New York Grants Its 18th BitLicense to Crypto ‘Prime Broker’ Tagomi

New York Grants Its 18th BitLicense to Crypto ‘Prime Broker’ Tagomi

The New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) has awarded its latest BitLicense to crypto brokerage startup Tagomi Trading LLC. Announced Wednesday, this is the 18th such license issued since the NYDFS finalized its controversial regulatory regime for virtual currency businesses in 2015. Tagomi has also been granted a traditional state money transmission license, according to an NYDFS press release. CEO Greg Tusar said in a statement that the approval means Tagomi will be “New York’s first agency brokerage for virtual currencies,” meaning it will place trades on clients’ behalf in bitcoin, ether, bitcoin cash and litecoin and look to fill their orders at the best prices available as quickly as possible. Tusar added: “Our team of industry veterans has developed our order routing services with sophisticated clients in mind, and we look forward to expanding our presence with New Yorkers.” Concierge service Tagomi previously raised $12 million to offer prime brokerage (i.e., high-touch) services to hedge funds investing in cryptocurrencies.  The startup went live in December. The company will “prioritize transparency” with its services, Tagomi general counsel Dhawal Sharma said in a statement. With its new virtual currency license, Tagomi joins the likes of exchanges Coinbase and Gemini; market maker Genesis Global Trading; payments startups Ripple and Square; investing firm Robinhood; and bitcoin ATM operators Coinsource and Cottonwood Vending. In a statement, acting NYDFS superintendent Linda Lacewell reiterated previous department comments about the agency’s commitment to “fostering innovation and strengthening the competitiveness of New York’s burgeoning virtual currency sector.” New York image via Shutterstock

TechCrunch Founder’s Crypto Fund Tops $100 Million, Completes First Acquisition

TechCrunch Founder’s Crypto Fund Tops $100 Million, Completes First Acquisition

One of Arrington XRP Capital’s largest limited partners (LPs) has injected a fresh $30 million into the digital asset firm, according to its founder Michael Arrington. “The reason is, like everyone, we didn’t do particularly great last year, but we did better than the market. And that was a win,” Arrington told CoinDesk. With the additional investment, Arrington says the fund has now surpassed its initial target of raising $100 million. First announced at Consensus: Invest 2017, the TechCrunch founder has never disclosed his eponymous fund’s LPs (other than to indicate that Ripple is not one of them). The fresh capital enabled the company to acquire another fund, Australia’s ByteSize Capital, founded by brothers Ninos and Ninor Mansor, who have joined Arrington XRP as partners. Arrington also announced that Experian alum Geoffrey Arone will move from being a partner to an advisory role. Ninos Mansor said he appreciated the experience that Arrington and fellow Arrington XRP partner Heather Harde brought to the table: “One thing that stood out to us as we discussed a merger was the fact that they’ve been working together for over a decade. Two tech booms gives you scars and judgement that you just can’t replicate.” Adapted strategy The ByteSize acquisition allows the fund to operationalize what Arrington called a “barbell strategy,” designed for an uncertain market, where venture investments are balanced by crypto trading. Trading should improve the fund’s performance in both bear and bull markets, but Arrington emphasized that venture investing will remain a major emphasis for the fund. “We are seeing a new market,” he said. “It’s not 2017. It’s not 2018. Funds like ours will continue to find ways to make money in markets that are unpredictable.” He explained that much of the loss in 2018 wasn’t due to poor venture investments, but leaving funds in crypto, rather than fiat. “These great deals we all did, it just didn’t matter,” Arrington said. “We’d still put it right back into ETH and we’d lose it.” Arrington believes the addition of the Mansors will be able to help offset such losses. “We didn’t have the DNA to do trading, but now we do with these guys,” Arrington said. In addition to trading know-how, Arrington says the ByteSize team has proprietary market…

How to Print Your Own Bitcoin Cash Paper Wallet

How to Print Your Own Bitcoin Cash Paper Wallet

Cryptocurrency might be a digital asset, but that doesn’t mean you have to forgo the sensation of grasping your money in your own hands. Paper wallets are a staple feature of using cryptocurrency and today’s tip is a tool that lets you easily print them for yourself. Also Read: How a Large Crypto Mining Operation Is Handling the Current Market How to Use a Paper Wallet Generator There are many cryptocurrency paper wallet generators you can find online, but if you are going to use a service to secure your money, make sure it’s one you can trust. Bitcoin.com offers a free and easy to use Bitcoin Cash (BCH) paper wallet generator that’s ideal. Once you click on the ‘Generate Wallet Now’ button all you have to do is move the cursor around for a short while to create entropy and the service will quickly create a new wallet for you. Then you simply select a cool design you like, click print and that’s it: three simple steps and you’re good to go. For anyone looking to store large amounts of money in their paper wallet, or eager to learn more about the best way to protect their assets, our paper wallet portal provides instructions for attaining an even higher level of security. This entails downloading the generator and running it on a safe system that you trust without being connected to the internet. Have you ever tried printing a paper wallet? Share your experience 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.

