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The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

October 16, 2018 |

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

Today’s edition of The Daily starts where Monday’s left off: by looking at the latest on Tether, whose stablecoin anchors so much of the cryptoconomy. In related news, we detail Bitfinex’s banking situation and reveal why Coinbase has chosen Dublin to be its European headquarters.

Also read: Tether Sheds Its Peg

Tether Regains Ground

The chart below isn’t your average Binance altcoin experiencing some characteristic volatility. It is in fact that of two supposed stablecoins trading against one another: tether (USDT) and trueusd (TUSD). Following yesterday’s shenanigans, which saw tether slip to around $ 0.88 on some exchanges, the token has regained a little ground and now sits at $ 0.95, according to Blockmodo.

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

The data remains skewed, however, by the fact that tether is valued at a flat $ 1 on Bitfinex, where it is the only U.S. dollar trading pair. Sites such as Coinmarketcap, which record tether’s seemingly perfect dollar parity on Bitfinex, create the impression that USDT’s global average is higher than it actually is. At the time of publication, 1 TUSD was trading for 1.06 USDT on Binance. While Binance offers a range of stablecoins, it remains heavily invested in tether, with holdings of ~$ 850 million, meaning it owns more USDT than even Tether itself. On Monday, Tether came out fighting, with chief compliance officer Leonardo Real insisting:

Although markets have shown temporary fluctuations in price, all USDT in circulation are sufficiently backed by U.S. dollars (USD) and that assets have always exceeded liabilities.

Huobi, the world’s fourth largest exchange, has now followed the lead of Okex and introduced a handful of new stablecoins to alleviate traders’ concerns. TUSD, USDC, GUSD and PAX will all be listed on Oct. 19. The market capitalization of Circle’s USDC has grown by 85% in the past week, surpassing $ 25M, with more than 40 platforms now supporting the stablecoin. Bitfinex, meanwhile, has confirmed that its fiat deposits are on course to be restored, a move that ought to restore a measure of confidence in the exchange:

Coinbase Seeks Dubliners to Join Irish Outpost

“Coinbase is expanding its European presence by opening a new office in Dublin,” revealed the serpentine exchange, whose tentacles span multiple continents and crypto sectors. “We look forward to tapping into the city’s diverse talent pool and contributing to its burgeoning crypto economy,” they added. What Coinbase didn’t mention is that Ireland’s famously low corporate taxes will have been pivotal in sealing the deal. The California-based firm will be joining the 700 other U.S. companies to date that have made Dublin the seat of their European operations, including Apple.

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

“I am delighted that Coinbase is opening an office in Dublin,” said Ireland’s Minister for Financial Services and Insurance Michael D’Arcy. “This decision highlights the competitive offering and attractiveness of Ireland for financial services.” Coinbase has now embarked on a recruitment drive ahead of the opening of its Dublin office.

Eraswap and X Cloud Usher in
Censorship-Resistant Platforms

The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin
Cloud X

We’ve written a lot lately about censorship and the tools being developed to thwart crackdowns by the dominant web platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. Decentralized applications have the potential to ease some of the pain points that are afflicting web users, including account shutdowns and permabans. Eraswap, a platform that aims to refine social media via a social economy and marketplace dapp tailored to the user’s interests, can be added to that list. Then there’s Internxt, which has just released the beta of its X Cloud decentralized storage with 10GB provided for free.

Distributed storage is big business right now, with the likes of Akash also releasing its own cloud storage solution designed to thwart internet censorship. Having inked partnerships with Blackberry, Civic and Y Combinator, Internxt has already drummed up a fair bit of interest in its decentralized storage solution.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits as featured in The Daily? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Exchanges Roundup: Coinbase Volumes Hit 1-Year Low, UK Exchange to Fire Most Staff

October 9, 2018 |

Exchanges Roundup: Coinbase Volumes Hit 1-Year Low, UK Exchange to Fire Most of Staff

Recent updates show that with the cryptocurrency markets performing far from how they did a year ago, some exchanges have failed to adapt to the current situation. For example, one U.K. firm is reportedly set to fire most of its employees. Yet other exchanges are still going strong, breaking into new territories and adding new trading instruments.

Also Read: The Daily: Crypto Funds Team up With New Startup Hub, FX Broker Adds BCH/BTC

Weak Quarterly Trading Volumes

Diar, an analysis service for the global digital currency industry, has issued a report highlighting the extremely weak performance of popular crypto exchanges during the third quarter of the year. For example, total USD trading volumes on Coinbase reached their lowest point in a year and total USDT trading volumes on Binance fell from $ 235 billion in the first quarter to just $ 106 billion.

Exchanges Roundup: Coinbase Volumes Hit 1-Year Low, UK Exchange to Fire Most of Staff

As the report shows, one way the exchanges are looking to secure growth for the future is by moving toward tokenized securities.

