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Tether Printing Press In High Gear, Issuing $400 Million in Four Days

January 19, 2018 |

Tether Printing Press In High Gear, Issuing $  400 Million in Four Days

Bitcoin has had a rocky week to say the least. At its lowest point, the cryptocurrency dipped to $ 9,200 before a rising green candle sent it scurrying back into the safety of five figures. That candle was sparked by the release of $ 100m worth of tethers – surrogate US dollars – and was followed by another $ 100m issued for the next three days in a row. Tethers are propping up the bitcoin market right now, but what happens when the music stops? Should regulators wade in or Tether shut up shop, the loss of fresh capital could be cataclysmic.

Also read: While Tether Critics Grow More Vocal, Belief in the 1:1 Tightrope Remains

Tether – Savior or Sinner?

The bitcoin community have mixed decidedly mixed feelings on Tether. One the one hand, this ersatz fiat currency is instrumental in shoring up prices. But if that supply line were to be cut off, the crypto markets would be starved of new money. While Bitfinex, which controls Tether, is in charge of issuing these dollar-pegged tokens, other exchanges are also reliant on them including Kraken and Bittrex. What happens to Tether affects everyone.

Bitfinex Tether Printing Machine In High Gear, Issuing $  400 Million in Four DaysThe amount of new bitcoins created each day is worth approximately $ 18 million. Miners need to sell most of these coins to cover their utility costs. This means that $ 18 million of new money needs to enter the markets daily just to maintain current prices. Given that $ 400 million of tethers has been issued over the past four days, and yet the price of BTC has remained sluggish, this is alarming. If it wasn’t for tether’s torrent of newly created cash, this week’s dip would have cut deeper still.

Don’t Stop Believing

In the short-term, the issuance of tethers serves as a form of quantitative easing that keeps the markets ticking over, even amidst negative news and regulatory uncertainty. As one commenter pointed out, “Tethers aren’t really ‘backed’ by USD fiat, but rather by confidence in Bitfinex itself. Similarly the USD isn’t ‘backed’ by hard assets, but rather confidence in the US economy. What happens to USD if the Fed shuts off the insane volume of their printing press?”

Bitfinex Tether Printing Machine In High Gear, Issuing $  400 Million in Four Days

So long as we collectively believe that tethers are real, they are real, or at least as real as any other global currency that’s magiced out of thin air, which has generally been the case ever since the gold standard was dropped. But what are markets if not manifestations of human psychology; global sentiment etched into every line, chart, and candle? No one, at this stage, realistically believes that Tether is receiving $ 100 million a day in customer deposits via its diminutive Polish bank and then converting these into USDT. That just ain’t happening.

Beware the Changeling

Bitfinex Unties the Tethers, Issuing $  400 Million in Four Days
Der Wechselbalg (The Changeling) by Henry Fuseli, 1781

In folklore, a changeling was a child that fairies were reputed to leave in cradles after snatching the human baby. It looked like the cradle’s original inhabitant on first glance, only to prove to be anything but. If the fairies performed the old switcheroo, unexplained diseases, disorders, and failed crops were sure to follow. Tether is valued like a real dollar and works like a real dollar – at least until the time comes to cash out. In the past month alone, over $ 1 billion of tethers have been issued. If Tether doesn’t hold a corresponding amount in its bank, the whole house of cards could come tumbling down, destroyed by a changeling swaddled in the mantle of the US dollar.

Do you think the volume of tethers entering the market is cause for concern? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Wikipedia.


Need to know the price of bitcoin? Check this chart.

The post Tether Printing Press In High Gear, Issuing $ 400 Million in Four Days appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs

January 19, 2018 |

Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a letter to two Washington DC firms seeking guidance on bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETF) applications, of which a dozen are pending. In it, the regulator openly worries about cryptocurrency volatility and whether future potential listings have done enough to protect investors. The letter is widely believed to be a major blow in the quest for Wall Street’s mainstreaming of bitcoin.

Also read: Ditch University and High Transaction Fees!

Bitcoin ETF Major Setback

In a Staff Letter: Engaging on Fund Innovation and Cryptocurrency-related Holdings of 18 January, signed by newly appointed Director Dalia Blass from the Division of Investment Management, the SEC wrote to the Investment Company Institute and Asset Management Group Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) about the prospects of bitcoin ETFs.

