$900 Million: Coinbase Records Highest Weekly Ethereum Trading Volume Since 2017

$900 Million: Coinbase Records Highest Weekly Ethereum Trading Volume Since 2017

Weekly trading volume for the world’s second largest cryptocurrency by market value, Ethereum (ETH), reached its highest notional value in over 17-months on the popular exchange Coinbase. In Coinbase’s two most popular ETH markets, ETH/BTC and ETH/USD, a combined total of 3,675,570 units of ETH changed hands from May 13 to May 19, which at current market prices ($246) has a notional value of over $904.1 million – its highest total in a week since Dec. 11, 2017 according to data from TradingView. If the trading volume of Coinbase’s remaining and more recently-added ETH markets (ETH/GBP, ETH/EUR, and ETH/USDC) are added to the mix, a total of 4.271 million ETH moved in that 7-day stretch, activity that was worth over $1.05 billion at current market prices. ETH/BTC + ETH/USD Weekly Volume (Coinbase) The forceful return of in trading volume during a week in which ETH prices rose 37 percent (USD value) indicates the rally may be sustainable and that retail investors have re-entered the cryptocurrency markets after months of waning interest as a result of falling prices. Coinbase’s brand recognition is among the strongest in the cryptocurrency exchange sector as its $8 billion valuation and status as the largest US-based crypto exchange make it a primary destination for investors and traders alike who want quick and safe exposure to the market. Interestingly, weekly volume increases of this magnitude on Coinbase have preceded more significant advances in ETH’s price history. Since late 2016 and not including this past week, the combined weekly trade volume of Coinbase’s ETH/USD and ETH/BTC markets has exceeded 3.13 million ETH only 4 times and in the six weeks after ETH’s USD price went on to increase 87.1, 91.3, 54.6, and 67.1 percent respectively. That said, ETH wasn’t the only cryptocurrency to flash notable growth last week. Bitcoin (BTC), the sole cryptocurrency larger than ETH by market cap, increased 17 percent in price and climbed to a 42-week high of $8,388. In all, the value of the broader cryptocurrency market now records $242.4 billion, up 91 from the beginning of the year, according to CoinMarketCap. Disclosure: The author holds several cryptocurrencies. Please see his author bio for more information.  Ethereum image via Shutterstock; Charts via TradingView

MakerDAO Fee Decrease Stalls Amid Decline in Token Holder Voting Turnout

MakerDAO Fee Decrease Stalls Amid Decline in Token Holder Voting Turnout

After an initial round of polling last Thursday, MakerDAO token holders have failed to finalize a decision to decrease fees for users on DAI stablecoin loans taken out through MakerDAO’s programmatic lending protocol. On Friday, a secondary round of polling was launched in order to execute a 2 percent decrease to MakerDAO fees in the system. However, for the first time, the minimum threshold of 117,631.90 MKR tokens was not reached over the weekend and the executive vote remains unfulfilled with a total of 46,546.86 MKR tokens staked. Taking a step back, MakerDAO is the most popular decentralized finance application in the cryptocurrency industry, according to decentralized application tracker DeFi Pulse. MakerDAO has issued over 81 million DAI tokens backed by the world’s second largest cryptocurrency in the world, ether. For the first time in 5 months, MakerDAO token holders agreed to reduce accumulating interest – called the Stability Fee – on all MakerDAO DAI loans from 19.5 percent to 17.5 percent. However, the majority vote threshold itself was actually reached by a total of two large token holders who collectively staked 54,000 MKR tokens and outweighed other polling options which had a higher number of individual voters but a lower number of tokens staked overall. “There are two important signals the community should be monitoring,” highlighted head of community developer at the MakerDAO Foundation Richard Brown in a Reddit post.”MKR staked, which determines the governance polls, and the overall voter turnout. We need to know as a group if two large holders pushed through a vote, while a majority of smaller holders voted differently. Being able to have this information is important for the community, in order to identify disconnects.” Brown added in the same post that there is absolutely no MakerDAO token holder large enough to overpower 5 or 6 MakerDAO token holders staking in favor of a competing proposal. However, as noted by a Reddit user in response, token holders no longer feel safe staking their MKR after a critical vulnerability was disclosed roughly two weeks ago that could have frozen user funds. “Rich, one of the reason people were panicking is [the] last voting contract had [a] ‘bug’ and they are not prepared [to] risk large chunk of money until they are 100 percent…

