Major Hong Kong-based cryptocurrency exchange OKEx will delist over 50 trading pairs with weak performance, according to an announcement published Oct. 25.
As per the announcement, at 6:00 am Oct. 31, 2018 CET, the exchange will halt the trading of a swathe of pairs that they cite as having weak liquidity and trading volume. The exchange warned users that they should cancel their orders of the affected pairs from the platform.
OKEx also made a point of noting that it will delist only the indicated trading pairs, but not the tokens themselves.
Andy Cheung, Head of Operations at OKEx, called the move “housekeeping” in a tweet today, Oct. 27, saying about OKEx and other top exchanges: “As leaders, we are responsible for promoting a robust ecosystem […] We need to take action on those underperforming tokens now.”
In a tweet announcing the delisting yesterday, Cheung also noted:
“Getting listed is not final. Maintaining a good performance is the key to success.”
Earlier this month, OKEx announced the listings of four stablecoins at once – TrueUSD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC), Gemini Dollar (GUSD), and Paxos Standard Token (PAX).
Founded in 2014, OKEx is at press time the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange in terms of adjusted trading volume, seeing around $402.5 million in trades over the past 24 hours.
Bloomberg’s analysts have joined the ranks of experts who consider that Bitcoin (BTC)’s low volatility levels recently signal the coin is finding a bottom, according to an analysis published Oct. 24.
Data analyzed by Bloomberg reveals that in October, BTC had only one day of price swings of (+/-) 5 percent or more; as compared with nine days in January and February, seven in March, and five in July.
Days with Bitcoin price moves of (+/-) 5 percent or above. Source: Bloomberg
Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mike McGlone is quoted as saying that the markedly low volatility levels are “a sign of speculation leaving the market and eventually a bottoming process.”
Notably, diminished price swings have coincided with a significant devaluation of the coin over the course of an unflagging bear market: as of press time, Bitcoin is trading at $6,476, down almost 52 percent from around $13,350 Jan. 1.
A parallel Bloomberg article has today contrasted Bitcoin’s 2018 “listless” stability with the apparently “wild” price fluctuations of tech stocks of late, which it quips are “the new Bitcoin.” According to Bloomberg data, “the spread between the 10-day volatility of the NYSE FANG+ Index” and Bitcoin has hit “a record high of 46 percentage points.”
Bloomberg’s analysts gave a positive perspective on Bitcoin’s rangebound trading patterns, with McGlone noting that “high volatility is a major factor lessening most cryptocurrency use cases for anything other than speculation.”
Charlie Morris, multi-asset head at London-based Atlantic House Fund Management, concurred that the stats simply suggest “the [crypto] market is calm and in balance,” adding:
“Given this bear market is now 10 months old and is getting tired, I’d be inclined to be bullish for the next major move.”
CEO of crypto app Plutus, Danial Daychopan, observed to Bloomberg that “the cost of the emotional traders has been washed away by the recent crash, and with it a lot of the volatility.” Low trading volumes appear to tally with Daychopan’s observation that the trading euphoria has tapered off in recent months.
Earlier this month, Spencer Bogart, an expert from crypto and blockchain venture firm Blockchain Capital concurred that Bitcoin is showing strong signs of “bottoming,” anticipating a “future crypto bonfire when we have the next bull market.”
On the basis of his technical analysis this June, futures broker Bill Baruch made a similar point, remarking that “a bottom is a process not a price. Now that [BTC’s] price and volatility are back down to earth, this bottoming process can begin.”
Cayman Island-based fintech startup Caspian has completed an eight-figure ICO ahead of schedule.
Founded earlier this year, Caspian ties together the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in a single user interface. The full-stack crypto asset management platform also offers compliance, algorithms, portfolio management, risk, and reporting. Its co-founders David Wills and Robert Dykes plan to channel 40 percent of the raised $19.5 million towards research and development.
The other 25 and 15 percent would go towards sales & marketing and application support, respectively. The founders have also allocated a considerable sum towards building new partnerships, managing accounts and legal, and miscellaneous administration costs.