The outlook is not good, especially if the letter’s import carries weight within the agency.

The letter is clearly written for an audience beyond its two addresses (how many letters have footnotes?). It begins with SEC history and mission statements, outlining its jurisdiction. It also offers up saccharine lines before dealing a deadly sentence. The SEC “stands ready to engage in dialogue with sponsors regarding the potential development of these funds.” And then the phrasing heard around the world: “We believe, however, that there are a number of significant investor protection issues that need to be examined before sponsors begin offering these funds to retail investors.”

Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs

The agency does “appreciate that proponents of cryptocurrencies and related products have identified a range of potential benefits.” However, “concerns regarding transparency of information, trading, valuation and other matters related to the nature of the underlying assets” seem to be dominating the SEC’s current position. Revealingly, the letter admits “the innovative nature of cryptocurrencies and related products, as well as their expected use and utility in our financial markets, means that they are, in many ways, unlike the types of investments that registered funds currently hold in substantial amounts.”

The climate surrounding bitcoin ETFs has gone from frustration to excitement in recent months with the entrance of heavy mainstream exchanges such as Cboe and CME trading futures contracts (and even the appointment, ironically, of Ms. Blass, who was seen as a pro-ETF attorney). It was believed if things went smoothly at these venerable institutions, bitcoin ETFs were a sure thing. Something like a dozen proposals for listings on the New York Stock Exchange Arca have been filed, and not one is approved.

The letter continues, “we have, at this time, significant outstanding questions concerning how funds holding substantial amounts of cryptocurrencies and related products would satisfy the requirements of the 1940 Act and its rules.” The rather lengthy missive goes on to ask a laundry list of questions, to “facilitate the start of our dialogue,” and it’s not entirely made understood the agency is really waiting for a response.

Bitcoin ETF Major Delt Blow as US Regulator Issues Devastating Dear John Letter
Dalia Blass

Questions Demanding Answer

Given their volatility, “Would funds have the information necessary to adequately value cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrency-related products[?]” the agency asks. “How would funds develop and implement policies and procedures to value, and in many cases ‘fair value,’ cryptocurrency-related products?”

They even get into nitty-gritty crypto inside baseball: How “would they address when the blockchain for a cryptocurrency diverges into different paths (i.e., a ‘fork’), which could result in different cryptocurrencies with potentially different prices?” And the questions deepen and go on like this for a few pages.

They ask intriguingly, “What policies would a fund implement to identify, and determine eligibility and acceptability for, newly created cryptocurrencies offered by promoters (e.g., an ‘air drop’)? How might a fund account for those holdings if the fund chooses to claim such cryptocurrencies?”

Bitcoin ETF Delt Major Blow as US Regulator Issues Devastating Dear John LetterIssues of liquidity, custody, arbitrage, manipulation and “other risks,” and more, seem designed to place the ball squarely in the financial community’s court and away from press criticism the agency is dragging its feet or is in some way stifling innovation.

“Until the questions identified above can be addressed satisfactorily, we do not believe that it is appropriate for fund sponsors to initiate registration of funds that intend to invest substantially in cryptocurrency and related products, and we have asked sponsors that have registration statements filed for such products to withdraw them,” the letter concludes, suggesting contact persons for future reference.

What do you think about the prospects of a bitcoin ETF? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, SEC.


Not up to date on the news? Listen to This Week in Bitcoina podcast updated each Friday.

The post Letter from SEC Reveals Outlook Not Good for US-based Bitcoin ETFs appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

PR: Essentia.one Launch Set to Revolutionize the Way We Access the Web with Decentralization

January 19, 2018 |

Essentia Launch Set to Revolutionize the Way We Access Decentralization

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

Essentia.one launch set to revolutionize the way we access decentralization.

That’s right, this new product will change the way we access, manage and operate the new web. It was designed to simplify the complexity that was turning people away from decentralized technologies.

Starting as an underground project a long time ago, Essentia founders Matteo Gianpietro Zago, Mirco Mongiardino, Vladimir Holubovych shared the same vision. As early Bitcoin adopters, they knew about the strengths of decentralization but realized its weakness in usability. Now, after years of extensive research and development, a polished and perfected Essentia is ready for its launch.

