Russia is one of the top 10 markets on Binance exchange, CEO Changpeng Zhao revealed as the platform just added support for ruble trading.
Major global crypto exchange Binance has silently launched Russian ruble trading on Oct. 30.
Binance Ruble trading goes live according to the plan
Less than two weeks after announcing Binance’s plans to launch fiat trading starting with Russian ruble, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) revealed that ruble trading is live in a tweet on Oct. 31.
CZ noted that the launch of Russian ruble was released silently and in conjunction with his interview on Coindesk stating that Russia is one of the biggest markets of Binance exchange.
CZ first announced the ruble trading launch speaking at a Russian government-sponsored event, the Open Innovations Forum in Moscow on Oct. 21. At the time, Binance said that the exchange was expecting the launch in about two weeks.
Russia is among the top 10 markets on Binance
In another interview with Russian-language crypto news outlet Forklog on Oct. 31, Binance CEO revealed that Russia is one of the top-ten markets on Binance. When asked about the number of Russia-based users, CZ suggested that the amount is significant, saying:
“Russia is in the TOP-10 for sure. Our user base is very similar to the geographical distribution of Bitcoin holders.”
According to a recent Forklog survey, Binance is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, with nearly 60% of the respondents claiming that they prefer Binance rather than other global crypto exchanges.
When asked what could be a trigger for such a level of popularity in these regions, CZ said that Binance is just trying to meet the demand by adapting their products to the local language.
Binance’s introduction of Russian ruble trading comes amid a report that Russia’s internet ombudsman is planning to launch a new Bitcoin (BTC) mining facility to mine 20% of the global Bitcoin.
Meanwhile, the cryptocurrency industry is not formally regulated in the country, as recently reported. On Oct. 22, Zhao expressed his confidence that the bill on regulating digital currencies in the Russian Federation will be adopted in the foreseeable future.
Binance’s U.S. platform, Binance.US, will add support for two new tokens to its platform: NEO and ATOM.
The United States-focused wing of leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance will add support for Neo (NEO) and Cosmos (ATOM).
Binance.US announced on Oct. 30 that it will add full trading support for the two tokens on Oct. 31, both of which are among the top-20 tokens by market capitalization according to Coin360.
Per the announcement, users can already start depositing funds before trading commences at 9:00 p.m. EST tomorrow.
Cosmos provides a blockchain-based platform that works as a mediator between different blockchains. It launched its first ecosystem hub in March 2019 after raising $17.3 million in its token sale in April 2017.
Neo is a decentralized open-source blockchain application platform. In September, Neo became the first blockchain member of Microsoft’s open-source project, the .NET Foundation.
At press time, NEO is up by 4.32% to trade at $10.87, while ATOM is trading sideways, down 0.23% to trade at $3.10.
Binance lists SEC-compliant token for $250,000 “long-term payment”
Earlier this week, Binance’s main platform listed Blockstack’s STX token when the firm paid Binance a $250,000 “long-term payment” to ensure that the token remains listed on the platform. A filing with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) from Blockstack reveals that Binance received 833,333 STX, which at the $0.30 token valuation provided by the company is equivalent to $250,000.
Binance states that it did not charge a listing fee to Blockstack and that the marketing payment was Blockstacks’ initiative.
STX’s listing on Binance follows a $23 million token sale that was approved by the SEC under Regulation A+. An A+ funding round is a type of initial public offering for startups in need of early funding in which members of the public can participate.
A look at the history of the mysterious firm Crypto Capital and its ties to Bitfinex as court cases brew.
Over the past week, news broke detailing that Oz Yosef, an executive of the mysterious firm Crypto Capital, has been indicted by the United States for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transfer service.
The news came just days after Crypto Capital’s president, Ivan Manuel Molina Lee, was arrested by Polish authorities on suspicion of laundering roughly $350 million worth of funds from illegal proceeds and having ties to a transnational drug cartel. According to local reports, the arrested was tied to $350 million worth of funds previously seized by the Polish Ministry of Justice from Crypto Capital’s Polish subsidiary, Crypto Sp. z. oo.
