What Are Stablecoins and How Do They Work?

What Are Stablecoins and How Do They Work?

One of the big reasons people use cryptocurrencies, and why other people hate cryptocurrencies, is the volatility. Ten years ago, a bitcoin was worth just a couple cents. Nowadays, one bitcoin is sold for more than 7,000 dollars, that’s a really big change. In one day, prices can fluctuate with hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. That’s really difficult when you’re using it as a means of payment. The 5$ sandwich you just bought might turn out to become a 10$ sandwich in just a couple hours. The people in the blockchain industry saw this happening and thought of a solution to this issue. The first thought might be, isn’t the solution the traditional FIAT-currencies? Well, they kind of are but at the same time they are the system that cryptocurrency is battling, so why’d we support that?

Stablecoins

Then came a new term; ‘stablecoins’. Basically, the term explains itself, it’s a coin that remains stable. This means it will always hold the same value. So, whenever you are confident the crypto you are holding is up for a rollercoaster-ride downwards, you sell your crypto for a stablecoin and you will secure your valuables. Now, many questions might pop up immediately, how do you maintain this value and what kind of stablecoins are there? Let’s find out, shall we!

How does a stablecoin remain its value?

You decided you want to buy a stablecoin in order to keep the value of your holdings at the same level, great. With that, you are wondering how all of this works behind the scenes. In general, stablecoins remain their value because of the collateral item or asset that’s attached to the stablecoin. The goal for the stablecoin is to have its value never exceed the value of the collateral in reserve, to put trust in the way people can use these stablecoins. There are no mine-able stablecoins not are they pre-mined by any central party, stablecoins are created to supply the market and its investors with a trading angle at any time. All the properties of the traditional markets are suddenly available to the cryptocurrency world, low costs, high-speed and secured value. 

There are dozens of different stablecoins nowadays and they all work in a slightly different way. To answer the question of how they retain their value, we should categorize these stablecoins to where they belong. The available options are;

  • Fiat-backed
  • Commodity backed
  • Cryptocurrency backed
  • Algorithm backed

Fiat-backed

These are the more traditional stablecoins. The first stablecoins that were ever created are backed to the US dollar. Nowadays, there are more FIAT-backed stablecoins that are pegged to the value of several other fiat-currencies like the Euro or the Great British Pound. The value of these coins is pegged to the fiat currency. In the case of Tether (USDT), one USDT = one USD. This will always remain the same, the only thing that changes is the circulating supply. Whenever the stablecoin is exchanged back to the US dollar, the coin is burned and does no longer exist. The problem here is, the coin is centralized. It’s an off-chain solution that requires the collateral to be held in custodian by one central organ. We have seen it happening with Tether that people did not longer trust the company behind Tether, Bitfinex, to hold the precise amount of dollars pegged to the circulating supply. An external party performed an audit to confirm they did have the required dollars as collateral.

Another example of a fiat-backed stablecoin is Facebook’s libra. They have announced that their plan is to have their stablecoin backed to the value of multiple fiat-currencies like the US dollar, the Euro, Japanese Yen, Pound sterling and the Singapore dollar. This will keep its value stable at all times, no matter the situation of the individual currencies. 

Commodity backed

This kind of stablecoins are not backed by traditional money, they are backed by commodities like gold, oil or whatever else you could think off. In practice, most of these currencies come back to the traditional precious metals like gold and silver. The value of these commodities can fluctuate quite a bit, but it’s another way of investing in these precious metals without actually having to own these precious metals. A downside is the centralized nature of these stablecoins. Especially when it comes to commodities, they should be available for constant audits by external parties, to see if they actually have the number of commodities they claim to have.

Last year, we saw another attempt at creating a new stablecoin. Venezuela announced its ‘Petro’, which should replace their nation’s fiat currency for a new virtual coin, the Petro. The coin was supposed to be backed by the oil-reserve in the country. It’s unclear whether this is true, but the Venezuelan government is forcing the use of the Petro fiercely. 

Cryptocurrency-backed

Because of all the centralized stablecoins, the real decentralized warriors thought it was time for a change. Instead of trusting your money with a centralized party like the traditional system, they thought it was time for a decentralized alternative. In this case, the stablecoin is backed by a cryptocurrency, usually by means of a smartcontract. These are the more complicated stablecoins with extremely innovative systems that will stabilize the value of the currency. For example, the stablecoin DAI, a soft-pegged stablecoin that’s hosted on top of the Ethereum blockchain. If you want to create DAI, you need to deposit some Ethereum into a smart-contract that goes by the name “collateralized debt position”. The system under the hood is extremely complicated and tough to understand, although it’s completely transparent. Anyone can take a look at what’s happening and even vote about upcoming changes and such. As of the recent upgrade that was voted by all the holders, DAI is now backed by multiple assets and the single-collateral version is now known as SAI. Innovation.

