EQIFI, the decentralized finance (DeFi) platform for lending, borrowing, and investing for ETH, stablecoins, and select fiat currencies, has announced the launch of its global, secure, crypto Mastercards. These debit cards allow users of the platform to make real-time payments in-store and online leveraging digital assets. EQIFI is backed by EQIBank, the wealthtech innovator and the regulated, borderless digital bank for crypto and traditional assets, giving users of the DeFi platform access to a range of banking products and services. Accepted in over 44 million locations worldwide and capable of processing international online and offline payments, the EQIFI Mastercard is secured with an EMV chip and PIN capabilities to prevent fraudulent spending. The EQIFI Mastercard has some of the highest limits in the industry, and boasts zero spending limits, allowing users to apply their DeFi assets to spend freely in the real economy. Verified users who stake EQX tokens will have priority access to obtaining their EQIFI Mastercard. To ensure the highest security standards and regulatory compliance, users must complete Know-Your-Customer (KYC) verification before receiving their debit cards.
Facebook’s Novi wallet is ready to launch – but it won’t be launching with the Diem (formerly Libra) stablecoin. Novi, Facebook’s digital wallet subsidiary, will go live in the U.S. and Guatemala in a pilot program, allowing users to start trading the Paxos Dollar (USDP). Crypto exchange Coinbase will provide custody services for the program. Users can purchase USDP through Novi, and Novi will deposit the funds with Coinbase. Facebook intend to launch Novi with Diem once it receives regulatory approval and goes live.
Bloom, a leading blockchain solution for digital identity and reusable, verifiable credentials (VCs) announce the launch of a new DeFi-focused product called OnRamp. OnRamp helps enterprises with KYC & AML compliance as well as enabling risk assessment via traditional and alternative data, all while preserving user privacy. With OnRamp, enterprises can prioritize user privacy while still working towards compliance requirements. OnRamp enables secure access to reusable, verifiable credentials (VCs) for ID verification, sanction screening and PEP Screening. Other identity credentials include phone number, email as well as social accounts like Facebook, Google, Linkedin and Twitter. Beyond achieving compliance, the use of reusable, verifiable credentials will help DeFi companies enable risk assessment, transcending the collateralized lending structure that has limited growth in the sector up to this point. OnRamp offers reusable, verifiable credentials (VCs) for bank account activity, balances and other financial signals. Future plans include the integration of traditional credit scores, utility bill payment history, and other alternative signals that could be helpful in determining creditworthiness. In addition to OnRamp’s direct integrations, the platform also supports the ability for third party credentials to enter the OnRamp platform via the WACI specification. This feature can enable unique localized use cases where financial infrastructure isn’t supporting local populations.
- There are two incredibly different segments of NFT communities out there, larger-scale NFT projects like Axie Infinity and NBA Top Shot with tens and hundreds of thousands of users and smaller-scale NFT projects like CryptoPunks and Art Blocks with just a few hundred or thousand owners. Larger-scale projects can represent more traditional gaming titles with more complex in-game economies while smaller-scale projects simply look more like fine art markets teamed with exclusive social clubs. Some smaller-scale projects have the ambition to eventually become larger-scale ones, but many have capped the number of NFTs in their projects and are designed to be exclusive. In the past 30 days, Axie Infinity did more than $500 million in sales spread across nearly 2 million transactions and over 350,000 buyers. On the flip side, CryptoPunks did $200 million in sales during that same time frame across 484 transactions and 309 buyers. While some investors might suggest that a handful of the earliest NFTs hold intrinsic value as historic objects, there are plenty of brand new NFT projects earning ten-million dollar valuations on day one with low amounts of effort and imagination.
