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Ripple Hunting For Unicorns With $25M Blockchain Investment

Ripple, also known by the symbol “XRP,” is putting its money where its mouth when it comes to investing in blockchain technology startups. Ripple is putting $25 million worth of XRP into a blockchain venture fund, a move that could increase adoption and use of XRP.

Ripple is investing in San Francisco-based Blockchain Capital. That company, founded in 2013, “is one of the oldest and most active venture investors in the blockchain technology sector, and has financed 72 companies, protocols and tokens since its inception. We are multi-stage investors and invest in both equity and crypto assets,” according to its website.

The $25 million contribution to Blockchain Capital was made in XRP, not dollars. Last month, Blockchain Capital announced the closing of Blockchain Capital IV, LP a $150 million fund. The company “has invested in 72 companies, protocols, and tokens, including Coinbase, Ripple, Circle, Ethereum, 0x and Kraken,” it said.

This is the first venture fund Ripple has contributed to and it is likely it will continue seeking related investments.

“We want smart people and smart entrepreneurs, who can solve a problem using Ripple,” Cory Johnson, chief market strategist at Ripple, told CNBC in an interview Wednesday. “There’s money sitting there to be used.”

More About Ripple

As of this writing Wednesday, XRP was the third-largest digital currency by market value behind bitcoin and ethereum. XRP traded at an all-time high of $3.84 in January but labored around 50 cents at this writing. Its market capitalization is $19.62 billion. The supply of XRP is capped at 100 billion, of which Ripple controls 60 billion.

Ripple uses a blockchain technology known as the “Enterprise Blockchain” ledger. XRP is used by some banks and other financial institutions, such as American Express and Western Union, and allows users to send, receive and hold any currency on a secure, decentralized network.

Ripple technology is more secure than those of rivals, including bitcoin and XRP transactions settle rapidly, in as little as four seconds.

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Adoption

Litecoin Foundation & TokenPay strike a strategic partnership

TokenPay, The self-proclaimed “Bitcoin on steroids” has entered a partnership with the Litecoin Foundation for a 9.9% stake in the WEG Bank in Germany. In May 2018 TokenPay acquired just under 10% of WEG Bank with the option to purchase up to 90% if approved by the regulatory commission of Germany. In a move to leverage Litecoins marketing and technology service TokenPay has handed the 9.9% over to Litecoin in hopes that it will put TokenPay on the map as a major player in the cryptocurrency market.

TokenPay CEO Derek Capo said in a recent statement “We are building an entire ecosystem that includes merchant services, banking, escrow, gaming, e-sports, employment services, etc., where we have entire control of the vertical integration needed to lower costs, but also control our destiny. Litecoin is a top-five blockchain in the world, and boasts more than one million followers worldwide, which helps increase the chances of TokenPay’s ecosystem to succeed.”

What does this mean for TokenPay & Litecoin?

This partnership will provide TPAY access to LTC’s massive user base and will give the users the opportunity to buy, sell & trade as well as gain access to the company’s debit card service. In turn, Litecoin will benefit by having exclusive access to TokenPay’s long-standing bank connections to hopefully integrate the LTC blockchain network into a wide range of monetary associations.

Charlie Lee, CEO of the Litecoin Foundation responded to the partnership by saying “This partnership is a huge win-win for both Litecoin and TokenPay. I’m looking forward to integrating Litecoin with the WEG Bank AG and all the various services it has to offer, to make it simple for anyone to buy and use Litecoin.”

Each company will play a crucial roll in the partnership by focusing on TPAY crypto and its accompanying blockchain as well as the TokenPay multisignature transaction engine, which should accelerate payment and transaction speeds tremendously for both companies.

There is no word yet on exactly when the technology side will be implemented but TokenPay is geared up to make some major moves that include partnering with multiple other financial establishments.

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Adoption

Survey Says 20% of Banks, Hedge Funds Want to Trade Crypto

There is some good news on the cryptocurrency adoption and liquidity fronts. A new Thomson Reuters survey indicates 20% of banks and hedge funds want to get into trading digital currencies.

“One in five firms are considering trading digital currency in the next three to 12 months, according to a Thomson Reuters survey published Tuesday,” reports CNBC. “Of those that showed interest, about 70 percent said they were planning to trade in the next three to six months, and 22 percent said they would look to trade crypto in 6 to 12 months.”

Twenty percent is a significant improvement over some other recent data points pertaining to crypto adoption and use among professional investors. For example, a recent survey of attendees at the Context Summits conference in Miami revealed that 11% planned to allocate to cryptocurrencies this year.

Making Moves

“Thomson Reuters surveyed more than 400 clients across its trading solutions, which included hedge funds, large asset managers, and trading desks at the biggest banks. The results showed a widespread familiarity with cryptocurrencies,” reports CNBC.

News of more banks and hedge funds looking to get into the crypto games comes amid a backdrop of soaring crypto hedge fund openings, though some of those hedge funds have already been shuttered. On Monday, Goldman Sachs, the largest investment bank, said it made its first hire for its digital asset markets business.

Due to the recent resurgence in bitcoin, the largest digital currency, and other alt-coins, the digital currency market eclipsed a combined market value of $420 billion earlier Tuesday, up from around $300 billion just a few weeks ago.

“Banks are examining client interest and several hedge funds have tried their hand trading virtual currencies,” according to Reuters. “Large falls in cryptocurrency prices this year, however, have encouraged critics to warn again that the market is a bubble and that investors should stay away.”

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Adoption

A New Avenue For Verge: Pornhub Subscriptions

Verge currency, the digital currency known by the symbol “XVG,” got a boost on the adoption front Tuesday when it was revealed that Pornhub will accept XVG as payment for subscriptions. Pornhub is the largest adult entertainment site online and one of the most visited websites in the world.

“Verge is built on an open-source platform with no centralized control over the coin. Verge can process 100 transactions per second. With RSK technology implemented that number is projected to reach 2000 transactions per second,” according to Cryptobase.

As of this writing Tuesday, XVG has a market capitalization of $1.20 billion, making it the number 21 digital currency by market value.

“Pornhub users will now be able to use Verge, which allows for anonymous transactions by obfuscating the IP address and geolocation of its users so that they are untraceable, to pay for all Pornhub purchases – including Pornhub Premium, the company’s HD, On-Demand streaming service,” according to a statement.

Real Talk

The partnership with Pornhub is a potentially significant opportunity for XVG. While the likes of Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Amazon, Netflix and Instagram are among the most visited websites in the world, Pornhub is on the top 50 list. In fact, Pornhub gets more traffic than Google Canada, eBay, Bing and Alipay, just to name a few.

Verge is a departure from traditional cryptocurrencies in that it relies less on cryptography and more on Tor and I2P network to deliver the user experience.

“Verge Currency, which was created in 2014, is designed for everyday use. It improves upon the original Bitcoin blockchain and aims to fulfill its initial purpose of providing individuals and businesses with a fast, efficient and decentralized way of making direct transactions while maintaining personal privacy,” according to the statement.

Pornhub added that its in-house production company, Brazzers, and its adult gaming platform, Nutaku, will also be accepting Verge.

“This partnership represents an enormous market with a global reach that will compete with fiat currencies. It’s huge for Verge and we’re extremely excited to finally be able to announce it,” said Verge founder Justin Sunerok.

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