Bittrex Lands Bank Agreement to Help Customers Buy Bitcoin With Dollars

Bittrex Gets Bank Agreement to Help Customers Buy Bitcoin With Dollars

Seattle-based cryptocurrency exchange Bittrex Inc. has established a formal agreement with Signature Bank in New York to allow corporate clients in specific states to purchase virtual tokens using USD. The move is designed to increase the amount of institutional capital making its way through the crypto space.

Chief executive officer of Bittrex Bill Shihara says the exchange has been working on this partnership for months. “It’s been a long path,” he commented. “It’s not just about banks being able to trust Bittrex; it’s about banks being able to trust crypto in general, and I think it’s really showing that crypto is turning the corner in terms of mainstream acceptance.”

Due to regulatory uncertainty surrounding virtual currencies, many established financial institutions continue to associate them with money laundering and related criminal activity, and have chosen to avoid them altogether. Last February, for example, customers who tried to purchase digital currency through Citigroup were treated to serious delays and cancelled transactions after the investment firm made the decision to bar users from buying crypto using their debit cards or checking accounts.

This decision was later replicated by establishments like Chase and Bank of America, both of which implemented bans preventing customers from purchasing cryptocurrencies on major exchanges. Thus, many virtual currency marketplaces still only allow customers to trade between digital assets, rather than dollar for crypto or vice versa.

However, some banks are beginning to show signs of change in both attitude and business protocol, and have become more welcoming of cryptocurrencies. Popular digital currency exchange Coinbase has recently developed partnerships with Cross River Bank, Metropolitan Bank and Silvergate Bank in the United States. The company has even garnered a Barclays PLC bank account in the United Kingdom.

Noble Bank International in San Juan, Puerto Rico, also took over banking duties for Bitfinex in 2017 after the exchange’s relationship with Wells Fargo came to a sudden end.

Discussing the needs of traditional banks, Shihara went on to say, “They really do look and pour through the entire business. They want to make sure we’ve got robust AML/KYC processes and that we’ve got the right controls on our finances. They do background checks and everything. They really look at our business soup to nuts.”

Bittrex, which boasts roughly 3 million customers around the world, allows users to trade up to 200 different digital coins. Fiat trading capabilities will also be launched May 31, 2018, for bitcoin, Tether and TrueUSD. At press time, the service is only available to corporate clients in New York, California, Washington and Montana, though executives say they are working to expand this capability to retail investors once regulations are more defined.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

Crypto Exchange Huobi Quietly Opens Office in Brazil and Starts Hiring

Crypto Exchange Huobi Quietly Opens Office in Brazil and Starts Hiring

Huobi, the third largest crypto exchange by 24-hour trading volume, is reportedly setting up an office in Brazil. According to reports in Portal du Bitcoin, representatives of Huobi were seen distributing business cards during Bitconf, a major cryptocurrency conference held in São Paulo, Brazil, on May 5-6, 2018.

The Singapore-based exchange has yet to make an an official statement on the matter, but according to Portal du Bitcoin, which broke the news on Tuesday, May 29, 2018, Huobi has already opened an office in the coworking space WeWork in São Paulo. The company also has ads on LinkedIn looking for a Digital Marketing Manager and a Chief Compliance Officer to work out of São Paulo.

Originally founded in Beijing in 2013, Huobi was, at one time, one of the largest bitcoin exchanges in China before the country placed an all-out ban on cryptocurrency trading in September 2017. Rather than shutter its business completely, Huobi began a major expansion effort, setting up offices in Singapore, South Korea and elsewhere.

Only weeks ago, Huobi announced plans to open its first Canadian office in Toronto, and earlier this year, despite regulatory uncertainty in the U.S., Huobi also revealed that it was opening a branch in San Francisco to offer crypto-to-crypto trading in the U.S. market.

The firm also attempted to make inroads into Japan. In December 2017, Huobi revealed it intended to launch a trading platform in Japan with Japan-based investment group SBI Holdings. But the deal was scrapped in March 2018 at a time when Japan’s regulators were stepping up oversight on cryptocurrency exchanges in the country.

