Crypto Prices See Calm as ZB.Com Bypasses Binance to Become Top Exchange

Friday, Jan. 18 — crypto markets continue to see calm, with all top ten coins seeing mixed 24-hour price changes capped within a 3 percent range, as Coin360 data shows.

Market visualization from Coin360

On CoinMarketCap (CMC)’s crypto exchange rankings by adjusted daily traded volumes, however, some major upheavals are underway. Today, Chinese exchange ZB.com saw an 80 percent surge in 24-hour trade volume to hit ~$606.7 million, and displacing Binance as top exchange on CMC.

ZB.com is currently ranked the largest exchange globally; however, during the time of writing, a separate China-based exchange, LBank, has flickered in and out of the top spot, at several points posting over 150 percent increase in trades on the day to hit volumes of ~$800-900 million. Up to press time, the exchanges volumes had fleetingly reduced to ~$380 million, thus dropping back to fourth place.

First three top crypto exchanges by adjusted daily trade volume

First three top crypto exchanges by adjusted daily trade volume. Source: CoinMarketCap

Around 47 percent of the trade volume on ZB.com is accounted for by Qtum-Tether (QTUM/USDT) trading, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Trade volumes of formerly top platform Binance have meanwhile dropped 14 percent on the day, seeing ~$550 million in trades.

Commentators on crypto twitter have remarked on the conspicuous uptick, with Twitter persona TheFist claiming:

“Looks like a ton of market manipulation by zb.com tanking most digital assets and trying to pump tron. The Chinese are dump and pumping last night[.]”

Meanwhile, according to a tweet from ZB.com Jan. 16, crypto ranking website CoinGecko has released its own exchange rankings for Q4 2018, which places ZB.com as the second largest by median  reported volume:

CoinGecko’s crypto exchange rankings for Q1 2018

CoinGecko’s crypto exchange rankings for Q1 2018. Source: ZB.com Twitter

Considerably less volatile, top cryptocurrency Bitcoin (BTC) has seen negligible price change over the past 24 hours, down 0.45 percent on the day to trade at $3,645. After an intraweek low of ~$3,550 Jan. 13, Bitcoin has recovered to trade just 1.6 percent down on its 7 day chart. On the month, the coin is up by 3 percent.

Bitcoin 7-day price chart

Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ripple (XRP) — which has regained its spot as largest altcoin by market cap — has also seen mild price change on the day, losing 1.2 percent to trade ~$0.32 at press time. With a market cap of $13.3 billion to press time, Ripple is only just ahead of Ethereum (ETH), which has a market cap of around $12.6 billion to press time, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Ripple is now down around 3.5 percent on the week, and down 2.4 percent on the month.

Ripple’s 7-day price chart

Ripple’s 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Ethereum has seen a similarly mild 1.6 percent loss to trade at ~$121. The altcoin is down close to 6 percent on its 7-day chart; on the month, growth remains at a bullish 27 percent.

Ethereum 7-day price chart

Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap

Among the remaining top ten coins on CoinMarketCap, all are in the red, seeing losses capped below 3 percent. EOS (EOS) is seeing the heaviest losses on the day among the top ten coins, down 2.7 percent to press time.

Among the top twenty, losses are also capped near 3 percent — with Ethereum Classic (ETC) losing the most, down 3.2 percent on the day to trade at $4.33. Binance Coin (BNB) and IOTA (MIOTA) are the only coins in the green, with the former up a solid 3.9 percent and the latter up just a fraction of a percent to press time.

Total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies is at around $121.2 billion as of press time — down around 1.6 percent on the week.

7-day chart of total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies

7-day chart of total market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies. Source: CoinMarketCap

Speaking against the tide in a tweet posted today, Morgan Creek investment analyst Chris King stated:

“I used to pound the table on tokenized securities. As new information on the market was presented I’ve completely changed my view. Not much value will be captured by “tokenizing” traditional securities. -no liquidity or liquidity premium -no demand -no value creation.”

Tokenized securities have been gaining significant traction with industry leaders, as exemplified by the words of Bitcoin bull and co-founder of Gemini exchange, Cameron Winklevoss, who recently remarked:

“I think the next wave will see the real innovation, and the really interesting assets that become tokenized — like real estate, like buildings that are currently not traded in a really liquid fashion. So that’s exciting.”

