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BankDhofar Launches Mobile Banking Payments from Oman to India with RippleNet

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Ripple is to deliver the first real-time payments between Oman and India harnessing blockchain technology.

This partnership with Oman’s second-largest bank BankDhofar comes at such an exciting time — it’s another Proofpoint of Ripple’s vision of the Internet of Value to enable the world to move money like information moves today.

According to the statement released by Ripple on Wednesday morning, BankDhofar will connect with leading Indian private sector bank IndusInd Bank to drive real-time payments into India. This partnership will enable cross-border transactions made via the BankDhofar Mobile Banking App to be processed instantly, reliably, cost-effectively and with end-to-end visibility anywhere in the world.

This first-of-its-kind service in Oman is more important now than ever before as India continues to be the top remittance receiving country in the world. BankDhofar customers will be able to transfer up to OMR 1,000 (~approx $2,600), to deposit accounts in India instantly through BankDhofar’s Mobile Banking App.

“More than ever, people need to send money to loved ones abroad,” said Navin Gupta, Managing Director of South Asia and MENA. “Ripple is excited to partner with BankDhofar and IndusInd Bank to enhance the cross-border payments experience from Oman to India to be easier, cheaper and more reliable with blockchain technology.”

“At BankDhofar, we are always putting digital solutions and innovation at the core of our strategy to improve the experience of our customers,” said Abu Baker Karim Al Balushi, Head of Digital Banking at BankDhofar. “This service will enable BankDhofar to be in a leading position to offer a range of new products and instant payment services. We look forward to activating the service to other countries across the world.”

The partnership with Ripple enables BankDhofar to improve its customers’ satisfaction through maximizing operations efficiency, security and transparency. Using RippleNet has also reaffirmed BankDhofar’s position as a bank in the Sultanate that continues to innovate, further evidenced when it joined the leading blockchain consortium BankChain as the first bank in the Sultanate to support best practices and solutions in the blockchain.

RippleNet leverages blockchain technology to help partners across a global network accelerate their business performance and scale. It delivers a superior end-customer experience, simplified network partnering, liquidity management solutions, lines of credit, and state-of-the-art infrastructure that enables real-time payments.

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Reaches Highest Level Since May as Chartists Eye $50,000

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After a volatile weekend, Bitcoin has once again surpassed $40,000, reaching its highest level in more than two weeks.

The world’s largest crypto gained as much as 4.5% Monday to $41,020, extending its rally to a second day. The coin has rallied roughly 9% since Friday. The wider Bloomberg Galaxy Crypto Index, which tracks some of the major cryptocurrencies, also advanced, adding as much as 7.7% at one point.

With Bitcoin crossing the $40,000 threshold, many chartists are looking at $42,500 as its next important level to breach. That number roughly represents its 200-day moving average and topping it could mean the coin rallies toward $50,000.

“Bitcoin is always going to be volatile and the manic run-up we had was never sustainable. The question is where do we settle? What is the new floor in Bitcoin?,” said Tom Essaye, a former Merrill Lynch trader who founded “The Sevens Report” newsletter. “In order for Bitcoin to resume that rally, I think you’re going to need to see more widespread legitimate adoption.”

Cryptocurrencies have been under pressure in recent weeks, with Bitcoin losing about 30% since mid-April, when it hit a record of almost $65,000. The recent selloff has been exacerbated by a public rebuke from Tesla Inc.’s Elon Musk, who criticized the amount of energy used by the servers underpinning the token and reneged a previous offer to allow customers to buy his cars using the cryptocurrency. Increased Chinese regulatory oversight has also soured the mood.

But prices got a boost at the start of the week after veteran hedge fund manager Paul Tudor Jones — who said last year Bitcoin could be a good hedge against inflation — re-endorsed the coin in a television interview.

“I like Bitcoin as a portfolio diversifier,” Tudor Jones of Tudor Investment Corp. said in an interview with CNBC. “Everybody asks me what should I do with my Bitcoin? The only thing I know for certain, I want 5% in gold, 5% in Bitcoin, 5% in cash, 5% in commodities.”

