Cryptocurrency Exchange KuCoin Raises $20 Million in Funding Round

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KuCoin, a Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange, has recently announced it raised $20 million in its series A funding round, from organizations that include IDG Capital, Matrix Partners, and Neo Global Capital.

According to a recently published post, the exchange is set to use the funds to launch its KuCoin platform 2.0, which will reportedly add new features such as upgraded APIs, stop orders, and a dust collecting tool that’ll presumably let users trade small amounts for its KuCoin Token (KCS). The upgrade is set to go live by the first quarter of next year.

The funds are also set to be used to hire more customer support staff to improve traders’ experience on the platform, and to help expand its research team. Per 8BTC, KuCoin is also eyeing a global expansion plan that will see it launch a targeted marketing and advertising campaign.

The plan will see it enter countries like Vietnam, Turkey, Russia, Italy, and more. Per the news outlet, the cryptocurrency exchange is set to be in a total of 10 markets by Q2 of next year. Its CEO, Michael Gan, was quoted as saying:

The combined forces of IDG Capital, Matrix Partners, and Neo Global Capital will help Kucoin grow substantially, expand understanding and adoption of cryptocurrency for millions of potential users, and help these users more efficiently find the best products available in the crypto-world no matter where on the planet they may exist.

KuCoin was launched back in September of 2017, and has since then seen over five million users register on its platform. Available data shows it isn’t a top cryptocurrency exchange, as it has been trading roughly $600 million per month.

Earlier this year the company was embroiled in controversy as a journalist claimed its Hong Kong office was empty. Responding to the situation, KuCoin clarified its Hong Kong address is “merely” for mailing purposes.

OkCoin Exchange Launches Operation in Argentina in Conquest of Latin America

OkCoin, a leading digital asset platform for fiat and token trading headquartered in Beijing, has expanded its operation to Argentina and is about to do the same in other Latin America countries.

Instiutional and retail customers are now able to exchange the Argentine peso for any cryptocurrency included in its offering.

OkCoin Offers Fiat-to-Crypto Exchange in Argentina as Country Faces 40.3% Inflation Rate

The digital currency exchange, which services millions of users worldwide, has announced it will be offering both spot and margin trading between the Argentine peso and several major cryptocurrencies. These include Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, Ripple, and Zcash, while complying to the local regulatory framework.

The OkCoin office located in Buenos Aires will support operations throughout Latin America.

The company may be eyeing markets such as Brazil, Chile, Colombia, and Venezuela, to open local operations that support the exchange of fiat currencies for digital assets. According to Tim Byun, CEO at OkCoin USA, Latin American populations are showing interest in crypto tokens while experimenting with blockchain technologies.

He added:

“OKCoin is committed to opening up new markets for digital currency consumers throughout the world, and we are very excited to extend our safe, secure and licensed trading platform to consumers in Argentina. This is just the beginning of our Latin American expansion, as we’re aiming to grow throughout the region by bringing institutional and retail traders there an array of trusted trading options so they can buy and sell with confidence.”

The Argentine peso has been experiencing significant volatility in recent times, having lost about half of its worth against the U.S. dollar on a year-over-year basis. Consumer prices in the country rose 6.5 percent in September, bringing the twelve-month inflation rate to 40.3 percent, the fifth highest in the world.

Venezuela leads the inflation rate ranking, with a hyperinflation of 833,997 percent as the government frequently announces new fiat currencies.

The country recently launched its government-backed cryptocurrency, El Petro. President Nicolás Maduro has ordered local banks to adopt the digital currency despite the overwhelming lack of confidence in the government and the central bank’s monetary policy.

Fiat currency weakness has buoyed growth of cryptocurrency markets in Argentina and Venezuela, which comes as a business opportunity for OkCoin. The emerging digital currency market is seen as a safe haven in times of economic distress, despite the volatility seen in daily trading.

Bitcoin is down by approximately four percent today, having lost the $6,000 handle yesterday. Most digital currencies are trading in the red with a few notable exceptions such as Nasdacoin, which is rallying by 267 percent.