Article First Published here

Huobi Resumes Trading in Japan as FSA-Licensed Exchange

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi — currently the world’s 7th largest by daily traded volume — has relaunched as a fully licensed platform in Japan after merging with BitTrade. The news was announced in a press release published Jan. 17.

As reported, Huobi Global’s wholly owned subsidiary, Huobi Japan Holding Ltd, acquired a majority stake in BitTrade last September. At the time, BitTrade was one of only 16 crypto exchanges in the country to have secured a license from national financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA).

Leon Li, Huobi Group Founder and CEO, has said that securing the license represents a significant milestone for Huobi, given the importance of the Japanese market.

Huobi’s press release takes pains to emphasize security provisions, outlining that Huobi Japan “features specialized distributed architecture, a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack countermeasures system, and A+ ranked SSL certification (the highest available).”

According to the press release, Huobi Japan supports trading of Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Litecoin (LTC), Ripple (XRP), and Monacoin (MONA).

While a license has been mandatory for all crypto exchanges operating within Japan since the amendment of the country’s Payment Services Act back in April 2017, the FSA has continued to ratchet up requirements for applicants throughout 2018, in the wake of last January’s industry-record-breaking $532 million theft of NEM tokens from Coincheck.

Ahead of Huobi’s majority stake deal — BitTrade became Japan’s first FSA-licensed platform to be fully acquired by an international investor, the Singaporean multi-millionaire and entrepreneur Eric Cheng. The investor also acquired BitTrade’s affiliate company, FX Trade Financial Co., Ltd — one of Japan’s leading forex trading platforms. Following the Huobi deal, FX Trade Financial retained 25 percent of the BitTrade’s shares.

Founded in China in 2013, Huobi Group has been headquartered in Singapore since Beijing’s crackdown on domestic crypto-fiat exchanges in September 2017. As part of its ongoing overseas expansion efforts, the platform has recently rebranded its United States-based strategic partner trading platform HBUS to the better known Huobi name.

Following Coincheck’s very recent acquisition of an FSA license, the total number of regulator-approved exchanges in Japan stands at 17.

Last fall, an executive from leading U.S. crypto exchange Coinbase made positive remarks about Japan’s crypto regulatory climate, saying that the FSA’s intense focus on security is “good for us.” Coinbase has had plans to secure a license to operate within the country in the works since June 2018.

Huobi has seen $299.6 million in trades over the 24 hours to press time, according to CoinMarketCap data.

Article First Published here

SBI Holdings’ Crypto Exchange Vctrade Accepts Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple Deposits

Vctrade, a crypto exchange recently launched by Japanese financial giant SBI Holdings, has implemented Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Ripple (XRP) deposits. The company has revealed this in a press release published Dec. 21.

The announcement further notes that the exchange — which was launched in July — is considering adding Bitcoin Cash (BCH) deposits after further evaluation of the cryptocurrency. SBI has also explained that cryptocurrency withdrawals will not be available until late January 2019, and will be limited to a hardware wallet that the company refers to as “designated wallet.”

The ability to only use one specific wallet, according to the announcement, is supposed to “link the address pertaining to the customer,” thus ensuring adequate implementation of Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing measures on the exchange.

SBI Holdings, according to its website, has paid-in capital of over 92 million yen ($828 million), and over six thousand consolidated employees. According to an interim results announcement, in the six months ended Sep. 30 of this year the company registered over 176 million yen in revenue ($1.584 million).

As Cointelegraph reported in September, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, the SBI Savings bank, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Dayli Intelligence, a company specialized in artificial intelligence and blockchain technologies. The bank has reportedly made this move to bolster its fintech business.

In August, SBI Holdings also announced that it had made a second investment in cryptocurrency exchange LastRoots.

Article First Published here

UAE Exchange, Ripple to Launch Blockchain Remittances to Asia by Q1 2019

United Arab Emirates-based UAE Exchange has partnered with Ripple to launch blockchain-based cross-border remittances to Asia by Q1 2019, Reuters reports Dec. 13.

According to the report, UAE Exchange, a part of payments and foreign exchange company Finablr, is among the key players in the Middle East region, which sees high levels of remittance inflows from expatriate workers. As Reuters notes, Asia was one of the largest recipients of the $613 billion in remittances estimated to have been sent globally in 2017.

