Binance CEO: Compared to January, Our Trading Volume Is Down 90%

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Binance CEO: Compared to January, Our Trading Volume Is Down 90%

binance-ceo-compared-to-january-our-trading-volume-is-down-90

On Thursday (8 November 2018), Ran Neu-Ner, the host of CNBC’s Crypto Trader show, released the video of an interview with Changpeng Zhao (“CZ”), the CEO of Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange (by adjusted trading volume). This article focuses on the main highlights from this interview.

Q: Are you worried by the drop in exchanges’ trading volumes?

A: Not really… Depends on when you compare the volume to… If you compare to July or August, probably down a little bit because prices are very stable right now… When there is no movement in price, people trade less.. Compared to January, we’re probably down 90%… But if you compare to two or three years ago, the volume right now is great… We’re sill profitable.” 

Q: Are you still opening new accounts at an accelerating rate?

A: Not as fast as January or February when it was really really crazy… We’re still signing up a steady amount of new users every day… The amount of crypto that we hold is increasingly steadily… 

Q: Do you think the new market is the over-the-counter (OTC) market?

A: What I’ve heard is that the OTC market is at least as large as the online reported volumes. 

Q; What could be the catalyst for some market movement?

A: I really don’t know… I see all this good news, but prices are not moving… It will happen sooner or later… something will trigger it.

Q: What is Binance’s secret sauce?

A: I think our product is very fast and secure… I think security is a big big thing in the crypto industry… Today, the thing that keeps us going is our value system. We have a very strong core value of protecting users… We do many many hard things to protect users, like very recently with WEX [another crypto exchange]… The funds got stolen and somehow five or six addresses ended up on Binance. We had to freeze them very quickly. Some of those are very tough decisions. I can guarantee you that sooner or later the owners of those accounts will start Reddit and Twitter threads complaining… But we always try to do the right thing of protecting the users… So, we have a good brand right now. 

Featured Image Courtesy of Binance

Charlie Shrem Denies Stealing 5,000 BTC From Winklevoss Twins

As CryptoGlobe reported last week, the Winklevoss twins have filed a lawsuit against Bitcoin pioneer Charlie Shrem, alleging that he stole 5,000 BTC that he was supposed to acquire and hold for them.

According to the lawsuit, the twins gave Shrem $1 million to invest in Bitcoin in 2012, which would have been worth $5000 BTC then, and roughly $32 million now.

On Monday (Nov 5th), Shrem responded to the allegations with court filings of his own, which stated that he fulfilled his end of the deal with the Winklevoss twins, and the blame lies with an associate who had control of the wallet after the initial investment was made.

Shrem named the associate in the court filings and provided e-mails as evidence, but that name was redacted in the documents that were released, as those details are sealed for the duration of the case. Shrem’s court filing stated that:

 

“The 5,000 bitcoins, which are the linchpin of WCF’s lawsuit, belonged to a prominent bitcoin industry member, who, to protect his privacy and for his security, will be called “Mr. X” in this brief. Mr. X is identified in e-mail communications between him and Shrem (and others) discussing the 5,000 bitcoins, an unredacted copy of which has been filed under seal. Shrem merely, as a favor, electronically transferred 5,000 bitcoins for Mr. X. to a cold storage wallet account at Mr. X’s request on December 31, 2012.”

 

Frozen Funds

The filings go on to question the basis for a freeze that the court put on Shrem’s funds, stating that Shrem is owed attorney fees and court costs for what his lawyers allege is a hasty and unjust judgement against him. The filing stated:

“Shrem engaged in no wrongdoing. Period. WCF’s motion to confirm the prejudgment attachment must be denied with prejudice, and the Court should award attorneys’ fees and costs to Shrem.The Court should also exercise its supervisory powers and dismiss the entire case at this time in light of its false premise and the unfair, significant disruption it has caused to Shrem’s life.”

The Winklevoss lawsuit claims that Shrem took the money and spent it on extravagant cars, boats, and properties. Shrem however, says that he has never touched the bitcoin after the initial transaction, and is working to pay off the money that he owes to the government as a result of his plea agreement. In a statement, Shrem said:

“After I was released from prison, I had a net worth of less than $100,000 and worked for approximately six months at a restaurant in Pennsylvania. Since working at the restaurant, I have worked a variety of jobs that have allowed me to accumulate funds and to restore myself financially.”

