US Real Estate Crisis: Home Sales Plunge to 9-Year Low, Mortgage Delinquencies to Soar Past Great Recession Level
The US real estate market is facing a crisis as unemployment soars amid the coronavirus pandemic. Home sales have plunged to a nine-year low and a record-high number of homeowners are defaulting on their mortgage payments. The impact of the real estate crisis is also seen in rental and commercial real estate markets.
2020 has been a turbulent year for the cryptocurrency market, but it has established the resilience of blockchain technology. Despite a single-day market plunge that battered the entire market valuation with a 50% drop, the following rapid uptick in Bitcoin price has led it to outperform the S&P500 index by a large margin.
Digital Transformation in the Workplace
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) aren’t really easy to spend in day-to-day life, mainly because retailers prefer to stay away from crypto’s volatility. In order to build a bridge between traditional finance and emergent assets like Bitcoin, a Swiss crypto startup called Eidoo has introduced a new Visa crypto debit card that uses regulated stablecoins for crypto-to-fiat conversion.
The so-called Eidoo Card has been approved for operation by payment giant Visa. Announcing the news on May 25, Eidoo told Cointelegraph that its new card will enable 40 million Visa merchants to accept crypto-derived fiat currencies, including the British pound (GBP) and euro (EUR).
Eidoo CEO Thomas Bertani said that this latest approval by Visa is part of Eidoo’s partnership with Contis, a principal member of Visa Europe and a holder of a U,K. e-money license. Bertani said Visa has approved the entire flow of Contis-led card issuance as well as crypto-to-fiat conversion involving regulated stablecoins issued by Moneyfold, a U.K.-based financial services firm focused on fiat-pegged stablecoins.
This means Contis acts as the issuer of the Eidoo Card, similar to how other crypto cards like Monolith operate. In the meantime, Moneyfold’s Ethereum-based stablecoins, Moneyfold Euro and Moneyfold GBP, are planned to unlock a higher degree of decentralization and transparency in the process of converting between crypto and fiat.
Bertani explained the process:
“People have a given crypto token, they sell it for the stablecoin via DeFi DEXes like Uniswap. Then the regulated stablecoin obtained from there is topped up with a 1:1 exchange rate (1 Moneyfold EUR = 1 EUR) on the crypto card when the payment occurs.”
Nikola Tchouparov, co-founder and CEO at Moneyfold, emphasized the unique stablecoin-based nature of Eidoo's crypto debit card. “It will be the first time the backend of a crypto card is done via stablecoins and DEXes,” Tchouparov said.
In order to preorder an Eidoo Card, users need to stake or burn Eidoo’s native EDO token. Depending on the plan, an Eidoo Card requires that the user to burn 100 EDO tokens or stake 25,000. As of press time, EDO is trading at $0.26 according to data from Coin360. Bertani says that users have already pre-ordered more than 2,700 cards, with more than 3 million EDO tokens staked to date.
Crypto derivatives exchange Delta Exchange has announced a new injection of funding from blockchain investor CoinFund, aiming to provide strategic resources for both parties in their focus to expand in India.
According to the announcement, New York-based firm CoinFund looks forward to implementing its first venture investment in India following the recent lifting of the Reserve Bank of India’s ban on banks serving crypto-related firms.
Big opportunities in the Indian crypto derivatives market
Speaking to Cointelegraph, Alex Felix, managing partner of CoinFund, said:
“The crypto market opportunity in India is big! The combination of the Supreme Court’s decision to invalidate RBI’s ban on crypto, increasing local interest, and Bitcoin’s momentum have primed the market for imminent explosive growth.”
“India is a hotbed for innovation and there hasn’t been a domestic sandbox for crypto innovation until the supreme court invalidated the RBI ban earlier this year," Felix said. "It has always been a country with a rich history of talent contribution to blockchain despite there not being as much activity domestically. Now it is time for India itself to take off.”
Pankaj Balani, co-founder and CEO of Delta Exchange, stated that India is a “huge untapped” market, not only for crypto spot markets but also for the crypto derivatives segment.
On the biggest hurdles in the Indian market, according to Balani, is that the national crypto markets face “a lack of players offering a reliable fiat to crypto bridge” on the spot side:
“This is partly because many banks are still reluctant to offer banking services to crypto companies. Things are changing rapidly though given the growing demand from customers and with the positive news flow such as JPM opening banking services to Coinbase and Gemini.”
Crypto entrepreneurs seek clarity
Indeed, some in the Indian cryptocurrency space have taken proactive measures regarding the lack of certainty vis-a-vis banking services for crypto-related business.
Earlier today, Coitnelegraph reported that the Reserve Bank of India reiterated that there was no ban on providing banking services for such firms, after an exec at local crypto exchange filed a freedom of information request.