The world of cryptocurrency is full of uncertainty, and the absence of a substantial experience with this asset class makes it a difficulty for the majority of enthusiasts to accurately evaluate business opportunities in this space. However, some leaders make an attempt to bring a level of measurable certainty to a highly volatile asset class.
Pick #1. The Hard Thing About Crypto Price Valuation
Leaders in the crypto space are seeking alternative means of assessing a cryptocurrency’s fundamental value.
Some current fundamentals being proposed for crypto assets are:
Network value-to-transaction ratio (NVT) – this measures the amount of traded volume as an indicator of how actively used it is
Daily active users (alternatively, daily active addresses, or DAA) – how many users use the crypto asset in transactions on a monthly basis
Supply-demand economics applied to crypto assets via monetary theory
Pick #2. As Stripe Backs Away from Crypto Payments, Coinbase Offers a New Solution for E-Commerce
Coinbase Commerce lets merchants add crypto payment options direct to their existing payment flow or added as a separate option. Unlike past retailer solutions from Coinbase, it is hosted independently of the exchange’s services so a merchant can receive crypto to its own wallet. It is also supported worldwide and not just in the US.
The company has its first integration with Shopify, the e-commerce hosting site that claims over 500,000 merchants worldwide.
Pick #3. BBVA-Backed US Digital Banking Startup Azlo Readies for Launch
Azlo, a US digital banking startup that is majority-owned by BBVA, will open for business this week, marking the latest effort by the Spanish lender to attract a new generation of digital-savvy customers.
Azlo will rely on BBVA’s banking license and payment infrastructure to operate across the United States but will be run as an independent company. The startup, which will offer online banking services to small businesses and freelancers, was built within a BBVA division that funds stand-alone FinTech startups.
Pick #4. The Alabama Department of Revenue Deploys First State-Wide Identity Protection Program to Fight State Income Tax Refund Theft
After a successful 2017 pilot program, IDEMIA, a company claiming to be a leader in Augmented Identity for a digital world, and the Alabama Department of Revenue have announced the full-scale deployment of the electronic ID app (Alabama eID) to protect residents against state income tax refund theft.
The Alabama eID app is available for download in the App Store and Google Play. Users complete a short registration process in which their identities are verified by scanning their physical driver’s license or state-issued ID and taking a selfie with their smartphone. This information is compared against the data and photo on record in the driver’s license database to verify that the person registering for the app is who they claim to be.
With the Alabama eID, there are no usernames or passwords to remember, and only the user can authorize the Department of Revenue to process his/her state income tax refund.
Using facial recognition technology, the Alabama eID verifies a person’s identity by matching his/her face against the picture used to make one’s driver’s license or state-issued ID.
Pick #5. About 90 Million UnionPay Cards Are Issued Outside Mainland China, Boosting Inbound Spending
UnionPay International announced that ~20 million more UnionPay cards are issued outside the Chinese Mainland in 2017, increasing the total number of UnionPay cards issued outside mainland China to about 90 million.
The transaction volume of these overseas-issued UnionPay cards grew by about 40% YoY, and the transaction volume of these cards in mainland China has been growing for several consecutive years.
By the end of 2017, about 90 million UnionPay cards had been issued in 48 countries and regions outside mainland China, and over 25 million are issued in the Belt and Road markets. In 2017, the transaction volume of Pakistan-issued UnionPay cards in mainland China grew by over two times, and that of UnionPay cards issued in Tajikistan and Kazakhstan increased by about 50%.
Over 90% of the transaction of UnionPay cards issued in Hong Kong, Macau, Pakistan, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia happen locally, meaning that UnionPay has become a major payment method for the residents in these markets.