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OCC Says Banks Can Issue Payments Using Stablecoins - CoinDesk

OCC Says Banks Can Issue Payments Using Stablecoins - CoinDesk | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
Federally regulated banks can use stablecoins to conduct payments and other activities, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said Monday.

The federal banking regulator published an interpretive letter addressing whether national banks and federal savings associations could participate in independent node verification networks (INVNs, otherwise known as blockchain networks) or use stablecoins. The letter said these financial institutions can participate as nodes on a blockchain and store or validate payments. 

Any banks that do participate in an INVN must be aware of the operational, compliance or fraud risks when doing so, an OCC press release warned. 
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

More supporting data that points to the normalization of crypto.

 

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The Biden administration can change the world with new crypto regulations - TechCrunch

The Biden administration can change the world with new crypto regulations - TechCrunch | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
If we know the rules of the game we’re playing, we can keep doing what we do best: innovating. We are only at the beginning — developers can build on open-source technologies, entrepreneurs can launch new companies and develop new products, and investors can invest in those companies.

We want the most innovative crypto and blockchain companies to be built and to grow here in the U.S., where they can create value and opportunities for U.S. citizens. Similar to the early days of the internet, we don’t know what the industry will look like in 5-10 years, but with flexible frameworks the opportunity is massive.

There’s a big opportunity for the Biden administration to influence new policies and new legislation and provide clear guidance that will accelerate innovation in fintech and crypto for many generations to come.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Would love it, but it won't happen over a 4 year span.

 

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PayPal Stock Outlook: Digital Wallet Battle Versus Square To Heat Up - Investor's Business Daily

PayPal Stock Outlook: Digital Wallet Battle Versus Square To Heat Up - Investor's Business Daily | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
Electronic payment players PayPal Holdings (PYPL) and rival Square (SQ) are clashing in a critical race to improve digital wallet apps. It's a contest that could have a profound effect on both PayPal stock and Square stock for 2021 and beyond.

The two payment companies are marketing apps that let shoppers get discounts, make installments and buy cryptocurrencies. Both compete in the digital wallet space with technology giants, including Apple (AAPL), Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google and Amazon.com (AMZN), as well as feisty financial technology startups.

But it's the head-to-head battle between PayPal and Square — and their respective fast-growing Venmo and Cash App services — that draws the most interest on Wall Street.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Those digital wallets are key to fully embracing cryptocurrencies.

 

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Cryptocurrencies Cannot Be Killed | Seeking Alpha

  • Bitcoin is already an integral part of the financial world, which is putting out more and more products in an unstoppable trend.
  • The central banks are playing the same game worldwide and will desperately try to drive inflation to reduce the debt burden at our expense.
  • Bitcoin cannot be tampered with and is easily portable; and in contrast to our current monetary system, it is deflationary.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Crypto is here to stay, and will morph into greater importance.

 

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S&P Dow Jones to Make Its Own Crypto Asset Index | Nasdaq

The world's leading provider of indexes for financial markets is preparing to launch a new one that will help investors track the performance of crypto assets such as bitcoin.

S&P Dow Jones Indices is teaming up with the crypto data company Lukka to create an index providing pricing information on a group of crypto assets. S&P will provide the branding of the index, while Lukka will handle the data.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Another step towards broad-based acceptance.

 

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StanChart CEO Bill Winters: Digital currency rollout is 'inevitable' - CNBC

StanChart CEO Bill Winters: Digital currency rollout is 'inevitable' - CNBC | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
The widespread creation and rollout of digital currencies is “absolutely inevitable” as the international payments system rapidly evolves, according to the CEO of Standard Chartered. “I think there is absolutely a role for central bank digital currencies as well as non-central bank-sponsored digital currencies,” the finance chief said Monday.

Winters said the greatest opportunity for digital currencies could be in new, niche segments that don’t replicate existing fiat currencies. Digital currencies could be created for specific types of projects, such as trading in the voluntary carbon market, for example, suggested Winters. That would provide users, who want to offset their carbon emissions, confidence that the financing behind their project is “verified, standardised, monitored,” he said.

“Those sorts of applications for a digital currency, and creating a digital currency ecosystem, is something that can’t be replicated by a fiat currency, or, most likely, by a central bank digital currency any time soon.”
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

This is a wide-open door to the use of crypto as a digital reward, including as a replacement to loyalty points.

