Archive for the ‘Crypto News’ Category

It seems that WaveCrest is also terminating their prepaid MasterCard cards powered by crypto currencies, but unlike the sudden surprise at the beginning of this year with their Visa issued cards, now at least it is not entirely “effective immediately”. There is 1 month grace period for users to either use the funds or withdraw them, though loading up money to the card has been stopped effective immediately. Below is a quote of the official email that WaveCrest has been sending to its customers regarding the situation…

Dear Cardholder,

We regret to inform you that from the 27 February 2018, we will no longer be able to service your MyChoice Prepaid Debit Card.

You should, therefore, use up or remove any balance on your card before that date. We will block the loading of new funds to your card effective immediately to help avoid any balance remaining on your card. You will be able to request that any remaining balance on your card after 27 February 2018 be refunded to you in line with the Cardholder Agreement.

Unverified cards must be verified in order to be eligible for a refund. Please note that any funds that remain on your account after this date will continue to be subject to the terms of the Cardholder Agreement (other than as set out in this email). You can find the Cardholder Terms here.

Please also note that we have taken the decision to set new daily ATM limits to EUR 1000/USD 1000/GBP 800 for transaction inside the SEPA region; transaction outside of SEPA will be limited to EUR 500/USD 500/GBP 400.

We apologize for any inconvenience caused. If you have any questions, please contact us at support15@xxx.com.

Kind regards,
WaveCrest

It seems that the crypto services offering prepaid MasterCard bank cards powered by Bitcoin and/or other crypto currencies will need to find an alternative issuer for their customers, just like the ones affected by the WaveCrest VISA ban form earlier that month. It is a fact that the main issuer for most of these services, at least in Europe, was WaveCrest using Visa along with some using MasterCard. The services that were surprised at the start of the year are reporting that they are already working with new card issuers to restore their functionality, though it could still take up a few more months. Meanwhile other innovative financial services that are not originally crypto oriented may use the opportunity to gain a lot of new users by providing attractive and useful services and maybe even slowly introducing cryptocurrency support.

bitFlyer, the largest Japanese cryptocurrency exchange has been granted payment institution (PI) license to operate in the European Union (EU) and is now accepting registrations for users from EU. It is interesting to note that this has become the first Bitcoin exchange to be regulated in Japan, the US and Europe, making it the most compliant virtual currency exchange in the world at the moment. The Japanese crypto market is booming and thanks to bitFlyer users from Europe and USA should be able to get access and trade Bitcoins on that market.

The not so good news at the moment is that bitFlyer’s initial product offering is only the BTC/EUR pair, though the already has company plans to add support for other virtual currencies such as Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Ethereum Classic (ETC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH) later in the year. bitFlyer Europe is offering zero percent trading fees as an introductory promotion until the end of February 2018.

There are two account classes available at bitFlyer at the moment, one is Trade and the other one is Trade Pro with the difference being the limits you get. The catch with the standard Trade account is that your virtual currency deposits will be put on hold until your make your first EUR deposit. The Trade Pro option does require an ID and residential proof and unlocks unlimited deposits and withdraws of crypto and EUR. It is not yet know how much time a verification will take with the recent peak of registrations of new users in pretty much every open crypto exchange on a daily basis. Our experience however has shown that it is a good idea to register early and avoid possible issues later on, even if you do not start to use an exchange immediately.

To check out the European branch of the bitFlyer cryptocurrency exchange…

Kraken, one of the big crypto exchange is finally back online after an extended downtime of over two days due to problems experienced during scheduled and long overdue upgrade of the trading system. The long period of downtime for the popular exchange, especially among European users has caused a lot of different rumors and speculations to circle around, even though the exchange has tried to assure users that all funds are safe. The main concern was that people did not have access to their funds stored on the exchange and within turbulent market that could mean a lot of potential losses, especially for day traders. Anyway, the good news is that no funds were lost and any transfers of crypto to the exchange during the downtime should also be available in the user’s balances.

Do note that all orders have been cancelled prior to trading resuming and all trading pairs were launched with no orders on the books, so be extra careful at the moment when placing orders, especially for sales or buys with market price. Withdrawals are currently disabled and will remain disabled for a minimum of 12 hours, for fiat or crypto deposits (initiated before, during or following the downtime) users should allow up to 2 additional business days for funds to be credited. Kraken has also activated zero fee trading for all clients (across non-margin trades) starting today and lasting through the end of this month (January) as an excuse for the caused trouble with the long downtime.

Update: It seems that not all issues have yet been resolved and soon after getting back online the exchange has taken down trading until they resolve a problem with the order book data not being displayed properly.


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