Circle Becomes First BitLicense-Approved Bitcoin Company ...
Jack Maller’s Strike App for USA
Hi everyone, this news on Strike was posted more than 2 weeks ago, but I’m afraid it didn’t get enough traction in my opinion. Original Post on Strike App Supporting On-Chain Txns Exchanges these days should be called what they are: shitcoin casinos. Gemini, Coinbase, Binance, Bittrex, and all the others that sell pump and dump shitcoins, are our enemies. There’s no two ways around it. Coinbase is running Public Relations in full force to make it seem like they support bitcoin development when they want to provide grants for core developers. In reality, they could care less about the development as long as they get their bottom line, which is to pull in suckers. Have you heard the phrase, “If you don’t know who the sucker in the room is, it’s you”? Well you are the sucker every single time if you are trying to trade bitcoin and shitcoins. It’s time to support bitcoin only companies. That means buying ColdCard hardware wallets that have bitcoin only firmware. That means buying from River Financial (will be largest brokerage in the future), Swan Bitcoin (auto DCA with withdrawals only), CashApp, and Fold (bitcoin back on gift card purchases). Anything less is you not supporting bitcoin adoption. I’d like to circle back to the point of this post: what Jack Maller’s Strike App has done is make exchanges completely irrelevant. Gone are the insane and wack percentage fees that cause you to miss out on hodling even more precious sats. Your bank checking account now literally speaks bitcoin. It’s not just a lightning network based app that allows you to pay only lightning network invoices. You can also just pay for the on-chain transaction fee to your legacy address (1), segwit address (3), or native segwit bech 32 address (bc1). So when you plan to stack sats in the United States, I highly recommend you skip the outrageous fees and send bitcoin instantaneously to your ColdCard or whatever hardware wallet you own with ease. Simply deposit the money within the Strike App from your bank checking account, and paste or scan your bitcoin address. Clarify the amount you want to send and tap confirm. I can’t stress this enough - the ONLY fee associated with the purchase is the on-chain transaction fee. I hope this post gets more traction and that word spreads to keep people from getting suckered.
Marketing Strategies and Practices for Block chain Projects and Startups.
If you are a blockchain startup, open source project or decentralized protocol and believe that you don’t need the right kind of marketing to succeed, think again. “Marketing” has traditionally been a weakness in the early lives of many tech startups for a variety of reasons. Most startups are often led by young or inexperienced CEOs or project leaders who come from a strong engineering or product mindset. These founders either don’t understand or don’t appreciate the value of marketing, and certainly that comes from a lack of experience or education on the subject. Most blockchain companies/projects founders are no different. At the root of this situation lies a common and fundamental misconception: not knowing the true meaning and functions ofmarketingagency in mumbai .
Wrongfully, marketing is prematurely equated to shouting about a product prior to having it ready for the market to try. Others think that marketing is about hiring a PR firm, polishing a website, publishing a blog post, promoting on social media, designing a great logo with new colors and fonts, or producing videos about your product and SocietyActivation in Mumbai. Unfortunately, during the ICO frenzy days, the term marketing has been bastardized around excessive usage of the above named activities. Therefore, marketinghas received a bad rap in blockchain circles because it has been equated to pumping bad ICOs where the marketing consisted of purely unchecked promotion. In the past few months, I have had several conversations with founders of blockchain related projects and companies who clearly didn’t seem to understand, let alone appreciate the value and priority they should be giving to doing a better job at marketing. When I challenged them on their marketing, or broached the topic, the responses ranged along the following flavors: · We’re not ready for marketing until the next product is released and announced · We have it in the budget for next year to hire a PR firm · I’ve been doing videos that will air as advertising later · We prefer to deliver first, and then talk about what we have done · Marketing is expensive and we don’t have the budget now · We hired a design firm and redoing our website with a new visual identity · We don’t need marketing, we focus on our community on Reddit All of the above are the wrong answers, and point to not understanding the various parts of marketing.
Marketing is a Process
So let’s start with the basics and further discuss what marketing is, or is not about. First, there are 3 parts to marketing: · Product marketing– explaining what the product does (features/benefits), and how it is differentiated from others. Goal: Positioning the product. · Corporate marketing – positioning the company and communicating its messages in a variety of means. Branding and Marketing Communications is a big part of it. Goal: Generate Awareness and Preference. · Customer marketing (sometimes labelled as field marketing, direct marketing or content marketing) – getting in front of your target market to generate adoption, leads and sales. Goal: Generate Adoption and Loyalty. The kind of marketing that is often deficient in blockchain companies or projects is Marketing Communications, i.e. how to strongly and clearly message in a few words what your project, company or product do for the usecustomer. But this must be done as a continuum. Messaging is not a single shot of sound bites around a launch event. To make it even more effective, it must be customized to the specific audience you are trying to reach: customers, investors, employees, media, influencers, partners, etc. The process of creating the messaging is a complex exercise that has several layers designed to answering the WHY, WHAT and HOW of your value proposition. Many companies nail the WHY (Elevator pitch), but don’t follow through with the WHAT (Competitive positioning and Core value proposition), or the HOW (Product/Solution messaging and Technology differentiation). Marketing is a process that evolves along a series of objectives, from Awareness, to Consideration, to Trials, and then Loyalty. Different tools are effective for each one of these steps. For example, thought leadership focuses on the awareness aspect and trying to shape the market by educating it. The brand leadership helps to influence the prospect’s perception towards you. You want to gradually progress from letting your target market care, understand, believe, then act to try your product and merchant onboarding agency in mumbai . Here is the right order of progression for the following activities:
Sadly, a common mistake I see is starting with the visual identity and thinking that it is branding. Often, that is the result of being led by an inexperienced CMO or one that came from the PCommunications side, or when the organization has hired a brand design firm instead of a brand strategy firm. Most brand design houses (and some PR companies) will tell you they will take care of your messaging and branding, but that is the tail wagging the dog. Brand strategy takes a very unique skill, and there are few brand strategy experts that do a great job with it. One brand strategy firm with whom I have had experience working with, is Brandsinger. In a nutshell, if you are not occupying a position in the minds of users/customers (and the prospective market), then your brand value is zero. Someone else will come and articulate their value proposition better than you, and will subsequently occupy that position. If you are first to deliver a product, it may not matter. You need to be first in occupying that specific position in the minds of your target market. The battle is a battle of the minds, as rightfully spelled out in the seminal book on that topic Positioning: The Battle For Your Mind, a classic book that I have perhaps read over 20 times (over a course of 25 years), and almost memorized and put into practice accordingly. The sequel to that book, – Marketing Warfare, is also a must read marketing classic from the legendary Ries and Trout, the two authors of that series of work.
Let’s give it some blockchain and cryptocurrency flavours. Bitcoin occupied first the digital money position and still does to this point. Ethereum exploited a weakness in Bitcoin,- its ease of programmability and development platform potential, and it currently owns that position. All other (newer) blockchains have to attack Bitcoin or Ethereum as the reference points. Most of them have to raise the volume and intensity of their marketing in order to make an assault on these established leaders. It is always more expensive to attack than it is to defend a position. ZCash and Monero have exploited the privacy niche. Coinbase occupies the safety ladder in cryptocurrency exchanges. Binance is trying to attack it with a me-too strategy focused on scale, and they are extending their brand with new services. LoomX has been good at becoming a Layer 2 leader for Ethereum. Take any other segment. For example, when you think file storage, you probably think Storj or Filecoin because that’s the position they are occupying. When you think prediction markets, you probably think of Augur or Gnosis. And when you think of stablecoins, Maker comes to mind.
Back to Basics
For those of you who know me from the blockchain market only (over the past 6 years roughly), you may not know that I’ve previously spent a long career in sales and marketing with a variety of positions and experiences in direct sales, field marketing, corporate marketing and several startups as founder and default chief marketer. More specifically, since I exited the operational world via my last startup in April 2013, I’ve written extensively about startup marketing in the early years of this blog. All of it still applies, as I focused on explaining the basics of market positioning, marketing strategy, messaging, brand strategy, and related marketing topics. There is no point re-inventing marketing for the blockchain sector. So, I’m going to link to some basics that I’ve already written about. Here, I collected the 12 most pertinent blog posts into a single one that links to them: Startup Marketing Compendium of 12 Posts on Positioning, Branding, Messaging and more. Then I wrote one more, The Biggest Blind Spot of a Startup CEO is Ignoring Their Brand. So please go read that series, and if you need help implementing some of that, don’t start by hiring a PR agency. Rather, take an introspective view, and hire the right marketing person first. Another common weakness with blockchain companies is they fail to tell their stories in non-technical terms to the market. It is not enough to excite the developers. And don’t just focus entirely on social media publishing. Unless you have 1 Million+ Twitter followers in your target audience, promoting on social media will only make a dent in your awareness goals. Remember, marketing is not just writing a press release. It is not shouting from the rooftops. It takes finesse, planning, thought, accuracy, targeted actions, and iterations to get it right. And timing is so important. Sometimes the marketing is way ahead of delivery, and sometimes it is way behind it, but when the timing and sequence are right, that’s when the magic of results happens. Allow me repeat this: marketing is a process. Learn it, acquire experience in it, practice it, but don’t be amateurish about it. About Us. We are a local marketing and sales agency that help small/medium sized businesses and Start up. Established for over 10 years, our clients vary in size and cover a wide variety of business sectors. we see ourselves as active members of the local community helping local businesses by providing a variety of field marketing, btl marketing , door to door marketing, brand promotion, social media marketing, telemarketing, web and printed based marketing materials. Contact Us. Get in touch with us, we would love to discuss your marketing needs. We love a good coffee and a challenge, so would be happy to meet up with you face to face.
The attempted come back of CoinEx, China's forked-Bitcoin exchange
Written by Shuyao Kong Published bydecrypt.co An interview with Haipo Yang, a crypto OG who’s trying to reposition his Bitcoin Cash-based CoinEx exchange. And more, in this week’s da bing. https://preview.redd.it/h5f3i3lldv051.jpg?width=3200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=09b8696303ae5c6170753cc438929ebe520d4605 Haipo Yang, founder of ViaBTC, one of the largest mining pools in the world, and CoinEx, a crypto exchange known for its focus on Bitcoin Cash-based trading, is a well-known but relatively quiet character in China’s crypto circle. Typically, Yang doesn’t talk that much about his journey launching the mining pool, nor about CoinEx, which launched in December 2017. And he almost never speaks about his fervent support for BCH, a hard fork of Bitcoin, and his now even more enthusiastic belief in BSV. Yet that’s changing of late. Yang has been more active in recent months, participating in interviews about CoinEx and tweeting more frequently on Weibo, China’s Twitter. He’s been making controversial statements predicting the death of BTC, while supporting BCH and BSV on social media. Recently, Yang told me that as a developer rather than a business person, he’s never been comfortable speaking in public. However he’s making an effort now to help publicize his renovation of CoinEx. So, for this week’s da bing, I decided to chat with him and get a peek into the mind of a veteran crypto entrepreneur who’s trying to make a personal, as well as a platform, comeback.
CoinEx’s golden opportunity
The first hard fork of Bitcoin occurred in August, 2017 and created a new cryptocurrency called Bitcoin Cash. The fork was prompted by partisans, including Yang, who wanted bigger block sizes on the blockchain — the basic idea was that bigger blocks would enable more transactions per second and make Bitcoin Cash something people would actually use to buy things, rather than Bitcoin’s more commonly perceived use as a store of value. Yang added a tremendous amount of value to the mining scene in China. As a technical founder with has years of experience in big tech firms such as Tencent, Yang is proud of his #buidl skills. He developed most of the code in the early days of VicBTC, which became one of the biggest mining pools to this day. Not satisfied with owning just a mining pool,Yang conceived of CoinEx, which was born in December of that year, specifically to carry on the mission of the newly forked Bitcoin Cash blockchain. As he got swept up in Bitcoin Cash enthusiasm, he even said that “BCH is bitcoin.” CoinEx’s strategy was BCH-focused from day one; BCH was its base currency, meaning you could use it to buy and sell other currencies, such as Ethereum and Litecoin. Interestingly, Jihan Wu, the co-founder of Bitcoin Exchange — himself a famous BCH supporter — was a big investor in the exchange. That made me wonder why he, Yang, and many other OG crypto miners, were so passionate about BCH. Was it just about bigger block sizes? “Bigger block size means more users and use cases,” Yang explained. The move to bigger block sizes was attractive to miners because they would facilitate more transactions. Miners make money on transaction fees, as well as mining blocks. Likewise, the network would arguably be more useful to people, who were looking for digital cash for every day use. That especially resonated with many early hardcore Bitcoiners. Said Yang: “We really believe that Bitcoin should be a P2P cash vehicle rather than a store of value.” This view probably sounds outdated to people who believe that Bitcoin’s value as cash is long gone, with solutions such as Lightning Network fulfilling that role. Instead, the new narrative for Bitcoin resides in its value, rather than utility. Yet Yang believed that the forked network would create far more opportunity “We could invite influential companies to establish nodes and contribute to the network. This cannot be done with the original Bitcoin architecture,” he said.
