Malta Tops Exchange-Based Crypto Trade, Russia Leads in OTC Volume

Malta Tops Exchange-Based Crypto Trade, Russia Leads in OTC Volume

Jurisdictions with crypto-friendly legislation or comprehensive regulations in place are leading in terms of exchange-based cryptocurrency trading. According to a new study, however, over the counter and P2P exchange is much more popular in developing nations and countries where non-cash payments are still not widely spread.

Also read: Crypto Funds Number 466 Despite Trends, Uncertainty

Exchange Trade vs OTC Trading

The report produced by financial services provider Worldcore covers data from the months of June and July and uses statistics from a Morgan Stanley study conducted earlier this year to compare two lists of countries – one with the top destinations by volume traded on cryptocurrency exchanges, and a second one with those that lead in terms of over the counter (OTC) and peer-to-peer (P2P) trading volumes.

The new study confirms that jurisdictions offering favorable business climate through crypto-friendly legislation as well as those with well-established regulatory frameworks account for a large portion of the exchange-based crypto trade. Malta ($1.2 billion), Belize and Seychelles ($700 million each) are topping the chart with over 2.6 Billion USD of daily trading volume.

Malta Tops Exchange-Based Crypto Trade, Russia Leads in OTC Volume

Following are nations that have already adopted some comprehensive crypto regulations, including South Korea, the Untitled States, and Hong Kong. Russia is 13th in this group with a 24-hour volume of less than 50 million USD on trading platforms.

The researchers at Worldcore have specifically compared exchange and non-exchange volumes for the week of July 14 – July 21, 2018, using data from the popular P2P exchange Localbitcoins. The results turned out to be quite opposite to what the Morgan Stanley figures show, as Kommersant reports. This time, Russia is the pronounced leader, having registered a weekly trading volume of 2,000 BTC, while the US has 1,000 BTC. They are followed by China and Nigeria with 600 BTC traded by the residents of each country. Next are Venezuela, Great Britain, and the EU member states.

Reasons, Explanations, and Predictions

The authors of the study cite some good reasons for the notable divergence. “Crypto exchanges are most often registered in countries with preferential taxation, and many over-the-counter trades occur in nations with low financial culture or strict tax legislation,” commented Worldcore CEO, Alexei Nasonov, who is also leading the research team.

The analysts further explain that the popularity of direct exchange methods in Second and Third World countries like Russia, Nigeria, Colombia, and Kenya, is largely due to the relatively undeveloped system of non-cash exchange of crypto assets and fiat through payment systems and banks. Restrictive currency laws also play a role, as is the case with Russia for instance where crypto-specific regulations are yet to be adopted and the exchange services are currently unregulated.

Malta Tops Exchange-Based Crypto Trade, Russia Leads in OTC Volume

The researchers believe that trading platforms will continue to migrate to destinations providing favorable conditions and preferential tax regimes. Malta is a good example – the island nation has already attracted companies like Binance, the largest trading platform by volume which is exploring opportunities to launch a decentralized bank there, Okex, another Chinese-run cryptocurrency exchange which announced in April it is setting foot on the island, and the Polish Bitbay which revealed its plans to move to Malta in May.

The team at Worldcore also expects the average volume of transactions to increase in the future. At the same time, the financial tech company predicts that the off-exchange market will shrink with growing crypto turnover through traditional payment systems and the spread of payment gateways supporting transactions with Visa and Mastercard credit cards.

What are your expectations for the future of crypto trading? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Pixabay, Worldcore.


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Study: Crypto Funds Number 466 Despite Trends, Uncertainty

Study: Crypto Funds Number 446 Despite Trends, Uncertainty

The number of crypto hedge and venture capital funds is increasing at a fast pace this year, already reaching a total of 466, despite the bearish market trend and continuing regulatory uncertainty. 96 new funds have been founded by the end of July, according to a new study whose authors believe this year’s number will exceed the record 156 launched in 2017.

