The CEO at one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Changpeng Zhao of Binance has recently made a note on Twitter regarding the volatility of the market moving in the right direction.
In the tweet to his somewhat 267k followers, he said:
Finally, wish came true, volatility in the right direction.
— CZ Binance (@cz_binance) January 7, 2019
The comments from CZ come in response to the Bitcoin price going up by about five percent which pushed it over the $4,000 mark over the past 24 hours. On top of the significant increase in the price of Bitcoin, there were some other big digital currencies which went up along with it.
As reported by Crypto Insider, the CEO welcomed the volatility for the price with open arms whilst also responding to user concerns in regards to Bitfinex’s scheduled maintenance-related downtime. CZ seems to feel responsible for reassuring Bitfinex customers, despite having his own exchange to maintain in the meantime. On the Bifinex official Twitter account, they announced that the trading platform would be going offline on 7th January for up to seven hours.
The management team at Bitfinex’s stated that the exchange is currently going under the completion of “the final stage of [its] data migration to dedicated bare-metal servers, in a move designed to significantly enhance platform speed, security and performance.” It’s worth mentioning that the last time Bitfinex went offline for maintenance reasons, there was some massive volatility in the crypto prices.
During an interview on 19th December 2018, CZ sat down with Bloomberg TV and said, "2018 has been a tough year in terms of the pricing for cryptocurrency, and I think we see a lot of projects not making it this year. So, it's a correction year. But the technology was there, and we want to kick off 2019 with a bang.”
In order to bring in a more mainstream appeal for blockchain technology and crypto, CZ said that the Malta-based exchange would be hosting the Binance Blockchain Week. This is an event which will occur from January 19th-22nd in Singapore. CZ was also asked about how willing he would be to expand Binance during the bear market to which Zhao said:
“Our strategy has not changed [because of the bear market]. We've launched one fiat exchange [in 2018] ... we still want to build 10 more fiat exchanges, and we are also launching our decentralized exchange, which is a very core blockchain technology based exchange. That will also allow much more freedom. None of our plans have changed. We're still pushing forward very aggressively.”
Five more cryptocurrency exchanges have joined the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA), according to an official announcement on Jan. 4 from the JVCEA.
The JVCEA is a self-regulatory body formed in April by 16 registered crypto exchanges that aims to create industry-wide investor safety standards. In October, Japan’s financial regulator formally granted self-regulatory status to the JVCEA to oversee the crypto sector.
The body, made in part as a response to the January 2018 $534 million hack of crypto exchange Coincheck, had released a set of regulatory guidelines in June, including a ban on insider trading and prohibition against the trading of privacy-oriented coins.
The five new Type II members of JVCEA are Coincheck, Everyone’s Bitcoin, Lastroots Inc., LVC Corporation and Coinage Corporation. The Type II classification means that the business is in the process of applying for virtual currency trader registration, Cointelegraph Japan notes.
LVC is a sister outfit of LINE, whose own native crypto exchange BITBOX launched its LINK token in mid-October.
Cointelegraph Japan reports that the JVCEA is currently only recruiting Type II members, but it will soon add a Type II classification for companies that handle virtual currency-related services like wallet dealers.
Over the summer, the exchange announced that it was considering both a margin trading limit and maximum restrictions for exchanges to place on some of their clients’ trading.
In mid-December 2018, local media reported the Coincheck had been approved for a crypto exchange operating license by the country’s financial regulator, but Coincheck’s new operator Monex did not confirm the announcement.
The premier US-based blockchain platform, Bittrex announces the launch of US dollar(USD) market for Bitcoin SV(BSV) on december 27. This platform announces that all the eligible Bittrex accounts will be auto enabled for US dollar trading. Also elaborates that the ineligible accounts can also enable US dollar trading. They can do so by submitting a request. Those who wish to withdraw/deposit US dollars through wire need to submit an application. The users operating outside US or in any of the US states/territories are eligible to participate.
View image on Twitter
View image on Twitter
On December 27 we’re launching a US dollar (USD) market for Bitcoin SV (BSV). Eligible Bittrex accounts are auto enabled for USD trading. Those wanting to deposit/withdraw US Dollars via wire should submit an application here: https://support.bittrex.com/hc/en-us/requests/new?ticket_form_id=360000047992 …
10:00 PM - Dec 21, 2018
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In case of requesting to add bittrex accounts to USD markets the user needs to submit application. This application requires some of the basic information about the user. Bittrex accounts allows two account types: Fiat (USD) Trading Only and USD Trading, USD deposits, USD Withdrawals.
In case of Fiat trading only, the user cannot enable USD withdrawals or deposits. The user can trade the USD markets, but if the user wants to withdraw accumulated USD then he needs to first sell to one of the supported USD cryptocurrencies and withdraw as any other cryptocurrencies are withdrawn.
