Bitmain Says Now-Lapsed IPO Made Firm More Transparent, Reveals Appointment of New CEO

Bitmain Says Now-Lapsed IPO Made Firm More Transparent, Reveals Appointment of New CEO

Chinese crypto mining titan Bitmain’s filing to list an initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) has officially expired, according to an updated list of now-lapsed applications on the HKEx website on March 26. In a blog post published the same day, the company acknowledged that its IPO application was now inactive, and simultaneously revealed the appointment of a new CEO, Mr. Haichao Wang. As reported yesterday, Bitmain’s IPO filing — published in English and Chinese on Sept. 26, 2018 — was set to imminently reach the end of a six-month validity window, pursuant to HKEx listing rules. These rules provide a window for a given application to proceed to a closed-door hearing before the exchange’s Listing Committee, which is tasked with giving the final approval or disapproval of the offering. Should this fail to happen within this time frame, the listing formally lapses. In its statement, Bitmain confirmed the expiration, emphasizing that it remains committed to realizing the “huge potential of the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry,” which it noted “remains a relatively young industry which is proving its value.” The statement added: “We hope regulatory authorities, media, and the general public can be more inclusive to this young industry. We will restart the listing application work at an appropriate time in the future.” At the same time, Bitmain claimed that undergoing the HKEx listing route has “made the company more transparent and standardized,” adding that the “process of rationalization and optimization” has heightened the company’s focus on the core elements of its mission. The company outlines the range of measures it has taken to streamline and rationalize its operations, revealing the appointment of Mr. Wang as CEO, who is reportedly a veteran of the chip manufacturing industry and has already successfully headed several units within Bitmain. As reported, this January Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan Ketuan had stepped aside as co-CEOs: today’s post confirms they will remain on as directors of the firm. The post also alludes to the numerous contractions Bitmain has this year made to its global business — along with cuts to its workforce — noting that “it was a difficult but necessary decision as we continue to build a long-term, sustainable and scalable business.” As part…

CoinMarketCap Will Alter Listing Metrics After Latest Fake Volume Research

CoinMarketCap Will Alter Listing Metrics After Latest Fake Volume Research

Cryptocurrency market data resource CoinMarketCap (CMC) has promised to rearrange how it ranks member exchanges after research found overwhelming evidence of fake volume. The company confirmed the upcoming changes on social media on March 25. CMC is arguably the industry’s best-known tracking service for the market cap of Bitcoin (BTC) and altcoins, as well as for the activity on exchanges trading them. However, last week, research from cryptocurrency index fund provider Bitwise claimed that CMC hosts almost entirely fake volume statistics. This in turn deceives investors and inflates the profile of affected coins, Bitwise explained in the report. Now, CMC has appeared to heed the warnings represented in the research, which Bitwise sent to United States regulators for consideration as part of its application to launch a Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). “We are listening to all our users’ feedback, and we are working hard to add a suite of new metrics so users can get a fuller picture of exchanges and crypto on the site,” executives wrote on Twitter. Speaking to Bloomberg meanwhile, CMC’s global head of marketing, Carylyne Chan, offered a glimpse of how the site’s rankings would change in future. “For instance, if an exchange with low traffic has $300M volume and just 5 BTC in its wallet, users will be able to draw their own conclusions without the need for us to make arbitrary judgment calls on what is ’good’ or ’bad,’” she explained. CMC had previously caught the attention of crypto figures after previous research from trading platform The Tie likewise cast the spotlight on exchanges’ reported volumes. Specifically, Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance, argued a coin climbing the site’s rankings alienated experienced investors, who would automatically assume its size was suspect. As well, last week two exchanges with suspect trading volumes both briefly overtook Binance on CMC’s adjusted volumes rankings, a section of the site which attempts to filter out artificial volume and wash trading. Chan did not offer a timeframe for implementing the new changes.