Also read: BTC via SMS Patented, Brave BAT Tips for Tweets and Posts

96 New Crypto Funds Founded In 2018

In a year of falling prices across the board, stubborn bearish market trend and persistent regulatory uncertainty, one would think this might not be the best time to deep dive into crypto. Some, however, see opportunities. Recently released data shows that 96 new crypto hedge and venture capital funds have been founded through July 31, this year.

Study: Crypto Funds Number 446 Despite Trends, Uncertainty

According to a study conducted by Crypto Fund Research, a provider of market intelligence on cryptocurrency investment funds, 2018 is in fact on the way to surpass 2017, “The Year of Bitcoin,” when it comes to the number of crypto fund launches. If the current pace of opening new crypto investment funds is maintained, their number is projected to reach 165 by the end of the year, compared to 156 launched last year.

The cities that have hosted the biggest number of new crypto funds are San Francisco – 9, New York – 6, Singapore – 5, and London – 4. Cities like Austin, Dallas, Hong Kong, Philadelphia, San Diego, Tokyo, and Zug, where the Swiss Crypto Valley is based, have also seen multiple fund launches this year.

Study: Crypto Funds Number 446 Despite Trends, Uncertainty

More than half of all crypto funds currently in existence have been established in the last 18 months, according to another finding in the report. Their total number around the world has reached 466, Crypto Fund Research claims. Quoted in a press release, the company’s founder Josh Gnaizda commented:

We expected a large number of new crypto funds to launch in 2018 to satisfy growing investor demand. However, the pace of new fund launches is a bit surprising given the dual headwinds of depressed prices and less than favorable regulatory conditions in many regions.

Is There Enough Space for All of Them?

The authors of the study note that if 2017 was “The Year of Bitcoin,” 2018 is shaping up to become “The Year of the Crypto Fund.” They also point out that while investors await decisions from regulators regarding new investment vehicles such as the Vaneck Solidx bitcoin ETF, crypto fund managers are setting up new funds in hope to take advantage of what they perceive as unmet demand for crypto investments.

Study: Crypto Funds Number 446 Despite Trends, UncertaintyIn further comments, Mr. Gnaizda expresses doubts about the capacity of the crypto space, under the current circumstances, to accommodate so many funds: “While volatility in the crypto markets can attract some investors to sophisticated crypto funds, it remains unclear if the industry can support such a large number of funds, with limited track record, if we experience an extended bear market,” he said quoted by PRweb.

Despite the impressive growth in the number of crypto funds, the capital they control remains limited – about $7.1 billion USD, and the researchers stress this is far less than what many of the top traditional hedge funds manage. At the same time, the majority of institutional investors are still waiting on the sidelines and many crypto fund managers hope this will change in the near future.

Do you think the growing number of crypto funds indicates optimistic expectations about the future of the crypto industry? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Crypto Fund Research.


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Report: Mood About Crypto Markets Changes Two Months After Trends

Report: Mood About Crypto Markets Changes Two Months After Trends

It takes about two months for the public sentiment to adjust to new trends in the cryptocurrency markets. That’s according to a recently published report whose authors have examined the changes in the opinions of thousands of active followers of crypto markets over a period of nine months. They found that the collective mood can be bullish long after a downward trend has started.

 Also read: Boerse Stuttgart to Host Crypto Trading and Coin Offerings

Optimistic Mood Persists Despite Decline in Prices

Report: Mood About Crypto Markets Changes Two Months After TrendsInvestors, traders and market watchers need two months to adjust to new long-term trends in the cryptocurrency markets, a study conducted by the fintech company Cindicator has revealed. For example, one of the key findings is that in January and February of this year the collective mood was still bullish and most participants were forecasting growth, despite a clear downward trend. Sentiments changed in March after the total capitalization had already fallen below $300 billion during the previous month.