“Having made bank on the trading bonanza in the past year, cryptocurrency exchanges are also acutely aware that, for the most part, the tokens they list don’t currently satisfy a utility purpose,” Diar explained. “Diving into deep pockets, exchanges are diversifying their portfolio by investing in various parts of the ecosystem to support the long-term growth of an industry stuck in development. But most notably, exchanges have amped up their investment interest for the possible issuing and trading of tokenized securities.”

Coinfloor to Fire Over Half its Employees

Exchanges Roundup: Coinbase Volumes Hit 1-Year Low, UK Exchange to Fire Most of StaffCoinfloor is in the process of firing most of its staff, according to a report by the Financial News, citing two people familiar with the matter. Founded in 2013 with backing from Transfer Wise founder Taavet Hinrikus, venture capital firm Passion Capital and Adam Knight, Coinfloor was estimated to employ about 40 people before the newly planned cuts.

Coinfloor CEO Obi Nwosu told the London-based newspaper that the company has “seen significant change in trade volume across the market.” He also stated that: “Coinfloor is currently undergoing a business restructure to focus on our competitive advantages in the marketplace and to best serve our clients. As part of this restructure, we are making some staff changes and redundancies.”

Israeli Exchange Looks Abroad

Exchanges Roundup: Coinbase Volumes Hit 1-Year Low, UK Exchange to Fire Most of StaffAccording to Israeli media reports, Tel Aviv-based exchange Bit2c is looking to offer its services into foreign markets. The exchange has reportedly acquired a Gibraltar-based firm, Eyos, that is said to be in advanced phases of receiving a distributed ledger technology (DLT) license from the local regulatory authorities that can be used to accept clients from across the EU.

“This is a significant breakthrough in making unique Israeli technology more accessible while providing a professional and experienced service to the whole of Europe, and all in the framework of a license that will enable a range of trading activities, payment options and cooperations with traditional financial institutions such as banks, credit companies and insurance companies,” Bit2c CEO Eli Bejerano said. “We continue to examine other markets, and in the future we will act to get additional licenses around the world.”

Bequant Launches EUR Stablecoin

Exchanges Roundup: Coinbase Volumes Hit 1-Year Low, UK Exchange to Fire Most of StaffBequant, a London-based global exchange, has announced the launch of Stasis’ stablecoin EURS. The company explains that the launch of the token, meant to be backed 1-for-1 by the euro, will allow safe investing for its European institutional investors in a reliable asset.

“The cryptocurrency sector is constantly striving for ways to encourage transparency, reliability and trust from investors — both institutional and individuals. Doing so not only builds trust within the industry, but also establishes clear regulation and controls that make crypto-assets a desirable choice for any investor’s portfolio. Stablecoins hold huge advantages in making this goal possible, tying themselves to a more traditional asset,” said CEO George Zarya.

“STASIS EUR’s work in creating a more reliable asset will help build the credibility of cryptocurrency in the wider financial market through its improved processes aimed at providing a more secure asset for investment. Its listing on BeQuant presents a huge opportunity for investors to get involved with a currency that is already giving previously cautious investors access to the world of crypto.”

Should we expect more exchanges to cut staff as trading volumes drop? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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Exchanges Roundup: Ledgerx Readies ETH Futures, Coinbase Partners With Caspian

September 29, 2018 |

In recent news pertaining to cryptocurrency exchanges, anonymous sources have stated that Ledgerx is preparing to launch ETH futures trading, Coinbase has announced a partnership with Caspian intended to target institutional investors, and the chief executive officer of Binance has shared his opinions regarding “trans-fee mining” and decentralized exchanges.

Also Read: European Regulator Renews Restrictions on Crypto-Based Derivatives

Ledgerx Reportedly Readying to Launch ETH Futures

Exchanges Roundup: Ledgerx readies ETH Futures, Coinbase Partners With CaspianAccording to an anonymous source, cryptocurrency derivatives trading platform, Ledgerx, is readying to launch ETH futures.

The source states that the company has an Ethereum options product ready for launch, however, is currently awaiting regulatory approval for such. The source added that Ledgerx currently has a meeting with the United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission scheduled for the 5th of October.

At the start of September, Business Insider cited anonymous sources in reporting that The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) was readying for the launch of ETH futures markets. The source predicted CBOE’s ETH futures may go live by 2019.

Coinbase Partners With Caspian to Target Institutional Investors

Exchanges Roundup: Ledgerx readies ETH Futures, Coinbase Partners With CaspianMajor U.S.-based cryptocurrency exchange, Coinbase, has announced a partnership with Caspian to ”drive institutional participation in crypto.”

According to Caspian’s website, the company offers an “institutional grade […] asset management solution that covers the lifecycle of the trade,” with Caspian purporting to currently be providing services to 25 cryptocurrency exchanges including Binance, Bitfinex, Bitmex, and Gemini.

The chief executive officer of Caspian, Robert Dykes, stated: “We’re delighted to cement this important partnership with Coinbase, which will see one of the world’s leading digital currency trading venues join forces with one of the most exciting emerging crypto platforms.”