While remittances are at present largely sent via foreign exchange branches, CEO of Finablr Promoth Manghat has said that blockchain-based alternatives hold “tremendous promise for the industry.” Aiming to bring the technology to the mainstream via UAE Exchange’s joint venture with Ripple, Manghat has said:

“We expect to go live with Ripple by Q1, 2019 with one or two Asian banks. This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia.”

UAE Exchange’s partnership with Ripple for cross-border payments dates back to February of this year, making the firm, according to Reuters, the “largest payments firm in the Middle East” to use RippleNet. Lenders in the region who have reportedly joined RippleNet include the National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah RAKB.AD and Kuwait Finance House.

As reported just yesterday, the UAE’s central bank is currently collaborating with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to issue a cryptocurrency that will be accepted in cross-border inter-bank transactions between the two countries.

In early October, it was revealed that a digital currency pegged to the UAE’s fiat currency, the dirham, would soon have its own retail payment system open for Dubai consumers.

As of press time, Ripple’s native token XRP is trading at roughly $0.30, down just over one percent on the day, and over 12 percent on the week, according to Cointelegraph’s XRP Price Index.

Article First Published here

Top Exchange Binance Announces ‘SAFU’ Hackathon, Conference in Singapore

The world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, Binance, has announced that it will host the company’s first conference, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Dec. 6.

Binance Blockchain Week is scheduled to be held in Singapore this January and is to include two major events –– the conference itself, along with a two-day “first-ever Binance SAFU (Secured Assets For Users) Hackathon,” according to the press release. As its name indicates, the hackathon reportedly focuses on developing blockchain-based tools for securing crypto assets.

Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao, better known as CZ in the industry, underlines that the firm has chosen Singapore as they consider it “the finance and technology hub of Asia.” CZ also added that the conference will feature the “most notable players and thought leaders in blockchain.”

Earlier this week, Binance announced plans to “help [the] advancement of the industry” by launching its own blockchain, “Binance Chain,” in the “coming months.”  The same day, the industry giant revealed a second preview of its forthcoming decentralized exchange (DEX), as a part of the newly announced Binance Chain initiative.

In October the crypto exchange also revealed the establishment of the Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF) during the World Investment Forum, hosted by the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Just last month, BlockShow also held a blockchain conference in Singapore, which saw 2,800 attendees and hosted more than 50 speakers and panelists.

Article First Published here

Japanese Exchange GMO Coin Set to Resume Bitcoin Cash Trading on ABC’s Chain

GMO Coin, a Japanese cryptocurrency exchange, has resumed Bitcoin Cash (BCH) trading with the BCHABC blockchain, Finance Magnates (FM) reports Dec. 3.

The exchange has reportedly “announced that it will be resuming BCH/JPY trading” tomorrow, Dec. 4. The trading had been “temporarily suspended” in an attempt “to avoid the disruption caused” by the recent Nov. 15 hard fork.

Finance Magnates writes that they “reached out to the company to enquire which of the two versions of Bitcoin Cash” the exchange will be listing. The spokesperson is quoted as answering “in our company, the one shown as BCH indicates a Bitcoin Cash called BCHABC.”

As Cointelegraph recently reported, it has been over a week since the Bitcoin Cash blockchain has split in two. BCHABC, the apparent winning faction, is the more “conservative” network, as Cointelegraph explained, which stands against bringing any radical changes to the BCH software.

In the end, the “battle” ended when Calvin Ayre, a supporter of the “losing” faction (BCH SV), called for a “permanent split” after declaring that BCH SV “no longer want[s] the name Bitcoin Cash.”

The same post also claimed that “Bitcoin SV is the original Bitcoin (BTC) not the original Bitcoin Cash” and accused other blockchains of having “tinkered it [Bitcoin] to death.”

Article First Published here

Japan: Zaif Exchange Handover Complete as Previous Owner Vows to Dissolve Company

Tech Bureau, the company that formerly operated hacked Japanese cryptocurrency exchange Zaif, has completed its handover to buyer Fisco Cryptocurrency Exchange (FCCE), Cointelegraph Japan reported Nov. 22.