The “Collective Crypto Mood Swings” report is based on data from over 111,000 users of Cindicator’s mobile and web applications that allow them to make daily forecasts about a range of digital and traditional assets. They are asked almost 200 questions every month about the likelihood of certain events and are granted points for correct predictions but lose points in case of incorrect answers. At the end of each month, the “analysts” are rewarded in ETH if they have earned at least 1 point. The survey covers the nine-month period between September 2017 and May 2018.

The company also claims that 5,000 traders and investors are using indicators created by combining collective forecasts based on the opinions of these subscribers who come from more than 135 countries and are active followers of crypto markets from different age groups and backgrounds. Their inputs are enhanced by AI using machine learning algorithms and a neural network to produce predictions with high accuracy.

Report: Mood About Crypto Markets Changes Two Months After Trends

According to the authors, the expectations regarding crypto markets change similarly to those about other asset classes. It took investors 60 to 100 days on average to adapt to a new long-term trend in the markets of the different assets they were asked about. The researchers also found that the higher volatility leads to greater mood swings. They’ve provided an example with ethereum, noting the strongly polarized public view of the cryptocurrency in March when the price of ETH in US dollars dropped by more than 50%.

Bullish on BTC and ETH Months After the Peak

Cindicator reports that in the studied period the median opinions remained positive for both bitcoin core (BTC) and ethereum (ETH). More fluctuations were registered in the case of ethereum, while the median mood for bitcoin core remained consistent, despite the significant market ups and downs between September and May.

Report: Mood About Crypto Markets Changes Two Months After Trends

The analysis of the forecasts shows that the public was highly optimistic about the future of bitcoin (BTC) for two months after the leading cryptocurrency reached its peak of almost $20,000 in December, 2017. Then the distribution of opinions became more balanced in March, long after the four-month decline had started.

The situation with ethereum looks pretty similar. The polled subscribers were highly optimistic in February after the USD price of ETH peaked at $1,400 in January. In both cases, opinions were most positive during the months with the highest volatility: December, January and February. According to the report, this is likely due to expectations of mean reversion after the big drops.

Report: Mood About Crypto Markets Changes Two Months After Trends
Changes in opinions and prices.

The data for May, the last month covered in the study, shows that optimism for ethereum had returned to the levels recorded in February, while the mood about bitcoin core remained subtle as the price of BTC dropped to the low $7,000s. Ether markets were again volatile while the volatility of the bitcoin core markets dropped to its lowest level since September. Cindicator analysts have interpreted that as an indication of the new perceived norm – the range between $7,000 and $8,000.

What are your expectations about the future of crypto markets? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock.


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Research Finds Number of Crypto Funds has Exceeded 300

Research Finds Number of Crypto Funds has Exceeded 300

According to analytics firm Autonomous Next, the number of active crypto funds has reached 312 – a 24% increase from the end of 2017.

Also Read: You Can Become a Citizen of Antigua and Barbuda for Less Than 13 BTC

Number of Active Crypto Funds Reaches 312

Research Finds Number of Crypto Funds has Exceeded 300The number of cryptocurrency funds has significantly expanded in recent years, growing by 456% since the end of 2016, and 791% since the end of 2015 – according to Autonomous Next.

Despite the milestone, 2018 has so far produced the lowest percentage increase in the number of cryptocurrency funds year-over-year, with the number of crypto funds growing by 124% heading into 2015, 30% heading into 2016, 60% heading into 2017, and 348% at the at the end of last year.

The vast majority of new funds began operations during the second quarter of 2018. During the first quarter, only 20 new funds opened their doors, whilst 9 funds ceased trading. According to the report, “The number of crypto funds is highly correlated with both ICO fundraising and the market cap of [BTC].”

Crypto Funds Manage $7.5 Bn – $10 Bn USD Collectively

Research Finds Number of Crypto Funds has Exceeded 300Autonomous Next estimates that the total sum managed by all cryptocurrency funds is approximately between $7.5 billion and $10 billion.

