Popular Crypto #12 – Bitfinex Adds Lightning Support & Partners w/ Bitrefill

Popular Crypto Issue 12 – Bitfinex Adds Lightning Support & Partners w/ Bitrefill

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Welcome to Issue 12 of Popular Crypto, a newsletter about the mainstream products and services taking crypto to the masses.

In this issue:

  • Bitfinex adds Lightning support and partners with Bitrefill
  • Binance acquires DappReview, a Beijing-based research and advertising firm
  • Cardano (ADA) and COTI launch AdaPay
  • 0x (ZRX) releases v3 to unlock shared liquidity pools across exchanges and value stored in DeFi contracts

We also cover Bitcoin Core 0.19.0, a major upgrade made possible by more than 100 developers, most of whom were unpaid volunteers.

All that and more in this week’s issue. But first, here’s some…

🚀 Updates From Nomics

  • Nomics Update #2: Our embeddable cryptocurrency pricing widget is up and running in the wild. It’s fast, completely mobile responsive, and insanely flexible. You can quote a cryptocurrency in any fiat or cryptocurrency you like.  For example, you could quote a cryptocurrency in a major fiat currency like USD or Euros, or you could use your local fiat currency, which may be less commonly traded. Let’s quote Cardano (ADA) in Mexican pesos.

Mouse along to see how many pesos it took to buy ADA 4 hours ago, 12 hours ago, 24 hours ago, etc.  For more on the widget and how to use it, see here.

  • Nomics Update #3: This week we held a webinar with Rob Paone, a.k.a. “Crypto Bobby”, founder of Proof of Talent, a boutique recruiting firm that serves the blockchain and crypto industries.  We discussed the evolving nature of the job market from the points of view of job seekers and employers. Catch the replay here.

Rob Paone webinar

  • Nomics Update #4: We held another webinar the week of Thanksgiving. We met up with Brantly Millegan, Director of Operations for Ethereum Name Service (ENS), a system that enables users to register human-readable addresses for sending money or interacting with Ethereum (ETH) smart contracts. For example, “0x4cbe58c50480…” could be changed to “alice.eth.” In our discussion, Brantly explained how ENS is helping to create a new, decentralized web. Replay here.

Brantly Millegan (ENS) webinar

  • Nomics Update #5: Flippening episodes #62 and #63, The State of Decentralized Exchange in 2019, are live on our blog.  In the two-part conversation, we talk with Will Warren and Amir Bandeali, co-founders of 0x (which issues the ZRX token), an open-source protocol that facilitates the decentralized exchange of tokens and the creation of decentralized exchanges or DEXs. We cover everything from the prehistory of decentralized exchange, to DEXs in 2019 and the future of the space. 

Ballet Wallet Giveaway

And now, let’s see what the cryptocurrency world has brought us this week.

Clay Collins
Nomics Co-Founder


😎 Cool Products

  • Bitfinex became the first major cryptocurrency exchange to support the Lightning Network for Bitcoin (BTC) deposits and withdrawals.  As if that weren’t news enough, the exchange also announced a partnership with Bitrefill.  Bitfinex customers can now use their Bitcoin to shop Bitrefill’s catalog of 2,000+ digital gift cards and mobile phone refills.  Transactions will be instantly settled over the Lightning network using a dedicated channel.
  • Bitcoin Core 0.19.0 is live.  The latest version of Satoshi Nakamoto’s “Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” includes a number of performance improvements and bug fixes.  More than 100 developers contributed to the upgrade, which was implemented over the course of six months. 
  • MetaMask is best known for running Dapps in-browser, but they also make it possible to create a MythX account in seconds.  The MythX API facilitates the creation of security tools that identify bugs in smart contracts on Ethereum (ETH), Tron (TRX), Quorum and other compatible blockchains.
  • Brendan Eich, CEO of Brave and founder of Basic Attention Token (BAT), delivered a keynote at Web Summit in Lisbon, Portugal.  In the speech, “Enabling a Privacy-Based Internet Economy,” Eich explains how a user can secure their internet browsing experience from unwanted tracking and recording.