Algorithm backed

This is difficult. It’s a system that’s supposed to be the alternative to the traditional economic models that we now today. But, it’s really hard to keep things afloat as regulatory concerns are tough to keep up with. With this stablecoin, there’s nothing backing up the value of the coin. It’s simply working with supply and demand and complex algorithms that increase and decrease the value of the coin. There have been several attempts of creating such stablecoins with all of them having a slightly different idea of what the model should be. One example is Basis, which sadly announced they will return their raised capital to their investors. Things didn’t work out as they planned and even though they raised 133 million, they could not find a way to get the system rolling. 

Stablecoins are very interesting for anyone in the cryptocurrency industry. If you want to catch a trade at the right time, you can hold some of your belongings in stablecoins to keep the same value and jump in at the right time. Or, you want to use cryptocurrencies to make payments but you do not wish to have your value fluctuate all the time, then stablecoins are your way to go as well. You might wonder, what are the best stablecoins out there? That’s what we’ll zoom in on in our next article!

Get BCD for Bringing NOWPayments a Merchant!

Get BCD for Bringing NOWPayments a Merchant!

In the light of our partnership with Bitcoin Diamond, we are here to tell you about our affiliate program, how exactly does it work and how much money can you get from it!

This type of partnership between you and NOWPayments offers an opportunity to get instant profit and a source of a passive income! All you have to do is cooperate with NOWPayments by introducing a merchant to our service.

The idea is simple: establish our connection with a merchant — wait until they become our partner — get your reward!

A person who’s introduced NOWPayments to a merchant receives $25 in BCD (in a single payment) and 0,2% worth of each exchange* of the said merchant (for a lifetime!). BCD reward is paid after the integration is completed and the first transaction is made!

If a merchant decided to use our button, widget, or plugin, for the reward to be made, we need to see them on the merchant’s website. 

BCD reward is paid only to the first 20 partners. All the following partners will receive 0,2% from each merchant’s exchange.

Reach out to us at [email protected] for further details.

*By “exchange” we mean the following: When a merchant chooses to accept payments in one cryptocurrency, and the client is paying them in a different one, the process of automatic coin conversion happens. There is a small fee on that automatic exchange, and the affiliate program participant receives 0.2% off of the revenue that is received by the exchange platform.

Top 10 Crypto-friendly Countries

Top 10 Crypto-friendly Countries

Recently, we wrote an article about the countries where cryptocurrency is most popular among citizens. Now, that’s one thing to look at when observing whether a country is welcoming cryptocurrency. The other aspect is the acceptance of businesses in the cryptocurrency space, how crypto-friendly are these countries. Today, we look at the top 10 countries where it’s the most convenient to start your business as a cryptocurrency business. In terms of taxes, regulations, and acceptance by the government in general. Note, this does not mean that in this country crypto is being used the most, but where you’ll be best off when starting your own business in the crypto industry. 

10. Japan

We go back many years to the moment cryptocurrency was not more than just a couple of coins, Bitcoin is the biggest one. At that point, it wasn’t as common to buy Bitcoin anywhere you want. Back then, the now notorious exchange Mt. Gox was created in Japan. The exchange later collapsed and lots of people lost their precious Bitcoin, but back then you could already see Japan being one of the countries where crypto could have a future. 

At this point, there are more than 32 exchanges that have been accepted to exist by the government, some even with backing in terms of investment by Japan’s banks. For example, BitFlyer received investment capital from all three of Japan’s largest banks; Mitsubishi UFJ, Sumitomo Mitsui and Mizuho Banking Corporation. This only shows how much trust the entire country has in blockchain technology as a whole. The taxes are pretty convenient and are taxed the same way as any asset you can trade, but the spending of cryptocurrencies do not require any taxes to be paid. 

9. Belarus

We step down in the size of the country, as Belarus has nearly 10 million people living in this Eastern-European country. One of the main factors why cryptocurrencies are working in this country is the acceptance of the government. They have announced to start embracing blockchain technology in order to attract foreign businesses. In late 2017, the president released a detailed plan describing how this crypto-business would make their way to the country. There’s one catch, most of the benefits that you can enjoy as a crypto business in Belarus only apply when you’re registered as residents in the Hi-Tech Park, a special zone in the capital Minsk. 

There’s one topic that’s really convenient for Belarus citizens in combination with crypto; Taxes. There are no taxes until January of 2023 on any practice when it comes to crypto. Meaning, you could be spending crypto, mining, trading, lending or whatever you want to do with it, but you would not have to pay any taxes at all. One problem though, it’s not regarded as legal tender yet, so paying with cryptocurrency can be somewhat of a hassle for individuals. 