Ukrainian Man Faces up to 6 Years in Jail for Cryptojacking on His Own Websites

Ukrainian Man Faces up to 6 Years in Jail for Cryptojacking on His Own Websites

Ukraine’s Cyber Police have arrested a man who allegedly placed crypto mining malware scripts on his own websites, local law enforcement reported on March 26. The cyber crime unit of the national police of Ukraine arrested a 32-year-old man from the Bukovina region who allegedly placed cryptojacking software on a number of educational websites that he created and administered. The unspecified websites and internet resources had 1.5 million monthly visitors, the police reported. The police also stated that the installed malware on the websites was deploying visitors’ devices’ CPU and GPU power to illegally mine cryptocurrencies. The authority has conducted a search in the house of the alleged cyber criminal and seized his computer equipment, bank cards, hard drives and notes for launched criminal proceedings. According to the report, the miner faces imprisonment for a term of up to six years. Cryptojacking malware activity has seen tremendous growth recently, with cyber security firm McAfee Labs reporting in late December that the total instances of cryptojacking malware rose by more than 4,000 percent in 2018. Recently, AT&T Cybersecurity reported that crypto mining is one of the most observed purposes of hackers that attack businesses’ cloud infrastructures. In late February, notorious online crypto miner firm Coinhive announced that the service is shutting down since it reportedly become economically inefficient.

Lightning Offers Growth Path for Emerging-Market Crypto Exchanges

Lightning Offers Growth Path for Emerging-Market Crypto Exchanges

While leading cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase and Binance feverishly add new tokens, smaller exchanges serving emerging markets are pivoting toward retail applications of the lightning network’s bitcoin scaling solution. The latest is Singapore-based exchange Zebpay, which now offers lightning wallet options for users who want to send lightning-enabled payments to external wallets. Bitcoin users can cash out their crypto directly to make a nearly instant payment to any lightning-friendly wallet. For now, Zebpay will enable this feature by handling all the channels to recipients on the back-end. “Next comes allowing people to create invoices,” Zebpay CEO Ajeet Khurana told CoinDesk. “Giving them greater control over channel management, state management, recovery, routing. All of this is done by us. We will keep releasing more functionality so that users can actually take control of how they are doing things.” This stands in stark contrast to the broader industry norm, which often considers lightning too experimental for retail users. Representatives from larger platforms like Coinbase, BitMex, Kraken and OKEx all told CoinDesk they won’t incorporate lightning in the near future. In contrast to the above-mentioned platforms, Khurana said Zebpay has a smaller monthly user base of a “few hundred thousand” – which could still make the company’s new lightning wallet one of the more widely used options on the market (BlueWallet, by comparison, has seen 20,000 downloads to date). Demand for the product may also benefit from the fact that nearly a million Indian Zebpay accounts holders can’t cash out in fiat due to an unclear regulatory landscape that discourages Indian banks from cooperating with crypto companies. “I cannot imagine greater pain for an organization,” Khurana said, referring to the choice to shut down the Indian fiat-crypto exchange and shift Zebpay’s focus to other markets and services. He described this shift as basically having to “start over” again. Yet despite these challenges, Khurana remains bullish on the global bitcoin industry. “It is very, very exciting,” Khurana said, adding: “We are still in the early stages, of [lightning] implementation. But as far as capabilities are concerned, that question of whether bitcoin can actually support the volume of transactions that would emerge from a global monetary system, that [question] has now effectively been put away.” Lightning now is part of the…

