These Exchanges Allow You to Purchase Cryptocurrency Without Knowing You

These Exchanges Allow You to Purchase Cryptocurrency Without Knowing You

Platforms providing traders with the opportunity to exchange cryptocurrencies have increasingly started to apply registration requirements. In many cases, these are justified on the basis of newly introduced KYC and AML regulations. Thankfully, there are still exchanges that allow users to swap digital coins without requiring a verified account. Also read: Coinsquare Lays off 40 Employees in a Troublesome Month for Crypto Exchanges Losing the Balance, Again The question regarding the balance between privacy and transparency predates the birth of Bitcoin. Decentralized digital currencies came into existence partly as a response to the trend of economies and societies moving in a cashless direction, which threatened privacy. In a way, they reintroduced the concept of cash, with its relative anonymity, into the digital space, and not at the full expense of transparency per se. This new balance has been challenged. Crypto exchanges nowadays find themselves caught in the crossfire between what many of their customers want in terms of privacy, and what regulators require them to do to limit it. Identity verification makes some sense in the case of crypto-to-fiat transactions, for tax purposes or to prevent illicit activities. But crypto-to-crypto transactions have also become a target and it’s not clear why – many countries, like Poland for example, exempt them from taxation. Leading crypto exchanges operating in the U.S., Europe and globally are now collecting personal information from traders. This is sometimes done through loyalty programs that come with certain benefits and is often justified with the need to comply with new KYC and AML rules. These requests are usually accompanied with promises to protect the collected data. Critics have warned, however, that the risk of your sensitive info ending up with other vendors, being lost to hackers, or shared with some government, not necessarily your own, remains high. Some crypto trading platforms have recognized the concerns of cryptocurrency users and offer services that are filling the gap left by established exchanges such as Shapeshift. We reported about some of the available alternatives last fall. New ones have since started to gain popularity among crypto enthusiasts including the following selection. Platforms That Respect Your Privacy One such exchange is Godex. It offers fast cryptocurrency swaps between over 200 digital coins with no exchange limits other…

BCH Publishing App Honest Cash Partners With Patreon Alternative Bitbacker.io

BCH Publishing App Honest Cash Partners With Patreon Alternative Bitbacker.io

On Wednesday, Feb. 6, the Honest Cash publishing platform powered by bitcoin cash partnered with the cryptocurrency focused Patreon alternative Bitbacker.io. The new partnership aims to bolster the Honest Cash and Bitbacker user base by providing individuals with the means to crowdfund projects while at the same time being incentivized with BCH for sharing unique content. Also Read: Many Self-Proclaimed Bitcoin Inventors and Satoshi Clues Were Debunked in 2018 Honest Cash and Bitbacker Team Up In November, news.Bitcoin.com reported on the launch of a new BCH powered publishing platform called Honest Cash. The platform arrived soon after the Nov. 15 BCH blockchain split and the popular blogging platform moved on to support the altcoin BSV. A month later our newsdesk spoke with the creator of the cryptocurrency-fueled Patreon alternative Bitbacker.io and explained how users can crowdfund projects with BCH and BTC. Adrian Barwicki, CEO of Honest Cash, and Jonathan Silverblood, founder of Bitbacker, explained during the partnership announcement that the ultimate goal is to create a larger audience. “The relationship provides users of both Honest Cash and Bitbacker a larger audience reach — Both users will now have the potential to earn pledges and secure backing within both platforms,” explained the team’s announcement. Adrian Barwicki, CEO of Honest Cash, and Jonathan Silverblood, founder of Bitbacker, just announced they will be releasing a series of blog posts to inform users about the partnership integrations in the near future. Crypto Powered Applications See Improvement and Growth Both platforms have been adding a lot of improvements over the last few weeks. For instance, Honest Cash has seen significant growth as the BCH application has encouraged any kind of content including video, images, art, and prose. Some Honest Cash users have made upwards of $1,000 per content piece in bitcoin cash tips. Moreover, the platform recently added a native BCH wallet providing Honest Cash users with the ability to generate a new wallet and import existing BCH keys with custom HD derivation path support. The Honest Cash publishing platform allows people to post all kinds of content like video, blogs, scripts, art, and photos.Bitbacker.io has seen a lot of growth as well, as many cryptocurrency advocates have switched from Patreon to the alternative application. The platform supports BCH, LTC, Smart,…