8. Georgia

Georgia is not to be misunderstood for the American State that goes by the same name. Georgia is an Eastern-European country with roughly 4 million people living there. It’s a relatively big country with lots of rural lands. Their capital, Tbilisi, similar to Minsk in Belarus is supposed to be the attracting point for many businesses to start their practices. There is one really big company located in the city, Bitfury Mining Facility. This is the main reason why Georgia has the second-highest Bitcoin Mining hash rate in the world, just after China. This was published in 2017, so things could have changed since then. 

The reason why companies love Tbilisi is the fact that there’s a Poti free zone, which means there are different laws and regulations. Taxes are extremely convenient for businesses as there is no VAT, dividend, profit or property tax. Similar to Belarus, blockchain is welcomed with open arms when it comes to businesses, but the payment of crypto is not fully regulated yet.

7. Estonia

With just 1.3 million people, Estonia is a pretty small country. Now, there are lots of talented people that live in the country and the country is known for being technologically advanced on another level. A company that most of us will know, Skype, was created in Estonia. The country is rated number four in terms of economic freedom in Europe and the ease of doing business is ranked number twelve in the entire world. 

The country prides itself on being at the forefront of any digital revolution. With a small population, it’s easier to make changes. In 2005, the country implemented internet voting. In basically any other country in the world, people are still voting with pieces of paper and a pen. There are even rumors that the government has plans to start their ‘Estcoin’. When you start a business, you can apply for an e-residency. This makes it possible for companies to start their business in Estonia, without having to live there or even have an office there. This makes it extremely easy for a business to start a company under the Estonian roof. 

6. Luxembourg

A tiny country in between Belgium and France, Luxembourg. Some might have never heard of the country, but it has been one of the countries where there’s lots of wealth. One of the reasons for this is their friendly position towards taxes. One of the biggest blockchain companies in the industry for years, Blockchain.Info, has its headquarters located in Luxembourg. With only 600,000 people living there, it’s not as hard to cause adoption. 

Back in 2014, their financial commission was one of the first official financial regulators in the world to give an official statement on cryptocurrencies. They released their ‘Bitcoin Communique’ years back describing their awareness of the emerging technology. In terms of taxes, cryptocurrencies are treated as intangible assets so you do not pay any income taxes until you’re exchanging them for FIAT-currencies. When making payments with crypto, you do not have to pay any VAT taxes. 

5. Hong-Kong

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, which has been the main point of discussion for the past few months. Because of their position, the laws and regulations are slightly different than China. Hong-Kong is the home to many businesses in the crypto industry such as Bitmex and Bitfinex. This goes by no surprise as Hong-Kong is widely known for its strong position when it comes to financial markets. All major banks in the world have offices in the country and since 1995, their economy is seen as the freest in the world.

Hong-Kong has a group called the Bitcoin Association of Hong Kong. They attempt to make it as easy as possible for a business to operate in the industry. This is being done with an easy stance towards the taxes, as it’s unregulated by the existing financial watchdogs. Back in 2018, the major financial regulator in Hong Kong mentioned Bitcoin had no visible impact in the areas of money laundering and terrorist financing, securing the position of crypto in general. 

4. Singapore

As one of the few Asian countries on this list, Singapore is an island that is different on many levels. Whereas lots of their surrounding countries are not as developed, Singapore prides itself on being the most ‘Technology-ready’ nation in the world. Besides that, the country is known for being a tax haven and one of the centers for the financial world. The Singaporean economy was rated as the most innovative, dynamic, competitive and most business-friendly in the world. With a country that is the least corrupt in the world, there lay a ton of opportunities. 

The beauty in Singapore is the fact that there is no Capital gains tax active, which is common when investing in cryptocurrencies for a longer period of time. For payments in cryptocurrencies, there’s an active tax of 7%. 

3. Bermuda

Now we get to the places where the real money is hidden in this world. As a former colony of Britain, Bermuda is known for being a wealthy place. There are only 65,000 residents, but tons of financial companies operate from the island. The reason for this is because there are no VAT taxes, no corporate, income, wealth or capital gain taxes. The only active taxes are a minimal payroll tax, only around 10%. The island is not that big, so not that much money is necessary to keep things floating. 

Reportedly, Bermuda has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Main reason for this is the fact that loads of wealthy people move to the island to enjoy the weather and the friendly tax laws. Fun fact; there are over 15,000 companies registered in Bermuda without any physical presence or employees there. When it comes to crypto, there’s one business with evident ties to the island; Binance. They have invested 15 million dollars into the development of the island and its stance on Blockchain. 