“Selling out the crowd sale is a huge milestone in the growth of our company and our journey to build the first institutional grade full-stack crypto trading and risk management platform for professional traders and investors,” Willis said of the platform, now production-ready. “Caspian is a critical tool to assist the rapidly growing number of financial institutions seeking to trade cryptocurrencies.”
The news arrives at a time when a majority of ICO rounds have failed to raise capitals for their blockchain projects. The bearish mood of the crypto market has further made it difficult for projects to attract funds. Caspian nevertheless has managed to strike the right chords among investors for plenty of reasons.
Clients and Partners
Caspian is serving to the need for tools that could simplify crypto trading for an always-rising influx of investors. The platform explicitly targets institutional grade users, including crypto trading companies and hedge funds.
Caspian claims to have 170 customers waiting to sign up on its platform. The company has already added 15 names to its onboarding process, including Lykke, Bletchley Park, and ex-Point 72 manager Travis Kling’s Ikigai Asset Management. Caspian has also added 15 global institutions, including Techemy, Blockstars, OSL, and Galaxy Digital, which are live and trading on its platform.
US-based crypto exchanges Coinbase and Gemini have also entered a strategic partnership with Caspian, which will enable them to offer its sophisticated trading and portfolio management functionalities to their customers. Hong Kong-based p2p crypto exchange BitMEX has also integrated Caspian for the same services.
Notable crypto figures like Mike Novogratz, Mona El Isa, and Ari Paul have also joined the Cayman Islands startup as advisors.
“Cryptocurrencies will play an increasingly big role with institutional players, yet to date, the sophisticated trading and portfolio management tools have not been available for this asset class,” Mona predicted. “It is exciting to see Caspian fill this gap with high-quality crypto-tools.”
This post credited to ccn Image from Shutterstock.
Crypto exchange Coinbase is shutting down its institutional-investor focused index fund product, a spokesperson told CoinDesk.
The spokesperson told CoinDesk that the Coinbase Index Fund – first launched earlier this year – will be formally closed by the end of the month, with customers instead directed to the recently-announced Coinbase Bundle product instead. The news was first reported Thursday by The Block.
The spokesperson said:
“After assessing demand from retail, accredited and institutional investors, Coinbase has decided to shut down Coinbase Index Fund. We will focus on providing diversified exposure to all investors through Coinbase Bundle.”
Unlike the index fund, the bundle is open to all Coinbase customers, with no accreditation required. The minimum required investment is only $25 as well, compared to $250,000 for the fund.
“We’ve decided to refocus the resources devoted to managing the Coinbase Index Fund to other parts of the business,” the spokesperson concluded.
The Coinbase Index Fund was first announced in March, though it did not go live until mid-June, when product lead Rueben Bramanathan wrote that institutional investors could invest anywhere from $250,000 to $20 million into the product.
At launch, the fund exposed U.S.-based investors to bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ethereum, ethereum classic and litecoin, which were weighted by market capitalization.
Coinbase also announced its intention to add further assets to the fund should they be listed on any of its trading platforms as well.
The confirmation comes a day after Coinbase announced it was adding the 0x Protocol token (ZRX) to its professional trading platform, Coinbase Pro. The exchange only allowed deposits of the token until Friday morning, and launched full trading later in the day.
That being said, retail investors cannot yet access or trade ZRX through coinbase.com or its mobile apps. Coinbase said Thursday that the token would be added to these platforms at some future point.
This post credited to coindesk Image via Token Summit/YouTube
As of Thursday, Sept. 25, the bitcoin price has climbed about 3 percent, briefly crossing the $6,700 level and extending toward $6,750 at one point in the early evening.
While this movement has made plenty of cryptocurrency traders and investors happy in the short-term, a recent analysis of spending patterns relating to some of the earliest blocks of bitcoin has revealed that a very early miner has been taking advantage of the last several years’ long-term upward trajectory to slowly cash out tens of thousands of coins since Dec. 2016.
A recent tweet from a cryptocurrency expert, Blockchain data analyst Antoine Le Calvez, has revealed that a mysterious bitcoin miner has managed to send approximately 30,000 BTC cryptocurrency exchanges between Dec. 2016, and Jan. 2018, potentially cashing them out for a mammoth payday.