Accept USD Coin with Coinbase Commerce

Accept USD Coin with Coinbase Commerce

Today we’re excited to announce that businesses can now accept USD Coin with Coinbase Commerce. USD Coin (USDC) is a US dollar-backed stablecoin brought to you by Circle and Coinbase. Accepting USD Coin gives our merchants many of the benefits of accepting cryptocurrency but at a stable price: no transaction fees, no chargebacks, and full control over funds. Coinbase Commerce is a service launched early last year that enables merchants to accept multiple cryptocurrencies directly into a user-controlled wallet. Coinbase Commerce can be directly integrated into a merchant’s checkout flow or added as a payment option on all popular e-commerce platforms such as Shopify or WooCommerce. It’s easier than ever to start accepting cryptocurrency and setup takes just a few minutes. Adding USD Coin to Coinbase Commerce enables businesses to accept payments online in the same way they’re able to accept cash in-store. Unlike accepting credit card payments, merchants can accept USD Coin without geographical limitations or the need for a traditional bank account. Merchants can accept payment in USDC from customers around the globe in minutes with zero transaction fees. How to Get Started If you’re new to Coinbase Commerce, simply sign up to start accepting USD Coin. If you’re an existing user, then there’s no action required.

Cash, Coins and Casinos: Japan Struggles to Regulate Online Gambling

Cash, Coins and Casinos: Japan Struggles to Regulate Online Gambling

Despite Japan’s reputation for being one of the most welcoming nations for fintech, online crypto gambling has struggled to take off in light of the country’s strict regulation. In late March, the blockchain-based, decentralized application (DApp) platform Tron announced that it would block gambling DApps in Japan, bringing the issue of regulating crypto gambling back to public attention. Cointelegraph takes a look at the legal and cultural approaches to gambling in Japan, along with how developers believe attempts to halt crypto gambling can only last so long. Tron complies with Japanese legislation On March 31, Tron announced in a press release that it would remove gambling DApps in Japan in order to comply with local regulation. The press release laid bare the firm’s intention to comply with local laws and regulation worldwide. With special mention of Japan, the company said that it does not “encourage or recommend any gambling DApps regarding the Japanese market.” Additionally, Tron suggested that Japanese developers should not attempt to develop any gambling DApps on its platform and for developers to actively block users that are found to have Japanese IP addresses. Gambling is generally prohibited by the Japanese criminal code, aside from a few regulated, government-approved sectors — such as horse, boat, bicycle and automobile racing. The company also stated its readiness to work with Japanese law enforcement in the event that any Tron DApps are found to have violated Japanese laws or regulations. The question of Tron’s commitment to decentralization reared its head once again on May 10, as Lucien Chen, former chief technical officer and co-founder of the company, announced his decision to leave the project, citing excessive centralization among his reasons. Although the former CTO noted his pride in a now-deleted Medium post what the project had achieved so far, Chen said that the project is no longer true to its original mission of decentralizing the web: “The reason for leaving is very simple. As a technical man, I feel very sad that the TRON has departed from the faith of ‘decentralize the web.’” Along with stating his belief that real internet applications cannot currently function in the Tron network, Chen also highlighted his concerns with Tron’s delegated proof-of-stake (DPoS), as well as Super Representative governance and…