- Many high-value smaller-scale projects stay liquid on the low-end while fewer sales of the rarer items underpin the massive valuations of the projects and those occasional big buys keep pushing prices higher. It’s also an incredibly large amount of noise mostly coming from a few thousand buyers. But when most investors talk about mainstream adoption and future use cases, they’re looking at the creation of more larger-scale projects like Axie and Top Shot which embody many of the technical bells and whistles of crypto economics in more user-friendly packages that can reach the mainstream.
Gaming: Gaming is really exciting, as you already have billions of people who are buying digital goods inside of games,”.people spend five times more in a blockchain game than in a conventional game.”
Fashion and wearables: Fashion wearables might just be scratching the surface. NFTs could create new ways to monetize and invest in fashion. Take sneakers. “In order to flip a sneaker you have to take the physical inventory,”. “Imagine if you could increase the speed in which you can flip items.”
DeFi NFTs: Epic Games decides not to integrate NFTs into Fortnite. Perhaps some derivative NFTs could fill in the gap. an NFT of the sword’s “twin” – that lives outside of Fortnite – could be bought and sold on a derivatives market, and then some kind of mechanism would allow for the transfer of funds once the transaction (the sword handover) is complete in Fortnite.
Events and ticketing: NFT gives you the right to be not just an event-goer, but even a shareholder in a concert. This NFT functions as concert equity, and you’ll get a small slice of the profits. Maybe you’ll even make money by attending the show. This future is closer than you might think.
NFT community platforms: Burke predicts some kind of environment where people can gather, chat and flaunt their NFTs. Maybe it’s a form of AR, or maybe virtual reality (VR), or maybe something Web 3.0-ish or maybe something else entirely. The point is that there needs to be a good environment for experiencing NFTs.
Metaverse: “The metaverse is going to be one of the future game-changers of the NFT space.” the metaverse can be a place to store and appreciate NFT art, it’s a hub for gaming, it’s Zuckerberg’s new mission in life for a reason and perhaps it’s an evolved version of how we’re all hanging out online anyways.
Virtual land: Virtual worlds like Decentraland, The Sandbox and Cryptovoxels give their real-estate a hard cap, meaning that – in theory – a finite supply will become more valuable if the demand soars. “Look at Axie Infinity,” “There are a million-plus players,” and some of these players will think, “maybe it makes sense to own that land.”
Digital identity: Self-sovereign identity (SSID) has long been one of the most intriguing applications of blockchain technology, and NFTs could be the key that unlocks the door. Laglasse views Ethereum Name Services, or ENS, as a useful example. “Now you can link your Instagram account, your Twitter account, and almost every social media account to ENS,”.
Sotheby’s is staking its claim in the metaverse with the launch of a new platform called “Sotheby’s Metaverse” that allows visitors to view digital artworks available at auction, as well as learn about the collectors and artists behind the non-fungible tokens (NFTs). “Sotheby’s Metaverse” will hold its first sale from Oct. 18–26 with a collection called “Natively Digital 1.2: The Collectors.” Featuring 53 works from 19 NFT collectors, the collection is the second iteration of Sotheby’s first NFT group sale, Natively Digital. Sotheby’s new platform is powered by Mojito, a commerce suite for creating NFT marketplaces that offers fiat and crypto payments as well as minting functionality. Mojito is optimized for Ethereum and Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible networks. The metaverse is a space generated by the convergence of virtual worlds, augmented reality and internet services. By offering a collective virtual experience, it has introduced new opportunities to creators, gamers and artists.
Visa is launching a non-fungible token (NFT) support program to help artists join the digital art space. Visa is partnering with former Major League Baseball player turned NFT artist Micah Johnson to build a program that will support artists who want to use NFTs to sell their work. Visa will select a small group of creators through an application process and then help them learn about the crypto and blockchain industry. Johnson joined the digital art space in 2020 and is the creator of Aku, an animated black astronaut character, which has become the first NFT to be optioned for a feature film. Aku was released in February 2021 on Nifty Gateway and sold more than $2 million in NFT tokens in 24 hours.