Mystery Miner Cashes In
According to Le Calvez, the mysterious bitcoin miner has been smart enough to cash in on their youngest blocks of bitcoin to not reveal the full extent of their mining period.
An analysis of the spending patterns of the earliest blocks of Bitcoin seem to indicate that a very early miner sent around 30k BTC to exchanges from Dec 2016 to early Jan 2018. pic.twitter.com/8SB89o80h3
It would seem that, at the latest, the mining started somewhere around Dec. 2009, back when the value of BTC wasn’t much above $0, still wasn’t anywhere near reaching dollar parity, and the flagship cryptocurrency could be profitably mined with a standard-issue CPU. The first Bitcoin Pizza Day, you will remember, did not occur until 2010.
Furthermore, the researcher believes that the mystery miner had mined for at least seven months. Through this time, he managed to acquire more than 30,000 BTC since block rewards were high and miners were few.
He speculates that the miner could have even commenced mining operations earlier than Dec. 2009 since, recognizing that spending older coins is more likely to attract attention, he desires to conceal his sell-off. For some, this may raise questions, such as whether the mystery wallet owner is not Satoshi Nakamoto himself, although the researcher seems to think otherwise.
This post is credited to ccn Featured Image from Shutterstock
It’s Saturday, which means nearly everyone is settled in for a relaxing weekend free from the turmoils of crunching numbers. Because Bitcoin is important and everyone uses electricity, here are a bunch of numbers to throw those people off.
I didn’t major in math so here goes nothing. First, here’s a dose of sobering perspective: Back when people talked to each other for entertainment, given the lack of iPhone chargers in the mid-1800s, people would look into the distance and say something to the effect of “There’s gold in them there hills,” and they actually dug gold out of the dirt all day long. That takes a lot of energy, right?
Cut back to today, mining still exists, but in two contexts. The first is actually sifting through the earth looking for the shiny yellow stuff, i.e. gold. The other is Bitcoinmining, which has some skeptics red-faced and sputtering about the amount of electricity it takes to make a blockchain. Those haters should probably calm down.
Here’s why: Bitcoin mining costs $4.3 billion dollars. That’s not exactly chump change, but compared to the $87.3 billion iceberg that sank the Titanic (AKA gold mining), there’s a sizable difference to be considered. Bitcoin and physical gold both have value, but their respective contexts are the decisive factor here. Because Bitcoin is decentralized in its approach and has no structure for measuring power usage, the millions of miners building blockchains don’t care how much power is consumed to do their job.
However, there are two ways in which power can be estimated per Panda Analytics Inc. investor Vladimir Jelisavcic’s calculations.
Number One: The Top-Down Approach
Generally, it takes 10 minutes to confirm the block transaction, and, according to LongHash.com, for every 12.5 BTC mined per newly created block, miners earn $562,500 per megawatt hour (MWh). The price of electricity is subjective, but if one MWh costs $100 and 30 percent of the total earnings is used to buy electricity, the end result is almost 1,700 MWh for powering the Bitcoin chain.
Number Two: Bottoms Up!
When Bitcoin is created, a function called hashing computes the Bitcoin code. The faster the hash rate, the faster new blocks can be discovered and rewards reaped. The software being used affects the rate at which hashing operates. For example, the Antiminer S9 looks like a kooky air conditioner but is capable of performing 14.5 terahashes per second.
That’s 14.5 trillion hashing operations every second. If the total Bitcoin network facilitates 50 billion trillion hashes per second (this sounds made up, I know), at least 3.45 million S9 units are necessary to support the blockchain. We’re left with 7,000 MWh and a total energy cost of 4,344 MWh, or $4.3 billion.
So what the deal with gold? Well, according to the world’s largest gold mining company, Barrick Gold Corporation, energy costs are $288 million per year. Based on the corporation’s annual report, gold production costs $794 per ounce. Last year, the company mined 5.3 million ounces—$4.2 billion worth of the precious metal. Net earnings increased drastically from $-2.9 billion in 2014 to $1.4 billion in 2017.
