OnePlus 8T Packed with 120Hz Fluid Display and 65W Warp Charge

Today, OnePlus launches its latest flagship smartphone – OnePlus 8T. 2 takeaways from the launch of new OnePlus 8T – One, its 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display and Two, Warp Charge 65.

Warp Charge 65 – A Day’s Power in 15 Minutes

One of the biggest selling points of OnePlus phone is its Warp Charge technology. The new Warp Charge 65 offers a full day’s power in just 15 minutes. It utilizes twin-battery charging technology to rapidly replenish the large total capacity of 4,500 mAh and takes just 39 minutes to complete a full charge under normal usage. Why do we still bother to charge our phone overnight these days?

To circumvent heating issues from charging, the OnePlus 8T is equipped with 12 temperature sensors, along with an extra encryption chip in the adapter and cable, to keep charging temperatures at a comfortable level while operating at a peak output of 65W.

120Hz Fluid AMOLED Display

The OnePlus 8T’s 120Hz Fluid AMOLED display is the first flat 120Hz display ever to earn an A+ rating from DisplayMate. Every swipe or scroll across the panel will deliver astonishingly smooth visuals, so users can enjoy the most intense games with remarkable fluidity and browse effortlessly through social media feeds on the immersive display panel.

With a Just Noticeable Color Difference (JNCD) of around 0.3, the OnePlus 8T display has the highest colour accuracy in the industry. The FHD+ 2.5D flexible display also features a peak brightness of up to 1,100 nits, delivering clearer visuals even under bright sunlight. In addition, the OnePlus 8T has 8,192 levels of brightness, making the transitions between various brightness settings feel natural and comfortable.

Superior Power and Performance

The OnePlus 8T is equipped with the flagship Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 865 5G Mobile Platform with a Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System, which enables staggering multi-gigabit 5G connectivity, professional-quality photography at Gigapixel speeds, desktop-level gaming with ultra-realistic graphics, and intuitive AI experiences. The superior computing power is further complemented by dual-mode NSA + SA 5G and Wi-Fi 6 support for faster, more reliable data speeds.

With up to 256GB of UFS 3.1 flash storage, the OnePlus 8T delivers faster and more stable performance. The exceptional hardware enables smoother 4K video capture and playback with reduced battery drain, allowing users to take advantage of 5G network speeds to stream HD videos or play performance-demanding games while on the move.

Advanced Quad-Camera System

The OnePlus 8T features a robust and versatile camera kit designed to efficiently capture any and every moment in crisp detail. The quad-camera system includes a 48MP main camera with optical, a 16MP lens, and dedicated macro and monochrome lenses, letting users enjoy studio-level photography on the go.

The 123-degree ultra-wide lens on the OnePlus 8T provides a new perspective for framing shots so users can confidently capture vast landscapes, expansive architecture, and other wide-angle subjects in full view. The lens delivers clear images in various lighting conditions – even at night or in the dark due to the improved Nightscape mode.

OxygenOS 11 – Android 11

OnePlus 8T is the world’s first non-Google-manufactured smartphone that comes with the latest Android 11 fresh out of the box. Their new OxygenOS 11 has optimized the Android experience making one-handed operation easier.

Pricing and Colours

The OnePlus 8T is available in two new breathtakingly beautiful colourways: Aquamarine Green and Lunar Silver.

The phone will be available for exclusive pre-order on Lazada from 17 – 23 October 2020. Customers who place their pre-order will receive a OnePlus 8T Bumper case (worth S$39.30).  The phone will be available islandwide from Saturday 24 Oct 2020 at OnePlus Lazada and Shopee online flagship store.

The OnePlus 8T comes in Aquamarine Green with 8GB RAM and 128GB ROM, and is priced at S$899; and Lunar Silver with 12GB RAM and 256GB ROM, and is priced at S$1,099.

