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Binance Drops Out of CryptoCompare’s Top 10 Exchanges

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Binance

Binance

Binance has sunk to 12th in the top ten cryptocurrency exchanges, according to the latest list published by London-based crypto data provider CryptoCompare.

In what is the second edition of the list of top ten exchanges from CryptoCompare, with the first being published in June of this year, Binance has fallen from 8th to 12th, despite being the second-largest exchange in the world in terms of volume. CryptoCompare’s list takes far more aspects into account than just volume, including legal aspects, data transparency, security, the presence of negative reviews about the platform, and the effectiveness of monitoring trading activity, among others.

The top ten now includes the likes of Gemini, itBit, Coinbase, Kraken, Bitstamp, Liquid, OKEx, Poloniex, bitFlyer, and Bitfinex. CryptoCompare co-founder and CEO Charles Hayter attributed Binance’s hack in May as the main factor in its falling position. “Our new benchmark includes a category that takes into account recent hacker attacks. Since Binance was recently hacked, this affected the security component.”

Gemini has taken the top spot on the list, as it places security as a top priority on its platform. “Security has been a key Gemini pillar since inception and protecting our customers’ cryptocurrency is a priority as we build the future of money,” said Jeanine Hightower-Sellitto, managing director of operations at Gemini. The new data also found that only 8% of exchanges use a custody provider to store user assets, and only 4% of exchanges offer third-party insurance in the event of a hack, with Binance offering neither.

>> Grayscale Files to Become First SEC Reporting Crypto Fund

Binance was hacked for the second time back in May, with hackers making off with approximately  7,000 Bitcoin, which was valued at around $40 million USD at the time. The breach was isolated to just one wallet, which contained 2% of the exchange’s entire Bitcoin holdings. The source of the hack remains unknown, and the funds were not relocated.

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Coinbase Earned About $2 Billion in Trading Fees Since 2012

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Coinbase

Coinbase

Over the years, crypto exchanges have become the most important part of the entire ecosystem, and among the many exchanges, Coinbase is definitely one of the most influential. It has grown into one of the biggest exchanges in the world and the exchange of choice for millions in the United States, the most important market for any business.

Solid Numbers

The company’s Chief Executive Officer Brian Armstrong recently spoke at Vanity Fair’s New Establishment Summit and stated that the company has notched up $2 billion fees since its inception. The company was established in 2012, and over the years, it has become an integral part of the crypto space.

The event took place on Wednesday, October 23, and Armstrong spoke at length about the way the company goes about its business. While it is true that Coinbase has been a profitable business for a long time, the company remains focused on innovative technology. In addition to the transaction fees it has generated since its inception, the exchange has also managed to remain profitable since as far back as 2017.

Armstrong stated that the company invests the profits in the business. He said, “Most of these profits we’re plowing back into the business to create new products. I sort of think of us as the anti-unicorn unicorn. I want Coinbase to be a company of repeatable innovation.”

>> Bitcoin Sinks to Five-Month Low Following Zuckerberg Testimony

It is particularly important to note that the company remained profitable during a period that coincided with the crypto slump of 2018 and perhaps goes to show that it is a highly resilient business. That was not all that Armstrong. He also spoke about Facebook’s troubled crypto project Libra and stated that the United States should embrace innovations of all kinds. However, the main headline from the discussion was the eye-popping figure in transaction fees that Coinbase has managed to earn since 2012, and it is almost certain that it is going to earn much more in the future.

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Is Coinbase Launching an Initial Exchange Offering (IEO) Platform?

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Coinbase

Coinbase

The cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has shown interest in the launch of an initial exchange offering (IEO) platform.

The huge surge in popularity that Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have enjoyed over the course of the past few years is due to a lot of factors. One of the most important ones is the various crypto exchanges which made it possible for millions of people to easily buy and sell these tokens.

Key Details

Among the hundreds of crypto exchanges that have been established over the years, Coinbase has proven to be one of the most influential. In a new development, Coinbase has announced that it is exploring the possibility of establishing its own initial exchange offering platform.

Over the years, the exchange has gone on to become one of the most popular exchanges in the United States and in other places. Moreover, it has been known for being at the forefront of innovation. During a conference in Asia, the company’s chief of institutional sales in Asia, Kayvon Pirestani, spoke about Coinbase’s plans. During the discussion, Pirestani stated that IEOs have proven to be an exciting new opportunity in the crypto space, and the company is considering getting in on the action at some point.

