XRP Listed as a Base Currency for Yet Another Exchange, Nomics Raises $3 Million from Institutional Investors

The curtain is coming down to mark the end of an interesting year that has seen the crypto market tumble and bleed. Despite all this, Ripple has had a good time the past few days as it has been selected as a base currency for two exchanges in a space of one week. A U.S-based crypto startup Nomics has raised $3 million from institutional investors to bring more people onboard and develop new products.

The crypto market is going back to the behavior it is notorious for – high volatility. The market performed beyond expectations as the prices of the majority of digital coins registered big gains with Bitcoin adding $265 to its price in a matter of minutes. The volatility is expected to continue within the $3,500 – $4,500 range.

Bitcoin is trading at $3,952 at the time of writing while Eth is up 14 percent to trade at $137. Trading at $33.04, Litecoin spiked 14.58 percent in the last 24 hours while Tether stablecoin continues to trade slightly above the $1 mark. Bitcoin Cash and EOS are up 12 percent and 11 percent respectively to see all the top 10 assets in the green. In the last 24 hours, the cryptocurrency market has added close to $11 billion to sit at just over $133 billion.

VISA Inc. buys Ripple’s British partner Earthport for $250 million

Reuters reported on Dec. 27th that Visa Inc., an American multinational financial services corporation is prepared to part ways with £198 million ($250 million) in a bid to buy Earthport, a British financial service firm that facilitates international transactions for banks and businesses.

Earthport is Ripple’s partner and the pending deal sparks the possibility of a partnership between Ripple and VISA.

According to the report, Visa International Service Association, a subsidiary of VISA has tabled to pay 30 pence for each Earthport share which is four times greater than the closing price of 7.45 pence on Dec. 24. Earthport’s shares have fallen 28 percent since the beginning of the year due to growing losses and expenses.

Earthport’s clients include Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Japan Post Bank. VISA was advised by Goldman Sachs while Earthport got its advice from Rothschild & Co.

Ripple’s partnership with Earthport was announced by the cryptocurrency company in 2014. The integration of Ripple’s cross-border payment protocol to Earthport’s network helped the clients of the British company to enjoy lower liquidity management costs.

The crypto industry will kick off in 2019 if there are major partnerships between startups in the space and major companies from mainstream finance. The possibility of a partnership between Ripple and VISA is music to the ears of crypto enthusiasts and investors but there are chances that it may not happen because the two are rivals.

Cryptocurrency company raises $3 million from institutional investors in the first round of venture capital

Nomics, a “crypto asset data company delivering professional-grade market data APIs to institutional crypto investors and exchanges” has raised $3 million in its first institutional round of venture funding, reported the Star Tribune on Dec. 27.

The institutional round of funding was led by venture capital firm Arthur supported by veteran cryptocurrency industry leaders such as Ben Davenport – the co-founder of BitGo, Digital Currency Group, Coinbase Ventures, and CoVenture Crypto.

The Minneapolis and Boston-based company said it will use the money for the development of new products and bringing new talent on-board.

In a prepared speech, Clay Collins, the CEO of Nomics said, “Crypto investors need to make lightning-fast decisions based on highly reliable, consistent, normalized and high-fidelity data, which has never been easily attainable for the cryptocurrency asset class.”

He further added that “Nomics addresses this problem and makes the decentralized financial system more accessible, useful and understandable. We’re developing the data ‘backbone’ for the open financial system and with this additional funding, we plan to build on our success by strengthening our offerings.”

Cryptocurrency exchanges scrape off struggling coins

The crypto downturn has taken a new twist – cryptocurrencies exchanges are reviewing and delisting underperforming digital assets.

KuCoin, the world’s 54th largest crypto exchange by daily trading volume delisted 10 cryptocurrencies that did not meet its listing criteria under the Special Treatment Rule. The delisted cryptocurrencies are Jibrel Network (JNT), WePower (WPR), Modum (MOD), EthLend (LEND), STK (STK), Asch (ASX), Bread (BRD), BitClave (CAT), Mobius (MOBI), and Bitcoin Gold (BTG).