Kayvon Pirestani, director of institutional sales at Coinbase, stated: “By working together, Coinbase and Caspian will deliver institutional-grade order and risk management tools to the growing number of professional crypto trading firms around the world. Customers will be able to take advantage of the best elements of both platforms — accessing Coinbase’s extensive historical market data and deep pool of liquidity, and combined with Caspian’s suite of seamless trading tools. We see this partnership as not only a tremendous commercial opportunity, but as a chance to truly move forward the institutional adoption of crypto as a mature, tradable asset class.”

Binance CEO: Trans-fee Mining “Not a Threat,” Decentralized Exchanges “Are the Future”

Exchanges Roundup: Ledgerx readies ETH Futures, Coinbase Partners With CaspianDuring an interview conducted at the recent Consensus: Singapore 2018 conference, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), the chief executive officer and co-founder of Binance, dismissed the “trans-fee mining” model as posing no threat to Binance’s future, and shared his belief that “decentralized exchanges are the future.”

CZ described the trans-fee mining model as “damaging” to the cryptocurrency ecosystem, adding: “It’s not a threat. The exchanges will try to do that. The volume at the exchanges that have tried that have all come down. It’s a very complex way of raising money. The law of supply and demand tells us that since there’s always more platform tokens being issued, you can almost guarantee that the price will go down over time.”

CZ also expressed his bullish expectations for decentralized exchanges, stating: “I think decentralized exchanges are the future, but it’s going to take a few years to get there. For the foreseeable future, I think the volumes will not be as high. So, it’s more like an experiment. I think it’s more innovation; we’re still at the early stage of the industry.”

“Right now, most of the money is still in fiat. So, I think the sweet spot is actually to do the crypto-to-fiat exchanges,” he added.

Do you think that decentralized exchanges are the future? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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The Daily: Coinbase Launches Bundles, Coinswitch Supports Trading Without Account

September 28, 2018 |

The Daily: Coinbase Launches Bundles, Coinswitch Supports Trading Without Account

Crypto exchange Coinbase will present its clients with the option to buy bundles of multiple cryptocurrencies and access useful information about leading digital coins. Also in The Daily on Friday, users of exchange aggregator Coinswitch can now take advantage of the best rates across multiple platforms without the need to create an account, Neo launches bug bounty program, and Bitmain sells Decred miner.  

Also read: Around the World on 1 BTC and the Plausibly Deniable Brainwallet

Coinbase Offers Info on Leading Cryptos, Launches Coinbase Bundle

The Daily: Coinbase Launches Bundles, Coinswitch Supports Trading Without AccountThis week, US-based crypto trading platform Coinbase, known for its conservative approach to adding new coins, shared plans to increase the number of its offerings, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. Now the company has announced it’s launching Coinbase Bundle, a basket of cryptocurrencies investors will be able to acquire for as little as $ 25. Customers will have the opportunity to buy, sell and transfer the cryptos that will be stored in individual wallets. The Bundle, designed to provide fast and easy exposure to the crypto market, will be available to verified Coinbase users in the United States and Europe within a few weeks.

The San Francisco-headquartered exchange has also recently announced it will offer its customers detailed information about the 50 leading cryptocurrencies by market capitalization. The service will feature descriptions of the coins, links to their white papers and project websites, historical trading data, and the current marketcap, The Verge reported. The platform will also provide a comprehensive introduction to digital assets in its educational section known as Coinbase Learn, after admitting that “What is cryptocurrency?” is still the most common question asked by potential clients.

Coinswitch Users Trade on Multiple Exchanges Without Accounts

The Daily: Coinbase Launches Bundles, Coinswitch Supports Trading Without AccountA new aggregation tool offers investors the opportunity to trade cryptocurrencies on a number of leading platforms including Changelly, Idex, Hitbtc and Kucoin, and they don’t even need to create an account. With Coinswitch, traders are able to find the best exchange rates, which is an automated process, before they commit to a crypto-to-crypto transaction. The service is non-custodial and holders of the digital assets will only have to provide the addresses of the respective wallets to start trading their coins.

The interface also allows users to create a customized crypto exchange by adding a trading widget to their websites with zero code required, Sludgefeed reported. These platforms will be earning up to 50 percent of the revenues from all trades conducted via Coinswitch which also offers a referral program rewarding participants with another 25 percent paid in bitcoin core (BTC). Its developers claim that more than 100 sites have already integrated the service. According to the report, the project has the backing of some serious venture capital investors such as Sequoia.

Neo Announces Bug Bounty Program

The Daily: Coinbase Launches Bundles, Coinswitch Supports Trading Without AccountBlockchain project Neo, which like Ethereum offers a platform for smart contacts and coin offerings, has recently launched a Vulnerability Bounty Program (VBP). In an announcement posted on Medium and shared on Twitter, the team has invited security experts from different sectors to join the initiative and take part in the development of the Neo ecosystem.