What sets Essentia.one ahead of the league is its ability to provide a single access point to the entire decentralized web. How? Through the seed. Every Essentia user creates a unique seed which grants access to the whole Essentia framework.

The framework allows safe storage and access to a complete collection of DApps, wallets, assets data and identities, all in one place. It also fronts itself with a super easy to nativage user interface.

But it really is more than that, it has a bucket load of useful applications for businesses and individuals. Here’s a closer look at some of its key features:

Logins:
Essentia.one removes the pain of remembering and re-entering passwords every single day. The seed grants instant access to all personal and business logins for both decentralized and centralized accounts.

Identities:
This is a big one, Essentia provides the ability to store identities with custom profile settings making it possible to control the amount of personal information shared with third parties. Users can choose between anonymous, pseudo-anonymous or KYC compliance for specific use-cases.

Multiple wallets and multi-currency:
In one place? Yup, no need to bounce between multiple wallets. Essentia has integrated with the big cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, ERC20 Tokens, IOTA, Litecoin, and Ripple. The framework provides the ability to also monitor assets in cold storage.

Storage:
Essentia has integrated powerful decentralized storage systems to the framework. The big names such as Swarm, Ipfs, Storj, provide access to the new backbone of digital storage where data is encrypted, persistent and censorship-resistant.

Exchanges:
The partnership and integration with Ether Delta and Flyp.Me has empowered decentralized prosperity. Access to multi-chain minimizes downtime and secures assets across safe, decentralized networks.

Any platform. Any device.
Your entire digital life is accessible at your fingertips with Essentia, it’s made easy on any platform, be it via a browser, desktop app, mobile app, or command line interface

Integration
Native integration has been confirmed with Ethereum, Bitcoin, IOTA, Status.im, EtherDelta, IPFS, Swarm, Storj, Flyp.me and Aragon. With many more partnerships to be announced within the coming weeks.

It appears Essentia is set to become a big name in the crypto industry. With unparalleled expertise in blockchain development, the team has made it possible for everyone to harness the power of decentralization.

Token sale details will be announced very soon at Essentia.one

Connect or Contribute
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Essentia_one
Telegram: https://t.me/essentia_one/
Website: https://essentia.one/ Whitepaper:https://essentia.one/whitepaper.pdf

Contact Email Address
matteo@essentia.one
Supporting Link
www.essentia.one

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: Essentia.one Launch Set to Revolutionize the Way We Access the Web with Decentralization appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

PR: PodOne Adds Veteran Industry Insider to Team and Launches ICO to Revolutionize the Contact Center Industry

January 19, 2018 |

PodOne Adds Veteran Industry Insider to Team and Launches ICO to Revolutionize the Contact Center Industry

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

PodOne is launching the next global phase in call and contact center services, bringing together employers and agents through its decentralized network while optimizing staff time, reducing labor costs and elevating a new standard in training. The company is launching its Qubicle ICO on January 15th, 2018 to raise funds for the development of their product roadmap.

They also announced the addition of Rob Duncan, the former COO of successful work-at-home call center pioneer Alpine Access to the team of advisors. Rob oversaw operations at Alpine Access until it was acquired by Sykes Interactive, a $ 1.2B contact center business process outsourcer, for $ 150M and was rebranded to Sykes Home.

PodOne comes from the creators of Fenero, a well-known provider of contact center software with over 2,200+ call and contact centers using the platform in over 20 countries.

“Call centers have earned a mixed reputation through hit-or-miss customer service and poor quality standards,” says Marlon Williams, Founder and CEO of PodOne and Fenero. “With PodOne, we are on a mission to change this narrative by changing the way the industry works, in the first decentralized network of contact center professionals, with requisite substantive training and by introducing incentives for top-graded customer service representatives.”

Mr. Williams also stated, “With global online sales on a steady upward projection, it is now more critical than ever to have high, consistent standards of customer service through contact centers. Brands need to assure their customers that they can rely on the sales and after-sales call center service.”