 

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What Business Leaders Should Know About Cryptocurrency

What Business Leaders Should Know About Cryptocurrency | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
Jeff John Roberts, an author and journalist, dug deep into the world of cryptocurrency to figure out what the rest of us really need to know about it. He acknowledges that the proliferation and volatility of digital currencies can make them seem like a fad but argues that the oldest among them — bitcoin — and the blockchain technology behind it are here to stay because they offer a more efficient way for companies and consumers to transact.  He describes in plain English how crypto works and explains why now is the time for forward-thinking business leaders to understand — and adapt to — this new kind of currency.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

27 minute podcast. Get it on your playlist.

 

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PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ: PYPL) CEO Dan Schulman: “Rise of Digital Wallets Will Drive PayPal’s Growth”

PayPal Holdings (NASDAQ: PYPL) CEO Dan Schulman: “Rise of Digital Wallets Will Drive PayPal’s Growth” | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
Finally, I’d like to discuss our recent announcement to increase the utility of cryptocurrencies, as well as embrace new forms of Central Bank digital currencies. We are entering a new era of financial services where our wallets and all the services around them are moving from physical to digital. These include identity management, new forms of commerce and fully digital payments and financial services. As such, we recently announced that PayPal will allow account holders to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies first, in the U.S. and then expanding to international markets in the Venmo platform in the first half of next year.

Importantly, we are doing this in close partnership with regulators. As you saw, the New York Department of Financial Services granted PayPal, a first of its kind conditional bit license. With this foundation in place, we will rapidly move at the beginning of next year and allow consumers to use cryptocurrencies as a funding instrument to shop across all 28 million of our merchants. This solution will not involve any additional integrations, volatility risk or incremental transaction fees for either consumers or merchants and will fundamentally bolster the utility of cryptocurrencies. This is just the beginning of the opportunities we see as we work hand in hand with regulators to accept new forms of digital currencies…”
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Straight from the source. What's especially exciting is the level of simplicity that will be built-into the PayPal digital wallet. 

 

This is a huge step towards the massification of crypto, opening it up to all types of brands to adopt it as the basis for digital rewards.

 

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List of Cryptos you can buy and sell on PayPal - Nairametrics

List of Cryptos you can buy and sell on PayPal - Nairametrics | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
PayPal has linked up with the crypto exchange and stablecoin issuer, Paxos Trust Company to allow its millions of users in the US to purchase, sell and store Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) Bitcoin (BTC), and Litecoin (LTC).
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

We believe that the use of cryptocurrency as the basis for digital rewards/loyalty is close. Imagine your consumer's loyalty points convertible to cash on open exchanges via PayPal.

 

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Cryptocurrency Trading On PayPal Now Available - PYMNTS

Cryptocurrency Trading On PayPal Now Available - PYMNTS | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
PayPal announced in a press release Thursday (Nov. 12) that all PayPal users can officially hold, buy and sell cryptocurrencies on the app, a feature that previously had been waitlisted for many users.

The feature was first introduced on Oct. 21 after PayPal was approved for a BitLicense from the New York Department of Financial Services in June, but it is now officially available for all PayPal users. Users will also be able to make payments at any of PayPal’s 26 million merchants using cryptocurrency beginning in 2021, the release stated.

Due to the demand from users for the service, PayPal has also increased the weekly purchase limit from $10,000 in cryptocurrency to $20,000, according to a statement emailed to PYMNTS. There are no service fees for holding cryptocurrency in a PayPal account, and no fees for trading it through Dec. 31.

The move brings cryptocurrency further into the mainstream, thanks to PayPal’s large size and reach. The company has 346 million active accounts and processed over $222 billion in payments in the second quarter, PYMNTS previously reported.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

The operative phrase" "Due to the demand from users..." It's a mistake to think that consumers are not ready for cryptocurrency as the basis for digital rewards!

 

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Will PayPal’s crypto integration bring crypto to the masses? Experts answer - Cointelegraph

Will PayPal’s crypto integration bring crypto to the masses? Experts answer - Cointelegraph | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it

The question was: Could PayPal’s recent announcement of beginning to offer crypto payments possibly force the mass adoption of crypto?

