Blockchain and bitcoin round-up: 20 December 2017
The world of cryptocurrencies is ever changing and since yesterday (19 December 2017) we’ve got more of the latest in Bitcoin and blockchain news. Featuring Fintech Select, FitPay, Cascade FinTech and YouBit.
Starting with Fintech Select, which has taken the digital to the physical with the launch of a physical Bitcoin product alongside its Selectcoin swipe card.
According to the company, it has been working on the physical Bitcoin project in secret over the last quarter. With Bitcoin reaching all-time highs and many companies exploring different products such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and of course, Fintech Select wants to seize the opportunity to capitalise.
Each of the physical Bitcoins is embedded with fractional amounts of Bitcoin and interconnected to a wallet. The company believes it will have appeal to consumers who are now starting to hear more about Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. Sort of defeats the purpose of cryptocurrencies, but it would be one to look out for. The physical Bitcoins are said to be available for purchase and viewing at company’s pop-up store in Toronto this month.
FitPay, a subsidiary of NXT-ID and Cascade FinTech, unveiled a joint development plan to build a platform that gives cryptocurrency holders the ability to use the value of their currency to make purchases at retail locations.
With the cryptocurrencies becoming the new craze, FitPay says the new platform will enable devices with stored value exchanged from cryptocurrency to be used for traditional payment transactions just as they would use a credit or debit card. The agreement, which is an extension of a current relationship between FitPay and Cascade, will give cryptocurrency holders the ability to make transactions with value derived from cryptocurrency at any near field communication (NFC) enabled point of sale (POS) terminals. The platform is expected to be launched in early 2018.
Finally, some unfortunate news for South Korean bitcoin exchange YouBit, which has claimed that hackers have stolen 17% of its assets. As a result, the exchange is now planning to file for bankruptcy.
The exchange collapsed earlier in the week after it suffered its second cyberattack this year, losing most of its cryptocurrency reserves. The belief is that North Korea is behind a string of attacks and South Korea’s intelligence service, Korea Internet and Security Agency (KISA) is investigating. YouBit says it has now suspended deposits and withdrawals as a result of the attack. YouBit released a statement saying that to minimise the damages and losses to members, it will be withdrawing 75% of the balances, selling a stake in the exchange and tapping insurance funds.