Ernst & Young Argues That Crypto Exchange QuadrigaCX Should Be Placed in Bankruptcy

Ernst & Young Argues That Crypto Exchange QuadrigaCX Should Be Placed in Bankruptcy

Big Four audit firm Ernst & Young (EY) has argued that the now-shuttered Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX should be placed in bankruptcy instead of being restructured as part of ongoing creditor protection proceedings. EY proposed the course of action in its “Fourth Report of the Monitor” filed with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia on April 1. As previously reported, QuadrigaCX reported it had lost access to its cold wallet holdings following the death of its founder, Gerald Cotten, in December 2018 — Cotten having ostensibly been the sole person with access to the wallets’ corresponding keys. With the reportedly inaccessible crypto accounting for the vast majority of the exchange’s assets, QuadrigaCX owes over $198.4 million to an estimated 115,000 users. QuadrigaCX filed for creditor protection in early February, appointing EY as a monitor to the proceedings. In the auditor’s fourth report as Monitor for the case, EY’s legal team argues that the ongoing restructuring process for QuadrigaCX under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) should shift to an alternative process under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA). The authors propose: “Given the present circumstances, the possibility that Quadriga will restructure and emerge from CCAA protection appears remote. The ongoing investigation to locate and recover assets for distribution to creditors with the intent of optimizing recoveries for the Applicants’ stakeholders can be efficiently administered in a proceeding under the BIA.” The benefits of shifting to proceedings under the BIA, the report argues, include the fact that bankruptcy “would allow for the potential sale of assets, including but not limited to Quadriga’s operating platform,” as well as streamlining administrative burdens and cutting procedural costs. Moreover, the report argues that transitioning to BIA would provide EY with “enhanced investigative powers” in its prospective role as trustee-in-bankruptcy for the exchange. The trustee, appointed for Quadriga CX and Quadriga Coin Exchange, would also ostensibly address governance issues by removing the need for a chief restructuring officer or directors. BIA proceedings would remove the onus of formal updates to the court — as is currently required under CCAA — with the trustee prospectively providing reports directly to affected users during the bankruptcy. EY’s report further explains its ongoing investigations into QuadrigaCX’s missing funds, with reference to several third-party payment processors…

What It Takes to Air a TV News Channel Devoted to Crypto Assets

What It Takes to Air a TV News Channel Devoted to Crypto Assets

Blocktv is a new televised news source for the cryptocurrency community. News.Bitcoin.com recently visited the company’s headquarters in Israel to see what it takes to air a TV channel dedicated to reporting on the digital assets industry. Also Read: How a Large Crypto Mining Operation Is Handling the Current Market Tune in to Blockchain Television Blocktv’s main office is right across the road from the Israel Diamond Exchange building, at the very heart of the country’s business district. This central location offers easy access to the many crypto projects and service providers based in the area who can easily jump by to talk about the market. The large office gives the feeling of a modern TV channel and includes a professional studio, guest waiting and makeup rooms, as well as a central control room where the crew can monitor the filming and video feeds from all over the world. The company now employs 30 full-time staff members across its various departments and an additional cadre of about a dozen freelancers reporting from around the globe. According to Editor-in-Chief Ron Friedman, staff are tasked with reporting about the crypto community to the crypto community, while also being critical of the space they are covering and maintaining strict independence and healthy skepticism. The idea to create a television news channel dedicated to cryptocurrency was first put into action in June 2018. In December, the company focused on its core product, the live player, which was officially launched in January of this year. The shows are streamed live, both on Youtube and on the company’s own website. The harsh reality of ‘crypto winter’ might have affected the content of the news, but it didn’t the deter the channel’s launch. “Shortly after Blocktv was formed it became clear that the state of the industry was no longer the same as when the idea was first envisioned. The story changed. Instead of reporting on successful ICOs and new crypto billionaires, we found ourselves reporting on businesses closing and price falls,” recounted Friedman. However, he also added that the channel is already gaining interest from media partners. “After just a few short (albeit intense and trying) weeks, our broadcast is already available to hundreds of thousands of viewers through a series…

