In an interview on CNBC Crypto Trader hosted by Ran Neuner, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) stated that the crypto market and Binance are still in a good position even after nearly a year of downward price movement.

Binance Maintaining Healthy Business

Over the past 11 months, the cryptocurrency market has lost more than 70 percent of its valuation amidst the fourth biggest correction in its 10-year history.

CZ stated that the volume of Binance is down nearly 90 percent since January due to the correction and partially because of the high level of stability Bitcoin (BTC) has demonstrated over the past three months.

“Compared to January [of 2018], we are probably down 90 percent. So we only have one-tenth of the trading volume compared to what we had in January. But, compared to like a year or two years ago, we’re still trading at huge volumes. Business is still okay, we are still profitable, and we are still a very healthy business,” CZ said.

But, with a steady increase in the number of active users and BTC deposits, Binance is still recording decent volume and maintaining a healthy business.

“Right now we are still signing up a steady amount of new users every day so from what we are seeing, it’s very healthy actually. The number of new users and the amount of crypto we hold are increasing very steadily. So if you look our cold wallets, the amount of BTC we hold, we have just seen an increase in people depositing Bitcoin to our exchange.”

Actual Volume of Crypto is 2x the Reported Volume

Cryptocurrency market data providers like CoinMarketCap, CryptoCompare, and CoinCap report the daily trading volume of major cryptocurrencies and the entire crypto market based on the volumes recorded by exchanges like Binance.

Earlier this year, several research firms including TABB Group, an international research company, reported that the over-the-counter (OTC) market, where large institutional investors tend to trade, is at least two times larger than the cryptocurrency exchange market.

Eric Wall, a cryptocurrency researcher, said at the time:

“Just read an estimate from the TABB Group (in a $5,000 report) that OTC crypto markets exceed exchange volumes by 2-3x. That would mean 1 to 1.5 million BTC is traded OTC daily. Strange it’s not visible on the blockchain, which shows a meager 100,000 a day.”

CZ noted that the OTC market is estimated to be at least as large as the live recorded volumes of exchanges and as such, the actual trading volume of the crypto market is twice the size of the current volume. As of November, the daily trading volume of the crypto market is estimated to be around $11.7 billion, down quite substantially from January. Still, if the OTC market is about the same size as the cryptocurrency exchange market, the real volume of the crypto market adds up to around $23.4 billion.

“What I’ve heard is the OTC market is at least as large as the live recorded volumes [on exchanges]. So that is at least 50 percent of volumes that is not being reported on CoinMarketCap. But we’re not heading to that business, so we don’t know the real volumes.”

In the months to come, with several positive developments down the line such as Bakkt, CZ noted that a catalyst could trigger the market to move. While it is hard to predict, he emphasized a rally will likely happen “sooner or later, something will trigger it.”

*This post is credited to CCN

Bitcoin mining giant Bitmain has filed a lawsuit against a mystery hacker who allegedly stole bitcoin from one of the firm’s cryptocurrency exchange accounts.

According to the suit, which the China-based Bitmain filed on Nov. 7 in the US District Court for the Western District of Washington, the unknown hacker infiltrated Bitmain’s Binance account in April and stole funds from the firm.

However, perhaps to better conceal their identity, the hacker did not just attempt to withdraw Bitmain’s funds to their own bitcoin wallet. Rather, they used the bitcoin to artificially inflate the price of small-cap cryptocurrency MANA, the native ERC-20 token of virtual reality platform Decentraland.

MANA bitmain bitcoin hack
MANA Market Cap | Source: CoinMarketCap

Spurred by the irregular trades, the MANA price rocketed from $0.12 to $0.34 on Binance in the span of less than an hour. Even more remarkable, the global MANA price rose to $0.20 — a gain of 40 percent — meaning that a hack involving a single cryptocurrency exchange account single-handedly raised the nominal value of the MANA cryptocurrency’s market cap by more than $80 million.

Presumably, this allowed the hacker to sell MANA they were already holding at inflated prices, and, significantly, they could potentially have liquidated the funds on one or more separate crypto exchanges since the Bitmain pump disrupted the worldwide MANA market.

bitmain bitcoin binance hack
Source: Bitmain

The suit itself alleges that, as part of the hacker’s wash trading scheme, they transferred approximately 2.3 million MANA to Binance from Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex. It further claims that, “upon information and belief,” the hacker sent the bitcoin that they accrued through wash trading MANA back to Bittrex.

Bitmain claims, that, as a result of the scheme, they lost approximately 617 BTC, worth $5.5 million at the time of the hack.

