One [Stable]coin to Rule Them All? Huobi’s New Program Lets Users Swap Between Tokens

Singapore-based cryptocurrency exchange Huobi Global today introduced an all-in-one stablecoin program called HUSD, which will allow traders to convert between four USD-pegged cryptocurrency tokens. HUSD: Huobi’s All-in-One Stablecoin Solution According to the announcement, the HUSD solution aims to reduce the need to choose between multiple stablecoins, as well as to cut down transaction costs incurred

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Venezuela Authorizes 6 Exchanges to Start Selling National Cryptocurrency Petro

Venezuela Authorizes 6 Exchanges to Start Selling National Cryptocurrency Petro

Venezuela has authorized six cryptocurrency exchanges to start selling its national cryptocurrency, the petro, according to the government’s website. The petro, which recently became a Venezuelan national currency, can now be purchased at the six exchanges, local media report.

Also read: Yahoo! Japan Confirms Entrance Into the Crypto Space

Six Websites Authorized to Sell Petro

The Venezuelan government has authorized six websites it claims are cryptocurrency exchanges to market and sell the petro, the country’s new national currency. Noticiero Digital elaborated:

The petro will be available from this Wednesday, October 17, at six exchanges, although President Maduro announced previously that there would be 16 certified companies that could market the digital currency.

The six places are Cave Blockchain (caveblockchain.com), Bancar (bancarexchange.io), Cryptia (cryptiaexchange.com), Amberes Coin (amberescoin.com), Afx Trade (afx.trade), and Criptolago (criptolago.com.ve). Some of them are already advertising the petro on their websites. In his speech earlier this month, Venezuela’s president Nicolas Maduro said that the petro would be available at “the six most powerful [exchanges] in the world.”

Venezuela Authorizes 6 Exchanges to Start Selling National Cryptocurrency Petro
The petro section on Cryptia.

Cryptia’s website lists three cryptocurrencies for trading against BTC — ETH, DASH, and XRP — but with zero trading volumes. “Buy and sell petros through our platform,” the section on its website describing the petro reads, adding (translated from Spanish):

Access the cryptocurrency [petro] in bolivares and exchange them for bitcoin, ethereum or American dollars.

Amberes Coin describes itself as a cryptocurrency exchange “authorized by the Venezuelan State for the purchase and sale of the petro, bitcoin, ether and any digital assets” that are allowed by the country’s regulation. Afx Trade explained that it is a regulated cryptocurrency exchange platform in Venezuela for buying, selling, and safeguarding “digital assets inside and outside the national territory.”

Venezuela Authorizes 6 Exchanges to Start Selling National Cryptocurrency PetroMaduro’s government released a new whitepaper for the petro earlier this month, bearing striking resemblance to the whitepaper for another cryptocurrency, DASH.

In addition, the petro is no longer only backed by oil, as it was first described in December of last year. The new whitepaper explains that the petro is now backed by 50 percent oil, 20 percent gold, 20 percent iron, and 10 percent diamond.

In April, Maduro announced that he had “authorized the certification” of 16 exchanges for the petro. Noting that there are currently only six exchanges authorized, Noticiero Digital pointed out that Afx Trade was not included in the initial list of 16 exchanges.

Regulating Crypto Industry in Venezuela

Venezuela Authorizes 6 Exchanges to Start Selling National Cryptocurrency PetroIn Venezuela, the National Superintendency of Criptoassets and Related Activities (Sunacrip) is responsible for regulating cryptocurrencies and all crypto-related activities.

Its website details:

Exchanges need licenses issued by the Venezuelan State in order to operate in Venezuela. Its reason lies in the protection of users of exchanges with regulatory and administrative infrastructure.

Digital mining in Venezuela is regulated by the Intendence of Digital Mining, which is part of Sunacrip. “The Intendence of Digital Mining is in charge of planning, coordinating, promoting and executing all the digital mining and related activities in Venezuela,” Sunacrip’s website describes. “This includes issuing licenses [and] certifications for all mining activities.”

Disclaimer: Bitcoin.com does not endorse or support claims made by any parties in this article. None of the information in this article is intended as investment advice, as an offer or solicitation of an offer to buy or sell, or as a recommendation, endorsement, or sponsorship of any products or companies. Bitcoin.com is not responsible, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with the use of or reliance on any content, goods or services mentioned in this article.