All eligible reports will be investigated and the base bounty amounts will depend on the severity of the issues. Detecting a critical bug – one that can lead to substantial asset losses – will be rewarded with up to $ 10,000 USD. Neo is ready to pay up to $ 5,000 for finding vulnerabilities that can cause network failures and up to $ 2,000 for bugs leading to a single node failure. The bounty for the discovery of low risks can go below $ 500. The rewards will be distributed in the equivalent amount of NEO, the platform’s native coin.

Bitmain Starts Shipping New Decred Miner

The Daily: Coinbase Launches Bundles, Coinswitch Supports Trading Without AccountBitmain, the Chinese mining hardware producer, has announced the launch of its Antminer DR3 designed to process transactions for the Decred cryptocurrency. Decred (DCR), which is based on a hybrid Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) blockchain consensus protocol, is currently ranking 30th by market cap, with a capitalization of over $ 333 million at the time of writing.

The new device mines DCR with a hashrate of 7.8 TH/s and power consumption of a little over 1,400 watts, the mining giant tweeted. The Antminer DR3 can already be ordered on Bitmain’s website and it’s currently sold for $ 673. The company will start shipping the miners from the first batch on October 8 for fully paid orders and on a first-paid-first-ship basis.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Bitmain.


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Coinbase Opens Its Doors to an Array of Altcoins

September 26, 2018 |

Coinbase Opens Its Doors to an Avalanche of Altcoins

Coinbase, a traditionally timid exchange when it comes to listing cryptocurrencies, has dramatically changed its stance. The California-headquartered firm has now opened its doors to applications from altcoins. Assets deemed suitably robust and eligible for its listing criteria are likely to feature on Coinbase in the near future.

Also read: Coinbase Custody is Eyeing Some Odd Altcoins

Coinbase Cautiously Welcomes an Army of Assets

Coinbase is possibly the world’s most cautious cryptocurrency exchange. To date it’s listed just five cryptocurrencies – BTC, BCH, LTC, ETH, and ETC – and will have run these decisions past a horde of lawyers and regulatory agencies before proceeding. In a surprise move, the US exchange has now altered its policy, going so far as to solicit applications from project teams desiring to have their coin listed.

Coinbase Opens Its Doors to an Avalanche of Altcoins

“We’ve always taken a deliberate approach to adding support for new assets to the platform,” acknowledges Coinbase in a blog post on Tuesday. It continues: “Today we’re announcing a new process that will allow us to rapidly list most digital assets that are compliant with local law, by satisfying listing requests in a jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction manner. In practice, this means some new assets listed on our platform may only be available to customers in select jurisdictions for a period of time.”

A New Dawn for the World’s Most Famous Exchange

Coinbase is a controversial exchange, whose decisions, which include shutting down Wikileaks’ account and banning deposits that have passed through coin mixers, have not gone down well. Even its staunchest critics would concede that the decisions the exchange makes, for better or worse, have a major effect on the market, both in terms of dictating trends and boosting prices.

In August, the exchange revealed a range of altcoins it was considering adding to its Custody cold storage service, among them ZRX, BAT, XTZ, and FOAM. It is reasonable to expect that some of these coins, as well as many more, will be made available for trading in certain US states in the near future. While Coinbase hasn’t detailed its listing criteria, it is likely to prioritize coins that are deemed reasonably decentralized, whose ownership is not concentrated in the hands of the project founders, and which are unlikely to be classified a security.

Coinbase Opens Its Doors to an Avalanche of Altcoins
Coinbase’s listing portal.

Coins that are approved will be added without any listing fee, as is company policy. There will be legal and security barriers to overcome first, though, before any aspiring altcoins can be listed. The new Coinbase Listing portal is sue to be inundated with applications in the coming weeks. Onlookers will be interested to learn whether highly centralized coins such as ripple are approved, or whether Coinbase will continue to err on the side of caution, as has always been its wont.

Which coins do you think Coinbase will be first to approve? Let us know in the comments section below.


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The Daily: Coinbase Denies Self-Trading, Kraken Gets Feisty

September 20, 2018 |

The Daily: Coinbase Denies Self-Trading Claim, Kraken Gets Feisty

The dust had barely settled on New York’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative when the exchanges profiled came out swinging. Kraken and Coinbase’s responses to the Attorney General’s report are featured in this edition of The Daily. Also, what can the cannabis bubble teach us about the bitcoin boom?

Also read: 8 Surprising Findings from New York’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative

Coinbase Sets the Record Straight

The Daily: Coinbase Denies Self-Trading Claim, Kraken Gets FeistyWhen New York’s Attorney General’s office requested information from crypto exchanges that operated within the state earlier this year, Coinbase rushed to its assistance. The California-based exchange is known for its officiousness when it comes to acceding to government requests. Despite painstakingly filling out the form in meticulous detail, the Coinbase team discovered on Tuesday, to their chagrin, that their responses had been misinterpreted.