2. Switzerland

Being known as one of the most neutral countries in the world, Switzerland is also known for being a wealthy country that has been supporting emerging businesses for years. There are some companies such as Shapeshift and Xapo that are located in a town called ‘Zug’. There’s a ton of other crypto companies that are located there. Because of this, the region is known as the ‘Crypto Valley’. In this region, Bitcoin can be used as a payment method for utility bills. The country is ranked number one in terms of economic productivity and competitiveness, making it hard to operate but welcoming to talent as well. 

Any crypto you hold in Switzerland should be declared and you need to pay wealth taxes, valued at the year-end prices provided by the Swiss officials. Other kinds of taxes only apply to those who trade cryptocurrency for their profession. Switzerland is known as an ‘unofficial’ tax haven for cryptocurrencies. In all honesty, the situations are better in other countries, but it’s surely welcoming towards crypto-businesses. 

1. Malta

Malta is an island of controversy. Their government is in love with attracting wealth from all across the world and are doing so by allowing a business to basically do whatever they want. With only 450000 people living on 316 square kilometers, Malta is a very densely populated country. Malta became popular in crypto-land when Binance announced to move its operations to the island. This is mainly because the government of Malta created a regulatory framework for the crypto business. In this framework, businesses in the crypto industry receive all the guidance and assistance they might need. The Maltese president announced that they want to become the ‘Blockchain Island’. 

The controversial part is, the Bank of Valletta has suspended cryptocurrency transactions in November 2017. They do not wish to participate in all the innovation surrounding Bitcoin and whatnot, but the government responded to this. They mentioned that “The rise of cryptocurrencies can be slowed, but cannot be stopped” 

There you have it. Are you interested in starting your own business and looking for a place where to register your company? Are you looking to enjoy some of these generous taxes? Go ahead and enjoy yourself!

Bring NOWPayments a merchant – get paid in ZEN!

Bring NOWPayments a merchant – get paid in ZEN!

In the light of our partnership with Horizen, we are here to tell you about our affiliate program, how exactly does it work and how much money can you get from it!

This type of partnership between you and NOWPayments offers an opportunity to get instant profit and a source of a passive income! All you have to do is cooperate with NOWPayments by introducing a merchant to our service.

The idea is simple: establish our connection with a merchant — wait until they become our partner — get your reward!

A person who’s introduced NOWPayments to a merchant receives $25 in ZEN (in a single payment) and 0,2% worth of each exchange* of the said merchant (for a lifetime!). ZEN reward is paid after the integration is completed and the first transaction is made!

If a merchant decided to use our button, widget, or plugin, for the reward to be made, we need to see them on the merchant’s website. 

ZEN reward is paid only to the first 20 partners. All the following partners will receive 0,2% from each merchant’s exchange.

Reach out to us at [email protected] for further details.

*By “exchange” we mean the following: When a merchant chooses to accept payments in one cryptocurrency, and the client is paying them in a different one, the process of automatic coin conversion happens. There is a small fee on that automatic exchange, and the affiliate program participant receives 0.2% off of the revenue that is received by the exchange platform.

How to Accept Payments in Verge?

How to Accept Payments in Verge?

Today’s article is going to be talking about how to accept Verge coin (XVG) with the help of NOWPayments

Why exactly Verge? 

Well, we think it is quite the coin to keep an eye on! It originated all the way back in 2014, as a fork of the legendary memecoin DOGE, under the name of DogeCoin Dark, which later got rebranded into Verge. Ever since the moment of creation, the coin’s main value and goal was maximum privacy for its users. 

Verge transactions can be performed without disguising your IP, which leads to showing your location and identity. With Verge, your transactions are fast, reliable and 100% private, thanks to their unique Wraith Protocol.

NOWPayments is happy to be partners with Verge, as we share the security values by being non-custodial! We don’t hold any of the money transmitted though our service and also don’t display the merchant’s recipient wallet address to anyone but him, but he can also always switch the address in case of any concerns. Integrating NOWPayments is very easy, you can start accepting XVG fee-free in just a couple of steps! 

Let’s look into the NOWpayments integration process: 

API

The easiest way of integrating the NOWPayments solution into any website out there is by using our API. It’s an easy and efficient way of adding our payment processing mechanism. The steps are simple;

  1. Create an account on the NOWPayments account page;
  2. Activate your account via the email that we have sent you;
  3. Sign-in into your account and open the Dashboard Page;
  4. Go to the ‘Store settings tab’ and press “Add a new key”; 
  5. You will get an API key. Save it somewhere safe;
  6. Create a wallet for the currencies you want to accept;
  7. Go to the “Outcome wallet” section in the “Store settings” page;
  8. Add the wallet address and select XVG as payout!
  9. Start using our solution and enjoy accepting Verge!