Global Gold Mining
Gold is mined literally everywhere, save for Antarctica. So if the global average for gold mined every year is 88 million ounces, according to the World Gold Council, it’s fair to say gold production costs $70 billion every year. Newly discovered mines are set for excavation starting in 2021 and expected to be sustained by 2023, meaning millions in additional gold reserves and millions more in production costs.
Barrick employees own 1.5 million shares of the company, so they have a fair interest in the gold hedge. Investing in Bitcoin, however, is too volatile for investors to risk their treasure chests on, so they’re content for the moment to stick to their laurels. In an interview with Forbes, financial author John Wasik advises investing no more than 10 percent of one’s total portfolio until cryptocurrency continues to establish itself as a regulated entity.
There’s no question that Bitcoin mining energy is the lesser of two evils. It’s more a problem of tangibility (and gold is pretty). But as cryptocurrency leaders continue to prove by example, there is a middle ground closing in on Bitcoin investing. The solution presented is regulation in technology that has its eye on the gold.
This post credited to cryptoslate Image source: Unsplash
Binance is set to unveil a fiat currency exchange that will be based in Singapore. This was revealed by CEO Changpeng Zhao over the weekend while speaking at the Cumberland Summit, a blockchain event in Singapore. Zhao further revealed that the new exchange is currently under an invitation-only beta testing phase.
After making the announcement during his speech on September 15, Zhao also posted it on his twitter account where he also revealed that it will begin beta testing on September 18, 2018.
I just slipped that we will begin #Binance Singapore fiat exchange live money closed beta testing on Sept 18th, in 3 days. Invitation only first. Exciting!
Day 2: @JamesRadecki32 starting off breakout #2 with @tylerwinklevoss and @cz_binance on crypto exchanges. @GeminiDotCom@tylerwinklevoss@ApoloOhno@arrington@TusharJain_@MatthewRoszak@missbitcoin_mai#cumberlandsummit#crypto#bitcoin
Thus far, very few details have been provided about the operational framework of the new fiat exchange, but there is speculation that it will likely offer Singapore dollar trading pairs. Fiat to fiat exchanges are still a relative novelty in the crypto world, and they remain largely untested in the “wild”. From a Binance point of view, opening a fiat exchange improves its users’ experience by enabling them to seamlessly convert across several fiat currencies and then make transactions directly from the exchange account using the new currency. Even more significantly, fiat to fiat exchanges generally offer users interbank exchange rates as against retail exchange rates, which means that users get more for their money.
Binance’s choice of Singapore for this experiment is not without precedent, as over the past few years Singapore has become one of the global crypto industry’s major hubs alongside South Korea, Hong Kong, Malta and the USA. The island state has moved toward the epicentre of global crypto innovation in part because of its relatively relaxed regulatory environment and its booming economy, often described as one of the “Asian Tigers”.
Singaporean authorities do not regulate crypto exchanges because crypto is not recognised as legal tender in the country, but exchanges are nonetheless required to abide by AML and CFT regulations.
Binance Continues Expanding
Often described as the world’s largest crypto exchange by volume, Binance has enjoyed a red letter year despite prevailing crypto market conditions. Following a blanket ban on crypto trading in China, the company has embarked on an aggressive global expansion drive, opening up in Malta, Jersey, South Korea, Uganda and Liechtenstein.
The company recently outlined its strategy for expanding across Africa, which some see as the crypto world’s last frontier with potential for unparalleled adoption due to its relatively underdeveloped financial systems. With a daily trading volume that regularly approaches $1 billion, the exchange boasts of market-leading liquidity for a large number of trading pairs.
This post credited to ccn Featured image from Shutterstock.
As the ICO (initial coin offering) market is changing, the cryptoverse just got another story to follow that might set an example of “creative destruction”, or how an ICO project might be closed down.
The platform connecting blockchain believers to teams that are building serious blockchain businesses Cofound.it has announced that it is closing down. According to the startup, it will be distributing the assets to their token (CFI) holders, since they believe “to continue with this purpose for a market that does not exist is not responsible.” At the time of writing, the market capitalization of the token stands at USD 9.8 million, the company has around 20,000 followers on its social media channels.