Crypto Capital is a Panama-based firm that the U.S. Department of Justice claims provided shadow banking services to several cryptocurrency exchanges, including Bitfinex, Binance, Cex.io, Coinapult and QuadrigaCX.
On Oct. 25, Stuart Hoegner, general counsel to Bitfinex, issued a statement responding to Lee’s arrest asserting that Bitfinex was the victim of fraud perpetrated by Crypto Capital. The statement also rejected accusations that proceeds from narcotics allegedly laundered by Crypto Capital were associated with the exchange.
Relations deteriorate between Bitfinex and Crypto Capital
Crypto Capital’s partnership with Bitfinex has garnered significant scrutiny in recent months, with the exchange claiming that the liquidity issues had been triggered by an inability to access $880 million worth of its funds that were being held by Crypto Capital.
Last week, Bitfinex filed with a California court to subpoena the former vice president of TCA Bancorp, Rondell Clyde Monroe, with the exchange asserting that Monroe held information relating to its funds held by Crypto Capital.
Bitfinex claims that its partnership with Crypto Capital began to deteriorate in April of last year, following reports indicating that Polish authorities had seized roughly $350 million from an account belonging to Crypto Capital subsidiary Crypto Sp. z. oo. with Bank Spółdzielczy w Skierniewicach.
Bitfinex subpoenas Crypto Capital representative
In the subpoena, Bitfinex alleged that TCA Bancorp provided banking services to Crypto Capital, asserting that the firm had “used one or more accounts held at TCA Bancorp to facilitate the transfer of funds.”
Bitfinex holds that in August 2018, Crypto Capital informed the exchange that approximately $500 million of Bitfinex’s funds were being “held up” by authorities in Poland and Portugal. When pressed to provide evidence of the frozen funds, Bitfinex was issued a reference letter signed by Monroe stating that more than $300 million worth of Bitfinex’s funds were being held with TCA Bancorp by Global Trade Solutions AG, operating as Crypto Capital.
The filing requested the court for permission to accept Monroe’s deposition testimony. Bitfinex believes that Monroe possesses key information relating to the funds that were in the custody of Crypto Capital, with the exchange also seeking to obtain communications between Monroe and Crypto Capital.
Additionally, Bitfinex sought documentation of Monroe’s communications with Yosef and his sister Ravid Yosef, as well as Global Trade Solutions shareholder Reginald Fowler and his son Trent Fowler. Both Reginald Fowler and Ravid Yosef have been indicted by the Department of Justice for alleged bank fraud relating to a cryptocurrency exchange intermediary.
Bitfinex is also the subject of an ongoing investigation by the New York State Office of the Attorney General for failing to disclose that it was unable to access the $880 million in funds and that it had used a loan from sister company Tether to both continue operating and conceal the losses.
Crypto Capital’s past
Crypto Capital has been in operation since 2013, with Braveno’s Mathias Grønnebæk claiming that Reddit user u/bitfan2013 was the firm’s founder. In May 2013, u/bitfan2013 posted to the r/Bitcoin subreddit, probing the community sentiment regarding a proposed bank that would comprise a means to convert between BTC and fiat currency, in addition to providing services to companies operating in the crypto sector.
The poster asserted that his family and he sat on the board of directors for four “small – medium sized private banks” in Panama. The following week, u/bitfan2013 announced that they had decided to “offer private international banking to bitcoin customers, merchants and traders.”
In June 2013, Crypto Capital (then operating under the name Crypto Financial) launched, and then conducted what it called an initial public offering to raise 30,000 BTC through Panama-based Havelock Investments in August 2013. By 2015, Crypto Capital had attracted several notable exchanges as clients, providing services to Bitfinex and Coinapult, among others.
Bitfinex depended on Crypto Capital amid banking difficulties
Bitfinex’s affiliation with Crypto Capital became the subject of scrutiny in 2017, with the exchange directing its customers to deposit funds to accounts held by Crypto Capital subsidiaries following the Wells Fargo termination of banking services to Bitfinex via its Taiwanese partners in March 2017.
Stuart Hoegner, general counsel for Bitfinex and Tether, stated that the exchange expanded the number of accounts held with Crypto Capital throughout 2017 and 2018, as the platform became increasingly reliant on Crypto Capital for the processing of fiat services.