Now the exchange is headed to Brazil, as Huobi confirmed with CoinDesk. With a population of 210 million, Brazil is home to half the population of South America, representing a huge potential market for Huobi. Meanwhile, competition in the country is sparse. Currently, the biggest crypto exchanges in Brazil include Foxbit, BitcoinTrade and Mercado Bitcoin, which all trade in relatively small volumes compared to Huobi.

And, as far as cryptocurrency regulation goes, Brazil is still a “Wild West.” In December 2017, the country’s central bank and securities regulator went so far as to issue a joint warning to investors that virtual currencies had no official oversight in the country.

Cryptocurrency trading is a lucrative market, and Huobi is not the only major exchange on the move after the Chinese crackdown. In the past few months, Binance and OKEx separately announced plans to expand to the crypto-friendly island nation of Malta. Early this year, Bitfinex said it was planning to set up operations in Switzerland.

This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.

BitBay Suspends Polish Operations, Heads to Crypto-Friendly Malta

Poland’s biggest cryptocurrency exchange, BitBay, is moving on to greener pastures. The company announced the suspension of its operations in Poland, where banks have been less than cooperative. BitBay is headed to the island country of Malta, which has given itself the nickname of Blockchain Island. BitBay is leaving the city of Katowice where it … Continued

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Apple Sides with Russian Govt, Restricts Telegram, Claims Pavel Durov

Apple Sides with Russian Govt, Restricts Telegram, Claims Pavel Durov

If there’s a sacred line the crypto community insists shouldn’t be crossed, it’s Thou Shalt Never Cooperate with Government Prohibitions. Apple Inc., the world’s most valuable company, appears to have ventured into such territory, according to Telegram’s founder Pavel Durov. He claims the maker of iPhone, iPad, and other iconic hardware, is purposefully restricting Telegram’s program updates on Apple’s latest operating system rollout in an effort to appease Russian authorities.  

Also read: Philippines’ Crypto Wallet Reaches 5 Million Users, Adds More Coins

Apple Inc. Sides with Russia Against Telegram

“Apple has been preventing Telegram from updating its iOS apps globally ever since the Russian authorities ordered Apple to remove Telegram from the App Store,” Telegram’s Pavel Durov wrote on his quarter million member Durov’s Channel. “Russia banned Telegram on its territory in April because we refused to provide decryption keys for all our users’ communications to Russia’s security agencies. We believe we did the only possible thing, preserving the right of our users to privacy in a troubled country.”

Apple Sides with Russian Govt, Restricts Telegram, Claims Pavel Durov

As reported in these pages two month ago, “Supreme Court Judge Alla Nazarova […] rejected an appeal filed by Telegram, objecting to Russia’s Federal Security Services (FSB) obtaining the encryption keys to its platform. As a result, Telegram will be legally obligated to grant security forces access to the private messages and other data of its users, unless it can convince an appellate court to reverse the decision.”

Weeks after, a kangaroo Moscow court upheld that decision, ordering Telegram to comply. Then, as like now, Mr. Durov took to his personal channel, explaining defiantly, “The power that local governments have over IT corporations is based on money. At any given moment, a government can crash their stocks by threatening to block revenue streams from its markets and thus force these companies to do strange things (remember how last year Apple moved Icloud servers to China). At Telegram, we have the luxury of not caring about revenue streams or ad sales. Privacy is not for sale, and human rights should not be compromised out of fear or greed.”

Apple Sides with Russian Govt, Restricts Telegram, Claims Pavel Durov

Apple Also Hounded by Russian Authorities

By late Spring of this year, Telegram had gone full protest mode. “For us, this was an easy decision. We promised our users 100% privacy and would rather cease to exist than violate this promise,” Mr. Durov stressed. “To support internet freedoms in Russia and elsewhere I started giving out bitcoin grants to individuals and companies who run socks5 proxies and VPN. I am happy to donate millions of dollars this year to this cause, and hope that other people will follow. I called this Digital Resistance – a decentralized movement standing for digital freedoms and progress globally.” Supporters even responded to Telegram’s call for a paper airplane mass fly, providing a profound and somewhat beautiful symbol of cryptography’s ultimate power.