Related Reading: Over 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs to Be Deployed in Argentina in Response to Rampant Inflation

Featured image from Shutterstock.

Report: Application for Chinese Crypto Miner Canaan’s $400 Mln IPO Lapses

Cryptocurrency mining equipment producer Canaan’s Initial Public Offering (IPO) application has lapsed, Reuters reported Nov. 15. The offering was set to take place on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX).

Founded in 2013 in China, Canaan manufactures application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) for digital currency mining. Canaan is the world’s second largest cryptocurrency hardware maker, collecting a revenue of 1.3 billion yuan ($187 million) in 2017. The company’s profit in the same year was 361 million yuan ($52 million), which is a 230 times increase from 2015, per business news outlet Quartz.

Canaan revealed its IPO plans in May, claiming to create the largest Bitcoin (BTC)-oriented offering yet seen when it would debut on the HKEX in July. While not mentioning a specific fundraising target, Cannan said the figure “could” reportedly circle $1 billion. However, the company subsequently lowered its target to $400 million.

Today, Reuters reported that Canaan has let its application for the IPO of at least $400 million lapse, purportedly due to questions about the company’s business model and prospects from the HKEX and regulators.

Sources close to the deal reportedly told Reuters that the IPO would not be conducted this year since a listing hearing was not updated by the HKEX. Canaan purportedly can rebid its IPO with updated financial information.

The news follows a recent statement issued by Hong Kong’s securities regulator, the autonomous Chinese territory’s Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), which sets out new guidelines for funds dealing with cryptocurrency, including exchanges. The statement read:

“In order to afford better protection to investors, the SFC considers that all licensed portfolio managers intending to invest in virtual assets should observe essentially the same regulatory requirements even if the portfolios (or portions of portfolios) under their management invest solely or partially in virtual assets, irrespective of whether these virtual assets amount to ‘securities’ or ‘futures contracts.’”

In October, Cointelegraph reported that major mining hardware producers, including Canaan, could be affected by recently imposed U.S. sanctions on Chinese goods. Analysts raised alarm as the technology had been reclassified by the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) to fall under a stricter tariff regime.

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet Services

Japan’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency, has unveiled a plan to regulate cryptocurrency wallet services. The regulator has put forward a number of regulatory measures as well as proposing how to implement them.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

The Plan

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet ServicesThe Financial Services Agency (FSA) held its ninth cryptocurrency study group meeting on Monday. According to the agency’s published meeting materials, one of the main topics on the agenda was a plan to regulate crypto wallet services and their providers.

Currently, Japan’s fund settlement law requires businesses conducting cryptocurrency-related activities in the country, such as buying and selling, to register as crypto exchanges with the FSA.

“Wallets are like bank accounts that store virtual currencies,” Itmedia publication elaborated. While wallet service providers “handle large amounts of virtual currencies like exchange companies,” the publication noted that “they are not targeted by laws and regulations.”

The FSA explained that the current law does not apply to wallet service providers since they do not buy or sell cryptocurrencies — they merely manage and transfer them for customers. However, since they manage payments, the agency believes that financial regulation is necessary.

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet ServicesThe plan unveiled at the meeting focuses on service providers — not software wallet developers or hardware wallet manufacturers. Many wallets exist only as code and are without identified leadership or companies behind them.

The regulations for wallet services will be in line with the international standards for preventing money laundering and terrorism financing set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), the FSA detailed. The agency wrote that the “revised FATF standards” must be imposed, including their recommendations relating to crypto exchanges, wallet service providers, and initial coin offering issuers.

The Implementation

The group proceeded to discuss the risks associated with wallet services, such as stolen funds during cyber attacks, wallet failures, money laundering, and other risks shared by crypto exchanges.

Japanese Regulator Unveils Plan to Regulate Cryptocurrency Wallet ServicesPossible regulatory measures include the maintenance of internal control systems, separate management of cryptocurrencies belonging to the service providers and customers, audits of financial statements, publication of policies in the event of stolen funds in a hack and retaining funds to repay customers.