Bitcoin.com’s Market Cap Aggregator Adds More Informative Crypto Data

Bitcoin.com’s Market Cap Aggregator Adds More Informative Crypto Data

A little over a year ago, our web portal launched a new market cap aggregator, Markets.Bitcoin.com, which showcases the top 500 cryptocurrency market valuations. More recently we’ve added some great data to Markets.Bitcoin.com so people can get information on not only the price of their favorite coins, but also real-time charts featuring transactions per day, 24-hour volume, and the current number of coins in circulation. Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Devs Publish the First 3 of 3 Multi-Sig Schnorr Transaction Markets.Bitcoin.com: Real-Time Price Quotes, Market Caps, and Professional Charts Last year, we launched a webpage that hosts the top 500 cryptocurrency market valuations in real-time. Markets.Bitcoin.com is a colorfully themed market cap aggregator that features the top performing cryptocurrency prices and market data. The page is quite different to most market cap websites because you don’t have to refresh the page all the time in order to get real-time prices. 500 cryptocurrency market caps, price quotes, trade volume and more data on one intuitive and customizable interface. Markets.Bitcoin.com is also very simple to use, making navigation effortless while the eloquently designed interface is easy on the eye. Our market cap aggregator can also be viewed in both daylight and night mode depending on your preference. And speaking of preferences, you can also filter crypto prices by your favorite coins as well by marking them with a heart for ease of reference. Markets.Bitcoin.com offers night mode.You can also highlight a specific cryptocurrency by clicking on an individual asset and it will direct you to a page that shows the digital asset’s price chart. Markets.Bitcoin.com features professional charts that can be toggled with different chart properties, timeframes, full-screen mode, and you can even save the chart layout. The coin’s page will also show you all kinds of statistics with charts that include price, capitalization, 24-hour trade volume, and daily transactions. There’s other stats as well, like the type of algorithm the coin uses alongside the different proof types. Markets.Bitcoin.com also highlights the supply data, which is a record of the number of units in existence either through mining or issuance. The website also displays exchanges that are trading the coin and how much trade volume they are processing. Professional charts for price quotes, market cap, volume, supply, and…

ABN AMRO Eyes Launch of Blockchain Inventory Platform, Dropping Wallet Plan

ABN AMRO Eyes Launch of Blockchain Inventory Platform, Dropping Wallet Plan

As ABN AMRO drops its exploration of a cryptocurrency wallet product, the Dutch bank says it’s seeking to launch a blockchain platform for trade inventory. The bank said in a news release Friday that it’s currently “exploring options” for bringing the platform, called Forcefield, to market, and is in discussions with firms in the commodities industry and financial institutions. So far, it said, Accenture, Anglo American, CMST International, Hartree Partners, ING Bank, Macquarie, Mercuria and OCBC Bank are among those firms that have already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to launch the platform. Built using blockchain tech, Forcefield is designed to provide a real-time view into trade inventories. ABN AMRO explained: “The platform can communicate with physical trade inventories through the Internet of Things, sensors and Near Field Communication chips. As a result, the inventories, which are often collateral for loans, can be monitored very effectively, which will lead to more secure physical handling processes and a reduction of costs.” Over the last year, Forcefield has been developed as a stand-alone product, and saw a “successful” proof of concept phase with Accenture taking care of the technology, ABN Amro said. It’s now been turned into an independent company with the plan being for it to operate as a market utility, initially focusing on refined metals and later to expand to other “dry” bulk commodities. Karin Kersten, managing director of trade & commodity finance at ABN AMRO, said the platform would “strengthen the entire commodity trading supply chain. Parties involved will benefit from more effective controls, greater efficiency, transparency and traceability.” At the same time, the bank – the third largest in the Netherlands – has reportedly backed off its vague plans to launch a cryptocurrency wallet. ABN AMRO told The Next Web that the “Wallie” wallet concept would not be carried through, as crypto assets are currently not sufficiently regulated and therefore “too risky” for the bank’s investment clients. Rather than actually developing a wallet, as had been claimed on social media in January, the bank had been soliciting feedback from clients over what functions a possible wallet might need and how it should look, TNW said. It’s the second time the institution has been forced to deny wallet product rumors. Back in 2016, CoinDesk…