As reported previously, the Miami, FL based company also officially filed for a U.S. patent in November 2017 to cover their method for using blockchain-based technology to handle employer-to-agent work requests, pooling excess time in a marketplace, and elastic staffing of human resources.

An Ethereum-based token, Qubicle (pronounced “cubicle”), will be issued during the ICO to serve as an incentive and rewards program for high performing customer service agents and is also the only method of transacting on the network. Publishing content, participating in PodOne University, and facilitating payment for services will all be completed via the QBE tokens in users’ PodOne Wallet. In general, 100,000,000 QBE tokens will be created, with 70% being available during the token sale (January 15th, 2018 to February 15th, 2018).

The team behind PodOne has spent the last 15+ years in the contact center technology industry and brings a built-in demand for PodOne services from its existing customer base. Their token distribution event offers attractive discounted token prices and provides an outstanding investment opportunity for contact center professionals and cryptocurrency investors and enthusiasts alike. Visit https://podone.io/?utm_source=newsbitcoincom&utm_campaign=pr1 to join today!

Contact Email Address
marlon@podone.io
Supporting Link
https://podone.io/?utm_source=newsbitcoincom&utm_campaign=pr1

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: PodOne Adds Veteran Industry Insider to Team and Launches ICO to Revolutionize the Contact Center Industry appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

PR: X Win Crypto Bet – the Right ICO Could Be the Best Way to Enrich Yourself

January 19, 2018 |

X Win Crypto Bet

This is a paid press release, which contains forward looking statements, and should be treated as advertising or promotional material. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support this product/service. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the press release.

It is known, the investment process can eventually be destroyed by the initial coin offering (ICO) or ensuing token generation events. The new business model existing it the world of blockchain technology changes traditional fundraising campaigns in the way of clarity, transparent success and safety. Producing of the held-for-trading tokens raises the capital in this process.

The peculiarity of ICO is founded on the idea of using the crypto tokens. The main two tokens types proving the services and products of ICO to the potential investors are the utility tokens (app coins) and equity tokens. In case of business success, the investors are able to get the money in cash or different coins in exchanges (e.g. ETH, BTC) by trading on the basic cryptocurrency exchanges. The adventurous for an ICO is the perspective of capital growth that can provide further development of the project based on the blockchain.

ICO INVESTING COULD BE THE BEST WAY TO GROW RICH
Throughout 2017 ICO became the most commercially successful and investment attractive way to get the capital for starting the business. Such ICO niches like gambling, finance, healthcare, E-learning are in great demand with investors.

As was said earlier, the substitution of traditional business models for new ones in the world of blockchain technologies brings advanced ways for project development, its fundraising, and realization. First of all, it is evenly necessary to spend the time on learning the rock-solid whitepaper and well-crafted website if the investor is interested in ICO investing. Full knowing of core ICO audience and the idea of ICO are also essential for starting investment.

A GRAIN OF SAND ON THE BEACH
The advent of plenty ICOs and new tokens with every week, the realization of them and understanding of possible sustained profit is like looking for a grain in the beach. That is why new investors should be aware of the main rules and regulations of ICO’s country. The investors have better chance to differentiate ICOs with wealth potential from scams if they fully understand the business environment.

Generally speaking, ICOs always try finding the right solution of the problem regarding startup based on the blockchain. The secret of success lies in understanding the ICOs market subtle aspects, the suggestions, and provided solutions.

THE DIFFERENT WAYS FOR SPORTS BETTING
After lots of tries to develop the newest blockchain PokerStars website, sports betting remained an untouched ICO sub-niche in the gambling industry. It is natural that players need the favorable and secure environment as much as the investors need the tidy gambling income. The ICO’s model simplifies the betting process and fundamentally changes the common gambling industry.

XWIN – THE SPORTS BETTING SAFE PLATFORM BASED ON THE BLOCKCHAIN
XWIN is the betting sharing Ethereum platform based on the blockchain. The development of the crypto-bookmaker platform is the primary XWIN goal. Using the Ethereum smart contracts to ensure the transparency of transactions, XWIN breaks the online bookmaking industry and provides a comfortable environment for gaining income out of gambling for both investors and players.

The XWIN investors get 20 percent commission out of company’s profit margin. The 24/7 investment supervision, safe transactions, privacy policy, sustainability are included as additional perks.

