Now You Can Buy Mariah Carey and G-Eazy Albums With Monero

A group of well-known musicians including Mariah Carey, Marilyn Manson and more has begun accepting the privacy-oriented cryptocurrency monero.

The list of more than 40 top recording artists – Slayer, Weezer, G-Eazy, Sia and Fallout Boy are among those also included – comes as part of “Project Coral Reef,” which was put together by entrepreneur Naveen Jain and monero lead maintainer Riccardo “Fluffypony” Spagni. The online shopping initiative lets users buy albums and merchandise at a discounted cost, including 15% reductions on items from Carey’s store as well as those for Mötorhead, Alice Cooper and others.

Backing up the initiative are Manhead Merchandise and Global Merchandise Services, both of which provide merchandising services for a range of musical artists. Payment processing service GloBee, which counts Spagni as its founder and CEO, is handling the crypto-payment side of the initiative.

“As cryptocurrencies become more popular, it’s important that my fans have choices when it comes to how they buy my songs and merchandise. Given Monero is one of the safest, most secure and most private cryptocurrencies, it’s one of the best options for my fans this holiday season — and just in time for my new album,” rapper G-Eazy said in a statement.

The news represents a decidedly mainstream moment for monero, which was one of 2016’s top-performing cryptocurrencies. And while some in the law enforcement world have cited monero’s privacy-enhancing features as ,a concern the cryptocurrency’s public market has continued attracting interest. As of this morning, XMR was trading at roughly $224 with a market capitalization of roughly $3.4 billion, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Those behind the Project Coral Reef project are betting that the currency’s privacy features will make it more attractive for mainstream users, particularly in light of major data breaches like the one reported by Equifax earlier this year.

“Cryptocurrencies are fast becoming more popular to make purchases, but not all currencies are created equal and not all are as private and secure as people think. Project Coral Reef is a very important step towards the mainstream adoption of Monero,” Spagni said in a statement.

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This content was originally published here.

Thailand Emerges as Leading Blockchain Economy

Thailand is setting itself apart from other nations when it comes to blockchain and cryptocurrency. The South Asian nation is on track to have one of the world’s first Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC), and has already legalized the use of major cryptos within Thai borders. Many nations are supporting blockchain development, but Thailand is a relative rarity in their openness to cryptocurrency.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin cash, Ethereum classic, Litecoin, Ripple, and Stellar are all fully legal in Thailand. In addition to this, Thailand has created a definitive regulatory process for new ICO’s, which is helpful for investors who are growing wary of possible malfeasance in the burgeoning ICO market.

Totally unregulated markets can be problematic for investor confidence, and it looks like Thailand has pulled ahead of the pack in broad-based crypto regulation.

There is still a big gap between what cryptocurrency and blockchain are capable of doing for society, and what they are actually being used for. In the real world. The ASEAN region has been a leading force in blockchain development, and when neighbors like Japan, South Korea and China are added to the mix, it is easy to see why blockchain is a rising force in the broader Asian economy.

Thailand is Implementing Blockchain Technology


  • The Open Market

It isn’t hard to find a myriad of blockchain and cryptocurrency companies that are working on big ideas that may or may not be commercially successful. In Thailand, there are a few real-world use cases that are important to watch. One of the most widely known projects is the Thai Central Bank’s (Bank of Thailand (BoT) emerging CBDC, which is being built from R3’s Corda blockchain.

The BoT is calling their CBDC platform, “Project Inthanon,” and phase one is apparently already underway. Eight commercial banks are reportedly working with the BoT on Project Inthanon, and they had this to say about how the project will evolve,

“The BOT and the participating banks will collaboratively design and develop a proof-of-concept prototype for wholesale funds transfer by issuing wholesale Central Bank Digital Currency (Wholesale CBDC).”

