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Russia Could Be Working with Ethereum’s Platform for Payments

Bank of Russia may be ready to use blockchain technology for sending and receiving payments. The information released by the news outlet Izvestiya on My the 4th. According to the reports, Bank of Russia could be using the Ethereum platform to speed up payments.

Bank of Russia Wants Faster Transactions

Different companies, banks and governments all over the world are working with blockchain technology so as to improve transaction speeds and reduce costs. This time, the Bank of Russia may be the next in the list of institutions working with this technology. According to banking sources the plans for using Ethereum have been confirmed.

The main purpose of the central bank of Russia is to transfer payments on SPFS – a local version of the SWIFT system. If the integration turns out to be successful, then, the system could potentially become ‘more reliable’ than SWIFT itself, which had several issues, hacks and security concerns in the last years.This is not the first time that blockchain technology sees adoption in Russia. At UseTheBitcoin we have reported many times that Russia is a country very interested in exploiting distributed ledger technology. Indeed, it has even explained its plans to create its own virtual currency known as CryptoRuble.

A senior official at fellow bank BKF said:

“Implementing blockchain technology undoubtedly raises the level of protection for SPFS in relation to hacker attacks. This is especially pertinent given the slew of banks, including Russia’s Globeks, which have fallen victim to hacker attacks via SWIFT.”   

The size of the savings by switching to blockchain technology are not specified and yet unknown. What is important to mark is that the current costs of using SPFS is around ($0.03) per transaction. Moreover, the reduction of costs should also be linked with the increased security. Banks will be losing less money from problems in the network, hacks, security issues or other circumstances.

Back in February, we wrote that Russia’s largest state bank, Sberbank, was going to launch a virtual currency exchange in Europe, showing that the interest for virtual currencies is growing.

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Cryptocurrency Payments Coming Back to Reddit – Including ETH, BTC and LTC

Some time ago, the famous social network platform Reddit, decided to no longer accept bitcoin payments for purchasing Reddit Gold. According to the company, this happened because of some bugs with Bitcoin payments and the Coinbase change on commercial accounts

he Reddit user emoney04 explained:

“The upcoming Coinbase change, combined with some bugs around the Bitcoin payment option that were affecting purchases for certain users, led us to remove Bitcoin as a payment option.”

At the moment, it seems that the platform is ready to incorporate back crypto payments for purchasing Reddit Gold, but with one unexpected surprise, Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC) would be accepted.

Reddit Restores Crypto Purchases

In an interview with Cheddar, Reddit CTO Chris Slower, explained that Bitcoin had very high fees and was a problem for purchasing Reddit Gold. At the same time, he said that they are also looking at Ethereum and Litecoin, which are operated by Coinbase, have low fees and fast transactions.

https://twitter.com/cheddar/status/991761725379801090

Christopher Slowe commented:

“We’ve been looking at other cryptocurrencies in fact. That was part of the issue with the high fees on the Bitcoin network. We were looking at Ethereum and Litecoin that were provided both by Coinbase as well.”

Important figures of the cryptocurrency space have already shown their support to Mr. Slower’s comments. Charlie Lee, Litecoin’s founder gave a retweet to Cheddar’s interview and showed his support for this decision.

Charlie Lee [LTC]

@SatoshiLite

Reddit plans to support Litecoin payments. 🚀 https://twitter.com/cheddar/status/991761725379801090 

At the same time, Mr. Slowe said that Reddit has one of the oldest Bitcoin communities online around 8 years ago. Moreover, he explained that every single coin in existence has a specific sub-Reddit for discussions.

Coinbase made important changes to Coinbase Commerce, which allowed merchants to accept Bitcoin as a means of payment. Currently, if a commerce wants to keep accepting virtual currencies as a payment option, they will have to make a significant upgrade.

Now, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies will come back to the platform allowing users to easily give Reddit Gold to an interesting article, post or discussion.

Iran Central Bank Bans Domestic Banks from Using Cryptocurrencies

This measure by the Iranian central bank is to control its falling fiat currency ‘Iranian rial’ by limiting the exposure to foreign currencies.

The overall cryptocurrency markets have posted a good recovery over the last seven days with Bitcoin and other altcoins contributing to the upward. However, the shadow of regulatory concerns still continues to loom over and this time its the Central Bank of Iran (CBI) who has banned all banking institutions from offering services and maintaining ties with cryptocurrency firms.

According to Reuters,  the state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday that sighting issues of money laundering, Iran’s central bank has made this decision and aims to prevent or halt any further currency crisis. While quoting a central bank circular on the ban of cryptocurrencies issued by Iran’s anti-money laundering body, IRNA notes: “Banks and credit institutions and currency exchanges should avoid any sale or purchase of these currencies or taking any action to promote them.”

In the circular, Iran’s central bank has claimed that digital currencies ‘have the option to be used for money laundering, supporting terrorism and exchange of sums between wrongdoers’, revealed IRNA.

This decision to curb the cryptocurrency trading comes as a part of the recently introduced reforms by the Iranian government as it tries to limit the use of foreign currency by its citizens in an attempt to control the fall of its own fiat currency – the Iranian rial. The central bank has also put a limit on the amount of foreign currency an individual can hold in cash to  €10,000 ($12,250).

Amidst the looming fears of some strict financial sanctions led by the United States, the Iranian rial has fallen to an all-time-low this month and so the central bank has introduced the latest ban on money transfers and swaps beyond banks.

Till date, there were no specific regulations involving the trading of digital currencies while the local crypto industry has reported that the trading volumes have been significantly high in the country. In Iran, there have been many international blockchain dealers providing services for past many years and have helped to circumvent the country’s highly restrictive foreign exchange trading environment.

Iran is planning a Venezuela kind of move in order to circumvent the U.S sanctions. The country is said to be working on its own blockchain platform and just like the ‘Petro’, Iran will also be having its own state-owned cryptocurrency.

Earlier this month, the Indian Central Bank also announced a similar ban asking all the registered banks to cut ties with the crypto exchanges. The Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank of India issued a notice to all banks giving them a time-period of three months to execute this move.

However, there has been a huge backlash by the Indian crypto community and exchanges and much recently a crypto exchange even filed a petition with the Delhi high court against the central bank calling its decision of ban to be “unconstitutional”.

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