The XWIN business model with margins from six to twenty percent per bet has promising income prospects. The funds are meant to be used for players’ and investors’ awarding as well as development and farther improvement of XWIN platform.

Disposition of funds:

25% guaranteed payments for players
20% maintenance and managing defrayment
35% promotion, PR, and advertising, online/offline marketing
20% amount distributed among investors
The campaign of XWIN tokens open sale will come to the end on Jan.30, 2018. The Pre-ICO reached the deadline on Dec.31, 2017 and entered the ICO phase that started on Jan.1 up to Jan.30,2018. The value of one XWIN is 0.004 ETH. XWIN tokens are already available to grab.

For more information, please visit xwin.io.

Contact Email Address
info@xwin.io
Supporting Link
https://xwin.io/en

This is a paid press release. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the promoted company or any of its affiliates or services. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in the press release.

The post PR: X Win Crypto Bet – the Right ICO Could Be the Best Way to Enrich Yourself appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Cryptoruble Delayed – Russian Central Bank Worried It Could Bypass Regulations

January 19, 2018 |

Cryptoruble Delayed - Russian Central Bank Worried It Could Bypass Regulations

Russia’s national cryptocurrency, the cryptoruble, is unlikely to be created in the foreseeable future, according to the Bank of Russia. The central bank believes that it could be used to bypass regulations. Meanwhile, the finance ministry wants to use the cryptoruble for cross-border payments.

Also read: South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations

Cryptoruble Could Bypass Regulations

The first deputy governor of the Bank of Russia, Sergey Shvetsov, said at the Gaidar Forum this week that “The appearance of a cryptoruble in the foreseeable future is unlikely,” Tass reported. He elaborated:

I’m of the opinion that as long as the demand for cryptocurrencies is linked to a large extent with the bypass of regulations, it is clear that the regulator cannot afford to issue a cryptoruble, which will allow to bypass regulations.

Cryptoruble Delayed - Russian Central Bank Worried It Could Bypass RegulationsThe bank’s first deputy chairman, Olga Skorobogatova, shared the sentiment, stating previously that she did not see the need for a cryptoruble.

However, she said that the central bank is considering introducing a supranational digital currency within the BRICS or the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEC).

Cryptoruble for Cross-Border Payments

Meanwhile, Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev told reporters at the forum that his ministry “supports the idea of using a cryptoruble in cross-border settlements,” Tass also reported. He detailed:

The issue on which to focus now is the use of electronic money, a cryptoruble, in cross-border settlements. Settlements with our leading trading partners, at least the countries of the former USSR, could be made not in a foreign currency but in electronic rubles.

Cryptoruble Delayed - Russian Central Bank Worried It Could Bypass RegulationsHowever, Moiseev may not be referring to a cryptocurrency, as he previously expressed, “To be honest, I do not even understand what a cryptoruble is…I understand what an electronic ruble is.”

Early this month, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin commissioned work to create a cryptoruble as a tool to circumvent international sanctions. He first ordered the creation of this new currency in October of last year.

Cryptoruble Delayed to Mid-2019

In an interview with Hi-Tech Mail, the Russian Association of Blockchain and Cryptocurrency (RACIB) estimated that the cryptoruble will not appear in Russia until at least the middle of next year. “If the proposal on the cryptoruble will be put forward in July as part of the president’s instruction, the normative documents will be drafted and introduced in the fall,” the director of the association explained, adding that:

They should be agreed at the end of the year, and the launch of the currency will take place in the middle of 2019.

When do you think Russia will finally issue a cryptoruble? Do you think it will be a cryptocurrency? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Cryptoruble Delayed – Russian Central Bank Worried It Could Bypass Regulations appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean Banks

January 19, 2018 |

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean Banks

South Korean banks have been providing virtual account services to cryptocurrency exchanges and earning commissions from them. According to data obtained by the country’s Financial Supervisory Service, banks made 36 times more in commission income from crypto exchanges last year than the previous year.