Project Inthanon isn’t designed to be a replacement for cryptos like Bitcoin or Ethereum, and will likely only be accessible to banks. This fits in with the modern central banking model, which many leave some crypto enthusiasts unexcited. The R3 Corda architecture isn’t open in the way that other blockchain platforms are, which is a source of criticism. Central banks may not care about this aspect of blockchain, as they have an entrenched position that is created by government mandate.

The Open Market

Another blockchain project that is expected to go live soon is powered by an Australian company. It will help residents of Bangkok’s Sukhumvit neighborhood trade power with each other, and the state power utility. Power Ledger‘s platform will make the exchange possible. The program will begin with 635 KW that will be traded among a mall, school, dental hospital and apartment complex. The Bangkok electricity grid will be used to carry the power.

David Martin, the managing director of Power Ledger, told Reuters why this platform will aid power consumers,

“By enabling trade in renewable energy, the community meets its own energy demands, leading to lower bills for buyers, better prices for sellers, and a smaller carbon footprint for all,” he commented, and expanded on the advantages, “It will encourage more consumers to make the switch to renewable energy, as the cost can be offset by selling excess energy to neighbours.”

Power Ledger isn’t the only company that is working on a blockchain platform that would help small-scale electrical producers market their power via an existing grid. Walmart has patented a similar idea, though there is no information on how they plan to implement their system. Power Ledger clearly has a first-mover advantage, and their upcoming debut in Thailand will hopefully provide them with a real-world use case to drive further implementation.

Regulations are in Place for Thailand

In addition to pioneering uses for blockchain that fall outside of consumer-level FinTech, Thailand has also approved the licensing of crypto exchanges, and authorized Pundi X to deploy their payment platform in their nation. While there are rich areas of Thailand, there are also many areas that suffer poverty. Pundi X could help to attract the unbanked population, and help to them to use the same kind of financial services that banks offer.

The advantages that crypto can offer the impoverished are only beginning to be understood. There could be huge advantages to enabling the economically disadvantaged to get out of the cash economy. The poor would be able to save their wealth without incurring relatively huge costs when they need to send or receive money. Thailand appears to be open to cryptocurrency and blockchain to a greater degree then many countries, and this will likely help them as the industry evolves globally.

This content was originally published here.

North Korea hackers create malware to mine monero

Researchers have discovered a piece of software that installs on a victim’s computer, mines a cryptocurrency called monero, and sends it to North Korea.

File photo of students at the Mangyongdae Revolutionary School, in Pyongyang, North Korea, work on computers.

This content was originally published here.

Announcing instant bitcoin, ethereum and litecoin purchases on Coinbase

We are excited to announce the ability for customers to instantly purchase digital currency using a US bank account. Previously, customers who purchased using a bank account had to wait several days before receiving their digital currency. Customers can now buy up to $25,000* and receive access to their digital currency immediately.
Our mission is to make Coinbase the most trusted, safe, and easy-to-use digital currency exchange. Instant purchases make it significantly easier and faster for customers to invest in the digital currency ecosystem. Reducing the time to receive digital currency has been a highly requested feature and we are pleased to provide this improved experience for our customers.
Instant bank purchases are now live for many of our customers in the US, and we will expand availability over the coming months. You will receive an email when instant purchases become available for your account.
If you don’t have a Coinbase account, sign up for one here .
*Note: maximum instant purchase limit is $25,000. Individual limits may vary.

This content was originally published here.

Litecoin Foundation and Tokenpay Acquire Stake in German Bank

Tokenpay Swiss AG has officially confirmed that it has acquired a 9.9 percent stake in WEG Bank AG in partnership with the Litecoin Foundation. The terms of the agreement will also include options to purchase approximately 90% overall of the bank, pending the customary regulatory approval.

Litecoin Foundation and Tokenpay Acquire 10% of German Bank

Tokenpay has revealed that a strategic partnership between it and the Litecoin Foundation has seen the entities acquire an approximately 10% stake in the German financial institution WEG Bank.