South Korea’s Central Bank Says CBDCs Will Disrupt Financial Stability

South Korea’s Central Bank Says CBDCs Will Disrupt Financial Stability

South Korea’s central bank has warned that adopting a state-backed cryptocurrency as an official form of legal tender would threaten the country’s financial stability. In a report, the Bank of Korea (BoK) said such a currency, also known as a central bank digital currency (CBDC), could result in a spike in interest rates and a liquidity crunch. Also read: Australian Banks Fraudulently Collected Fees From Deceased Customers ‘CBDCs Will Cause Liquidity Shortages and Interest Rates to Rise’ Built on the blockchain, CBDCs are typically issued by central banks to work just like fiat money, but without necessarily replacing bank notes and coins. Korea said at the end of January that it was not considering issuing a government-backed digital currency anytime soon because there wasn’t any urgent need for one. Now, the Asian country has issued a report to back up that decision. According to a newspaper article published in the Korea Times on Feb. 7, the BoK explained that the introduction of a CBDC will replace demand deposits held by local commercial banks. That’s because people will likely prefer the state-sponsored cryptocurrency, which they may deem safer and secure, to the domestic fiat unit, it said. The idea behind this thinking is that as depositors withdraw money from the bank, commercial banks will fall into a liquidity trap, forcing the money supply to drop. This will ultimately see interest shooting up. Kwon Oh-ik, one of the co-authors of the Bank of Korea report, elaborated: The central bank digital currency is a kind of a BoK-issued bank account. People trust it more than one in a commercial bank. Demand deposits are one of the biggest sources of loans for banks. When people pull out their money, banks raise rates, or lower the reserve ratio, to secure more funds. Kwon further indicated that the BoK, which has conducted and recently completed a long-term study on cryptocurrencies, should be more cautious and analyze any negative consequences that could arise from the issuance of a CBDC. Global Central Banks Show Interest in CBDCs Cashless transactions have soared around the world in recent years, unsettling many of the control freaks who work for various governments. Bitcoin, for example, was created to challenge the conventional financial system and return the ownership of…

Binance Wants to Add Ripple’s xRapid as a Partner in Future, CZ Reveals

Binance Wants to Add Ripple’s xRapid as a Partner in Future, CZ Reveals

The world’s largest crypto exchange Binance is considering a partnership with Ripple to use its cross-border payment platform xRapid, the company’s CEO Changpeng Zhao revealed in a Periscope live stream on Feb. 6. Speaking in his first live stream ever, Zhao — better known as CZ in the crypto community — provided a clear message that Binance is “definitely” looking to partner with Ripple, whose native currency XRP is currently the largest altcoin by market cap. However, CZ also claimed that xRapid is not a priority for the crypto exchange at the moment, clarifying that there is “nothing going on right now” for the exchange with xRapid, stating: “We’re focused on launching more features right now, so we are working with a number of other partners. With xRapid, there’s nothing going on right now, but in the future we’ll definitely want to add them as a partner.” Piloted in May 2018, and launched commercially in October, Ripple’s xRapid product represents a real-time settlement platform that is designed to speed up cross-border payments based on the liquidity of XRP. As reported earlier today, during the same live stream, CZ suggested that crypto industry growth does not necessarily require the emergence of Bitcoin (BTC) Exchange Traded Funds — a development much-anticipated by many in the industry. Binance’s CEO further stressed that the industry will grow as more entrepreneurs bring forward real blockchain and crypto applications. On Jan. 31, Binance launched support for credit card crypto purchases via its partnership with payment operator Simplex. Also on Jan. 31, Japanese finance giant SBI Holdings recognized Ripple’s potential for cross-border payments in its nine-month financial report. At press time, Ripple is up just slightly on the day, but down more than 5.5 percent over the past 7 days. The coin is trading at $0.292 by press time, with a market capitalization of around $12 billion, according to CoinMarketCap.