In case of Fiat Trading, USD deposits, USD Withdrawals, no initial deposits are necessary. The user can deposit USD from and withdraw to their own approved bank account. Users can have multiple accounts as well.
Bittrex is planning to explore new, innovative blockchain projects and market opportunities like fiat. This announcement is just the beginning of the upcoming opportunities. The upcoming year awaits for Bittrex business expansion as it aims to provide new and exciting opportunities for its users.
Canada’s largest digital currency exchange QuadrigaCX is blaming legal action from a major bank for delays when customers cash out funds, the Globe and Mail reported Oct. 8.
Vancouver-based crypto exchange QuadrigaCX was launched in 2013 and is known as the first exchange in Canada to be licensed by the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). At press time, Quadriga’s daily trading volume is around $600,000 per CoinMarketCap.
Quadriga reportedly states that it has been experiencing difficulties accessing $21.6 million of its funds since January when the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) froze five accounts belonging to the exchange’s payment processor, Costodian Inc., and its owner, Jose Reyes. The bank purportedly froze the accounts due to an inability to identify the funds’ owners.
From Dec. 4, 2017, to Feb. 20, 2018, 388 users reportedly deposited a total of $51.8 million into the accounts, according to CIBC. Later, some of these funds were withdrawn, leaving about $21.6 million in the accounts.
According to the Globe and Mail, CIBC requested the court to withhold the disputed funds and decide whether they belong to QuadrigaCX, Costodian, or the 388 users who had deposited the funds. Quadriga subsequently told the court that the bank froze the funds mistakenly, and claims to be the undisputed owner of the greater part of the funds as there is “no evidence” of competing claims. Quadriga said:
“This court should not succumb to the bank’s unsubstantiated and highly offensive speculation that there must be shady dealings afoot because Quadriga’s business is a trading platform for individuals trading in cryptocurrencies.”
Gerald Cotten, CEO at Quadriga, said that the legal matter has resulted in delays for a “small fraction” of the exchange’s 350,000 users. None of the allegations has been proven in court, per the Globe and Mail. Cotten said:
“There are currently delays for some specific withdrawal options, particularly due to the fact that CIBC is withholding tens of millions of dollars that belong to us that were in an account of one of our payment processors.”
The number of participants in the crypto space who have been shut out by banks is “staggering” according to Cotten. According to the Globe and Mail, Quadriga has told the clients that banks in the Canada are “conspiring” against crypto businesses.
Bitcoin cash's next software upgrade may be even more ambitious than its first - and that's no small feat given last time it broke off from bitcoin in acrimonious fashion.
In fact, the update, announced in November and slated for May 15, packages together a number of features that all seem about helping the network process more transactions than the original bitcoin (while adding more variety to features). Perhaps most notably, the change will quadruple bitcoin cash's block size parameter from 8 MB to 32 MB, allowing for vastly more transactions per block.
But while that might sound aggressive given bitcoin's more limited approach, those who have been following the cryptocurrency might be surprised that such an aggressive shift wasn't pursued sooner.
After all, last fall, bitcoin cash's developers chose to ignore the protests of bitcoin's more seasoned developers, who had long argued that increasing the block size and moving the cryptocurrency forward too fast could jeopardize the more than $157 billion network.
But that contrarian mentality has proved, at least partially, attractive - one bitcoin cash is going for a little less than $1,500 a coin, making it's market cap more than $24 billion.
Indeed, Joshua Yabut, who contributes to the bitcoin cash protocol's main software implementation, BitcoinABC, said he doesn't expect any protest at all when users are finally given the choice to upgrade software.
Yabut told CoinDesk:
"Block size increases are kind of non-controversial at this point, but it's nice to see on-chain scaling happen."
Another area where the upcoming bitcoin cash hard fork looks to scale up is through the increase of the "OP_RETURN field," where users can store added data on the blockchain, from 80 to 220 bytes.
It's an easy change, but one that bitcoin cash developers say could have positive consequences, as the OP_RETURN function has been traditionally used by services that require time-stamping, asset creation, rights management and other use cases that expand the capabilities of blockchains
Return of the smart contractsNot only did bitcoin cash developers pack in features, but they've also added back some of the old capabilities that bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto stripped from the protocol early on.
The most notable here is the addition of new kinds of smart contracts, or dynamic if-then programming statements that can give added functionality to how bitcoin cash tokens can pass between users.
In this case, the specific smart contracts in question were deactivated after Satoshi Nakamoto realized they could provide an attack vector, but bitcoin cash developers believe they've had enough time to seal up the holes.
