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JR East Plans to Accept Crypto Payments from Japanese Rail Commuters

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Japan is going the crypto way as the IIJ, Internet Initiative Japan, a well-known cloud service provider, has just signed an agreement with the East Japan Railway Company(JR East).

Founded in 1922 by koichi Suzuki, the IIJ will be working on a project that will allow passengers to facilitate their ticket payments at a number of stations and kiosks using alt-assets such as BTC, ETH and suchlike.

The  spokesperson for IIJ had stated that JR East could start accepting crypto payments as early as June 2019— given that everything goes according to plan. Payments will most likely be made possible via JR East’s ‘Suica smart cards’ as well as the firm’s native smartphone app.

Customers will be able to pay in cryptocurrencies with their Suica smartcard, which will be made possible through the wholesome channel of DeCurret virtual currency exchange and IIJ’s expertise in connectivity and network-related services.

It will be very good to note that it is being nicely estimated that a total of 75 million Suica cards are currently in circulation within Japan. But the more good news is that it is not just restricted to travellers since owners can even use them at a number of convenience stores that are spread out across the country.

it should be mentioned that a report released by Nikkei recently indicates that another big-name firm called Mizuho too is set to begin a pilot on the new IIJ-JR East platform later this month.

In accordance with the words of the spokesperson for the firm, Mizuho is presently looking to permit a select few customers to make Suica payments using J Coin— the company’s native crypto offering whose value is pegged to the Yen in a ratio of 1:1.

The Managing Executive Officer of JR East, Shinobu Noguchi, said in a statement as one Japanese crypto news outlet  noted:

“JR East’s Suica operates the same settlement business, and is in a position to invest in Dikalet, and is highly expected to develop its services to create a payment infrastructure based on transport infrastructure. We started by charging and using cash, which is a general-purpose payment method, but I think that it will change greatly as the current of ‘cashless’ flows.”

Notably, the cryptocurrencies that are currently supported by DeCurret include: Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), and Ripple (XRP). Ethereum (ETH) is likely to be supported this summer. Consequently, it is very possible that the Suica smartcards will support payments in all or some of these cryptos.

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Bitcoin Cash Support Added to HTC Flagship Smartphone, the Exodus 1

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Image: Bitcoin.com

Bitcoin Cash support has been added to the Exodus 1, the flagship smartphone of HTC as part of a new partnership between the Taiwanese smartphone consumer electronics manufacturer and Bitcoin.com

The Exodus 1 which is an Android powered mobile phone is the first native web 3.0 mobile devices with architecture that secures crypto assets. The device has an easy to use digital wallet, Zion Vault whose software interfaces with the device’s hardware security.

The wallet allows users to store and make transactions using the bitcoin cash cryptocurrency without having to be exposed to remote system penetration.

According to Bitcoin.com, the partnership will see HTC pre-loading the firm’s popular wallet app on the device. In turn, Bitcoin.com will offer for sale the Exodus 1 Flagship device and other lower device from the manufacturer on the Bitcoin.com online store. The lower priced device Exodus 1s will also feature same native bitcoin cash support which the flagship users are to enjoy.

Speaking on the partnership, Bitcoin.com CEO Stefan Rust said “There are so many synergies between Bitcoin.com and HTC. We are very excited to be on this incredible journey together.”

Roger Ver, the Executive Chairman contributed saying  “Bitcoin.com’s partnership with HTC will enable Bitcoin Cash to be used as peer to peer electronic cash for the millions of HTC smartphone users around the world.”

Based on the news reporting arm of bitcoin.com, HTC sees great promise in cryptocurrency and that is the reason why it has added support for bitcoin cash.

The Taiwanese firm’s Decentralized Chief Officer Phil Chen speaking on the importance of the partnership between both organizations said “Smartphones are everywhere and have proliferated across the planet. It’s very important for the adoption of crypto that it is easy to store and use, no matter which cryptocurrency is preferred by people. So the fact that BCH, one of the biggest cryptocurrencies, is now easy to use on our smartphone is very important for us. Together, HTC and Bitcoin.com are helping to bring crypto to the masses.”

He went further saying HTC believes in user ownership of, control of their data and cryptocurrency presents the best opportunity to start the journey into owning personal data. Understanding the fear of users owning and controlling access to their data, Phil Chen believes this will significant impact the business models and revenues of these ‘powerful firms’.

HTC believes the smartphone will be the tool which will allow users manage, access, store their digital assets.