Investing App Invstr Launches Cryptocurrency Index

Investing App Invstr Launches Cryptocurrency Index

Investing app Invstr has launched a cryptocurrency index for their platform, allowing users to follow cryptocurrency markets, according to a press release on Feb 6. Invstr’s crypto index will allow users to to track price fluctuations of the crypto market and make price comparisons of specific cryptocurrency pairs. The index will also include a range of digital asset categories, that includes asset, payment and utility tokens. Cryptocurrencies on the app will be reviewed quarterly, which will allow for the addition of newer and stable cryptocurrencies to remain on the app while removing suspended or unstable cryptos from the index. Some of the cryptocurrencies available for monitoring on the Invstr app include Bitcoin (BTC), Litecoin (LTC), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and EOS. Derhalli stated that the index will purportedly allow retail investors to examine the impact crypto investments will have on their portfolios. He said that traditional indexes measure impact on the asset class, not on portfolios, and are thus no relevant to retail investors. “Traditional indices measure impact on the asset class not an investor’s portfolio… This is not a relevant consideration for smaller investors who want to know what the impact will be on their portfolios. The Invstr Crypto Index addresses this by using weightings that optimise risk-reward based on the volatility of the constituent assets.” As Cointelegraph reported in October, institutional investors have surpassed high-net-worth individual investors as the biggest buyers of cryptocurrency transactions worth over $100,000. Bobby Cho, the head of trading at Cumberland, the crypto trading arm of DRW Holdings LLC, then said, “the Wild West days of crypto are really turning the corner,” and that the situation shows “the professionalization that’s happening across the board in this space.”

Bitcoin Stuck Around $3,400 as the Stock Market Sees a Minor Downturn

Bitcoin Stuck Around $3,400 as the Stock Market Sees a Minor Downturn

Thursday, Feb. 7 — most of the top 20 cryptocurrencies are reporting slight to noteworthy gains on the day by press time, with Bitcoin (BTC) hovering just over $3,400 again, according to Coin360 data. Market visualization from Coin360 At press time, Bitcoin is up a fraction of a percent on the day, trading at around $3,409, according to CoinMarketCap. Looking at its weekly chart, the current price is just over 1.5 percent lower than the price at which Bitcoin started the week. Bitcoin 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap According to TransactionFee data, there haven’t been so many Bitcoin transactions per day — currently over 336,000 — since January 2018. However, the current transaction volume is still close to 20 percent lower than the all-time high of over 406,000 transactions per day, reported in December 2017. Top altcoin Ripple (XRP) has gain the same modes amount as Bitcoin in the 24 hours to press time and is currently trading at around $0.293. On its weekly chart, the current price is over 5 percent lower than $0.308, the price at which XRP started the week. Ripple 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Ethereum (ETH), the second-largest altcoin by market cap, has seen its value increase by just a quarter of a percent over the last 24 hours. At press time, ETH is trading around $104, after having started the day at $103. On the weekly chart, Ethereum’s current value has dropped 2.3 percent from $107, the price at which the coin started the week. Ethereum 7-day price chart. Source: CoinMarketCap Among the top 20 cryptocurrencies, the ones experiencing the most notable growth are NEM (XEM) — up 9.76 percent — Iota (MIOTA) — up 4.3 percent — and Ethereum Classic (ETC), up 3 percent on the day. The stock market is seeing a minor downturn, with the S&P 500 down 1.5 percent today and Nasdaq down 1.49 percent. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) on the other hand has gained 10.7 percent of its value on the day at press time. As Cointelegraph recently reported, a recent analysis suggests that the growth recently reported by the stock market is a bull trap. Major oil futures and indexes are seeing mixed market movements, with WTI Crude down 3.74 percent, Brent Crude down almost 3…