During November 2017, Bitfinex began directing customers to deposit funds into Crypto Sp. z. oo.’s account with Bank Spółdzielczy w Skierniewicach in Poland. The director of both Crypto Capital and Crypto Sp. z. oo. is Ivan Manuel Molina Lee, a Panamanian who appears to have acted as a nominee director for many Panama-based companies.
Crypto Capital accounts seized in April 2018
In April 2018, Polish authorities seized $371 million from an account held by Crypto Sp. z. oo. with Bank Spółdzielczy w Skierniewicach in Poland for alleged ties to Colombian cartel operations.
At the time, an individual posting on the Bitcoin.pl forum claimed to have been questioned by Polish police “regarding the case of Crypto Sp. z. oo.” as a result of having previously received funds from Bitfinex via the intermediary.
Bitfinex denied the alleged ties to the accounts seized and claimed that its operations were “unaffected” by the events. Crypto Capital accounts that had been operated on behalf of the now-defunct website Backpage were also seized in a sex-trafficing bust by authorities in April 2018.
Crypto Capital rebrands to Global Trade Solutions
After partnering with ING, Bitfinex recommenced directing customers to deposit fiat using accounts held by Crypto Capital subsidiaries, including the Swiss-based Global Trade Solutions via Portuguese bank Caixa Geral de Depositos in February 2018.
By the third quarter of 2018, accounts held by Global Trade Solutions were used to facilitate fiat transactions for Bitfinex via multiple U.S. banks, including Citibank, HSBC and Enterprise Bank & Trust.
In June 2018, Crypto Capital dissolved and liquidated itself, and has since been operated by Global Trade Solutions. Amid the restructuring, it became apparent that Crypto Capital had purchased a software engineering firm that was founded in 2001, which is presumed to be the basis for the “2001” branded on Global Trade Solutions’ logo featured on its website.
Tensions rise between Bitfinex and Crypto Capital
In chat logs documenting communications between Bitfinex executive “Merlin” and Crypto Capital’s “Oz” that were provided to the New York State Office of the Attorney General for its investigations, Bitfinex appears to have desperately sought to access its funds held by Crypto Capital from August 2018 onward.
On Aug. 15, 2018, Merlin stated: “Hey Oz, sorry to bother you every day, is there any way to move at least 100M […] ? We are seeing massive withdrawals and we are not able to face them anymore unless we can transfer some money out of Cryptocapital.”
On Oct. 15, 2018, Merlin pleaded with Crypto Capital to provide Bitfinex with funds, warning that “too many withdrawals” were “waiting for a long time,” and that a failure to respond “could be extremely dangerous for […] the entire crypto community,” adding, “BTC could tank to below 1k if we don’t act quickly.”
On Oct. 17, Merlin stated that Bitfinex “urgently” needed $100 million in “either Tethers or USD” within one week. The next day, Merlin told Crypto Capital: “Too much money is trapped with you and we are currently walking on a very thin crust of ice.”
Bitfinex among several parties affected
Crypto Capital’s fallout affected a number of cryptocurrency exchanges. In December 2018, Crypto Capital customer Coinapult announced that it was “experiencing issues” and that “withdrawals may take longer than usual.” The statement was the last made by the company, and it is currently unclear whether or not the exchange is still operational.
The now-defunct QuadrigaCX was also a client of Crypto Capital, with the exchange losing access to $190 million of its customers’ funds. Before the exchange’s collapse, Hanin asserted that the platform’s transactions were not being processed by Crypto Capital due to issues with its Taiwanese banking partner.
In May of this year, Minnesota Vikings’ investor and football entrepreneur Reginald Fowler was charged alongside Global Trade Solutions shareholder Ravid Yosef for operating an unlicensed money transmitting business on behalf of cryptocurrency exchanges.
According to the indictment, Fowler and Yosef have access to $345 million held in various international bank accounts, including accounts owned by Global Trade Solutions. Crypto Capital had also processed transfers on behalf of Bitfinex using Portuguese companies co-owned by Fowler in February 2018.
