Crypto Update: African Reserve Bank Plans to Curb Crypto Adoption

South African Reserve Bank plans to implement new rules to stop cryptos help evade tax controls. While currency controls is a broad term, the statement is more pertinent to foreign exchange control.
Rules To Be Applicable from Q1 2020
South African Reserve Bank is all set to clamp down on crypto exchanges. The former will be doing analysis of wallet transactions and also reporting on user’s activities. This in turn has raised several red flags and is also a threat to innovation in the industry.
The rules will be applicable from the first quarter of the next year. The consultations for the same began in 2014. The reason for applying the same is that South Africa has limitations on how much money can be transferred outside the country.
The implications of the clamp down in the long run are far reaching and alarming. Not only will the conservative regulations hinder innovation but also lead to crippling of the economy.
Will the move Hinder the Economy?
Cryptocurrency market with a market cap of $210 Billion is driving significant economic growth in countries. Not only this, blockchain and crypto asset companies are attracting worldwide attention.
Considering the case of South Africa, the limit without declaration is R1 Million. Also, special application to SARS (South African Revenue Service) citizens can send up to a further R10 million out of the country for foreign investment purposes. Subsequently, this reserves a limit of R11 Million that is allowed to send across the border. This implies that high net worth individuals looking to protect wealth against Rand’s devaluation are looking for alternative methods to send money out of South Africa.
A method of doing this is with the use of cryptocurrencies as the borderless nature of Bitcoin and other cryptos allows users to send them anywhere in the world. This can also be the reason why the price of Bitcoin and other digital assets in relation to international prices has been low.
How will the ban be taken by crypto enthusiasts? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
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Source: CoinGape

Crypto Adoption: German Banks To Soon Provide Crypto Services

Traditional finance and cryptocurrencies have finally found a connection. As per recent reports, starting 2020, it might be legal for German banks to sell cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum and also provide custody solutions. 
Bill Awaits Consensus of 16 States
In the present scenario, German financial institutions are not allowed to sell crypto assets to their clients. However, as per the 4th EU Money Laundering Directive, things could change in the coming future. The bill has been passed by Germany’s federal parliament (Bundestag) and is awaiting the consensus of 16 states. 
While the bill is titled around money laundering, it has proposed allowing regulated banking institutions to provide crypto-related services without the help of third-party custodians. 
Sven Hildebrandt, head of consulting firm Distributed Ledger Consulting (DLC), said:
Germany is well on its way to becoming a crypto-heaven. The German legislator is playing a pioneering role in the regulation of cryptocurrency.
If the proposal sees greenlight, German citizens will soon be able to hold Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital currencies directly in banks. Soon, Banks will also be able to provide online banking solutions for a whole range of assets, like stocks, bonds, and cryptocurrencies. Thus, making crypto holders access their funds at the tap of a button. 
The Association of German Banks (BdB) has also welcomed the legislation. They have further put forth an argument that lenders are experienced when it comes to storing client assets and risk management. The new law will help curb crypto-related money laundering and allow German investors to enter the crypto space with domestic funds.
Consumer Center of Baden-Wuerttemberg Expresses Displeasure
While the news was welcomed by the German Banks Association, the consumer center of Baden-Wuerttemberg believes that banks will engage in more aggressive sales with the new products. On the other hand, financial expert Niels Nauhauser believes that banks are now targeting new customers using all measures, and they may possibly fail at educating clients on potential risks of crypto investments. Also, financial commentator Fabio De Masi warned the financial consumer protection of customers is at risk. 
Rising Crypto Adoption
A few days back, as reported by Coingape, Switzerland, is gearing to develop yet another crypto hub. If the new partnership between crypto valley Zug’s crypto lobbyists and Zurich’s tourism Czars is executed, the valley could soon witness a northward expansion.
Also, Lesotho, a nation in the South African sub-continent has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Apollo Foundation for creating a multi-functional cryptocurrency.
The post Crypto Adoption: German Banks To Soon Provide Crypto Services appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

