Crypto exchanges seem to be withstanding the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy. The rapid spread of COVID-19 has sparked fears around the world, resulting in panic selloffs that have taken a toll on every part of the world. Normal lives have been disrupted, and it appears like lockdowns and shutdowns are the ‘new normal.’
As the markets crumble and continue deteriorating, Coinbase and Binance crypto exchanges are reporting some good news. They are making developments that are guaranteed to improve the sentiments of their users.
Coinbase Card Unveiled on Android Phones Via Google Pay
The major crypto exchange recently introduced a new feature that is designed to save users significant amounts on transaction fees. Based on a March 13 blog post, Coinbase immediately started offering Bitcoin transaction batching for its users. That move required no action from customers.
The strategy lets single on-chain transactions of cryptos to be bundled into one. It will minimize the load on the BTC network and reduce the resulting fees that customers pay for sending money according to the exchange. Earlier in the year, the exchange integrated Dai cryptocurrency for merchant payments.
Coinbase has some more good news. All Coinbase Card owners that use supported Android phones will have a chance to avoid using the physical Card.
This Card can be emulated by a mobile phone using integration with Google Pay, as announced on March 17. The Card links a holder’s crypto balance on the exchange. It can then be used for spending crypto through an instant conversion to fiat. But, the Card is available to the European Union and European Economic Area residents, including those in the United Kingdom.
The company confirmed that the Card could be used anywhere Visa is supported. Google Pay imitates the physical Card for offline transactions by using the device’s NFC chip. It can also be used on any terminal enabled for contactless payments.
Smartwatches and smartphones can be used with this Card. Nonetheless, the need of the NFC chip means that some budget-oriented devices may not have the ability to support Google Pay. Also, there are restrictions for Google Pay since it is also unavailable in countries where the Card is available. But, Coinbase promised to expand its coverage in the coming year.
The integration with Google Pay means that the Card can be used instantly after ordering without having to wait for the physical card to arrive. Apple Pay is not yet supported, and there are no updated on the subject for now.
Coinbase Wants Debit Card Adoption
The exchange has viewed crypto cards as a vital business direction, and in February, Coinbase became a major Visa card issuer. Thus, the exchange can now be a direct debit card issuer and stop relying entirely on partners.
The current iteration of the Coinbase Card was developed in cooperation with Paysafe Financial Services, a fintech firm famous for products like PaysafeCard and Skrill. Coinbase Card was introduced in June 2019 supported in just six European countries. Ten more nations were added in November with various crypto assets to choose for funding.
The Dai stable coin became the first stable coin to join in December 2019, notably over the Coinbase and Circle-supported USDC. Coinbase entered the crypto card ecosystem in 2015 after launching Shift card and later shutting it down in April 2019. It drew from the user’s Coinbase balance similar to the Coinbase Card.
Binance and WazirX Unveil $50M Blockchain for India Fund
Binance and Indian Exchange WazirX have jointly announced that a fund that they say will sustain blockchain development in India. Binance announced the “Blockchain for India” initiative on March 16. The initiative is meant to enhance the use and adoption of blockchain technologies in the country.
The firm set up a $50 million fund backed by Binance USD (BUSD), Binance Coin (BNB), and WazirX (WRX). These funds will be used in investing in local blockchain projects. Nischal Shetty, WazirX CEO and founder stated:
“With this fund, we want to encourage and enable more and more founders and teams to come in and BUIDL. This initiative also shows the incredible potential that the Indian blockchain ecosystem has to offer.”
Not Just Funding
The investments that were made by the fund range from $100,000 to $5 million. They will comprise of mentorships with local Indian venture funds and mentorship designed for recipients. Also, this fund will support student organizations and universities interested in creating university blockchain technology incubators.
The chosen project will gain access to Binance’s cloud, launchpad, portfolio companies, decentralized exchange, academy, research, Binance X, and Binance Chain.
Growth and Development of Blockchain Investments
Many funds have come up to fund blockchain technology’s development as investors and experts start to see the potential that this technology possesses. The European Commission and European Investment Fund announced in November 2019 that they had launched a 400 million euro fund. This fund aims to develop different technologies, including blockchain. But, funding for blockchain startups is decreasing even as blockchain adoption is rising as elaborated in a December 2019 report.