Specifically, the public latched onto the fact that 20% of all trades on Coinbase are filled by Coinbase themselves. While news.Bitcoin.com interpreted this for what it was – simply providing liquidity – other outlets mistook it for evidence of potential manipulation. In a blog post today, Coinbase has sought to clear up the misunderstanding, writing: “Coinbase does not trade for the benefit of the company on a proprietary basis. In order to provide an easy-to-use customer experience, Coinbase Consumer quotes a price and then quickly fills the order from our exchange platform (Coinbase Markets). This takes advantage of the liquidity provided by the entire Coinbase ecosystem.” It continued:

When Coinbase executes these trades, it does so on behalf of Coinbase Consumer customers, not itself.

Kraken Kicks Back at New York

Kraken exchange, led by the charismatic Jesse Powell, is in many respects the anti-Coinbase. It famously refused to participate in New York’s Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative, since it doesn’t offer its services to NY residents, and has remained defiant since the report was published on Tuesday. “Thanks to the NY taxpayer for funding this research – saved our product team a lot of time, and we got some interesting non-public info on our competitors,” they quipped. It wasn’t all wisecracks and ribaldry though, with Kraken following up: “We must, however, object to the highly unprofessional/malicious implication that because we did not respond to the voluntary information request, we *might* be operating illegally. We told you we don’t operate in NY. AG trying cases in court of public opinion now?”

The Daily: Coinbase Denies Self-Trading Claim, Kraken Gets Feisty

In related news, notorious Tether critic and perma-bear, Bitfinexed, has predictably lapped up the Attorney General’s report. He’s now widened his remit from warning traders to get their funds off Bitfinex to exhorting them to do the same with Binance. While Bitfinexed earned a lot of credit for raising awareness of Tether’s shadiness, many crypto-heads have began to tire of his constant doom mongering. Like a broken clock, however, he’s sure to be right at some point.

Bubble Hash and Bitcoin

The Daily: Coinbase Denies Self-Trading Claim, Kraken Gets Feisty
Bubble hash

Bubble hash is a type of pure cannabis, made using ice water screens, that bubbles when a flame is applied. It’s also a good term for describing what’s going on in the weed market right now. “In perhaps the wildest day yet for the nascent Weed Inc., shares in Tilray took a ride reminiscent of the Bitcoin craze and even the height of the dot-com bubble,” writes Bloomberg. “The maker of cannabis products nearly doubled before wiping out the entire gain in less than an hour, only to finish 40 percent higher than where it started.”

The impending legalization of weed in Canada has been attributed to the marijuana bubble that’s sent several cannabis stocks soaring. The fact that they’re tradable on the millennial-friendly and crypto-happy Robinhood app has likely further boosted their appeal. Lest confirmation was needed that weed is the new bitcoin, institutional equity sales trader Michael Antonelli has likened the cannabis craze to “the wild west”. At one stage in trading on Wednesday, Tilray’s stock reached $ 22 billion, making the company more valuable than Twitter. Like late-December bitcoin, the high is sure to wear off, and marijuana traders will come back down to earth. But those who are interested in marijuana for its underlying technology – the THC – will stick around.

The Daily: Coinbase Denies Self-Trading Claim, Kraken Gets Feisty

David Chaum Wants to Build a Better Bitcoin

Finally, crypto pioneer David Chaum, best known for his work on ecash and Digicash, is back. The 63-year-old believes he’s built a better Bitcoin which can handle thousands of transactions a second. While many bitcoiners have huge respect for Chaum, his latest venture has been greeted with scepticism. The ecash inventor revealed details of his Elixxir project at Consensus Singapore today. His blockchain may be faster than Bitcoin but won’t be remotely as decentralized or secure. Building a better Bitcoin is the holy grail that many aspire to but to date no one has achieved.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbase to Hire 130, EF Hutton Backs Acex Exchange

September 17, 2018 |

In cryptocurrency exchange news, Coinbase plans to hire 130 additional staff at its New York office by the end of 2019, a recently announced exchange which will be backed EF Hutton has declared that it will launch before January 2019, and Digifinex has announced that it will replace its USDT pairings for TUSD.

Also Read: Growing Number of Indian Crypto Exchanges Say Fiat Support Is Back Despite RBI Ban 

Coinbase NYC Office to Hire 130 Employees

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbase to Hire 130, EF Hutton Backs ExchangeCoinbase has indicated that it plans to hire 130 employees at its newly opened New York office by the end of next year. The hirings would bring the number of staff working at the facility to roughly 150.

“We have to create a bridge between financial services and technology,” Adam White, the general manager of Coinbase International, stated. “In order to do that, we need to pull from some of the best and brightest minds that have worked their whole careers in other kinds of traditional financial firms.”