WooCommerse Plugin

You can also accept cryptos using our WooCommerse plugin! It allows your web stores built on WordPress to accept payments in 35 popular cryptos! The list is growing weekly.

All you need to use it is to sign up for a NOWPayments account, configure your store settings: choose an XVG wallet address and generate API Key, then, install WooCommerce plugin! 

Installation Process:

  1. Upload the nowpayments-payment-gateway-for-woocommerce directory to the /wp-content/plugins/ directory.
  2. Activate the plugin through the “Plugins” menu in WordPress.
  3. In the WooCommerce “Settings” page go to the “Payment Gateways” tab, then click “NOWPayments”
  4. Check “Enable NOWPayments” and enter your NOWPayments API Key.
  5. Click “Save changes” and the gateway will be active.

Donation Widget

Another feature that we offer is the ‘Donation Widget’ with the ‘Donation Button’.

This feature allows you to accept cryptocurrencies as a form of donation, which can be used for more personal needs. Integrating it is, again, very easy, all you need to do is generate a key, choose an XVG wallet address and go to the donation page!  This will bring you a piece of source code that you can add to your website, now you can accept crypto donations!

Now you have yourself three whole ways to start accepting one of the most private and safe coins out there for personal or business needs!

If you have any questions, you can always hit up our Business Development Manager Xena on Telegram @xenaNOW! 🙂

On the Verge of Currency

On the Verge of Currency

In epochs long gone, people bartered and traded services for goods, religious classes giving value to non-necessities in order to appease the gods and make themselves comfortable.  This gave way to monarchs and kings, descendants of the gods, controlling the source of wealth by creating coins with their image and ensuring people used it, through force and laws.  Through the ensuring time, Monarchies and theocracy gave way to democracy and despotic rule. The one constant variable being that currency was still being controlled by an entity, political, personal, ideological.

Enter the 1980’s when David Chaum created the predecessor to Bitcoin, the first use cryptography to sign a transaction. 10 years later, Digicash emerged, the first digital version of cash, before bitcoin. Digicash promised anonymity but partially failed because it was not convenient. The lesson learned:  Customers prefer convenience over privacy.

Move over to the mid-1990s to the early 2000s where E-gold at its popular height was used by over 1 million people. Its platform was built over micropayments which were worth tiny fractions of gold. One of its use was to send bloggers rewards, similar to how Brave Browser tipping works today. After reaching a market capitalization of over 2 billion USD, hackers started attacking users through Internet explorer and the centralized exchanges e-gold was being stored on. Eventually ending the project. Another lesson to learn from this: don’t leave your coins on exchanges.  Or in modern crypto speech, not your keys, not your coins.

Enter Bitcoin. Learning from the previous attempts at creating the digital currency, the person (or collective) (not Craig Wright) behind Bitcoin allowed people using a peer to peer network, to validate transactions on a ledger.  Bitcoin functions as the above projects, but uses a distributed ledger to validate all transactions, in order to keep it decentralized.  
The open-source and anonymous nature of this system made it the first real currency for the internet age. Being built, by people worldwide, and changes voted on by peers, bitcoin is the first truly international currency not controlled by governments. Bitcoin spawned many offshoots, many of which forgets the lesson of the earlier projects.  The major importance of Bitcoin, it is not owned and controlled by for-profit companies.

Enter Verge Currency, a completely distributed fork of bitcoin, Verge is being built as a digital currency, functioning on the cryptographic principles of Bitcoin, Verge provides location privacy through Tor and I2P, protecting users identity by allowing for anonymous wallet ownership.  Improving on many blockchains, projects, Verge’s next-generation wallets hold user-friendliness as a primary function.

You can verify the iOS wallet here, or help out the android version on GitHub here.

What makes Verge a great addition to the future of the cryptocurrency space, is that like bitcoin, it is open-source, the team are volunteers from around the world, and harness a global community of individuals, projects, and companies, helping them along the way.

The goal of the people contributing to the team, is as varied as their country of origins, of their background and goals. We all agree and disagree on various things, but we all agree on the fact that Verge is a Currency. We develop it for the purpose of a private self-own currency, where we encourage people to use the currency, as a replacement of fiat.

As many of Verge’s employees are internationals, living outside of our home countries, expats and immigrants, we understand that changing currencies for another is always costly, time-consuming and confusing. Having something like Verge with built-in privacy allows us to use one currency in many countries.  And with hundreds of companies accepting Verge, from flights to entertainment, there is no reason why in the near future, people can live with Verge as a source of currency.