According to a press release published by Tokenpay, the deal will see WEG Bank “Provide its world-class technology and marketing expertise to Tokenpay and its several blockchain initiatives,” specifically citing Tpay Cryptocurrency, Efin Decentralized Exchange, Tokensuisse Asset Management, WEG Bank Fintech Platform, and Multisignature Transaction Engine.

The managing director of the Litecoin Foundation, Charlie Lee, praised the partnership, stating: “This partnership is a huge win-win for both Litecoin and Tokenpay. I’m looking forward to integrating Litecoin with the WEG Bank AG and all the various services it has to offer, to make it simple for anyone to buy and use Litecoin. I’m also excited about Litecoin’s support in Tokenpay’s Efin decentralized exchange.”

Mr. Jorg E. Wilhelm, the head of the supervisory board of Tokenpay Swiss AG., stated: “We are elated to be in the process of acquiring a large stake in a successful business bank based in Germany such as WEG. Our ecosystem consisting of the Tpay blockchain, WEG Bank, Tokensuisse and Litecoin Foundation provides us with a tremendous opportunity regarding merchant solutions, along with a strong and diverse customer base for our crypto debit card business. The tangible reality of bridging the gap between the old and new world is electrifying.”

Deal May See Acquisition of 90% of WEG

The terms of the agreement will also include “options to purchase approximately 90% overall of the bank pending the customary regulatory approval.” The release adds that “under German banking law no entity can own more than 9.9% of a bank without regulatory approval.” Tokenpay “plans to exercise its options to acquire the remaining shares of WEG Bank it is entitled to purchase” should approval for such be granted.

Matthias von Hauff, founder, and CEO of WEG Bank AG stated: “The partnership with innovative institutions such as Tokenpay and Litecoin might at first come unexpectedly for a very conservative institution like us. But we have thoroughly and diligently examined the prospects of a common future, and we became convinced that the future of banking will make adoption of such modern payment methods inevitable. We are therefore proud to have teamed up with the best in the field.”

What is your reaction to the acquisition of 9.9% of WEG Bank by the Litecoin Foundation and Tokenpay? Join the discussion in the comments section below!

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Tokenpay,

At there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more.

The post Litecoin Foundation and Tokenpay Acquire Stake in German Bank appeared first on Bitcoin News.

This content was originally published here.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, EOS, Stellar, Litecoin, Cardano, Monero, ETC: Price Analysis, August 17

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange.

The cryptocurrency market capitalization has risen above the $215 billion mark once again. A resilient Bitcoin was the main reason for the pullback. If the leader holds ground, the investors gain confidence and start entering the markets.

Crypto hedge fund Pantera Capital is looking to raise $175 million for its third venture fund. They had previously raised $13 million in 2013 for the first fund and $25 million for the second. This shows that the demand for cryptocurrencies and related investments is still alive.

While the decline was purportedly caused by the rejection of the ETF proposal by the SEC, some experts still hope to see a Bitcoin ETF in the near future. Others, however, are not keen on Wall Street money entering the crypto world. They believe that Wall-Street managed money will cause more problems.

Cryptocurrencies are currently pulling back from their lows. So, should the traders start buying at these levels or wait? Let’s find out.


Bitcoin continues to trade within the range of $5,900.06—$6,617.5. Currently, the bulls are making another attempt to break out of this range. Above the range, the virtual currency can again face resistance at the 20-day EMA, at the downtrend line of the descending triangle and at the 50-day SMA.

For the past seven days, the bears have repeatedly pushed prices down from the $6,617.5 mark. We believe that if the bulls finally scale it, the momentum will carry it above the 20-day EMA and the downtrend line of the descending triangle.

Therefore, we retain the buy recommendation provided in the previous analysis.

Our assumption of a bull move will be invalidated if the BTC/USD pair breaks down of $5,900. Another possibility is that the price remains inside the range for a few more days, forming a bottom.