SINGAPORE WILL BE THE FIRST IN THE WORLD TO LAUNCH THE LINKSYS E9450 WIFI 6 EASYMESH ROUTER

Linksys E9450 WIFI 6 EasyMesh Router. Source: Linksys Asia

SINGAPORE, 9 OCTOBER 2020 Linksys today announced the global launch of Linksys’ first WiFi 6 EasyMesh router, the E9450 (AX5400). Singtel is the first operator in the world to offer the new Linksys WiFi 6 router as it continues to bring next-generation WiFi connectivity to more Singtel fibre broadband customers in Singapore. 

The WiFi 6 standard enables customers to enjoy faster data transfers, increased capacity, better connectivity performance in environments with many connected devices, and improved power efficiency. As the latest WiFi 6 solution for consumers’ increasingly demanding wireless connectivity needs, the E9450 router will be exclusively available to Singtel fibre broadband customers for two months starting from 10 October 2020.

“Asia has the greatest number of internet users in the world, accounting for 50.3% globally[1],” said Jenny Ng, General Manager for Asia. “In 2019, 81% of Singaporeans were using the internet, with a trajectory to continue growing year-on-year2.  As a tech savvy nation, it is no wonder that Singaporeans are discerning when it comes to the routers they use at home.  We are pleased to offer consumers an opportunity to optimize their home internet speeds and capacity with the next generation Mesh WiFi system in order to cater to growing bandwidth demands.”

So What is EasyMesh Wi-Fi?

EasyMesh was introduced by Wi-Fi Alliance and it is intended to serve as a standard to Wi-Fi networks that allows Wi-Fi routers or mesh systems to communicate with one another regardless of product line or brands. To put it simply, consumer can choose router or nodes of different brands to setup their mesh system as long as the products comply to EasyMesh standard. In other words, consumers have more choices.

Complied to this standard, the Linksys E9450 makes future upgrading of mesh system seamlessly for consumers.

Tech Specifications

The E9450 WiFi 6 router feature details below: 

Technical SpecificationDetails
Wi-Fi SpeedDual Band AX5400 (4800 Mbps on 5GHz + 600 Mbps on 2.4GHz)
Product DimensionsLength – 15.6cm Width – 6cm Height – 22cm
AX5400 Dual Band4 internal antennas MU-MIMO OFDMA Technology 2.4 GHz radio 5 GHz radio  USB3.0 port
Processor & Memory1.5GHz Tri-Core Processor 256MB Flash and 512MB RAM  
WAN and LAN Connectivity  ● 5 Gigabit Ethernet Ports: o 1x WAN  
o 4x LAN  
SecurityWPA2 Personal WPA3 Personal WPA2 / WPA3 Mixed Mode Personal

Pricing & Availability

Source: Linksys Asia

The E9450 WiFi 6 router retails at $399. 

At launch, it will be available at the special introductory price of $10.00/mth to the first 100 Singtel customers to sign up for or re-contract Singtel Fibre 1Gbps at $39.90/mth (U.P. $49.90/mth). Subsequently, customers can purchase the E9450 at $14.00/mth (U.P.$16.00/mth) with Singtel fibre plans.

The Linksys E9450 will roll out to the rest of the channel from 10 December 2020.


[1] Miniwatts Marketing Group, “Internet Users Distribution in the World – 2020 Q1” Data

2 Statista Research Department, “Singapore: Internet user penetration 2015-2025” , Jul 28, 2020  

Meet AI- Powered “HR Manager” That Reviews Your Interview Video

Last week, Singapore-based X0PA AI, an Artificial Intelligence software platform for HR and recruitment, announces their new Video Interview on demand platform, X0PA ROOM.

ROOM uses artificial intelligence and video analytics to provide organizations and education institutions a new pre-screening tool. With ROOM, hiring managers can create hybrid questions in text or video , set and select either a fixed or randomized set of questions, set  timers for  video interview completion and many other features to simulate an in person interview including anti-cheat feature.