But from its inception, CoinEx struggled with adoption and was dwarfed by the bigger exchanges. Part of that had to do with the fact that BCH and “Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision,” another Bitcoin hard fork, were both controversial. Critics pointed out that these networks are centralized in a few big mining pools, and 51% attacks are not out of the question. So over time, though Yang’s exchange still maintains strong support for BCH and BSV, it began to add support for all the major currencies. Finally, in January of this year, it announced a major upgrade, of… well, just about everything. It started to offer futures trading, leveraged trading, options trading, and over 100 token projects available to traders. It even rolled out its own blockchain, “CoinEx Chain” to support a new DEX, “CoinEx DEX.” https://preview.redd.it/3okoy5mudv051.png?width=1432&format=png&auto=webp&s=7099249da4a95db873d268f2dfc95d8db93a368e The seemingly sudden publicity of CoinEx should not come as a surprise, then. As BCH/BSV was being marginalized, Yang shifted his focus. He’s now trying to ride the wave of building a bigger, more dynamic exchange. “Crypto exchanges are where value is discovered,” Yang told me.
Building an exchange isn’t done overnight, nor is re-building one. CoinEx is still competing with the giants such as Binance. However Yang thinks his exchange will thrive by zigging when his competitors zag. As usual, CoinEx is taking a slightly different route, he told me. Like what? “We will be listing 小币种,” he said, using the expression for “small token projects.” I cannot help but wonder if these “small token projects” are simply shitcoins, the trading of which is certainly not new. Indeed, Yang said that he’s banking on the success of his new, public blockchain. “We are building a CoinEx Chain, a layer one protocol for DEX alone. Using our public blockchain, anyone can issue any token, at any time,” he said. He described the blockchain as “a real decentralized, token-issuance and transaction platform.” This is the core of Yang’s plan and vision. He believes that centralized exchanges will be a bottleneck for crypto adoption because it contradicts crypto’s nature as a completely free and open infrastructure. Essentially anyone should be able to launch a token and trade it with anyone. Only by building DEXes can we achieve full decentralization, he says.
The Religious nature of Bitcoin, and forked Bitcoin
It’s his belief that Bitcoin should adhere to Satoshi’s original vision that led Yang to send yet another controversial tweet last week, which I will translate: “The early days of Bitcoin expansion are similar to religion. The religious fervor brings prosperity to the industry.” By extension, Yang believes that the next generation of Bitcoin should provoke a similar “religious” fervor. That’s why he has slowly become more of a BSV advocate than a fan of Bitcoin Cash. Yang believes that “BSV has more religious connotations, despite its negative image.” (As most crypto people know, the controversial Craig Wright, who claims to be Satoshi Nakamoto, led the hard fork which created BSV. Consequently it is often met with skepticism and derision.) “The early days of Bitcoin expansion are similar to religion,” said Yang. “The religious fervor brings prosperity to the industry.” Crypto is famous for its tribalism. Many people choose one camp over another not for practical reasons but because of simple faith. Talking to Yang and reading his tweet brings a historic texture to the Bitcoin narrative. But crypto cannot survive on religion alone. One has to build. Hash might have been worshipped in the old days but now the crypto religion is all about the size of the congregation. Original article Click here to register on CoinEx!
The power players of consumer finance in the 21st century will be crypto-native companies who build with blockchain technology at their core.
The crypto landscape is still nascent. We’re still very much in the fragmented, unbundled phase of the industry lifecycle. Beyond what Genesis Block is doing, there are signs of other companies slowly starting to bundle financial services into what could be an all-in-one bank replacement. So the key question that this series hopes to answer:
Which crypto-native company will successfully become the bank of the future?
We obviously think Genesis Block is well-positioned to win. But we certainly aren’t the only game in town. In this series, we’ll be doing an analysis of who is most capable of thwarting our efforts. We’ll look at categories like crypto exchanges, crypto wallets, centralized lending & borrowing services, and crypto debit card companies. Each category will have its own dedicated post. Today we’re analyzing big crypto exchanges. The two companies we’ll focus on today are Coinbase (biggest American exchange) and Binance (biggest global exchange). They are the top two exchanges in terms of Bitcoin trading volume. They are in pole position to winning this market — they have a huge existing userbase and strong financial resources. Will Coinbase or Binance become the bank of the future? Can their early success propel them to winning the broader consumer finance market? Is their growth too far ahead for anyone else to catch up? Let’s dive in. https://preview.redd.it/lau4hevpm7f51.png?width=800&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c5de1ba497199f36aa194e5809bd86e5ab533d8
The most formidable exchange on the global stage is Binance (Crunchbase). All signs suggest they have significantly more users and a stronger balance sheet than Coinbase. No other exchange is executing as aggressively and relentlessly as Binance is. The cadence at which they are shipping and launching new products is nothing short of impressive. As Tushar Jain from Multicoin argues, Binance is Blitzscaling. Here are some of the products that they’ve launched in the last 18 months. Only a few are announced but still pre-launch.
Binance is well-positioned to become the crypto-powered, all-in-one, bundled solution for financial services. They already have so many of the pieces. But the key question is:
Can they create a cohesive & united product experience?
Binance is strong, but they do have a few major weaknesses that could slow them down.
Traders & Speculators Binance is currently very geared for speculators, traders, and financial professionals. Their bread-and-butter is trading (spot, margin, options, futures). Their UI is littered with depth charts, order books, candlesticks, and other financial concepts that are beyond the reach of most normal consumers. Their product today is not at all tailored for the broader consumer market. Given Binance’s popularity and strength among the pro audience, it’s unlikely that they will dumb down or simplify their product any time soon. That would jeopardize their core business. Binance will likely need an entirely new product/brand to go beyond the pro user crowd. That will take time (or an acquisition). So the question remains, is Binance even interested in the broader consumer market? Or will they continue to focus on their core product, the one-stop-shop for pro crypto traders?
Controversies & Hot Water Binance has had a number of controversies. No one seems to know where they are based — so what regulatory agencies can hold them accountable? Last year, some sensitive, private user data got leaked. When they announced their debit card program, they had to remove mentions of Visa quickly after. And though the “police raid” story proved to be untrue, there are still a lot of questions about what happened with their Shanghai office shut down (where there is smoke, there is fire). If any company has had a “move fast and break things” attitude, it is Binance. That attitude has served them well so far but as they try to do business in more regulated countries like America, this will make their road much more difficult — especially in the consumer market where trust takes a long time to earn, but can be destroyed in an instant. This is perhaps why the Binance US product is an empty shell when compared to their main global product.
Disjointed Product Experience Because Binance has so many different teams launching so many different services, their core product is increasingly feeling disjointed and disconnected. Many of the new features are sloppily integrated with each other. There’s no cohesive product experience. This is one of the downsides of executing and shipping at their relentless pace. For example, users don’t have a single wallet that shows their balances. Depending on if the user wants to do spot trading, margin, futures, or savings… the user needs to constantly be transferring their assets from one wallet to another. It’s not a unified, frictionless, simple user experience. This is one major downside of the “move fast and break things” approach.
BNB token Binance raised $15M in a 2017 ICO by selling their $BNB token. The current market cap of $BNB is worth more than $2.6B. Financially this token has served them well. However, given how BNB works (for example, their token burn), there are a lot of open questions as to how BNB will be treated with US security laws. Their Binance US product so far is treading very lightly with its use of BNB. Their token could become a liability for Binance as it enters more regulated markets. Whether the crypto community likes it or not, until regulators get caught up and understand the power of decentralized technology, tokens will still be a regulatory burden — especially for anything that touches consumers.
Binance Chain & Smart Contract Platform Binance is launching its own smart contract platform soon. Based on compatibility choices, they have their sights aimed at the Ethereum developer community. It’s unclear how easy it’ll be to convince developers to move to Binance chain. Most of the current developer energy and momentum around smart contracts is with Ethereum. Because Binance now has their own horse in the race, it’s unlikely they will ever decide to leverage Ethereum’s DeFi protocols. This could likely be a major strategic mistake — and hubris that goes a step too far. Binance will be pushing and promoting protocols on their own platform. The major risk of being all-in on their own platform is that they miss having a seat on the Ethereum rocket ship — specifically the growth of DeFi use-cases and the enormous value that can be unlocked. Integrating with Ethereum’s protocols would be either admitting defeat of their own platform or competing directly against themselves.
The crypto-native company that I believe is more likely to become the bank of the future is Coinbase (crunchbase). Their dominance in America could serve as a springboard to winning the West (Binance has a stronger foothold in Asia). Coinbase has more than 30M users. Their exchange business is a money-printing machine. They have a solid reputation as it relates to compliance and working with regulators. Their CEO is a longtime member of the crypto community. They are rumored to be going public soon.
Let’s look at what makes them strong and a likely contender for winning the broader consumer finance market.
Different Audience, Different Experience Coinbase has been smart to create a unique product experience for each audience — the pro speculator crowd and the common retail user. Their simple consumer version is at Coinbase.com. That’s the default. Their product for the more sophisticated traders and speculators is at Coinbase Pro (formerly GDAX). Unlike Binance, Coinbase can slowly build out the bank of the future for the broad consumer market while still having a home for their hardcore crypto traders. They aren’t afraid to have different experiences for different audiences.
Brand & Design Coinbase has a strong product design team. Their brand is capable of going beyond the male-dominated crypto audience. Their product is clean and simple — much more consumer-friendly than Binance. It’s clear they spend a lot of time thinking about their user experience. Interacting directly with crypto can sometimes be rough and raw (especially for n00bs). When I was at Mainframe we hosted a panel about Crypto UX challenges at the DevCon4 Dapp Awards. Connie Yang (Head of Design at Coinbase) was on the panel. She was impressive. Some of their design philosophies will bode well as they push to reach the broader consumer finance market.
Early Signs of Bundling Though Coinbase has nowhere near as many products & services as Binance, they are slowly starting to add more financial services that may appeal to the broader market. They are now letting depositors earn interest on USDC (also DAI & Tezos). In the UK they are piloting a debit card. Users can now invest in crypto with dollar-cost-averaging. It’s not much, but it’s a start. You can start to see hints of a more bundled solution around financial services.
Let’s now look at some things that could hold them back.
Slow Cadence In the fast-paced world of crypto, and especially when compared to Binance, Coinbase does not ship very many new products very often. This is perhaps their greatest weakness. Smaller, more nimble startups may run circles around them. They were smart to launch Coinbase Ventures where tey invest in early-stage startups. They can now keep an ear to the ground on innovation. Perhaps their cadence is normal for a company of their size — but the Binance pace creates quite the contrast.
Institutional Focus As a company, we are a Coinbase client. We love their institutional offering. It’s clear they’ve been investing a lot in this area. A recent Coinbase blog post made it clear that this has been a focus: “Over the past 12 months, Coinbase has been laser-focused on building out the types of features and services that our institutional customers need.” Their Tagomi acquisition only re-enforced this focus. Perhaps this is why their consumer product has felt so neglected. They’ve been heavily investing in their institutional services since May 2018. For a company that’s getting very close to an IPO, it makes sense that they’d focus on areas that present strong revenue opportunities — as they do with institutional clients. Even for big companies like Coinbase, it’s hard to have a split focus. If they are “laser-focused” on the institutional audience, it’s unlikely they’ll be launching any major consumer products anytime soon.