"Essentially out of an abundance of caution and lack of time to fully explore and fix the edge cases that needed to be addressed, the decision was taken to simply disable any opcodes around which there were doubts or even hints of doubts," said nChain developer Steve Shadders, in a blog postdescribing the features in bitcoin cash's hard fork.
It's notable that bitcoin cash is rolling these out now since bitcoin contributor Johnson Lau proposed re-adding these same smart contracts to bitcoin in February, a context that adds a bit of competition to the mix.
"Seven years have passed and the edge cases around these opcodes are much better understood now. Additionally, the decision to disable them was taken hastily and under duress," Shadders continues in the blog post. "The [bitcoin cash] community now has had the luxury of time to address these issues thoroughly."
Yet, since there are still potential vulnerabilities in some of the smart contracts, bitcoin cash will only be unveiling a few of them this time.
Yabut told CoinDesk:
"It's the first step for enabling smart contracts with the protocol which will allow us to compete with ethereum later on."
The future of bitcoin cashBut while most of the bitcoin cash community is excited about the change, there has been some pushback - or at least skepticism - from a minority of users.
Much of those concerns stem from the fact that these sweeping changes weren't put to a community-wide vote before being coded. As such, some worry about the "governance model" of bitcoin cash, a term that denotes how developers and the miners of the cryptocurrency organize around the future upgrades.
Users, this group says, are simply not getting a chance to debate on the merits of specific changes.
Even still, the bundle of code changes doesn't seem to be so controversial it puts bitcoin cash in any danger from something serious like the network split that created it.
All software implementations of bitcoin cash, including bitcoinABC, bitcoin unlimited and bitcoin classic, have agreed to upgrade. And there hasn't been a huge uproar from miners, node, exchanges, wallets and other services, which will also need to upgrade to the new software to support the changes.
One of the reasons many feel good about this hard fork is that the developers decided to eliminate several features that were potentially more contentious.
For instance, OP_GROUP, a change aimed at launching features for asset creation on bitcoin cash, was thrown out when it became known that competing proposals for these features might be on the horizon. Yet, if those proposals don't make it to the protocol relatively quickly, bitcoin cash developers don't plan on waiting - putting the opcode up for consideration on the cryptocurrency's next hard fork, slated for October.
Meanwhile, some bitcoin cash users wonder whether the block size parameter needs to be much (much) bigger to make room for an onslaught of data-heavy bitcoin cash projects, such as Memo, a recently launched censorship-resistant social network.
As such, bitcoin cash might continue to display ambition that can't be slowed down.
It’s not every day we get a glimpse into what it takes for a cryptocurrency to get a listing on a major exchange. But today we learn the lengths that Ripple, the No. 3 digital coin by market cap, would go to get its XRP coin listed on the leading trading platforms alongside bitcoin and Ethereum.
According to a report in Bloomberg, the cross-border payments startup is willing to pay millions to get XRP listed on the US trading platforms where there’s the most liquidity. The report says that Ripple offered “financial incentives” to bitcoin exchanges Gemini of Winklevoss twins fame as well as Coinbase in exchange for a listing. It’s standard procedure to pay for a listing in the equities markets, but not necessarily the loosely unregulated cryptocurrency markets.
Ripple reportedly offered $1 million cash money to Gemini for a Q3 2017 listing and proposed a loan of $100 million in XRP to Coinbase with which investors could trade on the exchange. The report suggests that Ripple would have taken repayment either in fiat money or XRP, which would have given the US-based exchange an opportunity to profit from the deal.
A Ripple spokesperson denied some of the details, though which ones are unclear, telling Bloomberg: “We want XRP to be the most liquid digital asset possible to enable faster, cheaper global payments.”
But market participants worry that when US policymakers clarify the regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies, XRP will fall in the securities camp. Meanwhile, the greater the speculation that more leading exchanges will support XRP, the more the digital coin’s price has benefited, such as at year-end 2017 and last month, for instance.
Courtesy: Coin Market
Cap Gray AreaIt’s not that traders don’t want XRP, as they have been demanding it on forums andin social media. But Ripple hasn’t been able to secure a listing on these major US trading platforms. This despite the fact that San Francisco-based Ripple has been the one blockchain startup that’s been able to bridge the gap between cryptocurrency companies and traditional banks around the world.
According to Autonomous Research, it can cost an issuer anywhere from $1 million to $3 million for a listing, with the higher end of the spectrum providing faster access to liquidity. An attorney cited in the Bloomberg story says what Ripple proposed to Coinbase and Gemini may very well be legal.
But where the gray area comes in is whether or not XRP gets characterized as a security token, in which case that muddies the water. For instance, if regulators decide XRP is an unregulated security, as they’ve been labeling some ICO tokens of late, it could lead to problems both for Ripple and the exchanges that support it.