Malta: Financial Regulator Approves First 14 Crypto Assets Agents

Malta: Financial Regulator Approves First 14 Crypto Assets Agents

The Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has approved its first 14 crypto assets agents that previously sought for a license, according to an official statement published today, April 2. The approval comes five months after the Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA), adopted by Maltese government last year, came into power. According to local newspaper the Times of Malta, over 250 applications were initially filed by lawyers, accounts and auditors. However, nearly two thirds of them failed to pass the official assessment process. Only 28 of them finally succeeded to apply for a license, and 14 were approved with “minor details” to be fixed, the newspaper writes. The watchdog states that its representatives will now be assisting these crypto services providers under the VFA. According to the MFSA, the agents are now obliged to evaluate their customers’ business plans and ensure they are properly prepared before submitting an application to the MFSA. Moreover, the agents have to perform due diligence with their clients, checking whether they comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing guidelines. The regulator itself calls the decision an “important milestone in the MFSA’s effort at becoming a regulator of excellence” for the crypto industry. The officials believe that the decision will promote market integrity and public interest in crypto. However, as Cointelegraph previously reported, Maltese banks are still cautious in opening banking accounts for local crypto companies. When the Times of Malta contacted a number of legal firms and financial companies earlier in March, they reportedly confirmed that banks were declining their applications to open accounts, saying that it was beyond their “risk appetite.” Later, the country’s Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Silvio Schembri, told the newspaper that the banks were eventually waiting for the agents to obtain MFSA approval before offering them services. As Maltese officials have publicly committed to creating a “blockchain island” in the country, a number of high-profile blockchain and crypto business have moved to Malta in search of a more crypto-friendly jurisdiction. Lately, several major cryptocurrency exchanges, including OKEx, Binance and BitBay, set up their operations in Malta.

Israeli Crypto Miner Mulls Move to Toronto Stock Exchange

Israeli Crypto Miner Mulls Move to Toronto Stock Exchange

Israeli cryptocurrency mining firm Bitfarms will be delisted from the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange due to the losses caused by last year’s crypto bear market, local business daily outlet Globes reported on April 1. Bitfarms — formerly known as Blockchain Mining — reportedly lost $23.1 million in the second half of 2018, while its net profit amounted to only $4.9 million in the first two quarters. The company’s revenue reportedly shrunk by 48 percent in the second half, falling from $22.3 million to $11.5 million. The firm justified the revenue drop with the price decline of Bitcoin (BTC), as well as 81 percent rise in mining difficulty. Although Bitfarms’ share price climbed by almost 80 percent since the start of last year, it is still 90 percent lower the peak it saw in December 2017. Last week Bitfarms reportedly filed a preliminary prospectus with the Ontario Securities Commission aiming to be listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Bitfarms CFO John Rim said that “despite the challenges, through continuous reinvestment of cash flow generated from our operations, careful financial planning and disciplined execution, we were able to achieve many operational growth objectives in 2018.” In November last year, cryptocurrency markets suffered a sharp drop off not seen in over a year, when Bitcoin slumped below the $5,600 price point for the first time in 2018. Last December, Cointelegraph reported that cryptocurrency mining giant Bitmain decided to close its development center in Israel and lay off local employees, as well as reduce its operations in the Netherlands in January. Gadi Glikberg, head of the Israeli branch and Bitmain vice president of international sales and marketing, linked the closure to the crypto market collapse: “The crypto market has undergone a shake-up in the past few months, which has forced Bitmain to examine its various activities around the globe and to refocus its business in accordance with the current situation.”

How to Check Current Transaction Fees for BTC and BCH

How to Check Current Transaction Fees for BTC and BCH

Knowing what you have to pay to access a service is critical to judging the usefulness of any system. Here’s how you can check the current average transaction fees when make payments using BTC and BCH. Also Read: How to Earn BCH as a Bitcoin Bounty Hunter Track Transaction Fees With Coin Dance Coin Dance is a cryptocurrency data website offering statistics about the performance of digital assets. The platform features a live chart for following daily average transaction fees. It shows the difference between the often volatile fees on the BTC network and the much more stable and affordable BCH fees. As the chart clearly shows, BTC fees have recently spiked. High fees were a major point of contention among the cryptocurrency community during the latest great rally and with prices going up again across the board we can expect the issue to return to the forefront. Checking this chart on Coin Dance will allow you to stay informed and take part in the discussion using hard data. What do you think about the current average transaction fees for BTC and BCH? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. Images courtesy of Shutterstock. Verify and track bitcoin cash transactions on our BCH Block Explorer, the best of its kind anywhere in the world. Also, keep up with your holdings, BCH and other coins, on our market charts at Satoshi’s Pulse, another original and free service from Bitcoin.com. Avi Mizrahi Avi Mizrahi is an economist and entrepreneur who has been covering Bitcoin as a journalist since 2013. He has spoken about the promise of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology at numerous financial conferences around the world, from London to Hong-Kong.

