Accept Direct Crypto Payments Using the Rocketr Gateway

It’s in the best interest of businesses to offer their customers a variety of payment options. Cryptocurrencies can undoubtedly bring more buyers and many merchants have introduced support for digital assets. A platform called Rocketr helps merchants accept payments in crypto, including bitcoin cash.

 

Rocketr is a payment gateway that allows merchants to integrate a variety of payment methods including traditional options like credit cards and Paypal, but it has also been supportive of cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin cash (BCH). Its services are offered for a relatively low fee of 0.5% on all transactions and there are no other hidden charges for setup or maintenance.

The Rocketr Payments platform lets you accept all kinds of payments and invoice clients directly from a single dashboard. Its API provides you with the opportunity to customize checkouts and it allows for webhooks and instant payment notification. These features notify your Rocketr application when an order is completed.

Accept Direct Crypto Payments Using the Rocketr Gateway

Companies can also use a product called Storefront which is a complete e-commerce platform. It is designed to satisfy the needs of online businesses specializing in sales and delivery of products and services in the digital space. Many of its integrated features, such as the built-in messaging system and livechat support, are offered free of charge.

Rocketr has also developed a POS application that supports multiple cryptocurrencies including BCH. It lets you accept direct payments in several other major digital coins like BTCETH and LTC as well as fiat currencies such as USD, EUR and GBP. The software, which is available in Apple’s App Store, comes with many useful features, one of which lets customers add a tip to their bills.

If you want to process BCH payments you can also check out the Bitcoin Cash Register app for both iOS and Android devices. The simple Point of Sale software developed by Bitcoin.com allows merchants to accept electronic cash at any retail location. Payments are easy, safe and no account or registration is needed to install and use it.

 

Source: Bitcoin.com

Steps taken to attract tourists from new markets in Cyprus

Savvas Perdios, Tourism Deputy Minister has said that 2019 and 2020 are expected to be difficult years for tourism, among other reasons, because of the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, adding that steps are being taken to find solutions, including attracting more tourists from the German market.

In statements, on the sidelines of the second annual awards "Cypria Filoxenia" which took place in Limassol, Perdios said that he expects that 2020 will also be a difficult year "because Brexit has been postponed until October, without anyone knowing whether this will actually be the case." Nothing can be taken for granted in the coming years, he added.
 
"It is a fact that this year wil l be a difficult year as well as next year," Perdios said, adding that his Deputy Ministry is constantly seeking solutions and is taking steps to come close to last year`s targets.

There are promotion steps taken towards the German market, he noted. " We are monitoring the situation vis-à-vis
this year`s reservations and we are ready to proceed with other promotional actions towards other markets, he said.

In his address, the Tourism Deputy Minister, said that an action plan which will seek to develop the concept of the word “hospitality” in our country is in the works.
 
Quality tourism is not just excellent hotel units but also genuin, traditional hospitality and high level behaviour, he pointed out.

This, he noted, is the reason that as soon as the Deputy Ministry was established it created a Hospitality Committee whose role is to give shape to “the concept of the word hospitality.”

He added that an action plan is being drafted which will seek to expand the essence of the word in our country with actions which will involve tourism professionals and the society at large.

 

Source: Stockwatch

How to keep your house cool in the summer without AC ( Video)

Beat the heat with tips on how to keep your house cool without air conditioning.

 

Source: CBC NEWS

Government strikes new deal with Noble over Aphrodite gas

Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis: a good deal under the circumstances  

Cyprus has struck a production-sharing deal for the Aphrodite gas reservoir worth over $9bn (€7.9bn) over 18 years with Noble Energy and its partners, it was announced on Wednesday.

Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said negotiations have finished with Cyprus getting a good deal under the circumstances that is worth over $9bn or around $500m (€443m) per year over 18 years, depending on the international price of oil. The revenues are based on an average price of oil of $70 per barrel.

Speaking after the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Lakkotrypis said the parties were now at the stage of discussing the development and production plan.

Following that, the cabinet will be presented with two documents and will issue an exploitation permit.

“We had examined three scenarios, $60, $70, and $80 [per barrel]. Cyprus will become a natural gas producer and will also have a revised contract with very strict terms as regards the implementation of what has been agreed,” the minister said.

Specific milestones have been set that companies must respect or there would be serious consequences, he added.

Lakkotrypis said the revenues under the $70/barrel scenario will be variable “and will depend on the international price of oil. The figures I am referring to are the ones included in the intermediate scenario, which will possibly be the one that prevails.”

The talks began last summer, when the consortium telegraphed that it was not satisfied with the revenue-sharing deal in place.

The companies had struck a preliminary agreement to sell the Aphrodite gas – some 4 trillion cubic feet – to a liquefaction facility in Egypt.

However due to low oil and gas prices, the Aphrodite consortium believed the returns on their investment were unsatisfactory, and sought to renegotiate the revenue-sharing agreement with the Cypriot state.

The consortium’s investment would consist of an extraction platform at the site of the well, plus a pipeline running from the reservoir to Egypt’s shores.