Crypto’s most recent bull run began last Friday, October 25, after a significant plunge in prices just days earlier that had some prognosticators worried about a return to late 2018 and early 2019’s bleak crypto winter. Since the recent spike, prices have held relatively steady, suggesting this rally is not just a flash in the pan. That being the case, a look at bull runs of times past and what this could mean for the market today is in order.
With BTC plummeting almost $1,000 from October 22-24, some crypto sages were poised on their soapboxes in the Twitter town square ready to announce the coming cryptocalypse. As seen recently though, prices have reinvigorated with gusto and stabilized around the market as a whole. 2017’s November and December mega rally was preceded by a rapid plunge in prices across the market in mere days as well, prompting some to view current conditions as a consolidation signal similar to those times.
There is no shortage of theories and speculation as to where things may go next, or why the dynamic moves of last week occurred. Bitcoin core prices spiked over $2,500 from around $7,300 to the $10,000 mark in a matter of a couple days, and other top market cap cryptocurrencies experienced significant positive moves as well, and remain strong.
Past Bull Markets – Similarities and Differences
As zealous as those in the crypto game might be to call each and every bullish signal the beginning of hyperbitcoinization and each slight dip a shocking death knell, the markets tell a more stable and sensible story from a macro perspective. Prices and percentages of market capitalization of leading cryptos understandably follow more gradual contours, long-term. The diversity of leading assets at the very top broadens where capitalization is concerned, while the market as a whole narrows and becomes more focused on select assets.
If 2017’s skyrocket into green was a crypto-wide gamble taking everyone along for the exhilarating ride, recent spikes have been a more seasoned bet, leaving legions of washed up altcoins out to dry. As far as speculated causes for the most recent bull trend goes, there are a few favored explanations – and many being shot down with equal conviction.
BTW China‘s leadership is anti-privacy,pro-surveillance&pro-control.Stop pretending Xi‘s speech (where #blockchain was a placeholder for any hip tech) said “we like #bitcoin“.It insults even #CT‘s intelligence.Reason for pump was Bearish positioning& #tether printing air-money 😉
Similarities across bullish trends have luminaries, experts and economists attempting to draw sound connections. For example, Bitcoin’s April 2018 rally was attributed to institutional interest and “flights to decorrelation” by experts, bearing similarity to current speculation and prediction centering around global economic turmoil and the bitcoin futures market. Last spring and summer saw bitcoin core jumping back to $10,000 in June, signaling a bull market that was attributed by many, once again, to a combination of tech industry hubbub such as Facebook’s groundbreaking Libra announcement, government economic policies and futures markets.
Regarding the current rally, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao referenced positive signals from stocks in the Chinese blockchain industry, tweeting on October 28:
Those gains in stock markets will spill over to crypto soon… Told ours guys to scale up system capacity, waiting.
Also of interest to speculators is a breakaway gap on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange’s (CME) futures chart following last week’s spike. Trader @TheCryptomist predicted the gap would be filled before BTC heads back upwards toward $12,000.
Top Performers and Future Moves
As far as price performance in the context of the most recent rally goes, barchart.com paints a picture of the last five days, with NEO, BCH and BTC leading the pack. NEO has seen a near 50% gain in price, BCH over 16% and BTC 14% at press time.
If the crypto market tells us anything, it’s that no prediction or position is sacred, no matter how vaunted the status of the speaker, or how statistically sound the forecast may seem to be. Crypto speculation is always open to being dashed to smithereens against the unforgiving rocks of market reality. Still, when zoomed out far enough, even volatility can take on a calmer appearance. Steady growth and sustained interest in the crypto space is a constant narrative for now.
What are your thoughts on the recent crypto market moves? Let us know in the comments section below.
Cryptocurrency exchange OKEx is joining Klaytn, a global public blockchain platform developed by Kakao subsidiary Ground X.
OKEx announced that it is joining Klaytn, a global public blockchain platform developed by Kakao subsidiary Ground X.
On Oct. 25, OKEx wrote in a press release that blockchain project Klaytn will be onboarding the crypto exchange into their ecosystem aiming to expand blockchain adoption.