Finastra announced new instant onboarding capabilities for its Fusion Payments To Go solution. The move enables banks to access the benefits of Finastra’s SaaS solution at speed and with reduced cost, meaning organizations can bring innovative and tailored payments products to their customers with greater efficiency as demands change. Payments To Go is a SaaS payments solution, with out-of-the-box configurations, to support banks’ payment growth ambitions. It is built on Finastra’s proven Fusion Global PAYplus software, benefitting from best practice full end-to-end processing. Via open APIs, the instant onboarding capability reduces manual processes, increasing efficiency. A portal enables bank executives to answer a series of questions, automatically generating a new payments environment which they can personalize. Moreover, Payments To Go being in the cloud ensures flexible infrastructure that adapts with payments peaks. This paves the way for a Payments-as-a-Service approach, with an open architecture and evergreen updates, keeping banks ahead of market changes, delivering faster innovation and business growth opportunity.
- At SIBOS, as part of an innovation panel, three venture capitalists were asked to describe what money might look like in 2040. The presentation by Bain Capital Ventures was the most radical, extending features already seen in decentralized finance (DeFi) and envisioning it dominating the future model. Bain Capital outlined three fundamental changes in financial services, starting from the shift from analog to digital, followed by the work in progress evolution from discrete products to embedded services. And finally, the disruptive change from centralized platforms to decentralized networks. Bain listed multiple challenges that need to be addressed for this vision to take hold, starting with establishing identity at the point of every transaction, even if that’s pseudonymous.
- Today in DeFi, with the yield farming concept, crypto-assets can be automatically moved between various pools to maximize a return. Likewise, in 2040 Bain envisages algorithms and protocols will sweep excess money from one place to another in real-time. In some countries, when you go to pay in a physical store today, you may be offered a physical cash withdrawal. In 2040, a retailer might give the option of paying later or depositing money to earn a return. The assets will be 100% invested at all times, but still entirely linked through the mechanic of stablecoins. While all these pools of deposits and wallets might seem overwhelming, automation will eliminate the hassle.
- While technology has transformed almost every industry in America, finance has been left largely untouched. Sure, we have ATMs and credit cards, but stocks still settle in two days, bill pay takes five days, and mortgages nearly two months. There are many reasons for this “great stagnation”: Regulation, tradition, etc. (Consider that the average age of the ten largest financial companies in the U.S. is 126 years.) But the primary one is simple: Money never entered the digital age. Crypto solves this.
- The Bitcoin blockchain — and all subsequent blockchains, like Ethereum — are built on a fundamental advance in computer science that allows money to move and settle at the speed of the internet and for a fraction of the cost of legacy systems. You can now move any amount of money, anywhere in the world, and have it settle almost instantly, for low fees. Recently, developers have been building on this new breakthrough to create an entirely new financial ecosystem called DeFi, or decentralized finance. DeFi uses blockchain technology and networks like Ethereum to allow financial innovators to program money like software. The programs operate autonomously, without traditional overhead. It’s early, but the things people are doing are mind-boggling. Today, there are DeFi protocols that allow you to:
- Take out collateralized loans worth hundreds of millions of dollars in seconds, whereas traditional lending programs take weeks.
- Trade tokenized stocks 24/7/365 and have those stocks settle instantaneously, while traditional stocks trade from 9:30am-4pm, five days a week, and settle in two business days.
- Send money to anyone in the world instantaneously (even through Twitter!), and have it arrive immediately for virtually no fee.
- Invest in a yield-seeking account that searches for income without any human involvement required.
- These capabilities are raw, but some are already operating at scale. The largest DeFi protocol, Uniswap — a decentralized competitor to Coinbase — handled $52 billion in trading volume last month, all without a single employee . There are, of course, massive risks, with technological and regulatory concerns being chief among them. But DeFi is already proving that it can do many of the things the legacy financial system does but faster, cheaper, and better, and it’s attracting a huge wave of venture capital investment and human talent.