Source: Stockwatch

Deposits increase by 237 million in April

Total deposits in April 2019 recorded a net increase of €236,9 million, amounting to €47.7 billion, figures released by the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) show.
 
In March 2019, total deposits marked a reduction of 327.7 million, CBC said.
 
The annual growth rate declined to 0,6%, compared with 5,1% in March 2019, because the increase of deposits was much lower than the respective increase in April last year.
 
In April 2018 total deposits increased by €2,4 billion, due to a €2,5 billion deposit billion by the Cyprus Government with the Cyprus Cooperative Bank.
 
Furthermore, total loans in April 2019 exhibited a net decrease of €206.4 million, compared with a net increase of €63,2 million in March 2018.
 
The annual growth rate stood at -2,3%, compared with -2,0% in March 2018.
 
The outstanding amount of total loans reached €38,0 billion in April 2019, CBC added.

 

Source: StockWatch

Cyprus’ MEPs pledge to work for national problem

Chief Returning Officer Kypros Kyprianou announced the six newly-elected representatives of Cyprus at the European Parliament.

They are: Loukas Fourlas and Lefteris Christoforou of ruling right-wing Democratic Rally (DISY) party, Niyazi Kızılyürek and Giorgos Georgiou of left-wing AKEL party, Costas Mavrides of the Democratic Party (DIKO) and Demetris Papadakis of Socialist EDEK party.

Cyprus’ six newly-elected Members of the European Parliament pledged to work to promote the national problem and the issues facing the people on the island.

Europe is offering us a lot of weapons we can use on to improve the daily lives of Cypriot citizens, said  the Democratic Rally’s newly elected Member of the European Parliament, Loukas Fourlas.

A journalist by profession, he thanked those who voted him to represent their ideals.

Speaking to reporters before his official declaration at the Filoxenia Conference Centre in Nicosia, Fourlas said that he is not a politician, nor will he become one. My sole purpose is to offer to society, to my country Cyprus”.

Lefteris Christoforou also of DISY, was re-elected MEP. He assured reporters that he will continue to challenge with determination, the rights of Cyprus.

He thanked all those who took part in this celebration of democracy for Europe, adding “Europe is our home and we ought to be there, participate and challenge”.
The first Turkish Cypriot elected to the European Parliament, Niyazi Kızılyürek of left-wing AKEL party said his election to the EP bears special significance not because he is the first Turkish Cypriot to be elected but because it was done through a Greek Cypriot-Turkish Cypriot partnership.

He told CNA that this by itself is special, adding he is very pleased with the results.

Newly elected MEP, Giorgos Georgiou, who is serving as deputy for AKEL, said amongst his priorities will be the Cyprus problem and Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, adding that all MEPs together should point out the need to protect Cyprus’ sovereignty in its EEZ.

He also said absenteeism should not be dealt with on the surface but a deeper look into the issue is necessary to effectively address the problem.

Re-elected MEP for the Democratic Party, Costas Mavrides said that while the occupation of European territory, Cyprus continues, so will the fight for freedom continue.

He said that for this reason, all Cypriot MEPs should have the Cyprus problem at the top of their agenda.

Demetris Papadakis of Socialist EDEK, who was also re-elected MEP, said today was a victory for democracy.

Invited by CNA to say what message he wants to send, Papadakis replied “it was a very hard battle”.

CNA

House design improves with experience

We refer to people with mobility problems in particular, which, as a result of a recent accident we have come to understand.

We focus in this article on house design and facilities to be provided/are required. 

Usually, people who buy/build their own house are on average aged 30-40, an age with limited medical and other problems seemingly a long way away.

 

·         Ideally one should build a house on one level (ground) but then bearing in mind the small size of building plots that we have (±600 sqm) this takes up much more land, reducing the garden size etc.

 

·         You will notice however that even with single-storey units, architectural features come in, such as split level floors, sunk/elevated kitchen and guest bathroom, steps leading to bedrooms etc.  Yes, they add to the appearance but at an older age and/or with children, these steps become both problematic and dangerous. This problem escalates as age/living years is extended (expected life span in Cyprus for men is 80 years old and women 85 years), whereas young children require increased vigilance and the installation of various gadgets (e.g. gates, cameras).

 

·         As we come to know better and after the necessary installations of pools, we are now incorporating in the design private lifts.  Regarding the swimming pools and with special regard to children/disabled people, the pool should have a maximum depth of 1.50-1.80 metres at one level.  No diving board and provide steps access which are better than a ramp (it takes more space) with a handle (two ideal or at least one and steps).

 

·         Regarding access on upper/lower levels, make a provision (if not of immediate need) for a private lift (with wide doors opening to cater for a wheelchair).  Yes, it can be expensive (provision cost €10,000 and final cost €30,000), be it a lift of hydraulic design. Alternatively, and should you consider this as being expensive, opt for an electric chair which costs around €8,000, but make sure that the stairwell is wide enough for such equipment to be accommodated.