Commenting on the suit in their weekly “Crypto Caselaw Minute,” lawyers Stephen Palley and Nelson M. Rosario explained that, despite the best efforts of the hacker, this “John Doe suit” will likely allow Bitmain to subpoena account information from Bittrex and Binance, which could ultimately divulge the identity of the thief.

They concluded:

“What’s the lesson? It’s almost Captain Obvious territory folks: Stealing crypto from a centralized exchange leaves a lot of fingerprints. And your name doesn’t need to be known for you to get sued. Now that the lawsuit is on file, one assumes that Bitmain’s next step will be to issue subpoenas to Binance and other service providers, allowing it to identify the defendant.”

*This post is credited to CCN

Although the world-renowned Binance Exchange, which facilitates crypto-to-crypto transactions, has seen waning demand as of late, the startup has forged ahead and has made notable strides in the fiat-to-crypto realm. Reports indicate that Binance’s Uganda branch, which went live last week, has already seen a proverbial boatload of interest, leading to the obvious, but pressing question — can they replicate this newfound success across the world?

Binance Uganda Sees Tidal Wave Of Interest For Fiat-To-Crypto Platform

When consumers think of crypto-friendly nations, Malta, Japan, and Switzerland are often names that immediately come to mind. Maintaining this thought process, it should come as no surprise that many enthusiasts in this budding industry were shocked when Binance, the world’s foremost crypto exchange, announced plans to launch its first fiat-to-crypto platform in Uganda, a relatively small country in East Africa.

After a lengthy sign-up process and an enticing promotional event for locals, just last week, as reported by NewsBTC, Binance’s Ugandan branch went live in the country of 43 million. Although the global crypto public may have been initially skeptical of this foray, the African Binance subsidiary held high hopes for its platform, issuing optimistic comments via a Medium blog post.

The startup expressed its belief that Uganda is undoubtedly a home for blockchain innovation, adding that the growth of the local crypto economy could “light the way for the content [of Africa] to leverage blockchain technology.” Binance’s African subsidiary added that emerging markets, such as Uganda, could play a key role in the adoption of cryptocurrencies, alluding to the fact that the country is an optimal location for an accesible fiat-to-crypto platform.

And while it has only been a week since its launch, the startup’s unbridled confidence has already paid off, with CoinDesk revealing that Binance’s new branch, which supports Ugandan Shillings, Bitcoin, and Ether, has already taken on 40,000 locals as customers.

Considering that Uganda’s economy is far from flawless, with studies indicating that billions are being siphoned from the nation’s economy due to lawbreakers, it would be fair to assume that the local cryptosphere will continue to swell at an unmatched pace, as decentralization and transparency may beckon oppressed Ugandans in.

Next Stop: Singapore

In early-September, Binance’s Changpeng Zhao revealed that his firm was poised to launch a Singapore-based crypto-to-fiat platform into a closed beta for an exclusive group of investors. At the time, however, Binance’s top brass was hesitant to reveal what spurred this surprising move, which was the startup’s third announced venture into bridging the gap between cryptocurrencies and government-issued currencies.

Per Bloomberg, Vertex Ventures, which is parented by the Singapore government’s sovereign fund, was behind the Malta-based startup’s move to enter the city-state’s local cryptocurrency market, throwing an undisclosed sum at Binance. Although may were bewildered that Vertex, and the government of Singapore by extension invested directly in a crypto-focused startup, the move clearly adds up when you take the island nation’s regulatory environment into account.

Through a series of comments, Ravi Menon of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), recently divulged that the local authorities are aiming to directly connect ‘banks and fintech cryptocurrency startups” to see if a common footing can be reached. It can be presumed that the MAS’ willingness to foster the local cryptocurrency economy will directly impact the progress of Binance Singapore, which will only be as successful as its relationships with local financial institutions.

So while details regarding Binance Singapore’s public rollout have been unusually scant, many are hopeful that the lax regulatory climate will parent an infectious crypto phenomenon that will spread across the globe like wildfire, so to speak.

*This post is credited to News BTC

The Blockchain Charity Foundation (BCF), a social project of the world’s largest crypto exchange Binance, has introduced its blockchain-powered donation platform, Binance Blog revealed Friday, Oct. 26.

The donation project was announced Wednesday, Oct. 24, during the World Investment Forum organized by the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva, Switzerland.

At the forum, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao — also known as CZ —  took part in the Blockchains for Sustainable Development session. He said that Binance will cover all operational fees on the new BCF blockchain charity website, adding that all donations will go directly to its beneficiaries. Zhao also said that blockchain technology would help improve transparency in donations.