Shrem has had a number of prominent jobs since his release from jail, including positions with Dash (DASH), Cindicator (CND) and other blockchain companies.

Blockchain-Hackathon and ICO-pitching at the Malta Blockchain Summit

In partnership with CryptoFriends, the Malta Blockchain Summit staged a huge Blockchain Hackathon and two-day ICO pitching session

The global blockchain community met again in Malta for the Malta Blockchain Summit between November 1st and 2nd. The summit brought together 7,000 delegates, more than 100 speakers and 150 partners from all around the world. Speakers and guests at the event were leaders in the fields of finance, technology and innovation and included individuals like John Mcafee, Brandon Synth, Charles Hoskinson, Scott Stornetta, John Matonis to name a few.

The summit has been organized with the support of the Prime Minister of Malta, Joseph Muscat who opened the Malta Blockchain Summit with a speech:

“In Malta we are building the necessary quarter’s and channels in order to make good use of the force of nature that this technology is going to provide, and that is why I believe that Malta has become one of the centres of these new technolgoies.”

In partnership with CryptoFriends, the Malta Blockchain Summit hosted Blockchain Hackathon and two-day ICO pitchingn session. At the Malta Blockchain Hackathon up to 200 participants took their chance to impress some of the best in the business and to win a 50k prize. A number of teams of developers gathered at the Summit to produce a dApp, or other smart contract implementation on the chosen platform using both decentralised and distributed solutions. The winners were selected by Hackathon judges, including Scott Stornetta, Charles Hokinson, Ilya Smagin, and Lucas Park. Here are the results:

  • 1st place – Team: Blockchain Charity Lottery
  • 2nd place – Team: TPass
  • 3rd place – Team: Tensegrity

CEO of Malta Blockchain Summit, Eman Pulis presented the winning teams with the illustrious €50,000 prize at the main stage of the Summit. First place won €25,000, second prize won €15,000 and third prize won €10,000. The Blockchain Hackathon was sponsored by Etoro, DAO.Casino and tZERO.

Blockchain-Hackathon and ICO-pitching at the Malta Blockchain Summit

The ICO-pitching session was held on November 1 to 2 and featured 30 ICO projects. The first day of the ICO-pitching session ended with gorgeous results. Some really solid projects were presented. Rise Token startup took the 1st place. AE Token company took the 2nd place. Day 2 of the ICO pitching was great as well! Congratulations to projects Tatau and GoMama for achieving the 1st and 2nd places. Top level business and networking events are one of Cryptofriends specialties, get in contact with our team if you would like to take part in our future events in 2019 – http://cryptofriends.io.

CryptoFriends is a global group of well-connected professionals who are building smart connections in the blockchain space. Every time they organize an event, they search for cool locations, new topics, and top speakers. Their events have a unique dynamic and are aimed at creating an ideal environment for networking. Click here to check out their website to learn about their future events.

 

 

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Square’s Q3 Bitcoin Trading Revenue Was of $43 million

Square (SQ), the company behind the popular Cash app, has recently reported its earnings for the third quarter of this year, and revealed its bitcoin trading revenue was of $43 million. After factoring in bitcoin purchasing costs, the firm had a $555,000 profit from BTC.

Per the company’s report, it beat Wall Street’s expectations, as it posted earnings of $0.13 per share, above the expected $0.11. Similarly, its total revenue was of $431 million, while Wall Street expected it to be of $413.9 million.

The firm’s Cash app, whose profits from bitcoin trading have nearly tripled since the first quarter of the year, has reportedly surpassed PayPal’s Venmo in total downloads. As CryptoGlobe covered, the app was still being frquently downloaded when bitcoin’s price was tumbling.

The app’s bitcoin-related profit likely increased as the Cash app expanded BTC trading to all 50 US states back in August of this year. The move, coupled with increasing adoption of the app itself, helped its results. The company’s CEO Jack Dorsey stated:

We do see people use the Cash App fundamentally as you would expect them to use a bank account. They store money with us, it’s accepted anywhere Visa is accepted. They can send and receive money from friends and family

Earlier this year, it was revealed Square quietly moved its bitcoin trading service to over-the-counter (OTC) desks, which according to experts helped it become a more sophisticated trading platform that offers users better protection.