As prices are in a range, false breakouts are possible. Hence, we have suggested buying only if we find the price holding for four hours. If prices retreat following a breakout and show weakness, the long positions should not be taken.

As always, traders should trail the stops higher if the position moves in their favor.  


Ethereum is struggling to stay above the $300 mark. For the past two days, it has retreated from this level.

Both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is still in the oversold zone. This shows that the bears still have an upper hand. The pullback will face selling pressure at the 20-day EMA, which is close to the previous support of $358 that will now act as a resistance.

If the ETH/USD pair sustains above $358 for three days, it will signal a probable change in trend. We shall wait for a new buy setup to form before suggesting any long positions on it.


Ripple was deeply oversold. It is currently in a pullback that can carry it to the downtrend line 2 where we expect a strong resistance.

The XRP/USD pair is one the worst performers among the top cryptocurrencies. Hence, we don’t advise buying the first pullback from the lows. The trend remains bearish with both moving averages still sloping down.

It has a slew of overhead resistances that will act as a hurdle, attracting selling. Hence, it is suitable only for the very short-term traders who can enter and exit positions quickly.

The swing traders or long-term investors should wait for the pair to complete a bottoming pattern and then buy it. Until then, it is best to stay with the outperformers.


After failing to climb above the $537.8221 level for the past three days, Bitcoin Cash is again attempting to scale the overhead resistance and the RSI is trying to exit the oversold zone.

On the upside, the bulls will face strong resistance at the 20-day EMA. After this is crossed, the 50-day SMA and the downtrend line will act as the next roadblock.

On the downside, if the BCH/USD pair plunges below $473.9060, it can slide to $400. We will wait for the price to break out and sustain above both moving averages before turning positive.

Currently, we don’t find any buy setup, hence, we are not proposing any trade on it.


EOS has finally made a move today, after struggling to move up for the past two days. However, both moving averages are sloping down and the RSI is still in the negative territory, which shows that the sellers have an upper hand.

Any recovery will face resistance at the 20-day EMA and above that at the 50-day SMA. The bulls have not broken out of the 50-day SMA since June 9. Hence, a break out of it will indicate strength.

In April of this year, the EOS/USD pair picked up momentum only after breaking out of the 50-day SMA. Hence, we might suggest long positions after the price sustains above the 50-day SMA. If a new setup develops before that, we shall consider it.


Stellar has extended its stay inside the range of $0.184—$0.25. The pullback on August 13 and August 15, both faced selling at the 20-day EMA.

Previously, in mid-April and mid-July of this year, the XLM/USD pair picked up momentum after it closed (UTC time frame) above the 20-day EMA.

Currently, the 50-day SMA is flat and the 20-day EMA is sloping down. If the bulls break out of $0.25, the probability of a rally to the downtrend line at $0.32 increases. Therefore, we retain our buy recommendation provided in the previous analysis.


The attempt to pullback on August 18 met with selling at higher levels but Litecoin has maintained above the $54 level for the past two days.

The 20-day EMA will be the first hurdle, above which, the pullback can extend to $80. The 50-day SMA and the downtrend line are both close to $80, hence, we anticipate the bears to strongly defend this level.

The RSI is trying to exit the oversold territory, which is a positive sign. All these indications point to a corrective rally, but we don’t find any reliable buy setups, hence, we are not recommending a trade on the LTC/USD pair.


Cardano is struggling to bounce off the lows. This shows that the bulls are in no hurry to buy even at these low levels.

On the upside, the zone between $0.111843 and $0.13 will act as a stiff resistance. The 20-day EMA is sloping down but the 50-day SMA is flattening out. This shows that the ADA/USD pair might enter into a consolidation for the next few days.

If prices sustain above $0.111843, it shows that the selling pressure has reduced. We shall wait for a new buy setup to form before recommending a trade on it.


Monero has pulled back for the past three days and is close to the 20-day EMA where it might face resistance.

