Mergers and acquisitions are becoming the order of the day in the cryptocurrency space with Coinbase cryptocurrency brokerage preparing to make the largest acquisition in its nearly seven-year history.
Citing Coindesk reports that Coinbase is in talks to acquire Earn.com, a platform that allows users to earn cryptocurrency by replying emails and completing other microtasks such as registering for token airdrops or completing surveys.
Earn.com was formerly known as 21 Inc. A startup that raised $116 million in a series of funding rounds which set a record for cryptocurrency-related startups.
According to sources which told the publication that Earn.com is currently in talks with several potential buyers in addition to the San Francisco-based Coinbase and that the company could fetch a total compensation package north of $120 million, though some gave figures as low as $30 million.
When it comes to mergers and acquisitions, this might come as a surprise to many as Coinbase has not been active in that space since their inception, However, this change is expected to be a deal breaker.
With high expectations, if executed, the deal is likely to see Earn.com CEO join coinbase and which could lead to other potential mergers and acquisitions in the near future.
As CCN reported, Goldman Sachs-backed fintech startup Circle recently acquired cryptocurrency exchange Poloniex. The deal’s terms were not made public, but Circle reportedly paid approximately $400 million for the US exchange operator.
Europe-based Bitstamp, one of the oldest cryptocurrency exchanges, is also rumored to be considering a sale to a group of South Korean investors in a deal that would also be worth $400 million.
Coinbase is yet to release an official statement confirming the deal. However, confirmation is imminent.
The Son of South Africa’s President Aims to Conserve Wildlife with Crypto
Tumelo Ramaphosa, the youngest son of the President of South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa is creating innovations through the blockchain and cryptocurrency. Tumelo who has been in the blockchain space since 2010 aims to revolutionise the auction sector as well as conserve wildlife. With his company, StudEx Wildlife, Tumelo is digitizing animals by placing them on the blockchain where each animal can be bred, traded or sold and the value will be shared amongst investors.
StudEx Wildlife aims to turn endangered species to digital tokens. The company has had the plans in motion since 2016, and aims to utilise the funds raised from its Initial Coin Purchase (ICO) to fund a conservation where animals under threats of extinction will be tracked. South African Private Farmers can also reproduce endangered species and auction the animals. StudEx aims to take the auctions to a global level.
Tumelo explained, “In many ways, StudEx is trying to create and decentralize this monopoly that happens in South Africa. You have farms where farmers have their animals, with StudEx we’d be able to raise more funds through initial coin offers on the animals.” He also revealed that the firm aims to acquire industrial drones for the purpose of their conservative objectives. This would aid in tracking animals. He also revealed another aspect of the firm he says, “StudEx is a VR business. We have a VR application in development where you can immerse yourself in the world and see what the drone is seeing.” This would help investors in seeing what they are investing in or the animals they have invested in.”
Tumelo who has been in the crypto space for a while now aims to conserve wildlife and endangered species through its funding system.
What do you think about StudEx Wildlife? Share your opinion with us in the comment section below.
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Banks Collaborate Using Blockchain Technology
Cryptocurrency and blockchain technology has been an avenue for individuals, organizations and corporations to make money, create value and reduce the cost of carrying out transactions. Banks have not welcomed the idea as it seems to threaten their very existence. The technology which at a glance seems to eliminate them as middlemen and connect the buyers with their sellers directly is eventually tending towards that direction.
However, some banks don’t share the same sentiments and have begun to make effort to find ways to collaborate with the technology to drive economic growth and provide value to its customers.
Such is the case of some Banks in Thailand, collaborating together to achieve a successful blockchain-powered cross-border funds transfer from its country to Singapore. The effort which involved various multinationals including Japanese Mitsubishi Corporation, independent group company and Japan’s largest bank MUFG – which operates independently, and Singapore-based banking giant Standard Chartered.
Thailands bank of Ayudhya revealed in an announcement, the successful pilot testing regarding international remittance from a local bank account to a Standard Charted account in Singapore using its own Blockchain. It was stated that the transaction was made possible with the blockchain technology. In the statement, Krungsri head of digital banking and innovation Thakorn Piyapan said:
“[T]he technology-based transaction helps enhance their subsidiaries’ financial liquidity toward greater flexibility and efficiency.”
The transaction was conducted under the guidelines of the Bank of Thailand’s regulatory sandbox, thereby putting them in the clear of violating any regulations. Krungsri, a wholly-owned subsidiary of MUFG, is the latest Thai bank to successfully try blockchain technology for remittance ahead of adoption.