Moving off of public cryptocurrency exchanges, experts claimed at the time, helped the Cash app build a platform that would “create less price volatility when trading large amounts of bitcoin.” Working with brokers likely also helped it get better pricing on the BTC it purchased.

While the flagship cryptocurrency represented a small portion of Square’s $431 million revenue, the company has been working alongside the cryptocurrency community. Last month, the fintech firm publicly shared its source code, developer tools, and documentor for its bitcoin cold storage solution.

Following its earnings call, Square’s shares are notably down 9.2%, as they’re trading at little under $74, according to Yahoo Finance data.

Square's price chart

Square’s CEO Jack Dorsey is notably also the CEO of Twitter. Earlier this year he revealed he believes bitcoin will become the world’s “single currency” by 2028, as it is a “transformational technology.”

US SEC Charges, Fines EtherDelta Founder with Operating Unregistered Securities Exchange

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged Zachary Coburn, the founder of crypto token trading platform EtherDelta, with operating an unregistered securities exchange, a press release by the SEC reveals Thursday, Nov. 8.

EtherDelta, which served as a secondary marketplace for trading ERC20 tokens, allows its users to buy and sell digital assets by means of an order book and smart contracts based on the Ethereum blockchain.

According to the SEC, over an 18-month operating period, EtherDelta’s users placed more than 3.6 million orders for tokens, including ones that are considered securities by U.S. federal laws.

The regulator notes that most of the orders were executed after the DAO report that SEC had released in June 2017. Under the current law, EtherDelta was obliged to register in U.S. or to apply for an exemption; however, the SEC notes that the platform failed to do so.

According to the regulator, EtherDelta founder Coburn neither admitted nor denied the findings, but he consented to cooperate and to pay the state $300,000 in unlawful profits. Moreover, he agreed to pay $13,000 in prejudgment interest and a $75,000 penalty. The SEC also states that it would have imposed a greater fine if Coburn had failed to cooperate with the investigators.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, the SEC suspended securities trading in October of Nevada-based firm American Retail Group, Inc. for making false claims that its cryptocurrency trading activities were approved by the regulator.

In early November, the SEC reported that it is currently taking action against “dozens” of fraudulent Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). The annual enforcement report for the 2018 fiscal year mentioned several illicit ICOs, three of which defrauded investors of over a combined $68 million.

Blockchain Technology Is "Underrated": Ex-Google CEO

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Bitcoin Cash Declares War: Why This Could Mean Another Split

“Do not come crying when you are bankrupt.”

Lobbed at those bitcoin cash enthusiasts supporting Bitcoin ABC, the main implementation of the blockchain software, Craig Wright seems to have no intention to compromise as the cryptocurrency gears up for its next system-wide upgrade, or hard fork.

The controversial figure who claims (without much evidence) that he is bitcoin’s pseudonymous creator Satoshi Nakamoto has long been one of the leading figures of bitcoin cash, the fourth largest cryptocurrency by market cap, which famously broke off of bitcoin in the heat of the scaling debate last year.

But while he was initially embraced by the bitcoin cash community, he’s now in the middle of a battle over its future.

While bitcoin cash has undergone several hard forks over its one-year lifespan, the forthcoming one – set for November 15 – doesn’t have consensus from all the community.

The arguments started over which set of upgrades should be included in the code change. And less than a week from the activation date, the debate looks like it’s going to split bitcoin cash into two different cryptocurrencies – one running Bitcoin ABC and the other running software created by Wright’s company nChain called Bitcoin Satoshi’s Vision (or Bitcoin SV). Though there aren’t many data points so far, an experimental predictive trading market indicates that Bitcoin ABC has more user support.

And although Wright isn’t quite endorsing an attack fully, on Twitter he seemed to provide a rationale for miners to use their power to “kill off” the blockchain running Bitcoin ABC. According to Wright, by deploying hashpower, Bitcoin SV miners can effectively mine empty blocks on the competing bitcoin cash blockchain, stopping transactions from going through.

Wright argues that these kinds of things are “a part of the protocol” and thus fine to do (and to his point, there are not rules preventing this).

And sure enough, one new mining project called SharkPool tweeted that it will “exclusively” mine empty blocks, pointing to Wright’s tweetstorm as reasoning.

Still, Peter R. Rizun, the chief scientist for Bitcoin Unlimited, the second most popular software implementation of bitcoin cash, contends these threats are likely “a bluff” meant to scare Bitcoin ABC supporters.