Avalon Bitcoin Miner Maker Canaan Is Plotting Another IPO Attempt

Avalon Bitcoin Miner Maker Canaan Is Plotting Another IPO Attempt

Canaan Creative, manufacturer of the Avalon bitcoin miner, is considering another attempt to go public, people familiar with the situation said.  According to one source, the company’s main shareholders are discussing a plan to list its shares on the newly created Science and Technology (Sci-Tech) Innovation Board within the Shanghai Stock Exchange. The source added the plan is still under discussion and has not been finalized. But the news comes weeks after the Nasdaq-like trading board debuted in China to meet demand from local technology startups, and just months after Canaan’s application to go public on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange lapsed. A second source close to the company told CoinDesk that the company has been considering both China and the U.S. for a new application, and has even communicated with the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq. This source also indicated the plan has yet to be finalized but said it will be before the end of the year. Canaan did not respond to CoinDesk’s request for comment by press time. The Shanghai exchange, the world’s fourth-largest stock exchange by market capitalization as of 2018, formally launched the new trading board on March 1, four months after Chinese President Xi Jinping revealed the plan to help domestic tech startups raise funds more easily. New round, old faces Canaan is considering a second stab at going public on the heels of a recent funding round, which one news report said raised “several hundred million dollars,” valuing the firm at “several billion dollars.” However, CoinDesk has learned that the funding round drew no new investors. “There was a fund raise, but there’s no real investors because it all comes from old shareholders’ own pockets,” said a third source close to the company, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the information is private. While continued investment by existing shareholders might be read as a vote of confidence in the company, the absence of new participants is likely a sign of how tough fundraising is for mining operations given the ongoing slump in cryptocurrency prices. The source close to Canaan drew the latter interpretation, saying: “Based on the current bearish market situation, it’s just too difficult to gain investment.” ‘Red chip’ candidate Notably, the report of a…

Crypto Exchange CoinBene Assures Users That Prolonged Maintenance Not Due to Hack

Crypto Exchange CoinBene Assures Users That Prolonged Maintenance Not Due to Hack

Top-ranked cryptocurrency exchange CoinBene has reassured users that its prolonged maintenance downtime is not due to a hack, as some community members had feared. The exchange made its official announcement in an official tweet today, March 27. With the announcement, CoinBene has responded to users’ ongoing concerns that delays in processing deposits and withdrawals were signs of a possible platform hack. In its statement, CoinBene — currently ranked 4th on CoinMarketCap by adjusted daily trade volume — clarifies that is has been undertaking measures to update the exchange’s wallet immediately. The exchange reports that it had received news from multiple other — unnamed — crypto exchanges of recent thefts of their users’ assets. The CoinBene security team says it then took swift action to protect and upgrade the wallet’s security to protect their users. The announcement, emphasizing this has been a preventive — not reactive — measure, reassures users that: “User assets on CoinBene platform are 100% secure, our platform promises that if any user assets will be lost, we will compensate 100% [sic]. […] The CoinBene security team monitors any anomalies at all times and will issue a warning the first time to prevent any possible risks.” The statement also instructs any user aware of a security risk to their account to contact the platform’s support team. In a separate tweet in the same thread, CoinBene emphasized that users should not worry about the prolonged maintenance currently underway. Evidently relieved twitter users responded positively to CoinBene’s clarification, although stated it would have been preferable to issue an announcement sooner to quash community concerns. One user expressed their ongoing frustration over frozen deposits, to which CoinBene responded that Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH) and Tether (USDT) deposits have already been reopened, and others are set to be opened “asap.” As previously reported, community members had been closely eyeing open blockchain transaction data records in light of their suspicions surrounding CoinBene. One industry figure had proposed that massive outgoing transactions from CoinBene shown on major statistics website for Ethereum, Etherscan, might serve as an evidence of an attack — concerns that a fellow sleuther assuaged by noting that the transactions in fact appeared to indicate transfers to a wallet designated as cold storage. In a recent report…

Most Crypto Exchanges Still Don’t Have Clear KYC Policies: Report

Most Crypto Exchanges Still Don’t Have Clear KYC Policies: Report

The crypto exchange industry may be far less compliant than it appears. As revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, a global study of 216 exchanges by the reg-tech startup Coinfirm found 69 percent of these businesses do not have “complete and transparent” know-your-customer (KYC) procedures. The study also found that only 26 percent of exchanges had a “high” level of anti-money laundering (AML) procedures, such as ongoing transaction monitoring and in-house compliance staff with experience in AML. While some people may see anonymous trading as a feature of the cryptocurrency market, it can also enable problematic business practices and criminal or terrorist activity. Coinfirm CEO Pawel Kuskowski told CoinDesk many such platforms require just a crypto wallet address to get started. In the report, Coinfirm identified Binance as having a “high” regulatory risk based on “exposure to anonymous activity,” since deposits and withdrawals for values below 2 bitcoin (less than $8,000 as of press time) reportedly did not require KYC as of February 2019. Overall, there were several exchanges – including Coinsquare, Coinbase, Gemini and the Circle-owned Poloniex – that Coinfirm’s Kuskowski identified as “low risk” due to official licenses and strict KYC/AML policies. The broad spectrum of enforced compliance procedures wasn’t the most surprising part of this research for Kuskowski, however. It was the legal structure behind some platforms, including several of the industry’s most famous high-volume exchanges, which Kuskowski declined to name. “It’s perceived as a UK entity, but it’s not really a UK entity,” he said as a hypothetical example. “In a lot of these situations, you would have the entity that is transmitting money, especially fiat, that was actually an entity between the contracting party and the sender.” The finding follows another recent study by Bitwise Asset Management, which claimed that almost 95 percent of the widely reported bitcoin trading volume was actually an artifice, often involving automated bots or misreported statistics from unregulated exchanges.  “You don’t put any identifier like an email address. That’s how low it can be,” Kuskowski said of certain industry practices. “On the other hand, we have a video conference as part of the onboarding where someone is checking whether the documents you’re providing are in line with what you are holding in your hand.” Issues with Binance Throughout…