According to Binance, BCF will first use its donation platform to raise funds for the victims of the floods and landslides in Eastern Uganda. Binance has also revealed that decentralized blockchain project the TRON Foundation pledged an initial donation of $3 million to BCF.

Per the project’s website, BCF is already accepting donations in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Binance Coin (BNB).

During the same UNCTAD conference, Zhao also gave a brief report on crypto donations raised to help West Japan following devastating floods in mid-July, where 225 people died and 17,000 houses were damaged. Binance managed to distribute over $500,000 to various organizations via local intermediaries.

In early October, Zhao announced that all of Binance’s listing fees would be donated to charity. In his statement, the CEO stated that Binance would also allow developers themselves to name the amount they pay, without demanding a minimum fee.

Binance is currently the world’s largest crypto exchange by daily trade volume at $467 billion, up eight percent in the last 24 hours.

*This post is credited to CoinTelegraph

Singapore Blockchain Week happened this past week. While there have been a few announcements from companies, some of the most interesting updates have come from regulators, and specifically, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS). The financial regulator openly discussed its views on cryptocurrency and plans to develop blockchain technology locally.

For those who are unfamiliar, Singapore historically has been a financial hub in Southeast Asia, but now has also gradually become the crypto hub of Asia. Compared to the rest of Asia and the rest of the world, the regulators in Singapore are well-informed and more transparent about their views on blockchain and cryptocurrency. While regulatory uncertainties still loom over Korea and Japan, in Southeast Asia, the MAS has already released its opinion “A Guide to Digital Token Offering” that illustrates the application of securities laws to digital token offerings and issuances. Singaporean regulators have arguably been pioneering economic and regulatory standards in Asia since the early days of the country’s founding by Lee Kuan Yew in 1965.

Singapore is the first stop for foreign companies in crypto

In the past, I’ve said that Thailand is one of the most interesting countries in crypto in Southeast Asia. Nonetheless, for any Western or foreign company looking to establish a footing in Asia, or even for any local company in any Asian country looking to establish a presence outside of their own country, Singapore should be the first stop. It has become the go-to crypto sandbox of Asia.

There are a number of companies all over Asia, as well as in the West, that have already made moves into the country. And the types of cryptocurrency projects and exchanges that go to Singapore vary widely.

A few months ago, a Korean team called MVL introduced Tada, or the equivalent of “Uber” on the blockchain, in Singapore. Tada is an on-demand car sharing service that utilizes MVL’s technology. The Tada app is built on MVL’s blockchain ecosystem, which is specifically designed to serve the automotive industry, adjacent service industries, and their customers. In this case, MVL was looking to test out its blockchain projects in a progressive, friendly jurisdiction outside of Korea, but still close enough to its headquarters. Singapore fulfilled most of these requirements.

Relatedly, Didi, China’s ride-sharing company, has also looked to build out its own blockchain-based ride-sharing program, called VVgo. VVgo’s launch is pending, and its home is intended to be in Toronto, Singapore, Hong Kong or San Francisco. Given Singapore’s geographic proximity and the transparency of its regulators, it would likely be a good testing ground for Didi as well.

This week, exchanges such as Binance and Upbit from Korea have also announced their plans to enter the Singaporean market. A few days ago, Changpeng ZhaoCEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, announced the launch of a fiat currency exchange that will be based in Singapore. He also mentioned his company’s plan to launch five to ten fiat-to-crypto exchanges in the next year, with ideally two per continent. Dunamu, the parent company of South Korea’s largest crypto exchange Upbit, also just announced the launch of Upbit Singapore, which will be fully operational by October.

The team at Dunamu mentions how they are encouraged by MAS’s attitude towards cryptocurrency regulation and the vision of the country’s government to establish a strong crypto and blockchain sector. They also believe Singapore could be a bridge between Korea and the global cryptocurrency exchange market.

From a high level, the supply of crypto projects and trading volume in Singapore is certainly strong, and the demand also appears abundant. Following China’s ICO ban in late 2017, Singapore has become home to many financial institutions that can serve as potential investors for ICOs.

As recently featured on the China Money Network, Li Dongmei wrote that:

What is supporting such optimism is the quiet preparation of capital on a massive scale getting ready to act the “All In Crypto” mantra. “In recent months, there have been over a thousand foundations being established in Singapore by Chinese nationals,” said Chen Xianhui, an agent specialized in helping Chinese clients to register foundations in Singapore. Most of these newly established foundations are used setting up various token investments funds.

Singapore has become the first choice when crypto companies from both the West and the East are initially scoping out their market strategies in Asia, and companies want an overarching idea of what’s going on in the cryptocurrency world in the region.