IDAX CEO Still Missing, Speculations of An Exit Scam Rise

Post the announcement of IDAX withdrawal channel congestion on the 24th of November, access to all cold wallets and any deposit/withdrawals has been restricted. If speculations are to be believed the backlog of withdrawals is likely due to company’s decision to leave the market in China.
Is it another Exit Scam?
On the 24th of November, a story on Weibo suggested that how IDAX CEO was missing and an exit scam was near. It further said that the exchange’s CEO took the keys to exchange’s cold storage. Subsequently, IDAX fired many employees and the ones who remained could not contact the CEO. Furthermore, there is no clarification on which CEO was arrested as the company has several branches. 
A recent tweet by Larry Cermak has revealed that it is rumored that IDAX CEO has been arrested by Shanghai authorities. 
Source- Twitter
Interestingly, IDAX still has an operational site. Also, the exchange carried out trades worth $763 Million in 24 hours the last day. Earlier, IDAX withdrew from the US and Canadian markets stating that the regulations hindered their operations. Also, 4 days back, the exchange announced its withdrawal from the Chinese market, owing to the clamp down on the crypto business in China. 
It is possible that due to these developments, Chinese traders tried to withdraw their assets which caused congestion in the withdrawal channels. While the exchange has ensured the users that it is working through the backlog, rumors of an exit scam continue to pervade the crypto community. 
The official announcement says, 
IDAX Global is doing its best to try to grasp variety of news and current situation exactly including rumor on internet community. IDAX Global is drawing up an emergency plan about platform services including deposit/withdrawal service so it is recommended that you refrain from using our all platform services.
Update: IDAX CEO Vanishes With Private Keys
IDAX exchange has become the new victim of a human- factor theft. In a recent development, Lei Guorong, co-founder and CEO of IDAX Global, is now in control of the exchange’s private keys. The case is one of the rare cases where the CEO has the sole control of private keys of the exchange’s cold wallets. Interestingly, the case has striking similarity with the case of QuadrigaCX wherein in the sole control of keys was achieved via a single laptop owned by the CEO.
Will IDAX soon join the list of crypto exchanges that turned into an exit scam? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
The post IDAX CEO Still Missing, Speculations of An Exit Scam Rise appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Hacked Exchange Upbit Announces Major Steps To Cover Lost ETH

In a recent development, Upbit has notified users of the theft of 342,000 Ether (ETH) from its hot wallet. Furthermore, the incident has been confirmed in an official statement by the CEO of Upbit’s operator, Dunamu. 
Losses Will Be Covered by Corporate Assets
Lee Seok-woo, CEO of Upbit’s operator mentioned revealed that:
“At 1:06 PM on November 27, 2019, 342,000 ETH (approximately 58 billion won) were transferred from the Upbeat Ethereum Hot Wallet to an unknown wallet. Unknown wallet address is 0xa09871AEadF4994Ca12f5c0b6056BBd1d343c029.”
Seok-Woo further apologized to users for the inconvenience caused. He then mentioned that the exchange has pledged to protect user assets. Also, the 342,000 ETH will be covered by corporate assets. 
As a matter of fact, more than $100 million worth of crypto-assets have been sent out of Upbit today. As per Whale Alert, transactions, each of $1.51 million worth of TRON (TRX), as well as $3.5 million in BitTorrent (BTT), were further sent to unknown blockchain addresses. 
After that, transactions of $8.7 million-worth of stellar (XLM), $1.08 million in OmiseGo (OMG), $22 million in EOS, and $3.4 million in status (SNT) were further transacted from Upbit’s wallets to those of the Bittrex crypto exchange.
The incident also Binance CEO, Cz responding  He said that Binance will work with Upbit and other industry players to ensure that if any hacked funds make way to Binance, they are immediately frozen.
Source- Twitter
Upbit Suspends Account Authentication Service
Another notice by Upbit has revealed that the exchange due to change in the electronic financial common network system has suspended withdrawals and account authentication service. During this time, users will not be able to activate or register deposits or withdrawal account. Also, members willing to verify their deposit or withdrawal account should proceed with verification and registration before the check-in time. Furthermore, once the inspection is complete,  the KRW deposit and withdrawal account authentication/registration service will be normalized.
How soon will Upbit manage to restore normalcy? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
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Source: CoinGape