Yet others, including Chris Pacia, a developer for ecommerce platform Open Bazaar and also on bitcoin cash, believe this to be the malicious attack of a man “hell-bent on getting his way.”

Pacia told CoinDesk:

“I don’t mind splitting Craig Wright off, but he’s threatened to destroy the other chain with a 51% [attack]. That’s really uncool.”

Déjà vu?

If you’ve been in bitcoinland for long, this could all sound pretty familiar.

It was a little more than a year ago that bitcoin was seeped in debate about how to scale the network, and the community was battling over a seemingly very small feature of the online money: the size of its block size parameter.

Not everyone agreed on the way forward, so the debate into threats of a split. Bitcoin miners, much like Wright, even threatened to attack the other chain after the split.

Thus was forged bitcoin cash, a cryptocurrency which scrapped the upgrade Segregated Witness (SegWit) for a much larger block size parameter.

And while the bitcoin cash community largely agreed on the crypto’s way forward for this first year, this harmonious face began to crack as the community grew. Soon enough, the community found itself immersed in its own block size debate.

The Bitcoin ABC software upgrade features a couple of key technical changes, including a so-called opcode to make it easier to execute “atomic swaps,” a technology for trustlessly trading one cryptocurrency for another. But it does not increase the block size any further – currently bitcoin cash has 32 MB block sizes.

But Wright’s Bitcoin SV wants to see an increase in the block size parameter from 32 MB to 128 MB.

It’s technical – and some would claim unnecessary at this point – but over the past several months, bitcoin cash supporters have begun choosing sides.

The largest bitcoin cash mining pool, CoinGeek, for instance, publicly announced that they were in support of Bitcoin SV (and bigger blocks) in August. On the flip side, information site and mining pool Bitcoin.com (run by perhaps bitcoin cash’s most vocal supporters, including Roger Ver) recently announced support for Bitcoin ABC.

As a result of the ongoing controversy, many bitcoin cash-supporting businesses and exchanges – including Binance, Coinbase and Polintriza, as well as, instant payments application Money Button – have largely frozen operations for the time being.

Speaking to the nature of the upcoming hard fork or forks, CEO of Money Button Ryan X. Charles said that eventually “users running implementations of the bitcoin cash software will have no choice but to upgrade to either one of the two competing.”

Political growing pains

So while the debate seems pretty technical, according to Bitcoin Unlimited’s Rizun, the arguments boil down to a fight over power.

“I don’t want to participate in something to give more influence to nChain and Craig Wright,” Rizun said, adding:

“It’s not a technical debate, it’s about control.”

Meanwhile, Bitcoin SV supporters argue similarly about the other side.

“Bitmain and Bitcoin.com working hard to ruin bitcoin,” Calvin Ayre, the CEO of CoinGeek, tweeted.

He sees the changes BitcoinABC is hoping to make are dangerous, going as far as to argue in a blog post that one feature being put forth, DSV, which would give the cryptocurrency Augur-like mechanisms, could “enable the network to be halted.”

Either way, though, Rizun argues that this level of heated debate shows that bitcoin cash will no longer be able to make the type of upgrades at the speed they used to.

“I think what’s happening is bitcoin cash has outgrown the need to have these regular hard forks,” Rizun told CoinDesk. “Because we set this plan in motion, we have this issue now for the first time where regulated hard forks are causing controversy.”

Yet, this controversy is affecting the businesses that moved over to bitcoin cash during its split from bitcoin in an effort to pioneer the cheaper, faster payment network they believed was the original intent of Satoshi Nakamoto.

Caught in the crossfire of the debate, Money Button’s Charles is just waiting for the controversy to cool – hopefully with only one coin emerging.

“The theory of money button is one money, not many. The product is worse in every way if we have to worry about managing different coins at the same time,” Charles said, concluding:

“I will happily embrace either side so long as there’s a clear winner.”

Craig Wright image via BBC

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Coinbase Users Can Now Buy and Sell Brave’s Basic Attention Token

Crypto exchange Coinbase is adding web browser Brave’s Basic Attention Token (BAT) to its retail trading platform, less than a week after listing it on Coinbase Pro.

