Confirmed: Crypto Exchange Huobi Acquires Publicly Listed Firm on HK Stock Exchange

Confirmed: Crypto Exchange Huobi Acquires Publicly Listed Firm on HK Stock Exchange

Cryptocurrency exchange Huobi has acquired controlling stock interest in Hong Kong-based Pantronics Holdings Ltd., according to an official announcement from the Hong Kong Stock Exchange (HKEx) dated August 29. As Cointelegraph reported August 28, HKEx-listed Pantronics, an electronic products manufacturing firm, had halted trading of its shares on the Main Board of exchange on August 22, citing a “possible offer to be made under Rule 26 of the Hong Kong Codes on Takeovers and Mergers.” Indications at the time suggested Huobi had acquired 73.73 percent of the firm. HKEx’s official announcement clarifies that Huobi, alongside blockchain services provider platform Fission Capital, acquired an overall stake of 71.67 percent in Pantronics — at a breakdown of 66.26 percent and 5.41 percent respectively. While Huobi’s acquisition had the apparent hallmarks of being a reverse takeover  — or reverse Initial Public Offering (IPO) — Sandy Peng, a partner at Fission Capital, told Cointelegraph in a statement that “for the time being this is a straight forward acquisition […] as stated in the announcement Huobi intends to start new blockchain related businesses using this entity.” Peng added that: “Fission [has] years of experience in the HK Capital market. We participated in this acquisition alongside Huobi [and] believe Huobi’s rich experience in this sector, the institutional and regulated international platform this new vehicle creates will be the ideal launchpad for any international and institution related businesses that Huobi may decide to explore in the future.” Peng considered that the official HKex disclosure is “in a way an announcement from Huobi,” proposing that “the distinction is unimportant.” Huobi has however declined to comment on the disclosure in response to requests from Cointelegraph. While Peng has refuted the deal’s characterization as a reverse takeover, the route can be expedient for privately held firms, allowing them to circumvent the lengthy and complex process of going public through direct acquisition of a publicly-held entity. Upon completion of the deal, the buyer gains automatic inclusion on a stock exchange. Mike Novogratz is one high-profile example from the crypto space who opted for the route in order to secure a listing on Toronto’s TSX Venture Exchange for his crypto-focused merchant bank Galaxy Digital. Huobi is currently ranked 4th largest crypto exchange in the world by daily…

Why hackathons are an important part of Coinbase culture

Why hackathons are an important part of Coinbase culture

Ask any engineer who works in tech — hackathons are an important part of company culture. That’s certainly true for us here at Coinbase. While it’s easy to get caught up in the daily tasks and to-dos, we strongly believe in giving ourselves the space to experiment with creative ideas that may not be directly related to the company’s near-term goals. At Coinbase, hackathons are an opportunity to have fun and forge new friendships, to try new things we’re not sure will work, and to learn new skills or platforms. It’s a chance to innovate big ideas and build an effective demo or prototype we wouldn’t otherwise build. Building an open financial system for the world is no easy task, and it’s one that requires us to always explore, innovate, build, and rebuild. It’s why we hack. Last week we were proud to host our very own hackathon called Vision Hack 2028.While Coinbase has hosted a hackathon every year, this one was set to be the biggest yet. It needed a big name and vision to match. This is where Vision Hack 2028 was born — a five day, all-company hackathon that took place last week. The goal was to build ideas that would reshape what an open financial system could look like in 10 years. These Vision Hack posters were hung all over Coinbase HQ.During Vision Hack 2028, there was little to no guidance on what people could build. New features, product improvements, even standalone experiments, and apps were all fair game. The week was all about building and trying new things in a space where it was okay to fail. It was about enabling the vision of crypto and blockchain in the future, to get us closer to the open financial system that we all work toward. The bigger and more futuristic the idea, the more excitement there is to take it on. This year more than 150 ideas were submitted from across the company — new engineers, managers, executive assistants, recruiters, and even our CEO, Brian, spent some time planning, designing or coding. Over the course of the week, the hack teams spent time together brainstorming, coding, testing and bringing their idea to life and, on Friday, judges determined winners and handed out prizes based on various categories such as…