BC Group Unveils Insured Custody Offering for Asia-Based Crypto Investors

BC Group Unveils Insured Custody Offering for Asia-Based Crypto Investors

Hong Kong trading and asset management firm Branding China Group (BC Group) is launching an insured custody service for cryptocurrencies, the company confirmed in a press release shared with Cointelegraph on April 1. BC Group, which owns a portfolio of various blockchain companies, including cryptocurrency trading platform Anxone and digital asset brokerage OSL, said it decided to build the service to respond to the needs of institutional investors in Asia. Its release, it says, constitutes the first such insured custody solution for crypto assets available locally, but will use United Kingdom-based insurers. “BC Group’s custody service removes one of the key barriers that has to date prevented professional traders and institutions from adding digital assets to their portfolios,” the firm’s chief technology officer, Hugh Madden, commented in the press release. He added: “These traders can only transact on exchanges that align with strict regulatory and fiduciary guidelines and meet high compliance and security standards. Insured custody is a vital component in meeting these standards.” “BC Group route all incoming digital asset transfers directly to cold storage and advocate this as the industry standard,” Madden added, echoing practices from custody firms such as Switzerland’s Xapo. BC will capitalize on the burgeoning institutional investor market which is set for greater expansion worldwide in 2019. As Cointelegraph reported, this year should see the debut of products such as trading platform Bakkt, which will offer various crypto-related tools to investors, beginning with physically-delivered Bitcoin futures. Last year, Cointelegraph further noted the increasing trend in insurance options for cryptocurrency industry businesses.

QuadrigaCX Crypto Exchange Could Soon Be Placed in Bankruptcy

QuadrigaCX Crypto Exchange Could Soon Be Placed in Bankruptcy

Ernst and Young (EY), the court-appointed monitor for collapsed Canadian crypto exchange QuadrigaCX, has proposed transitioning the company from a restructuring process to bankruptcy proceedings. In a new report posted Tuesday, EY said that the exchange’s creditors “will benefit” from converting its current restructuring process under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) to a new one under the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act (BIA). “Transitioning from the CCAA to the BIA will streamline the administration of the proceedings, reduce the level of professional involvement and provide enhanced investigative powers for the Trustee,” the company said, adding: “As set out in previous reports of the Monitor, the current objective of these CCAA proceedings is data and asset recovery. Given the present circumstances, the possibility that Quadriga will restructure and emerge from CCAA protection appears remote.” EY’s work to recover Quadriga’s missing or frozen $190 million in crypto can still occur under the BIA. The exchange first reported at the end of January that it was unable to locate some $136 million in crypto and needed assistance pulling another $53 million from third-party payment processors. There are a number of benefits to moving for bankruptcy, EY said, including allowing Quadriga to sell any valuable assets, reducing governance issues by removing the need for a chief restructuring officer or directors, allowing representative counsel to continue to participate and giving the exchange’s trustee “additional investigatory powers” without requiring court orders. Bankruptcy is also likely to be cost-effective, EY says, though it explained that one of the cost reductions would come from no longer having to update the court on the exchange’s efforts to recover funds. “It would remain available to the Trustee to provide reports to Affected Users during the bankruptcy,” the report says. Wrapping up In its report, EY indicated that its research into Quadriga’s missing funds might be nearing an end. It plans to file a final report in the next few weeks, which would update the court on what progress it has made, though Tuesday’s filing did not provide any clarity on the exchange’s missing cryptos. In a previous report, EY said that the cold wallets Quadriga used to store bitcoin were empty (aside from some bitcoin accidentally transferred to one set of addresses), and that the exchange was unsure where the…

