Checkout.com has become the first payment service provider to launch weekend and holiday settlements for merchants, powered by cryptocurrency.
The UK-headquartered FinTech’s USDC stablecoin settlement solution leverages Fireblocks’s crypto payment technology and makes it the first PSP to deploy automatic fiat-to-stablecoin conversion as merchants receive and process funds from customers.
To date, Checkout.com has facilitated settlement of over $300 million using USDC, a fully collateralised and redeemable USD-pegged stablecoin, via its private stablecoins settlement beta program.
During the beta, Checkout.com says it successfully tested, refined and optimised ways for customers’ online fiat transactions to be paid to merchants through USDC.
“At Fireblocks, we believe that every business will become a digital assets business with the advent of Web3,” said Ran Goldi, VP of payments at Fireblocks. “Traditionally, merchant payouts are limited to 9-5 on weekdays excluding public holidays and are further delayed through batch processing over several business days.
“Checkout.com’s weekend settlement means that merchants are no longer restricted by arbitrary settlement times. With our in-house team’s deep knowledge and expertise in digital asset payments, Fireblocks looks forward to our continued collaboration with Checkout.com to bring even more game-changing solutions to the payments space.”
Jess Houlgrave (pictured), head of crypto strategy at Checkout.com, said: “Stablecoins started as a fiat-denominated asset used by crypto traders to easily move in and out of more volatile crypto assets.
“But we believe they will also play a fundamental role in improving the underlying payment landscape – the fact that we’re the first full stack payments provider to successfully pilot an end-to-end solution with weekend merchant-side settlement capability is testament to our commitment to crypto3.
“We’re investing heavily to ensure we can fulfil our mission to enable businesses and their communities to thrive in the digital economy – which we believe includes Web3 and as we see the market reaction, we hope to see more merchants, both crypto native and non crypto native adopt this.”
Verse raises $2.4m seed funding for art NFT platform
Verse, a new NFT platform connecting collectors with top artists, has raised $2.4 million seed funding from notable angel investors.
Verse is collaborating with 12 leading artists, curators, and creative tastemakers – including artist Simon Denny, artist David Shrigley, Noah Davis, Elena Soboleva and artist Tyler Hobbs – to launch its first selling exhibition.
The exhibition is led by Verse’s newly appointed head of exhibitions Leyla Fakhr, former Tate curator and art advisor.
Verse allows collectors to discover and acquire NFT artworks that have been hand-selected by trusted and reputable curators, including internationally-recognised galleries, institutional curators, experienced NFT collectors, art experts and other tastemakers across the arts, culture and NFT spaces.
An alternative to the incumbent platforms with an overwhelming sea of options that deter many new collectors, Verse releases NFTs in focused exhibitions that give leading artists the spotlight and create a dynamic experience for discovering new work.
Verse also addresses the technical challenges faced by both collectors and artists in the NFT space by allowing the purchase of NFTs with fiat, as well as crypto, and without the need for a third-party crypto wallet.
Verse is co-founded by CEO Jamie Gourlay and CTO Augustinas Malinauskas. Gourlay brings to Verse more than a decade of experience in the art world, as co-founder of 10 Hanover, the private advisory dealing in blue chip works by Picasso, Warhol, and other major artists, and as founder of Queen’s Fine Art, a storage and logistics company that services the top auction houses and galleries around the world, including Sotheby’s and Gagosian.
Malinauskas is a physicist-turned-technologist who holds a Masters in Part III Mathematics from the University of Cambridge, and a PhD in Theoretical Particle Physics from the University of Oxford.
The angel investors are Paul Forster (Indeed.com), Ben Stephenson (Impala), Michael Daffey (Galaxy Digital), Jeremy Hindle (Integrity), Nick Shekerdemian (The Venture Collective) and Venrex VC.
PayPal has introduced a long-awaited feature allowing users in the US to transfer their cryptocurrency to and from other wallets and exchanges. They can send and receive Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin as many prominent companies turn towards crypto payments.
Solana has launched a $100m fund to back South Korean crypto startups which will see it compete with fellow smart contract platforms Polygon and Avalanche for developer talent left behind by the collapse of the Terra ecosystem. Solana Ventures and the Solana Foundation will seed investments and grants ‘across all web3 verticals’ with a particular focus on crypto games development.
The restarted LUNA 2.0 ecosystem has plummeted 77% in value in its first two weeks amid accusations that it is not truly community-owned, while founder Do Kwon has taken his Twitter account private.
Crypto bank Custodia has filed a lawsuit against the US Federal Reserve, claiming the central bank is unlawfully delaying a decision on its application for a ‘master account’.
The overall market cap of the more than 19,700 coins is at $1.25 trillion at the time of writing (7am UK), a 2.9% increase in the last 24 hours.
Market leader Bitcoin – the original cryptocurrency created by the mysterious Satoshi Nakamoto – gained 3% to top $30,500. BTC is 3% down in a week.
Ethereum, the second most valuable crypto coin – created as a decentralised network for smart contracts on the blockchain – rose 3% to $1,800. ETH is 6% down over the course of a week.
Binance Coin is a cryptocurrency created by popular crypto exchange Binance to assist its aim in becoming the infrastructure services provider for the entire blockchain ecosystem. Its BNB token gained 3% to $290, leaving it 9% down over seven days.
Cardano is an open source network facilitating dApps which considers itself to be an updated version of Ethereum. Its ADA token, designed to allow owners to participate in the operation of the network, rose 10% to 64 cents and is 7% up over the course of a week.
The XRP token of Ripple, a payment settlement asset exchange and remittance system, acts as a bridge for transfers between other currencies. XRP grew 2% to 40 cents yet is 5% down on its price seven days ago.
Solana is a blockchain built to make decentralised finance accessible on a larger scale – and capable of processing 50,000 transactions per second. Its SOL token remained around $39.32 and is 12% down compared with a week ago.
Meme coin DOGE was created as a satire on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies but is now a major player in the space. DOGE gained 1% to 8c, leaving it 6% down in a week.
Polkadot was founded by the Swiss-based Web3 Foundation as an open-source project to develop a decentralised web. Its DOT token, which aims to securely connect blockchains, climbed almost 1% to $9.16 and is 11% lower than its price a week ago.
Avalanche is a lightning-quick verifiable platform for institutions, enterprises and governments. Its AVAX token rose 3% to $24.52 and is 4% down in a week.
To see how the valuations of the main coins have changed in recent times – and for round-ups of recent cryptocurrency news developments – click here.
For valuations of the top 100 coins by market cap in US dollars, plus 24-hour price change, see below.