Coinbase Wrap Up
At Genesis Block, we‘re proud to be working with Coinbase. They are a fantastic company. However, I don’t believe that they’ll succeed in building their own product for the broader consumer finance market. While they have incredible design, there are no signs that they are focused on or capable of internally building this type of product. Similar to Binance, I think it’s far more likely that Coinbase acquires a promising young startup with strong growth.
Other US-based exchanges worth mentioning are Kraken, Gemini, and Bittrex. So far we’ve seen very few signs that any of them will aggressively attack broader consumer finance. Most are going in the way of Binance — listing more assets and adding more pro tools like margin and futures trading. And many, like Coinbase, are trying to attract more institutional customers. For example, Gemini with their custody product.
Coinbase and Binance have huge war chests and massive reach. For that alone, they should always be considered threats to Genesis Block. However, their products are very, very different than the product we’re building. And their approach is very different as well. They are trying to educate and onboard people into crypto. At Genesis Block, we believe the masses shouldn’t need to know or care about it. We did an entire series about this, Spreading Crypto. Most everyone needs banking — whether it be to borrow, spend, invest, earn interest, etc. Not everyone needs a crypto exchange. For non-crypto consumers (the mass market), the differences between a bank and a crypto exchange are immense. Companies like Binance and Coinbase make a lot of money on their crypto exchange business. It would be really difficult, gutsy, and risky for any of them to completely change their narrative, messaging, and product to focus on the broader consumer market. I don’t believe they would ever risk biting the hand that feeds them. In summary, as it relates to a digital bank aimed at the mass market, I believe both Coinbase and Binance are much more likely to acquire a startup in this space than they are to build it themselves. And I think they would want to keep the brand/product distinct and separate from their core crypto exchange business. So back to the original question, is Coinbase and Binance a threat to Genesis Block? Not really. Not today. But they could be, and for that, we want to stay close to them. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
Crypto-Powered - The Most Promising Use-Cases of Decentralized Finance (DeFi)
A whirlwind tour of Defi, paying close attention to protocols that we’re leveraging atGenesis Block. https://reddit.com/link/hrrt21/video/cvjh5rrh12b51/player This is the third post ofCrypto-Powered— a new series that examines what it means forGenesis Blockto be a digital bank that’s powered by crypto, blockchain, and decentralized protocols. Last week we explored how building on legacy finance is a fool’s errand. The future of money belongs to those who build with crypto and blockchain at their core. We also started down the crypto rabbit hole, introducing Bitcoin, Ethereum, and DeFi (decentralized finance). That post is required reading if you hope to glean any value from the rest of this series. 97% of all activity on Ethereum in the last quarter has been DeFi-related. The total value sitting inside DeFi protocols is roughly $2B — double what it was a month ago. The explosive growth cannot be ignored. All signs suggest that Ethereum & DeFi are a Match Made in Heaven, and both on their way to finding strong product/market fit. So in this post, we’re doing a whirlwind tour of DeFi. We look at specific examples and use-cases already in the wild and seeing strong growth. And we pay close attention to protocols that Genesis Block is integrating with. Alright, let’s dive in.
Stablecoins are exactly what they sound like: cryptocurrencies that are stable. They are not meant to be volatile (like Bitcoin). These assets attempt to peg their price to some external reference (eg. USD or Gold). A non-volatile crypto asset can be incredibly useful for things like merchant payments, cross-border transfers, or storing wealth — becoming your own bank but without the stress of constant price volatility. There are major governments and central banks that are experimenting with or soon launching their own stablecoins like China with their digital yuan and the US Federal Reserve with their digital dollar. There are also major corporations working in this area like JP Morgan with their JPM Coin, and of course Facebook with their Libra Project.
Stablecoin activity has grown 800% in the last year, with $290B of transaction volume (funds moving on-chain).
USDC($1B): This is the most reputable USD-backed stablecoin, at least in the West. It was created by Coinbase & Circle, both well-regarded crypto companies. They’ve been very open and transparent with their audits and bank records.
DAI ($189M): This is backed by other crypto assets — not USD in a bank account. This was arguably the first true DeFi protocol. The big benefit is that it’s more decentralized — it’s not controlled by any single organization. The downside is that the assets backing it can be volatile crypto assets (though it has mechanisms in place to mitigate that risk).
Three of the top five DeFi protocols relate to lending & borrowing. These popular lending protocols look very similar to traditional money markets. Users who want to earn interest/yield can deposit (lend) their funds into a pool of liquidity. Because it behaves similarly to traditional money markets, their funds are not locked, they can withdraw at any time. It’s highly liquid. Borrowers can tap into this pool of liquidity and take out loans. Interest rates depend on the utilization rate of the pool — how much of the deposits in the pool have already been borrowed. Supply & demand. Thus, interest rates are variable and borrowers can pay their loans back at any time.
So, who decides how much a borrower can take? What’s the process like? Are there credit checks? How is credit-worthiness determined?
These protocols are decentralized, borderless, permissionless. The people participating in these markets are from all over the world. There is no simple way to verify identity or check credit history. So none of that happens. Credit-worthiness is determined simply by how much crypto collateral the borrower puts into the protocol. For example, if a user wants to borrow $5k of USDC, then they’ll need to deposit $10k of BTC or ETH. The exact amount of collateral depends on the rules of the protocol — usually the more liquid the collateral asset, the more borrowing power the user can receive. The most prominent lending protocols include Compound, Aave, Maker, and Atomic Loans. Recently, Compound has seen meteoric growth with the introduction of their COMP token — a token used to incentivize and reward participants of the protocol. There’s almost $1B in outstanding debt in the Compound protocol. Mainframe is also working on an exciting protocol in this area and the latest iteration of their white paper should be coming out soon.
There is very little economic risk to these protocols because all loans are overcollateralized.
Buying, selling, and trading crypto assets is certainly one form of investing (though not for the faint of heart). But there are now DeFi protocols to facilitate making and managing traditional-style investments. Through DeFi, you can invest in Gold. You can invest in stocks like Amazon and Apple. You can short Tesla. You can access the S&P 500. This is done through crypto-based synthetics — which gives users exposure to assets without needing to hold or own the underlying asset. This is all possible with protocols like UMA, Synthetix, or Market protocol. Maybe your style of investing is more passive. With PoolTogether , you can participate in a no-loss lottery. Maybe you’re an advanced trader and want to trade options or futures. You can do that with DeFi protocols like Convexity, Futureswap, and dYdX. Maybe you live on the wild side and trade on margin or leverage, you can do that with protocols like Fulcrum, Nuo, and DDEX. Or maybe you’re a degenerate gambler and want to bet against Trump in the upcoming election, you can do that on Augur. And there are plenty of DeFi protocols to help with crypto investing. You could use Set Protocol if you need automated trading strategies. You could use Melonport if you’re an asset manager. You could use Balancer to automatically rebalance your portfolio. With as little as $1, people all over the world can have access to the same investment opportunities and tools that used to be reserved for only the wealthy, or those lucky enough to be born in the right country.
You can start to imagine how services like Etrade, TD Ameritrade, Schwab, and even Robinhood could be massively disrupted by a crypto-native company that builds with these types of protocols at their foundation.
As mentioned in our previous post, there are near-infinite applications one can build on Ethereum. As a result, sometimes the code doesn’t work as expected. Bugs get through, it breaks. We’re still early in our industry. The tools, frameworks, and best practices are all still being established. Things can go wrong. Sometimes the application just gets in a weird or bad state where funds can’t be recovered — like with what happened with Parity where $280M got frozen (yes, I lost some money in that). Sometimes, there are hackers who discover a vulnerability in the code and maliciously steal funds — like how dForce lost $25M a few months ago, or how The DAO lost $50M a few years ago. And sometimes the system works as designed, but the economic model behind it is flawed, so a clever user takes advantage of the system— like what recently happened with Balancer where they lost $500k. There are a lot of risks when interacting with smart contracts and decentralized applications — especially for ones that haven’t stood the test of time. This is why insurance is such an important development in DeFi.
Insurance will be an essential component in helping this technology reach the masses.
Decentralized Exchanges (DEX) were one of the first and most developed categories in DeFi. A DEX allows a user to easily exchange one crypto asset for another crypto asset — but without needing to sign up for an account, verify identity, etc. It’s all via decentralized protocols. Within the first 5 months of 2020, the top 7 DEX already achieved the 2019 trading volume. That was $2.5B. DeFi is fueling a lot of this growth. https://preview.redd.it/1dwvq4e022b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=97a3d756f60239cd147031eb95fc2a981db55943 There are many different flavors of DEX. Some of the early ones included 0x, IDEX, and EtherDelta — all of which had a traditional order book model where buyers are matched with sellers. Another flavor is the pooled liquidity approach where the price is determined algorithmically based on how much liquidity there is and how much the user wants to buy. This is known as an AMM (Automated Market Maker) — Uniswap and Bancor were early leaders here. Though lately, Balancer has seen incredible growth due mostly to their strong incentives for participation — similar to Compound. There are some DEXs that are more specialized — for example, Curve and mStable focus mostly only stablecoins. Because of the proliferation of these decentralized exchanges, there are now aggregators that combine and connect the liquidity of many sources. Those include Kyber, Totle, 1Inch, and Dex.ag.
These decentralized exchanges are becoming more and more connected to DeFi because they provide an opportunity for yield and earning interest.
As it relates to making payments, much of the world is still stuck on plastic cards. We’re grateful to partner with Visa and launch the Genesis Block debit card… but we still don’t believe that's the future of payments. We see that as an important bridge between the past (legacy finance) and the future (crypto). Our first post in this series shared more on why legacy finance is broken. We talked about the countless unnecessary middle-men on every card swipe (merchant, acquiring bank, processor, card network, issuing bank). We talked about the slow settlement times. The future of payments will be much better. Yes, it’ll be from a mobile phone and the user experience will be similar to ApplePay (NFC) or WePay (QR Code).
But more importantly, the underlying assets being moved/exchanged will all be crypto — digital, permissionless, and open source.
Someone making a payment at the grocery store check-out line will be able to open up Genesis Block, use contactless tech or scan a QR code, and instantly pay for their goods. All using crypto. Likely a stablecoin. Settlement will be instant. All the middlemen getting their pound of flesh will be disintermediated. The merchant can make more and the user can spend less. Blockchain FTW! Now let’s talk about a few projects working in this area. The xDai Burner Wallet experience was incredible at the ETHDenver event a few years ago, but that speed came at the expense of full decentralization (can it be censored or shut down?). Of course, Facebook’s Libra wants to become the new standard for global payments, but many are afraid to give Facebook that much control (newsflash: it isn’t very decentralized). Bitcoin is decentralized… but it’s slow and volatile. There are strong projects like Lightning Network (Zap example) that are still trying to make it happen. Projects like Connext and OmiseGo are trying to help bring payments to Ethereum. The Flexa project is leveraging the gift card rails, which is a nice hack to leverage existing pipes. And if ETH 2.0 is as fast as they say it will be, then the future of payments could just be a stablecoin like DAI (a token on Ethereum). In a way, being able to spend crypto on daily expenses is the holy grail of use-cases. It’s still early. It hasn’t yet been solved. But once we achieve this, then we can ultimately and finally say goodbye to the legacy banking & finance world. Employees can be paid in crypto. Employees can spend in crypto. It changes everything.
Legacy finance is hanging on by a thread, and it’s this use-case that they are still clinging to. Once solved, DeFi domination will be complete.
At Genesis Block, we’re excited to leverage these protocols and take this incredible technology to the world. Many of these protocols are already deeply integrated with our product. In fact, many are essential. The masses won’t know (or care about) what Tether, USDC, or DAI is. They think in dollars, euros, pounds and pesos. So while the user sees their local currency in the app, the underlying technology is all leveraging stablecoins. It’s all on “crypto rails.” https://preview.redd.it/jajzttr622b51.png?width=700&format=png&auto=webp&s=fcf55cea1216a1d2fcc3bf327858b009965f9bf8 When users deposit assets into their Genesis Block account, they expect to earn interest. They expect that money to grow. We leverage many of these low-risk lending/exchange DeFi protocols. We lend into decentralized money markets like Compound — where all loans are overcollateralized. Or we supply liquidity to AMM exchanges like Balancer. This allows us to earn interest and generate yield for our depositors. We’re the experts so our users don’t need to be. We haven’t yet integrated with any of the insurance or investment protocols — but we certainly plan on it. Our infrastructure is built with blockchain technology at the heart and our system is extensible — we’re ready to add assets and protocols when we feel they are ready, safe, secure, and stable. Many of these protocols are still in the experimental phase. It’s still early.