If the bulls scale above the 20-day EMA, the recovery can continue till the $120 mark. The long-term downtrend line is also close to $120; hence, we anticipate selling at this level.

The next decline to the $76.074 mark will confirm whether a bottom has been made or is the current pullback only a bear market rally.

Currently, we don’t have any bullish pattern on the XMR/USD pair, hence, we suggest traders wait for a few days.


Ethereum Classic has found a place in our analysis by taking the tenth spot. While its price has not risen, it has declined less, compared to some other cryptocurrencies.

The ETC/USD pair has been holding above the $13 level since April of this year. While the bears broke below this support on August 13, prices have quickly bounced back, after taking support close to the $9.5 mark.

This shows that the buyers are scooping up the digital currency on sharp dips. The 20-day EMA is sloping down, but the 50-day SMA has been flat since July. This shows that the virtual currency might remain range bound between $13 and the downtrend line.

We don’t find a strong buy setup, hence, we are not recommending a trade on it.

The market data is provided by the HitBTC exchange. The charts for the analysis are provided by TradingView.

This content was originally published here.

Coinbase And Visa Are Making Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, And Litecoin Payments A Reality

Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies, including ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, and litecoin, have long struggled against accusations they are harder to spend and use in the real world than their traditional fiat counterparts.
The bitcoin price, which leaped higher last week to trade around $5,000 per bitcoin , has been called too unstable and volatile to be used as a means of payment, resulting in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies being used more of a store of value, like gold, than traditional means-of-exchange currency .
Now, major bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has teamed up with global payments processor Visa to try to change that, launching the Coinbase Card which allows users to “spend crypto as effortlessly as the money in their bank.”
Coinbase is hoping its Visa debit card gets people using bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies for real world spending. Coinbase
The Visa debit card, which has a £4.95 ($6.50) card issuance fee, can be used to spend Coinbase bitcoin, ethereum, Ripple’s XRP, and litecoin balances “in millions of locations around the world,” by converting the cryptocurrency to fiat when the card is used—the merchant or store gets paid in traditional fiat currency.
Coinbase users can choose which cryptocurrency is used on the card through a new app which supports all crypto assets available to buy and sell on the Coinbase platform. The app also offers instant receipts, transaction summaries, and spending categories, to help people keep track of their spending.
“This is the first debit card to link directly with a major cryptocurrency exchange, allowing people to spend their crypto balances direct from their Coinbase account,” Coinbase said in a statement, announcing the launch of the card. “Previously available crypto cards required users to pre-load a specified amount of crypto onto their card, adding a point of friction to the process.”
The Coinbase Card is currently only available in the U.K. but the San Francisco-based exchange, which was valued at $8 billion in October, plans to roll out support in other European countries in the “oncoming months.” There are no plans yet for support outside of Europe.
Apto Payments, previously known as Shift Payments, is providing the technology for Coinbase after discontinuing its own Shift Card, allowing U.S. Coinbase users to spend crypto from their accounts, in February.
PaySafe, a U.K. payment processor, is issuing the cards.
The bitcoin price has been called too volatile to be used as a means of payment—Coinbase is hoping to change that. Coindesk
Meanwhile, in a win for institutional support for bitcoin and cryptocurrency, Fidelity Digital Assets, an institutional provider of custody and trade services for digital assets, has poached Christine Sandler from Coinbase as its new head of sales and marketing.
“We’re excited for Christine to join our growing team,” said Tom Jessop, president of Fidelity Digital Assets. “We look forward to her leadership in support of the strong interest we’re seeing from investors who are looking for a trusted provider to take an increasing role in this market.”
Fidelity is one of the world’s largest providers of retirement savings and mutual funds and wants to win over institutional customers keen on digital currency trading.
The company hired Jessop from Chain, which offers blockchain technology to financial companies, a year ago.

This content was originally published here.