Amazon-Owned Twitch Removes Crypto Payments for Subscriptions

Amazon-Owned Twitch Removes Crypto Payments for Subscriptions

Amazon-owned live streaming video platform Twitch.tv has reportedly removed its cryptocurrency payment option for subscriptions. A Reddit user posted the news on Saturday, saying that, while Twitch had allowed users to pay in bitcoin (BTC) and bitcoin cash (BCH) through blockchain payments processor Bitpay, the option has been removed in the last couple of weeks “for all countries.” A tweet from Twitch dating from last January does indicate that bitcoin at least was one of the accepted payment options, among other methods including Amazon Pay and Apple Pay: Its terms and conditions currently state that the firm accepts “major credit cards, certain debit cards, PayPal, various payment methods through Xsolla and/or such other payment methods we may make available to you from time-to-time through our site, as forms of payment.” Another Redditor said they had sometimes used BCH as a payment option for subscriptions, but with Twitch removing the option, they have canceled all subscriptions and notified the firm. While cryptocurrencies have been widely touted as having a strong potential role in online payments, issues such as price volatility have sometimes frustrated the best intentions of merchants attempting to offer the option. Microsoft, for example, suspended bitcoin payments on its store last January, citing “instability.” They were later reinstated, however. Online gaming platform Steam also dropped its bitcoin payments feature in late 2017, citing chronic problems with the cryptocurrency’s high transaction fees and volatile price. It’s worth noting that the average fee for a bitcoin transaction has dropped significantly since the highs seen in 2017-2018. CoinDesk has reached out to Twitch and will update this article accordingly if a reply is received. Twitch image via Shutterstock

Crypto Town Hall Meetings Grow to 8 Indian Cities for More to Voice Regulatory Ideas

Crypto Town Hall Meetings Grow to 8 Indian Cities for More to Voice Regulatory Ideas

The number of open town hall meetings for the Indian crypto community to voice regulatory suggestions has grown from four cities to eight. The organizer of the meetings has shared details with news.Bitcoin.com. Meetings will be hosted in four new cities in April and the best suggestions for crypto regulation will be submitted to the government, the organizer has explained. Also read: Indian Supreme Court Set to Hear Crypto Case on March 29 4 More Cities Added Blockchained India has added four more cities to its town hall roadshow meetings across India due to popular demand. Three meetings have already taken place — in Delhi, Mumbai, and Hyderabad. The next meeting will be on March 30 in Bengaluru. The four newly added cities are Ahmedabad, Pune, Goa and Kolkata. News.Bitcoin.com spoke with Akshay Aggarwal, National Head and co-founder of Blockchained India. He explained on Monday that the four new meetings will be run by volunteers. While the dates still need to be confirmed, he noted that “The topics and everything else will be the exact same,” elaborating: Tentatively we are looking at 6th for Kolkata, 13th for Goa, 20th for Ahmedabad and 27th for Pune. Each town hall meeting has seen between 300 and 400 participants, with many more logging in remotely, the Bangalore Mirror reported. “Every presentation has been followed by at least 35 minutes of question-answer sessions — we had provisioned for 15 — and the sessions themselves have gone on for over six hours,” the co-founder was quoted as saying. Those who cannot attend the meetings in person can tune in remotely and voice their regulatory suggestions. Submitting Ideas to Government During the first three town hall meetings, participants shared their opinions about regulation in India and the best suggestions will be submitted to the government for consideration, Blockchained India has said. Aggarwal confirmed to news.Bitcoin.com the group’s plan to submit ideas to the regulators, stating: All the suggestions will be compiled together in the report and one report will be submitted once all townhalls have happened. The report will be submitted to the decision makers and also, presented to the whole ecosystem at India Dapp Fest in June onstage. “Only one [report] for all the 8 open townhalls [will be submitted],”…