Market-Wide Losses Intensify in Second Day of Major Crypto Price Plummet

Market-Wide Losses Intensify in Second Day of Major Crypto Price Plummet

Thursday, September 6: crypto markets are blisteringly red, with virtually all of the top 100 coins posting hefty losses on the 24-hour charts, as Coin360 data shows. Market visualizat​ion from Coin360 Bitcoin (BTC) is trading at around $6,492 at press time, down almost 6.32 percent on the day, according to Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index. Having broken through the $7,000 threshold August 31, Bitcoin saw a solid uptrend until its sudden plummet yesterday, September 5. The top coin is now around 8 percent down on its weekly chart. On the month, however, Bitcoin remains up by around the same figure of 8 percent. Bitcoin’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph’s Bitcoin Price Index Ethereum (ETH) is trading around $225 at press time, losing 8 percent on the day. Following upon an intra-week high to scrape $300 September 1, Ethereum traded sideways around $290 until yesterday’s sudden descent. On its weekly chart, Ethereum is down a hefty 21.8 percent, with monthly losses burgeoning to 44.8 percent. Ethereum’s 7-day price chart. Source: Cointelegraph’s Ethereum Price Index Many of the top ten coins listed on CoinMarketCap are seeing significant losses, with Litecoin (LTC) down 7 percent to trade at $55.92, having traded as high as $69 September 4. Ripple (XRP) is a significant outlier, surviving the day’s dump relatively unscathed, up 2.15 percent on the day to trade around $0.30. Having plummeted in correlation with other major cryptos, the asset has seen a strong bounce upwards in the hours before press time. Ripples 7-day price chart from CoinMarketCap Among the top twenty coins, most losses are at five percent or higher, with IOTA (MIOTA), down 6.41 percent on the day to press time. VeChain (VET) has also lost almost 8 percent on the day to trade at $0.015. Many other smaller market cap alts are seeing double digit losses, showing strong correlation with larger crypto assets. In an interview with Cointelegraph this week, Brian Kelly, founder and CEO of digital currency investment firm BKCM LLC, who is also a regular contributor to CNBC as a crypto analyst, said he considers that in today’s Initial Coin Offering (ICO) market, “the days of a whitepaper and a dream and $30 million are probably over.” Crypto industry commentator Joseph Young has today given…

Winklevoss Brothers Win Patent for Crypto Key Storage System

Winklevoss Brothers Win Patent for Crypto Key Storage System

Crypto exchange Gemini founders Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss have won a patent for a cold storage method involving air-gapped computers, geographically remote vaults, plastic cards and, possibly, papyrus. Filed under the brothers’ firm Winklevoss IP, LLC, the document – published Tuesday by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office – outlines a plan to develop a network of computers capable of generating accounts for storing cryptocurrencies or cryptocurrency-related exchange-traded products (ETPs). As part of a security measure, the computers would be isolated except when necessary to transfer assets, essentially acting as a cold storage device. The computers would generate these keys for new accounts, which would then be segmented into parts and written onto an external memory device, such as a flash drive, CD, DVD or written down physically onto a laminated card, sheet of paper, piece of plastic or even papyrus, according to the document. The patent suggests various ways of manufacturing cards: “for example, two sets may be stored on paper, and a third set is stored on papyrus,” but notes that at least one set of keys must be stored on an electronic memory device. The keys should be delivered to a key storage company in person, via mail, or via fax, or created right at the secure storage site. To access the storage, the owners of the keys should provide three forms of identification. The computers would have access to a secure portal, which could, if necessary, connect the machines to the blockchain network in order to process transactions, the document explains. According to the document, protecting asset keys is important for blockchains to prevent the theft of funds. Further, the patent notes that digital asset ledgers are used to facilitate financial transactions, and therefore securing them enables consensus protocols to operate properly and prevent double-spend attacks from occurring. Winklevoss brothers image via Noah Berger/Bloomberg News The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

New York Man Pleads Guilty to $1.8 Million Ether Robbery

New York Man Pleads Guilty to $1.8 Million Ether Robbery

A New York man has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and robbery charges in connection with the theft of $1.8 million worth of ether. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement published on Wednesday that Louis Meza, who was accused of kidnapping an unnamed individual in New York last year and stealing their ether holdings, admitted to grand larceny in the first degree and kidnapping in the second degree. Meza was arrested in December after allegedly forcing the victim to hand over a cell phone, wallet and keys at gunpoint last November, as previously reported by CoinDesk. Vance said in the statement: “Meza orchestrated a 21st-century stick-up. Then 21st-century investigators brought him swiftly to justice, securing a landmark conviction in an undeveloped area of the law. Since 2010, my Office’s Cybercrime & Identity Theft Bureau has developed the expertise and technology to become a national leader in cybercrime prosecution and prevention, as underlined by this conviction and recovery of funds on the survivor’s behalf.” While the Manhattan DA’s website states that Meza “is expected to be sentenced on September 27,” the Wall Street Journal reported that Meza agreed to a 10-year prison sentence under the terms of his plea deal. A judge will confirm or modify the sentence during a hearing later this month. Authorities used video surveillance to confirm that Meza entered the victim’s home using the stolen keys, before exiting with a box believed to have held the victim’s digital wallet. Meza was originally charged with criminal possession of stolen property, computer tampering, computer trespass and criminal use of a firearm on top of the charges to which he pleaded guilty. Scales image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