The report also finds that the crypto fund industry is highly centralized, approximating that the 10 largest firms manage roughly 43% of the industry’s capital, and that the 50 largest firms account for 80% of managed capital.

Hype Surrounding Cryptocurrency Funds Grows

Research Finds Number of Crypto Funds has Exceeded 300The markets have reacted bullishly to news of Van Eck’s application for a bitcoin-back exchange-traded fund with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

Despite such, some analysts are critical of the apparent institutional thirst for cryptocurrencies, with Michael Chang of virtual currency advisory firm, Wachsman, recently stating: “I’d say that there is little to no appetite to put client money into digital assets right now.”

Mr. Chang added: “When you’re a bank like Jefferies, you have responsibilities to your clients. If you want crypto, you have to go to the specialist firms like a Pantera or a Soros Management, which is now investing in it through a separate fund. A lot of these guys have money in the big 10 coins now.”

Niklas Nikolajsen, co-CEO of Bitcoin Suisse, believes that the whilst “Institutional engagement it is limited[, …] it used to be zero [and] it is now well above that.” Mr. Nikolajsen added: “Bitcoin used to be immeasurable in market size, but is now about 1% of the gold market—a traditional hedge against currency—and 1% of the multitrillion-dollar gold market is not a small thing.”

Do you think that the number of active crypto funds will continue to grow? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Autonomous Next


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US Gallup Poll Shows Only 2% of American Investors Own Bitcoin

US Gallup Poll Shows Only 2% of American Investors Own Bitcoin

According to a Wells Fargo Gallup Investor and Retirement Optimism Index poll, just 2 percent of Americans surveyed own bitcoin. The poll is based on US adults who have at least $10,000 or more invested in things like mutual funds, stocks, and bonds. The Gallup survey also reveals that 26 percent of the US residents surveyed are “intrigued” by bitcoin but have no plans in investing any time soon.

Also Read: Bitcoin Cash Fund to Help Promote Future r/MillionaireMakers Drawings

Gallup Data Says American Investors Find Bitcoin Investment “Risky” But Young Investors Say They Would Jump in if Bitcoin Was “More Mainstream”

Wells Fargo has published the results of a Gallup Investor poll which shows only 2 percent of US residents own some bitcoin. The ‘Investor and Retirement Optimism Index’ survey was conducted online between May 7-14, 2018 and the web study consisted of 1,921 American investors ages 18 and older.

US Gallup Poll Shows Only 2% of American Investors Own Bitcoin“Bitcoin, the leading form of digital currency that has seen its price soar, crash and rise again in the past year, has made little headway with U.S. investors,” explains the report authored by Lydia Sadd.  

According to a Wells Fargo/Gallup poll, just 2% of investors say they currently own bitcoin, and less than 1% plan to buy it in the near future — While most investors say they have no interest in ever buying bitcoin, about one in four (26%) say they are intrigued by it but won’t be buying it anytime soon.

US Gallup Poll Shows Only 2% of American Investors Own Bitcoin

Most US Investors Are on the Sidelines

75 percent of the longitudinal panel of U.S. investors surveyed stated they found cryptocurrency investment “risky” while 23 percent of those polled found the investment to be “somewhat risky”. Only 2 percent of the investors polled said bitcoin investments were “not too risky” and just 0.5 percent found it to be “not risky at all”. The study found that because a majority of individuals believe bitcoin is risky, most prefer “security over growth” and “US investors prefer to play it safe with their investments.”

US Gallup Poll Shows Only 2% of American Investors Own Bitcoin

“Looking to the future, however, many younger investors who currently say they are intrigued may be converted to investors once the currency goes more mainstream,” Sadd notes.

For now, most investors are on the sidelines, knowing little to nothing about bitcoin. Few are already invested in it, and even fewer plan to jump in soon.  