FCCE, which agreed to take over proceedings in October, will now assume responsibility for compensating users who lost money in the hack, which occurred Sept. 20 and involved funds worth around $60 million at the time.

According to a press release from FCCE, compensation proceedings should begin before the end of this month.

No timeframe has yet been set for deposits and withdrawals at Zaif to resume.

Confirming the move, Tech Bureau said it planned to dissolve its entity and retire from the cryptocurrency industry.

“We will abolish the registration of our virtual currency exchange and plan to dissolve,” the company wrote in a statement.

The hack occurred as both authorities and the Japan’s new self-regulatory crypto group are beefing up application requirements for the country’s new cryptocurrency exchange licensing scheme.

In January, fellow exchange Coincheck lost $534 million in one of the biggest exchange hacks in history, subsequently seeing a buyout and turnaround by online broker Monex.

Last week, Coincheck finally began resuming deposits and withdrawals of NEM (XEM), one of the coins affected by the hack.

Article First Published here

Top Crypto Exchange Huobi Pays Its Dues to Beijing by Setting up Communist Party Committee

The company behind major cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has created a Communist Party branch as part of its obligations to the Chinese state, the company’s U.S.-based subsidiary Huobi Info confirmed Nov. 16.

Singapore-based Huobi, which was founded in China and has sought considerable international expansion this year, has appeared to opt for “closer ties” with the government. As local news outlet South China Morning Post notes, the company is creating the Party branch at an additional subsidiary, Beijing Lianhuo Information Service (BLIS).

The opening attracted an audience and speeches, including comments from Huobi founder and CEO Li Lin, who owns a 99 percent stake in BLIS, according to the publication.

Under Chinese law, any company with more than three Communist Party member employees must set up its own branch, the Post notes, adding that until recently, the practice was nonetheless mostly confined to state enterprises.

Huobi thus becomes evidently the first cryptocurrency industry business to embrace the tradition, following in the footsteps of Baidu, Alibaba and others.

“Today is a milestone for our company,” Li said at the opening, continuing:

“Under the cordial care of the Party Working Committee of Haidian Park, the party branch of the Beijing Lianhuo Information Service Co., Ltd. has been gloriously established.”

China remains a difficult jurisdiction in which to conduct cryptocurrency-focused business, a ban on trading and “propaganda” creating a cautious atmosphere among investors, while sparking a slow exodus of many outfits to neighboring Hong Kong and further afield.

Last month, an annual ranking of China’s richest citizens included Li among several cryptocurrency entrepreneurs.

Huobi is currently the world’s third largest crypto exchange by daily trade volumes, seeing about $754.8 million in trades over the past 24 hours to press time.

Article First Published here

Crypto Exchange Gate.io Removes StatCounter Service Following Report of Security Breach

Crypto exchange Gate.io has removed web analytics tool StatCounter from their website following a breach report by cybersecurity firm ESET, according to an official blog post published today, Nov. 7.

The company has reported that they immediately removed StatCounter’s traffic stats service after receiving a security notice by ESET about suspicious behavior. Gate.io claimed they subsequently scanned the website with 56 antivirus products, and “no one reported any suspicious behavior at that time.” However, the firm still changed its traffic tracker, also reporting that “users’ funds are safe.”

On Nov. 6, Slovakia-based cybersecurity firm ESET published a security report claiming that hackers had successfully breached major web analytics tool StatCounter, targeting Bitcoin (BTC) exchanges that use the traffic analytic service. According to ESET researcher Matthieu Faou, the attackers compromised the StatCounter platform — which is reportedly used by more than two million other websites — by modifying the JavaScript (JS) code on each page of the website.

The hackers managed to add a piece of malicious code containing “myaccount/withdraw/BTC,” which intends to replace the destination address of a Bitcoin transfers by crypto exchange users with an address belonging to the attackers.

Modified script at www.statcounter[.]com/counter/counter.js. Source: WeLiveSecurity

According to Faou, who is reportedly the first to detect the “supply-chain attack,” this Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) “myaccount/withdraw/BTC” has been solely valid on crypto exchange Gate.io, allegedly “the main target of this attack.”

Now-ranked the 38th top crypto trading platform by daily trade volume as of press time, the exchange is quite popular in China with a rank of 9,382 in terms of in-country traffic, while its global rank amounts to 33,365, according to SimilarWeb traffic data and analytics tool.

