Crypto News | CheapAir Changes Bitcoin Payment Processor

Although everyone is talking about Coinbase shutting down WikiLeaks’ Bitcoin account, this is not the only big news concerning Coinbase that was revealed recently. On Friday, CheapAir, a prominent online travel booking agency, said that it will be switching its Bitcoin payment processors. Apparently, a big service change by Coinbase led to the decision. In a few weeks, Coinbase will stop supporting custodial solutions for merchants, which means that several features and tools that CheapAir has been relying on will be removed. Sources close to the company say that CheapAir will likely move to Bitpay. CheapAir is an important staple in the cryptocurrency ecosystem – it is frequently cited as the first company in the global travel industry that started accepting Bitcoin payments, back in 2013. It is likely that CheapAir will improve some of its services and add additional cryptocurrencies after the move – primarily Litecoin, Dash, and Bitcoin Cash. While customers will certainly love that change, the fact that Bitpay doesn’t support ‘non-payment protocol wallets’ means that everyone who will be paying for tickets and services on CheapAir will have to get a compatible wallet first.

In other news, the National Bank of Dubai has successfully implemented blockchain technology in its check issuance system as an advanced measure to prevent fraud. The system works by printing a unique QR code on each check, and then recording everything on the blockchain. The system is rather creatively dubbed “Cheque Chain”. The National Bank of Dubai is one of the biggest financial institutions in the Middle East. After deploying its pilot blockchain program a month ago, the bank has reportedly already processed approx. one million checks. The UAE are very open towards blockchain technology, aiming to become a world leader in the sector.

At the same time, blockchain adoption is quickly spreading and it is no longer confined to the financial industry exclusively. Amazon Web Services (AWS) has released its very own “AWS Blockchain Templates”, which are more-or-less DIY solutions for developers who want to build their own blockchain-based applications. Users can build either public or private networks based on Ethereum, while the Hyperledger Fabric supports only private options. Allegedly, creating your very own network should take mere minutes – a big leap from setting up a blockchain network from the ground up. The release from AWS was met with considerable praise and support, in spite of the recent controversy revealing that Amazon intends to create a “streaming data marketplace”, where it would sell data to various agencies.

Lastly, since it’s the beginning of the week, perhaps it’s a good time to take a look at the week behind us and anticipate what may lie ahead. Over the past 7 days, the crypto market has grown by $73 billion, from $324 to $397 billion. The price of BTC is very close to $9,000, $1,000 more than last week. Meanwhile, Ethereum is at $638, Bitcoin Cash at 1,391, and Ripple at 0.88.

So, good news – and most analysts, including Tom Lee, feel very confident in saying that the bull run is not over yet.

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Author: Max Rothstein

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