Sadd’s web study also concludes that out of the 2 percent that owned bitcoin, ownership is more common among wealthier investors (earning $90,000 USD a year or more) while low-income investors don’t invest in bitcoin as much.

US Gallup Poll Shows Only 2% of American Investors Own Bitcoin

The researcher also notes that three in 10 of the investors (29%) polled knew some things about cryptocurrencies. 67 percent said they’ve heard of specific digital currencies but don’t have that much knowledge about them, and 5 percent have never heard of any types of virtual currencies.

What do you think about the findings within the Wells Fargo/Gallup poll? Let us know what you think about this subject in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, and Wells Fargo’s Gallup poll


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Crowd Psychology Driving BTC Prices, Finance Experts Say

Crowd Psychology Driving BTC Prices, Finance Experts Say

According to a survey conducted among finance professionals, ‘crowd psychology’ is the main factor determining the movements of bitcoin market prices. More than half of the polled experts shared this opinion. Many of the individuals surveyed also expressed concerns about the issue with crypto custody, saying that the way cryptocurrency is stored now prevents BTC from becoming a global reserve asset.

Also read: PR Specialists in the Russian Crypto Space Paid 10x the Average Salary

The Phenomenon Behind the Recent Price Spike

Cryptocurrencies have been through a lot of downturns this year but the latest upward trend on the back of positive expectations has provided ground for optimism. Bitcoin core markets are recuperating from this year’s lows of less than $6,000 USD per one BTC in June to more than $8,000 USD this month (~40 percent increase). Now a new survey has revealed what finance professionals think about the major factors that are moving the price of the digital asset.

Crowd Psychology Driving BTC Prices, Finance Experts SayMore than half of the respondents in the poll conducted by Data Trek Research believe the recent market developments are closely correlated to the so-called “crowd psychology” phenomenon, also known as herd or pack mentality. 52 percent of the questioned said that’s the main driver of the price of the cryptocurrency with the largest market capitalization.

According to Nicholas Colas, co-founder of Data Trek Research, this is the single most surprising response of the whole survey, Market Watch reported. Commenting on the results of the study, he said:

Finance professionals make their livings by analyzing asset values through the lens of fundamental/quantifiable factors. That more than half of respondents believe valuation in the crypto space is “purely a function of crowd psychology” is refreshing in its honesty.

Usage Not a Significant Factor

Crowd Psychology Driving BTC Prices, Finance Experts SayOn the other hand, only 15 percent of the polled experts think the price of bitcoin core (BTC) is a function of the growing usage of the cryptocurrency.

The survey also found that the issue with crypto custody, or the way cryptocurrencies are held and stored, is a major concern for many investors. 38 percent of the questioned said BTC would never become a reserve asset on a global scale.

Of the 216 professionals that have participated in the Data Trek poll, 42 percent are employed in the traditional money management industry and another 24 percent are working as brokers.

Just in the past two weeks, BTC markets have gained approximately 30%. After a brief descent below $8,000, at the time of writing bitcoin (BTC) is again trading above this threshold.

What is your opinion about the major factors influencing the prices of cryptocurrencies? Tell us in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Michael Novogratz (Twitter).


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More Than 6% of Securities Lawsuits Filed in 2018 Have Related to ICOs

More Than 6% of Securities Lawsuits Filed in 2018 Have Related to ICOs

Cornerstone Research, an economic and financial consulting company, has published a report finding that more than 6% of the securities class action filings made in 2018 have related to initial coin offerings (ICOs) and cryptocurrencies.

Also Read: Markets Update: BTC Gains 30% in Two Weeks, Alts Lose Correlation

6% of Securities Filings in 2018 Have Related to ICOs

More Than 6% of Securities Lawsuits Filed in 2018 Have Related to ICOsAccording to Cornerstone’s “Securities Class Action Filings 2018 Midyear Assessment,” 7 of the 111 “core” filings (those “without [mergers and acquisitions] claims”) made in 2018 have related to ICOs.