  • “This is a very exciting announcement that will help increase crypto adoption for traditional value transfer or payments by offering an easy and integrated solution for the 346 million active PayPal users. The most challenging part of utilizing crypto for payments is the on-and-off ramp from the crypto blockchain networks using keypairs to make a payment or a transfer.”
  • “What we are seeing, which is a very key sea change, is the normalization of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and their legitimization by institutions and large household companies.”
  • “PayPal is now effectively adding 22 million merchants to that list as well as opening the door for its over 300 million active customers.”
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

It's a huge step towards the normalization of crypto. First application for brand marketers: converting your digital rewards system to crypto.

 

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SEC Updates Fundraising Provision

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Nov. 2, voted to change the rules of fundraising provision by increasing the limits. Taken in the context of cryptocurrencies and Security Token Offerings (STOs), the changes may benefit cryptocurrency companies looking to raise capital.

Under the new rules, companies can now raise $5 million in total under Regulation Crowdfunding provisions, $75 million under Regulation A, and $10 million under Rule 504 of Regulation D. Other changes include modifications to accredited investor limits and filing.

The changes suggest the crowdfunding process may be quicker and more effective due to less paperwork and greater limits.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Generally speaking, this is positive for startups. For ICOs, there's still the Howey test.

 

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Former BitLicense Chief to Manage Andreessen Horowitz’s Cryptocurrency Efforts - Coindesk

Former BitLicense Chief to Manage Andreessen Horowitz’s Cryptocurrency Efforts - Coindesk | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
The one-time New York State finance regulator who shepherded the state’s BitLicense through its early days will join tech ventures fund Andreessen Horowitz (a16z) to focus on cryptocurrency companies.

CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

A shrewd move to place the fox into the henhouse. What does this tell you about crypto?

 

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JPMorgan Chase Rolls Out Digital Coin and Creates New Unit for Digital Currencies - citybizlist

JPMorgan Chase Rolls Out Digital Coin and Creates New Unit for Digital Currencies - citybizlist | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) is making a lot of progress on its digital currency initiatives. The bank is reportedly set to put its own digital currency, the JPM coin, to use this week for the first time, while also creating its own division to oversee all crypto and digital currency initiatives, according to media outlets.

A large technology client will use the JPM coin to conduct global payments activity, according to Takis Georgakopoulos, the bank's global head of wholesale payments. Georgakopoulos, according to CNBC, also said the new digital currency division will be called Onyx and have more than 100 employees.

"We are launching Onyx because we believe we are shifting to a period of commercialization of those technologies, moving from research and development to something that can become a real business," Georgakopoulos said.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Atop the recent PayPal and Toyota announcements, more normalization of crypto!

 

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Toyota Systems experimenting with blockchain, digital currencies - Ledger Insights

Toyota Systems experimenting with blockchain, digital currencies - Ledger Insights | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
Today Toyota Systems, a wholly-owned IT subsidiary of Toyota Motors, said it is experimenting with blockchain and a white-labeled digital currency solution from Decurret.  

Initially, the experiments involve automating payments with the branded digital currency to its 2,500 staff. The payments are for welfare benefits, which employees can then exchange for welfare points or gifts from a catalog created explicitly for the digital currency trial. The company was keen to emphasize the currency cannot be exchanged for Yen. 

The aim is to test the scalability and business challenges for payments to a significant number of people. But the end game is not to use it for welfare payments. It’s part of a longer-term vision of how mobility might evolve. 

After the employee payments trial, it’s envisaged that the branded digital currency may next be used within its supply chain and for business-to-business transactions.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Toyota's move into crypto. This, and PayPal. It's happening.

 

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Blockchain Beyond Crypto– Key Factors For Policymakers To Consider - Forbes

Blockchain Beyond Crypto– Key Factors For Policymakers To Consider - Forbes | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it

While every country is different, let’s take a look at some of the characteristics and traits that should be a part of any blockchain and cryptoasset policy.

