Bitcoin Reaches $4,000 Again, SBI-backed VCTRADE Adds Support for Three Cryptocurrencies
VCTRADE, a new cryptocurrency exchange backed by Japanese mighty SBI Holdings has finally launched after several rounds of delays. Argentina, a South American country in the middle of a financial crisis has seen an increase in the number of installed BITCOIN ATMs. The Russian Minister of Finance has hinted that the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) may develop a cryptocurrency to shield the zone from economic sanctions. The founder of Nano claims that XRP should not be the digital asset for the payment sector because it is slower.
It was a good overall week for the crypto market that saw the price of Bitcoin climb from as low as $3,200 to $4,010.76 at the time of writing. Ether, the third largest cryptocurrency by market cap had a good week after its price increased from around $86 to its current price of $129.06. The majority of the top 100 coins are up in the last 24 hours.
$30 billion was added to the market in the last seven days as the market grew from $103 billion to $133 billion. Despite a few up and downs, the week brought some hope, excitement, and enthusiasm as the year comes to an end.
Argentina gets more Bitcoin ATMs
Argentina has seen a seen a spike in the number of installed Bitcoin machines this year despite the market crash. Before 2018, there were only two Bitcoin ATMs and they were both located in the capital Buenos Aires.
Since September, the country has installed at least five new Bitcoin ATMs to satisfy the increase in the number of people interested in digital assets. The Bitcoin ATMs are installed in locations with high traffic such as shopping malls and Walmart stores.
Santiago Morlins, one of the designers of one of the first two Bitcoin ATMs to be installed in the country says that there is a pair of ATMs not showing on CoinATMRadar. Morlins now serves as the director of Innovation at Athena Bitcoin and stated that they are going to install a Bitcoin ATM in the city of La Plata before year end.
“The idea is to put in the first and second week of January the last ones that we have left in the laboratory, which would be two or three more. At this moment we are covering the Federal Capital, Buenos Aires, and its surroundings,” explained Morlins.
This recent spike in the number of Bitcoin ATMs is as a result of the financial crisis ravaging the country and other Latin American countries such as Venezuela.
This year, the Central Bank of Argentina relaxed regulation on Bitcoin ATMs and Odyssey Group, a U.S based company initially planned to install up to 4,000 ATMs but it is yet to honor that promise.
Once seen as a tool for anarchists, Bitcoin, and other digital currencies are slowly becoming a practical solution in countries suffering from economic challenges.
Nano is faster than XRP, says Nano Founder
Colin LeMahieu, the founder of Nano cryptocurrency says that his company’s cryptocurrency is several times faster than Ripple’s XRP. He claims that his cryptocurrency is approximately seven seconds faster per transaction than XRP and is a better option for the settlements market.
After tests were conducted in October, results showed that a Nano transaction to Binance completed in almost three seconds. This makes Nano seven seconds faster than XRP.
He said that seven seconds may not seem like a significant amount of time but if the trillions of transactions processed by banks are factored, the small difference amount to a huge amount of time in overall.
He called his cryptocurrency the best solution for the settlement markets because it is fast and free. He further slammed XRP by stating that Ripple is centralized and banks will not use it because of near-monopoly concerns.
“Many FX firms I’ve talked with have considered and dismissed XRP based on the fact that one company holds over 50% of the market cap. A single company holding this much of a position on currency isn’t something they would accept from a risk perspective,” he said, adding that “It is just too risky for the banks.”
While he counts on his cryptocurrency’s speed to outperform, Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple thinks otherwise and says that his company is transforming the global payments sector.
“Could not be [prouder] of the Ripple team! With focus, determination, and an amazing group of partners and customers, we delivered real solutions that are transforming global payments. 2018 has truly been a record year,” tweeted Garlinghouse.