 

Of course, there are many other parameters that we should take into account depending on the requirements of the individual and care is required especially for buildings on uneven ground and the actual access to the house from the road.

 

As we have reported the majority of house builders/purchasers are at an age when these special facilities are not of priority, so it is reasonable that the resultant increased costs (inevitably) will not be compensated fully by a potential future buyer.

 

So, we become wiser as time passes, and we appreciate through experiences. 

 

On our part, we refuse to go/visit bathrooms on the first floor of a restaurant or in the basement  – not worth the hassle and better to opt for another place.

 

Source: Finacial Mirror

Bank of Cyprus posted €95 million profit in 1Q 2019

The Bank of Cyprus announced on Monday that it posted a €95 mn profit for the first quarter of 2019.
 
The Bank reported a “good capital position”, as at 31 March 2019 the CET1 ratio was 14.9% and the Total Capital ratio was 17.9%, both pro forma for Helix, “well in excess of our regulatory requirements”.
 
It added that its non performing exposures (NPEs) ratio stood at 35% and coverage at 48% pro forma for Helix.
 
In August 2018 the Group reached an agreement for the sale of a portfolio of loans with a gross book value of €2.8 bn, secured by real estate collateral, known as ‘Project Helix’.
 
The Bank said moreover that its “management is actively exploring strategies to further accelerate de-risking including further portfolio sales”.
 
“Our results this quarter reflect continuing progress against our core objective of balance sheet repair”, said the Bank’s CEO John Patrick Hourican.
 
“We have continued to make good progress towards completion of the sale of €2.7 bn non-performing loans in Project Helix, including obtaining the required regulatory approvals from the ECB for the Significant Risk Transfer benefit from the Transaction. We expect completion during the second quarter of 2019”, he added.
 
Hourican noted that “project Helix complements our on-going organic non-performing exposure (NPE) reduction, which amounted to €157 mn for the quarter, broadly in line with our organic target of €800 mn for 2019. This was the sixteenth consecutive quarter of organic reductions in NPEs”.
 
He added that since the peak in 2014, and pro forma for the sale of the Helix portfolio, the Bank has now reduced the stock of NPEs by 70% to €4.6 bn. This stock of delinquent loans is covered by 48% provisions.
 
He said that even though they have reduced NPEs by 70% since peak, there are still €4.6 bn of delinquent loans to be addressed, and for which they have plans in place.

ΚΥΠΕ

Limassol celebrates the season with Spring Festival

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, let’s party,” say the organisers of the 2nd Spring Festival taking place in Limassol next weekend. All sorts of activities and magical fairylands will take over the National Forest Park in a celebration of Spring.

And they really mean it that the area will be turned into a fairyland as fairy houses will be decorated, a flower photobooth will be there to get everyone into the spring spirit, as well as horses and ponies for riding. Organised by Inspired Family Fun, the day will hold a lot of surprises including live parrot shows, trampoline bungee jumping and bumping boats.

Kids and adults will be entertained as the list of activities available is for all. Choose from paintball shooting and a laser tag warfield to pottery wheel throwing. And because it couldn’t be a spring event without Maypole dancing, a performance will also take place along with a storytelling session under the trees by Mikros Odysseas. What’s more, the entrance is free and any sums raised during the day will be donated to the Karaiskakion Foundation.

2nd Spring Festival
Festival with spring activities, games and fun for the whole family. May 18-19. National Forest Park, Limassol. 10am-8pm.

Source: CyprusMail

Foreign Minister: Developments expected regarding energy program

 

Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides said on Thursday that developments should be expected in the next few days, concerning the energy program of the Republic of Cyprus.
 
Speaking on Wednesday, on the sidelines of an event for Europe Day, in Nicosia, Christodoulides also referred to the Turkish activity in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone and said that the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades will have the chance to discuss with his counterparts the next steps concerning the response of the EU, at the informal European Council, in Romania.
 
Asked about an international arrest warrant against individuals taking part in Turkish activities off the coast of Cyprus, the Minister said that “we are in the last stage of issuing the first arrest warrants.” “After that, it will be a matter for Justice” he added, noting that all relevant information has been already provided. Christodoulides said he expected the arrest warrants to be issued soon.
 
On another question, the Minister said he expected supportive statements to continue, both from EU institutions, as well as from member states. At the same time, he added, Nicosia is in contact with neighbouring countries interested in these developments, as well as with countries that have particular interest in the energy developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
 
He also referred to the contacts he had on Wednesday in Paris, noting that he had a good discussion with his French counterpart on all these issues. Asked about his contacts with representatives of the French energy giant Total, the Minister of Foreign Affairs said that in the next few days, announcements and developments should be expected concerning the country’s energy program.
 
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Ankara issued a navigational telex, announcing its intention to start drilling off Cyprus until September 3. The Turkish drill ship “Fatih”, accompanied by three service ships, is located almost 40 nautical miles west of the Akamas peninsula and 83 nautical miles from the Turkish coast. The area falls within the EEZ and continental shelf of the Republic of Cyprus.

ΚΥΠΕ
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