An Indian Kid and the Pastry Window of Cryptocurrency

An Indian Kid and the Pastry Window of Cryptocurrency

Op-Ed The average young Indian is curious and confused about cryptocurrency. They think it is cool, but right now, thanks to an interim regulatory ban, it’s a world that’s out of their reach, leaving them anxious and hungry to learn more. Do regulators and users know where to go from here? Also read: Major Indian Bitcoin Exchange Discusses the Aftermath of RBI Ban Cryptocurrency: Neither Here Nor ‘Their’ Ever heard of the “monster behind the door” theory? It holds that what you conjure in your mind is always scaier than whatever is, or is not, actually out there. That notion is working its spell quite well in some regions of the world and India is fighting that beast as we speak. The horror, this time, concerns various what-ifs of allowing cryptocurrency. But there are people, specially young and curious (and not necessarily whimsical) Indians, who have seen the figure behind the door already – and if it is not a fairy that they’ve encountered, it is not a monster either. Shripad S, 32, from Mumbai, who invested a couple of thousand rupees in bitcoin in May 2017 and exited in February 2018, says he was in love with the cryptocurrency. “The RBI stance shifted the situation a lot, of course. But the beauty of this crypto-asset is its unprecedented ease, technology and speed. Lack of awareness and proper knowledge, however, are gaps that need to be addressed,” he explained. His remarks hint also at how many people perceive they cannot afford bitcoin because it is expensive. They seem unaware that you can invest in fractions of a bitcoin too. Don’t Get Scared – Get to Know It Having certain fears or reservations about cryptocurrency is natural. Overcoming them calls for arming one’s doubts with knowledge and accurate answers. Consider Abhishek G, 30, from New Delhi who put in a few thousand rupees for buying ethereum last year and loved the easy and smooth experience of the crypto world. “It was like buying groceries online. I had my eye on bitcoin but could not afford it that time. The crypto market was in a boom then. The government policy was not discouraging when I had invested in cryptocurrency. In fact, when I exited I made a neat…

Coinbase Considers Launching Crypto ETF with Help of Wall Street’s BlackRock, Say Sources

Coinbase Considers Launching Crypto ETF with Help of Wall Street’s BlackRock, Say Sources

U.S.-based crypto exchange and wallet service Coinbase is looking to create a cryptocurrency-based exchange-traded fund (ETF) with the help of the Wall Street investment management giant BlackRock, according to a Business Insider report September 6. Coinbase has reportedly “held conversations” with $6 trillion asset manager BlackRock’s blockchain working group, Business Insider reports, citing “sources familiar with the matter.” The proposed crypto ETF reportedly discussed is aimed to allow retail investors to gain access to volatile crypto markets. Meanwhile the report states that it “remains unclear whether the talks were a one-off or part of ongoing conversations between Coinbase and BlackRock.” Earlier in August, Coinbase announced that the company would reduce its Index Fund’s annual management fee “for all new and existing investors” from 2 to 1 percent, Cointelegraph reported August 13. Coinbase stated that the move was intended to “help introduce a new category of institutional investors into the cryptocurrency space.” On Aug. 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) denied applications for  nine separate ETFs submitted by three applicants. However, on August 23, the agency made a statement that it would review its decision of all nine ETFs, though it has yet to release a deadline.

Alleged BTC-e Operator’s Lawyer Says Greek Court Decided on Extradition to Russia

Alleged BTC-e Operator’s Lawyer Says Greek Court Decided on Extradition to Russia