The transition period for introducing wallet regulations was also discussed. During this time, service providers would not be able to add new businesses, customers, or coins supported. In addition, they must post notices on their websites regarding their registration status. Those refusing to register must declare on their websites and “indicate that the business will be abolished,” according to the meeting document.

What do you think of Japan planning to regulate crypto wallet services? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Coinbase-Backed Startup Releases Home Cryptocurrency Miner

Launch News

Coinbase-Backed Startup Releases Home Cryptocurrency Miner


A startup backed by Coinbase and Arrington Ventures has launched a cryptocurrency miner for domestic use. The new device, however, won’t be powerful enough to mine Bitcoin (BTC).


Mass-Market Appeal

Coinmine — a startup ran by computer scientist Farb Nivi and industrial designer Justin Lambert — has taken the challenge to bring cryptocurrency mining to the masses. They’re set to release a new mining device called Coinmine One, which is supposedly easy to use and shouldn’t use up more electricity than a vacuum cleaner.

As they prepare it for the market, its price is set at $799. The device is supposed to use regular GPU chips and it won’t be powerful enough to mine Bitcoin (BTC) 00. However, according to the official website, it will mine four other cryptocurrencies, namely Ethereum Classic (29 Mh/s), Ethereum (29 Mh/s), Zcash (290 sols/s), and Monero (800 h/s).

It also has its own operating system which will supposedly allow owners to add other cryptocurrencies in the future.

The startup has managed to raise $2 million from recognized names such as Coinbase Ventures, Arrington Ventures, and the CTO at Coinbase, Balaji Srinivasan. According to the latter, the device presents a pure money-making opportunity:

It’s a pretty cool idea to be able to plug a device into the wall that makes money for you while you sleep. As a purely economic proposition, you’d have to balance the cost of power and the hardware device itself with the cost of the coin or token that you’d be mining. There are so many assets now that there is probably always an arbitrage somewhere.

Two-Fold Appeal

However, according to the CEO of the company Farb Nivi, the new home miner has a two-fold appeal for cryptocurrency enthusiasts:

With automatic updates, MineOS also gives access to new crypto networks like Bitcoin Lightning, Grin, Dfinity, and Filecoin. This feature ensures users do not miss out on powering the next important crypto network.

However, Coinmine will be collecting the currency on behalf of the user and storing it in wallets on its corporate servers, taking a 5% cut for the service.

It’s worth noting, though, that Coinmine One is not the first device intended for simple domestic cryptocurrency mining.

In August, Bitcoinist reported that mining company Canaan launched a bitcoin mining television set dubbed the “AvalonMiner Inside.” The device can supposedly process 2.8 trillion hashes per second at 100W/T. , which is undoubtedly a decent power output for… a TV.

What do you think of Coinmine One? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below!


Images courtesy of Fortune, Shutterstock.

OmiseGo Partners With Singapore Ride Hailing App to Trial Blockchain Solutions

Ethereum-based payment platform OmiseGo and blockchain protocol Mass Vehicle Ledger (MVL) have partnered to research blockchain technology, according to a press release shared with Cointelegraph Nov. 14. MVL is the protocol behind popular Singapore ride hailing app TADA.

MVL and OmiseGo will develop a Proof-of-Concept (PoC) to ascertain whether the decentralized OMG Network is suitable for MVL’s data record-keeping system. During the PoC, MVL will record data collected from TADA on the OmiseGo platform.

Moreover, the two companies have announced further technical and research cooperation on possible blockchain applications in TADA’s services.

On Nov. 7, MVL received a taxi provider license from the Land Transport Authority of Singapore, allowing it to launch its new taxi booking service, TADA Taxi. According to Business Insider, over 2,000 taxi drivers have joined the app through  partnerships with local taxi companies.

Other taxi companies and ride-hailing services have explored applying blockchain technology to their business models.  In May, Chen Weixing, the founder of Chinese ride hailing company Kuaidi Dache, revealed his plans to create a blockchain-powered ride hailing app, adding that the service might also include deliveries.

The automotive industry has also shown a marked interest in applying new technologies like artificial intelligence  and blockchain. IOTA and Volkswagen demonstrated a PoC that used IOTA’s Tangle system for autonomous cars at Cebit ‘18 Expo in Germany last June.

Daimler AG — which produces Mercedes Benz and Smart cars — presented its own Blockchain-based digital currency MobiCoin to reward drivers for environmentally-friendly driving habits, such as driving at low speeds.

Nvidia Q3 Results Reveal ‘Crypto Hangover’ Due to Disappearance of Miner Sales

Nvidia released its earnings report for the third quarter (Q3) of 2018 today, Nov. 15, revealing that demand for Nvidia’s graphics processing units (GPUs) among crypto miners has dried up.

In the financial results report, founder and CEO of Nvidia Jensen Huang said that the company’s “near-term results reflect excess channel inventory post the cryptocurrency boom, which will be corrected.”

Put differently, the cryptocurrency frenzy drove up prices for Nvidia’s gaming cards, but once that demand disappeared, prices did not decrease quickly enough to attract customers who were waiting for more affordable cards. Huang told Reuters:

“The crypto hangover lasted longer than we expected. We thought we had done a better job managing the cryptocurrency dynamics.”

The company’s provision for inventories purportedly expanded to $70 million in Q3, having more than tripled for the first nine months of the current year to $124 million. This also resulted in the decrease of Nvidia’s gross margins by 1.8 percentage points in Q3 to 60.4 percent. The margins drop is also attributed to $57 million in charges related to the company’s previous generations of chips following the plunge in cryptocurrency mining demand.

After Nvidia’s post of sales missed expectations for Q3, the company’s shares dropped over 16 percent in late trading:

Nvidia stock following Q3 announcement. Source: Quartz

Nvidia stock following Q3 announcement. Source: Quartz

Per the financial report, Nvidia’s overall revenue in Q3 was $3.18 billion, a 21 percent increase compared to $2.64 billion a year earlier, and up two percent from $3.12 billion in the previous quarter.

In August, Nvidia forecasted its Q3 revenue to be between $3.19 billion and $3.32 billion, stressing that it does not expect to make significant blockchain-related sales for the rest of the year.

At the same time, Nvidia’s revenue for the third quarter is higher than that recently projected by experts from analytical firm Trefis. The experts expected consolidated revenues to be a bit under $3.10 billion in Q3, of which 84 percent could be attributed to GPUs.

Stablecoins Demand More Trust than Fiat Currency

This article about the problem with stablecoins was written by Kevin Murcko, the CEO at cryptocurrency exchange, CoinMetro, and forex broker, FXPIG.

Stablecoins — digital coins which peg their value rigidly to the dollar, the euro, or a collage of national currencies — are all the rage right now. Tether, in particular, is on everyone’s lips. In fact, it’s one of the most heavily traded cryptos in the market right now.

Also read: Stablecoins Fetch a Premium as BTC Hits Year Low

Stablecoins Demand More Trust than Fiat Currency

The appeal of Tether and other stablecoins is somewhat understandable. All cryptos are nascent assets; speculation, rather than the usefulness of the technology or the underlying asset, is what’s mostly been driving price movement. That’s led to wild volatility.

Traders love volatility, but not unreasonably, some people see a problem. Volatility is broadly incompatible with the concept of a day-to-day currency and a store of value. “Stablecoins” have arrived to fix this by, ostensibly, digitizing a fixed value in terms of dollars or an equivalent.

The Use Cases for Stablecoins

Certainly, there are a handful of legitimate use cases for stablecoins.

Let’s say a liquidity provider owes me $0.5 million. Maybe I need that money immediately to be able to rebalance my book — the traditional banking system isn’t the best way to do that. Even if we’re with the same bank, it can take a while to clear that transaction.

Stablecoins are useful because I can instantly clear funds back and forth. They offer the convenience and speed of using crypto without the caveat of volatility.