The various reasons that led to delisting include low liquidity for a certain period of time; the project’s involvement in illicit conduct such as market manipulation, insider trading or wash trading; a project does not follow its whitepaper roadmap in carrying executing developments; any other reason the exchange may deem risky for its users, and more.

Any of the delisted projects have to follow a new approval and listing procedure if it wants to return to the exchange.

Recently, the world’s fourth-largest cryptocurrency exchange Houbi announced that it was planning to remove 32 cryptocurrencies from its platform. The tokens under review were cited for low trading volume.

“In order to promote the healthy development of the blockchain industry and protect the legitimate rights and interests of investors, Huobi regularly carries out comprehensive reviews of the listed tokens in accordance with the Token Administration Regulations of Huobi,” said the exchange in a blog post.

The exchange re-examined the affected digital assets on Dec. 26th and those that did not meet the listing requirements will be traded on the platform under caution and face the possibility of being completed delisted from the exchange.

Some of the 32 coins under review include Enigma, MyToken, Datum, WePower, and more.

Time Magazine: Bitcoin can be a way out

Cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin do not traditionally receive positive attention from mainstream publications as the new digital form of money is mostly perceived as a Ponzi Scheme with zero value.

However, as the year comes to a close, Time Magazine published an article that lists the most important use case of cryptocurrencies and how they have can be used by any country’s citizens to free themselves from poor governance and economic decisions.

“Because they live under authoritarianism, Venezuelans have no way to reform the policies that have destroyed their economy. They can’t hold their rulers accountable through free and fair elections or campaign for change without fear of reprisal. As they stand in hours-long lines for rationed groceries and medicine and watch their life savings disappear, it can seem like there are no options,” read part of the article.

The article pointed out that further efforts in the cryptocurrency industry have the potential to liberate 4 billion people who can’t access banking services or don’t trust their rulers.

“If we invest the time and resources to develop user-friendly wallets, more exchanges, and better educational materials for Bitcoin, it has the potential to make a real difference for the 4 billion people who can’t trust their rulers or who can’t access the banking system. For them, Bitcoin can be a way out.”

Italy establishes a 30-member team to lead its blockchain strategy

The Italian government has put together a team of experts drawn from various fields such as business, academic research, computer science, and law to take the lead in developing the country’s blockchain strategy.

The Ministry of Economic Development announced its interest in assembling the 30-member team in September whose top priority is to “know, deepen and address the issue of distributed ledger technologies (DLT) and blockchain.”

Luigi De Maio, the Minister of Economic Development and Deputy Prime Minister admitted that “emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain are destined to radically change our lives, the society in which we live and the economic and productive fabric of the country,” signaling that the country is ready to play its part in embracing blockchain technology.

The working group will identify the potential use cases of blockchain technology in both the private and public sectors and will draft the necessary regulatory framework to support the adoption of the emerging technology.

Italy is part of Seven Southern European members that signed a declaration to promote blockchain technology and use it to develop their economies. The other members are Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta, Portugal, and Spain.

XRP to be listed as a base currency on yet another exchange

A Singaporean exchange Bitrue is planning to quote Ripple’s XRP as its base currency. This comes shortly after Binance exchange decided to add XRP as its base currency.

“We’re happy to announce that we will be on-boarding all #XRP trading pairs in the next couple of months!  We’re planning to add 5 pairs in the 1st week of 2019, so please give us a shout on your most needed #XRP pair,” tweeted the exchange on Dec. 27.

The exchange further tweeted that it has long held 2 percent of XRP’s market because it had chosen XRP to be its base currency right from the start. The exchange already has 16 XRP trading pairs (13 XRP-based).

The five-months-old exchange asked Twitter users to suggest which digital assets they want to be paired with XRP. Tron’s TRX was the community favorite and will likely be the first to be listed early next year.
“Halfway through reading all the comments (feeling loved), the most mentioned one is obviously $TRX @Tronfoundation (apart from fiat). 1st targeted pair of 2019: TRX/XRP,” tweeted the exchange.

This is without a doubt welcome new for Ripple and its community. Ripple has had a good year despite the crypto winter as XRP recently dethroned ETH as the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market capitalization.

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