Beyond KYC: Regulators Set to Adopt Tough New Rules for Crypto Exchanges

Beyond KYC: Regulators Set to Adopt Tough New Rules for Crypto Exchanges

The Takeaway The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is set to finalize new international standards for regulating cryptocurrency firms next month. Those standards are widely expected to subject crypto exchanges, wallet providers and others to the “travel rule” long followed by correspondent banks. Industry representatives say this requirement would be onerous if not unworkable for crypto businesses, and bad for user privacy. FATF “recommendations” aren’t legally binding, but countries that don’t follow them get blackballed in the global economy. The cryptocurrency industry is bracing for forthcoming international regulatory standards that would require exchanges to collect and share information about where and to whom they are sending money. This would go beyond the basic “know your customer” (KYC) rules that bedevil many crypto users. In addition to verifying and keeping records of their own users’ identities, exchanges and other service providers would have to pass customer information to each other when transferring funds, just as banks are required to do. This is known in the U.S. as the “travel rule”. Many in the blockchain industry have argued that this practice is at best onerous if not completely unworkable with cryptocurrency and apt to drive users away from regulated platforms. Industry representatives recently made a last-ditch effort to persuade the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body, to reconsider or delay the proposed standard. About 200 to 300 people, ranging from chief compliance officers of top exchanges to regional bitcoin brokers, attended FATF’s consultative meeting in Vienna, Austria, on May 6–7 to voice their concerns. But the regulators – particularly those from the U.S., which holds the FATF’s rotating one-year presidency – appeared set on finalizing the standard with at most minor tweaks, according to four people who attended the Vienna meeting and spoke to CoinDesk on condition of anonymity. Sigal Mandelker, the U.S. Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, reinforced that impression in a speech last week at Consensus 2019 in New York. For one thing, she said the standard was on track for publication next month. “During its presidency of the FATF, the United States has worked with other countries to clarify how all countries should regulate and supervise activities and providers in the digital currency space,” Mandelker said, adding: “We anticipate that…

Mutual Funds Network Calastone’s ‘Real-Time’ Blockchain Platform Is Live

Mutual Funds Network Calastone’s ‘Real-Time’ Blockchain Platform Is Live

Calastone, a transactions network for the mutual funds industry, has moved to its own blockchain-based settlement system, the firm announced Monday. The new system, the Distributed Market Infrastructure (DMI), is designed to enable cheaper, “friction-free” trading, settlement and servicing of funds in real-time, the firm said. London-headquartered Calastone serves over 1,800 customers across 41 countries, including notable entities such as JPMorgan Asset Management. Until now, the network’s processes for settling funds were manual-based, including over 9 million messages and transactions worth about $217 billion a month between buyers, sellers and distributors. With the move to a blockchain-based system, the London-based firm estimates the mutual funds industry will see savings of over £3.4 billion ($4.33 billion) per year. Campbell Brierley, Calastone’s chief innovation officer, said: “Through Calastone’s blockchain-enabled market infrastructure all participants across the fund’s world can work together seamlessly and view trading activity in real-time. Information now ripples instantly across the market, a step change from the previous, fragmented model.” “Financial services firms worldwide can, via the DMI, utilise new services, enhanced capabilities and new investment opportunities, allowing them to evolve their proposition to one that will be more competitive and valuable long-term,” he added. The company further said that it will also bring in a new service – the Sub-Register – to create a “shared, real-time view and history of the registers between trading partners at any point in the distribution chain.” “By leveraging the latest technology we are able to provide the investment management community with the tools they need to control risk and cost, while meeting the evolving needs of investors,” said Calastone CEO Julien Hammerson. Calastone has been working on the blockchain system since as early as 2017, when it completed the first phase of a proof-of-concept for the DMI. It said at the time it would move its system to a private, permissioned blockchain network in 2019. London image via Shutterstock