In fact, it’s often the case that Southeast Asian crypto companies and leaders gather in Singapore before they go off and do crypto businesses in their own countries. It’s the place for one wants to tap all of the Asian crypto markets in one single physical location. The proof is in the data: in 2017, Singapore ascended to the number three market for ICO issuance based on the number of funds raised, trailing the United States and Switzerland.

Crypto is thriving due to regulator openness

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) takes a very practical approach to crypto. Currently, MAS divides digital tokens into utility tokens, payments tokens, and securities. In Asia, only Singapore and Thailand currently have such detailed classifications.

While speaking at Consensus Singapore this week, Damien Pang, Singapore’s Technology Infrastructure Office under the FinTech & Innovation Group (FTIG), said that “[MAS does] not regulate technology itself but purpose,” when in conversation discussing ICOs in Singapore. “The MAS takes a close look at the characteristics of the tokens, in the past, at the present, and in the future, instead of just the technology built on”.

Additionally, Pang mentioned that MAS does not intend to regulate utility tokens. Nevertheless, they are looking to regulate payment tokens that have a store of value and payment properties by passing a service bill by the end of the year. They are also paying attention to any utility or payment tokens with security features (i.e. a promise of future earnings, which will be regulated as such).

On the technology front, since 2017, Singapore authorities have been looking to use distributed ledger technology to boost the efficiency of settling cross-bank financial transactions. They believe that blockchain technology offers the potential to make trade finance safer and more efficient.

When compared to other Asia crypto hubs like Hong Kong, Seoul, or Shanghai, Singapore can expose one to the Southeast Asia market significantly more. I believe market activity will likely continue to thrive in the region as the country continues to act as the springboard for cryptocurrency companies and investors, and until countries like Korea and Japan establish a clear regulatory stance.

*This post is credited to TechCrunch

In the latest escalation of an ongoing war of words, the New York State attorney general warned that the Kraken cryptocurrency exchange might be breaking the law.

In a lengthy report on the “integrity” of global cryptocurrency exchanges, newly appointed attorney general Barbara Underwood listed San Francisco-based Kraken among multiple exchanges that might be operating “unlawfully.”

However, following an impassioned and very public refusal by Kraken’s CEO to participate in the report, the warning appears to be based as much on lack of access as any legitimate concern.

From the report:

“Customers should be aware that the platforms that refused to participate in the OAG’s Initiative (Binance, Gate.io, Huobi, and Kraken) may not disclose all order types offered to certain traders, some of which could preference those traders at the expense of others, and that the trading performance of other customers on those venues could be negatively affected as a result.”

A representative of the New York attorney said the office has referred three of these platforms—Binance, Gate.io, and Kraken—to the New York State Department of Financial Services “for possibly operating unlawfully in New York.”

While Kraken is probably the best known of the exchanges to U.S. users, with $133 million in daily volume, Binance is the largest exchange in the world, with $1 billion daily volume, and Huobi has $670 million in volume, according to CoinMarketCap data.

The report, formally titled the Virtual Markets Integrity Initiative report, included findings from nine other exchanges, including Bitfinex (operated by iFinex Inc.), bitFlyer USA, Inc., Bitstamp, Ltd., Bittrex, Inc., Coinbase, Inc., Gemini Trust Company, itBit (operated by Paxos Trust Company), and Poloniex (owned by Circle Internet Financial Limited).

The report targeted five areas: where the exchanges do business, their trading policies, how they manage conflicts of interest, security, and how they access consumer funds. After each section, the attorney general provided a warning that the above exchanges were not considered in the findings.

In the case of Kraken, which is among the oldest exchanges on the list, the reason for its refusal to participate has been made very clear. In August 2015 Kraken formally left the New York jurisdiction, citing concerns about the cost and reach of the state’s burgeoning BitLicense, which many argued was more onerous that even traditional financial regulation.

“It is a creature so foul, so cruel that not even Kraken possesses the courage or strength to face its nasty, big, pointy teeth,” Kraken wrote at the time.

Then, in April 2018, Kraken founder Jesse Powell publicly refused to answer questions from the New York attorney general. “Having the requested information ‘on-hand’ is not the same as having the resources to compile it neatly to fit the framework of the request, within 2 weeks,” he tweeted.

In spite of Kraken’s refusal to participate, or perhaps because of it, the report concluded:

“Whether and where customers should trade virtual currencies depends upon the needs and experience of the individual customer. As a general matter, though, customers would do well to avoid platforms that cannot satisfactorily answer the questions posed in this Report.”