>> Facebook Libra Must Follow US Rules, Says Treasury Official

As everyone knows, the initial coin offering (ICO) has become a problematic way of raising money for crypto projects since, over the years, plenty of unscrupulous characters have indulged in scams. Hence, IEOs have now emerged as the preferred means of raising money for a project. When it comes to an IEO, the exchange reviews the projects and then gives the go-ahead for a listing.

The whole process takes place in such a way that investors are protected from any scam. In such a situation, it is only natural for an exchange like Coinbase to get into it. The company has the reputation, the infrastructural advantage, and the leverage of a large user base to make it into a success. It remains to be seen when the company announces the launch.

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Binance Hack | Hackers Make Off With $40 Million in BTC

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Binance Hack

Binance Hack

According to Bloomberg, major cryptocurrency exchange Binance has suffered another hack. This time the hackers withdrew 7,000 Bitcoin, which values approximately $40 million USD. This is the second major breach the exchange has faced, the first being an incident in March 2018.

A notorious issue in the crypto-space, hacks have claimed $1.7 billion USD in 2018 alone.

Binance Hack

Via a post on its website, the exchange said that the hack occurred through a single transaction in a “large scale security breach.”

It furthered that the hackers used a “variety of techniques” including phishing and viruses to gather large quantities of user data. The exchange also warned that there may be additional accounts that are yet unaccounted for but have been affected.

Detailing the hack, Binance said:

“The transaction is structured in a way that passed our existing security checks. It was unfortunate that we were not able to block this withdrawal before it was executed. Once executed, the withdrawal triggered various alarms in our system. We stopped all withdrawals immediately after that.”

The hack was isolated to one wallet—Binance’s BTC hot wallet—which holds 2% of the company’s entire Bitcoin holding. It furthered that all other wallets are secure and unharmed.

The post went on to say the following:

“The hackers had the patience to wait, and execute well-orchestrated actions through multiple seemingly independent accounts at the most opportune time […] We must conduct a thorough security review. The security review will include all parts of our systems and data.”

Binance Hack Security Review

This security review will take about a week, during which all deposits and withdrawals are suspended. Trading remains active, however, to allow investors to change their positions.

>> Ethereum Price Jumps 8%: CTFC Approving Futures Trading Soon?

As the news is fresh, the company is still unsure whether or not the hackers still control some accounts and could “use those to influence prices in the meantime.” Traders will be fully covered and no user funds affected, as Binance will use its emergency insurance fund called the Secure Asset Fund for Users.

Bitcoin dropped 3% in early morning trade upon the news. It has since pared those losses, however, and is currently up 0.17%, selling for $5,937 USD.

Does the Binance hack affect you? Are you concerned?

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Swiss Digital Exchange to Launch Initial Digital Offering Next Year

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Swiss Digital

Swiss Digital

Swiss stock exchange firm Six Group’s cryptocurrency trading platform Swiss Digital Exchange has announced that it will be launching an initial digital offering (IDO).

The firm has already organized a group of financial institutions across the globe that will support the IDO. The IDO, which will take place next year, will be similar to a traditional IPO but the shares will be in the form of digital tokens offered on the SDX platform.

Investors to Help Build SDX Business

Thomas Kindler, the CEO of SDX, indicated that the consortium of institutions includes investors from the banking sector and market infrastructure, as well as developers. He said the IDO aims to raise capital as well as legitimizing the technology. He added that the focus is to get investors who can help the business and assist in validating the technology off the ground.

The CEO did not disclose who the members of the consortium are or how much SDX wants to generate. He only confirmed that SDX will be the majority equity holder. Already, five big investors and close to 10 small investors have shown interest in taking part in the IDO.

SDX to Introduce Own Security Token

The company plans to introduce its SDX security token deviating from the original plan to tokenize conventional banking assets and real estate assets. Issuance of the SDX token will be on a blockchain platform built through R3’s Corda Enterprise. Regarding the security tokens, the CEO said that they are considering having a two-phased approach. The first will involve the international group of investors, and the other involves the firm’s issuance.

>> Tether Becomes the Most Used Cryptocurrency in the World

The firm announced last week the launch of the prototype version of its digital assets exchange and central securities depository (CSD). The full launch of the CSD will be in the fourth quarter of 2020 rather than the originally scheduled summer of 2019. The firm indicated that the prototype aims to demonstrate the future of financial markets. The CEO indicated that key elements consist of customization and integration of the security token to the firm’s current connectivity.