What do you think of the petro? Let us know in the comments section below.


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India’s Largest Bitcoin Exchange, Zebpay, Relocates to Malta

Zebpay

Zebpay, India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is heading for Malta! Following in the footsteps of major platforms Binance and OKEx, the exchange has had no choice but to move its operations to the ‘blockchain island’ amid strict regulations in India.

Zebpay Moves to Malta

The exchange shut down its operations in India last month, due to strict regulations issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) in April. The RBI dictated that banks cease business with any firms relative to cryptocurrency.

As such, Zebpay was forced to disable Indian Rupee deposits and withdrawals, and with ...

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Order Speed Analysis Reveals the Fastest Cryptocurrency Exchanges

Order Speed Analysis Reveals the Fastest Cryptocurrency Exchanges

When you’re trading digital assets, speed matters — particularly so if you’re engaged in high-frequency trading, when every millisecond counts. Executing orders a fraction of a second ahead of the market can mean the difference between profit and loss. New data reveals which cryptocurrency exchanges are the fastest — and which are struggling to keep up.

Also read: Cypherpunk Essentials: A Beginner’s Guide to Crypto Privacy

Speed Analysis Shows Significant
Variation Between Platforms

Data provided by Deribit shows marked differences in the speed at which six leading cryptocurrency exchanges fulfill orders. The derivatives exchange looked at three major spot exchanges: Bitfinex, Binance and Coinbase. It also examined three major crypto derivatives exchanges: Bitmex, Okex and its own platform. It should be noted, however, that Deribit has an incentive to share its analysis, as it recorded the fastest order execution in tests.

The most liquid pair on each exchange was tested to determine the time it takes to add a limit order and execute a market order. Most of the exchanges that were tested failed to achieve either task in under 10 milliseconds, with Okex faring the worst.

Order Speed Analysis Reveals the Fastest Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Speed analysis for Bitmex

Order speed doesn’t normally concern retail investors, who aren’t reliant on split-second execution when buying and selling assets. However, it matters a lot to professional traders, particularly on Wall Street, and increasingly in the cryptocurrency markets, too. On derivatives exchanges such as Bitmex and Deribit, where cryptocurrencies such as BTC can be traded with up to 100x leverage, timing is everything. And for trading strategies dependent on a fast response to market news, order speed can prove crucial. Many financial brokers base their entire business model around high-frequency trading, relying on algorithmic trading aided by low latency, high speeds and high order-to-trade ratios.

Order Speed Analysis Reveals the Fastest Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Logarithmic results for all six exchanges tested

Derivatives Exchanges Are Quicker Than
Their Conventional Counterparts

Deribit has invited interested parties to download its speed analysis data and inspect it for themselves, to verify its findings. Describing its methodology, the platform wrote:

We measured the time from the initial request until the confirmation that the order had been placed. To compensate for network delays outside the control of the exchange, we recorded the latency for a trivial API request. The duration for these requests was subtracted from the duration of the order requests. The remaining time is assumed to be the true execution
time for a request.

The exchange claimed that it conducted all of the tests on machines that were situated as close as possible to the exchanges in question. The results were as follows:

  • Binance’s average order execution delay was 37.2 milliseconds, with 0.1 percent of orders executed within 10 milliseconds.
  • Bitfinex’s average order execution delay was 156 milliseconds, with 0 percent of orders executed within 10 milliseconds.
  • Bitmex’s average order execution delay was 1.11 seconds, with 13.4 percent of orders executed within 10 milliseconds.
  • Coinbase’s average order execution delay was 33.0 milliseconds, with 0.2 percent of orders executed within 10 milliseconds.
  • Deribit’s average order execution delay was 6.1 milliseconds, with 89.6 percent of orders executed within 10 milliseconds.
  • Okex’s average order execution delay was 127 milliseconds, with 0 percent of orders executed within 10 milliseconds.
Order Speed Analysis Reveals the Fastest Cryptocurrency Exchanges
Speed analysis results for Deribit

Competition between exchanges is fierce, especially among those that offer the high risk and reward cocktail that is derivatives. While there’s a lot more to successful margin trading than speed, its significance is sure to grow as competition intensifies and traders are forced to fight for that all-important edge.