As the International Monetary Fund’s Christine Lagarde pointed out in a speech this month, Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) are another intriguing opportunity. While the benefits aren’t fully understood, CBDCs have the potential to limit costs and risks to payment systems, mitigate fraud and money laundering, and potentially even boost financial inclusion throughout the developing world.

Substituting Fiat Currency

Stablecoins Demand More Trust than Fiat Currency

Beyond these examples, however, stablecoins really struggle to prove their worth. Front-end, business-issued stablecoins (practically all stablecoins being traded at the moment) fall flat.

Currently, these stablecoins are used as substitutes for fiat on crypto exchanges that don’t have access to central bank-issued money. It’s not that these tokens are preferential to fiat. Rather, they’re band-aid solutions for retail exchanges which, for various reasons, can’t open and maintain adequate fiat on-and-off-ramps — usually because they aren’t properly licensed to offer fiat, or because they don’t have access to the necessary banking.

Why, in most circumstances, aren’t stablecoins preferential to fiat? It ultimately comes down to trust.

As we all know, crypto was originally intended to be trustless. The Bitcoin whitepaper laid out a vision to escape “to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party.”

What stablecoins represent, in many ways, is the antithesis of that idea. The crypto community now uses privately issued tokens or coins that are pegged to the very currencies they originally wanted to pull away from. That’s problematic for a number of reasons.

Stablecoins require you to have confidence, not only in the government, but in an undependable, easily corruptible private company. We have to place our faith outside of the chain and in these companies’ ability to self-regulate supply and demand.

The Collateralization Problem

That’s a tall order. Stablecoins can be split into three states of collateralization, or the extent to which the coin is backed one-to-one by fiat. Some coins are fully collateralized, others are partly collateralized, and others are entirely uncollateralized. Unfortunately, all provide insufficient mechanics to properly regulate price.

For noncollateralized tokens, value is essentially suppressed by “printing” digital money. That’s all well and good, but when the price drops, it’s not possible to un-issue what’s already in circulation.

Here’s the snag. If the smart contract can’t keep the price at $1, then the algorithm is forced to issue bonds, promising users an entitlement to coins in the future. The bonds are then redeemed, and the price returns to $1.

That’s the theory, at least. The issue is, these bonds can only really be serviced if the platform is in an overall state of growth. The headache arises when the price keeps on dropping, and increasing numbers of bonds have to be issued until this price returns to trading level or above par. Bonds can’t be issued indefinitely.

The Fundamental Flaw: Artificial Inflation

Stablecoins Demand More Trust than Fiat Currency

Partial collateralization presents a minor improvement over the complete lack of reserve assets, but it still has a fundamental flaw: If confidence in the platform dips, then the company has to artificially inflate the price of its token by drawing on a finite pool of fiat reserves, preventing the price from plummeting. This, of course, has a limit. A company can only buy back so much of its own currency.

Presumably then, “fully collateralized” models like Tether are therefore reliable? Not really.

Even if we take the company for its word (there’s some uncertainty as to whether their assets are fully collateralized), it still doesn’t make much sense to abandon the relatively safe greenback for an inconvenient crypto that doesn’t always have fiat parity, provides no consumer protections, and is vulnerable to hacking.

Stablecoins: An Awful Idea

Central banks may not be the ideal institutions to trust, but many have stood resolutely for decades with the primary goal of maintaining our trust in their money. If privately backed stablecoins are designed to replace our reliance on these central banks with a reliance on a combination of both central banks and their loosely regulated businesses, then this seems like an awful deal to say the least.

Let’s not confuse lack of volatility with stability. That’s a dangerous mistake to make. Yes, many stablecoins do have relatively “stable” prices, but “stability” — in another sense of the word — is also about reliability, and that’s one thing that can’t be said of stablecoins, which demand far more trust than the original fiat.

Do you agree that stablecoins are overhyped? Can stablecoins solve the problem of volatility? What is the future of the stablecoin? 


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


OP-ed disclaimer: This is an Op-ed article. The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own. Bitcoin.com does not endorse nor support views, opinions or conclusions drawn in this post. Bitcoin.com is not responsible for or liable for any content, accuracy or quality within the Op-ed article. Readers should do their own due diligence before taking any actions related to the content. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any information in this Op-ed article.