ROOM collects video analytics available post interview. Through the use of AI, the platform is able to pick up on subtle cues from the candidate based on their facial expressions and body gestures to derive a sentiment and emotional analysis for each candidate response. There is also an analytics dashboard to provide hiring managers with an overview of the ratings and status of the candidates interviewed. Watch the demo below

ROOM provides a seamless video interview experience for candidates with an easy to use interface. The platform is compatible with mobile and desktop and candidates can easily join via the video interview link received. Candidates will be guided through a pre-interview check to ensure that they are recording in high quality video resolution and sound. They would also have the option to play back and review their interview responses. Upon completion of the interview, candidates will be notified via email.

X0PA Is a strategic partner of Microsoft and the company has developed cloud based tools and products to enhance the hiring process and selection processes for Government, academia and enterprises. For more information, visit X0PA’s website at: 

Watch their promotional video below

More than Half of Singaporeans Use Mobile Contactless Payments: Visa Study

Singapore, 28 May 2020 – Mobile contactless payments are on the rise in Singapore with 56 per cent of consumers embracing this new way to pay, according to Visa’s (stock quote: V)Consumer Payment Attitudes Study[1]. An increase of 12 per cent compared to a year ago, this is not surprising given that Singapore is one of the market leaders globally in terms of contactless payments penetration. The increase in usage is also likely due to popular mobile payment options, such as Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Google Pay, being made available to Singaporeans in the past few years.

Contactless card payments continue to be the most popular option, with 84 per cent of Singapore respondents using this mode of payment. The trend is even higher amongst Generation Y respondents at 92 per cent. Based on the study, Singaporeans prefer the use of contactless payments over other modes of payment when paying for their rides on public transportation or shopping at supermarkets. Top reasons cited for this preference include convenience and rewards. 

“Singapore is an extremely developed market when it comes to contactless payments usage. Over the years, we’ve seen tremendous uptake in contactless payments by Singaporeans, and we’re one of the top countries globally to achieve more than 90 per cent contactless payments penetration[2]. Supermarkets and quick service restaurants are one of the key contributors of this growth, coupled with contactless acceptance in new categories such as public transportation, which was introduced last year. During this period of circuit breaker in Singapore, we continue to see strong contactless payments growth and we’re confident that the growth will continue once people are out and about and back to their normal lives,” said Mr. Kunal Chatterjee, Visa Country Manager for Singapore & Brunei.

Visa also recently implemented an option for merchants not to capture signature as a cardholder verification method to reduce consumers’ physical contact with the point-of-sale machines and enable a more frictionless payment experience. This is in addition to increasing contactless payment transaction limits, from the previous amount of $100 to $200 so that consumers can tap and wave their cards or payment devices, without signature verification.

In Singapore, state-of-the-art mobile security and stringent data privacy measures have made the adoption of mobile contactless payments possible. Three in four Singaporeans (75%) do not feel that their personal information is at risk when making mobile payments. In addition, two in three consumers believe that merchants, banks and third-party companies provide sufficient security to protect their transactions.

Security concerns are largely unrelated to the payment mechanism itself, but rather the possibility of losing one’s mobile phone (61%) or the potential for getting hacked (49%). The study also found that three in five Singaporean consumers are even willing to share their location data with merchants in return for special discounts, promotions and services.

With contactless payments becoming more frequently used among consumers, the idea of Singapore becoming a completely cashless society is no longer a pipe dream. Nearly half of Singaporean consumers carry less cash in their wallets compared to two years ago, with increased usage of contactless payments being the top reason (68%). They have also shown continued support for the Singapore Government’s Smart Nation initiative to digitise the country, and 62 per cent of them expect their usage of cashless payment methods to increase next year. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues to motivate a shift towards digital transactions, changing payment habits could further accelerate the growth of digital payments.

[1] The Visa Consumer Payment Attitudes Study was conducted in October 2019 by ENGINE Insights with 511 Singaporeans aged 18-65 years of age. This is part of a regional research project conducted in Southeast Asia on 5,000 consumers across seven markets in Southeast Asia.