OKEx is joining a number of industry giants such as Samsung Blockchain, IDG Capital, and Shinhan Bank. The exchange called this partnership an opportunity to build a stable blockchain ecosystem and connect to different networks and portfolios in the blockchain industry. Andy Cheung, Head of Operations of OKEx, commented on the partnership:
“Exchanges and projects itself should work together to define and adopt standards that will promote digital asset adoption globally.”
Recently, cryptocurrency exchange Binance joined Klaytn’s governance council. Binance, together with another 24 member companies such as LG Electronics, Unionbank of the Philippines and Celltrion, will make key decisions for Klaytn’s business and technical developments.
OKEx announces 14 new partnerships
Following the news of OKEx joining Klaytn, the exchange reported in a press release that it had established another 14 partnerships with service providers to promote the adoption of its utility token OKB. Cheung said:
“The 14 new partnerships is a shot in the arm for OKB. Together with our community, we will continue to explore the possibility of OKB. By offering a wider array of applications, OKB holders will be able to enjoy the fruit of blockchain technology and the appreciating value of our token.”
Accusations of wash trading
In September, OKEx refuted allegations of manipulative practices such as wash trading on its platform. The exchange said that the allegations made in a recent report from the Blockchain Transparency Institute (BTI) were “not accurate and misleading.”
WeChat Pay stores payment receipts on the blockchain, says Binance CEO.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) took to Twitter on Oct. 25, saying that he had “got word” that WeChat Pay puts receipts on the blockchain, along with a screengrab of a receipt with a link to a block explorer.
Why does CZ care so much?
Globally, companies in almost every industry are implementing blockchain solutions, so why should CZ feel the need to comment on this one?
Perhaps it has something to do with a story from earlier this month, in which CZ announced the launch of payment on-ramps for Binance in China, utilizing WeChat Pay and Alipay payment services.
Alipay was quick to refute the claims, saying that any payments related to cryptocurrency were banned from its service.
WeChat also confirmed its anti-crypto stance, and there is no suggestion that WeChat Pay is anything other than a centralized payment system, utilizing blockchain presumably for invoicing.
As Cointelegraph reported in March, China’s first blockchain-based electronic invoice for a subway ride was issued at the Futian Station in the Shenzhen Metro. This technology was jointly developed by the Shenzhen Municipal Taxation Bureau and WeChat’s parent company and Chinese tech giant Tencent.
Hypocritical or hyper-critical?
It could be that CZ is calling out WeChat for hypocrisy over its proclaimed anti-crypto position while implementing blockchain technology. Or perhaps he is heralding WeChat for its use of blockchain technology, despite its official stance on cryptocurrencies.
Little further information is given, although some commenters have speculated that any blockchain hook-up that WeChat has could be powered by VeChain. According to reports, there have been previous experiments in blockchain technology between VeChain and Tencent.
Meanwhile, Tencent recently admitted that Facebook’s proposed Libra stablecoin would pose a serious threat to WeChat Pay if it launched in China.
As reported today, China’s President Xi Jinping called for accelerated adoption of blockchain technology in the country calling it a “breakthrough” for private innovation.
Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced that it opened deposits for fiat currency the Nigerian Naira.
Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance announced that it opened deposits for fiat currency Nigerian Naira (NGN) on Oct. 24.
Binance adds three new NGN trading pairs
Per the announcement, NGN deposits will be processed by online payments processor Flutterwave and the exchange is also adding three new trading pairs: USD/NGN, Binance Coin/NGN and Bitcoin/NGN.
To promote the use of the newly supported currency on the firm’s trading platform, Binance made NGN deposits temporarily free up to 36,000 NGN (about $100) starting on Oct. 24.
For ineligible deposits, the fees on NGN will be set at 1.4%. The maximum allowed deposit is 430,000 NGN ($1,191), while the minimum is 150 NGN ($0.42).
Interestingly, Google Trends shows that the African country has the most interest in the subject. Binance founder and CEO Changpeng Zhao commented in a tweet:
“This is the first fiat trading pair on [Binance.] You know what it happens next, right? First leads to more…”
Other new pairs from Binance and elsewhere
Also on Oct. 24, Binance’s crypto trading platform for United States-based users, Binance US, announced that the exchange would list Dogecoin (DOGE).