Because in the end, the goal is to remove power from one group/entity and to give back power to the people. Let the people decide what they want to spend on, whom they want to share it with.  Why should your bank know that you go to McDonalds every Monday, after going to the gym? They shouldn’t. Verge is there for this, but also for the people trying to earn a living while their government makes terribly repressive decisions.  Verge is a Currency, it is fast, it is publicly developed, the transactions are private.

For all of these described reasons, NOWPayments is happy to be supporting Verge and offering it for our clients to accept cryptocurrency in. Join us now, for a smooth and safe crypto experience!

NOWPayments Tech Updates

NOWPayments Weekly Tech Update!

It is about time for a technical update! We work on adding new things to the service every day, and we want to share that with the world, in order to be more transparent with our clients! 

So, here are some of the cool things we’ve done in the past week:

  1. We added a possibility to create payments without the client having to put in a pay_amount, which stands for the amount of cryptocurrency that a person should pay. Now we count that up automatically, making a customer’s experience even smoother.
  2. We added a new API description. We switched up our API description/tutorial and added in some more useful information that our customers need for testing and using the service. It is important for us to keep things as simple and accessible as possible!
    Check it out
  3. We also added a very needed option to change your password! Now our clients have the freedom to change it if they have any security concerns. 

Now, moving on to the things we are currently working on:

  1. We are working on giving our clients the possibility to get the minimum payment amount before creating a transaction. Now, you will be able to know what the minimum amount is ahead of time, to plan your transactions out better.
  2. Also, we are in the process of adding a sandbox! That is a place where our future customers can test the service using test coins. You won’t have to spend anything to see that we are worth implementing on practice!
  3. In addition to our new password change feature, we are adding an option to discard it! This will help all of the customers that forget or lose their passwords. Not, you don’t need to worry about that, your passwords will be available for a full reset! 
  4. We are moving our service to a more powerful service. Now our platform will run even faster and smoother, making clients’ experience ultimately better! 
  5. Last, but definitely not the least, we are working on adding double factor authentification! This will be a great improvement to give our clients even more security! 

That is it for today, we hope you are just as excited about our recent and upcoming updates as we are! If you need any help with integration or have any technical questions, you are always welcome to contact the NOWPayments Business Development Manager – Xena. You can find her on Telegram: @xenaNOW.

NOWPayments Tech Updates

NOWPayments Tech Updates

It is about time for a technical update, don’t you think? We work on adding new things to the service every day, and we want to share that with the world, in order to be more transparent with our clients! 

So, here are some of the major things we’ve done in the past couple of weeks:

  1. We have added three new coins: BAT, HT, and BEAM! Supporting more and more great cryptos is one of our most important objectives since we want our customers to have as much freedom to choose as they can. At the moment. our merchants can accept crypto payments in 35 coins, and that number grows almost every day. Keep a lookout for your favorites if we don’t already have them! 
  2. From now on, API keys are now openly shown to our users, and they can easily manage/delete them. Be careful! If you delete an API key you can no longer use it for creating transactions and checking the transaction status.
  3. We have added filtration for payments! Now you can view and organize your transactions in a way that suits you the most. You can also download them into a file in three formats: pdf, Xls, CSV.
  4. NOWPayments has added a WHMCS plugin! It allows web stores built on the WHMCS marketplace to accept payments in 35 popular cryptos using our service. Go adoption!
  5. Last but definitely NOT least, we have lowered our minimum payment amounts for BTC to ETH and ETH to BTC pairs. Now our service has become even more accessible to smaller merchants, whose products can now cost as little as around $1.75! This update is one we are especially proud of since this minimum amount is the lowest on the market. 

Isn’t all of that just amazing? But wait, there are always more exciting things yet to come! Here is a list of updates that are still in the works and are to come us in the following weeks:

  1. We will add a possibility to create payments without the client having to put in a pay_amount, which stands for the amount of cryptocurrency that a person should pay. We will now count that up automatically, making a customer’s experience even smoother.
  2. We are adding a new API description. We want to revamp our API description/tutorial by adding in some more useful information that our customers will need for testing and using the service. It is important for us to keep things as simple and accessible as possible!
  3. We are working on giving our clients the possibility to get the minimum payment amount before creating a transaction. Now, you will be able to know what the minimum amount is ahead of time, to plan your transactions out better.
  4. Also, we are in the process of adding a sandbox! That is a place where our future customers can test the service using test coins. You won’t have to spend anything to see that we are worth implementing on practice!

That is it for today, we hope you are just as excited about our recent and upcoming updates as we are! If you need any help with integration or have any technical questions, you are always welcome to contact the NOWPayments Business Development Manager – Xena. You can find her on Telegram: @xenaNOW.