Do you think speed matters on derivatives exchanges such as Bitmex and Deribit? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Major [Shuttered] Indian Exchange Zebpay Moves to Malta after Central Bank Blockade

The harsh cryptocurrency regulatory climate in India has turned out to be a gift for the self-styled blockchain island of Malta as one of the cryptocurrency exchanges that recently shut down in the world’s second-most populous country has decided to move operations there. First reported by Quartz, Zebpay, one of the biggest exchanges in India, … Continued

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African Cryptocurrency Exchanges Forced to Step up Security

African Digital Currency Exchanges Step up Security to Safeguard Investor Funds

Cryptocurrency exchanges in some of Africa’s biggest bitcoin markets have been forced to rethink their security to thwart persistent attacks from hackers, a trend that has troubled trading platforms all around the world.

Also read: Cointext Launches Bitcoin Cash SMS Wallet in Argentina and Turkey

The Worst Yet to Come for African Exchanges

African Digital Currency Exchanges Step up Security to Safeguard Investor FundsExchanges in the African continent have been relatively unscathed, suffering scant losses amidst the $930 million that’s been stolen from global exchanges so far this year, according to data by U.S. cyber security firm Ciphertrace.

The most notable assault on investor funds in the continent of 1.2 billion people happened around March in South Africa. It wasn’t a cyber attack on an exchange, but rather a scam. Fraudsters at BTC Global, a supposed cryptocurrency investment firm, made off with about one billion rand ($80 million) after 28,000 South Africans succumbed to the false promise of incredibly high, quick returns on their investment, police said.

As thefts have stoked exchanges worldwide, some African platforms have woken up to the need to strengthen their security to safeguard investor funds. This is particularly crucial in a continent where cryptocurrency markets are populated by people who trade with a certain degree of ignorance in many cases, lured by the promise of quick riches. Incidents of fraud or stolen money can smear a market struggling to build confidence in the absence of regulatory oversight.

“We have noticed a number of attempts to breach our system but we have managed to maintain our defenses and we keep on learning,” Suleiman Murunga, chief executive officer at Ugandan exchange Coinpesa, told news.Bitcoin.com.

African Digital Currency Exchanges Step up Security to Safeguard Investor Funds
Suleiman Murunga

“We (now) use suspicious activity monitoring tools to track user behavior in order to spot bad actors,” he said, adding that the company, one of the biggest in the East African country, also uses two-factor authentication.

Murunga stated that only a small portion of investor funds held on the exchange are kept in a hot wallet, of the kind targeted by hackers. The bulk of the funds are held offline, in cold storage.

Don’t Blame the Trading Platform – Blame the User

When breaches occur, exchanges are not always to blame. Sometimes investors simply aren’t careful. There have been instances where attackers gained access to individual accounts on the Zimbabwean exchange Golix before its forced shutdown in May, taking advantage of email password vulnerabilities to facilitate transactions.

Although no money was stolen, the 23 affected users noticed some changes to their accounts such as the conversion of their cryptocurrencies and the acquisition of additional coins through U.S. dollar balances they held in their accounts. This is according to Golix, which now has a presence in seven African countries. Back then, the exchange didn’t ask investors for 2FA upon signing up.

In Nigeria, Africa’s biggest bitcoin market, where trades reached $260 million on just one exchange this year, the threat of cyber attacks is real. In 2016, the Ibadan-based Naira4dollar firm didn’t receive the $15,000 worth of BTC it had bought to replenish its wallets after an attacker hacked into the trading platform’s system.

African Digital Currency Exchanges Step up Security to Safeguard Investor Funds
Lagos, Nigeria

Investors in Nigeria and Ghana also fell victim to a $50 million hack of the Blockchain.info wallet, allegedly by Ukrainian hacker group Coinhoarder earlier this year. In the streets of Lagos, scammers take on false identities, infiltrating exchanges and various social media platforms promising outrageously high returns.

David Ayala, chief executive officer of Nairaex, which has more than 100,000 customers on its books, said all digital coins on the Nigerian exchange are stored “securely offline with Bitgo industry standards of multi-sig wallet.”

“Our platform is developed using best practices from the financial sector to maintain users’ security. We have maintained a secured network architecture since launch and we run scheduled tests and checks on the system for reliability,” he detailed, in emailed responses.