The exchange announced Thursday that customers would be able to buy, sell, trade or otherwise transact with the token on coinbase.com, as well as its Android and iOS apps. Coinbase first said it was supporting the token on its professional trader platform Friday, making BAT the second ERC-20 token to be listed by the company, after 0x.

That being said, not all customers can trade the token at press time. The exchange noted that “BAT will be available for customers in most jurisdictions, but will not initially be available for residents of the state of New York.”

Coinbase Pro customers in the Empire State are similarly unable to trade BAT just yet.

The price of BAT saw an immediate reaction from the market upon official word of its listing on Coinbase, including a 5 percent jump in price in just a few minutes to reach $0.39, its highest price since July 24th.

The spike was backed by $15 million of volume in a 15-minute span on the Binance exchange alone. Profit-taking quickly ensued after the initial boost and the current trading hour is recording a loss of 8 percent from the initial high.

Coinbase image via Shutterstock

The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

Survey: Four in 10 Brits Don’t Think Crypto Will Be Used as Cash or Card

YouGov internet market research and data analysis group has conducted a survey about cryptocurrency use today and in the future in Great Britain.

The results found that more men than women were interested in the technology, it was a younger crowd who mostly saw Bitcoin and other digital assets’ potential, and just one in five felt that it was a good idea to reject central banking in favour of a cryptocurrency future.

YouGov Survey Provides Insight into U.K.’s Knowledge and Acceptance of Crypto

YouGov took a sample from its 800,000 registered members to determine which demographics in the U.K. were most interested or involved with crypto. This collection of people supposedly represents a diverse range of ages, genders, social classes, and academic backgrounds.

The YouGov website published the outcomes of the series of questions put to the sample today. The first addressed whether the respondents had even heard of Bitcoin. Here, an impressive 93% of Brits said they had.

The follow-up question addressed how many “feel they understand how Bitcoin works.” To this, only 9% of those answering stated that they understood the cryptocurrency “very well.” This compared to 65% who admitted to having the poorest understanding of BTC.

Interestingly, far more men claim to understand the financial and technological innovation than women. Compared to the 39% of men who said they understood Bitcoin either “very well” or “fairly well,” just 14% of women said they felt the same.

As you’d probably expect, young people were much more likely to have a stronger grasp on crypto. Over two in five of those responding to the survey said they understand Bitcoin “fairly well.” This compared with just 16% of those aged over 55. The results on age demographics are in keeping with U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTTC) chair Christopher Giancarlo’s opinion that interest in digital assets is generational.

The survey then addressed who had actually bought Bitcoin. Again, the results support the idea that younger people are more receptive to the ideas of decentralised money and digital scarcity. A total of 45 respondents aged 18-24 said they had either bought the digital asset themselves or knew someone who had. At the other end of the spectrum were those older than 55-years-old again. Just 1% had bought BTC themselves and 7% knew a Bitcoin investor personally.

Next, those involved in the survey were asked if they believed that cryptocurrencies would play an important role in the future of finance. Over one in five respondents stated that they felt digital assets would eventually be as widely used as card or cash payments. The answer distribution between the men and women was much closer in response to this question with 22% of men and 19% of women saying they thought a cryptocurrency future was likely.

Finally and perhaps most telling, the sample was asked about how they felt about the idea of a currency controlled by the public rather than one provided by a centralised institution such as the Bank of England. Just 3% of those asked said they felt “very positive” about the idea and 9% were “fairly positive.” The most popular answer by a sliver was “neutral” at 25%. Just behind was “fairly negative” at 24% and “very negative” at 20%. Finally, 18% of people asked said they didn’t know how to feel about it.

Presumably, if you were to ask the same question in a nation such as Zimbabwe, Turkey, or Venezuela you would get a very different answer. In terms of banks, the Bank of England is one of the least likely to abuse their power and trust in the institution has certainly been reflected in the responses to the survey.

Of course, there are issues with these kinds of online polls. The chief of these is the fact that we must assume that an overwhelming majority of the respondents are computer literate. If they were not, they would be highly unlikely to be a registered member of the YouGov platform in the first place.

This is immediately problematic with a topic such as digital currencies. Since a huge number of those surveyed are obviously regular internet users, they are much more likely to have encountered cryptos previously. The figures are therefore likely exaggerated when compared with a true survey of the entire British public.

Related Reading: Survey: A Quarter of Millennials Hold Crypto, Wary of Current Financial System

Featured image from Shutterstock.