At Genesis Block we’re excited to continue to be at the frontlines of this incredible, innovative, technological revolution called DeFi.
--- None of these powerful DeFi protocols will be replacing Robinhood, SoFi, or Venmo anytime soon. They never will. They aren’t meant to! We’ve discussed this before, these are low-level protocols that need killer applications, like Genesis Block. So now that we’ve gone a little deeper down the rabbit hole and we’ve done this whirlwind tour of DeFi, the natural next question is: why?
Why does any of it matter?
Most of these financial services that DeFi offers already exist in the real world. So why does it need to be on a blockchain? Why does it need to be decentralized? What new value is unlocked? Next post, we answer these important questions. To look at more projects in DeFi, check outDeFi Prime,DeFi Pulse, orConsensys. ------ Other Ways to Consume Today's Episode:
I just want to start by saying that I saw this coming around 2 years ago and posted about it here. My biggest concern that COSS never seemed to understand is that exchanges survive on TRADING VOLUME, not listing fees. Sure, listing fees are a nice bonus and in massive bull markets you can milk projects for a lot, but in bear markets nobody will pay listing fees and it is not a sustainable business model to force coins/projects to pay massive amounts to list. An exchange that relies solely on listing fees will always go under in a bear market. Ignoring Binance as an outlier that can still collect listing fees, the exchanges that are thriving now are the ones that have all the coins a person could want, like Kraken, and listed those coins because it made their exchange better for the longrun. Meanwhile, COSS continuously tried to milk great projects like Nano for listing fees rather than listing them for the long-term benefit of the exchange. Yes, some people didn't want to trade on Coss due to the low volume on many markets, but the nail in the coffin was not having all the major popular projects listed that people wanted. Anyway, on to the point of the post: Coss should try to stay afloat for awhile longer. If that means dropping nearly all employees, selling the platform to a company with the funds to maintain it, anything- Coss should try to stay open and give crypto a chance. We have just endured a vicious downward spiral over multiple years and all projects are in bad shape in general. I have seen this happen in every single crypto cycle (although this one is the most severe, due to the amount valuations rose in 2017). From 2014-2016, exchanges and crypto companies were closing left and right. Circle got rid of their bitcoin wallet and tried to compete with Venmo. And what happened? Every single one of those exchanges and companies ended up regretting it, big time. Many never were able to get back in because it was too late. It felt like crypto was dead and hopeless during that entire 3 year period - morale was just as bad as it is now. The companies that managed to stay open through that 2014-2016 bear market (usually running at a loss for years) became GIANTS when the market flipped. Small companies like Bittrex became massive as people flooded back into the space, like they always do after huge crypto bear markets start to come to an end. People start wanting to try to buy the bottom, and the bottom starts rising... I don't work for Coss and I don't claim to know its financial situation, so perhaps it's simply impossible for the company to continue on running without funds. Obviously they are a bit strapped for cash considering the 2nd ICO attempt and such. But I just want to say that:
There is a good and very realistic chance we are at or around the bottom right now, and most decent exchanges (Coss included) will go from operating at a loss to making a (potentially big) profit within a few years
Every single time we're in a bear market, people totally seem to forget how insane crypto can be during the bull cycles (I was around for the 2013 and 2017 bull runs), and everyone wants to be a part of it. It probably won't be as insane the second time around unless there is a major breakthrough in technology or adoption (lightning network on BTC maybe?), but if you remember just about ALL exchanges in Dec 2017-January 2018 had to literally CLOSE due to servers crashing from so many new members flooding in. Shutting down the exchange now destroys all hope of being involved in anything like that bull cycle again in the future, and there is a realistic chance that Coss or any exchange that decide(d) to close (Coinexchange and many others right now) will seriously regret the decision within a few years
It's tough to say where crypto is headed and if it will ever be successful. I think it has a great chance to "make it", but who knows. But one thing is certain - closing down now guarantees that you will 100% be excluded from any/all bull runs that might occur in the future. Staying afloat and running at absolute minimum capacity (minimum support/no new dev work, just maintenance, as the exchange works pretty well right now) will at least give COSS a chance to survive and possibly even thrive in the future again. I hope they choose the latter option.
Weekly Update: Mini-Parenas, Hydro AMA on Uptrennd, Wibson app update, SelfKey’s $KEY on Hotbit... – 24 Jan - 30 Jan'20
Hi Parachuters! Here’s part IV of VII as we catch up - your week at Parachute + partners (24 Jan - 30 Jan'20): In this week’s Parena(s), Cap hosted mini-Parenas (smallest, 2nd smallest, 3rd smallest) this week along with a main Cloodfest which Jeff won to take home 25k $PAR. We also had a special 2nd quick subsequent Parena between Nathan and Foo to determine the 3rd and 4th positions. Alejandro will be hosting a CoD flash game in gun game mode next week in the Parachute War Zone. This week Doc Vic hosted an NBA and Soccer raffle. Bose's History Trivia in TTR was super fun and had 2k $PAR in prizes per question. Gamer Boy’s math trivia had TTR fans reaching for a calculator. Haha. Foo hosted another intense trivia in TTR as well. Afful held another one too for 1k $PAR prize per question with a 10k $PAR prize pot. Cap joined a Y Combinator startup school session to network with other entrepreneurs and gain insights on product growth. Congratulations to Aims1 for winning the #parttrenjraffle (shared in the last update) and becoming the proud owner of two rare collectibles. Gian hosted a rapid round of name-a-tennis-player for $PAR prizes to mark the Australian Open underway. TTR launched a GIF contest this week with a 40k $PAR prize pool. Sweet! Chris announced the restart of the Parachute Super Bowl Squares with a prize pot of 1M $PAR. Whoa! For this week's Two-for-Tuesday we had folks posting songs "featuring bands with amazing guitarists". Great theme GC! For #wholesomewed Jason got Parachuters to talk about pets they wished they had. In the latest #FPL update shared by LordHades, the top 3 spots are still occupied by LH, Alexis and Novel Cloud. Click here for the full update. Some neat feedback on ParJar from the Y Combinator startup school session Cap: \"a sneak peak at a one pager we're cooking up\" The aXpire team was in India this week for a workshop geared towards the release of Bilr. 20k $AXPR burn for the week happened like clockwork. 2gether’s consumer spending report (which was released last week) was covered by Coin Rivet this week. Check out 2gether’s 2019 journey, here. Spanish speakers, you can listen to Founder Salvador Casquero’s thoughts on digital business which he shared with AEFI Fintech Association here. FunOntheRide’s new tutorial video explains how the 2gether card works. This week’s #XIOSocial discussions revolved around high-value-no-profit companies and Citizen’s thoughts on “inverted lending platform”. Read about how to earn to earn crypto and about the SMS industry from Birdchain’s blog. Still waiting to check out the 3 new communities on Uptrennd? Click here to have a peep. If you didn’t know this already, you can now create polls on your posts on Uptrennd. Cool! Click here to read about more updates. Hydro crew sat down for an AMA with the Uptrennd community and gave away 100k $HYDRO tokens for the best questions. Jeff’s interview of Zero Collateral DeFi came out this week. You can read about it here. Congrats to the winners of the Uptrennd Meme Contest. Those were hilarious! For a sneak peek into Uptrennd 2.0’s designs, click here. Steven Aitchison's (CYT Crypto) latest video features the platform. Have a look! The District0x community voted to have industry news in the next DApp Digest stream. For the latest District Weekly, click here. Hydro made it to Crypto Weekly’s list of 250 crypto companies to watch in 2020. The Hydro team wrote about Financial Health Check and Emergency Savings Fund tools to get you prepared for a rainy day. Their article on challenges during digital onboarding processes at banks should be an eye opener for legacy organisations. Epic work Artefe Crypto Art! How will Digital Identity Management play out in the Hydro Pay app? Click here to find out. Silent Notary’s AMA with Quora Inner Circle was last week. Its transcript was released this week. This week they appeared for an AMA with The Block Circle. The Ubikiri app was released this week to the App Stores. Winner of Round 1 of Traders Battle was announced. And just like previous weeks, they posted daily summaries of dev work progress (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Uptrennd 2.0 early previews look great! Sentivate’s $SNTVT token is now supported on the Enjin wallet and does not need to be added as a custom token. Ahead of ETHDenver, where OST’s Pepo app is the official community app, a guide was published. The latest update allows login with a multitude of IDs. CEO Jason Goldberg was interviewed by Jason Nelson (Crypto Insights Journal) where he talked about community building on the blockchain. Check out this blog post by State of the DApps which discusses unique use-cases of Pepo. SelfKey’s $KEY token is now tradable and playable on Play Royal. To celebrate the occasion, competitions were launched with prize pools worth USD 6k in $KEY tokens. The token was also listed on Hotbit and InstaSwap this week. Click here and here for sneak peeks into the SelfKey mobile app under development. Constellation CEO Ben Jorgensen spoke at the Crypto 2020 Summit this week. Community member Constellation LV is currently working on a Ledger app for the project. Click here for a preview. A Russian language section was added to the website. CTO Wyatt Meldman-Floch demonstrated how double spend attacks can be prevented. In Yazom’s January update, founder Sanjé Witter shared that the open beta was on course for release in a couple of months. Pynk’s Rose AI continues to learn and self-improve through advanced algos and inputs from Super Predictors. Read more about it here. Unsure what crowdfunding and seed rounds mean? Pynk will be raising through this mechanism soon. In preparation for it, they released an article to explain what it is and how to pre-register for it. Plus, an article on compounding explains why it is so powerful. A new update for the Wibson app was released this week. The latest version of their protocol paper covers secure data exchange and batch payments. Harmony’s $ONE token swap was covered by Coindesk and BeInCrypto. BitMax launched a BitTreasure event where users earn interest on $ONE deposits. Harmony hosted a dev community meetup in SF in collaboration with Polkadot, Taxa Network and Nervos Network to discuss on Web3. GET Protocol crew appeared for an AMA with Cryptoverse this week. GUTS Tickets got featured on Finnish tech blog Tivi. Crypto Jen (Jenny from the Blockchain) joined Global Crypto Alliance as an advisor this week. $CALL is now supported on Eidoo wallet. The transcript of last week’s COTI AMA with tehMoonwalkeR can be seen here. COTI released incentive plans to reward its TestNet node operators. TxBit exchange announced its support for DoYouTip’s $DYT token swap. ParJar holders will also have their tokens swapped automatically. And with that, it’s a wrap for this week at Parachute and partners. See you again soon. Cheers!
Vechain 95 % of remaining non circulating supply lock up?