Crypto Mining Giant Bitmain’s IPO Application Has Officially Expired

Crypto Mining Giant Bitmain’s IPO Application Has Officially Expired

Cryptocurrency mining equipment maker Bitmain’s application for an initial public offering (IPO) on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEX) has officially lapsed, meaning no such transaction is happening anytime soon. According to an update on the HKEX’s website, Bitmain’s case has been moved to a group of “inactive” applications and is now labeled as lapsed, six months after the company filed the prospectus on Sept 26. If it still wishes to pursue a listing, Bitmain can re-file the application, but the company would be required to provide additional financial records beyond what was included in its initial filing. According to a listing rule from the HKEX, “the latest financial period reported on by the reporting accountants for a new applicant must not have ended more than six months from the date of the listing documents.” However, the last public filing from Bitmain only covers the period ending June 30, 2018, nearly nine months ago. The application drew wide attention last fall as Bitmain disclosed eye-popping profit growth over the past several years. For instance, just for the first half of 2018, the mining giant brought home a net profit of nearly $1 billion, after having made over $1 billion for all of 2017. Despite such rapid growth in the bottom line, reflecting the surging cryptocurrency market of 2017, the HKEX was hesitant to approve applications from Bitmain and its mining rivals Canaan Creative and Ebang, due to the industry’s volatility. Indeed, in line with the market slump of 2018, Bitmain suffered a loss of about $500 million in the third quarter of last year. It’s unclear at the moment whether Bitmain is contemplating another attempt any time soon to go public. The company published an announcement on Tuesday stating: “Bitmain’s listing application to HKex in September 2018 has reached its 6-month expiration date. … We will restart the listing application work at an appropriate time in the future.” The company also confirmed in the same announcement that its co-founders Jihan Wu and Micree Zhan have stepped down as co-CEOs. Haichao Wang, previously a director of product engineering at Bitmain, was officially appointed Bitmain’s CEO, months after news report said a management shakeup was in the works. But if it does not find another way to go public, the company may be on…

QuadrigaCX Would Never Have Lost Crypto Keys Had It Been in Bermuda, Says Premier

QuadrigaCX Would Never Have Lost Crypto Keys Had It Been in Bermuda, Says Premier

The Premier of Bermuda, David Burt, has argued that a QuadrigaCX-like situation could not have happened in Bermuda because of the country’s existing legislation in regard to cryptocurrencies. Burt made his statements in an interview on Fortune’s “Balancing the Ledger” show on March 25. Burt delivered his comments following QuadrigaCX’ founder, Gerald Cotten’s sudden death last December, and financial difficulty the exchange subsequently faced. QuadrigaCX has not been able to access its cold wallets where it kept most of its assets, because Cotten was apparently solely responsible for the wallets and corresponding keys. Burt stated in the interview that QuadrigaCX’s private keys could never have been lost if the exchange were registered in Bermuda, and not Canada. Burt said: “If Quadriga was licensed under the Bermuda Monetary Authority, what has happened would not have been able to happen, because we have rules regarding the custody of master keys and making sure they’re not held by a particular individual.” Burt apparently discussed the country’s Digital Asset Business Act 2018, the new regulatory regime that sets visible boundaries for blockchain and cryptocurrency-related businesses and protects the rights of their existing and potential clients: “It basically states what you have to do with the master keys, how those things have to be handled, and making sure that they cannot be lost, or if they are lost, there’s a way for that recovery to happen.” Bermuda is known for its blockchain and cryptocurrency-friendly stance. Last year, the country’s government announced plans to make amendments to the Banking Act in order to establish a new class of bank to render services to local fintech and blockchain organizations. Burt said then that individual bank policies not to provide banking services to the new type of companies “cannot be allowed to frustrate the delivery on our promise of economic growth and success for Bermudians.” Bermuda also implemented new regulations on initial coin offerings (ICOs), that require Bermudian ICO issuers to provide detailed information about “all persons involved with the ICO.”