For its part, Apple has been hectored by the Russian government’s telecommunications minder, which recently stressed, “In order to anticipate Roskomnadzor’s likely response to the violations regarding the operation of the aforesaid Apple, Inc. services we are asking you to notify us within the tightest deadlines of the company’s further actions regarding the solution of these issues,” Tass reported. The order was directed at both Apple and its App Store along with Google and its Google Play store to effectively drop Telegram.  

Apple Sides with Russian Govt, Restricts Telegram, Claims Pavel Durov

Mr. Durov lamented, “Unfortunately, Apple didn’t side with us. While Russia makes up only 7% of Telegram’s user base, Apple is restricting updates for all Telegram users around the world since mid-April. As a result, we’ve also been unable to fully comply with GDPR for our EU-users by the deadline of May 25, 2018. We are continuing our efforts to resolve the situation and will keep you updated.”

Do you think Apple should fight the Russian government ? Let us know in the comments. 


Images via the Pixabay, Twitter.


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It’s Here! IOTA Releases Trinity Mobile Wallet; Coin Up a Whopping 17%

Trinity Mobile wallet

In what seemed like a lifetime of waiting, IOTA has released one of its most anticipated products. This week, IOTA released the Trinity Mobile Wallet. Respectively, the coin has been climbing on the crypto market ever since. 

May has been a pretty calm month for IOTA, but this definitely turned things around. The IOTA community has become increasingly more enthusiastic since the release. Granted, part of this enthusiasm probably stems from the fact that the release of the Trinity Mobile Wallet was long overdue, but hey, it’s out and people are happy. Really, can IOTA (MIOTA) ...

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Bitcoin Price Analysis: Consolidation Leans Toward a Strong Bitcoin Move

Bitcoin Price Analysis

After days of sudden, strong selling, bitcoin has managed to find a local bottom in the low $7000s where it has been drifting around aimlessly. As many traders on Twitter have noted, we have formed a large consolidation pattern called a symmetrical triangle (outlined in red):

fig1Figure 1: BTC USD, 1-Day Candles, Macro Symmetrical Triangle

Symmetrical triangles are consolidation patterns that are typically agnostic regarding their breakout direction. However, one important thing to note about this consolidation pattern is it embodies some of the hallmarks of a reaccumulation trading range (TR) — most notable is the volume profile:

fig 2Figure 2: BTC-USD, 12-Hour Candles, Volume Trend

Overall, the entire volume profile of the symmetrical triangle is sloping downward — this is indicating consolidation in the market. If we look closer at the consolidating volume trend, we can see a few details that are worth noting:

  1. The red arrows are pointing out the decrease in volume off the peaks of the rallies. Typically decreasing volume off rally reactions indicates a diminishing pool of supply.
  2. Vice versa, the green arrows are pointing out the increasing volume on the rallies. Increasing volume on rallies shows us there is still a steady amount of demand in the market.
  3. Points 1 and 2 together also reveal something about the lows made at the lower boundary of the symmetrical triangle: as the market pushes and establishes its lows, we see climactic volume. Climactic volume leading into support is a great sign of supply absorption and hints toward further demand in the market.

There is a really strong case for the current symmetrical triangle being a reaccumulation TR that, in the grand scheme of things, is nothing more than a pitstop in an otherwise upward-trending market. A breakout to the top of the symmetrical triangle would have a price target in the $15,000s. However, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, symmetrical triangles are directionally agnostic and can also break to the downside. If the triangle breaks down, the measured move for the breakout would have us testing the $2000–$3000 price range.

For now, the volume is content with continuing to consolidate, but the market is poised for a very strong move that will likely shape the landscape of the market for the next several months. It’s impossible to determine when a market will breakout, so all we can do is hedge our bets and wait.

Summary:

  1. The market has been consolidating for months in the form of a symmetrical triangle and is tightly wound for a strong, sustained move.
  2. There is strong evidence of supply absorption in the market which would likely lead to an upward breakout.
  3. Symmetrical triangles are directionally agnostic and can oftentimes break to the downside.


This article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.