Binance also recently announced that it will soon add support for fiat trading, starting with the Russian ruble. Those initiatives build on a broader effort by the exchange, which first disclosed in January the intention to expand to eight new countries this year by establishing multiple fiat exchanges.
Singapore-based crypto exchange Huobi announced earlier this month that it will launch a fiat gateway for the Turkish lira in late 2019.
The U.S. remains a challenging environment for centralized cryptocurrency exchanges, with major players significantly scaling back their operations and others heading for the door. The most recent casualty of America’s stringent regulatory climate is one time market-leader Poloniex, which has “spun out” from parent company Circle, spinning out of the U.S. market in the process and leaving a void for other exchanges to fill.
Poloniex Heads for the Door, Other Exchanges Enter
Until fairly recently, American citizens could freely trade hundreds of digital assets across exchanges such as Bittrex, Poloniex, Bitfinex, and Binance. Those options have been rapidly whittled down, however, as centralized exchanges have been forced to either exclude the U.S. altogether or render the majority of their assets off-limits to traders east of the Atlantic.
Following a buyout from an Asian investment group, Poloniex will continue to operate internationally, but U.S. customers will be forced to cease trading from as early as November 1. Binance and Bittrex have also been given pause to reconsider their American strategies, vastly reducing the number of trading pairs available to customers in the USA. As centralized exchanges continue to struggle with regulation and red tape, the market seems primed for alternative solutions such as decentralized exchanges and token swapping protocols that aren’t so easily cowed by regulators. It’s a lucrative space which new players are actively seeking to exploit.
The Decline of Centralized Exchanges
American traders find themselves particularly ill-served by centralized exchanges. Not only do they have fewer platforms to trade on, but the available options are severely crippled and a poor reflection of the true state of the crypto market in 2019. Poloniex has officially hit the iceberg and is abandoning ship, Bittrex is severely wounded and a shadow of itself. Coinbase, Kraken and the relaunched Binance US are all options, but each has limitations due to a need to appease regulators, resulting in a sub-optimal experience. Coinbase is more truthfully a brokerage in any case, Kraken is struggling to innovate in the strict regulatory climate it finds itself in, and Binance US is possibly the least satisfying iteration of the exchanges, providing only a fraction of the trading pairs enjoyed by customers elsewhere.
U.S. traders are effectively operating with one hand tied behind their back while being force-fed the decaf soy milk latte of crypto. For those who want to enjoy full mobility and to drink in the “full fat” experience, two practical options remain: VPN or DEX. In the case of the Binance DEX, U.S. customers would need to use both, firing up a VPN to connect to the DEX, which defeats at least one of the reasons for choosing a decentralized exchange in the first place. Moreover, should an exchange find that U.S. customers are illegally accessing it, it could potentially freeze funds, which presents another headache.
From a legal perspective, a DEX is bound by the same rules and regulations as any centralized exchange, but if it is decentralized enough to have no formal company structure, U.S. regulators are largely powerless to act. Quite simply, if a DEX can be accessed from the U.S. then it can be traded upon. Of the existing options, Uniswap and Bancor are the leading Ethereum-based candidates, in terms of UX certainly, but also with regards to liquidity. Bancor has cracked the liquidity problem through the use of liquidity pools that enable conversion between tokens through the use of multiple smart contracts. Cotrader has built a DEX on the Bancor protocol that promises a “free, open source, unrestricted portal into the Bancor network,” enabling anyone, anywhere to trustlessly trade ERC20s.
Can’t Poloniex the DEX
Decentralized exchanges have been a long-held dream of the crypto community, but until recently, the drawbacks of using one mostly outweighed the benefits. Now the tide is finally turning as decentralized trading matures and key players become more adept at meeting customer expectations. The user experience has been greatly improved, order matching is faster, and slippage has been minimized through plugging into multiple liquidity pools.
Further, the very nature of decentralized exchanges means they cannot be easily censored and stopped. Without a central point of attack, DEXs avoid the vulnerabilities inherent to centralized exchanges, including being at the mercy of U.S. regulators. Now ever greater numbers of Ethereum DEXs are emerging including Nash, which bridges Ethereum and NEO, Loopring’s Dolomite DEX, and Dex.blue. There are also P2P platforms such as local.Bitcoin.com which enable users to swap BCH without the need to deposit funds.