Vitalik Buterin: Crypto Must Leave Behind the Individualism of the Early Cypherpunks

Vitalik Buterin: Crypto Must Leave Behind the Individualism of the Early Cypherpunks

Ethereum (ETH) co-founder Vitalik Buterin has argued that the crypto community should evolve beyond the individualism associated with its early cypherpunk days and harness technology to create new, equitable and innovative systems with positive social impact. Buterin made his comments during a keynote speech at the RadicalxChange conference in Detroit, Michigan on March 24, BreakerMag reported on March 25. Buterin had jointly initiated RadicalxChange with economist Glen Weyl, co-author of the book “Radical Markets,” which argues in favor of rethinking markets from within an emboldened and radicalized liberal perspective as an antidote to neoreaction, populism and protectionism.   In his speech, Buterin argued that today’s crypto advocates and developers should evolve away from the fierce individualism of the cypherpunk movement and from an excessive focus on maximizing autonomy and privacy. Money, he argued, is fundamentally and profoundly social, and the potential of cryptocurrencies and blockchain  technology is to advance an explicitly political, collective agenda. This, he argued, includes rethinking models of social governance, formalizing identity and community membership, facilitating the equitable funding of public goods, and rehauling ownership structures. Buterin pitched cryptocurrencies and blockchain — and more fundamentally, the creative and astute use of technology to tackle concrete politico-economic goals — as a way out of the contemporary impasse. Critics of the status quo, he claimed, advocate for either a “1950’s-style centrally planned statism” on the left, or “free-market capitalism with slightly more welfare” among centrists. “Both of these ideas,” he argued, represent “intellectual dead ends.” Noting that the invention of Bitcoin represents a powerful movement against state and central bank hegemony, he proposed that smart contract platforms such as Ethereum, as well as governance-focused blockchains, can help realize its originary revolutionary impulse to the full. As Cointelegraph has reported, Satoshi Nakamoto — the much-mythologized, anonymous inventor of Bitcoin — notoriously embedded the coin’s genesis block with a New York Times headline from January 2009 about the United Kingdom bank bailout. The challenges of creatively expanding Nakomoto’s vision were acknowledged by Buterin in a recent speech, in which he noted that non-financial blockchain applications continue to face more difficulty gaining traction. Among his personal commitments, he said, was redrawing the existing technology and power landscape by creating a decentralized ecosystem that would allow smaller players…

A Bitcoin Lightning Web Standard, Inspired By Ethereum, Is Gaining Steam

A Bitcoin Lightning Web Standard, Inspired By Ethereum, Is Gaining Steam

Sending bitcoin lightning payments over the web might soon get easier. That’s because a new bitcoin standard for simplifying lightning payments, the open-source WebLN standard, is gaining traction, now being used by Lightning Joule and Bluewallet, two of the more popular lightning wallets, as well as apps like Lightning Spin, to slim down the number of steps a user needs to make a payment. This is an important step for lightning, an experimental technology that is still risky to send real money over. Developer warnings aren’t stopping eager users from trying out what they believe to be the future of bitcoin payments, and as they’ve toyed with payments, they’ve bumped into issues trying to send or receive value. The standard, written by developer William O’Beirne, is inspired by his work contributing to popular ethereum services, MyCrypto and MyEtherWallet, both of which are used for storing ethereum’s native currency, ether. This might seem a bit odd because bitcoin and ethereum users often seem like rivals, battling on Twitter and debating the merits of each cryptocurrency. But O’Beirne doesn’t seem to care about that. His work on ethereum’s web standard, Web3, led him to what he calls an “a-ha moment,” where he decided lightning opens up opportunities for a similar set of standards for bitcoin that could make interacting with payments on the Web much easier. “The Web is the most obvious place for micropayments,” O’Beirne argued. The ultimate goal, as he showed in his presentation of Chrome browser extension Lightning Joule last fall, is to embed payments into the web so that they’re really easy to use. O’Beirne told CoinDesk: “I want to make it really easy for new lightning projects to have a great UX for making payments without having to reinvent the wheel of how to display payments to users, or get them to provide invoices.” He gave an example of a WebLN-enabled site that allowed users to quickly paying a Satoshi (worth about $0.00004) to get rid of advertisements for the day. Easier payments That said, while WebLN is inspired by ethereum, O’Beirne says “WebLN is a lot more stripped down than Web3.” After all, lightning is not a “Turing-complete system.” Rather, since bitcoin’s lightning is more focused on payments, that’s where the…