In the conclusion to his report, the ESET researcher stated that the recent security breach again demonstrates the fact that external “JavaScript code is under the control of a third party and can be modified at any time without notice.”

As reported by Cointelegraph earlier this year, JS has been one of the major tools of hackers implemented in cryptojacking. According to the analysis, JS-based browser add-ons and extensions are “extremely vulnerable to hacking attacks” and often used for hidden mining by deploying users computing resources. For example, in mid-October, researchers found a crypto-mining malware that hides itself behind a fake Adobe Flash update.

Article First Published here

Third Largest Crypto Exchange Huobi Opens Deposits for New ‘Stablecoin Solution’ HUSD

Singapore-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange Huobi announced the creation of what it calls a “stablecoin solution” in a blog post Friday, Oct. 19.

Set to go live from Friday, the project, known as HUSD, will consist of Huobi’s own stablecoin asset which investors can use as an go-between to interact with four USD-backed stablecoins currently listed on the exchange.

Specifically, Huobi will accept and store Paxos Standard (PAX), True USD (TUSD), USD Coin (USDC) and Gemini Dollars (GUSD), giving users a balance in HUSD as a kind of aggregator of all four.

According to Huobi’s post, users can then cash out the same stablecoin they deposited or select from any of the other three.

HUSD will also be tradeable against other cryptocurrencies, beginning with controversial stablecoin Tether (USDT), followed by Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH).

Commenting on the project, Huobi said it would expand it to cover other stablecoins in future.

“We will keep a close watch on new stablecoins that appear on the market and optimize the HUSD standards,” executives wrote:

“We look forward to more stablecoins being involved in the HUSD system.”

Huobi announced the listing of the above four USD-backed stablecoins earlier this week, following a similar move by OKEx.

Huobi is currently the third largest crypto exchange globally by daily trading volumes, seeing about $416 million in trades on the day to press time.

Article First Published here

Binance Launches Its First Fiat-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

Major international crypto exchange Binance has announced that its fiat-to-crypto exchange will open in Uganda this week, the company reveals Monday, Oct. 15.

CEO and founder of Binance, Changpeng Zhao (CZ), had told Cointelegraph in an exclusive interview in June of plans to open the Ugandan crypto-fiat exchange.

As per Binance Uganda’s press release, the new branch will officially start accepting deposits and withdrawals of Ugandan shillings (UGX) Wednesday, Oct. 17. Binance Uganda notes that exchange has already begun its know-your-customer (KYC) procedures.

An additional press release reports that Uganda’s national fiat can only be traded with Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), but that the exchange is planning to add more pairs soon.

A Cointelegraph analysis of cryptocurrency in Africa noted that although the Bank of Uganda issued a warning to investors about cryptocurrency risks in March 2017, the country’s government has showed interest in using blockchain technology.

Binance’s CFO Wei Zhou says that company’s first fiat-to-crypto exchange in Uganda will help maintain sustainable economic stability in Africa, noting that the company plans to bring “more innovations to the region.”  

As Cointelegraph previously reported, this year Binance has revealed plans to open several fiat-to-crypto exchanges.

In August, Binance LCX — a joint venture between Binance and Liechtenstein Cryptoassets Exchange (LCX) — had announced plans to launch a fiat-to-crypto platform in Liechtenstein and offer trading between Swiss francs (CHF) and euros (EUR) against major digital currencies pairs. However, the exact date of the launch was not revealed.

Later in September, Binance had stated it will soon start private beta testing of a fiat-to-crypto exchange in Singapore, which will presumably support the Singapore dollar.

Binance is the largest international crypto exchange by 24-hour adjusted trading volume, seeing almost $1.8 billion in trades on the day to press time, according to CoinMarketCap.

Article First Published here

India's National Stock Exchange Trials Blockchain E-Voting for Listed Companies

The National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) is testing a blockchain platform developed by Elemential Labs to conduct e-voting for listed companies, local news outlet Hindu BusinessLine reports September 27.

The NSE’s pilot will entail tokenizing voting rights and using the blockchain platform to connect the firm, registrar and transfer agents (RTA), and the regulator. Hindu BusinessLine notes that tokenized votes are both easy to transfer and to proxy, and the test will reportedly be used to evaluate how easy it is to audit the entirety of the voting procedure using blockchain.