Also read: South Korean Officials Caught Trading On Insider Knowledge of Crypto Regulations

Banks Earned 36x More From Crypto Accounts

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean BanksThe Korean Financial Supervisory Service (FSS) has obtained data from banks relating to their virtual account services to crypto exchanges. It includes data from the six banks inspected by the regulators last week: Woori Bank, KB Kookmin Bank, Shinhan Bank, Nonghyup Bank, Korea Development Bank, and Industrial Bank of Korea.

The agency revealed on Thursday that the total commission income banks earned from these services last year was 2.221 billion won (~USD$ 2.1 million), which is 36 times more than the 61 million won earned the previous year, Yonhap reported.

Upbit’s Bank Tops the List

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean BanksBanks make money from cryptocurrency exchanges by charging them approximately 200 to 300 won per customer deposit, the news outlet detailed, adding that crypto traders pay higher commissions to the exchanges when withdrawing funds.

According to the FSS, the Industrial Bank of Korea earned the most from virtual account services last year. The bank provides these services to Upbit, which has recently become the world’s largest exchange by volume. Upbit is backed by Kakao Corp, the operator of South Korea’s most popular chat app, Kakao Talk. The bank “earned a total of 675 million won by setting a virtual account fee of 300 won per deposit,” the publication conveyed.

Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean BanksThe bank with the second highest commission income from crypto-related services is Nonghyup Bank which provides virtual account services to Bithumb and Coinone. The bank earned 654 million won from these services last year.

Shinhan Bank provides virtual account services to a few crypto exchanges including Bithumb and Korbit, bringing it 621 million won last year. Kookmin Bank made 155 million won, the Korea Development Bank made 61 million won, and Woori Bank earned 59 million won from crypto exchanges last year.

Currently, the South Korean government has mandated banks to stop issuing new virtual accounts until they have installed the new a real-name identification system. Banks will also be required to check the purpose of trading and the source of funds for each crypto account holder.

What do you think about banks charging these fees for cryptocurrency accounts? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to calculate your bitcoin holdings? Check our tools section.

The post Commission Income From Crypto Accounts Jumped 36 Times for South Korean Banks appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed

January 19, 2018 |

Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed

New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) parent Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) has announced it is creating a global cryptocurrency data feed, active by the year’s first quarter.

Also read: Have Lunch with Bitcoin Jesus!

Wall Street Teams with Bitcoin Developer

“Access to comprehensive price discovery is vital to accurately value the cryptocurrency market,” a newly created ICE landing page reads. “Our Cryptocurrency Data Feed, available on the ICE Consolidated Feed, gives you access to streaming real-time, end of day and historical data for the most actively traded digital currencies.”

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (ICE) owns several exchanges from the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) to subsidiaries in Singapore and Netherlands. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, it’s a Fortune 500 company looking to enter the burgeoning cryptocurrency market. Blockstream is a private company geared toward bitcoin core applications, especially sidechains, and funds many bitcoin core projects, and will act as its partner.

Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed

The Feed will include “broad coverage” of six major cryptocurrencies: bitcoin core, ethereum, litecoin, dash, ripple, and bitcoin cash. The collaboration also promises “to offer multi-asset and multi-venue data from cryptocurrency exchanges globally, which will be available in the first quarter of 2018,” capturing “nearly 80% of crypto-exchange trading volume for the most active currency pairs.”

“All crosses are captured and normalized,” ICE explains, “which creates a unique sequence number, details on where the trade took place, and other relevant order book data such as quantity, price, currency and timestamp.” ICE also promises over “two years of Bitcoin (XBT) history; XBT/USD averages over 200,000 updates per day; in excess of 600,000 updates per day across all digital pairs.”

Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed

Low Latency, Quality Information

The new feed “initially include data from more than 15 cryptocurrency exchange venues globally,” ICE COO Lynn Martin is quoted as saying, “With the broad array of cryptocurrencies and exchanges, and given the price variances between exchanges, it’s critical that investors have a comprehensive source of pricing information.”

The six cryptocurrencies will be “measured against the U.S. Dollar and other major currency pairs,” the announcement continued. “Blockstream works with cryptocurrency exchanges around the world and consolidates the disparate data sets into a normalized and standardized data source that includes real-time and historical trade information, as well as other relevant order book data such as quantities, prices, currencies, and timestamps.”

Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed
Lynn Martin

The team’s hope is to limit latency in price discovery, providing as close to real-time and quality information as possible. “The ICE Data Services Consolidated Feed provides access to over 450 normalized real-time market data feeds and is part of ICE’s Connectivity service,” they stress.

It’s too early to know just yet if The Feed will compete with Coinmarketcap and other aggregators already established, but perhaps Wall Street professionals will be drawn to the legitimacy and gravitas ICE brings, furthering the crypto mainstreaming trend.

What do you think this teaming will accomplish? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, ICE, Blockstream.


Not up to date on the news? Listen to This Week in Bitcoina podcast updated each Friday.

The post Wall Street Creates Global Cryptocurrency Data Feed appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Overwhelmed Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the Hundreds

January 19, 2018 |

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the Hundreds

Cryptocurrency exchanges have been overrun for months, as record demand has caused throttling or restriction of service altogether. With exchanges buckling under the strain, a number of platforms have been forced to temporarily shut their books. On Thursday, Bitstamp announced plans to recruit 100 new call center staff as it struggles to feed the crypto frenzy.

Also read: Korean Crypto Exchanges Go on Hiring Spree, Stealing Workers From Banks

Bitstamp Buttresses its Exchange

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the HundredsWhen crypto mania and bitcoin prices peaked in December, exchanges were onboarding over a million users a day. Prices have since dropped, but demand for admission to the crypto party has not. Users are still flocking to exchanges, and exchanges are doing their best to accommodate them whilst tending to their existing customer base. In a frank and detailed blogpost on Thursday, Bitstamp CEO Nejc Kodrič tried to sum up the extent of the problem. He began:

Our data confirms what was beyond even our most optimistic forecasts for customer growth in the past year. Under normal circumstances this would be cause for celebration, but we are certainly far from feeling in celebratory mood.

He also hinted frustration at having to field so many queries from newbs who lack the slightest understanding of the sector they’re so hastily piling into, noting: “The arrival of so many people who are completely new to the industry means we are also now fielding very different questions about what crypto is”.

Madness and Mania

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the HundredsOther exchange CEOs can relate to Kodrič’s situation. Last week Michael Gokturk, co-founder of Canada’s Einstein Exchange described the avalanche of customers trying to sign up as “madness”. CBC News reports how the exchange was forced to significantly increase its staffing, and now has over 50 employees working out of its Vancouver and Montreal offices. Goturk claimed to have “lost his voice” apologizing to clients who’d had funds held in limbo while the exchange played catch-up.

Bitstamp is also heavily investing in human resources. Nejc Kodrič writes:

Aware that you need real-time contact with us, and much better response times, we will be setting up a call centre with over 100 staff, which will be up and running in the coming weeks. We will also have a new ticketing system in place in 2 weeks from now to expedite the resolution of open tickets.

He finishes: “Don’t give up on us. I promise you that the efforts we are making will soon show results.”

Denial of Service

Other exchanges have also been hit with growing pains, with Bittrex, Cryptopia, Bitfinex, and Binance all temporarily shutting up shop at some stage during the past month. Normal service has since been resumed, and exchanges are reporting record trading volume. On Thursday, Binance published a snapshot of its six-month performance, revealing that it now serves three million active users a day.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the Hundreds

From Bittrex’ curious coin delisting policy to Kraken’s record downtime, every major cryptocurrency exchange has been in the news this week. Even Poloniex hasn’t been exempt; gremlins in its trading platform caused users to report a spate of oddities, including massive sell walls and orders disappearing from the books. The problems now seem to have been addressed, but not before Zcash was forced to publish a statement pointing out that the ZEC sell wall on Poloniex was impossible, as at 3.9 million coins it was greater than the total number of Zcash in existence.

Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the Hundreds

From onboarding to uptime, cryptocurrency exchanges are being vigorously stress tested. With only 1% of the world invested in crypto, the avalanche of new users may still have a long way to run.

Do you think cryptocurrency exchanges will ever manage to match demand, or are they destined to be constantly playing catch up? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


Need to know the price of bitcoin? Check this chart.

