6.19.18 Your morning briefing
The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:
Does the Web have a glass jaw?
It's not unusual for the financial establishment to criticize bitcoin, but the Bank for International Settlements has placed an almost apocalyptic shroud over cryptocurrency, saying it could "break the internet" and lead to an environmental collapse.
The BIS, which acts as a central bank among central banks, warns even the largest distributed ledgers cannot handle the requirements of most national retail payment systems, causing an untenable stress on national internet systems if all of the required distributed ledgers are operating a full power, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.
There's also an environmental hazard from the electricity consumption as miners generate new tokens, BIS says, saying this will lead to an "environmental disaster." But there there are people working on that problem.
Growth for Toss
South Korean P2P app Toss is quickly gaining in popularity, which has not gone unnoticed by the local technology community.
Viva Republica, the South Korean fintech startup that powers Toss, has raised $40 million from GIC and Sequoia China, bringing its total funding to $116 million.
Toss has more than 8 million registered users, which is double from a year ago, and is expected to reach monthly transaction volume of $10 billion this year. It recently added other services such as credit score management, investment services, and a financial dashboard.
A new hack combines bank trojans, keyloggers and ransomware on Android devices to steal passwords, financial and payment account data.
Called MysteryBot, it's considered an "upgrade" from existing Android-targeting malware such as Lokibot, reports techTaivisa, an Asian technology news service. Threat Fabric discovered the malware, the site reports.
When used successfully, the MysteryBot can accrue a broad set of personal identifiable information that can be used to infiltrate other e-commerce sites and web services to steal identities and perform fraud.
First Amendment crypto
Cyrotpcurrency has struggled to find uses as actual currency, but has slowly gained momentum. The Freedom of the Press Foundation will accept donations in cryptocurrencies, reports Coindesk.
The organization will use the funds to support reporting on governments, among other issues, and will accept payments in bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, litecoin and zcash.
It's using digital wallets for donations, but plans to use a payment processor to convert donations into fiat currency.
From the Web
Kenya's Safaricom opposes planned tax increase on mobile cash transfers
Reuters | Mon June 18, 2018 - Kenya’s biggest mobile phone operator Safaricom is opposed to a proposed tax rise on mobile phone-based cash transfers that its chief finance officer said on Monday would discourage the drive towards modern payments systems. In last week’s budget speech, Finance Minister Henry Rotich proposed increasing the excise duty on mobile transfers to 12 percent from 10 percent as part of broader measures to raise an extra 27.5 billion shillings ($272 million) in state revenues.
Garmin Pay set to enter Irish market with digital payments technology
The Irish Times | Mon June 18, 2018 - Google Pay, Apple Pay and Fitbit Pay have a new competitor in Ireland, with Garmin Pay entering the market. Customers of KBC Bank will be able to use the digital payments technology with a compatible Garmin smartwatch, such as the Forerunner 645 and the Vivoactive 3.
Blockchain startups woo enterprises with a private chain audit trail
TechCrunch | Mon June 18, 2018 - By placing all the information about services or complex manufacturing and assembly processes on a private, permissioned blockchain, the idea is that a company can create an “immutable” audit trail of data. When you think about it, currently this involves a labor-intensive combination of paper and networks.
More from PaymentsSource
TransferWise, the 'Robin Hood' of payments, teams up with the sheriff
London-based TransferWise's business model has been to undercut traditional banks’ foreign transfer fees, and the company's marketing has long emphasized its role as a plucky rival to banks — going so far as to invoke a comparison to Robin Hood. But the company's offering can also benefit the banks that see value in making peace with an upstart.
Vendors race to adapt as mobile consumes more of e-commerce
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As China opens up, U.S. payment companies may want to back off
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Why India's Paytm is turning its mobile wallet into a media app
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