Is a Foolproof Security System Possible?

Often, hackers and scammers are a step ahead of their targeted victims, increasing the risk of persistent attacks. But will African exchanges ever implement foolproof security systems, or something approaching that ideal? William Chui, a Zimbabwean cryptocurrency enthusiast and former VP at Golix, proposed “A ‘walk-in’ model, where users [enter a physical premises] to buy [cryptocurrency] and are served while they wait.” It’s a model that’s proven popular in other countries such as South Korea.

He conceded, however, “This is not scalable nor feasible with the internet and will prove to be too slow. I doubt we can get a foolproof, secure system, but the [aim] will be to minimize losses as much as possible.”

Chui recommends that exchanges “invest in a technical development department that will continually penetrate the website, and offer bounties for external developers to do the same … Store a larger percentage of clients’ funds in cold wallets.”

African Digital Currency Exchanges Step up Security to Safeguard Investor Funds

Pesamill Africa in Kenya has gone as far as adopting Australian cryptocurrency industry regulations as part of efforts to align with global best practice. “We have built an exchange that fosters both peer-to-peer and centralized transactions in a safe and secure manner,” Brian Ngugi, Pesamill chief executive, told news.Bitcoin.com.

Whatever the case, African exchanges are at a stage in their development that holds a lot of promise for the growth of cryptocurrency use on the continent. Regulators will eventually step in, as is happening elsewhere worldwide. This will occur, not only to regulate and claim tax, but to make the cryptocurrency space stronger and sustainable.

What do you think about the level of security at African digital currency exchanges? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities In India

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in India

Zebpay is reportedly expanding its global presence after suspending cryptocurrency trading operations in India due to the banking ban imposed by the country’s central bank. According to information on its website, an entity has been set up to operate the Zebpay exchange in Malta to serve 20 countries.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Malta-registered Exchange Serving 20 Countries

Cryptocurrency service provider Zebpay has posted information on its website regarding its overseas operations but has yet to make any announcements about them.

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in IndiaIndiabits, a community of blockchain enthusiasts, tweeted on Friday about Zebpay’s two overseas entities: one in Singapore and one in Malta. “Zebpay is going global,” the group wrote, adding that “Zebpay will provide cryptocurrency exchange and OTC services to 20 countries in Europe.”

On its website, under Terms of Use, Zebpay described a Malta-registered entity called Awlencan Innovations Malta Ltd. This company was established on Sept. 17. Zebpay wrote:

Awlencan Innovations Malta Limited (C-88318), a Maltese registered company with office address situated at: 48, Triq Stella Maris, Sliema, SLM 1765, Malta, which owns and operates the ‘Zebpay’ VFA [virtual financial assets] exchange platform in Malta.

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in IndiaThe page also provides a list of 20 countries which Zebpay offers its services to. They are Malta, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, and Sweden.

For know-your-customer (KYC) purposes, Zebpay explained that each client can only have one account. “Multiple accounts with same KYC documentation is not eligible for registration of additional accounts,” the firm added, noting:

Zebpay provides the platform to match the orders, and prices are therefore set by the market-forces of supply and demand.

Zebpay was one of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges. However, its exchange activities in India were shut down at the end of September due to the cryptocurrency banking ban imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). The ban went into effect in July and a number of petitions have been filed against it. The country’s supreme court has been trying to hear them but the case keeps being postponed.

Growing Global Presence

Zebpay Sets Up Operations Overseas After Suspending Exchange Activities in IndiaOn its Global Legal page, under Terms of Use, Zebpay wrote, “Zebpay shall mean and include … Awlencan Innovations Pte. Ltd. incorporated in Singapore.”

Awlencan Innovations Pte. Ltd. is a Singapore-based blockchain technology company established in May, soon after the RBI issued its circular in April which banned financial institutions under its control from providing services to crypto businesses.

In addition, Awlencan Innovations India Ltd. was registered on Sept. 28, the day Zebpay suspended its exchange activities. According to reports, there are 3 directors listed for this company. One is Kailash Atmaram Singhal who is also listed as a director of Zeb It Service Ltd., which operated the Zebpay exchange in India.

What do you think of Zebpay setting up operations overseas after shutting down exchange activities in India? Let us know in the comments section below.