Sankarson Banerjee, CTO of projects at NSE, is quoted as saying that the blockchain system offers features that can bring the exchange “closer to an environment of improved corporate governance and compliance,” outlining that:

“The immutable nature of blockchain will ensure that every action taken by a network participant is transparent to the regulator. Additionally, the smart contract framework enables synchronisation of the vote count process between the company and the regulator in real time.”

Elemential Labs’ platform uses the Hyperledger framework, and NSE will reportedly take charge of developing and managing the front-end application of the system.

Elemential CEO Raunaq Vaisoha echoed Banerjee in advocating for blockchain’s power to ensure regulatory compliance in real time and to offer “highly transparent and clear corporate governance,” which he considered to be “an operating standard that most companies aspire to.”

As reported earlier this month, the Union Cabinet of India — the country’s chief decision-making body led by prime minister Narendra Modi — has approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with BRICS members on collaborative research into blockchain and other distributed ledger technologies (DLT).

This summer, the Indian state of Telangana announced it would be signing several MoUs with blockchain firms as to eventually implement the technology across government services.

As blockchain makes inroads with the country’s government, India’s Supreme Court is currently in the midst of reviewing the Reserve Bank of India (RBI)’s controversial ban on banks’ dealings with crypto-related entities. Just this week, the court listened to the final round of petitions on the ban, which has officially been in force since July 6.

Article First Published here

Operator of Hacked Crypto Exchange Zaif Gets Third Warning From Japan's Watchdog

Japan’s Financial Services Agency (FSA) has issued a third business improvement order to the owner of hacked crypto exchange Zaif, Tech Bureau. The news was reported by Cointelegraph Japan today, September 25.

As previously reported, as a result of a security breach on the Zaif exchange September 14, hackers succeeded in stealing 6.7 billion yen ($59.7 million) worth of crypto assets belonging to both users and to the exchange itself. The Financial Services Agency had already ordered Tech Bureau to make business improvements first in March, and subsequently in June this year.

The FSA considers that Tech Bureau’s investigation into the causes of the recent hack – as well as its response to customers – have been inadequate. While the firm reportedly announced it was in talks with Fisco Group to receive financial support of 5 billion yen on Friday, September 21, the FSA says it did not receive a concrete report on the matter from the firm directly.

The FSA’s newly-issued business improvement order specifies the following contents as necessary measures that are to be urgently addressed:

“(1) Determination of the facts and causes of the hacking incident (including clarification of the attribution of responsibility) and [the] formulation and execution of measures to prevent [its] recurrence

(2) Prevention of [the] expansion of customer damage

(3) Response to customer damage

(4) Review and implement concrete and effective improvement plans based on the hacking incident, [as well as the] contents of [two prior business improvement orders] from 8 March and 22 June [this year]

(5) Submit written reports pertaining to (1) and (4) above by Thursday, September 27.”

According to CT Japan, FSA staff are continuing to undertake on-site inspections of Tech Bureau. Based on their findings, the agency will reportedly potentially issue more stringent measures such as a business suspension order and/or cancellation of the exchange’s registration.

Earlier this summer, the FSA published the results of its on-site inspections of cryptocurrency exchange operators, deciding on the basis of its findings to apply more rigorous oversight into new applications from exchanges hoping to receive an official operating license. According to the agency, there are currently “hundreds” of companies awaiting its review.

In the wake of January’s industry record-breaking $532 million hack of crypto exchange Coincheck, the year has seen the agency unfold a series of increasingly exacting measures for domestic operators.

Article First Published here

Report: Hong Kong Stock Exchange Eyeing Blockchain Firm Acquisitions

Insider sources have suggested that the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) is eyeing takeovers in the blockchain and other tech sectors, according to a Bloomberg article published September 21.

Bloomberg cites “people with knowledge of the matter” as saying that the exchange is considering a change in strategy due to stalling trading links with exchanges in China, citing worsening U.S.-China trade relations as a further cause for concern.

The sources reportedly told Bloomberg that HKEX CEO Charles Li has met with “at least three investment banks” to discuss diversifying the exchange’s model, including a possible set of takeovers in the “data, analytics and blockchain sectors.” Due to the sensitivity of the matter, Bloomberg’s sources asked to remain anonymous.

