El Salvador-based Bitcoin holders could soon spend their BTC using the “tap-to-pay” feature wherever the near-field communication services (NFC) card readers are available. The cardless pay service would be utilizing Lightning Network (LN) to facilitate retail BTC transactions.
Contactless card payments are quite popular in the current fast-paced world, and with the help of LN, these services can now be utilized by BTC holders as well. The Bitcoin Lightning services are being introduced in El Salvador by CoinCorner, which has, in turn, partnered with IBEX, a lightning infrastructure services company, to add NFC support across businesses in the country.
The Lighting payment card called the Bolt Card was launched on Wednesday. CoinCorner said that the idea of expansion in the Central American nation, apart from its BTC legal tender, was a barge of reports about the poor user experience that the firm hopes to resolve.
Bitcoin LN is a layer-2 scalability infrastructure that allows for retail usage and expenditure of BTC in day-to-day life at a low cost and insistent transaction rate. The introduction of tap-to-pay card payment would make way for a seamless BTC user experience in the country, which the firm hopes would also enhance the country’s BTC usage.
El Salvador became the first country to make BTC a legal tender in September 2021. At the time, President Nayib Bukele led government hoped that the adoption would help the country’s majority unbanked population to gain monetary independence. Within four months of adopting BTC, the country onboarded 4 million users on its government-backed Bitcoin wallet.
The BTC wallets saw $52 million in remittances in the first two quarters of 2022. With the introduction of Lightning-based payments in the country, the retail payment sector could see a bump in BTC use.
Traditional finance and payment giants JPMorgan and Visa are teaming up to streamline the use of their private blockchain solutions Liink and B2B Connect to facilitate cross-border payments.
According to an Oct. 11 report from Forbes, JPMorgan’s Liink is a network specifically designed for cross-border transfers and is offered under the bank’s blockchain and payments initiative Onyx. Onyx provides a platform for institutions to share financial information and validate transactions.
Visa’s B2B Connect is a similar network to Liink that was built for institutional grade use and has now been integrated with Onxy’s Confirm.
Confirm is an account-information validation product, and ensures that transacting parties provide genuine identities and correct information. Onyx touts that Confirm is capable of verifying more than 2 billion bank accounts from 3,500 financial institutions.
Finextra reported yesterday that J.P. Morgan is looking to rope in a host of founding member banks across the globe as it works to launch Confirm in 10 countries by the end of this year. Moving forward, the bank is said to be eying a rollout in 30 countries next year.
German financial behemoth Deutsche Bank has also signed on to become a founding member of Confirm.
Confirm’s global head Alex Littleton explained in a public statement that “Confirm’s growth is heavily influenced by network effects,” adding that, “Naming Deutsche Bank as a founding member, while also establishing interconnectivity to Visa B2B’s blockchain, will accelerate our adoption on a global scale.”
With Visa teaming with JPMorgan and its suite of blockchain products, it seems that the duo has an eye on providing an alternative to the commonly used Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT) messaging system to manage and facilitate cross-border payments.
The notion of cross-border payments has been in the spotlight this week, with the Monetary Authority of Singapore revealing on Monday that it could look to utilize blockchain tech to provide solutions to current issues with such, including speed and costs.
Ravi Menon, managing director of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, noted in a keynote speech that the current state of cross-border payments is “not fit for the 21st century,” adding that:
“It is slow, costly, opaque, and inefficient, relying on an archaic network of correspondent banks.”
He outlined that the expansion of “private sector blockchain-based payment networks” could be one of the possible ways to solve this.
Ripple creators Ripple Labs have also made moves with its cross-border payments product On-Demand Liquidity (ODL ) this week. On Oct.11 it announced partnerships with payments firm Lemonway and money transfer provider Xbaht that will see the duo leverage the ODL network to provide crypto payments for customers in France, Thailand and Sweden.
BNY Mellon launched a digital custody platform to safeguard select clients’ Ether and Bitcoin (BTC) holdings on Oct. 11, making America’s oldest bank the first large bank in the country to offer the custody of digital assets and traditional investments on the same platform.
According to a statement, the bank will store private keys to access the funds and provide the same bookkeeping services offered to fund managers in other assets, such as stocks and bonds.
“With Digital Asset Custody, we continue our journey of trust and innovation into the evolving digital assets space, while embracing leading technology and collaborating with fintechs,” said Roman Regelman, CEO of securities services and digital at BNY Mellon.
BNY Mellon is 238 years old, possesses over $43 trillion in assets under custody or administration worldwide and, in 2021, formed an enterprise Digital Assets Unit to develop digital assets solutions and a platform to bridge digital and traditional asset custody. The bank was granted approval for crypto custody earlier this fall from the New York financial’s authority.
A recent survey from the bank revealed that 91% of institutional investors are interested in investing in tokenized products, and 41% of them hold cryptocurrency in their portfolios.
In March, the bank was selected by Circle as the custodian of its USD Coin reserves. BNY previously announced its partnership with blockchain-data platform Chainalysis to help traditional financial institutions track and analyze cryptocurrency products, allowing large firms to manage legal risks related to cryptocurrencies.
This Daily Dose was brought to you by Cointelegraph.