Suggestions - if anyone has other ideas lets discuss here. The community is an important aspect of Vechain, and considering so many people invested in Xnodes and higher and have watched their value all but disappear over the past year and a half i would think a transparent company like Vechain would be interested in hearing some suggestions from the community. The buy back is a small step in the right direction, but more could quite easily be done to improve things. For example lock up 95% of the remaining non circulating supply. Ripple chose to lock up their remaining supply, but every 30 days 1 billion is allowed to be sold which in reality does virtually nothing to ease investor concern of them dumping their supply on the market driving price down. 1 billion coins flooding the market is more than enough to cause suppression. There is a petition going around right now to get Ripple to cut this in half and Ripple just announced theyre substantially reducing xrp sales to more accurately represent actual trade volume. Apparently Coinmarketcap shows hugely inflated false trade volumes and Ripple is now using Cryptocompare to have a clear understanding of actual volume being traded. Read here - https://www.ripple.com/insights/q2-2019-xrp-markets-report/ If Vechain were to lock up 95+% of their tokens, and lock up 95% of their staffs tokens for another year, while they continue with the buy back theyve started it would solve the immense downward pressure and the market price of VET would begin to appreciate and more accurately represent all the company is accomplishing. The Walmart announcement moved the price up 30% in approx 1-2 hours and you could see volume increased dramatically for that very short period but within a few hours the entire 30% gain was back to ZERO! I assume someone(s) were just selling into the 30% until it was all wiped out because it happened fast. Have a look at all other cryptos and youll see that when big announcements come they increase in value substantially and typically hold 50+% of that gain going forward. Link is a good example but there are many others too. for approx 24 hours leading up to the Walmart announcement LATOKEN exchange was showing about 10-20 times the volume it usually has for VET so whoever it was trading on LATOKEN more than likely knew the announcement was coming. No proof ofcourse, but very odd to see this exchange suddenly blow away Binance and Oceanex 10 fold in terms of trade volume. With the minimal volume (actual exchange volume) we see with VET daily, even just devs selling / trading 50-250 million on the open market could suppress price inadvertently. Taking measures like these will raise Vechains standing amoung the naysayers and VET will rise into top 10 in the market in a fairly short period of time rather than continue to fall as it has for the past 1.5 years straight. When VET was VEN before the 100x supply increase i questioned how the market would react to having a coin with only 30ish million in trade volume daily multiplying its supply x100 and i suggested that without a number of the top exchanges trading VET, there wont be enough volume to prevent a major drop in price and that is what happened. All other cryptos on the market that have 10 billion+ circulating supply and have a more accurate token price have maintained 5x+ the trade volume Vet has, and they are listed on most of the biggest exchanges - where Vet isnt. So exchange listings are also very important not only for the trade volume but the sense of market recognition they provide any crypto that is listed. Maybe a portion of the 25 million $ allotted for the buy back could be used on exchange listings instead? Anyone else have some ideas? EDIT - found this on the cryptocurrency subreddit by u/bLbGoldeN - and it provides some good insight on why projects like Vechain might not be more valuable...YET It has been a decade since this market's inception and 3 years since I've started monitoring it closely and analyzing it. Whether you're new to crypto or a veteran that has been through multiple bubbles, chances are you don't really know what's going on. Despite surviving the worst bear market so far, we're hovering at a $300B total market cap. So how come crypto journalism is so bad it sticks out even when compared to modern journalism? The answer is that the lack of available foresight and unbiased analyses is very much on purpose. Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV and other clones (and almost everything else, but clones aren't as nebulous) really give you a great window on the insanity of this market. Everyone who tries to attach any kind of metrics to these projects or make realistic predictions regarding adoption and 'fair value' is prompted with a question: "Who in their right mind could think this is worth 5+ billions?" Since it's essentially impossible to reconcile market valuation and fundamentals, they assume that there's something they're not getting, that there's crucial information they lack, so they resume business as usual. There has to be a reason, right? The truth is that crypto as a whole is a rare and insanely profitable cocktail. The market is split almost perfectly in two (by perfectly, I don't mean a 50/50 split, I mean that these two sides represent almost 100% of the market): Manipulators, who have the means to perform due diligence and are fully aware that the vast, vast majority of projects will absolutely never go anywhere, yet that a select few might explode. Gamblers, who do not understand the underlying technology (and even less the economic environment surrounding said technology) but are ready to shell out millions collectively to make a quick profit. The amount of people who perform thorough, unbiased research and invest carefully is staggeringly low, simply because there are very few individuals with the resources required to sift through the bullshit and without any intention to exploit the market. Coupled with extremely low real liquidity (arbitrage and market makers shouldn't really be considered), this results in a nonsensical market of booms & busts that benefits manipulators every time. However, none of this would be possible if it weren't for a key ingredient: Bitcoin. As long as Bitcoin and any of its clones gravitate towards the top, you can be sure that the market conditions haven't changed, because they act as indicators. Our top meme is a perfect testament to that: "HODL" is based on the bizarre and baseless assumption that the past will repeat ad vitam, and it does a great job keeping liquidity low. In short, it's a perfect gauge of the community's overall idiocy. Mainstream media only exacerbates the issue. It's much less costly (and thus, more profitable) for it to invite supporters or critics of Bitcoin to push a certain agenda than it is to pay competent journalists or experts to provide a detailed explanation of smart contracts and the rise of a programmable economy, for example. Yet I can tell you that in most professional circles, nobody talks about Bitcoin. Manufacturers don't care about receiving payments in Bitcoin, they care about data integrity and security. Energy consortia aren't interested in having households pay their bills with Litecoin, they care about autonomous, self-balancing, self-monitoring grids that optimize electricity distribution and pricing. There are several projects that have a much better chance to overcome the hurdles of adoption, yet it's unlikely you'll find them in the top 10 positions, because they're neither sexy nor simple. Why would manipulators waste time, money and effort inflating those projects' value, when they know full well that they'll appreciate on their own in due time? It's much easier to extract as much money as possible from morons who are willing to 'invest' in worthless junk and let the rest depreciate dramatically to secure a lower entry point. Even as the technology progresses and real innovations are made public, tribalism and hit pieces take care of the rest. TL;DR: Current prices are not indicative of future success. If you've performed the research and come to the conclusion that an asset is undervalued, believe in yourself. This market is not your friend, it exists only to take your money.
Review: The most thrilling 24 hours in Bitcoin history
From 12:00 on March 12th to 12:00 on the 13th, Bitcoin, the most influential currency in the cryptocurrency industry, suffered two major declines, and its price fell from a maximum of 7,672 USD to a minimum of 3,800 USD (data from Huobi, the next Same), the decline was 50.4%, which means that the price of Bitcoin has achieved a fairly accurate "half price" in these 24 hours. Previously, Bitcoin's "halving market" was mostly considered to be an increase in market prices caused by Bitcoin's halving production, although many people have questioned the "halving market" as " The price is halved ", but when bitcoin walks out of the current bad market, it still surprises most investors. First plunge The bad 24 hours started at 12 o'clock on March 12. Due to the rapid spread of the new crown epidemic in Europe and the United States, the global financial markets have been raining for several days. After several adjustments, the price of Bitcoin has hovered up and down within the range of $ 7600-8200 in the previous three days. However, after 12 o'clock on the 12th, Bitcoin The price fell below $ 7,600 for the first time, breaking the psychological expectations of many investors, entering a rapid decline channel, and dropping to about $ 7,200 at around 18 o'clock. At this time, the decline of Bitcoin is still around 7%, which is a common occurrence in the history of Bitcoin. However, after 18 o'clock that day, the market turned sharply, and the price of bitcoin plunged again in a short period of time. It fell to US $ 5,555 within tens of minutes, a drop of 28%, and the amount of contractual positions on each platform exceeded US $ 2 billion. During the decline, most major exchanges such as Huobi, Binance, and OKEx experienced systemic freezes of varying degrees. Many users complained for a long time that the exchange app could not properly display the homepage, market page, and transaction page, and added positions, stops, and withdrawals. Obstacles such as cash withdrawal and cash withdrawal operations have also shown that this situation also highlights that mainstream exchanges still fail to address the ability of their trading systems to respond to extreme conditions. For this decline, the collective sell-off of large Bitcoin holders is considered to be the main reason. For example, Grayscale Investment, the world's largest crypto asset fund management company, was sold and sold 40,000-50,000 Bitcoins. News from the exchange said that Bitcoin sold 400,000. For a long time, bitcoin has been called "digital gold" by the blockchain industry, and has good risk aversion properties. During the tense situation between the United States and Iran in January this year and the global stock market fell, Bitcoin rose from $ 7,200 all the way to more than $ 10,000. Bitcoin's safe-haven attributes have been widely recognized in history, but this time caused by the new crown epidemic Under the risk of the global economic downturn, the decline in the price of bitcoin has become the asset with the largest depreciation among various mainstream financial assets, and its high-risk nature will most likely collapse. Some analysts believe that bitcoin should be further classified as an alternative asset. At a time when liquidity shortage is extremely serious, as a high-risk alternative investment asset with the highest volatility in the world, funds will naturally be drawn from the market by investors. Looking for safer, more liquid assets, prices plummet. "Everyone in the future will realize that Bitcoin is not digital gold, but" an amplifier of risk. " Its value cannot be anchored. Unlike other asset prices, which are affected by costs and prices, Bitcoin has no normal market value range. As of now, it does not have any convincing valuation basis, more like a swaying boat. Without the anchor, its value fluctuates greatly, and the impact of halving the market and supply and demand on it is far less important than psychological factors. "Said Cai Kailong, senior researcher at the Institute of Financial Technology of Renmin University of China. However, some people in the industry hold different opinions. "BTC is still the most powerful currency in the history of mankind. It provides liquidity 24 hours a day. This is something that other markets simply can't imagine, but because liquidity is too good, this time it just happened to happen in other markets. When funds are scarce, the first choice for selling supplementary funds has also led to the decline of gold. Of course, the amount of BTC that is currently much lower than gold is certainly unstoppable in a short period of time. "A Weibo blogger" "fhrp". In addition to the sell-off of large institutions, some mortgage lending platforms have also passively become an important boost for this downturn. In the past six months, the Defi concept has been particularly hot in the blockchain industry, and many cryptocurrency-based cryptocurrency lending platforms were born. As a result, a large number of large Bitcoin users will pledge the Bitcoin in their accounts to third-party lending platforms and use the USDT to borrow cash to purchase cash, which is equivalent to increasing leverage. However, these platforms are not mature in terms of mortgage rate setting and liquidation mechanisms. Users who increase the mortgage rate of assets have a slower transfer speed on the chain. As a result, during this period of rapid decline in the market, a large number of mortgage orders have lower mortgage assets than loans. As a result, the amount of bitcoin out-of-market positions this time was far more than in the previous period of large market volatility, which further exacerbated the selling pressure of the bitcoin spot market. From 19:00 on the 12th to the early morning of the 13th, the price of Bitcoin hovered in the range of 5800-6200 US dollars, and the market began to prepare for the next stage of the trend. Second plunge On the evening of the 12th, the stock markets of mainstream countries in Europe and the United States successively opened and collectively fell, and the stock markets of at least 11 countries, such as the United States, Canada, and the Philippines, melted down. At the close of the morning on the 13th, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S & P 500 Index had the largest single-day percentage decline since the 1987 stock disaster. The Dow closed down about 2352 points, the largest drop in history. The bad performance of the stock market quickly passed to the currency market. Beginning at 7 o'clock on the 13th, the price of bitcoin plunged from the position of $ 5,800 once again, dropping all the way, and successively fell below $ 5,000 and $ 4,000. For the rapid decline of the market, many people in the industry believe that the main factor is not only the panic selling of the market, but also the mutual stepping on of contract investors. Weibo blogger "AlbertTheKing" pointed out that most of the long positions in Bitcoin leverage are in the BitMEX perpetual contract market. The long positions caused by the decline in bitcoin prices caused a series of short positions, which in turn caused arbitrage spreads and spot arbitrage. The party rushed in to open multiple orders and sell spot arbitrage at the same time, thinking it was okay. As a result, I did not expect Bitcoin to fall more and more fiercely, and his own arbitrage and long positions also burst. So at first, the leveraged bulls stepped down on each other, and later became the arbitrage party. . "Fhrp" also pointed out that because BitMEX only has BTC margin, ETH's permanent liquidation also needs to be undertaken by btc. The profit portion of the hedge order cannot be included in the margin, and BTC is not sufficient because of the card being in serious shortage. The exploding warehouse order was opaque, so that no one dared to pick up the corpse later, fearing that it would become a corpse. Of course, the key is the lack of a fusing system, so that the market can slowly wait for liquidity to keep up. Under the interweaving of many risks, the price of bitcoin is about 10:15. It has fallen below 3,800 US dollars in many exchanges such as Huobi and OKEx, which is 38% lower than the price of 0 on the day and 50.4% lower than 24 hours ago. This is the highest record in the 24-hour drop since the birth of Bitcoin. Such a precise decline cannot be doubted as the bad taste of the bookmaker behind the exchange, if the bookmaker does exist. Of course, it is not excluded that this situation is due to the tacit understanding among the main market participants, or a purely natural phenomenon. But judging from objective facts, there is indeed some evidence that the situation is unnatural. After bitcoin hit a low of $ 3,800, its price quickly rose in the next 20 minutes, rising by 59% to $ 5,250, but then fell rapidly. At the turning point of $ 3,800, which is 10:16, the BitMEX trading system, the largest bitcoin exchange in the cryptocurrency industry, suddenly stopped until 10:40. It can be seen that the time point when the Bitcoin price stopped falling rapidly and stopped rising rapidly was close to the time point when BitMEX went down and returned to normal. This shows that BitMEX has a huge influence on the secondary market, and it also makes a lot of One suspects BitMEX is manipulating the market. Sam Bankman-Fried, chief executive of Derivatives Exchange FTX, tweeted that he suspects BitMEX may have intentionally closed transactions to prevent further crashes and to avoid using exchange insurance funds. Mining company BitPico also tweeted yesterday, "According to our analysis, BitMEX Research has closed its long position of $ 993 million with its own robots and capital. Today the manipulation of the bitcoin market is caused by an entity and the investigation is ongoing. " In response to this incident, BitMEX responded that there was a hardware problem with the cloud service provider, and in a subsequent announcement, it was pointed out that the DDoS attack was the real cause of the short-term downtime. Why the downtime of the BitMEX trading system is difficult to verify, but from its objective impact, its short-term downtime plays a vital role in curbing the further decline in the price of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which has eased investment to a certain extent. The panic sentiment created by this has created space for the rebound and correction of cryptocurrency prices such as Bitcoin. Sam Bankman-Fried even speculated that if BitMEX did not go offline because of a "hardware problem" this morning (February 13), the price of Bitcoin could fall to zero. If compared with the traditional financial market, the effect of this BitMEX outage event is quite similar to the "fuse" mechanism of the stock market. Trading is suspended for dozens of minutes at the moment when investor sentiment is most panic, so this outage event Also aroused the emotions of many people in the industry. "BitMEX has helped the currency circle" melt out, "otherwise the chainless stepping will not know where to fall. After the fuse, everyone calmed down and the market returned to normal. Weibo blogger "Blockchain William" posted a blog saying, "The market is not afraid of falling, and it is not afraid of stepping on it. That is why. This is why the global stock market has melted down because investors panic. It is a bottomless pit. Once out of control, there is no bottom Now. " Of course, the factors that cause the market situation to reverse are not limited to this. According to the feedback from multiple users on social platforms, BitMEX and Binance's major exchanges forced the short positions of multiple accounts to close positions at 10 o'clock on March 13th, that is, the automatic lightening mechanism was in effect. According to the BitMEX platform mechanism, when investor contracts are forced to close out, their remaining positions will be taken over by BitMEX's strong closing system. However, if a strong liquidation position cannot be closed in the market, and when the marked price reaches the bankruptcy price, the automatic lightening system will lighten the investor holding the position in the opposite direction, and the order of lightening is determined according to the leverage and profit ratio . Specifically, due to the sharp fluctuations in the price of bitcoin, a large number of long single-series bursts and the scarcity of market liquidity. In order to control the risk, the platform will automatically place some short orders with high profit ratios and high leverage on the market, increasing market flow. It also avoids the risk to the platform caused by the inability of the short-selling order to be executed in a timely manner. According to BitMEX's announcement, about 200 positions were automatically closed by the system. And Twitter blogger Edward Morra said, "On BitMEX alone, short positions worth about $ 500 million have been liquidated." If this data is true, it means that BitMEX's strong liquidation operation has brought more than 5 to the contract market. The market price of 100 million US dollars has a significant positive effect on the market that is being sold out. However, as a compensation, BitMEX also stated that it would contact each damaged user and compensate them according to the maximum potential profit that the investor obtained during the automatic liquidation. In any case, through the operation of exchanges such as BitMEX, the price of bitcoin has entered a recovery channel, and it is still hovering at the $ 5,000 mark, while driving the entire cryptocurrency market to pick up. After this thrilling 24 hours of bitcoin, the ideal "halving market" has disappeared. The real and brutal "halving market" is coming. Perhaps many investors and investment institutions have expressed their confidence in the crypto assets represented by bitcoin. The understanding will change in this regard, and the confidence of the entire industry needs to be rebuilt. This depends on the application value of bitcoin to be deepened.
