Browser Brave releases micropayment feature, and Visa is testing blockchain technology. Here are the cryptocurrency highlights of week 35:
- Ad-blocking browser Brave has launched a service that gives users the ability to tip websites via Bitcoin. The plans were announced last month, when it was stated that Brave would be “bringing an innovative model where users and publishers can get paid in real-time micropayments using the blockchain”. This feature is now a reality as users simply need to turn on Brave Payments from within Brave’s preferences page, create a Brave wallet, and fund it. Once enabled, the Brave Payments preference panel allows you to control which sites receive your support.
- Visa has a new pilot project in Europe designed to test how blockchain technology could be used in cross-border money transfers. The primary objective of the pilot is to test whether blockchain can reduce costs, settlement times, and credit risks associated with international transfers between banks. Hendrik Kleinsmiede, co-founder of Visa Europe Collab, strongly believes that “Through the use of smart contracts and blockchains we can create a fast, compliant and low-cost interbank payment and settlement service, with embedded regional compliance”.
- Hong Kong Bitcoin exchange Bitfinex revealed it had purchased more than 1% of the blockchain debt tokens it issued to users in August. These tokens were issued as a way to pay users back for losses it incurred after $72 million worth of Bitcoin was stolen from the platform. Bitfinex purchased the tokens at an above-market value of $1 each, roughly double the market value when the redemption took place. The latter leaves the question why, instead of buying BFX tokens for $1 each, the exchange did not simply buy back twice as many of these digital assets.
- Alphabay Market, the largest darknet market in operation right now, has started accepting Monero deposits and withdrawals. The plans were originally announced almost two weeks ago, when Alphabay wrote it had “just finished upgrading the platform to allow Monero Escrow / FE transactions”, but waited for several more days to open up these functionalities “to give time to vendors to edit their listings in order to select that Monero is accepted”. The service is still accepting Bitcoin, but Monero is in strong demand because “It’s a lot more secure than Bitcoin, especially when it comes to obfuscation”.
- The price of Bitcoin increased a bit this week by almost one percent to about $575 per BTC. The price of Ethereum increased by more than three percent over the same period, to a current rate of $11.60 per ETH. Ethereum Classic continued to lose, losing more than six percent of its value, taking the price down to $1.33 per ETC. Monero was the big winner of the week, seeing its price more than double to roughly $13 per XMR.