[2] VisaNet data as of March 2020

Press Release: Finding the formula for future leaders – Science and technology university launches unique master’s program

SINGAPORE, May 26 – The digital world is facing a crisis that has at the same time opened new windows of opportunity. To tackle the shortage of potential leaders joining the digital sector, the Schaffhausen Institute of Technology (SIT) has crafted a new course: Masters of Science (MSc) in Computer Science and Software Engineering – to better prepare graduates for leadership roles, specifically within the IT and science disciplines. Launching in September 2020, the newly developed program is available for students with bachelor’s in computer science or software engineering who have ambitions to be a part of the next generation of technical leaders.

A new master’s in Computer Science and Software Engineering course from the Schaffhausen Institute of Technology (SIT) will be officially announced on May 26th, 2020 at a virtual conference. This is the first master’s program to be launched by SIT — a newly formed university based in the technology hotspot of Schaffhausen, Switzerland. SIT was founded by entrepreneurs and global thought leaders, and is focused on bridging the gap between education and industry.

Chaired by Acronis CEO, Dr Serguei Beloussov, SIT and its syllabus have been specifically developed to tackle current challenges in the IT, physics, and business industries, including the shortage of future leaders joining the software sector.

“The SIT program will prepare graduates to manage software engineering projects within their own businesses, research organizations, or corporations. We blend science and practical needs to bring knowledge to anyone. Combining computer science, quantum technologies, and new materials will give graduates a strong foundation to develop innovative solutions. Scientists and business leaders from the SIT’s Board of Directors will help connect students with leading technology experts and build up relations with successful technology companies,” says Dr Serguei Beloussov, Founder of SIT.

With studies suggesting that a vast majority of computer science courses do not adequately prepare graduates for CTO or CSO-type leadership positions, the SIT MSc in Computer Science and Software Engineering course has been strategically developed with leadership in mind and connected to world-class research expertise.

SIT’s master’s program meets the traditional Bologna European system standards for higher education. Based on a two-year curriculum of full-time study (or a fast-track three-semester curriculum), the course follows the traditional academia year and is therefore ideal for students currently graduating with a bachelor’s in science or engineering. The course will also uniquely offer students more freedom to learn directly at the SIT campus, or through an agile flip-blended eLearning teaching style designed to meet the different needs of on-site and remote students.

The thesis required to complete the master’s degree can be written based on the student’s experience in their own start-up business, with access to the SIT techpark and investors, or at one of SIT’s business network partners, as well as in the SIT leading research laboratories. This level of engagement with businesses is extremely rare in highly technical master’s degrees from other prestigious specialist universities.

More details on the new master’s in Computer Science and Software Engineering course will be announced at the SIT Virtual Nano Conference, which will feature world-class speakers sharing their expertise in the fields of IT, science, and business. These include Nobel Prize Winner and Chairman of the Advisory Board in SIT Prof. Sir Kostya Novoselov, Acronis Executive Officer and the founder of SIT Dr Serguei Beloussov, Professor of Software Engineering at the SIT Prof. Mauro Pezzè, Professor of quantum physics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford Prof. Artur Ekert, and Former Chief Polygraph Examiner and Interrogator Dr Barry L. McManus. Keynote sessions as well as panel discussions will be held on topics including quantum computing and cyber security.

About SIT: With its pioneering curriculum, the Schaffhausen Institute of Technology (SIT) offers a new model of education. Focusing on the most important areas of technology, SIT will drive research, development and innovation in a next generation learning and research environment. Using state-of-the-art facilities, SIT’s students, researchers and business allies will address large-scale world problems by developing a technology curriculum based on global issues.

Some of the world’s greatest minds have already bought into SIT. The initiators of SIT are a team of entrepreneurs, education specialists, and scientists brought together by initial investment by Acronis AG, a cyber protection company, located in Schaffhausen and Singapore.

Fujitsu Joins Amazon & Facebook to make its patents freely available in the fight against COVID-19

Joining the Open Covid Pledge, Fujitsu is the new tech player along sides with Facebook and Amazon in  providing free access to its intellectual property rights for activities aimed at ending the global spread of the disease.