Former PBOC Governor Reveals Facts About Digital Yuan’s Development

Zhou Xiaochuan, President of the Chinese Finance Association and former governor of People’s Bank of China in a recent forum has said that China will continue to build its digital currency for payment and retail purposes. 
Fiat Currency Is a Symbol of National Sovereignty
The statement was made in the Caixin Hengqin Forum today. He further said that currency is a symbol of national sovereignty and big nations should be very careful when choosing the direction of technology. If in case they are not careful they can incur huge losses. 
He said, 
“Fiat currency is a symbol of national sovereignty. Central banks, especially the “super sovereign power” should be very cautious when choosing a direction. If going in the wrong direction, the downside can be significant, and even a credit crisis may occur”
He emphasized that there are two goals tied to the implementation of digital currencies. One is encouraging retail trade and other is fostering international trade. He added international remittance oriented use cases for inter-financial institutions settlement will shape the Digital Yuan. 
PBoC is the wholesaler a commercial bank and a distributor as well. The difference is banks won’t be able to apply money multiplier on this portion of M0, and the payment interface will be able to use Wechat/Alipay.
PBOC to Curb Crypto Trading
While this looks like a positive development, a few days back, a regulatory update by People Bank of China’s(PBOC) Shanghai Head office has affirmed that the bank will continue to strengthen regulation and control and clamp down crypto trading. The update then stated that investors should be scrupulous and should not mix blockchain with virtual currencies. 
Furthermore, the announcement mentions that there are multiple risks involved with virtual currencies. These include issuance, financing, and trading, including false asset risk, business failure risk, and investment speculation risk.
The announcement further states that the Shanghai Financial Stability Joint Conference Office and the Shanghai Headquarters of the People’s Bank of China will continue to adopt monitoring measures such as interviews, inspections, and bans on the monitored entities involved in virtual currency activities to resolve related risks in a timely manner.
What will the fate of Crypto in China? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
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Source: CoinGape

Binance Update: Binance Adds Margin Trading for Tezos [XTZ]

In a recent development, Binance’s margin trading platform has added XTZ margin trading to its platform. 
Binance Launches Margin Trading for Tezos
The new margin trading pairs include XTZ/BTC, XTZ/USDT. The previous week, as reported by Coingape, Binance increased its margin trading leverage to 5x and also enabled an adjustment function on its web interface. Users will now have the option to option to select any leverage between 3x and 5x for margin trading.
Furthermore, Binance added BNB/ETH margin trading on the 7th of November. On Oct. 31 the exchange announced the addition of QTUM margin trading, allowing users to leverage up to 125X and also borrow the asset. On the 14th of November, Binance added margin trading for IOTA with margin trading pairs  IOTA/BTC, IOTA/USDT. Earlier in November, Binance added margin trading for XRP/ETH. 
The previous month, Binance added margin trading for BAT, with margin pairs BAT/BTC and BAT/USDT. Following the listing, BAT jumped 4%. 
Binance Surrounded by Controversies 
While Binance is on a developmental high, controversies seem to be close allies with Binance. Yesterday, another fact came to light regarding the Binance – The Block controversy. Primitive Crypto Founder, Dovey Wan revealed that Binance Shanghai office is an outsourced customer rep team, under Babi Finance (a Binance investment company).
On November 21, The Block published an article which stated that Binance’s Shanghai office had been raided by the police and shut down. Interestingly, in the statement, there was no mention of the police raid. Binance CEO, Changpeng Zhao aka CZ then responded that there was no fixed office in Shanghai. Following the news, top coins fell down in double digits.
Interestingly, the tweet also saw Larry Cermak, data researcher at The Block commenting on the post. He said that the news mentioned that the Binance Shanghai office was visited in person and it was closed.
Which trading pair will be seen next on the Binance platform? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
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Source: CoinGape

