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…

Coinbase Noncustodial Wallet Adds BTC Support and Plans to Add More Assets

Coinbase Noncustodial Wallet Adds BTC Support and Plans to Add More Assets

Coinbase has announced support for bitcoin core (BTC) in the company’s noncustodial wallet. The wallet was originally originally dedicated to ethereum (ETH), ethereum classic (ETC), ERC721 and ERC20 tokens. The San Francisco based company plans to add more currencies to the wallet in the near future. Also Read: The Daily: F1 Team Gets Crypto Sponsor, Dubai Royal Partners Digital Assets Fund Noncustodial Coinbase Wallet Now Supports BTC After building a slew of custodial services, Coinbase released a noncustodial wallet for storing, sending, and receiving ETH, ETC, and a wide array of ERC-based tokens. Coinbase Wallet is a rebrand of the ‘Toshi’ client the company introduced back in April of 2017. The wallet also connects to a dapp browser that showcases certain ETH-fueled platforms. A few weeks ago Coinbase announced the development team was in the midst of adding BTC support to the wallet, and on Feb. 5, Coinbase representative Siddharth Coelho-Prabhu revealed that developers have fully integrated support for BTC. “Our goal with Coinbase Wallet is to create the world’s leading user custodied crypto wallet,” ran the announcement. “Bitcoin support is activated by default — all you need to do is tap ‘Receive’ on the main wallet tab and select Bitcoin to send BTC to your Coinbase Wallet,” Coelho-Prabhu detailed. “Coinbase Wallet supports both newer segwit addresses with lower transaction fees, as well as legacy addresses for backward compatibility in all applications.” Setting up a new Coinbase Wallet with username and passcode. Just like the previous version of the wallet, the light client’s private keys are encrypted on your mobile phone or tablet using secure enclave technology. “This specialized hardware is considered the most secure way to safeguard private data on mobile devices,” Coelho-Prabhu explained. The Coinbase light client also supports the BTC and ETH testnets so programmers can work with testnet coins to deploy cryptocurrency integrated applications. At the moment most applications in the browser, like Peepeth, Instadapp, Totle, Cent, Smartdrops, Compound, Paradex, Oasis Direct, and Airswap are all Ethereum-based protocols. You can also click the “Discover Dapps” button to find more applications within the wallet’s browser. Backing up the Coinbase Wallet’s private keys and the BTC wallet interface. Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and Other Coins Will Be Supported Soon Coinbase also details the company will be adding…

BitTorrent Partners with CoinPayments to Launch Support for Native BTT Token

BitTorrent Partners with CoinPayments to Launch Support for Native BTT Token

Peer-to-peer (p2p) torrent client BitTorrent has announced that its native token, BitTorrent Token (BTT), based on the TRON protocol, is now supported by CoinPayments’ crypto payments gateway. The news was shared with Cointelegraph in a press release Feb. 7. As reported, BitTorrent launched its BTT token this January — its first full-fledged move to begin to tokenize its content sharing ecosystem, roughly six months after the company was acquired by decentralized internet startup TRON. According to today’s press release, BitTorrent has already been collaborating with CoinPayments on supporting TRON (TRX), Bitcoin (BTC) and Binance Coin (BNB) payments for premium services. With the addition of BTT support, users can now reportedly use the token to pay for BitTorrent and µTorrent Pro subscriptions, which offer file conversion, HD quality streaming and malware protection. Justin Sun, founder of TRON and CEO of BitTorrent, has clarified the roadmap for tokenization of the BitTorrent ecosystem, stating that the partnership with CoinPayments is a bid to “make BitTorrent (BTT) liquid in the online marketplace before [the token] is fully integrated into our desktop and mobile products.” This summer, the BTT-powered blockchain application “BitTorrent Speed” will reportedly be rolled out as part of BitTorrent’s Windows-based µTorrent Classic client. According to the BitTorrent site, the application will allow users to exchange BTT for seeding and bandwidth to support faster download times. BitTorrent — first created in 2004 — claims to have over 100 million users in its existing decentralized p2p network. As reported, the roadmap for TRON and BitTorrent’s mutual integration has been dubbed “Project Atlas,” which aims to create a decentralized content distribution platform using cryptocurrency. As of press time, TRON (TRX) is ranked as the 8th largest cryptocurrency by market cap, and is trading at around $0.0258, up 0.25 percent on the day, according to CoinMarketCap.

