Crypto exchanges BTCXIndia and ETHEXIndia have informed their customers via email that they are stopping trading activities, citing the “stress” on their business caused by governmental actions discouraging crypto, local Indian news outlet the Economic Times reported yesterday, Feb. 28. BTCXIndia and ETHEXIndia’s websites both currently display a message to customers informing them that any deposits received after Jan.1 will automatically be sent back to the investor’s bank account. According to the email, BTCXIndia was opened in 2014, and the exchange then opened ETHEXIndia opened two years later. BTCXIndia customers are told they have until March 4, 2018 to withdraw their funds in either Bitcoin (BTC), Ripple (XRP), or the rupee (INR) before an annual wallet maintenance fee is applied. The exchange’s Ripple/INR trading will be halted on March 5.
Bitcoin may be off limits, but the coffee chain is not overlooking the technology that underpins cryptocurrencies. Howard Schultz, Starbucks executive chairman and the face behind the brand, suggested blockchain could very well be part of the coffee retailer’s future, pointing to the possibility of a “proprietary digital currency integrated into our application.” It’s interesting because Schultz on the company’s latest earnings call suggested they weren’t developing their own cryptocurrency nor investing in any blockchain startups. But he did at that time point to the blockchain for eventually delivering a “consumer application” for cryptos. If you’re thinking Ripple’s XRP would have been ideal, consider that Ripple chief Brad Garlinghouse doesn’t consider XRP a cryptocurrency. Starbucks, which is spearheading its maiden “cashless store” in Seattle, has embraced mobile tech payments. “Over the last four-to-five years, Starbucks has created a proxy for a mobile digital payments system,” said Schultz on Fox Business, pointing to the fact that 50% of the company’s tender is paid for with people’s smartphones. Meanwhile, in China, which is a leader in mobile payments, nearly three-quarters of the business is cashless.
Ripple price (XRP) rose significantly in the last two weeks amid its penetration in the financial sector; the price is now struggling to extend the momentum. What’s going on? XRP price dipped for the fourth straight session on Wednesday, and the price plunged below $103. There was no particular event or market report that could change the bullish trend; the downside movement signifies a major price correction – possibly the end of the Bull-Run. Bulls had pushed ripple and other cryptocurrency prices in the last two weeks, with the reports of softer regulatory actions from the United States and South Korea. Along with the support from a broader rally in digital currency prices, stronger confidence from payment services companies and banks added to the growth in XRP price. Ripple has achieved several milestones in the past two weeks, including the partnership with Saudi Central Bank for internal and cross-border payments. The dip in cryptocurrency prices shows that investors are trying to capitalize on the gains they had generated in the last two weeks.
When it comes to architecture, team and potential, very few cryptocurrencies compare to Stellar Lumens. The open platform for
financial products has quickly emerged as one of the most dominant cryptocurrencies on the market. It is currently ranked
eighth in total market cap with a price-per-coin of around 42 cents. Stellar’s XLM token is on my short-list of top
cryptocurrencies. Those of you who are new to the digital asset market should pay extra attention to XLM for reasons that go
far beyond its current price point or market cap. With the exception of Ripple and Ethereum, very few crypto projects have
announced high-stakes partnerships that match Stellar’s in terms of excitement or potential. Last year, Stellar announced it
was partnering with Dow blue-chip IBM, which will provide the network with eight new validators. The Stellar company has also
confirmed that 30 financial institutions have signed up for the blockchain banking project. By partnering with IBM, Stellar
intends to bring digital currency adoption mainstream by making it easier for consumers and businesses to transact in the new
technology. The initiative will also allow financial institutions to move money across borders.