DX. Exchange’s Parent Company Faces Multi-Billion Dollar Scam Allegations

DX Exchange, which shut down earlier this month, is reportedly undergoing bankruptcy proceedings. Furthermore, employees of parent company CX Technologies Ltd have filed a petition in an Israeli court to dissolve the exchange.
No Payouts Since September
The exchange, which had deployed NASDAQ’s matching engine and market surveillance closed its operations in early November. The exchange further said it was looking for a merger or acquisition.
As per the bankruptcy petition filed, employees of CX Technologies have not been paid for the month of September and October. Furthermore, if claims are to be believed, the company has no funds left in its bank accounts. As a matter of fact, the company’s owner Pinhas Patarkazishvili agreed with this assessment and has allowed the proceedings to go forward.
The petition further claims that 55 employees of CX Technologies were involved in Israel’s multibillion-dollar binary options scam. As per the document, CX Technologies is a successor company to SpotOption, which was raided by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in January 2018.
Furthermore, several Israeli suppliers have also sued CX Technologies in the last six months for allegedly failing to pay its bills. These companies include White Hat Ltd., which provided cybersecurity services to DX.Exchange; Bee2See Dotan B.S. Solutions, which provided targeted marketing of potential customers; and Malam Team, which supplied servers to the exchange, per the report. Interestingly, the report further mentions that more creditors could come forward.
DX. Exchange CEO Responds
DX. Exchange CEO Daniel Skowronski responded to the petition and said that he has applied for an MTF (multilateral trading facility) exchange license and it is about to be granted under a different entity. The latter has been subjected to backlash from the crypto community and the latter has time and again trashed the claims.
Skowronski further said that the exchange has not filed for bankruptcy as yet. He also said that the firm is still in talks about being acquired but the process is taking a bit longer time.
Will DX. Exchange manage to get acquired? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
The post DX. Exchange’s Parent Company Faces Multi-Billion Dollar Scam Allegations appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Bakkt Establishes New ATH, Trades Contracts Worth $20.3 MM in 24- Hours

Bakkt platform has yet again hit a new ATH. A recent tweet by Bakkt Volume Bot, leading derivatives market data provider has revealed that more than $20.3 million or 2738 monthly futures contracts were traded in Bitcoin on the 22nd of November.
Bakkt Trades 2738 Contracts
Source- Bakkt Volume Bot
The new volume is 30% higher than the previous all-time high achieved on Nov. 8 . On that day 1741 contracts were traded. Also, the new volume recorded is 66% more than the volume recorded on the 21st of November. 
Source- Bakkt Bot
As a matter of fact, the open interest is also up by 29% in a span of 24 hours and is currently $1.75 million. While Bakkt had started at a turtle’s pace, there has been a gradual increase in the volume of Bakkt’s Bitcoin[BTC]  Futures. Interestingly, the new record volume is accompanied by a drop in Bitcoin price. The Bitcoin[BTC] price fell below $7000 on Friday. 
A Look At Bakkt’s Recent Developments
As reported by Coingape, Bakkt recently extended Bitcoin[BTC] custody to all institutions.  With this development, clients all over the world can now safeguard their assets using Bakkt’s enterprise-grade offering. Furthermore, it also received authorization from the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) to offer Bitcoin [BTC] custody to all institutions. 
Earlier, this week the platform also confirmed that it will be offering cash-settled Bitcoin futures contracts on ICE Futures Singapore as of Dec. 9. The new Bakkt Bitcoin[BTC] cash-settled monthly futures will enable investors to “gain or hedge exposure in bitcoin markets.
Interestingly, the first regulated options contract for Bitcoin will also be launched on the same day. The options contract will be based on the Bakkt Monthly Bitcoin Futures contract. Interestingly, options will be available on the Bakkt platform a month before the launch of options on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. 
The fees has been set at  $1.25 per options contract where 1 contract is 1 Bitcoin. Also, the contracts will be margined contracts and the platform will allow for cross-margining with underlying futures contract.
When will the platform establish a new ATH again? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
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Source: CoinGape

