’s easy, secure, and will be coming out later this year. https://t.co/w6P6oS7grm— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) February 9, 2022While Apple has announced Stripe, an Irish-American fintech, as the first platform to offer the Tap to Pay feature on iPhone, the company clarified that “additional payment platforms and apps will follow later this year.”Back in Aug. 2021, major crypto exchange Coinbase integrated with Apple Pay and Google Pay, allowing users to purchase crypto assets on its platform. As Cointelegraph reported, the move allowed the United States-based customers to purchase crypto using bank-issued debit and credit cards via a mainstream payments platform, Apple Pay. In June 2021, Coinbase launched Coinbase Card, enabling users to spend cryptocurrencies across mainstream avenues:“Coinbase will automatically convert all cryptocurrency to US Dollars and transfer the funds to your Coinbase Card (less conversion fees) for use in purchases and ATM withdrawals.”Following suit, crypto exchange Crypto.com launched a similar offering named Crypto.com Visa Card, which can be added to Apple Pay and other major digital wallets. Apple said in the announcement:“Tap to Pay on iPhone will work with contactless credit and debit cards from leading payment networks, including American Express, Discover, Mastercard and Visa.”Considering Coinbase’s capability to convert a user’s crypto holdings to fiat in real-time for payments, Apple Pay users will be able to use iPhone’s Tap to Pay feature to make crypto payments across mainstream merchants and businesses. While Apple Pay will, most probably, not allow direct purchase of goods and services via Bitcoin (BTC), it will convert the user’s crypto holdings to match the dollar amount requested by the merchant’s POS machine to make the purchase.Let’s also not forget that in Nov. 2021, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed the personal purchase of cryptocurrencies as “part of a diversified portfolio” while highlighting no immediate plans to accept crypto as a means of payment for Apple products.Apple intends to roll out the Tap to Pay feature on Apple Stores, iPhone XS and later devices. Related: Bitcoin Lightning Network goes live on Cash AppCash App, a mobile payment service developed and owned by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey’s Block, announced compatibility with the Bitcoin Lightning Network for BTC transfers.Lightning Network is now available on Cash App. It’s the fastest, free way to pay anyone in bitcoin.Buy tacos, tip your favorite Twitter comedian, or send a friend money abroad—anywhere that accepts lightning. pic.twitter.com/65TXSJ6yL6— Cash App (@CashApp) February 7, 2022

With the launch of the new feature, Cash App users can make faster BTC transactions across mainstream businesses. As Cointelegraph reported, the company has made the feature available everywhere in the United States apart from New York.

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Crypto firms ignore Africa at their peril as continent set for major adoption