  • Smart contracts are essential. 
  • Blockchains and cryptoassets should be differentiated. Not every blockchain will be used for the same purpose, and establishing policies that are flexible enough to accommodate this reality should form the basis for any wide ranging policy.
  • Data governance should be a priority. 
  • Competition should be encouraged.
  • Collaboration will be integral. The true benefit of blockchain – be it implemented at an organization or at a national level - are the efficiencies that are able to be created between the individuals and institutions that are members of the same network. In other words, even as competing blockchain models develop, organizations may find themselves cooperating on an increasing basis.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

The key here is to know that there's a difference between blockchain and cryptoassets, and that blockchain need not be regulated (unless there is abuse pertaining to immutability).

 

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DOJ’s New Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework Provides Guidance And Promises Of Heightened Scrutiny - JD Supra

DOJ’s New Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework Provides Guidance And Promises Of Heightened Scrutiny - JD Supra | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it

The Report identifies and defines specific business models that may facilitate criminal activities, likely foreshadowing future Department of Justice (“DOJ”) prosecution targets:

  • Cryptocurrency exchanges
  • Peer-to-peer exchanges and platforms
  • Cryptocurrency kiosks
  • Virtual currency casinos
  • Anonymity enhanced cryptocurrencies (“AECs”): considered a “high-risk activity” by the DOJ, these currencies use non-public or private blockchains and have been accepted by MSBs and darknet marketplaces. 
  • Mixers, tumblers, and chain hopping
  • Jurisdictional arbitrage and compliance deficiencies
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

The objective is not to stop positive developments in crypto, but to prevent fraud and abuse. Stay within the confines of the SEC, and you're safe.

 

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Why PayPal Could Kickstart Bitcoin Mass Adoption - Decrypt

Why PayPal Could Kickstart Bitcoin Mass Adoption - Decrypt | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it

Online payments giant PayPal sent shockwaves through the crypto community today, announcing that its customers will soon be able to buy, sell and spend Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. As well as sending the price of Bitcoin soaring, it’s being hailed as a watershed moment for the wider cryptocurrency industry.

According to Statista, the number of active PayPal user accounts reached 346 million in the second quarter of 2020. Even if the new crypto features will only be available to US residents initially, that’s still a significant number of people that will be exposed to crypto, many for the first time.


As data collected by Australian digital marketing agency E-Web Marketing shows, roughly 43% of PayPal users are from the US, while 87% of millennials in the US use PayPal for receiving and sending money. This means that at launch, around 150 million people will be able to buy, sell and spend cryptocurrencies within the familiar environment of their PayPal wallets.

CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

If you still don't think crypto can play a role in the economy, think again. This is significant, and a watershed moment that validates cryptocurrency. All of a sudden, it's mainstream.

 

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KuCoin Hack: We Never Learn Our Lessons - CDO

KuCoin Hack: We Never Learn Our Lessons - CDO | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
On September 26, cryptocurrency exchange KuCoin issued a statement that it experienced a ‘security incident’. At that point, some USD 150 million in BTC (bitcoin), ERC-20 (ethereum-based tokens), and other cryptocurrencies were estimated to be stolen. 

Over the next couple of days, that amount had grown to USD 280 million, effectively making the KuCoin hack the third-largest crypto hack. Only Coincheck, which suffered a USD 534.8 million hack in 2018, and Mt. Gox, which lost USD 460 million in 2014 to another hack, were ahead in terms of loss.

According to Johnny Lyu, KuCoin’s chief executive officer, the funds were emptied out of KuCoin’s hot wallets. The assets in their cold wallets “remained safe and unharmed.” Hot wallets are used as temporary storage systems for assets that are being traded on exchange platforms and are often a point of weakness in the security architecture of exchanges. 
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Why would they store so much in hot wallets? FWIW: cold wallets is the path to take when you're using crypto as your digital reward system.

 

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Is Bitcoin Legal in the USA? (2020 Update) - Decrypt

Is Bitcoin Legal in the USA? (2020 Update) - Decrypt | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
  • Under federal law, Bitcoin is defined as a commodity.
  • But a patchwork of state laws means that the legal status of activities associated with it varies within the US.
  • Bitcoin's legal status is currently in a state of flux in the US, and elsewhere.
  • October 2020 saw the release of the US Attorney General's "Cryptocurrency Enforcement Framework", which noted that cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin are “vitally important” to the US and its allies, as long as it “does not imperil” public safety. It also stated that private industry, regulators and elected officials will "need to take steps to ensure cryptocurrency is not used as a platform for illegality." Exactly what those steps are, are unclear; nevertheless, the fact that the report highlights the "transformative potential" of cryptocurrency suggests that an outright ban on Bitcoin is off the cards.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

An excellent review of the to-date status of crypto and Bitcoin. The SEC rules the roost when it comes to creating your own cryptocurrency. The paths are very clear as to what you can and cannot do within the U.S., and the use of crypto as the means of a digital reward is very promising.