The percentage of the total number of securities filings that relate to ICOs has thus far increased when compared to last year. A total of 87 core securities class action suits were filed in 2017, 5 of which pertained to ICOs (5.75%).

Cornerstone asserts that 750 securities class action filings have been made since mid-2016 – describing such as comprising “the most prolific 24-month period since the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA) was enacted.”

Number of Filings on Track for “8.5%” of all NYSE and NASDAQ-Listed Companies to Face Litigation by 2019

More Than 6% of Securities Lawsuits Filed in 2018 Have Related to ICOsThe cryptocurrency related suits filed in 2018 include those against Paragon Coin, Latium Network, DRIP, Cloud With Me, and Mining Max. Presently, there are ongoing suits against Bitconnect – which is accused of “fail[ing] to disclose material facts” precipitating its collapse, and Ripple Labs. Ripple is accused of raising “hundreds of millions of dollars” through the unlicensed sale of XRP to retail investors, with the suit arguing that XRP tokens “have all the traditional hallmarks of a security.”

Co-author of the report and former commissioner of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Joseph Grundfest, stated of the study’s findings that “Class action securities fraud litigation continues to affect a large percentage of publicly traded firms. […] If the trends observed in the first half of the year continue to year-end, approximately 8.5 percent of all companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ markets will have been sued in these cases.”

What is your response to Cornerstone’s research into the number of securities filings pertaining to initial coin offerings? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, law.stanford.edu


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Bitcoin Unlimited Merges Graphene Block Propagation Technology

Bitcoin Unlimited Merges Graphene Block Propagation Technology

Over the past week, Bitcoin Cash (BCH) proponents have been discussing ideas like pre-consensus and faster block times. Now, on July 25, the Bitcoin Unlimited (BU) development team has announced merging a block propagation concept called ‘Graphene’ into the BU client. Graphene is a technology that is a fraction of the size of current methods and proposed ideas like Xtreme Thinblocks (Xthin), and Compact blocks.

Also Read: Graphene Block Propagation Technology Claims to be 10X More Efficient

The Graphene Protocol Gets Merged Into Bitcoin Unlimited

Bitcoin Unlimited Merges Graphene Block Propagation TechnologyBack in November of 2017 news.Bitcoin.com reported on a block propagation proposal called Graphene which claims to be 10X more efficient than compact blocks. Graphene has been thoroughly tested and in simulation, it reduces traffic overhead by reducing block overhead making block distribution more efficient. Essentially the protocol uses fewer bytes for newly transmitted blocks as opposed to the current method of sending full blocks. The research and simulation was a joint effort between BU developers, Umass alumni Brian Levine, Pinar Ozisik, George Bissias, Amir Houmansadr, and the bitcoin developer Gavin Andresen.

On Github the Graphene commit adds a functional implementation of graphene blocks and “all unit tests and the QA test grapheneblocks.py also passes,” explained George Bissias this past February. He continued, from log output “graphene blocks are requested, created, serialized, deserialized, and reconstructed.”     

“However, there is still work to be done. My general approach has been to largely replicate the workflow of Xthin blocks — Thus I have replicated large portions of the Xthin code. It’s not clear that this is preferable to sharing code between the two block types,” Bissias emphasized further. “There also remains the question of transaction ordering for graphene blocks. If it is possible to commit a canonical ordering before graphene, then we will want to change this patch accordingly.”

The code will also require further optimization (primarily block size optimization) before being deployed to production. My aim is to initiate a review for the basic workflow now and continue to work on optimization while graphene is running on the testnet.

Bitcoin Unlimited Merges Graphene Block Propagation Technology

A Functional Implementation of Graphene Blocks

After a lot of review from well-known programmers, like BU’s lead developer Andrew Stone and others, the codebase has officially been merged into the BU protocol. A good portion of the Bitcoin Cash community seemed pleased Graphene was merged into BU as the announcement quickly made the top post on the Reddit forum r/BTC. One commenter writes, “Wow, exciting — So glad we forked of and left Core/Blockstream in the dust.”