Bitcoin – Hold On – The Ride’s Just Starting! – Bitcoin USD (Cryptocurrency:BTC-USD)

Bitcoin () may have dropped to the point that some say this cryptocurrency has run its course, but the party for those who take this sector seriously is just getting started. In this article, I’ll discuss the chart pattern expectations for Bitcoin and how to reliably forecast price machinations in this volatile sector.

Attempting to use any kind of fundamental approach to reliably forecast price targets for Bitcoin or any cryptocurrency is nigh impossible. Philosophically, the opinions of how cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin will play a role in the financial markets vary from those who believe they are destined to fail, to the polar opposite belief that they’ll replace fiat currencies in the future. The disparity between these polar opposite views creates huge volatility and represents the heart and soul of investor sentiment.

Having used Elliott Wave and Fibonacci for many years to accurately forecast price targets of financial instruments like currencies, equities, crude oil, and virtually any other financial instrument you can imagine, there is no better set of tools to measure investor sentiment, and thus price targets, with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Elliott Wave is principally the study of mass human sentiment, and as such, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are ideally suited to this analysis technique. In fact, since Mike Richards of TimePriceAnalysis has been charting the top market cap crypto’s for our subscribers, this sector has adhered virtually picture perfect to forecasted price expectations. What’s more, for those willing to expose minimal capital to either purchase Bitcoin outright, or more multi-layered strategies, based on the sentiment-driven price expectations we’ll provide herein, there are “breathtaking” opportunities for investors, with one about to arrive at your doorstep very shortly – but only if you’re willing calmly walk into what others believe is a burning theatre.

Let’s review the Elliott Wave count, as the opportunity will become self-evident. Bitcoin put in an all-time low in August 2010 of $.03. From there, it’s experienced a spectacular rise in both price and what can best be described as its euphoric sentiment. The sentiment crescendo occurred in late 2017 when it reached its all-time high of $19,918 per single Bitcoin. Since then, it’s experienced a multi-month correction that has gobbled up most of this year, where thus far it’s seen a low of $5,525. This might seem like an extreme drop to some, causing them to become disillusioned and even calling for the imminent demise of this emerging sector, but in the context of a rise from $.03 to $19,918 in 8 short years, this pullback is nothing more than a small consolidation before heading to meteoric levels.

Refer to the Bi-Weekly chart below that shows Bitcoin relative to the US dollar. The most accurate approach by using log scale fib extensions in Bitcoin shows several interesting things that support continued upside in the current price pattern. Firstly, it is still in what is referred to in Elliott Wave parlance as Primary Degree Wave 3 (green (3)) in its move up off the all-time low. Within Primary (3), it’s presently completing Minor Degree Wave 4 (blue 4), which should conclude with a price drop into the $2,488-4,175 region. This final drop should complete shortly and potentially before the end of this year.

Bi-Weekly Bitcoin – Long-Term Analysis

Weekly Bitcoin – Intermediate Term Analysis

Upon completion of this correction, Bitcoin will commence its next swing to the upside to complete all of Primary Degree Wave (3), with a price target of a minimum of $30,027 and more likely will extend to the 2.618 extension at $77,897. Upon completion of Primary Degree Wave (3), we would then expect Bitcoin to revisit the area of the 4th of one lesser degree. In English, this means we would expect a move back to whatever low it establishes on this present drop ($2,488-4,175) before heading up to complete Primary Degree Wave (5) to levels that will seem unrealistic to some, and that I’ll summarize in more detail in future articles.

Daily Bitcoin – Short-Term Analysis

It’s almost unimaginable for some to believe that these types of price movements can occur in any instrument or sector. However, before you set aside the notion that something can move to these extremes, take a few moments to imagine the implications of cryptocurrencies replacing fiat currencies as a primary medium of exchange. I won’t opine on whether this is possible or even real, as that’s not the point of this article. However, it’s not what I believe that matters, nor is it what’s real or unreal, but rather the sentiment associated with market participates who ponder these questions. This is what drives prices to extremes, and it’s this same sentiment that will continue to cause the volatility in cryptocurrencies that make their patterns predictable in a way that make investors VERY real profits.

