8.28.17: Your morning briefing
Welcome to the PaymentsSource Morning Briefing, delivered daily. The information you need to start your day, including top headlines from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Amazon's grocery store subscription: After completing its purchase of Whole Foods, Amazon was quick to announce it would lower prices for the store that customers have nicknamed "Whole Paycheck." And the most loyal Amazon customers should someday get even deeper discounts, Ars Technica reports. People who pay $99 a year for Amazon Prime, a service that offers two-day shipping and a growing assortment of digital perks, will also get discounts that are not available to non-Prime shoppers at Whole Foods, the article says. The Prime discounts won't go live at the same time as the chain-wide price cuts, since Amazon must put new technology in place to enable Prime discounts, Ars Technica states. These are just the first steps Amazon has revealed in its plan for Whole Foods, an acquisition that has the potential to disrupt many aspects of traditional retail.
Satoshi speaks? A person claiming to be Satoshi Nakamoto, the inventor of bitcoin who has never revealed his (or her/their) real identity, may finally speak. Someone claiming to be Nakamoto has contacted several publications including The Verge, which reports Nakamoto (or his impostor) is willing to talk to the press but not to reveal his true name. "But in the emails and conversations that followed, it became clear that the would-be Satoshi’s primary purpose was to promote a new blockchain detailed at CoinProject.org — and significant doubts emerged about whether he was in fact Bitcoin’s mysterious creator, or simply a scammer hoping to draw attention to a speculative cryptocurrency," The Verge reports. This new Nakamoto was unable to provide proof of his identity that would satisfy The Verge, and at least one of his claims was refuted by a prominent bitcoin investor, the article states.
Cybersecurity experts flee Trump: More than a quarter of the National Infrastructure Advisory Council has resigned, protesting what it calls the President's "insufficient attention" to the U.S.'s internet vulnerabilities, reports DefenseOne. In a letter, the resigning members also said Trump's failure to specifically cite neo-Nazi and white supremacists when condemning the recent violent protests in Charlottesville, Va.; Trump's exit from the Paris climate agreement; and the president's intent to waive flood-risk building standards were reasons for their resignations. The cybersecurity resignations follow the disbanding of two other business councils, with many of the CEOs also condemning Trump's response to the Charlottesville violence.
South African Messenger: A Johannesburg-based startup called DigiBot has built a payment function for Facebook Messenger and online chatbots. ItWeb reports the new feature is designed to simplify digital communication for B-to-B and B-to-C payments by using artificial intelligence and the most advanced application programming interfaces available. The company is targeting insurance, telco and retail businesses, with the most common use case being a linkup between payment channels and Facebook, Google and WeChat without users having to change apps or Websites. DigiBot is finalizing terms with LottoStar South Africa and a lead generation company as the first clients for its new service.
From the Web
PayPal removes ban on two anti-jihad websites
Fox News | Fri Aug 25, 2017 - PayPal has reinstated two anti-jihad websites previously banned by the worldwide online payments processor because the groups appeared on "hate" lists from the left-leaning Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League. Robert Spencer, founder of JihadWatch.org, told Fox News that PayPal barred his group from using its technology to raise funds because of its criticism of Islam.
How Bitcoin is making waves in the luxury market
CNN | Mon Aug 28, 2017 - When Bitcoin and a subsequent raft of cryptocurrencies first landed in the early part of the decade, many people -- including noted economists and finance experts -- dismissed them as a fad. These new forms of digital money were viewed as little more than capitalist Tamagotchis, currencies with no value to anyone except those looking to buy illicit items. The raft of coffee shops selling lattes for Bitcoins have gone some way to disprove these negative perceptions, but the availability of luxury items like jewelry, cars and even fine art have really stated cryptocurrencies' case for permanence -- nearly a decade after they first came about.
LCSO arrests two credit card skimmer manufacturers
NBC | Sat Aug 26, 2017 - The Lee County Sheriff's Office took a major step in cracking down on credit card skimmers on Friday. After a month-long investigation the Economic Crimes Unit uncovered an organization that had manufactured and installed credit card skimmers at multiple gas station pumps. Participants used the information stolen from the skimmers to make cloned credit cards and purchase fuel, gift cards and other resale merchandise.
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