Tezos Shoots Up Nearly 10% While the Top Coins Bleed

While the crypto market experiences a deep correction, Tezos is up 9.33%. At press time, XTZ token is trading at $1.36. The price rise can be attributed to the platform’s partnership with, Tribe, Singapore’s first government-supported platform for driving blockchain growth. One of the possible reasons also includes the fact that the French Military police have found a use case for Tezos blockchain. Furthermore, Coinbase custody has extended its Tezos (XTZ) staking service to all global clients.
Tezos Rise Up 14.18%  Against Bitcoin
It is worth noting that Tezos is up by more than 14.18 % percent against Bitcoin. XTZ experienced a pump on the 11th of November. This was after Switzerland’s primary stock exchange-listed an income-generating exchange-traded product (ETP) based on Tezos (XTZ) token. Interestingly, the coin’s market cap has risen by $3 MM in the past week. 
Source- CoinMarketCap
The key support levels to look out for lie between $1.27 and $1.28 with resistance at $1.45. If the prices drop they may well stay in the range of $1.1 and $1.2. If the token manages to break resistance at $1.45, the prices may rally to $1.50 and $1.60 levels.
Technical Indicators 
Source- Trading View
Relative Strength Index (14)- 70.6646
Stochastic %K (14, 3, 3)- 65.4918
Commodity Channel Index (20)- 164.0571
Average Directional Index (14)- 56.4572
Awesome Oscillator- 0.1828
Momentum (10) -0.1993
A Look At Platform’s Recent Developments
The recent developments on the platform have interestingly lead to a spectacular price rise. Since, September 2019, the French Gendarmerie’s cybercrime division (C3N)  has been validating and recording judicial expenses on the Tezos blockchain. Furthermore, the program allows  C3N to acquire cryptocurrency, using funds allocated by Europol, to cover operational costs.
Yesterday, Coinbase custody announced that it is extending its staking service to global clients. Initially, the service was available only for institutional clients. Recently it was extended to all U.S. customers of Coinbase Custody and now it has been made available to all investors globally.
Recently, Tezos Southeast Asia (TSA) announced its partnership with Tribe, Singapore’s first government-supported platform for driving blockchain growth, at the Singapore Fintech Festival 2019. The partnership will facilitate the launch of a training program that will aid in the development of its blockchain ecosystem in Southeast Asia.
Will XTZ price rise continue? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
The post Tezos Shoots Up Nearly 10% While the Top Coins Bleed appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Breaking: Investors Should Not Mix Blockchain With Virtual Currencies- People’s Bank Of China

A recent regulatory update by People Bank of China’s(PBOC) Shanghai Head office has affirmed that the bank will continue to strengthen regulation and control and clamp down crypto trading.
No Virtual Currency Business To Exist In China
The Shanghai Financial Stability Joint Conference Office and the Shanghai Headquarters of the People’s Bank of China going forward will continuously monitor the virtual currency business activities within the jurisdiction. Once the activities are discovered, they will be put to an end with immediate effect.
The announcement further states that “Investors should be scrupulous and should not mix blockchain with virtual currencies”. Furthermore, the announcement mentions that there are multiple risks involved with virtual currencies. These include issuance, financing and trading, including false asset risk, business failure risk and investment speculation risk.
If in case an investor discovers any form of virtual currency business activities taking place they may report it to the regulatory authorities. Most importantly, those suspected of being involved in virtual currencies in any manner may be sent to the public security. The latter is the principal police and security authority of the People’s Republic of China.
Rise In “ Crypto Adoption” Speculations
In China’s pursuits of promoting blockchain technology, speculations relating to virtual currencies started rising. For curbing virtual currency-related activities in Shanghai, the regulators will be launching a drive.
The announcement mentions,
Relevant financing entities through the illegal sale, circulation of tokens, raising funds to investors or bitcoin, Ethereum and other virtual currency, which is essentially unauthorised illegal public financing, suspected of illegal sale of tokens, illegal issuance of securities and illegal fund-raising, financial fraud, pyramid schemes and other illegal crimes have seriously disrupted the economic and financial order.
PBoC To Adopt New Measures To Curb Use of Cryptos
Back in 2017, the People’s Bank of China and the other seven ministries and commissions issued the “Announcement on Preventing the Risk of Subsidy Issuance Financing” clearing up the ICO and virtual currency trading venue. Since then the supervision has strengthened and the efforts to eliminate virtual currencies in China continue full throttle.
The announcement further states that the Shanghai Financial Stability Joint Conference Office and the Shanghai Headquarters of the People’s Bank of China will continue to adopt monitoring measures such as interviews, inspections, and bans on the monitored entities involved in virtual currency activities to resolve related risks in a timely manner.
While blockchain is here to stay, China is still not ready for crypto. Will China adopt crypto in the near future? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
 