In committing to the Open COVID Pledge, which originated in the US, Fujitsu has declared that it will not assert its patents, utility models, or designs against individuals or entities for a certain period of time and will not seek any consideration or compensation for such activities. Fujitsu has also endorsed and declared its involvement with the “OPEN COVID-19 DECLARATION,” a similar initiative in Japan

Through its commitment to these pledges, Fujitsu will contribute decisively to an early end to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic by providing free access to approximately 40,000 patents, utility models, design patents (including pending applications) related to the development of new drugs and patient care, and actively promote cross-industry utilization by companies and research institutions around the world in the spirit of global cooperation and human centric innovation

The Open COVID Pledge, launched by an international coalition of legal experts, scientists, and technologists, is an effort that encourages companies, universities, and researchers to make their intellectual property available free of charge for use in ending the COVID-19 pandemic and minimizing the impact of the disease. Those who make the Pledge help ensure that uncertainty around intellectual property rights will not slow or impede urgently needed solutions in this critical time.

You can see the details of the Fujitsu’s declaration here

Lenovo’s flagship X1 Carbon Gen 8 Arrives in Singapore

Lenovo (stock quote 992.HK) (ADR: LNVGY) announced the pre-order availability of its flagship business laptop, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen on Lenovo® Official Singapore Site.

Source: Lenovo Singapore

Pricing for the much-anticipated ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8 starts at SG$3,449, with further upgrades available in processing, memory, storage, and display. Citibank customers can purchase the flagship device on a SG$288 x 12 months installment plan (Note this is not an interest-free promotion). Pre-ordering the new ThinkPad X1 Carbon on the official store will offer customers access to discounts of up to 75% on selected accessories including the X1 Noise Cancellation Headphones, and the best-selling 3-Year Premier Support

“For many years, our X1 Carbon series has represented the apex of Lenovo’s innovation and design thinking. We’ve designed it with our customers in mind, imbuing it with best-in-class security, durability, and productivity features to meet the high demands of modern professionals. The 8th Gen of the X1 Carbon is no different. It’s another proud milestone for our iconic machine and we’re very excited to offer our Singapore customers early access to purchase the flagship device on our E-commerce platform,” said Reno Chow, eCommerce Head, Lenovo Singapore and Malaysia.

Here are the full specifications of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 8:

ProcessorUp to 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7 with up to 6 cores
Operating SystemWindows 10 Pro
Display14″ 4K (3840 x 2160) IPS with Dolby Vision™ HDR400, 500 nits, 10 bit14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS PrivacyGuard, 500 nits14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, low power, 400 nits14″ WQHD (2560 x 1440) IPS, 300 nits14″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS Touch, 300 nits
MemoryUp to 16GB LPDDR3
BatteryUp to 18 hours* 51Wh, includes Rapid Charge *Based on MobileMark 2014, an industry standard PC performance benchmark. Actual results will vary depending on your system’s usage and settings, including power management and screen brightness.
StorageUp to 2TB PCIe SSD
GraphicsIntegrated Intel® UHD Graphics 620
SecurityFast Identity Online (FIDO) authentication capabilitiesMatch-on-chip fingerprint readerdTPM 2.0 chipThinkShutter camera coverOptional: ThinkPad PrivacyGuardOptional: ThinkPad PrivacyAlert*Kensington lock slot *PrivacyAlert requires the IR camera.
AudioDolby Atmos® Speaker System4 x 360-degree far-field microphones
CameraHD 720p with ThinkShutter privacy coverOptional: Hybrid Infrared (IR) & HD with ThinkShutter
Dimensions (W x D x H)323mm x 218mm x 14.9mm / 12.71″ x 8.54″ x 0.59″
WeightStarting at 1.09kg / 2.40lb
ColorBlackBlack with Carbon-Fiber Weave on top cover* *Available only on the 4k HDR400 display.
ConnectivityWiFi 802.11 AXBluetooth® 5.0Optional WWAN: Integrated Global Mobile Broadband 4G LTE-AOptional NFC
Ports2 x USB-C Thunderbolt™ 32 x USB 3.1 (Gen 1)HDMI 1.4Network extension for Ethernet/side mechanical dockingHeadphone / mic comboMicroSD card reader
KeyboardSpill resistantBacklit with white LED lightingNew FN row F9-F11
AC AdapterUp to 65W (supports Rapid Charge)