Bitcoin.com revealed that future plans of the partnership includes offering discounts when paying for goods in BCH as well as sales of the Exodus phones on store.bitcoin.com

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Businesses Can Now Accept Ether as BitPay Add Support for Ethereum

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Largest global blockchain payment processor Bitpay has announced customers will soon be able to safely, securely and compliantly accept Ethereum for purchases without the need for any further integration.

It also revealed that wallet users will be able to store and use the second largest cryptocurrency by market cap  in their wallet and BitPay Prepaid Visa Cards holders can top up debit cards.

BitPay formerly supports Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash and has now added Ethereum to its list of supported digital assets on its payment processing platform.

Accesses to foreign exchange in some jurisdiction is a challenge to businesses and with the advent of bitcoin, businesses can easily and effortlessly receive payments from all over the world from users with the three supported cryptocurrencies.

BitPay speaking on the achievement was quoted saying “It is exciting to see BitPay leading the way in integrating Ethereum into global payment systems,” said Vitalik Buterin, founder and creator of Ethereum. “This truly opens up a new world of possibilities for the Ethereum ecosystem, and together we can continue to be a leading innovator for real world use cases for cryptocurrencies.”

BitPay offers stable coin settlement with Circle CENTRE USDC, Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and the PAX as well as in 12 currencies and direct deposits in 37 countries.

According to BitPay, it calculates prices displayed on invoices in 150 countries and can settle in over 200 countries. It further said that, for merchants who desire to be settled by bank transfer, the transfer is initiated the next day and cryptocurrency is settled the next day.

BitPay was founded in 2011 as the pioneer bitcoin and blockchain payment with large number of merchants already using its payment processor such as Microsoft, Newegg, Dish Networks etc. It enables users to manage digital assets with the BitPay walllets and turn digital assets into dollars with the BitPay Visa Card.

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Blockchain-enabled SIM to be Launched by China Telecoms Corporation

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China telecom corporation limited CHA, has made public its serious considerations in developing a blockchain-enabled  5G sim card according to a Chinese website, Sina News.

The leading arm of the Chinese telecom research had released the white paper which outlined key moves to be implemented on the sidelines of China International Smart Industry Fair recently. The paper had also pointed out some details of how this sim card would support ERC-20 tokens and Ethereum, also stating that it would have compatibility with almost any type of phone. Explicit details on plans to turn a smartphone into a decentralised node were also highlighted

This news has also come as a good one for those who intend to buy and sell Cryptos using their mobile phones. The telecom of China has its eyes on the 5G which is the major prize for the corporation

According to the whitepaper, blockchain has emerged as the only technology that presents users with the opportunity of securing their fragile data, hence the issue of the huge flow of data this advancement will come with will not be an issue, even with the advent of IoT enabled devices

China telecom is of the opinion that it can perform better as it attacks the low quay of current blockchain phones such as Samsung’s Galaxy S10 and HTC’s Exodus One which it accused of playing the market by incorporating specific blockchain instead of going for higher technical standards.

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Coinbase Reports an Increase In The Level of Activity in Blockchain Activities Into Universities

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According to recent research carried out by a major cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase, it was discovered that about 56% of the top 50 Universities in the world had one of more cryptocurrency and Blockchain classes offered.

An indication of growth in interest for blockchain

This research carried out by Coinbase was published in an official blog post which also used rankings from the US news as well as world report for the listing of top 50 universities. The findings also took into account both students offering undergraduate and graduate courses.

It was discovered that twice the number of students, when compared to last year, were beginning to take courses in blockchain and Cryptocurrency.

Apart from having a doubled interest amongst the top universities of the world in taking classes on blockchain and Cryptocurrencies, the study also reflected that these students had already gone as far as creating student-run clubs related to crypto.

There was a 42% increase in the offerings related to this field.

The report also revealed that nearly 70 percent of crypto and blockchain classes are in departments that are outside computer science, including law, the humanities, and economics. A Cornell alumnus said:

“We’ve had so many professors reach out to learn more about blockchain and see how it applies to their field. It’s really cool to be part of a community where there’s so much engagement.”


Source: Coinbase

The African continent not being left out of this action

Meanwhile, the African continent is not left behind as countries such as Nigeria have shown an increased level in activities that are blockchain and cryptocurrency inclined, considering the fact that there has been a series of events both past and future that have been organised by bodies such as Cryptotvplus to increase the level of awareness amongst university students.

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