Digital Assets Down, Binance Clients to Use Credit Cards to Buy Crypto
The cryptocurrency market experienced another bloody day as the majority of digital assets are in the red. All the top 10 assets are down and the market has lost more than $2.5 billion in the last 24 hours. The Cboe Bitcoin ETF is back on track after it was refiled. Binance cryptocurrency exchange has signed a deal with an Israeli-company to allow the exchange’s users to buy selected cryptocurrencies using credit cards. The CEO of CoinList says 2019 will be quiet but will bring more innovation to the industry.
Cboe Global Market refiles its Bitcoin ETF application
The hope for a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) approval was rekindled after Cboe Global Markets refiled its application barely a week after withdrawing it.
The head of VanEck’s crypto division Gabor Gubarcs took to Twitter on Jan. 31 to announce the news that received a mixed reaction from the crypto community.
“The VanEck SolidX Bitcoin ETF proposed rule-change has been submitted by CBOE. Hard work by all teams involved,” tweeted Gubarcs.
He also posted a link to the document filed by the exchange and it appears that it is different from the one previously filed and withdrawn.
Cboe pulled the plug on its application a week ago due to the US government shutdown that threatened to have the application automatically rejected as the U.S Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was working with a skeleton staff.
Speaking to CNBC last week, VanEck’s founder and CEO Jan Van Eck said, “We were trying to do that but we obviously can’t have meetings when they’re shut down. We were trying to do that but we obviously can’t have meetings when they’re shut down.”
VanEck promised on CNBC to refile the application once the SEC got its house in order. This promise has been delivered.
Bithumb crypto exchange gets a $300 million investment makeover from a surgeon-led consortium
South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Bithumb is set to get a new management makeover after getting a $300 million investment from a consortium led by a plastic surgeon.
A South Korean surgeon and the CEO of Singapore’s Blockchain Exchange Alliance (BXA), Byung Gun Kim, and five more investors from Japan, Hong Kong, the Middle East, UK, and the US have now acquired a majority stake – 51 percent – in the exchange that has suffered from security breaches in the past.
The consortium needs to pay a further $250 million to seal the deal that is expected to be finalized in February.
BXA wants to build a network of cryptocurrency exchanges in 12 countries and will rely on Bithumb’s 4.5 million client base to serve as the foundation upon which it will build its network.
Another equity round of financing just after the completion of the deal has the potential to bring in new investors.
“Over the past three months, we have been discussing with our consortium shareholders about how to position Bithumb and BXA for their global expansion. As we have received interest from other potential investors, we might consider another equity financing round to accelerate our expansion,” said Kim.
BXA wants to build exchanges for cryptocurrencies and security tokens in several countries that include Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, Japan, Peru, New Zealand, Mexico, UK, and the US.
The exchange has a bad history when it comes to security and it is no wonder that the new management will have some cleaning up to do. The first step is addressing security concerns.
Kim has stated that BXA has statement a US cybersecurity company wants to do business with Bithumb.
“We have been working on improving our security system. As we are building out a global network of exchanges, cybersecurity and the safekeeping of our clients’ cryptocurrency assets have assumed greater importance,” Kim explained that the alliance wants to address the security issues.
TRM raises $1.7 million to push crypto adoption and compliance
Blockchain Capital has led a $1.7 million-investment seed funding round in the first Token Relationship Management (TRM) platform, a startup that wants to address the compliance issues in the industry and push for adoption.
Other participants in the funding round include Tapas Capital, Green D Ventures, The MBA Fund, and strategic angel investors. The funds raised will be used for expanding its engineering team and broadening what its platform is capable of.
While crypto allows any startup to become a financial institution, not all startups can afford to hire a costly legal and compliance team.
The TRM platform was designed to streamline compliance for digital asset companies and save them time while reducing risk. The platform has on-chain solutions for customer due diligence, customer relationship management, and transaction monitoring.
TRM CEO and co-founder Esteban Castaño said, “We believe that cryptocurrency is going to be a democratizing force in the world that lets anyone exchange value and access financial services. But to get there, we need to make it easier for everyone to be compliant.”
Castaño added that the crypto sector is leading the explosion of new financial products and markets just as much as the internet led to the explosion of new content.
General Partner at Blockchain Capital Spencer Bogart said that TRM has the potential to accelerate crypto adoption as exchanges can be compliant on the very first day of business.