News The lawyer for the alleged BTC-e exchange operator, Alexander Vinnik, claims that the Greek supreme court has decided to extradite him back to his motherland. If true, this would be a significant blow to US authorities’ attempts to get their hands on Vinnik and extract information from him about Russian hackers. Also Read: The Daily: Luxury Car Dealership Accepts Bitcoin, Basketballers to Earn Crypto BTC-e Operator Sent Back to Russia? The Supreme Court of Greece has approved the extradition of Alexander Vinnik to Russia at its Tuesday session as he requested, his lawyer Ilias Spirliadis told the Russian news agency TASS. “The court’s ruling will be officially made public on September 14. However, as follows from what the judge said at the session, the decision on Vinnik’s extradition to Russia has been made,” Defense Attorney Spirliadis reportedly said. American authorities accuse Vinnik of running a $4 billion money laundering operation as the head of BTC-e, as well as masterminding multiple crimes since 2011, including drug trafficking and computer hacking. Russia objects to Vinnik’s extradition to the US on the grounds that it violates international law, and demands he be sent back to face charges there for supposedly stealing 600,000 rubles (about $10,500). An International Power Struggle This case has put the Greek supreme court in the center of an international power struggle between the US and Russia who both demand the extradition of the suspected BTC-e operator. And in June of this year France also requested he will be turned over to its control. “I do not recognize these fake charges. Russia will sort everything out to determine whether or not I am guilty, while France and the US will not be able to do so, as there is no justice there,” Vinnik reportedly said. As we reported yesterday, a new explanation has recently popped up as to why the US and Russia are each fighting so hard to ensure that Vinnik will be handed them and not the other. Crypto cybersecurity firm Elliptic claims that BTC-e handled some funds linked to ‘Fancy Bear’ – a Russian military intelligence unit that US investigators accuse of hacking Democrats’ emails ahead of the 2016 presidential elections. With much of the American media and political establishment in panic…

Uzbekistan Looks to Lure Crypto Exchanges With New Tax Benefits

Uzbekistan Looks to Lure Crypto Exchanges With New Tax Benefits

The Uzbekistan government is welcoming cryptocurrency exchanges to set up shop within the country. An order issued by president Shavkat Mirziyoev on September 2 gives foreign exchanges a number of benefits to begin operating in the country. The document states that cryptocurrency-related income will not be taxed, licensed exchanges running operations with cryptocurrencies and foreign fiat currencies are not subject to existing foreign currency regulations and crypto exchanges are not subject to the country’s securities and exchanges regulations. However, foreign entities can only get a license for a cryptocurrency exchange after they open a subsidiary in Uzbekistan. Further, the terms for getting such a license may be restrictive: an exchange must have an authorized capital of no less than 30,000 times the average minimum salary, which amounts to roughly $700,000; servers must be located in Uzbekistan; exchanges must utilize anti-money laundering procedures for users and they must store users’ transaction and personal data for at least five years. There are also benefits for miners: the document orders federal and local government officials to provide industrial miners using more than 100 kWh of power with land without requiring an auction (which is normally required to acquire land) on “specially designated territories.” The move comes months after the government announced a goal to develop new regulations for cryptocurrencies in the country. In February, the government also announced its intention to create a state-funded innovation center for exploring the opportunities of blockchain in the state capital of Tashkent, the news agency Fergana.ru reported. Editor’s note: Statements in this article have been translated from Russian. Uzbekistan map image via Shutterstock

Survey: Nearly 80% of Americans Have Heard of Bitcoin

Survey: Nearly 80% of Americans Have Heard of Bitcoin

Just under 50 percent of millennials are interested in using cryptocurrencies as a primary form of payment as opposed to using the U.S. dollar, a new survey by polling firm YouGov found. The company released the results of its latest poll Thursday, which asked 1,202 Americans about their familiarity and interest in cryptocurrencies on August 29 and 30. According to a press release, 79 percent of respondents have heard of at least one type of cryptocurrency, with 71 percent saying they have heard of bitcoin. The second-best known cryptocurrency was ether, with only 13 percent of respondents saying they had heard of it. That being said, the release noted that 87 percent of the individuals who have heard of bitcoin have not mined, bought or sold the cryptocurrency. Half of this group also does not plan to purchase bitcoin in the future. According the full results, 19 percent of respondents aged 18 to 34 are “very interested” in using cryptocurrencies primarily, with a further 29 percent being “somewhat interested.” On the other hand, 50 percent of millennials said they were not very or not at all interested in primarily using cryptocurrencies as a payment method. The numbers change somewhat with other age demographics, with only 36 percent of respondents overall interested in using cryptocurrencies as a payment method. Further, a significant number of individuals believe cryptocurrencies may become a “widely accepted” financial tool in the future. The release stated that: “Although relatively few people have any immediate plans to buy Bitcoin, more than one-third (36 percent) of people think that cryptocurrencies will become widely accepted as a means of transaction for legal purchases within the next 10 years. Millennials (44 percent) are the most likely of any age group to say cryptocurrency will be widely accepted. About one-third (34 percent) of Gen X’ers and 29 percent of baby boomers agreed.” That being said, a quarter of all respondents believe that cryptocurrencies are still used mainly for illegal purchases, with another 19 percent split between thinking they are used equally for legal and illegal purchases. Only 17 percent of respondents think cryptocurrencies are mostly used for legal purchases. Survey image via Shutterstock The leader in blockchain news, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest…