blockchain

Another Crypto Exchange Launches OTC Desk While Huobi Global Unveils a Token Launch Platform

Poland-based cryptocurrency exchange BitBay has launched a crypto over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk. A well-known community trader claims that the price of Bitcoin may fall below $3,500 before the next major break-out can be possible. Huobi Global, one of the largest blockchain companies in the world, has unveiled a new token launch platform that allows retail and institutional investors to invest in premium projects.

ICE’s Bakkt valued at $740 million but investors have questions

Bakkt, the yet-to-be-launched institutional grade cryptocurrency exchange, is now valued at $740 million after it raised more than $180 million in funding last year. The firm, backed by Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), can potentially increase its valuation if it manages to secure additional funding.

A source who spoke to cryptocurrency media outlet The Block said that investors still have questions about their risk-return ratio given that the new trading platform is yet to launch.

One of the sources who spoke to The Block said: “A lot of things will need to line up for investors to receive returns that they would typically expect for a Series A.”

The U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is reviewing Bakkt’s application for a physically-delivered Bitcoin Futures and there is a general feeling that the outcome will be positive.

Crypto trader: Bitcoin to drop below $3,500 before the next rally

Bitcoin has a had a good run in the past few days as it has managed to remain above $4,000 in the past week, according to CoinMarketCap data. Bitcoin is trading at $4,035 at press time and has a market cap of over $71 billion.

While Bitcoin has been having a good run, a cryptocurrency trader known as “The Crypto Dog” claims that Bitcoin’s price will drop below $3,500 before offsetting the next bull run.

Speaking to CNN, the trader said,

“I think we could still see $35XX,” the trader said, adding, it [bitcoin] hasn’t changed much. It wasn’t a particularly significant move. It bounced at a clear support, but there’s been no positive reaction yet. If this support holds, I expect a sweep of the highs near $4,100-$4,140.”

Early this week, the trader noted that the price of the popular digital asset may fall to the mid $3,000 despite recent positive movements.

“Decent chance we just saw that ‘one more leg up.’ I greatly reduced exposure up here above $4,000. Waiting for $3,5XX for long entries. I’d love an opportunity to short $4,1XX, but not sure if we’ll see it,” said the trader.

Polish cryptocurrency exchange BitBay launches OTC desk

BitBay, a Polish cryptocurrency exchange announced on March 21 that it is launching a crypto-to-fiat Over-the-counter (OTC) trading desk.

The OTC trading desk provides a new platform for buying and selling cryptocurrencies in large chunks at a fixed rate. It is designed for institutional investors and high-volume individuals who want exposure to a wide range of digital assets priced in several global fiat currencies such as USD, EUR, GBP, PLN, and more.

The trading desk utilizes technology that allows users to benefit from several liquidity pools connected together in one place.

China tightens its regulatory belt on ICOs, STOs, and virtual currencies

China is not slowing down on its anti-crypto stance. The communist Asian republic, which at one point dominated the market, has taken measures to punish those heavily involved in the crypto sector.

The Beijing Financial Industry Association has issued a notice that classifies engaging in ICOs, STOs, and virtual currencies as illegal.

The new regulation came into effect on March 21 and it remains to be seen if the financial regulatory agency will be able to take immediate action against those found on the wrong side of the law.

The notice targets research groups and social media platforms that take advantage of the booming crypto industry to “issue money for money.”

With regards to STOs, ICOs, and virtual currencies, the notice says:

“Such activities are not really based on blockchain technology, but take the opportunity to speculate on the concept of blockchain, which seriously disrupts the normal financial and economic order and brings social risks.”

The notice highlighted that some of the nation’s financial institutions such as the People’s Bank of China say that raising funds through crypto-focused fundraising mechanisms equates to “illegal public financing.”

Huobi introduces a token launch platform

Many cryptocurrency exchanges are following in the footsteps of Binance in launching new token launch platforms. What remains to be seen is how successful they become in the long run.

Huobi Global, one of the largest companies in the blockchain world announced on March 20 via a blog post that it has launched a new token launch platform known as Huobi Prime. The new platform will go live on March 26 and will give investors access to cutting edge projects with potential to make it to the next level.

The platform gives ordinary retail traders the opportunity to invest in premium projects.

Huobi Group founder and CEO Leon Li says that the firm is guided by the need to fulfill customer needs and Huobi Prime is an indication that they are moving in that direction.

“We’ve designed it from the ground up to be a more innovative, direct, and responsive way to access up and coming new tokens,” said Li.

Huobi Prime will be powered by Huobi’s native token.

“Powered by Huobi Token, Huobi Prime will keep our brand at the forefront of the ever-changing digital asset marketplace,” said Huobi Group COO Robin Zhu.

The first token to be launched on Huobi Prime is TOP token, the native token of TOP Network, a public blockchain with a user base of around 60 million.

Numerai secures $11 million in a funding round led by Paradigm and Placeholder

Since the turn of the year, not many crypto companies have been able to attract venture capitalists without surrendering equity. One firm that has managed to do so is Numerai, a hedge fund and market predictions startup.

The startup raised $11 million in a March funding round led by venture capital firms Paradigm and Placeholder in exchange for its NMR tokens which first went into circulation in 2017 via an airdrop, reported CoinDesk on March 21.