Concluding Remarks

Measuring sentiment truly is the only approach to reliably measure price movements, and with investor sentiment causing such enormous volatility in the crypto sector, there is no better approach than using Elliott Wave and Fibonacci with a multi-timeframe approach. Bitcoin is setting up some fantastic opportunities for those willing to learn something new and expose some capital. While it may be obvious to most, we would caution investors to limit the amount of capital they expose to cryptos. Firstly, you don’t need much to make a lot, and secondly, the volatility is so high that you may find yourself needing to hold through a pattern cycle.

Bitcoin truly is setting up an extraordinary ride!

Disclosure:I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

This content was originally published here.

One Blockchain Penny Stock Soars Above the Rest

Some blockchain penny stocks are in the green today. We take a look at two companies trading up on the market today. What are they doing to grow?

This content was originally published here.

Monero Kids Boutique: Dalston shop selling organic clothing and hand-made black dolls | Islington, Archway, Finsbury Park and Holloway News – Islington Gazette

Monero Kids Boutique: Businesswoman opens Dalston store selling hand-crafted black dolls

PUBLISHED: 13:45 15 February 2019 | UPDATED: 15:09 18 February 2019

Sandra Monero with the dolls she designs and dresses at her Balls Pond Road shop. Picture: Polly Hancock

A businesswoman has opened a children’s boutique in Dalston selling organic clothing and hand-crafted black dolls inspired by the women in her life.

Sandra Monero's dolls - Harley D, Honey and Ellie. Picture: Polly HancockSandra Monero’s dolls – Harley D, Honey and Ellie. Picture: Polly Hancock

Sandra Monero, of Stoke Newington, launched Monero Kids Boutique in Balls Pond Road last year after seeing the unit lying empty one day. She had begun making doll clothes after losing her mother, father and brother and after finding it therapeutic, decided to try and make a go of it professionally.

Now her store is proving a hit with the community for its range of eco-friendly children’s clothing, educational books and, most popular of all, her “gratitude dolls”.

“The dolls are named Monero Dolls and we do three, which represent archetypal women. My mother, Ellie is one, and it’s been like therapy making the clothes.

“Honey is named after my friend and Harley D is a daughter character. She’s named after the motorbikes because I love them, and I don’t have any children but I always said if I had a daughter I would call her Harley D.”

Monero Kids Boutique in Balls Pond Road.Monero Kids Boutique in Balls Pond Road.

Growing up, like most black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) children who loved playing with dolls, Sandra did not have any that represented her. She says ranges like Barbie’s “fashionista” dolls show that is starting to change, but believes her own dolls go a step further.

“My dolls tell a story,” she explained. “They have Afros, one has a beauty spot on her lip and another has a birth mark on her left cheek.”

Sandra, who grew up in Islington, makes the clothes and paints the dolls herself, after shipping them in from abroad.

She added: “I decided to do this because through life experiences and challenges I became a bit depressed and was missing my mum and dad and older brother. My best friends were all gone. I never had much luck but I saw the shop in Balls Pond Road and the rest is history.”

Through word of mouth more and more people are now coming into the shop and Sandra is now selling about 20 dolls a week.

“A lot of my customers are people who get off the bus and see the dolls in the window,” she said. “But it’s not just children. Adults buy them for themselves or for their girlfriends. Black people can actually identify with them.”

Sandra’s favourite story from her short time as a shop owner involves a young white girl named Hannah.

“She came in and bought the darkest doll,” Sandra said. “When asked why she had chosen that one she said: ‘Mummy, she looks like my best friend Yemi’.

“She still comes in to say hello to me and the doll is always in her rucksack.”

Sandra has also produced 26 dolls in national dress for each Caribbean island, which will go on sale on World Doll Day in June. There are also plans to create two male dolls based on her father and brother.

This content was originally published here.