They reportedly suggest that Li has been looking to the venture capital arms of U.S.-based stalwart exchanges CME Group Inc. and Nasdaq Inc. “as possible models,” with Bloomberg noting that Nasdaq saw 19 percent of its 2017 revenue from data products and 13 percent from market technology.

By contrast, Bloomberg’s data indicates that HKEX generated almost 100 percent of its 2017 revenue from clearing and trading fees.

Bloomberg’s sources further allege that potential technology acquisitions were “the focus” of two recent key HKEX meetings — a strategy discussion with senior managers on September 10, and a board member meeting on September 12. They report that the exchange is due to launch a three-year strategy plan starting in 2019, of which the details are currently under discussion.

Banny Lam, head of research at CEB International Investment Corp., told Bloomberg in an email that:

“The strategy is in the right direction but it is not easy to achieve the targets. HKEX needs to maintain a momentum of growth by exploring new businesses.”

According to Bloomberg, HKEX has “struggled to integrate” its 2012 acquisition of London Metal Exchange, and the article cites an unnamed HKEX advisor as saying that there are “industry concerns” surrounding the success of future deals.

As previously reported, within China itself, blockchain has been making inroads into the very infrastructure of major stock exchanges. Earlier this summer, the world’s fourth-largest stock exchange, the Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) released plans to adopt the technology for use in securities transactions.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is also planning to implement blockchain to replace its current system for processing equity transactions, a switch that is currently slated for spring 2021.

Article First Published here

Shanghai Stock Exchange Partners With Major Insurance Firms to Improve Industry With Blockchain

The Shanghai Stock Exchange (SSE) and Insurance Asset Management Association of China (IAMAC) have agreed to cooperate on improving the insurance and pension industries with the use of blockchain tech. China Securities Journal newspaper reported on the partnership Monday, August 20.

China Securities Journal wrote that the SSE, the world’s fourth largest stock exchange, was joined by several major insurance industry players, including the IAMAC, Changjiang Pension Insurance Company, Tokyo Maritime Sunshine, and others.

The stated goal of the new group is “to create a new, high-efficiency, low-cost and safer insurance industry” through the use of blockchain technology. The article clarifies:

“The digital transformation of enabling insurance will build a blockchain service platform to solve the bottleneck problem of enterprise innovation. With convenient and efficient application development, flexible deployment mode and visual monitoring and operation platform.”

As Cointelegraph reported July 12, the Shanghai Stock Exchange had revealed its plans to use blockchain in its securities transactions, indicating the increasing level of adoption of the distributed ledger technology (DLT) by larger institutions.

Last week, a major U.S.-based entrepreneurial accelerator Y Combinator announced the launch of its new China-based division to “build a long-term local organization that will combine the best of Silicon Valley and China and create a lot of innovation.”

Earlier this month, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), which operates the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has unveiled its plans to build an “open and regulated, global ecosystem for digital assets” in cooperation with Microsoft and others.

Article First Published here

Japan’s Financial Watchdog Publishes Results of Its On-Site Crypto Exchange Inspections

Japan’s financial watchdog, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), has published the results of its on-site inspections of cryptocurrency exchange operators, Cointelegraph Japan reports August 10.

Based on its findings, the watchdog has decided to apply more rigorous oversight into new applications from exchanges hoping to receive an official operating license. Newly registered exchanges will be required to undergo on-site inspections at an early stage and the agency plans to closely examine the effectiveness of their business models.

According to the agency, there are currently “hundreds” of companies awaiting its review.

The FSA probe revealed that exchange operators’ maintenance of their internal control systems has failed to keep pace with the rapid growth of transaction volumes, which it partly attributed to the “renaissance” of the crypto markets in fall 2017.

According to the investigations, the total digital assets of domestic exchanges surged to 792.8 billion yen ($7.1 billion), an over six-fold increase within the space of one year. Meanwhile, most exchanges’ workforces are fewer than 20 people, meaning that one employee on average was found to be managing digital assets worth 3.3 billion yen ($29.7 million).

The comprehensive document identified a wide array of problems across exchanges’ business models, risk management and compliance, internal audits, and corporate governance. The agency further highlighted concerns over insufficient anti-money laundering (AML) measures among certain exchanges.