Bitcoin Trading Reaches All Time High in Venezuela Amidst Ongoing Economic Collapse

Bitcoin Trading Reaches All Time High in Venezuela Amidst Ongoing Economic Collapse

Bitcoin (BTC) trading volumes in Venezuela have reached a new all-time high amidst massive hyperinflation and an ongoing presidential crisis, tech news outlet TrustNodes reports Feb. 6. Bitcoin weekly trading volumes reached above 2,000 BTC (about $6.8 million) on peer-to-peer (P2P) exchange LocalBitcoins during the week ending Feb. 2. Venezuela LocalBitcoins Weekly Trade Volumes in BTC. Source: Coin.Dance The recorded trade volumes on LocalBitcoins are just a fraction of overall estimated Bitcoin trading by Venezuelans. As TrustNodes reports, a large amount of trading is taking place on centralized exchanges located in neighboring countries, such as Colombia and Brazil. In such cases, the total value of Bitcoin trading volumes by Venezuelans is difficult to estimate since trades are often made in local currencies of the neighboring countries. Trading volumes on LocalBitcoins have also seen a spike in Colombia, with the two countries together accounting for 85 percent of trading volumes on the p2p exchange in Latin America, as Cointelegraph en Español reported Feb. 5. During the first five weeks of 2019, Venezuela has reportedly seen 8571 transactions, while Colombia saw 1709 transactions. According to TrustNodes, the trading volume on LocalBitcoins in Venezuela has seen an over four-fold increase since summer 2018, while the inflation of the local fiat currency, the Venezuelan bolivar, has reached one million percent. As the International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted earlier in 2018, the inflation rate in Venezuela could potentially reach ten million percent this year. Despite having the largest oil reserves in the world, Venezuela’s economy has reportedly fallen by 47 percent since the end of 2013. The economic situation in the country was worsened by the sanctions by the United States adopted in 2017, which targeted the regime of Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro. Last month, the U.S. announced additional sanctions against the country’s state-owned oil company, PDVSA. The tension in the country has been increased by an ongoing presidential crisis since last month, when the country’s majority opposition National Assembly declared Maduro’s May 2018 re-election invalid. As Cointelegraph reported earlier this month, Juan Guaido is currently the self-proclaimed president of the country, and is supported by many local and international leaders. On Jan. 31, Venezuela officially adopted a new bill on crypto regulation that introduces the concept of a sovereign…

Ripple Teams With 10 New Universities for Blockchain Research Initiative

Ripple Teams With 10 New Universities for Blockchain Research Initiative

Ripple has partnered with another 10 top universities for its blockchain research program. Announcing the news on Thursday, the blockchain payments infrastructure firm said that the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) is aimed to help grow the blockchain technology ecosystem. Now joining the initiative are Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Duke, Georgetown, Morgan State, Kansas, Michigan and Northeastern universities in the U.S., and the National University of Singapore and the University of Sao Paulo internationally. Last month, Ripple also partnered with the Institute for Fintech Research (THUIFR) at Tsinghua University in Beijing under the UBRI. Supported by Ripple’s UBRI resources, the institutions will carry out research, develop and launch course materials, host conferences and award scholarships to students pursuing work in blockchain, cryptocurrency, digital payments and related subjects. Duke and Georgetown Universities, for instance, will support “expanding curriculum and teaching, research and technical projects and collaboration across disciplines”, while the University of Sao Paulo will receive funding for a blockchain innovation program. With the new additions, the firm now has a total of 29 university partners, according to Ripple. Ripple launched the initiative in June 2018, committing over $50 million to the effort and partnering with 17 universities from across the globe at the time. “In less than a year, our initial UBRI partners hit the ground running with the launch of new research projects, events, course offerings and more,” said Ripple’s SVP of global operations, Eric van Miltenburg, in Thursday’s announcement. “Expanding the ecosystem to a more global, diversified network of UBRI partners will only continue to enrich these projects,” he added. Cornell University campus image via Shutterstock 

Indian Hospital Releases Details About QuadrigaCX CEO’s Death

Indian Hospital Releases Details About QuadrigaCX CEO’s Death

Fortis Escorts, a private hospital in the Indian city of Jaipur, has released details about the death of Gerald Cotten, CEO of Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX. In a statement shared with CoinDesk on Thursday, Fortis Escorts said that Cotten was admitted to the hospital on Dec. 8, 2018 at 9:45 p.m. IST (16:15 UTC) and died of cardiac arrest at around 7:26 p.m. IST (13:56 UTC) on Dec. 9, 2018. Two separate documents released previously – a statement of death issued from J.A. Snow Funeral Home and a death certificate issued from the Government of Rajasthan’s Directorate of Economics and Statistics – also state that Cotten died on Dec. 9, 2018 in Jaipur, the state capital of Rajasthan. Cotten was brought to the hospital in a “critical condition” with “pre-existing Crohn’s disease and was on monoclonal antibody therapy every 8th week,” the statement from Fortis Escorts reads. At the time of admission, Cotten was diagnosed to be suffering from septic shock and other serious issues relating to his exacerbated condition. “On 9th December, 2018, the patient suffered a cardiac arrest but was revived by CPR [cardiopulmonary resuscitation]. The patient heart condition continued to deteriorate and the patient suffered a second cardiac arrest at 6:30 p.m. [13:00 UTC],” the statement from the hospital reads. It continues: “Despite the best efforts of our clinicians the patient could not be revived and was declared dead approximately at 7:26 pm. All standard medical procedures and guidelines were followed to treat the patient. The information of his death was communicated to the relevant authorities.” Cotten’s death is at the center of the concerns and rumors surrounding the QuadrigaCX exchange, which went offline last week owing millions to its thousands of customers because the CEO had died apparently without leaving a way for staff to access the computer storing its funds. In a sworn affidavit filed Jan. 31 with the Nova Scotia Supreme Court, Jennifer Robertson, identified as the widow of QuadrigaCX founder Gerald Cotten, said the exchange owes its customers roughly 250 million CAD (US$190 million) in both cryptocurrency and fiat. The exchange has since sought creditor protection in the court. On Tuesday, a Supreme Court judge granted the exchange its application, giving it a 30-day stay of proceedings to try and recover any…