Nearly a year ago, Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) collaborated with Japan’s SBI Remit to launch a retail remittance bank service powered by Ripple’s blockchain tech. With nearly 50,000 Thai nationals living and working in Japan, the remittance corridor between the two countries sees approximately $250 million in transfers each year.
This achievement is a big foot and a boost in the propagation of the gospel of blockchain and cryptocurrency around the world. Foretelling the widespread adoption of this technology by banks. This foot is expected to repeat itself again
Ekasi To Launch World’s First Crypto-Enabled Mall
Cryptocurrency is becoming the word in the mouth of the average youth in Africa. As the knowledge of the technology is spread pretty fast, cryptocurrency and blockchain startup companies and smart young Africans are beginning to devise means to create a system that offers value using this same blockchain technology.
South African-based blockchain startup Ekasi Bucks is planning to launch arguably the world’s first crypto-mall and on-demand transport services for small towns in Soweto, Soshanguve and Mabopane.
This launch comes as no surprise to cryptocurrency enthusiast as the company tried raising about R50 million through an ICO with the intention to fund its project. However, the ICO was only able to raise R500,000 which is nowhere compared to their initial target.
According to the president and co-founder of Ekasi Buck, it was the company’s initial plan to actually raise funds to buy a landed property to build an actual shopping mall. The only available alternative was to go digital; thereby creating the mall online.
CRYPTOCURRENCY ONLINE MALL
The mall will digitalize online sales, which will enable local township businesses transact via the online platform and in exchange receive Ekasi Bucks token. The past six weeks have seen Ekasi Bucks run campaigns to create awareness and recruit vendors to the crypto-mall with 800 township entrepreneurs having so far submitted their applications to sell products such as clothing or food from local restaurants that will be delivered.
The goal is to allow local residents shop from their own townships and also their homes” said Kgwadi
The co-founder of Ekasi Bucks believes that given an opportunity, township residents will easily buy from their local retailers. According to him: “It’s not a matter of products and markups — people just don’t know where to find the product.”
TAXI DEMAND SERVICES.
This startup plans on launching an on-demand taxi services which would be similar to that of Taxify and Uber, of which customers would be allowed to make payments for their fares using Ekasi Buck. To start, Ekasi Bucks plans to source for their token users from their already existing rewards programme that they have been managing since 2016. The programme is active across South Africa and has more than 20,000 card users and 4,000 merchants.
20 applications have already been submitted by intending drivers on the platform, which comes after the company ran facebook adverts for the service. The initial batch of the vetted drivers will become the first pilot for the on-demand taxi service, said Kgwadi. He went on to say that for each token transacted, Ekasi Bucks will charge a ten percent commission to the drivers, which makes their rates significantly lower compared to the fee charges that Uber (15 percent to 20 percent) and Taxify (30 percent) debit from their drivers. In addition, the startup has partnered with Lion of Africa to provide white labelled life cover insurance to its drivers who will be part of the on-demand taxi service.
Beer Vending Machine Verifies Your ID On The Blockchain
Imagine a vending machine that is hooked up to the blockchain and verifies the age of its customers before selling beer to them? San Francisco crypto startup, Civic teamed up with Anheuser-Busch InBev to create this blockchain beer vending machine.
The prototype of this vending machine which can query blockchain-based records to verify the customer’s age will be on display at Consensus 2018. The machine could also be easily adapted for bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies as Civic confirmed. So, visitors to the convention can stop and have a free beer from the machine to check out its ability.
Decentralized identity and KYC verification seem to be a huge market the vending machine is expected to be the beginning of what is to be expected from this market. Titus Capilnean explains, “We’ve been thinking about practical ways of bringing crypto technology to a more mainstream audience, and how can we go so so niche that it’s so easy to understand for a regular individual. Proof of age seemed like the best low-hanging fruit.
Civic demonstrates how blockchain technology will eventually enable age-restricted products to move into the production of blockchain vending machine market. Titus affirms, “It’s not limited to just beer, it could be for any kind of age-restricted product. Unmanned entrance to casinos, and then for the vending machines, we can see this going into concerts, ballgames, venues, conferences.”
Civic announced in June last year that it sold $33 million-worth of its CVC tokens to investors ahead of an initial coin offering (ICO) and currently the value of the network according to CoinMarketCap is $113 million. There is, however, one question that needs to be asked, how will the machine verify the identity if I use stolen identification?