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Bitcoin in touching distance of $20,000 milestone
by Paul Hill
Bitcoin has gotten very close to reaching its $20,000 milestone today and it could still pass that threshold in the coming hours and days. This is the highest it has climbed since December 2017 when it proceeded to take a huge nosedive. The latest price was recorded just four days after Neowin reported that the price of Bitcoin fell by $3,000 in just 24 hours. At the time it was unclear which direction the asset would go but we said at the time it wouldn’t take long to see where it goes next.
Since reaching the $19,736 a few hours ago, the price fell a little bit before heading back up. If bitcoin reaches $20,000 some holders of the crypto might decide to let go over their bitcoins feeling it the safer option and this could lead to another decrease in price. Bitcoin usually recovers from this and once people are used to it being above $20,000 it could increase to new heights that bullish observers have predicted.
This year has been great for bitcoin and its mainstream adoption. In October, PayPal announced that it would be giving users the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash and Litecoin. What’s great about PayPal’s adoption of these cryptos is that PayPal will let you spend the cryptos when dealing with merchants that already support PayPal payments; with this type of accessibility, bitcoin could become a lot more popular and see a further increase in its price.
With bitcoin being an extremely volatile asset, anyone thinking about buying some of the crypto should ensure they’re only spending what they can afford to lose. Back in 2017 when bitcoin was rapidly increasing in price it gained a lot of attention but ultimately lost thousands of dollars worth of value. If someone had invested essential money at that time it could have caused serious cash flow issues, therefore you should only put in what you don’t mind losing.
GitHub restores youtube-dl repository after DMCA takedown
by Paul Hill
GitHub has announced, via its blog, that it has reinstated youtube-dl’s repository after it was subject to a DMCA takedown. The Microsoft-owned site said that it understood frustrations surrounding the takedown but that it was just complying with the law. It said its reinstatement was due to new information that showed youtube-dl does not circumvent a technical protection measure (TPM).
According to GitHub, when it receives a DMCA notice, it gives projects the chance to remove the infringing content. An owner of one of the forks submitted a patch which addressed concerns raised in the DMCA and this repo was reinstated. GitHub reinstated the main youtube-dl repo after receiving evidence from the Electronic Frontier Foundation which highlighted that the program doesn’t violate the Copyright Act or the DMCA.
Most of the youtube-dl forks that were cited in the DMCA notice are still inaccessible but GitHub says it’s going to check each of projects to see whether they do circumvent a technical protection measure or not.
Going forward, GitHub will take an active role in trying to improve the law when it comes to these types of matters so software developers have a bit more freedom. It’s also donating $1 million to a developer defence fund to help protect open source developers on GitHub from unwarranted DMCA Section 1201 takedown claims.
PayPal will soon give users the ability to manage cryptocurrencies
by João Carrasqueira
PayPal is expanding into the cryptocurrency management market, the company announced today. The move comes in response to increasing interest from consumers and central banks in digital currencies, and it will allow PayPal users to buy, hold, and sell cryptocurrencies within PayPal. What's more, the firm plans to go further by allowing cryptocurrencies to serve as funds for purchases on merchants that already support PayPal payments.
PayPal cites a survey by the Bank for International Settlements, saying that one in ten central banks plan to launch their own digital currency in the next three years. Dan Schulman, president and CEO of PayPal, said:
PayPal will start enabling cryptocurrency management for users in the United States in the next few weeks. To start, users will be able to manage some of the most popular cryptocurrencies - Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. PayPal plans to expand the capability to its Venmo service in the first half of next year, and it will also enable cryptocurrencies to be used for payments in early 2021. Cryptocurrency management should also expand to other markets next year.
Through the end of the year, buying and selling cryptocurrencies won't have any cost, and simply holding cryptocurrencies won't carry fees in general. PayPal is also going to provide users with educational content so they can understand how cryptocurrencies work, as well as the risks and opportunities attached to them.
If you live in the United States and you're interested in the feature, you can join the waitlist using this link.
By Jay Bonggolto
PayPal adds support for QR code payments in 28 markets
by Jay Bonggolto
PayPal today announced a (not entirely) new method of making contactless payments in 28 markets. The online payments provider has launched support for QR code-based transactions on its mobile app.
The company noted how QR code can help to minimize physical contact when making a payment, especially at a time when the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) can be prevented with social distancing, among other measures. Customers only need to aim their smartphone camera at a QR code printed on a piece of paper or displayed on a screen and then enter the amount they're paying.
John Kunze, Senior Vice President of Branded Experiences at PayPal, said:
To use the feature, simply head over to the "Send" option on your PayPal app and tap the QR code symbol at the top right corner. PayPal is also waiving its standard fees for sellers when they accept payments through a QR code, though this is for a limited period only as businesses struggle with the spread of the virus.
This functionality is now available in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and Spain.
PayPal is buying shopping and rewards platform Honey
by João Carrasqueira
Today, PayPal announced that it's buying Honey, a popular shopping platform that makes it easier for users to get discounts and rewards when shopping online. The deal is expected to cost PayPal $4 billion, and it promises to provide to "transform the shopping experience" for PayPal users.
Chances are you've heard of Honey before. The company was founded in 2012, and it's been growing quickly, likely thanks to a great number of sponsorships in videos from many YouTube creators. While the browser extension has been around for quite some time, Honey was chosen as one of the few extensions that were built into Microsoft's Edge browser on mobile devices, alongside AdBlock Plus and NewsGuard. The service will chime in whenever it detects a potential discount on a product you're looking at, which has helped users save $1 billion when shopping online, according to PayPal's announcement.
PayPal says the acquisition supports the "shared vision" of both companies to make online shopping simpler and more personalized, increase customer engagements, and turn consumers into customers. Honey should be able to increase its audience by reaching PayPal's more than 275 million active consumer accounts and 24 million merchant accounts, potentially helping the platform get more exclusive deals. Meanwhile, Honey will help PayPal reach consumers before they've even made a purchase, and help merchants increase sales by delivering personalized and timely offers.
The acquisition deal is expected to be finished in the first quarter of next year, and it'll be reflected in PayPal's non-GAAP earnings per share in 2021.