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| March 23, 2019

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Trump’s Justice Pick Opens Up a Key Vacancy

March 6, 2019 |

President Trump’s nomination of Jessie Liu for the third-highest spot in the Justice Department creates a vacancy that could allow Trump to name the person who will oversee the most politically charged cases in Washington, including those stemming from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. As Mueller winds down his Russia…
Newser

Cryptocurrency Exchange Exmo Opens Branch in Turkey

February 21, 2019 |

Cryptocurrency Exchange Exmo Opens Branch in Turkey

Digital asset exchange Exmo, a leading crypto trading platform in Eastern Europe, has recently registered a subsidiary in Turkey. The company is setting up an office in Istanbul, the financial capital of the country situated on the Bosphorus.

Also read: Lithuania Central Bank’s Policy Update Opens the Door for Crypto Payments

Traders Offered Pairs With the Turkish Lira

The decision to establish the branch is part of Exmo’s launch in Turkey and indicates the growing significance of the Turkish crypto market in the region. The cryptocurrency exchange already has offices in the Russian Federation, Ukraine, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Exmo Opens Branch in Turkey

The move comes after Exmo presented a Turkish language version of its website and introduced support for the Turkish lira (TRY). Trading pairs between the local fiat currency and major digital coins such as bitcoin core (BTC), ethereum (ETH), ripple (XRP), and stellar (XLM) are now available.

In an announcement published on its website and social media, the exchange noted that it’s currently finalizing formal procedures to open an account in a Turkish bank. That means a bank transfer payment option will be available to users in the near future.

Commenting on the new developments during the Blockchain Economy Istanbul Summit, chief executive officer of Exmo, Sergey Zhdanov, stated:

The Turkish market has become an incredibly pleasant discovery for us. The numbers of traders from the eastern region undoubtedly pleases us. So, we have decided not to stop here and open a representative office in Istanbul in order to have even more opportunities in this region.

Cryptocurrencies Popular in Inflation-hit Turkey

Exmo, which was founded in 2013, is based in London, Kiev, Barcelona, Moscow, and now Istanbul. It’s often referred to as the largest cryptocurrency trading platform in Eastern Europe. The exchange reports having a total of 1.6 million users and 50,000 active daily traders.

The platform offers more than 120 trading pairs and has become popular in the region with its support for six fiat currencies including the Russian ruble, the Ukrainian hryvnia and the Polish zloty. According to the company, its average daily trading volume is around $ 30 million. At the time of writing, Exmo is the 65th crypto exchange listed on Coinmarketcap with a 24-hour volume of close to $ 18 million.

Turkey is one of those inflation-hit countries where cryptocurrencies have been steadily gaining popularity due to the depreciation of the national fiat currency. Trading volumes on the country’s major crypto exchanges spiked last summer when the Turkish currency saw a big drop against the U.S. dollar.

Cryptocurrency Exchange Exmo Opens Branch in Turkey

At press time, TRY is trading at approximately $ 0.18, compared to 26 cents a year ago. In August 2018 its price bottomed at a little over $ 0.14. That’s when Turkish crypto exchanges registered their highest trading volumes.

Back then, one of the leading local platforms, Btcturk, saw a 350 percent increase in just 24 hours, as news.Bitcoin.com reported. It currently has over $ 4 million in daily trading volume. Other popular crypto exchanges in Turkey that Exmo has to compete against include Paribu, Koinim, and Koineks, all of which trade a wide variety of digital coins.

BTC trade with the Turkish lira on the peer-to-peer exchange Localbitcoins peaked during the week of Nov. 25, 2018, when according to Coindance the volume reached almost 2.5 million Turkish lira (over $ 525,000 in today’s prices).

Do you think Turkey will establish itself as a major crypto market in the region? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools 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 Cryptocurrency Exchange Exmo Opens Branch in Turkey appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Lithuania Central Bank’s Policy Update Opens the Door for Crypto Payments

February 20, 2019 |

Financial Companies in Lithuania to Accept Cryptocurrencies Through Third Parties

The central bank of Lithuania has updated its position on cryptocurrencies and tokens issued through initial coin offerings. The regulator has revised the definition of these assets specifying the conditions under which financial institutions can operate with digital money and accept crypto payments.

