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One in seven: About 16% of iPhone users have turned on Apple Pay, according to Loup Ventures, which projects that number will grow substantially over the next five years given more promising signs of adoption. The number of global banks that support Apple Pay has increased 41% in the past year, totalling 2,707 banks; while adoption among the largest 100 U.S. retailers has reached 85%. Also, about 90% of NFC transactions are made through Apple Pay.
Cashing in: Apple's digital payments adoption should also get a boost from the further rollout of Apple Pay Cash, which began beta testing late last year. 9to5mac reports users in Brazil, Ireland and Spain have seen the option for Apple Pay Cash appear on their phones. The feature, initially available in the U.S., powers P-to-P payments with any card in Apple's wallet app, with free debit transactions and credit card payments for a 3% fee. 9to5mac reports it's unclear if cross-border transactions are possible.
Behind the music: U.K.-based music portal MusicPlanet Live is joining the likes of Patreon in supporting a payments ecosystem to fund artists. MusicPlanet Live has added CellPoint Mobile's payments technology, which powers several options such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, which MusicPlanet found are already used by most of its consumers. Many of CellPoint Mobile's existing clients are in the hospitality and travel sectors, which will be applied to the mix of venues, promoters, artists and fans that use MusicPlanet Live.
Hacking PSD2: The burst of fintech that's accompanying the PSD2 regulations has led to a contest. Finextra reports Bank of Ireland and TSYS are hosting an open data hack, in which coders will build off of payments data sets to build customer-facing projects in business and consumer segments. The winner in each of those categories will get about $3,000 and will work with the bank and TSYS to build the idea into a product.
From the Web
Bitcoin and blockchain consume an exorbitant amount of energy. These engineers are trying to change that
CNBC | Fri Feb 23, 2018 - If blockchain technology is going to revolutionize how we transact with each other, computer scientists need to solve one big problem: It can consume way too much energy. The original blockchain, which underlies bitcoin, runs on an algorithm that could eat up more energy than Argentina this year, Morgan Stanley estimated. Innovators from top institutions such as M.I.T. and Cornell University and tech titans such as IBM and Intel are developing a number of "green" blockchain innovations to address demand by businesses for blockchain that streamlines transactions of all sorts. Blockchain can help automate transactions and records those transactions on a tamper-proof digital record available to all participants in a network. Energy efficiency allows blockchain to scale for business needs, developers said. That means processing significantly more transactions per second at minimal cost, while accommodating an ever-expanding user base.
Archos announces a cryptocurrency hardware wallet
TechCrunch | Fri Feb 23, 2018 - Archos announced (via Next INpact) a cryptocurrency hardware wallet ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona — the Safe-T mini. Archos expects to ship its hardware wallet in June 2018 for $62 (€50). The Safe-T mini works just like a Ledger Nano S, meaning that it’ll generate a private key on the device itself when you first boot it up. That private key never leaves your device. If you lose your device, you can recover your cryptocurrencies using a 24-word passphrase. The device works with Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin and Zcash for now, but Archos plans to add more cryptocurrencies in the future. You can also use a Safe-T mini to secure a third-party wallet, such as a Mycelium or Mycrypto wallet.
Ledger is working on new native apps for its cryptocurrency hardware wallet
TechCrunch | Fri Feb 23, 2018 - French startup Ledger is making some of the most secure cryptocurrency hardware wallets out there. But the company’s apps aren’t that great. That’s why the company announced that Ledger has been working on brand new native apps for all desktop and mobile platforms. Right now, Ledger relies on Google Chrome for its desktop apps. At some point, Google wanted to promote web apps and give them access to special APIs with Google Chrome Apps. The company has been phasing out those apps for a year or so. And it’s great news for Ledger users as those apps weren’t that great. You had to install multiple apps to manage multiple cryptocurrencies.
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