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June 2012

Kraken Futures Trading Nears $1 Billion in First Month

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Kraken

Kraken

Crypto is nowhere close to being dead. Kraken’s newly acquired Crypto Facilities has seen around $1 billion traded in crypto futures already in February, according to an article released today by CoinDesk. Sui Chung, Crypto Facilities’ head of pricing products and indices, told CoinDesk that futures trades have grown more than 500% since Kraken acquired the futures exchange.

Kraken Acquires Crypto Facilities

On February 4th, US-based cryptocurrency exchange Kraken announced the acquisition of Crypto Facilities. At the time, the cryptocurrency exchange didn’t release the exact figures for the transaction and just called it a ‘nine-figure’ deal. Later, it was released that Kraken bought the index trading platform for $100 million. Crypto Facilities provides Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH) reference rates to the CME Group—one of the first groups to list Bitcoin Futures contracts in the US.

Since the acquisition, it seems that Crypto Facilities traffic has increased four times. Chung told CoinDesk that the company’s daily users have “gone up by a factor of four” and the traffic growth has been seen across all its platforms.

Currently, Crypto Facilities offers cryptocurrency future trades for Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), XRP, Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). Chung says that the nearly $1 billion in futures trades last month was spread out between all the coins offered and thinks Kraken’s acquisition helped.

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Crypto Facilities did not say what the pre-acquisition numbers were, but from the five days after the acquisition was announced, the volume of trades jumped up on-average 565%.

Cheung told CoinDesk:

“On average [looking at] the five days before the announcement and five days after, the liquidity for our contracts increased by over 200 percent and some of the minor [coin] contracts increased by over 1,000 percent.”

In February, Crypto Facilities saw its user base grow over 400% last month as well. The total cryptocurrency market saw a spike last month and accompanied by the latest Kraken news it just goes to show that interest in digital currencies is still alive and well.

Featured Image: Pixabay

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France Pushes to Block Development of Libra in Europe

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Libra

Libra

France’s Minister of the Economy and Finance has said the country will block the development of Libra in Europe as it threatens “monetary sovereignty.”

Bruno Le Maire stated that he had serious concerns about the disruption the planned Facebook-led cryptocurrency could have on governments’ economic power at a meeting of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development in Paris. “This eventual privatization of money contains risks of abuse of dominant position, risks to sovereignty and risks for consumers and for companies,” said Le Maire on the subject of Libra.

Libra would be decentralized like all other cryptocurrencies; however, control of the heavily scrutinized coin would be in the hands of a Swiss-based non-profit organization. “Any breakdown in the functioning of this currency, in the management of its reserves, could create considerable financial disruption. All these concerns about Libra are serious. I therefore want to say with plenty of clarity: in these conditions, we cannot authorise the development of Libra on European soil,” continued the French minister, stopping short of offering a plan on how to do so.

In a further setback to Libra in its attempts to launch in Europe, German parliamentarian Thomas Heilmann, who is responsible for blockchain policy within his CDU party, reaffirmed the apprehensions of his French counterpart by saying “no private entity can claim monetary power, which is inherent to the sovereignty of nations.” The European Commission responded by saying it would assess all aspects of Libra to further understand the potential issues raised by Le Maire.

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Today’s news continues to add to Libra’s regulatory misery, following a warning from the US Treasury that the cryptocurrency must comply with the highest regulatory compliance standards before it is launched. With this intense series of regulatory setbacks, coupled with news that some investors were getting cold feet and considering withdrawing their stake, one could begin to wonder if Libra will ever see the light of day.

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © poringdown@gmail.com

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Bitcoin Mining Equipment Demand is Exceeding Supply

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Bitcoin Mining

Bitcoin Mining

As the world’s largest crypto by market cap hurtles past 11k, the demand for new Bitcoin mining equipment is exceeding supply. Now, manufacturers are feeling the pressure to produce enough machines to meet this demand.

Are we revisiting the same issue that occurred at the end of 2017, where demand was three times that of supply? It looks like it.

Bitcoin Mining is in Demand

Bitcoin price surged past $10,000 USD over the weekend and is already looking comfortable at $11,368 per coin.

Though not quite at its all-time high of $20,000, Bitcoin’s current price is still a 200% jump since February. While this is great for investors, miners are feeling the pressure, as according to Steven Mosher of Canaan Creative, the maker of the Avalon Miner:

“The surge in bitcoin resulted in increased demand and supplies were already short […] the current state of the industry is that inventories are down and demand is high.”

To deal with the surge, Bitcoin mining companies such as Canaan Creative are developing newer mining models that aim to mine faster using less wattage.

New Miners

Canaan’s latest is an updated version of its Avalon 851 machine, called the AvalonMiner 1041. This model is expected to compute 37 tera hashes per second (TH/s) with electricity consumption at 2,361 watts per hour.

By comparison, the older 851 model computes 14.5Th/s, consuming 1450 watts an hour.

As stated, demand for this equipment is exploding with Mosher detailing that pre-orders for such models are already backlogged to October.

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Other Bitcoin mining companies are also feeling the burn. Only last week, Bitmain rolled out updated versions of its Antminer S9 model called the AntMiner S9 SE and S9k.

There is good news too, of course, for miners. With Bitcoin price rising and business booming, the time it takes for new mining equipment to pay for itself has decreased significantly. Data from TokenInsight estimates that in Q2, the average payback period for most mining equipment was between 60–150 days. Prior to this, the payback period ranged between 120–280 days.

What are your thoughts on Bitcoin above 11k? Will it keep going? Will Bitcoin mining meet the demand?

Featured Image: DepositPhotos © SectoR_2010

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HTC’s Blockchain Phone | Native Crypto Wallet Now Available

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Blockchain Phone

According to CoinTelegraph, HTC’s blockchain phone, Exodus 1, now allows users to trade cryptocurrency directly from the phone’s native crypto wallet. The Taiwanese technology giant made the announcement early on Tuesday.

Exodus 1 Blockchain Phone – Native Wallet Trading

HTC’s Zion Vault will now allow swaps between various cryptocurrencies. The new feature is the result of a partnership with Kyber Network—a dedicated platform for cross-token trading solutions. HTC has added Kyber’s liquidity protocol and this allows easy swaps.

The swapping pairs include Ethereum-based ERC-20 tokens, including basic attention token (BAT), Kyber network (KNC) and dai (DAI). The platform removes the need to send tokens to intermediaries such as exchanges. Swaps are performed entirely on-chain, according to HTC who added that “fast and secure” crypto trading within mobile apps will enhance the user experience in using crypto.

The phone maker also announced earlier in the week that it has a low-cost version of the Exodus 1 due for release in Q3 2019. This phone called the Exodus 1S will also have the option of running a Bitcoin network full node.

Samsung

HTC is not the only tech giant to release a cryptocurrency phone. Samsung released the Galaxy S10 in February this year. The phone includes storage for private cryptocurrency keys.

Also, Sirin Labs released it’s blockchain phone ‘Finney’ in December of 2018. The Finney was developed off the back of an initial coin offering that raised $157 million in 2018. The phone has its own cold storage wallet built in and is described by Chief Marketing Officer Nimrod May as “a second device in the same housing as the phone.

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To keep a users crypto safe, the Finney has a separate processor and its own LCD screen, in which the user inputs their seed phrase.

What do you think of blockchain phones? Are you a fan and would you trust keeping your crypto on them? Let us know your thoughts!

Featured Image: deposit photos/tsiban

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