Mr. White stated that the exchange has continued to grow despite declining trade volume due to increased institutional investment in the sector, stating: “When we saw the market begin to correct, which we all expected, institutions didn’t lose interest. It was exactly the opposite. They look at it as an opportunity to enter when things are not too frothy.”

EF Hutton-Backed Exchange to Launch by January

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbase to Hire 130, EF Hutton Backs ExchangeEF Hutton has announced that it will be sponsoring a virtual currency exchange, American Cryptocurrency Exchange (Acex). According to a press release, the exchange currently expects to commence trading digital assets by January 2019, and that Acex will comprise “a first of its kind membership exchange in North America.”

The chief executive officer of EF Hutton, Christopher Daniels, said: “We are building a unique fintech infrastructure in Arizona that encompasses a large number of brokers and advisors. Acex membership structure benefits every Member firm – all of whom benefit directly from the growth of Acex.”

At launch, Acex will support BCH, BTC, ETH, LTC, BTG, ETC, OMG, EOS, DASH, TRX, XMR, VEN, IOTA, ZEC, and TUSD, and plans to list initial coin offerings next year.

Digifinex Replaces USDT Pairings With TUSD

Exchanges Round-Up: Coinbase to Hire 130, EF Hutton Backs ExchangeDigifinex, the 14th largest cryptocurrency exchange by volume according to Coinmarketcap’s adjusted rankings, has announced that it will phase out USDT pairings on its platform.

The co-founder of Digitfinex, Kiana Shek, stated: ”I simply don’t believe in Tether,” adding: that she had been “looking for ways to get rid of USDT” for months.

Digifinex will first launch TUSD pairings for BTC, ETH, and USDT, with the number of pairings expected to grow as USDT is phased out across the platform.

Do you think that more exchanges will seek to phase out USDT pairings in favor of alternative stablecoins? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


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The Daily: Coinbase Explores Crypto ETF, Changelly Verifies Monero Traders

September 8, 2018 |

The Daily: Coinbase Explores Crypto ETF, Changelly Verifies Monero Traders

US exchange Coinbase is reportedly exploring possibilities to create a cryptocurrency ETF and we’ve covered the details in The Daily. Also, Bittrex announces fiat pairs for cardano and zcash, Changelly admits requesting KYC documents from clients trading privacy coins like XMR, and Monero developers find another bug.

Also read: EU Urged for Common Crypto Rules, EEU Ready for Common Crypto

Coinbase Looking to Create Crypto ETF

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, a leading US trading platform, has been exploring the development of a crypto-related exchange traded product. The San Francisco-headquartered company has held talks with representatives of the assets manager Blackrock, Business Insider reported quoting knowledgeable sources. The Wall Street giant has extensive expertise in launching similar products and has set up a blockchain working group, despite previous statements it’s not interested in crypto.

Earlier this year, Coinbase launched an index fund of cryptocurrencies aimed at accredited investors. An exchange traded fund (ETF) tied to cryptocurrency, which is likely to track multiple digital coins, would be targeted at and could facilitate the entrance of more mainstream, retail investors into the crypto market. If the company’s plans are confirmed, the California-based exchange will join a number of businesses from the space trying to launch crypto ETFs. The list already includes Gemini, Bitwise and Vaneck.

Regulators have so far rejected a number of proposals. Last month, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued three decisions denying nine Bitcoin ETFs. A day after rejecting the proposed rule changes, however, the Commission initiated a review of all related decisions noting that the rejection orders from August 22 are stayed, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

Bittrex Announces Fiat Pairs for Cardano and Zcash

The Daily: Coinbase Explores Crypto ETF, Changelly Verifies Monero TradersAnother US-based exchange, Bittrex, has recently launched fiat trading pairs with two altcoins, cardano (ADA) and zcash (ZEC). Eligible Bittrex accounts, created before September 4, are enabled for trading, the platform announced on Twitter this week. New users will have to submit a request to add USD trading to their accounts after passing KYC procedures. “Cardano (ADA) and zcash (ZEC) have been added to USD (fiat) markets,” according to the post conveying the information about the launch. The crypto trading platform is compliant with the requirements for carrying out fiat transactions since March.

Changelly Confirms KYC for XMR Traders

The Daily: Coinbase Explores Crypto ETF, Changelly Verifies Monero TradersA number of Monero (XMR) traders have recently taken to social media and crypto forums to complain that crypto exchange Changelly freezes digital assets requesting KYC (know your customer) verification. According to this tweet, for example, the platform asks for KYC documents after users have already sent the funds and refuses to refund them if they “are not up to par.” Clients trading privacy coins have expressed disappointment with the company’s policies claiming they’ve been effectively robbed after being automatically classified as high-risk users for trying to buy monero via Changelly.

The Prague-based exchange is considered one of the main alternatives to Shapeshift, a leading crypto-to-crypto trading platform which recently announced KYC requirements for its customers. A spokesperson for Changelly has admitted the service can withhold suspicious transactions and hold clients’ funds until they provide the requested information. Quoted by The Next Web, the representative explained:

To all Monero community, our risk management system doesn’t mark all transactions out of the blue… Monero is the crypto that hides sender and recipient thus making transactions untraceable. This is a reason why big amounts of other currency got to be checked before converted to XMR.