After the Bitcoin crash: do others fear me for greed?
At 6:30 pm on March 12, Bitcoin dropped from $ 7211 to $ 5555.55. The bitcoin price dived again this morning, slumping nearly $ 2,000 again in half an hour, the lowest fell to $ 3,782.13, a drop of more than 40% in 24 hours. According to the data of the contract emperor, only Huobi, OKEx, Binance, and BitMEX exchanges had a daily short position of 3.133 billion US dollars, which reached the highest in a single day in history. The number of liquidated positions exceeded 110,000, which was also the highest in a single day. Also on March 12, the S & P index fell 260.74 points, triggering the fusing mechanism for the second time this week. The Dow hit its largest decline in history, at 2352.6 points. The Nasdaq fell 750.25 points to 7201.8 points. This is the third time in the history of US stocks. This fuse has been 33 years since the first fuse, but only 4 days have passed since the last fuse. Buffett shouted, "I only lived this way in 89 years." It is reported that Buffett lost $ 6.8 billion last night. According to incomplete statistics, with the exception of the United States, the stock markets of 11 countries including Canada, Mexico, Japan, South Korea, Thailand, India, the Philippines, Indonesia, Brazil, and Pakistan plummeted. The five largest US technology companies, Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft, had a cumulative market value of $ 416.63 billion. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index shows that the top 15 richest people in the world lost a total of $ 46.4 billion. Market panic or pullback demand? Regarding the meltdown of U.S. stocks this week, Yang Delong, chief economist of Qianhai Open Source Fund, believes that the spread of the epidemic is not the main reason. It is more a decade of bull market for U.S. stocks. Some factors driving the rise of U.S. stocks are quietly changing, such as the Federal Reserve ’s interest rate There is not much space. Regarding this crazy drop in Bitcoin, Apocalypse Capital told InfoQ that there are two main reasons for this drop in Bitcoin: on the one hand, the bearish demand caused by the expected global economic downturn, and on the other hand, Bitcoin Callback requirements themselves. As we all know, Bitcoin will be halved in the second half of the year, but the trading market pays attention to speculation expectations. This round of rise has essentially halved the market. After hitting a high of 10500, Bitcoin is facing a callback demand. Of course, this round of downtrends is so rapid and there are only a handful of recurrences in the history of Bitcoin, which are inextricably linked to the decline in global stock markets, both of which are the result of expectations of a bearish global economy. However, Johnson Xu, chief analyst of TokenInsight, told InfoQ that the Bitcoin dip was mainly due to market panic, because some market participants bought bitcoins by buying mining machines, borrowing, etc., and expected to reduce their expectations by half. A linkage effect caused by everyone being too optimistic about the market. The market is overhyped because Bitcoin is halved, and some market participants are afraid to miss the opportunity to enter the market irrationally. The current market slump is driven by strong irrational behavior, which translates into a rapid downside response and quickly depletes market buyers' liquidity (flattening down). When the overall financial market panic or other unexpected events are caused by the New Crown virus and the global economic slowdown, market participants often seek to withdraw assets such as stocks and bitcoins and convert these assets into cash (cash is king). So has the recent gold sell-off. When the market panics, people ask for cash in the beginning instead of investing in safe-haven assets such as gold. At the same time, because gold is considered a high-quality asset, investors usually start with liquidity crunch and market panic. Cash in on good assets (because inferior assets are more difficult to sell in panic times). The Bitcoin crash this time has a certain connection with the decline in global stock markets, because the entire financial market is a globalized market, and there is more or less linkage between each asset. In addition, Forbes speculated that it may be because PlusToken scammers transferred bitcoins worth more than 100 million US dollars to the mixer, and then sold bitcoins, resulting in rising market supply.
Other people are greedy, I am afraid, others are afraid of me, greedy? In this case, should investors still expect "halving the market"? Johnson Xu believes that there is no such thing as a "half quotation", and most market participants are too optimistic about the halving of Bitcoin. Price fluctuations are not necessarily caused by halving, but may be caused by the sum of other factors. When everyone is saying that they are optimistic about the market, the existence of risk is ignored in the subconscious. At this time, the risk will be actually reflected, and the upside will gradually shrink. Bitcoin halving was written into the code, and it was not an accident. Bitcoin should be halved in a rational way. It is worth looking forward to, but not overly interpreting and speculation. However, Tianqi Capital believes that this plunge is a callback period for bitcoin's halving of the market, and each round of sharp decline also indicates the opportunity of the market outlook: cheap chips will be hoarded, waiting for the next wave of hype and explosion. Therefore, Tianqi Capital still believes that the market outlook of Bitcoin is worth looking forward to, provided that it is not frightened by the current fierce washing of the chips, after all, when the bear market is the worst, it is also when gold is everywhere. Regarding the future trend of Bitcoin, Apocalypse Capital stated that it should judge according to the current trend. In this round of market, Apocalypse Capital initially chose to follow the downward trend of May 18, and Bitcoin has gradually dropped from a high of 10,000 to 3150 points, so the big support level predicted by this round happens to be 3700 today. Near the point. Data monitoring shows that some funds are involved in this price range. But whether it can hold on to this support remains to be tested. If the 3700 support cannot be maintained, it is very likely that it will hit the US $ 2000 level. Tianqi Capital believes that this is the market's last line of defense. Long-term investment is recommended to buy some relatively stable targets, such as BTC, ETH, etc. The bear market will eliminate many currencies, but if it survives, it will shine in the next round. Johnson Xu believes that the plunge is also a test to promote the healthy development of the industry. Extreme market is a test for the entire industry, especially for infrastructure, risk management, etc., so it is still optimistic and supports the development of the industry for a long time. For current investors, Johnson Xu offers the following suggestions:
Other people are greedy, I am afraid, others are afraid of me, greedy.
Global financial markets have also undergone major changes. From the data point of view, I don't think Bitcoin has the attributes of a safe-haven asset, but this market can test whether Bitcoin has a certain risk-avoidance capability. This is a global world. We need to analyze various markets, not just the digital asset market.
In the long run, we are still optimistic about the digital asset industry.
Does Bitcoin have a fusing mechanism? On March 9, after the U.S. stock market crash triggered the fusing mechanism, the market began a discussion of "whether Bitcoin should set up a fusing mechanism". But at present, most people are not optimistic about the Bitcoin fusing mechanism. OKEx CEO Jay Hao said that the fusing mechanism is difficult to implement in the digital currency market. In the face of a highly volatile market, setting the fuse point is a difficult problem. At the same time, for a 7 * 24h market, when a certain exchange breaks down, the price difference between the digital currencies between the platforms will increase, leading to arbitrage, and the fuse mechanism will eventually become a decoration. Du Wan, the co-founder of Contract Emperor, also said that it is unrealistic to use a fuse mechanism in the currency circle. The fusing mechanism first violates the original intention of the decentralization of the blockchain, and at the same time, it will touch the interests of the top of the currency circle ecological chain. For example, large trading teams can no longer use pins to obtain large profits. When the market is panic, exchanges with a fuse mechanism may lose traffic to exchanges without a fuse mechanism because of the run effect of traders. It can be seen that the current risk aversion measures in the traditional stock market are difficult to transfer to the fickle currency market in a short time, and the regulation of this market still has a long way to go. Investors should still be cautious when investing.
Wall Street 2.0: How Blockchain will revolutionise Wall Street and a closer look at Quant Network’s Partnership with AX Trading
AX Trading LLC (AX), a technology-enabled registered broker-dealer and Alternative Trading System (ATS) operator, today announced a strategic partnership withQuant Networka pioneering technology company providing financial and regulatory technology as well as interoperability in financial services, payments and capital markets infrastructure.Through this partnership, Quant Network’s technology, Overledger a blockchain operating system, will enable universal interoperability for regulatory-compliant security tokens and digital assets to be traded on AX ATS, a regulated secondary trading market. AX intends to integrate Overledger to help foster the evolution of traditional capital markets infrastructure to facilitate the mass implementation of interoperable regulated digital assets. With the increased market adoption of digital assets and banking “coins” such as JPMorgan Coin, AX and Quant Network are at the forefront to enable the transferability and movement of digital assets.George O’Krepkie, AX CEO said: “we look forward to partnering with Quant. Their technology will allow our blockchain agnostic security token exchange to communicate seamlessly with issuers, traders, investors, and regulators across different blockchain protocols. This is a key technological breakthrough that will help us bring the benefits of security tokens to Main Street and Wall Street.”It is expected that the first interoperable digital asset offering may commence as soon as January 2020, and that the AX Trading ATS may be ready to enable and list interoperable digital assets and securities in 2020.