Benefits of Accepting Cryptocurrency On Your Website

Benefits of Accepting Cryptocurrency On Your Website

At the end of 2019, we look back at all that has happened in the past decade. We have seen many revolutions across the world, but one of the biggest could just be the bitcoin revolution. Bitcoin has brought new technology to the world, the blockchain technology that has disrupted many industries. It slowly found its way into many industries all across the board, but the financial sector has not been affected too much, yet.

In some countries though, there is a lot of demand for cryptocurrencies as a whole. Countries like Venezuela, Argentina and Turkey saw their national currency decrease in value, making lots of people switch to cryptocurrencies. With more and more people using cryptocurrency as a new form of investing, it’s also a new form of making payments. As bitcoin is a creation of the internet, the dominant place it’s being used to perform payments is the internet. Today, we’d like to invite you to have a look at the benefits of accepting cryptocurrency in your (online) store.

Low transaction fees

In this world, nothing is free. Accepting payments is one of the services that service providers love to charge fees over. Traditional banking systems charge merchants a fee for every single transaction that is being performed, this is similar to the blockchain network. However, the fees are substantially lower when accepting cryptocurrencies. In general, for every $100 you spend (or receive), $4 dollar goes to the credit card companies. This is drastically higher than the fees associated with services like NOWPayments that charges no fees besides the fees for using the blockchain network. It’s a way to make sure you as a merchant, get the biggest piece of the pie, not your credit card provider.

Borderless transactions

Have you ever tried sending money to a different country with the use of a regular bank? This could take days, sometimes even weeks before the actual transaction occurs. Besides the time it takes, there are high fees attached to these services as well. Sometimes you could be paying up to $40 for simply accepting a payment to a friend in another country. With cryptocurrency, it doesn’t matter where the person is in the world. When you have an online store that ships worldwide, it’s a must to start accepting cryptocurrencies. 

No chargebacks

In the economy that we have today, there are dozens of people that are ordering products online. A group of these people receives the packages, use them for a couple of days to then send it back to the merchant within the given period. The store then has to pay back the customer as a form of a chargeback. It could be considered a one-way scam as merchants have nothing to do against these kinds of customers. When accepting cryptocurrency, however, these transactions can not be altered. When confirmed on the blockchain, a transaction can not be undone. In order for the customer to start receiving their money back, they would have to provide the proper evidence first. 

No third parties

When you are dealing with payment providers, you are always dealing with a third party. This could be Visa, Mastercard or whatever service you are using in your store. Anyhow, these services require some data from your users and they take a piece of the pie. In case of any emergency, the third party could even seize your money, as we have previously seen in drastic situations. Do you remember what happened during the 2008 crisis in Cyprus? Many people could not access their money because the bank that had stored it collapsed. To prevent this, you can start accepting cryptocurrencies. All the money that you receive lands directly in your personal wallet, that only you can access. A service like NOWPayment will only facilitate the process, it does not have access to the money at any moment throughout this process. 

Optimized privacy

Do you hate having to deal with dozens of service providers that want to know every single detail of you as a person? Right, we understand. Due to regulatory issues, many of these traditions payment parties wish to have all your data and verification that you could think of. They have a reason to ask you this because if they do not, they are in a battle with the law. The lucky part of cryptocurrencies is, there are not that many laws at this point. When accepting cryptocurrencies, you do not have to share much more than your email address and your cryptocurrency wallet. Some payment processors require a shipping address and a full name, but NOWPayments only wish to have an email account and a wallet address. We want our users to enjoy their privacy, enough with giving up your sensitive data.

Staying ahead of your competitors

As a store operator, your competitors are always breathing in your neck. You always want to be one step ahead of them and have all the customers come your way. To do so, you should always be on top of all the current and upcoming trends. As we have seen before, customers can simply choose a store based on the fact that they accept PayPal for example. In the future, customers will choose their online store based on the option to pay with cryptocurrency. Don’t wait until it’s too late, you better act now before your competitors beat you to it.

As you can see, there are many benefits to start accepting cryptocurrencies. We did not even mention the fact that your accepted cryptocurrencies could increase in value over time, that’s a little bonus you will experience along the way. Anyhow, it’s not too late. When you have an online store, start accepting cryptocurrencies today with NOWPayments and stay ahead of your competitors.

Using Cryptocurrency in Loyalty Programs

Using Cryptocurrency in Loyalty Programs

Anyone that is familiar with marketing has probably heard of loyalty programs. Nowadays every single supermarket, shopping mall, football club or whatever kind of commercial outlet you’d find has a program to create a bond with their customers. These come in many forms from receiving cashback to saving points that you can later spend on cash credit. Whatever it is, they are being used as a form of marketing in order to make sure you, as a customer, come back to the store as often as possible. One topic we love talking about here at NOWPayments is cryptocurrency, not that weird since we’re a cryptocurrency payment provider. Today we’re combining both cryptocurrencies and loyalty programs to see what sorts of programs currently exist and how you can benefit from them.