Coinbase’s Education Rewards Program ‘Earn’ Expands to Over 100 Countries

Coinbase’s Education Rewards Program ‘Earn’ Expands to Over 100 Countries

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has expanded its Earn program to 103 countries. Now users from the U.S., U.K., much of the EU, Canada, Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, New Zealand, South Korea and Taiwan can sign up to earn cryptocurrency rewards for learning about the tech, Coinbase announced in a blog post on Friday. The full list of supported nations can be seen here. Coinbase Earn was launched last December, and rewards users in cryptocurrency for completing various educational tasks, including watching videos and taking quizzes. “The rationale behind Coinbase Earn is that as we progress from mining cryptocurrency to buying it to earning it, we open up new opportunities for people to learn about blockchain technology,” Coinbase said. While, at launch, the program offered rewards in only 0x (ZRX) token, it’s now expanded to stellar lumens (XLM), zcash (ZEC) and the Brave browser’s basic attention token (BAT). The exchange said more tokens will be supported soon and added that users must pass an ID check to gain access to the service. Brave CEO and co-founder, Brendan Eich, commented: “Like Brave, Coinbase Earn removes intermediaries and inefficiencies so that users can benefit. It’s exciting to see Coinbase Earn expand globally so that even more users can get involved with digital assets.” Stellar Development Foundation co-founder, Jed McCaleb, said that Earn is helping expand Stellar’s network, enabling “millions of real and unique users” in over 100 countries to earn XLM while they learn about the cryptocurrency. Coinbase also said in the post that it’s making over $100 million available to users of the scheme. Earlier this month, Earn.com founder and ex-Coinbase CTO Balaji S. Srinivasan said on leaving the exchange: “The Earn integration was successful and we’ve closed ~$200M in deals for the new Coinbase Earn.” Globes image via Shutterstock 

Beyond KYC: Global Regulators Appear Set to Adopt Tough New Rules for Crypto Exchanges

Beyond KYC: Global Regulators Appear Set to Adopt Tough New Rules for Crypto Exchanges

The Takeaway The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is set to finalize new international standards for regulating cryptocurrency firms next month. Those standards are widely expected to subject crypto exchanges, wallet providers and others to the “travel rule” long followed by correspondent banks. Industry representatives say this requirement would be onerous if not unworkable for crypto businesses, and bad for user privacy. FATF “recommendations” aren’t legally binding, but countries that don’t follow them get blackballed in the global economy. The cryptocurrency industry is bracing for forthcoming international regulatory standards that would require exchanges to collect and share information about where and to whom they are sending money. This would go beyond the basic “know your customer” (KYC) rules that bedevil many crypto users. In addition to verifying and keeping records of their own users’ identities, exchanges and other service providers would have to pass customer information to each other when transferring funds, just as banks are required to do. This is known in the U.S. as the “travel rule”. Many in the blockchain industry have argued that this practice is at best onerous if not completely unworkable with cryptocurrency and apt to drive users away from regulated platforms. Industry representatives recently made a last-ditch effort to persuade the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body, to reconsider or delay the proposed standard. About 200 to 300 people, ranging from chief compliance officers of top exchanges to regional bitcoin brokers, attended FATF’s consultative meeting in Vienna, Austria, on May 6–7 to voice their concerns. But the regulators – particularly those from the U.S., which holds the FATF’s rotating one-year presidency – appeared set on finalizing the standard with at most minor tweaks, according to four people who attended the Vienna meeting and spoke to CoinDesk on condition of anonymity. Sigal Mandelker, the U.S. Treasury’s Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, reinforced that impression in a speech last week at Consensus 2019 in New York. For one thing, she said the standard was on track for publication next month. “During its presidency of the FATF, the United States has worked with other countries to clarify how all countries should regulate and supervise activities and providers in the digital currency space,” Mandelker said, adding: “We anticipate that…