There are 200 cryptocurrencies that matter – Coinbase President
Asiff Hirji, the president of Coinbase recently appeared on CNBC’s Fast Money and talked to Melissa Lee about a number of issues such as Bitcoin’s recent comeback, the exchange’s plans for 2019, how the market has evolved so far, and more.
Hirji said that Bitcoin was bouncing back. He backed this by stating that the industry has seen a lot of innovation in the past year as the number of crypto engineers and projects increased.
“Things are never as good as they seem. Neither are they ever as bad as they seem. And to quote Buffet, ‘Be greedy when others are fearful, and be fearful when others are greedy.’ So, I think it’s not surprising to me that we’ve had a bit of a bounce back. I think the amount of innovation that’s happened in cryptocurrency in the last year has exceeded everything in all the years before it,” he pointed out.
He said that the market has evolved as Bitcoin was initially the only player in the game but other platforms such as Ethereum have emerged. He said that there are more than 3,000 cryptocurrency projects but only 200 of them matter.
“And now, we’re at a point where there’s probably 3,000 to 4,000 cryptocurrencies out there. There are probably 200 or so that matter. And you should assume that we will, over the course of time, add all the cryptocurrencies that matter in as many geographies as we’re allowed to add them,” he said.
He said that the lower trading volumes resulted in the decline of the exchange’s revenue. He brushed off the possibility of a Coinbase IPO in the near future and said that they are focused on building a great business.
Russian Minister – Eurasian Economic Union cryptocurrency is inevitable
According to Russian media, Alexei Moiseyev, Russia’s Minister of Finance told reporters that there is a possibility that the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) might launch its own cryptocurrency to dodge U.S. sanctions.
“You see, since we have five members in the EAEU, respectively, negotiations with them will occupy the whole of 2019, and, probably, commissioning in 2020-2021,” said Moiseyev.
This is not a new concept. Previously, there was a currency known as the European Currency Unit developed in 1979. It was eventually replaced two decades later by the Euro on Jan. 1, 1999.
The minister said that there are several parties in support of the idea. “This is a good idea, we will develop it. It is supported by many parties and some countries. We must move in this direction. Inevitably, we must move in this direction, because the difficulties in calculations are increasing,” he said.
He further added that a growing number of countries are under sanctions and need to create a new financial system to evade them.
“The number of organizations that are under sanctions is also growing. We hear promises that now still (there will be sanctions – RNS comment). Accordingly, we must respond to this by creating reliable international payment systems that are not tied to the US dollar,” he said.
This comes after Russia’s State Duma Committee on Financial Markets announced plans to develop a new stablecoin pegged to the Russian Ruble.
Venezuela created the Petro, a national cryptocurrency backed by the country’s resources to circumvent sanctions. Iran is also developing a state-backed cryptocurrency to counter the effects of the sanctions.
SBI-backed VCTRADE launches support for BTC, ETH, and XRP
VCTRADE, the world’s first cryptocurrency exchange backed by a bank is launching its services to the public and has added support for three cryptocurrencies – BTC, ETH, and XRP. The new exchange is backed by SBI Holdings, one of the largest financial institutions in Japan.
The announcement for the development of the exchange was made two years ago but its launch has been repeatedly delayed.
Starting Dec. 21, the exchange’s users are able to receive digital while the ability to send the virtual currencies is expected to be rolled out in late January 2019.
“At the launch of full-scale services, expecting customer inflow from the SBI Group’s customer base of 23.47 million, particularly, SBI SECURITIES with around 4.26 million accounts, SBI Sumishin Net Bank with about 3.21 million accounts, and SBI Liquidity Market, including SBI FXTRADE, with nearly 1.05 million accounts,” said the announcement.
Yoshitaka Kitao, the CEO of SBI Holdings has high hopes for the exchange as he said that they are prepared to handle the large number of users that may sign up on their platform.
“When we do it, it will be number one in the blink of an eye so quickly. So even if a tremendous number of customers come, we can build a system that can bear. We have to pursue safety thoroughly,” Kitao said.