🧧 Wallets

  • Wasabi is gearing up for v1.1.10, its first major upgrade since early Fall.  For a how-to guide on using the non-custodial, privacy-focused Bitcoin (BTC) wallet, see the following video


  • Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, has acquired DappReview, a Beijing-based firm that offers research and advertising services to decentralized applications or DApps.  Binance’s Trust Wallet plans to leverage the acquisition to help users discover new DApps, crypto games, and DeFi services.
  • The team behind Bluewallet has released a series of software upgrades. The latest version includes bug fixes and new features such as the ability to refill from an external wallet, quick actions to access the wallet straight from the app icon, and updates to the watch app.

🐌 Mainstreaming

  • Lolli, an app that partners with online retailers to reward shoppers with free Bitcoin (BTC), was recently featured on Fox Business.  The segment begins by introducing Lolli as a low-risk way for people to get started with cryptocurrency. For the full interview, check out the following video

  • BitRiver is the biggest data center in the former USSR, but it used to be a giant aluminum smelter. It has been repurposed to serve Bitcoin (BTC) miners, who benefit from the center’s cheap hydroelectric power and icy Siberian temperatures. The cold makes mining software more efficient and saves on cooling costs.
  • KT Corporation, South Korea’s largest telecommunications company, has partnered with China Mobile to develop a blockchain-based system to compute roaming charges.  The system, known as B.link, will be able to self-analyze data and process charges in real-time.

💳 Payments

  • The Cardano Foundation has partnered with COTI to launch AdaPay, a solution that lets merchants take payment in Cardano’s ADA cryptocurrency.  Participating merchants can accept ADA and instantly convert it to one of 35 fiat currencies.  For more on AdaPay, see the following video.

  • In 2018, TransferGo partnered with Ripple (XRP) to enable Indian migrant workers to send remittances to their families.  Now customers can send money to India from anywhere, and thanks to Ripple’s worldwide network of financial institutions, transactions clear in just minutes.  For customers who are willing to wait, TransferGo also offers a slower, fee-free option.
  • Visa has published a paper introducing LucidiTEE, a blockchain-based trusted execution environment or TEE, that lets multiple parties jointly compute large-scale private data while guaranteeing policy compliance.  In testing, Visa used several permissioned blockchains, including Hyperledger. 

🏦 Banks

  • The German Bundestag has passed a bill that will allow banks to sell and custody Bitcoin (BTC).  The bill was supported by the Association of German Banks, a lobbying group representing more than 200 financial institutions.  The legislation now goes before the country’s 16 states.

💱 Exchanges

  • 0x, issuer of the ZRX token and the subject of our latest Flippening episode, has long enabled users to build decentralized exchanges. On December 2, the platform launched v3, which also includes mechanisms for releasing the millions of dollars locked into the MakerDAO (MKR), Synthetix (SNX), and Compound protocols. In addition, the upgrade allows the creation of “bridge contracts” to access liquidity from Kyber, Uniswap, Oasis, and other token exchange networks.  For more on v3, watch the following video.

  • Poloniex has acquired TRXMarket, the largest decentralized exchange or DEX in the Tron (TRX) ecosystem.  TRXMarket is a non-custodial exchange, which means that users store their cryptoassets offline and keep their keys private. Poloniex plans to rebrand the platform as Poloni DEX.
  • BlockFi, a financial services company that pays interest on crypto balances and accepts crypto as collateral for loans, has entered the crypto exchange space with BlockFi Trading, a new feature that enables customers to trade Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Gemini dollars (GUSD).  As customers swap cryptocurrencies, they will continue to earn interest, which runs as high as 8.6% annually.

🏆 Our Weekly Poll

In our last poll, we asked you about stablecoins. Here are the results:

This week, we want your take on Lightning mobile wallets.  We covered Bitfinex and their addition of Lightning support for Bitcoin (BTC) deposits and withdrawals.  In your opinion, what’s the best Lightning mobile wallet on the market?

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