Microsoft’s Bing Blocked Over Five Million Cryptocurrency-Related Ads in 2018

Microsoft’s Bing Blocked Over Five Million Cryptocurrency-Related Ads in 2018

Microsoft-owned search engine and advertisement platform Bing noted that it blocked over five million cryptocurrency-related ads last year in its “Ad quality year in review 2018” report published on March 25. Bing notes that the pseudo-anonymity of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) “made cryptocurrency a prime target for fraudsters and scam artists to defraud end-users.” Bing claims that this is the reason for the ban of cryptocurrency-related content from its advertising platform that resulted in over five million ads being blocked. Bing also notes that its ban against weapon advertisement resulted in over 18 million ads being blocked alongside over 5,000 websites. Lastly, the company claims that its efforts to fight tech scams lead to the closure of over 12,000 Bing Ads accounts. In May last year, Bing joined other internet giants in announcing it would ban cryptocurrency-related advertisements on its network by July 2018. The company then stated in an official post: “Because cryptocurrency and related products are not regulated, we have found them to present a possible elevated risk to our users with the potential for bad actors to participate in predatory behaviors, or otherwise scam consumers.” Before Bing, Facebook banned cryptocurrency ads in January 2018, as did Google in March of the same year. Twitter soon followed with a ban on advertising for initial coin offerings (ICO) and token sales. While the firms have previously introduced bans on crypto content, those policies have not necessarily reflected the thoughts of their top executives. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is a vocal Bitcoin advocate. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also expressed interest in digital assets, telling CNBC last year: “There are important counter-trends to this, like encryption and cryptocurrency, that take power from centralized systems and put it back into people’s hands. I’m interested to go deeper and study the positive and negative aspects of these technologies, and how best to use them in our services.”

How to Install a Crypto Widget on Your Website

How to Install a Crypto Widget on Your Website

For many businesses, startups in particular, the introduction of cryptocurrency features into their online platforms can bring tangible benefits. Integrating cryptocurrency payment options and providing market information about digital coins has the potential to attract customers from a community that favors fast and inexpensive electronic payments. Also read: Bitcoinmap.cash Helps You Find Places to Spend BCH WordPress Crypto Plugins The simplicity and flexibility of WordPress has made it a preferred platform for many young companies looking to build their own websites. Those relying a on crypto income, however, need to install a plugin that supports cryptocurrency payments. There are many available options, one of which is My Crypto Checkout. The plugin allows online stores to receive direct payments in over 30 cryptocurrencies in peer-to-peer transactions with a zero percent fee. Under a free license, MCC processes up to three sales per month but the paid subscription comes with unlimited transactions for $59 a year. Once it’s downloaded from the Plugins page in the WordPress dashboard and activated, one or more cryptos have to be set up in the Currencies tab. As the software supports Woocommerce and Easy Digital Downloads, the payment gateway settings for the preferred platform need to be adjusted too. Other websites may want to keep their users informed about crypto prices. A simple solution is provided by the Cryptocurrency Price Widget, which comes with real-time price updates for over 3,600 coins and 160 fiat currencies. It can be downloaded and installed from Add New in the Plugins page. Bitcoin.com offers widgets that update website visitors about the price movements of bitcoin cash (BCH). They also enable websites to receive the latest news from the crypto space via a news ticker. Find out how to install them by visiting the Bitcoin Widgets page. Do you agree that crypto widgets are useful for online businesses? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. At Bitcoin.com there’s a bunch of free helpful services. For instance, have you seen our Tools page? You can even lookup the exchange rate for a transaction in the past. Or calculate the value of your current holdings. Or create a paper wallet. And much more. Lubomir Tassev Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Bulgaria, which…