Even though the digital asset market seems to be witnessing a bit of a lull at the moment, the adoption of crypto-centric tech has continued to move forward with a full head of steam globally. Africa, in particular, is a continent where a growing list of mainstream financial entities have continued to make their presence felt, as they have begun to realize that the economic opportunities presented by the region are immense.To put things into perspective, a recent report released by Singapore-based crypto data provider Triple A shows that the North African country of Morocco currently boasts one of the largest crypto populations in the region at nearly 2.5%. The kingdom currently leading many prominent countries in terms of daily Bitcoin (BTC) trades, trailing only behind Saudi Arabia across the entirety of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, an impressive feat, to say the least.What’s even more interesting is that Morocco’s existing legislative framework is largely anti-crypto, with the country’s Foreign Exchange Office giving no indication of softening its stance anytime in the near future. Despite these stringent regulations, people across the region have continued to find means such as peer-to-peer (P2P) and over-the-counter trading through which to make inroads into this rapidly-evolving ecosystem.Crypto firms entering Africa at unprecedented rateEmmanuel Babalola, the Africa director for cryptocurrency exchange Binance, told Cointelegraph that with each passing month, the number of cross-collaborations taking place between local blockchain/crypto firms and various mainstream entities has continued to grow. Babalola said that most forward-looking tech companies are vying to gain exposure within the region, all while trying to help people across the continent embrace and realize the true utility of blockchain. He further pointed out that Binance has recently partnered with the Confederation of African Football (AFCON) to sponsor the TotalEnergies African Cup of Nations tournament, a move which he sees as a small step toward a grander scheme, adding:“The AFCON sponsorship was a very exciting one. Football is the most popular sport in Africa, one that unites the entire continent and so, sponsoring the biggest football tournament in Africa was honestly a no-brainer. It corroborates our mission to take crypto mainstream across the continent.”Staying in line with his company’s ideal of widespread crypto adoption across the African landscape, he also pointed out that Binance recently collaborated with some of the stars participating in this year’s iteration of Big Brother Naija (Nigeria) — the biggest reality show on the continent — to help bring crypto education to a wider mainstream audience. “We are [even] sponsoring Nigerian Idol — the Nigerian version of a popular singing contest,” he added.Lastly, Babalola noted that in recent months, many unprecedented happenings have taken place across the global crypto ecosystem such as countries like El Salvador adopting Bitcoin as legal tender — something he believes was totally unfathomable just a few years ago — and thus it would not be surprising to see African nations follow suit:“I think this is only the beginning of things to come. In general, as institutional interest in cryptocurrencies continues to rise, more mainstream entities making their way into the region is inevitable.”Crypto can help redefine business across AfricaWhen asked about the continued growth of crypto across Africa, especially within the northern part of the continent, Adedayo Adebajo, Africa director for Jelurida, a blockchain software company that develops and maintains the Nxt and Ardor blockchains, told Cointelegraph that a vast majority of African countries like to consider themselves as one bloc, rather than being divided into regional categories.In this regard, he noted that one aspect that has united most people living in Africa is their lack of tangible business opportunities, as well as a clear lack of access to high-quality banking alternatives that they can use to send and receive funds from across the globe. Adebajo added:“African nations believed they were left out of the first three industrial revolutions. The 4IR (fourth industrial revolution) technology including blockchain and cryptocurrency has, for the first time in history, provided them with an opportunity to participate in making history. Most governments in the continent are now open to capacity building and localizing solution developments, among others. To do so, their doors remain wide open to foreign offers that will get them closer to their aim.”When asked about the challenges that may arise as a result of most nations in the continent (especially those located across North Africa) adhering to an Islamic way of life, Adebajo noted that the key issue preventing crypto-based banking services from reaching the masses is not religion but a clear lack of understanding of what the technology brings to the table. “As Muslims, we have learned from quotable religious scholars that we are not excluded from using crypto or participating in its offerings, although this stance may perhaps remain debatable,” he added.Related: Indonesia’s national Islamic council reportedly declares Bitcoin haramBlockchain-based banking solutionAfrica’s vast geographic size compounded by the presence of many small economies across the continent has led to many nations struggling with systematic infrastructure development, especially when it comes to financial services, something that has resulted in 57% of the continent’s population remaining unbanked. RJ Katunda, co-founder of African project World Mobile, a Cardano-based mobile network, told Cointelegraph that over the years, Africans have gradually become accustomed to using innovative payment systems such as Kenya’s M-Pesa.However, he pointed out that there are now newer blockchain-based alternatives beginning to emerge, setting the context for crypto and digital currencies that offer a more convenient and direct P2P channel for remittance payments, international commerce and savings. He added:“With many economies growing rapidly, crypto and blockchain-based projects will continue to enter Africa, where their proposition is relevant and where they can form partnerships with local entities. While many individuals use cryptocurrency in Africa, legislation in many countries lags. As in other jurisdictions, cryptocurrencies don’t fit within current regulatory frameworks.”In essence, Katunda believes that the core issue preventing widespread adoption of crypto-tech (especially from a financial standpoint) across the region is a lack of perceived central control from many governments, which creates difficulties for authorities to oversee and mitigate bad practices. “However, many governments have announced that they are working on regulatory frameworks to emerge in the near future,” he closed out by saying.Africa cannot be ignored any longerAkin Jones, a partner at Gluwa Capital, an Africa-based investment fund focused exclusively on fintech lenders using blockchain technology, told Cointelegraph that Africa’s growing population and adoption of cryptocurrency mean that companies ignoring the continent are either not serious about the technology in the long term or have failed to realize the massive financial proposition currently in front of them.In Jones’ view, Bitcoin could very well become legal tender across many African nations since most of these countries already find it quite hard to trade with each other because of constant currency fluctuations. Talking about North Africa in particular, he further opined that since the region serves as a bridge between Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, it would make a lot of sense for fintech firms to consider making inroads there, adding:“Identity management, land ownership and insurance are three key areas that could be improved on across North Africa which could help change the perception in the region. CBDCs [central bank digital currencies] could also help ease the acceptance of cryptocurrency in this regard.”Thus, it will be interesting to see how things shape out for the continent from here on out, especially since many of the nations within the region are known to suffer from an extremely high level of red tape. With many governments fast realizing the potential that crypto and blockchain possess, however, it would not be surprising to see countries making way for more foreign investment from established firms operating within this rapidly maturing sector.

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