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BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea

Hong Kong-headquartered cryptocurrency exchange BTCC is reportedly launching services in South Korea this month. In addition to a cryptocurrency exchange, the company will offer a wallet service, a mining pool, and a consumer payments service, according to its Korean website.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

BTCC Expanding Into South Korea

BTCC, formerly known as BTC China, is launching services in South Korea on Oct. 31, according to the Investor. The beta service will start this month and the exchange “will make its official debut in November,” the publication added.

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea“The world’s first cryptocurrency exchange BTCC is preparing to open in Korea,” the company wrote on its Korean website’s homepage. Four services are listed: an exchange, a wallet service, a mining pool, and a service to facilitate consumer payments. “BTCC is establishing an on / offline payment system using cryptocurrency,” its website states, adding that it “is expanding services for real-life use.”

The news outlet elaborated:

BTCC said it will expand its footprint through strategic tie-ups with local and global firms.

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South KoreaFounded in 2011, BTCC was one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world by trading volume before the Chinese government cracked down on cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings (ICOs) in September last year. The government’s action caused all major cryptocurrency exchanges to exit China and move their operations overseas.

Following the crackdown, BTCC shut down its operations in China and re-launched its services in Hong Kong. The company is now headquartered in Hong Kong but serves a global customer base. The new BTCC exchange offers the trading of five cryptocurrencies against the USD — BTC, BCH, ETH, LTC, and DASH. In addition, the latter four cryptocurrencies can be traded against BTC. The BTCC Korea exchange, however, has not announced which coins will be supported.

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South Korea
Cryptocurrencies supported on the main BTCC website.

Korean Cryptocurrency Ecosystem

BTCC Launching Cryptocurrency Exchange in South KoreaThe South Korean cryptocurrency market is dominated by four exchanges: Upbit, Bithumb, Coinone, and Korbit. Bithumb is the largest cryptocurrency exchange in the country by trading volume while Upbit is the largest by the number of coins listed. Upbit, which offers the trading of 164 coins in 276 markets, is a partner of U.S.-based exchange Bittrex and is backed by Kakao Corp., the operator of the country’s most popular chat app, Kakao Talk.

On Oct. 12, Bithumb confirmed that it was sold to a consortium led by a well-known plastic surgeon, as news.Bitcoin.com previously reported.

Another major cryptocurrency exchange that exited China and entered the South Korean market following the Chinese government’s crackdown is Huobi. The exchange launched its Korean operations in March, offering the trading of over 100 coins in over 200 markets, according to its website.

What do you think of BTCC expanding into South Korea? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock and BTCC.


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This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading Cryptocurrencies

This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading Cryptocurrencies

Over the last few months, there’s been a lot of talk about institutional money coming into the digital asset economy. On Tuesday, the institutional-grade cryptocurrency trading platform Caspian announced the end of its beta stage. Caspian claims 15 institutions are utilizing the trading platform and the firm expects to onboard 50 clients by the year’s end.

Also read: 160 Crypto Exchanges Seek to Enter Japanese Market, Regulator Reveals

Caspian’s Multi-Exchange Trading Platform Comes out of Beta

This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading CryptocurrenciesOn Oct. 16, Caspian has revealed the company’s flagship trading platform is out of its beta phase and over a dozen institutional investors are using the service. Caspian has been making partnerships in order to become an all-in-one platform with access to multiple exchanges. Back in May, the firm teamed up with the Seychelles-based trading platform the Bitcoin Mercantile Exchange (Bitmex), and last September the company partnered with Coinbase. According to Caspian’s creators, the company’s mission is to bring comprehensive trading tools to the “players in the legacy financial system.”

“[Institutional investors] need resources similar to those they use for managing traditional assets — systems that manage portfolios, orders and risk management,” explained Richard Mannell, director of the firm Techemy Capital. “It’s going to be fascinating to see what happens to the crypto market when institutional investors move in in the hundreds, which I think is about to happen.”

This Firm Wants Legacy Financial Players Trading Cryptocurrencies
Caspian uses an Order and Execution Management System (OEMS) which connects to all 25 exchanges, allowing a variety of management choices for cryptographic assets.