The spokesperson also noted that “We have no mistrust of and prejudice towards users trading XMR. The matter relates to a Know-Your-Customer procedure that we had to implement due to the increased number of money laundering cases via our service.” All funds are released and their owners are white-listed once cleared by Changelly’s security department. However, the exchange has admitted that the cryptocurrency is kept for an undisclosed period of time when a customer refuses to provide the required data.

New Monero Wallet Bug Discovered

The Daily: Coinbase Explores Crypto ETF, Changelly Verifies Monero TradersDevelopers of the privacy-oriented altcoin monero have discovered a vulnerability which exposes its wallet software’s accounting functions to cyber-attacks. According to a report released on September 5, the bug is related to the system of encoding transactions with public keys. The flaw in the wallet software allows hackers to access the user’s account, including transaction data. Currently, the extent of the possible damages is unknown and there is no information as to whether the programmers have managed to fix the problem. Other bugs in the Monero network were discovered earlier last month.

What are your thoughts on today’s news tidbits? Tell us in the comments section below.


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Coinbase: 42% of World’s Best Universities Offer Crypto Courses

August 29, 2018 |

Coinbase: 42% of World’s Best Universities Offer Crypto Courses

The ecosystem’s largest bank and quasi-exchange, Coinbase, commissioned a survey about higher education (students and faculty) attitudes toward crypto and blockchain. They found over 40% of leading universities around the world offer at least one course in blockchain or crypto, and 25% of all students, regardless of major, said they would consider taking classes in either subject.

Also read: EXCLUSIVE: 3D Gun Proponent Cody Wilson Defiant, Offers Firearm Blueprints for Sale

Coinbase and Qriously Team to Survey University Attitudes Toward Crypto

US crypto bank and exchange Coinbase has an interest in taking temperatures regarding cryptocurrency, especially in an extended bear market. That in mind, the bank teamed with Qriously to take the pulse of the top 50 universities in the world, as determined by US News & World Report rankings. They also asked students about their interest in subjects such as crypto and blockchain.

Takeaways of the study include finding nearly half, 42%, of the globe’s best universities offer at least one course on either the subject of blockchain or crypto. And, as Coinbase explains, “Students from a range of majors are interested in crypto and blockchain courses — and universities are adding courses across a variety of departments.”

Coinbase: 42% of World’s Best Universities Offer Crypto Courses

Researchers at Qriously sampled 675 students, 50 international universities, along with interviewing students and professors personally. One business school professor in the United States noted, in a matter of just four years, the amount of students enrolling for his offering on blockchain boomed from an initial 35 to 230, a 6X increase. 

Qriously, the company, hit its stride last year by reliably predicting the rise of certain political parties thought long dead in British politics. The London-based ad-tech company helps develop advertisements for mobile applications, using pointed questions to users while cataloguing their answers. Those answers are then repackaged as curated ads. The company has been around in one form or another since 2010.

Crypto Job Market Demanding Skilled Workers

New York University’s Stern School of Business finance department chair noted, “A process is well underway that will lead to the migration of most financial data to blockchain-based organizations. Students will benefit greatly by studying this area.” He believes the rise in student interest has been pushed along not only by interest in a new technology but also because more and more companies are searching for crypto-related skills.

Another finding had to do with interest among students not normally known for their tech acumen, namely the Humanities or Social Science areas. Dawn Song, University of California at Berkeley professor of computer sciences stressed, “Blockchain combines theory and practice and can lead to fundamental breakthroughs in many research areas. It can have really profound and broad-scale impacts on society in many different industries. The techniques used in blockchain aren’t necessarily new,” but rather are areas “where research and even education has been around for a really long time.”

Coinbase: 42% of World’s Best Universities Offer Crypto Courses
Coinbase continues, “Universities, in turn, are forming research centers and adding more crypto-related courses, in part to meet rising demand and also because they now see cryptocurrency as an area worthy of serious academic study.” Indeed, their findings found crypto related classes smuggled into departments such as finance and anthropology, rather than just traditional computer science.

“In fact,” the survey asserts, “the rise in offerings across disciplines maps to student interest: Students with a diverse set of majors say they’d like to take cryptocurrency classes, […] Nearly half of all social science majors expressed interest in taking a crypto class.”

70% of All Universities Offer a Crypto-Related Class

Though their “analysis found that 42 percent of the top 50 universities offer at least one class on blockchain or cryptocurrency, and 22 percent offer more than one,” if their findings included already existing courses in crypto, a whopping “70 percent of universities offer at least one crypto-related class.”

The United States appears to be leading the pack, as only “five of the 18 international universities on the list, or 27 percent, offer at least one class on blockchain or cryptocurrency. And only two — Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and National University of Singapore — offer more than one.”