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UPbit Loses $49 Million Worth of Crypto in Major Hack

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UpBit

UpBit

UPbit, a South Korean-based crypto exchange, has lost 342,000 worth of ether (ETH), accounting for approximately $49 million USD, in a hack earlier today.

UPbit Says Investors Assets Are Safe

The exchange has suspended its deposit and withdrawal service after confirming in a statement that the assets had been stolen from the Upbeat Ethereum hot wallet to a previously unknown wallet address. UPbit has said that it will cover the losses but added that it may take at least two weeks before the exchange’s services are fully functional again. Any remaining cryptocurrency in the exchange’s hot wallet has been transferred to a hardware-based cold wallet storage system that is not internet accessible.

UPbit said in its statement: “At approximately 13:06 on November 27th, 2019 (KST), 342,000 ETH was sent from Upbit’s Ethereum hot wallet to an anonymous wallet address-0xa09871AEadF4994Ca12f5c0b6056BBd1d343c029. We took immediate actions to protect your assets, and no investors’ assets were lost.”

An Inside Job?

The nature of the hack has led some speculators to believe that it may have been an inside job. Cointelegraph reporter Joseph Young tweeted, “The ‘hacker’ timed when UPbit was making crypto transfers to its cold wallet (other alts like TRON, etc.). Hence, I think the probability of it being an inside job is higher than external breach.”

In today’s statement, UPbit said that it deemed the 342,000 ETH transaction to be the only suspicious transaction on the ledger, despite there being several other major transactions with more than $100 million USD worth of multiple cryptocurrencies having been sent out from the exchange today. While the ETH, TRX, and BTT transactions were transferred to an unknown wallet, subsequent Stellar (XLM), OMG, and EOS transfers were made from UPbit to crypto exchange Bittrex.

>> Binance Launches Tezos (XTZ) Margin Trading: Key Points to Watch

UPbit was initially launched as a partnership between Bittrex and South Korean app maker Dunamu, which is backed by messaging giant Kakao.

This is not the first such instance of UPbit getting caught up in suspect activity, Last year, the exchange was accused of fraud by South Korean authorities, but a subsequent audit found no evidence of illicit activity.

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Coinbase Announces Dash Listing | What We Know

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Dash

Dash

Last week, Coinbase conducted an exploration period with cryptocurrency Dash. All must have gone well, considering headlines today are consisting of the exchange’s official listing of the coin.

Here are the details.

Coinbase Listing Dash: The Facts

Earlier last month, Coinbase said it conducted a report that explored eight cryptocurrencies. Dash was one of those virtual currencies, and it is the first to receive approval from the crypto exchange. The other currencies reviewed included Cosmos, Harmony, Waves, Matic, Ontology, and Algorand. In addition to being the 16th largest cryptocurrency, Dash is a proof-of-work digital asset, focusing primarily on security and payments.

According to the exchange, Dash has been listed on Coinbase Pro, which is one of the largest virtual currency exchanges by volume. The decision to list on Coinbase Pro is an investigative decision, according to CoinDesk.

The CEO of Dash Core Group, Ryan Taylor, spoke on the news in an interview with CoinDesk, saying the following: “Dash implements a privacy technique called CoinJoin. CoinJoin has been implemented a number of times on the bitcoin blockchain. Dash is one of the first which is why it probably has been labelled as a privacy coin.” Taylor added: “This is what Coinbase understands and what we’ve been educating exchanges and regulators about.”

>> Deutsche Bank Joins JPMorgan’s Interbank Information Network Platform

More Listings to Come?

When Coinbase announced it was looking at eight cryptocurrencies, many thought that all of these products would get listed. The exchange did say, however, that because listing announcements are becoming more frequent, it will only announce the additions closer to the launch date: “Because listing announcements will become more frequent, we expect to publicly announce the addition of new assets only at or near the time of public launch across one or more Coinbase products.”

Takeaway

What do you think about Coinbase listing dash? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Binance Announces Tezos Support and Acquisition of Dapp Platform

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Binance

Binance

Binance, the world’s second-largest crypto exchange by daily volume, has announced that it will begin supporting Tezos (XTZ) staking and also announced its acquisition of Beijing-based DappReview, which offers data-driven research and advertising services to blockchain-based decentralized applications (dapps).

Beginning from tomorrow, December 4, Binance users will be able to trade with XTZ and will begin distributing XTZ staking rewards on January 20, and on the 20th of each month thereafter. The exchange said that it will not charge for the staking service, unlike rivals Coinbase and Gate.io, which charge 25% and 33%, respectively; however, users must hold at least 1 XTZ in order to qualify for staking rewards. Staking refers to the practice of holding a digital asset in a wallet to support a blockchain network’s operations. Tezos is currently trading at $1.30.