Enterprise Custody and Trading Go Hand in Hand

Caspian says it now provides over 25 exchanges via a single interface which include well-known platforms such as Binance, Poloniex, Bittrex, Bitstamp, Fisco, CME Group, Itbit and more. During the latest onboarding process, Caspian says the clientele using the system are companies such as Travis Kling’s Ikigai Asset Management, Lykke, Id Theory, and Bletchley Park.

The news follows the very large financial firm Fidelity Investments launching an institutional-grade cryptocurrency management platform. Fidelity explains the company will provide “enterprise-quality custody and trade execution services for digital assets.” Caspian’s chief operations officer, David Wills, says Fidelity’s custodial services will complement the company’s product offering.      

“At Caspian, we believe institutional investors need two things – an institutional-level custodial solution that Fidelity will bring, and secondly, intuitive and user-friendly software platforms, like Caspian for the management of these assets,” Wills noted after the announcement.

What do you think about Caspian’s institutional-grade cryptocurrency trading platform? Do you think such investors need a trading desk like Caspian’s? Let us know your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Caspian logo, and Pixabay.


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Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

Bitfinex has restored the ability of customers to make fiat currency deposits. Details of its new deposit system remain shrouded in secrecy, however, with the exchange going to extraordinary lengths to conceal the identity of the bank(s) in question. Its “distributed” system, designed to circumvent censorship, has brought the critics out in full force.

Also read: The Daily: Tether Regains Ground, Coinbase Does Dublin

Convoluted Fiat Deposit Process

The Daily: Bitfinex Building Decentralized Exchange, Bitpanda Adding ZcashAfter being forced to suspend fiat currency deposits last week, when HSBC terminated its proxy banking relationship, Bitfinex assured customers that an alternative would soon be in place. And the exchange, the world’s second largest by trading volume, has been as good as its word, confirming its new banking relationship earlier today (Oct. 16). However, the opaque nature of the statement, and the odd language it was couched in, have raised more questions than they have answered.

“Today we are introducing a new, improved and increasingly resilient fiat depositing system for sending fiat currencies to Bitfinex,” began the blog post. “This new process will once again allow KYC-verified users from around the world to initiate deposits across USD, GBP, JPY and EUR.”

The exchange then proceeded to describe a complex process by which customers must deposit a minimum of $10,000 of fiat currency from now on. This involves creating a deposit request to signal interest, waiting up to 48 hours for Bitfinex to approve it, sending money to the bank account, and then waiting six to 10 days for the funds to clear. Coinbase, by way of comparison, takes an average of three to five days to clear bank transfers.

Customers Sworn to Secrecy

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking SystemBitfinex’s statement ends on a defiant note, with the exchange asserting: “We believe this system to be significantly more durable in the face of sustained attacks by our competition and their supporters. Ongoing campaigns against us will only result in our company becoming stronger and better.”

While Bitfinex undoubtedly has its share of haters who would like to see the platform toppled, most traders simply seek clarity. The inability of the exchange’s operators to publish a full audit of Tether, exacerbated by its own nebulous banking arrangements, has not helped matters. Still mindful of what happened to Mt. Gox, the crypto community would like reassurance that funds are safe.

There may be serious negative effects with this information becoming public.

The Block has revealed that Tether has obtained a new Caribbean bank, after recently severing ties with Nobles. It’s now believed to have shacked up with the Bahamas-based Deltec Bank. However, it is unclear whether the same bank will also handle Bitfinex’s customer deposits.

Anyone attempting to initiate the new fiat deposit process on the exchange is greeted by a disclaimer that warns in almost apocalyptic terms: “Divulging this info could damage not just yourself and Bitfinex but the entire digital token ecosystem … you are cautioned that there may be serious negative effects with this information becoming public.”

Bitfinex Introduces Top Secret Banking System

The status of Bitfinex/Tether is becoming a new battleground in the cryptocurrency community, with lines drawn and both tribes seemingly incapable of backing down. On the one hand, there are those who are certain of impropriety of some kind and are waiting to be vindicated when the house of cards topples. On the other hand, there are the defenders of Bitfinex, who are weary of fighting what they deem to be endless FUD. Today’s statement has done nothing to resolve the impasse.

What are your thoughts on Bitfinex’s latest banking arrangements? Let us know in the comments section below.