Another decentralized exchange which has opened to the sort of fanfare you would expect from a John McAfee project is McAfeeDex. As one of crypto’s most prominent and colorful characters, McAfee is certainly more than capable of getting the word out on his latest venture, but whether his eponymous DEX will fill the vacuum left by centralized exchanges remains to be seen.
It would be naive to think that decentralized exchanges can replace their centralized counterparts at this point in time; the fact that most DEXs are native to one blockchain only means the tech isn’t even capable of supporting seamless trading of multi-chain assets; wrapped workarounds such as WBTC are the closest substitute, currently. For U.S. traders craving the full trading experience, a combination of top 20 assets on centralized platforms and the long tail of ERC20s on decentralized protocols is about as good as they’re gonna get.
Which centralized and decentralized exchanges do you think will gain market share in the US? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock.
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Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance prepares to list the first-ever SEC-sanctioned Blockstack token.
Major cryptocurrency exchange Binance is preparing to expand its token offering with the listing of Blockstack (STX).
According to an announcement on Oct. 23, the cryptocurrency exchange will open trading for STX/Binance Coin (BNB), STX/Bitcoin (BTC) and STX/Tether (USDT) trading pairs on Oct. 25. Binance users can now deposit STX ahead of trading.
In addition to trading on Binance, STX will also trade on institutional exchange Hashkey Pro. In a separate press release, Blockstack notes that there are presently no authorized exchanges or tradings systems for United States-based investors to buy the token.
Blockstack’s token offering was a regulatory first
The blockchain-based startup Blockstack was the first-ever digital token offering to receive the go-ahead from the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and run a $23 million investment round under Regulation A+.
Blockstack founders Muneeb Ali and Ryan Shea reportedly spent 10 months and approximately $2 million to get the green light from the SEC for a Reg A+ offering. Ali said that Blockstack had to develop a protocol for running what is essentially a regulated initial coin offering through Regulation A+ from the ground up.
Regulation A+ is an initial public offering alternative geared towards startups in need of early funding. Regulation A+ funding was introduced in 2012 via the “Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act.”
Blockstack partners with Lambda school to teach coding
Cointelegraph previously reported that Blockstack was partnering with the skills-based online Lambda school, where students can reportedly learn how to code Blockstack apps and earn monthly revenue through its App Mining Program.
According to Lambda CEO Austen Allred, the partnership with Blockstack “gives Lambda School students a direct path for gaining real-world development experience while earning additional income for their work.”
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao considers Russian President Vladimir Putin the most influential person in the blockchain space.
Changpeng Zhao, CEO of major cryptocurrency exchange Binance, named Russian President Vladimir Putin as the most influential person in the blockchain industry.
Cooperation with the Russian gov’t
On Oct. 22, in an article on RBC News, Zhao, also known as CZ within the crypto community, pointed to Russian President Vladimir Putin as the most influential person in the blockchain space. Zhao further said that he believes the bill on regulating digital money may be adopted in the Russian Federation in the foreseeable future.
Zhao also reportedly revealed that Binance may in some cases provide user information to Russian financial regulators and warned people involved in crime to stay away from the Binance trading platform, saying:
“As a rule, we do not provide information to any regulator en masse. But in individual cases – yes […] therefore, if you are engaged in crime, you sign up with Binance.”
Zhao concluded his statements by telling the story of how he sold his house in 2014 to buy Bitcoin (BTC) before a drop from $600 to $200, despite which he hodled to the present day, with BTC standing at $8,100 at press time. The story was a way of explaining his belief that the world’s most popular cryptocurrency will see impressive growth by the end of this year.
Binance is adding support for rubles
Cointelegraph previously reported that Binance will soon add support for the Russian ruble. By adding Russia’s national currency to its platform, Binance will allow users from Russia to buy cryptocurrencies directly using rubles, CZ explained at the Open Innovations Forum in Moscow, a Russian government-led event. While Binance did confirm the addition of a ruble-crypto pair to Cointelegraph, it did not provide any additional details or an explanation for why the ruble was chosen for the first fiat-crypto trading pair.