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Source: CoinGape

Is Zero Commission Trading Helping Crypto Exchanges? A Realistic Take

The cryptocurrency trading sphere is slowly warming up to zero-fee trading. The trend first started with exchange-traded funds and then moved up to online stock platforms. The recent exchange to start offering zero-fee trading is Shapeshift. Let us have a look at trading platforms offering zero-fee trading. 
Will ShapeShift See An Increasing In Trading Volume
ShapeShift will now begin offering free perpetual trades. Interestingly, offering zero fees trading brought benefits for Charles Schwab Corp. The latter recently reported opening 142,000 new trading accounts in October- a 31% jump from September after introducing zero trading fees.
“We’ve definitely seen how people often need very simple messages,”
Erik Voorhees, the Denver-based chief executive of ShapeShift, said in a phone interview.
“Everyone understands free. We expect a 30% increase in trade volume.
Execute Free Transactions With Fox Tokens
For executing free transactions, traders will need to use Fox tokens that ShapeShift is rolling out.  Every user ShapeShift.com will get 100 free tokens, and the exchange may sell additional ones. Also, more FOX tokens a customer holds, more fee-free trades can be executed. Furthermore, Voorhees estimates that 90% of the exchange’s users will be able to do all their trades for free.
Exchanges Offering Zero- Fee Trading
Daily-trading volume in crypto exchanges is half of what it was in late October. As per data provided by CoinMarketCap, the percentage of exchanges offering no-free trading is about 10%. Smaller Exchanges are offering zero-fee trading as a part of promotions.  
Robinhood Crypto is also a major provider of zero-fee crypto trading, allowing users to trade seven major cryptocurrencies with no commission fee. In late September 2019, California-based financial firm SoFi launched zero-fee crypto trading on its platform SoFi Invest.
The list further includes Zebpay, which introduced zero-trading fees in February. Also, HitBTC lowered its trading fees in August. While leading crypto exchange Binance doesn’t offer zero- trading fee, it lets users lower their trading fees by investing in its own cryptocurrency. BitMEX is among the leading platforms offering zero trading fees. 
BitMEX
BitMEX offers zero-trading fee exchange for 8 coins and 14 trading pairs. The most active trading pair on Bitmex exchange is XBT/USD. The platform boasts of a 24-hour trading volume of $1,91,58,45,292 
Cobinhood
Cobinhood is a Hong Kong-based crypto exchange. The platform allows 0% trading fees. It also offers initial coin offering (ICO) underwriting services.
Liquid
Another exchange that offers zero-trading fees is Liquid. This  Japan-based exchange has a 24hour trading volume of $8,84,57,664. Presently, the exchange allows, trading of 173 crypto assets. 
While exchanges like Coinbase have reported having made $2 Billion in a span of 1 year only from trading fees. It will be interesting to note, how well in the long run, exchanges offering zero trading fees fare. Let us know what you think in the comments below!
 
The post Is Zero Commission Trading Helping Crypto Exchanges? A Realistic Take appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Crypto Markets Still Cannot Be Termed Matured Assets – Former Goldman Sachs CEO