The post Overwhelmed Cryptocurrency Exchanges Are Hiring Staff by the Hundreds appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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Autopsy of the Bitconnect Implosion: Ponzi, Centralization, Governance

January 19, 2018 |

Autopsy of Bitconnect: Ponzi, Centralization, Governance

Ponzi lending smart bot scam Bitconnect finally did what most sane observers predicted long, long ago. It went splat. And it didn’t collapse due to government pressure, nor flurries of bad press, and certainly not from DDoS hacking attacks. The story is more of a ballad, a great object lesson, and it is the lie proving a greater truth: coin centralization and ”governance” end in fiery crashes and hellish burns.

Also read: Ditch University and High Transaction Fees!

Changes Coming for the Bitconnect System

“Ubitex, MyBitcoin, Bitcoin7, Bitscalper, Bitcoin Savings & Trust, Bitcoin Rain, Gbl Basic-Mining, Butterfly Labs, MintPal, Gemcoin, GAW Miners / Paycoin,” well known developer Jameson Lopp listed, including the latest, “Bitconnect. Scammers have wanted your BTC ever since it had an exchange rate. Learn from history. Don’t be greedy. Don’t be a victim,” he tweeted.

The third week of 2018 brought an announcement, Changes coming for the Bitconnect system – Halt of lending and exchange platform, posted by the anonymous outfit 15 January. “We are closing the lending operation immediately with the release of all outstanding loans,” they claimed.

Autopsy of Bitconnect: Ponzi, Centralization, Governance

“In short, we are closing lending service and exchange service while Bitconnect.co website will operate for wallet service, news and educational purposes.” Among the reasons for an abrupt change included “continuous bad press,”  “two Cease and Desist letters,” and “DDoS attacks,” according to the scheme’s unnamed authors.   

Former believers posting on the subreddit, /r/bitconnect, went apoplectic, as one might imagine (see insets). Their concern now is not with mechanics or figuring what might’ve gone wrong, but is instead purely practical: how to get out. Sober analysis is still important, and maybe it’s a perfect opportunity to pass along an ugly lesson to crytpo’s newcomers in hopes of helping them avoid future tragedy.

Autopsy of Bitconnect: Ponzi, Centralization, Governance

Centralization and Governance are Antithetical to Crypto

Putting aside outright scam (which Bitconnect is), a test going forward filtering all coins is their acceptance of centralization and, always with it, governance. To put the formula in basic terms: if there is a “someone” or a “headquarters” to sue, to shakedown, to roust and cajole, then that coin or team isn’t decentralized.

While projects such as IOTA, Ripple, Decred etc. are not scams in the Bitconnect sense, they’re currently embracing centralization and the cocaine of the industry at present, governance. Boards. These are all trappings leading to the rise of the bitcoin ethos in the first place. Crypto was created to fight them. A careful look at once-lauded concepts such as Tezos, and its foundation embroiled in lawsuit after lawsuit, should give pause to anyone long on cryptocurrency. Understanding just why cryptocurrencies matter and how they’re different can better inform new investors.  

Autopsy of Bitconnect: Ponzi, Centralization, Governance

Bitconnect lost from the start in terms of its basic concept, built on the sturdy credulity of countries not yet familiar with Ponzi. In the west, as Andreas Antonopoulos explains, we’ve had at least a century to be fooled, to have felt the sting of our stupidity. The great thing about bitcoin and crypto is that it’s bringing-in emerging markets, people who’ve in many ways been left out of traditional capital arrangements – and it has done this precisely because it is decentralized and lacking formal governance. In countries with a history of command economics, the age-old lesson of Ponzi appears to be something they’re going to have to learn anew.

Bitconnect failed the Ponzi filter, but it also, and more importantly, failed the decentralization test: it could be given letters of cease and desist. It could be hectored. And because it was centralized, it lacked a robust segment of its team to shake it out of its scam properties. A perfect storm. This isn’t to exactly absolve Bitconnect’s religious believers. They’re guilty too, and as of this writing they’re busy trying to resurrect the dead, pumping their coin (which they insist doesn’t exist) back up even if ever so slightly. If only they knew about feathercoin, and a string of other failed altcoins that are dead, dying, or on life support. The patient cannot be saved.

What do you think about bitconnect going under? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Reddit.


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The post Autopsy of the Bitconnect Implosion: Ponzi, Centralization, Governance appeared first on Bitcoin News.

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