An institutional investor is an organization that invests on behalf of the organization's members. They consist of hedge funds, banks, investment banks, pension funds, insurance companies, endowment funds, or any other type of money management firm. Institutional investors account for about three-quarters of the volume on the New York Stock Exchange (which alone handles more than $20 Trillion a year in volume). In the US, Institutional investors own about 80 % of the total market value of the equity (stock) market, which globally is worth more than $73 trillion. Wall Street refers to the institutional investors I mentioned above whereas Main Street refers collectively to members of the general public who are not accredited investors and the overall economy as a whole. Whilst the Equity Market is huge, Institutional investors also invest in other securities which are prime to be tokenised such as Real Estate Market (Globally worth $217 trillion), the Debt Market (Globally worth $215 trillion) and the Derivatives Market (Low end estimates at $544 trillion and high-end estimates at $1.2 quadrillion). All of which makes the current market cap for cryptocurrencies look like a drop in the ocean.
Who are AX Trading?
AX Trading is a SEC-registered broker-dealer and Alternative Trading System (ATS) Operator. They are a member of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)and SIPC ( Securities Investor Protection Corporation) regulated authorities. The SEC has some of the most stringent regulations in the world for listing securities and there are fewer than 50 SEC-registered Alternative Trading System Operators in the United States, of which only a handful are currently implementing Digital Assets. Others are awaiting regulatory approval with Coinbase, Circle etc are all looking at getting into this huge market. https://www.coindesk.com/stonewalled-by-finra-up-to-40-crypto-securities-wait-in-limbo-for-launch AX Trading have investors and sponsored brokers including the likes of Credit Suisse, (a multinational investment Bank and Financial services company worth $27.5 billion). AX currently have over 800 Institutional traders (these are not individuals, but corporations such as hedge funds, banks, investment banks, pension funds, insurance companies, endowment funds etc). AX Trading have also partnered with Euronext, the largest Stock Exchange in Europe with a market cap of $4.65 trillion as of 2018, in the creation of Euronext Block which utilises AX Trading.
What is an Alternative Trading System?
An Alternative Trading System (ATS) is an SEC-regulated trading venue which serves as an alternative to trading at a public exchange. ATS account for much of the liquidity found in publicly traded issues worldwide. They are known as multilateral trading facilities in Europe, electronic communication networks (ECNs), cross networks, and call networks AX is the world’s first “Electronic Trading Network” (ETN) where institutional traders can proactively connect and trade with other counterparties in a secure environment. Unlike traditional stock exchanges/ECNs that show orders to everyone and traditional dark pools/crossing systems that show orders — presumably — to no one, AX allows institutional traders to pick and choose WHOM they want to notify and also WHAT information they want to share with them. Institutional investors may use an ATS to find counterparties for transactions instead of trading large blocks of shares on national stock exchanges. These actions may be designed to conceal trading from public view since ATS transactions do not appear on national exchange order books. The benefit of using an ATS to execute such orders is that it reduces the domino effect that large trades might have on the price of an equity.
How does AX Trading Work?
The AX Trading process begins when one trader sends an “initiated” order to AX. The order can be routed to the AX ATS via one of our broker sponsors such as Credit Suisse. The initiated order triggers a “Call Auction” on AX, a period of time when the order will rest in AX to be matched against other orders from auction responders. The Initiator of an AX auction decides who they want to invite to participate in the auction, whether they be all 800+ institutional members or targeted to specific ones, as well as how much info they want to disclose about the order. Based on these instructions, the AX ATS then notifies the members inviting them to participate in the trade. The invited members can then participate in the trade by either placing buy orders of their own or placing sell orders. At the end of the AX auction period, all orders are brought together, and a match is performed. In the traditional, continuous market with displayed bids and offers, traders are often chasing liquidity. In other words, the price may move away from them the more they buy or sell to what is commonly called “market impact.” On AX, the advantage of their call auction model is it brings liquidity — in the form of participant orders to the buyer rather than them chasing liquidity.
What is a Security Token?
Security Tokens are different than Utility Tokens or Cryptocurrencies. A security token is a digital representation of a traditional security. It may represent shares in a company, interest in a fund, real estate, art collectables, or essentially any asset a party can own. Anthony Pompliano wrote an article explaining tokenised securities in more detail which you can see here
Security Tokens are digital assets subject to federal security regulations. In layman terms, they are the intersection of digital assets (tokens) with traditional financial products — a new technology improving old things.If cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are considered “programmable money” then you can consider Security Tokens a version of “programmable ownership.” This means that any asset with ownership can and will be tokenized (public & private equities, debt, real estate, etc).
The Tokenisation of assets is thereforeinevitable, because it is a better way torecord,exchangeandmonitorasset ownership for all parties involved. The amounts at stake representmany hundreds of trillions of US dollars
What are the benefits of a security token?
Lower Fees — having Smart Contracts and compliance programmed into the token itself removes the need for middlemen, reducing costs. Post Trade businesses such as clearing houses would also no longer be required further reducing costs.
24/7 markets — Currently the major US stock markets trade between 9:30am and 3pm during weekdays only. Trading can be done 24/7 and globally whilst remaining compliant.
Fractional Ownership — This greatly increases liquidity for previously illiquid assets. Real estate, Artwork, even assets such as Oil Refineries are already in talks about being tokenised through Overledger. If you have an asset such as an oil refinery worth billions of dollars, then naturally this limits the market should you ever want to sell it. However with fractional ownership you could own a tiny percentage of it and receive profits from the oil refinery based upon the percentage you own, which exponentially increases the number ofpotential buyers, increasing liquidity.
Rapid Settlement — Currently it takes 3 working days to settle a securities trade, this can be reduced to minutes by having the asset and fiat represented on a blockchain and handled through smart contracts.
Automated compliance — Security tokens are programmable, and rules and regulations are hard-coded into the architecture of the token to ensure they always remain compliant. This means that they can be traded globally and still ensure they respect the relevant countries regulations that the participants are located in.
The benefits that a blockchain provide such as transparency, security, immutability, high availability. Regulators can also run a node and verify compliance in real time.
Security Token Issuance Platforms
Security token issuance platforms allow issuers to issue Security tokens that represent the security such as Shares in their company etc in return for capital. This is known as a Primary Market. Importantly it’s not just the issuance that they look after, it’s the whole life cycle of a digital security to ensure they remain continuously in compliance as they are traded etc. They also provide reporting to the issuer so they can see who owns the tokens and what dividends to pay out. Securitize are one of the leading security tokens issuing platforms. They have created the DS Protocol, a blockchain agnostic protocol for security tokens which manages the whole lifecycle of a digital security, ensuring it remains continuously in compliance. They have issued a number of security tokens on the Ethereum network as well as recently working with IBM to tokenise the Corporate Debt Market (worth $82 Trillion). On the back of this they joined Hyperledger, an open source project which includes Enterprise blockchains such as Hyperledger Fabric which IBM is heavily involved with. https://tokenpost.com/Quant-Network-Securitize-and-others-join-Hyperledger-blockchain-project-1544 They recently also became the first SEC-registered transfer agent, which means Securitize can now act as the official keeper of records about changes of ownership in securities. There are many companies in this sector which are utilising various blockchains, Other examples include:
Harber — R Token protocol for Ethereum
Polymath — ST20 protocol for Ethereum
Blockstate — a security token issuance platform recently announced plans to migrate a number of ERC-20 tokens from the public Ethereum blockchain to the permissioned blockchain R3 Corda
Whilst the issuance platforms above generally also include their own exchange where the token can be traded on, secondary markets such as those offered through traditional stock exchanges and Alternative Trading Systems provide significantly more liquidity. Traditional Stock Exchanges have been very active in blockchain with some going through proof of concepts, to those like SIX SDX Digital Exchange which is due to launch later this year. They are using various blockchains and cover the full process from Issuance, Trading and Post Trade / Settlement services. I have briefly outlined which blockchain they are using / testing with along with source to read more about it below:
Switzerland’s Stock Exchange — SIX Digital Exchange issue, trading, settlement, custody — Corda — Source
Largest Stock Exchange in Germany — Deutsche Borse Franfurt Stock Exchange — Corda — Source and Source
South Korea’s Stock Exchange — Korea Exchange — Hyperledger Fabric — Source and Source
Japan’s Stock Exchange — Tokyo Stock Exchange — Hyperledger Fabric — Source which the consortium has now grown to 44 companies. Tokyo Stock Exchange are also testing JP Morgan’s Quorum for voting on the blockchain — Source
London Stock Exchange Group — Hyperledger Fabric — Source . They are also invested in Nivaura which utilises Ethereum — Source
Largest Stock Exchange in Europe — Euronext — Permissioned Ethereum via Liquidshare — Source as well as recently investing in Tokeny a blockchain based project based on public version of Ethereum — Source
Situated at the end of the post-trading process, CSDs are systemically important intermediaries. They thereby form a critical part of the securities market’s post-trade infrastructure, as they are where changes of securities ownership are ultimately registered. CSDs play a special role both as a depository, involving the legal safekeeping and maintenance of securities in a ‘central depository’ on behalf of custodians (both in materialised or dematerialised form); as well as for the issuer, involving the issuance of further securities by issuers, and their onboarding onto CSDs’ platforms. CSDs are also keeping a number of other important functions, including: dividend, interest, and principal processing; corporate actions including proxy voting; payment to transfer agents, and issuers involved in these processes; securities lending and borrowing; and, provide pledging of share and securities. Blockchain technology will enable real-time settlement finality in the securities world. This could mean the end of a number of players in the post-trade area, such as central counterparty clearing houses (CCPs), custodians and others. Central Security Despositories (CSD) will still play an important role according to reports: “CSDs could have an important role to play in a blockchain-based settlement system. As ‘custodians of the code, CSDs could exercise oversight of, and take responsibility for, the operation of the relevant blockchain protocol and any associated smart contracts.” Euroclear Report Another group of 30 central securities depositories (CSDs) in Europe and Asia are researching possible ways to “join hands” in developing a new infrastructure to custody digital assets. The CSDs will attempt to figure out how to apply their experience in guarding stock certificates to security solutions for crypto assets. “A new world of tokenized assets and blockchain is coming. It will probably disrupt our role as CSDs. The whole group decided we will be focusing on tokenized assets, not just blockchain but on real digital assets.” You can read more about how blockchain will affect CSD’s here Examples of CSD’s in blockchain
SIX Digital Exchange and Deutsche Borse are utilising Corda as explained in the trading venues section
DTCC the largest in the US process 1.7 Quadrillion US Dollars of securities every year and are planning on moving their Trade Information Warehouse to Axoni’s AXCore Blockchain (Based on permissioned version of Ethereum) later this year — Source
Canada CDS are using the Quartz blockchain from Indian IT Services Company Tata Consultancy Services — Source
Euroclear in collaboration with the European Investment Bank (EIB), Banco Santander, and EY are developing a blockchain solution — Source
French CSD’s too soon go live on Setl Blockchain — Source and Source
Russia’s National Settlement Depository is launching a blockchain project using D3ledger (based off Hyperledger) — Source
The Importance Of Interoperability
The evolution of DLT and the wide adoption across industries and across different market segments is resulting in many different ledgers networks, but the ultimate promise of DLT can only be realized when all ledger networks can seamlessly interoperate. — from the recent DTCC whitepaper with Accenture Some challenges and constraints related to the market infrastructure ecosystem remain open and will need to be addressed in the future to sustain the development of DLT platforms for trading and the post-trade process.At this stage, the questions of interoperability and standardization across these DLT (probably permissioned) platforms remain open and we may see a list of platforms offering no scope for interconnection. This will prevent them from fulfilling the key “distribution” criterion of DLT.Another related challenge that may determine whether or not the technology is adopted is the ability to provide Delivery versus Payment (DvP) settlement, in particular in central bank money. Nevertheless, it is worth mentioning that settlement can also be facilitated in commercial bank money. —https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/Deloitte/lu/Documents/technology/lu-token-assets-securities-tomorrow.pdf
It’s clear from the above that interoperability will be crucial in order to unlock the true potential of Distributed Ledger Technology. Issuance platforms will seek to interoperate with as many secondary exchanges as possible to provide maximum liquidity for issuers. Issuance platforms and secondary exchanges are each using a wide range of different blockchains that all need to interoperate as part of the trade process. CSD’s will also need to have interoperability between other CSD’s as well as to the secondary exchanges (again each using different blockchains).