Meanwhile, over the weekend, Musk once again roiled the market, saying via tweet that Tesla would allow transactions in Bitcoin once it is mined with more clean energy. The mogul said he wants miners, who have come under the spotlight in recent months, to use about 50% clean energy. The Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance has estimated that 39% of crypto mining is powered by renewable sources, mainly hydroelectric.

Bitcoin’s peers, including Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and Ether also gained on Monday.

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Bitcoin

Bitcoin Mining Difficulty Drops 5% After Xinjiang’s Miner Shutdown

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An illustration photo shows a Bitcoin (virtual currency) paper wallet with QR codes and a coin

Bitcoin’s mining difficulty fell by 5.3 percent on Sunday night UTC on the back of a recent drop-off in hash rate. On-chain data shows the network’s mining difficulty dropped to 19.8 trillion, a level not seen since early January.

The mining difficulty is how the network aims to keep blocks being produced at an even rate, despite a wildly fluctuating hash rate. Every two weeks it makes the mining process easier or harder, in order to accommodate the varying hash rate.

After the previous difficulty adjustment on May 30, the network’s hash rate remained steady. But on June 9, miners in Xinjiang’s Zhundong Economic and Technology Development Zone received orders to close operations — a result of the China State Council’s high-level comment about cracking down on bitcoin trading and mining activities. Following this news, major Chinese bitcoin mining pools saw a notable plunge in hash rate by over 20 percent on average.

From the last adjustment to June 9, Bitcoin’s average block production interval was around 9.9 minutes, close to the intended 10-minute-per-block interval, data shows. But due to the hash rate plunge, the average block production interval between June 9 and 14 was extended to more than 12 minutes.

The difficulty drop may be welcome news for miners who are still online as their share of the total block subsidies over the next two weeks will increase. Meanwhile, bitcoin’s price has jumped above $39,000 again, nearing the $40,000 level.

Bitcoin’s price started to see a notable breakout also around Sunday night UTC time following Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk’s tweet denying that he manipulated the cryptocurrency’s market movements.

“This is inaccurate,” he replied to CoinTelegraph’s tweet about an article with comments that accused him of market manipulation.

“Tesla only sold ~10% of holdings to confirm BTC could be liquidated easily without moving market. When there’s confirmation of reasonable (~50%) clean energy usage by miners with positive future trend, Tesla will resume allowing Bitcoin transactions,” Musk said on social media.

Bitcoin’s price increased by over $1,500 within hours after Musk’s reply, which came just a month after Musk said Tesla suspended the bitcoin payment option out of environmental concerns.

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Cryptocurrency

Whale Alert: 176 Million XRP Coins Transferred

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Amid the current market volatility in the cryptocurrency market, there has been a significant whale movement of the 7th crypto coin by Market capitalization, Ripple (XRP).

According to the latest data published by blockchain tracking and analytics firm, Whale Alert, a leading XRP wallet transferred 176 million coins worth approximately $146 million on Saturday 12 May.

The mentioned transaction was executed at around 15:44 UTC, and it was recorded on Bithomp.com. The recent transfer of the XRP whale from an unknown wallet is one of the largest moves since the start of this month.

In the last week of May 2021, a transaction of 139 million XRP was traced to an anonymous whale address. The transaction was done from an unknown wallet after the coin surged above $1. It was also noticed that there has been a substantial increase in the activities of the network in the past few weeks.

According to Coinshares report, Ripple (XRP) has recorded an additional investment worth $7 million in the first week of June, this was the highest level of new investment since April 2021.

In May 2021, Ripple, San Francisco-based blockchain firm, announced that the company is planning to support NFTs on XRP Ledger (XRPL). In addition, the company highlighted the significant advantages of XRPL over other platforms in the growing market of NFTs.

The world’s 7th largest cryptocurrency has seen immense volatility since the start of 2021. XRP started this year at a price level of approximately $0.22 after a crash of nearly 60 percent in December 2020 due to the SEC’s lawsuit against Ripple.

In April 2021, the digital currency saw significant interest from retail and institutional investors as its price touched an all-time high of approximately $1.92. After registering the record price level, XRP price experienced a dip in May 2021 as the digital asset reached a low of $0.69 on 23 May.

As of press time XRP is trading at $0.88 with a 7.10% gain in the last 24 hours.

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