South Korea Central Bank Says CBDCs Will Disrupt Financial Integrity

South Korea Central Bank Says CBDCs Will Disrupt Financial Integrity

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 integrity. 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 CEO CZ: Crypto Growth Needs Entrepreneurs and Projects, Not ETFs

Binance CEO CZ: Crypto Growth Needs Entrepreneurs and Projects, Not ETFs

The CEO of leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Changpeng Zhao, said that he doesn’t think Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) “are core to our industry’s growth,” during a live stream via Periscope, Feb. 6. Zhao — also known in the community as CZ — declared that the cryptocurrency industry will grow with or without the launch of a Bitcoin (BTC) ETF, suggesting: “I think for our industry to grow we need more entrepreneurs to build real projects.” As Cointelegraph reported last week, the Chicago Board Options Exchange’s, along with investment firm VanEck and financial services company SolidX, has re-applied with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission for a rule change to list a Bitcoin ETF, after withdrawing their request the week before. The much-anticipated launch of a Bitcoin ETF in the U.S. has been cited as a possible cause for a rally in crypto market prices. When asked to comment on the recent controversy surrounding cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX, Zhao said that, while he does not want to comment on other exchanges, “there’s something fishy going on.” Recently, news broke that following the sudden death of its founder Gerry Cotten, Canadian cryptocurrency exchange QuadrigaCX is reportedly missing CA$190 million dollars ($145 million) in digital assets. As Cointelegraph recently reported, though the exchange has taken to court to avoid the collapse, some community members suggest that QuadrigaCX’s cold wallets never existed. Binance’s CEO also said that while “there’s nothing going on right now” for the exchange, the firm is interested in adding Ripple (XRP) as a partner by using its xRapid system. As Cointelegraph explained when the system became commercially available in October 2018, xRapid is a real-time settlement platform designed to speed up international payments sourcing liquidity from XRP. In a tweet Feb. 2, CZ stated that he believes online retail giant Amazon cannot avoid issuing its own altcoin eventually. Binance is currently the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by adjusted daily trade volume, according to CoinMarketCap.

‘GoxRising’ Movement Aims to Reboot Mt. Gox Exchange, Make ‘Gox Coin’ for Creditors

‘GoxRising’ Movement Aims to Reboot Mt. Gox Exchange, Make ‘Gox Coin’ for Creditors

A new movement dubbed “GoxRising” is calling for a new, accelerated rehabilitation plan for  creditors of the now-defunct Bitcoin (BTC) exchange Mt. Gox, with the long-term goal of rebooting the trading platform. The development was reported in an interview with its author, controversial industry figure Brock Pierce, by TechCrunch Feb. 7. As previously reported, roughly 24,000 creditors are thought to have been affected by Mt. Gox’s 2011 hack and subsequent collapse in early 2014, which resulted in the loss of 850,000 BTC valued at roughly $460 million at the time. Reimbursement of creditors is currently being handled under the stewardship of Tokyo attorney Nobuaki Kobayashi, who was appointed by a Japanese court to act as civil rehabilitation trustee to manage Mt. Gox’s bankruptcy estate. Compensation is expected to take between 3-5 years, as TechCrunch notes. GoxRising claims that creditor recovery could be speedier, if legal and technical barriers were to be overcome. According to TechCrunch, there are roughly $1.2 billion in assets currently held in the Mt. Gox bankruptcy trust — around $630 million in cash, 137,892 BTC, 162,106 Bitcoin Cash (BCH), as well other forked coins. Pierce revealed to the publication that the long-term aim is to reboot the platform as a “Gox or Mt. Gox” exchange — to rehabilitate not only lost funds, but the brand name and domain itself. The rebooted platform would reportedly be non-custodial, to minimize security liabilities. GoxRising pledges to compensate creditors in BTC or BCH, and to ratchet up attempts to recover the still-missing crypto. Its creator says it would quash Mt. Gox stakeholders’ equity in favor of a new tokenized independent foundation, which would be governed by the creditors and work toward recovering and distributing outstanding Mt. Gox assets. The proposed plan would hinge on the creation of a “Gox Coin,” which would grant creditors a stake in the newly-created foundation — although the exact regulatory status of the token and rights it would confer remain to be clarified. For the GoxRising movement to succeed, it would reportedly need to onboard around half of the exchange’s creditors — 12,000 individuals. As reported this week, leaked data has recently revealed that Kobayashi liquidated large amounts of BTC and BCH on trading platform BitPoint in spring 2018 — estimated…