Bitcoin Unlimited Merges Graphene Block Propagation Technology

Other more tech-savvy members of the community discussed whether or not they thought Graphene was better than Xthin and Compact blocks. The merge doesn’t guarantee it will be used on the BCH network, but it is safe to say the BCH community will likely hear more about Graphene in the future.

The official papers on Graphene can be found here. Xthin documentation can be found here and here. And information on Compact blocks can be viewed here.

Check out the link to Graphene presentation from Scaling Bitcoin 2017 below.

What do you think about Graphene being merged into the Bitcoin Unlimited client? Let us know in the comment section below.


Images via Shutterstock, Pixabay, and Bitcoin Unlimited. 


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China Round-Up: Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang Receive ‘Unicorn’ Valuations, Number of DLT Companies Explodes

China Round-Up: Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang Recieve ‘Unicorn’ Valuations, Number of Chinese DLT Companies Explodes

In recent cryptocurrency news from China, three cryptocurrency mining hardware manufacturers have been valued at more than $1 billion USD, Bitmain has supported the launch of a research center for digital financial assets at Tsinghua University, and more than 3,000 companies were found to have registered blockchain-themed business names during the first half of 2018.

Also Read:Powerful Cryptocurrency Firms on the Road Towards Becoming Banks

Bitmain, Canaan Creative, and Ebang Ranked as Chinese ‘Unicorns’

China Round-Up: Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang Recieve ‘Unicorn’ Valuations, Number of Chinese DLT Companies ExplodesShanghai-based Hurun Research Institute has published its Q2 Unicorn Index for the Greater China region, which features cryptocurrencies companies for the first time.

Bitmain is ranked 13th on the list, with Hurun valuing the company to be worth 70 billion yuan ($10.3 billion USD approximately). Canaan Creative also holds a significant position on the list, sitting at 32nd (tied with 20 other companies) with a valuation of roughly 20.34 billion yuan (approximately $3 billion USD). Ebang ranks 53rd alongside 38 other companies with an approximated valuation of 10.17 billion yuan (roughly $1.5 billion USD). All three companies recently indicated their desire to conduct initial public offerings on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in the coming months.

Bitmain Backs Launch of Digital Asset Research Center at Tsinghua University

China Round-Up: Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang Recieve ‘Unicorn’ Valuations, Number of Chinese DLT Companies ExplodesThe Tsinghua School of Economics and Management has launched a “digital asset research center”, with reports asserting that donations from Bitmain were instrumental in leading to the establishment of the center.

Bitmain has ties with a number of leading Chinese universities, including Tsinghua University. Bitmain has provided sponsorship to the Tsinghua supercomputing team since 2016.

Bitmain also recently revealed that it plans to expand its development center in Israel. The expansion is expected to more than triple the number of Bitmain employees currently located at the facility (15), with the company indicating that it expects to recruit more than 40 additional employees to work at the center.

Over 3,000 Chinese Businesses Register Blockchain-Related Names in First Half of 2018

China Round-Up: Bitmain, Canaan and Ebang Recieve ‘Unicorn’ Valuations, Number of Chinese DLT Companies ExplodesSouth China Morning Post has reported that the number of companies that have registered names including the word ‘blockchain’ between January and July 16th of this year has increased by 500% when compared with the entirety of 2017.

As of July 16th, 3,078 companies had registered names containing the term “qukualian” (the Chinese translation of ‘blockchain’) during 2018, bringing the total number of firms with distributed ledger technology-themed names in China to more than 4,000. By contrast, it is estimated that 817 U.S.-registered firms include the term ‘blockchain’ in their name, with 335 companies donning similar names in the U.K.