Cashback

One of the popular forms of loyalty programs is the cashback feature. It’s pretty simple, you spend money and you get a little cashback. In this case, you spend regular dollars/euros or other fiat currency and get a little cryptocurrency back. It totally depends on the company that’s offering the solution if it’s FIAT based or you’d have to spend cryptocurrency in order to earn cryptocurrency, but it’s generating you money while you spend money. This is a really simple form of earning some extra money for the purchases you were making anyway. It’s a form that drives up the incentive for people to utilize cryptocurrency for more than simply holding the coin, but actually spending their currency. There are various projects that offer this solution, however, there are two companies we’d like to highlight.

Lolli

This is a company that made it really simple for people to earn cryptocurrency, in particular, Bitcoin. You simply go to their website, add a plug-in to your browser and off you go. They have partnered up with more than 500 online stores that allow you to spend your money using FIAT currencies, but you get a percentage of that back in Bitcoin. Are you planning to do your holidays shopping online? Then it might be the perfect timing to install the Lolli extension to start earning a little extra back in Bitcoin. That little extra might just be worth a whole lot more in the future. 

Crypto.com

This project took it to the next level with its loyalty program. This is not focused solely on Bitcoin, rather on their own coin, MCO. They offer a credit card that can be used in physical stores and online stores across the whole wide world as it’s a VISA card that’s generally accepted everywhere you go. This card comes in different tiers depending on how much MCO you put at stake. There is one card that’s free, this earns you 1% MCO cashback on all your purchases. Now after these free cards, there are several tiers that include a metal card. The highest tier earns you 5% cashback in MCO plus a free subscription to Netflix, Spotify and a 10% rebate on both Expedia and Airbnb. That’s a whole lot of benefits for using this card. The catch here is, you’d have to stake 50,000 MCO which is currently valued at over 200,000 US dollars. In that perspective, it’s quite expensive actually. 

Travala

Another niche that is being filled is the travel industry. Travala transformed from a simple ICO into an actual company that is now leading the way for blockchain-based traveling. They offer 2,000,000+ properties across 90,124 destinations in over 200 countries, ranging from luxurious five-star hotels to hidden gems.  The beauty is, the prices are up to 40% cheaper than mainstream travel booking platforms. If you manage to find a price that is cheaper at one of Travala’s competitors, you can send the evidence and get paid the difference in AVA tokens. Traveling at its finest. 

Tokenized Coupons

Remember the coupons? Or have you seen the TV-show where these people stack up hundreds of different coupons to then go on and bring truckloads of stuff into their homes without spending a single dollar? That’s what happens with coupons. The problem was storing these coupons safely until you had the right amount to get the benefits of your liking. The moment you tokenize these coupons and put it on the blockchain, you can simply keep them digitally. All you do is simply link your account to you as a person and now you can start stacking coupons in your mobile application. There are several companies offering this solution with more and more companies worldwide acknowledging the benefit of these digital tokens. You’ll never lose your coupons anymore and they are immediately verified with the use of Blockchain technology. Win-win on both ends.

Affiliate Programs

It might be questionable whether this is considered a loyalty program but in some way it is. What it does, it brings you to a certain level of dedication to a platform that you’d tell your friends, family and following about the platform of your liking. With a rich industry like the cryptocurrency industry where most exchanges are swimming in money, these affiliate services are no surprise. Each exchange has its own conditions from cutting trading fees to earning a little percentage of its profits. Whatever it is, it simply pays you to have friends. There are lots of lists going around with the most profitable affiliate schemes, but most of these include having friends that trade cryptocurrency. Having traders as friends is something that’s not as common as having friends that spend cash online. Introducing, the NOWPayments affiliate program.

NOWPayments provides people the opportunity to spend their cryptocurrencies in online stores. In this day and age, every single person on the planet has probably heard of the option to buy things online. Around 80% of these people probably regularly buy things online and a couple of percent of these people do so by using cryptocurrency. Given the fast rise in online stores and increasing demand for cryptocurrency payments, NOWPayments is actively looking for new merchants to start accepting cryptocurrency. The moment you have a friend, family member or vague relative that has an online store, you should tell this person about NOWPayments. With our incredibly easy to integrate payment solution, you’ll start accepting cryptocurrencies within no-time. 

What does this bring to the person who referred your friend to NOWPayments? You receive $25 dollars in NOW Tokens plus an extra 0,2% of each payment that’s being processed through NOWPayments on the website you referred. There are 20 of these rewards for a single person, that could make up for $500 dollars in total simply for telling people to start accepting cryptocurrencies. Sounds like a good deal, right?