Coinbase: 42% of World’s Best Universities Offer Crypto Courses
And of those US colleges, “Cornell offers the highest number of classes when including cryptography, cryptocurrency, or blockchain. The 28 courses include ‘Anthropology of Money’ and ‘Introduction to Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies, and Smart Contracts,’ which covers the cryptocurrency bitcoin and ‘the technological landscape it has inspired and catalyzed,’ according to the course description,” the study detailed.

Stanford University is top among non-traditional crypto class offerings, and “its Center for Blockchain Research this summer to bring together students and faculty from across the school’s departments to work on various aspects of cryptocurrencies and blockchain,” the study revealed. Stanford professor of computer science, Dan Boneh, mentioned, “every time he talks with a new team in the group he finds himself walking away with three new research ideas. ‘There are new technical questions being raised by blockchain projects that we would not work on otherwise,’ he says.”

Is it important to onboard more college students and universities into crypto? Let us know in the comments below. 


Images via Pixabay.


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The Daily: Binance Launches Incubator, Coinbase Adds Info on Top 50 Cryptos

August 27, 2018 |

The Daily: Binance Launches Incubator, Coinbase Adds Info on Top 50 Cryptos

In today’s edition of Bitcoin in Brief we cover stories about Binance exchange launching an incubator program meant to help the development of crypto startups and Coinbase adding educational information on the top fifty cryptocurrencies for its users.

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Binance Launches Incubator Program

The Daily: Binance Launches Incubator, Coinbase Adds Info on Top 50 CryptosBinance has introduced a new incubation program to support early-stage startups with the exchange’s resources to help jump start their ideas. The Binance Labs Incubation Program is a ten-week on-site program designed to help teams deliver a product or service with a market fit. It provides each venture with $ 500k in seed funding in exchange for 10% of their equity. It also offers access to mentors from the scene and a network of founders. In addition, the program also provides support services so that the teams can focus just on building their products and services.

The first batch will be held in San Francisco and while the next locations have not been announced yet, the company is said to be particularly looking for places in Africa and Asia. “We’re looking at different cities across the world because blockchain and crypto are international. We see problems and opportunities in different regions with different ways to leverage the blockchain,” Binance Labs CEO Ella Zhang told Techcrunch.

Coinbase Adds Info on Top 50 Cryptocurrencies

Coinbase has announced it started experimenting with new ways for customers to explore and view the top 50 cryptocurrencies by market cap . Some customers can now view historic trading data, current market cap, a description of the asset, and links to relevant white papers and project websites. The company wants to test various formats and types of information to display. It emphasizes that these new asset pages, most of which covering coins not available to trade on the exchange, do not mean that Coinbase intends to support any specific asset in the future.

The Coinbase team explain that: “It’s no secret that many consumers feel overwhelmed when trying to research and learn about cryptocurrencies. We’ve heard from our customers that they are always looking for trusted sources of information and, as one of the world’s leading exchanges, we’re committed to offering educational resources that help them navigate the world of cryptocurrency.”

Argentinians Are Hopeful for Future in Latin America

The Daily: Binance Launches Incubator, Coinbase Adds Info on Top 50 CryptosWith glaring examples of fiat hyperinflation in their region, it is no surprise that many people in Latin America think cryptocurrency can replace the current financial system within the next decade. A survey conducted by peer-to-peer credit network RCN polled 890 Argentina-based users of Ripio, the Latin America based wallet with over 200,000 users. Nearly a quarter of the surveyed respondents believe blockchain will take over the financial system in five years (by 2023), while nearly 40% said it will take over in the next five to ten years (by 2028).

“Almost 85 percent of survey respondents said blockchain and cryptocurrencies will become the norm for finance within the next 15 years — destroying bank monopolies and their lack of transparency in the process,” Sebastian Serrano, CEO of RCN said. “Indeed, blockchain has enormous potential for streamlining processes currently burdened by red tape and legislation. Smart contracts also make global money lending a possibility, which would dramatically change the game.” Survey respondents also said blockchain will “change the way we use money,” “change the rules,” and “change the world.”

Roboforex Now Accepts Deposits in Over 40 Coins

Roboforex, the FX and CFD brokerage, has launched a new service which will allow its clients to deposit funds to their BTC accounts by means of other cryptocurrencies. The sum of deposited coins will be automatically converted into BTC according to the exchange rate at the moment of depositing. Right now, this new service supports more than 40 different options, including BCH, ETH, LTC, NEO, and others.

Denis Golomedov, Chief Marketing Officer, commented: “Considerable part of our clients trade and keep funds on their accounts in cryptocurrencies. Many of them have assets in digital currencies other than BTC, which they now may use for depositing their BTC accounts. Our new solution will offer the company’s clients a convenient way to convert their assets into BTC and transfer funds between Wallets and accounts inside the system.”

What do you think about today’s news tidbits? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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