Former Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein believes that while crypto assets will in the future form the basis of the economy, they are yet to mature. The ongoing Global Financial Leadership Conference (GFLC) Florida saw Blankfein expressing his skepticism over crypto assets. 
Crypto Assets Have A Long Way to Go
Undoubtedly, crypto adoption has picked up pace over a few years. However, the school of thought still prevails that Bitcoin and other cryptos have a long way to go before they can be termed as mature assets. Interestingly, ex-Goldman Sachs chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein is one of them
“I can see the basis for it. I can see how the world could evolve into that,”
he said at the conference. 
He further added,
Bitcoin still has some questions that need to be answered. With some of these cryptocurrencies, you can’t manage the money laundering situation. How could it be a good store of wealth when it could move 10 or 12 percent in a day several days in a row? And how could it be a good medium of exchange when someone could steal it and you would never know, or you lose the code and it disappears?”
Will Goldman Sachs Create a Digital Token?
Earlier this year, rumors surfaced that Goldman Sachs was creating a digital token. The base for the rumor was that several banks were supposed to be investing $50 million in assets for creating a digital cash system to settle financial transactions.  Time and again, banks have been linked to performing Bitcoin operations by either rumor or confirmed reports. 
While several questions remain unanswered, more and more institutions are taking interest in Bitcoin. As per Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Commitment of Traders report large open interest holders of CME Group bitcoin futures contracts were up 38% in the third quarter from the previous year. 
CFTC Consider Bitcoin & Ether As a Commodity
Furthermore, CME Group Chairman and CEO Terry Duffy discussed the status of cryptocurrencies as commodities. Earlier, as reported by Coingape CFTC Commissioner Heath Tarbert had defined Ether as a commodity and also said that Bitcoin possesses the same qualities. Thus, resonating with SEC’s previous ruling that Bitcoin and Ether are not securities. Furthermore, he said that CFTC is working in close cooperation with the SEC to provide clarity on these issues.
He further said that futures markets will only exist if it is valued in a proper manner. Furthermore, he added that a CFTC regulated exchange would have all the price transparency and price discovery that these markets have had for 150 years.
How long before actually the crypto market matures? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
The post Crypto Markets Still Cannot Be Termed Matured Assets – Former Goldman Sachs CEO appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Singapore Regulator To Allow Crypto Derivatives Trading on Approved Exchanges

Monetary Authority of Singapore, in a recent statement, has proposed green-lighting crypto-token derivatives to list and trade on approved domestic exchanges. The proposal suggests that derivatives trading be regulated under the Securities and Futures Act. 
MAS to Regulate Derivatives Trading
The global race for crypto derivatives is accelerating as institutional investors are earnestly finding new ways to hedge their funds and make profits. Furthermore, Giant U.S. bourse operators CME Group Inc. and Intercontinental Exchange Inc. which are already in the business of offering cryptocurrency derivatives are all set to introduce other products in a few months. As a matter of fact, the CME platform will allow options trading from early 2020. 
“MAS’s proposal will allow approved exchanges in Singapore to meet the need of investors to manage their exposure to payment tokens while bringing the activity under regulatory oversight,”
the regulator said in the statement.
Interestingly, Singapore Exchange Derivatives Trading Ltd., a local unit of Atlanta-based ICE, and Asia Pacific Exchange are among the MAS-approved venues. However, none of them currently list any crypto derivatives.  While MAS has put forth its proposal to list derivatives, it is also following a cautious approach. 
“Retail investors are strongly advised not to trade in payment token derivatives, and even if they choose to do so, should exercise utmost caution,” the regulator said in a consultation paper on the subject.
Derivatives Space Experiences Exponential Growth
Furthermore, ICE Futures Singapore aims to launch a cash-settled futures contract on Dec. 9. A few days back, Bitfinex announced that it is considering launching options trading in the first quarter of 2020. Another development in line for the exchange are Tether-based swaps. One of the primary reasons to launch Tether-based swaps is to build trust and a wider reach for Tether.
Also, Bakkt is all set to launch first regulated options contracts for Bitcoin futures on the 9th of December. The options contract will be based on the Bakkt Monthly Bitcoin Futures contract. The new contract has been designed as per customer feedback and has been designed to hedge or gain bitcoin exposure, generate income, and offer cost and capital efficiencies. 
Will this new initiative lead to an increase in a number of derivatives traders? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
The post Singapore Regulator To Allow Crypto Derivatives Trading on Approved Exchanges appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

NEO Up by 5.49%, Will NEO Break its Bearish Trend?