Blockchain Analysis Links Hamas Fundraising to Coinbase Bitcoin Account

Blockchain Analysis Links Hamas Fundraising to Coinbase Bitcoin Account

The Palestinian military-political group Hamas, which the U.S. government deems a terrorist organization, may be using the Coinbase cryptocurrency exchange for fundraising. Earlier this week, the Israeli blockchain analytics firm Whitestream identified several bitcoin wallet addresses referred to on official Hamas digital media channels in public requests for donations. One such appeal for bitcoin donations to support “the resistance” was issued on January 31, via a Telegram channel run by Abu Obeida, a spokesman for Hamas’ military wing. As the Israeli newspaper Globes reported, those wallets included a Coinbase account. Although Coinbase declined to comment on the address in question, Whitestream told CoinDesk that the account continued to receive transactions even 48 hours after it was identified and reported in the media. “Based on shared inputs, we can tell that Hamas blockchain transactions were signed by addresses that are operating on Coinbase company wallets,” Itsik Levy, the firm’s founder and CEO, told CoinDesk. Adding this account’s sum to two other bitcoin addresses Whitestream also identified as recipients of the Hamas fundraising campaign, the Islamic organization appears to have garnered less than $4,000 in bitcoin. “[Hamas] is struggling with getting funds from the Israeli government and Qatar,” Levy continued. “We’ve heard of other Islamic extremist organizations doing the same thing over the past few years…now Hamas tries the same thing.” “It’s still an active campaign,” he added. “It just started.” Even if this is a case of terrorist financing solicited by the Hamas military wing, the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, Coinbase is hardly the sole company involved with this week’s activity. Whitestream also reportedly identified this Hamas-operated Coinbase account potentially sending bitcoin to a Binance account and a CoinPayments account, the latter of which is a wallet provider legally incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Binance and CoinPayments did not immediately reply to requests for comment on these transactions. Fringe activity Several studies – including a 2018 report by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance – have asserted cryptocurrency usage among jihadists is still an extremely “fringe” activity. Whitestream co-founder Itsik Levy told Globes “only 2 percent” of the bitcoin transactions his firm analyzed were connected to “terrorist or criminal activity.” Furthermore, compared to a CoinDesk report from 2018, even the monthly volume…

5 Crypto-Friendly Countries to Base Your Business

5 Crypto-Friendly Countries to Base Your Business

Choosing the best country to set up a business is vital in this digital age, and especially so for crypto companies. As governments around the world continue to learn more about cryptocurrencies and elect to either crack down on them or allow them to flourish, some jurisdictions emerge as being better than others for launching a crypto startup. Also read: Markets Update: Traders Patiently Wait for Crypto’s Longest Bear Run to End Take Time Choosing Where to Base Your Business Many governments are still deciding what to do with cryptocurrency. While some are friendly towards it and see the benefit of crypto companies basing themselves in their jurisdiction, a number are openly hostile. If you’re planning to launch a crypto-related business, it makes sense to study the regulatory framework and government policy in a number of jurisdictions before reaching a decision. Do you want to set up a business in a country that has historically had low taxation? If the country you are considering is receptive to crypto, and there are no signs of impending tighter regulation, will you still be able to attract investors? Does it have a vibrant ecosystem of fintech companies that will support your business? These are all matters that should be considered before setting up shop. The following crypto-friendly countries all have their attributes and are worthy of consideration before you settle on your HQ. USA: Booming Bet Right Now This U.S. is unsurprisingly a hotbed of crypto companies. Many high-profile cryptocurrency exchanges, custody providers, wallet developers, and miners operate from the U.S. and the government is working to enact a clearer legal framework for crypto-related businesses. Policy varies state to state, and while taxation guidelines in the U.S. have generally been unclear, in December lawmakers filed a bill to create tax exemptions for certain cryptocurrency transactions. The cryptocurrency community in the U.S. is thriving and the technology is slowly entering the mainstream. For example, Ohio last year allowed companies in the state to pay a variety of taxes, from tobacco sales tax to employee withholding tax, with bitcoin. Switzerland: Established and Secure Switzerland has long been a crypto-friendly nation. Its government has been open to the idea of cryptocurrency, encouraging crypto startups to set up shop there, and in December announcing a new…