*This post is credited to Forbes

Today, we are seeing numerous fiat currencies failing in places like Turkey, Argentina, Venezuela alongside an overvalued stock market. With these issues running in the background, it is not surprising that more people are becoming aware of cryptocurrencies and are interested in getting exposure. Usually, the first question crypto newcomers ask is ‘which cryptocurrency exchange is the best?’ We’ll jump in and take a look at the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the market today:

#1 Coinbase

Coinbase is the most popular way for newcomers to enter the cryptocurrency markets. The truth is that there are not many reputable exchanges out there that accept regular currency deposits. The main reason behind this is the massive amount of regulatory compliance required to accept fiat currencies and trade them for cryptocurrency.The result is that Coinbase dominates the market as a fiat to crypto gateway and now serves over 20 million customers. In fact, Coinbase now manages more accounts than the Fidelity investment firm.Coinbase certainly isn’t going to win any awards for having the lowest fees or boasting the widest range of cryptocurrencies. However, Coinbase does make buying cryptocurrencies as simple as possible. The platform has been designed to be exceptionally straightforward to use and also has an amazing app.What Coinbase offers customers is convenience, simplicity, and safety. In the wild west landscape of cryptocurrency, these are usually things that cryptocurrency newcomers are willing to pay higher fees for.

#2 Binance

Most people first enter the crypto markets using Coinbase. However, many investors are interested in diversifying their cryptocurrency portfolios. This is pretty much impossible on Coinbase because you can only buy Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, Litecoin or Ethereum Classic on the exchange.The truth is that many investors are searching for the ‘next Bitcoin’ and getting exposure to coins with higher profit potential. This means buying more exotic altcoins, necessitating a different cryptocurrency exchange to buy them. This is usually when people find out about Coinmarketcap and look for the most popular exchange to buy these riskier cryptos. Naturally, the majority of people are attracted to the biggest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume on Coinmarketcap and therefore end up on Binance.The Binance exchange has a massive amount of trading volume, offers access to over 100 different cryptocurrencies and is the most popular exchange to get access to riskier crypto assets. You should know that, at present, Binance only accepts deposits in cryptocurrency and has significantly lower fees than Coinbase.Binance’s stellar reputation, low fees and a wide selection of cryptocurrencies make it one of the biggest and best exchanges out there. It also has a top-rated mobile app too and is perfect for anyone needing to buy or sell cryptocurrencies on the go.

#3 Bitmex

Binance has the biggest trading volume for buying and selling actual cryptocurrencies. However, Bitmex has nearly three times the trading volume on their Bitcoin derivatives market.Bitmex is not the place for inexperienced crypto traders to go ahead and create an account. The exchange offers sophisticated futures contracts on cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This allows investors to bet on the price going either up or down. Not only this, but Bitmex allows leverage trades of up to 100x. This means if the price of Bitcoin goes up 10%, there will be traders on Bitmex gaining 1000% returns.Needless to say, leveraged trading is exceptionally risky. However, Bitmex is the most popular cryptocurrency exchange for investors to gain access to this type of service.

#4 eToro

Let’s face it, actually buying cryptocurrencies is pretty tricky and time-consuming. Once investors buy cryptocurrency, they then have to work out how they want to store it. Usually, this ends up with an investor spending even more time setting up cryptocurrency wallets and trying to work out how to withdraw their coins from an exchange.Many people just want the easiest way possible to get exposure to cryptocurrency prices. This is where a contract for difference broker like eToro comes in. In short, these types of brokers allow you to buy and sell contracts backed by actual cryptocurrency. This means investors get exposure to the price movements of the cryptocurrency market, without having to worry about how to store their crypto.eToro also gives you access to more cryptocurrencies than Coinbase and allows customers to buy or sell coins including Ripple, Dash, Neo, Ethereum, Stellar, Bitcoin, Ethereum Classic, Bitcoin Cash & Litecoin. Not only this, but eToro is fully regulated and balances are covered by official Financial Services Compensation Schemes. This makes eToro one of the safest and most convenient ways to get exposure to crypto markets.eToro has been around for a while and was established in 2007 and has gathered over 6 million users since. The broker also has a special copy trading feature that allows you to search the most successful cryptocurrency traders on the platform and copy their trades. Many investors find copy trading exceptionally useful and prefer it to actually managing their cryptocurrency positions themselves.Final WordThere you have it, the biggest and best cryptocurrency exchanges in the world. Of course, the most beneficial crypto exchange for you is a personal choice and will depend on your own circumstances.

 

*This post is credited to Defpen.