Bank of America Wins Patent for Crypto Exchange System

Crypto Exchange

As cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin continue to rapidly rise in value, countries around the world are beginning to take the cryptocurrency more seriously. In the United States, the second largest bank in the nation, Bank of America, has just won a patent for a crypto exchange system, which they intend to develop for corporate clients. The system would theoretically be able to easily convert one digital currency into another while establishing the exchange rate between those two currencies based on external data.

The patent states that:

Enterprises may handle a large number of financial transactions on a daily basis. As technology advances, financial transactions involving cryptocurrency have become more common. For some enterprises, it may be desirable to exchange currencies and cryptocurrencies.

The proposed system — which is, at present, only a patent and not yet a fully realized system — has three facets: the customer’s account, and the two businesses running the system. Like money in a traditional checking account, the customer would store their cryptocurrency in an account. The second account would hold currency to be sold, and the third would contain the currency the customer is converting to.

Going Digital

Making cryptocurrency so readily accessible and convertible could truly change the nature of crypto transactions. While currencies like Bitcoin are rapidly rising in value, there are some that fear the currency isn’t inherently valuable. Additionally, it’s not yet a widely accepted currency, so at the moment uses outside of online transactions and investment are somewhat limited.

Technology that simplifies the conversion of digital currencies will make them not only easier to use but ideally will further legitimize cryptocurrencies in general.

Of course, not everyone supports the mainstream adoption and incorporation of crypto by big banks. Then there are places like Catalonia setting interesting precedents for cryptocurrency use — the region is considering adopting crypto instead of a central bank. Whether or not you agree with the increasing presence of crypto, Bank of America’s latest move shows that it’s not going away anytime soon.

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A New App Feature Lets You Pay Your Rent Using Crypto

Crypto Rent

ManageGo’s online platform connects building managers/landlords and tenants, who can use the platform to pay their rent digitally (among other interfacing features). Now, the New York City-based company says they have begun integrating cryptocurrencies into their service, giving tenants the option of paying rent with crypto.

ManageGo says they will not hold the cryptocurrencies but simply convert the bitcoin, litecoin, or ether into U.S. dollars. The platform will utilize Coinbase’s application programming interface (API) to get real-time exchange rates to ensure both tenants and landlords receive accurate conversions.

Image credit: ManageGo
Image credit: ManageGo

“We saw we could do this and take the risk out of it by converting it,” ManageGo vice president of business strategy Chaim Lowenstein told “It would be like if someone wanted to pay with marbles and we could convert marbles overnight.”

The company does not manage properties on their own; they simply act as a conduit between landlords and tenants. Giving tenants the option of paying rent with crypto is another feature designed to help facilitate that process.

Gaining Acceptance

Each new outlet that decides to accept cryptocurrencies increases their legitimacy.

Square recently integrated cryptocurrency-based functionality into their Cash app, which users can now use to buy and sell bitcoin. London-based startup London Block Exchange is attempting to make it easier for people to use cryptocurrencies for daily transactions by introducing a Visa debit card that pays retailers in pounds but deducts the value from the user’s registered crypto wallet.

We are a long way away from crypto holders haggling on Craigslist to exchange bitcoin for pizza. The first real estate transaction using only bitcoin was recently completed in Texas, and major retailers are beginning to accept cryptocurrencies as payment.

No longer a novelty, blockchain-based currencies are well on their way toward mainstream acceptance.

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

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A New Debit Card Is Poised to Make Spending Crypto a Breeze

Spendable Crypto

Cryptocurrencies such as ether and bitcoin are surging in popularity thanks to their many benefits over traditional currencies, but they still lag behind those currencies in one key way: they are not easy to spend in physical stores. People can spend USD and euros using a plethora of debit, credit, and gift cards, but their options are severely limited when it comes to spending bitcoin or ether using a cryptocurrency debit card.

That’s starting to change, though. The Centra Card can be used just like a debit card to spend bitcoin, ether, dash, and several other popular cryptocurrencies. Token Card is another cryptocurrency debit card, and soon, London startup London Block Exchange (LBX) will launch a prepaid Visa debit card that will act in the same fashion.

The Dragoncard from LBX. Image Credit: London Block Exchange

The Dragoncard will allow people to convert their bitcoin, ether, ripple, litecoin, and monero to sterling (aka the British pound) at the time of purchase, thereby making it significantly easier for those currencies to be spent in stores throughout the United Kingdom, including ones that have yet to accept alternative forms of payment.

Business Insider reports the cryptocurrency debit card will be issued by pre-paid card provider Wavecrest, and it comes alongside an app people can use to buy and manage cryptocurrencies on LBX’s own exchange. When someone uses the Dragoncard, LBX will pay the retailer in pounds first, then take the equivalent amount from the shopper’s cryptocurrency wallet.

Before rushing off to get a Dragoncard when it debuts in December, though, interested crypto owners should know a few things. First, the card itself is £20 ($ 26.33). Second, they will be charged a 0.5 percent fee whenever they buy or sell cryptocurrencies on LBX’s platform. Lastly, provider Wavecrest charges a small fee for ATM withdrawals — it is a debit card, after all.

The Path to Acceptance

Despite the fees, the Dragoncard and other cryptocurrency debit cards have the potential to help crypto become widely accepted and, more importantly, understood.

The Dragoncard also arrives at a time when bitcoin is experiencing quite a growth spurt. With schools, companies, and even nations starting to embrace bitcoin, the currency is poised to continue increasing in value and popularity, and with the Dragoncard, LBX is hoping to help Londoners join that ever-growing segment of crypto supporters.

“Despite being the financial capital of the world, London is a difficult place for investors to enter and trade in the cryptocurrency market,” LBX founder and CEO Benjamin Dives reportedly said in a statement. “We’ll bring it into the mainstream by removing the barriers to access, and by helping people understand and have confidence in what we believe is the future of money.”

“We’re offering a grown up and robust experience for those who wish to safely and easily understand and invest in digital currencies,” said LBX’s executive chairman Adam Bryant. “We’re confident we’ll transform this market in the U.K. and will become the leading cryptocurrency and blockchain consultancy for institutional investors and consumers alike.”

Disclosure: Several members of the Futurism team, including the editors of this piece, are personal investors in a number of cryptocurrency markets. Their personal investment perspectives have no impact on editorial content.

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Crypto exchange desks freeze Bitcoin transactions ahead of wayward Segwit2X fork

Following months of cagey quarrels within the Bitcoin community over a controversial software update known as Segwit2X, the scheduled update was abruptly suspended last week, after a number of leading cryptocurrency entrepreneurs decided to withdraw their support for the initiative. But despite this development, a small portion of wayward miners vowed to go ahead with the cancelled hard fork regardless – and this is finally happening today. This is also the reason why a number of cryptocurrency exchange desks, including GDAX and CoinBase, have temporarily frozen Bitcoin transactions on their platforms; at least until, the hard fork has been completed.…

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What does it take to get women involved in crypto?

Currently women only make up about 5-7% of cryptocurrency users. With many saying cryptocurrency is one of the best opportunities for wealth creation in the near future, why are women not getting involved and how can we fix this? Tech has notoriously had problems with gender balances, but this gender gap is the worst yet. The Divi Project is a token launching its ICO soon and is aiming to use its resources to solve this societal problem. They have organized a panel with Coin Telegraph co-founder Toni Lane Casserly, publicist Heidi Krupp, and entrepreneur Kelsey Matheson. As Matheson says, “As…

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