CFI price chart:
The startup was launched in 2016 and was the first crowdfunded project that was completely funded by the crowd in a pre-sale. They boasted a positive result in their first month of existence and their token was listed on exchanges such as Bittrex and Bitfinex. However, the winding down of the community-driven ICO concept of crowdfunding led the company to realize that they would rather close down now than try to evolve.
“The core idea of Cofound.it was to create an alternative VC [venture capiltal] ecosystem built around crowdfunding, democratization and transparency. Instead, the larger ecosystem developed and transformed into something completely opposite. Instead of waiting for the market to turn around, we have decided to opt for creative destruction, wind Cofound.it down and distribute the assets to the token holders,” co-founder and former CEO of Cofound.it, Daniel Zakrisson explained in a blog post.
He added that in November 2017 it became clear that the ICO concept needed to be reinvented, the power shifted to early professional investors and hype factories promoting ICOs to retail investors.
“We started the SEED programme to give the crowd the opportunity to join at the earliest funding stage. It became clear that the “community” at the core of the crowdfunding concept disappeared. In February it was evident that we were correct in our predictions<..>. The community-driven ICO concept of crowdfunding was dead,” Zakrisson concluded.
The company also adds that they hope to set a positive precedent for upcoming crypto-related projects: “By choosing creative destruction we keep the pace of innovation high in the space and hopefully set an example for other projects that will choose a similar course of action instead of quietly spending funds raised from the community for other purposes than was originally intended,” the blog post concludes.
In an interview, published by Cryptonews.com in January, Cofound.it chairperson David Prais explained what led to the launch of the project:
“I guess a couple of things: one was that the time was right, but, fundamentally, the financing of start-ups has gone wrong. I see this from my role as a director within the Funding London organisation. Some people have tried to rebalance the powers of funders and start-ups, but we really need a proper shake-up to try to get the balance right moving forward. Cofound.it is an attempt to correct the imbalance so it works for all parties.”
Their coin, CFI, is ranked 330th by market capitalization and has jumped by 38.71% in the past 24 hours at the time of writing, although the blog post states that “The CFI token trading will be stopped at the major exchanges today, Friday, September 14 at 12:00 CET to avoid speculation and market manipulation.”
The company has not replied to our request for comment by press time. Meanwhile, the next course of action the startup is taking is to consolidate and return all liquid assets within 30 days, destroy any CFI not in circulation, as well as provide regular updates on the wind-down process.
Such an unprecedented move – the closing down of a relatively successful business due to market evolution – is quickly becoming fertile ground to malicious actors who try to take advantage of the situation. However, the company is already aware of this and taking steps to prevent it.
Ervin K. Ursic, currently responsible for the wind-down of the company, writes in an official release, “I have been made aware of what appears to be unusual CFI trading activity in the last couple of days […] I plan to conduct a thorough investigation into trading activity, involving exchanges, law enforcement, securities agencies and other pertinent authorities. Should any irregularities be discovered, reparations will be pursued to the maximum extent permissible by law in both criminal and civil courts.”
A follow-up blog post details the phishing attempt, saying that a small number of people have received an email with subject “IMPORTANT: Ethereum Address Proof of Ownership Urgently Required”. The email appears to have come from “email@example.com.” They add that, “The email is a phishing attempt. If you were among those who received it, please report it as phishing and delete it,” as well as that there is “no evidence” of a database breach.
For those who hold CFI, the process of reclaiming is explained: “The total amount of assets will be divided by the amount of tokens in circulation, and as a token holder, your part is claimed by sending CFI tokens to a CFI destroy address that will be available on a dedicated website within 7 days […] First stage of redistribution will be executed within 30 days (>90 percent of all Cofound.it assets).”
This post credited to cryptonews Image source: iStock
Robinhood, a red-hot investing app that launched cryptocurrency trading in February, is planning an initial public offering (IPO). CEO Baiju Bhatt made the announcement during a talk at TechCrunch Disrupt SF. He says the company is currently looking for a CFO to lead the effort.