Huobi’s US Arm Launches Institutional Group for OTC Crypto Trading

Huobi’s US Arm Launches Institutional Group for OTC Crypto Trading

The U.S. branch of the Huobi Global crypto trading marketplace is courting big-money investors with the introduction of a new institutional team. Announced today, the new group at HBUS will be headed up by Katelyn Mew, a veteran of asset management powerhouse BlackRock and discount brokerage Charles Schwab, and Oren Blonstein, who comes from fintech provider Tora Trading Services. “We set up a new institutional sales and customer service group just to have some focus and resources on this segment of the market where we see a lot of the growth coming from,” Blonstein told CoinDesk. “We’re entering the market now with a real institutional offering, we’re definitely going to be offering some new products and services,” such as token lending and over-the-counter (OTC) trading, in the coming months, he added. According to a press release, HBUS may even look at launching a stablecoin (though no details were provided). In a statement, Mew, a vice president of sales and marketing at HBUS, said the company would offer “sophisticated trading systems and a trusted marketplace.” “Unfortunately, the current landscape is significantly behind the traditional financial services industry. As more and more institutions integrate digital assets into their portfolios, they’ll need trusted, secure and compliant partners, such as Huobi.com,” she added. While Blonstein did not provide any names, he said some clients are already onboarding. Licenses Blonstein, a vice president of technology at HBUS, said one of his firm’s main draws is its connection to traders outside the U.S. Its parent company, based in Singapore, is the world’s fourth-largest exchange by 24-hour volume (when adjusted to exclude distortive activities such as no-fee trading), according to CoinMarketCap. “If you’re a U.S.-based fund, so are now or in the future could be regulated by a U.S. regulator, it’s important that you’re working with another compliant institution,” Blonstein said. “So if you’re in the U.S. [but] if you want to access to liquidity outside the U.S. … you need to do that through a U.S. platform.” Based in San Francisco, HBUS has money transmission licenses in various states, with petitions out to those jurisdictions it still needs a license in. It is also registered as a money services business (MSB) with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), a bureau of the U.S.…

Bitcoin Again Rebounds From Strong Price Support

Bitcoin Again Rebounds From Strong Price Support

View Bitcoin has again created a higher low along the 30-day moving average line, neutralizing Monday’s bearish close below $3,920. A move above $4,055 (March 21 high) is still needed to revive the short-term bullish setup. That could be followed by a rally to resistance levels lined up at $4,190–$4,236. A UTC close below the 30-day moving average, currently at $3,889, would put the bears in a commanding position, opening the doors for a drop to support levels at $3,775 (March 14 low) and $3,658 (Feb. 27 low). Bitcoin (BTC) has once more rebounded from the 30-day moving average, thwarting a bearish move that saw prices drop below $3,920 on Monday. The move sees the crypto market leader return from uncertain ground 24 hours ago, having dived out of the $3,920-$4,055 trading range on Monday. That range breakdown coupled with the signs of bullish exhaustion on the longer duration charts had opened the doors for a deeper drop below the 30-day moving average (MA) at $3,883, as discussed yesterday. The MA support, however, held ground despite the bearish setup, allowing BTC to climb back to $4,000. Essentially, the cryptocurrency has established a bullish higher low along the key average for the third time this month. While the bearish case has weakened, the short-term bullish view put forward by the long-tailed doji created on Feb. 27 would only be revived if there is a strong follow through to the rebound from the 30-day MA support, preferably a break above the recent high of $4,055 hit on March 21. As of writing, BTC is changing hands at $4,015 on Bitstamp, representing a 2.6 percent gain on a 24-hour basis. A high of $4,031 was clocked soon before press time. Daily chart As seen above, BTC has picked up a bid following the defense of the 30-day MA, currently at $3,889. The higher-low pattern would gain credence if the bounce ends up establishing a higher high above the March 21 high of $4,055. That would expose the February high of $4,190, above which a major hurdle is seen at $4,236 – the bearish lower high created on Dec. 24. On the downside, a UTC close below the 30-day MA is the target for the bears. 8-hour chart On…