NEO prices are up 5.49% as the rest of the market trades in red. The reason for the price surge is attributed to the upcoming NEO 3.0 version in 2020. The coin has also climbed from 17th to 16th position in the global cryptocurrency market rating compiled by CoinMarketCap. At press time, NEO/USD is trading at $11.92. 
Will NEO Manage to Reach $13.50-$14.00 Range?
Since the starting of November, NEO has added $80 Million to its market cap rising from $751. 1 MM to $831.5MM. On the 13th of November, the NEO price touched  $13.44 and then retreated back to $11.75 on the 15th of November. While the coin is yet to come out of its short-term bearish trend, its first support level stands at $11.50. If it manages to break the bearish cycle, it may well go up to $13.50- $14.00 range. 
Source- Trading View
Technical Indicators
Relative Strength Index (14)- 56.95
Stochastic %K (14, 3, 3)- 40.95
Commodity Channel Index (20)- 26.13
Average Directional Index (14)- 47.87
Exponential Moving Average (5)- 11.83
Simple Moving Average (5)- 11.88
Exponential Moving Average (10)- 11.80
Why is NEO Price Rising?
NEO price rise can be attributed to China’s renewed interest in blockchain. Furthermore,  NEO has several expansion plans for the year 2020. The development of the NEO 3.0 version is slated to bring new native contracts and make it simpler for other currencies to tap its technology. 
Also, the ongoing speculations around the adoption of cryptocurrencies in China is also a plausible reason for the surge in NEO prices. A few days back, the People’s Congress in China passed the cryptographic law and it is all set to come in effect starting January 2020. The Chinese president, Xi Jinping also in an organized study session lauded blockchain and said that the communist party should tap blockchain for technological advancement.
With that being said, NEO prices may show some fluctuations before establishing a high. It is highly likely that the ongoing crypto scenario in China will contribute to further price rise. Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
The post NEO Up by 5.49%, Will NEO Break its Bearish Trend? appeared first on Coingape.
Source: CoinGape

Trade Wars: LocalEthereum is Now LocalCryptos, Will It Outpace LocalBitcoins?

In a recent development, LocalEthereum, a peer-to-peer (P2P) trading platform for Ether (ETH) has changed its name to LocalCryptos, to support more crypto assets including ERC-20 tokens. The firm aims to become a leader in the P2P fiat-to-crypto trading space.
Will LocalCryptos Matchup to Arch Rival LocalBitcoins?
With this new initiative, LocalCryptos aims to compete with arch rival LocalBitcoins. The former is non-custodial, end-to-end encrypted, and completely private unlike LocalBitcoins. As a matter of fact, a non-custodial platform doesn’t hold user’s private keys. Subsequently, the firm cannot hack or freeze users’ crypto assets.
Taking a dig on LocalBitcoins platform, Michael Foster, CEO of LocalCryptos said,
“Platforms like LocalBitcoins are centralized, custodial, and a far cry from private. These platforms are vulnerable to hacks and thefts like a centralized exchange. Hackers have stolen several billion dollars from centralized crypto platforms. At least two of those heists took from LocalBitcoins traders.”
However, non-custodial platforms have their own perils. If in case a user loses their wallet and password, the platform cannot help them with the recovery. Interestingly, the platform seeks to put the users in complete control.
“Crypto was born out of the desire for eliminating the role of middlemen and legacy institutions in otherwise person-to-person interactions. We developed LocalCryptos based on this idea of users remaining in control at all times—not us,”
added Foster.
New Users Need Not Start Again on The Platform
LocalCryptos boasts of more than 100,000 registered users, 1,500 daily active users and 450 trades each day, making it one of the largest non-custodial P2P Bitcoin platform. The platform also has an impressive trading volume and has seen $3 million worth of fiat-to-crypto trades per month, from 139 countries.
Most importantly, traders willing to shift on to LocalCryptos need not start over on the platform. The platform is not subjected to as many regulations as LocalBitcoins. The latter recently implemented a mandatory verification process which resulted in a 30% drop in volume on the platform. The firm will also add ERC20 tokens soon and will develop a new smart contract to handle the tokens. Also, in the distant future, the platform might even support ERC721s.
Rising P2P Cryto Space
Also, helping traders and crypto users is not the sole motive of the firm.The firm is also focussed on helping the underbanked and unbanked communities, with a major aim to free Venezuela from hyperinflation.
P2P crypto trading platforms are gradually increasing in number. Another decentralized P2P platform, SIBEX AG, is looking to serve institutional investors. Last month, the firm raised around $1.8 million in a seed funding round to expand its offerings.
Will LocalCryptos Manage to Outdo LocalBitcoins? Let us know, what you think in the comments below!
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Source: CoinGape