11.29.18 Your morning briefing

Register now

The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

Bitcoin Rolex
Bitcoin's recent market slide has has been bolstered a bit by progress in merchant acceptance, a use case that has long eluded the alternative currency.

Birks, a Canadian luxury jeweler, has partnered with BitPay to support purchases of Rolex, Bulgari, Cartier and other high end brands. Birks will support bitcoin payments at eight of its 26 locations at launch, with further deployments planned.

BitPay, which specializes in cryptocurrency payments, processed more than $1 billion in bitcoin payments 2017, leading to a big year in 2018 as the company drew more than $40 million from investors.
At the movies
In another crypto payments play, MovieCoin has partnered with Paytomat to support cryptocurrency transactions at existing point of sale systems.

Scheduled to go into effect in first quarter 2019, the partnership will allow businesses registered with Paytomat to accept MOV tokens as a substitute for traditional money.

The target businesses include studios, production houses and theater chains, which use MovieCoin's mix of smart contracts and blockchain to finance films, support distribution and accounting.

Big bucks for financial inclusion
Southeast Asian fintech Oriente has attracted a $105 million initial funding round from
Berjaya Group, JP Summit Holding and Sinar Mas, a relatively large infusion for an early stage financial technology company.

Oriente provides payment, credit and other financial services to about 350 million people with an explosive digital economy that's on par to triple over the next six years, reports TechCrunch.

Additionally, more than 70 percent of Southeast Asia is unbanked, according to Oriente, citing KPMG research.

Nothing but net
Foreign exchange risk company CLS has launched CLSNet, a payment netting app that's running on IBM's distributed ledger technology.

The platform is designed to reduce post-trade risks from settling foreign currency trades in emerging markets, reports Finextra.

Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of China and a handful of other large banks have committed to joining CLSNet, according to Finextra.

From the Web

Bitcoin and digital assets are here to stay, says NYSE chairman, despite bear market
CNBC | Wed November 28, 2018 - Bitcoin got the backing of a critical figurehead on Wall Street this week. Jeff Sprecher, chairman of the New York Stock Exchange and CEO of its parent company, Intercontinental Exchange, said that despite headlines of cryptocurrencies flopping, digital assets have a future in regulated markets.

Ex-Alipay, Baidu Exec: 'The 4.0 Era of Finance Is Digital Payments'
Fortune | Wed November 28, 2018 - Zhang Zhenghua believes a revolution is under way. The founder and CEO of UNPay, a Singapore-based payments startup, sees economic disruption coinciding with the worldwide adoption of mobile phones.

Fintech firm Revolut gets green light to expand to Japan and Singapore
CNBC | Thu November 29, 2018 - British mobile bank Revolut has obtained licenses to operate in Japan and Singapore as it readies an expansion into Asia. The London-based financial technology firm said Thursday that it had acquired a remittance license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore and full authorization from Japan's Financial Services Agency.

More from PaymentsSource

Is fear of fraud holding back faster payments?
Proponents of real-time payments systems say banks must embrace them given consumer demand for more immediacy and transparency, even if criminals will try to exploit them.

Kenyan bank turns to fintech and WeChat to power trade with China
Kenya’s Family Bank Ltd. will collaborate with London fintech SimbaPay to launch a transfer service to China with WeChat.

How blockchain can make Internet of Things payments mainstream
Blockchain may have received its most exposure as the distributed ledger technology at the foundation of cryptocurrency exchanges, but its use cases are advancing into other data-driven or supply-chain industries pursuing the Internet of Things.

Cyberthieves licking chops at IoT, voice-controlled security gaps
Any future machine-to-machine environment calling for communication and transactions will surely include a consumer's option to make payments through such a network. That turns any home or business into its own complex network of devices, routers, sensors, passwords, communication coding and private credentials.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, click here.