Robinhood currently has 5 million customers and roughly 250 employees. The startup is valued at an estimated $5.6 billion, up from $1.3 billion last year when it had 2 million customers.
What separates Robinhood from other trading platforms is that they collect zero commissions, making all trades free.
“We believe that the financial system should work for the rest of us, not just the wealthy […] We’ve cut the fat that makes other brokerages costly, like manual account management and hundreds of storefront locations, so we can offer zero commission trading.”
These perks have created enough momentum for the startup to land on two major media lists. It ranked #6 on LinkedIn’s 2018 Top Startups list, Robinhood, just ahead of cryptocurrency giant Ripple and just behind the popular scooter app Bird.
Founded in 2013, Robinhood is planning its IPO after five years of solid growth and revenue streams. The company generates revenue through its margin trading subscription service, Robinhood Gold, and by collecting interest on stored investor funds.
The SEC announced the temporary trading suspension on Sunday, while U.S. markets were closed for the weekend, claiming that “there is a lack of current, consistent and accurate information concerning” the funds, Bitcoin Tracker One (OTC: CXBTF) and Ether Tracker One (CETHF), which have been listed on Nasdaq Nordic since 2015 but have only lately been made available to U.S. investors through an over-the-counter (OTC) market.
In an announcement accompanying the formal order, the SEC said:
“The Commission temporarily suspended trading in the securities CXBTF and CETHF because of confusion amongst market participants regarding these instruments.”
Writing in the full order, SEC Secretary Brent J. Fields specifically noted that there is widespread confusion, including among broker-dealers, about whether these products are exchange-traded notes (ETNs), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), or — as the issuer claims in its filing documents — “non-equity linked certificates.”
“The Commission is of the opinion that the public interest and the protection of investors require a suspension of trading in the securities of the above quoted company,” Fields wrote.
The formal suspension will continue through Sept. 20, but the order also warns that broker-dealers can face “prompt enforcement action” if they allow clients to resume trading without exhibiting “strict” compliance to SEC regulations governing securities that trade on the secondary market.
Swedish ‘Bitcoin ETF’ Sees Low Volume Ahead of Trading Suspension
CCN reported last month that the three-year-old Bitcoin Tracker One had entered the U.S. market, providing investors with a sort of “consolation prize” since the SEC had not yet allowed a regulated domestic exchange to list an outright bitcoin ETF, and most analysts do not expect a true bitcoin ETF until at least 2019.
Both Bitcoin Tracker One and Ether Tracker One allow investors to purchase exposure to the two largest cryptocurrencies by market cap while offloading the custodial risk to the fund operator, XBT Provider, a Swedish subsidiary of U.K. cryptocurrency investment firm CoinShares. Moreover, investors can hold shares of the funds in tax-advantaged investment accounts, such as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).
“Everyone that’s investing in dollars can now get exposure to these products, whereas before, they were only available in euros or Swedish krona,” Ryan Radloff, CEO of CoinShares Holdings — the parent of the company that offers the bitcoin ETN — said at the time in an interview with Bloomberg. “Given the current climate on the regulatory front in the U.S., this is a big win for Bitcoin.”
Because the two funds are listed on an actual stock exchange in Sweden, they historically have not traded at a large premium to the spot price of the underlying assets, unlike Grayscale Investments’ Bitcoin Investment Trust (OTC: GBTC), which is available through most U.S. brokerages but is not listed on any exchange.
However, because CXBTF and CETHF are technically-structured as foreign debt instruments in the U.S., they have been difficult for many investors to access through retail brokerage accounts. This, compounded with lagging consumer interest in cryptocurrency investing, prevented either fund from carving out much market share in the days following their U.S debut.
During its first several weeks in the U.S., CXBTF had an average daily volume of 31,917 shares, worth close to $1 million according to data from OTC Markets. CETHF, meanwhile, averaged a paltry ~$2,200 in daily volume.
As a result, the announcement of the temporary trading suspension had virtually no impact on the global cryptocurrency spot markets, and the bitcoin price continued to trade near $6,300 at the time of writing.
XBT Provider did not immediately respond to CCN’s request for comment.