 

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Coca-Cola's support of crypto payments firm shows how far we've come - Calvin Ayre

Coca-Cola's support of crypto payments firm shows how far we've come - Calvin Ayre | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
As far as the soft drink industry goes, Coca-Cola is still king. According to Statista, it controls 43.3% of the market, well above second-place PepsiCo, which has 24.9%. With that much control, Coca-Cola knows how to best utilize its resources and plan for the future, and it apparently sees a lot of possibilities for what cryptocurrency will bring to consumers. Through its corporate venture investment arm, Amatil X, Coca-Cola has invested in a crypto payment provider, and this is going to set the stage for how digital currency is accepted as an alternative to fiat by everything from vending machines to retail stores. 
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

This should wake up the neighborhood regarding the acceptance of crypto.

 

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Top Football clubs are now using blockchain - Nairametrics

Top Football clubs are now using blockchain - Nairametrics | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
Football clubs are now using blockchain, to facilitate better experiences for their fans.

A leading Turkish football club, Trabzonspor, in partnership with Chiliz, recently announced that they would begin a $TRA Fan Token on fan voting & rewards app Socios.com and the Chiliz Exchange, a global tokenized sports exchange.

$TRA token owners will be able to influence club decisions to vote in many polls each season on Socios.com, earn rewards linked to the club, other creative digital experiences, and real-life activations, such as meeting players and watching games like a VIP when fans return to the stadiums.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Blockchain and digital rewards ("cryptocurrency") hold significant possibilities for marketers in the professional (and collegiate) sports marketplaces. Here are a few examples.

 

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New SEC Filing Shows Fidelity Preparing to Launch Bitcoin Fund | News

New SEC Filing Shows Fidelity Preparing to Launch Bitcoin Fund | News | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
The SEC published Wednesday a Notice of Exempt Offering of Securities (Form D) filing for a new bitcoin fund. The issuer is Wise Origin Bitcoin Index Fund I, incorporated in Delaware this year. The minimum investment for this new bitcoin fund that will be accepted from any outside investor is $100,000. Fidelity Brokerage Services and Fidelity Distributors Company will receive sales compensation.

CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Forwarding this just to point out the continued mainstreaming of digital currency.

 

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Should New Cryptocurrency Investors Buy Bitcoin or Litecoin? - Bitrates

Should New Cryptocurrency Investors Buy Bitcoin or Litecoin? - Bitrates | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
Cryptocurrency investors who are looking to make an investment have several cryptocurrencies to choose from. The most popular choice is Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency measured by market cap and the first blockchain ever invented.

Litecoin is also a noteworthy investment. Originally created as a "code fork" of Bitcoin, it has introduced numerous improvements while retaining Bitcoin's key features. It is a good alternative choice for first-time cryptocurrency investors.

In this article, we'll compare the features of each coin.
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

Quick and easy primer. Why is this pertinent to the marketer? Crypto will continue to grow and play a role in programs and promotions.

 

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MicroStrategy Buys 0.1 Percent Of All Bitcoin – Bitcoin Magazine

MicroStrategy Buys 0.1 Percent Of All Bitcoin – Bitcoin Magazine | The Marteq Alert | Scoop.it
In the midst of massive quantitative easing, a global pandemic and uncertainty for the future of the U.S. dollar, a whopping 21,454 BTC was just swiped off the market by intelligence and mobile software company MicroStrategy. 

Bitcoin Twitter picked up on the news yesterday when Matt Walsh and Nic Carter shared the story, but it became public knowledge in a MicroStrategy filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A MicroStrategy press release indicates that the firm had been planning the move as part of a capital allocation strategy that it had announced in its Q2 2020 financial results release on July 28. 
CYDigital/marteq.io's insight:

It's happening right beneath our feet. Marketers need to pay a bit of attention to crypto and its role in marketing strategy.

 

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