Also read: Court Rules Brazil’s Bitcoin Max Exchange Can Keep Bank Account

The Term ‘Virtual Assets’ Replaces ‘Virtual Currency’

The governing board of Bank of Lithuania, the institution responsible for the Baltic nation’s monetary policy and financial markets, has recently released an updated version of its position pertaining to digital currencies. The regulator said it has taken into account the current market developments and evolving regulatory regimes in other jurisdictions.

In an announcement published on its website, Lietuvos Bankas reveals its intentions to provide all existing and potential financial market participants (FMPs) with a “level playing field.” This includes entities organizing initial coin offerings (ICOs) and businesses providing services to Lithuanian residents who want to invest in this type of financial products.

Responding to general questions about cryptocurrencies, the bank now says it has substituted the term “virtual currency,” used previously in regards to digital coins, with “virtual assets.” The new policy introduces strict rules for FMPs and describes under what circumstances they can work with virtual assets, including for payments.

Lithuania Central Bank’s Policy Update Opens the Door for Crypto Payments

Crypto Funds Open Only to Professional Investors

The financial institution emphasizes, however, that the underlying principles of its position have remained unchanged. Bank of Lithuania notes that companies offering financial services are required to separate their main activities from those associated with virtual assets.

Financial organizations are still not permitted to receive payments directly in cryptocurrency, give out crypto credits or use digital assets as collateral, except when the tokens are considered securities. The payments they accept in their accounts should only be in fiat currency to presumably limit risks associated with digital coins.

On the other hand, the new policy allows these companies to receive cryptocurrency payments processed by third-party platforms that convert the amounts to local fiat. When crypto-related services are provided, risk mitigating measures such as customer identification, limited movement of the virtual assets within the FMP and coverage with traditional assets should be applied.

The central bank’s updated position creates conditions for the registration of investment funds dealing with digital assets. However, these entities will be able to provide services only to professional investors. A number of such funds operate in other countries, the bank says, noting that they can do that in Lithuania too if they comply with the requirements of the country’s legislation and the bank’s guidelines.

Lithuania Central Bank’s Policy Update Opens the Door for Crypto Payments

Lithuania to Allow Equity ICOs

Lietuvos Bankas has also answered several questions regarding initial coin offerings (ICOs). The regulator stated that equity ICOs can be held via crowdfunding platforms and security tokens can be issued. Such activities are currently governed by country’s crowdfunding and securities laws.

The offering of crypto securities to the public should also comply with the respective EU directives that have been transposed into the Lithuanian legislation. One of the requirements is to indicate the other member states where the tokens will be placed so that the bank can notify local authorities.

What is your opinion about the changes in Lithuania’s regulatory policy toward cryptocurrencies? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools 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 Lithuania Central Bank’s Policy Update Opens the Door for Crypto Payments appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Germany Opens Massive Spy Headquarters

February 12, 2019 |

The largest foreign intelligence service headquarters on the planet just opened its doors in Berlin, reports the Guardian —just not to the public. The new home of Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service took 12 years to build and cost $ 1.23 billion. Covering a site where an East German sports stadium…
Newser

Steven Tyler Opens Another Home to Help Abused Girls

February 6, 2019 |

Janie’s got a new home. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith has helped establish a refuge for abused girls near Memphis. “This does my heart and my soul good,” Tyler said at the dedication Monday. WJHL reports Tyler donated $ 500,000 to renovate Janie’s House, which is named for the abused girl…
Newser

Europe Opens Channel for Trade With Iran

February 4, 2019 |

France, Britain and Germany, defying threats from Washington, established a special payments company intended to secure some trade with Iran and blunt the impact of U.S. sanctions.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

Julianne Hough opens up about how her endometriosis pain can make sex ‘really frustrating’

January 15, 2019 |

Julianne Hough is speaking out again about her endometriosis – this time about how the condition has affected her sex life with husband and former NHL player Brooks Laich.
FOX News

The Daily: Bittrex Opens OTC Desk, Bakkt Acquires Futures Team

January 15, 2019 |

The Daily: Bittrex Opens OTC Desk, Bakkt Acquires Futures Firm

In today’s edition of The Daily, we cover a number of stories that show how the cryptocurrency ecosystem is evolving to become more inviting to institutional investors. Bittrex exchange opens an OTC trading desk, Bakkt “acquihires” a futures compliance team, and Swiss investment bank Vontobel launches a custody solution.