Ripple Price Analysis: XRP/USD Sellers In Control Below $0.5200

Key Highlights

  • Ripple price declined recently and tested the $0.5000 support area against the US dollar.
  • There is a major bearish trend line in place with resistance at $0.5120 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair (data source from Kraken).
  • The pair is currently under pressure below the $0.5120 and $0.5200 resistance levels.

Ripple price is struggling to gain bullish momentum against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. XRP/USD may continue to consolidate below $0.5200 for the next few sessions.

Ripple Price Analysis

After testing the $0.5200 resistance, ripple price declined once more against the US Dollar. The XRP/USD pair formed a swing high at $0.5255 and traded below the $0.5150 level. There was even a close below the $0.5100 level and the 100 hourly simple moving average. The decline was such that the price spiked below the $0.5000 support. However, the price recovered later and it is currently consolidating above $0.5000.

An initial resistance is the 23.6% Fib retracement level of the recent slide from the $0.5255 high to $0.4970 swing low. There is also a major bearish trend line in place with resistance at $0.5120 on the hourly chart of the XRP/USD pair. Around the trend line, the 50% Fib retracement level of the recent slide from the $0.5255 high to $0.4970 swing low is positioned at $0.5114. Therefore, if the pair corrects higher, it could find a strong resistance near $0.5115 and $0.5120. Above the trend line, the next major hurdle for buyers is near the $0.5200 level. On the downside, an initial support is at $0.4970, below which the price could revisit $0.4860.

Ripple Price Analysis XRP Chart

Looking at the chart, ripple price is clearly under pressure below the $0.5200 resistance area. If buyers continue to fail to gain traction, the price may perhaps decline towards $0.4860 or $0.4700.

Looking at the technical indicators:

Hourly MACD – The MACD for XRP/USD is placed in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSI (Relative Strength Index) – The RSI for XRP/USD is well below the 50 level.

Major Support Level – $0.4970

Major Resistance Level – $0.5200

Cardano Price Analysis: ADA/USD Could Extend Declines To $0.072

Key Highlights

  • ADA price failed to stay above the $0.0760 support and extended losses against the US Dollar (tethered).
  • There was a break below a key bullish trend line with support at $0.0760 on the hourly chart of the ADA/USD pair (data feed via Bittrex).
  • The pair may perhaps continue to move down towards the $0.0730 or $0.0720 support.

Cardano price is slowly moving lower against the US Dollar and Bitcoin. ADA/USD could accelerate declines towards the $0.0720 support in the near term.

Cardano Price Analysis

Recently, cardano price settled below the $0.0800 support level against the US Dollar. It resulted in a fresh decline and the ADA/USD pair declined below the $0.0780 support and the 100 hourly simple moving average. During the decline, the price traded below the 50% Fibonacci retracement level of the last major wave from the $0.0703 low to $0.0820 high.

More importantly, there was a break below a key bullish trend line with support at $0.0760 on the hourly chart of the ADA/USD pair. The pair settled below the $0.0760 support, which is a short term bearish sign. The next support is near the $0.0730 level. It represents the 76.4% Fibonacci retracement level of the last major wave from the $0.0703 low to $0.0820 high. Below $0.0730, the price will most likely decline towards the $0.0720 support area. If there is an upside correction, the $0.0760 level and the 100 hourly SMA are likely to act as hurdles. Above the $0.0760 resistance, the price may resume its upward move.

Cardano Price Analysis ADA Chart

The chart indicates that ADA price moved into a short term bearish zone below the $0.0760 support and the 100 hourly SMA. If buyers struggle to push the price back above $0.0760 and $0.0762, there could be more losses towards $0.0720.

Hourly MACD – The MACD for ADA/USD is placed heavily in the bearish zone.

Hourly RSI – The RSI for ADA/USD is currently attempting a recovery from the 30 level.

Major Support Level – $0.0720

Major Resistance Level – $0.0762