Binance has also announced that it has acquired DappReview, which will help the exchange further develop its range of exciting dapps and create new uses for blockchain technology. In return, Binance will support DappReview by offering marketing and business development services.

“By working with Binance X [the company’s developer network] and Launchpad, DappReview will bring in more talented Dapp developers and assist promising Dapp projects on fund-raising,” Vincent Niu, founder of DappReview, said of the deal. The dapp platform is expected to release a new range of products in Q1 2020.

>> South Africa Plans New Crypto Regulations: Key Factors to Watch

Interestingly, the acquisition gives Binance a new foothold in Beijing after its Shanghai office was shut down last month following reports of a police raid on the premises. Despite appearing to embrace blockchain technology, the Chinese government has been cracking down on cryptocurrency businesses in the country that are outside the remit of government control. Chinese authorities recently issued a notice to the public directing individuals to report businesses engaged in virtual asset trading to the country’s central bank, the People’s Bank of China.

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Bakkt to Launch Cash-Settled Bitcoin Futures on December 9

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Bakkt

Bakkt

The cryptocurrency industry has come a long way from the days when it used to be tough for people to buy tokens online and hence, the emergence of Bitcoin futures did not come as a massive surprise for most market watchers. So what does newly-created crypto exchange Bakkt have in store? Let’s dig in.

Key Expansion

A few months back, Bakkt announced that it was going to launch a Bitcoin future product that could be settled in cash. That announcement naturally caused a lot of enthusiasm in the crypto sphere, and today, the company made another important announcement. On Friday, Bakkt announced that it is all set to launch its freshly minted product on December 9, 2019.

Bakkt is the cryptocurrency venture that is owned by the Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), and the announcement came from the latter. The new product in question has been christened the Bakkt Bitcoin Cash Settled Monthly Futures and is going to be offered by ICE Futures Singapore. The clearing duties will be taken up by ICE Cleat Singapore.

Major Milestone for Bakkt

In this regard, it should be noted that both these entities are regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore. The launch of the Bitcoin futures product is going to be a major milestone for Bakkt and also for the crypto sphere in general.

>> Binance Shanghai HQ Shut Down After Police Raid

The Chief Operating Officer and President of both ICE Clear and ICE Futures Singapore, Lucas Schmeddes, commented on the product: “Our new cash-settled futures contract will offer investors in Asia and around the world a convenient, capital-efficient way to gain or hedge exposure in bitcoin markets.”

Ultimately, the launch of such a cash-settled Bitcoin futures product is an attempt from the company to tap into institutional money. Considering the fact that Singapore is one of the biggest financial hubs in the world, it is perhaps a prudent move from Bakkt to centralize the offering in the city-state.

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Huobi Intends to Open Fiat Gateway with Lira-Tether in Turkey

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Huobi

Huobi

The cryptocurrency space has come a long way over the past five years, and one of the more important members of a growing ecosystem has been the global crypto exchange Huobi. The company has done a lot to increase awareness about the crypto sphere and in turn, has been one of the biggest contributors towards the current popularity of crypto.

Key Details

In a new development, Huobi announced that it is on the verge of launching a new fiat gateway for a customer in Turkey. It will open as many as 250 crypto tokens for users in Turkey instantly, and it seems that this is in response to the latest crypto framework that is being put forward by the country.

The crypto ecosystem is already functional in Turkey, and people in the country already hold crypto tokens. However, this particular move from Huobi will make it possible for the company to swiftly satisfy all the requirements of the regulatory framework in Turkey. The company is going to unveil its new fiat gateway in Istanbul at the Eurasia Blockchain Conference. Huobi has been looking to enter the Turkish market for some time, and the company revealed in June that it was exploring ways to enter the new market.

>> Bank of Canada Exploring Possibility of Launching a Digital Currency

Mohit Davar, the company’s regional president, stated that Huobi has been working with one of the leading banks in the country in order to build the fiat gateway. However, he refused to divulge the name of the bank in question. He stated that the company had been in talks with the bank and is working on the biggest concerns voiced by the powers that be. Davar said, “I think generally where there is not a clear regulatory framework in the market, it’s been left to the discretion of the banks to make their own decision.” It is a major new step for Huobi and one that is going to be closely watched by the market.

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