Also Read: Bitwise Asset Management Files With SEC for New Bitcoin ETF

Bittrex Opens OTC Desk

The Daily: Bittrex Opens OTC Desk, Bakkt Acquires Futures Team

U.S.-based digital asset exchange Bittrex has announced that it has opened an over-the-counter (OTC) desk, which includes trading on nearly all 200 tokens available on the platform. It will offer approved customers with reduced price risk, rapid trade execution and guaranteed pricing for large trades, which are typically $ 250,000 or greater. The new OTC desk will also accept both cryptocurrency and USD wire transfers for deposits.

“We’re excited to offer this new, game-changing trading option for our customers,” said Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara. “With one of the most extensive selections of digital assets of any OTC desk available, this offering will be another way for Bittrex to further advance adoption of blockchain technology worldwide, while also providing our customers with price certainty and a fast and easy way to trade large blocks of digital assets.”

Bakkt Acquires Futures Team

The Daily: Bittrex Opens OTC Desk, Bakkt Acquires Futures Team

Bakkt, the digital asset subsidiary of  Intercontinental Exchange (NYSE: ICE) which recently raised $ 182.5 million, has completed its first acquisition. The company announced it entered into an agreement to acquire certain valuable assets of Rosenthal Collins Group (RCG), an independent futures commission merchant.

The goal of the deal is to purchase capabilities needed for developing the bitcoin futures platform. The transaction is expect to close in February and will include the members of the RCG team joining Bakkt. It is said to enhance the company’s risk management and treasury operations with both systems and expertise, as well as to contribute to its regulatory, AML/KYC and customer service operations.

“This acquisition underlines the fact we’re not standing still as we await regulatory approval by the CFTC for the launch of regulated trading in our crypto markets,” stated Bakkt CEO Kelly Loeffle. “Our mission requires significant investment in technology to establish an innovative platform, as well as financial market expertise to deliver the most trusted fintech ecosystem for digital assets.”

Vontobel Launches Crypto Vault

The Daily: Bittrex Opens OTC Desk, Bakkt Acquires Futures Team

Investment bank Vontobel, the third-largest provider of B2B custody and execution services in Switzerland, has launched a ‘Digital Asset Vault’. The service allows Vontobel’s clients, which include over 100 banks and wealth managers, to issue instructions for the purchase, custody and transfer of digital assets integrated within their familiar banking infrastructure and regulated environment. Financial intermediaries could also use the service to offer their own clients a solution for digital assets.

“Digital Asset Vault represents the logical next step in the development of our range of services for digital assets. With our innovative strength and experience, we have thus closed the gap between existing and digital assets. By incorporating digital assets into our own banking infrastructure, we have also become the first provider to already meet the high standards required by financial intermediaries and their regulators,” stated Roger Studer, head of Vontobel Investment Banking.

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


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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The post The Daily: Bittrex Opens OTC Desk, Bakkt Acquires Futures Team appeared first on Bitcoin News.

Bitcoin News

Standoff Over Stranded Migrants Ends as Europe Opens Doors

January 10, 2019 |

A row over the fate of 49 migrants held for weeks on two rescue ships in the Mediterranean Sea ended when Malta reached a deal to allow them to disembark before being transferred to other European nations.
WSJ.com: What’s News Europe

CNN

Saudi prosecutors seek death penalty as Khashoggi murder trial opens

January 4, 2019 |

Saudi prosecutors sought the death penalty for five of the 11 suspects accused of killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Thursday as their trial began in Riyadh, Saudi Press Agency reported.
CNN.com – RSS Channel – World