The startup’s founder Richard Craib says that people use the Ethereum-based NMR token to buy and sell market predictions. He further added that the funding will be used to hire engineers to launch Erasure, a decentralized spinoff of the startup’s current marketplace which already has 44,000 registered users.

Joel Monegro, a partner at Placeholder gave reasons why the VCs invested through token sale instead on equity.

“The way we think of our investing in decentralized crypto networks is underwriting, capitalizing the network. … As more people come to buy and sell data from each other, the role of big financial investors like ourselves diminishes over time. Then we can gradually begin to exit our position as the network becomes self-sustaining,” he said.

Overstock’s tZero gears to launch a mobile digital asset trading app

Overstock.com’s cryptocurrency subsidiary tZero is going all in on crypto. tZero has up until now prioritized its security token platform but things are about to change.

CoinDesk reported that tZero is planning to develop its own digital asset trading app that allows users to buy and sell Bitcoin, and possibly Ethereum. This was said by tZero’s CEO Saum Noursalehi.

The app is scheduled to go live in June and will be compatible with Android and iOS devices. The app is currently being developed Bitsy – a crypto startup with the backing of Medici Ventures, the venture arm of Overstock.

Noursalehi said that they acquired the Bitsy startup in order to speed up the development of the mobile app and added that:

“They have an app for trading crypto, primarily bitcoin, in a beta-phase, they built a wallet and key recovery mechanism, and this will be the foundation of the mobile app for tZERO. They are also working on some cool stuff like biometric login.”

The app will allow users to be in charge of storing their own crypto holdings without using third-party services and will connect to a number of exchanges though SFox, an institutional trading platform.

JP Morgan Chase executive: crypto industry needs banks

An executive of the financial giant JP Morgan Chase believes that the cryptocurrency should regard banks as partners and not competition.

In a CNBC interview held on March 20, JP Morgan Global Head of eCommerce Solutions Ron Karpovich stated that there are more partnerships between banks and crypto innovators.

“Ultimately behind the scenes, they [crypto innovators] are going to have to use a bank to move funds. There’s more partnership instead of competition in that space. […] When it comes to margins and capabilities — payments is never something that grows in margin, nobody wants to pay for a payment,” said Karpovich.

JP Morgan recently launched a blockchain-powered stablecoin JPM Coin but Karpovich refuted any suggests that the financial institution is going back on its hardline stance against cryptos. Instead, he chose to say that JPM Coin is simply an end to a means of efficiency.

“I think there’s a difference between trading a cryptocurrency that’s in the market that’s ubiquitous versus using the technology to enhance your payments infrastructure,” he said.

Bitcoin critic warns banks against issuing their own digital currencies

Whether banks should issue their own digital currencies continues to be a heated debate. And things just got hotter.

One of the most vocal Bitcoin critics has warned that there are risks associated with banks issuing their own digital currencies.

Augustine Carstens, the general manager at the Bank for International Settlement is on record for comparing Bitcoin to a Ponzi Scheme, a bubble, and an environmental disaster – the same sentiments echoed by the likes of Nouriel Roubini.

He gave a speech in Dublin, Ireland in which he highlighted that central bank-issued digital currency (CBDC) can potentially cause people to move money from commercial banks and undermine the system.

“There are huge operational consequences for central banks in implementing monetary policy and implications for the stability of the financial system,” he said.

He added that “Central banks do not put a brake on innovations just for the sake of it. But neither should they speed ahead disregarding all traffic conditions.”

This is a sharp contrast to what the IMF chief Christine Lagarde said in Singapore last year when she challenged central banks to explore CBDCs.

Dubai gets its first Bitcoin ATM, loses in 2 days

Many believe that cryptocurrencies will be adopted by the masses if they are easily and readily available the same way fiat is.

Dubai pushed a step closer to achieve this on March 19 when it got its first Bitcoin machine. However, the machine was removed two days later due to non-AML/KYC compliance for Bitcoin purchases.

It was earlier reported that the new machine allowed people to anonymously buy Bitcoin with cash. The ATM was installed at a luxurious hotel and no identification was required. Users only needed to provide the machine with the Bitcoin receiving address.

The owner of the machine, Amhora, came out and explained that they are working hand-in-hand with the relevant authorities to map the way forward.

“UPDATE: After a brief run-in with the law enforcement yesterday, we have temporarily put-off the ATM from its location. Working closely with the relevant authorities to reinstate it after we fulfill all AML/KYC obligations,” tweeted the Bitcoin ATM owner.

Mike Novogratz interview: Someone needs to thank Satoshi for inventing Bitcoin

The well-known Bitcoin bull, former Goldman Sachs partner, and founder of crypto merchant bank Galaxy Digital Mike Novogratz gave an interview to Mike Pompliano, the founder of Morgan Creek Digital and talked about a number of issues ranging from Bitcoin (obvious) to Wall Street and the high flying Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao.

Novogratz said that Zhao is the most influential person in the crypto landscape at the moment because of what his exchange is doing. He claimed that Zhao is running at 100,000 miles per hour and is a great entrepreneur.

He said Wall Street may not be doing much about security tokens but is preparing for them. He gave an example of Goldman Sachs and said that they are asking several questions such as: “Where would you store them, do you have to build your own custody, or can you use someone else’s custody?”

He said that Bitcoin began as a social experiment about over a decade ago but has now grown to a valuation of more than $70 billion.

He said,

“So, someone should bow down and dub Satoshi’s toes and thank him!”

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