Binance allows users to buy some cryptocurrencies using credit cards
The largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume Binance has just made it easier for people to buy cryptocurrencies on its platform.
The exchange has partnered with Israeli-based processing payment firm Simplex in a deal that allows Binance users to buy select cryptocurrencies with Visa and Mastercard credit cards. Initially, only four digital assets – BTC, ETH, LTC, and XRP can be purchased using credit cards.
Simples also support Dash and Bitcoin Cash but these digital assets are not yet offered on Binance’s platform.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) thinks that the industry is still in its early days and needs such partnerships to grow and foster adoption.
“The crypto industry is still in its early stages and most of the world’s money is still in fiat. Building fiat gateways is what we need now to grow the ecosystem, increase adoption and introduce crypto to more users,” said CZ.
However, some countries are barred from accessing the service. These include Afghanistan, Cuba, Iraq, and Libya. Also, six American states – Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York, and Washington are not supported by the services.
Simplex charges 3.5 service fee for each transaction. The minimum fee charged is $10. The daily limit per user is $20,000 while the monthly limit is $50,000. The minimum supported transaction value is $50.
On average, each transaction is expected to take between 10 – 30 minutes and the new crypto balance will be updated in the users’ Binance accounts.
British crypto liquidity provider B2C2 OTC gets FCA seal of approval
B2C2, one of the major crypto liquidity providers and leader in electronic OTC trading announced on Jan. 31 that is subsidiary, B2C2 OTC is now under the authorization and regulation of UK’s financial watchdog, the Financial Conduct Authority.
The new announcement allows professional investors and eligible entities to trade cryptocurrency Contracts for Differences (CFDs) on the platform.
The founder and CEO of B2C2 Max Boonen expressed his excitement at the authorization and said the firm’s clients will benefit from competitive pricing and liquidity.
“We are excited to have received authorization from the FCA to introduce a cryptocurrency CFD product. Eligible counterparties and professional clients can now gain derivative exposure to the cryptocurrency markets, benefiting from the competitive pricing and liquidity they’re accustomed to receiving from B2C2 while avoiding the risks associated with crypto custody,” said Boonen.
B2C2 was founded in 2015 and is a member of UK’s first-self regulatory body, the CryptoUK. The firm also has a membership in blockchain bodies in several countries that include Belgium, France, and Japan.
CoinList CEO predicts a quiet year coupled with innovation
2017 was a journey to the moon. 2018 was the return journey, and according to CoinList CEO Andy Bromberg, 2019 is likely going to be a quiet year that leads to innovation.
Just a month into the year but the digital asset market has been struggling in the same way it did last year. However, Bromberg believes that the bear market will push crypto stakeholders to focus on developing the space and offering practical solutions to problems.
“[In 2019] it feels like people are focused on building… I think the market is going to be quiet for a little bit, while people focus on actually creating things. It feels like a little bit of a Mesopotamia, ‘cradle of civilization’ moment, where everyone has the ingredients they need, needs to focus in and start to build out those empires, and create what the future is going to look like, and that’s what this year is going to be about,” said Bromberg.
Yahoo Finance reports that CoinList has listed only five ICOs – Filecoin, Blockstack, Props, Origin, and TrustToken since its inception. The ICOs were only open to accredited investors.
A number of analysts and industry leaders have already predicted that “2019 will be a boring year” as there will be fewer price swings. The majority of them though, agree that this period will see the market grow as projects will fulfill the promises they made to investors and the world.
Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX files for creditor protection
A Canadian cryptocurrency exchange by the name QuadrigaCX has announced that it is filing for creditor protection in order to address serious financial troubles prohibiting the company from serving its customers.
The announcement was made by QuadrigaCX’s board of directors. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5 to appoint Ernest & Young as an independent monitor to oversee the proceedings.
The exchange said that it has been trying hard to get its hands on crypto holdings held in its cold storage wallets.
“For the past weeks, we have worked extensively to address our liquidity issues, which include attempting to locate and secure our very significant cryptocurrency reserves held in cold wallets, and that are required to satisfy customer cryptocurrency balances on deposit, as well as sourcing a financial institution to accept the bank drafts that are to be transferred to us,” said the exchange.
The exchange’s website went down a few days ago but it was reported that the shutdown was a result of maintenance issues. However, the current development suggests otherwise.
This is another clear sign that token holders need to store their holdings far away from centralized exchanges in which a lot of things can go wrong because of a number of reasons.