Earlier this year, it was reported that Shenzhen Stock Exchange and Shanghai Stock Exchange were moving to crack down on the practice of companies seeking to cash in on the hype surrounding cryptocurrencies and distributed ledger technology. In March, China Money Network reported that “More than 20 listed companies have been questioned by the Shenzhen and Shanghai exchanges about their suspicious speculation on blockchain.”

Do you feel that China will continue to bolster its blockchain industry whilst seeking to restrict access to cryptocurrencies? Join the discussion in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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US Ranked Top Destination for Coin Offerings, Majority of ICOs Identified as Scams

US Ranked Top Destination for Coin Offerings, Majority of ICOs Identified as Scams

The US remains a leading destination for ICO projects according to a new study that also ranks Switzerland and Singapore in the top three. The report notes that authorities in other jurisdictions, like Russia and Estonia, are working to adopt favorable regulations in order to attract more crypto startups. The findings coincide with another study identifying 78% of all ICOs as scams.

Also read: Less Than Half of ICOs Survive Four Months After Sale, Study Finds

A Third of the Largest ICOs Held in the US

Despite regulatory uncertainty, the United States has established itself as the leading destination for companies conducting Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs), a new study confirms. According to the recently published report, 30 of the 100 largest token sales were held by companies based in the US. The data compiled by the team of the Crypto Finance Conference places Switzerland second with 15 ICOs, and Singapore third with 11 of the biggest coin offerings.

“ICOs continue to gain momentum. They raised $6.3 billion in the first quarter of 2018 — more than was raised in all of 2017,” said the chief executive of CFC, Andrea-Franco Stöhr, quoted by Venture Beat. In a released statement, he also commented that the research provides an opportunity to understand which countries are embracing blockchain and crypto projects and how they do it.

US Ranked Top Destination for Coin Offerings, Majority of ICOs Identified as Scams

The authors of the study also note that a number of countries are making efforts to adopt and implement regulations that would attract and encourage more initial coin offerings. The Russian Federation, which hosted six of the top 100 projects, is one of them. Another report published earlier this year claimed that startups with Russian participation raised $310 million. That study covered a total of 370 token sales.

The other nation that has been mentioned in the study as a crypto-friendly jurisdiction is Estonia, with four of the largest ICOs. According to some reports, the tiny Baltic country accounts for up to 10% of all funds raised through initial coin offerings last year.

78% of ICO Projects Identified as Scams

Despite two recent studies suggesting investors are still bullish on ICOs, a research conducted by the Boston College revealed that less than half of ICOs survive four months after sale. Now, another study, authored by the research company Satis Group, tells us that a staggering 78% of all coin offerings conducted last year have turned out to be scams. These ICOs promised big profits but shared very little information about the project and the team behind it or didn’t even publish a white paper. Most of them disappeared right after the token sale.

The updated data in the “Cryptoasset Market Coverage Initiation: Network Creation” report, released last week, also shows that 4% of the ICO projects have failed to meet their fundraising targets and have returned the capital to the investors. Another 3% were never listed on a trading platform. Only 15% of the coins sold through ICOs continued to be listed and traded on exchanges. Of those currently trading, 7% are deemed ‘successful’, 3% are said to be ‘promising’, and 4% are tagged ‘dwindling’.

US Ranked Top Destination for Coin Offerings, Majority of ICOs Identified as Scams

It’s been estimated that of the $12 billion raised by ICOs, $1.3 billion (11%) was lost to scams, $1.7 billion (14%) disappeared in failed projects, and $624 million (5%) went to those that had gone dead. However, more than 70%, or $8 billion USD, went to ICOs that eventually reached exchanges. According to the study, most of the funds appropriated by scams were invested in three projects. These are Pincoin ($660 million), Arisebank ($600 million) and Savedroid ($50 million).

Do you think the regulatory efforts in many jurisdictions will decrease the number of fraudulent ICOs? Share your expectations in the comments section below.


Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Satis Group.


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