Local news platform Nikkei has reported that it is likely the new registration of exchange operators — which had virtually stopped in the wake of January’s $532 mln hack of crypto exchange Coincheck — will resume following the FSA’s interim publication.

The FSA has said that “substantial” ongoing review of registration procedures will be necessary, and that it will continue to give “priority to investor protection.”

In May, the FSA unrolled regulatory stipulations for registered exchanges, including tough restrictions on the trading of anonymity-oriented altcoins.

In July, the FSA announced it was considering changing the legal framework for the regulation of cryptocurrency exchanges, and the agency was also recently restructured in order improve its handling of fintech-related areas, including cryptocurrencies.

A self-regulatory body, the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), formed in early March in order to develop and coordinate policies in conjunction with the FSA. Last month, JVCEA announced it would be requiring its members to place maximum limits on the volumes traded by their customers.

Article First Published here

First Crypto Firm IPO on London Stock Exchange Raises $32.5 Million

A crypto mining company has raised £25 million (about $32.5 million) through an IPO on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). 

U.K.-based Argo Mining (ticker: ARB), which provides “accessible” crypto mining via a subscription service, is the first crypto company to be listed on the LSE. The company raised £5 million (about $6.5 million) more than its initial goal of £20 million through the IPO. 

Argo kicked off on the exchange with about 156 million shares accounting for 53.2% of its issued shared capital, according to a company document. Shares were priced at 16 pence, giving the business a total market valuation of £47 million pounds (about $61.2 million).

“Argo’s admission to the London main market is a major step in the company’s development and will put us in a strong position to execute our long-term growth strategy,” executive chairman Jonathan Bixby said in the document. “We are delighted with the strong response from investors which will enable us to grow our business in multiple jurisdictions.”

The company won approval from the UK Listing Authority in May to be listed on the exchange, and subsequently released its crypto mining subscription service in June. According to its website, Argo offers consumers three packages differentiated by the capacity of the mining power provided. BTG, ETH, ZEC and ETC are currently supported. All of its packages are sold out.

Bixby told the Financial Times around the time of the release that Argo wants to be “the Amazon Web Services of crypto.”

“More than 90 percent of crypto mining is done by elites on industrial scale because it is technically very difficult to do,” Bixby was quoted as saying. “It is incredibly expensive to buy, up front, the hardware you need at $5,000 a machine.”

Several other mining companies in the space are also considering IPOs.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, market leader Bitmain is rumored to be conducting a pre-IPO funding round and to be considering going public. Two other China-based mining hardware makers, Canaan Creative and Ebang Communication have both filed IPO applications with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

London Stock Exchange image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Article First Published here

FlipNpik Token One of the First Available on New StellarX Exchange


This is a paid-for submitted press release. CCN does not endorse, nor is responsible for any material included below and isn’t responsible for any damages or losses connected with any products or services mentioned in the press release. CCN urges readers to conduct their own research with due diligence into the company, product or service mentioned in the press release.

2 Aug, London, UK and Singapore, Singapore – FlipNpik is excited to announce that the FNP token will soon be listed on the StellarX marketplace. The new platform, powered by the Stellar network, is fast and without transaction fees.

FlipNpik will be one of the first coins listed on StellarX, the new professional grade trading interface for Stellar tokens. StellarX is an exciting project sharing the same values as FlipNpik. “Because we’re built on the open Stellar order book, no one — no exchange, no miners, no middleman of any kind — takes a cut of your transactions,” announced Christian R, co-founder of Stellar (XLM) and now StellarX.

“Indeed, you’ll be able to trade FNP tokens completely for free on StellarX. The StellarX marketplace will benefit all our investors by allowing more visibility and liquidity of the FNP Token,” stated FlipNpik CEO Henri Harland. “It’s great news – we can reward the support of the community and make the FNP token a credible cryptocurrency with high potential value,” he added.

Led by a strong team of experienced entrepreneurs and experts in the fields of digital currencies, finance and marketing, FlipNpik empowers small businesses and communities by providing a global platform that supports a unique ecosystem of mutually beneficial relationships.

FlipNpik is also working to list its token on exchange platforms located in Asia and Europe. New announcements should follow in the weeks to come.

Whale bonus’ for the Public Ending Soon