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Newsflash: Bitfinex Unveils ‘Distributed Banking Solution,’ Resumes Fiat Deposits

Cryptocurrency exchange giant Bitfinex has unveiled a “distributed banking solution” that it says will be a “resilient” solution to its much-chronicled banking woes. Announced on Tuesday, the new system will allow KYC-verified users to immediately begin initiating fiat deposits across USD, GBP, JPY, and EUR, which had been paused for almost a week. Under the

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Planning for Brexit: Crypto Exchange Giant Coinbase Opens Office in Ireland

Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has opened a new office in Dublin to mark its latest expansion into Ireland as a marked effort to “plan for all eventualities for Brexit,” according to a top Coinbase executive. In an announcement on Monday, San Francisco-based cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase – the industry’s first ‘unicorn’ – said Dublin “was the clear

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Binance Opens Fiat-To-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

Binance Opens Its First Fiat-To-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

On Oct. 15, Binance announced the launch of its fiat-to-cryptocurrency exchange in Uganda. The world’s biggest digital currency exchange said users in the East African country are now able to complete full account verification starting immediately. Deposits and withdrawals of the local fiat currency, the Ugandan shilling, start on Wednesday.

Also read: Bitcoin After Death: The Perils of Sharing One’s Fortune

Exchange to Initially Support Trades Between Ugandan Shilling and BTC, ETH Only

“We are extremely proud to officially launch our first fiat-crypto exchange in Uganda,” said Wei Zhou, chief financial officer at Binance, in a press statement. “We have been diligently preparing for this exchange with our local partners since our team first visited Uganda in April 2018.”

Zhou also stated that: “This is only the first step in our efforts to use blockchain technology to support sustainable economic development in Africa, and we look forward to bringing more innovations to the region.”

The exchange will initially support trading of the local shilling unit with bitcoin core (BTC) and ethereum (ETH), Binance said. More trading pairs are to be added in the coming months, it detailed, adding that “users are exempt from trading fees during the first month.” The Ugandan subsidiary is capable of processing 1.4 million transactions per second, with 24-hour client support.

Binance is the world’s biggest digital currency exchange, with 24-hour volume of about $1.97 billion worth of BTC alone, according to data from Coinmarketcap.  The company has revealed plans to open fiat-capable exchanges in Liechtenstein, Malta and Singapore. Until now, the exchange had been optimized for crypto-to-crypto trades only.

In Uganda, cryptocurrency and blockchain adoption and development continue to see growth. That’s despite warnings by the Bank of Uganda against the use of unregulated currencies in the form of bitcoin and other digital coins. The country of 44 million people is home to various blockchain conferences, associations and communities, with support at Cabinet level.

African Investors Welcome Binance’s Ugandan Presence

Investors in Africa have cheered Binance’s move into Uganda. “This is great news!” Michael Kimani, a leading Kenyan crypto proponent, tweeted.

“(It) will spark a race across African countries on setting up [a] favorable environment for cryptocurrency trading against African currencies. Muhimu (vital) for cross border trade, intra-African trade, online payments, remittances, trading, investing…” he wrote.

Binance Opens Its First Fiat-To-Crypto Exchange in Uganda

Binance’s presence in the East African nation is expected to boost financial inclusion in a country where only 33 percent of citizens use registered financial accounts. But this is a place where bitcoin looks likely to flourish unhindered. Some shops and restaurants in Kampala – Uganda’s capital – now accept bitcoin as a means of payment.

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has spoken positively about blockchain technology – but not cryptocurrencies. He told the Africa Blockchain conference organised by the Blockchain Association of Uganda in Kampala in May of the need “to look for a new technology of enabling things to move faster and new systems that go with it.”

His central bank governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile had apparently spoken to the contrary in an earlier address to the same conference. Mutebile accused blockchain technology of lacking the necessary support to sustain a currency. But Ugandans, mostly professionals, have taken a particular liking to virtual money, bitcoin especially.

What do you think about Binance’s move into Uganda? Let us know in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Binance Uganda to Begin Accepting Deposits in Ugandan Shilling, BTC & ETH

Months after announcing the launch of Uganda’s first-ever fiat-crypto exchange, Binance has made another step towards facilitating cryptocurrency trading in the East African country. Beginning October 17, users will be able to make deposits to Binance Uganda in the leading cryptocurrencies bitcoin and ethereum as well as in Ugandan Shillings. This will allow trading in … Continued

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