Crypto Exchange ErisX Appoints Three New Execs From Barclays, YouTube, CBOE

Crypto Exchange ErisX Appoints Three New Execs From Barclays, YouTube, CBOE

Crypto exchange ErisX has appointed three veterans from Barclays, Youtube and the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) to fill executive roles at the company. The development was announced in a press release published Feb. 7. As reported, ErisX is a reboot of traditional futures market Eris Exchange, and is expected to begin support for spot trading in major cryptos. The exchange will support spot trading in Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Litecoin (LTC), as well as futures contracts starting in the second half of 2019, pending United States regulators’ approval. The new appointments will see Robert Thrash serving as chief operating officer (COO), Arnold Connell as head of infrastructure and John Denza as ErisX’s business development executive. Thrash — a derivatives executive whose experience spans prime brokerage, execution services, and trading — has reportedly spent 12 years at major United Kingdom-based Barclays Investment Bank, most recently as managing director and global head of futures execution services and clearing platform management. As COO, Thrash will report to ErisX CEO Thomas Chippas. Connell joins ErisX from YouTube, where he reportedly worked as a creator of YouTubeTV. He is also a veteran of Google, where he worked 9 years in various roles. He will serve as head of infrastructure under Tony Acuña-Rohter, ErisX head of technology. Denza, meanwhile, has experience in the fintech and exchange sector, recently working as head of U.S. Sales at Pico Quantitative Trading. Prior to that, he spent 10 years at BATS Global Markets/CBOE, rising to the role of director of U.S. Sales Equities and Derivatives. At ErisX, he will report to the company’s chief commercial office, Kelly Brown. ErisX — which aims to establish a compliant exchange and clearing house for digital assets — has accordingly drawn talent from both traditional finance and crypto. Last month, the firm announced the appointment of ConsenSys’ Joseph Lubin to its board of directors. In December, veteran exchange founder Matt Trudeau joined ErisX as chief strategy officer. That same month, ErisX raised $27.5 million from Fidelity Investments and Nasdaq Ventures following a prior investment from retail brokerage firm TD Ameritrade and others this October. Fidelity, which administers over $7.2 trillion in client assets, notably announced its own bid to enter the crypto space with the launch of…

Someone Is Impersonating Bitcoin Futures Platfom Bakkt to Raise Money

Someone Is Impersonating Bitcoin Futures Platfom Bakkt to Raise Money

Someone is poorly impersonating the highly anticipated bitcoin futures trading platform Bakkt in an apparent attempt to bilk people out of their bitcoin. On Wednesday night, the CoinDesk news team received an email (subject line: “Bakkt News!”) claiming that the platform was set to launch on March 12. The email, sent from a gmail address and written in broken English, further stated that Bakkt would be seeking to raise $50 million in a second financing round and directed readers to a website, bakktplatform.io. There, prospective investors are invited to register by entering their name and email address. After going through this process, visitors are presented with a bitcoin address to send their money and asked to provide their own address to receive their “profits” from the investment. As of Thursday morning, no funds had been sent to the wallet. The site (registered just a week ago through WhoisGuard, a domain owner-obscuring service in Panama, according to a WHOIS lookup) is a fake. A spokesperson for Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), Bakkt’s parent company, told CoinDesk: “that is not a Bakkt website and we wouldn’t have communicated in that way.” Further, the email’s claims about Bakkt are dubious at best. No launch date For starters, Bakkt has no official launch date right now. The platform is still waiting on regulatory approval to begin listing its futures product, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) is nowhere near such an approval. Indeed, the CFTC has not even published Bakkt’s self-warehousing proposal for comment. Once that proposal is released, the general public will have 30 days to respond. After the comment period ends, the CFTC’s commissioners will likely take a few days to review the feedback before voting to approve or deny the proposal. In that light, a March 12 launch date would be an aggressive target – and just to be clear, Bakkt has made no such commitment. Caveat emptor Even more implausible, however, is the email’s announcement of a “Second Financing Round.” First, Bakkt just raised $182.5 million at the close of 2018, less than two months ago. And it strains credulity to imagine that a regulated institutional platform would solicit funds from the general public through a website, require just a name and email address to invest (though “company” and “industry” are optional fields on the…