Singapore-Based TranSwap Launches E-Remittance Services for Foreign Domestic Workers

SINGAPORE 6 May 2020 -TranSwap, a home-grown cross-border payments platform for businesses, today announced that it has launched an e-remittance service, for employers of foreign domestic workers to digitally send money back to their families during Circuit Breaker. The launch comes at a time when it has been challenging for these workers to access remittance services to send money home and support their families. The home-grown FinTech start-up provides services mainly for SMEs and businesses, but they are now stepping up to help those workers who are affected by the circuit breaker measures with their remittance woes.

Employers will be able to transfer money on behalf of their workers in their local currency (mainly Rupiah, Pesos, Kyat, Rupee) seamlessly and conveniently while staying safe at home. It takes less than 5 minutes to send the money, and remittance can be tracked in real-time with end-to-end status updates. This will allow the employers to send the money on behalf of foreign workers upon the worker’s request

The cross-border payments company has also set out to provide Non-Face-To-Face (NFF) Transactions which includes having e-KYC to onboard customers. Unlike traditional remittance agents which rely on face-to-face KYC and compliance, TranSwap boasts an electronic know-your-customer (e-KYC).

By tapping on TranSwap’s remittance service, employers will have the flexibility of choosing between paying to a bank account or to a digital wallet, where the latter option is more commonly used by FDW’s families as some of them may not have bank accounts. The mobile wallet option brings further benefits to FDWs as their families can withdraw cash through ATMs without having a bank account.

Mr Benjamin Wong, CEO and co-founder of TranSwap said, “With the circuit breaker measures in place, we want to contribute to the society by providing our payment solution to affected foreign domestic workers. During these trying times, we are glad to step up to offer a safer, cheaper and more convenient online remittance service. In this way, Foreign Domestic Workers can continue to remit money to their families who may rely on their money.”

Source: Media OutReach

Covid 19 Crisis – Like it or not, Cryptocurrency is Here to Stay

Like our old saying, “When there is recession, there is an opportunity”. In 2008, we faced the world’s worst financial crisis. Lehman brothers’ collapse has shown the world the inherent vulnerabilities of our monetary system. Central banks across the globe were caught off guard. European Central Bank (ECB) hastily made deep cut in the interest rate in the hope to restore investor’s faith. However, market did not recover at the rate as expected since then. Ironically, another historical event happened in the same year – bitcoin.org domain was registered.

Fast forward to today. ECB’s idea of negative interest rate fails miserably, and US Fed follows Japan’s zero interest rate policy will lead to monetary failure in the long term. Investors, flooded with these “free” money, are facing a challenge of finding returns in their investment. As such, they are more willing to take up more risks in exchange for higher returns. Cryptocurrencies, once known to be highly speculatively, starts to re-ignite the interests of investor amid Covid-19 crisis.   

Quick Recap of Bitcoin’s History

Hailed as the “King of Cryptocurrency”, Bitcoin first appeared in investors’ radar in 2013. During that time, almost all markets were trying to recover from the Global Financial Crisis. Investors were extremely cautious not to put money in conventional financial instruments; stocks, bonds and even commodities were not spared as well as they were all interlinked with financial instruments one way or another. Bitcoin, on the other hand, is the only “tradeable asset” that was unlinked to other financial products while at the same, it offers certain degree of liquidity to investors.

That year, Bitcoin was priced at around USD 13. In less than a year, the price had skyrocketed to slightly less than USD1,300 (That’s approx. 100x returns in a year!) That price spike was not sustainable which inevitably, Bitcoin crashed; pricing it at about USD 600 in the same year.