Enter Quant Network’s Overledger
Quant Network’s blockchain operating system, Overledger, provides interoperability between any current and future distributed ledger technology as well as easily connecting Off Chain / Legacy networks as well as plans to connect directly to the Internet. Within 10 months it has proven it can provide interoperability with the full range of DLT technologies from all the leading Enterprise Permissioned blockchains such as Hyperledger, R3’s Corda, JP Morgan’s Quorum, permissioned variants of Ethereum and Ripple (XRPL) as well as the leading Public Permissionless blockchains / DAGs such as Bitcoin, Stellar, Ethereum, IOTA and EOS as well as the most recent blockchain to get added Binance Chain. All without imposing restrictions on connected chains, being Internet scalable and able to easily integrate into existing networks / infrastructure. https://preview.redd.it/8p6hi942t0m31.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=b0536ea9981306feb8bd95788c66e9a5727a4d58 Overledger a blockchain operating system, will enable universal interoperability for regulatory-compliant security tokens and digital assets to be traded on AX ATS, a regulated secondary trading market. AX intends to integrate Overledger to help foster the evolution of traditional capital markets infrastructure to facilitate the mass implementation of regulated digital assets. With the increased market adoption of digital assets and banking “coins” such as JPMorgan Coin, AX and Quant Network are at the forefront to enable the transferability and movement of digital assets https://www.quant.network/blog/redefining-wall-st-with-decentralised-capital-market-infrastructure-the-possibilities-of-quant-networks-overledger-technology-in-regulated-capital-markets Overledger enables Universal Interoperability where digital assets can move across blockchains so that they can interact with smart contracts on different blockchains. It does this by locking the asset on one blockchain and then representing it on another blockchain either by creating a representing token or representing it via metadata. This will enable all of these different parties such as Issuance platforms, Exchanges, CSD’s, traders etc to move the digital asset from their respective blockchain onto AX Trading’s platform for secure, immediate and immutable trading to take place. Potentially it would even allow Digital Assets / Securities to settled on a public permissionless blockchain such as the recently connected Binance Chain in a completely safe, secure and compliant way. https://preview.redd.it/a3o9qxq5t0m31.png?width=443&format=png&auto=webp&s=78d7a7e7d47213bbb354336ba9d5ad92c1c2254a Regulators would be able to run a node and view transactions in real time ensuring that compliance is being kept. Potentially they could also benefit from using Quant Networks Multichain Search capability http://search.quant.network/ to be able to fully track assets as they move across blockchains.
George O’Krepkie, AX CEO said: “we look forward to partnering with Quant. Their technology will allow our blockchain agnostic security token exchange to communicate seamlessly with issuers, traders, investors, and regulators across different blockchain protocols. This is a key technological breakthrough that will help us bring the benefits of security tokens to Main Street and Wall Street.”
AX Trading have also partnered with Securrency (who have previously tokenised over $260 million in real estate assets). Securrency provide a protocol that enables security tokens to remain in compliance regardless of what blockchain the token is on. Due to the layered approach that Overledger has adopted from the learnings of TCP/IP, this protocol can be easily integrated on top of Overledger to enable security tokens to move across blockchains as well as ensuring they remain in compliance with regulations programmed into the token. https://youtu.be/vSQ2fu9iZGs
Delivery vs Payment (DvP)
A DvP transaction involves the settlement of two linked obligations, namely the delivery of securities and the payment of cash. DvP avoids counterparties being exposed to principal risk, i.e. the risk that the seller of securities could deliver but would not receive payment or that the buyer of securities could make payment but would not receive delivery.Following this requirement, a DvP securities settlement mechanism has to ensure that the delivery of securities and the payment of cash are linked in a way where one leg (obligation) of the securities trade is conditioned to the final settlement of the other leg (obligation) of the trade. Thereby final settlement is defined as “the irrevocable and unconditional transfer of an asset or financial instrument, or the discharge of an obligation by the FMI or its participants in accordance with the terms of the underlying contract”. —STELLA — a joint research project of the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan
We have seen how Overledger can provide interoperability for the securities to move across Issuers platforms, integrate with Stock exchanges, Central Security Depositories and AX Trading. Now we need to be able to ensure that payment is guaranteed and in a way that offers immediate settlement which is irrevocable. To do this we need to represent FIAT on the blockchain so that it can interact with smart contracts and settle transactions on the blockchain.
J.P.Morgan is the largest bank in the United States and ranked by S&P Global as the sixth largest bank in the world by total assets as of 2018, to the amount of $2.535 trillion. J.P. Morgan was the first U.S. bank to create and successfully test a digital coin representing a fiat currency. The JPM Coin is based on blockchain-based technology enabling the instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional clients. With J.P.Morgan’s $2.6 trillion balance sheet, expertise in blockchain and global payments network, J.P. Morgan can seamlessly and securely transfer and settle money for clients around the world. J.P. Morgan are supervised by banking regulators in the United States and in the international jurisdictions in which it operates.
How does JPM Coin work?
A Buyer purchases JPM coins in advance which get represented on the Permissioned Quorum blockchain ($1 =1 JPM Coin). Quant Network’s Overledger could then provide interoperability to lock those tokens on Quorum and represent those onto another blockchain / AX Trading’s Network. By being able to represent securities and FIAT on the same blockchain (even though the underlying assets are on different blockchains) this provides instant finality / settlements to occur. Once the seller receives the JPM coin in exchange for the securities they have sold they will be able to redeem them for USD. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to have a JP Morgan account to redeem them, you could imagine in the future that the Bank instead redeems the JPM Coin and credits the users account. Similarly the buyer of the security token redeems the represented token and unlocks the security token on the original blockchain. You can read more about JP Morgan’s Coin here as well as its use cases
J.P Morgan is betting that its first-mover status and large market share in corporate payments — it banks 80 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500 — will give its technology a good chance of getting adopted, even if other banks create their own coins.“Pretty much every big corporation is our client, and most of the major banks in the world are, too,” Farooq said. “Even if this was limited to JPM clients at the institutional level, it shouldn’t hold us back.”
Overledger enables different securities tokens / digital coins representing FIAT currencies to be brought together from the various permissioned / permissionless blockchains onto one platform where trading / settlement can take place. Overledger is the only technology that can do this today across the leading permissioned and permissionless blockchains as well as existing networks, all in a secure, scalable and easy to integrate way. https://preview.redd.it/ngt7q7hdt0m31.png?width=738&format=png&auto=webp&s=60166bdc0fcdf72a502e3472a09de5ddb5e1eb69 Quant Network are working with AX Trading to bring more digital assets, securities and tokenised assets to their existing 800 institutional traders in an already live and connected FINRA and SEC regulated exchange. AX Trading is not just about trading securities but other digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and potentially even Quant in the Future. https://preview.redd.it/ibecorcft0m31.png?width=1286&format=png&auto=webp&s=94540cf49654e36a8155f424c2a4bdb5fd549558 This is a multi-trillion dollar market with huge global enterprises, traditional exchanges and global banks are all adopting DLT at a rapid pace and going into production at scale in a matter of months, examples include the NYSE Bakkt launching Bitcoin futures later this month, Swiss Stock Exchange ($1.6 Trillion market Cap) is due to launch their digital exchange running on Corda (SDX) by the end of the year. The DTCC are due to launch their Trade Information Warehouse which processes $10 Trillion of cleared and bilateral derivatives by the end of the year. JP Morgan who transfer $6 Trillion every day are due to launch their JPM coin at the end of year and AX Trading is due to offer their first digital asset by January 2020. Quant Network’ Overledger enables the bridging of traditional finance infrastructure with the new decentralised finance infrastructure DeFi of the future, helping to redefine Wall Street and Capital Markets. https://medium.com/@CryptoSeq/wall-street-2-0-17252ffd8919
Last three years Over-The-Counter cryptocurrency market keeps on growing in volume and clients amount across the globe according to many reports of brokers and companies involved in the process. OTC turnover in 2018 amounted to more than 5.47 trillion USD equivalent1.
Lack of liquidity — crypto exchanges have low liquidity. OTC desks are good for pushing through large trade orders searching for market liquidity.
Price protection, Anonymity — OTC is good for moving large orders which avoids impacting the price, e.g. 1,000 BTC. Order depth will not show up like it does on an exchange.
No fiat onramp — few crypto exchanges have a fiat onramp (though Binance is working on it and already have some solutions in place in Asia).
Avoid price ‘slippage’ — price slippage occurs on exchanges when the executed price is different to the expected price.
Avoid prohibitive crypto exchange limits — the majority of crypto exchanges have prohibitive trading limits. For example, Coinbase limits purchases to $25,000 per day. Kraken only lets you withdraw $2,500 per day and $20,000 per month. Circle imposes withdrawal limit of $3,000 per week.
Who are the main buyers and sellers?
At the moment, the main buyers are hedge funds and the main sellers are miners. In Oct 2018, it was reported in Reddit Rumours that hedge funds were buying large volumes from miners. The main participants trading crypto OTC are:
Hedge funds, smaller asset managers, family offices (buyers).
Regulated broker-dealers (on account).
Crypto exchange OTC desks (on account).
What are the main problems?
Settlement risk — there is no guarantee the asset will be delivered, or cash will be paid. Coin transfer often happens much faster than the wire payment transfer (often by several hours).
No custody solution — most OTC brokers don’t provide a custody solution (or provide a very limited service), which can increase settlement and operational risk.
Multi-jurisdictional KYC issues — dealing with countries with poor KYC regulations can be a deal breaker.
If you execute through an OTC broker you need, for example, to deliverthe ETH to the broker. There is no guarantee the broker's client will pay.
The larger the order the greater the risk of default with multiple counterparties.
OTC crypto is missing themonitoring and surveillance tools of traditional trading systems.
What we do?
ROX Capital AG team is working on Decentralised Finance technology which brings fully trustless direct asset exchange tools to customers of OTC companies and crypto exchanges. ROX is designed the platform that helps to build trust between exchange members based on a trustless technology which retains assets control by beneficiaries on any stage of a process. The system of Smart Contracts provides a simple tool that help participants exchange Proof-of-Funds in seconds without moving funds to a broker or third party escrow until needed amount and price requirements achieved from both sides. https://preview.redd.it/whg9i0tfby841.png?width=2030&format=png&auto=webp&s=cef1a68fe3b1bdf0e958cbdc6b8f72736b2ec613
SaaS Provider for OTC and other Institutionals
Trustless Smart Contract Network4
Impersonal Orders with Proof-of-Funds from KYC Verified Members
Integration with third party OTC desk
Referral program for Agents and Deal Merge Fee Trustee
Onchain trustless deals initiate by manager or beneficiary
Cross-chain5 Trustless DLT System
4 Trustless Network is based on blockchain opportunities, the system provides manager or beneficiary to setup terms for each deal, including price, referral fee amount, choose exact whitelisted tokens for both sides of exchange, also minimum transaction volume or fix lot for change. The all details are transparent and available in blockchain comments and through the provided interface for both sides. 5 On the first stage we provide Ethereum ERC-20 based MVP which is demonstrate the concept and during the public Beta-test continue working with Bitcoin blockchain integration stability. Two or more OTC brokers can merge any deal, set-up needed fee size and share it through built in partner program. Time is saved for all market participants — from agreement to transfer receipt both sides could spend less than 1 hour, instead of days or weeks. Anonymity is protected — large impersonal reliable orders and no needed meetings anymore. As the majority of brokers execute based on Request for Quote (RFQ) and ‘Fill or Kill’ (FOK). That’s why we created four types of contracts:
FOK with two participants and fix lot order.
FOK with two participants and minimum order amount.
One side offer can be filled with unlimited transactions from second side and minimum order amount.
One side offer can be filled with unlimited transactions from second side with fix lot order.
Contracts can be declined by initiator any time before lot or minimum order amount fulfilment. If declined, all funds returns to senders without any fees. Same as escrow but trustless.
Web app cabinet, where broker prepare a deal in three simple steps: choosing contract type, fill up details (tokens for buyer and seller, price, lot/minimum amount, fee, other additional details) and creates contract with transparent accepted by participants terms.
White label integration.
The service is provided under an agreement B2B to a companies authorised to proceed exchanges of crypto assets for their customers according to regulatory agreements in the countries where entities operating. ROXY launch Q1, 2020Early access is going in January [Request for beta](mailto:[email protected]) Follow updates in telegram channel.
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