Bitcoin’s Price Rises Above Major Moving Averages In First Since 2018

Bitcoin’s Price Rises Above Major Moving Averages In First Since 2018

Bitcoin’s price emerged above three major moving averages for the first time in nearly 15 months on Tuesday. The development is a byproduct of the cryptocurrency’s surge above $5,000 during Tuesday’s trading session, representing an increase in excess of 20 percent. A moving average (MA), when used in financial analysis, is simply a continuously calculated average of a certain economic factor like price or trading volume over a specified period of time. The moving average is particularly useful for smoothing out short-term fluctuations in the data set to identify the direction of the longer term trend. Certain moving average durations like the 50, 100 and 200 day MA’s are of more importance when analyzing the price of a traded asset because they tend to display if recent price action is out or under performing its recent or distant trends, which can highlight bullish or bearish market conditions. Perhaps most significant is the 200 day MA, which is commonly regarded as the dividing line between a strong market and weak one. Notably, bitcoin’s price is now trading above these three key moving averages in first since January 13, 2018. BTC/USD daily chart As can be seen in the chart above, bitcoin at the time was priced closer to $15,000 before falling below the 50 day moving average, according to Bitstamp figures. Contrary to what occurred today, this was a bearish signal that pointed to a degree of loss to the strength of the short term trend. Not long after falling below the 50 day MA, bitcoin’s price found acceptance below the remaining two moving averages, solidifying the newfound bearish trend. Recently, however, the opposite appears to be the case. Bitcoin’s price began trading above both the 50 and 100 day moving averages on Feb. 18 of this year, suggesting its trend was beginning to pick up strength. Roughly three weeks later 50 day MA crossed above the 100 day MA, which is an example of a moving average trading strategy called the bullish crossover that is generally considered a buy signal. Last but not least, bitcoin’s price was able to trade above the 200 day moving average today for the first time since it fell below the MA on March 14, 2018. BTC/USD moving averages in 2015-2018…

Pakistan’s Central Bank Aims to Issue Its Own Digital Currency by 2025

Pakistan’s Central Bank Aims to Issue Its Own Digital Currency by 2025

Jameel Ahmad, the deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the nation’s central bank, declared that the institution aims to issue a digital currency by 2025, Pakistani YouTube news channel Public News reported on April 1. English-language local media Dawn also reported today that Asad Umar, Pakistan’s finance minister, prompted the official’s statement during a ceremony celebrating the launch of Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) on Monday, April 1. According to Dawn, the minister asked the federal investigation agency and the central bank to ensure that the new system will feature cybersecurity. Umar purportedly claimed that a single high profile incident could irreparably damage trust in the banking system. As part of his response, the central bank’s deputy governor, Ahmad, then declared that the institution is already working on releasing its central bank digital currency (CBDC) concept by 2025. According to the official, the aim is to promote financial inclusion and efficiency and combat corruption. The complete deployment of the CBDC, however, is set to happen by 2030. As previously reported, Pakistan is implementing new cryptocurrency regulations in an effort to improve its track record fighting financial crime. As Cointelegraph reported in February, Ukraine’s central bank has completed a pilot scheme for its own national digital currency, the e-hryvnia. During the same month, the Oxford Business Law Blog published a research report conducted by a postdoctoral researcher from the University of Luxembourg noting that the idea of issuing a CBDC is too attractive to ignore.

Puerto Rico Sees New Crypto Bank Accept First Client Deposit

Puerto Rico Sees New Crypto Bank Accept First Client Deposit

Puerto Rico-based cryptocurrency trading platform San Juan Mercantile Exchange (SJMX) has launched banking operations via a new subsidiary, the company announced in a press release on April 2. SJMX, which exists as a membership-based exchange for digital asset traders, is seeking to expand the scope of its operations for institutional investors. The new venture, dubbed San Juan Mercantile Bank & Trust International (SJMBT), received a banking license from Puerto Rican regulators last month. With the receipt of its first deposit, the bank is now officially open for business, offering institutional clients more of an all-round package of services for their trading needs. “Commencing SJMBT banking operations is a significant milestone,” SJMBT president and chief operating officer, Nick Varelakis, commented in the press release. He added: “Institutional market participants in the digital asset space now have access to a licensed, fully regulated and operational banking partner that provides a secure environment for the matching and settlement of digital asset trades.” The news comes on the back of rapid expansion of institutional services worldwide. As Cointelegraph reported earlier Tuesday, Hong Kong-based BC Group has also launched Asia’s first insured crypto custody solution. Market sentiment over institutional investor entry remains mixed as United States regulators continue to mull long-delayed offerings, such as trading platform Bakkt. Originally slated for November, the project has seen multiple setbacks, while authorities say they are addressing the application, and others like it, as a matter of urgency.