It was a choppy ride for Bitcoin between 2013 to 2017 but it was also a “Golden Era” for Bitcoin. Thousands of new cryptocurrency exchanges were formed. Regulators from all around the world refused to acknowledge Bitcoin as an asset class. However, market will not succumb to regulations; it will just find their ways for survival. Start-ups which struggled to raise fund via conventional means starts to offer their own coins in what they called “Initial Coin Offerings”. At the end of 2017, Bitcoin was priced as high as USD 19,783!

Many crypto investors became millionaires during the Golden Era of Bitcoin. However, the peak was short-lived. By the end of 2018, many cryptocurrency exchanges collapsed, and Bitcoin had crashed to USD 3,300.

Resurgence of Cryptocurrencies during Covid-19 crisis

Over the years, we have heard many criticisms debating the intrinsic value of Bitcoin. I believe most of them are valid but not all of them. At the very least, Bitcoin laid an important pillar for further technology advancement in the area of finance and business – Blockchain technology. A classic example is Ripple (XRP) which made used of this technology to create an architecture that could facilitate faster payment settlement for financial institutions. In Japan, banks are using Ripple protocol to facilitate payment via mobile app.    

Blockchain has created an entirely new market of its own – cryptocurrency and that has completely changed the way how investors look at the economy and after more than 10 years, investors began to accept the fact that Bitcoin is here to stay. For the past 5 years, Bitcoin’s transactions has grown more than double to about 300,000 daily (source: ycharts.com last checked on 26 Apr 2020, link here)

Zhao Changpeng (CZ), CEO of Binance. Source: Binance

However, we do not see sharp price spike of Bitcoin as what it had experienced before in the last decades. One logical explanation is the fact that investors have more options these days.  Over time, the entire cryptocurrency ecosystem has expanded and become more diverse. There are many more cryptocurrencies now. Each is developed to solve a specific problem faced by business. Bitcoin, though it is the largest by market cap, is not longer the only cryptocurrency that investors have eyes on. For instance, Binance, one of the earliest cryptocurrency exchanges, offers its own Binance coin (BNB) that is used as a base currency to buy/sell other cryptocurrencies.  

The development of cryptocurrency exchange played an integral part of the ecosystem. In recent years, the cryptocurrency market has grown tremendously. In 2017, market capitalization was approx. USD 23 Billion which Bitcoin contributed approx. 86% of the market share. As of Apr 2020, the total market capitalization is approx. USD 218 Billion but Bitcoin’s contribution falls to approx. 63%. (Source:  https://coincodex.com/)

Hunger for “Safe Haven” and Returns

Low interest rate environment is pushing investors to the edge. “Risk-free” returns from government bonds are not longer attractive and that have domino’s effects to money market. On the other hand, term deposits in bank is eroding the value of money.  

Investors are forced to take on higher risk. Ironically, investors deemed the more speculative Bitcoin as a “safe haven”  because it is the only “asset” that is unlinked from other markets such as stocks and bonds which are expected to hit badly in the worsening Covid-19 situations.    

Such behaviour exhibited by investors prompted cryptocurrency e-wallet players to provide more “banking” services. The idea of staking requires cryptocurrency holder to deposit their cryptocurrency to their e-wallet accounts. In exchange, holder will receive an interest, generally higher than what conventional banks are offering, which are paid in cryptocurrency into the e-wallet. For instance, Crypto.com is giving up to 18% interest (per annum) if you are staking their CRO coins.

To attract more investors jumping into the cryptocurrency world, cryptocurrency players are releasing “Stablecoins” which are pegged to the fiat currency. The idea is well received by the investors. At the point of writing, the total market capitalization of the Stablecoin has already surpassed USD 7 Billion. (source: https://cryptonews.com/news/billions-in-crypto-dry-powder-on-exchanges-ahead-of-bitcoin-6326.htm)

With no where to put their dollar, investors are using these “crypto-banking services” to battle this low interest rate environment. All investment carry risk and it is all about managing it. The Stablecoin, in one way or another, eliminates volatility and that has been perceived by investors as a “safe haven”.

Central Banks – The Only Reason Why Cryptocurrency Survives

Central bankers are lacking the understanding of the hyper-globalized markets. Lowering interest rate to prevent the economy from falling apart is like giving a cold medicine to a flu patient. It manages some symptoms, but it does not prepare the markets for recovery.

The modern economies are more complex but central bankers are not equipped with the skills and tools to tackle the economic problems. Flooding the market with “free” money is detrimental to entire financial system and investors are losing their faith. Banks are not able to earn enough profit (interests) from their loan business. Consumers are pushed to put money in all type of financial products fearing that their savings might be eroded in future value terms if they just put it with the bank as deposit.

In short, money is devaluing persistently forcing investors to put their dollars on high-risk technology sector to seek for better returns. In fact, it is already happening before cryptocurrency even exists. Tech stocks, which have all-along been speculative in nature, advanced in the last recession. From an investor’s perspective, it was counter-intuitive decision, but the bet was rewarding. In the short 10 years, technology has advanced, and it is the only resource that we could rely on to keep our economy engine moving despite the lockdowns in major cities.

That is the way the global economy is heading – Technology. Like it or not, our financial system will be getting more complex in future (in fact, it is complex enough now) that human central bankers may not be able to tackle multiple economic problems at the same time. To put it objectively, we will not know how financial technology will play out in the future but now, those with money are betting on cryptocurrency.

This article has been reposted @medium https://link.medium.com/QpcvKrMc15

Binance Announcement – Up to 10% Cashback on Crypto Purchases via the “Pay with Bank Card” Service

Source: Binance

Binance will launch a cashback promotion for users to buy cryptocurrency using their Visa debit or credit cards via the “Pay with Bank Card” service on Binance. The promotion will run for 4 days and the rewards will be given out on a first come first served basis. The rewards will reset each day. 

Activity Period: 2020/04/25 8:00 AM to 2020/04/29 8:00 AM (UTC)

Each daily activity period runs for 24 hours from 8:00 AM (UTC) to 8:00 AM (UTC) the next day. Daily reward resets will occur at 7:59:59 AM (UTC) each day.

Activity Rules:

Number of RewardsFirst Daily Purchase Amount (USD Equivalent)Bonus Amount 
30$5,000+500 BUSD
100$1,000 – $4,999100 BUSD
200$500 – $99940 BUSD
1,000$300 – $49920 BUSD

Users are entitled to one bonus amount per day based on their first purchase amount for each daily period.

  • The first 30 users to buy 5,000+ USD in crypto via their Visa debit or credit card as their first transaction each day will receive a reward of 500 BUSD each.
  • The first 100 users to buy between 1,000 USD and 4,999 USD in crypto via their Visa debit or credit card as their first transaction each day will receive a reward of 100 BUSD each.
  • The first 200 users to buy between 500 USD and $999 USD in crypto via their Visa debit or credit card as their first transaction each day will receive a reward of 40 BUSD each.
  • The first 1,000 users to buy between 300 USD and $499 USD in crypto via their Visa debit or credit card as their first transaction each day will receive a reward of 20 BUSD each.

Terms & conditions:

  • Crypto purchases must be made using Visa cards via the “Pay with Bank Card” service, where users need to add their bank card details on Binance. 
  • Accepted fiat currencies include: USD, EUR, GBP, PLN, NOK, DKK, RUB, UAH.
  • Rewards will be determined by each user’s first daily purchase amount and will run on a first come first served basis each day.
  • Rewards will be distributed within a week after the competition ends. You will be able to login and see your rewards via the Distribution History page in the Account Center.
  • Binance reserves the right to cancel or amend any Activity or Activity Rules at our sole discretion.

See Original Post here

Disclaimer: Cryptocurrency is highly speculative and it is not suitable for investors who are not ready to lose their investment. Investors who don’t have prior knowledge in cryptocurrency investment should speak to their financial advisors before making an investment commitment.

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